Musical Meandering


Inspired by this post from Awkward Babble

“One is only poor, only if they choose to be.”

“I may look a little silly standing with my arms stretched open wide. I love you this big, eyes have never seemed this big, no one’s ever dreamed this big, and I’ll spend the rest of my life explainin’ what words cannot describe but I’ll try. I love you this big.”

“When I was just a baby, my mama told me son always be a good boy, don’t ever play with guns. But I shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. When I hear that whistle blowin’ I hang my head and cry.”

“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof, clap along if you feel that happiness is the truth. Clap along if you know what happiness is to you, clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.”

“Well we got no class, and we got no principals, and we got no innocence! We can’t even think of a word that rhymes!”

“You scared the hell outta me man, the ghost rider. Hold my soul tighter, Jehova take the ropes.”

“Did you ever hear of a clown with teardrops streamin’ down his face.”

“He said son can you play me a memory, I’m not really sure how it goes, but it’s sad and it’s sweet and I knew it complete when I wore a younger man’s clothes.”

“My head is sayin’ fool forget him. My heart is sayin’ don’t let go. Hold on till the end, and that’s what I intend to do. I’m hopelessly devoted to you.”

“Funny face, I love you. Funny face, I need you. These are the sweetest words I’ve ever heard. Funny face, don’t leave me. Funny face, believe me. My whole world’s wrapped up in you.”

“Now come all ye jolly young fellows, I’ll have you take warning by me and whenever you’re out on the liquor me lads, beware of those pretty colleens. For they’ll fill you with whiskey and porter til you are not able to stand, and the very next thing that you know me lads, you’ve landed in Van Diemens land.”

“Runnin’ just as fast as we can. Holdin’ on to one another’s hands. Tryin’ to get away into the night, and then you put your arms around me and we tumble to the ground and then we say, I think we’re alone now.”

“My mother will start to worry, my father will be pacing the floor. No really, I’d better scurry. Well, maybe just a half a drink more.”

“So Mary marry me, let’s not wait, for the distant drums might change our wedding date. Love me now, for now is all the time there may be. If you love me Mary, Mary marry me.”

“Happy Days is my favorite theme song, I can sure kick your butt in a game of ping pong, I can ace any trivia quiz you bring on, I’m fluent in JavaScript as well as Klingon.”

“The weeks went by and Spring turned to Summer and Summer faded into Fall and it turns out he was a missing person who nobody missed at all.”

“Don’t say a word my virgin child. Just let your inhibitions run wild. The secret is about to unfold upstairs before the night’s too old.”

“The moon and stars no longer shine, the dream is gone I thought was mine. There’s nothin’ left for me to do but cry over you.”

“That’s just drinkin’ thinkin’, liquor logic in a can. Your brain says party and your body believes your Superman.”

“Third boxcar midnight train, destination Bangor, Maine. Old worn out suit and shoes, I don’t pay no union dues. I smoke old stogies I have found. Short, but not too big around. I’m a man of means by no means, king of the road”

You can learn a lot about a person just by looking at what songs are on their iPod. I put my iPod on shuffle and listened to the first 20 songs. For each one, I wrote out a line that spoke to me or I found interesting. I’m not sure what all that says about me though. I guess I’ll leave that up to you to think of!

Song credits: “Coat of Many Colors” – Dolly Parton

“I Love You This Big” – Scotty McCreery

“Folsom Prison Blues” Johnny Cash

“Happy” – Pharell Williams

“School’s Out” – Alice Cooper

“Avalanche: – Manafest

“Pop A Top” Alan Jackson

“Piano Man” Billy Joel

“Hopelessly Devoted To You” – Olivia Newton John

“Funny Face” – Donna Fargo

“Black Velvet Band” – the Irish Rovers

“I Think We’re Alone Now” Tiffany

“Baby It’s Cold Outside” Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton

“Distant Drums” Jim Reeves

“White and Nerdy” Weird Al Yankovic

“Goodbye Earl” the Dixie Chicks

“Tonight’s the Night” Rod Stewart

“Singin’ The Blues” Marty Robbins

“Drinkin’ Thinkin'” George Canyon

“King of the Road” Roger Miller

Lessons from special people


Hey blog world! I have spent the majority of my life in the company of individuals with special needs and I’m very happy about that. I’m also very happy to be part of that community myself (I have Aspergers Syndrome and Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum). People with special needs are incredible people! The world can really learn a thing or two from them, I know I did!

Sportsmanship: I have been a bowler with the Special Olympics for 8 years now. It never ceases to amaze me how everyone behaves in competitions. They act as though there  is no opposing team, no competition at all! Everyone cheers everyone on! When someone gets a strike there’s high fives all around and the entire bowling alley erupts in cheers! It’s incredible! I also love watching medal presentations. I love seeing how happy everyone is for each other and how happy the athletes are with whatever they receive. Last year, at a rhythmic gymnastics competition, a young girl with Downs Syndrome received a 6th place ribbon. A huge smile came across her face as everyone cheered for her. She said “I think I might cry!” as she excitedly made her way to get her ribbon. She was happy as a clam because she did good and won a ribbon! I love being part of Special Olympics because I get to play fun sports, make new friends and sometimes visit new places. That’s what matters most to me. If I win a medal, good for me! If I don’t, that’s ok, I’ve won an even better prize, just being there playing a sport that I love with my friends!

Age is but a number, you don’t have to grow out of childhood things: I don’t care how old I am! I still love watching VeggieTales and colouring pictures of SpongeBob and his friends and I have a stuffed dragon that I take on adventures!

River Stuffy

Stuffy sitting on a railing with a gorgeous view of Manuel’s River in the background.

My friend Brooke is 21 and has cerebral palsy and is non verbal. Her favourite song is “Five Little Ducks” and she squeals at the top of her lungs and bounces up and down in her wheelchair when someone turns on “Caillou”. Don’t let your childhood go if you don’t want to! Watch cartoons, read picture books, cuddle a stuffed toy! If it makes you happy, don’t be afraid to do it!

Appreciate the little things: My best friend in High School was a girl named Dominique. She was a student in the special needs classroom. The tiniest things would make her bust a gut laughing! Paper ripping, things falling over, she’d even pick up a stack of picture books and purposely drop them and then laugh hysterically! Also she loved to play with raw macaroni. She would dig her hands around in it, scoop it into a cup, then pour it into another and sometimes she’d pretend to cook supper for her teacher. I sat down with her one day and we played with the macaroni together and I felt really happy! It was fun to play with and it felt really nice on my hands. It amazed me how something so small and simple like a tub of raw macaroni could make people so happy! Take time to stop and admire the little things like that.

The meaning of love: For a year and 5 months, I have been in a relationship with a gentleman named Glen who has Down Syndrome. He is the best boyfriend in the world! He’s such a gentleman, he opens doors for me, walks me to my door after every date, compliments me often, etc. He also sends me lots of cute stickers of hearts, Cupid and other love related things on Facebook and texts me just to say he loves me! He calls me to tell me he loves me too. He writes me love songs and sends me recordings of himself singing them. My heart nearly melts every time! Glen is the kind of guy that every girl should be lucky enough to have, a gentleman who tells his girl he loves her, treats her right and spends as much time as he can with her.

Perseverence: Due to my Agenesis of the Corpus Collosum, my fine motor skills are challenged. Because of that, learning to tie my shoes and ride my bike was very hard. Even though they were hard I didn’t give up! I kept trying until I did it! Also, one of my worst subjects at school was world history. I found it very difficult. I failed world history last year and has to go back to high school and do it over again! It wasn’t easy, but with hard work, dedication and lots of help from Peter and Stephanie my wonderful tutors, I did it! I took a supplementary exam in November and got 59%! Passing the exam meant that I also passed world history! I was so proud of myself! I cried happy tears when I got a letter in the mail saying I passed! Never give up, no matter how hard what you’re trying to do is! You can do it if you persevere!

Hug more, hate less: Every single person with special needs I’ve met has a heart of gold and would never hurt anyone! They are completely non judgemental and will be your friend no matter what. They have a smile and a hug for everyone they meet! I wish there were more people like them in the world. We need to accept one another and stop judging people and hating people because of their race, religion or abilities. I think the world needs a group hug!

If the world could just take a minute to listen to us, there are many things that we could teach! Do you know a person with special needs? What has he/she taught you? Tell me in the comments!

Leah

Virtual Tea (with Stuffy)


Hey blog world! I thought I’d do another virtual tea date, but this time Stuffy the dragon is going to take the wheel and tell you what’s been going on with him! This is Stuffy.IMG_1532He, as you can see is a stuffed dragon. In my opinion, you’re never too old to love a stuffed toy. I got him last year at the X store in the mall. I took one look at his sweet little eyes and knew I had to bring him home! He’s been a comfort and a friend to me ever since. I take him on lots of adventures, which he is going to tell you about now over some virtual tea.

If we were having tea right now, I would tell you that I met James Taylor on Saturday night! imageThis was my very first concert. I didn’t see much of it because I was stuck in Leah’s purse almost all night, but everything I heard was lovely! During the intermission, he was signing autographs and talking to fans. Leah and I went up to meet him! I was a bit scared in the crowd because there were so many people and they were aggressive, pushing their way past others to get to James. I was a bit scared Leah would drop me and I would get lost. I’m glad that didn’t happen. When we finally got up near him, Leah held me up in the air and called out to James (she had to yell because everyone else was yelling too and she wanted to be heard) and asked him to take a picture with me. I guess he didn’t hear her right because of all the other people yelling at him. James said “You want me to sign your Dinosaur thing, huh?” Leah went along with it and said “Sure!” Now I have a tattoo!! How many other dragons can say that James Taylor signed their hip? I feel so special!

image

With my friend Peter after the show.

If we were having tea right now, I would tell you that Newfoundland finally has some nice weather! Mother Nature has been good to us lately and has given us a few actually nice days! It’s been warm and sunny and people can go out now in shorts and tank tops! Yay! This is a very rare occurance in Newfoundland so Leah and I are quite happy! Leah and her boyfriend and I went for a walk on Monday. It was nice. We walked around Manuels River and had a picnic. River Stuffy

If we were having tea right now, I’d tell you that I’m getting ready to audition for “Billy Elliot”! Atlantic Light Theatre is going to be doing that show in the fall and I was super excited when I heard the news! Balerina Barbie has been giving me lessons and helping me prepare for my audition! I hope I get the part!!!Ballet StuffyElectricity sparks inside of me and I can’t wait to show that to Doug and Jacinta (the directors of Atlantic Light) this weekend! If you want to audition too, auditions are happening May 28th-31st at the Arts and Culture Centre in St. John’s. Email info@atlanticlight.ca to book your audition time!

If we were having tea right now, I’d tell you that I had my first date! Leah has a sock monkey named Diva. We’ve been friends for a while and I like her a lot. She’s pretty, sweet, funny, we have a lot of the same things in common. I decided to ask her out. We had a TV date! Date StuffyWe had a great time! I could tell she likes me back! I’m hoping things will go farther for us and she’ll be my girlfriend! Wish me luck!

If we were having tea right now, I’d tell you that I tried sewing! Seamster StuffyLeah took a sewing class a few weeks ago and brought me with her. She let me have a go at the sewing machine. I did a great job and had a lot of fun trying this out! We made a magic bag for her friend. He loved it! Leah and I are both very happy that he did!

If we were having tea right now, I’d tell you that I’m going to see “Next To Normal” at the LSPU Hall on Saturday night! I’m very excited! With actors like Tim Caudle, Kelly-Ann Evans and Phillip Goodridge in the show I just know it’s gonna be good! There are still some tickets available if you want to see the show! It opens tomorrow night and closes on Sunday. Click here to buy tickets online. You can also call the LSPU hall box office at 753-4531 (ext 200) to buy tickets! Hope to see you at the show!

What’s new with you? Tell me in the comments!

Stuffy (and Leah)

James Taylor


You just call out my name and you know wherever I am, I’ll come runnin’ to see you again. Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you’ve gotta do is call, and I’ll be there ’cause you’ve got a friend.

Hey blog world! I’ve seen fire and I’ve seen rain and last night I saw James Taylor! I took my best friend to the concert as an early Birthday present.

My best friend in the whole world is Peter Halley.Peter Halley He’s the nicest person I’ve ever met! He makes me laugh, he’s a great listener when I need someone to talk to, he’s the busiest beaver of the colony and yet he manages to find time to do things with me, and most importantly he accepts me for who I am. He’s very special to me and because of that, I wanted to do something special for him.

6 years ago, if you’d asked me who James Taylor was, I would have shrugged my shoulders and said “I don’t know.”. I heard about him for the first time after becoming friends with Peter. James is his favorite singer. A few months ago, I saw online that James would be coming to Newfoundland May 20th and 21st. At that moment, sparks went off in my head. That’s the week before Peter’s Birthday! I made it my mission to get him tickets as an early Birthday gift.

I entered every single contest I could find to win tickets for him, both online and on the radio. I didn’t receive any congratulatory e-mails and each time I tried calling in to a radio station I could never get through, but I didn’t give up. I kept trying and trying. I just had to win those tickets for Peter and make this his best Birthday ever!

Last Thursday, I was on a drive with mom and we were listening to K-Rock. Mike Campbell(one of the morning show hosts) announced that it was time for “None of Your Business”, a daily talk show like thing where listeners call in and talk about something embarrassing or unusual and win a prize. The prize they were giving away that day was James Taylor tickets! Quick as a flash I grabbed my cell and dialed the number. I nearly exploded when Mike’s voice came over the phone!!! I did it! I was minutes away from receiving those elusive tickets! Peter was going to go to James Taylor!!!

I picked them up that afternoon and saw that they were for Friday night’s show. Peter, as you know is an actor and I discovered that he had a show of his own scheduled for that night. I was disappointed. I worked so hard and finally won the tickets, but he won’t be able to go! I immediately took to Kijiji to see if I could find someone willing to swap.

After waiting and waiting and not getting any replies to the ads I posted, my chances seemed very slim because the concert was getting closer and closer! I said to myself  “Shag it, I’m buying tickets!” so I did.

I put my tickets for Friday night up for sale and my friend Evan bought them. I was happy that everyone was happy! Evan and Tiffany (his wife) get a date night, I had tickets for last night and could take Peter to the concert! Everybody won!

Last night was the big night and it was incredible! I didn’t recognize the opening number or the one after it, but they were lovely! When he covered “Every Day” by Buddy Holly, I was so happy! It’s one of my favourite Buddy Holly songs! James did a fantastic job of singing it!

By and by throughout the night, James would take a minute to stop and introduce his band members. I loved how much he loved them! He would say things like “On drums, we have the best drummer in the whole world”, “She has an album out, go get it! It’s fantastic!” and he would shake hands with and hug them after the compliment laden introduction! I thought that was so kind of him! The band really was as incredible as James said they were! I was amazed! They made such beautiful music together!

As I said, I know very little about James Taylor, so almost all the songs last night were totally new to me. I’m glad I got to experience this new musician! Everything he sang was so nice. I felt a warm, fuzzy feeling in my heart all night. His voice is velvety and calming and each of his songs made me feel relaxed and peaceful. I’m seriously considering buying a James Taylor CD to add to my bedtime music collection (I like to fall asleep listening to music).

During the intermission, Peter and I made our way down near the stage. James was signing autographs and taking pictures with people. Peter didn’t want to go up into the crowd, but he said I could if I wanted to. I did! It was a jungle! People pushing through to get to James and others pushing through in the opposite direction to get back to their seats! I got stepped on a few times and smushed a lot! Eventually, I got up in front of him!! I showed him Stuffy, my dragon in hopes of getting a picture of the three of us and called out “James! Get a picture with my dragon please!” I guess he didn’t hear me ask for a picture because he said “You want me to sign your dinosaur thing huh?” I thought that would be cool so I went along with it and said “Sure!” Stuffy is now a million times more special! James Taylor gave him, as I call it, a tattoo!!

image

Peter and Stuffy together after the show.

I then asked again if we could get a picture and he was more than happy to oblige! image. We didn’t talk much, but I heard him talking to the other people in the crowd. I’ve got to say, he’s such a genuine and nice guy!

I had two favorite parts of the second act. One of them was when he sang “You’ve Got A Friend”. I looked at Peter the whole time and sang the song to him! I thank the Lord every night for blessing me with such a wonderful friend . My other favorite part was when he sang “Sweet Baby James”. I heard that song for the first time last week in the car and fell in love with it instantly. It’s such a beautiful song! It was even more beautiful performed live.

Last night was such a wonderful night! While I did immensely enjoy hearing the lovely music and getting a picture with James, my favorite part of the night was seeing the happiness on Peter’s face throughout the night! I’m so happy that he enjoyed his early Birthday present!

Leah

James Taylor Ticket Trouble


Hey blog world! I have a problem and need your help!

As you all know, one of my best friends in the whole world is Peter Halley! He’s sweet, funny, compassionate, all around a wonderful guy! He always goes above and beyond for me. His Birthday is coming up very soon and this year I wanted to go above and beyond for him!

When I heard that James Taylor would be playing at the Mile 1 Center, I knew that tickets to the show would be the perfect Birthday gift for Peter. James Taylor is his favorite singer. I entered every single radio contest that I could to try and make this the best Birthday ever for him and win those tickets! Each time I tried, I couldn’t get through. I was beginning to give up hope.

Today, as mom and I were driving in the car we were listening to K-Rock. JLAC said that it was time for None of Your Business and the prize today was a pair of James Taylor tickets. Quick as a flash I grabbed my cell and dialed the number. I was elated when I got through!!! I finally did it! In a matter of minutes I would have those elusive tickets and would be able to take Peter to the concert! I was giddy with excitement all day and couldn’t wait to pick them up!

I did this afternoon. I looked at the date on the tickets and they are for the show next Friday night, the 20th. I checked Spirit of Newfoundland’s website and discovered that “It’s My Party and I’ll Bawl if I Want To” is playing that same night and Peter is in that show. I instantly became very sad.

If there is anyone out there with a pair of tickets to the show next Saturday night, May 21st, I would really appreciate it if you would consider swapping tickets with me! Taking Peter to this concert would mean the world to me and to him too I’m sure. Please help me make this Birthday extra special for him!

Leah

A KISS of Kindness


Hey blog world! WordPress has started doing a weekly Discover challenge. This week, we were challenged to write about chance encounters. I’ve had a few, but there’s really only one that sticks out to me and I’m very glad it happened.

I’ve been a fan of KISS ever since I can remember. I got it from my dad who is a huge fan of theirs. He used to sing me to sleep when I was little and some nights he’d sing me “Beth”, other nights he’d sing “Rock N Roll All Night”. I loved it.

A few years ago, KISS came to the Mile 1 Centre in St. John’s. The concert was close to father’s day, so mom and I came up with the perfect present to give to dad. Matching KISS T-Shirts, one his size and one mine and two tickets to the concert. He loved it! I did too. I was really looking forward to our special father, daughter night out.

The big night came and we were both very excited! I couldn’t wait to get to Mile 1! Before we left, I took a quick inventory of my purse, as I do every time I go out, to make sure that I had everything I needed for the night. I made absolutely certain that my earplugs were in my purse. I’d hate to be halfway there and realize they weren’t!! I have sensory issues with my ears due to my Aspergers. My sense of hearing is heightened which is a blessing and a curse. I hear things a lot louder and so, noises that are already loud are even more so in my ears and frighten the living daylights out of me and hurt my ears so I bring earplugs with me to every concert that I go to.

We got there and I made it through the opening act (Shinedown) just fine with my earplugs in. Shinedown wasn’t bad, but I wouldn’t buy their music on iTunes. Anyway,  Once they were finished the lights came back on. I was giddy and excited for KISS to come out! Soon, the lights went black. My excitedness level shot up even higher! All that was racing through my mind was “OMG! OMG! OMG! I’m going to see KISS!”, eventually, on the screens on the side of the stage there was live video of KISS making their way out to the stage! They were getting closer by the second!! A few moments later, there was a burst of purple smoke, then KISS descended onto the stage on a giant metal spider! It was awesome! What was not awesome however was the pyrotechnics that followed! Massive fireballs that exploded out of a cannon on stage every, what felt like two seconds! It was like New Years Eve x10! I couldn’t handle the constant, deafening booms, even with my earplugs in! Each time one would go off, I would jump, and scream. Eventually, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I got so scared that I just broke down crying. After the first song was over, we left.

When we got outside, there was a man sitting down on the steps. He asked us how the concert was. We told him that it had only just started. We were leaving because I couldn’t handle how loud it was. He told us that he desperately wanted to see the show but couldn’t afford a ticket. I no longer had use for mine, so I approached the man and gave it to him. I’ll never forget what happened next. His eyes lit up, a massive smile came on his face, he gave me a huge hug and he cried. Over and over again he repeated “Thank you! God bless you!” Seeing how happy I made this man made my heart overflow! It was one of the most incredible moments of my life! I was so happy that from my cloud of fear and darkness there emerged a silver lining of pure elation for that man. I never saw the man again after that night. I think about him every now and then and hope that things are all going well for him and that he enjoyed the concert.

Do kind things for others, every act of kindness, no matter how big or how small will have an impact.

Leah

Billy Elliot Auditions


What the hell’s wrong with expressing yourself? Being who you want to be? Will anybody die if you put on a dress? Who the hell cares if your blush is a mess!

Atlantic Light Theatre. Run by Doug Vaughan and Jacinta Mackey Graham, this production company first brought us to tears with “Les Misérables”, then they taught us to always look on the bright side of life with “Spamalot”, and last year, wowed us with “Sister Act”, but what’s next? Well, get ready to shout “Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher!” because their next production will be “Billy Elliot”!!!

Billy Elliot is the story of a young boy. His father has him enrolled in boxing lessons but Billy doesn’t like them very much. Directly after the boxing lessons is a ballet class. Billy stumbles upon it one day and realizes that this is what he wants to do instead. It’s such a phenomenal show with some of the most incredible dancing I’ve seen! The score is also awesome! My favorite song from this show is so hard to choose! It’s a three way tie between “Merry Christmas Maggie Thatcher“, “Expressing Yourself” and “Electricity“.

Does electricity spark inside of you? Are YOU the next Billy Elliot, Mrs. Wilkinson or Michael? Start practicing your ballet dancing because auditions are coming very soon! They are May 28th-30th at the Arts and Culture Centre. E-mail info@atlanticlight.ca to request an audition! Good luck!

Leah