Archive for June, 2011

Dear Teen Terra . . .

June 29th, 2011 by Terra | No Comments | Filed in Uncategorized

Well, I meant to post about this last week when it actually went up, but we had some technical difficulties here at, so it got delayed. (Everything is fixed now–yay!)

Regardless, I think the folks at Dear Teen Me are doing something pretty remarkable. For my teenager friends, I suggest you check out the site and just read some of the compelling entries. For my adult friends, I definitely recommend you give this a stab. Even digging up pictures of myself was interesting and insightful!

Here is the first bit of my entry. Click on this text to read the whole thing!

Dear Teen Me:

Let’s get the stuff I know you’re dying to know out of the way:

1. Your skin will get better. It’ll be after finding a good skincare regimen and growing out of those hormones, but it happens. If you can’t wait, then spend some of that restaurant job money on Dr. Haushka skin care products.

2. You will not always feel so bad in your body. Especially if you stop eating a dozen Fig Newtons while waiting for your mom to come pick you up from the pre-school job. With regular working out (which you actually like) and some mindful eating, you really won’t end up the behemoth you think you’re destined to be. Also, you aren’t fat right now anyway.

3. Waiting until college to Do It was a really, really good idea. And yes, you will one day be loved as deeply and passionately as you hope to be. More than once, actually, by some really interesting men. But your heart will never get broken as badly as it did that first time at the beach. (You know what I’m talking about, unless you haven’t gotten there yet, in which case pretend you didn’t read this part.)

Now for some other things . . .



Meanwhile, here are two weeks’ worth of Songs In My Head Upon Waking, since we didn’t have a post last week:

“U Got the Look,” by Sheena E; “Shadows of the Night,” by Pat Benetar; “Every Day is Yours to Win,” by REM; “Half of my Heart,” by John Mayer; “Half of My Heart,” by John Mayer*; “Can’t Say No,” by Helio Sequence; “Dream On,” by Massive Attack

“Dirt Off Your Shoulder,” by DJ Danger Mouse; “Lewis Takes Off His Shirt,” by Owen Pallett; “Little Lion Man,” by Mumford & Sons; “Read My Mind,” by the Killers; “Long Way Home,” by Tom Waits; “Uptown Girl,” by Billy Joel; Some beautiful instrumental song I don’t know the name of or who it’s by**

* Yes, that John Mayer was STUCK in there awhile.
** HATE when this happens.


Mad Libs = Summer (And Sister) Fun

June 15th, 2011 by Terra | No Comments | Filed in Summer of Firsts and Lasts

Last week, Leonard Stern, the creator of the amazing fill-in-the word game, Mad Libs, passed away. This saddened me just in general, because it’s always sad when someone creatively (and literarily) bent passes from this realm into the next, but also because Mad Libs have a special place in my heart, especially because my sisters and I have enjoyed them so much.

We love Mad Libs, you see. They provided hours of entertainment for us growing up, of course, but we also have a lot of fun with them as adults.

Because when you’re a grown-up? You can make your OWN Mad Libs.

I’m not sure exactly when it started with us, or why, but one day we just set about finding passages from our favorite books, and turned them into our own Mad Libs. No text was sacred. We even once took passages from the Bible and made them into Mad Libs to entertain our friends at a themed birthday party.

The process is simple. You copy out a passage from a book –any book!– and in places where there’s a noun, you just write [noun] and a blank. Where there’s an adjective, you write [adjective], and a blank. Numbers, verbs + ing, names of people [person in the room], etc. Then you let your friends fill in the blanks, a la the original Mad Libs concept, and you’ve got a real party on your hands.

Here’s an example I did from  THE SUMMER OF FIRSTS AND LASTS, near the beginning, from one of Violet’s sections. (Without the blanks, because I think you get that part.) I hope you have fun with it, and then use it as inspiration to make plenty of your own!

One person I do see though is [name of person in room]. Again. Every time I saw him yesterday I sort of couldn’t believe it . . . Not that I didn’t [verb] him–even though his [part of body] is shorter and he’s kind of [adjective] in a more [adjective] way. It’s just that I couldn’t believe he was here. Here and a [noun]. Here and so [adjective] and [adjective] and [adjective], instead of like he was [number] summers ago: just this [noun] in my concentration, a [noun] you weren’t upset about being stuck in a [noun] with.


Songs In My Head Upon Waking in the Last Week:

“Half of My Heart,” by John Mayer; “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves,” Eurythmics*; “Heat of the Moment,” by Asia; “Down to the River,” by Bruce Springsteen; “Visions of You,” by Jah Wobble; “Here Comes Your Man,” by the Pixies; “Washing of the Water,” by Peter Gabriel

* Not strange that this song cropped up, considering my last post. Also, this seemed to be a week of repeated songs (Pixies, Asia) which is interesting to me.

Sister Songs

June 8th, 2011 by Terra | No Comments | Filed in Summer of Firsts and Lasts

As some of you know, since March I’ve been kind of obsessed with the songs that go through my head. Mainly, obsessed with the fact that EVERY SINGLE MORNING as I wake up, there is a different song in my head. I’ve been recording them since 3/23 (that’s what the whole “Songs In My Head Upon Waking” list is about, for those who wondered)–and yes, literally, I have a notebook by my bed for this.

So with The Summer of Firsts and Lasts being just recently out, and both sisters and songs on my mind, I wanted to post for you what I consider to be the absolute BEST sister song:

I’m sure that there are lots of other good sister songs, and I would definitely be interested in hearing your thoughts about them. But while I was thinking of Sister Songs, this other classic also jumped into my head (because my brain is nothing if not a string of musical nonsequiturs), and just can’t resist sharing it. It’s not technically about sibling sisters, but still it could apply.

Hope you enjoy the classic videos. And I’m eager to see what else you find!


Songs in my Head Upon Waking This Week:

“I Don’t Love You,” by My Chemical Romance; “I Love You, I Do,” by I Love You*; “Shake It Up,” by the Cars; Peter’s Theme, from Peter and the Wolf by Prokofiev; “New York, New York,” by Frank Sinatra; “Jack and Sara,” by Ben Folds, “You and Your Heart,” by Jack Johnson.

* Hmmm wow. Interesting juxtaposition . . .