May 172012
 

This Thursday, I love… musicals.

We all know I love to sing, and when I’m driving a car I’m almost always alone. So I happily drive along, singing away. It was on one such drive this morning when I realised my playlist of singing songs (yes, I have a playlist of songs I like to sing) is almost entirely musicals.

I always knew I liked musicals, but I hadn’t realised I listen to them quite as much as I do.In my drive this morning I covered Chess, Evita, Chicago, Wicked and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. And that was just in 20 minutes. Continue reading »

Feb 112012
 

This guy is more talented than a lot of men at being the hero… and a lot of women at being the heroine… Oh, did I mention the chorus, sidekick and villain?

Watch. Be wowed.

T.

May 112011
 

I have an announcement! Right now I am absolutely bursting with pride because my husband has an album on iTunes!

His band name is Rupert Goes Shopping and it’s primarily a one-man-band although there are contributors from others, including a wonderful single you can get on iTunes called Weathermen 2.0 which is a collaboration between Rupert Goes Shopping and AM Frequencies.

You can buy the album here.

I would like to take this moment to pause in my usual posting to tell you all to please go on iTunes and buy the album. It’s great for photographers and others who would like music to put in their videos (seek permission & credit please) or to have in the background. It’s a wonderful display of the talent of my amazing husband. There is a variety of songs on here – mostly instrumental. To me, it sounds like the music of Thomas Newman (think American Beauty) mixed with a bit of pop, metal influences and jazz.

If you like my website, Peter’s, Dice of Doom, have ever liked something I’ve written, have ever liked a song he’s posted or wish to give us a little gift, go buy the album. We get a percentage of every copy sold. Hubby is far too polite to tell you to buy the album but I know it means a lot, so I will – go buy it! You won’t regret it!

Still not convinced? You can listen to the music here:

Artwork on the album cover is a painting by Kent Marcus.

T.

Feb 132011
 

I don’t normally post on a Sunday, but with everyone talking about Lady Gaga’s Born This Way, I felt like throwing my two cents into the ring. That and every time I’ve turned on the radio over the last two days it’s playing.

I’m in favour of anything that encourages people to love themselves and be who they are. This song does that. I know it will be a gay pride anthem, but it’s quite specifically written to encompass all people “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian transgendered life”.

The song reminds me of Madonna in the 80′s & 90′s, most specifically of Vogue – especially in the line “Don’t be a drag, just be a queen”. OK, so that means it’s not entirely original. What is these days? There is nothing that could be done that hasn’t been done before. That doesn’t make it any less worthwhile. For me, it makes it more interesting – it’s like a painting. These days an artwork has to refer to previous artwork concepts in order to be considered worthwhile by artists, why shouldn’t music do that too? Let’s call it post-modern.

At any rate the song is catchy, makes me feel good and I enjoy listening to it. The only place it’s gone wrong is that there was so much hype leading up to it!

I hope people understand, however, that being who you are isn’t an excuse for not being the best version of who you are. It doesn’t mean you can’t change to be a better you. Being who you are isn’t a reason to not become who you could be. Don’t ever stop improving on yourself.

I’m on the right track, baby, I was born to be brave.

In case you haven’t heard it yet (haven’t turned on the radio, huh?) – have a listen below.

T.

Jan 182011
 

Today’s Tip: Smile

It seems silly, but a smile really can make all the difference. The difference to how you’re perceived in the workplace, at home, when out and about. It helps to smile at people. I don’t mean smile all the time, as that can make a person look a little deranged (there is a woman at my local train station who does that, it can be unnerving), but smile when you speak with someone.

I like to start my day by getting on the bus (if I catch the bus that day) and saying “Good morning!” to the driver with a big smile. When I get to work, I liked to greet each of my colleague with a smile. Just this simple thing can make my day, and others, a whole lot nicer, especially if I’m in a bad mood.

Tamsin Howse smile
Smile though your heart is aching. Smile, even though it’s breaking. When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by, if you smile, through your fear and sorrow. Smile, and there’ll be tomorrow. You’ll see the sun come shining through, If you’ll just light up your face with gladness. Hide every trace of sadness. Although a tear, may be ever so near. That’s the time, you must keep on trying. Smile, what’s the use of crying? You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, If you’ll just… Smile.”

T.

Note: Lyrics are from Smile by Judy Garland. I have posted about this song previously, and you can listen to it here.

Edit (20/1/11): “Smile” is a song based on an instrumental theme used in the soundtrack for the 1936 Charlie Chaplin movie Modern Times. Chaplin composed the music, while John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954.[1] In the lyrics, the singer is telling the listener to cheer up and that there is always a bright tomorrow, just as long as they smile. “Smile” has become a popular standard since its original use in Chaplin’s film. The song was originally sung by Nat King Cole, charted in 1954.

My favourite version, however, is by Judy Garland because her voice always makes me cry.

Nov 292010
 

Oh no! Director Robert Zemeckis is looking at remaking The Wizard of Oz!

WHY?!

Nobody could ever replace Judy Garland. She is too amazing. In my opinion Judy Garland is one of the most amazing, talented and the most beautiful woman who ever lived. Somewhere Over The Rainbow is one of my favourite songs, I even want it played at my funeral (or Smile).

Dear Robert Zemeckis, Please don’t. No love, me.

Continue reading »

Nov 262010
 

I read an article the other day about infertile women hating facebook. The logic behind this is that infertile women get depressed by pregnant women and those with young children constantly rubbing it in their face. Look how cute my baby is, my bump is this big, only 3 weeks to go. I can understand. It’s rare that you will see an update which states “I hate being pregnant, get this thing out of me now!” despite the fact that many pregnant women feel that way.

More and more infertile women are admitting that they are envious of Facebook updates from pregnant friends. They describe the feeling after reading a post about a pregnancy or birth as, “getting punched in the gut”. In some cases, the envy triggers sadness or anger, causing them to “burst into tears”

Staffers at Shady Grove Fertility, a large provider of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments, said more and more patients talk about Facebook envy during consultations. Sharon Covington, the center’s director of psychological services, says in regards to her patients feelings:

“They understand their friends aren’t trying to cause them harm, and they don’t want to wish them ill will, but they end up feeling angry, resentful and jealous.”

I don’t think this only applies to infertile women vs pregnant women. It also applies to any stage in life. Married Vs Divorced, Couples Vs Singles, Rich Vs Poor, Happy Vs Sad, Successful Vs Not so Successful, Owners Vs Renters, Good grades Vs bad grades, People who love their jobs Vs those who don’t….

It all becomes a big case of anything you can do I can do better.

Why do we feel the need to compete against everyone all the time? My house is gorgeous, my husband is smart, I’m so thin, I love my job, everything is just perfect. Gross! Come on people, life is not a competition. You don’t have to have it all, be it all, to be happy. And we shouldn’t feel like we have to pretend. Be who you are, warts and all.

I say do what you do
Say what you say
Mean what you mean when you say
Cuz it’s your life, gotta make your own rules
And you gotta do it your way

Full lyrics after the Jump.

T.

Continue reading »

Nov 032010
 

Three inspirational songs have been released recently by two strong, beautiful, inspirational women and one strong, inspirational 9 year old. For all 3 the theme is feeling good in yourself, celebrating yourself and being confident. Very timely messages.

Unfortunately I have been unable to embed all 3 vidoes, however have provided links for you to view them.

Raise Your Glass by my favourite artist, Pink

And the crazy talented 9 year old Willow Smith with Whip My Hair.

And Firework by another favourite, Katy Perry

04/11/10 EDIT: Pink has just come out with another one!

T.

Oct 222010
 

As I have previously mentioned, I believe Lily Allen has some great moments and writes some amazing songs. One of my favourites is Back To The Start. It’s about bullying, from the perspective of the bully, and every time I hear it it makes me think about my experiences growing up and whether I did this to anyone. There were certainly peope I was jealous of, most of those I was jealous of I would desperately try to hang around, desperately trying to emulate them. Or I would try to hide and be incredbily intimidated by them. Yeah, I think I did do this to others. No, I know I did. I also wonder if anyone who was mean to me felt this way.

Bullying is a hard issue. I have been debating recently over the It Gets Better campaign. Although this is an important message to send to kids and to adolescents, and for many it is entirely true, I am saddened to know that for some people it seems to go on and on, and I wonder if it does get better.

I think it depends who is bullying you. For many, it is somebody transient, it is a school mate, a work colleague. In these instances you can turn to your friends and family for help, support and for the strength to go on. And for some it is someone a lot closer. A family member or friend. For a long time you don’t even realise they’re doing it, because they’re manipulating you and keeping you down.

I guess I have to believe it gets better. The alternative is too bad.

Below are the lyrics to Back To The Start. You can listen to the song here.

T.

Continue reading »

Him

Sep 152010
 

Lily Allen certainly has apt moments. On my way to work this morning I was listening to her album. Some of the songs really resonate with me, especially Chinese and Back To The Start which I will do posts on at some point.

Today I wanted to draw your attention to this song. It raises some very interesting questions. I have put my favourite lines in italic.

Would you please take me away from this place
I cannot bear to see the look upon your faces
And if there is some kind of god do you think he’s pleased?
When he looks down on us I wonder what he sees
Do you think he’d think the things we do are a waste of time?
Maybe he’d think we are getting on just fine
Do you think he’s skint or financially secure?
And come election time I wonder who he’d vote for

Ever since he can remember people have died in his good name
Long before that September
Long before hijacking planes
He’s lost the will, he can’t decide
He doesn’t know who’s right or wrong
But there’s one thing that he’s sure of this has been going on too long

Do you think he’d drive in his car without insurance?
Now is he interesting or do you think he’d bore us?
Do you think his favourite type of human is caucasian?
Do you reckon he’s ever been done for tax evasion?
Do you think he’s any good at remembering people’s names?
Do you think he’s ever taken smack or cocaine?
I don’t imagine he’s ever been suicidal
His favourite band is Creedence Clearwater Revival

Ever since he can remember people have died in his good name
Long before that September
Long before hijacking planes
He’s lost the will, he can’t decide
He doesn’t know who’s right or wrong
But there’s one thing that he’s sure of this has been going on too long

Ever since he can remember people have died in his good name
Long before that September
Long before hijacking planes
He’s lost the will, he can’t decide
He doesn’t know who’s right or wrong
But there’s one thing that he’s sure of this has been going on too long

T.