You’re My Inspiration: Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel

Every Friday, I will feature an inspirational song, in a post: You’re My Inspiration.
Today’s song is Peter Gabriel with Kate Bush, “Don’t Give Up” from the album So. I can’t listen to this song without tears welling up in my eyes. It has helped me through some difficult moments. Enjoy!

and the lyrics…

in this proud land we grew up strong
we were wanted all along
I was taught to fight, taught to win
I never thought I could fail

no fight left or so it seems
I am a man whose dreams have all deserted
I’ve changed my face, I’ve changed my name
but no one wants you when you lose

don’t give up
‘cos you have friends
don’t give up
you’re not beaten yet
don’t give up
I know you can make it good

though I saw it all around
never thought I could be affected
thought that we’d be the last to go
it is so strange the way things turn

drove the night toward my home
the place that I was born, on the lakeside
as daylight broke, I saw the earth
the trees had burned down to the ground

don’t give up
you still have us
don’t give up
we don’t need much of anything
don’t give up
’cause somewhere there’s a place
where we belong

rest your head
you worry too much
it’s going to be alright
when times get rough
you can fall back on us
don’t give up
please don’t give up

‘got to walk out of here
I can’t take anymore
going to stand on that bridge
keep my eyes down below
whatever may come
and whatever may go
that river’s flowing
that river’s flowing

moved on to another town
tried hard to settle down
for every job, so many men
so many men no-one needs

don’t give up
’cause you have friends
don’t give up
you’re not the only one
don’t give up
no reason to be ashamed
don’t give up
you still have us
don’t give up now
we’re proud of who you are
don’t give up
you know it’s never been easy
don’t give up
’cause I believe there’s a place
there’s a place where we belong

#TBT Wilson Phillips – Hold On

Occasionally, I’ll feature an old song in honor of the internet’s favorite meme #tbt (throwback thursday.) Hold On is my go to song for motivation and inspiration and I will crank the volume on this one when I need a boost. Lyrics are below and speak for themselves.

I know there is pain (I know there is pain, I know there is pain (echo))
Why do lock yourself up in these chains? (these chains, these chains (echo))
No one can change your life except for you
Don’t ever let anyone step all over you
Just open your heart and your mind, mmm
Is it really fair to feel this way inside?

Ooh some day somebody’s gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you gonna let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things’ll go your way
Hold on for one more day (one more day)

You could sustain (you could sustain , you could sustain (echo))
Mmm or are you comfortable with the pain?
You’ve got no one to blame for your unhappiness (no baby)
You got yourself into your own mess (ooooooo)
Lettin’ your worries pass you by (lettin’ your worries pass you by)
Baby don’t you think it’s worth your time
To change your mind?

Noo noo, some day somebody’s gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on for one more day
Things’ll go your way (oh things’ll go your way)
Hold on for one more day


I know that there is pain
But you hold on for one more day
And you break free from the chains
Yeah I know that there is pain
But you hold for one more day
And you break free right from the chains

Some day somebody’s gonna make you want to
Turn around and say goodbye (and say goodbye)
Until then baby are you going to let them
Hold you down and make you cry
Don’t you know?
Don’t you know (no) things can change (no)
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day, yeah
Can you hold on

Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day
Can you hold on
Can you hold on
Mmm… Can you hold on baby
Won’t you tell me now
Hold on for one more day
Cause it’s gonna go away

Don’t you know things can change
Things’ll go your way
If you hold on for one more day yeah
Can’t you change it this time
Make up your mind
Hold on Hold on
Hold on Hold on, baby hold on
Turn around, Just turn around baby
Hold on for one more day, Cause
It’s gonna go your way

Food and love

Ever since I joined Weight Watchers I have been meticulously tracking my food and activity through their website and mobile app. What needs to be tracked additionally is my emotional state and mood and how it translates to my food choices.
Love and food are so closely enmeshed in American culture. We share dinners on first dates, we celebrate birthdays with cakes and candles, we cook for people we love. Those are all happy occasions.
What about when you are blue or sad or have no love in your life? That’s when I have turned to food, becoming an emotional eater instead of eating to feed myself. It has been like that for me for several years.
Guess what? Things are getting better! This past New Year’s Eve I was really feeling down. Out of nowhere a band tweeted me that they loved my blog and would I review their single. I hadn’t even posted anything since May. On January 2, I revived my blog and it has been amazing. I love interacting with you who are reading and commenting. What started off as a music blog has morphed into something more personal.
I like sharing my recent experiences with Paul and I will continue to share. I am so much happier than I was a month ago. I have a man in my life who cares about me and is affectionate. The Blizzard brought us closer the last 2 days. I have been making good food choices and eating when I am hungry – learning what it feels like to eat for nutrition and energy. I can do this!

Snowmaggedon 2015 in NYC with Paul

NYC has completely shut down for a snow day today. And that’s when it becomes apparent that having someone special who lives in your apartment building to hunker down with is like really nice.
Five days ago Paul and I spent an amazing day together. We’ve actually spent time together every day since. It was really nice to get a call from Paul yesterday inviting me over as NYC began to shut down.
We talked and ate and tried to find something worth watching on TV. It seems Paul and I don’t have the same taste in movies. I prefer a rom-com and he likes a darker drama/crime film. We do however both love old Errol Flynn/Olivia de Havilland movies, so that’s something to consider renting in the future.
I will admit I am glad I did not have to be alone yesterday. As a single gal, when big events occur and I have no one to share them with I get depressed.
Already things are turning around as Paul is coming to my apartment to watch the Superbowl as I have the flat screen TV. I am looking forward to that.
It has been really nice spending time with Paul. We are definitely good friends. I love that we are neighbors. But aside from a regular good night kiss, it feels more platonic to me. That may be a good thing. I don’t know yet. For me, relationships can take me on an emotional roller coaster. I definitely felt it the day after our first kiss last week. I have so many other things I’m focusing on right now, like trying to get into a computer coding course and working on my writing and this blog, I don’t know if I even want to go to that level. I just really like how things are now.
I will leave with this funny thought: I read that people were posting on Craigslist last night looking for a “Blizzard boyfriend or girlfriend.” Only in NY, kids.
(Photo above is an empty Grand Central Station.All public transit is closed.)

I joined Weight Watchers

Yesterday I joined Weight Watchers

On Saturday night, Paul (see and I were talking and he suggested in as nice a way as possible that I should try to lose weight. He said he wants me to be healthy and cares about me.
Of course I felt immediately awful and ugly and undeserving of anyone’s love. Good self-talk there! Upon returning to my apartment I had a good 10 minute cry.
The next day I was checking my hotmail and this large ad came up to join Weight Watchers for 1 month free. I had never considered a formal weight loss program before, but clearly I needed to try something. And not to make Paul happy, but for me to feel better and prettier.
The great thing is, it’s all online. I don’t have to schlep to a meeting. There is also a 24/7 chat with a coach feature which I have already used. They have a great mobile app to help you track your food and activity. They even give you a personal blog!
I like that there are no banned foods. It’s all based on a Points Plus system. I have set a goal to drop 55 lbs. Please wish me luck. Because I once looked like this.

Caleb – Spotlight on a Young Artist

Caleb and Matt clear at Rockwood Dec 2014

Caleb, a NYC-based Singer/Songwriter/Musician, is an ubertalented, independent artist. Caleb’s heartfelt lyrics and amazing voice remind me of a younger version of singer/songwriter Joshua Radin and John Mayer.

At just sixteen, Caleb is part of a YouTube and Social Media savvy generation of rising stars. On his You Tube channel, OfficialCalebChannel, Caleb’s anti-suicide song, “More Time” has garnered over 2.34 million views. His song, “We Run” has nearly 1.1 million views.

Since July, 2011, Caleb has been working with famed producer, PJ Bianco who is known most notably as the writer and producer for the Jonas Brothers, Beyonce, Demi Lovato, Metro Station, LP and Miley Cyrus.

“Falling Over You,” a song Caleb wrote when he was 11, hit #1 on the Tween Pop Radio charts in 2012 and abroad on popular radio in Australia in 2012. Caleb was voted #1 up and coming artist of the year for 2012 in Australia.

Caleb’s self titled album was released at the end of January, 2013 and is available on iTunes and Amazon. Caleb is currently working on recording new tracks for an upcoming EP or album. He hopes to have it on iTunes by this Spring.

Since June 2013, Caleb has been working with Rocket Music Management, Elton John’s company. Through Rocket, Caleb has been collaborating with songwriters and producers in NY and in London.

While continuing to write and record music for his new EP, Caleb is also co-writing demos for use in TV and film through Rocket Music Management in NYC.

His most recent live gigs include Rockwood Music Hall in NYC and other smaller venues in Westchester and NJ. Watch the video of “Battle Scars”, performed live at Rockwood Music Hall below.

Caleb has a gig on Valentine’s Day at Forty North.


The Versatile Bloggers Award


The Versatile Bloggers award was given to me by the wonderful sisters of Faraday’s Candle.

These are the rules to follow to accept this award:

Show the award on your blog.
Thank the person who nominated you.
Share seven facts about yourself.
Nominate 15 blogs.
Link your nominees’ blogs, and let them know.

About me:

I prefer to travel by myself.

I have colored my brunette hair blonde and burgundy before.

I quit smoking cigarettes 10 years ago.

I know all the worldwide airport codes since I used to work as a travel agent.

I mostly dress in black.

I am an only child.

I have an enormous amount of film trivia in my head.

The blogs I am nominating:

musingsofafrequentflyingscientist | A lovely travel and photography blog from desley jane.

Bipolar Scorpio | She blogs about her journey while living with Bipolar 1 Disorder. A must read!

The Real Atypical Italian Traveler | John documents his worldwide travels in a unique voice with great photos.

Griffla | A bilingual English/Swedish online creative writing course from Emilie in Sweden.

Basil and Oil | Easy and fun recipes for any occasion.

The Simply Sassy Life | Share Kalyssa’s journey incluidng how a 22 year old manages a chronic illness.

After Midnight: A Christian Bipolar | Excellent and educational, Kathy’s blog helps fight the stigma of mental illnesses.

Anniewhere she goes | A mix of poetry and pop culture posts by Little Snowflake.

A Writer’s Journey | Blogging a spiritual life and journey.

bluchickenninja | Emma blogs about books.

Outside the Fish Bowl | Michelle shares her beautiful artwork.

A Lady in Adelaide | inspirational writings and travel blog.

Memoirs of a Pond-Crosser: A Southerner Abroad | Poetry and travel blogger with a unique perspective.

Megan Elizabeth – Creative Imaginations | a writing blogger based in Chicago.

Designs By Kylee | blogging from a college student’s perspective

Live Through This – NY1 New Yorker of the Week

I’m going off-topic today to highlight an important organization.

This week local Time Warner Cable news network NY1 profiled Live Through This as their New Yorker of the Week.

Live Through This is a collection of portraits and stories of suicide attempt survivors, as told by those survivors.

I have personally lost several friends to suicide. It is pervasive and no one talks about it. There are also many blogs in the WordPress community whose topics are depression. Kudos to those bloggers for trying to squash the stigma associated with mental illness.

Here’s an excerpt from the Live Through This website.

Live Through This exists for many reasons. Here are some of them:

· It humanizes the issue of suicide by putting faces to the numbers. The survivors who share their stories here are real people who have been through hell. They are also engaging, fascinating people whose voices deserve to be heard. It asks you to look into their eyes, to see their humanity, to find empathy.
· Everybody should know the basic tenet of suicide prevention: If you’re afraid a loved one might be suicidal, ASK. The thought that asking might be putting the idea into your loved one’s head is a myth.
· Depression affects 1 in 10 people–a huge number–but stigma is everywhere. That stigma often results in shame and silence, and the severe depressions that result in suicide frequently go unnoticed. What if this was affecting your mom, your partner, or your best friend?
· The media sensationalizes suicide for stories. You’ve inevitably heard of Aaron Swartz and Tyler Clementi, but how often do you hear about suicides that don’t come with a snappy headline? How often is a story on suicide presented with a sympathetic view of mental illness, or information on warning signs and strategies? Not often.
· Each suicide affects 6 people intimately: I have lost dear friends to suicide. Have you?
· Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the US, and it’s on the rise. And here we are, afraid of it. I’m convinced that the simple act of getting people to talk about it will save lives. It’s a serious public health issue, and one we can do something about if we can just set our fears aside.

Live Through This

And finally, if you know someone who is depressed, reach out to them. You could save their life.

The Fireflys – Branches

2015 is an exciting time for Runcorn, England band The Fireflys. They have a brand new single “Branches” available on Bandcamp.

The Fireflys have put ‘Branches’ on Bandcamp for immediate download and it is available for the nominal fee of 50 pence. They want the fans to get the opportunity to download and enjoy the song before it is released on Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon.

Best. date. ever.


Last night I had the best. date. ever. I went out with Paul (*not his real name) who I have known for a few months. Last week I thought perhaps a let’s-be-more-than-friends phase was happening. I did not see that coming at all.

Paul is my neighbor in my apartment building. Now, perhaps you are thinking Jill, you shouldn’t go on a date with your handsome neighbor. Ah, but you are wrong because it is especially convenient, for one thing.

Let’s rewind a bit, because there is a moment when Paul looked like more than a neighbor who I would have a stop-and-chat with (Seinfeld reference.) That occurred when Paul asked me if I could ever look in on his cats if he had some emergency. Of course, I said I would. I have cats and having a neighbor who could help in a pinch is invaluable. I asked would he do the same for me and he said he would. We then exchanged phone numbers and apartment numbers.

I don’t remember who called who first. It might have been me. It should be noted that I hate texting and love talking on the phone. Paul doesn’t have a smartphone. (He also doesn’t go online so he will not be reading this.) Anyway, he began calling me everyday several days in a row.

Fast-forward to yesterday when he asked me to go for a walk in our neighborhood. I needed some bananas and lollipops and Paul needed cigarettes. (Yes, unfortunately Paul is a smoker.) It was supposed to snow and there was that chill in the air without wind where you feel like it will snow soon.

We decided after completing our errands we would walk to Metropolitan Avenue. Paul and I walked and talked for about 20 minutes and ended up at Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins. Despite the chill I was craving an ice cream cone. Paul wanted to have some coffee. There was an empty table-for-two.

After we had our treats, Paul wanted to stop at Jackpot, a discount shop and browse a bit for some gloves as his were not warm enough. It is a great shop. I bought some slippers and earmuffs for a total of less than $10 and Paul bought nice warm gloves.

It got dark by the time we left Jackpot and we headed back to our building, where we chatted for a bit in my apartment before Paul went back to his.

I did not expect a couple of hours later for the phone to ring at 9 pm. It was Paul. Would I like to come up, he asked. I was watching a rerun of Big Bang Theory. I said yes.

I didn’t even change out of my new slippers and headed to Paul’s apartment. I could hear Neil Young playing on his CD player from in front of his front door. (I love Neil Young.) He answered the door and I sat on his sofa while he made some coffee. Coffee. At 9:30 p.m.

For five hours, we listened to Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, The Allman Brothers, and Neil Young, talked about everything from past jobs to past heartbreaks, and also occasionally looked at the Australian Open which was on mute on the TV.

Somehow it was 2 a.m. and my eyes were unable to remain open for more than a few seconds. We decided it was time for me to go home. Paul said he would walk me home to my apartment.

When we arrived at my door, I unlocked my door but didn’t open it. I turned around and faced Paul and we both were just standing there for what seemed like eternity. I broke the silence. Come here, I said, and I kissed Paul lightly on the lips. He swooped his arms around me so fast and hard into a tight embrace during which I lost my balance. He kissed me back and then we parted. He said he’d call tomorrow and I said good-night and went into my apartment.

You know that amazing first kiss feeling – it is unlike anything else. I looked at myself in my bathroom mirror and I was glowing. I had no make-up on but I looked like I did. I floated around the apartment, got ready for bed and just couldn’t get myself to stop smiling.

Best. date. ever.

So, I don’t know what is down the road, but I’m optimistic. I have been patient. I have resisted online dating thinking I just maybe could somehow meet some in person, and I was not even looking to meet anyone. Time will tell if Paul and I will continue to date. I hope we will.

So, anyone have a great story they would like to share in the comments about a great first date? Please, share!