I’m pretty sure that this is an oak tree. I think it’s a white oak. It’s huge and really old. I can’t even fit the whole tree in this picture. My camera isn’t big enough.
There are remnants of a tree house.
It has this plaque on it. Erie County Bicentennial Tree 1776-1976. The bicentennial of the United States, not Ohio. That’s pretty cool. So does that mean that the tree is years old? I think so. If anyone knows what it really means, let me know. I’d love to know.
It’s back-to-school time: do you love the start of school or dread it?
I thought that I would be so happy to see my kids go off to school. I dreamed about all of the things I would do with my free time. It was going to be glorious.
I can go shopping by myself again but I’m broke after all of the moving. Who is broke after all of the back to school shopping? There will be no shopping today for many of us. I did a u-turn in the Dollar Store parking lot. It’s the best I can do today.
When I dropped of the youngest kid at school, I drove around the block and parked across the street. There were no open spaces in the parking lot. All of the parents had the same idea – hovering and stalking their children.
It was my youngest kid’s first day at a brand new school. I wanted to make sure she didn’t get lost. I also wanted to see that she wasn’t a hot mess like me. I peeked in on her classroom. She was perfectly fine. No tears or anything. She did so much better at not crying than I did today.
I don’t know what the title means either except that Gwen Stefani, coffee and radio are on my brain.
I wanted to see No Doubt in concert. It hasn’t happened yet. I feel like the concert season was too short this year. It’s me, not them.
Gwen Stefani doesn’t look happy in this photo. I’d be ticked if I had no one showed up for this picnic too. There’s a chandelier and no company. Gwen Stefani has been one of my favorites for a long time.
I also feel disenchanted this week with posting stuff other places. I probably look pouty. I might be pouting. It would be nice if people told me why they take down my articles. If I did something wrong, I would like to know what so I don’t do it again.
Today, I have quit pouting. I wrote two articles that have potential.
Although I have reservations about my own voice, I think that I will be doing live phone interviews on BlogTalkRadio. I wish that my voice sounded more like Brenda Vaccaro rather than a drunk Minnie Mouse. Maybe it’s time to start drinking again.
I haven’t had alcohol for a month. Not on purpose per se. I’m not trying to quit. I’ve just been driving a lot and was on prescription meds for a week. It’s always bad to mix booze and pills.
This is the link to my blog radio page. There’s nothing on it yet. Soon, I hope.
Did you like returning to school at the end of summer, or did you always dread the start of the year?
I didn’t really want to go back to school. There were people there – not to mention gym and recess. People and the outdoors were not my thing back then. They may not be my thing now. I like people slightly more than I did 30 years ago. Summertime was so much better than going to school. Vacations are like that I guess.
Oh summer, why can’t you last forever?! I always the laying out in the sun reading books. The swimming. The sleeping in til ten or noon or whenever.
However, I did like school supplies. I still like them but now I call them “office supplies.” It sounds so grown-up. Wait. What do you mean I am a grown-up? When did that happen?
Anyway, I’ll be over here getting my kids ready to go back to school. They probably will have the same thoughts about going back to school too – like mother like daughters, except the one that does have good social skills. She actually likes going to school. Go figure.
Enjoy this video from “Grease 2.” I know, it’s not a great movie but the song is pretty good. Maybe it will get us all psyched up for going back to school. Or just watch how lovely Maxwell Caulfield looks pre-Rex Manning.
Do you believe in fate or do you believe you can control your own destiny?
Destiny. Destiny. Destiny.
I firmly believe that I can control my own destiny. I’m still not a superhero princess. Are we sure that isn’t my destiny? I should work on that. .
I named this blog after destiny for gosh sake. I’m still chasing destiny with fancy words. Destino is fancier than destiny.
This week, I hear that little voice that says “You don’t have to post anything anywhere else if you don’t want to. If people don’t like it, then too bad for them. Maybe it’s not your destiny to be over there. Maybe you should be right here.”
I don’t have to define myself by where I’ve been published. It’s probably what people see and that’s ok. I put myself out there.
I thought it would change things somehow. It helped a little but I don’t feel very satisfied at the moment about other writing platforms.
Do you guys hear that voice? Right now, mine is saying that it’s time to revamp a few things. It’s time to refocus.
It is not my destiny to do what people want me to do. I don’t think it’s in my nature. I’d like to get back to that ASAP.
YouTube gets their recommendations right sometimes. They recommended listening to Hour 24. So now they are one of my favorite bands. Hour 24 of Temperance, Michigan has been touring all over America this past summer. If you had a chance to catch their live show, you already know that they rock. If you haven’t seen them or heard of them, then you can still watch their videos on YouTube.
They are also raising funds to pay for their newest album. Hour 24 will be recording the album with producer Dan Korneff, who has worked with Pierce the Veil, Paramore and Sleeping with Sirens.
The current band roster is Rachel Mayer – vocals; Dan Quigley – guitar; Cody Sizemore – guitar/vocals; Chris Salazar – bass; Mike Neumann – drums.
Rachel Mayer and Dan Quigley talked to me about writing the album in a remote cabin and being in a female-fronted band, among other things.
There a saying “The rooster crows but the hen delivers the goods.” Do you think there’s any truth in that?
Rachel: I don’t know. I think we all equally have our parts in the band. I think being a female front person helps out with our image. It helps when we’re looking for fans. They’re like, “Oh wow! You have a girl singer. That’s not too common.” It definitely helps us get some additional fan interest.
Why haven’t you signed with a label yet?
Dan: In September, we’re going to record with Dan Korneff. When we record the album with him, we will be shopping around. We’re just kind of waiting for the best moment.
How did you end up staying at a cabin in the middle of nowhere to work on the album?
Dan: That was our drummer, Mike Neumann’s uncle’s summer cabin. He was nice enough to open it up for us to use in the winter. When we were writing the album, we wanted crack down and to get away from everything.
Rachel: Yeah, most technology, like Facebook and everything else.
Dan: We really wanted to focus on the music. It was a really great experience. I’m happy with what we came up with out there.
Rachel: It was a wonderful experience. It was kind of cold. It was in the negatives. But we definitely managed to work through that. It helped with creativity, I think.
Do you think it brought you closer?
Rachel: I think it brought us closer. We lived in a really teeny, two-bedroom cabin. Just like getting to write constantly. Even when we weren’t writing, we were playing some kind of music. We all shared food. We watched movies at night together. It was definitely a bonding experience.
What has been the most difficult thing about being independent band?
Dan: Just like any kind of thing when starts up – the initial getting people to know about you. It’s also part of the fun of it too. We’ve been touring for the last year and a half -just getting more and more people to know about us. It’s hard at first. It’s a huge investment – time and financially. It’s absolutely worth it to us. It’s just such a fun thing. We love what we do.
What has been the best thing about touring?
Dan: To me at least, playing shows is so fun. It’s the most rewarding thing to -to play music with my four best friends every night.
Rachel: I would say the same thing. Playing shows and audience interaction. We’ve had a lot of great audience interaction. That’s one of the best feelings in the world to have people singing back to you or putting their hands up. It’s a really good time.
Also, we love meeting the other bands. We make friends at every single show with the bands. We’ll make connections with everyone that we can. Sometimes we’ll go hang out with our fans at Denny’s and have food together.
Dan: The band that we’re on tour with now, Racing on the Sun, that’s actually how we met them last June. When we came through Denver, they were one of the local bands on the show. We’ve been talking to them since then.
What song do you like performing the most?
Rachel: That one is hard too. We all have different ones. My favorite is “Take Me Away.” At the end, there’s an instrumental section where I have a chance to run around and interact with everyone and also jump and do the splits in mid-air.
Dan: “Take me Away” is one for me too. There’s a song on the new album called “Let Your Heart Run Wild” that I really like playing.
Rachel: I love that one too. It’s really inspirational with the meaning and a lot of people get into it. It’s a good song for audience interaction.
What motivates you?
Dan: I’m a very self-motivated person. I love the feeling of progress and getting work done. The feeling of moving forward is my motivation. Knowing that if I keep going at it, more will keep coming.
Rachel: It’s pretty similar for me. I’ll set little goals. As soon as I accomplish that I’ll make another one. Just trying to continue to make progress. It keeps pushing me forward. It helps with the positive outlook as well if any issues come up.
Do you remember the first song that you learned to sing/perform?
Rachel: The first song that I performed was “Hit Me with Your Best Shot” by Pat Benatar. I pulled Dan into it to play guitar. We had a bass player that we got into it at the time. That was the first song that I ever performed.
Dan: The first song that I ever learned, like most other guitar players out there was the one guitar riff in “Iron Man” by Black Sabbath.
Do you have any other goals that you’d like to accomplish this year?
Dan: Pretty much to keep touring. In September, we’re going to record the album. We set up a Indiegogo crowdfunding page. As an independent band, we don’t have a label to front us the money to record, like many other bands do. Our goal with this album is to put out the best sounding package possible. In total, it’s going to cost us $16,000. So we have the crowdfunding page to help us boost any funds to get it done. So in September and October, we’ll be working on it in New York.
This was posted on BuzzFeed for about 24 hours before they pulled it. They have not given me a reason yet. I am positive that I didn’t break any of their rules. Although, I do have bad eyesight and probably can’t read that teeny, tiny fineprint. Just kidding.
While I was homeless for a month, there were several thoughts that ran through my head on a daily basis. One theme kept popping up in unexpected places – Jonah and the Whale.
One day, Joel Osteen was talking about Jonah and the whale. I don’t watch Mr. Osteen very often. Okay, I had never watched his sermons before or since. However, that day I listened to his whole speech. Then I went on with the day.
At that time, my days were not filled with inspiration or any sort of happiness -not just because I was within days of sleeping on the streets. On top of the stress of being practically homeless and pregnant, I was still with my abuser.
Apparently, it’s very common for women and children to be homeless after leaving their abuser. I’m not sure how common it is for the abuser and victim to be homeless together.
My abuser and I moved from Ohio to Florida. It was my idea. It was part of a master plan to get my abuser away from my kids and I. I am not normally a liar but I lied in order to get him to go along with this idea of moving to Florida. Actually, I am a terrible liar because I can’t keep a straight face. I was Jonah and hooked this whale with my big fat lie.
Obviously, the plan was not going according to plan. It was not in the plan to end up homeless. I had two problems: no money and an abuser in my face 24/7. I was Jonah and could not get rid of this whale.
The second thing that happened that spoke to me was a woman from a church was giving her testimony. It was for me I had no doubt. Basically, she said, “Leave him. He is not for you.Go home.” I’m paraphrasing but that’s what I heard. It’s what I needed to hear again.
About a month into being homeless, a minister came to the homeless shelter to preach. Guess what his sermon was about that day? Jonah and the Whale. The point of his sermon was that some people have a whale. The whale could be drug addiction, insecurity or whatever is holding you back from really living a good life.
I knew it was time to leave for good. It was time to let go of my whale; otherwise, he was going to suck the last bit of life out of me and our unborn daughter.
I called the domestic violence shelters but they would not accept me because I was not officially a Florida resident yet. So it was time for me to put aside my few scraps of pride and call someone from back home.
My phone contact list consisted of all female names, in case my abuser looked through my phone. The only male on the list was my dad.
I made a phone call to Uncle Vicky the next day. Uncle Vicky was friends with my mom. My mom and I weren’t speaking. I didn’t call her because I was ashamed of being in this relationship. It was also important that I didn’t cry. My abuser was super suspicious of everything, even when it was nothing.
My mom, who is normally a kind, generous person, wanted to run over him with her car and rightly so. He brought nothing but destruction and toxicity to our lives. Also, I’m pretty sure he killed the cat when he threw a baseball at it.
Uncle Vicky and I made arrangements for me to come back to Ohio by the end of the week.
I left the whale at 3 a.m. in February 2008. He called every name in the phone that I left behind at 5 a.m.
I do not regret tricking him. I do not regret leaving him hundreds of miles from his family. The plan was a bit extreme but I would do it all again. It was something I felt truly led to do.
It was the beginning of a new life for me and youngest daughter. I had to rebuild every relationship that I had including my mom, my two older daughters and my dad. Nothing was easy when I returned but I’m glad I came home.
Get it? I’m stumped. Oh, tree humor. It should be a thing. (Nerd in the Brain – is it a nerdy thing already?)
Yeah, I’ve been trying to identify the tree in my backyard. I went outside to take the picture and everything.
So I thought it would be easy peasy to identify this tree. Nope. I am truly stumped right now. Another clue that you can’t see are the berries. They look like blueberries rather than mulberries. Mulberries sort of look like black raspberries.
If anyone happens to know what type of tree this is, please let me know. If anyone has any tree jokes, that would be great too.
One of my friends said it could be a purple plum. I think she might be right.
Update: The page with the interview has disappeared. Gone. Vanished. I’m not sure where it went or why. I’m hoping that it will be back soon. I may or may not be freaking out right now.
So I did this interview with Hour 24. It’s posted over at BuzzFeed. Check it out. They also have a crowdfunding campaign to raise money to make their next album. They’re going to be working with a really great producer. It’s an amazing opportunity for them.
Speaking of amazing – I love their promo photo!
They are also from Temperance, Michigan so Michigan readers – show them some love for sure! Ohio readers, don’t hold it against them. They’re just over the border so it’s almost like they are from Ohio. 🙂 Actually, I think at least one band member does live in Ohio.