Tag Archives: Beatles

Self review of my latest performance at Addison Court

Greetings, readers. On Friday, December 1st, on my late father’s birthday, I performed my latest show for all my friends at Addison Court Apartments. The Mimic (the persona I use for performances) and friend Mike Weaver rocked out to the Beatles and to some Christmas tunes. I performed the live album The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl. Here’s my official review.

I started my show rather oddly with the song I was going to do in the middle of the show. My friend Tasha from work, who had every intention of coming but wasn’t able to, wanted me to sing Luke Bryan’s “Move”. For weeks I struggled with it and wasn’t sure rather or not I was going to be able to learn it in time. But once I put that cowboy hat on and the tape was running, I nailed it to the wall. Tasha watched the video I made of it and was deeply moved.

Then I grabbed my sport jacket and began the first segment of the Beatles show, with “Twist and Shout” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand”. I know these songs like the back of my hand, so not much practice was needed for those. Then came the bugaboo called “She’s a Woman”, sung by Paul McCartney. Though I’ve heard it many times, I really had to study the lyrics; if you’re not careful it can be a tongue twister. Continuing on with songs such as “Dizzy Miss Lizzy” and “Can’t Buy Me Love”, the show sped along. Before I knew it, it was time for “Roll Over Beethoven”, the last song before my break. Then Mike Weaver took over.

His segment was Christmas carols. My two favorite songs he did were “Jingle Bells” and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. He used a small Christmas tree prop and literally walked around it as he performed the song. He also acted out and sang along to “Frosty the Snowman”. (It reminded me of the old 1953 “Frosty the Snowman” short cartoon video from my childhood, which was shown during commercial breaks on my local channel 6 during the Christmas season.) Well done, Mike.

My second Beatles set began with one of my favorite Ringo Starr songs, “Boys”. Not only did I nailed it, I crushed it. I think people could sense that I was really having fun. I followed that with “You Can’t Do That” and later in the set, was a Paul McCartney early classic “All My Loving”. I must admit, I did have a little difficulty with his higher pitch on this song, but I trudged through willingly. Running out of steam, I ended the show with some air drumming and back-up vocals for “Long Tall Sally”. I didn’t quite know all the words because it is a quick song, so I just did the best I could. The response from everyone was quite positive and a couple of people gave me heartfelt compliments on the job I did.

I would have to give myself a solid 8.5 out of 10 for this performance. It was way better than the last one was.

Before I close, within the last week the world lost a dear friend in actor and singer Jim Nabors. I don’t care how many times I watch the Indianapolis 500 from now on, no one will ever be able to duplicate Jim Nabors’ rendition of “(Back Home Again in) Indiana”, which he sang at the beginning of the event for many years. R.I.P to Jim (Gomer Pyle) Nabors.

Rebecca will be blogging tomorrow because I am taking a much needed day off. We’ll be back together next week on our usual Wednesday. So until next time, take care, have a great day, and happy reading.

Advertisements

Things in my world today, November 30, 2017

Greetings, readers. A bizarre thing happened last afternoon and evening that I wish to share with you in case any of you know what it might be and can give me advice in the comment section. I woke up from a nap to find both my hips and lower back stiff as a board. Occasionally I would have a sharp pain on one or both sides. It did not keep me from walking down to my appointment, though I was uncomfortable. Later, when I was watching television, I got a knife jab in my right side that made me consider going to the E.R.

I woke up in the middle of the night to find that the pain was almost gone, much to my relief. I don’t remember making a false move or lifting anything heavy, but obviously I strained something. Thank goodness this morning the pain is gone. I still wish I knew what it was and will it come back. Now on to other news.

Rebecca, Darren, and I are proofreading our copies of Four’s a Crowd. I’ve already found one scene that there is going to be head-butting about. It involves the female lead character saying a word I’m not comfortable with. The question is, with Darren the author of the novel, and me the author of the play it is based on, who should get the final say? Hopefully we can compromise.

More news. My Beatles sing along show is tomorrow, but at 3:30pm, not 1:00. There was a slight mix-up in the entertainment schedule and my show will start after the country line dancers are finished. It should make for a wonderful day’s entertainment. I will be singing along to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl CD, and my friend Mike Weaver will be singing a few Christmas carols while I take a break between my two sets. I’m a tad worried that Mike and I have not had a practice session yet, but we’re not professions and if a clunker is made, it is okay. I’m sure folks will love the show.

It will be very odd not to go to my other job tomorrow and I do thank my manager Savannah for giving me the day off to do the show. I will work at my fast food job on Saturday, probably have off Sunday, and return to my regular schedule next week.

After Rebecca and I are finished with this blog entry, I am going to go on the Zipcar website and reserve a vehicle for the my Christmas Eve Light Ride. This year I want to book early to make sure I get a vehicle. I believe my other job will be closed that evening, so a work shift should not get in the way.

On a sadder note, I was in a bit of a funk yesterday when I learned about NBC’s Matt Lauer being fired for sexual misconduct. The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade has lost its shine for me now. He was the co-host of it for many years and that team was part of my special day. I watched part of it at David’s this year and have it set in my YouTube queue to watch anytime, but will probably not watch it after this. Next year it will be Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and ?. If the allegations are true, Matt Lauer deserves to be locked up. I guess you never know about people. It is getting harder and harder to trust anyone in this world, but with my jolly personality, I shall try.

Lastly, I’ll be doing my show tomorrow and most likely be doing my own write-up about it for a blog post. Rebecca is unable to attend and if memory serves this will be the first show she has missed since we began working together. I just know that I am going to criticize my every mistake as most artists do. I promise I won’t be too hard on myself and cut myself some slack.

Until next week, which should be a two-day work week for us, have a wonderful weekend, take care, wish me luck on my show, and, as always, happy reading.

I might have to get my left leg looked at again

Greetings, readers. I slipped and fell on September 5th and all X-rays that were taken were negative for breaks, thank goodness. However, today on November 1st, I am still hobbling around. This is really beginning to worry me. It is so bad in fact, that I have to put another chair near my recliner so that when I stand up I have something to hold on to for my first steps. The left leg just does not want to move.

I am seriously considering going back to my doctor and asking for more X-rays. Half of me wants to do this and the other half does not. If there is a slightly cracked bone that the initial X-ray missed, I would likely be casted or put into a boot. I have seen with a co-worker of mine that a boot and a greasy floor don’t go together too well. There is a possibility that I would just need physical therapy for the muscles. In that case, that will eat into my work time and my free time. There is a laugh for you.

Speaking of my free time, ha ha, when I come home, instead of writing or working on personal projects, I’m usually asleep by 8:00 on a work night. I used to stay up until 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 in the morning. No more. I come home and switch off the engines. The other day at 5:30, I turned on an old football game on YouTube (an exciting one), and because I was so exhausted, I feel asleep. When I came to, I said that’s it, bedtime. The time was 8:30.

Another worry of mine is for my December 1st performance. I’m planning to sing to the Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl album for the folks at Addison Court Apartments. Now, I love to give a good show, but I’ve just not felt up to doing full-scale rehearsals. The leg just hurts too much, and I have to go to bed so early. I am debating whether or not to post pone my show for a month or two. I will keep you up to date.

I’ve been keeping tabs on the World Series and my team is not going to win. There is not much of a chance that the L.A. Dodgers will blow a game 7 at home. I just gave away my secret; yes, I am pulling for the Houston Astros. They’ve never been to the World series and a championship would be great for that city. I am also keeping up with the NFL and was very unhappy to learn that the New England Patriots traded away their wonderful back-up quarterback, Jimmy Garoppolo, leaving us with a few more years with the cheater Tom Brady. As a matter of fact, the whole New England Patriot organization are cheaters. Sorry, Robert Kraft, I’ll be a Patriots fan again when you sell the team … which will be the 32nd of neverwherey.

Lastly, my condolences go out to families affected by the terrible terrorist attack in New York City yesterday. Why can’t we all get along?

So until tomorrow, take care, have a great day, do tell your friends about this blog, and happy reading.

To learn or not to learn

Greetings, readers. After many weeks of contemplating whether or not to go back and finish college, I am now leaning towards not. At least not full-time. I know this decision follows my pattern of never finishing anything. But after discussing the topic with my accountant today, we came to the realization that we would probably not make up the $80,000 or $90,000 that it would cost, in the ten years that I would have left to work. Yes, folks, I would be 55 or so by the time I was done. I was all gung-ho for this project a couple of weeks ago, and now once again I am depressed.

An alternative would be to go part-time, taking one or two classes per semester. That would drag it out even longer, but it would be easier on me and with the money. I have three possible majors in mind: Marketing to help me sell the books I already have; Writing to help me write more books; or Psychology in honor of my mother who was a psychologist. The first step will be to see what semester I take the first class in, in August or perhaps in January. The later semester start would give me time to get back from camp, possibly get that job at Panera, and settle in to the new year’s routine. Maybe the job will be enough to make me feel like I am a contributor in life.

Did I really want to finish college? It would have done wonders for my self-esteem and it might have opened up a career or two. Certainly it would have helped me with my writing. I’ve not ruled it in, but I’ve not ruled it out. At age 51, with a brain that sometimes acts like it is in oatmeal, I guess the question is, could I do it? Could I succeed? I guess I wouldn’t know unless I tried, would I? Those who don’t try, don’t get anything in life. Those who do try, sometimes fail, but are usually rewarded.

Besides being a bit bummed out about the whole college idea, I am currently suffering from mild caffeine withdrawals (pardon my yawn). I have had only decaf today and I missed my time at Panera. I’m sure I’ll go over this afternoon, but because of doctor’s orders I am drinking less caffeine and more water. I’m not exactly a happy camper. Not to jinx myself, but at least I don’t have a splitting headache. Though, I do admit that the experiment is working and the physical issues I was having are dramatically reduced.

For those of you who might be interested, my YouTube vlog is up and running. It is called the Joe Kockelmans Show and the only problem about it is that if I sing with music behind me, the video is blocked in 9/10ths of the world. My point on that is this: yes, I understand about copyright law, but I am not trying to sell it, and I am definitely not the Beatles or KISS. No one will confuse me for those bands or any others that I sing with. There must be some way around that snafu. Time will tell.

Until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

A happy Friday and Beatles show pictures

Greetings, readers. It is a gorgeous August … I mean May day. It is sunny, and today’s high will be 85 degrees F. Love it, love it, love it. The only thing that is a small minus in this situation is the fact that if I have my blinds open during work hours, my air conditioning unit is virtually useless. By tonight, however, I’m sure I will be comfy once again.

I’m planning to have a relaxed weekend, not worrying about any upcoming inspections. LOL. This evening I will watch some TV or listen to some music and turn in early. Tomorrow is laundry day, as I finish up the last little bit of the bedroom. Either today or tomorrow is vacuuming day. As you can see, I’m trying to get down to a clean up schedule of some kind. Back in the day of the happy homemakers, women and men wouldn’t think twice about which chore to do on what day to keep their homes clean. With me, I practically have to make a chart and tape it to the fridge. How lame is that?

Sunday afternoon’s plans are going to include a pre-Memorial Day party thrown by one of my good friends here in the apartment building. Scott and his wife Cathy always throw wonderful gatherings.

On to other news, thanks to Rebecca and her many talents, as she was able to figure out how to transfer pictures from my cell phone to the computer. She put some of them on the Performance Pictures page. Also, at the end of this blog entry you will be able to see four or five snapshots of me performing during my Beatles sing along show which took place on May 13th here in Addison Court. I hope you enjoy them and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them here or on my Facebook page. I did have other photographs taken and they are beautiful, but I am having problems getting them on my computer. If we are able to figure out how, I will share them with you then.

Lastly, I would like to let all my WordPress readers know that I am starting a vlog on my YouTube channel. I have seen people who have 50,000 subscribers – I have ten. Within the next week or so, I shall provide a link to my channel and anyone who wants to visit me there is more than welcome to do so. Subscribe and give those videos a like; it will help me out.

Well we are going to leave time now for Rebecca to put the pictures in, so I bid you a fantastic weekend, we will see you on Wednesday, and happy reading.

 

Poster for Joe's Beatles show May 13, 2016
Poster for Joe’s Beatles show May 13, 2016
Joe singing at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe singing at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe doing air drums at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016. Please ignore the yellow mop in so many of these photos.
Joe doing air drums at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016. Please ignore the yellow mop in so many of these photos.
Joe doing air guitar at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe doing air guitar at his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe's girlfriend Traci enjoying his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Joe’s girlfriend Traci enjoying his Beatles show on May 13, 2016.
Some people in the crowd, enjoying Joe's Beatles show and some afternoon snacks on May 13, 2016.
Some people in the crowd, enjoying Joe’s Beatles show and some afternoon snacks on May 13, 2016.
Joe singing and performing the Beatles at his show on May 13, 2016.
Joe singing and performing the Beatles at his show on May 13, 2016.

 

Whoo hoot! I passed my apartment inspection

Greetings, readers. With the help of a good friend, I was able to pass my apartment re-inspection this past Monday. It was a trying and bittersweet day. Was I happy that I had passed? Absolutely. But a lot of stuff from my life had to be thrown away. As I have mentioned before, I’m a junior hoarder and we found bags of garbage inside bags of garbage and old papers. Not fun.

To be truthful, 75% of it was old clothes that either needed to be washed or were thrown away because they dry rotted. Family mementos were carefully placed in closets or drawers, and although I never would have thought it possible, the place looked great when we were finished. I actually have a bedroom again, not a storage unit.

I was proud of myself that I had kept my apartment in the half-decent shape that it was in from the first inspection the previous week. But if I had failed this inspection, I don’t know what would have happened. I enjoy living here and do not wish to have to move. Now I can relax, sign my lease in July, and it will kick in on October 1st.

On another note, since the inspection, I found myself retreating from real life by watching videos on YouTube of crickets, ocean waves, forests sounds, rain, and other such peaceful things. I searched for meditation videos, mainly from Japan and China. As I’ve said before, you can find almost anything on YouTube. Somehow I can’t help but wonder if this sudden desire to not live in my real world has a connection to having to lose so many of my things while cleaning out my apartment. My answer would be yes. Oh, my therapist will have a field day tomorrow. My favorite Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes dealt with the holodecks, where people lose themselves in a creative fantasy land. I have the feeling that that was what I was doing when I would listen to these 8 to 10 hour videos.

Next, here in central Pennsylvania, we have gone from mid-spring to what feels like early July in two days. Today is sunny, hazy, and a luscious 85 degrees F. No coat, jacket, or even sweater is required. I didn’t look at the long-range forecast, but hopefully this wonderfully warm weather will last a while.

Lastly, I would like to thank Rebecca for the wonderful review and write-up of my Beatles show. Everyone seemed to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed performing it.

Until Friday, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.

From Rebecca: Joe performed the Beatles last Friday, May 13th

Joe took a chance against the curse of Friday the 13th last week, with a performance of Beatles songs in the community room of the Addison Court apartment building. Except for a few problems, one of which delayed the show for half an hour, which I’ll get into in a moment, he defied the curse with a great show.

Joe did a bit of air guitar and air drums, but mostly he sang to the sounds of the Beatles playing through his speakers. Most of the songs were ones he had performed before in shows, but some were new for him, like “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.” He started the show with “Twist and Shout,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” and, and a new one for him, “You Really Got a Hold on Me.” Another song from his first set that he also performed for the first time was “Norwegian Wood (This Bird has Flown).” It has a different tempo than the others, and Joe did a great job adjusting to the change.

By the end of the first set, people were starting to join in the singing here and there. People were coming in and out of the room, and the audience size went from small to big and back again throughout the two and half hour show. But for one song, the one Joe has in almost all of his shows, the audience was spell-bound. He started “Yesterday” and it seemed that everyone got still and focused. By the end of the third line, we started singing in a low chorus, sounding mournful and reverent. Joe connects this song with a woman who lived in the building until she passed away, and he sang it for her in a tribute concert he did for her in July of 2013. He may not have been the only one thinking of Erin as we sang it with him. Looking back in the archives, I see that the first time “Yesterday” was in one of his show, in December of 2012, it was played on the cello. I remember that and it was uplifting and special, but I was more moved last week, as we all softly sang the song with Joe. Then he finished the set with “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” a song that lifted the energy and party mood again for the break.

Joe started the second set with two special songs, one to his girlfriend Traci Harter and the other a special request from the videographer. The one for Greg Brown, “And This Bird Can Sing,” was added less than two weeks before, so Joe warned the audience ahead of time that it would be rough. He did a good job with it though. Greg worked hard on the video and Mike Weaver did an equally good job taking still photographs.

The special song for Traci as a surprise, which Joe had to spoil the night before for unforseen personal reasons, was the theme song to Traci’s favorite TV show Reba, “I’m a Survivor,” by Reba McEntire. Traci liked it very much and was touched. She had someone record it on her phone, so she can watch it again. I used to watch Reba and knew the theme song, but the version Joe did was the full song from her album, which included lyrics I had not heard before. I was a little teary-eyed too, from the touching lyrics, and the sweet gesture of Joe singing them to his girlfriend.

Songs in his second set included “Lady Madonna,” “Come Together,” “When I’m Sixty-Four,” and “Lovely Rita.” One song in particular impressed me. Joe sang “She’s Leaving Home” for the first time in a performance, and I was not familiar with the song before. In the chorus part, there is a section with lyrics from the parents in the story, sung a little softer and in between the main chorus lines. Most people would sing the more prominent lines, I think, and let the back up sing the softer words, but Joe did the opposite, giving voice to the confusion and hurt of the parents who don’t understand a daughter being so eager to move away from home. It was poignant and brought out the sad side of the piece. I thought it showed talent from Joe, to make that choice and to sing the section almost underneath the main part.

Joe was getting tired by the middle of the second act, and needed another short break, but he rallied. He finished the show with “Get Back” and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (reprise).

I mentioned that there were a few Friday the 13th issues, including the show being delayed at the beginning. The community room has a door to the bathrooms just behind where Joe was set up to perform. Just before start time, one of the toilets overflowed on the floor in the bathroom. The water had to be turned off at the pipe, and a maintenance man came through to fix and mop up. The mop was then left in view in a corner of the room, apparently the only place for it. Then later in the performance, a staff member had to bring back a big trash-gathering bin, go through Joe’s space, and return it to the closet. Joe understood, and stopped to let him through, then began that song again. Despite these challenges, and that he was getting tired toward the end, Joe gave it his all. It was a great show, that I enjoyed very much. We sang, we clapped, we bopped along, and we had fun. Good work, Joe.

We will get pictures of the performance up as soon as we can. It might be a week or two, but we intend to get it done.

Ok folks, what’s the best brand of laptop today???

Greetings, readers. My ASUS computer is five and a half years old now and, although it is not in top condition, it still does everything I need it to do. The question is, for how much longer will it continue to work? It really is not considered a gaming computer, though through Steam I do play American Truck Simulator, Train Simulator, and before those, Euro Truck Simulator 2. All three titles, as you can imagine, are graphic intensive. I had to put the graphic settings on minimal just to get the games to run.

Within a year, probably less than that, the time will come for the old laptop to be replaced. My accountant understands this and I’m sure will budget some money for that purchase. I would like to get a laptop that has a better graphics card, so I can truly enjoy the full beauty of these simulators. Also, for our writing projects, the word processing system must be easy to use. I know that Windows 10 … or whatever version is the newest … has a touch screen option. That sounds like fun, but after a couple of days I will probably want to switch that option off, if I can.

What brand to buy, what brand to buy? Years ago I owned a Toshiba which was very good; I had that until I lost it during a bus trip. About six months ago, I went to Best Buy for a preliminary look-see and saw brands such as Acer, HP, Toshiba, ASUS, and others. I’ll be honest with you folks, this computer has been a Sherman tank. I want my next computer to last as long as this one has. The two obvious choices would be ASUS or Toshiba; the brands I have had and I know last a long time. Again, I must stay within my budget for said purchase. I cannot go out and buy a $3,000 desktop or $1,500 laptop.

If anyone has recently purchased a computer they are happy with, please share your story here or on my Facebook page. Also, please chime in with your suggestions and experiences.

As stated yesterday, this will be the last blog entry until next Wednesday, for my Beatles sing-a-long show is tomorrow. Rebecca and I will be doing that tomorrow. I bid you a great weekend, take care, and happy reading.

P.S. Video segments or pictures of all my shows to come soonest.

I’m going to have a very busy week and weekend

Greetings, readers. With my Beatles show this Friday, I’ll be quite tired after 4pm. The show is going to last approximately two hours. I know that might not sound very long, but there are many songs on the playlist. Selections include “Love Me Do”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Lady Madonna”, and “Get Back”. I’ve tried to choose a good selection of songs from their early years and their later years. Some I have sung in shows before, but a few I have never performed in public before. I am excited, but everything seems to crowding into the same seven days.

I was hoping to have this weekend to chill out after the show. A minor apartment inspection is taking place on Monday, so I’ll be doing a little spring cleaning over the weekend instead. As I’ve said before, I’m working on my junior hoarding problem, and I’ll need this weekend to get a couple of places the way I want them for the inspection.

One of the two places I’m worried about is under the kitchen counters. I’ll have to check for bugs and things of that nature; my girlfriend Traci told me that other people in the building have had small issues with little critters. The second area of main concern is my bedroom/storage unit. I think ten to fifteen trips down to the dumpster will do it. I definitely see myself throwing things away this time. As hard as that will be for me to do, I’ll feel better about myself when it is done, and there will be less stuff. I guess that is the whole point of spring cleaning.

This is the time line of what goes on in order for me to sign my new lease every year. In May, the inspection. With July comes the signing of the new lease, which begins October 1st. Sometimes I really don’t understand why things have to be done five months early. But I do realize I am not the only person in the building and these inspections, whether done by our office manager, or by our housing authority, must be done for everyone in the building.

I always hate inspections, I don’t think anyone loves them, and I will certainly be happy when it is over. I always work myself up to a big tizzy for nothing. A number of years ago, the person doing the inspecting was literally in my apartment for less than 60 seconds. I got a chuckle out of that.

We will be doing a blog entry tomorrow and going to the local library to print off the show’s playlist so that folks will be able to see what song is next. If I told you I wasn’t nervous about this show I would be a liar. Motivation for practice has been very low this past week. Though I am excited to do this show, I will be very glad when it’s over.

Until tomorrow, take care, enjoy the rest of your day, and happy reading.

Top ten list of things that are going on in my life right now – Dec 2015

Greetings, readers. Rebecca and I thought it would be a good idea to post a top ten list of things that are going on in my life in the current moment. Most are good things, a few of them are perhaps not so good. I don’t think I would consider any of them “bad”. Life is a journey and a struggle and every once in a while we get a peach pit in our peaches and cream. So here we go.

#10. Fog. [The last four days State College, PA. and surrounding areas have experienced thicker than usual fog. This morning I awakened early as usual, looked out my window, and could not see the buildings across the street. Very unusual. State College is prone to bad weather from time to time, but thinking about it, I must admit fog is the phenomenon we have the least.]

#9. Learning to win on the WWE 2k16 wrestling game, PS3 version. [As my regular blog readers may remember, recently I got a copy of this wonderful video game. It is much more difficult than I was expecting. I am finally learning how to win on it. My overall record is 2 wins, 11 loses, and a whole bunch of just watching the computer playing against itself. Fascinating game. I must be careful, because I can play it for hours, which is not good for my very mild seizure issue.]

#8. Christmas decorations going up and excited about Christmas. [Christmas has always been my favorite holiday. Even though I can no longer have the big, real Christmas tree with tons of ornaments and lights, I do try to decorate a little bit to remind myself of the great days when Mom and Dad would spruce up the house and would make it look magical. Pop never let us turn the lights on once tested until Christmas morning, which made it seem more wonderous.]

#7. I am enjoying Spotify music service. [For $9 a month, I am considering Spotify to be a steal. I have found tons of songs and complete albums to listen to. Also, you can click and drag songs into playlists you create. So far I have four lists: my collection of 70s and 80s songs, Beatles songs done by the a tribute band The Coverbeats, my favorite list of KISS songs performed live, and Christmas songs. If you are on Spotify and want to listen to my playlists, drop a comment here or on Facebook and I’ll send you the link.]

#6. Working on a new budget for the new year. [I continue to struggle with money. I keep running out before the end of the month. Here today on the 9th of December I was already talking to my accountant about the slow leak in my wallet. I bought some new pants, a belt, and underwear last night and even though I should have been expecting the amount, the bill gave me sticker shock. I needed the clothes very badly. My old slacks were literally worn out. I need to find a way to get what I need and make my money last longer at the same time.]

#5. New issues with Zipcar. [Up until a month or so ago, my dealings with Zipcar were great. Recently … not so much. The last two times I’ve tried to rent, I’ve either had an issue with the vehicle or none were available despite the reservation I had made ahead of time. The last time, the car that was supposed to be mine for the morning was in for maintenance. I was not told about this – oh joy, oh bliss. The friend I was going to drive to the train station, and who had agreed to pay for the rental fee, had to take a cab. I am picking her up this Sunday, let’s hope all goes well. If not, Zipcar and I will have major problems.]

#4. Doctor appointments for both Keekee and me. [Keekee’s appointment is for a semi-annual wellness check, complete with vaccination, clip nails, and new bag of food, just to name a few things. I have a neurologist appointment in January, to make sure my brain is running the way it should. These appointments made this list not because they are particularly noteworthy but because of the expense it will take to get us there and back. I will either have to take a bus, a taxi, or rent a Zipcar. It is easier to take a cat in  carrier in a Zipcar. Some bus drivers don’t mind, others do, but it is legal. Also, I have a routine dentist appointment in a few weeks.]

#3. Waiting for a notice from the copyright office for my play Kimberly. [We sent in the application, play, and the check a couple of months ago. I want to know that is done by the time Rebecca’s husband Darren is done with the novel based on the play, so that we can then copyright his work.]

#2. Six book sales at the end of November. [Whoot. I was very excited to check my CreateSpace e-store page and find three sales for each of the Bear Spring Camps books. Yay, team! It is not enough to pay the rent, but it is a start. And I am glad that people are still enjoying Picking Up Where We Left Off and Tales from North Bay and Beyond.]

#1. My girlfriend and Thanksgiving with family. [Traci has been my girlfriend since late September, and she went with me to spend Thanksgiving with David and family. Regular readers will know that she got along great with the family and we all had a wonderful time. This is in the #1 spot because Traci was so happy to be introduced to the family and both she and I are happy to have each other, as well as them.]

So, this sums up this top ten list and my life at this moment. Although things are definitely on an upswing for me, I am still grateful for my therapist. She still continues to help me quite a bit.

There will definitely be a blog on Friday, on an as of yet unknown topic. Until then, take care, have a great couple of days, and happy reading.