Category Archives: videos

New year, new “Chucks”, new me

The new year is starting out very well.  I feel I have a good grasp on homeschooling eighth grade. We are now in our eighth year.  I think homeschooling into high school won’t be a challenge.  The challenge is to get my now 14-year-old son to think about something other than playing Minecraft on the computer.  I shouldn’t be discouraged, he does well, he volunteers at the local science museum and humane society once a week.   He’s really a good kid.  People ask me all the time, “What is he going to do about college? Will you homeschool college?”  I reply with, “Homeschool college?  Are you crazy?  No, I won’t homeschool college. Did you think about college in eighth grade? Good grief!  Let the boy enjoy his middle school and high school years. There will be time for college.  I never thought about college until my senior year of high school!”  Okay, maybe I don’t say all of that, but I sure do think it, and then some–

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My birthday was a couple of days ago. I turned forty-two years old. Yeah, that’s right–I’m forty-two years old. I know, I can’t believe it either!  I am not going to question this unexplainable youthful feeling I have.  Maybe it’s from yoga. Wherever it comes from, I embraced it and I ordered a pair of orchid Converse Chucks.  They look like this.

Why do I feel the need to define my “youth” by wearing some Chucks? I don’t really know. Maybe because it’s fun. Maybe I’m in denial about getting older. The truth is, I’ll probably look ridiculous, but I don’t care.  I do have my limits.  There will never be any skinny jeans in my wardrobe.  I draw the line there.

Some of my friends and family say I don’t look forty-two, I certainly don’t act forty-two.  How does a forty-two year old mom act?  Does she listen to Dinosaur Jr?  Religiously?  I doubt it.  I’m still obsessed with J Mascis. There–I said it.  No worries, my husband knows all about it.  He isn’t jealous.  He thinks it’s kind of funny.  He knows how I am and accepts me.  I know I’m not like any other forty-ish year old moms I know. My husband knows it, too.

Here in North Carolina, one would think it was already spring.  Last winter was mild, and this winter is feeling about the same.  In fact, the warmer temperatures have allowed some trees to bloom early.

Flowering tree

There was a small amount of snowfall in our area a couple of days ago.  The blanket of snow was nice to see on my birthday. Wish I could have seen this tree with snow on its blooms.

There isn’t much else to tell, other than I can say I am in a much better place than I was a year ago.  This time last year was horrible for me, and I never want to experience what I experienced ever again. Depression. Confusion. Anxiety that crippled me for weeks on end.  If you have ever felt real anxiety, you know how awful and scary it feels.  That tightness in your chest, the dreadful unhappiness, loss of appetite, and insomnia.  I lived on supplements like passion-flower during the day and valerian root at night to ease the symptoms of anxiety.  It helped only a little.  I couldn’t focus on homeschooling, chores, my home, or my life. I disappeared from blogging for a while and tried to get myself together.  I wanted to disappear all together, but I hung in there.  It took me several months, but I finally did it.  With that said, I’ll share a video of  Dinosaur Jr., of course.  J’s acoustical version in the studio is awesome!

But if you want to rock it out, listen to the original version:

Enough of my rambling. I’m just glad happy to be me again. Thanks for reading my blog.   🙂

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What’s happenin’

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My workspace

I’m back! Briefly –haha.  Much has happened since the summer. I’ll do my best to recap. Here it goes…

1. In August, we enrolled our son in a private school and he didn’t like it. It appears homeschoolers just can’t hack 12+ hour days of the drudge of traditional school life.  In fact, he missed having a life.  Yes, a 13-year-old can have a life outside of school, I guess.  There was no sense in paying a tuition when your child is miserable.  So, we went back to homeschooling.  He was there for only a couple of weeks. I suppose when you know something is wrong for you, it doesn’t take you long to figure it out.

2. During the summer months, I prepared a lengthy application to request a grant from my local arts council for a ceramic kiln.  In October, they finally notified me with their decision to not fund me the grant. Poo. 😦 Sure, I was disappointed, but life is full of disappointments.  So, I moved forward.  I found another great pottery studio to work in.  I’m excited to have a whole new experience in a new location.

3.  Yoga is a new passion of mine.  I practice it at a studio four times a week, and I. LOVE. IT.  Enough said. 🙂

4. Lastly, I will spill a little secret. I am a HUGE Dinosaur Jr. fan, and have forever adored J Mascis.  I had not seen them in concert since October 21, 1994, so I was super psyched to finally attend a concert after 18 years. They really rock!  If you are interested in seeing the performance I recorded and/or my photographs, feel free to click on the following links.

Dinosaur Jr. performing “The Lung” live.

Pics of the concert on Flickr.

And yes, I was the ONLY 40+ year-old woman at the stage!  I didn’t care.  I deserved it. 🙂

I miss my blogging friends.  I hope everyone is well.  I’ll try to check out everyone’s blog soon.

Now, back to juggling my life.  See ya’!

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Me – aka: potter/groupie

There’s so much guilt one has when they have a blog and don’t post anything regularly.  I’m not one of those people.  Yeah, right.

It seems that no matter how hard I try to devote time to my blog, I always get preoccupied with other things.  There are at least four drafts that are saved that I have never finished.  I don’t think I’m alone with this type of “problem”, but that’s still no excuse – I know.  So, for a treat I’ve included an exclusive video.  It will appear at the end, but don’t scroll down and jump ahead.  That’s cheating.  There’s more to read first.

A few weeks ago, I picked up a batch of freshly glazed ceramics from the pottery studio, but I haven’t been able to photograph everything. Here’s a sneak peek.  Sorry, it’s just one photo, but I promise there will be more to come.

This is a stretched out textured hand-built tray I made.  The inspiration came from this video.

Here I am working on the wheel.  *Hint*  Keep reading.

On April 12, my husband and I did something very unique and exciting.  We are sort of reinventing ourselves – by going to a concert! Ha! We had not been to a concert together since Dinosaur Jr. in 1994.  The two bands we saw were incredible, DeVotchKa and The Magnetic Fields.  Only recently did I become a fan of both bands, and I did my homework.  Within only a few months, I researched each band and the members, acquired as many albums as I found available, and memorized most of their songs.  Yes, SIR-REE!.  I crammed like I was cramming for finals in college.  I’m a hard-core fan now.  I even have proof.  Check out The Magnetic Fields tour blog at this link.  Scroll down through their post about day two in Chapel Hill, and you will see me wearing an owl t-shirt.  I think Stephin Merritt likes owls.

To further prove my fandom, below are some photos I took.

The opening band was DeVotchKa.  Nick Urata is singing and Tom Hagerman is in the background.  They are playing “The Clockwise Witness”.  Awesome song!

Shawn King played drums and trumpet.  Their performance was an acoustical set, but Shawn played a drum machine.  DeVotchKa wouldn’t have sounded the same without the percussion.

Next, is DeVotchKa’s set list.   I didn’t snatch it. David (a guy we met) gets all the credit for his quick thinking to grab it before someone else did.  Good thing I thought quickly and asked to get a photo of it.

Finally, The Magnetic Fields and Stephin Merritt with one of his four kazoos.  He is a genius with those unusual instruments.  Oh, and you guessed correctly.  I am directly in front of him.  Lucky me!   

Another photo of Stephin singing one of my favorite songs, “Andrew in Drag” from their new album, Love at the Bottom of the Sea.   The lyrics to the song will raise some eyebrows, but I love to hear him sing it.  I enjoy hearing it played acoustical, but the original version is my favorite.  As a warning, there’s a viewer’s discretion when watching the official video.  Regardless of the video, the song has such a catchy tune and lyrics, I bet you’ll go around singing it in your head, too.   Just be careful of who hears you. There have been worse songs written and sung.  Right? 😉

The other TMF musicians left to right: Shirley Simms, John Woo, and cellist Sam Davol.  Not pictured: Claudia Gonson.

Well, here’s Claudia.  She was too far away, but I captured her head above the piano.   Tom Hagerman of DeVotchKa, came out during the encore to perform “Love is Like Jazz” with TMF.

Now, if by chance you are still reading and have fourteen minutes with nothing to do, you can view me throwing on the potter’s wheel.  Surprise!

I’m not sure why I taped myself.  It was either because I could or in some way critique myself later.  I’ve never watched myself throw before.  Anyhow, you’ll find it either fascinating, boring, or fascinatingly boring.

Thanks for watching.

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Tammy, Interrupted

Hello? Is there anyone out there who remembers me?  Dang it!  Where did everyone go?

Oh! I guess it was me who disappeared. Ooops.

Sorry for the loooong absence, but I’ve been preoccupied with all those things that life can throw at you.  And life threw me a BIG ONE!

What is it that people say?  Never say never?  Well, such is the case…never say never.

Anyway, I am mending–slowly, but surely.  Hang in there with me and I might just write a post someday.  Maybe sooner than you (or I) think!

Back in March, I returned to work at the pottery studio.  I’ll pick up my recent work this week.  Seeing the results of the glaze firing always makes me anxious, but if the pieces are decent *fingers crossed*, I’ll post the results.

In the meantime, here is a song I will leave with you by The Magnetic Fields.

I plan to see them in concert next week.  Perhaps that will give me a reason to write another post…

Oh, the pressure!

We’ll see.

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The Tesserae turns 3!

Thank you to Teena in Toronto for wishing me a Happy Blogoversary!  That was so very nice of her!  I knew it was coming up, but somehow, I completely forgot all about it.

It is hard for me to believe that I am still blogging after three years.  Time goes by so fast, and yet, there aren’t enough hours in the week to post something…weekly.

I need to get my priorities straight.

For this special blogoversary post, I’ll share something personal that I’ve been interested in for the past two days (perhaps my preoccupation is responsible for missing my blogoversary).

Back in the mid 80’s, someone introduced  The Church to me.  Not the church, but the alternative rock band from Australia.  I listened to them religiously (pun) throughout my school years and college, and in 1990, I finally saw them perform.  Seeing their performance was one of the most amazing moments in my life, one that I have never forgotten.

Just yesterday, I was longing to hear some of their music, but I only had a few of their older songs.  Searching through the Internet, I was able to find a few of their earlier albums, Heyday and Seance. I spent the entire day listening to their older tunes and reminiscing about my youth at the ages of  fourteen and fifteen years old.

While searching for The Church’s music, I came across some concert footage of them on YouTube.  To my astonishment, I found an upload of the EXACT same performance I had attended back 1990!  I was only nineteen years old at the time.  Like I mentioned, those memories of seeing The Church perform have always stayed with me.  Now, to see some of it on YouTube 21 years later…well, it’s one of the most exciting things I have experienced lately.  Thanks to kurt2112, my memories now have a visual reference.  I just hope he doesn’t decide to one day remove those uploads from YouTube.

The video clip is of The Church when they performed in Raleigh, NC.  Their opening number was “Pharaoh”.  I remember that opening so well, and it gives me chills to finally be able to see it again – after all this time.

And OH MY!  Marty Willson-Piper was soooo HOT!  That’s the nineteen year-old Tammy talking. ;-).

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