Monday, September 05, 2011

Moving Sale

Candid Karina has moved here.

I do hope you'll come visit me there! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Warrior Girl

Ever since I discovered Wonder Woman as a little girl, I’ve wanted to be a superhero.  Then, in high school and college, I became a huge Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, and I totally wanted to be that girl.  The one who can kick serious butt while wearing stiletto boots and a skirt.

But there was one little problem to this desire.

I was lazy.

As a little girl, I did gymnastics, and even ran track for a few years.  But once puberty hit, I became way more interested in boys and fashion then I ever would be in sports and sweating.

In high school I was one of the girls who opted to “walk around the track” during gym class to avoid breaking a sweat (or God forbid a nail) during volleyball.  I only owned a pair of sneakers because it was required for said gym class.  I was not a jock.

I really wanted to be strong, fast, a superhero, but I had no desire to actually, physically, do anything strenuous.

Then, in the last few years, I started working out more, and then running, and then, suddenly, in this last year, everything changed.

And on June 28th of this year, I did something that my inner “stiletto wearing, make-up loving, boy crazy” girlie girl would have told you was ABSOLUTELY NOT EVER going to happen.

I ran the Warrior Dash.

What is the Warrior Dash you ask?  It is a 3 mile “run” through the woods, over obstacles such as 20 foot walls and rope ladders, ending in a mud pit of epic proportions.  Go here for a better idea (including a video of the insanity).

Yeah…I did that!  And I loved every muddy moment of it.  It was taxing, and challenging and exhausting.

It poured that morning, so I was wet, and sweaty, and muddy and gross.

I had bruises and cuts all over.

I have never been so dirty in my entire life.

I can’t wait to do it all over again next year.

Pushing beyond the limits I set for myself years ago felt amazing.  I felt like a butterfly finally pushing out of that cocoon.  There was this feeling of re-birth.  The new me emerging, muddy, and sore, and laughing.

I am an athlete, and I have the medal and the bruises to prove it.

I am Warrior Girl.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Shall We Dance?

I am getting pretty tired of this song and dance.

I promise you (I promise me) that I’m going to blog more often, I get you (I get me) all excited that THIS will be the time when I will once again return to my regular blogging habits.

For a time, all seems well, I’m here, I’m present, I’m blogging.

And then…it all falls apart again.

I miss a day. I miss a week. And suddenly I’ve missed a whole month.

The doubts creep in, the judgments, the accusations…

Do I even have a right to call myself a blogger anymore? Should I just throw in the towel? Is there a point to any of this anyway?

But like a dysfunctional relationship, I come back, again and again…unable to break away.

Unlike one of those relationships, however, there is no downside to blogging…even sporadically.

Truth is, whether I’m writing daily, weekly, or even monthly…I’m writing.

Whether anyone is even reading is no longer the point anyway.

Like most things in my life nowadays, I’m doing this for me.

I have learned that if I do things for me, without any expectations of praise or recognition, without feeling the need to be validated by the outside world…then I’m doing something right.

So, here we go again, another tango, another dance, another try at this…

How long will the music last this time?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Close To Home

First of all…yes, yes, I know, I failed miserably at the “posting every day in June” challenge…now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s move on. ;-)

I watch a lot of television, and I have always been a fan of crime procedurals, police shows, and the like. I don’t know if this is because I wanted to be a lawyer at one point in my life (grateful now I didn’t choose that path after all), or simply because most of the stuff that happens on those shows is really like an alternate reality to me. Sort of like my vampire shows. Those things don’t happen, not really, in my life.

Unlike my vampire shows, I realize that the crime stuff is all too real for many people, but I am blessed to not be faced with those harsh realities on a daily basis.

I mean, there is plenty of crime and devastation in the city where I live (trust me, we are far from a Utopia here), but I’m removed from it. And in general, I don’t really even watch the news or read the paper. This is a topic for another day, but I’m a bit of an emotional sponge, and watching the news always ends with me in tears, aching for the world we live in.

Now and again, however, something hits so close to home, that it is impossible to avoid. And last night, it couldn’t have gotten any closer to home…literally.

I came home to find out my upstairs neighbor had shot and killed himself earlier this week.


Here’s the thing, it didn’t exactly come as a total shock. The man was obviously suffering from a deep depression and we all knew it. He’d lost his job, he was always holed up in his condo, and recently, he was foreclosed on, his unit was sold, and he wouldn’t open the door to the new owner. Last year around this time his family sent the police over to do a wellness check on him. We found out then that he was estranged from said family. The few times I saw him recently, he’d put on a large amount of weight, and lost most of his hair. He had aged noticeably. He was only in his early 40’s. He had, quite obviously, given up.

This neighbor gave me grief for years with the parking situation, and I spent the better time of the first 6 years of living there disliking him. But recently, my tune had changed. As much as I was still annoyed that he never moved his car ONCE this entire winter, leaving me without a parking space due to the tremendous amounts of snow we got, I realized that something was obviously wrong. So I began to pray for him whenever I’d get frustrated. I prayed he would get the help he so obviously needed. I’m sad to say he obviously didn’t.

The scary part of it all is that looking back on it now, talking to my other neighbors last night, I realized…I actually heard the gunshot earlier this week. I shudder at the thought, but I remember sitting up on my couch and going “what the hell was that?” And then, when I heard nothing else, I went back to watching television.

My heart breaks for his family, and obviously for him. How hopeless must he have felt…how I wish I could have done something to help.

But all I could and all I can do is pray…it still seems inconceivable…and far too close to home.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mirror Mirror On The Wall

(Yes, I realize I missed yet another day yesterday…eh, whatever…the goal was to revive this little blog of mine, and I’m posting almost every day…that’s enough for me).  Moving on. ;-)

I’m the sort of person who projects an air of confidence to the outside world.  I’m pretty sure that the average person meeting me would think me to be strong, confident, independent and comfortable in my own skin.  In fact, if you ask most of my friends, they will likely describe me the same way.  I know this, because I’ve been told often that this is how people see me.

And some days, this is, in fact, exactly who I am.

However, the truth lies deeper than that.  Behind that confident demeanor is a shy little girl, mercilessly teased and bullied in junior high, practically invisible in high school, and still, daily, completely unsure of herself.

I am a social butterfly, but am, in truth, painfully shy.  I am the life of the party, but much prefer the position of the wallflower, people watching, taking it all in.  I walk with my head held high, but whenever I walk in a room and heads turn my way, my immediate reaction is “are they laughing at me?”

I could go into a tirade of the effects of bullying, and how it has affected me into adulthood here…but this is not what this post is about.  I could also, just as easily, launch into a speech about the detriment of the media, specifically the “beauty” industry, and how it’s made me (along with millions of other women) feel less than.  But again, not where I’m going with this.

No, this post is about growth.

It is about the change taking place within me as I get older.

And I'm not talking about external change.  I'm not talking about my weight loss.  I'm not talking about my successes as a new runner, or about my improved level of physical fitness.  I'm not talking the shape of my abs, the texture of my hair, or the quality of my skin.  I'm not even talking about the more positive feelings I get when I see a photo of myself, or catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.

I'm talking about internal changes.  I'm talking about the fact that there are days I realize I haven't looked in a mirror at all since I left the house.  I'm talking about the fact that I can walk in a room so much more often and not care IF they are in fact talking about me.  I'm talking about the fact that being comfortable in my own skin now means that it really isn't so much about how I look as it is about how I feel.

Don't get me wrong, the insecure, and sometimes vain girl still lives inside me, and is present way more than I would like her to be.

But every day I'm more and more able to live by this quote which has been my email signature line for years now:

"What you think of me, is none of my business" - Terry Cole-Whitaker

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

People Pleaser

People Pleaser

I’m starting to realize something about myself that I was never really aware of before.

I’m a people pleaser.

I’ve always been a “people person”.  I love being around people, spending time, helping out, having fun, whatever…

I’ve also always tried really hard to be a nice person.  I get true pleasure out of doing something nice for others, and that part of being a people person I’m comfortable with.  I like that part of myself.

But this is something else.  This isn’t so much about being nice as it is about being…well, for lack of a better word…a pushover.

Let me explain.

I am the sort of person that is blessed with a lot of friends.  I have always had a lot of friends, though; as time would progress I would realize most of them were more like “fair-weather friends” or even acquaintances than real friends.  However, I find that I am consistently surrounded by people I consider friends, and for that, I am blessed.

Due to my large number of friends, I have a very active social life, when I choose to take advantage of it. (When I’m not hibernating and hiding out…but this is a story for another post).

However, what I’ve begun to realize is that my social life is very one sided.  What I mean by this is, as long as I’m willing to do what my friends want to do, my social calendar is filled.  As long as I work my schedule to meet their availability, my plans to meet their interests, my fun to meet their requirements. 

Because I am an easy going person, because I happen to have many interests, and be open to trying and enjoying new things, this works out well.  I have little trouble having fun pretty much anywhere, as long as the company is good, and I’m in the right mood.  All is well.

That is, until, I want to do something that revolves around my interests instead, or fits into my schedule instead.

Suddenly I am hard pressed to find someone willing to go to that concert I want so badly to attend, even though I’ve trekked out to numerous country music shows (not my favorite).  I didn’t make it to a single Boston Celtics game this past season because I couldn’t convince a single friend to go with me, even if I succumbed to mind numbing hockey game after game for them…(again, not my favorite).  I didn’t make it to an actual beach, with an actual ocean, once all of last summer, even though I was always agreeable for a jaunt to the lake or the mountains…(which was always fun, but I love the ocean).

We won’t even discuss the numerous Friday and Saturday nights I spend at home alone, because if I don’t pick up the phone to call and make plans…my phone doesn’t ring on its own.

I should stop here and make it clear that I am not bemoaning my life.  I am not knocking my friends or even blaming them.  I don’t believe they do any of this on purpose, and with any intention to hurt or snide me, to ignore my interests…

Simply…I’ve enable this behavior in everyone around me, because I am a people pleaser.  I go out of my way to make sure everyone around me is having a good time, doing what they want to do, living their best life.  To a fault.  Forgetting, at times, that what I WANT matters as well.  Part of this is a fear that if I speak up, if I fight for what I want, I’ll end up with either my ideas or even with myself being rejected…but the alternative pretty much looks the same, doesn’t it?

As I started to realize this recently, I started to evaluate my friendships over time, and I’ve come to the conclusion that it has always been this way.  And not only that, but I carry this behavior into my romantic relationships as well.  Is it any wonder then, that I, eventually, feel frustrated, unloved, and like I am not an important part of these relationships?  That I feel I disappear and am no longer a participant?  That I withdraw, and the relationships fail?

So, now I see the problem.  Tell me friends…how do I go about finding the solution?  How do I learn to still be a good friend, but stop being such a people pleaser all the time?  How do I learn to speak up for my own interests at 36 years old?  Because I have a feeling this is yet another of the things I need to master before I can fully be ready for a partnership with my future husband (whoever he may be)…

Working on myself has been a lifelong process, but more so in recent years…finding my faults, and learning to use them for betterment…this is just another one…instead of taking this realization and turning it into a “woe is me, nobody wants to do what I want to do” moping session…I need to use it to find my footing and push off from here…

So…how exactly do I do that?? 

Monday, June 06, 2011

Spa Day

Monday morning, the alarm sounds, and another week begins.

If your weekends are anything like mine, by Sunday night you are even MORE exhausted than you were before the weekend began.  My weekends are never dull, always fun and enjoyable, and pretty much, with very few exceptions, ALWAYS EXHAUSTING.

So, on a Monday morning, work seems an unfathomable task, and yet, almost (note I said almost) a welcome escape to spend a few hours sitting in one place...taking a break from the hectic runaround of my weekends.

But wouldn't it be nice, if on a Monday morning, when the alarm went off, I could wake up to realize that today, instead of heading into the office, I was going to hop in my car, meet up with a friend, and head to a spa in the mountains for a massage??

In fact...that just sounds sort of heavenly, doesn't it?

Actually, now that I think of it, after a weekend of a few TOUGH workouts, a weekend spent helping friends run a festival at church, running errands, cleaning house, a sore body, aching back, tired sounds like I have simply no choice but to take a mental health day and do just that.

What a beautiful coincidence then, that my friend Traveler and I had actually planned SUCH A DAY for today...

Ah is Spa Day!!!  Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, June 05, 2011

2 in 1

When I decided to do this whole "write a post every single day in June" thing...I knew I was setting myself up for one heck of a challenge.  Mostly because, my schedule for June? Is INSANE!

My little brother is getting married July 2nd. I am a bridesmaid in the wedding. And that's just one of the big events I have lined up. I have concerts, races, a Warrior Dash, and let's not forget about work.

But still, I figured it would be a good challenge, so I'd just roll with it.  So yesterday, I began my post...but then I needed to run out and do a quick errand, so I hit "save" and went off.  Then the quick errand turned into "a few more errands" turned into "a full on grocery store run" turned into "a quick stop over at the Church's feast" turned into "staying at the feast all night helping out behind the bar" turned into "let's head to the local bar to watch the rest of the Bruins game" turned into closing out at the bar and arriving at home at 2AM...

But this? This is what life is all about You make plans and God laughs.  But if you just go with it and appreciate every moment given to you...I'm pretty sure He smiles then.

So this is my Saturday post.  Right above this...yep, that's it.

On to today, Sunday...I got up and went for a quick run with a friend, then came home for a quick shower and some housework.  The plan was then to stop by the feast for lunch, help out for maybe an hour and be home by 5pm at the very latest...It is now 10:35 pm and I just got home.  I spent the entire day helping out.  I also, however, spent the entire day surrounded by friends, and having a great you see...that's life...

And my life? Is such a regrets.  And no excuses...and no failures...consider this TWO posts in far as I'm concerned, I'm still on track for June. ;-)  So there.

Friday, June 03, 2011

May I Have This Dance?

I was four years old when I put on my first pair of dancing shoes.  Ballet shoes to be specific.  And so began a love affair with what I believe is the most perfect art form of

A few years of ballet let into a few years of rhythmic gymnastics, and the love affair blossomed.

But life has a way of creating many paths, and the path of dance was not the one I ended up taking.

Once we moved to the U.S. from Portugal, we couldn't afford dance classes for me...and there ended my dreams of becoming a dancer.  

It couldn't, however, end my love of the art form.  I continued to dance, casually, for fun.  At home, creating music videos with my cousins in my grandmother's basement.  Later, at night clubs, earning me attention from guys who constantly questioned where a "white girl learned to move like that".  I loved to dance, and I was good at it.

As I got older, I stopped going to clubs, and dancing became something that I did less and less of.  Unless you count my jam sessions around the house, as I clean and do laundry (which, totally count), I now only dance at the occasional wedding, or party, or on the random event that my girls and I venture for a girls' night out at a dance club.

But my love of dance? It runs deeper than words can express.  I have seen every dance movie ever made.  No seriously, try me, I've seen it.  And as I sit here watching So You Think You Can Dance, with a smile on my face, I can only tell you that this art form tugs at a special place in my heart that I can't quite explain.

I watch this show with a smile on my face, but my box of tissues is never out of reach, because as much as good dance can make me smile, it can bring me to tears just as quickly...and if you don't know what I mean...well, then you're obviously not a dancer (even if it is just in your heart), but the dancers out there, whether you do it professionally, or in the privacy of your own home, I KNOW you KNOW exactly what I mean...

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself

In lieu of starting from scratch and creating a whole new blog, (trust me, I thought of it), I thought I would instead kick off this month of daily posts with an introduction and update.

It’s been so long since I’ve been an active blogger, that I am not sure who my readers are anymore (if I even have any), and I know there must be some new faces out there, people who don’t really know all that much about me.

If you found me via Twitter, you may know my daily rambling, but do you know my history?  If you are a new bloggy friend, welcome!  If you are one of my old buddies…welcome back, let’s get reacquainted.

I give you, therefore, a few facts about me you must know, to make sense of my ramblings…uh, I mean blog posts.

I am Karina.  36 years old.  Unmarried, single, re-entering the dating life after a too long hiatus.  Christian (Catholic to be specific) and very much a person of faith.  I am a daughter, sister, friend, cousin.  I am not a mother, but am the cool auntie to many of my friends’ kids.  I am an executive assistant by day, a writer in my heart.

I love life. I love music, art, television and film. I love to travel, explore new things, and photograph the world around me.  I love fashion and am absolutely addicted to buying shoes.  I’m a foodie, always excited to try new cuisines.  I’m an avid reader, my kindle with me at all times.  I am a runner, and a newbie fitness freak. 

Life for me is a constant whirlwind of activity, surrounded by friends and family, activities and meetings.  I am always on the go, and wouldn’t have it any other way.

I am serious, honest, intelligent, independent, strong, self-sufficient, and proud.  I am a complete goofball, caring, giving, dorky, insecure and shy.  I am a walking contradiction.

And here in this blog, I am all of the above, and so much more.  My eclectic tastes, my chaotic life, they blend together to create me…I could never fit this blog into one category, because my life defies all reason.  There is no way to put me in a box and label me…and that’s just how I like it.

So, that is me.  What you see is what you get, but on any given day, that can mean a totally different thing…

And I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Anyone Out There???

June 1st:

Stepping up to the podium…clearing my throat…


Tapping the mike…

“Is this thing on?”


“Hello??  Ah, yes, here we go…”

Deep breath…

It’s me, Candid K…your erstwhile blogger.  It has been far, far too long since a creative word, or even a photograph has shown up on this blog, and I have no excuses for you…only the truth.

Truth is, life is hectic, and I just haven’t had the energy or the inspiration to write.

But I’ve missed it, and I’ve missed you. 

More than once I’ve considering throwing in the blogging towel. Closing up shop and hanging the FOR SALE sign here at Candid Karina’s.

But I can’t do that.  I’m not a quitter.  I don’t give up.

And besides, I miss my bloggy friends.

So I’m here, I’m back, and I’m not making any promises, but I’m challenging myself to be more present.

And this is why, crazy as it may seem, I have decided to challenge myself to post EVERY DAY this month.

Short posts, long posts, word posts, photo posts, some days, you may get life stories, other days you may simply get a photograph, and other days still, I may revisit old posts I feel the need to share with you again.

But the goal is for a post a day.  Many years ago, it was such a challenge that kicked off my love of blogging, and really got me going, so I’m hoping I can once again revive the blog, and my relationship with my bloggy friends through this challenge once more.

Stay tuned…it’s going to be a BUSY month…

Monday, April 11, 2011

Running For Life

Last week I had a realization.  When speaking to someone about team sports, I told them I’d never done any type of sport in school.  Ballet as a toddler, gymnastics until I was ten, and then, nothing.

But then, suddenly, I realized that wasn’t exactly true.  In the sixth grade, I ran track.  That was it, one single solitary year.  That year post childhood and pre-teendom.  The first year I attended a regular American school (i.e. not a bilingual, English as a second language school).  About a year and a half after moving to the United States from Portugal.  For some strange reason, that year I joined the track team.  I don’t remember very much about it, but I remember that I was good at it, and I enjoyed it.  I won a few blue ribbons in the process.  And I had a crush on my coach/gym teacher…all the girls did.

But then I went to junior high, and puberty hit, and girls were mean, and I wanted nothing to do with sports and wanted to be a girlie girl.

And so ended my career in school sports, along with any interest whatsoever in any kind of physical activity.

I owned one pair of sneakers throughout high school because it was required for gym class, most of which I spent “walking around the track” to avoid playing any of the sports.

I owned no sneakers while in college.

My boyfriend when I was 23 bought me a pair of blue Nike’s for my birthday, because I thought they were cute.

Those sneakers lasted me over 10 years, they were used so little.

Sometime in my late 20’s I joined a gym…mostly, I’d hop on an elliptical or attend an aerobics class…sometimes I’d do crunches.

Sometime in my early 30’s I realized I was fat, and needed to do something about it.  Suddenly, physical activity was a must, and I needed to own a pair of sneakers younger than a fourth grader.

But it wasn’t until I was 35 that I re-discovered a love of running I had completely forgotten I’d even ever had until just last week.

Suddenly, I was learning about running gaits, and buying the proper running shoes, and pacing myself, and proper running form.  Suddenly, I was registering for 5ks and challenging myself to go faster, further…push just a little bit harder.

The girl who used to say “I’ll run if someone’s chasing me”, was now chasing that invisible motivator…accomplishment.

Now there is this…

I watch my feet pound the pavement, look up and see the blue sky, inhale, exhale, feel the sweat rivulets down my back…and I smile.  THIS? This is being alive.

The pain, the struggle, the feeling that I may not make it another step, and then pushing through and breaking a barrier to the next hurdle…adding a tenth of a mile…knocking a minute off my time…making it to the top of that hill…there is nothing like it.

I am 36 years old, I am in the best shape of my life, I can do things I never even dreamt I’d want to do, and I am pushing harder and further every day.

I am proud, I am amazed, I am grateful.

I am a runner.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tuesday Tunes - 30 Seconds To Mars

Last time we chatted about music, dear readers, I introduced you to Bruno Mars soulful voice and upbeat r&B style.

This week, we’re going to go a different direction.  A bit of a darker direction perhaps…definitely a little bit heavier.

My music tastes run the gamut, as we’ve discussed, so it should come as no surprise that I would slip from love songs to a little bit of harder edged rock.

This week, I want to talk to you about 30 Seconds to Mars.  The three man band is made up of drummer Shannon Leto, guitarist Tomo Milicevic and lead singer and guitarist Jared Leto.

Before we get to the music let’s just take a second to go back in time…remember that coming of age, angst ridden, teen show “My So Called Life” withClaire Danes

Remember Jordan Catalano with the soulful eyes and so few words? 

Ah yes, THAT Jared Leto.  

He grew up to be a rock star in his own right, and he still has those soulful eyes, but now, the man has words…many many words, and he sings them with a voice that reaches right to the depths of my own soul.

I’m not entirely sure how it is that I discovered 30 Seconds to Mars, but I believe it was with this video about a year or so ago:

The thing to note about this band is that all of their videos are works of art, mini-films if you will.  And I was so intrigued by the whole thing, I simply had to know more.  Also, there was that moment of “double take” where I went, “Wait, is that Jared Leto??” Then I knew I had to know more.

Since then, I’ve become an avid fan, and I can't think of a song of theirs I don't like.

Among them, some of my favorites; Closer to the Edge:

Beautiful Lie:

and the highly controversial video for Hurricane (which I won’t post here only because I don’t want to offend, but if you’re brave, you should totally check it out).

There’s just something about the tortured sound of Jared’s voice, the power in the lyrics, and the strength of the music itself that makes this band one of those that I can’t seem to get enough of lately.

It also doesn’t hurt that theirs is great running music.  I’ve used them as the soundtrack to many of my runs lately.

I realize this type of music isn’t for everyone, but if you like a little bit harder core rock music, with a soul…you’ll love these guys.

Plus, Jared Leto’s eyes? 


Monday, March 28, 2011

Making an Intentional Mess

I fully and completely blame my Twitter buddy Karla for what is about to happen to me.

Lately, I’ve been feeling like I have all this creative energy, but for some reason or another, can’t seem to get my act together to produce, to create, to write.  My blog is continuously abandoned, projects are left barely started at home, and I just look at it all and think “one of these days, when I have the time, when my mind is in the right place, when the conditions are all perfect”…

Then Karla Tweeted this challenge: Making A Mess 

I was immediately intrigued, but when I went to the Amazon page for the book, and saw the video they have posted, I won’t lie, the “Monkish” side of me (you now, that organized, OCD, everything in its place, books are sacred” part of me?) nearly had a heart attack.

And that was when I knew I had to do it.  I had to jump in and join this challenge, because maybe that’s exactly what I need, to completely step out of my comfort zone, and just CREATE a big mess.  So that I can then refocus my energy and be able to CREATE. Period.

So, I ordered the book. I received it on Friday, and plan to start reading it/playing with it tomorrow.

So, here I go, I’m letting go of perfection and making a mess.

Will you join us? Check out the links on Karla’s post, and please do join us, we’d love to have you along for the ride!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tuesday Tunes - Bruno Mars

I love music. I mean, I honestly LOVE music.  I don’t know how anyone can make it through a day without some sort of soundtrack.  I listen to music as I get ready in the morning, while I work, as I drive around town, during my workouts, and before I go to bed.

Good music can easily bring me to tears, make me dance, or put a smile on my face. 

There are artists whose music touches the very depths of my soul.  There are artists whose voices make me swoon, or lose my sense of reality.

There are songs that bring me right back to moments in my personal history.

There are songs that describe what I’m feeling THIS VERY MOMENT so exactly, I think they must have been written for me.

I celebrate with music, I mourn with music, I pray with music.

Music, to me, is nearly as essential as the air I breathe.

And I have the most eclectic taste in music…from rap to rock, from pop to jazz, from country to Christian…

So there is always some new, or new to me, music to discover, and to share with others.

Which is why I’ve decided to do just that here…each week, I’ll introduce you to just a bit of the music I’m loving at the moment…

Not so much "album reviews" although sometimes, that's exactly what it will be, but more "artist reviews" if you will...

To kick it off, this week, I’ll start with an album that’s been on constant replay on my mp3 player for a few weeks.

Bruno Mars.

It's very likely you've already heard of Bruno, or at the very least, you've heard one of his many songs on the radio.

Such as: "Just The Way You Are"

A beautiful ode to a woman, and her perfection, well...just as she is.

Or "Grenade":

A heartbreaking song of loving someone so much, you would do anything for them, even if they, in turn, seem to only abuse and under appreciate you.

And Bruno Mars has also collaborated with some great artists of today, such as, B.O.B. on "Nothin' On You"

and Travie McCoy on "Billionaire" (yes, THAT'S what you know him from).  Warning, the video below is the uncensored not for radio version and contains the F word.

All of these are great songs. But it's some of the lesser known unreleased songs from his album that I've got on constant replay..."Runaway" which is actually a GREAT running song, "The Other Side"...a little bit Michael Jackson "Thriller" a little bit "ode to Twilight", "Count on Me" a happy melody about being there for your friends, and my ultimate favorite "Talking to the Moon" a pretty ballad that showcases the range of his voice and emotion.

So there you have artist I think you should check out.