Tag Archives: Heart

Fabulous Fridays: #52Lists Project

Today’s list is all about the people you want to be like. I’ll refrain from judging you if you refrain from judging me about who made the cut for me! LOL OK, here we go:52lists

  • Ann Wilson
  • Gene Simmons (The man is a brilliant businessman)
  • Judy Blume (In my opinion one of the best authors ever!)
  • JK Rowling (I love the fact that she kept her common sense in the face of writing such an amazing story!)
  • Martha Stewart
  • My grandmother
  • My former religion teacher who has more faith than I will EVER have.

I know it seems like a short list, but in so many of these categories, I have never thought about this stuff before. The authors ask us to take action this week by finding the person you most want to emulate in your own life and try to be more like them.

Who do you admire? Feel free to comment below. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Fabulous Fridays: #52Lists Project

This week’s list asks us to list the things that cheer you up! What made the cut for you? 52lists

  1. Hearing “Stairway to Heaven.”
  2. Hearing any song by Heart on the radio.
  3. When someone follows my blog.
  4. Pictures of Disney World.
  5. When I plant something.
  6. When it germinates.
  7. Vincent’s smile.
  8. A kid with a great laugh!
  9. When someone says “I Love You.”
  10. A good book.
  11. A good movie.
  12. Fan mail
  13. Found money.

Take action: circle the things that you can do yourself. You are the only owner of your happiness.

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Fabulous Fridays: #52Lists Project

This week’s list involves listing those things that you treasure the most and to actively surround yourself with those things you love the most. For the most part, the things I treasure the most are with me at all times or on prominent display, so I guess I am ahead of the game there.52lists

  1. The Wonder Twins and Professor Snape (otherwise known as my family)
  2. Jockey (my dog)
  3. The pink guitar signed by Nancy Wilson of Heart
  4. The photo of me and the Wilson sisters
  5. The signed tennis ball given to me by Ivan Lendl
  6. The letter my father wrote me in 1988 that we didn’t find until after he died.
  7. My parents’ wedding rings
  8. The present my mother gave me for my college graduation.
  9. The books that I have written or contributed to.
  10. My Saint Mary-of-the-Woods ring, which was touched by Pope Benedict XVI.

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February Column Michiana House & Home: A gift from the heart

gift-wrap-station-4      My mother was not – by anyone’s definition – a pack rat. She did not see the sentimental value in “stuff” and did not hang on to anything that served no purpose. She harbored no collections that needed regular dusting and avoided any activity that required a large supply of some-assembly-required supplies.

She did, however, have an unusual horde of gently used gift-wrap, boxes, tissue paper, ribbons and bows that she kept in the doors and drawers of our basement cabinetry. It was the kind of wrapping paper she used throughout the year and not the huge box of Christmas paper that was stored in the attic and only brought down during the holiday season. This all-occasion cornucopia was the closet thing to a craft closet that we had and it was an irresistible treasure trove to a creative type such as myself.

It always seemed like such a treat to be sent to the basement in order to find the perfect wrapping paper for someone’s present. I took great care to rifle through the remnants in search of something that was an appropriate size for the gift it would cover along with coordinating accouterments. There were some guidelines associated with this prized task of course: I was not allowed to use any gift-wrap still in its cellophane package. I was to be extra careful with the scissors because my mother did not have time to take me to the hospital if I stabbed myself. (Yes, I swear she actually said this.) And naturally, I was not allowed to waste transparent tape.

Despite this exhaustive set of rules, I still managed to make a few mistakes. Chief among them was my inability to connect the right kind of gift-wrap with the recipient. I was fine when it came to my friends because I chose paper I recognized from my last birthday, but how was I to know that I could not wrap a gift for my grandma in paper that read “For the Ancient One?”

I also discovered it was wrong to encase an end-of-the-year teacher gift in gold wedding paper…especially if your teacher happens to be a Catholic nun. (In my defense, I thought the doves on the paper were supposed to be the Holy Spirit.) However, my finest moment came on Valentine’s Day when my brother and I presented our parents with an assortment of hand-painted rocks (yes, real out-of-someone’s-driveway-rocks) festooned in a bright pastel pink and blue print.

“Oh look,” my mother said, trying not to laugh. “Baby shower paper!”

“Is this your way of trying to tell me something?” My dad asked.

Although I didn’t get the apparent joke in what I’d done, it was my way of telling them how much I loved them. I chose the paper I liked the most because in my young estimation, it was the best of the bunch. Nothing was too good for my mom and dad and there was no better paper to cover a truly pointless, but well-intentioned gift from the heart.

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Fabulous Fridays: #52 Lists Project

52listsHey Everyone!

This week’s list tells us to list the happiest moments of our lives. According to the author, “sometimes it’s easy to forget all of the wonderful things that have happened in our lives.” This list is a good way to remind us that we really have had a wonderful life! (BTW: This list is not in any particular order…as you will see, I have had some pretty awesome experiences so it’s impossible to put it in any kind of numerical order.)

  1. When I first met Nancy Wilson.
  2. When I got to interview Ann Wilson.
  3. When I saw them both and got to personally tell them how much they meant to me. (I also got to give Nancy a copy of my first book since she is mentioned in the acknowledgements. LOL)
  4. When I met Pope Benedict XVI
  5. When I got to be on the Oprah Winfrey Show.
  6. Whenever I sing.
  7. The Christmas I got my black guitar.
  8. Whenever I have fallen in love. (It’s only happened a couple of times so…yeah)
  9. When my children were born.
  10. When my children have a big milestone or get to do something really cool and I get to be part of it.
  11. Whenever I am at Disney World.
  12. When I met Ivan Lendl.
  13. When I met Gene Simmons.
  14. Whenever I meet someone I admire.
  15. The summer I was 13.
  16. When I was with my parents.

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Why I “Love” Bookmamas

Me and Kathleen     On this Valentine’s Day, I want to give a shout out to a very special someone who has been and continues to be an absolute hero in my life: Kathleen Angelone, owner of Bookmamas at 9 S. Johnson Avenue in Irvington.

Now most of you know I am not one to get overly sentimental, but on this day in which we celebrate what we love I feel compelled to point out that not only does Kathleen own a real honest to goodness independent bookstore, but it is literally a shop-around-the corner from Washington Street and Ritter Avenue. Nestled in the heart of this historic neighborhood is a treasure trove of beloved classic, recent titles and old favorites. She specializes in local authors, eclectic gifts for the book lover and has recently taken on a partner in Irvington Vinyl which boasts a huge collection of LPs, 45’s and fan rags for the music freak in us all!

In a day and age where emporiums like these are exceedingly rare, I want to point out that they are not important from a nostalgic perspective, but they offer something to the community a big box store or online warehouse cannot and that is personal service and attention. When you go into Bookmamas, you can be rest assured that Kathleen will take the time to get to know you. She has answered her customer’s call that they want to read and support local authors. They want books about Indiana or set in Indiana and she works TIRELESSLY to provide that. Not only is she in the shop, but she can be found at a number of farmer’s markets, craft fairs, and bazaars throughout the year bringing along the authors who need her as much as she needs them.

Bookmamas      When Kathleen launches one of my books, I do my best to go above and beyond to ensure that she has a good turnout because she goes above and beyond for me! I will promote the signing on social media, I will bring treats, I will write press releases, etc…because without her, I. Am. Nothing. Her shop is the most convenient for many of my readers to get to. She has built relationships with a number of local entities including the library, several senior communities, schools…I don’t know what all, and I don’t know of another independent bookstore nearby who can say that. I’m not saying its impossible to get into the bigger chain, and I have done several wonderful signings for them, but this woman knocks herself out to get her authors’ name out there and I am thrilled to come along for the ride.

What can you find at Bookmamas? Well books obviously, both new and used as well as Doctor Who gift items, magnets, mugs, pins, finger puppets, magazines, paper dolls, book marks, pens, music, and so much more. Every time I am in there I am surprised by what I discover. (Including a picture disc 45 of the Beatles’ “Please Please Me” and a stack of vintage Doctor Who fan magazines!)

As if that weren’t enough, last December my son was helping her out for the holidays and she casually asked him if he had gotten my present yet. When he said no, she said, “Well, I think I have you covered.” Kathleen showed him a book written and signed by the late tennis legend Arthur Ashe. Knowing how much I loved the game, she knew  how much I would appreciate it (as well as the rare signature) and my son readily agreed. He got the book, wrapped it and gave it to me Christmas morning. With all due respect to the folks at Amazon, I don’t think they could have pulled that one off…only Kathleen.

Bookmamas2    Look, we talk a lot about buying local, shopping local and I know everyone loves the bargains that we can find online. However, before hitting the one-click check out button for that special book item, do yourself a favor and see what Kathleen has to offer at Bookmamas. If your kid needs a treat, take them to the shop with the nice lady behind the counter and find them something they will love. If your teenager has to read War and Peace…buy it through Bookmamas. She probably has a few copies already in stock. If you want to support your favorite local author, shopping there is one of the BEST ways to do so. It helps the local economy. It helps Kathleen and it helps us because we get to meet and talk with you! She keeps us going, people. I’m not too proud to say it.

Today is Local History Day and I will be at Bookmamas from 1-3 p.m. signing copies of all of my local history books, as well as my young adult novel Fifteen Minutes of Fame, and my latest release, The Idiot’s Guide to Catholicism. Stop buy if you can, enjoy the music of Irvington vinyl (pick up an LP to set the mood for a romantic dinner) buy the book lover in your life a new title (trust me, it’s a HUGE aphrodisiac!) and meet Kathleen. You won’t regret coming into her shop and once you come in once, you’ll be back again and again!

 

 

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Naptown Nostalgia: Let the Music Play On

used_records      I miss music stores. I’m not talking about the places loaded with the “if you break it, you buy it” signs on the guitars and some Jimmy Page wannabe plucking out the opening notes of “Stairway.” That’s an instrument shop. (OK fine, it technically qualifies as a a “music store” but I will make my point in a minute so work with me here.) I’m talking about music stores, the kind of place where you can find every album, tape, CD, rock music trade rag, t-shirt and popular sheet music one could ever want. The MUSIC store.

Once upon a time they were everywhere: There was Swann’s on 10th Street, the Listening Booth, Camelot, National Record Mart, a few places in Broad Ripple, etc…all staffed by people who knew all of the latest artists and knew exactly what you were looking for before you even asked. Sometimes it seemed that the employees of these emporiums had nothing to do all day but talk about the lives and careers of the music gods and debate the merits of Freddie Mercury vs. Robert Plant, but in reality, those conversations built a loyal customer base that lasted until digital downloads put the last nail in the coffin of the music industry as we knew it.

Don’t get me wrong. I love to stream my music. I’m as guilty as the next person, but I miss unfolding a double album jacket to see the central photo on the inside. I miss  reading the lyrics and liner notes as I listen to a vinyl album for the first time. I miss the work that goes into the art on the cover (some of those albums were truly iconic) and I miss flipping through the poster rack to find that black light Zeppelin poster that I knew my mother would never let me hang in my bedroom.

I tell this story because tonight, I was able to reach out and touch the past. Irvington Vinyl inside Bookmamas is EXACTLY the kind of place we used to have but don’t anymore. From the moment I stepped inside and breathed in the musty smell of wax and old cardboard, I was a goner. (Thank God my purse was in the car or I would be BROKE!) I saw the familiar faces of the Fab Four smiling out from the Meet The Beatles album, a seal copy of Led Zeppelin II and III (they are probably reissues, but who cares?) There was a signed Brian Wilson Smile framed on the wall and I was drooling over some of the old magazines featuring some of my favorite artists.

“Funny thing about old albums is that sometimes the goodies inside were worth more than the actual disc,” I commented offhandedly.

“Very true,” he replied. “Some of that stuff is worth a lot.”

“KISS excelled at that including stickers, tattoos and other things that ended up being the real collector’s items,” I went on. “Of course then there is the bummer of buying an album three or four times only to find out that you still don’t have the rare version. I found that out the hard way with Heart’s Magazine.”

“Oh yeah, if you don’t have the original from the legal dispute when the songs were in a different order it’s not the same,” he confirmed.

Was I really having this conversation after all of these years? Who would have ever believed it? Sure on occasion I see some of these old album covers but usually it is somewhere that people are using them to make attractive tote bags (which feels sacrilegious  to me somehow) or in places like Urban Outfitters who wins brownie points for trying but you KNOW none of the employees know what is supposedly so significant about Paul’s bare feet on the Abbey Road cover.

While I know that this is not the only “music” store in the city, it is the closest one to me and I am begging all of my fellow Indy residents to support these businesses who “Keep the Faith,” who “Don’t Stop Beliveing” and who at times are “Livin’ on a Prayer” in order to make sure that the music goes on and on and on and on….

Until Next time, Keep Rockin’,

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Fabulous Fridays- Top Moments of 2013

I’m sorry to see 2013 go. Last year at this time, I vowed that it would be the best one since 1986 and I have to say, in the end…2013 is going to be a hard one to top. On New Year’s Eve, I was at dinner contemplating what the best moment of the year was. I had to be the only one at the table with a true Top Ten list but I couldn’t help it. It was all so amazing! So with no further ado…here are some of my favorite moments from what has truly been a spectacular year!

Ann     Seeing/Meeting Heart. It’s always exciting to go to a concert, but it is even more exciting to see your favorite band, meet them and listen to them do a 30 minute encore of your OTHER favorite band. Top that off with an exclusive interview with the lead singer and a press pass for the show and you have a recipe for an unforgettable life event!

grad     Getting my masters degree. I firmly believe that education is the key to making all of your dreams come true and it was incredible to be able to complete my masters program in a year and to secure my degree with a 4.0 GPA. It seemed like such a long journey but in the end, it was well-worth it. Hopefully in 2014, I can secure a teaching position at a local college or university and enter into a new phase of my already amazing career!

 

EPCOT     Going to Disney World. I don’t take vacations, so after completing my degree I decided that the Monkey and I would take off for the Happiest Place on Earth and trip the light fantastic for an AWESOME week. The Disney people do not disappoint, I must say. Everyone was so pleasant and accommodating and I literally cried when I had to leave and go back to the real world. Getting to spend that vacation with my teenage son was also fabulous, especially when I asked him what the best part was and hearing him say, “Meeting the mouse!”

Idol      Singing on the American Idol Stage. OK, it was the American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but still…I had to go through a blistering audition process, impress the production people and give the performance of my life in 90 seconds. Hands down that auditorium had the best sound system I have ever encountered and even though I didn’t take home the Golden Ticket, having some of my “fans” come up to me afterward and want their picture taken with me made me feel like a rock star!

Vika     Attending the Western & Southern Open. I am a tennis junkie. I admit it. I love the sport and there are a lot of top players worthy of watching. It had been years since I attended a live match so what better way to spend your birthday than to go to Cincinnati and see the top players in the world. Seeing Venus, Roger and Vika was so wonderful and having one of them wish me many happy returns was even better. Can’t wait to go back in 2014! (I’ve got my eye on you Andy Murray!!!)

 

Doctor Who2     Meeting “Doctor Who.” There is something truly exciting about helping your kid reach a goal of meeting one of his idols. It’s even better when you get to interview that idol as well! For my young “whovian” there was nothing as special as meeting Peter Davison even though when I asked him about his top moment of 2013…Doctor Who surprisingly didn’t make the list. LOL

book cover 2    Releasing FAMOUS FACES of WTTV-4. I am always honored and proud to release a new book, but this one was extra special considering that the subjects of the book were the television heroes of my childhood. I was thrilled when “Janie” came to the launch along with the Puppet Master Brian Reynolds, and Commander KC. We were able to Skype briefly with Peggy of the “Popeye and Peggy” show and the book has received some wonderful reviews on Goodreads!

 

FMOF     Signing the FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME contract. At long last my first novel is coming out and I could not be more excited about it. I am so appreciative of Rocking Horse Publishing for taking a chance on MonAmi’s madcap journey into manufactured superstardom and I can’t wait to beef up the buzz as we approach our 4/1/14 launch date!

 

As for what is coming in 2014? Well if you know me, there will be plenty of weekly book reviews and Fabulous Fridays. I plan to start an “Author Spotlight” feature and of course, don’t forget to check out MonAmi’s Tour Diary which is the companion blog to FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME and full of sneak peeks, deleted material and whatever MonAmi feels like sharing. I guarantee there will be plenty of the unexpected along the way and I can’t wait to share it all with you. Let’s rock the new year!

Julie Young

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