Category Archives: Thoughts and Dreams

Free URself at Paisley Park

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Free URself at Paisley Park

“Be glad that you are free / Free to change your mind / Free to go most anywhere, anytime.”

These lyrics from the beautiful and poignant “Free” have not left my mind since Thursday night. I’m writing to share my perspectives and thoughts of this perfect and most magical evening. I hope you enjoy.

PRE-SHOW

Prince’s “Gala Event” at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen, MN was all of what you’d consider a Gala Event to be and more. I live outside the Twin Cities, so the 45-minute drive was nothing as compared to those who came, literally, across the world to see Our Purple One. When the event was announced 3 weeks beforehand (versus several day’s notice), I knew this was going to be something different, unique—something unexpected. But this evening was above and beyond anyone’s expectations.

My wonderful husband and fellow Prince fan accompanied me to the elusive Paisley Park Studios. It never fails–about 5 miles away I begin to smile, my body temperature rises and my stomach is filled with small, happy butterflies. The place I only imagined being inside when I was 15, the place where magic occurs, the place where iconic music is created–*I* was about to enter through its doors. Although this wasn’t my first time there, arriving each time is like your first.

I splurged for VIP tickets to the event (I mean, if you’re going to go, go big!). Having no idea what was in store for us upon arrival, the tears started welling up as we entered the parking lot. Not only did we get front row parking during a January winter in Minnesota (thank you, Prince!), but we were welcomed by the best staff ever. Smiles on their faces, welcoming us there, not rushing us through like most club attendants. I stopped at the gates per their request. My mood changed for the worst, as I thought it was to inspect our cars for safety. Every time I go through this exercise, no matter where it is, it makes me sad. “Why do we have to live this way?” I thought. “Even at Paisley Park, the Mecca of Love, there’s still a bit of fear.” BUT, my mood immediately shifted when I found out I was absolutely WRONG! Not only were our cars not being checked for suspicious items, but we were presented with GIFTS from the Man himself!

Through the passenger side window, a huge, round, purple box filled with surprises was handed to us. All I could do was cover my mouth so I didn’t scream and scare everyone involved. “He gave us gifts!” I squealed to my husband, holding back tears. The roller coaster ride of Love had begun.

Luckily, we only had to drive a few more feet as I think I was holding my breath. “What could be in there?” I thought. “All we needed was a VIP pass.” Once we carefully removed the event poster and the new Hit n Run Phase Two CD off the cover, inside the box we found a bunch of fun, fan merch—a Musicology CD, a tour t-shirt (all random per box) and our VIP passes placed gently on top. Crinkled, purple paper confetti strands made it even more special. I don’t think I will ever get rid of that box.

All of a sudden I noticed it wasn’t as cold as it had been when we started our journey. I was breathing in the chilly, Paisley winter air allowing it to give me renewed energy. As we approached the doors, the staff all dressed in purple once again welcomed us with smiles. Relaxed and happy, we entered Paisley Park. The positive energy is palpable there and all you want to do is talk to people.. or hug them. Everyone was buzzing with excitement and time stood still. I showed my husband a bit of the foyer area and the iconic Prince motorcycle as we made our way to the VIP lounge. Food and drink were placed out for us. Impeccable. We took a seat at one of the huge Alice in Wonderland velvet chairs and enjoyed the surroundings. All the food was on point (Chips and Guac, Red Beans and Rice, Mac n Cheese, etc.) and I felt honored and blessed to be there. It was hard not to think we were the only VIPs with the way we were treated in the first 15 minutes.

As it was approaching 7pm, the doors to the main room were about to open for VIP seating. All of us were anxious and excited to get in, making sure we got a great seat. As Prince promised the week before, there really wasn’t a bad seat in the house with the major updates of the space. Whether it was the scattered throw pillows up front, side stage, center, VIP couches or standing, the intimate venue made it awesome for all. Even if you were on the right side of the stage, you may not have been able to see his face much, but you could watch him play his beautiful, purple piano. I switched seats to a center spot after getting those first, but as a musician myself, I’m thinking we should have stayed stage left so I could watch his fingers glide, almost not touching the keys. Lesson learned.

As we were all getting settled, everyone wanted to chat. With no cellphones in hand to call, text, or take selfies, we were left to our own devices. It’s actually a relief to not have the technology there. I always think back to concerts back in the day, when cell phones weren’t even available yet. We talked, chatted, wondered about the set list and hoped for a great show. We lost track of time. It was time to get closer to friends, make new ones and share in the excitement. Yeah, Prince knows what he’s doing.

An hour or so went by and the natives were getting restless, but just as it was getting a bit louder, a voice over the PA alerted us that the last shuttle was on its way and that Prince would be waiting for them to arrive. Pure class. We didn’t have to wait long and not being worried about the time and if our show would be cut short (there was a second show at 11p), this allowed us to keep feeling the love, enjoy the classical music (yup) and revel in each other’s company.

The lights went down at 8:40p. Fog then enveloped the stage and through the huge double doors with Prince’s famous glyph, the man strutted, rather floated, onto the stage. He arrived at his piano, stood behind the stool for a few seconds and bowed his head to his hands. He said a little prayer (I assume), got himself centered and became One with the piano. He sat down, banged out one chord and stepped around the piano like he was trying to conquer it. We all laughed thinking this was a tease, but we soon came to find out, this would be one of the most emotional shows of his career.

Without words or acknowledgement of us, he whispered into the microphone what was going through his mind as a 3 year old boy. Being 3 and not being allowed to play his father’s piano, he was scared but enamored of what it was capable of after watching his father, a master pianist and his best friend, play. Thankfully, I immediately realized we weren’t just watching a rock concert, we were about to be part of a journey through Prince’s musical life. I felt I was the first to notice this. I’m not sure if I was, but it doesn’t matter. I had my first intimate moment with Prince. As most people know, Prince is one of the most private celebrities and has been most of his life. This is intentional. Being privy to what I was experiencing, I knew this was going to be emotional for ALL of us. No one had an idea of the set list, no one knew what was coming next. More theatrics, more music, more storytelling? It was absolutely fabulous.

THOUGHTS ON THE LOVE

Although I have seen Prince several times since 1987, there were songs from his early catalog that I thought I would NEVER hear live. Not only due to the fact that he stated a few years ago that he won’t play much of his back catalog anymore, but that there’s also literally hundreds of others to choose from. When we arrived at the part of his musical journey where he knew he could play piano well, he knew he could write music and sing, but now, as a teen, it was time to find himself. He started to play “Dirty Mind” and the crowd, including myself, lost it. Although all of us there were fans, many of us, like me, haven’t heard these songs in years, if ever. Especially the next song, “Do Me Baby.” For me, that song has always been one of the most sexy and sensuous songs ever written. And I pretty much swore off that I’d only see it performed on video. But there, at the piano, the first notes of said song began. My arms went up, eyes closed, YES this is happening! I started to sing along with him but then just had to be in the moment. Listening to those words, his falsetto, just the piano. I could have been the only one there. It still stirs up emotion deep down.

At this point, the music kept on coming. “Free” began and another huge smile came to my face. But after singing the first verse and part of the chorus, he stopped, put his head down to his clasped hands and said: “Peace to David Bowie. I only met him once. He was very nice to me.” He paused. “I heard he was nice to everyone. I just wanted to say that.” And he continued on. I bowed my head, got present and the tears started flowing. It had been a tough couple weeks since David Bowie’s death for me personally. The world, it seemed, was in mourning. When I got present to Prince, who I consider a musical genius, give props to another musical genius before him who died too soon, I just couldn’t contain myself. I was convinced that I was connected to Prince spiritually now, feeling what he was feeling with each note. I so appreciate that he stopped during the song, unrehearsed. He didn’t have to stop; he didn’t have to say anything, but he did. He wouldn’t have been fully present and that would have taken some of our experience away, even if it was subtle. Just that ONE moment is a true testament to how this man lives his life and treats his fans.

The music, fun and singing continued as we rolled through his catalog playing deep cuts as if they were #1 hits (see set list below with dates). Hearing the instrumental songs from Around The World In A Day and Parade were absolutely stunning and I just kept shaking my head in awe. Was this really happening? He’s sitting in front of me playing “Condition of the Heart”?! The answer was: Yes.

The roller coaster of love continued as we all stood up and sang “Paisley Park” IN Paisley Park (are you kidding me??) along with our friends. Smiles abound.

There were 2 encores that led to some of the newer songs like ”Baltimore” and “Rock and Roll Love Affair,” but we came back home with “Starfish and Coffee,” “The Breakdown,” and last, “Anna Stasia” from Lovesexy.

POST-SHOW

None of us wanted the party to end, but it was time. The lights came on and the staff lovingly started kicking us out as the next show was about to begin. I had NO idea how Prince would be able to do another hour and a half with basically giving us his all earlier, but if anyone could do it, he could. We left with smiles on our faces, music in our hearts and love in our souls. I think everyone there knew that we experienced an event that was once in a lifetime. And even if Prince toured with this exact set list, no show would be the same. It’s not many times in life that you witness history in the making. A thousand of us were there to be part of it– and he was too.

With a quick jaunt to the merch booth, I snagged an old shirt from the Lovesexy tour (my first one) and another CD. I desperately wanted to linger, but out the doors we went back into the Winter night. But right outside the door, there was a broken branch on the ground with flowers still on it from the flower bush left of the doors. I took it home as a memento and I see it every day as a reminder of what’s possible and that dreams do come true.

Thank you, Prince, for the music, for the love and for bearing your soul on stage. You crated a space for all of us to be glad that we are free, free to change our minds, free to go most anywhere, anytime. You’re a true inspiration that in turn has me look for how I can inspire others. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Piano and a Microphone, Gala Event
@ Paisley Park, Chanhassen, MN, USA 
Jan 21, 2016 / 8:00PM
  1. Batman (TV Show Theme, 1966)
  2. Who’s Loving You (Miracles cover, 1960)
  3. Baby (from For You, 1978)
  4. I Wanna Be Your Lover (from Prince, 1979)
  5. Dirty Mind (from Dirty Mind, 1980)
  6. Do Me, Baby (from Controversy, 1981)
  7. Something in the Water (Does Not Compute) (from 1999, 1982)
  8. Free (David Bowie Tribute) (from 1999, 1982)
  9. A Case of You (Joni Mitchell cover, 1971))
  10. (Sometimes I Feel Like A) Motherless Child (Paul Robeson cover, 1930s)
  11. The Beautiful Ones (from Purple Rain, 1984)
  12. U’re Gonna C Me (from One Nite Alone, 2002)
  13. How Come Your Don’t Call Me (from b-side of 1999 single, 1982)
  14. Condition of the Heart (from Around The World In A Day, 1985)
  15. Venus de Milo (from Parade, 1986)
  16. Raspberry Beret (P gives props to Wendy & Lisa) (from Around The World In A Day, 1985)
  17. Paisley Park (Sing along) (from Around The World In A Day, 1985)
  18. Sometimes It Snows in April (from Parade, 1986)
  19. Eye Love U But Eye Don’t Trust U Anymore (from Rave Un2 The Joy Fantastic, 1999)
  20. The Ballad of Dorothy Parker (from Sign O’ The Times, 1987)
  21. Unchain My Heart (Ray Charles cover, 1964)
  22. Baltimore (from HNR Ph2, 2016)
  23. Rock and Roll Love Affair (from HNR Ph2, 2016)
  24. Starfish and Coffee (from Sign O’ The Times, 1987)
  25. The Breakdown (from Art Official Age, 2014)
  26. Anna Stesia (from Lovesexy, 1988)

 

(For a wonderful review of the 8pm show, feel free to click here.)

20 Questions That Could Change Your Life

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I rarely repost magazine articles, but I found this fairly poignant now that it’s the first month of the year and also things I think of quite often.

20 Questions That Could Change Your Life

Finding the answers starts with posing the right questions—and Martha Beck has 20 to get you started.

By Martha Beck

O, The Oprah Magazine |  January 18, 2011

1. What questions should I be asking myself?

At first I thought asking yourself what you should be asking yourself was redundant. It isn’t. Without this question, you wouldn’t ask any others, so it gets top billing. It creates an alert, thoughtful mind state, ideal for ferreting out the information you most need in every situation. Ask it frequently.

2. Is this what I want to be doing?

This very moment is, always, the only moment in which you can make changes. Knowing which changes are best for you comes, always, from assessing what you feel. Ask yourself many times every day if you like what you’re doing. If the answer is no, start noticing what you’d prefer. Thus begins the revolution.

3. Why worry?

These two words, considered sincerely, can radically reconfigure the landscape of your mind. Worry rarely leads to positive action; it’s just painful, useless fear about hypothetical events, which scuttles happiness rather than ensuring it. Some psychologists say that by focusing on gratitude, we can shut down the part of the brain that worries. It actually works!

4. Why do I like {cupcakes} more than I like {people}?

Feel free to switch out the words in brackets: You may like TV more than exercise, or bad boys more than nice guys, or burglary more than reading. Whatever the particulars, every woman has something she likes more than the somethings she’s supposed to like. But forcing “virtues”—trying to like people more than cupcakes—drives us to vices that offer false freedom from oppression. Stop trying to like the things you don’t like, and many vices will disappear on their own.

5. How do I want the world to be different because I lived in it?

Your existence is already a factor in world history—now, what sort of factor do you want it to be? Maybe you know you’re here to create worldwide prosperity, a beautiful family, or one really excellent bagel. If your impressions are more vague, keep asking this question. Eventually you’ll glimpse clearer outlines of your destiny. Live by design, not by accident.

6. How do I want to be different because I lived in this world?

In small ways or large, your life will change the world—and in small ways or large, the world will change you. What experiences do you want to have during your brief sojourn here? Make a list. Make a vision board. Make a promise. This won’t control your future, but it will shape it.

7. Are {vegans} better people?

Again, it doesn’t have to be vegans; the brackets are for you to fill in. Substitute the virtue squad that makes you feel worst about yourself, the one you’ll never have the discipline to join, whether it’s ultra-marathoners or mothers who never raise their voices. Whatever group you’re asking about, the answer to this question is no.

8. What is my body telling me?

As I often say, my mind is a two-bit whore—by which I mean that my self-justifying brain, like any self-justifying brain, will happily absorb beliefs based on biases, ego gratification, magical thinking, or just plain error. The body knows better. It’s a wise, capable creature. It recoils from what’s bad for us, and leans into what’s good. Let it.

9. How much junk could a chic chick chuck if a chic chick could chuck junk?

I believe this question was originally posed by Lao Tzu, who also wrote, “To become learned, each day add something. To become enlightened, each day drop something.” Face it: You’d be better off without some of your relationships, many of your possessions, and most of your thoughts. Chuck your chic-chick junk, chic chick. Enlightenment awaits.

10. What’s so funny?

Adults tend to put this question to children in a homicidal-sounding snarl, which is probably why as you grew up, your laughter rate dropped from 400 times a day (for toddlers) to the grown-up daily average of 15. Regain your youth by laughing at every possible situation. Then, please, tell us what’s funny—about everyday life, about human nature, even about pain and fear. We’ll pay you anything.

11. Where am I wrong?

This might well be the most powerful question on our list—as Socrates believed, we gain our first measure of intelligence when we first admit our own ignorance. Your ego wants you to avoid noticing where you may have bad information or unworkable ideas. But you’ll gain far more capability and respect by asking where you’re wrong than by insisting you’re right.

12. What potential memories am I bartering, and is the profit worth the price?

I once read a story about a world where people sold memories the way we can sell plasma. The protagonist was an addict who’d pawned many memories for drugs but had sworn never to sell his memory of falling in love. His addiction won. Afterward he was unaware of his loss, lacking the memory he’d sold. But for the reader, the trade-off was ghastly to contemplate. Every time you choose social acceptance over your heart’s desires, or financial gain over ethics, or your comfort zone over the adventure you were born to experience, you’re making a similar deal. Don’t.

13. Am I the only one struggling not to {fart} during {yoga}?

I felt profoundly liberated when this issue was raised on Saturday Night Live’s “Weekend Update.” Not everyone does yoga, but SNL reminded me that everyone dreads committing some sort of gaffe. Substitute your greatest shame-fear: crying at work, belching in church, throwing up on the prime minister of Japan. Then know you aren’t alone. Everyone worries about such faux pas, and many have committed them (well, maybe not the throwing up on PMs). Accepting this is a bold step toward mental health and a just society.

14. What do I love to practice?

Some psychologists believe that no one is born with any particular talent and that all skill is gained through practice. Studies have shown that masters are simply people who’ve practiced a skill intensely for 10,000 hours or more. That requires loving—not liking, loving—what you do. If you really want to excel, go where you’re passionate enough to practice.

15. Where could I work less and achieve more?

To maximize time spent practicing your passions, minimize everything else. These days you can find machines or human helpers to assist with almost anything. Author Timothy Ferriss “batches” job tasks into his famous “four-hour workweek.” My client Cindy has an e-mail ghostwriter. Another client, Angela, hired an assistant in the Philippines who flawlessly tracks her schedule and her investments. Get creative with available resources to find more time in your life and life in your time.

16. How can I keep myself absolutely safe?

Ask this question just to remind yourself of the answer: You can’t. Life is inherently uncertain. The way to cope with that reality is not to control and avoid your way into a rigid little demi-life, but to develop courage. Doing what you long to do, despite fear, will accomplish this.

17. Where should I break the rules?

If everyone kept all the rules, we’d still be practicing cherished traditions like child marriage, slavery, and public hangings. The way humans become humane is by assessing from the heart, rather than the rule book, where the justice of a situation lies. Sometimes you have to break the rules around you to keep the rules within you.

18. So say I lived in that fabulous house in Tuscany, with untold wealth, a gorgeous, adoring mate, and a full staff of servants…then what?

We can get so obsessed with acquiring fabulous lives that we forget to live. When my clients ask themselves this question, they almost always discover that their “perfect life” pastimes are already available. Sharing joy with loved ones, spending time in nature, finding inner peace, writing your novel, plotting revenge—you can do all these things right now. Begin!

19. Are my thoughts hurting or healing?

Your situation may endanger your life and limbs, but only your thoughts can endanger your happiness. Telling yourself a miserable mental story about your circumstances creates suffering. Telling yourself a more positive and grateful story, studies show, increases happiness. Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, choose thoughts that knit your heart together, rather than tear it apart.

20. Really truly: Is this what I want to be doing?

It’s been several seconds since you asked this. Ask it again. Not to make yourself petulant or frustrated—just to see if it’s possible to choose anything, and I mean any little thing, that would make your present experience more delightful. Thus continues the revolution.

Social Media Club

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I didn’t need the brownie-cake thing I ate last night.

Sitting down to talk to people would have given me more confidence and has zero calories. I think I learned my lesson.

I went to a meeting thru the Social Media Club Boston last night to learn more about professional blogging. It was really for people who were in businesses who wanted to tap into the Mom Blogosphere, as it were. I was a bit out of my element, but at least I was ready for it.

Other than getting the info, it was also a networking sort of event. I remembered those. I loved them at the time when I worked in College Admissions and other sales type jobs, but I really just wanted to sit there and listen to a bunch of people speak. So much for my 10 on the Extrovert scale. Although I only said a few words to one person (probably wasn’t the best thing to do), I did glean a lot of useful information. I listened as if I were a business.. that my blog was a business and tried to get my head around what I could do differently to get some readership up on here.

I have some ideas, but I have to be careful as to not lose my integrity. I don’t want to sell myself off or not say things because I think it’s not PC. I do have to say I have held my typing tongue many days as I honestly do feel alone in the mom world on many hot topics. I will refrain from listing them here, but just look at the headlines over the past week or so. Generally I have an opinion and it’s NOT what most people would say.

Anyway, I took some time last night and today to create a Facebook account for my blog and also a new Twitter account. I feel like I’m starting over in the social media world, but at least I know what I need to do and can do it quickly. I’m also lucky to have a good friend who started a social media business in TX. I’ve already reached out to him so I can really get a handle on “The Twitter” and get the most bang for my buck.

As I told my husband last night, I have one lofty goal regarding this blog, but I’m willing to take baby steps to see what I need to do tomorrow instead of looking ahead a year or whatever. I got last night that I need to go to more of these talks and seek out other moms in my position (mom bloggers or writers that need to increase their readership). I really just want people to be interested in what I’m doing, but really, who cares what I’m doing if I don’t have a story!?

When I was pregnant I definitely had said story. And even as a new mom, my breastfeeding issues and all that could have people reading, but now? I have a toddler that basically doesn’t give me any trouble. I don’t work, I’m not feeling isolated and I’m not depressed. I have friends, enjoy my life and my husband is good to me. Who wants to read that?

Time to research more of these mom blog talks and conferences to see what I can do. Sure, it would be great to be able to make money off my blogs or be such a great writer/speaker that I’m asked to talk all over the place, but I need A STORY.

Patience.. patience..

One thing I do know is.. I’m skipping the brownie cake stuff next time 🙂 More talk, less calories.

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

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Written by who knows but this is great!

“Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they
haven’t thought about it, don’t have it on their schedule, didn’t know it
was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.

I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who
passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back.
From then on, I’ve tried to be a little more flexible.

How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn’t
suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does
the word ‘refrigeration’ mean nothing to you?

How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you
watched ‘Jeopardy’ on television?

I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , ‘How about going
to lunch in a half hour?’ She would gas up and stammer, ‘I can’t. I have
clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I
had a late breakfast, It looks like rain’ And my personal favorite: ‘It’s
Monday.’ She died a few years ago. We never did have lunch together.

Because Americans cram so much into their lives, we tend to schedule our
headaches. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves
when all the conditions are perfect!

We’ll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve
toilet-trained. We’ll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet.
We’ll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.

Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and
the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken,
and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of ‘I’m going to,’ ‘I
plan on,’ and ‘Someday’ when things are settled down a bit.’

When anyone calls my ‘seize the moment’ friend, she is open to adventure
and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her
enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes,
and you’re ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Rollerblades and
skip an elevator for a bungee cord.

My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It’s
just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula
and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and
bought a triple-dip. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I
would have died happy.

Now…go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to…not something
on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one
phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And
why are you waiting?

Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the
rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight or
gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on
the fly? When you ask ‘How are you?’ Do you hear the reply?

When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores
running through your head? Ever told your child, ‘We’ll do it tomorrow.’
And in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good
friendship die? Just call to say ‘Hi’?

When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened
gift….Thrown away…. Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the
music before the song is over.”

To those who are reading this, I cherish our connection and appreciate
all you do.

‘Life may not be the party we hoped for… but while we are here we might
as well dance!’

An Open Letter to..

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Me and Dane Cook, November 6, 2010

My apologies once again to those that are expecting a bunch of mom stuff when you come to this blog. My intention was to keep my two blogs separate but my quest for the “blogging once a day” project has me posting in both places. I promise when November is over, mom stuff will remain here. But who knows.. I can’t promise anything right now 🙂

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I considered posting my letter/email that I wrote to Dane Cook early this morning, but within the next moment I decided not to. It’s a personal letter and one that he only should read. I will post my thoughts on why I wrote the letter below.. enjoy 🙂

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I find it amazing how shows and people (artists, comedians) affect me. I’ve seen Dane six times over the years and met him three. Each performance I take away something different. This past weekend the show we enjoyed at Mohegan Sun in CT was one of the best I’d seen. As I wrote to him, I still can’t put my finger on why it was that way, but whatever it was, he killed, the crowd loved it and I was back in love with his comedy again.

It didn’t hurt that I got to chat with him afterward and give him my personal congrats. He’s a great guy, that Dane Cook. He gets a lot of flack about his comedy. I am never sure why. Many people literally hate it–and him. I think a lot of people think he sold out or just uses his looks to rake in fans and fill seats, but in all honesty, if he wasn’t good, no one would show up. I know many good looking and charismatic musicians.. you don’t see all of them filling arenas every night due to their good looks.

His comedy is different, I guess you could say. He’s a storyteller. I happen to like that. I love a lot of different types of comedy from the snip-its of Mitch Hedburg or Steven Wright, to the storytelling of Bill Cosby and Dane Cook. Either way, I give him a lot of props.

The guy works hard. You can’t take that away from him–and he’s humble. I think that’s why I love him so much. Not only for his comedy and how he tells it, but for who he is as a person. There’s not many people in this world who I consider inspiring–he is one of them. As I was reflecting last night on the handful of people that do inspire me, all of them are quite different. Different ways of being, different careers, but all have many of the same qualities. They are authentic, risk takers and never give up. Most are humble in their ways, passionate about what they do, and in turn, tend to inspire so many other people by who they are. These are people you just want to be around all the time. I’m actually having “withdrawals” two days after the fact as I’m just “hungry” for that energy. That feeling of being totally accepted by a person, loved, listened to.. being in the presence of someone who is present. It’s so awesome.

Being with him and some of the other folks the other night reminded me that I want to be that type of person. I’m always fairly hard on myself so who knows? I may be that for some now, but I feel I have a ways to go. I’m definitely feeling the urge to start something new, to find my calling and to re-find the things that truly light me up. Many of those things have been gone, missing, for some time and it’s time to get them back.

I will say publicly that I still have a dream to work with Dane on a professional basis. There was a point a few years ago where I was actively pursuing this. I was working with some folks regarding my resume and writing a letter to him to introduce myself not as a fan, but as a person he’d be interested in working with. Nothing ever happened with all that (as in a job), but after I spoke with him Saturday night, all that came flooding back. One small issue is that he’s in LA and I’m in Boston with a family, but odder things have happened.

***
2010 has been some year. I was thinking about that in the car just a few minutes ago and realized, although it had its bumps and sharp turns, my husband, daughter and I really had an amazing 2010. I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d start the year dancing in negative temps on a rooftop in Minneapolis. I also wouldn’t have guessed that my husband and I would spend a three day weekend without our daughter at a music festival in Austin, and I definitely wouldn’t have guessed I’d be seeing Dane and Al backstage last Saturday, all with huge hugs and fun conversations. I WANT more of that type of stuff. Surprises that come out of no where and hug you.. not the one’s that knock you down, but a quick surprise and hug is nice.

I still have a month and a half to create what I want, not only for 2011, but for the rest of this year! I can dream all I want, but action is what will make it happen.. onward and upward, as they say.. here we go.