Author Archives: Barb
Author Archives: Barb
Are you really following your dream or just playing around? The Tevas Diva once again learns something important from her husband.
When EW and I set sail in 2010, heading down the US Coast to Florida, the Bahamas, the Eastern Caribbean and beyond, he said, “My dream isn’t just to go sailing. It’s to go sailing and meet people to play music with.” The thing was, he had never played music with anyone before this. He had (still does) a nice Martin guitar and he took some lessons and played around with it, but he’d never done much else. I have to admit that I was skeptical.
EW was everything but. He was optimistic, determined, and willing to be wrong out loud in front of an audience, and committed to following his dream.
EW didn’t get much going until we reached Grenada in 2011, where many boats anchor for hurricane season and where many crew members or captains play music or sing. There were a plethora of guitarists, one or two who played saxophone, folks who played banjo, mandolin, ukelele, percussion, harmonica, and more. There were others who had lovely singing voices, and still others who simply loved to sing. (One is not a requirement for the other.) EW met a fellow cruiser, Peter Bonta, who became a dear friend and a mentor. Peter was a retired professional musician and he loves to teach someone who truly wants to learn. EW spent hours on Peter’s boat and more hours practicing aboard out boat. They both participated in the frequent music jams.
When we all sailed up to St. Thomas, the music continued and Peter got EW to step up to the mike for Open Mike Night at Tickles Pub. Later, we had Sunday music sessions in the Tree Tops with professional and amateur musicians gathered for potluck Sunday meal and hours of music.
EW made music with others all throughout the Eastern and Western Caribbean—aboard various vessels, on the beach, on the docks, and (amazingly) as part of a guitar/bass duo in a dockside pub in Panama. Frankly, I love hearing him play and I love hearing him sing—but I have no illusions that he’s going to make any money at it. He plays here with professional and amateur musicians at jams and open mikes. He loves it. He learns new music, joined a contest, and works at it. All the while imagining himself playing for money.
Frankly, I thought he was delusional. (And that doesn’t make me a bad person. I am realistic about his talent. He plays guitar much better than he sings, but there are some songs which he can sing very well.) He just keeps at it. Keeps pushing himself. Takes advice from every great musician he meets and uses it. He keeps at it. It’s his dream and he is following his dream.
St. Patty’s Day is HUGE in St. Augustine. It’s more like St. Patty’s Week. Since it was on a Saturday this year, it was even bigger. Every Irish establishment downtown opened from 9 AM to 2 AM (no kidding) with music most of the day. So this one Irish place 8 miles south of town evidently didn’t book their talent early enough. They had a great local troubadour starting at 9:00 but no one scheduled before. One of EW’s music friends plays mostly a Celtic repertoire and was engaged to play from 4 to 9. He is not a professional musician and didn’t want to sing for 5 hours alone. Frankly, he called a bunch of people before he called EW, who generally plays no Irish songs. EW was the only one available so they worked out some songs.
Yes, I went and sat through the whole thing. We support following your dreams. Yes, they totally mangled a couple of songs. Yes, they were a bit rough and (in my humble opinion) played some songs much too slowly. No, they didn’t learn “Danny Boy”. Still, they played for 5 hours, each taking a solo 20 minutes while the other rested. EW’s solo stuff was not Irish and he rocked it.
The musicians were so wound up that we ended up at our favorite local bar until 1:00. Following your dreams is stimulating.
What if you fail? What if you embarrass yourself? What if you struggle and struggle and struggle? What if you stand up and make a whole bunch of mistakes out loud in front of an audience? I asked EW this. Here’s his answer:
“I’m just going to have fun and do my best. If they don’t like it, tough.”
There you go. No excuses. Go for it. If they don’t like it, tough.
Oh, and with tips, they each made $106.00.
I am a professional writer, earning all we need to continue fulfilling all of our dreams.
What’s your dream? Just claim it, go for it, and work for it. (As Lynnelle is with the Divas trip to Paris in October.)
EW and I have a secret phrase when we see someone wearing a wildly inappropriate outfit. I’ll whisper, “UFO,” and tilt my head to indicate direction; EW will usually say, “UFO—Unfortunate Clothing Option?” and look.
Yes, it’s judgemental and snarky. Yes, I am sometimes ashamed. And yes, I have also been guilty—often. So pot, meet kettle. (Also, as the thumbnail shows, even icons are not above committing a UFO. Sorry, Michelle.)
Some of us are born with an understanding of fashion. At the very least, others of us soon understand what clothing looks best on us. And then there are those, like the 7th grader who proudly bought a new pair of flared jeans with white snaps and a COOL wide patterned blue and red vertical stripe. And then wore them to school to find that one of the actually cool kids had the same pants—the kicker? These “men’s” pants had also been purchased by one of the cool boys in my class, who was mortified that the awkward, inches taller, blond “smart girl” was wearing the same slacks he had proudly donned that morning. (He went home and changed at lunch.)
I really liked those pants. And frankly, they looked better on my long legs than they did on his shorter ones. I think I continued to wear them and always heard a few snickers. With my long legs in a small town, I was wearing women’s jeans long before it became popular.
I can look fondly at some of my high school choices, like the wide-legged laced-up-fly jeans which I wore with a ribbed navy-blue turtle-neck body suit. (No flab at 16.) I’m sure there were other things I wore that were flattering, but not the puffy bright yellow ski jacket or the round ski goggles. That outfit had “bug” written all over it. (Again, a shorter person figures into this story. The photo I remember is of me and my frequent ski partner, Wanda. She may have reached 5’2″ to my 5’8″. Our T-Bar failures were legendary. Still, she looked cool on the slopes. As for getting dressed up, for some reason, this strawberry blond, who now despises pink, wore just that color to two semi-formals in high school.
Even though I’m older and wiser and have been able to state for years what types of things look good on me, I frequently mess it up. There have been days in every year of my life for which someone could look at me walking down the street and say, “UFO alert!”
Here’s the thing—well two things:
I, however, frequently feel that I have nothing to wear—and I’m frequently right. While I have some good things, there are too few of them. I know what I can expect to look good on me, but cannot find it and settle for what I can find.
I purchased this dress because I truly had nothing to wear for Jeff and Barb’s renewal of vows in St. Thomas. I paid too much for it. The style is lovely on me—though I’d rather the deep V neckline wasn’t quite that deep. The color– not so much. Yes, it does have “Barbara Blue”, Teal, and a lovely Green. But it also has way too much yellow. white lime green, and orange. It was not a flattering dress for me. Come to think of it, that pattern of fake quilting is horrendous. What was I thinking?
This dress is today’s offering to the give-away pile. I love the style and the length. I need this dress in “Barbara Blue, teal, bright navy, or turquoise. Heck, I need this dress in at least two of those colors and maybe black.
This dress has got to go.
Lynnelle is working on de-cluttering and adding a select few items when she’s done.
I am working on de-cluttering and making a list of the what I need and the styles/colors/sizes that I will accept. I know what works. Until I find it, I will keep wearing what I own. In a year, there will be no UFOs-Unfortunate Clothing Options in my locker or drawers.
That is my pledge to me.
(Oh, god. I may have to wear the same thing over and over and over again. Talk about a small capsule!)
Wish me luck.
Today’s Topic is brought to you by the letter “P” as in Presidents’ Day and Podcasts.
Barb Here. Well, hmm, Presidents’ Day. In our day (yeah, I said it) we celebrated Lincoln’s Birthday in school and made stove pipe hats or learned the Gettysburg Address; and we celebrated Washington’s Birthday with a holiday—after making posters about the whole (fictitious) Cherry Tree Incident (I can still see the artwork in my head: child, downed tree, little hatchet), or—as we got older—discussing the Crossing of the Delaware or the horrible winter at Valley Forge. NOTE: If you have not spent time at Valley Forge, add it to your list. Bring tissues. This was a horrible winter, Washington was criticized and offered to resign. Revolutions are not pretty.
Back in 2002, we had a major de-clutter project when we sold our home and most of our stuff to move on the boat. I was so freaking smug. “Oh, getting rid of things was easy,” I said.