Kristina Furey

Chili Cook Off @ 2pm

 

We will be playing The Chili Cook Off in Parish, Florida this coming Saturday.  It starts where the Heritage Festival parade ends.  Approximately at 11am.   We play from 2:00-245pm.  It is $8.00 in advance and $10.00 at the gate to get in.  I would suggest getting in early if you want to try all of the different chilis.  

Dan and I are currently not actively seeking gigs.  We are still slowly and carefully building what we hope will be a life that works synergistically with each of our needs being accounted for, resources, health, music, relationships, etc…  The Chili Cook Off is an opportunity for us to get out and play, while supporting a worthy cause and making some money to put into our music resources.  Also a reason to rework our original song, “So Far From Home”.  Which we have worked on in our humble home recording studio for the past month and I’m currently working on a way to make it downloadable in the best way to support Dan and I in our music endeavors but in meantime here is a sample of the song: https://www.reverbnation.com/kristinafurey/song/27583258-so-far-from-home-sample
The music side of our lives is a slow process and I don’t think most people realized it was a slow process the first time around as well, as we balanced the recording of our first CD around the lives of our loved ones, our responsibilities and efforts to contribute to our community.  I know many people have made comments to me that suggested they believed that we just did it all over night but honestly it was years and it’s not always easy to be patient as we come together, negotiate so we each get our needs met and build something we hope to  look back on with satisfaction.  Our lives are just as full with responsibilities and unforeseen circumstances as I expect your life is.  Each of the songs on our first CD was an accomplishment and cause for celebration, as was seeing all the hard work, resources, hours of practice and careful planning we put into our gigs, come together at our performances.  Our American dreams continue and we hope to find ways to encourage you to keep believing in yours.   

Hopefully I will have more on how you can download “So Far From Home” in next weeks blog.  In the meantime we invite you out to hear it live 3/4/17 at 2pm.  For more on the Chili Cook Off:  http://parrishchili.com/

 

"Some Say I Got Devil"--Melanie Safka

 

Once upon a time my son was sick when a friend called to check up on us and see if we could meet up somewhere.  I explained to her my little guy was sick, sick, sick, on antibiotics and had actually told me just that morning that he hated me.  Her words to me were so insightful and changed how I looked at people for life.  She said, “He doesn’t hate you.  That’s just the antibiotics talking.  He’s just not himself.  They always make my sons mean.”  This made me realize that if someone was cranky and snappish, they just weren’t themselves.  Nobody really wants to be miserable… do they?  Man, I wish that someone had used that phrase with me when I was child and acted out due to some disturbances in my emotional reasoning, that were just the results of my being made to feel uncomfortable by something or someone I had no control over.  It would have empowered me to make better choices along the way and I know I would have encouraged others to do the same because that was my nature, to help people be okay.  Instead, I rebelled defiantly and that worked for me sometimes but so many times as I stood my ground for another, I realized the other had turned tail and run.  Other times holding my own ground, for my own sake, I would also look around and see I was alone.  It occurred to me, the harder I pushed, the harder my “opponents” pushed back.  Being petite I wasn’t good at that  and when things got real heavy, I realized I needed to find another way but by then I had already been branded by those around me for my previous stands and defiantly I said, “Challenge Accepted!”  When I accepted their label I didn’t realize I would lose parts of myself.  Well…  between you and me, I didn’t lose them so much as they just went underground until spring returned.  

So imagine for moment your spouse, child, friend, whomever, has a lousy day and then at the end of the day, you get the privilege of all their bottled up angst.   Under other circumstances, would they be the same person their actions  represent them as at that moment?  or Are they perhaps, not themselves at that moment?  We could expand on this and ask , “What if they had a lousy childhood or life, up until that point when you got the privilege of all their bottled up angst?”  These are things I’ve pondered many times since that day my son said he hated me.  I’m really glad I didn’t react to him when he said those words.  When I think of all the times I’ve jumped into reacting over something someone said or did, aye, yi, yi!   I loved that TV show, “Ally McBeall”!  I loved that they used the term “Bygones!”  Like, “the slate is clear”.  “We will strike that”.  “Forget it about it”.  I understand we can’t forget about everything.  Sometimes it’s best we carefully move through it.  So that people can come together in an effort to have everyone’s needs honored, everyone feeling safe and able to trust that each participant involved will uphold that safety.  We are AMAZING when we come together in the service of all!  We create something we can all believe in.  

So this is a long way to get to the point of this blog but please stick with me if you have thus far.  I have never equated myself with feminism.  It just always seemed to me that it was more of an anger and venting thing, even a male hating thing, more  than a solution based thing.  That’s not to say that I haven’t been hurt or angry by the ways women appear to be held back and down in societies.  I’ve been affected, hurt and angry over it and even came out swinging a few times myself.  That said, I kind of had a sinking feeling when I first heard about the Women’s March that took place a month ago, from yesterday.  I wondered “What is it about?”  “Why now?”  “What do they hope to accomplish?”  “Are they just venting?”  “I hope it doesn’t get out of control and I hope people aren’t hurt.”  “What do they hope to gain and is this the best path to that?”  I always feel this way about groups getting together in this way.  But I’m not judging, just easily concerned.  I get concerned because I fear unchecked anger, including my own.  I think when groups of people with an angry tone to them, come together in abundance, their behavior changes, not so much unlike locusts, as they become group identified, often in anger and lose themselves and their own logic  in the process.

I was staying away from the news a month ago, before, during and after the march.  I needed to keep a firm grip on myself and not let myself fall to sorrow over concerns and fears I have over the new US leadership.  It goes back to that, “Groups identified in a anger” concern I have.  I’m not going to lie.  I am concerned and that’s not something I can just turn off.  So please don’t be angry.  Time and experiences that show my concerns are unfound are really the only thing that is going to stop my concerns.  I am trying to be patient and brave.  I ask that you be patient and understanding that this is not as easy for me and some other people, as it might be for you.   Okay.  So here we go, it was just a little over a week ago when I heard someone mention Ashley Judd and the people all around me chiming in, like she had maybe done something disgraceful.  I came home and watched a video of her speech.  The first thing that occurred to me was that she was not herself there.  The second thing noted, she was reciting what someone else had written.  The third thing that came to mind was Tori Amos’ lyric, “Maybe she’s just pieces of me you’ve never seen,”  and I wondered, what is Ashley’s personal story…?   Maybe it would have been better if Ashley had spoken from the heart and told her own story.  You see all those years ago when I was fighting and it stopped working for me, I did uncover another tool.  Instead of screaming truth in the face of my “opponents” I could try to make an emotional connection to help them perhaps see what I do.  I can understand how an actor would choose to tell someone else’s story, what someone else has written to say something that person them self can not muster up the words or courage to say them self..  It’s no different than why a song appeals to a person.  It resonates with them.  Like the one minded hord of locusts.  I believe we resonate.  I believe we can do that in a more proactive way.  It might take a little more thought and a little more restraint but I do believe, whole heartedly, believe it is possible!!!   I had to stop watching the video of Ashley.  I felt emotionally affected and it was out of my control to do something about it but it haunts me, “like an echo the wind leaves unreconciled”—Carly Simon.  I wonder  did she maybe have her own story to tell?  She seemed to be pushed by some intense motivation.  I think when people tell someone else’s story to demonstrate something they feel so passionate about, they normally have a story of their own.   What is her story?  Has she previously told it, only to have it disregarded?   I know when my own experiences are disregarded, I look for validation in other people’s similar stories, just to feel not so alone.  I also know how vulnerable we make ourselves when we tell our own stories and how sometimes we don’t tell them because we don’t want to harm others or disconnect ourselves from those we love and have forgiven.  Some of us forgive.  We say “Bygones” and hope life will be kind enough to allow us to move forward without the weight of such trespasses upon us.  We don’t forget because we realize to forget would be to lose the lesson that we went through so much pain to learn but we see ourselves in tandem with those we have forgiven.  We know we need to keep in mind we are in this together, not against, only together do we get to the other side.    Sometimes the pain is the reminder of how important it is to act with love as our motivation.  Maybe Ashley has her own story to tell and maybe if she told it she would have been putting someone on trial again for something she has said “Bygones” to or maybe she has another reason.  What would happened if she told her own story and nobody cared or worse, they reacted to her with intense dislike and shamed her in the public?  I guess it’s just safer to use someone else’s story, at least then you don’t have to take the public shaming to heart…   I  hope.   Maybe, I’m just reading too much into all of this and just looking for a way to tell my own story without revealing too much.  In case that’s it I will add I have learned that It’s so easy to be misunderstood when I’m angry.  It’s also so easy for people to scapegoat me, when I’m reactive.  When I’m angry and reactive it opens me up to being easily manipulated.  I’m no stranger to self loathing after bouts of anger and I’m now trying more and more these days to consider my underlying needs and balance them alongside the needs of others before I move forward.  More and more I can see where anger only gets in the way of getting needs met. I’m learning to walk away and let the anger and anxiety to react subside.  That way when I’m ready to walk through, rather than away, I can with focus on exactly what it is I am aiming to head towards.  Hopefully that’s not too lofty a goal.   

Melanie Safka:  “Some Say (I Got Devil):  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1PKA2tn1Ms

 

"Love, it is a flower. In you, its only seed"--Amanda McBroom/Bette Midler

 

What is your love story?  I think about love, a lot but maybe not in the way you might think.

I once had this dream when I was young and in it I died.  The dream continued on, as I saw things from the third person perspective, I saw myself, sit up in a trough filled with blood.  Then this beautiful woman, who resembled Audrey Hepburn, dressed all in white flowing material, came over to me and lifted me out.  As I sat in her lap, she said it wasn’t my time yet and it was important I go back.  I remember feeling this intense love, I saw that the blood I had been completely immersed in, was all over her as she held me and she did not seem to pay any attention to that.  She just wanted me to understand something important that I’m not sure I did, as when I woke up, I only remember that she said it wasn’t my time and the intense feeling of being loved that left me with such a strong impression for such a long time.  I think it was the most intense feelings of love I ever had and I don’t want to confuse you with the idea that it was just between this dream figure and myself it was coming from everywhere.  When I woke up there was this intense feeling that love came from everything.  It surrounded me, it was in me and it extended everywhere.   Yet, like so many things, as time went by the ability to feel that love that surrounds, lessened, until one day I found myself questioning when it went away.  It became like a photo in my mind and a memory of something I once remembered but now just remember the memory of what it was like to remember for real.   I wish I could remember how it felt and possibly feel it again for a moment because it held such weight in my life.  It was believing in something, so completely and without doubt.  Few things in this world I can feel that way about now.  The closest I ever got to that feeling again was right after I had my son but sadly, even that intensity did not last out the years.

If I could make you feel for a moment what I felt coming out of that dream, I feel you would understand why I cringe when we judge others and forget to see each other as the source of love and nurturing that we really are and why I hurt so much when I forget and give into fear, angst, pain or that tired feeling of hopelessness, instead of feeling the abundance of love all around waiting to be chosen.  I wonder sometimes, if maybe the dream was reality and this, is just a dream... or is the only real thing in this world the love and the rest is just the manifestations of our own fears.  I only know for sure, I want to choose love.  I wish it were so easy for me as it once was.

Amanda McBroom's unforgettable song, "The Rose" : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-dBWa_2pJjU

Bette Midler's unforgettable version of "The Rose":  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zxSTzSEiZ2c

 

"What the good Lord gave me"--me ;-)

 

Look at me, playing the Rock Star and showing up late with the blog this week.  As Joey Ramone once whined out, “I can’t make it on time!”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyYHGMiy1Ec  “I keep a tryin’ and tryin’”.  I once read a hororscope, one that was based on the day I was born, year I was born, etc, etc, uniquely mine to sum it up.  Yes, uniquely mine and it said I would always be an anachronism.  That I had been born in a time where I did not belong and that I would always be too early or too late.  I did not want to believe in it’s Voodoo Magic and I said “Pooh, Pooh!” but sometimes I do wonder, if somewhere, God is not having a good laugh.  Most of the time I imagine it in good nature, like when you may, for just a second smile at a loved one as they vent to you, their frustrations with another and you think to yourself, “Well now that they’ve figured out how frustrating that behavior can be for people, perhaps they will stop pulling the same crap on me…” Yes, I know, the funniest or saddest part of this, is when I share this jubilation with someone that has the nerve to ask me, “Well does this mean you’re now going to stop participating in this most irritating of behaviors?”  Ah... Touche...  <—Don’t know if that’s pronounced “two-shay” or “touch-ie” but I suppose it fits either way.

Anyway as “Out of time” as I seem to be, it was my resolution for 2017 that I would not let people "Steal My Sunshine." (Len:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1fzJ_AYajA )  That I would shut out the voices that seem to deliver messages that something about me is not up to par and see it for what it is, I don’t fit their intentions for me.  Period. Exclamation mark!  I’ve made choices all along the way that support me being content with my actions.   Some have been pretty crappy choices to choose from.  So often, I realize, there are better scenarios but often too, I feel like I can turn straw into gold!  Just the other day, I went to make scrambled eggs and learned as the stove would not heat up, that the self cleaning oven mode disables the stove during its cleaning process.  I looked for a solution, looked at my toaster oven, put some tinfoil on the tray (not the grill), basted it with a little butter and poured in the egg, milk, salt, pepper mixture, I had failed at being able to cook, no, excuse me—>the stove had failed to cook.  In the toaster oven, the eggs cooked beautifully and more fluffy than when I cook them on the stove.  I pulled it out and wondered, how I would dislodge it from the foil and get it onto the plate.  I lifted and tipped an edge of the foil and VOILA, not only did it come off with ease, it folded better than any omelette I have ever made in my life. Eggscellent!!!  Tasty too!  I could not have been more thrilled and I continue to use my new technique. (but under close scrutiny as unwatched toaster ovens seem extremely unsafe to me.)  I could have gotten disgruntled and thrown the eggs in the trash.  NO WAY, these eggs were the kind that cost a small fortune, on account of the chickens getting to run free, live the good life and eat what the good lord gave them.  I find them so worth it, as their yolks are sooo rich and when I fry them up they taste like butter and I don’t use butter when I fry them, just a spray of olive oil.  

On topic with what the good Lord gives, two weeks ago, I wrote a song that goes with that.  Don’t know when or if we’ll get around to recording it, as we’re still working on “So Far From Home” and Dan has been really busy with work and worn out by the end of the day.  But the lyrics were fun and when I shared the song with someone, they said, "I didn’t know you wrote gospel."  Ha, funny thing is, neither did I, even as I was singing it.  ?  It didn't occur to me.  I don't think about things like that, I just allow it to come through me because it is a gift and just happens to be...


“What The Good Lord Gave Me”
He said, “I know you’re a sinner and I come to save your soul.
The good Lord has forgiveness and he’s put me in control.”
I said, “No. No. No. NO, YOU can’t save me.
Only one thing can and that’s what the good Lord gave me.”
She said, “I’m praying for you now that you’re gonna change your ways.”
I said, “Then pray all night.  Pray all day.
But No. No. No. NO, YOU can’t save me.
Only one thing can and that’s what the good Lord gave me.
And if the good Lord give it, he can take it away.
I’m sure if he cares, he’ll have his say.  
Yeah, I bet he had a reason to make me this way
And I’m guessing that it might have been to hear me say.
No. No. No. NO, YOU can’t save me.
Only one thing can and that’s what the good Lord gave me.
And I don’t need you to be judging on me.
I talked to God about it, seems that he agrees that
No. No. No. NO, YOU can’t save me.
Only one thing can and that’s what the good Lord gave me.
The good Lord gave me.  What the good Lord gave me.
Only he can save me.  Only he can save me.
Keep your judgements to yourself, lest you be judged by HE.
Keep your eyes on yourself, instead of on me.  Cause
 No. No. No. No, YOU can’t save me.
Only one thing can, that’s what the good Lord gave me!”


after thought:  Me thinks perhaps I have watched too much “Young Pope.”  but HBO, I’d prefer you bring back “Vinyl” Things were just getting good.  You had such an incredible cast.  How could you just scrap it?!?   I have a song for it…  EPIC, should you ever bring it back… 

 

"They come to build a wall between us"--Crowded House

 

A second blog simply because I could not stop myself.  I seriously tried but I am overwhelmed by things I see and hear in the news and so here it comes…  a volcano ready to blow.  I had begun to blog on them Tuesday but stopped myself.  I seriously don’t want to be part of the problem, spitting hate out into the world.  If you’re happy with things as they currently are forgive me and please don’t read any further.  I don’t seek to cause you aggravation and this most likely will aggravate you.    

I just feel like one of those people that yells warnings to characters on a movie screen because they’ve seen the atrocities and they know what’s likely to happen next if the characters are not warned.  It’s a problem I’ve had all my life seeing things before other people do and yelling "Soylent Green is made out of people!" while "they shake their heads and look at me as if I've lost my mind." I feel sometimes like life is just seeing the same movie over and over and over again and each time it ends the same and I feel a little more sick on my stomach for it.  And all my life I've been yelling at that screen, “They come to build a wall between us” —Crowded House:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J9gKyRmic20

It started out when I was a kid.  The Boogey Man, a belligerent bully on the playground, making fun of my friend’s and foster sibling's differences.  Thanks to older brothers that used to rough house with me I would do my best to look them in the eye and tell them “No”.  As a young teen, it was the beginnings of sexual harassment, peer pressures, the occasional acts of physical intimidation. along with lies spread, rumors to hurt reputations and the beginning of cliques and tribes, which I fell “Left Of Center” from, much like Suzanne Vega’s song:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9YIBmZjONtA   It always interested me, the blind faith of those that fell into the order, especially when it was not to their benefit.  Some of them dismissing those they’d been best friends with because their new tribal ways deemed it a necessity.  How many sacrifices I watched for the sake of some cult or it’s leader, Queen Bee or King.  They tore friendships apart and changed the way the followers thought and acted.  I thought of those followers as “Pod People” who drank the Kool Aid.   Sometimes the Kool Aid was a belief system and sometimes it came in the form of something mind altering that had to be done if you were to be considered cool and keep your membership up to date.  I was often planning an intervention of some sort.  If I could just pull them away for a bit and help them be themselves again…  I were honest myself...   There were others like me, a handful of us that learned we didn’t fit these cliques but we couldn’t identify ourselves with outsiders either.  We just wanted our loved ones back.  We didn’t see anyone as the enemy, just as blind followers.  Well truth be told, there was a dark period there for a while, when I did day dream about lighting a match under the sprinkler system in hopes of drowning those with their noses stuck in the air.  And I did sing in my head and out loud occasionally, “Preps to the left of me Jock’s to the right, here I am stuck in this dumb class again.” to the tune of “Stuck In The Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DohRa9lsx0Q
 
So on to my point, the 5 year old child separated from his mother and detained at Dulles Airport on what appeared to be his birthday, was all too reminiscent of Roberto Benigni’s “Life Is Beautiful” movie.  Is it true this child was a US Citizen?  If not, does it make our actions as a country any less heartless.  Where are we going?  And what about the torture and water boarding?  Is this who we are now?  Are we pro-torture?  Have we decided this is an okay thing now?  Maybe we should consider our family members, in the military, loved ones overseas and be sure our children are tucked into bed and have said their prayers before choosing torture as the American way or the Christian way…  

If I were being questioned by the “Authorities” as to whether or not I was a Christian, I think my answer would be “No, if this is what it means to be Christian and then I would say, I’m not even sure God exists currently. If God exists then I should see God in your actions and in your words.  If I don’t see signs of God, I have to think God does not exist here.  Here I can only see man with a God complex.”  I hope we give a pause to our actions and some serious considerations of what we are saying to the rest of the world through our actions.      

When we learn that “This is not God’s plan.  God left this in our hands.  I’m sure God’s wondering will we ever see that they’re us, we are them and they are we.”

I now return you to your movie, already in progress:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZegQYgygdw

 

"You're so far from home"--Kristina Furey

 

I was at a party hanging around the food table as I often do…  when I heard someone say to one of the men there, I hear you’re going over seas again.   As a conversation developed  around this opener, the wife joined in and I learned quickly of her dissatisfaction with her husband’s impending travels abroad.  I noted their child was young and wondered what it must be like for the wife to be left alone during these trips to raise their child alone.  I did not have to wonder too much as she was forthcoming in the conversation.  However, what was most apparent to me was that the husband and wife seemed to have a loving relationship with one another and any angst she was communicating was there to cover what was all too apparent when I looked at her face as she spoke candidly and tended to her child.  That conversation and what I saw in the wife’s face was like a hitchhiker, I couldn’t just drop off and leave somewhere on the side of the road.  That hitchhiker came home with me and hung out as I went about my normal life and imagined how that wife must feel when her husband is gone.   

I don’t remember if it was the following day or a few days later when I walked downstairs as Dan was jamming on his guitar and the song started creating itself there in my head.  Right about the same time that hitchhiker, seemed to find a place outside of my head and heart, landing comfortably into a song.  “Play that again.”  I said.  “Keep playing that.  I think I’ve got something here.”  I turned on my microphone and launched in.  I admit, I had previously, years previously, recorded on my tape recorder, “You’re so far from home, far from home, you’re so far from home.” But that was more of a Celtic, folky thing I was doing.  This was more upbeat as Dan’s playing had set the tone.  It was a quick write.  It practically wrote itself.   We took it out and began playing it right away though we always felt it was in need of some tweaking.  The song was wee bit short too and so I borrowed a couple of lines from some popular songs and added them into our performances of the song, to give it length and familiarity.  I felt clever to have come up with this idea and it seemed to be appreciated as the song was repeatedly requested when we would go out to play.  

So flash forward to this past weekend:  Dan and I thought number one, we should fix this song and number two, we should record it.  So this past weekend, we fixed it and recorded a scratch track.  We plan to have a downloadable and streamable version of the song in time for our performance at The Parrish, Florida-Chili Cook Off on March 4th.  

You can find the video clips at my FaceBook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/thefureys/  

https://www.facebook.com/thefureys/posts/10154891848692319

 

"As each unconscious sufferer wanders aimlessly"---Concrete Blonde

 

I had a whole other blog planned about me, Me, ME!!! and DAN of course and what we are working on.  I don’t think it is what you would expect.  I have to save that for another day though, as a friend paraphrased a quote to me the other day that struck a chord in me and an intense desire to share what I know without doubt! The quote went something like this:

If you continuously push someone down, think about how high they would have to lift you if you ever needed them. When you continuously support and build someone up, if you or anyone would ever need their help, they will be able to lift you so much higher. 

It’s things like the understanding this quote encompasses, it’s these things, that come from people's personal experience or observation, that need to be expressed over and over again in many ways until we all get the message!  That, is what I love about writing and music most.  Trying to find ways to communicate these messages and then new ways for those that may not have grasped it the first dozen times around.  I know many times people have tried to communicate things to me that at the time I was unable to hear or I misunderstood and then someone else came along and said the same thing and I had a moment of clarity.  Then I’m like “Oh, that’s what they were trying to say!”  All sorts of things can get in the way from wether or not we had enough sleep the night before, if our blood sugar is off, if we are distressed over something… So many human quirks can keep us from getting these really important insights.  I personally,  love feeling like I’ve mastered a way to get through with a message.

In regards to this particular insight my friend shared, I am of the belief, when we push someone down we push ourselves down.  I don’t think we can ever judge someone without taking away our own ability to be free of judgments.  As soon as we judge someone else we become more conscious of our own actions and often limit ourselves in the process.  It’s good to be aware of these things, not so that we can be perfect but so that we can be forgiving of ourselves and others.  I’ve found on some occasions I can’t forgive someone else until I can forgive myself for my own actions that either participated in theirs, encouraged theirs in some way or sometimes  because I don’t like the way I reacted to their stimulus and the course my life took due to that reaction.  It’s a shame that we do unto others what has been done to us, just as much as we try to “Do unto other’s as we would have done unto us.”  But it’s important we understand, it’s the action that is shame because when we get this confused and identify ourselves or others as shameful it leads to people feeling lost, downtrodden and defeated.  That is very destructive as it can so easily become the dis-ease of our families, communities, and can reach worldwide proportions.   Which is why we need to focus on forgiveness!  Daily ask ourselves, Can I forgive today?  What do I need to forgive this person or event?  How does holding back forgiveness benefit me?  Am I the one I need to forgive?  And again, Can I forgive today?  

I don’t think any of the negative behaviors we express really belong to any of us.  I think we are just recycling the negative behaviors that have always been here and we will keep doing that until we discover or learn from others how to transcend them. 

I changed what I was going to blog about today because what is going on in the world is soooo much more important than anything I am doing.  I started blogging because I was told I should be as a tool of self promotion but I don't do well with self promotion.  I really feel awkward with it and that's because my music is not about me, not really.  I could have put all my efforts into me and my music but that was never what the music was about for me.  I am always listening and trying to get the messages that heal, out to others.  It’s why I became fascinated with the radio as a child.  The radio frequencies and those we communicate within, are like an artery I try to keep my finger on, so I can check the pulse and our vitals.  I want us all to be healthy and able to function together because I know without a doubt that is the purpose of life!  Or at least, it is certainly the purpose of my life. 

My disclaimer:  While I know these things and see them so clearly at times, I am only human.  One moment spouting truth the next making mistakes.  I don’t want to mislead anyone.  I prefer leading from behind.  So I can keep my focus on the big picture and the lives that stand before me.  I can watch and give guidance when needed.  I have no need for control here.  With the exception of self control perhaps.  I only desire the peaceful knowledge that when I’m gone, those I leave behind, will not be lost and while I exist, I will not lead anyone to despair.  

Concrete Blonde’s, “Beware of Darkness”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOBPAwCCDEE 

 

"Brainstorm, take me away from the norm"--311

 

Once upon a time a girl anxiously awaited Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Countdown.  She hoped to tape the songs that moved her, so she could stop and jot down the lyrics of the beloved songs and analyze them as she poured over the words like an archeologist trying to discover and understand a civilization.  Language, words, sounds, so soul stirring and powerful.  A bridge to our oneness.  A connection to the past and the most simplest way to teach or remember something important.  

From the first moment she heard him speak, she felt allured, comforted and curious, all at the same time but it was what he would say that drew her in and on the third date, as he eased into his real self and unconsciously spoke about what was truly important to him, she wanted to jump up in the Roy Rogers and incredulously ask at the top of her lungs, the others there, “Do you have any idea, whom you are in the room with?”  Though this was going on inside her, he would never know as she was having a silent victory there, editing herself.  It had been explained to her that she should practice this editing as she had a serious case of diarrhea of the mouth and it was not working in her favor.  However, what she was learning to hold back in words, would find a way of coming to the surface, in the lyrics she wrote.  

Now if this was a movie or a TV show this is where “The Logical Song” would play and possibly give you an understanding of the girls story.  Her story might be called “Growing Up Female.”  The song would be sung by a female and the lyrics, “simple man” would be changed to “simple mind.”  

But today we are past all this.  We’ve progressed much further down the road of life and I’m doing my best to make peace with the illogical.  

Along with my husband I’ve picked up and moved to the place where I hope to build a solid and logical life that revolves around our needs and wants.  We like to be active year round and saw ourselves living a healthier life here in Florida.  Plus I’ve had past issues with Seasonal Affective Disorder that seem to now be alleviated.  The dream was to live near family and friends already living on Florida’s West Coast.  Not just surviving winter but thriving during it.  Work our way back into the music and create tours up the East Coast in the summers.  Our music has been appreciated by the older generation, our own and those that are my kids age.  Maybe because these are the same people that make their way and their needs into my heart and I in return try to praise them for this with song.  More so though, this is about Dan’s and my pursuit of health and happiness and if we can attain it, I know it can be secured by helping others to do the same.  Again, I keep working on that bridge to OUR (an all inclusive our) ONENESS.  

Currently, life is good.  I saw this life in my head and I had a strong feeling it would be good, if I could be in an environment where I could get plenty of sunlight, daily activities, have less financial concerns (Cost of living is a big plus for us here.)  Basically, if I could get on a schedule and live where all my needs were being met along with Dan’s, I knew I would be better off than where I was previously.  It’s a work in progress but progress is good!  Dan continues to work a full time job and I continue to handle most of the house maintenance, healthy and cost effective food needs, bills, etc, while we are trying to put down our social and musical roots here as well.  It is time consuming AND rewarding for us.  Hmm?  it is life and not a bad life.  We have once again incorporated daily healthy rituals into this thing called life.  I’m on a quest to budget not just our money but the time we have so we can spend it wisely on what Dan and I desire to work towards.  I find myself spending more time acting on these goals and with less time to spend on the computer.  For me computer stuff just seemed to be getting too much out of control and I was losing time on it, instead of accomplishing real world things.  So I’m seriously trying to budget my computer time and be mindful of how I’m spending it.  I get soooo much email; personal, music related and in regards to the things I’m doing to be a part of the community I live in but mostly solicitious emails.  Thankfully, it was recently brought to my attention that unsubscribing from solicitious emails is a kindness to the sender who is putting time, resources and money into them.  Point taken and a win/win for all!  This has helped alleviate my guilt over the unsubscribes and I’m certainly aware of where to find these services and beautiful people, should I need them in the future.  BUT Honestly, I’m more of a book person.  Ah, to let my mind wander and explore it’s own course as I sit in the sun with my feet dangling into the water, or digging into the sand, while basking in a sunny place.  I like to hold knowledge in my hands. Which is why another thing I’ve been trying to make more time for is writing my own books, in an effort to pass on some of my own knowledge.  Here’s a link to part of one of the books I have been working on:  https://www.facebook.com/thefureys/photos/a.10151325330427319.486591.34854122318/10154845204157319/?type=3&theater 

The book I’m reading at the moment is Ari Herstand’s book, “How to Make It in the New Music Business.”  It was just released this year.  2017!  Thank you Ari!  I’ve read many of your posts.  I agree with your recommendations to younger artists in regards to jobs and money.  

311 “Amber”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUFSB2plwzM 

Supertramp’s “The Logical Song”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh3Kk5tZSmo 

 

A Double Feature=BlogX2

 

I was all about to post a blog yesterday but I woke up with this in my head and it seemed important to get it out...

BLOG 1:  Last January, I had all these fantastic ideas of things I would do.  After all, making our way to living in Florida had been a loooong time coming, there had been a lot of thinking “What if we could?  What if we tried?  What if we did and we survived?”  Oh YES, I was "contemplating the possibilities!” We were researching and planning for success, we were facing set backs and loss, we were faced with difficult decisions and an understanding that we couldn’t “Just Do It” <—A slogan I love NIKE!!!  However, if we broke it down into smaller doable chunks we believed it could be accomplished.   I had some of the most awesome minds in my cabinet trying to help by brain storming for me, with me, with Dan and I, so many suggestions to wind me up.  So many in fact, at times I was exhausted just considering the ideas.  I came up with the most awesome plan and presented it to Dan.  He made a few edits and we were off!  (Thank you to the beautiful people that were supportive or giving of their time and ideas!!!)  Then we landed in Florida and had to reassemble our lives here.  Me, for the first time in my life, I was living more than 45 minutes from where I was born.  I mean like over 900 more miles!  But I had to do it.  I had to take myself out of the comfort of the circle I had lived within all my life.  I had to take myself out of the orbit my life had grown accustomed to, the same orbit that would insure I would continue to repeat the same patterns that were not fulfilling what lies deep within me. Patterns taught and ones that came from outside of me, instead of from inside me. Some patterns fit me and some no longer did.  I knew I needed different and I spent years working on what that need was and how I could fill it.  Last thing I expected was that I would get here and need time to adjust.  Adjust?  To this which I chose for myself?  It’s been interesting folks…  

I was like a parachuter on their first jump.  I was in a glorious state of bliss and I forgot to pull the chord.  Luckily, I was in tandem and the chord was pulled in time.  Ah, what a landing!  When the bliss became the norm, I looked around and saw that it was time to get back on track with my plans, which was when life threw some more twists into this story, some I was able to spring to action to take care of and some out of my hands.   Why would I expect anything different?  Why? Because I’m a romantic and I believe deep inside, even in my darkest hours that there is a possibility for a happy resolution to everything, when we are informed and willing to work towards it, over and over and over again, until we get it right.  Even when their are setbacks. Now, I’m gonna make my own twist here in this blog and say, I think President Obama is the same as me on this.  I don’t think this is the last we will hear from him or the last we will see of him focused on and working towards the needs he has of promoting that same hope in you and those who are lost and without hope.  Sometimes we know when change is due but sometimes we are up against a lot in our efforts to orchestrate it.  Time, patience, persistence, and our ability to reconsider information and readjust to it, along with our discipline and tenacity, these are incredible tools to have but... without the hearts of others, without their investment, and without their belief in something better, we have to be the guardians of hope and so I, hold it safe in my hand.  I nurture it like a baby bird and I have every belief, that it will fly, when the time is right.    (More to come on where I've landed and what is next in the coming weeks but for) Now a second feature...

BLOG 2:

YES, to Meryl Streep’s speech!

YES, to President Obama’s exiting speech!  For me it really takes off around minute 23:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=siyBp8Csugk 

YES, to the ever wise writing and excellent presentation of ABC’s comedy, “Black-ish”that aired 1/11/17!

And YES, to NPR’s “Ted Hour” on Heroes! :  http://www.npr.org/podcasts/510298/ted-radio-hour   As it got me wondering, “Who are our heroes?”  What are our heroes made of?  For some reason the old TV show “Gilligan’s Island” popped into my head.  Crazy, I know, but stick with me just a moment more because I was thinking about how when the TV Show “Survivor” first came out, I thought it was going to be a real life “Gilligan’s Island”.  I was let down when it turned out to be some competition thing, pitting the castaways against each other, rather than having them figure out their circumstances, how they would initially survive by bringing each individual’s skill sets into work and how that too, would ultimately lead to getting them back to civilization or help them to get themselves rescued.  I saw about one and half seasons before vowing “NO MORE!”  I have no use for the “reality” or more likely manipulated people shows that have people being pit against each other, put in sleep deprivation situations and encouraged to drink alcohol, form alliances and show humanity at it’s worst and all this, so the media companies can create content in the “Cheapest” fashion.  Cheap in cost and cheap in taste.  Back to “Survivor” this is no way to survive in the real world!  Yet a generation of children have been brought up on the teachings from these shows that this is the way to succeed, to be the hero or the heroine.  It’s bled all through our culture and pulled us away from bringing our differences together our unique skill sets and respecting one another for their skills and differences.  It’s sad.  It makes me think sometimes I’d rather be trapped on “Gilligan’s Island” with Gilligan, The Skipper, The Millionaire AND his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann, than in the world that seems to be representing our current “reality”. 

 

"Then a hero comes along" and her name is Mariah!

 

There’s this old belief that whatever you are doing at the stroke of midnight, will be what the new year gifts you with all year long.  Some people hold dollar bills with hopes of being rich.  Some people kiss their loved ones with the desire to have plenty of love in the new year.  I wonder if Mariah’s performance on New Years was a sign of things to come.  Maybe this year, life will gift us with truth and we will accept it for what it is, a gift and a functional tool in our successes and survival.  

I see Mariah’s performance as a woman standing up for herself and saying “I came prepared.  I put in the work.  I deserve this opportunity and I deserve better than to be scapegoated for the dysfunction at work here. All the same I’m doing my part, to do my best, to honestly address the situation at hand, in an effort for the best outcome.”   Have you ever felt that way?  Sure in the end she did lip synch but that was not her original intent.  She was doing it to make up for the sound system or sound person’s failure.  If the monitor was not turned on or up enough for her to hear herself, she was failed, not the one, who failed.  

It isn’t easy to work so hard at something and be discredited by someone or something else’s, mistake or flaw.  It’s even harder to experience that in a room full of people focused on you or I would imagine, ON TELEVISION.  To work so hard and find out it didn’t matter.  It’s an even worse feeling if you have any mistrust of those that were in control or should have been.  I am extremely uncomfortable when I have to leave my own sound system behind and put my trust in someone else’s sound system, their set up, their understanding or misunderstanding of it and their ability to use it correctly, (all too often they don’t believe in monitors or working monitors or simply don’t understand how to give singers what they need in the monitors-which btw all these scenarios, can wreak a singer’s voice, if the singer tries to compensate for it).  I have carefully observed some sound system operators and noticed they give lesser and better mixes to certain performers.  (I have wondered what that’s all about…?)  I have been left stranded by more than one Sound “Engineer” who abandoned their job of delivering quality sound during my performance.  I even had one sound guy completely check out on me at a festival once.  He was sitting right there at the system but I think he was napping.  I did not know how to handle the situation.  I tried to be professional and expected I should just, go with the performance and hope for the best.  And no it was not.  It was not my best because I was dependent upon him to do my best and he wasn’t giving his.   These things have messed up Dan’s ability to do his best too as timing is imperative to his looping.  Yes, he creates his loops live.  Nothing we do is prerecorded or enhanced with filler sound.  Our thoughts being live music, is live and not in any way previously recorded but there seems to be varying opinions on this.  

It was an eye opener for me to learn about how many local musicians across the country are now using tracks to thicken their sound and their vocals.  I even had another musician tell me they were at a ten year Anniversary party for a big development and noticed the drummer’s timing was off.  It was a very curious thing at first and then he came to the conclusion the drums, he was hearing were actually tracks.  He, a drummer himself, felt disgusted.  Upon closer observation of the band, he started to see evidence that no one was really playing what the crowd was hearing.   He had seen enough and was actually ready to leave when the power went out.  He paused to see what would happen next, hoping they would play live for their audience.  They looked shocked and dismayed at what they should do next but they never even tried to just play for their audience and It was his opinion that they couldn’t perform live if their lives depended on it.  Fortunate for them, their lives, their careers, nothing, depends on playing for real and people are none the wiser or don’t really care.  No one’s life depends on a “Singer” being able to sing or a “Musician” being able to play their instrument.  Because I have worked so hard on my vocals, I struggle with not being bitter when I learn about how someone else is faking it and I feel like that little kid that points out that the Emperor has no clothes.  It frustrates me that some people would rather live in denial of that fact.  What if our surgeons didn’t actually know how to do surgery or had never done it before when they showed up for our surgeries?  What if they were like the Emperor?  What if our President had no clothes and just had a really good publicist?  Or what if our food wasn’t real and it didn’t have the building blocks that bodies need to replicate healthy cells?  I mean, what would become of us if we stopped noticing what was real and what wasn’t?  I think we would set ourselves up for extinction, which is exactly what I’ve been fearing about “live” music, until Mariah took the mic and made it real!

Mariah Carey’s “Hero”:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0IA3ZvCkRkQ