The Sunday Salon.com

Well, I missed last week’s Salon, and finishing Breaking Dawntook a bit longer than I had anticipated… like 10 days longer; it was an exercise in self-torture and perseverance. I wanted to finish before my boyfriend, but I think we both finished the same night, and I’m not sure who read “THE END” first. You can read my review here.

One of the things disappearing in Second Life for a few months has done is rob me of the time to comfortably achieve my reading goal of 75 books for the year by December 31st. After Breaking Dawn, I had 19 books to go… it’s a seemingly impossible goal to achieve; it works out to one book every day and a half. So I’ve been piling headlong into this insurmountable quota. It’s my goal, set by me, and if I miss it I’ve only got myself to answer to. But still, it chafes a bit that I might NOT make it. I have every intention to meeting this goal if I go blind in the process.

For that reason, my next book was Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr. A short 125 pages with a lot of illustrations, this cute little book took a little over 2 hours to finish. Maggie looked it up at her school to see if it’s an Accelerated Reader book, which it is, so I’ll be reading it a second time with her next week 😉 . You can read my review for Nim’s Island here.

I finally returned to my Viral Video Wednesday post, this week posting music videos. The concept was “If there was a soundtrack to your life, what songs would be on it?” I listed mine, along with my reasons for them in a brief history of my life, which included songs like “Crawling” by Linkin Park, “The Unforgiven” by Metallica, “Wonderful, Merciful Saviour” by Selah, Natasha Beddingfield’s “Unwritten” as sung by Team Lachey, and Leona Lewis’s “Bleeding Love”, among others. Personally, I thought it is a story of triumph and resilience, but it would seem that it was more depressing than joyous, inspiring pity. I apologize to those of you who found it more of a downer than a sharing of my life and recovery. You can check out this week’s Viral Video Wednesday here, if you dare.

I tried hard to finish Fragile Thingsby Neil Gaiman by Thursday to hit that one book per each day and a half quota, but didn’t quite make it. So I finished a book Maggie and I had been slowly working on for the last month or so. Vampire Kisses Blood Relatives, vol 2 by Ellen Schreiber was my first experience in Manga. It’s an interesting and by no means a small genre of reading material. Manga covers any subject matter and age group that books of text cover, only they do it with graphic art panels and thought and speech bubbles. You can read <my review of Vampire Kisses Blood Relatives, vol 2 here.

I did finish Fragile Things: Short Stories and Wonders by Neil Gaiman today. I really loved this book, and read the two poems I posted in the review, plus the short story “Other People”… making that my fourth time reading it… to my boyfriend. I remembered another short entry (not written in verse form, but feels like poetry nonetheless) that I liked in it a while ago. It’s called “In the End”:

IN THE END

In the end, the Lord gave Mankind the world. All the world was Man’s, save for one garden. This is my garden, said the Lord, and here you shall not enter.

There was a man and woman who came to the garden, and their names were Earth and Breath.

They had with them a small fruit which the Man carried, and when they arrived at the gate to the garden, the Man gave the fruit to the Woman, and the Woman gave the fruit to the Serpent with the flaming sword who guarded the Eastern Gate.

And the Serpent took the fruit and placed it upon a tree in the center of the garden.

Then Earth and Breath knew their clothedness, and removed their garments, one by one, until they were naked; and when the Lord walked through the garden he saw the man and the woman, who no longer knew good from evil, but were satisfied, and He saw it was good.

Then the Lord opened the gates and gave Mankind the garden, and the Serpent raised up, and it walked away proudly on four strong legs; and where it went none but the Lord can say.

And after that there was nothing but silence in the Garden, save for the occasional sound of the man taking away its name from another animal.

Fragile Things: Short Stories and Wondersby Neil Gaiman, “The End” page 233.

You can read my review of Fragile Things here.

I started reading The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon today, and hope to finish and post the review tomorrow. I’m about 70 pages in and am enjoying it so far. It’s an alternate timeline in which Sitka, Alaska became the interim Jewish homeland after the fall of the State of Israel after three months of independence. The book opens with a murder, a messed up homicide detective, and the stress of the reversion of the Federal District of Sitka to the state of Alaska.

Unfortunately, though, I may not be able to finish it tomorrow… Second Life has made a claim to my time tomorrow, as a SL friend is getting married there and I’m a bridesmaid. Busy, busy, busy!

Viral Video Wednesday – The Soundtrack of My Life?

So, getting back into the habit of reading and blogging have been a little slow going. I’ve been a little here and a little there, but no where specific. Reading some, blogging occasionally, exploring Netflix, and raiding Rhapsody for all those wonderful songs I heard at the Second Life clubs. Interestingly enough, I haven’t logged into Second Life for over a week 😉 .

Oh, and to answer Unfinishedperson‘s question for info on Second Life: “Now about this Second Life? What is it? And how do I find out more?” Though it goes against my better judgment to share such access to something so addictive, I figure y’all could Google it anyway so here’s the long and short of what it is: It’s a virtual world in which you can be whoever, or whatever, you want to be… be it Vampire, Werewolf, furry or Neko (I’m a Neko Vampire, and BF is a Dragon-Werewolf). You can fly, teleport, own cars, houses and land, have a business, have.. ahem, physical relationships… marry and even be pregnant and have children (some people live their Second Life aschildren). It’s free to join and has a lot of freebie things, some good and some not so much, but you may find a need for cash (Lindens after SL’s creator Tory Linden), in which case you can camp (hang out in a club or other place of business and get paid for it), enter contests (usually a themed contest like “Best Neko”… which I usually win 😀 ), play the sploders (a kind of pinata that gives out money instead of candy), you can even get a >gasp< job. There is also the option of buying Lindens with cash from your credit card or paypal acct ($20 US = aprox $5200 L ). You can find out more and even sign up for your free acct at their website: Secondlife.com. Use this link to join and I’ll get some Lindens for referin’ ya! 😉

And NOW… for the videos…

I’ve really missed doing Viral Video Wednesdays… lol… I’ve missed watchingthe viral videos, too. And since I’ve been deep into loading my new MP3 player with excercisable music that I love, as well as grabbing all those songs I’ve been missing without Second Life, I though a Music Video Wednesday would be fun.

I’ve often heard people ask, “If there was a soundtrack for your life, what songs would be on it?” So today I’m going to answer this question with the music videos.

First off, if you follow my blog and have read my posts, I have mentioned some of the things I went through growing up. One line explanation, I was sexually and emotionally abused my my father. So, track one of my soundtrack is “Wonderful” by Everclear:

As you can imagine, I struggled with depression, self-esteem problems. When Metallica’s “The Unforgiven” came out, it was the song of my soul for a long time. Even now, I still struggle with not being completely myself, instead being just the parts of me I instinctively find others want me to be.

What i’ve felt
What i’ve known
Never shined through in what i’ve shown
Never be
Never see
Won’t see what might have been
So I dub thee UNFORGIVEN.

I became a cutter after daily failed attempts of suicide settled into a habit self-medication through releasing these demons through my flesh. When Linkin Park’s “Crawling” came out, I only had to hear it once to know it was a complete lyrical representation of my own life. In the video you see a young woman in an abusive relationship with an older man, then later you see her in bed with a guy closer to her own age. For me, I see this as her using a physical relationship to fill the void of love she doesn’t receive, or at least in the right way, from her father.

I struggled with cutting as a form of escape and a pressure valve release for over a decade; It’s been 9 years since I’ve done it and three weeks since the last time I wantedto grow a small flower bed of my pain (meh, you’d have to be a cutter to understand that I suppose). It NEVER goes away completely, it’s always there on the fringes… waiting to return to its place in my life, but I learn a way to go around it.

Linkin Park’s “Bleed It Out”, to me, really represents the futility and never-satiated need to cut. The act itself bled out the emotional pain and despair I felt, however, it was an addictive behavior that was easier and easier to return to and rely on. The last time I cut myself I was 26, and I started in on the inside of my right arm until I ran out of room then started on the outside of the forearm. I later counted the number of lines I cut and, quite by coincidence, there were 26… one for each year of my life was my thought at the time.

I just want to point out a line in the lyrics, “I’ve opened up these scars
I’ll make you face this”. No matter how hard I tried to get recognition from my father for what he did to me and how it affected my life, to have him shoulder his responsibility and apologize for it, I never got it. In the end, I forgave him for my own personal peace and the last conversation I had with him before he died from cancer was a release of his hold and power over my life and my happiness… I simply told him I forgave him and let go of my role as victim, becoming a survivor from then on.

As I’ve gotten older, healed some and put distance between myself and that dark time in my life, I have a deep affinity for The Fray’s “How to Save a Life”. The song was inspired by The Fray’s lead singer and songwriter Isaac Slade’s experience working as a mentor at a camp for troubled teens. He was completely at a loss at how he, a suburbanite, could reach the troubled musician/teen with whom he had been paired. The song has since taken on a life of its own, having become a song of survivor’s guilt for many.

It has also inspired the Save-A-Life Campaign, a nonprofit organization that was born from the tragic loss of the founder’s son in a car crash. “How to Save a Life” was the last song he had downloaded. The organization seeks “to save the lives of our youth by enabling them to have moral courage to do the right thing no matter how hard it may be and to accomplish this by providing and supporting committed volunteers, coordinating community education, and teaching them that the first life they must save is their own.

I must give credit to God for my healing and survival. It was only after I released my pain, disappointment, grief, shame… sense of injustice… and “let go and let God,” as they say, that my life made the change it has. I had accept that the past is something I can do NOTHING about, and throw off the binds that kept me opressed. I stepped out of the darkness of bitterness and despair and into the light of hope and love. What happened is in the past and I have no control of it, but what I do today and tomorrow is completely within my power.

After a lifetime of having my identity dependant upon having a man in my life, and having never learned how to relate t guys without sex, I made a vow to myself not to date for 5 years… until after my 35th birthday. In that time I finished college, getting a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministry, and I learned who I was. What I wanted and didn’t want in life. I learned to be comfortable within my own skin.

Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten” is a great song to make the point that I am not limited by my past, but that my future is entirely in my hands… “the pen’s in my hand.” BUT, the version of this song that would be on MYsoundtrack is Team Lachey’s version of “Unwritten” from NBC’s “Clash of the Choirs”. Hometown, everyday singers had a chance to be part of a choir directed by different professional singers from that town (Team Lachey was directed by Cincinnati native Nick Lachey). Gotta love that!

Well, I celebrated my 35th birthday last June, and met my boyfriend at the beginning of September. It’s all post Twilight series, lol, and new and different… and absolutely terrifying. I learned to be by myself and became quite comfortable and good at it. No heartbreaks or hurt feelings to contend with. No worries of his nefarious motives… why does he want a single mom with teenage daughters? >… paranoia sets in …< and I’m finding two songs being the major lyrical voice of my life at the moment: “The Rose” by Janis Joplin

because I am finding it hard to get past fears and previous heartbreak… it would almost be easier to just go back to my shell and turtle in, except I would be missing him.

Everything with him is completely new and unlike anything I’ve ever known. Whereas in past relationships the other person always wound me even tighter than I already was, he calms me.. and not just me, but the kids and even the dog… and she’s a rat terrier (hyper doesn’t even begin to cover it!). We think so much alike, that if I want to know what he would think about something, I only have to think how I feel about it and it’s almost always right.

But the voices of doubt and fear still hang out and whisper in my ears, trying to keep me from becoming attached to and loving him. Just when I had given up on ever having a “love life” again, I met him. He gets through when no one else, not even family, has ever been able to.

Because of all that, the last song in my soundtrack (at least for now 😀 ) is “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis.

So, what would be the soundtrack of yourlife? What song describes who you are or where you’re at in life right now? Leave it in the comments, or better yet, blog the meme on your spot and leave the link in the comments here 😀

I’m looking forward to your songs 😉