Teen Binge-Drinking

Last night while I was making Lifelines I watched a documentary on TV about teen alcohol abuse. It's one thing to see images of 20-somethings wasted on alcohol, but quite another to see precious young 13 and 14-year olds binge- drinking with their only goal to get spewing drunk!

Am I so old-fashioned that I just don't get it? Where is the temptation in trying to reach the point that you: can't stand up, don't know who you are or where you are, have vomited and pissed (or worse) all over yourself, and are incapable of defending yourself if you needed to?
The documentary camera team followed ambulances on a typical weekend as they collected HUNDREDS of teens who were passed out and injured or involved in road accidents because of a voluntary action on their part.

I don't get it!
Don't get me wrong. I drink alcohol. Usually in the winter when our heating isn't working. Aside from that, I just don't seem to need it to find life fascinating and entertaining.
Do I sound holier-than-thou?
Now let's get practical. Who's paying for all of those ambulance trips to pick up these kids? They certainly aren't! I am. And you are!
I have an idea: I think that everytime somebody has to be picked up by an ambulance because they haven't controlled their drinking, they should be fined. Maybe 100 euros per trip. That's not a lot, but for a teen it's not a little. I wonder if it might make someone reconsider taking that "one more drink" that puts them over the edge.
And I think that if they have to be picked up twice, they must attend mandatory alcohol abuse prevention classes. How will those classes be paid for? With the fines that they have paid!
What do you think?


Yesterday I was in Kangaroo Studio working with Florian on my new album. I was really pleased to find that Johannes Falk was there putting the finishing touches on his new album, "Pilgerreise". Of course I asked to sit in and listen for a while. What a treat that was!
I heard bits and pieces of several songs from the album. All of them composed and texted by Joe. The sound is very dense but Joe's super interesting voice is well in the foreground of the mix. The texts are not complicated, but they are rich. The pictures are strong. And the melodies are such that just when you think you know where it's going to go, it takes a turn that grabs your curiosity again.
The story line of the songs is based on John Bunyon's classic christian tale, "The Pilgrim's Progress", first published in 1678! I used the same book as the basis for my album, "Welt von 1000 Wegen". I am so pleased that this young, cool singer has digested this beautiful metaphorical story for a new generation of readers.
Sitting in there for this short listening session was kind of like smelling somebody cooking a wonderful meal. It makes your mouth water and you can't wait to sink your teeth into it!

Sometimes it seems like there are so many thoughts and ideas whirring around in my befuddled brain, that I can't sort through them to find out what is important and what isn't. Do you know what I mean? Maybe a weekend at a Kloster where no one is allowed to talk would clear my head.
Or writing stuff down. That always helps!!!!
First and foremost, I'm busy working on a new solo album. At the suggestion of Markus Bonnert, the A&R from Gerth Medien (record company) it will include new recordings of old favorites. After polling the public for some time, we now have the tracklist set. The album will also include 3 new songs that Florian and I are writing /have written together.
I've decided on a title and a photographer and the musicians who will play on the album. Each of those is a big hurdle in the decision-making process. But, oh how I love this whole creative phase of album-making!
You may have been aware of the RTL "Das Supertalent 2010" casting show which ended last December with Freddy Sahin-Scholl winning by a landslide voting margin. What you may not know is that the songs that Freddy sang for the TV show, and on his new album, almost all have lyrics written by me! The album has moved from #4 to #3 in the German album charts and is #4 in Austria and #12 in Switzerland.
I'm amazed by Freddy's courage and belief in this album. And I'm so proud to have a part in it. He called me last week, between TV appearances, to ask me to work with him on his second album. It will be released this year by Sony Music.
After completely selling out of Lifelines (my line of necklaces) during the Christmas tour in December, I'm super busy making new ones - A) to sell at our/my concerts and -B) to finally put some new Lifelines on my web shop. The shop has been empty for a month now, but it seems like as soon as I get a few Lifelines made, we have a concert and they're sold out again! This is such a nice predicament to be in!
Someone suggested that I "farm out" the making of the Lifelines but I just can't do that. I make each one by myself, by hand, and pray for the person who will eventually buy and wear this particular Lifeline. I can't ask somebody else to do that !!
I just want you to know that I'm making new Lifelines as fast as I can. BUT I have another concert on Saturday. Whatever is not sold there, I will photograph and put on the webshop. OK?
So, that's the big stuff. There's lots of little stuff that I could write about, but I'll save that for later!

Business Meeting.

An interesting thing is going on in my living room right now. The ladies who sell Thermomix in this region are having a business meeting at my dining room table. The team leader had a really cool idea last summer: as a motivational tool for sales, her ladies earned tokens that they could use to pay for.... wait for it...... LIFELINES ! So, the ladies have been working really hard selling their products and collecting tokens.
Today, I decorated the living room and dining room with Lifelines, Memories, rings, spoons, book marks and lots of candles and snacks. After the business part of the evening the ladies can look, touch and try everything on. And then pick out what they want and pay for them with their tokens.
Then I redeem the tokens with the team leader for cash.
I think it's a great idea and I had a lot of fun decorating for the ladies, even though I am pretty tired from singing a concert last night. Of course, the ladies in the living room don't even know that I sing. In fact, the only thing they know about me is that I make jewelry, speak German with an American accent and that I live in a little village on a tiny street that is awfully hard to find. I kind of like "being" that person.

Smell the roses.

I've been asked to write some encouraging and WISE statements to be included in a calendar for women to go on sale next year for Brunnen Verlag.
Do you know how hard it is to be wise on command???? I mean, normally, it is very easy for me to be wise. In fact, I'm wise every day. All the time. But if someone asks me to be wise......... uhhh, nothing!
So, I carried around a little piece of paper for a few weeks in my purse. And whenever I said something wise, I would get out my little piece of paper and write it down. (much to the annoyance of whomever I was talking to! )
Today I changed purses because my old one got soaked in a torrential rain this morning. And found in the bottom of my handbag this crumpled, barely legible piece of paper containing all the wisdom I could muster the last few weeks.
This is what was written on the paper:

"It's the imperfections that make you fascinating. People who try to be 'perfect' spend way too much time doing it, usually to the detriment of other more interesting facets of their life. "
"If you think he's not listening- he actually probably is. He just doesn't know what to say."
"It's NEVER fifty/ fifty. "
" '.....THIS TOO SHALL PASS' . This makes the sad man happy and the happy man sad. The sick man hopeful and the healthy man fearful. This makes the poor man work and the wealthy man rest. "
"Be glad your husband is different from you. You don't need a Mini-Me. So stop trying to turn him into one."
"Relationships, like seasons, are cyclical. If you don't like how things are now- just wait. They'll change. "
"If you want to stay close to your son, always act like you like his girlfriend."

Is all the brilliance of the universe encapsulated in those statements? Nope. I sure hope not. 'Cause that would be pretty sorry!
But it is definitely stuff I've learned and/or are learning. Becoming wise is an on-going process. (Was that another wise statement??!!)
What I really wanted to write though, might not apply to all women. But it certainly applies to mothers.
You know when your children are small and you say, "This is my son/daughter."?. And you kind of have the feeling that they are your possessions and you take them a little bit for granted and they get on your nerves a lot and are a complete and utter joy and adventure? And there are never enough hours in the day for everyone and everything?
Then those children grow up and one day you realize, once and for all, they are NOT your possessions in the least! Because, without asking your permission, they've grown up and are gone. They no more belong to you than the rose blooming in my garden.
And I still hear myself saying with a large dose of pride, "This is my son!"
And I still take crazy amounts of photographs because I know that Luke getting his high school diploma from the European School in Karlsruhe and then playing guitar for the graduation ceremony will only happen once.
And Alex receiving his Masters diploma in Business Administration from University of East Anglia in Norwich, England will only happen once and it is worth the flight to England to be there and photograph that moment.
I remember being advised so many times when my children were babies, "Oh, enjoy this time, because it will pass so quickly".
And I'm learning that the baby age was actually slow in passing when compared to my sons' walking across the stage to receive their well-earned diplomas.
Those moments are a heartbeat, a blink of the eye, a breathing in and breathing out- and then they're over.
What I really wanted to write on my little piece of paper was something wise that I have learned that sounds probably too Buddhist or Tao for a lot of people. But here goes:
Live Now. Consciously. Stop and smell the roses. They will be gone too soon.

"Life is all memory except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going." Tennessee Williams


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