and sometimes....

Sometimes, I just need to be alone.

I need to think. I need to regroup. I need time away from everyone and everything, even those who mean the most to me.

I feel stress just creeping in and I'm ready to snap. And nothing has been able to calm it. 

I've had enough of holding on when all I want to do is let go of the reigns....


and the rest is Blogger silence....

While I consider my life one musically-induced haze of awesome, I can appreciate the silence from time to time. Well, not complete quiet, as I will probably have my headphones on the majority of the time, but the silence in not always writing everything down.

I do love to write and it is such an integral part of who I am, but as Matt reminds me, sometimes you just need to retain memories without feeling the need to document them. I'm not always a fan of that, as I love a good picture and sometimes my hand can't help but instinctively grab for the pen and notebook I always keep in my purse, but I can see his point.

So I tried to shut down for a few days. I needed to, the stress of wedding plans and work starting to wear on me a little bit to the point where just needing "us" time with Matt was a necessity. It's nice to remember that on occasion, we take the time for just the two of us, whether it be bonding over dinner, watching a movie, or even just talking about life. 

And while Matt slept (and before I could shut my brain off for the night), I plugged in my headphones and just mindlessly listened to my iPod, not focusing on any one artist or thing, simply cleaning the house and indulging in homemade iced tea while unwinding. The funny thing is, when there is no agenda, I dance more, I rock a mean air-guitar, and my appreciation for music increases on an exponential level. 

(But for those who must know, I totally rocked out to my friend Jeff's band Breaking Up a Monologue while those dishes were being washed....sometimes even divulging into my more personal collection of music is necessary too....and therapeutic.)

~ Jenny Rockstar 


the simplest words have the most meaning....

Sometimes....all it takes is a simple act of kindness to turn the day around.

I started the morning a little frazzled, upset, and shaken up. Details need not apply here, but the morning, for lack of a better word - sucked. I felt unsure of myself and not sure of what was going to happen. 

When the mail came to our office, I saw that a card had my name on it...which is something that is not considered a normality. Yet curiosity got the better of me and I opened the card....a client and his wife wrote me the sweetest note, letting me know how kind and helpful I had been and thanking me for my care to the client's case. If I didn't cry upon receipt of the card, I definitely had a few tears from reading the note inside!

We tend to forget the small acts of kindness mean something. Everyone's all about big, grandiose gestures and doing everything over the top. Is it not testament that Matt's proposal, as simple as it was, moved me to tears for weeks afterward? Or the beauty in the scenery around me? Or even something as simple as a card with a few kind words tucked away inside can make what seems to be a bad day into a pretty amazing one?

Words are powerful, especially ones that have meaning. And all it takes is a few good ones (or bad ones) to affect a mood. Luckily, the former came to my aid today.

And so my words to all of you today: thank you for being wonderful. For new friendships growing, for old friendships sustaining, for family being ever-present, and for all the love/laughter/happiness/tears/life being what keeps us going strong.

Thank you.

~ Jenny Rockstar


thoughts of citronella...

I love the way that right now, my house smells faintly of the smoke from our fire pit. Any time that Matt and I can find reason to have a fire out back either just the two of us or with friends, it's a reason to be happy.

And that smell, the one of citronella and tree bark? It's a perfect combination, soothing to the soul. Tonight, we had a chance to spend time with our friends, Nichole and Dave. While I love hanging out with everyone after shows, sometimes having the opportunity to hang out on a non-gig day is very rewarding. With good food, good company, and good music to complete the scene....awesome weekend.

I'm ready to climb back up to the top and jump off again. 

~ Jenny Rockstar

my fever burns me deeper than I've ever shown....

Another beautiful morning with my iced coffee and a calm unlike any other I have experienced before...for those who knock the Jersey Shore and all its beauty, you don't know what you're missing.

While on a Johnny Rivers and Rod Stewart kick this morning, I thought about scars - we all have them. Whether they're small or healed, raw & gaping still, or internal (one that I know all about), we have them. And this morning, I thought about my scars.

I know that sometimes my sincerity comes off as being fake, but that's it...what you see is what you get with me. I find being nice is important and sometimes...being a bitch gets the point across. Nobody should assume they know me. I'm nice, but I've taken my licks and I've gotten back up more times than most people in my life know. I've seen the "bottom" and crawled my way back up, no matter how daunting the task seemed. It's been brutal, troublesome, exhausting, rough....

And look at me now, I made it here

I'm tired of looking at my scars and reflecting on them all the time. This was the first morning in a long while where I just sat outside, headphones carefully secured, another iced coffee ready for consumption...and I breathed in the air around me. I felt the pain leave, the insecurity disperse, and my heart felt light. The wind rustled the trees in admiration, the birds chirped approval, my thoughts stopped feeling so dark and instead continued to focus on the beauty. It felt....glorious.

I will always have those moments that define who I am and I will remember them (and reflect from time to time), but I can't live in their shadow anymore. It's exhausting beating a dead horse. I have bigger things to worry about and those things are part of something beautiful...and exhilarating. A new chapter in my journey. I'm ready to leave the old ones behind me, as far behind me as I can. 

I don't expect everyone to understand....but I'm glad that I finally do. 

~ Jenny Rockstar


just because you're alone doesn't mean you're lonely...

Occasionally, simplicity does have its moments. 

When all I want to do is jump higher, reach farther, and exceed my expectations, I cannot forget those instances in which enjoying a minor, easy thing is needed.

This morning, after a long day of yardwork and cleaning the night before, I found myself outside with a cold glass of freshly brewed iced coffee, my headphones, and a notebook to get my thoughts down. It was sunny, shady in my little nook under the umbrella, and cool enough to lounge in my pajamas across two chairs. 

The air sweet with the scent of freshly-bloomed flowers, birds chirping in the distance, and a backyard lush and green beyond my wildest dreams. And my iPod seemed to understand this, because just about every song that came out of on the shuffle was mellow and soothing to fit the mood. 

I love the way music can adjust itself to fit the mood - whether it be loud and energetic, mellow and calming, melancholy and heart-wrenching, or fun and meaningless. Music has a personality all its own...and I am grateful that it's such an integral part of my life.

While Matt did join me later outside with guitar in hand and some grilling for lunch, this morning was mine and mine alone. Even a rockstar needs some time outside of the spotlight, you know. Sometimes, in those moments of self-reflection, I seem to find myself again. We all need those moments, even those (like me) who crave to be around others all the time. 

You need the simplicity of alone time to just be...whatever you need to be.

Jenn's Mellow Morning Playlist:

1) Turn Away - Beck
2) Happy Time - Tim Buckley
3) High - James Blunt
4) Summer Nights - Chalk & Numbers
5) Falling - Richard Marx

~ Jenny Rockstar


sometimes it's all about destroying that "comfort zone"...

After a rigorous day of cleaning and getting our backyard oasis in order, I needed a night alone with some music to calm the frustration that had settled in with our task. With outdoor work, there's always seems to be something that goes wrong. Whether it be that the nozzle on the hose is broken and it takes at least ten minutes to get it undone (before heading to Lowe's for a new one), with a little help from pliers and WD40. Or having to scrub layers upon layers of moss off the siding just to see some semblance of the original color. Or possibly all the furniture that required rinsing off all the spiders, whether they were dead or alive. (Yeah, that one probably scared me the most.)

But when it was all said and done, our end result was a beautiful backyard, complete with our table, umbrella, chairs, and firepit all ready to go! It was doing something that normally feels daunting to me, unknown territory. (Hey, I'm normally a laundry/cleaning/baking kind of woman.) But with that being said and done, I reflected back on a conversation with my new friend Holly and her recommendation of the HorrorPops. 

For one thing, prior to listening, I do enjoy that they are a punk band, as I do truly have a love for punk music. Yet I have never quite gotten into the whole psychobilly/rockabilly style of music before. But today was a day of accomplishment and doing things I'm not normally accustomed to, so HorrorPops seemed quite fitting for the occasion. (Especially "Walk Like A Zombie", as I am going to Philadelphia Wizard World in about two weeks and fully intend on getting my fill of Walking Dead cast members!) And just like my friend TJ and his "Metallication", it was surprising to how good it was. 

Sometimes we need to try to do those things we're not normally accustomed to. We need to break down our own walls and not be afraid to experiment with different things. For me, it's yard work and rockabilly. But the reward is always greater when you step outside of the comfort zone. 

It could mean stronger bonds with those around you. And especially in my case today....a beautiful place to relax this summer. 

~ Jenny Rockstar  


If it doesn't speak to you, what are you listening for?

While I live with him and know practically everything I need to know about him, Matt always seems to surprise me.

Whether it's with a story, or a look, a new nickname, or even musical perspective....to name a few. I could listen to him talk about anything that interests him all day long, because the story behind it all is what fascinates me.

Last night was no exception. After a somewhat trying day (filled with several good moments), we watched Pawn Shop Chronicles (because I told him he might like the premise - he did) and some wine/cocktails, I asked Matt what I've been asking everyone as of late: what album/song changed your life?

Now for those who are not aware, Matt is a huge Pink Floyd fan. Tack that on with Beatles, Beach Boys, Violent Femmes (we'll tackle this one on a later date), Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits, Beck, etc. But Pink Floyd seems to embody something for him that most other artists don't do...avoid the topic of love and relationships. Love is a cliche topic in songs nowadays, so hearing music that doesn't shift the focus there is quite refreshing. 

And with a renewed sense of vigor, Matt explained that while it was "Comfortably Numb" that initially inspired him to purchase The Wall, he then picked up his guitar and started to play for me the opening riff to "In The Flesh", the first song on The Wall (one of his all-time favorite albums). It was in this demonstration I was reminded of one of the several reasons why I fell in love with him: this child-like curiosity to find music that speaks to him.

We all seek the music that says the things we don't speak of. Each of us finds this comfort within words that have meaning. And words without meaning just seem meaningless, no?

I may never quite understand Matt completely (which makes being with him all the more fun - new things to learn about one another), I'm always pleasantly surprised to find he can find new ways to speak to my heart...especially through a shared love of music.

~ Jenny Rockstar


The art of Metallica....

If I had to choose an artist that I could not listen to them for the rest of my life and be okay with that...it's Metallica.

For personal reasons and just because their music has never really appealed to me on any level. (Frankly, Lars Ulrich ticked me off with his rant about Napster when I was still a junior in high school - it's not my problem that not all music is reasonably priced and I need it!) I've tried with friends numerous times to gather decent suggestions and to try and understand how anyone could enjoy their music (no offense). 

Last night, however, may have changed my perspective a bit. My friend TJ, after asking him nicely to help me with my project, gave me what I'd like to believe is a true gift - a peek into his music collection. And with that I got a glimpse into the Symphony & Metallica album, starting with "One" which I have to admit - it's pretty damn moving.

Taking a particular style of music and using another genre intertwined with the original one to create music? Genius. I could tell my reaction was being carefully monitored, in a really good way. I zoned into every lyric, carefully thought out pluck of the violin and delivery...I loved it and I want to listen to more, as much as possible. (You never know, this could lead to my first Metallica album purchase...wouldn't be the first time I surprised myself.)

It's enlightening when you give old "enemies" a chance...things that I would have never found myself enjoying, I now do. And that's the best part - allowing one's self to experience life...even the parts that don't particularly seem appealing. Maybe I won't start running out and trying new things all the time, but for now, I can relish in the realization that I continue to be open to the possibilities of diversity...

couldn't we all benefit from a lesson like that?

~Jenny Rockstar

P.S. - I recommend the Symphony & Metallica album, if I didn't make that clear. ;-)


a voice to stand out....

At work, I find I am most relaxed when my Pandora station is playing.

Granted, it's not all classical and calming music....in fact, I tend to crave grunge/alternative/punk when I'm deep into organizing paperwork and drafting correspondence. Something about the angsty lyrics soothes me, keeps the balance in my life. It's weird, I know, but in my work environment, I need that form of control to feel normal. 

I think it's good to achieve that balance with music. Sometimes I crave my jazz stations and a nice glass of red wine, other times I need the loudest, most obnoxious rock that one can think of to achieve that sense of calm. And other days, I just want something in-between the two.

It's strange thinking about how far I've come from music. I mean, I started with my parents and their collection of music. All the doo-wop, oldies, classic rock....even my grandparents contributed their love of crooners and big band standards to my collection. Yet, I am always growing and improving my collection, giving music a chance in every form. (Granted, I do draw the line at a few artists, simply because....well...their music is just not appealing.) But I attempt to give everyone a chance to express their artistry in my world and respect those who work hard at their craft, because it's their voice

All of us have a voice that we wish the world to hear...and mine is filled with music (and lots of recipes and daily musings.)

Jenn's Alternative Playlist:
1) The Empty Page - Sonic Youth
2) Karma Police - Radiohead
3) Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins
4) Everlong - Foo Fighters
5) Someday - The Strokes
6) In Between Days - The Cure

~ Jenny Rockstar


the spice of life...

I partially have Matt to thank for my acquired cooking skills...and I surprise him sometimes with just how far I have come!

Today, I decided to challenge myself with a new recipe: potato salad. Sounds fairly easy and straightforward, yes, but when it's the first time you make something, there are bound to be a few hiccups.

Like, for example, being able to cut and cook the potatoes to the proper texture - tender yet still retaining their shape. Apparently, that's something that is a little difficult to achieve, but delicious when executed properly. And then of course, you cannot forget the dressing. While there was a recipe I found with mayo, vinegar, salt, pepper, and sugar...I decided to try spicing it up a bit with some Dijon mustard and paprika as well. Needless to say, my eyes rolled into the back of my head when I tried my concoction. (And Matt said it was the best potato salad he had ever tasted...apparently I did something right!)

Life is like a recipe - you're given the basic ingredients to make it work, but sometimes you need to throw your own spices and flair into the mixture. And when something doesn't work, you adjust. It's great that in the past six years, Matt and I have made our adjustments and continue to find the right "mix" for our relationship. I hope we never stop trying to work towards that "perfect recipe", because after all...

variety is the spice of life!

~Jenny Rockstar

I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine...

I'm not normally a morning person, except when it comes to Sundays.

It's then while Matt remains asleep after a late show that I find myself just breathing the day in. So many of us relish in our Fridays and Saturdays, but it's Sunday that I enjoy as a day of reflection and perspective.

While it's quiet in the house. With the birds happily chirping away in celebration of the beautiful, sunny weather. As I lounge in my pajamas, headphones perfectly in place (and on low for a change, as I enjoy the quieter moments too). And in this moment I am happy, as everything is in its place and I can clear the remaining clutter of the week before the next bout of craziness begins.

I've been delving back into Fiona Apple as of late...but I haven't been sad. Normally, I associate the bitter, reality-driven songstress with the hardships in my life. But not today. For now, I'm ready to put those skeletons away and face the fear. I'm tired of feeling hurt or scarred. My scars will always be there, as some are not externally visible...but that's alright with me. I feel each one and know that if it wasn't for those scars, the beautiful moments may not mean as much.

Her music is beautiful, haunting at times, but always has this message that I just want to stitch into my heart. She knows me, it seems, almost as well as everyone else in life. 

There's a lyric that has resonated with me for several years: be kind to me, or treat me mean, I'll make the most of it, I'm an extraordinary machine. 

I am extraordinary, and strong, and resilient, yet tender, sensitive, and warm all the same. That realization is slightly jarring, but gives me hope that I will never have to change so much that I lose my sense of self. I refuse to let the world harden me too much, or any one person cause a sense of "walls" needing to be built. I'll be protective against those who seek to destroy me, but I won't close off the world. I'm done with that. What does closing one's self off to everyone else accomplish? Nothing. 

It's exhausting...and I'm tired of working so hard to make sure I do things like everyone else. 

Why do I need to change? 

Why do I have to fit this mold? 

It's stupid. 

Isn't individuality prized anymore? 

Frankly, I'm just done with being aware of whether others like me or not. I was fine being myself without others accepting of it for a long time. (Luckily, I am now surrounded by people who appreciate me for who I am.) There's no need to make everyone like me. I like myself. And those in my life like me too. 

For those yet to come, just be you, let me be me, and we'll be good. 

And trust me, if it's good...then that's beautiful.

Jenn's Fiona Playlist:

1) Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple
2) Paper Bag - Fiona Apple
3) O Sailor - Fiona Apple
4) Better Version of Me - Fiona Apple
5) Valentine - Fiona Apple
6) Across The Universe - Fiona Apple Version
7) Never Is A Promise - Fiona Apple
8) Carrion - Fiona Apple
9) Parting Gift - Fiona Apple
10) Slow Like Honey - Fiona Apple

~ Jenny Rockstar