Tag Archives: Annie Lennox

Music to my ears

25 Mar

Sunday afternoon found me a little restless. The sun was shining and Lucy and I had already been on a long walk. I wanted to knit but I was not in the mood for an audiobook or whatever program was playing on Oregon public radio. I knew I didn’t want silence, even though, lately, I’ve found myself sitting in silence. No radio. No audiobook. No music.

When I returned from three years in Medellin, Colombia, my first major purchase, after a car, was a CD player. It was 1994 and I was ready to move into the next phase of my life and career and that meant new technology. I was so sure about this that, while in Colombia, I purchased CDs instead of cassette tapes to bring home. Over the next two decades, my CD collection grew.

So, Sunday, feeling restless, I poked through my CDs, thinking something classical might be just the thing. I put on the CD I’d chosen, but it didn’t satisfy my need. I dug a little deeper and came up with Clasicos de la Provincia by Carlos Vives, the very first CD I’d ever purchased.



Listening to me brought me back to 1994 and the previous three years in Colombia. The sun shining outside my Portland home, felt as warm as my memories of my Colombian years. I felt nostalgic and energized at the same time. I decided I would dig deeper into my CDs for more of those firsts.




After Carlos, I put on Amplified Heart by Everything But The Girl. This was a band I’d heard a lot on the one radio station in Medellin that played contemporary music in English. I hadn’t listened to this CD in years, and was pleasantly surprised at home well I remembered the lyrics.




Everything But The Girl led naturally to Diva by Annie Lennox. For some reason, I associate this album with the day I was supposed to leave Medellin for the last time. A pilot strike started that morning and I arrived at the airport only to discover that I wasn’t flying home that day. the night before, I had joked with a friend that I might end up on her doorstep. I burst into tears when I did. I’m pretty certain that we listened to this album that night. As with Amplified Heart, I remembered more of the lyrics than I had expected.



Finally, I put on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy by Sarah McLachlan, who I hadn’t heard at all in Colombia. Hers was a transitional CD, marking my return to North America from South America. I listened as I transitioned from afternoon to evening, feeling content.

Wrapping up

9 Jun


Twice last week, people came into my room to talk to me and said something along the lines of, “Wow. You’ve already started packing up.”

Twice I had to explain that, in fact, I hadn’t. I’m just a minimalist when it comes to decorating. Maybe they said that because they know I’m leaving. Maybe it was because the room and bulletin board next to me is a riot of color and inspirational posters. I only had a few charts up, but they were charts I actually used.

Since then, I have taken down charts and begun packing boxes.  I am acting, in many ways,  as though this were the end of any old school year. I am packing things up slowly, ticking things off the to do list. I know I am changing schools and I am actually very excited about next year. But, I am essentially in denial. I am excited about next year, but not thinking about the end of this one.

I hate goodbyes, but I  love this song. How strange, the change from major to minor. Indeed.

Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves

10 May

Way back in 1985 Annie Lennox and Aretha Franklin recorded Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves

Twenty-nine years later, Ilene Cooper has written A Woman in the House (and Senate): How Women Came to the United States Congress, Broke Down Barriers , and Changed The Country.


Not as danceable as Annie & Aretha’s tribute,this middle school appropriate book is an encyclopedia of sorts of the history of women in politics as it pertains to the U.S. Congress. The book is divided into chronological sections, beginning with the women’s suffrage movement and ending with the results of the 2012 election.

Featured women include Hattie Caraway (the first woman elected to the Senate), Patsy Mink (the first woman of color to serve in Congress), Shirley Chisholm (the first African-American woman in Congress), and present-day powerhouses like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton. 

The text is accompanied by photos of every woman mentioned, as well as drawings that highlight certain topics. The author includes an appendix with additional info about the three branches of government, women and suffrage, politics and politicians, democrats and republicans, how a bill is passed, congressional committees, the cabinet, the women’s movement, the Equal Rights Amendment and impeachment. There is also a complete list of women in Congress, with each name listed alphabetically; endnotes; a bibliography; an acknowledgments page; and an index.

This is an excellent book for people researching famous congresswomen and/or 20th century US politics.



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