Monday, April 27, 2015

Epiphany at a Metal Concert

Last night my husband and I shared a rare date night out in town. We got to have a yummy dinner at Pastini's, one of my favorite Italian places, followed by a Nightwish concert at McMenamins Crystal Ballroom. The two opening acts I've never heard of, but I'm a HUGE Nightwish fan. Their music inspires me when I'm writing fiction and editing. In fact, when I can't seem to motivate myself to work on edits (mainly because I despise editing like the black plague) I will turn their music on and BAM shit gets done.
The first opening act was Delain. The moment the female vocalist came out, I was smitten. She looked like a gypsy goddess. Her radiant energy ignited the crowd. At one point in the show she did an operatic-like piece with heavy bass and drums rocking in the background. Gooseflesh sprouted across every inch of my skin. The power, the beauty, and the femininity of her voice electrified every nerve in my body.
Then Sabaton took the stage. At first, I was not sure if I liked them or not, but by the second song they had me. The all-male band looked like they just stepped off the viking ship and threw some modern clothes on. Their stage presence blew me away. Both opening acts were beyond amazing, and as far as I'm concerned, they were the best ever. 
Preconcert photo

And then Nightwish came on. Be still my heart. When Floor Jensen, the lead singer, stepped onto the stage the audience was captivated. She is so beautiful. Her voice is that of an angel. 2 1/2 years ago, I went to see Nightwish at the same venue. I was 6 months pregnant with my daughter. That show was Floor's 2nd performance with Nightwish as the former singer had to step away from the tour. That night I knew whenever Nightwish came through town, I'd see them as long as she stayed with the band. After 2 years of working together, they are the best yet.
Nightwish 2012 concert

So what does metal music have to do pregnancy, motherhood, or the inner goddess? EVERY. THING.

Here's what dawned on me in the middle of Delain's operatic number. These women are powerhouses. Floor Jensen could probably take down every member of Nightwish single-handed, but she still manages to stay beautiful and feminine. In my opinion, her and other female vocalists of metal bands embody the essence of a goddess. They are strong Xenia warrior like, but their are not afraid to show off their beautiful sensual female side. When I hear their music, I feel inspired to write, to exercise, to eat healthy, to clean my house, to get shit done that I rather not deal with. They are my power source. Their melodies energize me more than any cup of caffeine could. They fuel my inner mama bear.
Don't believe me yet? Check out Nightwish's newest music video:

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter at My House

 Growing up in a conservative Christian home, we need didn't really celebrate Easter except the church services commemorating the death and resurrection of Christ. We never did any of the fun stuff like egg hunts and Easter Baskets. I always envied the neighborhood kids traipsing around their yards looking for brightly-colored eggs. Then I grew up, left home and my religious upbringing.
Over the years the holiday has evolved from not really caring about it to "oh, now we have a child and she might enjoy some of these activities." But I didn't want to introduce her to all the candy and clutter of trinkets the stores push on customers. Then I read this. Bloody, freaking brilliant.

Last year & before I read the above mentioned article, my daughter got her first Easter Basket. Bunny (which she still plays with), puzzle, book, water bottle (still uses), and mandarins (one of her favorite fruits). She'd barely turned one and I wasn't about fill the basket with candy. These were things she could use.
This year I kept basic again. Coloring book, crayons, bubbles, links for jewelery making, and surprise eggs (used for the hunt). All except basket came from the Dollar Tree. I filled the plastic eggs with her favorite snacks: Joe's O's (from Trader Joe's), cashews, vitamin gummy bears, AND a hand full of pastel-colored mint chips.
I hid the eggs out on our balcony and the hunt was on after breakfast. Oh my word. I think I had more fun watching the search for eggs than her. Seeing her eyes light up and listening to her squeal of joy every time she spotted one, brought the biggest smile to my face.
The whole day she played with the eggs, opening and closing them. She ate most of the treats except for the mint candy drops. Eventually she tasted them and said they were good but she preferred to play with them over eating. Fine by me, kid. When she wasn't playing with the eggs she was outside blowing bubbles. In between, she'd take a few moments here and there to color or create a chain of hearts, stars, and flowers.
All this fun for under $5. Who says you need to break the bank for Easter? This holiday is quickly becoming one of my favorites. For me, Easter is all about the newness of life and rebirth. Spring is truly a joyous time of year, so why not celebrate?