Wednesday, December 29, 2010

be very thoughtful, and then let go.

The Baumgart family Xmas tree
so, remember last week, when i didn't want to go to drum class?  and then it turned out, class was awesome.  Seems every week (even without me practicing...shhhh, don't tell my teacher) i get better and better.   i mean, not to toot my own horn, or beat my own drum as the case may be...(seriously, sometimes i think i have a blog to simply let my cheesy, ridiculous side shine) but, i have been getting better at this.  the only time i pulled my drum out from under the cowboy hat that it displays in my pink kitchen, was on christmas eve.  we had a hell of a party...i made a shit-ton (a phrase that has taken up space in my inner monologue for weeks, why?) of tamales and a lot of margaritas and palomas.  Everyone that came, at least 30+ people brought lots of other yummy things to eat and drink as well.  and a good time seemed to be had by all, especially when gathered around the foosball table cheering yours truly on.  yes, i take that shit seriously.  and Rosette, i ruled that table, you never stood a chance.  i am the competitive wench my mother-in-law calls me, i guess.  yet, somehow, it doesn't feel great to be called that by your mother-in-law when you are simply racing your kids in the swimming pool.  so what i if i am nearly 30 years older than them.  anyway.  i got out my drum, and while listening to the Grateful Dead, eyes closed, head making figure 8's in the air...i played it.  i actually played the drum i paid $25 to rent for the month.  and it rocked.  maybe not my playing, but that moment of remembering the "old" days, and jamming out like the hippy that i am.  it was all worth it.

so tonight....i had my last (maybe) drum class.  i really, really did not  want to go.  i actually thought of pretending i forget to give my husband (a previous drummer) one of his Christmas presents and say i was giving him my last drum class.  cause i am so giving like that.  but i bucked up and went, cause i have been slack, yet again, and felt i needed to be loyal to the commitment i made to you faithful readers.  if you are even out there at all anymore.  i went.

and i kicked ass.  so, i went late, cause i am usually the first one there and it is super awkward for me.  just me and the teacher, shaking the little egg shaped shakers and i hate it.  i hate it.  then we get to the clapping and the fancy foot work.  and finally other show up, but still i hated that part too, cause it used to make me feel like i was falling over and like i was a complete idiot for not being able to clap and step. let's stress the word "used".  i used to hate that part.  but now i got it, i can totally get that together, hand, foot, hand shit...and it love it.  so, i get there late...and there are all new people.  i am the only old student...and when the shit hits the fan, i totally kept it all together!  i carried the beat.  the other students were looking to me to see what to do!  can you believe it?

i wanted to go on and on to the newbies that were obviously having a hell of a time just clapping, that it was me only a few short weeks ago that was almost falling over trying to get the basics.  and now look at me!  clapping, footwork, and singing...all different rhythms, each part of me, and keeping it together.  unbelievable!

i said in class tonight, and the teacher's like you have to concentrate to intensely, and then be able to let go and let your body keep doing the things you thought so hard about and trust that you will keep doing it.  be very thoughtful, and then let go.  um.....kinda like life? right?

tonight i contemplated continuing drumming, even after night of dreading going.  the bembe got to me.  the afro-cuban beat that calls god to be with them, that was originally used to call from one village to another in Africa (so, maybe i could be wrong but this is what i remember from class).  it got to me.  i felt like i was one and yet part of another whole.  i highly recommend drumming.  i highly recommend trying new things.  everything is connected.

and just wait...not only does next month, the last month of our twelve month journey involve meditation, yoga and probably a bit of the cleanse found on vegan month.  but there is another exciting announcement.  new things on the horizon for Good Luck with That!


Bembe Overview

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

back to class tonight

we didn't have class last week.  but we are back on tonight.  and i am not looking forward to it.  Only because i feel so tired today.  we have had lots of parties to attend this season.   lots of late nights with the neighbors.  cookies to bake.  (and let's just say i am glad baking sugar cookies was not on the list of passions, cause i flipping HATE making those)  full moon winter solstice eclipses to watch.  wow.  and i have a big christmas eve party coming up in a couple days, that i am just starting to get ready for.  i think i spent 2 hours on the computer today looking for a good tamale recipe and a punch made with tequila to serve with them.  not so productive.  especially considering i didn't really find either.

so, i feel tired.

and i have a lot to drum class sorta feels like in the way today.  and i haven't practiced.  seems the drum i rented has turned into a kitchen side table for stacking my bag of leftover cookie ingredients.  i should probably at least get it out and slap out a few rhythms before class tonight.  maybe.

and maybe tonight's class will ignite that special drumming spark that i know lies hidden within.

and as for looking forward to next month, meditating.  i got some CD's for learning to meditate by Pema Chodron.  and i am going to also include a 30 day bikram yoga challenge, which is like a 90 minute moving meditation.  there i said it.  now it's out there and i have to follow through.  i figure, after the holidays and the extra 10 pounds and liver damage, a kick start to the new year that will cleanse and get me back in touch with my body would be a good thing.  and also because this is the one things that i feel like i truly loved during this year long adventure.  i want to finish off with a testament to finding a passion.

now really, when January starts i will totally need good luck. :)


Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I think for this month I will join in with the rest of you to read about Melissa's drumming class!  I love reading about it and think it is great.  I will have to take a pass on this month.  I have had no luck finding something in Geneva but that is ok as I am loving my scrapbook so I will continue to work on that!


Monday, December 6, 2010

drumming class was..

i went to drumming class last Wednesday night.  it appeared on the website that i had two choices...7pm or 8pm.  I decided at the last minute to go to the 7pm since neither Jamie nor i went to yoga at 5.  But I nearly missed class because when i finally found the Seattle Drum School down in Georgetown, i thought to  myself...great there it is, now I'll just swing around back and park there.  ha!  by swinging around back, i landed myself right on the on ramp to I-5!  and i chose I-5, i had to drive like 5 miles south before i could turn around and wind my way back to Georgetown.  and I was already running late.  aren't those moments great, when you feel all that tension and anger rising and you get to tell yourself...hey, it's just drum class.  it's just life, shit happens...let it go.  and there's this point where it feel uncomfortable to not be angry, where i feel like if i stay angry then that show how much i wanted to be there on time.  that i feel bad about being late.  as if feeling bad is a free ticket out of "hey, you suck, cause my drum class is real important and you must not think so cause you are late" jail.  well...anyway, these are the things i think about. (which need i say it?  yes, yoga has totally helped those transitional moments from anger to peace quicker and less messy.  which can, i emphasize possibly but not always, come in handy being a mom of three)  ...but back to drum class.

turns out after i let go of my anger and frustration, i made it to class and they were starting late.  so i missed nothing.  and this place that was all hard core and perfection made true through a drum school in my mind, was instead totally laid back.  i had to hunt someone down to pay at the end!  everything was cool.

it was me and three other people, guys...but one was a kid.  and our teacher.  Arturo Rodriguez.  he was great, very patient (needed with me) and clear.  we started by using shakers and keeping a simple beat with two in our hands.  then we added feet rhythms and then voice.  wow.  after that we clapped a beat...and followed suit like with the shakers.  adding more and more rhythms on top.  wow again.  i totally sucked at this part.  i could barely keep the clapping straight.  we did this "together" (hand and one foot), "hand", "foot", "hand."  thing...and we did it over and over and over.  and seriously i almost fell over at one point.  let alone adding singing to it!  i was feeling a little defeated at this point.  not like i wanted to quit, but just that i knew i had a lot of work to do.

then we got to use the drums.  which turned out to be a lot easier.  and it felt great.  we did two different styles of rhythms.  one Puerto Rican and one Cuban...i forget the names now.  maybe the Cuban one was Bembe...yea, that was it.  we learned the beats and the call and then got to take turns improvising within the rhythm that the other were keeping.  it was fun, i was shaking...either from nerves or from my legs getting tired from holding the drum so tight.  or maybe it was from the spirit of the drums...totally, maybe it wasn't about the hallucinogenics in my hippy days :)  it was pure drumming energy.

i am looking forward to heading back this week...and anyone can start at any my offer still stand, anyone wanna join me?

xoxo melissa

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Drumming month...

dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum
(sorry, I just couldn't help myself)

i am a little nervous for my class tonight.  it is an ensemble class so my fear is that i am going to come in and mess up and get everyone off beat.  but they say it is a class for total beginner as i should be ok.  from what i remember about drumming, it is a beautiful balance between being aware enough to stay on the beat, and yet being free enough to flow and feel that amazing thing that happens when you become one with everything because you get lost in the rhythm.  how hippy of me, huh?

But i do remember being at drum circles, seriously though...back in my hippy days.  outside of grateful dead concerts.  well, actually phish or further festival...the thing that happened after jerry died.  from what i could tell it was not quite the same as back in the old days.  but it did offer me a place to get lost in the magic of a drum circle.  maybe it was the pot or maybe it was the mushrooms, but whatever it was it was amazing.  i thought it was simply the drumming, the tribal nature of it all.  and being that this time i will be unaccompanied by any hallucinogenics...i guess i'll be able to tell if it was simply the drumming.

so, i'll let you all know.

in other uneventful news...i still hate my job ( i am a glorified retail worker with a title that is supposed to make it all seem better).  we had a meeting today to go over the "numbers" with the owner.  and basically it seems like i should work harder so he makes more money.  oh, and so other people can get raises...seeing as i was told i will never get another as long as i work there.  and i am not a selfish person, but that just leaves no incentive.  i feel like he would rather see me leave so he can hire someone for much less.  and that's what i told him today at the meeting.  and man, did i want to give my two weeks notice via phone message after i left.  i mean, i do have a passion for what i do...but somehow his energy sucks it all away.  is that my cop out?  is he my scapegoat for my own laziness?  or should i just take the leap and get the hell out...opening up more space for new opportunities to come.  more doula work.  working towards my upcoming birth assistant career.  or maybe something even better than i could even dream.  i am so tired of just making everything make sense and feel ok being at a job i hate or where i feel under appreciated.  well, i just needed to vent.  ad hoping that maybe drumming is an avenue in which to disperse some of this kind of energy.  so you all don't have to listen to me complain ;)  but then again, it is your read or not to read.  :)

here's to tonight!