Don’t think #GeorgiaEnglish will come chasing after you.

I caught up with Georgia on day six of her forty day tour that takes her and her band, Georgia English and the Juke Box Kids to North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, West Virginia and Pennsylvania to see how she is holding up.

Gigs
Nashville, Tennessee: The 5 Spot
Nashville, TN: Springwater with My Politic and Daphne and the Mystery Machines
Franklin, Tennessee: Kimbro’s
 

Here is our interview:

Georgia English Thank you so much for sharing my album on your twitter! I really appreciate it. My mom has told me wonderful things about you! Great to meet you on and thank you for your support.

Julie Angelos  Well, young lady, you are most welcome. Its a pleasure for me to tweet and write about you because we truly like your songs. We’ve been listening to them all day.

Georgia, tell me about your name.

Georgia English My mom really loves Willie Nelsons version of Georgia On My Mind so I think that had something to do with it. My dad was really into Greek stuff and I guess Georgia translates to Daughter of the Earth.

Then I just lucked out with my last name!

Julie When did you start singing? 

Georgia I started singing like four years after I started playing guitar.

It just started feeling like the natural thing to do when you are strumming. I was really shy about it at first. The first time I sang in front of a crowd, I was around 12 and sang Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd and Sweet Home Alabama by Lynard Skynard.

I was in a rock band in middle school and we started playing around San Francisco with the help of my guitar teacher.

Julie I see you live in Nashville and you are from San Francisco. Can you tell me a little bit about that transition?

Georgia I went to school in Boston for college and met all the musicians in my band there.

We really wanted to be in a vibrant musical scene where everyone was playing all the time. I absolutely love Nashville. I think something really special is happening there now.

There is a lot of pop country and industry stuff that I am less interested in. But there is also a lot of musical integrity and respect for older styles and Roots music. Sometimes it actually feels a bit like San Francisco in the way that people interact.

Julie  I absolutely loved your latest single, Chasing After You. Its so catchy. Can you tell me what inspired you to write that song?

Georgia Ha! When someone treats you bad I think the best revenge is to just have some fun.

Julie I see you work with a couple of real talented individuals. Can you tell me about them?

Georgia I am very lucky to have an amazing band full of great people. We are actually on the road now and I am feeling very lucky and happy to be with them.

It is a blessing to have good friends and to play with great musicians. Its pretty incredible when they are both. We all love the same music which is very important.

They are hard workers, funny, and can put up with me on these long drives!

Julie What are your next steps?

Georgia  Really we just want to play as much as possible! We are currently on a Pennsatucky tour. We will be back to Nashville mid-February and will be playing mostly locally this spring. We are hoping to come out west soon to San Francisco, Mendocino and all that!

At the end of the summer we will be at the Ink N Iron Festival in Nashville.

I am super excited about that one because my celebrity crush Merle Haggard will also be playing there. It is a big honor. In the meantime we are just working hard and welcoming adventure.
Find Georgia English on the road and get her latest album Good Girls here.

Pennsatucky Tour
Pennsatucky Tour
Georgia English: guitar and vocals
Christine Moad: harmonies
Hayden Cotcher: Washboard
Joe Fox: video and editing

 

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I don’t know about you but I don’t take criticism too well.

Ready. Thx JC for pic.
Ready.

People who read this — God bless you — know that I had to overcome a lot of fears to set up this blog. Would you like to know why?

Because writing for the public is similar to public speaking. You talk to people and they can smile, judge, laugh, agree or disagree. Sometimes they throw tomatoes right at the computer screen. I don’t suggest it.

I like to emphasize the learning by doing aspect. For example, if any of you have ever travelled, I bet that what you saw first hand is different than what you read in books.

Believe in yourself. I do.
Believe in yourself. I do, believe in you.

It’s like a thousand reflections in a mirror. Until you go and experience something first hand, they are all just stories on a page.

Writing a blog is an ongoing learning experience. Please don’t think I know what I’m doing. I’m rather new to this @$#% blgng bznss.

It was the exact same feeling when I first showed my art work. Sure, some people have no problems writing and talking and showing off their work.

I do. That is exactly why I feel like this blog is growing steadily. It’s because I’m so darn afraid of failing, I’m putting every ounce of myself into making it succeed, doing the best I can do with the knowledge and awareness I have.

I am willing to take a risk and show you my work. Put down that tomato. If you want to succeed in today’s market, I believe you must be willing to talk about your work.

It is not the critic who counts — not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena whose face is marred by dust and sweat and bloody. 

Teddy Roosevelt

I don’t see what is wrong with blogging. Like I told my blogger friend, it’s fat free, unless, of course, you are eating a lot of food while writing.

I also love reading and studying and learning from other people. That’s why I spend a lot of time on other people’s blogs to see how they approach the same question as mine.

How do you, as a blogger or website owner, reach an audience, connect with them, share information, and grow as an individual?

I’m willing to try. I’m willing to learn.

 


 

#1 My Amazing Friends Success Stories also known as MAFSS guest stars Francesca Fra.

♡ Sometimes in order to be happy in the present moment you have to be willing to give up all hope for a better past.
Play music. It's lovely. Cello.
Play music. It’s lovely.

Hello there!

Today we have a special interview one on one with Fra Fra. Love her, you will too.

My first guest is a friend who I met in 2000 when we took an English course together. We had a good laugh and found out we had a love for languages, literature and blueberry muffins. She also went the extra step to guide me to some great books I needed to pass the class. Maybe you will be lucky enough to have her as your teacher here in Bologna. Friends, I bring you,

Francesca Fra who I love to call Fra Fra.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? I’m the mother of three amazing boys and a teacher of English language and literature at liceo classico. I studied abroad for more than two years and completed my PhD at the university of Venice.

How do you define success? Success is feeling fulfilled and grateful for what you achieved in life.

I remember the day I felt that I had finally made it in my life. It was the day I had my 25 year reunion with my study abroad program. I looked around and thought, wow, that’s a pretty darn successful group, then I realized I was part of it. How about you? When the doctors allowed me to hold my first born child right in the middle of caesarian surgery.

What was your I made it moment? When I lost my faith in the honesty and truthfulness of some of the people who were closer to me. I still don’t know how things are going to work out, but somehow I managed so far.

Have you ever come across an obstacle in your path to where you are today? Can you describe it to me and tell us how you got over it? Not necessarily, but studying abroad gave me the chance to get to know some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

o you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul?  John Keats
Do you not see how necessary a world of pains and troubles is to school an intelligence and make it a soul? John Keats

What are you currently working on? I’m working on a project on Romantic poets, particularly John Keats. And yes, I’m trying to attend all of Giacomo’s, my eldest, cello classes.

Can you tell me about someone you admire and why? My parents, both of them, for their courage and strength, and mutual affection which kept them together for almost half a century.

Would you like to give me a word of advice on obtaining goals? Obtaining goals, let me see: how about working hard, avoid complaints.

Never lose hope.

How my guidance counselor changed my life.

Be inspiring!
Be inspiring!
Today

I’m going to write about a situation that happened when I was 16.

I was just your average girl going to school trying to make my way through. I excelled, or at least I like to try to think I did.

Nah, who am I kidding. I got by. My aim was always an A grade for excellent, but I think I sometimes went too fast on some of my math quizzes.

My dear teacher caught onto this and would look me in the eye and smile while correcting me. Id get frustrated with myself and try to apologize to him. He would tell me not to worry and tried to make sure my mistakes didnt make me want to stop learning.

   I’m still so thankful to him.

But Ive already written a post about him because he was my favorite teacher.

Regardless this little ditty has to do with how information on a casual day at school changed my life.

Figure it out. Figure it out. If you can’t figure it out, well then I suggest you find a way to figure it out.

Point A to Point B, Julie. Get there. Im trying! Stick with me!

So here is the story is how my guidance counselor changed my life:

Every day FLOWERS!
Every day flowers.

I’m a high school junior on the swim team. I am the class president and in advanced math classes.

I’m working my summers at the theme park at the main gate.

I spend my free time hanging out with friends on the quad lunch area during our 10:15a break.

Im the scorekeeper at basketball games.

One day, Im sitting in math class and I get called by someone who says I had an appointment with Dr. C who is our school guidance counselor.

My first thought was that I was in trouble for something I had done wrong.

Instead, I walk into a small office with a scattered desk and the nicest smiling person you could ask for.

He asks me, “So, Julie, have you thought about where you are going to go to university?”

Um, no, I mutter.

Well you know, he tells me, junior year is when you take your SAT tests and next year you are going to have to get your applications in.

Have you got your applications?

I’m like, What?

He says, Well, have you thought about private or public university?

I knew my parents weren’t going to pay for my university so that left if anything, public or state funded.

Then Dr. C hands me two packets that were California State University applications. He explained that there were two state systems: the California State University group and the University of California group. Each  group had about 20 campuses in different cities.

He gave me the examples. And a map. And a packet.

What changed my life about that conversation is that I was now empowered with information — information that was life changing.

I read the packet front to back.

I went back to class and asked my friend if he knew that it was time to take SAT tests and apply to university. Of course he knew.

Didn't everyone?

I sat for my SATS. Get it? That’s a pun 😉

The exams were difficult. I should have studied harder for them. That’s okay.

Then came summertime. I decided to go visit some universities on my own.

I chose four. I got in my car and off I went — alone of all things.

I visited Humbolt, Berkeley, San Louis Obispo, and San Francisco State. On another trip I visited San Diego State University, Santa Cruz and Santa Barbara State University.

I chose San Jose State University mostly because I liked the feel and I loved the old Ivy Bell Tower. Also, there was a well known journalism and marketing program — the only specialization in marketing at that time.

Northern California is cool too. Shout out to my no cal friends.

So that’s my story today. Not too big of one, just a little one. I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I’m just saying that today I’m grateful that I was called into a meeting with a counselor who gave me information that later handed me a future.

Thanks for reading. Thanks for stopping in. You know I appreciate it.

Also I would like you to know I paid my way through University working part time jobs.  I am proud of that because I met a lot of students whose parents were paying.

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Blogging ☆ Painting ☆ Comments ☆ Thoughts

Originally posted in 2012
Art Contest
That’s my picture on the right. I participated and won fifth in a local art contest.

Hi guys. How do you know when I’m going to post? I don’t even tell anyone on facebook when I post but I tell you my stats went up five times when I got back from my vacation.

How do you know? Isn’t that weird how people know when you write and then they come visit without me telling anyone? hmmm.

That’s a good thing! It means people actually are reading this.

Big news!

I participated in a town event. It was an art contest where you have to paint a picture. The way it works is you go in the morning with a blank piece of paper, pay the entrance fee, about $10, you get a coupon towards dinner.

Then you have until 3p to paint your picture, turn it in by 4p max and judging takes place at 5p. It was a nervous exciting day because I get scared to paint and be judged although I am learning to overcome those fears. It helped to have children in the garden with me as I painted and my ipod playing music.

What the mind can conceive the body can acheive.
There’s my painting.

Music rocks by the way. Amazing how it can transport you.

So, I’m painting in the garden, I finish the piece when three of my friends decide to write nice things about me. I tell you, they came in as rockstars because it was just what I needed at the moment where I literally was flipping out over colors.

I mean I have no idea what I’m doing painting. Especially a landscape.

Still, I did it. I framed the picture using a frame I had on the wall. I took it in and they put it up for display immediately with a number on it.

Then this guy walks over and starts taking pictures of it. I hid in the background on a chair. I ran into a friend too, thank goodness. I didn’t tell him I was competing whilst we were chatting.

The judges come by and confer. Then as they were putting up the nine awards out of 25 entries, they came right next to mine and attached a number nine on the painting to my left. Then these two ladies sifted through the numbers looking at my painting and looking back at their list, then they walked away.

I wanted to grab my painting and run out before anyone recognized me.

Then they came back and stuck a number five on it! I was thrilled. I won a bunch of stuff, that included a huge salame! ha ha ha. We are in Italy!  A salame. How classic.

Better light.
Better light.

The HANDS’ DOWN best part was as I took my painting to go home when a man nearby stops me and asks me if I was the author. I said yes.

Then he introduced himself as one of the judges and he said to me the magical words:

I thought this should have won first prize. I tried to convince the other judges. He said to me, The others are good work, what to expect in a contest, but your work had that something extra.

He called it a ‘hand’ in Italian, or mano. I think I get that from my mom. I am sure of it.

I came home and celebrated with family and friends. Great day. Yay me.

 

Facebook ► the good, the bad and the unexpected.

I believe in you. I do. I do.
I like to see you on facebook.
I like to see you on facebook.

With 1.2 billion active users, it’s no wonder that facebook is touching many of our lives in ways that are good and bad and unexpected. What do you think? Like it, love it or leave it?

Like

Sharing pictures of my life with friends and family.

Don’t Like
Choosing a profile picture.

Like
Reading and seeing pictures of your lives.

Don’t Like
Political threads.

Like
Unexpected laughter from funny stories.

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Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school they go.

Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school they go.

Watching my two sons go off on their first day of school left me a mixed bag of emotions including being happy, sad, nostalgic, thoughtful, nervous, excited and a bit worried.

I spend a lot of time with kids in general and I get sort of attached.

That’s probably natural, right?

I wonder, however, where is the line between being and adult and a kid, a teacher or a parent and a friend.

My mom always said I was like a  mom to her. Ha ha ha. Yes, we are today very good friends. But crossing that line at times from being the parent or the teacher to being a friend is a very fine line, delicate too.

Perhaps what is best is to find a good balance and some days be friends when you are out having fun, say at a park or something, or other times, be the parent or teacher when it’s time to talk seriously.

It’s hard for me to fathom the school system now here in Italy as compared to what I’m used to in sunny southern California.

That’s why I love it. It’s SO different than the United States’ school system. God Bless America.

God bless the world for that matter.

The main difference is that here there aren’t lockers, sports events, dances associated with schools that I know of.

Did you read that?

Here there aren’t lockers, sports events, dances associated with schools that I know of.

I cannot WAIT until the ipod is diffused and my kids can stop hauling 20 pound backpacks full of text books back and forth. I’m exaggerating for literary purposes because the truth is that they only occasionally bring their books back and forth depending on if they have homework. I think the teacher keeps them on shelves. I cannot remember.

When I taught, the older kids in secondary school, jr. high, middle school and high school, the students had their backpacks, rucksack, on the floor near their desks and their pencil cases open on their desks. Except for the time the one girl whipped out her camera and thought it would be funny to post pictures on facebook. Still happens.

I’m off topic.

Topic.

What surprised me living here in Europe was to learn that my kindergarten through fifth grade teacher for my son was the SAME TWO TEACHERS from 8a to 4p every single day for five years.

Some parents like that. Obviously it depends on if you like your teachers or not. We liked ours. They have both changed this year after the first four years so my older son, who is 10, has two new teachers.

I don’t know about you but I’m fiercely protective over my children. I asked how school went. I heard that the teacher said the kids were grounded during break and had to do make up exercises for summer homework.

Say what?

That just about sent me to the Principal’s office. Okay, these are kids reporting but I do know from first hand experience that grounding kids during break is used as a punishment, but NOT ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Are they out of their minds?

Of course, it was only partially true. It was more like, a minute to review homework.

But I’m watching them like a hawk. I heard my son got reprimanded because he put his hand on the window to touch hands with his brother. WHAT? Again, my blood started to boil. I mean, reprimanding someone for brotherly love? But then I thought, okay, you or I weren’t there, we don’t know what happened, and perhaps it was disturbing the class or at an inappropriate moment.

No, it happened while waiting for lunch. Okay, I don’t like kids touching my windows either.

I need to take a serious step back however because I have to let my children go and live their own lives, at the same time trust that the teachers know what they are doing.

I know that the teachers have their work cut out for them, that teaching is one of the most difficult, challenging and rewarding jobs there is.

Unfortunately our educational system and national budget cuts have been effecting the school systems’ ability to thrive for years.

I did have a sweet moment however with my son this morning when he said he is worried about his new teacher being mean. I just said, Well, then you be nice. She probably needs it.

I asked him, You know how I get mad and angry sometimes? It’s only because I’m going through a rough time.

I asked him if he could try to see a little bit beyond just someone being mean and realize that perhaps she was that way because she had problems at home, or something. We don’t really know, do we, what problems someone is going through?

As my one friend, B says, don’t think it’s different out there for someone else. Everyone has their problems and worries.

Well, there you go. Off to a new start. Hope it is a good one. Sure of it. I plan on doing a list of goals. I’ve got a rough draft.

How about you. I’m so sorry. I went off on my life and schools. How have you been? Are your kids getting back to school? What do you think about parents and teachers being friends? What do you think about having one teacher for many years as opposed to having many teachers?

Thanks for dropping by. It’s nice to see you.

 

#6 My Amazing Friends also known as MAFSS guest M. Risser

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Running side by side friend.

Run the Hill by guest blogger Michele Risser

Run the hill is a phrase I use when things get hard. Run the hill is focus. Run the hill is determination. Run the hill is tenacity, strength and endurance. Running the hill is the thing you have to do to become a better runner.

On a long stretch of highway you can see the hill, ahead in the distance waiting for your arrival. There are certain things you must do as you approach it. You must unclench your fists and relax your shoulders. You must straighten your back and expand your chest. You must raise your head. Most importantly, you must turn up your music.

Stay focused.

As you begin the ascent, you must find a point just ahead of you to become your mini goal. It may be a crack in the road, a sign or a post, a tree or a flower. All you aim for is that next little goal. It is very important not to look, glance at, or focus on the top of the hill, it is overwhelming.

You must stay focused on your mini goal until you pass it and then hone in on the next crack, tree, post or flower until again you must select a new one.

As your music keeps your pace, as your eyes look forward, as your chest expands to receive oxygen and your head is held up to supply that oxygen, you begin to realize you are running the hill. Little by little, breath by breath, one leg and then the other stepping up, up, up. You are running the hill.

Jumping over obstacles.

Those things in life which are the hardest to do are the things we must do. They make us stronger, more patient, compassionate, they improve us.

They give us the experiences in life which require focus, determination, tenacity and perseverance.

Doing hard things helps us to grow. At times those hard things may seem overwhelming and so you set a mini-goal.

Perhaps solving one problem at a time, improving a fault little by little, mending a relationship, gaining knowledge, overcoming pain, hurt, anger, depression or addiction. One hour at a time, one day at a time, one lesson at a time, one achievement at a time.

Triumph

When you reach the crest of a hill and you know within a minute you are will be at the top, you must push with that one last burst of energy that is hidden deep inside of you, but is always there.

For a brief second, just an instant, you are able to see the view from the top of the hill. The view is glorious, spectacular, breath taking and not because of what you may see, but because of what you feel ~ your moment of triumph.

You will feel your strength, your determination, tenacity and endurance, all of the those characteristics that helped get you to the top of the hill.

You can do it. I believe in you.

Then, you begin to run, down, down. No longer is a mini goal needed. Your breath begins to relax, no need to concentrate on the song to keep pace.

For a moment you have a repose, a rest from the intensity of pushing yourself, from doing something physically and mentally challenging.

Even though you know that there will always be another hill, you immerse yourself in the glory of running without effort. You feel light, you are floating, you are free from the burden of climbing the hill and all you can do is look in wonder and gratitude at what is around you.

You feel like you can fly.

Becoming a stronger you.

We cannot avoid running the hill, we must run it when it is there before us. We must not be discouraged if it not our best run, or our strongest, or fastest or our most successful. Running the hill will be different every time, because all hills are different. The constant lies in us and the tools we use from experience, to make the run bearable, to finish. Remember that each time you run the hill, you become a stronger you.

Run the hill, run the hill, run the hill. It is what I repeat over and over in my mind as I make the climb, both in running and in life.

If you’d like more information about Michele and running you can leave a message here below, contact her on twitter, or contact her on facebook.

 

OOH, I LOVE THIS GIRL. NEW AND SHINY!

Some people have asked if they can send me a gift — are you freakin’ kidding me? Of course you can. Gifts are always welcome and greatly appreciated. New gifts will support: 1) Kiva 2) Me getting out to see my family 3) New paintings 4) You! Because you are awesome. Choose between: She’s funny $10 She’s freakin’ hilarious $20 She’s inspired me $50 Just for fun. $100.00 USD I’ll have what she’s having $500 I’ll drink the koolaid $1,000 Thanks!

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