Monday, November 24, 2014

50 Things

*lets out exasperated sigh*

*Debbie Downer sound effect from SNL*

I'm complaining about grad school again.  I am so, so ready for it to be over.  I have better things to do with my time.

I can do this.  I can do this and it will be worth it.

I just submitted another assignment, and tomorrow I have another presentation.  When 5 pm rolls around tomorrow, I will be on Thanksgiving BREAK!  Whoop whoop!  Again...I can do this.  I can do this and it will be worth it.

I decided to do a 50 Things list instead of a "real" blog post.  It's a random list of 50 Things About Me.  I saw this on another blog years ago and I recently remembered it...I have had it in the back of my mind for a few weeks now.  

It reminds me of those email surveys my friends and I would send to each other in college.  I loved those things.  They were like self-interviews...little moments where you typed out things you didn't even realize about yourself.

So, here are my 50 Things.

1.  I could eat oranges and grapefruits every single day.

2.  And salmon nigiri.

3.  I enjoy convincing people who say they don't eat sushi "because they don't like fish" that it is absolutely one of the most delicious foods in the entire world.  Because it is.  And you will like it even if you don't like fish.  I promise.

4.  I would rather run than walk 90% of the time.

5.  I was a pottery instructor at a Bible camp one summer, before my senior year of college.

6.  I grew up respecting authority and rules, and I plan on teaching my children the same.

7.  I don't have any tattoos.  Sometimes I'm tempted to get one.  I have a lot of friends who have them and they look beautiful.  I'm too chicken, though.

8.  Swimming in the ocean is one of my favorite memories.

9.  I love Jesus.  I'm crazy about Him.  I'm a Christian.  I am not perfect, because no one is.  I'm human.  The amazing thing, though, is that I'm forgiven.  He loves me and He loves you, too.  

10.  My favorite type of book to read is historical fiction.

11.  I haven't read a book since the summer of 2013.  Unless you count grad material and "What to Expect When You're Expecting."

12.  Tom is a super-extrovert that gets energized by groups of people.  I love friends; I can handle groups every now and then, but I am a serious home-body most of the time.

13.  I love shopping.  LOVE IT.

14.  I hate birds.  HATE THEM.

15.  I never played sports past 8th grade.

16.  I was a cheerleader in high school.

17.  I like to make poffertjes (Dutch mini-pancakes) rather than regular pancakes.

18.  My family is Dutch.   Pella's Tulip Time is our annual holiday and we dress in the traditional costumes (from my Grandfather's province in the Netherlands) and participate in all the events.

19.  I've sung the 7th Inning Stretch at three Twins games.

20.  I was 11, 12, and 13 years old when I sang them.

21.  I actually think going to the dentist is relaxing.

22.  I am certified to teach K-12 music.  That means band, choral, and orchestra.

23.  I am certified to teach band and orchestra...not qualified.

24.  I used to like risotto. 

25.  I can't eat risotto anymore because I ordered it the first night I started feeling nauseous....I was 7 weeks pregnant.

26.  I love, love, love the movie "The Wedding Singer."

27.  I quote it almost daily.

28.  Especially when I am singing at a wedding, or when Brett is around.

29.  Our wedding was on August 11, 2012.

(photo by Jalisa Mayer - JM Studio)

30.  I love the Olaf character in "Frozen."  Yeah.  Why?  :) :) :) 

31.  Tom, Jude and I have breakfast at Hy Vee every single Friday morning.

32.  Giving birth was the hardest, most exhausting thing I've ever done.  Also the coolest.

33.  My favorite country in our 2002 European Tour with Wartburg Choir was Germany.

34.  No, Austria.

35.  Favorite TV series:  Modern Family.

36.  I don't steam vegetables anymore.  I roast them with coconut oil, coarse salt, fresh ground pepper in a 450-degree oven.  

37.  My earliest memory is playing beauty shop in my bedroom with my doll and little red plastic chair that swiveled.  I was two.

38.  I love the Hawkeyes and Cyclones equally.  Tom has issues with this sometimes.

39.  A perfect day is waking up slowly to sunshine coming in through the smell in the air...a giggly pajama-ed baby cuddling with me in bed...hubby downstairs listening to Sinatra and cooking breakfast...playtime with Jude in our living room...stroller walking along Clear Lake and lunch at Starboard Market...dropping JT off with parents at our house so Tom and I can go to dinner and a movie.  Bliss.  

40.  The best interior paint color is "greige."  We have it on our bedroom walls.

41.  In my opinion, Instagram is the superior social media outlet.  Facebook is nice, but stressful at times.  Twitter is fun if used properly, but wow, there is a lot of junk that comes along with it.  Instagram is great because it's photographs...and you can filter them.  Simply pictures.  Love it.

42.  My sister is my best friend.

43.  In college I had a pair of terribly ugly red sweatpants that I wore almost every single day after class.  By the end of my senior year I had to throw them out because they'd been through the washer so many times.  I got teased a lot about those sweats...but oh my gosh they were comfortable.  

44.  College!  I went to Wartburg.  I had an amazing 4 years.

45.  I wanted to go to Luther for a year before I decided on Wartburg.

46.  At the end of my senior year at the Burg, the neighbor girls and my roommates and I made a slide on the stairs.  We used the mattresses from our beds.  We discovered that the only way we could go fast is by wearing swishy pants (remember those?) but only 2 girls had swishy pants.  There were at least 10 of us using the slide, so we took turns wearing the pants.

47.  We also made up a dance to Motown Philly one night and had every intention of performing it at a wedding later that summer.

48.  Jude's laugh is my favorite sound in the whole world.

(photo by Jeanne Hansen)

49.  I need to go boot shopping.  I wonder when I'll have time for this.

50.  I have a glass of cab next to me.  Goodbye!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

"You should be on The Voice"

I've heard it from several folks and it really is a nice thing to hear.  People are so, so kind.

You know me -- singing is what I do.  I love to perform.  It energizes me and it just feels "right."

And, I like to watch The Voice. (I must say though, Tom and I are behind on, um, 14 or so episodes.  We haven't even started watching this season and it's likely we never will.)  It's quality entertainment.  Even better is The Sing-Off.  I love the a capella groups...and I love Ben Folds.  He is intelligent and talented and funny.  I want to be related to him so he could play piano at family reunions and we could sing duets together.


People have said I should sing on these shows.  But I disagree.  I respectfully disagree with each of them, and I would say no thanks to the opportunity to "be on The Voice."  Or Idol.  Or America's Got Talent.

But WHY?  Doesn't every performer want to be famous and rich, with platinum albums, sell-out crowds, tour buses, and lengthy riders full of ridiculous dressing room requirements?


And I'll tell you why.

1.  I want to own the music I write.
I've written a handful of songs.  If I were to sign under a record label and use them on an album, they would no longer be my own.  Something I put MY heart and soul into would no longer be MINE.  They'd be "owned" by the label.  That's not okay.

2.  I want to choose who I play and sing with.
My name is Betty, and I have three Gents.  They are my best friends and I can't imagine playing music with anyone else.  Period.

3.  I want to stay here.
Hollywood doesn't appeal.  Neither does New York City.  Let's go on a vacation or two, but don't make me live in either place.  The midwest is where it's at...I like to walk down the street and get a smile and a hello where I live.

4.  I don't have a big voice.
I don't sing "big"...and I don't want to.  Stretching my range to fit the famous-female-singer expectation (think Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood) would be pretty voice wasn't created to reach those notes.

5.  I have a family.

If I were to go somewhere and "make it big" (I really don't like that phraseology btw) in music, I could kiss my precious family life away.  The thought makes me shudder.

6.  I'm already famous...because I am a music teacher.
It's the best kind of "fame" -- I walk into my school building and get surrounded by squealing 6-year-olds and mauled by their hugs.  Coming back from maternity leave was comparable to being a victim of an elephant stampede.  The kids are my "fans" -- and I am THEIR biggest fan.  They're my perfect singers and I am their teacher.

And now I'll go back to listening to Coldplay and being grateful for their talent, and thankful I'm not in their shoes.  :)

Love, Betsy