Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

Manic Monday Edition #1

(Note: I took down the "Cruisin'" video - couldn't kill the autoplay for some reason, and it was buggin' me. You can see it here.)

OK, I'll give it a go...saw this on It's a Blog Eat Blog World...the theme word for today, Monday, January 29, 2007 is "cruising". The first thing that comes to mind is getting on a ship and heading down to the islands. I'd like to share some photos from my October cruise to the, friends, food and LOTS of rum!

Here's the "tail" of the Carnival Victory:

Docked at Nassau

Looking out at the Atlantic from our Nassau dock

Debarking (sounds like something you'd do to a bad dog, doesn't it?)

Back to the ship after a fruitful visit to the Bacardi rum factory

Now this is what I'm talkin' about...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Friday Focus

Someone sent me this email and I feel compelled to post it...for me, it speaks volumes...

A young wife sat on a sofa on a hot humid day, drinking iced tea and visiting with her Mother. As they talked about life, about marriage, about the responsibilities of life and the obligations of adulthood, the mother clinked the ice cubes in her glass thoughtfully and turned a clear, sober glance upon her daughter.

"Don't forget your Sisters," she advised, swirling the tea leaves to the bottom of her glass. "They'll be more important as you get older. No matter how much you love your husband, no matter how much you love the children you may have, you are still going to need Sisters. Remember to go places with them now and then; do things with them."

"Remember that 'Sisters' means ALL the women... your girlfriends, your daughters, and all your other women relatives too. You'll need other women. Women always do."

"What a funny piece of advice!" the young woman thought. "Haven't I just gotten married? Haven't I just joined the couple-world? I'm now a married woman, for goodness sake! A grown-up! Surely my husband and the family we may start will be all I need to make my life worthwhile!"

But she listened to her Mother. She kept contact with her Sisters and made more women friends each year. As the years tumbled by, one after another, she gradually came to understand that her Mom really knew what she was talking about. As time and nature work their changes and their mysteries upon a woman, Sisters are the mainstays of her life.

After more than 50 years of living in this world, here is what I've learned:


Time passes.
Life happens.
Distance separates.
Children grow up.
Jobs come and go.
Love waxes and wanes.
Men don't do what they're supposed to do.
Hearts break.
Parents die.
Colleagues forget favors.
Careers end.

Sisters are there, no matter how much time and how many miles are between you. A girl friend is never farther away than needing her can reach. When you have to walk that lonesome valley and you have to walk it by yourself, the women in your life will be on the valley's rim, cheering you on, praying for you, pulling for you, intervening on your behalf, and waiting with open arms at the valley's end.

Sometimes, they will even break the rules and walk beside you...Or come in and carry you out.

Girlfriends, daughters, granddaughters, daughters-in-law, sisters, sisters-in-law, Mothers, Grandmothers, Auntie's, nieces, cousins, and extended family, all bless our life!

The world wouldn't be the same without women, and neither would I. When we began this adventure called womanhood, we had no idea of the incredible joys or sorrows that lay ahead. Nor did we know how much we would need each other.

Every day, we need each other still.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Thursday Thirteen

Well, The Couch has gone and labeled me a musicphile 'cuz I know a few tunes. I attribute that label to two things: 1) I'm as old as dirt, so I've heard a few songs and 2) I've always been exposed to a wide range of music, be it by family, friends, husbands, no-longer husbands, or even my own initiative. Bond - thank you again for putting my name in lights! In tribute to my new designation, I've put together a list of my favorite types of music, in no particular order and by no means inclusive of all artists in each category. I have all of these on my iPod and listen to them regularly. And when I find a new genre that I like, I'm usually beating a path to Amazon or iTunes to buy the latest CD. So not only am I a musicphile, but I guess you could call me a good consumer, right??

Here's my list (and a few sample tunes to boot):

1. Classical - all the usual suspects...Handel, Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, Mozart, Rossini, name it. I'm particularly fond of Tchaikovsky.

Air On The G String
By Arthur Fiedler

2. Big Band - Glenn Miller, Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Artie Shaw, Brian Setzer. In another life, I think I was a hostess at a USO club and jitterbugged my way through the war. I'm going to put Frank Sinatra in this group, too - I have most of his CD collections.

In The Mood
By Glenn Miller

3. Latin American, particularly Brazilian - Antonio Carlos Jobim is my favorite. Tito Puente is also a keeper.

Garota De Ipanema
By Antonio Carlos Jobim

4. Country & Western - yes, I watched Hee Haw and knew all the words to "Where O Where Are You Tonight?". The Last Picture Show got me hooked on Hank Williams, Sr., and I grew up listening to The Old Dominion Barn Dance.

Hey Good Lookin'
By Hank Williams

5. More Contemporary Country - here I include my idol, Patsy Cline, although she definitely could land in the category above. There was nobody like her and never will be again. Also, Kenny Rogers, Brooks and Dunn, The Judds, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Brad Paisley, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker...just to name a few.

Brown Eyed Handsome Man
By Tanya Tucker

6. Reggae/Ska - I was introduced to this in the 70's by a Jamaican buddy. I had tickets to see Bob Marley and the Wailers during his Uprising Tour, but the show was canceled when he succumbed to cancer in 1981.

Three Little Birds
By Bob Marley

7. Funk/Disco - ok, slap me silly, but I love it!! Give me some Parliament/Funkadelic, Ohio Players, Earth Wind and Fire, K C and the Sunshine Band any day and I'll dance 'til I drop!

By Parliament

8. Jazz - lots of musicians fall under this category, don't they? Stan Getz, Pat Methany, Bob James, Grover Washington, Weather Report, etc. - love 'em all.

Westchester Lady
By Bob James

9. Bluegrass - Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs, Dolly Parton, Allison Kraus. One of my favorite CD's is the soundtrack from O Brother, Where Art Thou?

I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow
By Alison Krauss

10. Rock - this is such a broad category that I can't even begin to list all of my favorite artists. I would be remiss if I didn't at least include Elvis in this category since he still rocks my world! I like to keep an open mind, but I've never been partial to acid rock or punk rock. Maybe somebody new will come along and change my mind.

Rip It Up
By Elvis Presley

11. Rhythm and Blues - first and foremost, I must list Ray Charles at the top of this category. I'll also include Jerry Lee Lewis, James Brown, many of the Motown artists, Tina Turner, and Michael Jackson.

Night Time Is The Right Time (2)
By Ray Charles

12. Miscellaneous (?) - includes New Age (Kitaro), show tunes from Broadway and movies, Dinah Washington, Sally Oldfield...artists I can't fit into the other categories.

A Sunday Kind Of Love
By Dinah Washington

13. OK, here it knew it was coming...MODERN WHOMP...that's right, the latest music genre. Created by Taylor Hicks, it's "like funk, soul, jazz, blues, a little bit of hip-hop beats and rhythms." Can you see why I like it? It's got a little bit of everything, all wrapped up in a bodacious package that has given me a hope that I will start buying new music again. As Taylor said back in August, "it's time to bring some real music back to *** pop music!!!" I think the boy said a mouthful!!!

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Friday, January 19, 2007

I have a few questions...

Why do we press harder on a remote control when we know the batteries are getting dead?

Why do banks charge a fee on "insufficient funds" when they know there is not enough money?

Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

Why doesn't glue stick to the bottle?

Why do they use sterilized needles for death by lethal injection?

Why doesn't Tarzan have a beard?

Why does Superman stop bullets with his chest, but ducks when you throw a revolver at him?

Why do Kamikaze pilots wear helmets?

Whose idea was it to put an "S" in the word "lisp"?

If people evolved from apes, why are there still apes?

Why is it that no matter what color bubble bath you use the bubbles are always white?

Is there ever a day that mattresses are not on sale?

Why do people constantly return to the refrigerator with hopes that something new to eat will have materialized?

Why do people keep running over a string a dozen times with their vacuum cleaner, then reach down, pick it up, examine it, then put it down to give the vacuum one more chance?

Why is it that no plastic bag will open from the end on your first try?

How do those dead bugs get into those enclosed light fixtures?

When we are in the supermarket and someone rams our ankle with a shopping cart then apologizes for doing so, why do we say, "It's all right?" Well, it isn't all right, so why don't we say, "That hurt, you stupid idiot?"

Why is it that whenever you attempt to catch something that's falling off the table you always manage to knock something else over?

In winter why do we try to keep the house as warm as it was in summer when we complained about the heat?

How come you never hear father-in-law jokes?

And my FAVORITE......

The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four persons is suffering from some sort of mental illness. Think of your three best friends -- if they're okay, then it's you.

Enjoy your weekend, everyone!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

No Time for TT Today

This song is running thru my head today for some reason (one of my favorite bands of all times, btw):

Dialogue (Parts One & Two)
By Chicago

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

For Ann


My brain is mush...

and I've been trying to think of something clever and witty to write about. Alas, all I can muster is a collection of some of my favorite pithy sayings...enjoy!!!

Everyone has a photographic memory. Some just don't have film.

A day without sunshine is like, night.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

I feel like I'm diagonally parked in a parallel universe.

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say will be
misquoted, then used against you.

I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.

Honk if you love peace and quiet.

Pardon my driving; I'm reloading.

Despite the cost of living, have you noticed how it remains so

Nothing is fool-proof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of.

Support bacteria - they're the only culture some people have.

When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane,
going the wrong way.

The colder the X-ray table, the more of your body is required on it.

To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many
is research.

To succeed in politics, it is often necessary to rise above your

You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.

The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

Monday is an awful way to spend 1/7th of your life.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

If you must choose between two evils, pick the one you've never
tried before.

If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple of

How many of you believe in telekinesis? Raise my hands....

I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.

Everybody repeat after me....."We are all individuals."

Love may be blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

Borrow money from pessimists--they don't expect it back.

Half the people you know are below average.

A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

If at first you don't succeed, then skydiving definitely isn't for

Friday, January 12, 2007

Just Some Friday Stuff...

Heard this on the news this morning on my way to work and found this article in the local paper:

Panel's in tune with ban on 'phony' bands
Bill would protect the rights of original recording artists


Jan 12, 2007

Count the tears, up on a roof or under the boardwalk, if you play a music gig in Virginia and call yourself The Drifters but you're not.

If you're doing that kind of thing, Del. David B. Albo, R-Fairfax, a self-described'70s metal head, wants you to feel the pain.

Albo's Truth in Music Advertising Act was endorsed by the House of Delegates Commerce and Labor Committee yesterday afternoon by a 20-1 vote.

The legislation carries a penalty of between $5,000 and $15,000 for anyone advertising or holding a live musical performance in Virginia making false or misleading connections between a performing and a recording group.

"Say you want to see The Drifters," said Albo. "[And] there's not a single guy in that band who was ever in The Drifters. It's consumer fraud. It happens all the time."

Albo's bill, which heads to the House floor, would not apply to performing groups that:

* own a registered trademark;

* have at least one member who was in the original recording group that has a legal right to the group name;

* give a performance identified in all promotional materials as a tribute to the original group or that could not be confused with the recording group.

Albo said he is also trying to protect the original recording artists who would find it too costly to go to court to defend their rights. "A lot of these guys I know didn't make the kind of money you'd think they would," he said.

The legislation came to Albo by way of former Sha Na Na singer Jon Bauman, a.k.a. Bowzer, chairman of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame's Truth in Music Committee.

Bills similar to Albo's have been enacted in Pennsylvania, South Carolina and five other states and are making progress in three more states, Bauman said in a phone interview from Connecticut yesterday.

Albo's bill -- appropriately numbered 1969 -- did not spin its way through the committee like a 3-minute, made-for-radio song. Some lawmakers questioned the need for the bill, and others made minor changes to it.

For example, at the urging of Del. Terry G. Kilgore, R-Scott, the bill was amended to make it clear that people booking a performing group could not be fined unless they knew the group was misrepresenting itself.

Bauman said the law in Pennsylvania has been applied in a couple of cases, and promoters were forced to change their advertising and offer refunds. Concert venues will be more careful whom they book and will become the first line of defense against the phony groups, he predicted.

The legislation has drawn bipartisan support across the country with small opposition coming from the promoters of phony groups, Bauman said. "What we're fighting here is a sophisticated form of identity theft," he said.

So, whadya think...????? I have my own opinion. I'm not against the basic premise of this proposal, but I question wasting time on something like this when there are much more pressing issues in this Commonwealth(ummm...let's see...transportation, taxes, gang violence, education, yada yada yada). Enuff said...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Thursday Thirteen #4

This meme is in memory of my sweet mother, who would have been 88 years old on January 9th. She went to heaven in May of 2005, and I think of her every day and still miss her terribly.

Thirteen Important Things I Learned From My Mother

1. How to stretch a dollar.

She could make money last longer than anyone else I've ever met - she definitely got that trait from my grandfather. She was forever "hiding" 20 dollar bills from herself and was tickled when she'd "find" them.

2. How to keep a clean house.

You could always be sure that our house was as clean as a whistle, and she was a firm believer in a thorough spring and fall cleaning. I must say that I've fallen down on the job a bit in this regard (especially since last January, when Taylor Hicks came into my living room!), but I've made a resolution to do much better in the "neat and tidy" realm during 2007.

3. Practice good handwriting.

My mother's handwriting was absolutely flawless, and she was schooled at a time when cursive handwriting was a must. I have many of the cards and letters she sent me over the years and I still marvel at her penmanship. I definitely inherited that trait from her, as I pride myself on my handwriting.

4. Study hard in school.

I never had problems in school because she was so encouraging and helpful, especially during my high school years.

5. How to sew.

I learned a great deal from my grandmother on this front, but my mother sewed most of my clothes when I was a child and encouraged me to take Home Economics in high school (EGADS!!!). I am very thankful for that encouragement...I can still make a dress from a pattern (if I only had the time!) and recently made some drapes for a friend.

6. How to bake.

OK, I'm no Julia Child, but I can make bread, biscuits, cakes, pies, cookies, and my mother's fabulous potato rolls. She taught me how to knead the dough, let it rise (correctly), and pinch off just enough to make the perfect size dinner roll.

7. Have a strong work ethic.

My mother grew up during the Great Depression, and she watched firsthand as her parents struggled to make ends meet. Although she did not work outside the home while my siblings and I were growing up, she later became a U.S. Postmaster and continued working well past retirement. I feel fortunate to have been witness to the dedicated work ethic of both of my parents.

8. Be strong in times of adversity.

I have never met a stronger woman in my life. When times were hard, she managed to rise above those difficulties. I so wish I had even one ounce of her strength.

9. Laugh at the silly things in life.

She taught me never to take things too seriously and to see the fun side of life. Hmmm...I think I need to get better at this one...

10. Make a MEAN macaroni and cheese and Thanksgiving dressing.

There's definitely an art to this, and my brothers and sisters and their kids are forever asking me for the recipes. How can I tell them that there's really NO recipe? I watched my mother make these, and she never wrote down how to do it. It was all in her head, and now it's all in MY head.

11. Follow your dreams.

When my mother graduated from high school, she wanted to become a nurse. Her father was (for some reason) very much against this, so my mother went to business school and worked as a secretary until she married. Mother always told me that I could be anything I wanted to be, and encouraged me when I wanted to go to college and enter the health sciences/medical field. I will always be grateful to her for this encouragement.

12. Say your prayers.

From as far back as I can remember, she stood by me as I said my "Now I lay me down to sleep..." Every night, before my head hits the pillow, I still say my prayers. Thanks, Mama.

13. Have strong faith.

My brothers and sisters and I watched as Alzheimer's slowly took our mother away from us. We could not have done it without a strong belief in God and his incredible power and mercy. And we got that from our mother.

I love you Mama...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007