Happy Birthday! :)

Happy Birthday to my long term love William Shakespeare!! (it’s also the anniversary of his death, but….we don’t focus on the negative ’round these parts) Our love affair began with me reading “Romeo and Juliet” when I was 8 years old (and yes, naysayers, I totally understood it!)…and continues to this day. We get each other – it’s a pretty deep and real love thing. :)  To honor him, I give you some of his finest…. :)

 

 

10254-Shakespeare-Quote

william-shakespeare-love-quote_large

This this THIS :)

Shakespeare__s_Visual_Poetry_by_DeepestAzure1

Clearly Mr. Shakespeare knew some of the places I have worked over the years.... ;)

Clearly Mr. Shakespeare knew some of the places I have worked over the years…. ;)

tumblr_lswop22JQt1qlccb8o1_500

tumblr_m741mtVAF81r8wlu5o1_500

6406503cc0a65146a69eb6b41c006e9d

The wisest words of all :)

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, my love! :)

xxx

Ghost Town

Madonna released the video for her latest single ‘Ghost Town’ this week, and it’s pretty bloody stunning. Here’s a link for you to check it out….it’s beautiful. :-) ** Click on the image to see the video**

image

 

Should you fancy a sing-along, here are the lyrics:

Maybe it was all too much
Too much for a man to take
Everything’s bound to break
Sooner or later, sooner or later

You’re all that I can trust
Facing the darkest days
Everyone ran away
We’re gonna stay here, we’re gonna stay here  

Ah, ah
I know you’re scared tonight
Ah, ah
I’ll never leave your side

When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

When the world gets cold, I’ll be your cover
Let’s just hold onto each other
When it all falls, when it all falls down
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

Tell me how we got this far
Every man for himself
Everything’s gone to hell
We gotta stay strong, we’re gonna hold on

This world has turned to dust
All we’ve got left is love
Might as well start with us
Singing a new song, something to build on

Ah, ah
I know you’re scared tonight
Ah, ah
I’ll never leave your side

When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

When the world gets cold, I’ll be your cover
Let’s just hold onto each other
When it all falls, when it all falls down
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

I know we’re alright
‘Cause we’ll never be alone in this mad mad, in this mad mad world
Even with no light
We’re gonna shine like gold in this mad mad, in this mad mad world

When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

When it all falls, when it all falls down
I’ll be your fire when the lights go out
When there’s no one, no one else around
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown

When the world gets cold, I’ll be your cover
Let’s just hold onto each other
When it all falls, when it all falls down
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown
When it all falls, when it all falls down
We’ll be two souls in a ghosttown


This song is just gorgeous…and a beautiful sentiment as well. It’s kind of the musical equivalent of relationship goals, eh? Think about it – when things go bad, I will be your fire when the lights go out; when it’s cold out I will be your cover, let’s just hold on to each other…when there is nobody else around, we will be two souls together. I LOVE it. :-) It’s amazing. :-)

I was asked recently what I thought relationships should be – my answer was not words (for a change), but this image:

image

 

This is really it, isn’t it? Someone who wants your company, thinks you’re the best, and wants to shag only you. Sounds pretty straightforward – and great – to me. :-) I was listening to an acquaintance describe a man that we know in common, and he described him in the most elegant and tragic way – he said that he was a “seeker of lost souls”. I can’t stop thinking about that sentence….because I think that is me. I have always been drawn to strays (animals and humans), those that are down on their luck, those that are unavailable, those that are inappopriate choices….the whole nine yards. It seems like I purposely and deliberately go out of my way to choose the most difficult options in life, and make things hard on myself. I suppose that part of it is that I have always believed greatly in the power of the underdog, because I have felt like an underdog myself. I have always wanted to teach in the prison system, because I believe with every ounce of my being that when we know better we do better, and education has the power to transform lives – and I wanted in on that. Sadly, that opportunity hasn’t come my way yet, but hopefully it will some day. I think I could do some good things. :-) That wide-eyed optimism is the same way that I approach my interactions with other people…and, while this attitude has got me in trouble far more times than I’d care to admit (there are too damn many cruel people out there, my friends), it’s the only attitude that I have. Thinking the best in people, regardless of how lost their soul may be, is all I’ve got. My soul is probably lost as well, you know…and I’m just looking for someone to seek me. :-)

 

xxx

Come On Get Happy

On January 1st, I embarked on a journey to celebrate things that made me happy. I started posting a minimum of 1 picture a day to my Instagram (@leannaerin, if you’re interested in joining in the fun) of something that made me smile and feel happy – and I labelled it with the hashtag #100HappyDays. I had technical difficulties a couple of times that prevented me posting before midnight, but I did fix them right away, and I made it all the way through…my 100th day will be this Friday, which is, ironically, my birthday. :-)

You can find out about this project on their website – and I strongly recommend you give it a look. It’s a great idea – I put a reminder on my phone for every evening at 8:00pm, just to be sure that I wouldn’t forget. Some days, I had so many happy things to post that I blew up my Instagram (sorry about that, following friends – my very large night out in Austin last Friday must have been a beast for you!)…other days, I had to dig pretty bloody deep to find anything to feel happy about. The thing is, though, that I did it, I did find things to feel optimistic and happy about….which is always a great thing. :-)

Here are some highlights for me:

My love :-)

My love :-)

The truth!

The truth!

Hahaha :-)

Hahaha :-)

Sage life advice :-)

Sage life advice :-)

My new short 'do!

My new short ‘do!

I have said these to people....much hilarity ensued ;-)

I have said this to people….much hilarity ensued ;-)

It happens ;-)

It happens ;-)

Amen!

Amen!

If you don't do this, then you're a liar.....EVERYONE does. :-)

If you don’t do this, then you’re a liar…..EVERYONE does. :-)

:-)

:-)

 

According to their website, people have found the following when they have done this project:People successfully completing the challenge claimed to:

– Start noticing what makes them happy every day;
– Be in a better mood every day;
– Start receiving more compliments from other people;
– Realize how lucky they are to have the life they have;
– Become more optimistic;
– Fall in love during the challenge

 

This is what I found: I looked at the world around me differently, constantly keeping my eyes open for things that made my heart super-happy, and took a picture….just to be sure that I remembered the feelings that I had in that moment. I didn’t receive more compliments from people, sadly – however, this is totally fine, as the project was done for me, not for anyone else. I believe that my optimism level improved, which is quite the thing as my optimism is already pretty darn high! As for the last point up there…I think that I fell more in love with myself, with my surroundings, and with this life that I lead – mixed up, chaotic, confusing, and difficult though it may be….it’s MY life, and most days, it’s pretty damn magical. :-)

 

xxx

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Some folks operate on a completely different frequency from most everyone else around them, they just don’t connect with the masses…and I believe that I am one of those people. I don’t think like most others do, I don’t do the same kinds of things as other people are inclined to do…I’m just basically an odd duck. I have tried to do a better job of fitting in with the world around me, but the results of these efforts have been bloody disastrous, not to mention more than a lot comical. I guess I was just born to stand out – and not fit in.

image

I have come to accept this, and most of the time I revel in my weirdness. I am flattered when someone comments on the odd uniqueness of me, and if I was to be called boring, I would probably weep real tears. However, I have come to realize that while I may think this is an awesome way to be, it is not awesome even a smidge to have to try to deal with me. The people around me have had to put up with a lot of shit from me over the years,  and….well, that’s probably not fair. I’m not entirely sure why this has come to my attention recently, but it has. I feel like I should contact everyone I’ve ever known, everyone I’ve ever dated (now there’s a list), everyone I’ve ever worked with, and try to make amends, AA-style. I need to somehow tell them that I’m sorry that I’ve been strange, odd, and difficult to tolerate. I need to apologize and acknowledge that my quest to find my best self has interfered/wreaked havoc on their existence…and I need to say sorry for that. I don’t really know the way to fix all of this, but believe me, I would sure like to. I know some very kind people, it seems….and they all put up with me. Angels, every single one of them – thank goodness I found them at just the right time.

image

Speaking of time….so much of life and your success in it comes from timing. I have notoriously BAD timing….no joke. If there was to be a super-great life opportunity about to happen, I would show up when it was over…not because I’m not punctual (because I totally am), but because that is just me. My timing is almost never right. I have struck gold with this issue the odd time – I had my daughter at the perfect point in my life, and she has been the most beautiful gift every day of her nearly 9 years. I happened to be at exactly the right place (working next door to my dream school) at exactly the right time, and I fell into this AMAZING position that I am in now. That was really fantastic timing….but that is the exception, not the rule. I’m the kind of person that meets someone that they can really connect with, and maybe have some sort of a kick-ass relationship and life with…..when the person is either married to someone else or freshly out of a previous relationship and is rebounding more than a bloody basketball. I hate that kind of stuff, and wish that I could do something different to change it, but…I really don’t know that any of us can change circumstance and chance, can we? I have really worked hard on adopting an attitude of gratitude, and embracing the idea that at least something really great came along….even if the timing wasn’t quite there. I’m grateful for the opportunity. :-)

image

My outlook on things is kind of weird, too. I was talking with someone recently, and an interesting idea came up – I made the statement that if someone said that they didn’t want me, I would leave and go away, and never bother them again. The person that I was speaking to called me cold, and heartless…and I can certainly understand that perception. However, I see it in a completely different way – I went on to explain that I absolutely will not stay somewhere that I am not wanted, and that I have way too much self-respect to consider begging someone to stay with me, so…I will move on, comfortable in the knowledge that they will be damn sorry to have lost me. My conversation companion continued to stare at me like I had grown a second head (which would be super-cool, btw) – I asked if I had said something wrong, and was told that I hadn’t, but that I possessed a very different way of looking at things. This is not the first time I’ve heard that, and it won’t be the last, I’m sure. I often wonder what it’d be like to see the world the way everyone else does. It’d be easier, of this I have no doubt….

image

 

How do you see the world, my friends? Is your glass half-full or half-empty? Mine is generally half-full…with plenty of room for more vodka! ;-) I talk about this idea of being different with my little one all the time…she fluctuates between wanting to fit in with the masses in her elementary school, marching to the beat of her own drum, and letting her tiny freak flag fly any old time she pleases. I’ve worked in Education long enough to know the vital importance of acceptance from one’s peers during the tumultuous adolescent years, but I so hope that she holds on to some of that uniqueness, that vibrant personality that is coursing through her veins. Those are the things that make her sparkle…and what could be better than that? :-)

 

xxx

 

Wise Up

image

Have you been watching HBO’s “Girls” this season? I have (of course), and I really liked the direction the show has taken this year – and last night’s season finale was an absolute gem. I don’t want to ruin your day with spoilers, but I have to point out a few highlights for me: three cheers for Hannah for not saying YES to a reconciliation with Adam (although I loved them together and wish they could have somehow found their way back to each other)…her ability to say no to him when he says he wants her back was so strong, so powerful – I doubt I could have done that. Adam has always been a magical, powerful force in Hannah’s life, and for her to realize that he was not good for her, and that them being together was destructive….well, that was just awesome. Three cheers for Hannah – our little girl is growing up. :-)

image

I have always been a huge fan of the character of Ray – I think that he might just be the one of the realest characters on television today. Over the years, he has made some speeches that have pretty much brought me to my knees with their raw emotion (seriously – whoever is writing the lines that Ray speaks is my friggin’ hero and I want to share a pizza with them and talk over beer), and last night was no exception. He ripped the Jackass Desi a new one, letting him know that he wasn’t good enough to be with Marnie (so.true)…and he said this: “I also know that you absolutely do not deserve her. Even remotely….She is a beautiful, fully-formed woman, dazzling in her complexity, maddening in her mystery. And you underestimate her, every fucking day.” Isn’t that just brilliant?? I was so blown away by that speech that he made, so full of love and admiration, that I paused the TV, hit rewind, and kept watching it over and over again…just to be sure that the full power of those words seeped into my soul. Amazing. Who doesn’t want to be described that way??! I sure as hell do! Love Ray! :-)

image

The final thing that I loved most from last night’s episode was the stuff involving Shoshanna – that girl is everything that I imagine I was when I was her age…I just hid my eccentricities a whole lot better than she does. Her wide-eyed optimism is a standout for me on that show, and I loved the scene between she and Colin Quinn, when she is sharing that she’d been offered a job in Tokyo, but wasn’t sure about leaving the new guy she was dating to take the position. Colin Quinn started ranting about reading the most excellent Sheryl Sandberg book ‘Lean In’, and told her, “Grab a seat at the table and lean the fuck in. And if this guy’s worth his salt, he’ll be waiting for you.” Mind. Blown. What I wouldn’t give to have someone have cared enough about me to have given me that advice at various points in my life, when I have made eggregiously stupid decisions based upon the men that I thought were going to be there for me – and they weren’t. And I let opportunities go. Like an idiot. Grr. Oh well….live and learn, eh? :-)

image

 

I know that I am not the target demographic of this show (by about 15 years or so), but I love it with all my heart and think the wisdom of the writing is mind-blowing, regardless of what age you are. Take this line of Hannah’s, for example:

So am I, Hannah...so am I.

So am I, Hannah…so am I.

Isn’t that pretty much what we all are doing? It’s funny….I will be 41 years old in a couple of weeks, and I still feel as if I’m waiting to grow up. There are days when I look around me and see this beautiful life that I’ve crafted for myself, one that is full of responsibilities, events, a maddeningly busy calendar, tasks to be done, places to go…and I wonder how it is that I managed to fall smack into the middle of someone else’s existence, because all of this grown-up stuff can’t possibly belong to me. But it does. I don’t know how it happened. I think I will always feel like Hannah, working hard to try to become who I am. I wonder when I will finally wake up and realize that I’ve been me all along?

xxx

 

Don’t Stop Believing

I watched the series finale of ‘Glee’ today, and felt all the feels, cried like it was my damn job, and LOVED every second of it. While I had felt that the show had done its share of shark-jumping in the last year or so, last night’s finale was just everything. I laughed, I cried, I was happy with the resolution of things, which rarely happens in a series finale (if you want to start a fight with your friends, solicit opinions on the ending of ‘How I Met Your Mother’ – which I really liked, for the record)…and everything ended happily, which you know I’m all about. :-) Good fuzzy feelings everywhere here today, friends! :-)

image

One of my favorite lines from the show was this (Rachel Berry said it during her Tony Award acceptance speech – she was talking about the impact her teacher, Mr. Schuester, has had on her life): Being part of something special does not make you special – something is special because you are a part of it. Don’t you just friggin’ LOVE that???! I know – me, too. :-) LOVE. :-) This is something I have always really believed – the importance of acknowledging the special qualities that other people have. We all get busy, we don’t praise each other, we don’t stop to reflect on the AMAZING things that everyone around us does every single day. Instead, we rush through life, hurrying to do all of the things that are on our never-ending To Do lists…when really we should be taking time to enjoy all of the beautiful stuff that surrounds us. I’ve always been the worst at this – I work too much, I’m always trying to take on too much…when in reality, I need to just slow ‘er down a bit, and breathe. It’s good to smell the roses. Or the candy. Or the bottom of the cereal bag after you’ve emptied the Frosted Flakes into a bowl. ;-)

One of the highlights of the ‘Glee’ finale for me was Lea Michele’s final ballad – a song called “This Time”, written by the loooovely Darren Criss (fun fact – I think he is about the cutest, most talented, and bestest guy on TV) – this article has an audio preview for you to check out (which you should – you’ll love it!), and here are the words, should you care to sing along:

These walls and all these picture frames
Every name they show
These halls I’ve walked a thousand times
Heartbreaks and valentines, friends of mine all know

I look at everything I was
And everything I ever loved
And I can see how much I’ve grown

And though the mirror doesn’t see it
It’s clear to me, I feel it
I can make it on my own

I’m not afraid of moving on or letting go
It’s just so hard to say goodbye to what I know, I know

This time no one’s gonna say goodbye
I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began
This time that we had, I will hold forever

This old familiar place is
Where every face is another part of me
I played a different game then
They called me a different name then
I think of all the things I did and how
I wish I knew what I know now

I see how far I’ve come and what I got right
When I was looking for that spotlight
I was looking for myself

Got over what I was afraid of
I showed ‘em all that I was made of
More than trophies on a shelf

For all the battles that we lost or might have won
I never stopped believing in the words we sung, we sung

This time no one’s gonna say goodbye
I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began
This time that we had, I will hold forever

I’m looking out from the crossroads
I don’t know how far away I will roll
I take a breath, I close my eyes
Your voice will carry me home

I’ll keep you in this heart of mine
This time I know it’s never over

No matter who or what I am
I’ll carry where we all began

This time that we had, I will hold
This time that we had, I will hold
This time that we had, I will hold
Forever

Forever

image

Isn’t that song awesome?? So. Profound. I love it, it seems to be a perfect description of how we all feel when we are on the cusp of change, leaving behind the familiar, and taking a giant leap into the great unknown – something I’ve done MANY times myself, but it never gets any easier, or any less exhilerating. I am a person who generally thrives on change and loves massive life shifts like nobody’s business – it’s learning to revel in the day-to-day that’s somewhat challenging for me, but I’m working on it. :-)

 

Did you watch ‘Glee’? What’d you think? I hope you loved it as much as I did – well done, Ryan Murphy et al. Well done. :-)

 

xxx

 

 

Luck Be a Lady

Lady Gaga announced her engagement to her boyfriend, actor Taylor Kinney, on Instagram today…look at her ring! :-)

I. Die.

I. Die.

 

Stunning, right? So. Gorgeous. :-) I love love to pieces, and few things thrill me like a happy couple living a happy life on their own terms. I wish there was more of that to go around! :-)

The Happy Couple :-)

The Happy Couple :-)

 

xxx

Amazing Grace

Did you watch the Grammy awards on Sunday night? It was good, full of performances and interesting attire…exactly what I’m looking for in a music awards show. One of the night’s highlights was the loooooovely Ed Sheeran melting my heart with his performance of “Thinking Out Loud” (one of my favorite songs of all time, no lie), backed by the very handsome John Meyer on a hot pink guitar. Sigh. That was a lot of awesome on that stage at one time. Fantastic! :-) I loved watching my one true love Paul McCartney clapping and dancing along to the music, the divine Sam Smith duetting with Mary J. Blige (holy hell that’s a lot of talent happening there)….there were some really great moments. And then there was this:

image

There’s no denying that her body is in tremendous shape, especially for her age. However, there’s something so hard and sinewy about her, don’t you think? Yikes! She doesn’t look like a 56 year old woman – at least not like any 56 year old that I’ve ever seen. As well, whatever she’s done to her face has changed her appearance so much…it just doesn’t look natural. (Ladies – let this be a lesson to you: if a woman like Madonna with all the money and resources possible at her disposal can’t get work done on her face that looks natural, what hope do you have?? Stop messing with your faces!!!) I miss how Madonna used to look…during the Evita years, I thought she was the most stunning woman ever. Her performance on Sunday night didn’t really do it for me, either – which is completely shocking, as I have loved Madonna for 30+ years!! Her music now doesn’t seem to fit for me, either…I’m not sure why. It feels desperate, and like she’s trying way too hard…and she doesn’t need to. She’s Madonna. Needless to say, the entire situation left me wanting a more mature performer, one who has grown and aged as she should have….and thankfully that arrived, in the form of the looooovely Annie Lennox!! She came out to join Hozier on “Take Me To Church“, a song that I love a whole bunch – Annie was bloody radiant, she looked deliriously happy, natural, and LIKE HER SELF. She sounded fantastic, she was appropriately dressed (meaning I didn’t have to see her arse hanging out) – it was such a stark contrast to the image Madonna had painted earlier, of a woman raging and fighting against growing older. There was Annie, laugh lines and wrinkles telling the story of a life well-lived. It was fantastic – and did the heart some good. There’s no shame in getting older, and I’m really bloody tired of the society today that makes it sound like there is. It’s been nearly a year since the Wee One and I went to Paris, and hardly a day goes by that I don’t remember the women that I saw there and the beautiful, natural way that they looked…and I long for it. I don’t spend a whole lot of time fussing with my appearance – it is what it is, and I have come to accept that.  However, I wish that I could head out into the world some days without makeup on…but I don’t dare. I always run in to people that I know, and I can’t  risk frightening them like that! I wish that I lived in a place and time where it was okay to show the grey that exists in the litttle hairs around your temple, the crow’s feet around your eyes, and the shadows that sometimes show up when you haven’t had quite enough sleep.

 

Maybe someday. :-)

 

xxx