Political Excitement in Vermont!

I live in Vermont. It’s a beautiful state, but it’s not exactly known for making the news, causing a buzz, or being a center for excitement. And well, for the most part, I think we Vermonters like our way of life.

But today was different. For today, Bernie Sanders held his official kickoff for his presidential campaign in Burlington, Vermont, of all places! Why Burlington? Because Bernie Sanders used to be the mayor of Burlington. And well, Bernie Sanders represents Vermont in Washington D.C. So, for a change, Vermont was inundated with media, making the news, creating a buzz, and well, exciting!

I would have liked to have gone to what feels like history in the making (as win or lose, running for president is a pretty big deal), but I had to work my second job of the day. Now, I’m not complaining about working – I’m blessed to have a job, and doubly blessed to have two jobs – but I do find it darkly amusing that a middle-aged woman, with a college degree, couldn’t go to the national news event that was right here in my state because I have to live paycheck to paycheck and work two jobs… to afford life.

So, when a candidate seems to speak to me and the causes that are important to me, I listen. And I’m not one to tell anyone who to vote for, but I do hope that everyone will look into all the candidates and vote for the person who they feel will best represent them as the president of our country. It doesn’t matter if that person is the frontrunner or the underdog… if enough voices sound, any candidate can rise into the presidency.

Sound your voice. Vote. (Okay, political rant over)

The Lobster Award

In fifth grade, I won the “lobster award” for having gotten an extremely bad sunburn on field day. I’m still hoping that it didn’t have those long-term effects that we don’t know about until countless years later, but well… I don’t know yet.

Anyway, I mention my predisposition to sunburning because I got my first sunburn of the season today. I often joke that I get sunburns if I so much as think about the sun, and given that that I wore a hat, long sleeves, long pants, and sunblock, I’m not so sure that my joke is far off from the truth.

At least the sun was out today. A few years back, I got a true humdinger of a sunburn in the rain. Yeah, no, not just a cloudy day, but like an “I’m drenched from the rain…” day, and yet, lo and behold, sunburn.

Sunburns. The price I pay for being a natural redhead.

Life’s soundtrack

When I was young, I made mixtapes. I didn’t even realize that was what they were called when I used to make them. It just made sense to me. I heard a song I liked on the radio, and I’d tape it. I mean, what else would blank tapes be made for? Obviously they were meant to capture music.

Yes, I understand I’m showing my age here. Bear with me, youngsters. In the olden days of like the ’80s and ’90s, people listened to this device called the radio and had cassette tapes in lieu of, well, that newfangled way by which you listen to music now. And since there wasn’t a way to save the songs in a playlist, people would record them onto cassette tapes. It was a painstaking process that today’s kids will never, ever understand. But nothing made me happier than a well-made mixtape.

Then came… mix CDs. And my life got brand new soundtracks every couple of weeks. Whatever songs I was into… burn those suckers onto a disc. Sometimes I’d take the time to make a really great mix CD, but most of the time, it was just the songs I was hearing or craving a lot right around the time of whenever I burned my new CD.

And then came mp3s and playlists… and on road trips, those are uber cool, don’t get me wrong, but I still gravitate towards mix CDs. I have a CD player in my car, and it’s just easy to burn 20-22 tracks that I’ll want to hear on my commute to a CD and boom, get on the road.

Tonight I’m just reflecting on how songs become parts of our soundtracks. Movies have official soundtracks. My books have unofficial soundtracks (even though they’re not officially endorsed by the artists that I associate with the books). And life has a soundtrack. My soundtrack is different than yours. Not saying better or worse, but just different. The songs that stand out at key and pivotal moments contribute to our soundtracks. Oh, there’s always music… in a store, in a restaurant, in the car. When was the last time your soundtrack was the simplicity of silence? Even nature is a soundtrack.

My musical tastes change sporadically… but more often than not, they just expand to include songs people wouldn’t normally associate with me. Everyone knows my affection towards boyband music. Yeah. That’s never gonna change. But my latest mix CD features a lot of… well, alternative rock-flavored pop. Cuz well, that’s what I like right now. So, that’s what is on my latest soundtrack.

So, like what you like. It’s your soundtrack… nobody else’s. If a song makes you smile, burn it to a disc, add it to a playlist, or record it to a mixtape… and then, live your life and enjoy your soundtrack.

A Momentary Appreciation

When the sunshine, humidity, temperature, air, and sky are just perfect… it’d be easy to take it for granted. But today, I took a moment to appreciate it. And I briefly felt energized and ready for all the fun associated with summer.

On such a lovely day, it’s hard to recall that winter that went on forever. And frankly… I don’t want to.

Enjoy that feeling of sunshine warming your skin… and don’t forget your sunblock.