Archives for category: Inspiration

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On the daily routine in life, there are great things that happen to us. Even so, we sometimes forget because we’re so focused on future events, rather than just living in the moment. I am creating this jar to record what I am calling, the “Greatest Hits of 2014.” I want to document this year as not just moments, but a track list of what will make it a year to remember. The biggest hits all combined into one small jar, or maybe two…here’s to 2014!

Classically Yours,

ZRH

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Dream Jar

It was over a year ago when I created my first dream jar.  Inside of the jar, I placed multiple things that represented the tasks I wanted to complete in 2013. I feel the jar was an influence on what a great year it was to me. Here they are and my thoughts on each at year’s end:

Beach House show ticket – This symbolized me going to great shows and listening to awesome music over the year.  Honestly, and I say this almost every year… 2013 was an amazing year for music as I was exposed to so many great bands. I got to see my favorite acts like the xx and Drake.

IG logo – The blog is one of my favorite things I have that serves as a platform to showcase my creativity. It also gives me an opportunity to expand upon my thoughts regarding fashion, music, and life, in hopes of inspiring others in the process.  This last year was an amazing one – At one point, I took a hiatus away from social media outlets to truly realize what the outside world, beyond the blog, truly meant to me.  I covered a wide variety of content and even posted everyday of my birthday month.  I hope this year will I will be able to deliver great content, once again, to you – my readers.

Polka Dot Pocket Square – Fashion is an important part of me. It is way for me to show others that fashion isn’t just about looking nice – it’s also a way to represent you to others.  I continued to thrift as I have for many years. I am inspired by the fashion world, via blogs and the magazines I read in 2013.  Even though the blog may not have showcased my style as much last year, I foresee 2014 as a year to give my readers more of an insight not only into my style, but to confidently showcase what he or she feels their fashion is to the world as well.

Shoelace – In 2013, I ran my second marathon.  It was awesome, as I felt like an even stronger runner.  I smashed my previous marathon time of 5:25 with a time of 4:36.  So, needless to say, I was really psyched about it. I look forward to running my future marathons.

Bike material – I spent a lot of time of making new things and focusing on honing my crafting abilities.  I made all kinds of things such as: a bowtie, a penguin-stamped jacket and I even covered a mannequin in old sewing patterns. I found myself being craftier than in years past.

Pen – I sketched a lot, as you could see from some of my monthly music playlist artworks. I see this as a future craft in upcoming years not only to enhance my creativity, but to also show others my ideas more clearly.

Drury Tassel – At the end of last year, I found myself a couple months out of college and optimistic toward what the future held for me. Rather than looking at a masters program, I chose to take another year away from academia to visit more of my creative endeavors.  Hopefully, in the near future, this will be something I move forward with, as I still see myself becoming a professor.

I would say that the Dream Jar was an effective source in staying motivated to complete many of my goals I set out for in 2013 – it was truly a great year! Here’s to looking toward this year with new goals!

Classically Yours,

ZRH

Piano

 

The piano has always been my favorite instrument.  I love the sounds it makes and the feelings that it can create.  I would say most of the music I listen to is very piano driven; many artists I adore play it.  That being said, I hope to one day play this magnificent instrument, as it has always been so fascinating to me.

During my senior year of college, I took what would turn out to be my favorite class – Creative Writing.  It challenged my imagination and helped keep my mind focused on things to write about. I had the pleasure of meeting Cecily Robertson in this particular class.  I found her to be one of the most creative and entertaining writers.  I couldn’t wait for class to start when we would be able to read our classmates works because she wrote some of the most fascinating reads.

This piece “Fingers” is one of the coolest, darkest stories that Cecily wrote for our class.  It really hit me, and I still to this day think about it.  This truly hits the heart of any person who strives to love with passion so much it hurts.  I hope you enjoy it and also, check out her blog Humor Her.

Fingers

I remember when I first started. Mother made me, and I couldn’t stand the damn thing. The sound was too loud for my ears. I couldn’t touch the ground, but I couldn’t reach the keys unless I sat on a cushion. I remember when Mary hid a Robin’s egg under it, hoping it would keep warm and hatch, and then I forgot and accidentally sat on it. Icried and cried for the poor bird, and Mary didn’t shed a tear. She just kept shaking her finger and yelling. Those strings and hammers were bad luck from the start. I dreaded going to Mr. Roeper’s house every Wednesday for lessons. Tuesday night Mother would ask how much practicing I had done, and I would say “none” because I always thought honesty was the best policy. Then I’d have to spend all night plunking away at the keys instead of watching my shows with Mary. I hated that piano. Always making me feel stupid. I wasn’t stupid. But every time Mr. Roeper said, “Ah, ah, ah, that’s a flat, not a sharp, Maggie,” I felt like breaking my fingers as an excuse not to come back.

 I guess all those years of lessons and missing my shows caught up to me, because one day it clicked. And then Mother and Mr. Roeper made me play at nursing homes, and then at recitals with teenagers who were actually decent, and then the piano started consuming my life. I didn’t know what to do after school. College wasn’t an option, so I signed on with my high school choir teacher and started accompanying our school choir for a stint. And when they made it to a statewide competition, my name made the concert program. Some man approached me at the competition and asked if I would play in his concert hall. I agreed, and then my name was showing up other places. I was giving plenty of recitals on my own, so I stopped playing with the choir. People thought I was talented.

And then I was playing in front of real, big audiences with people who called themselves fans. I still can’t pinpoint how it happened. I guess it’s a good thing people like to talk so much. I’m just glad they were doing it with each other and not me. When people did coax something out of me they usually looked like they regretted it.

Lack of social graces and all, my name went up in lights after one of my mother’s connections invited me to play at the Saenger Theater. And I loved it. Not so much the name in lights, but the piano. To tell the truth, I tried not to pay too much attention to my name, and I tried to pay even less attention to the audience. I just liked to walk in, sit down at the keys, and play without looking up. My hands were so fast I could hardly see them. I breathed in through my mouth and out through my fingers. Playing required no thought. It doesn’t now, either, but it takes my fingers longer to react than it does my brain to tell them where to go. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been sitting there for more than a minute, watching my fingers before they start to move. Old age is everything Mother said it would be.

And now it hurts. I started taking Aleve, like Mother used to, and it still hurts. Maybe if I hadn’t played until my fingers cramped every Tuesday night. Maybe it wouldn’t hurt so much now. One less concert here, one less there, and maybe I would’ve been all right. Funny how a person changes. How a burden becomes a passion, and then a memory. There’s a piano in the home here, and every once in a while one of these fools will meander over to it and plunk out an old tune. They keep it tuned; I asked them. I played regularly when I first moved in, and people would come and sit and listen.

Workers and geezers like me alike. But I’m too embarrassed to play now. Especially after I told them about my younger days and now they insist on introducing me as “the magnificent Maggie.” It comes so fast in my memory, but plays so slow on my hands. I guess I didn’t have to move here when I did, but Mother and Mary were gone, so coming here felt like a natural progression. I only would’ve been able to play a few more years before people started turning me away. And I certainly didn’t want to teach any bratty children; God bless Mr. Roeper.

Sometimes children come here to give recitals. When they’ve got one scheduled someone always makes it a point to let me know, and I go. Sometimes I sit at the chair closest the piano, so I can watch their frustrated faces. I don’t like to admit I sit that close because I’m an old lady who’s hard of hearing. So sometimes I look down at the lobby from my fourth floor balcony and rely on the acoustics to carry their tunes. The unsure pauses and accidental keystrokes are a sort of music on their own. I listen for every mistake, and clap the loudest for the child who makes the most. Sometimes if they’re really god-awful I talk to them afterward. Tell them my life story. Hold on to their shoulders to make sure they stay ‘til I’m done. A few of them take pity on me and ask me to play them something. And when I’m done I look up at them and see them looking back at me as if to say “Why, you’re no better than I am, you old kook.” “Well, I use to be a lot better,” I tell them. “Before I got so old and senile. Not that you know what that means.”

It wasn’t worth it. I knew from the beginning I wasn’t cut out for it. But Mother made me. I would’ve been happy working 9-5, making decent money and keeping my name to myself. I curse these fingers every day. I could forgive them when they slipped and broke Mother’s vase, forgive them for taking so long to feed me my pudding, forgive them for scaring the children who visit. But I will never forgive them for what they took from me. And I will fight them until the day I die.

Classically Yours,

ZRH

Drake_sgM_F_BW_notext

 

Today, I bought my tickets to see my favorite rapper Drake.  I have seen him once before and it remains my favorite concert of all time. He is nothing but a performer -he is passionate about what he does and that is what I love most about him.

A preppy gent like myself may not fit your general idea of someone being a Drake fan. Let me explain to you why he gets me and I bump his music on the reg.

Drake, unlike other rappers seems to focus on things such as life, love, and family rather than your typical “Clubbin,” “Bitches,” and “Weed,” type of subject matter.  I remember being the guy who said, “Why would anyone listen to Drake? He is just another rapper who focuses on garbage that I don’t believe in.” Well, upon a further listen (especially with the album Take Care) I saw a man who not only comes from a good background, but one who had emotions and feelings like myself.

On the song “Doing it Wrong,” he says “We live in a generation of, not being in love, and not being together but we sure make it feel like we together cause we are scared to see each other with someone else.” I feel like I can relate to him and his search for a love that truly matters and means something but at the same time, seeing a modern world where such ideas may not exist.

Drake will forever be my favorite rapper for many of the reasons I have said but also because he continues to put out tunes that stick with me.  He is passionate about what he raps about and the music he creates.  I aspire to have his confidence and his creativity. October’s Own Forever.

Classically Yours,

ZRH

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Dreamin

At the beginning of the year, I made a dream jar. I made this in hopes of meeting goals for the year that I planned on accomplishing.  As we have reached the halfway mark of 2013, my goals, so far, have come along nicely.

Blog: The blog, as I had planned, is developing into a something I envision it to become.

Education: Since I started the goal of furthering my education, I see myself still at a standstill, but also researching ideas.  I hope to come to some kind of conclusion to my goal by the end of this year.

Running: As we’ve reached the midpoint of the year, my running is becoming more and more involved as my mileage increases. I plan on running a couple of races, including a half marathon before the Bass Pro Shops Marathon in November.

Concerts: In the beginning of the summer, I have already gone to two different shows: The Tallest Man on Earth and Foals. The concerts were great and remind me there are still great ones ahead.

 Here’s cheers to the rest of the year…

Classically Yours,
ZRH

Monet_Water_Lilies_1916

 

I think everyone, for the most part, has a piece of art they love and cherish.  It was when I really first started to acknowledge and understand art for myself that I was introduced to the painting Water Lilies by Claude Monet.

This painting brings multiple feelings to me, especially happiness.  It truly captures a moment in time when Spring is in bloom and the flowers are truly beautiful.

Art is meaningful to me for many reasons. Mainly because it allows one to take away the problems in his or her lives for a moment and focus on a great piece that an artist has produced.  This is how I felt when I actually saw Water Lilies in person. It truly takes your breath away and makes you realize that art has a purpose beyond just something stuck on a wall.  It consumes your feelings and emotions for the matter of seconds you look at it and makes you reimagine yourself in it.

I imagine myself walking next to a small pond and seeing the lilies as they hang above the water, soaking in the sun.  I would imagine Monet saw a meaning similar to mine, perhaps, of a work that invokes a person to immerse in nature and appreciate the great things that it does for a person, how it makes us appreciate beauty and how it is created.

 Classically Yours,

ZRH

 

 

Reading has always been something that I have enjoyed and has also sparked my creativity. I have been a reader since third grade, when I remember reading my first chapter book, an abbreviated version of Moby Dick.  That was the beginning of a further venture into what I was capable of reading and how it would make my imagination run wild. Instead of furthering my adventure into my reading catalog I thought would compose a list of my ten favorite books, which overtime, have inspired me and kept a place in library forever.

1. High Fidelity- Nick Hornby

high_fidelity

 

2. The Great Gatsby- F. Scott Fitzgerald

great-gatsby

 

3. Blue Like Jazz- Donald Miller

Blue Like Jazz

 

4. On the Road- Jack Kerouac

On the Road

 

5. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe- C.S. Lewis

LionWardrobe11

 

6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix- J.K. Rowling

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7. Me Talk Pretty One Day- David Sedaris

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8. Maltese Falcon- Dashiell Hammett

MF

 

9. The Road- Cormac Mccarthy

the-road-cormac-mccarthy11

 

10. To the Lighthouse- Virginia Woolf

To the light

 

Classically Yours,

ZRH

IG - JFK

 

In celebration of JFK’s 96th birthday, I have composed a list of 96 words that describe my idol and his life:

Strong

Leader

Courageous

Timeless

Classic

Idealist

Handsome

Giving

Spiritual

Democrat

Personable

Diplomatic

Visionary

Authentic

Charismatic

Charming

Iconic

Fair

Strong

Father

Writer

Political

Patriotic

War Hero

Seamen

Sailor

Nautical

Explorer

Traditional

Family Man

Husband

Gifted

Unique

Senator

Congressman

Pulitzer

Bay of Pigs

Irish

Inspiring

Hopeful

Endearing

Articulate

Sensitive

Brave

Insightful

Proud

Cuban Missile Crisis

Civil Rights

Activist

Intellectual

Futurist

Philosopher

Historic

Harvard

New Englander

JFK cut

Cape Cod

Roman Catholic

Role Model

Cigar

Boat

Brother

Sportsman

Legacy

Ray-Bans

President

Strategist

One Term

American

Four Children

Gentleman

Classy

Untimely Death

Collegian

Legendary

Nineteen Sixties

Fashion Forward

Positive

Great

Traveler

Thinker

Camelot

Speaker

Communicator

Painter

Reader

Mindful

Unforgettable

Player

Fighter

Fearless

Vocal

Defender

Foundation

“Ask Not”

 Ninety-Six

May 29, 1917-November 22, 1963

Classically Yours,

ZRH

 

 

Zak Smith