Tag Archives: playlist

Queen + Adam Lambert

I believe it was 1977 when I first heard Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody playing on the radio.  I know the song was released earlier, but this is from my ancient memory banks.  My mother had a pink T-bird in 1977 (I kid you not); we used to cruise around Tucson and that song would come on all the time. The funny thing is Mom loved it. So at the ripe old age of 10, I was instantly in love with Queen and all things Freddie.

In and around 1980 when I was 12, I bought the piano sheet music to Bohemian Rhapsody so I could get to work on perfecting it.  It took me 10 years or more, but I managed to master it to the best of my ability.  If you’ve ever played any Queen music… on a musical instrument… you understand.  Freddie did not compose easy music.  And I am not an accomplished musician.

When I was 14, my father bought my sister and I a stereo for Christmas along with a couple of vinyl albums to get us started, one of which was Queen. Ahhh, that opened a whole new world to us by way of music. Money allowing for a teenager, I eventually owned everything Queen.

(By the way… July 3rd is my father’s birthday… he would’ve been 88 today!  Happy Birthday Dad!)

Fast forward to 1991 when devastation hit and Freddie died.  Gone were my chances of ever seeing Queen live in concert…

But then… enter Adam Lambert some 20 years later.  Brian May and Roger Taylor (the remaining members of Queen) for whatever reason took a chance on this kid to bring Queen back to life and give fans what they wanted… one last shot to see and hear their music.  And wow, I have to say, Adam rocked the house.

 

Adam doesn’t try to personalize Queen’s songs.  He sings them as Freddie would have sung them of which I was very appreciative.  And he sings them well.  Dr. Brian May still managed to make that guitar come to life just as he did 40 years ago, and Roger Taylor… well, how he doesn’t manage to lose 5 pounds every night from the workout he gets with every show is beyond me. The older boys definitely still have it!!

I can count at least 3 times during the show when I become so overwhelmed with emotion that tears flowed, as did the entire audience.  One moment in particular was during Love Of My Life. Brian sat down with his acoustic guitar and sang the song as Freddie would have, and towards the end, Freddie appeared on the big screen with Brian and took over the singing… then walked off at the end of the song as Brian waved goodbye.

Another tear jerker was when Adam sang Who Wants To Live Forever

By the by, Adam has a new single out, Two Fux.  I’m thinking this is one we will never hear on the radio, but he sang it during the concert and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  He deserves recognition for that catchy little tune and I will definitely be adding it to my playlist.

It was an amazing time.  This is one show I would see over and over again if I could, so if you love Queen and ever get the chance, do go see it.  You will not be disappointed.

Back To Normal

When I last left off, I had just finished a half-marathon and was mentally preparing myself for a hike the next day.  I’m happy to say that the hike didn’t happen as my legs were angry enough with me as it was.  We did, however, go up to Hurricane Ridge to check out the views.

There was lots of snow (yes, that’s my 12-year-old son dwarfing his grandmother and father):

Lots of wildlife:

A clear view of Mt. Baker, 180 miles away:

And lots of trees:

I even got to try the infamous Starbucks Mint Frappacino (it was heavenly and I earned it) while the boys had quite a bit of fun goofing around with the outback hats:

The view of Port Angeles at the base of the Olympics:

But alas, all good things and all holidays must eventually come to an end.  My mother-in-law went back to the Motherland this past Saturday… but not before we went out to dinner to celebrate both our milestone birthdays this year (we split this delicious morsel 3 ways):

And today was business as usual, or Week 0 Day 1 of marathon training, to which I went out and completed 5 miles plus 1.  James is still hurt, but he’s in the process of formulating my training plan as I write this.  He’s such a good sport.  He actually just gave me a breakdown of my long runs for August and September, including (but not limited to) the 2 back-to-back half-marathons I’m signed up for, preceded and followed by those gnarly 20-mile runs…  dear, oh dear, let the games begin…

Have a fabulous week!!

A Smidge of an Update

Downtown River Run in Reno

I’m not going to write a big recap about this race.  Just know it was hard.  Probably the hardest 10K I’ve ever completed.  Because of Reno’s higher elevation, I couldn’t catch my breath after the first mile (this happened in SLC as well, after mile 6).  James also spent most of his race in the Red Zone because of the lack of oxygen.  But that’s not important.  We went, ran a hard race, and had a fabulous time.

The Whole 30

A couple of weeks ago, I had looked into The Whole 30 food program.  Have you heard of it? Basically for 30 days, you eat nothing but whole foods, nothing processed and nothing with sugar.  I get that it’s a variant of the low-carb craze, but really not so much.  Potatoes are whole foods, pulled right out of the ground, so they work (but they don’t work in the low-carb diets).

The premise is to detox your body from all the food processing that goes on, and then slowly reintroduce foods back into your diet to see how your body reacts.  If a certain food doesn’t make you feel so good, then guess what!  You don’t eat that food no mo’!  I needed something to get me off all of the sweets, desserts, and chips I’d been getting in the habit of eating recently, so enter The Whole 30 program.

I had the start date written on the calendar and was 100% mentally prepared.  The mental part is important.  Your brain can talk you out of anything if you let it.  I started May 2nd, so I’ve been on it a whole 2 days now.  The cravings of chocolate and chips are strong, but I shut those thoughts down by asking myself, “Am I hungry enough to eat a plate of spinach?”  If the answer is no, I drink water.  If the answer is yes, then I eat something I’ve prepared in advance so I do not fail and give in.  Again, it’s only been 2 days, but I’m hoping that I will remain strong for the entire 30 days.  Okay, not hoping, I WILL remain strong for the entire 30 days.

The foods I’ll miss and crave most are oatmeal and peanut butter, every single form of chocolate, cookie and cake, chocolate milk (I already said chocolate, didn’t I), cheese, nuts, and chips/crisps.  For my pre-run carb load, it will be a baked potato with clarified butter, although I haven’t figured out how I’m going to fuel in the middle of my long runs yet.  Maybe I can make some banana mash, place it in a baggie, and I’ll have my own GU minus all the added sugar.  I don’t know.  (For those who don’t know, GU is a nasty gel a lot of runners are forced to consume in the midst of a long run to keep their energy levels up.)

Mmmm, tastes just like bacon!!

I’ve also had to give up my morning, mid-day, and afternoon cups of tea as I use sweetener.  I now start my day with a nice cold glass of iced tea.  Super glad it’s warming up or I’d be missing my cup of hot chocolate too!  (Seeeee!  Wayyy too much chocolate!!  It’s a good thing I don’t drink soda or I’d be hurtin’ for certain!)

My other goal during this time is to do something 6 days a week, not just on scheduled run days. Yesterday I ran.  Today I was supposed to go for a bike ride, but the heavens opened up and gave us a storm from hell, so I did nothing.  A minor set-back… I’ll start again tomorrow as I’m scheduled for another 3 miles.  (And for those who are anal about their numbers… yes, I should’ve ran around until my watch said 3.1.)

And finally…

The child is having a great time in Hawaii without his parents.  Am I the only one who thinks this is completely unfair?!!

I’ll leave you now with a song for MMM… this came on during my race in Reno.  Oh the irony.  “Sucker for Pain.”  Yes indeedy.

Have a happy weekend!!

Shape of You

James has posted his weekly update and MMM song over at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest, so it’s time for me to follow suit.

Ed Sheeran… know this guy?  He’s tearing up the charts worldwide right now.  He recently released his latest album, ÷ (Divide), and in the UK, he currently occupies 9 of the top 10 spots on the Billboard Top 100.  I’m not quite sure how they configure this… maybe it’s the top downloads for the week, and as his album was just released, that would make sense. Regardless, the number one song in the world is “Shape Of You.”

Have you heard it yet?  Probably, yes.  Overplayed?  Definitely, yes.  A great tune? Without a doubt.  It’s also my song choice of the week.

While the song itself has nothing to do with shapes or sizes of bodies, the words “I’m in love with the shape of you” are powerful… especially in this day and age of Photoshop and body shaming.  Which makes me love the song all the more.

  • Are you enjoying Ed Sheeran’s new album?
  • Do you think “Shape Of You” is overplayed?
  • What’s your favorite song this week?

Oh No! I’m Late!!

… for Motivational Music Monday, that is!  Sheesh, what were you thinking?!

But first, a small update…

Snow… it won’t stop.  This happened last Monday:

And this happened the Monday before that:

I’m really kind of done with winter.  Even our red-tailed hawk at work has been none too impressed… she’s looking a bit cranky these days:

However… cold weather and all, James kicked ass at his race last weekend; the sun even came out for a couple of hours while he ran (he was so lucky to have sun)!  It seems I barely had enough time to get to the finish line before he crossed.  I see him work incredibly hard to get his speed up, and while he didn’t PR, he was close to it.  He’s not convinced he’ll PR in Reno because of the course and elevation (Reno is where our next big race is), but I disagree with him.  I think he has a good chance in spite of the course and elevation.

Okay… now onto MMM…

Are you familiar with Erasure?  They aren’t as big in the US as they have been in the UK.  I was surprised to learn that from 1986 to 2007, they achieved 24 consecutive top 40 hits in the UK. As well, 34 of their 45 singles and EPs have made the UK Top 40, with 17 of them climbing into the top 10 in the UK.  The only song of theirs to chart in France was “Oh L’Amour.”  To date, they have sold over 25 million albums worldwide.

All that being said, I am familiar with only two of their songs, the following being my favorite. This is one that has stood the test of time for me, so it ranks way up there.  It has a constant beat so it’s super great to run to.  If you don’t know it, take a listen.  You may have just found your new favorite song to run to.

So tell me…

  • Have you heard of Erasure?
  • If so, what’s your favorite song by them?
  • Do you have a favorite song this week that James needs to add to his MMM list?

We’re heading to a new area for long-run Sunday and hoping to meet up with a fellow blogger. I will let you know how/if that goes.  Regardless… we’re going to have new territory and a new trail to explore.  I’m actually looking forward to it, because it won’t be snowing!! Happy Sunday my friends!

En Vogue

Way back when, late ’80s/early ’90s, I lived in the University of Arizona district in Tucson.  I walked everywhere.  To and from work, I walked.  Restaurants, stores, I walked.  Even in the midst of the summer heat (one time in 117 degrees F), I walked. And I never went anywhere without my Walkman (for cassette tapes) or my Discman (for CDs).  I was always plugged into music and had favorite groups I would listen to over and over again. En Vogue was one of those groups.

For #FlashbackFriday and for #MotivationalMusicMonday over at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest, I present to you En VogueFree Your Mind!  An inspiring song, especially with all the separation that’s going on in our country now.  It’s also great to get up and move to!

And just for extra fun, Hold On… the first hit from their debut album.

Oh, I can’t stop there!  Giving Him Something He Can Feel just makes me smile!

And last but not least, Yesterday.  You had to own the album to actually know they did it, but this song showcases their true talent.

Saturday morning, James and I are headed to the Lake Sammamish Half-Marathon.  He’s running, and I’m sitting out this time… for once I get to be the cheerleader!  Yayyy!  It’s supposed to snow again (boooo)… so be sure to wish him good luck!  He’s going to need to run really really fast just to stay warm!  (Please wear your Hoka’s, hunny… you don’t own YakTrax).

Have a fantastical weekend!!

I Can’t Drive… 55!

This is my bestie from high school, Sheryl (on the right, 1985).

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This is also my bestie from high school, Mindy (on the right, 1987… no giggling at the funny old pictures).

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We were as close as sisters and were always there for each other no matter what.  And the trouble we used to get in… well, that’s a story for another day.

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Sheryls wedding, 1987

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Graduation, Baby! 1985

Anyway, just before our senior year of high school started, Sheryl’s dad won a car.  Not just any car, but a 1985 Dodge Daytona Turbo Z and the very first one to come off the line.  The license plate read CAR-001.

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It had a factory stereo in it that could blast the ice off the windows.  Turn up that bass!  Which we did… often.  You could hear Sheryl coming from a block away.

One day we decided to go test just how sporty this little car actually was.  We went across the river to the backroads of rural Graham County, Arizona, where we had miles upon miles of empty road with all kinds of hills and twists and turns.  Sheryl managed to exceed 80 mph on one stretch… keeping in mind that this was back in the day when the legal speed limit on every major highway was only 55 mph, so hitting 80+ was a big deal.  If we would have been caught, Sheryl surely would’ve had her license revoked.

Needless to say, Sheryl acquired many speeding tickets during the next couple of years.  It’s a really good thing her brother was a cop.

The following was a song we would crank up in that sporty little car of hers with the kick-ass stereo whenever we would cruise the backroads because it was oh-so-true. This is also my pick for James’s Motivational Music Monday this week.  After all these years, it still gets the blood and the heart pumping.

Sadly, Sheryl died in 2012.  However, 30+ years later, Mindy and I are still in touch.

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AJ, Me, Mindy, 2013