Sunshine for Your Pocket

The world can seem pretty ugly these days, can’t it? Is it any wonder we turn to entertainment for escape? Sometimes, we just want a happy ever after, a joyful place to visit for a bit. The Oscars are this weekend, offering up all kinds of beauty and one of the soundtracks caught my ear.

One of Original Song nominees is Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop the Feeling. I’ve mentioned this song before but it’s worth repeating – how do you not get up and dance along?  It looks like pretty much everyone has a little sunshine in their pocket.

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Timberlake produced the music for Trolls and his fingerprints are all over it, including a cover of Earth Wind and Fire’s September – apparently, this is the first time the band re-recorded it, so they were in the studio with Timberlake and Anna Kendrick. Do you remember?

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Been knocked around in traffic (see Traffic Jam)? How about Get Back Up Again, featuring Anna Kendrick?

Hey!

I’m not giving up today

There’s nothing getting in my way

And if you knock knock me over

I will get back up again

If something goes a little wrong

Well you can go ahead and bring it on

‘Cause if you knock knock me over, I will get back up again

Feeling a bit whimsical? The opening song on the soundtrack is Hair Up. I’m half tempted to get a bucket of gel (5 gallons might do it)and put my hair in the air. Yeah, it’s a little silly but everyone could use a dose from a glitter bomb. YOLOoooooo!

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Want another take on Sounds of Silence? Yes, seriously (more singing). It helps me relax. 😉

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And, if you want some pure beauty, watch this video of Kendrick and Timberlake performing a cover of True Colors at the Cannes Film Festival. If you’re a cynic about live performances and lip synching, this one will restore a little faith. Ahhhhhhhhh. There’s that sunshine feeling.

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Have a fabulous weekend, may you all have a little beauty. ❤

 

We Will Get By

Waahhhhooooooo, it’s Friday!

I took most of January to just be.

That’s it. Just be… Be in the moment, be in the here and now.

I had no plans and did no planning.

I pretended I was a cloud and generally went where the wind took me. It was immensely freeing to stay in the moment, but this departure from daily lists and tasks won’t last forever so I’m enjoying it while I can.

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It’s Friday and we can all use a recharge as we wrap up the week. Here are a few songs that inspired my thinking, my floating, drifting with the wind, my appreciation of the freedom that comes with a career transition.

The Glee cast’s cover of Defying Gravity from Wicked Retiring is a lot like closing your eyes and leaping.

Disturbed’s cover of Sounds of Silence  Silence is what happens when you’re not on conference calls every hour!

Jack Johnson’s From the Clouds  Happy music with great imagery.

Michael Franti & Spearhead’s Sound of Sunshine  The video is shot on a beach, one of my happy places.

Finally, The Grateful Dead’s Touch of Grey  A happy melody with the best lyrics ever, especially if you’re feeling stressed. We will get by……one of my favorite ear worms.

May you do more than get by, may you find joy today!

 

 

Better When I’m Dancing

What moves you? Is it techie or Trekky? Is it color, words or music? Is it smooth jazz or rhythm?  Can you tell when someone’s in their element, doing their thing? They light up, they dang near glow. They get lost in it, and they can likely go for hours without realizing time is passing.

My husband, Martin, and I often debate our favorite music. This started when we were dating and attended Dead concerts. Yeah, we’re that old, to have dated in the era of live Dead shows…. hush, y’all, hush. 🙂

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There was usually a Space/Drums transition in every show. Martin loved Space, an undefined jam with lots of woo-woo guitar and synthesizer. Space could be eerie and dissonant, it usually lacked obvious rhythm and could last for-ehv-ahhhh, at least in my view. Space was not my thing and I was known to fall asleep during it. Twice, as in, during two different shows. Seriously, not my thing.

On the other hand, I loved Drums. Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzman (long time drummers for the Dead) were my Dead heroes. I could dance for days to anything with a beat. Even now, I still use strong rhythms to get me up in the morning and to pull me out of funks. How can you not be joyful when you’re moving to a fabulous rhythm?  I hear them in my head while I’m waiting in line at the post office, standing in an elevator or sitting behind the wheel. There was a time when you could have caught me tap dancing while I waited for a train. Time ceases to exist for me when I have a beat. Like Meghan Trainor, I feel Better When I’m Dancing. (She apparently feels the same, watch this making-of-video, where she explains that dancing makes her feel better and the inspiration for the song.)

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While Martin liked Drums, it wasn’t his thing the way Space was (and still is, thanks to the Dead’s prolific recordings). Neither of us is wrong or right in our love of Drums & Space, we just march to different drummers (pun intended!).

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So what’s your thing? What drummer inspires you to marching? What do you seek out when you’re searching for a little joy, a little more energy to climb those mountains? Life is hard, I hope y’all find that special something to  inspire you. ❤

Faith

Wow, it’s that time! countdownTwenty eight years ago, I walked into 633 Folsom in San Francisco, both nervous and excited to get started. My only goal? I wanted to work for a company that would give me room to grow. After my first day, my first week, my first month, my first year (!) I couldn’t believe they were paying me to do this stuff. (Yeah, that was not the first time I realized I was a nerd on a cosmic scale….. I can hear y’all snickering.) All these years later, I am so grateful for all of the adventures and opportunities I’ve had.

I’ve been so, So, SO fortunate to have y’all in my life and to have you share yours. I’m most grateful for your inspiration and I hope y’all know how much you’ve meant to me. There are not enough words (and y’all don’t have enough time 😉 ) for me to list all the things we’ve accomplished together. I have to mention, however, the most important of these was the world we built. We brought out the best in each other and I wish y’all the best as you carry on the AT&T community.

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As I sign off from AT&T for the last time, I leave you with this song –  Stevie Wonder and Ariana Grande’s Faith (From “Sing”)

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Every time I see it, I’m reminded of the faith we have in each other, I’m reminded of y’all.

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Every time you see it, I hope you think of those in your life that need you for their inspiration.

Thank you for having faith in me and best wishes for a fabulous 2017!

Caryn

More Singing!

That title probably has some of you running for the mute button. Not everyone feels the joy of raising your voice. But even those of us without vocal skill (yet, there’s always hope…) can join in since it’s about the trying, especially if your friends ❤ you a lot.

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Did you know that singing is good for you? It releases endorphins, which helps with stress. Imagine your next big meeting, everyone’s all stressy, and you start a British style singsong…. Ha! Even that little bit made you smile, huh? Singing  is good but singing in a group is even better, improving your confidence and sense of community.

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Let’s sing along with a few secular Christmas carols this week. I’ve got Hannukah songs teed up for next Friday and I’m taking suggestions. 😀

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus debuted in 1952 as a Saks Fifth Avenue promotion and, did you know (?), was banned by Catholic Church in Boston for a while. After the lyricist met with the Archbishop, they lifted the ban. Here’s the Jackson 5 cover.

Up On the Housetop is the 2nd oldest secular Christmas song  (Jingle Bells is the oldest). Here’s Pentatonix’s 360 version (make sure you view with a Chrome, Internet Explorer browser since Safari doesn’t do 360).

Written by Irving Berlin in 1942, White Christmas became the best selling record of all time (Bing Crosby version). Collabro is a British acapella group with lovely harmonies.

Mele Kalikimaka (May-lay Kah-lee-kee-mah-kah) means “Merry Christmas” in Hawaiian. It’s a really kitschy song, first recorded in 1950 by Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. This version by the Puppini Sisters is a great update. We grew up singing this one so it’s a personal fave. ❤

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All I Want for Christmas is a recent addition from Mariah Carey (I couldn’t resist this Carpool Karaoke version!).  This version, though, was sung on the The Voice Kids Portugal. It isn’t polished but don’t you love the way the judges got into it? THAT’s the power of joy, the power of song. It helps that the judges have GREAT voices but I howled along just fine from here. 🙂 Both versions, Carpool and The Voice show the fun of singing together…. I’m just saying, again. 😉

Let’s go make some joyful memories!

 

 

 

Harmony

dog-howlI can’t sing, just ask those who’ve heard me. See that dog howling? Yeah, that’s me. 😉 I managed to make it through choir (it was a small school, they were desperate!) but I now limit my vocal acrobatics to the car, the shower and my office (door closed, I promise).

Just because I can’t sing doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy listening to others…. especially groups who sing in harmony. One voice can be beautiful but many voices? Breathtaking. We’re deep into the holidays so it’s fitting that we celebrate Friday with a few songs that are all about harmony. Today, I’ve got a few traditional Christmas carols. The next couple of weeks, we’ll listen to some less traditional Christmas songs and also some Hanukkah tunes.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman is an English carol dating back to the 16th century…. here’s a 21st century version God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman – Pentatonix.

Do You Hear What I Hear, on the other hand, was written in 1962. The lyricist was asked to write a Christmas song. Instead of a commercial tune, he and his then wife penned a song pleading for peace since the nation was in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis. The lyrics are timeless given all that’s going on across the globe and here at home. Do You Hear What I Hear – Home Free

Finally, Silent Night was composed in the early 19th century by an Austrian for a church service. Nearly 100 years later, it became a notable moment in World War I when German and Western forces serenaded each other on Christmas Eve, a short truce in the trenches. Does that not inspire you to put down your weapon of choice (smartphone, tablet, laptop or pc) and call a truce to the angry rhetoric? Here’s a random group of strangers singing  Silent Night – Flash Mob at Macy’s. Wouldn’t it be cool to see this live, to participate? Regardless of your voice, there’s something meaningful in singing along.

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Have a glorious weekend, may it be full of harmony!

Miles and Miles

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When I’m counting my blessings, one of the items on my list is my career. Among other things, it took us back to Texas, where I was born. During my childhood and then as an adult, we’ve moved frequently. After we moved to Dallas in the 90s, we always knew Texas would be home.

 

miles-cloudsThere’s something about the wide open sky and the never ending highways (all 80,000
miles of them) that makes me feel at peace. We now live in south Texas, where the weather is relatively mild and the big city is as close to a small town as you can get.

 

What better way to celebrate Friday, than with a little Texas swing? Asleep at the Wheel’s Miles and Miles of Texas is one of my favorites and I used to play it regularly on Friday mornings when I worked in DC. It wasn’t long before we Boogie(d) Back to Texas. Gotta love Ray and the rest of the band. 😉

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