Thursday, December 23, 2010

I Used To Be Funnier

First, let me state that I can never remember which words aren't supposed to be capitalized in a title. So I capitalize them all, just to be safe.

Second, I read back through my old posts on here and have discovered a shocking progression. I am less funny than I used to be. This needs to change. Starting now.

An idea I've had for a long time but never actually acted upon is something I call "Sarcastic Stickies". The recipe calls for sticky notes, a pen, a sharp wit, and a good sense of humor. Sometimes I see things that are just SO stupid that I think some sarcastic remark. At one point, it occurred to me that I ought to share this sarcasm with other people. But I never have. Example: You're at Applebee's (really, Spell Check? That's not in the dictionary yet?) in the bathroom. You see used paper towel on the counter - right next to the hole you're supposed to use (the magical one with a trash can under it). While you would usually just push it in with your paper towel, I occasionally have the desire to leave a message, "Because the extra 3 inches was just too far for my weak arms."

In other news, my friend just got me The Book of "Unnecessary" Quotation Marks (from this blog) and I read it today and it's "hilarious".

If you have never read the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, you are really missing out. Here are two quotes from his books:

"Just about everything in this world is easier said than done, which the exception of "systematically assisting Sisyphus's stealthy, cyst-susceptible sister," which is easier done than said."

"If an optimist had his left arm chewed off by an alligator, he might say, in a pleasant and hopeful voice, "Well, this isn't too bad. I don't have my left arm anymore, but at least nobody will ever ask me whether I am right-handed or left-handed," but most of us would say something more along the lines of "Aaaah! My arm! My arm!""

He has a way of stringing words together that is very unexpected, but very witty and hilarious.

Well, shorter blogs can be funnier than longer blogs, just like shorter people can be taller than funnier people. Wait. What?

Love and Colored Pens,
Leah JOY

P.S. Oh yeah. Merry Christmas!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

So Apparently I'm a College Graduate

This is going to take some getting used to. (I think that preposition is okay because it's part of the verb.) I know I'm done with school, but I still feel like I'll be back there on Monday writing papers. Or next semester.

Nope. I'm done. That's a big concept and I can't quite wrap my head around it.

So what have I been doing with my time? Well, babysitting, sneezing, trying to pick out songs for my coffee house gig tomorrow night, blowing my nose, tidying my room, coughing, being miserable. Okay, it's not all that bad. But I've normally got the immune system of ... well, someone with a really good immune system. I get really sick once every 2 years or so. Well guess what. The last time I got sick was 2 years ago. Guess I was due or something. It started Saturday night with a little sore throat, which was a big sore throat by Monday. Starting Wednesday, the pain moved to congestion and today I've used about 549843189 tissues. (Yes, I did just bang my fingers on the keyboard.) I'm getting better, though. I should be able to do my show tomorrow night.

Anyway, being sick isn't really that interesting.

I just wrote a song tonight. It's about blue eyes. Okay, so you know that guy about whom I wrote like 14 songs? I think this is the last one for him, because it's a transition song to another guy with blue eyes. Here's a sampling of the lyrics:

Eyes like ice
Eyes like steel
Everything he couldn't feel
I wonder that I let him stay so long

Blue eyes are cold
Blue eyes can't feel
Blue eyes
Blue eyes aren't real
I swore I'd never love blue eyes again

Eyes like ocean
Eyes like sky
Eyes that take me by surprise
I wonder if you'll let me come along

So it's still a work in progress, but it's really beautiful (if I do say so myself) and I'm pretty excited about it.

In other news, I spent about 12 hours today sitting in this chair, picking out songs or getting distracted from picking out songs, so I think I'll move my sorry butt over to bed now and get some extra sleep (yay health!).

Love and sneezing,

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Life as a Disney Show

I'll admit it: Disney Channel is my weakness. On a bad day, I enjoy descending to my basement with a blanket and a cup of apple juice and watching Hannah Montana or Jonas L.A. The thing about Disney Channel is that after you've watched it for just a little while, you start thinking more dramatically - the way the shows are. So lately, because I spent a few days catching up on Hannah Montana (I was a season behind!), and because I'm extremely bored in Philosophy, I've started thinking about what my life would look like as a Disney show.

First of all, my character would have two voices: the out-loud (polite) voice, and the thinking (dripping with sarcasm) voice.
Girl: So wait, you really lived in a nunnery?
Thinking Voice: No, you idiot. I was making up a story as a literary device to convey a point.
Out-Loud Voice: No... I was joking. Heh heh.

Weird Customer at Thrift Store: Hey girl - I'd like to donate my change to you.
Thinking Voice: You disgusting slob, I'd like to shove your change down your throat, but you probably haven't brushed your teeth in days, so instead please just understand that I'm a cashier, not a harlot.
Out-Loud Voice: I'm good. Bye.

Secondly, there would be several freeze-frame moments for character thoughts. The rest of the screen goes blurry; only the character in question is in focus. The character, however, is still frozen. A big thought bubble appears in which there is movement, whether it is the same character thinking out loud, or a memory of another character saying something.
Up-start Freshman girl: No, I really, like, think it's totally more like this, you know?
*freeze frame*
In the thought bubble of my character, a smaller me appears.
Smaller Me: Are you really going to let her treat you like that? *gesturing wildly* She's a freshman! And half of her words are unnecessary!
In the thought bubble, a smaller Freshman Girl joins Smaller Me. Smaller Me promptly punches Freshman Girl in the face.
Thought bubble disappears, un-freeze original frame. My character is smiling happily.

Of course, each episode would have to include some shenanigan, and for it to really qualify as a Disney show, I'd have to learn some life lesson every episode.

So that's the end of my Disney spiel.

And speaking of shenanigans, here's a story exemplifying how Leah has broken out of the teacher's-pet, straight-A-student shell.

So we're in Philosophy, and all the commuters have just gotten an email about how there's free Jet's Pizza for commuters today. The minute our prof. says, "Ok, 2 minute break," Zach, Eric, and I (all commuters) flee the room. It took us more like 6 minutes to get the pizza, but boy was it worth it. I realize that maybe this is something you all do or would do anyway, but even a year ago I would have never done this. My "Thought Voice" would have said, "Oh, pizza sounds good, but what will the teacher think? And your reputation!" Today, my Thought Voice says, "This professor has shown disrespect for your time. And while repaying an eye for an eye is not necessary, free lunch is a good thing. Take risks. Create shenanigans, because you're in college for only a few more weeks. Enjoy it."

I feel like when I came to college I had to reverse the growing up process a little bit - just learning to enjoy life. Now that I'm nearly done, I realize that being 'mature beyond my years' (as my mom always says) isn't always fun. Okay okay, life isn't all about fun - but sometimes you need fun.

Okay, class is almost over.

Love and Shenanigans,
Leah Joy

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Aftermath

My recital is over.
My paper (first draft) is turned in.
Thanksgiving break is nearly on.
(All my sentences end with prepositions.)

In one hour, one more boring hour of Philosophy, I'll have no more classes until Monday morning. Do you know how good that feels? 5 and a half days to relax, craft, sleep, work, and finish projects. Spend time with my family and friends. Get a Christmas tree.

I love Christmas trees. The family being together to go get it. Everyone laughing and trying to cut it down. Singing Christmas carols obnoxiously. Getting it home and in the house. Decorating it. Hiding candy canes. Bringing out all the Christmas decorations. The magic of it all. Seeing who can be the first one to put a present under the tree. And that's just one day of magic! We get a whole season of it!

What's your favorite part of Christmas?

Love and laughter,

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Life Plans

As I complete my last semester of college, people often ask me "What's next?"
Honestly, I don't know. I want to be a secretary somewhere, and do songwriting on the side. Will that actually happen? God only knows.
So here are a few life plans I've concocted over the past few days.

Life Plan #1: Janitor
I find a job as a janitor in a local school. While I work, I sing my latest songs - accompanying myself with various housekeeping implements (toilets, mops, etc.). The children are drawn to my singing and I soon have a large following of children which launches me into a successful career (a la Justin Bieber).

Life Plan #2: Fashion Designer
While working at the Salvation Army, I put together a display outfit as usual. A local fashion agent notices my excellent taste and hires me on the spot. I end up compiling outfits for celebrities, including one of the ten dresses Carrie Underwood wears over the course of one awards show.

Life Plan #3: Radio DJ
I intern at the local radio station and as they can't get me to shut up, they give me my own show.

Life Plan #4: Child Nail Artist/Jewelry Designer
My sister becomes such a good advertisement for my nail-painting abilities that soon all her friends ask for similar designs. Over time, I open my own shop and sell my jewelry there, too.

Life Plan #5: Let's Go Traditional
While working as a secretary just out of college, I fall in love with a simple, honest, hard-working man. We get married and have adorable children and I home-school them. At some point, I write a song which Justin Bieber and Miley Cyrus record as a duet. It is wildly popular, but I am embarrassed to admit that I wrote it. At least I have plenty of money to send my kids to school.


I don't know, friends. These all look pretty good.

Love and life (and other mysteries?),
Leah Joy

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


In our culture, you can have any opinion you want. If you want to share it, though, it had better be politically correct and nice.

For example, if you are in a choir, and people are auditioning for solos, you have to tell them "Good job" even if they suck. It's not appropriate to say, "If you still can't sing well at this point in your life, you should really switch to a different major." You can't even plug your ears.

Our culture is one of "You can be whatever you want to be" - but that's not true! I can't be a football player, even if I really want to, because I am female, and too small. I can't be a doctor, even if I really want to, because my brain just doesn't work that way. I can't be a pastor, even if I really want to, because I have not been called to teach.

When we tell our kids they can be whatever they want to be, we (hopefully) only mean that we're not going to pressure them into the family business or being a doctor/lawyer or whatever. And adding "within reason" to our sweet phrase just seems odd. But maybe we should.

You can be whatever you want to be - within reason. And as long as you have the right mind/body type. And the talent or call. And the passion.

Pffft. Like anyone would say that to their kid.

Love and Logic?,
Leah Joy

Thursday, October 14, 2010


So our professor just asked if anyone is going to Las Vegas for fall break, and I said, "Yes, I'm going to get eloped."

Yes, I really said, "get eloped." Haha.


So there's this girl at my school who cannot say anything nicely. She tries...I'm sure she tries. But it all comes out harsh and dictatorial. So yesterday she said to me, "Leah, this probably won't make any sense, but for some reason, I just love your style." So basically, you can't think of one good reason to like the way I dress, and you can think of many reasons to hate it, yet you find that you do, in fact, love it? Okay. Thanks.



We're talking about Bacon in Philosophy. I know he means the philosopher, but my mouth is watering.

This morning (like every morning this week) I watched Sarah and Claire before school. Once Claire and I were walking to her bus stop (which is thankfully only two houses down), she realized that she didn't have her backpack. We had to get back into her house, but I don't have a key. I thought my mom might, so we stopped in my house (in between the bus stop and her house) - turns out my mom doesn't. At this point, we had to RUN behind their house where the hide-a-key is, (slip and fall on the wet leaves), unlock the door, pass off the backpack - and she SPRINTED to the bus stop just behind the bus. We made it... but just barely!

Well, long blogs aren't usually awesome, so here you go.

Love and BACON,

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


I enjoy observing people and the funny things they often do. Here are a few of my recent case studies:


Situation: School Cafeteria, sitting with some friends and their insane freshman friends
My friends had to leave but I stayed to finish up my lunch. I was left at a table of freshman boys. They began talking about how lazy they were, never worked out, and enjoyed being in poor shape. At one point, I simply said, "I do 25 push-ups every night." Immediately, every guy talked about how he loves working out and three of them decided to meet at the weight room that night for a work-out.


Situation: The prof has asked that we not use our computers in class. A person in the class continuously uses his laptop.
This particular day, the prof approached this student before class and specifically asked him not to use his laptop. Of course the student complied. And spent much of the class complaining to his neighbor about a lack of technology, sighing as he wrote with pen and paper, and fidgeting like he didn't know what else to do. As distracting as a laptop may be, I do believe the fidgeting was worse.


Situation: I'm doing "a little front-porch-picking" on my guitar.
A little boy was running and yelling down the street to meet with his friend. As soon as he realized I was singing and playing, he stopped yelling, and began walking very slowly past my house. I'm not sure if he was being silent out of respect or if he wanted to hear better, but it was adorable nonetheless.


Love and (Yes, I'm in Philosophy),
Leah Joy

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I do believe I only blog during Philosophy class

And I still have a perfect grade in this class....

You know those people where you have to just smile and nod at everything they say?
Sometimes I feel like I might be one of them.

Haha! Class just got out early!


Saturday, October 2, 2010

We're Hilarious! (Just Ask Us!)

Today at lunch, my family was discussing how the Secretary of State always asks for your weight when you renew your license - but your weight is never actually listed on your license. Somehow (Jacob is often the culprit for strange conversation twists) this turned to a scenario in which a girl has a bowling ball under her shirt (in an attempt to appear pregnant) and gets pulled over. Here are her comments to the police officer, all provided by my hilariously imaginative family:

- Please, officer, I'm pregnant. Gosh, it feels like it's rolling around.
- Don't put me in the gutters!
- Be kind, this is my first strike.
- Please officer, spare me!

Dear readers: can you provide more bad puns?

Love and laughter,
Leah Joy

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Your Opinions Please

This is my attempt at a recital poster. (Click it to make it bigger.)

What do you think?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

"Barbie, meet G.I. Joe."

My cousins (Benjamin and Daniel, for those of you familiar with the family. Teenage boys, for those of you who aren't.) may say they dislike girls. The fact remains, however, that they are currently downstairs playing Barbies and G.I. Joes with Chloe (AND JACOB), helping Barbie and her friends move from their old tenement house (the expired cabinet) to their new townhouses (which said cousins BUILT for this purpose).

And I think Jacob, Benjamin, and Daniel may be having the most fun.

Boys. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Pore Strips

So, here I am in Philosophy, learning absolutely nothing. Seriously, we've discussed the same point for an hour, and the Facebook of the person next to me is only interesting for so long. So I'll blog, since nothing on my To-Do list can be done in class (i.e. Practice bassoon).

Supposedly, using pore strips weekly will reduce the size of your pores. I've been using them on my nose for the last month or so, and I have noticed improvements. And yet, pore strips can get expensive. A box of 8 can cost around $6 (in my area, at least). So, I searched YouTube and discovered this video of this adorable Asian girl demonstrating how to make and use your own pore strips:

My mom and I tried this, and they really do work! We just have a few recommendations. Our microwave is more powerful than hers, so it really is important to test it on your hand. It also smells (and looks) like goo for Rice Krispie treats, so don't expect a sweet, fruity, manufactured smell. I got a little overzealous and applied it to my entire face. This really hurts when you peel it off. The skin on your cheeks (especially under your eyes) is really sensitive. Anywhere you have hair (i.e. upper lip) is really going to hurt. If it hurts too much to peel if off, though, you can just rub very gently with a warm, wet washcloth.

We had fun!

Love and Languishing (as I am in this class),
Leah Joy

Saturday, September 11, 2010


Dear Friends,

Fashion has lately been fascinating me. Not in a "I want to do all of this and look just like these models" way. More of a "That's so weird that it's fascinating" way.

Seriously. I see the "latest fall fashions" and I wonder, "Who would wear that?" Honestly, folks, if someone walked into your classroom wearing this outfit, would you think, "Wow! Latest fashions! What a fly, stylish girl!" No. You would think, "What a weirdo."

Like, really? Metallic leggings and a short, balloon-skirt "dress"?

And what is she wearing around her neck?

Who wears this? No one would even wear this to PROM!

Okay, this outfit is actually really cute... but then there's her hat.
Great Barrier Reef! Where did they come up with this outfit? And her hair?

I realize "camel" is a very fashionable color this fall, but really? A '70s style high-waisted pant suit thing?

What is this?

Anyway, I like to be comfortable in my fashion... outspoken, maybe. But mostly just comfortable.

Why do we look at these latest fashions and covet? No one wears them anyway.

Okay. That's all I have to say for now.

Love and Laughter,
Leah Joy

P.S. Oh, my philosophy professor assigned 6 chapters of reading and was like, "It won't be so bad; they're short chapters." Well, okay, it was 100 pages. Not really that bad, but not as not-bad as he made it seem. Plus he assigned "a quick article and video". Which meant two 12-page articles and an HOUR-LONG video. So I'm "watching" the video now... which means "sort of listening while I blog about fashion and clean my room".

Thursday, September 9, 2010

I Laugh In All The Wrong Places

Since starting classes, I've discovered something interesting/annoying about myself. I laugh incorrectly... quite often. When we're in class and the professor says something amusing, I guffaw... and I'm the only one laughing that loud. When a friend tells a joke, I chuckle silently to myself. My friend ends up thinking that I don't think they're funny, when in actuality, I think just about EVERY joke is hilarious.

I think I might try to amend this.

That's all.

Love and Laughter,
Leah Joy

P.S. Oh yeah... school is fine. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Obligatory First Day of School Post

Today is my last first day of school (if I can help it).
It's my senior year, or rather, senior semester. After December, I will have my B.M. in Music Performance (emphasis in Contemporary Christian Music: voice, guitar) (yeah, say that 10 times fast).

So I'm supposed to post about my worries and fears, my excitements and joys.
I'm just curious to see what a classroom is like again. No more cozy discussions about the music industry while the class curls up around the fireplace. No more hands-on recording time counting as a class.
No, this semester, I get to sit through hours of Christian Theology and Introduction to Philosophy. I'm enrolled in an independent study of Computers in Music: Sequencing. Bassoon lessons, voice lessons, and more voice lessons. Band, choir. Convocation. SENIOR RECITAL.

If I have one worry, it's about friends. I was gone for 4 months and made wonderful new friends. Then I had 4 months to reestablish myself in Grand Rapidian life. But now I'll see them all again, and that tremor of fear I felt upon returning 4 months ago? It's back. I already know that one of my friends is no longer as good of a friend as I thought. But I don't want to reattach myself too closely anyway, right? I'm leaving in 4 months. Why does friendship have to be so hard?

Haha, here I go again, getting all whiny over nothing.

I am excited to be done.

And I know it'll be alright. Each day brings new hope, new promise, and new mercies.

And before I go all obnoxiously-poetical on you:

Adieu, adieu. To you and you and you.

Love and Loquacity,
Leah Joy

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Pet Peeves

Things that bother me:

- Talking at the end of songs in recordings. (For example: "What Was I Thinkin'" by Dierks Bentley. LOVE the song, but at the end he has to ruin it by saying (not singing), "I know what I was feeling, but what was I thinking?")
- Customers who tell me they have a student discount and then ask after every item whether or not I remembered it. This is what I do all day, and I'm pretty good at it, considering that they haven't fired me yet. Let me do my job.
- Interrupting
- People who don't use their turn signal. Really! When did that become optional?
- High school dating relationships. I know I was in a few of them... but really... really... you will most likely NOT get married. Please stop sucking face.
- Poor hygiene
- Missing apostrophes
- Unnecessary quotations
- People who go through check-out lanes while on the cell phone.
- Your/You're misused
- "Grandpuppies" - seriously?
- Fingerprints on windows
- People who ride their bikes in the middle of traffic going the wrong way - at night... and wearing black (for some reason, the bikers in my neighborhood seem to have a death wish)
- Misused semicolons. I guess people think using a semicolon makes them look smart. Au contraire, using a semicolon incorrectly only makes you look stupid!
- People who read over my shoulder
- CDs in the wrong cases
- Not soaking your dishes when you're not going to wash them right away and there's crud all over them.
- Stupid names. Not weird spellings (like Jayd instead of Jade, or Krystyn instead of Kristin or Kristen or whatever)... those are okay, but when it's like "Apple" or "Sunday"... really?
- Squeezing the toothpaste from the top instead of the bottom
- Those stupid geese that people put on their porches and then dress for the season. Seriously, your stone goose doesn't need a freakin' rain coat.
- People who have like 4 catch phrases that they repeat over and over. (I.e., "True story", "Nicely done", "Not gonna lie", "I know, right?", etc.)

I guess it's good I'm allergic to cats and don't like dogs - 'cause I have enough pet peeves to make up for it! (Haha, bad puns.... That's not on my list of pet peeves! That's on my list of Favorite Things to Do that Annoy Other People.)

Also, right now I'm listening to the album "You (Understood)" by Samantha Crain. It's really good. If you like folk, you should go check it out. If you don't like folk, you should check it out anyway. You might start liking folk!

In other news, I passed my voice jury for the summer. Not that I really thought I'd fail, but it's nice to have it over.

A mother and daughter took a taxi to the Salvation Army and the Save-A-Lot. I'm still trying to figure that one out.

Leah Joy

Monday, August 30, 2010

Kids' Books

Why are kids' books almost always better than "grown-up" books? I mean, okay, I've read a lot of grown-up books that are good, but kids' books seem to be so much more creative. The Narnia books, anything by Madeline L'Engle, Edward Eager's Half Magic (and the ensuing series), Nesbit's Five Children and It (and other stories), and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Why can't there be other books that are this wonderful?

I don't have time today to write much more, but expect a summary of my summer reading list soon! :)

In the meantime, please enjoy this video:

Love and ... Lady Gaga?,
Leah Joy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Summer Plans

At the beginning of the summer, I made an epic list. Well, a modestly epic list. I had so many plans. Not only would I have a full-time job and be taking 3 credits of voice lessons, I'd also fit in time to gig, play guitar on a street corner downtown, and read 50 books. Every week, I'd get an item from Salvation Army and do a full makeover on it, like paint a table, or re-do a skirt, or something. Plus, I'd keep making and selling jewelry at the Farmers' Market. Of course, I was also going to have my Sr. Recital FULLY planned, down to the last detail. And I'd fit in time to finally finish the antique table my Grandpa gave me 5 years ago.

Now, with 2 weeks left in summer, I've realized that my summer has not been as epic as intended... but I'm still really pleased with it. My job was only part-time, but it provided what I needed it to. I survived my voice lessons. (Well, I still have 2 lessons and the jury, but still.) I gigged twice, and that was enough for me. I read 70 books (so far!) and have "conquered" the Farmers' Market (as much as it can be conquered by the likes of me). My Sr. Recital is sort of planned, my table is untouched, and I did two tiny makeover projects.

But I also got a mandolin and started learning to play it.
I took a road trip for a weekend and went to the Crayola Factory.
I reconnected with my paternal grandmother.
I organized the shelves in my room.
I started an herb garden.
I wrote a few songs.
And I dog-sat. (Never ever ever again.)

So I think my summer has been successful.

How about you, dear reader(s)? What epic (or modestly epic, or not at all epic) projects have you undertaken this summer?

Love and Lavender,
Leah Joy

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Art Lessons

Both of my younger siblings are home-schooled, and this fall, I will be their Art (and Music History) teacher. I'm really excited, even though I'm totally not the teacher type. Both Art and Music History aren't really subjects that need to be "taught". You just say, "Here's a paintbrush. Consider yourself taught." Or, "Let's listen to the Beatles for an hour. Consider yourself schooled."

Anyway, I'm only doing a half hour once a week, and we'll trade off Art and Music History every other week. I did a lot of research today for lessons and projects, and I'm really pumped with what we'll be doing in Art. Here are some of my ideas:

- Cement stepping stones (with designs with colorful stones/glass/etc.)
- Batik fabric
- Paper maché
- Crazy daisies (flower dyeing)
- Warm/Cool Color Paintings/Drawings
- Observation Drawings
- Tie-Dye maybe... although the Batik might be enough!
- Magazine collages
- Mosaics

I'm pretty pumped! I love art stuff!

I've also planned several weeks of Music History. Since they're both under 13, I'm going to zoom through Ancient Greek-20th century music in about 3 lessons (that's 3 semesters of college Music History in an hour and a half!). But we'll slow down for Jazz and Popular Music and take it by decades.

Love and ART,
Leah Joy

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Treasure Hunt!

So, I've got one of those over-the-door, 12-hook hanger things, and I try to keep it just to jackets, sweatshirts, my bathrobe, and towels. But I had this one purse hanging there for a very long time. While I was cleaning my room yesterday (shocker!), I thought I'd finally take care of it. When I lifted it off the hook, though, it felt a bit too heavy for just a purse. Turns out I had never emptied it out! It was full of goodies! Here's a picture of what I found:

- two packages of pocket tissues
- a couple Altoids still in the container
- expired bowling coupons
- a zillion writing utensils, including my favorite pen from a few years ago, a Sharpie, and one of those stick eraser things
- a nail file
- a purse-sized bottle of hand lotion
- a little ducky charm
- 3 decorated bobby pins
- several regular bobby pins
- (and this is the greatest!) a nearly-full tube of Bath & Body Works' Mentha Lime Lip Shine!! (I love that stuff.)

(Oh, and there were some little scraps of King Pepermunt wrappers.)

Needless to say, I'm pretty stoked about having an extra tube of lip gloss, especially since I usually just buy Lip Smackers tubes and carry them around in my pocket. (Of course, I still have the Bath & Body Works' American Girl Pink Lemonade lip gloss tube I got from my small group leader in 8th grade, so we all know I'm more of a chapstick girl than a lip gloss girl.) Anyway, I remember that I spent $7.50 on the Mentha Lime stuff, so I'm glad I get to finish the tube.

In other news, today is our 99¢ clothing sale at Salvation Army. My family is heading up there this morning to check out the sale (maybe get a pleather biker jacket for 99¢?) and then I get to work the sale tonight. I figure it will be a pretty busy day at the store, but I've thought that before and then no one shows up, so we'll see.

Love and Lip Gloss,
Leah Joy

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

And someone is getting married!

I don't think my cousin Emily reads my blog, but two days after I posted requesting upcoming nuptials, I got a "Save the Date" magnet for her wedding! Of course, it's not until December... but still!

In other news, here's a funny video about bacon.

Love and BACON,
Leah Joy

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Will Someone Please Get Married?

Or at least have a formal gala?

Here's the deal: I just found this AWESOME dress at Salvation Army. It's a beautiful blue. It was hand-sewn. It's an awesome vintage cut. It fits me PERFECTLY (unless I eat too much pizza). (And it cost me $5.) And then I found these AWESOME shoes. They have 4 inch heels, so I'm 6'1" when I wear them. And they almost match the dress (which in my world means they match perfectly). And they're adorable. The toes peek through. (And they only cost me $5.)

So I have this GORGEOUS outfit.


So I need a fancy date.

Or a fancily-dressed party to McDonald's would work just as well.

I just really want an occasion to wear this beautiful outfit.

In other news, my younger siblings just watched Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope for the first time ever. This excellent piece of epic space-adventure filmography was received with much enthusiasm on both accounts, and both children are excited for next week's installment of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back.

In more other news, Jacob (age 9) played in a baseball tournament this weekend. On Saturday, they played 3 games and went undefeated. Today, they played two games. The first, they won (mercied in 4 innings) 14-0. The second game they played against a team they creamed yesterday. However, today was a new story. The opposing coaches decided to question every single call, causing the umpire to actually change a few calls against Jacob's team. This also caused much discouragement among Jacob and his teammates, who ended up losing 7-11. It is still the general opinion that they'd rather take 2nd place in the tournament and have cool coaches than win 1st place and have nasty, argumentative coaches who stoop that low to scrape up a win for their team.

Finally, I stepped on a bee yesterday and was stung for the second time in my life. Last time was approximately 18 years ago. Amusingly (once I got over the pain), both stings were in the same place for the same reason: the bottom of my foot, because I refuse to wear shoes. I pulled the stinger out and hopped back to the house (after completing the dog's walk-and-toilet routine), where I iced my now-hive-infested foot. Turns out I'm slightly allergic. I had to go to work for 6 hours, but it wasn't so bad. I was slightly feverish, a teensy-bit delirious (aren't I always?), a bit nauseated (not to be confused with nauseous), and kind of itchy. However, I was informed by a very helpful customer (a mother of one of my few readers), to watch out in case my mouth started swelling. Of course, due to my over-active imagination, I soon found my mouth swelling, but my reality check (which - for once - did not bounce) told me that my mouth was, in fact, its normal large size.

Well, I'm glad I could finally update all y'all without saying "Dang it's been waaay too long." Hopefully the next entry will prove likewise. And hopefully it won't contain more allergic reactions and annoying baseball coaches.

Love and Loquacity,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Dear Friends,

I apologize for my long silence.

My road trip was great. I posted some pictures on my Facebook, but to sum up: I drove 3.5 hours to Southfield, MI to visit my brother. I stayed there for an hour or so learning about his new job and his weaponry. Then I drove another 3 hours down to Cuyahoga Falls, OH, where I spent the night and the next day with Alexandria and Alysha Schall. They showed me around their town (including their mall which has a hippie store called "Peace and Love"). We also drove to Sandusky for their great-aunt's 80th birthday party. That was very very interesting. From there, we drove 7 hours to Lancaster, PA to see Bethany Weaver and Rob Sykora. We got there about 2 in the morning on Sunday. Once we had all slept, the 5 of us drove to the CRAYOLA FACTORY! There, we learned how crayons are made and had a lot of fun pushing 4-year-olds out of the way. Anyway, lots of driving back, and since then I've just been working at the Salvation Army and dog-sitting.

Oh yes, dog-sitting. I've always known I'm not a dog-person. Never did I realize to what extent. But now I do. I do not like dogs at all. I don't want them sleeping with me, cuddling with me, sitting by my feet, licking me, smelling me, looking at me... I just don't like dogs! They smell, and they're germy, and ... I just prefer people. Or perhaps flowers. Anyway, I've been dog-sitting for the last week and a half, and I've got another week and a half to go. And after that, I doubt I'll do it again. :)

Yesterday I came into work at 4:00. While I was counting my drawer up in the office, a very rude lady hollered up at me to call the "real manager" 'cause the lady down here was "only in training" and didn't "know her stuff". Apparently, she had already cussed out our clothes lady for some reason, and now she was upset because Zhelle, one of our managers, wouldn't accept a credit card gift card. Because we don't accept them at our store. Our "real" manager is on vacation for a week in Wisconsin. If she feels comfortable leaving the store in the hands of two "managers-in-training" (who have been working at the Salvation Army for a combined total of 10 years, by the way), I think they "know their stuff". Anyway, she said she'd pay "with a REAL credit card" now and I was going to ring her up. The whole time, she's yelling about how we're all incompetent, and our jobs are obviously too cushy, and we're all going to get fired, and we don't know our stuff (except she used much more expressive language). It took all my strength to not holler at her the words I was muttering under my breath.

The best part? As she left, Zhelle says, "Jesus loves you, ma'am. God bless you!" And the lady said, "I know he does. And it's a damn good thing, too, or I'd -" and Zhelle interrupts again with "Jesus loves you, ma'am!"

If there's one thing I've learned at the Salvation Army, it's this: don't mess with Zhelle. She means business. And she will have the last word.

Anyway, once I stopped wanting to cry about this horrible woman, the day was fine.

So, yeah... there's no moral.

Love and the Lorax,
Leah Joy

Friday, June 25, 2010

Road Trip

Hey all!

This afternoon, I'm embarking on a road trip. First stop is Southfield, MI. I'll only stay for an hour or so, but I'm going to visit my big brother. I haven't seen him since Christmas, I think. And I'm bringing him some rather fresh homemade jam. After that, I'll drive down to Cuyahoga Falls, OH - to visit my friends Alysha and Alexandria (they're twins). I'm staying overnight there, and tomorrow evening, (after their family party) we're all driving to Lancaster, PA. We'll stay Saturday night with our friend Bethany (we four were roommates at the CMC).

On Sunday, the four of us and our good (also CMC-er) friend Robbie will pile into a vehicle headed for.... THE CRAYOLA FACTORY! Check out their website. It's pretty awesome. And I'm stoked.

But I'm really just excited to see my roommates/friends again. Out of all the girls at the CMC, I couldn't have asked for better roommates. I would not have traded a single one of those girls for ANYONE in the world. We're perfectly suited for one another. And we're hilarious. Just ask us.

Of course, then, Sunday will include driving back to Bethany's, and then the twins'. Monday morning I'll head back up to GR, 'cause I work at 3:30!

I'm really excited!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Love and CRAYONS,
Leah Joy

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Really? Really?? Your kid just peed on the floor!

We get some crazy people at the Salvation Army. No, seriously. Sometimes, I wonder if it wouldn't be nicer to work at some really really upscale store, even though it's totally not my style at all. Then the only people coming in would be the ones who could actually afford things in your store, and they wouldn't always be asking you to mark prices down, or whatever. But I guess they'd be weird, too, in their own special way.

But we have the cranky seniors on Wednesday (Senior Discount Day) who don't inform you of their age before you start the sale and then you have to call a manager to void the whole thing out and they act like it's your fault that you couldn't tell if they were 54 or 55. And we have the people who can't really speak English, and so you just kinda guess what they're saying and they kinda guess what you're saying and you go with it. And we have the people who aren't sure they have enough money and ask you to add it all up before you actually ring it up. And we have the people who have you ring it up and then aren't sure they have enough money and give you $10 in Sacajawea dollars... or ask you to void out things.

But all these people pale in comparison to the annoying 9:00-check-out-ers. This not-so-rare-as-we'd-wish breed is full of people who have been in the store since 6:00. We close at 9:00, so they've had plenty of time to make their selections. However, as they heave their cart full of already super-cheap clothing to the counter, they tell you that they're still deciding. And some of them are still shocked that their entire cart full of clothing is going to cost them nearly $30. "Oh no! I might have to break into my laundry quarters!" And then there's one lady who had 4 shirts, but our clothing sale was 5/$5, not 4/$4... so she decided to go look for another shirt... at 9:15...while her 1.5 year old kid peed on the floor! Yeah, we didn't give her the time of day to pick another shirt. Kate, the manager on duty, said, "Alright, it's 9:15, we're just going to ring up these four shirts." (With a tone of voice that said, "Please leave the frickin' store; you're driving me up the wall.")

Seriously, I don't understand some people.

Also, we had torrential storms on Memorial Day. Seriously, we got like 10 inches of rain. (The weather report in the paper says we got .3 inches, but the roads were flooded with at least 4 inches of rain, so I don't know what's up with that.) I drove to work around 3:30, and I could not see more than a few feet in front of my car, and even that, hardly. It was pouring (no, 'pouring' doesn't even begin to describe it) and hailing, and basically the scariest drive of my life, considering I've always hated driving/riding in the rain. I had to go down a hill, and I thought I was going to get stuck at the bottom because there was so much water.

So I got to Salvation Army, and we had only half-power. But we stayed open. After about an hour and a half, we lost ALL power. Yet, the District Manager said, "Nope, stay open." Why? It's a frickin' secondhand clothing store! You can't see what you're buying ANYWAY! And the registers don't even work so we have to do this all by hand!

I figured no one would come, save the people who had already been there. Nope. People still came. And shopped. Somehow. It's all really ridiculous if you ask me. We got power back around 7:30, and then we had the obnoxious 9:15-kid-peeing-on-the-floor lady, so it was just a grand day at work.... But seriously? No power and we stayed open? And people came?

To what is this world coming?


Love and Apathy,
Leah Joy

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Smokin' Daisy!

Today, I had a voice lesson in Kalamazoo, Michigan, which is about an hour drive south of where I live. I got down there just fine, the lesson went fine, and I got back to Grand Rapids just fine. Then I hit the S-Curve. Honestly, it took 30 minutes to traverse 3/4 of the S-Curve. The S-Curve is like, not even a mile. But factor in all of these:

1. Construction shutting off the 196, so more people are on the highway.
2. Randomly deciding to just close off the 131 (what I was on), so every single car had to exit through a one-car ramp.
3. There were like, 3 houses being moved on trailers. Honestly? 3 houses? Who moves 3 houses on the EXPRESSWAY?? Ok, you can only go like .4 miles an hour ANYWAY; take the freakin' slow roads!

Okay, so then Daisy (my cute little white car) started to overheat.
I exited where they made me, and then since that was an exit onto another highway, going the opposite direction of home, I got off at the first exit. I noticed the light warning me about my engine, so I looked for a place to pull over. Well, I'm in like, the shadiest part of town. So I keep going 'cause I know there's a nice park up the road a bit, and I'll be comfortable stopping there for a half hour or so to let my car cool down. Meanwhile, Daisy starts smoking... or steaming. But still.


I get to the park, and open up the hood so she can breathe a bit and I sit for a while. (I knew there was a reason I always have a book with me!) After a while, I tried starting her. Nope. Read another chapter. Still nope. This continues for about 45 minutes. So I call my parents. My dad came, dumped some water in the radiator, and she started just fine.

I think she's okay now, but boy... am I going to avoid the S-Curve from now on!

Then I went to work... and we had a sale today: All Clothing 99 Cents. So that was crazy.


Love and Liquidation,
Leah Joy

Friday, May 14, 2010

Salvation Army

So, I've been working at Salvation Army. Okay, I've only had three shifts, for a total of 14 hours, but I've already got two good stories. Actually... they are both from today.

So here goes:

Today, I was putting clothes out, and I had a few children's shirts to put out, so I walked to the back of the store, by the dressing rooms. Recently, all the children's wear was moved to the back of the store - but it used to be at the front. Two kids were waiting for their mom, who was in the dressing rooms. As I began putting the shirts in their correct locations, one of the kids asked me, "Do you work here?"
"Yes, I do."
"Why did you move all the kids' clothes back here?"
"Well, I didn't really get to pick where we put them. You don't like them back here?"
"NO! (Both of them agreed very emphatically on this point) The toys are at the front!"
The other kid then added, "Yeah! We can't play with the toys while our mom picks out our clothes!"
And the first kid said, "And we have to wait until the END of the store to get clothes!"
"That is frustrating," I said.
At this point, a small voice from behind the dressing room door said, "You're talkin' to a grown-up!"
"SHUT UP!" yelled one of my new friends.
Then a little curly head popped out from under the dressing room door, "Mom said 'NO TALKIN' TO GROWN-UPS!'"
At this point, I assured them that I wasn't really a grown-up since I'm only 20 years old. "Besides, I work here."
"Yeah!" Said one of my little friends, "Besides, MOM'S a grown-up and we talk to HER!"

I love kids.

Other story:

We play 100.3 "The River" in the store. It's the best of the oldies, some new songs... basically the songs to which EVERYONE knows the words. Today, a woman was walking through our store and said, "This music makes me feel like bowling." At least... that's what I thought she said. And it made perfect sense in my head. At the bowling alley, they always play this kind of music... you know... songs everyone knows? So I laughed. "That's a great way to put it!" I said. ... She had an accent. She actually said, "This music makes me feel like bawling." Like, crying? And she just broke up with someone.


Oh well. She didn't seem too upset.

Love and Liquidation,

Monday, May 10, 2010

Catching Up

Isn't that all I ever do here?

I'm back in Grand Rapids, of course. I just got a part-time job working at the local Salvation Army. I start tomorrow, training as a cashier. I've also been doing some yard work for a friend's friend, which has been nice. I enjoy a job where I don't have to work out afterwards. :) A LOT of raking is really good for your arms.

As of this morning, I have a bassoon back in my possession, and I have two weeks to relearn how to play for the Northview Alumni Band Concert. I also have my bass back, and I'd like to actually learn how to play it now.

So this summer will be filled with Salvation Army, yard work, bassoon, bass, (hopefully) drums, (hopefully) Farmers' Market, church band, a few gigs here and there, trying to write, filling in as a babysitter occasionally, taking voice lessons, and preparing for my senior recital. Oh, and a lot of reading, if I have anything to say about it. And I think I do.

And now I shall leave you with this:

Don't stop believin',

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity Jog

Four months of heavenly musical chaos, and I'm back in the 616.

And life is busy and crazy here, too, but in a less heavenly way. More earthy. Less music.

It's sad and different and I don't know how I like it.

And now I have to go to a Little League baseball game, so once again, I leave you with a short update.

Love and Life,

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Final Stretch

Things are winding down here at the CMC. Final exams are due tomorrow, along with our final masters. Our last show is tomorrow, and our last Game Tape (show review) is Friday. Saturday, we'll review our exams and then we have the CMC Grammies in the evening. Next week is packing up the campus, because they're moving to Nashville!

So yes, currently I am sitting in the Cafe blogging and listening to Norah Jones. Everyone else is working on their final. I do believe I am the only one who is done. That's because I obsess about things and I have learned to avoid procrastination. (One time, in high school, I had two huge projects due the same day and I waited until 11:00 the night before to start them both. Yeah, haven't wanted to procrastinate much since then.) So I worked on my exam for 4 hours a day for a few days so that I wouldn't have to spend all of yesterday, last night, today, and tonight finishing it like everyone else.

Our exam is really cool, though. There are sections on the Music Industry, Technical Terms, Faith and Culture, our personal growth, and songwriting. Mine is 61 pages long, because I had to include lead sheets and lyrics for every song I wrote this semester. (That took nearly 40 pages.) Anyway, we put it all in a binder, and we get to take it home. It'll be a great resource, I'm sure.

So yep, final show tomorrow night. I'm a stage hand. Not my favorite thing to do, but I do enjoy it, because I'm good at it. I like to run and fetch things for people. I'm also singing on one song. Michael's set didn't go so well last week... actually, it was dreadful because you couldn't hear his guitar. So he's going again this week, and he wanted to do one of my songs, because he wrote a great solo for it. Thankfully, all I have to do is sing. Then we have an after-party.

And Friday morning Game Tape, when we'll review the past two shows, since we didn't get to for the last one.

Saturday is Exam Review, and then Robbie and I and other people who have not yet decided are going to the Dumptique and then we're going to see Robbie's aunt and uncle's sheep! I'm so excited!

Saturday night is the CMC Grammies. We've submitted nominations and we'll vote on them tomorrow morning in Community Meeting. I'm so excited because we get to dress up. And I actually brought a dress with me! I have no idea why I packed it, but I did, and I'm really glad that I did.

This is the most boring blog I have written ever. If you made it this far, congratulations. I feel like I need to reward you with some hilarious witty comment, but I'm afraid my brain is a bit tired right now and I can't think very well.

So anyway. If you haven't seen this, you should. Someone took clips of the Jesus Film and dubbed over it. It's amusing, if slightly sacrilegious. Although, I'm not sure the Jesus Film is entirely Biblical, anyway.

Love and Lollygagging,


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jesus in the Gravy

I'm not big on holiday-themed blogs, but I felt that since it is Easter, I should have something on here related to the holiday. I have friends who will go off on the origins of the holiday... quite frankly, I don't care. Does it matter that its name started in pagan religions? Not really, because it's not in a pagan religion anymore. Ok. And I have other friends who will discourse on the greatness of this day. You can go read their blogs. I'm frankly not that theological.

Instead, I shall tell a story, and then give you a Nashville-trip-summary, which is something I haven't done yet and I really should have by this point.

When my mom was a kid, her family would sing the hymn "Up From The Grave He Arose" at Easter. Since they always had a big Easter dinner, with gravy boat and everything, she always thought the lyrics were "Low in the gravy lay Jesus my savior...." What a funny picture! :)

Ok, end of story. (And then I found $5?)

So Nashville. Well, we flew there on Thursday (the 18th of March). We got dropped off downtown that evening to find dinner and hang out. We were all a little bit tired from getting up at 5:00 to leave and then traveling, but we managed to have fun. We ate at Hard Rock Cafe, even though it's like the one chain restaurant down there. It was our first night; we're allowed to act like tourists. On Friday, we went to The Recording Academy (formerly NARAS), which is the company that puts on the Grammys. We also met with Tina Parker, a music industry executive, and David and Sarah (Masen) Dark. On Saturday, we went to Charlie Peacock's house, talked with him for a while, and then got to see his house/mansion/church/studio. Pretty neat. We also dropped by Jars of Clay's new studio (affectionately called the Jarhole) and met with Steve. Finally, we went to Nathan Lee's warehouse for pizza, a little bit of a show, and some conversation with music industry people.

Sunday, we went to church at the Village Chapel, pastored by Jim Thomas. On Monday, we had a meeting with him and his wife, Kim. They are former artists, and it was nice to hear their take on life. Later on Monday, we drove to Toby Mac's studio where we met with Ryan Lampa, his tour manager, Toby Mac, Michael W. Smith (who is using Toby's studio), and Bryan Lennox (Michael's producer). I really enjoyed meeting with each one of those people. They were all very busy and took a big chunk out of their day to talk to us. It was very refreshing to hear their views, too. Later, we went to Word Entertainment (CCM record company) which was sufficiently creepy. And then we fed the homeless with Ryan Lampa.

That was the end of our school trip. Everyone was supposed to leave Tuesday morning, but I couldn't get the bus out until 6:40 PM, so I had my friend drop me off at the bus station on her way out of town, and then I hung out in Nashville all day. And got a tattoo. :)

So yeah. I spent Spring Break in the Shenandoah Valley with my aunt and uncle. That was really nice. Though they probably think I'm insane. And they're probably right.

And since getting back to the CMC, it's been really warm. Like, I'm seriously sunburned right now. It's spectacular!

Anyway, I have studio time in about fifteen minutes and we're doing final vocal tracking today, so I should go make sure I'm vocally prepared for this. :)

Love and lotsa "links",

Friday, April 2, 2010

Duck Hunt in the Kitchen

So, I'm sitting in the Café, checking my email. I just finished breakfast and this is my normal morning routine. Except that there's a guy in the kitchen working on the refrigerator. (Probably because there was a polar bear in there yesterday.) And he's using some piece of equipment that makes old school video game noises. It seriously sounds like Duck Hunt. Or some old school game. It's intensely amusing.

This morning, I had studio time from 5-9. I was in there getting ready at 4:55 and then ... no power. Just in the studio. The rest of the Barn was still fully lit. Christian and Caitlyn came down and we spent about half an hour flipping breakers trying to get it back up... but no such luck. So... then we went back to sleep. What a good story.

I'm really ambivalent about going home. I miss my family, I miss my bassoon, I miss my friends, I miss my bed (these mattresses are terrible!)... but I know things change. How will I fit back into my friend groups? Will things be awkward in certain relationships? And what about a job? I've got a few leads, but nothing certain yet. I know I still have a few weeks, but then again, what don't I plan feverishly weeks in advance?

Well, I have a sudden urge to play Atari-esque games... so I'll leave this for now.

Love and Licorice (Black Licorice, but not Dutch Black Licorice),

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


We're leaving for Nashville in the morning! I'm so excited!

We call this "Road Trip" and we'll get to sit in on meetings with people in the music industry. We're going to meet Charlie Peacock, Sarah Masen, David Dark, etc. AND we're going to Jars of Clay's studio. And TobyMac's studio, where they're recording the next Michael W. Smith album. I'M SO EXCITED. This is going to be awesome.

And there's a really cool used bookstore I want to go to, also. Of course. But I can't buy a whole lot of books because I can't take them all home of course. :)

After Nashville, I'm busing over to Charlottesville, VA where my auntie Sam is going to pick me up and I'm spending a few days with her and my uncle Rob. I'm super excited for that, too! I'll get to see the campus where they teach (they both have PhDs and teach at JMU). And not do music for a few days. :) That'll be really nice.

So anyway, I just wanted to let y'all know what I'm up to, since I know that your daily existence depends on regular updates of my activities.

Oh! Yesterday I went into the studio to record a whistle part for one of the Artists-in-Residence here (former students who have come back for a semester to focus on recording). They're a husband and wife team, and the husband came up to me and said, "We want a whistle part in one of our songs and we heard that you are a dynamite whistler, so we thought we'd ask you." Which was really thrilling for me because I love to whistle... And I am really good at it, if I do say so myself.

Anyway, it's nearing 60 degrees outside and sun is shining so I can't take this screen anymore.

Love and (hopefully just a little bit of) Sunburn,

Monday, March 8, 2010

Are We There Yet?

I love this song by Ingrid Michaelson. I couldn't find an official video, but you get to see a cute picture of Ingrid with the lyrics over top of it.

Love and Ingrid,


Monday, March 1, 2010

Who I Am

I just wrote a new song, and I'm really proud of it. So I thought I'd share it with y'all... though you can't hear it. If you want to hear it, email me, and I'll send you the REALLY rough demo mp3. Otherwise, here are the words:

Who I Am
(C) 2010 Leah Joy Stegman

I wanna see the sunrise
Dance in a storm
Drive a motorcycle
Break all the norms
Get a tattoo
Fall in love
Run through a waterfall
And chase the sun

This is who I am
This is who I am
Reckless and unstable
This is who I am
Wild, wild and free
You can't change me

I wanna ride bareback
Sleep under the stars
Travel the world
And fall into your arms
Swim in the ocean
Follow the tide
Grow old gracefully
With you by my side

This is who I am
This is who I am
Reckless and unstable
This is who I am
Wild, wild and free
You can't change me

You can keep your 9-5s
Your highways and your malls
Let me have my freedom
Or nothing at all

This is who I am
This is who I am
Reckless and unstable
This is who I am
Wild, wild and free
You can't change me


Anyway, I really like it, plus I used a bVI chord (yeah Theory!) so it sounds really cool. (There's also a secondary dominant seventh chord in the chorus.)

And that's all for now, folks.

Love and dorkiness,

Friday, February 26, 2010

Exciting Things

I am really happy today. So I thought I'd write a blog.

First of all, last night's show went really well... at least I think so. Every week, a set of us artists gets a band together and rehearses a few songs for a show on Thursday night. I was one of the artists to go this past week, but because of our Boston trip, we missed about three hours of rehearsals. "Hide and Seek" (the song) was coming along very slowly (because it's really hard) and even though the girls singing with me took like four extra hours out of their free time to do extra rehearsing, it was still not perfect. Wednesday, the day before the show, we got together at 10 pm to work on it. After an hour of rehearsal, we decided to change the song. At 11:00pm the night before the show, we took an hour and a half to learn a song I had just written. We practiced it again on Thursday for 20 minutes and that was all the rehearsal we had on that song. Despite that, my set went really well. And I am very pleased. :)

Then, Friday is laundry day. And I love the smell of clean laundry.

And Friday is also the day we get crazy good brunch - so I got bacon. Mmm. I love bacon.

And then I got an email from the CU music department - I might be able to graduate a semester early! That thrills me to my toes!

Anyway, I'm going to go try to write. This week's song-writing assignment is to write a song with which we could end a concert. Like, a "sum of me" song - If I had one last song to sing, what would it be? Should be interesting.

Love and Laundry,


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Boston, Erik Satie, Profanity, etc...

This weekend, we're taking a group trip to Boston. I'm very excited. I've never been to Boston. Shoot, the only big cities I've been to are Chicago and Toronto. (Ok, and Charlotte and Detroit, but they're not really that big.) Anyway, it should be really fun. And I'll probably sleep really well on a hotel bed. Mm, that sounds good.

Also, here is a funny article from Erik Satie (the twentieth-century composer). He was making fun of artists who feel like they have to be ... well, different.

A Day in The Life of a Musician

"An artist must regulate his life.

Here is a time-table of my daily acts. I rise at 7.18; am inspired from 10.23 to 11.47. I lunch at 12.11 and leave the table at 12.14. A healthy ride on horse-back round my domain follows from 1.19 pm to 2.53 pm. Another bout of inspiration from 3.12 to 4.7 pm. From 5 to 6.47 pm various occupations (fencing, reflection, immobility, visits, contemplation, dexterity, natation, etc.)

Dinner is served at 7.16 and finished at 7.20 pm. From 8.9 to 9.59 pm symphonic readings (out loud). I go to bed regularly at 10.37 pm. Once a week (on Tuesdays) I awake with a start at 3.14 am.

My only nourishment consists of food that is white: eggs, sugar, shredded bones, the fat of dead animals, veal, salt, coco-nuts, chicken cooked in white water, mouldy fruit, rice, turnips, sausages in camphor, pastry, cheese (white varieties), cotton salad, and certain kinds of fish (without their skin). I boil my wine and drink it cold mixed with the juice of the Fuschia. I have a good appetite but never talk when eating for fear of strangling myself.

I breathe carefully (a little at a time) and dance very rarely. When walking I hold my ribs and look steadily behind me.

My expression is very serious; when I laugh it is unintentional, and I always apologise very politely.

I sleep with only one eye closed, very profoundly. My bed is round with a hole in it for my head to go through. Every hour a servant takes my temperature and gives me another. "


I just really like that.

Lately, I've been listening to Kate Nash. Her music is really cool. It bothers me that she uses profanity so much. That's actually been the hardest thing here at the CMC. So many people are so comfortable with swearing. I always end up talking like the people around me, so I've had to be really careful and really start watching what I say. I think cursing can be okay sometimes - to make a point, to add emphasis... occasionally for humor. But just putting it in everywhere? What makes us different as Christians? What sets us apart? If we sound just like everyone else... well, I don't think people are really going to notice that we're different. We don't need to be priggish about it and shun everyone who curses - that's not helpful at all. But we can just refrain from using those words. It's not that hard.

Anyway, I like Kate Nash, and I'm doing a cover of her song "Pumpkin Soup" for our next show. I'm also doing a cover of "Hide and Seek" by Imogen Heap. Look them up if you aren't familiar with them and want to be.

I think that's about it for now.

Love and Less-Complicated Chord Progressions,

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Super Bowl Thoughts

So, I think we all know I don't give a flying fart in space about the football game. I cheer for a team because if I don't, my little brother will think I'm more insane than he already does. So, "Go Colts!" (That one was for you, Jacob.)

I'm sitting here on the couch in the Cafe, 'watching' the game. Which means, occasionally glancing up during the game to make fun of something, watching the commercials (which have sucked so far, except for the one where the little kid just told his mom's date off), and ... well, blogging. I brought my knitting, too.

What is "Bud Light - Golden Wheat"? I don't get it. I guess I much prefer Bud Light - Silver Wheat. I don't know.

And parties need food. That's really why I'm here. So I had some wings, and a potato skin thing with bacon. Mmmm.... And an apple... 'cause it was there. I want cookies.

Hey, I just noticed that the Colts scored. Go Colts!

I spent the afternoon knitting and listening to Rich Mullins. I can't think of a better way to spend it.

I have Late Night in Studio A tonight from 11pm-2am. We have to finish EQing and mixing my first master. Should be fun.

So, I have such big calluses on my left fingers right now (from playing guitar) that I can't use any touch screens with that hand. Like, they just don't recognize my calluses as ... fingers, I guess.

Right now I have a strange oatmeal craving.

Why do they wear such tight pants? Ok, I guess I do understand that. But why do the cameramen have to get such awkward angles of said tight pants?

I love this place. When we watched the Grammys last weekend, EVERYONE was there. This weekend, for the Super Bowl? Half of us... maybe.

1:10 left in the first... quarter? Are football games in quarters? I'm utterly ignorant.

By the way, Carrie Underwood sang the national anthem, and it was great.... Until the word "brave". Wow, was that pitchy! Everyone here started shouting "woah!!"

Wow, there was just a really disturbing commercial. I hope Jacob wasn't watching that.

:30 left in the first quarter. I think I'll be done with these thoughts after that, 'cause it's going to be the same things over and over again for the rest of the game.

Why isn't the Super Bowl kid friendly anymore? I mean... the game is. And they choose ridiculously old-school bands for the half-time show so there won't be any more 'wardrobe malfunctions', but honestly? These commercials? I'm embarrassed to be watching this!

I like it when the commentators circle on the screen. It looks like fun.

Well... first quarter over. I hope you enjoyed or ignored these really random thoughts.

Love and Chocolate-Chip Cookies,

Saturday, February 6, 2010


So, I've been getting more into song-writing lately. I feel like that's one of my strong points. Since here, I've finished two really good (in my opinion) songs, and started about seven pretty decent ones. I'm kinda thrilled about that, actually. It's funny, though, how our song-writing assignments work.

Our first assignment was just to write a good chorus, and that turned into one of the unfinished songs I have so far. It's just a feel-good song. (It's going to be a techno/dance/rave song.) However, after that, things went downhill emotionally. Our next assignment was to write a song about pain. Mine is REALLY powerful. (It's one of the two finished ones.) It's really sad! I wrote it about rape, but my teacher said it could be taken as a political commentary, too. So, for our next assignment (write a Bible song), I wrote a political commentary. It could be taken as to the government today, or to the government of Jesus' day. Anyway, it's a pretty angry blues song. Our latest assignment is to write a song about anger. So again... a pretty angry song. Everyone here is going to think I have anger issues! :) Except that aside from those, the other songs I've written here are pretty happy. I wrote a duet love song (another finished one) and I just started one about how much I love mornings. I also have one started about my First Love and another about Lake Michigan. They're all very happy. I just can't seem to finish them.

Anyway, so I'm writing angry songs. :) There's your life update.

Love and Loquacity,

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sentimental Heirlooms I Treasure

Auntie Rachel asked for it, and I think she's the only regular reader, and I have a few minutes now where I need to NOT do music. So I'm updating.

First, on my life. Dang, am I busy! Don't get me wrong, I love it. But I'm busy. This weekend? I had 3 and a half hours of recording Friday night, another 3 on Saturday, plus 5 hours of rehearsal on Saturday. Also I had to write a song. 4 hours of rehearsal this afternoon (Sunday), plus I can't stop playing anyway. Even if I feel like I should. I'm obsessed with music. :)

Now, onto what you really care about.

This is a picture I have had on my wall since I was a child. It says: "Leah, the sound of your name will always bring cheer to all those who love you and hold you so dear."

I got this dog and puppy from Grandma Chloe (Dad's mom). I like them so much because even though I never really knew her very well, Grandma Chloe was always really sweet to me. (The dog and puppy are creatively named "Dog" and "Puppy", respectively.)

This is my "September Bride". I don't know why she's a bride, but I was born in September. She sits in one of the slots on this box that hangs on my wall. (My auntie painted the box for me when I was little.)

These are our family bells. The big one is mine. And it's cracked 'cause I tried to carry it around on my head. And it fell. The other ones are my mom's and Andrew's. I don't remember which is which.

This is the basket I carried in my aunt's wedding. I think. I think she made it for me anyway. And it's pretty, so I keep it.

When I was little, I had dolls, and my brother thought it was unfair that only girls could have dolls. So my mom gave him this doll that was hers when she was little. It's name is "Rachel". I got it as a hand-me-down when Andrew realized that dolls really are just for girls.

This is a poster I got from my great-aunt Jane's house after her death. I really like the poem on it, and it reminds me of her, so I keep it.

This picture ... I don't even know where it's from. But it's always been in my room, so I can't get rid of it. No matter how tacky it may be.

This is my favorite. Well, my favorite of this batch. (Which is all I have pictures of, by the way.) If you turn the bottom, it turns and plays music. It's really cute. And it's broken a lot, so there are crack-and-glue marks all over it.

Well, it's about time for me to go to a Grammy's party. So... yeah.


Love and guitar licks,

Monday, January 11, 2010

Well, It's Been Like 40 years

But I'm still alive!

So much has happened and will happen and I'm not sure I'll have a lot of time to write this semester. Well, I'll have time to write, but mostly songs, not blogs. Besides, you don't really need to hear about the Sentimental Heirlooms I Treasure. Anyway, life is GREAT. I'm on Martha's Vineyard at the Contemporary Music Center studying Rock Star 101 and it's SUPER fun! I mean, I've only had one day so far, but it's really great. So far. :)

I still have to get laundry detergent, though.

I keep thinking that maybe if I just pretend I don't have to do laundry that I won't, but I know that's not true. For some reason, it just feels like I'm only going to be here for 2 weeks or so, when I'll really be here for like 15. Anyway.

A few more hours until our showcase tonight and I have dinner before that, too, and I have some more stuff to do before that. So yeah.

I love you all, whoever you are!