Crazy Heart aka Heather’s Latest Obsession

I finally watched the movie “Crazy Heart” last night. I hadn’t been avoiding it. It was out at a busy time for me and I just didn’t get around to seeing it in the theater. However, I will undoubtedly make up for missing it in the theater by purchasing it and watching it over and over and over and over again in the comfort of my home.

So much of my life is tied to pop culture and such. So many songs reflected my experiences or encouraged me to go after new experiences. So many movies created a reality that was anything but real. But this movie, these 111 minutes, created a world that is both all to familiar and so so so out of reach.

To me, this was a collection of stories that had enough overlapping to create a cohesive film. I cannot deal with them as a whole, but must deconstruct them in order to give each part it’s due.

Part 1: Pick Up Bands

We first find Bad Blake driving down an endless highway in a brokedown but reliable suburban. He pulls into a parking lot of a bowling alley and his whole story can be summed up in him stumbling out of his vehicle, belt undone, looking for a whiskey. In the biggest slap imaginable for a traveling musician….he doesn’t have a bar tab. Once a musician starts buying their own drinks, it’s a slippery slope. It doesn’t matter if they are playing a bowling alley or an arena, a musician should never have to buy their own whiskey…..

After that humiliation, Bad takes to his complimentary room in the local motor lodge with a bottle of whiskey (given to him by a benevolent liquor store owner) and spends some time drinking. In general, Bad spends a lot of time drinking. This is a habit that usually makes me cringe, but for Bad and other guitar slinging wordsmiths of his ilk…..it’s ok. A knock at the door brings notice of his band for the evening (the leader of which is Ryan Bingham who is now an Oscar winner and once asked me to sneak him into the VIP section of a club so he could get free beer—-musicians DO NOT buy their own drinks!!!) The concept of a pick up band is a true mystery to me. So many of the bands I love, I love because of the intense camaraderie and how the music flows from them as a group, not a collection of individuals. But the pick up band has to not only play the notes, but not let the crowd know that they just learned the songs and perhaps don’t even know the person they are playing behind. They are not bogged down with rehearsal and history, they simply are magicians and play their hearts out for little to no recognition. I can’t decide who has it harder, the person playing with a pick up band behind them or the pick up band themselves. Regardless, I love both of these pieces of the quilt that is  music……

Part 2: Stardom, or lack thereof

I never really got the impression that Bad Blake wanted to be a star. He had some success “back in the day” but it was fleeting. I think he wanted to get his whiskey for free and know that he wouldn’t have to sleep alone if he didn’t want to. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t seem to begrudge others (Tommy Sweet) theirs. For a good portion of the movie I thought that perhaps Tommy was Bad’s son. While I was wrong from a genetic standpoint, he was most definitely the closest thing Bad had to an offspring that he actually raised. I can imagine a young Tommy soaking up all Bad had to offer and Bad lapping up the attention. But when the tables turned and Bad needed Tommy more then Tommy needed Bad, I bet the whiskey tab went sky high. Tommy owed Bad a lot, and in Bad’s mind, that was a debt that might never be sufficiently repaid. Tommy tried, as much as any successful musician can try. In the end it seemed like things worked out and Bad was a bit closer to being the star he never wanted to be.

Part 3: The Songs

Songwriters are the most magical of musicians. String as few words together as possible, but tell the best stories ever. Some songwriters sit in rooms with other writers and plug away at proven formulas. These are not the magicians. The magicians are the ones who strum a guitar and words and phrases come from some mystical place. I’ve watched songs be birthed this way….and it is as miraculous as any birth can be. Which brings me to the part of this movie that is sticking with me….

Part 4: The Love(?) Story

I have been in this situation. A grungy backstage area. A bottle of whiskey. A crappy couch. A great conversation. A life changing moment that never is far from the front of my memory. The topic of the conversation is unimportant. It’s what isn’t being said. It’s the body language. The uncontrollable smiles. It’s heaven on Earth for a certain group of us. This scene made me smile to myself and swear that I would start going out to see music again. But then, there was a scene that broke my heart. Bad is at Jean’s house recovering from a car wreck and he starts writing a song. He starts writing a GREAT song. This kills Jean because she knows that this moment is incredibly important for her, but just another moment to Bad. Not only does she know this….but she expresses it to him. She calls him on his life, but not in anger or judgment, but in the anguish she feels at that moment and the anguish she knows she will feel later. So many moments are core shaking to one participant and the status quo for the other….and this fact has broken my heart more times then I care to recall.

I could go on and on and on about this movie. I could ask questions like “Why does he have a white hat on when he leaves the “groupie” in Clovis, NM?” “Why can he make biscuits so well?” etc….etc….etc…..but sometimes the joy in in the not knowing.

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We make plans, God laughs…

….or something like that.

When I think back to when I was a little girl, I recall having some very clear ideas of how life would be for me when I was a “grown up.” I don’t remember exact details anymore…but I know that I figured my twenties would be filled with finding the man I would marry and possibly start on our little family. By my thirties I would have a couple of kids, a great job that fulfilled me intellectually and also allowed me plenty of time to spend with my family. I probably assumed that I would have a house, mostly as a result of my husband’s income.

Here I am, 36. Single. Mother to a wonderful cat and a silly dog. Owner of my first home.

It should be noted that the flamingos are gone.

I love my little house. Each day I become more and more excited about it. I can’t wait to get my stuff in it. To put my art on the walls. To have lazy mornings sitting on the back porch watching Noodle run around. To have all night Wii tournaments. To plant things in my flower beds. To look for special items to decorate my home and make it so much more then just where I live, but where I thrive.

Living in Southern California for as long as I did, I never thought homeownership was much of a possibility. The real estate market of Nashville changed all that. Affordable homes. Established neighborhoods. Yards. All within my reach. Many people thought I should get a condo so I didn’t have to worry as much about maintenance, etc….but for me, a condo was an apartment with a tax break. I would much rather no longer share walls with my neighbors. I have lived in multi-family dwellings of some sort for 90% of my life. If I was going to make a huge financial investment, I was going to buy a house.

So buy a house I did. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a big ‘ol backyard, a huge storage shed, a little deck begging for patio drinks. A great place for me to bloom.  I have always been one to “bloom where I was planted.” Lots of moving around during childhood had me getting replanted many times….but I tried to always make the best of it. Now, and for the past 10 years, I have been choosing my spots in the garden of life. But I have always just chosen nice “pots”….temporary places that weren’t really mine and I wasn’t ultimately responsible for. No more. I am planting myself and letting my roots grow deep.

And I couldn’t be more excited about it if I tried!

Somewhere in Time

If there is anything that could get me blogging again it’s Reckless Kelly.

Sure…I could talk about how I got laid off, had a nice long summer vacation, then got a GREAT new job and am in the process of buying my first house. But who wants to hear about that?

The official release date is 2/9, but I got mine yesterday (thank you pre-order Gods!) and I have been listening to it constantly!!! It’s much more “honky tonk” then their previous records, but who couldn’t use some more honky tonk in their lives? Listening to this collection of songs just begs for an outdoor music festival, ideally in Texas, where the weather is hot as hell, but there are buckets of iced down Shiner Bock to cool you off. And really, who cares if it’s hot? It’s Texas…it’s suppossed to be!

I could go on and on and on about this CD….and probably will in other forums. But here is a little video the fellas put together to whet your appetite for this momentous occasion!!

Open Casting Call

That’s right folks, I’m looking for a co-star in this ridiculousness that is my little world.  I’ve had some nice guest stars, recurring and one time only, some remarkable cameos too. But, I feel it is time to work on a more permanent addition to my ensemble cast.

First off, I’m looking for a male. Although, I should mention that there are always parts for females, just not the co-star role.

Age range: 25-40 (quite a range, huh!  but I’m leaving myself open. The higher end of this range is uncharted territory for me.  I’ve been dating boys in their mid-twenties since I was 16, but I’m willing to see how the other side lives. )

Physical Traits: nothing too specific here.  Prefer dark hair, ideally quite short or shaved. Eye color is negotiable, although dark eyes and blue eyes melt my butter. Strong arms preferred. Must be taller then 5’8″—to avoid upsetting shoe choices for me.

Style: Jeans and t-shirts are best.  Camo cargo shorts and a white t-shirt is a lovely summer look to me. Must be willing to wear a jacket, suit, khakis, etc as the need arises (which would be minimal).

Accessories: baseball cap, cowboy hat, guitar(or other stringed instrument), tattoos…..all of those will be not only accepted but will definitely get bonus points.

Mandatory: passion for something (ideally me, but that can come later) Music would be good, NASCAR would be bad….I’m just saying.  Must love dogs, at least my dog. Must deal with cats, at least my cats.  Must be willing and able to talk and listen, as well as say nothing. Must be somewhat financially stable (poor and needy used to be cute, it no longer is).  Must understand that I have guy friends, who mean the world to me. Must also understand that I have girl friends, who I sometimes MUST spend time with.

So, that pretty much covers it. I mean, really I could go on forever. Things like “no necklaces” come to mind….but it’s not a deal breaker. “Adaptibility” also springs to mind, but if you have made it through life without being adaptable, well, godspeed with that. Plus, lacking the ability to adapt would probably take you out of the casting pool anyway.

Recommendations welcome. The pay scale isn’t high, monetarily, but I’ve got other things to give. Take that however…. 🙂

It’s finally happening….

…..and I’m not sure how I feel about it.

I do believe that I am growing up.

I know, I know, it’s sad.

I went to Cali for Christmas this year. Will probably be the last Christmas I spend there (but I promise not my last time to go there—PROMISE!) and I had intentions of doing all kinds of “LA” things while there. What did I end up doing? Not much, not much at all. Was it a good time? HELL YES! I got to spend lots of time with my girls and my mom and my dog. Ate good food. Watched Degrassi: the next generation. Played my new wii.Not big time crazy partying, but oh so much better!

For the record, Michelle and I DID go to Vegas for about 24 hours and it was amazing! We had a lot of fun, drank not a single cocktail (but lots of Starbucks!) and visited the busiest In-n-Out I have EVER witnessed.  But it wasn’t the Vegas of my past. Sleeping on slot machines because we didn’t want to “waste money” on a room….not so much.  Planning our play to maximize our free cocktails…nope.  But it was soooo fun!

It is this type of thing that makes me pretty sure I’m growing up. No longer is my life about doing as much as I can, it is now about doing things that I like to do with the people I love to spend time with. I had as much fun watching little Jamie play with Noodle as I ever had dancing the night away in a drunken stupor at a club in West Hollywood.

Growing up isn’t what I thought it would be. Really, few things in life have been what I thought they would be. However, growing up may be better. I don’t really care what people think about me spending most nights at home watching TLC. An afternoon at the dog park is one of my favorite activities (and no hangover!) I hang with the people I love and who love me and try to not waste my time with those who I have lukewarm feelings about.

It’s kinda cool…..I think.

For what it’s worth, I DID drink myself silly on NYE. I admit it, my grown up state isn’t completely permanent yet. But it was NYE, I was easily 10 years older then most of the people I was with. I had champagne with a bright pink label and ballet shoes on it. We were listening to NSYNC.  It had to be done.

Viva 2009. I think it’s going to be a good one 🙂

I just can’t seem to let it go.

In the United States at the end of 2001, 10% of the population owned 71% of the wealth, and the top 1% controlled 38%. On the other hand, the bottom 40% owned less than 1% of the nation’s wealth.

I am not a socialist and do not think that wealth should be distributed equally…..but if 1% of the population controls over 1/3 of the nation’s wealth, you better be damned sure that they should pay more money…it’s simple math.

If I make $10,000 and pay 10% in taxes, I pay $1,000 in taxes.

If I make $1,000,000 and pay 10% in taxes, I pay $100,000 in taxes.

I am not more burdened by taxes if I make $100,000.

 

Oh—and the government isn’t going to steal your bike.  Taxes are a responsibility that goes along with the privilege of being an American.  If the Conservatives hate taxes so much—what is it they love to say, “Love it or leave it.”

(p.s.–I don’t believe that love it or leave it is in anyway a valid argument for anything, I just like to use people’s words against them. It’s how I roll.)

I’ve got a secret

Confession time.

This could be a shock to some. But probably not to anyone who reads this.

I’m a …………..LIBERAL.

I would say Democrat, but I think the two party system is divisiveand antiquated. But Liberal I’m fine with. However, I keep this under wraps a lot of the time. If I don’t know someone’s opinions on things, I won’t bring up possibly controversial topics. It’s the Mid-westerner in me, don’t like to ruffle feathers. If I know we don’t share views on politics, I don’t feel the need to talk about it. Nothing either one of us is going to say is going to change the other person’s mind…not at this point.

Perhaps it’s just my perception, but I feel like Conservatives/Republicans are more free with sharing their opinions. But maybe it is simply another language phenomenon, such as when people speak in a foreign language, it sounds so much louder.

I love America, but like many of the things, people, etc…that I love, it’s got problems. Admitting those problems and wanting to fix them does not make me less patriotic. I think America is an amazing place to live, but I don’t think that others who don’t live here are less then as a result. I am proud and fortunate to have been born in America, but understand that most of the advantages to living here are a result of the hard work of those who weren’t born here. 

I believe in freedom, but I know it’s anything but free. That said, I would like to see the country be concerned about the freedom of OUR citizens, not those of other countries. I want our military home, and not just because I like to look at military boys, but because I hate the idea of people dying for something that no one really understands and is completely unjustified.

I believe in love. I believe that anyone who is fortunate enough to find love in their life with someone they want to spend the rest of their life with should be able to do so and reap the benefits that come with that, even if it’s just social acceptance and being able to be in a hospital room with your loved one.

I believe in choice and have an almost impossible time understanding how anyone can think that “choice” is a dirty word. Every person should have control of what they do with their body. I’m not talking about abortion exclusively, although safe and legal abortions are crucial, I’m talking about choice as to what I can do at any time to my body. I fear that if the government feels it can tell me that I can’t end a pregnancy, it will tell me that I can’t try a experimental drug or get birth control because I’m single and shouldn’t be having sex. It’s a slippery slope….and my balance isn’t good.

I believe in America. I believe that we are a country of dreamers. I believe that we are a country of folks who can get things done. But I mostly believe we are a country that can, and most importantly SHOULD, embrace change. Wouldn’t we all rather be the kid on the playground who is popular for being nice, not feared? I would…but then again, popularity is something I’ve always wanted. We Americans are like that.

Strange New Obsession

So, I’m obsessed with a girl. It’s weird. She looks so familiar, yet so foreign. I have questions for her. I want to be her. I think she seems like a cool person. She looks so confident and carefree and, dare I say, pretty.

Would you like to see her?  Well, here ya go:

Ok, so it’s me. But is it really? It’s a random self portrait taken while wearing little make-up, having a bad hair day and nursing a bit of a sunburn. But with some color correction and artful cropping, she’s this beautiful thing. Sure, it’s totally narcissistic to say that a photo of myself is beautiful, but in this case it’s ok. See, I feel completely removed from the person in this photo. I can’t make this girl correspond with the person in the mirror. If there were special glasses I could hand out that made it so people saw me like this girl, I’d go back into debt to buy them. I’d hand them out to all the boys who don’t see me as anything but a friend (when I would like it to be more). I’d give them to the girls who would never think of me as competition for the attention of men. I’d keep a pair for myself for those days, and there are many, where I think I am anything but attractive.

While waiting for such glasses to be produced, what can I do? How can I translate the confidence I see in this picture to my world? How to I get others to see me more like this picture and less like whatever it is they see me as. How do I survive in a world where color correction and artful cropping just aren’t always available?

An Open Letter to Boys

Here’s some insight into the fairer sex.

WE TALK!!! A LOT. About other people. Not disparagingly, just and exchange of information. Gossip isn’t bad, it is merely a rumor or report of an intimate nature. It only has the power that is given to it by responding to it in a grand manner.

If you tell us something that you don’t want anyone else to know, make sure we understand that. In addition to talking a lot, we are good listeners and respect others greatly and are often times loyal to a fault. If we tease you about something you have told us, it’s just that.. TEASING! We do it out of love.

The less secrets that are out there, the better the world will be in general. And really, if you told one person, is it really a secret?