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Ghost Rider – Travels on the Healing Road by Neil Peart June 28, 2010

In honour of an award-winning documentary having been released as well as a celebration of their nearly 40 years of seriously, awesomely cool music, I recommend this book to everyone. Written by the talented drummer/lyricist of legendary Canadian rock band RUSH, Neil Peart underwent a series of unspeakable tragedies-the loss of his daughter in a tragic car accident and then the death of his wife due to cancer and a broken heart almost a year later. He was left to contemplate whether or not he was interested in continuing to live, and if so, what that life would be like. I cannot even begin to imagine trying to come back from something like that, but Mr. Peart did find a way. Due to circumstances, the band was on a five-year hiatus. This memoir details those tragedies as well the way he found to cope. He hopped on his trusty BMW motorcycle and traveled over 55,000 miles from Quebec to Alaska to the Antarctic Circle down through the western parts of Canada and the United States into Mexico and further down into Central America. During his travels, he slowly came back to humanity and eventually found the photographer who was to become his second wife. He did return to continue his work with RUSH bandmates Alex Lifeson and Geddy Lee, releasing ‘Vapor Trails’ which featured several songs about his sojourn. The band returned to the road and ended that tour with three amazingly successful dates in Brazil, including one show performed for the largest audience ever in the band’s history.

Even if you don’t love this band and their music, you will love this book. Mr. Peart’s writing style is somewhat wry, but it is extremely descriptive and full of humour. As private a person as he is, he lets the reader into his psyche as he stuggles to cope with the events of his life. That storyline alone will touch the reader to the core. This book will also appeal to armchair travellers as well as motorcycle enthusiasts all over. Mr. Peart also has an insatiable interest in the world around him and constantly reads. He also recommends various books throughout this narrative-sort of like a book review within a book review. A plus is that he includes lyrics he has written and the band has recorded, some of which seem extremely applicable to his life even though they were written well before the tragedies. If you are a fan of this band, it is almost like a playlist in your head as you read the lyrical snippets. He also indirectly gives clues for areas to visit that are off the beaten track.

No one could ever completely get over the pain of losing one loved one, let alone two. However, he has managed to find a way to survive and even thrive. He and his new wife celebrated the birth of their daughter in August 2009. The band continues to record and tour. Neil, Alex and Geddy have continued to be honored and their strong friendship is evident in everything they do together. The life-affirming outcome alone is so worth reading this book.

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Getting Older (or How I Learned to Love Dramamine!) June 2, 2010

Growing up as the oldest of six kids, I used to love car trips. Since we were such a large family, our vehicle of choice was usually a full-sized station wagon. One of the wagons my parents owned had a ‘secret seat’ in the back andmy siblings and I would fight over who got to sit there. Usually, my sister Felicia and I won because we were the oldest two. Traveling by car was totally fun, and I never had to worry about motion sickness. I used to be able to read in the car for hours…LOL! I suffered no ill effects whatsoever. ūüôā

Unfortunately, that has changed dramatically over the past ten years or so. I find it difficult to travel by car, especially if I am in the back seat. I start looking like Mr. Spock (minus the pointy ears) and my stomach feels like it has spent several weeks in space walk training. I used to just tough it out and pray that we would stop often. When that that didn’t work, I started using that popular motion sickness remedy Dramamine. Dramamine works like a charm, but I think it works so well because it makes me drowsy as hell and I end up sleeping through the trip…what a bummer!

I just saw a giveaway promotion on milkandcuddles.com [http://milkandcuddles.com/2010/06/30-itunes-certificate-psi-bands-giveaway/] that I am so excited about! The giveaway includes a set of Psi bands as well as a $30 iTunes card.

According to their website: Psi Bands are drug-free wrist bands for the relief of nausea most commonly caused by morning sickness (pregnancy), motion sickness/travel, chemotherapy, and anesthesia. And as you can see…they are also super cute!

As you can see from the picture, they are super cute! I would love to have a set so I can enjoy car trips. The iTunes card doesn’t hurt, either. Studies have shown that music can have a positive influence over your mood, physical well being, etc. That card could buy a fair amount of happiness in the form of my fave artists and songs. [Might I offer the following recommendations: RUSH¬†(These¬†3 super-talented guys have a couple of new songs out and they are my all-time faves!); HEM¬†(they did that song in the Liberty Mutual insurance commercials-great band!); Nick Drake (His songs were featured on Serendipity and Garden State soundtracks. LOVE this guy!); Noisettes (saw them featured on Sundance Channel’s Live From Abbey Road program-very cool sound! Very cool program, too! Check it out at www.sundancechannel.com!); and David Gray. Oh, and I think Texas guitar whiz kid Eric Johnson is supposed to have new release, too. Actually, I could make a lot of recommendations, but I guess I will leave that for another blog entry…LOL! My iTunes has some truly eclectic¬†selecions. :-)]¬†That goes along way in relieving motion sickness, too…LOL!

Yeah, getting older really sucks sometimes, BUT the perks are sometimes worth it, especially if you happen to win something for your pains! Now, if I could only win RUSH tix for their tour this summer…hhhmmmmmmm…

Psi anti-nausea bands