You are currently browsing the monthly archive for May 2012.

Beyond Price: 

*Watching your favorite band perform live.

*Actually being there, at Rumsey Playfield Summerstage concert for the first Foster The People’s U.S tour opening.

*Feeling at an absolute physical and emotional high from the live beats and Mark Foster’s voice…without actually injecting anything. (living drug-free)

*Being surrounded by rows and rows of lines swarming with sweltering, smelly people young and old who have at least one thing in common- being fans of Foster The People.

*Thinking that the heat might of made Rumsey Playfield smell like a giant armpit, but it was undoubtedly thrilling to watch and experience all of the exhilaration of Foster the People’s music.

Beyond Price:

*Trying to memorize the moment when you are mixed with a massive blur of faces, all singing along to the sweetness of these lyrics:

“And every day that you want to waste, that you want to waste, you can

And every day that you want to wake up, and you want to wake, you can

And every day that you want to change, that you want to change, yeah

I’ll help you see it through ’cause I just really want to be with you” Waste by Foster the People

*Closing your eyes and suspending in time over music that you love.

Cubbie Fink (Foster the People)

Beyond Price: 

*Genuinely feeling in the present moment where you can’t get lost with plans of the future or thoughts of the past.

*Trying to come up with the words to express the perfect picture reality that was “Houdini” during the rain and thunderstorms and the marching band and all of the people going absolutely nuts with open happiness over the greatness of this song and this band.

*Having “Houdini” become the drumming in my chest.

Beyond Price:

*Having the lights blazing from the stage, glittering, lit up in a river of colors over every song.

*Having the whole crowd in sync, insatiable, becoming no one and anyone, becoming one.

*Having Foster the People’s unique beats on stage make you feel really alive, pumped up to do anything, everything, reach the impossible.

*Having the all-encompassing feeling over  “Broken Jaw” when the beat drops and kicks back again with the lyrics,

“Sometimes you find yourself waiting, Waiting for someone to come around/ And it’s hopeless, hoping to be found/ Then it arrives and says, “You’re perfect, my love” And I, I know why” Broken Jaw. 

Beyond Price: 

*The intangible energy of the band.

*The crowd clapping together.

*The raw urban beauty of music.

*Freezing all of these moments in your mind forever-May 29th, watching Foster The People perform

Thinking- this night, the whole world was on our side. 

Album cover


I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of listening to their music.

Beyond American: A Story of Patriotism and Pride

For this summer, I work part-time at a minor league baseball stadium selling beer. It is not a glamorous job by any means, nor are there a ton of benefits (other than cash tips and watching baseball for free). I also live in a military town (there is a Navy base and an Air Force base here), but never really noticed anything different about it. Until the two collided at the ball field.

It was the beginning of May, which is Military Appreciation Month, and our boys on the field had just come home from a 5-games series in another state. The announcer said that every game this month, a different section of the military will present the colors, military personnel will sing the national anthem, and there will be special fly-overs for certain games. I did not really take much notice until the opening ceremonies started. The Navy gentlemen presented the colors to the crowd, and as they marched on to the field, every military man and women stood, at attention, focused on the flag. I took notice. As the National Anthem began, these men and woman did not waiver in their focus nor their attention. And then the microphone cut out…the crowd could no longer hear the voice on the field singing about the rockets’ red glare. However, softly at first and then deafening by the end, the crowd began to sing. And all the while, the men and women did not lose focus nor attention. But the three Navy boys seating next to me started crying. As did I. Here we were, a stadium full of 5000 people, singing the National Athem. As the colors were presented. As the military was honored. As America was honored.

The 5-game home series left me in an emotional wreck. A Navy captain retired by walking the bases, ending under a tunnel of Navy gentlemen, in dress uniform, holding their swords. The Blue Angels fly over. The National Anthem was placed on a better sound system, but still the crowd could be heard. I sit here and type this, and my eyes are watering. And my heart is warm.

No matter the distress or distaste some people have with aspects of this country, be it our government, our economy, or whatever, that 5-game series at a baseball stadium is beyond price to me. I have never felt so proud to call this nation my home. Never had more faith in our service men and women. Never believed so strongly that underneath all of our individual crap, the citizens here are still united. We will carry the flag when asked or not. We will sing the National Anthem when prompted or not. We will stand with our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, cousins, aunts, uncles, neighbors, and whoever to just feel like we are still together.

And that pride, that overwhelming sense of “Dang, this is OUR home,” that acknowledgement of those lost, those here, and those yet to come, that unity…that was beyond price.


Alyssa Anderson currently lives in Pensacola, FL and is working towards her Master’s in Community Health Education, specializing in Health Promotion. Aside from kicking butt in school, she loves to read nonsense, attempt DIY crafts, and switch up her workouts daily. She feels her mission in life is to show employees that working 40+ hours a week is no excuse to sacrifice their personal, social, and financial health and wellness. 

Beyond Price: Cassie and her mom
Having a mother is something that everyone who has one takes for granted. Whether our moms are doling out advice we didn’t ask for, making the countless school lunches and home-cooked dinners we just expected, or telling us to drive safe when really they’d rather we just stay home, it’s easy to forget that these things are done out of love. But the more we transition into our own adulthoods, at least for me anyway, the more clear it becomes just how much my own mom sacrificed for my sake.
I remember hundreds of trips with my mom to and from school, which usually took no less than 45 minutes around the beltway. (That’s a long story in itself. Divorced parents, two homes, one school, yada yada.) I can also recall the many back-to-school clothes shopping trips she took me on (and the one pair of pants I refused to wear), the bows she put in my hair (all the way through fifth grade, against my will), and the manuscripts she’d written and hand off to me to read and copyedit (hence my love of writing).The memories that stick out most for me are the times we’d trek down to Tennessee to visit her mom and the rest of my family on her side. We’d spend a week, sometimes two, in the summers driving around the small town of Columbia with its clock tower, Piggly Wiggly, and center square. My mom was born in Columbia, lost her father very young there, dreamed of writing children’s books there, and was even the town’s Mule Day queen. I’m not sure she’ll be entirely thrilled I’ve shared this with you, but my momma was a beauty queen many times, and on Mule Day in particular, they paraded her around… on a mule.

I got to spend a lot of time with my grandmother, Donna Sue, during those visits to Tennessee. Every visit was filled with good southern cooking, reliable southern heat, and slow southern drawls. Every visit was a treasure, but even those I sometimes took for granted. When ovarian cancer cut Donna Sue’s life way short, I was just 14, my mom only 39. Maybe my mom took her mom for granted, too, growing up, but I know she didn’t in those last few months of her mother’s life. I know she wouldn’t now.

Which is why Mother’s Day is always a little bittersweet. Which is also why we should not only cherish our mothers– if we’re lucky enough to have one– on Mother’s Day, but also during the regular days when they’re telling us our shoes don’t really go with that outfit. Because not only does my mom give me financial support, a place to live, and dinner most weeknights– she also gives me love, strength, and encouragement. When I start thinking how life is hard (which I admit is often), I remember that she once had it harder. And she’s help set up my life so that, by comparison, my struggles are merely passing inconveniences. And I try to remind myself that every day.

 Cassie via @wittycassiehere is a freelance writer working in the publishing and advertising industry near Baltimore. She loves music, puppies, and pasta. When not writing, sleeping, or eating, Cassie can be found practicing her lip-synching skills and contemplating what appears to be an extra bone in her foot. She loves her mother, among other people, and blogs at

Life happens. 

One day you’re in love the next you are breaking up. One day you have an acceptable amount of money in your checking’s account, the next you are penniless. One day you tell your girl all of your stories, the next she is spreading them.  One day you are friends with someone, the next not so much. One day you’ll have a job, the next you are unemployed. One day you have a place and a home, the next you are on your own in the wilderness or the streets or couching it at a friend’s apartment. One day you are as healthy as you can possibly be, the next you have cancer (sensitive subject, I know, but I’ve been a witness). One day you are a dancer or an athlete, the next you broke a bone and have to change career paths. One day you’ll have a path, the next you are lost. One day someone is there, the next that person is gone. One day things will suck so bad all you wish to do is disappear into the air or jump off a cliff. The next you are the happiest, most hopeful, most fulfilled you-you could ever be.

 Time happens. 

One day everything you can possibly imagine can go offhandedly wrong, the next day everything will be right and bright again. One day you are acting like an angst-ridden adolescent over a break-up, the next you are a wiser more complete woman for having lost him. One day you are a cliche of the broken-hearted woman, the next you have found someone to share the rest of your life with. One day you are hoarding yourself looking for a job, any job, the next you  land on something that actually fits perfectly. One day you are broke, the next you are popping champagne like you won a championship game without worries. One day you are just as lost as any other day, the next an idea pops up that changes your life entirely. One day you are caring only for yourself, the next you are a mother caring more for your baby than anything in the world. One day you are the same age, the next your are a year older.

Life happens. 

And still seasons shift. The clock continues clicking. The sun rises. The roosters cock-a-doo-dle-doo. Time goes on the same as always, whether you choose to be active or not. The night cycles into the day and back, whether you choose to live or not. The seconds march on whether you are having a dramatic life changing event or not. The minutes parade whether you are in love, heartbroken, lonely, afraid, rich, healthy, diabetic, fatherless, careless, educated, broke, full, depressed, happy, or not. The hours proceed to trust onward whether you choose to do something about a situation or not. Days unfold, and just like that people will flush toilets, and make coffee, and shop for groceries, and go to their 9 to 5, and work out, and have meals, and generally go on with their daily routines.

Time goes on without discriminating. And thank God for that because TIME is everything.