Music Review: Mutineers

I’m always up for new music. If you know me, you know that music is always on, either at work, in my car, or just in my head. When the opportunity came along to review new music by someone I’d never heard of, I couldn’t say no.

Acclaimed singer, songwriter David Gray just released his new album Mutineers on June 17. I’ve been listening to it for two days and I really love it. I’m a listen from start to finish on repeat kind of new music listener and the first song on this album, Back in The World, really caught me. There’s something about the quick beat and calm voice that I really love. Here’s the video…

I didn’t expect to love this album, but the more I listen, the more I like it. My taste in music keeps expanding and sometimes I surprise myself. This album is David’s tenth studio album. I wonder why he’s been hiding from me for so long.

You can download Mutineers on iTunes or Amazon. Go do it. I’ll wait right here.

I checked to see if he is coming to Milwaukee but no luck. The closest he gets to us is Chicago. Road trip anyone? The first leg of his US tour was sold out so if you get a chance, you should go see him and let me know what you think. Now, if you need me, I must get back to listening…

Disclaimer: I received a free download of the album to review from One2One Network. All opinions are my own. 

Embrace the Pale

I’ve learned a few things from that 6 letter word I wrote about a while ago.

I’ve learned that life is short. Too short for shitty friends, shitty shoes, shitty jobs and shitty beer.

I’ve learned that life can change in an instant. Well, I didn’t just learn that, I’ve known it for while but I’ve again been reminded.

I’ve learned that the risk of developing melanoma is 75% higher for those who have been in a tanning bed before age 30. That’s me. And let’s let that sink in for a moment.

I’ve learned that in an instant, while sitting in your boss’s office, we can learn that we get to keep our BFF. BECAUSE SHE’S CANCER FREE! Her risk of it coming back is now at 30%. I don’t like that though. Her risk of it not ever coming back is 70%. I like that better. There’s a 70% chance she won’t ever get this horrible stupid rotten 6 letter word again.

I’ve once again been reminded that I have an amazing BFF. She might be stronger than anyone I know. I know she’s now cancer free but I’m the luckier one. Why? Because I get to keep her. And we get to shop for fancy hats.

So, from this day forward, I will bitch at you because you choose not to use sunscreen and a hat. I will bitch at you because you are 20 and it will never happen to you. I will buy very strong SPF keep it handy for Frank, Sydney, Abby and me. And I’ll offer it to you. When you politely decline, I will tell you about the risk of developing melanoma and about my friend who just beat cancer after having the scariest week of her life. Then I’ll ask you again about that sunscreen.

And while you’re thinking about if you need sunscreen, my family, my BFF and I will be embracing the pale!


PS Some of my factual numbers may be a smidge off. You get the point. More specific details at Melanoma Research Foundation.

PS2 I cannot take credit for the phrase “embracing the pale” Credit goes to another friend who is an oncology nurse. (She rocks too!)

A 6 Letter Word

Today, a 6 letter word affected our lives once again. My friends know that my ringer is off so they can text any hour of the day. My friends also know that I’m generally awake at 7 am even on the weekends. I have a 4 year old. She’s a creature of the 6:30 wake up time. Today was no different.

This morning I woke to a long text from one of my oldest friends. Cancer. On her head. Not good. Not that it’s ever good.

I’ve cried, yelled, screamed, contemplated drinking the Captain Morgan straight from the bottle, contemplated punching the brick wall, cried some more.

Next week she will have a 4×4 inch chunk of her scalp removed. Basically to make sure they can get it all she will put a crater in her head. There will be scar tissue. She will lose a huge part of her awesome hair – her favorite attribute.

She will also have some lymph nodes removed. This will determine what stage that 6 letter word is in.

I am so angry. I am so sad.

But I am also positive. Positive that the doctors will get it all. Positive that she will be fine. Positive that she and her hubby will get to live a long and happy life together.

I am also positive that cancer sucks.

My Posture Sucks

I recently had the opportunity to attend a Women’s Wellness event at our local JCC. The series was a three parts, physical you, professional you, resilient you. Last Sunday was physical you. They had a number of speakers and a health fair with booths related to your physical well being. The speakers did a short talk about many different things. One speaker who is also a trainer at the J spoke about posture. I know my posture is horrible and has been most of my life.

I don’t have many regrets in my life but one is definitely that I never listened to my mother when she told me to stand up straight. At this point in my life, the standing isn’t my issue. My issue is that I’ve been sitting in front of a computer or at a desk of some sort for the last 20+ years. Most of that in my professional life. My neck and shoulders are wrecked. I have been in pain for years. I’ve seen chiropractors, physical therapists and doctors. I’ve done the work to get through enough so the pain subsides but haven’t made any major changes to my environment to promote healing.

The trainer with whom I spoke, lined me up in front of a huge grid – think graph paper 7 feet tall. I know my body is misaligned so what she told me came as no surprise. She did, however talk to me about correcting my posture before it’s too late. What I noticed is that on the weekends, I’m away from my desk, doing things around the house, errands and hanging out with Sydney. I’m not slouched over a desk. First thing Monday, I sit in front of that computer at that desk and I slouch. This week, after speaking with that trainer, I slouched at the desk, more aware but still not doing anything about it. I went home Monday night with a horrible head and neck ache. I was pumped full of Advil, lubed up with TigerBalm and sleeping by 8:30. I woke up Tuesday morning feeling mostly reset and made the decision to change my office.

Turns out, Banker’s boxes plus one ream of paper are just the right height for me.

Stand Up

I started my standing adventure on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. By 11:30 that morning, my feet hurt but my neck felt great. I had a meeting scheduled at 1:30 that day. Never before did I look forward to sitting down. I can’t believe how clear my head felt – there was no pain getting in the way of my thinking. My feet were sore and my lower body felt tired but I felt great.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014. I started my day with a 2 hour breakfast. My seat of course had my back to the speaker so in order to see, I had to move my chair and crank my neck to get a clear view. After breakfast I was feeling wrecked again, but after standing much of the rest of the day, my neck felt less cramped and my lower body felt tired. My brain was still feeling clear.

Thursday, May 22, 2014. Day 3 of standing. I sat in a long meeting this morning and then a long lunch. My shoulders were tight and felt stiff. After a few hours of standing during the afternoon my neck feels much better but my feet are getting sore. I’ve also noticed that my productivity is better. My boss will be pleased to hear it.

The reaction of my coworkers and my standing desk have been pretty funny. Several wanted to know why I was packing up. Others don’t believe that my standing work station will continue. It’s clear that they don’t know me. If someone tells me I can’t, I surely will prove them wrong. I can’t believe how great I feel. I’m hoping to come up with a better desk situation – the boxes look super crappy but funds are limited. Let me know if you have ideas!

I’m sad to say the rest of the sessions at the Women’s Wellness event were cancelled. While I’m disappointed that the remaining sessions won’t happen, I feel I fully got my money’s worth at the first session.