Two-Bit Musings.

Shh.

Just Another Day in Paradise, Yo.

. . .

Hi. How are you, Dear Reader? How do you feel today: body, mind, and soul?

Pause. Think. Answer honestly.

Me? I’m doing just fine, thanks.

I’m currently sitting on our RV love seat, clicking past the miles somewhere between Ohio and Indiana. Sweet Baby Snap is sleeping; Toddler Snap is hopefully about to do the same up in his car seat.

I’m sipping iced coffee, laughingly shrugging at the insane diesel prices, and singing songs from Father John Misty’s latest album in my head.

I feel good.

. . .

I just turned 35.

Seems kinda weird, like that’s much too old and much too young, all at the same time. Sometimes I feel like I’ve lived a thousand lives; I also feel like I’ve just been born.

And when I close my eyes and quiet my mind, I think about this life. I think about how much I value the simple idea of respect.

I want to show respect in everything I do.

Toward other human beings, animals, and Mother Earth herself.

I want to respect other people’s time. I want to respect their turn to speak.

I want to respect the public goods we all need, like clean water and food. Health. Education. The arts and humanities.

I want it to be known that I respect you because not everything is about me.

. . .

(shrugs)

That’s it for now.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist currently residing on Planet Earth.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #3.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

Dude.

You may have noticed that it’s been a while since my last Top Ten Albums post.

And it maaaay be because I’m hyperventilating with self-induced pressure.

We’re in the top three, yo. And I don’t want to fuck it up!

These last three albums mean more to me than I could ever say.

Consider them. . . the holy trinity in artistic creation.

They’re friggin’ perfect.

And it’s my sincere hope that you find time to enjoy them, friend.

On we go.

. . .

#3: Ram by Paul and Linda McCartney (1971)

Image borrowed from Wikipedia.

I fell in love with Paul McCartney when I was 14.

Oddly enough, this was in the year 2001, and not 1964.

It truly was a love at first sight. But, more on that for Pick #2. (Hint hint!)

Paul McCartney, man.

He is the epitome of an artist: the real goddamn deal.

If I were ever to tattoo my body, it would undoubtedly be a portrait of this beautiful, soulful, optimistic, and incredibly talented human being. (Certainly a shot of him with his beard, circa 1969 or so.)

Yeah. I’m obsessed.

But ANYWAY.

Ram: It’s a folksy. It’s earthy. It’s whimsical and layered, in pure Paul fashion.

It makes me want to walk barefoot through a garden, singing and laughing as I pluck tomatoes straight from the vine.

It’s everything Paul does well, rolled up into a delicious, satisfying meal.

And so, my Dear Reader (Listener!) I will let the album speak for itself.

Please: Do yourself the favor of Ramming on.

(she smiles because she has so much more to say about this album, yet is at a complete loss for words)

. . .

Oh yeah. I won’t be listing my favorite tracks for these top three albums. It’s just. . . impossible.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer and artist who drinks close to 70 ounces of water each day.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her take on just about everything.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #4.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#4: American Doll Posse by Tori Amos (2007)

Image borrowed from Amazon.com

Hell yesss.

Before we begin, Dear Reader, it’s worth reminding you that this list of albums is a reflection of my life.

Each selection is precious; each one a savored stone of remembrance.

And let’s face it: not everyone digs Tori.

But she’s my spirit animal (whatever that even means) and I’m effing proud to list American Doll Posse as Pick #4.

Here. We. Go.

. . .

It’s the spring of 2007. I’m on the brink of turning 20; my curly hair is dyed a coppery shade of red. Sophomore year of college has awoken me to so many beautiful and complicated truths.

I feel like I’ve shed a skin I didn’t know I had.

My Chevy Corsica barrels down the highway, the nighttime calling and shrieking and pulling me in to its possibilities.

I’m fucking unstoppable, yo.

And in the passenger seat, no doubt, is my black-haired best friend. Sparkly eye shadow. Pink Sugar perfume. Non-stop laughs about things only we think are funny.

And although life has taken us different places, the magic of ADP will always remain between us.

Pure magic.

. . .

All right, all right. I’ll get to the music.

American Doll Posse checks all of the glorious Tori boxes:

-Raw, Badass Lyrics

-Insane Imagery

-Pristine Vocals

-Powerful Yet Intricate Piano

And in typical Tori fashion, she created five distinct personalities to deliver the message.

Like so many things, it’s a bit odd to experience it now, in post-Trump America.

But it’s a masterpiece. And I leave it to your ears now, friends.

. . .

Favorite Track: You just gotta listen to the whole thing. Just do it.*

. . .

*Can’t? If you insist, listen to “Dragon”.

. . .

SnapDragon is a wife, mama, and teacher who lives in beautiful southeastern PA.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for her two-bit opinions on pretty much everything.

Two-Bit Musings.

500 and Counting, Yo.

Woah! Maybe Snap’s got something to say after all?

(she shrugs and smiles)

. . .

Hey hey hey!

I got notified by the WordPress fairies that I have over 500 followers!

I feel like a cool kid! Like the belle of the ball!

Like. . . the world is my friggin’ oyster, yo!

(whispers: “Wait . . . Who’s SnapDragon?”)

. . .

So stay tuned for more Two-Bit Musings.

More Desert Island Picks.

More treasures from the Book Nook.

More art.

More fun.

More half-witted reflections on this fumbling, bumbling experience we call life.

‘Cuz we in this together, love.

And I thank you.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, reader, painter, collector of funky earrings, and old-soul drinker of coffee, in all of its glorious forms.

Follow if you dare. (Or if you’re bored. Either one.)

Two-Bit Musings.

Yes Yes Yes.

Snap’s unleashed the music box.

. . .

The coffee is hot, with the atypical treat of flavored cream. I warm my hands on the ceramic mug.

Alexa sits upon her shelf, sharing a mix of musical moments: Moments that make me smile, and that remind me of the mysterious beauty of college life.

Friends. Books. Bliss.

Savoring it all.

Röyksopp, yo. A new love.*

. . .

In my worst moments I feel like a fuzzy little growth on the rotten milk jug of society.

And in my best?

I’m dancing, singing, and feeling the beat within every ounce of my 5-foot frame.

I feel like a good friend; a good daughter and sister; a good wife; a good mother; a good artist. A good teacher.

A good person.

Yes.

Because that’s really all I want. To be good.** A good cog in this sometimes cold, sometimes terrible, relentless machine of life.

. . .

I have the blessed curse of an artist’s life.

The colors; the swirls; the tingle on my lips; the dreams; the nightmares; the folded papers; the seashell sounds; the eyeliner revelations.

This world. . . is a giant coloring book.

It’s a tidy little sketchpad with textured pages.

It’s waiting for icing. It’s waiting for delightful little ribbons. For clusters of balloons and glass jars full of candies.

It’s waiting.

So what are we waiting for . . . ?

Let’s dance.

Together. I promise it will be nothing shy of extraordinary.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, currently working on everything and nothing.

Follow Snippets of SnapDragon for tidbits of her strawberry-flavored journey.

. . .

*Dude. Check it out. I stumbled upon them on an “Instrumental Chill” playlist. And now I’m obsessed.

**Yep. East of Eden. Please read this book, at least once in your life. I have so many books on my reading list, and yet I might just dive back into this one. What a gem.

The Poetry Pot.

Healing.

Poem 5. Written by SnapDragon X. (Um, like everything else on this site, yo.)

Let it Roll, 2016.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico.
Original Photo by SnapDragon X.
All rights reserved.

these cracked feet, cracked hands and crackling lines around my eyes

whisper in harmonious healing.

the weeping and seeping of water has dried.

a tortoise shell; a vacant nest; a notebook whose pages have been burned.

yesterday is a vanished ache.

good-bye.

. . .

*Bonus points if you listen to George Harrison’s “Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp” on high-quality speakers, as loud as your ears will allow. I dare you not to smile at the beauty of life.*

. . .

SnapDragon is an artist just trying to be happy in this effed up world.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

She also posts regularly(ish) on Pointless Overthinking.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #6.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#6: Made in Heaven by Queen (1995)

Image borrowed from Google.com

Oh, my dear friends. I don’t even know where to begin with this one.

(takes a deep breath)

It’s probably no surprise by now that I don’t pray.

But while I may not subscribe to a set of beliefs, I do believe in magic:

The Magic of Rock n’ Roll.

Yes. I. do.

. . .

You probably also know that I’m a Classic Rock Girl at heart. I grew up listening to it on the radio, and much to my friends’ confusion, dedicated my adolescence to buying Beatles’ CDs and memorabilia.

Queen, for whatever reason, was always on the periphery. Bohemian Rhapsody played on the station–as it still does–and I thought, “Yeah, man. Good stuff.”

And that was the end of it.

Well, July 2015 was the time of Our Sweet Wedding. And we had the amazing good fortune to honeymoon across Europe for four weeks. (It’s okay; you can hate me. I kind of do.)

And on the plane ride over, after scrolling through the viewing options on the seat in front of him, My Sweet Husband found a documentary on Freddie Mercury.

He watched. He enjoyed. And the magic unfolded.

Because a little over a week later, as we strolled along Lake Geneva in the gorgeous city of Montreux, Switzerland, we happened upon the statue of Freddie himself. Yep: the one on the album cover.*

He called to us.

And we listened.

. . .

All right. I could go on. But I will get to the music!

This is the only album on my list that I’ve discovered in recent years. (All of the others have been staples of mine for at least a decade.)

But it absolutely deserves it. It’s that good.

Released after Freddie’s death, this album was heart-breakingly pieced together by Brian, John, and Roger.

It’s 100% haunting, beautiful, and moving.

It’s also an album that is difficult to describe. So, well, I’ll leave it to you, Dear Listener.

May Freddie bless you.

. . .

Favorite Track: “Mother Love” (I have no words for how incredible this song is.)

. . .

Stay tuned for Snap’s #5!

SnapDragon is an educator, writer, artist, and occasional root-beer-drinker.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

. . .

* For the sake of brevity, I’m leaving out a lot of really cool Queen-related details about our time in Montreux. There’s a Queen museum nestled inside a casino**–which again–we just happened to discover. It turns out that Queen recorded many albums there. I could go on and on (and maybe I will in a future post!) but I really encourage you to look up more about Queen and their special connection to Montreux. Oh, and you should definitely go there.

** Yep. The casino that was rebuilt after the fire, which inspired Deep Purple’s Smoke On the Water. Have I mentioned I love Rock N’ Roll?

Book-of-the-Month.

This is Your Song, Elton.

A short critique of Elton John’s autobiography, Me

Cozy Afternoon, 2020. Original Photo by SnapDragon X. All rights reserved, yo.

Hey hey hey!

Look who’s back with Book-of-the-Month, kids!

Except, this selection is not for kids. (Nor are any of the books I review, really.)

Anyway, this one is definitely worth your time. Pick it up. Jump right in.

Enjoy, my dear.

. . .

Me by Elton John (2019)

My beautiful best friend, who lives nearly two-hours away, sent me this hardback in the mail. With it, a hand-written letter saying, “I tore through this book in just a few days and thought of you so many times as I read it. In a time where we’re all stuck inside, good books are even more important and I love being able to share one with you.”

Heart thoroughly warmed, I used her note as my bookmark, and settled in for the ride.

. . .

I’ve always loved Elton. I was a 90s kid who owned The Lion King soundtrack on cassette tape. I played it over and over and over. And, I might add, the songs I enjoyed most were those performed by Elton himself.

Dude. Circle of Life. Chills.

Anyway, while I’ve always been a fan, there is quite a lot I never knew about him.

The man. The myth. The piano-playing legend.

His autobiography tells the tale of his life with such thoughtfulness, humility, and love.

It reads like the confession of a man who has nothing to prove–or maybe–something indefinable to prove only to himself. It reads with a reflective wisdom I think can only come with time.

It’s honest. It’s juicy. It’s healing.

And, maybe it’s surprising I never knew he was a coke addict. (But to be fair, he’s been sober for most of my life.) But he owns his struggles and shortcomings with a graciousness I find refreshing.

Favorite passage?

(Don’t worry, girl. I didn’t dog-ear your book.) (But I um, did spill a little chocolate ice cream on it. Love you!)

How about this one:

But I’ve never had writer’s block, I’ve never sat down with one of Bernie’s lyrics and nothing has come out. I don’t know why. I can’t explain it and I don’t want to explain it. Actually, I love that I can’t explain it. It’s the spontaneity of it that’s beautiful (John).

And with that, I’ll leave you to go enjoy your favorite Elton track, Dear Reader.

You know you have one.

. . .

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and unapologetic purchaser of buttermilk ranch.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.

Desert Island Picks.

SnapDragon’s Top Ten Albums: Pick #7.

Hi! And welcome to the latest addition to my Desert Island Picks.

In case you missed my little advertisement, I’ve decided to award ten–yes, only tentop albums of my life.

And when I say ‘album’, I mean the entire album, friends. The whole record. Not some compilation or mix tape. I put in the CD, crank up the volume on quality speakers, and let the artist’s creation come to life.

You know. How it was intended.

All right. Now that we’ve cleared that up, let us continue!

. . .

#7: OK COMPUTER by Radiohead (1997)

Image borrowed from Amazon.com

Every time I put this album on and hear those first shredding guitar notes, I feel a certain happiness that is difficult to describe.

I first discovered this album junior year of high school. (Which was not in 1997, for the record.)

And friends, I was absolutely blown away by it. I remember inserting the CD into my parents’ Dell desktop computer, cranking the volume, and calling my older brother in to experience this dazzling display of ingenious sounds and song.

It’s one of a kind.

(We get it, Snap. This is, after all, your top ten.)

I also know that Radiohead has really blown up in recent years. And truth be told, I’ve lost track of them a bit.

But OK COMPUTER, with its expert blending of band and studio. . .

Well, you’ll just have to listen for yourself, Dear Reader.

Enjoy every last drop.

. . .

Favorite Track: “Paranoid Android” (starts giggling in excitement)

. . .

Stay tuned for Snap’s #6!

SnapDragon is a writer, artist, and admirer of peculiar things.

Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on Snippets of SnapDragon.