Friday, August 31, 2012

Reflections on Towanda

Sitting in my Boston apartment, I thought to myself, "I really should get back on that blog thing." So, that's what I'm doing. It looks like the last time I posted was sometime in May, which seems like forever ago. Here's the quick recap of my life since then: I went to camp, I sat at home, I saw Jason Mraz in concert, school hasn't started...that was easy enough. There will be a series of posts in the near future describing each of these, but today is dedicated to the greatest place on earth. 

It's been said that our lives could be divided into chapters, each ending and starting with a moment or place or person that has had a major impact on us in some way. In my case it was this summer up at Camp Timberlane, my home away from home. This summer was special. And that's an understatement. I have to believe that this summer was meant as a transitional time for me to begin my second half of my college career. I came back from the north woods feeling more grounded, grateful and ready than ever. Life has a funny way of helping you realize this stuff. Despite the ups and downs of the roller coaster that we're constantly on, it always seems to come back to somewhere neutral where you can look back and figure out what the f**k just happened. This summer I made more connections than ever before, with people of many ages. Friendships I had lost were rekindled, friendships I previously had grew stronger, and I learned so much from the kids that I met and had a chance to spend time with. If we're talking details, I played a lot of music, drove a lot of boats, and taught a lot of improv. There are a lot of things that make me smile, proud, happy, excited, all that stuff, but I felt so blessed that I got to do feel that again and again this summer. Campers getting up on skis for the first time, a kid playing his first song at a campfire, or a quiet camper going on stage and making the whole Rec Hall boom with laughter. THAT'S the best part of being a counselor and that's why I do it. 

So the lesson here is this; life has it's ups and downs, but what's important is being able to reflect and recognize what's come of everything. Being grateful (as always) is the best medicine and the best tool for realizing how blessed we are, even when we're at our lowest. Sometimes our happiest moments can come from recognizing the greatness of others and it important to be grateful to have been a witness, a part, or an aid in that shining moment. 

Needless to say, I did play a ton of music this summer and did my best to accommodate the needs of campers and staff when it came to song or style requests. I've put together a group of videos below of songs I played this summer. It's not me playing them, but it's versions I like. Hopefully (fingers crossed) I'll start uploading videos of some of my own stuff, which I'll be happy to share with you. For now, enjoy what's belooooow. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Music Monday: Everything is Sound

I told myself I'd put up new music for you to listen to every Monday, which didn't happen. But, now that I am sitting at home on a Monday and I recently came across some awesome new stuff on YouTube, it's the perfect day to share it with you!

1. Everything is Sound - Jason Mraz
This is the song that was the "inspiration" for this post. Listen to the lyrics and you might find them to be quite true. Sound is everything and music is how a lot of us cope with things, I know I do. Music has become such a big part of my life, and this song really speaks to that.
2. Christina Grimmie & Noah Guthrie - Acoustic cover of Billie Jean (Michael Jackson)
I posted this on Facebook a few days ago hoping to give it some exposure because it's SICK!!! These two "YouTube Artists" both have done some amazing covers of songs, but this is definitely one of my favorites, ever! I love taking a well known, popular tune and totally changing the groove and making your own, while staying true to the original work. They did that perfectly. Christina Grimmie & Noah Guthrie, you rock my socks.
3. Same Damn Time - Timeflies Tuesday
WARNING: THIS SONG CONTAINS EXPLICIT LANGUAGE. While this is somewhat inappropriate, it's too good not to share. I've posted these guys before but this is something that they put up last week. They're using a 'Musical Performance Controller' to loop different instruments and sounds. I think it takes talent to be able to hear and control music like that.
4. Baby, It's Cold Outside - Original Song by Ariel Strasser
THIS IS THE ONE I'VE BEEN DYING TO SHARE. Ok, so I've been luck enough to become pretty good friends with the lovely and extraordinarily talented Ariel Strasser. She was a senior at school this year and was a big part of the reason why I'm going to be pursuing song writing at school next year. This is not the "Baby, It's Cold Outside" that you know. This is a completely different song, with the same name. She wrote it, she's amazing, I adore her. You should (and will) too.

Listen & enjoy!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Time + Tumblr

I'm not even going to try to apologize for the lack of posting I've been doing, but I have been pretty darn busy this semester. But, since I was sitting at home doing nothing today and read my very good friend Alexis' blog, I was inspired to hop back on to blogger and see what was going on with Callback2Campfires. Here's the good/cool news: I have at least 25 people viewing my blog every day! Now, that probably sounds pathetic, but for me it's pretty cool to know that people are checking out something I've worked on. It's even giving my other blog some of hits! Needless to say, I think it's pretty exciting. I'm hoping to get more active on here but with camp only 15 days away, I'm nervous that I won't get a ton of time to do it up there! We shall see! Nonetheless, the past week has brought me some interesting and important realizations and so I went on a hunt to find some epic pictures from Tumblr that encapsulated those things. I found a few so here we go:

I had en experience this past week in which I felt extremely judged and pretty crappy about myself. I gave someone a chance and was super friendly, and this person sort of shrugged me off like I was a lesser person than him. I was pissed. I was so frustrated because I didn't understand why someone would do that and that I even gave them a chance. What it came down to is this. I am only responsible for what I do and I can't control other people's thoughts. I know I've written that a hundred times, but I think it's so important to understand/I need to take my own advice. So here are two Tumblr posts/pictures that are only slightly aggressive but they both say that you can't let other people's thoughts control you. Yeah...I need to learn that. 

The other big lesson I've learned is that you can't take a second of life for granted. Life is too short to do that. There aren't enough minutes in our lives to waste a single one. This week, someone's life was cut way too short. She was a beautiful soul who not only battled and beat cancer, she was loved by every person who knew her. She served as a mentor and role-model for her family and friends, and was bursting with love, knowledge, compassion, and care for everyone around her. Personally, her and her family have been close to my family since I was a very young kid, and hearing the news of her sudden passing was a shockwave of emotions and realizations. Through the tears, I began writing a song in her honor and couldn't stop thinking about life and the time we have here. So, I looked through some of my old Tumblr posts to find things that had to do with life being too short and taking advantage of every moment. I found these:

 for Jodi xoxo

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Music, New Season

Today is officially the first day of spring, and I have started to look for new music for the season. Spring, to me, is all about freedom and air and breath and change. It's about blooming and growing. Personally, I think the music I listen to should reflect that. Spring is of a pretty happy refrain. In the past few weeks I've been listening a lot of music and I'm happy to say that I've gotten a pretty decent start on my Spring playlist. So, I'm going to share just a few of the selections I've made so far.

Jason Mraz - The Freedom Song [soon to be on his new album LOVE is a four letter word]
Zac Brown Band - No Hurry [You Get What You Give]
Karmin (Billboard Exclusive Cover) - Pumped Up Kicks [Originally by Foster the People]
Rascal Flatts - Banjo [New Single!]

"and the joy it brings, makes me feel good"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Dr. Seuss(day) Tuesday

In honor of the recent box office success of the new movie, "The Lorax", I thought I'd share this list of quotes I found on pintrest. These 30 quotes are unforgettable and extremely important. Each one embodies a different lesson and is a nice reminder of not only childhood, but also how simple life lessons can be. They got me thinking and made me smile, I hope they have a similar effect on you!

Photo credit to

Monday, March 5, 2012

Music Monday: Country Time

I was lucky enough to grow up in a house that was diverse in musical taste. My mom introduced me to a lot of disco and pop music, while my dad is the reason I fell in love with country and more acoustic music. Today I'm sharing with you some of my favorite (new) country songs. There are plenty of people who claim that country now-a-days isn't "real" country. I tend to disagree. There are artists that are not my taste, but I do love a lot of this newer age country music. You be the judge!

After picking these videos I realized I have a lot of favorites, so I'll be doing another country day real soon!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sayings For A Sunday

March has officially arrived. February was one of the busiest months of my life, but it was a month of constant growth and learning. Hopefully, I'll have a little more time to post things now! 

The past few days have been extremely grounding for me. I'm grateful for every experience, good or bad...I have to be. With gratitude, it's simple to discover that there are more good things happening than you realized. So, that's what my "theme" is for today I guess. Here are a few quotes and things I've received or found lately (on Tumblr and/or Pintrest) that I think can be extremely helpful when it's hard to find a light in the dark.

"Frustration comes from focusing on what you cannot control. Achievement, on the other hand, comes from focusing on all the useful and valuable things you can do. Resentment comes from seeing yourself as a victim. Effectiveness comes from stepping up and taking responsibility. If you constantly complain that life is unfair, you’ll blind yourself to the best opportunities. Yet by simply accepting that what’s done is done, you’ll find a way to make the most of it."   - Aura Valour -