Friday, April 30, 2010

Life ain't meant to come around twice, Genevieve

Sometimes you get caught thinking about doing, but not actually acting on your thinking. That was me this week. I've been planning and taking the precursor steps to many things I want to happen this year, which is very necessary, but now the hard part comes. I have to follow through. Here's to following through::

Real By Lupe Fiasco
My man said he wanted somethin real.
Somethin he could recognize, somethin he could feel.
Baby girl said she was in the mood for somethin real.
Somethin that could make her move
Somethin she could feel.

Lust sometimes can override trust
She said that's why she gave it up
My man said blood spilled out of everything he touched
He crushed everything he crushed
Ruined everything he loved, he just wanted to rush
Blamed it on the times bein rough
Doin dirt, with the devil, chasin after the dust
Make a fuss, if it's them, but we hush, if it's us

That's why, my momma said she wanted somethin real.
Somethin she could be proud of, somethin she could feel.
She said they so used to not havin nuttin real.
That they don't know how to act
They don't know how to feel.

Life! ain't meant to come around twice
Yeah, that's why I gotta get it right
They said I got it honest now I gotta give it life
But sleep on it, that's why God give you night
I mean, I had a dream that, God gave me flight
Too fly for my own good so, God gave me plight
If I wake up in the mornin now I gotta give 'em sight
Make 'em see, break 'em free, ain't a G, sho' you right

The game is not to give 'em nuttin real.
Nothin they could use, nuttin that they could feel.
Give 'em a bunch of lies and teach 'em that it's real.
So that's all that they a-know
That's all that they a-feel.

Struggle... yeah yeah, another sign that God love you
Cause on the low, bein po', make you humble
Keep they names in my rhymes to try and keep them out of trouble
Cause bein po', also teach you how to hustle
All they want is some shoes or some rims for they bubble
Now that I got my own, I can hit them with a couple
Couple, my homies so they ain't got no reason to cuff you
That's my plan, if I can, on the man, up above you

That's why, I gotta give 'em somethin real.
Somethin they could recognize, somethin they could feel.
To my homies on the block I gotta give 'em somethin real.
Somethin that'll make 'em stop
Somethin they can feel.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Jackie: I'm Off!

Here's the deal: I'm annoyed.

It's rather petty, I realize, and I really should just let it all go because it really doesn't matter. And usually I can do just that, but as the semester drags on and my patience continues to diminish I find myself more and more annoyed.

[PS... What's even more annoying is those people who go on and on about things that annoy them. Check out if you want an example.]

Here I am, trying to deal with my heinous schedule, getting ready for my sophomore proficiency [which is in 11 days!] and trying to write 4 papers ... and on top of it all, the stupidest things are making me nuts.

And that is one reason I'm about to make a big announcement: I'm going to Tennessee for the weekend! I'll be leaving my house in the morning at 5am and will be hanging out with some of my dearest friends before most of you will be at work. And it will be a glorious weekend among good company, in a slower paced life, eating good food all the way until Monday afternoon.

*Sigh* Now if I can just get everything done I need to get done before I leave...

PS... I realize I haven't exactly accomplished or worked on accomplishing any of my goals the past few weeks. =/ But don't fret just yet, school is almost done and then I'll be back in action.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Baby Steps, Genevieve, Baby Steps.

I'm probably one of the most impatient people I know. It's definitely not a quality that I pride myself in and a lot of the time it makes me anxious. Anxious that I made the right decision, anxious to know the outcome... but then I have to take a breather, give myself a pep talk and remind myself that Rome wasn't built in a day. I've been taking baby steps towards my ultimate goals and that's good. I'm learning to take joy in the process and keep it all in perspective, which sometimes is all you really can do. Here are some steps that I've currently been taking::

Church/Spiritual Goals:
2. Participate in local community outreach and serve more willingly.
*** SLOWLY but surely I'm selling the stuff I cleaned out of my closet last week. It's hard to make time to go to different consignment stores, the Good Will and start up an Ebay account for selling, but it's happening.***

***I've also been thinking that serving at The Denver Rescue Mission sometime in May would be something that could be impactful. Who wants to join me? I would love to get a group together :)***

3. Learn, grow and love in my personal relationships and friendships.
***This has become a huge factor within the past month and I've really been learning who my true, life long friends are. I love the beauty of people!***

Educational Goals:
1. Apply to grad school
***Grad school is actually on my radar, this is a big step, because for so long it's been this blob out on the distant horizon. I'm actually thinking about the different aspects that need to be in place in order to apply in 4 months.***

Career Goals:
1. Push myself at my current job and ultimately learn deeper facets of the industry.
***I got my yearly review this last week and it was so encouraging. I'm now more inspired to learn! We're also hiring on an assistant for the concert department, so that makes me a... boss... WHAT??!***

2. Always keep my options open for networking, going on tour, working internationally or landing my dream job.
***I'm in the midst of some emails setting up a lunch with our production manager. He's definitely a key person to know in the Denver music scene and I asked him if I could pick his brain and ask for advice. He agreed.***

Entrepreneurial Goals:
1. Make Hear Us Loud! happen.
2. Put on some benefit concerts and a few house shows.
***These two goals have combined themselves with some further brainstorming. I'm pretty excited about the outcome, but it's all about the follow through. I've been grabbing drinks, sending emails and making phone calls with some interested parties. It's a matter of time.***

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Jackie - 21 is Bigger Than 17

I actually accomplished something in the last week! Which in and of itself feels like an accomplishment! I have 2 weeks until my Sophomore Proficiency and next week my a capella ensemble is having its performance. Needless to say, I've been a little distracted. I guess should have included some school things in my goals... then I could be crossing off more things. *sigh*

I decided to reconnect with one of my cousins. Actually, he's my cousin's kid. My dad was a woops-baby and... never mind... it's too complicated to explain. So, I took my 14-year-old cousin, Kolten, out on the town for the night last Saturday. We have birthdays 4 days apart and I promised to take him out for his birthday. Which makes me sound like the coolest cousin ever... except that our birthdays are in January. At least I kept my word... ?

I started babysitting Kolten when he was about 6 months old and kept doing so in the summers until I finally moved in with them the fall he started Kindergarten. That was a fun year. Everyday at noon I would take his little brother and walk down to the elementary school to pick him up. And on the way home he would tell me all the adventures of the day--what games they played at recess and how to deal with bullies. Everything was so new and exciting to him--it was great! It was about that time that he announced that he was older than me. In his mind, it made a lot of sense. See, his birthday is on the 21st and mine is only on the 17th and since 21 is bigger, he was obviously older. I just let him go with it.

Last Saturday, I picked him up and took him to my favorite restaurant, Pasquini's. Sadly, it wasn't as good as it usually is, but we forged on. We went for a little walk on the boat bridge and explored Union Station, and ended the night with some checkers and chess at Paris on the Platte. All the while chatting about life. It felt a little strange to talk to him as an adult and for him to ask me about my dating life, but I tried to be honest in hopes that he won't make the same mistakes I have. And when he brought up his favorite of my ex-boyfriends and told me how much he liked him, I decided he's finally old enough to hear about what a jerk that guy was to me.

We talked about all kinds of things... school, college prospects, girls, sports. It's been so long since we hung out for an entire night, I let him direct the conversation since I'm not even sure what he likes these days. I learned all about what it's like to be an 8th grader... and it makes me never want to have kids.

I tried to keep him out late because he's grounded right now for getting a bad grade. I think I was successful because he yawned the whole way home.

We were always really close when he was little, but in the years since I moved out, we haven't spent that much time together and I'm ready to change that. I hope I can continue to re-grow this relationship. He's a special kid. And he's special to me, so I don't want what we once had turn into just a memory.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Sarah's Round Up

Life has been spinning out of control lately.  Having these goals to ground me and keep me focused has been great, but trying to keep them in the forefront of my mind has been a little tricky as daily comeupances try to push them into the backseat.  At any rate, here's a round up of what's been happening on the ol' list:

1.  Weight loss:  I signed up with  It does all the number crunching for you: how many calories you need, how much water you need, how many grams of this and that are in... this and that.  It's been super helpful, not to mention eye opening.  10 grams of carbs in an avocado.  Who would've thought!

2.  Straight A's:  I'll be honest with you fine folks.  That absolutely is not going to happen this semester.  Sarah and Science are mortal enemies and I'm taking two science classes this semester (if you count the labs it's more like four science classes).  A little less than mid way through the semester I accepted my fate of getting a few C's.  But the goal remains for Fall 2010.

3.  Artists Dates:  It's a slow process but I've been trying to take a moment here and there and deem them artists dates, even though I feel like I'm cheating a little bit.  This week I'm typing up a list of fabulous places to go and see and setting up a schedule.

4.  Finish a project- I'm THINKING a lot about my Emily Dickinson piece, and I suppose that's the first step.  The plan is to get started after the semester ends.  6 am writing sessions at Stella's here I come!

5.  Get something published:  Let's look past that one until I actually finish something.  I am going to look into some freelance opportunities.

6.  Leave the city, state, country:  Blerg.  This one is proving to be the most difficult.  Any places around the state you think I should visit, I need a daycation somethin awful?

7.  Read Austen:  Still working on Sense and Sensibility.  After I finish I'm going to take a break and then pick up Pride and Prejudice (again).

8.  Discover things about Denver: I'd like my first adventure to be a First Friday. I've never been and that's just shameful.

9.  Work on the Apartment: We have some plans and things to hang.  If you're good with a hammer we could use your help!


11.  Learn Creole/French: This has to wait until summer break

12.  Go to Haiti: I'm going to talk with the leader of the group I went with last time and email Heartline in May.  Yikes!

13.  Get all crafty and shiz: I have plans for some throw pillows and my mom said she'd help.  Mom time = bonus! 

Friday, April 16, 2010

Let Go Of The Goods, Genevieve!

I was reading an article the other day on that said only 24% of twenty some things volunteer their time. It talked about how we as the emerging generation want to help and give our energies directly to a cause instead of donating to the "towering bureaucracies" out there. The only problem is that we are some of the busiest people imaginable. We over commit socially, work too hard, go to school and in general don't have the time to give to volunteering. That's where day service projects and jammed packed missions trips have come in handy for us. The article goes on to say, "Those with a heart to serve must take small steps - however insignificant they may seem - in getting involved if they want to develop into mature servants. 'Go out and do something, anything, whatever... and then God will show you what you want to be doing, even if it's small - something tangible, something real.' "

I started reflecting on volunteering and servant hood in my own life. Back in high school it was so easy. My youth group would set up regular opportunities and summer trips to participate in. All you had to do was sign up and help raise money (or ask your parents for some). But once you hit college the focus changes to you and how YOU are doing, what do YOU need to get a degree, gather life experience, land a job, become successful and ultimately it all gets lost.

I felt as if I was being nudged back in the direction of my youth earlier this year and put "serving my community" as one of my goals for 2010. Not only do I want to help those immediately in my life, but also reaching out and extending past my comfort zone. Sarah and I did this earlier in February, when we helped with Habitat for Humanity and the project they're working on in Denver. It felt so good to get outside and have a hammer in hand. And just like the article said, every little bit helps, just because I'm not going out every single week and serving the homeless or tutoring an at risk child, doesn't mean I can't help.

My next goal is to simplify and un-clutter my life and in the process give back to who needs it the most. As I was clearing out my closet a few days ago, I thought to myself, "I have SO much STUFF." I don't need it all and as I thought this, I texted that statement to my friend Dan. He texted me back with an idea, "Hey. Maybe you could sell all the clothes you're giving away and with that money you can donate to a charity you're passionate about." Brilliant. Over the course of the past few days I have painstakingly gone through everything I own and asked myself, "Do I really NEED this." My living room is now filled with piles of clutter that I am about to embark on selling. My skis, old clothes, kitchen items, jewelry, bedding, so much, too much. I don't care how much money I get from it, I just hope that whatever I end up with can make a difference in someone's life.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Jackie - The Silence Between the Notes

As a musician, you’re taught and reminded often how important the rests are in the music.

The silence between the notes is every bit as important as the sound itself.

We talk a lot these days.

And when you find yourself overwhelmed,
wondering what to say next,
it might be a good time to just sit back and listen for a while.
 [poem found at]

I don't have anything goal-related to share, so I'm giving you a rest this week from hearing about my life and hopefully an extra chance to think intentionally about your own. Several people have told me our blog has encouraged them to make their own list of goals. If you've done so, we'd love to hear about it!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sarah and the Art of Counting Down

Things I like about the gym: The steam room (even the old men that frequent it.  Those guys are punchy), the hot tub, unlimited hot water in the showers, lot's of counter space for getting ready, Willa- the 80 year old artist that shares that counter space with me, and the guy with the lovely green eyes that picks up his kids the same time I pick up mine (I'm a nanny, not a mom- just so we're clear).

Things I don't like about the gym: Working out.

That Love/Hate relationship with running I talked about before is running a little thin on the "love" lately (absolutely no pun intended).  I'm tired of being sweaty, smelly and out of breath.  My attention span has been about 3 minutes lately and that does not bode well when it takes about 25 minutes just to run two miles- not to mention all the lifting, pressing and squeezing that has to come after that.

But I am begrudgingly plugging away, feeling like I'm making absolutely no headway- numbers wise.  But, in an effort of full disclosure, I would like to publicly announce that I do believe my booty is shrinking.  Huzzah!

I've been thinking about the cheer uniform gag I've been yammering on about.  I'd hate to think anyone was taking me seriously when I said that.  Heh... yeah.  Honestly though, that may happen someday; but for now I'd like to make a smaller yet measurable goal for you all follow along with.  And here it is:

This summer I will be throwing myself a birthday party.  I'm partially telling you this so you'll come.  The last time I threw myself a big birthday party nearly no one came- it was my Sweet Sixteen by the way.  But this isn't about old high school scars.  There will be a theme and it will be fan-freakin-tastic. What that theme will be is yet to be seen: but I bought a dress at the Buffalo Exchange for ten dollars and I'm going to wear it damn it.  Only problem is that it's a bit snug around the everywhere region.  So the goal is to fit into that dress by July 26th or thereabouts.  And you can all come, bring me presents and tell me how great I look.  Sounds like a fabulous birthday to me!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Grace Has Amazing Hands To Hold You, Genevieve

Ever since I was a child I can remember singing and playing in church. It's been a God send for me. When applying for college came around senior year I was dead set on biology. My big brother was studying it, so of course it appealed to me. I remember one night at the dinner table, my mom said, "Ya know Gen, have you ever considered music?" I thought to myself... NO, music isn't a job. And then she continued to coax me... "Outside of your school work that's all you do." And she was right, I was in musicals, choral, show choir and played in the worship band at church. So, I finally gave in and started to think about the possibilites. I applied for the music in worship program at Biola University in Los Angeles and got in. It wouldn't have happened without the encouragement of my family and mentors in music at the time.

Freshman year was a series of ups and downs and ultimately I decided that I wanted to study music, but not in the facet of worship. It was a great hobby and service to the church, but I didn't see myself having it as a vocation. I transferred to CU Denver and finished my college career in vocal performance and music business. But during that time, I lost who I was before. Connecting in church became a battle and I started to define myself in the secular world of music. It wasn't until I graduated that I realzied how much I missed worship. It was this enormous part of my life for 5 years that I somehow lost and it was heart breaking. When I finally found an amazing church that I could call home, Scum of the Earth, God kept knocking on the door of my heart. It took several months of nail bitng on my part to eventually walk up to one of the worship leaders and ask for an application.

And with that, the doors flew wide open. I started playing and then before I knew it our head pastor was asking me out for breakfast. He, with genuine care, asked me to come on board as a worship leader. It has been one fo the biggest joys in my life for the past year. I can be having the worst week and sit down to pray about the songs for our service and it's as if God is placing His hand over me and saying, "Just worship".

I've gotten back in touch with my roots and even have played some songs that meant a lot to me in high school. Many of those songs were written by Jason Stocker, the worship leader at my church growing up. His gift for worship has been one of the inspirations I've held on to throughout the years. Every once and a while I'll go to his church out in Arvada just to listen. I went this last week. We chatted after the service and it was such a blessing to be able to talk with him. I thanked him for all of his amazing songs and the inspiration that they have had on our congregation. He was truly touched and that's what makes him such an amazing person.

I suggested we play worship together soon and he was very excited at the idea. I mentioned this to Mike, my pastor, just yesterday and he said to go for it! I'm currently working on dates and concepts and love the fact that I'm blessed and able to have worship in my every day life. My prayer is to have this continue to be a genuine expression of my thanks and love to God.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Jackie - Checkin' Out the Big City

I don't have anything profound to say this week. [Surprising, I know!]

School has me insanely busy right now. I'm in two ensembles, therefore two concerts this month; plus, this semester is my sophomore proficiency and on top of trying to get myself ready for that vocally, I'm also trying to learn the piano so that I can accompany myself. So I was thinking, it mighty be good to have a couple informal concerts before the big day to run through my music and get more comfortable performing it in front of people. If you're interested in coming to listen let me know so I can tell you when they'll be happening!

Here's what I've gotten done this week.

Goal 1:: Teach
I contacted a friend of mine who teaches piano and is quite good at it. Hopefully we can get together soon so I can get some pointers since my first student is interested in playing piano. I plan on talking to another friend of mine also who is a music teacher to get her insights.

Goal 3:: Reconnect
Who should I get together with this month... ?

Goal 6:: Redefine spirituality
I decided to put this one on hold until the summer. I'm pretty occupied finishing the semester and thought this deserved more attention than I can give at the moment.

Goal 7:: Be frugal.
Two words: tax return. That's right, folks, since I'm still in school I got a pretty nice tax return. Also, I've been good at keeping my spending to a bare minimum and was able to put a few more Benjamins toward the effort. I did break my no-paying-for-parking rule a couple times ... *sigh*

Goal 5:: Take 2 of 4 Trips
This goal has me most excited. I've been looking at plane tickets almost non-stop and had something almost definite planned... until the ticket price tripled. Ugh.

I'm thinking about taking a road trip with my roommate to Dallas later in May, but no details have been confirmed, so don't quote me on that just yet.

The big news is this: NEW YORK CITY IN NOVEMBER! I am unbelievably excited. My friend Joe, in Nashville, is turning 30 and wants to do it right, so he and Leah are getting the crew together to go rock the big city! I told them to count me in no matter what. Seriously, people, I have wanted to visit New York City since I can remember and I am excited beyond words. Every time I watch How I Met Your Mother [which happens to be my favorite tv show so I watch it a lot] I dream about visiting and now I get the chance! 

*If you were sitting next to me you'd see me jittering like an excited little school girl.*

BUT wait, there's more! Not only do I get the city... and Joe and Leah, but I get to see Marcus, too! It's like a trifecta of big city goodness.

I might explode of excitedness.

*Deep breaths, Jackie. It's not for 7 months.*

Monday, April 5, 2010

Sarah is Trying to Remain Calm

You may have noticed (but you probably didn't) that I had a goal of trying to figure out God and my relationship with him.  About a week after posting it, I took it off.  I just didn't feel ready to share it with the masses.  I don't like to talk about my spirituality all that much.  I don't like to shout about it, anyway.  But last night at church, something started to make sense and I feel like I should share.

We had eaten our meal together, Mike had spoken his Easter words, and the "Scum choir" was on stage singing.  I sat in quiet meditation and started thinking about how afraid I've been lately.  A lot of things feel like they're coming to a head before I'm ready for them.  I've been scared for my job, scared about all the homework I have yet to accomplish, scared of not using my gifts the way I ought to, and scared of some of these goals I've set for myself; namely the goals relating to Haiti. 

I've said it several times on here: I'm not a finisher.  I don't follow through on things that I start and it seems like a lot of times it's because things just don't go my way.  I have big ideas, try to carry them out and somewhere along the line they start to fall apart and I give up.  I am terrified that this Haiti idea is going to follow the same pattern.  And Haiti means too much to me to have it slip through my fingers.

My gentle meditation started to turn into a silent anxiety attack:  I can't go to Haiti alone!  What am I going to contribute there?  What if they don't want me?  What if I don't get this internship, learn nothing about journal therapy and end up being too lazy to try to learn Creole this Summer?  I am terrified I'm going to fail at this.  

And as the room started to close in on me and I forgot how to breathe, I realized something: Fear is not wrong.  And if Jesus was afraid the night before he died, I can be afraid too.  Sitting in my chair as the band played on in front me and voices in the crowd rose up around me, I closed my eyes, clasped my hands and silently recognized my fear.  

Afterwards, Ben Mercer (our missions guy) stopped me and asked about my plans for Haiti.  I told him, hesitantly, a little bit about what I wanted to do and when I wanted to do it.  He responded by saying that Scum supported me and if I wanted to get a group together that'd be great, and also he'd like to come along too if possible.  Ben has volunteered with Art from Ashes and has great experience with art therapy.  The fear started to slowly trickle away and I felt like my admission of fear had been answered with support.

I won't attempt to go any deeper into the spiritual stuff.  It's too big of a topic to get into- for this year any way.  Last night though, it seemed too relevant to ignore.