D-Squared T-Squared – Week 2




So week 2′s D-squared T-squared Challenge has been completed. This one was just Mister and me, like the first week’s challenge.


I’ve been away from music for quite a while. It’s been my choice, and the distance has been something I’ve felt I’ve needed. I’ve not so much as thought about writing a song for yonks. My guitars have been packed away for ages.


When Mister suggested co-writing a song as this week’s challenge, I didn’t put up a fight. I simply got out my old notebook and unpacked “Connie Jean” from her dusty case. As most of the idea for the song came from him, I made him sing it to me so that I could find the melody and chords. Honestly, I pretty much just took what he gave me and followed it. I contributed very little.


But here’s the thing: I did it. I didn’t fight and I didn’t fret. My fingers remembered how to play guitar and my voice, well, I keep my voice in pretty good shape. So that part of me sounded the way I expected.


I won’t be sharing the rough with you here, as I prefer to clean up recordings before opening them up to scrutiny. But that’s not the point. The point is – week 2′s challenge is checked off. And it was music. And my head didn’t explode (nor did my heart). Maybe there’s hope for me yet. Maybe. Thanks to Mister.

So Cool



Yesterday I watched a youtube video that made me cry tears of joy.


Apparently, Ms. Kristin Chenowith performed at the Hollywood Bowl on Friday night (I wasn’t there). At some point, she brought a random audience member up on stage to sing a duet with her. The woman brought up on stage? A voice teacher. And Lordy, did she bring it! (In spite of thinking this woman must have been a “plant,” she was not. For reals!)


I don’t know why this video made me so happy. Maybe it’s because that voice teacher had a moment to shine, and she took it. Maybe it’s because Ms. Chenowith was so surprised by the woman’s abilities. Maybe it’s because a regular gal got to perform at the Hollywood Bowl.


When the world offers us a chance to step into the spotlight – be it metaphorical or literal – I pray we take it. I pray we grab that chance by the horns and wrestle it into brilliant submission. Last Friday night in Los Angeles, a very brave lady did just that. And oh my, didn’t she shine!

Rock Camp – Day 1



The alarm went off at 5 am. I was in the middle of an ugly dream. I woke and felt uncomfortable. Shaken. But there was no time to process, as Mister and I had to P90-X. Which we did. And then I hit the road so that I could reach downtown L.A. by 8 am. Which I did. Day 1 had begun.


As in years past, I was on Greeter duty in the parking lot. Seeing those kids just vibes me! I get such good energy from their excitement and enthusiasm. And because I’m a major dork, I get to show them it’s okay to be a dork. Which I did.



The morning began with Vocals instruction, and I was nervous. My co-instructor was teaching a Vocal workshop, so I thought I would be teaching alone. Which I wasn’t. Because the magnificent Mai Bloomfield stepped in and taught class with me. And she truly is sublime, y’all. So as the campers came in, we all warmed up our vocal chords, and before I knew it, class was finished. The sky didn’t fall, and I didn’t fail. Some of the early morning’s discomfort faded. Then came lunch.



Today’s lunchtime entertainment was Maria del Pilar. She brought so much sound and smooth energy – I think we all felt happily chilled. It was relaxing. It was exotic. It was lovely.


After lunch, it was time to help the girls form bands. Which we did. And which they did. I don’t know how it happens – each and every year – but it does. Those campers just move and groove and then bam! They’re in bands. And as I’m a Band Coach this year (in addition to a Vocal Instructor), I found myself working with a fab quintet of girls who are just darling. Which they are. I’m looking forward to seeing their progression. It’s exciting! No band name yet, no song yet. But hey! There are 4 more days to go until the showcase on Saturday.


The showcase! It’s Saturday, 13 February at The Troubadour in Hollywood. It’s open to the public and it all goes down at 1 pm (doors open at 12 noon). If you’re in L.A., try to come out and see the show! These girls never fail to impress. It’s only the first day and I’m already excited! Holey doughnuts!



So anyhoo, the end of the first day arrived more quickly than I expected. The campers headed home and we volunteers wrapped up our staff meeting. Traffic was major, but I was patient. There was a cool breeze drifting through my car’s window.


I suddenly remembered the harsh dream I’d been having when the alarm woke me. I dreamed I was helping a young girl make some sort of arts project, when someone came in and told me I didn’t belong there. That I had nothing to offer. I felt so small and insignificant. As I remembered the dream and those resulting feelings, I smiled. It was, after all, only a dream. Day 1 of Rock Camp had proven I do belong. I do have something to offer. I count. Which I do.