Grabbing life by the lapels....

This time last year, I wrote something really special and meaningful for my father: the songs that reminded me of my fondest memories of him. This year, as I contemplated what to say about my awesome father on a day designed just for him, tragedy struck in our family. Yesterday afternoon, my cousin Anthony suffered a major heart attack and passed away. He was only 55 years old, so many years of life left and love to give. 

While Anthony and I shared very few words, the news hit me very hard, especially knowing that my two cousins Nicole and Toni Rose lose out on the opportunity to share their love with their father on this special day....and that my Aunt Annie in a little over a decade has had to bury a husband, all her brothers, and now her son. 

It got me thinking about how precious life truly is. Sometimes we spend all of our time putting off things that we should have done sooner for a later time. We procrastinate, we laze around, and we take those simple moments in life for granted. I'm always trying to remember how many things I have to be grateful for, which is what prompts my playlist for this entry. 

Jenn's Life Playlist:
1) Life - Our Lady Peace
2) Hear You Me - Jimmy Eat World
3) Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd
4) Home Again - Carole King
5) Homeward Bound - Simon & Garfunkel
6) Take Me Home, Country Roads - John Denver
7) When We Were Younger - Lakes
8) Memories - Weezer
9) With You In Your Dreams - Hanson
10) The Other Side - David Gray

Life is meaningful, so don't waste or ruin it. Enjoy the lazy Sundays and the crazy-filled days. Take random road-trips or international adventures as much as you can. Dress up for a romantic dinner for no reason or snuggle up on the couch with some ice cream and a good movie. Don't count all the calories, nickels and dimes, or schedule every single detail of your life. Be spontaneous and breathe in everything you can. 

As an added bonus to this entry, I'd like to share a poem by Walt Whitman in honor of Anthony. 

My Departure
by Walt Whitman

Not in a gorgeous hall of pride,
   Mid tears of grief and friendship's sigh,
Would I, when the last hour has come,
   Shake of this crumbling flesh and die.

My bed I would not care to have
   With rich and costly stuffs hung round;
Nor watched with an officious zeal,
   To keep away each jarring sound.

Amidst the thunder crash of war,
   Where hovers Death's ensanguined cloud,
And bright swords flash, and banners fly,
   Above the sickening sights of blood;

Not there—not there, would I lay down
   To sleep with all the firm and brave;
For death in such a scene of strife,
   Is not the death that I do crave.

But when the time for my last look
   Upon this glorious earth should come,
I'd wish the season warm and mild,
   The sun to shine, and flowers bloom.

Just ere the closing of the day,
   My dying couch I then would have
Borne out in the refresing air,
Where sweet shrubs grow and proud trees

The still repose would calm my mind,
   And lofty branches overhead,
Would throw around this grassy bank,
   A cooling and a lovely shade.

At distance through the opening trees,
   A bay by misty vapours curled,
I'd gaze upon, and think the haven
   For which to leave this fleeting world.

To the wide winds I'd yield my soul,
   And die there in that pleasant place,
Looking on water, sun, and hill,
   As on their Maker's very face.

I'd want no human being near
   But at the setting of the sun,
I'd bid adieu to earth, and step
   Down to the Unknown World—alone.


Happy Father's Day to all of the dads out there and to my own father, who continues to be the greatest dad in the whole world. I love you, Dad, and I'm grateful I still get the chance to tell you that.

~Jenny Rockstar (aka Honeybunch)


Coming home....


I've been contemplating that word a lot as of late, especially since Matt and I have finally moved out of our winter rental on the beach and into a year-round house. For many, home is just a place where you go at the end of the day, rather than a frame of mind. Four walls, the necessary rooms, and a place to put all of your stuff. But not for me. Home, to me, has become something more than just a place....it has become a frame of mind.

Throughout my life (so far), I have had quite a few places that I have lived. Some more temporary than others, but each with their own flair.

In childhood, home was always the place I could return to at the end of the day. True, there were rules and chores and consequences for breaking rules, but I was always welcome there. Even during my college years, I could always return home and feel at ease. But of course, as it always goes, you outgrow your childhood home.

When my friend and I moved into our own place, it was heaven. No more curfews, no more rules, no more responsibility to anyone but ourselves (and our landlord). If we wanted to have a get-together at our house, we could plan one without permission. Walking in the door at 4 am was no issue either. And even if I felt the need to lounge in my underwear, I could do so without much fuss....and within reason. When I was 22 years old, the notion of home was a place where I could do anything I wanted to do, not really feeling consequences for any of my actions. By 24, however, home became more of a place where I could sort out my life.

I will never have any regrets moving out of Northern New Jersey. In fact, while the job situation down here may not be as plentiful as closer to Manhattan, getting away from all of the painful memories that I had endured prior to this move was much needed. I desired a place to clear my head, a place where I could still be who I needed to be and do everything necessary to figure out my life. And getting the chance to live with Matt? Perfect. I know a few of my friends didn't agree with my decision to live with him so soon, but I made the right choice for me.

By 25, Matt and I had agreed that it was time for us to move into a place of our own. And now home became a place that I could share with someone else, a place where Matt & I could test and work on our relationship....another decision I was proud to make. Granted, it was only a winter rental, which are popular with places near the beach, but I enjoyed the solitude of walking in the surf in the off-season. Hearing the waves crash into the surf from my front door was soothing, in more ways than most can imagine. And for two years, with at least one temporary summer move for 6 weeks, our beach haven gave us the time to figure out the next step.

Which brings me to now, 27 years old, and we have finally found a year-round home. So many different definitions of the word, but I think I get it now. Home isn't necessarily just a place, it's who you're with, your own level of comfort, your life. It's all of those definitions I came to know and yet none of them. It's the existence you create in the world....and I'm proud that in my life, I found home.

As a special treat from our moving endeavors, here are some of the top songs that I can include in my moving playlist:

Jenn's Moving Playlist:

1) Two of Us - The Beatles
2) The Cave - Mumford & Sons
3) Haunting - Bonnie Dune
4) So Caught Up In You - 38 Special
5) Hello - Martin Solveig
6) Land-Locked Blues - Bright Eyes
7) Settle Ancient Mind - Jupiter Sunrise
8) Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous - Good Charlotte
9) Memory (Acoustic) - Sugarcult
10) Home - Michael Buble

~Jenny Rockstar


There's a better view....especially in the way of music

For a while, I've been wanting to share with all of you about one of my new favorite bands, Bonnie Dune....yet the words have continued to fail me every time I sit down and try to sort through my thoughts. True, they've been on my current playlists, yet where do I start to talk about an up and coming band that most people outside of the West Coast and the Glee community have never heard of? 

But then as I was working on my "to-do" list for our impending move, I had the chance to talk with a fellow Bonnie Dune fan that I randomly befriended, Alison. She asked me about my intent to see the guys in Hershey Park at the end of July, which I was more than excited to talk about! In turn, she shared her own Bonnie Dune experience when she saw them in Canada in May. The way the band members took the time to go out into the crowd and mingle, talking with fans in the audience, even their graciousness at receiving gifts from their adoring fans. Needless to say, it sparked my inspiration and so here I am, ready to share the awesomeness that is Bonnie Dune. 

To most people, Bonnie Dune may just be considered the band that Cory Monteith drums for. And of course, because of this reason, fans show up by the thousands just to catch a glimpse of the Glee star rockin' out on stage. But to those who have really taken the time to listen to the music and get to know the other band members, Bonnie Dune is an experience filled with warmth, friendship, and most important....incredible music!

When I first started finding their music online, I was taken back quite a bit. Lately, I've been missing that music scene that really connects with the audience and proves that real musicians are still out there. In college and for a year or so after, I had Jupiter Sunrise getting me through life. After their first show, I had the opportunity to talk with them and share stories, many hugs, and love of life! Their music was inspirational and different from what most bands were releasing. Granted, I do love music and I'm on iTunes daily trying to find stuff to add, but I haven't found the new artist/band that grabs me at my very soul....until now.  

Originally the brain-child of lead singer Justin Wilczynski and Jason Massey, Bonnie Dune is finally picking up the momentum with the addition of band members Seth Roberts, Joshua Kerr, and of course, Cory Monteith! Jason is no longer performing with the band, but still contributes as a producer/co-writer. Each musician is a powerhouse in their own right, with their various side projects, TV shows and movies, etc.   

While most performances can be found on the West Coast, I'm definitely planning a mini-road trip when the band takes their show to Hershey Park on July 31st. (As I've stated in recent posts!) I may never get my dream of a NJ show, preferably in Asbury Park or at the Starland Ballroom, but I'll take what I can get. My real hope is that I get to meet the men who have continued to restore my faith in the music scene. From what I've heard from their community of fans through various tweets/pictures/conversations, they're very sweet and probably the most down-to-earth individuals one can know. I'm sure the west coast Bonnie Dune fans will miss their boys for this performance, but the east coast promises to share the love....and possibly some hugs! 

And so, in my typical rockstar fashion to fit my life lately, here is this week's moving/excitement playlist! 

Jenn's Moving Playlist:

1) You Are A Tourist - Death Cab for Cutie
2) Better View - Bonnie Dune
3) Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 - Bob Dylan
4) The Lazy Song - Bruno Mars
5) Little Lion Man - Mumford & Sons
6) The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
7) Daylight - Matt & Kim
8) Run Like Hell - Pink Floyd
9) Life is Beautiful - Watashi Wa
10) Heroin - The Velvet Underground

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and if you can, check out Bonnie Dune Fans for the most up-to-date info on the band, as well as listen to tracks and get links to other important websites! Also, a special thanks to Alison for her stories, as well as my Twitter/Facebook friends who have shared their Bonnie Dune experiences! 

~Jenny Rockstar