A Musical Goodnight

Okay. So, that second song seems to be created now. I likely will make tiny tweaks as I prepare to record it for real – well, more for real – but I like it as it is, and I am very happy with it. I need to go back and listen to another song I did, so I can make sure they don’t sound too similar. At least not unnecessarily similar. I’m fine that they be similar as single-instrument and voice songs – I only know about two strumming patterns after all, and both of these songs are slow songs, so variation is minimal on the instrumental front. However, I want them to be two exclusive songs. So, I need to do a touch of checking and editing on singing notes and phrases.

After that, though, I will upgrade from my casual, ‘Just get it all down,’ recording on my phone to a more official recording of how the song really goes, all the way through.

For now, I shall rest briefly and, hopefully, quite well before the early morning workout that is to come in only a few hours.

Goodnight for now, World. Hasta la dark before sunrise, baby. 😉

Post-a-day 2021

^Baller

Music life

I am beginning to see how easy it is to write songs, to create songs. It already seemed doable to me before now, but it has become abundantly clear to me that it is all even easier than expected.

And, I suppose, that is what really is so hard about writing songs. Because it is so easy to start writing them, it is easy to lose track, get distracted, and never finish one. Loads of starts and parts, but very few full, finished songs ever seem to appear.

I guess that is a warning, a reminder, and an encouragement for me. Beware of doing only starts and not actually taking the time and effort to focus on creating a full song in the mix. Remember that it is easy and that you can and want to take the time and make the effort for starts and full songs both. You have done the tremendous effort of completing full and real songs already – you can do it again as many times as you wish.

That being said, I have two songs that are sprouting. One is almost ready to be written beyond just a chorus, and the other began today, budding out with its main idea in the first verse and chorus. (Psst: I’m actually really excited about the latter song.) It feels like the second one will happen before the first, and that’s completely okay with and for me. It isn’t quite yet time for the first, and I know it. It is more a birthday song this year, so it likely won’t be ready until closer to then for me. 😛

Post-a-day 2021

^Whew! I caught myself as I was in the middle of writing the year! No mis-types. Just perfect timing of remembering! 😛

An unexpected day of… casual chaos?

Okay, so the song-writing got held off until tomorrow. That’s okay. I had a lovely day nonetheless, filled with all sorts of oddities that turned out to be just fine in the end.

My lunch with my dad got all messed up, and we didn’t go to any of the places we were considering, and it wasn’t just the two of us. We didn’t talk about almost any of what we would have discussed as just the two of us. I didn’t get the amazing seasonal meal I had been anticipating. And we still enjoyed having lunch together and talking on he phone a bit afterward, and I enjoyed my dish, despite its having not been strictly with my diet (diet as in ‘regime,’ not as in ‘on a diet’). It was brisket and barbecue sauce with fresh purple cabbage on a baked sweet potato. Baller, though the sauce was a bit too sweet for my taste. That would be the sugar.

Then I was supposed to pick up something from my mom. She got distracted on her way in to work, and so wasn’t there. I waited around half an hour, but had no word in response from her, so continued on to Costco to buy groceries. (Yes, I get my fruits and veggies from Costco usually, because I go through them so quickly, preparing most of my food and beverage at home all the time. Today, I was mostly getting frozen fruits and fresh greens to use for smoothies. Yumm!) Turns out that my mom actually forgot her phone at home today, but she called me when she had arrived at the office, in order to let me know that I could come meet her now.

In my morning research today, I had found that Walmart would print passport photos, if we submit them online. Through doing my morning research, I didn’t put together my new shelving unit from Ikea, as had been the plan. But I had found a much more affordable way to get my passport photos than by going to CVS or Walgreens, and was grateful for that.

I was going to have my friend photo me when she came for the songwriting, and then was going to have my dad do it instead at lunch. Then that fell through, and I figured my mom could do it when we met up (because my friend had canceled at this point). But that was not too likely, since I couldn’t reach my mom at all now.

What to do? What to do?

When entering Costco, I glanced to the photo department – I had been surprised that they didn’t have passport photos as an option online during my research, so wanted to verify casually – and saw a massive sign reading, “Passport Photos”. I did an about-face, walked up to the photo counter and asked if they did passport photos (because doing them is different from just printing them, mind you). She said, “Yeah! I’ll just meet you down at the end past the last counter. There’s a white screen there.”

Okay, great! Thanks!

I ditched my jacket, used a mirror, fixed my hair and scarf – which was surprisingly little effort, actually – and posed happily for a photo. And then another, because I didn’t love it.

The second photo I accepted, acknowledging that it did look as I look – it was true to me as a representation – and then went about my fruit and veggie shopping before picking up the four photos for less than even the Walmart price had been(!!!), and then heading back to the office to meet my mom (she had called me at this point).

I had a lovely visit on top of the little parking area with her, then headed home to find the same old lady with the same old little dog crapping in the yard as was crapping in the yard when I had left earlier for lunch.

I unpacked, organized the freezer stuff, finished a pumpkin pie smoothie from yesterday (It was heavy and intense, like drinking pie, really.), did a double handful of deadlifts as I passed the barbell, did a load of laundry, tutored out of nowhere, worked on and shared photos I recently did, made another smoothie, listened to Matthew McConaughey read more of his book, showered, and then put together the shelving unit.

Now, I am about to pass out with exhaustion in my eyes and back and neck, ready to get up early for the workout class. I even reached out to my workout buddy friend this morning to verify that he’d be st class in the morning. I can’t get up and attend a 5:15am class without him, now! 😛

So, the day went nothing as anticipated, but I still accomplished almost everything that I had intended, plus much more. By doing the shelving unit, I ended up with a good surface space to do my kakizome tomorrow. So, though I didn’t do the kakizome today, I not have a better space and more of the right kind of paper for practice (it was between the shelves in the box!)!

Before I further my rambling, I bid you all a lovely, rest-filled night!

Post-a-day 2021

^I almost got it wrong, but I caught myself just before typing it out!

Mystery music with unexpected friends

I recently made a new friendship with someone. We got along like friends the first moment we interacted with one another. When we first spent time together, not long after that first meeting, I discovered that she, too, rarely arranged to spend time with people unless she really likes them, and feels they are genuine with themselves.

She and I have been in touch via phone, both message and conversation, off and on, and have attended yoga together, and seen one another in passing since then. For several weeks now, almost since the first time we were arranging to spend time together, I have had this pull, this desire, to create a song with her. I don’t know what it is about her, but it just keeps coming up that we need to write a song, possibly songs, together. And so, rather than casually mention it, I told her about how this idea keeps coming up, and I asked for her thoughts – would she create a song with me?

Her reply was that, though she ‘can’t sing to save her life,’ she would create a song with me, Hannah Banana. 😛

And so we shall begin this song pull, now. I am quite excited. I think and I feel that something huge and beautiful will come of this.

Post-a-day 2021

^ Still got it wrong at first, but caught it before saving!

Childhood Christmas

I ordered several items of clothing for work last week. For whatever reason, they were all being shipped separately to my mom’s house. I was excited about them all, but bummed at all the packaging (mostly since they were coming from the same company), but figured it was due to the items being at different origins, and so was inevitable (not simply irresponsible).

Nonetheless, I found it funny that so many packages would be arriving to my mom’s house in sun quick succession. “It’ll be like Christmas!” I declared, laughing at the idea that I wouldn’t know what was what in all the packages, but that each one would be a delightful surprise (since I had selected each one intentionally for myself, but had ordered so many things that I could pretend to forget about what most of them were), as well as the fact that I would get to open them all at my mom’s house.

I shared this thought with my mom, and added that it’ll be just like Christmas when I was a kid, because I will open all my presents and start playing with them right then and there and have a merry time. She laughed and whatever-ed me, allowing my request to come over and ‘open presents’ the next week one day.

When I arrived today to ‘open my Christmas presents’ (from myself), my mom actually fussed at me for starting while she was still upstairs getting dressed. “I didn’t know you actually cared,” I said somewhat questioning.

“Yeah, I was gonna put on Christmas music while you opened everything.”

I was thrilled(!). She then put on a James Taylor Christmas album, I turned on the “fireplace”, and I showed her what I had already opened (just two things), before I preceded to open all the rest with us both in the living room together. And yes, I “played with my toys” (meaning I tried things on) there in the living room with her, and it was an extremely lovely time. I was super excited about my “presents”, and I loved sharing the experience and time with my mom. It really felt like a childhood Christmas for me. 🙂

Our Holiday Fireplace 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Music in the night

Last night, instead of going to bed at approximately 20:30, which I was genuinely delighted to do and which I genuinely wanted to do, I got pulled into an approximate two-hour sidetracking by a song. Obviously, I ventured into this sidetracking of my own free will. However, it was because a musician acquaintance shared a song alongside a high recommendation…, so I felt a strong desire to check it out before I forgot all about it and the recommendation (via an Instagram story) expired in the morning.

I did not and still do not regret this reasoning of mine. That song was and is a-mazing. And I found a couple others I loved right away, adding the artist to my list of things to pursue in further detail in the near future.

And so, I can strongly recommend a tentative look into the music of Cory Fry, specifically the songs “Photograph”, “Flying”, “Pictures of Mountains” (oh, my goodness in this one…), and “Symphony”. Once I have my full sit-down with him on Spotify, I am likely to have loads more, but those are the three for now!

With that, I bid you a lovely night and restful sleep. 😉

P.S. I am listening to some of that Spotify station now…, and I have a hunch that I am seriously going to love his Christmas album… so, there’s that, too. 😂

Post-a-day 2020

“I Trust In You”

I was at an artist retreat this weekend with my mom, out in the forest North of Houston. I wasn’t in the sessions themselves (my mom was), but was still part of the activities for the families who accompanied the artists on this Catholic outdoor camping and hiking adventure. I listened to what was said, my conscious and sub-conscious absorbed the words and the themes that surrounded us all throughout this retreat, and, yesterday afternoon, I produced this song while sitting on a yoga mat in the grass after a rough and glorious hike. It wasn’t intentional to have such obvious connections – that’s the sub-conscious managing things here – but the irony of it all is that I wrote a song based unintentionally around the phrase “I trust in you”, while at The Divine Mercy Retreat Center. (If you don’t get the irony, look up The Divine Mercy painting images.)

Whatever your beliefs and followings, I hope you find love and joy in this song. 😉 ✨💗🎨⚡️🕉🌏💫📿🧘🏻‍♀️❤🤗🙏🐪 🤸🌸🌻

🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑

💪👊🏻👍

P.S. To hear the song, it seems you have to go to the Instagram post, since I can only attach photos in here.

Campfire Music

Tonight, around a campfire, a semi-eclectic crowd of Catholic artists listened as I and a lovely younger girl Claudette performed on our ukuleles together. We had never met before this night, and only met because I agreed to bring out my ukulele to ‘give an alternate perspective’ for the typical campfire Christian guitar songs (and we had three guitars working together already), and, as I went up to play, someone mentioned having seen a ukulele with someone else a while ago. The guitar guys convinced her to pull out hers with me, and come play. No one had any idea I was about to play a German song that none of them were likely to know, but I figured we could roll with it – if the girl pulled out her uke so easily (though it wasn’t out of the case yet, and she was carrying a binder, too, so she had some hesitation hat likely was nerves), she must be able to play at least the basic chords, if not a great amount.

So, I showed her the song and we tuned her up and went through it quickly together quietly, and then someone actually made an announcement for everyone to listen to us play. I pointed out that Claudette was reading a language she didn’t understand for this, so please be very proud of how well she plays along, because that is not an easy thing to do…, and then we played. We made mistakes, and it still sounded awesome.

Then, because people just seem to do this, the guitar guys requested Iz’s “Over the Rainbow”, which both of us have but never play. It’s kind of a hassle simply due to the range going so low for the singing…, which we both proved to everyone while we fumbled through it together, laughing kind of often as we went. Afterward, we actually played a couple other songs well, and enjoyed them greatly. The other folks enjoyed them, too.

One of them was the first song in her notebook, “La Vie en Rose”, and, since her version was in English, we had her sing in through once off the paper, and then I sang it through once in French… which totally shocked the listeners, and was a way fun surprise. (By the way, I feel like I am sharing as though I am a middle or high schooler or something… :P) What was extra fun was the part where I suddenly realized that I genuinely have no idea what the very last line is, and so I simply shrugged just before it, and then sang, “Je ne sais pas les mots, mais c’est bon,” which translates to, “I do not know the words, but it’s okay.” Obviously, no one had any idea that I had made up that line. 😛

And we finished off with two collaborations with the guitar guys. The first was a semi-four chord song, so, since I couldn’t see the paper (remember, there are here guitar guys and then two of us), I just watched Claudette’s fingers to know which of the four chords was happening when out of sequence. It went surprisingly well for me… it was really cool. On the second song, the paper was on our side of the notebook, so I could see it for myself. And it was one of my favorite old songs from Church, about Samuel, who was Hannah’s child. But I liked the song long before I ever learned that connection… like a solid decade beforehand. Anyway, two guys claimed the first two versus, and said we all would sing the bird verse together (and choruses, of course). But, during the second round of the chorus, I was told/offered to sing the third verse myself. So, I did. And, halfway through, because the versus were rather long, I told Claudette to sing with me. And she did.

Singing with her reminds me of elementary school, when I was told that this one girl, Katie C—, and I sounded really great together on a certain song (“The White Cliffs of Dover”). I didn’t entirely understand at the time how anyone would know that, or how someone would sound better singing with one person than with another, except for the fact that he one person must just be a better singer than the other. I have since learned. And I was almost shocked tonight when I heard us singing together. Our voices and styles are quite different from one another, and yet they complement each other beautifully. It made me want to sing and play more with her. I hope I get the opportunity tomorrow and often in the future.

As we were closing up the campfire, it came out that this was my first public “performance” of my ukulele and singing skills, so to speak, and no one could seem to believe it. I guess because I wasn’t shaky, and was able to talk and play and sing like what seemed to them like any other normal day. But that’s training in presenting and self-comfort, not in performing music. In response to their claims of disbelief at this, I ended up sharing how I only just starting playing more and writing songs earlier this summer, so it is still a kind of new idea for me to be playing for other people in the first place. And so, now, they clamoured to hear one of my songs.

So, I accepted the anointed guitar the priest had been playing – because that’s just baller, y’all – and told a quick background to one of my songs, and then played it for everyone. And I think the back story really put a context to the song that kind of blew everyone away just a little bit. It actually made me tear up a bit during the song, as is common for me with this particular song… it’s just really good, and the meaning is spectacular when one knows the context of its writing. Anyway, so, that was a really, really cool mini-adventure tonight. And I am very grateful for it, on many accounts. Now, however, I must sleep.

Goodnight! 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Tonight

I’m not sure what to share tonight.  I’m sitting in bed, propped up poorly by a couple – actually, it’s three – pillows, my lower back aching something wicked for the third or fifth day in a row.  I mean, it’s loads better than it was a couple days ago, but it is still very uncomfortable, and I’m concerned I’ll have trouble sleeping again.  It’s kind of funny, the irony of physical aches and pains.  Oftentimes, what we need most in such situations, is rest.  Yet, the pain is such that we have a hard time resting or sleeping.  So, we don’t really end up recuperating very well or very quickly.

I started working on a song just a bit ago, because a friend asked  – well, not technically, but I know he intended to make the request – me to create something I found beautiful.  He said that there doesn’t seem to be enough of that in the world right now.  So, I’m working on a song of things I find beautiful in life.  I kind of hated it for a while, but I evaluated why I kind of hated it, saw that it was because I was trying to make it something that wasn’t true to who I really am and how I really feel about the matter, and switched into the proper gear for myself.  I think it is going to turn out spectacular now.  I’m even excited about it for myself, and not just for the friend to enjoy it.  😀

Anyway, I’m wiped, so I’m going to aim for intense, helpful, healing, deep, long sleep tonight, with a wake-up that is completely ready to take on the stormy day tomorrow.  😀

Post-a-day 2020

Extra ouch

Well, today felt like much of an improvement after yesterday. I tutored in the morning, finished up mixing six CDs for a student to have some exposure to French-language music – these have been taking me weeks of on-and-off effort to organize them out and pick which songs to include, which genres go where and belong at all, and figure out what degree of effort it is worth as well as how many CDs would be acceptable – messaged with a good friend about her wedding planning and tres leches and not feeling like working out, and then I worked out and watched a very interesting film of Natalie Portman’s. I want to look further into the film to see what it was all about, and whether it was inspired by a specific story or many or what. She sang very well in it, by the way, and I was quite pleased with her performance on all levels, especially the concert portion, which was a surprising yet lovely part to me. As for the workout: man, it had a 3k run in it, as well as 80 jumping up-downs (burpee without the push-up)… talk about a sore calf feeling the heat! Both calves have been sore for a few days now – I genuinely could barely go up and down the stairs two days ago, and walked with a limp, all because of my calves. Finally, when they show signs today of recovery, I have to put them through so much work. Ridiculous, just a bit, I dare say.

But the greatest part of the workout, I think, aside from doing it, was the part where I hung out in the pool afterward to relax and stretch out. That was awesome. Though, the effort to swim breast stroke for a few lengths of the pool felt like it might paralyze my arms, my shoulders and all were so worn out from today’s workout. 😀 Haha

Anyway, I’m off to read and sleep, now. Today was a lot in a good way, but it was nonetheless a lot, and I am exhausted. Goodnight!

Post-a-day 2020