The Mind Wobbles

So many things to absorb, think about, deal with and put up with - it simply makes the mind wobble...

Thursday, November 30, 2006

YAY! NaBloPoMo is over!

I did NaBloPoMo - and it wasn't horrible. A couple of times I went blank, I'll admit, but I "wung it" and I'm glad I did.

Congratulations to all who succeeded - we rock!


Ban the "N-Word"?

Jackson Calls For Entertainment Industry N-Word Ban
Initiative Spurred By Michael Richards' Racial Rant
November 27, 2006

Los Angeles-- The Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling on the entertainment industry to stop using the racial slur that Michael Richards used against hecklers in a Los Angeles comedy club.

Jackson and others told reporters Monday that they'll meet with television networks, film companies and musicians to talk about the n-word.


I absolutely agree with Jackson regarding use of the word. The word has never been part of *my* vocabulary. While I understood the concept presented a few years back about the black community "taking back the word", I think the idea back-fired and wound up hurting the cause more than helping it.

I still cringe when I hear hip-hop artists using it, and I am completely apalled when I hear white kids using it.

I know a word is just a word and only has the weight you allow it to have, but as I've written before, my concern is the desensitization aspect. If heard often enough it begins to sound right - and for many people, myself included, it isn't right, it's not OK.

Having said that, I do not agree with Jackson's call to not buy the Seinfeld DVD set.

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Color Me Shocked and Awed...NOT!

Report: Kid Rock Blew Up At 'Borat' Screening
Stars File For Divorce

DATED: 12:40 pm EST November 28, 2006

"A star-studded duo is heading for divorce after just four months of matrimony..."

So Pamela Anderson Lee Anderson Lee Ritchie is divorcing Kid Rock (aka Robert Ritchie). Big surprise.

That muffled noise you heard yesterday was the world's collected "DUH"! ( I think I've written this before about Britney and whatshisface).

Well, at least they stopped before they spawned. Talk about a geneological tree that doesn't need to grow ...


Must See TV

OK, we're almost done with NaBloPoMo, I'm scraping the bottom of the barrel here...

Here is my current (some shows have gone on a break until February) *must see TV list*, shows that I watch religiously, either in real-time or via my TIVO-like substance:

(I think these are the correct days, but they've been switching stuff around lately)

Monday: "Heroes", "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"

Tuesday: "Gilmore Girls", "House"

Wednesday: "Jericho"

Thursday: "Grey's Anatomy", "Men in Trees"

Friday "Monk"

Sunday: "Brothers and Sisters"

What do you watch regularly?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Book Review - "Take Big Bites" by Linda Ellerbee

I loved this book! In this travel and food memoir Ellerbee is a witty, smart, entertaining writer with the ability to take you with her whether she's on a writer's retreat in a small town in Santorino, befriending a child on the streets of Kabul or eating Beluga caviar with Malcolm Forbes during the Statue of Liberty's centennial. Most chapters conclude with related recipes, which seem *doable*.

The writing is very easy to read, but I found myself reading it slowly because I didn't want the book to end. While she is very funny and sarcastic, her feelings for her children, her friends and her parnter shine through. She is self-effacing and aware of her faults, but still has embraced herself and inspires you to feel good about yourself as well.

I look forward to reading other books by Ellerbee and heartily recommend this book to everyone. I already gave a copy to a friend!


Monday, November 27, 2006

Stolen Post - Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

I stole this meme from Purplepassion who stole it from Dixiepeach - what can I say? I'm lazy and it's been a long month of posting. Thanks for the material ladies!

1. When you looked at yourself in the mirror today, what was the first thing you thought?
I'm hungry.
2. How much cash do you have on you?

3. What’s a word that rhymes with “DOOR?”

4. Favorite planet?
Saturn...I like the rings.

5. Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone?
My friend Johanna.
6. What is your favorite ring tone on your phone?
The one I currently have - "Dancing Queen".
7. What shirt are you wearing?
An aqua paisley print top of a shorts set.
8. Do you “label” yourself?
No, I leave that to others.
9. Name the brand of the shoes you’re currently wearing?
10. Bright or Dark Room?
11. What do you think about the person who took this survey before you?
I think she's a wonderful, funny, strong woman.
12. What does your watch look like?
Timex two-tone with a the date, oh and it's one of those where if I push the button thingy it lights up in blue.
13. What were you doing at midnight last night?
In bed reading.
14. What did your last text message you received on your cell say?
Happy Thanksgiving!
15. Where is your nearest 7-11?
I have no idea, I guess somewhere on Kendall Drive.
16. What's a word that you say a lot?
17. Who told you he/she loved you last?
My husband.
18. Last furry thing you touched?
My friend's dog.
19. How many drugs have you done in the last three days?
Lots of prescription pills
20. How many rolls of film do you need developed?
21. Favorite age you have been so far?

22. Your worst enemy?
I don’t have any, as far as I know.
23. What is your current desktop picture?
At the office it's one of the Windows freebies, the one that looks like a South of France house with a blue rake; at home; my laptop has one of my WoW pictures.
24. What was the last thing you said to someone?

"I love you"
25. If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to fly what would it be?
The money.
26. Do you like someone?
I like lots of people
27. The last song you listened to?

Chopin's "Minute Waltz" playing at the Korean restaurant last night
28. What time of day were you born?
Around 8 a.m.
29. What’s your favorite number?
30. Where did you live in 1987?
Miami, Florida.
31. Are you jealous of anyone?

32. Is anyone jealous of you?
I don't know, but I doubt it
33. Where were you when 9/11 happened?
At work.
34. What do you do when vending machines steal your money?
Curse and repeatedly press the return button.
35. Do you consider yourself kind?
I try to be.
36. If you had to get a tattoo, where would it be?
The center of my butt cheek where the fewest people possible would ever see it.
37. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be?
38. Would you move for the person you loved?
Yes, in fact someday I will.
39. Are you touchy feely?
40. What’s your life motto?
Dance like nobody's watching.
41. Name three things that you have on you at all times?

ID, Insurance cards, ATM card.
42. What’s your favorite town/city?
Miami, Florida.
43. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Dinner last night.
44. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
I can't remember.
45. Can you change the oil on a car?
46. Your first love: what is the last thing you heard about him/her?
He had gotten married.
47. How far back do you know about your ancestry?
To great-great grandparents in Spain and Cuba.
48. The last time you dressed fancy, what did you wear and why did you dress fancy?
I wore black pantsuit with a sequined top and palazzo pants for my husband's office Christmas party.
49. Does anything hurt on your body right now?
My left shoulder and left side of my neck
50. Have you been burned by love?


Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sex Games

As I mentined in yesterday's entry, I spent an evening with my friends on Friday and in talking about their teenage kids, sexual activity - or hopefully lack thereof - was discussed. Among the topics discussed were "sex games" at parties or at "gettys" (get togethers, there *is* a difference!).

It all comes back to girls giving oral sex to boys. All of my friends' kids are in Catholic high school, so for the girls the whole "virginity" issue is actually an issue. The thing is, they don't think oral sex is sex because technically they're still virgins. (sigh).

So what freaked me out were "Rainbow parties" and the game "Blink". I'll explain for those, like me, who are clueless.

Apparently in "Rainbow parties", different colored lipsticks are lined up on a table - one color per girl - and each girls puts on her lipstick. The goal is for the guys to have as many colors as possible on their wee wee.

OK, I'll let you take a deep breath while I take a deep breath.


As a variation on a theme, "Blink" involves having a certain number of boys sitting on chairs around a table, the girls are under the table "servicing" the boys, and the first boy to blink loses!

(Breather, Breathe)

As far as we've been able to ascertain none of *our* kids, at least the girls have been involved in this stuff - and hopefully never will, but just the idea appalls me. I was literally at the hospital when most of these kids were born - and it wasn't that long ago.

But in addition to that, I don't like the idea of those "games" for any child, particularly girls,but I guess boys too. It just seems so demeaning, so random, so devoid of feelings.

Well, I'm off to the opera...we're seeing "Abduction at the Seraglio" by Mozart, and then the *Culinarily Adventurous Girls* (a group of friends who get together to try different restaurants and cuisines) are eating Korean food for dinner!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Last Night's Card Game

We had soooo much fun! Although my husband wasn't able to attend because of a bad back - some of the other husbands went and actually played cards with us. It was great - I of course lost.

But actually a lot of the fun was just talking. I mean we girls talk all the time, but its unusual to just sit around and chat with the guys. Of course, since all my friends have kids, talk centered around them, and since most of the kids are teenagers, eventually the conversation turned to drinking and sex.

Regarding drinking, some of the parents were talking about the lectures they've attended through school, etc. about keeping your kids from drinking. It turns out that apparently it is illegal to allow your own kids to drink in your own home! And experts are now saying that giving your kids alcohol at home is a bad thing. I ardently disagree.

I grew up tasting cocktails and wine at home with my parents and now I know my limits and know how to handle my liquor. And what's more I knew this when I was of legal drinking age because I had learned at home. I just don't see the logic in flinging a 21 year old into the world to start drinking when they have *never* had a drink before. And I won't even get into how Spain, Italy and France teach children to eat with wine and they have no where near the teenage drinking problems the US has.

Now, when it came to talking about sex - OHMYGOD! I learned stuff I really didn't want to learn.

Alas, I'm out of time today...tune in tomorrow for "Stuff Hilda Learned About Teenage Sexual Behavior That She Really Didn't Want to Know!"

Friday, November 24, 2006

Friday After Thanksgiving

Lazy day after Thanksgiving. I don't do the Black Friday shopping frenzy. I slept until 10:30, then while laying on the couch watching TV I dozed off several times. It was great. I watched like five "House" episodes which had been on my TIVO-like substance for weeks (apparently there was a "House" marathon at some point and they all got taped).

Now I'm going to get ready to go to my friend's house for cards and leftovers with the girls. My friend's husband also mentioned something about Ouzo shots - we'll see about that!

I hope your Friday was what you wanted it to be - mine definitely was!


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

So, I'm sitting here blogging as I watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. I've been told that when I was around 3 or 4 years old, I actually went to the parade - I don't remember, but apparently I wasn't happy. To this day, I'm not a parade person. But, it's always on in the background for Thanksgiving. And I will actually stop what I'm doing to sit and watch Santa arrive - he always makes me cry - to me the Macy's Santa Claus is *the* real Santa Claus, the rest are merely his reasonable facsimiles.

Oh look Julie Andrews is singing...she is so lovely.

I will shortly begin preparing my dish for Thanksgiving tonight. We're going to a friend's house for dinner. My husband is making his grandmother's stuffing (old school Pennsylvania) and I'm making what I have dubbed "Autumn Vegetable Medley" - a.k.a roasted veggies: eggplant, turnips, parsnips, rutabaga, yukon gold potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pearl onions, corn, garlic and brussel sprouts all drizzled with olive oil and seasoning. I got the recipe from purplepassion ( - thanks Cris!

Since my father died we've been adrift when it comes to the holidays, so we "rely on the kindness of strangers" - of course they're not strangers they're dear, beloved friends, I just felt like a gratuitous Tennessee Williams reference is never out of place! Seriously though, my mom's condition doesn't really let her be away from her home for too long and too many people frazzle her, so a long evening with lots of people is just not a possibility. What we're doing this year is having a Thanksgiving brunch with her on Saturday. I feel unspeakably guilty about not spending Thanksgiving with her - but what else is new? Guilt about my mother is one of my best events.

Well, I've got vegetables to chop. I hope all who read this have a wonderful, blessed holiday with your friends and families. We really do have a lot for which to be thankful - not the least of which are friends!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Oh - look! Another non-racist acting like a racist!

Michael Richards 'Deeply Sorry' For Racial Tirade

In a video of the incident Richards purportedly screamed, "Fifty years ago we'd have you upside down with a f---ing fork up your a--." On the videotape, some audience members are gasping in disbelief. Directing his anger at one of the men, Richards said, "Throw his a-- out," and said, "He's a n-----!" five times.


OK, you know what? I'm sorry, but IMO this is unacceptable. He has since apologized, and I have no doubt he is sincere, I don't think he is a bad man. However, these words came too easily to him, they flowed too freely and instinctively. The whole "fork thing" is not a common comment - I had never heard it and frankly, don't really know if I understand it!

Once again, this is one of the many reasons I think using racial/ethnic epithets "as a joke" or making racial/ethnic jokes is so dangerous. The words become familiar to you, they come easily and then all of a sudden you say them when you aren't supposed to.

I saw Richards' appearance on Letterman and to his credit he did say that the outrage this has caused is correct, that we should be outraged when something like this happens. I hope he can come to terms with what happened, face whatever demons made him behave like this, and that he can make amends to those who deserve his apology.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

YAY! We won!

Remember last Friday I posted an e-mail message I had sent to Fox and its local affiliate? Well Monday, I received two e-mail messages from the local affiliate, one in the morning thanking me for writing and telling me they would pass it along to the network. The second one came after 4 p.m. and consisted of the following press release:

News Corporation Cancels Simpson Book
and TV Special

New York, NY – November 20, 2006 –

News Corporation Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch today announced that the company has canceled publication of the book "If I Did It" as well as the corresponding Fox broadcast network special.

Mr. Murdoch said: “I and senior management agree with the American public that this was an ill-considered project. We are sorry for any pain this has caused the families of Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown-Simpson.”

Apparently the interview had already been filmed, so it may appear on TMZ or elsewhere online. The question now is, what are they going to do with the thousands of books that have already been printed.

So - who says the powers-that-be don't listen to the public sometimes? If you have something that's really bothering you, write a letter or a send an e-mail message, you never know - hollering and bitching loud enough may just work!

Monday, November 20, 2006

See? I don't have to make this stuff up...

General Warns of Risks in Iraq if G.I.s Are Cut

"General Abizaid also publicly said for the first time that the American position in Iraq had been undermined by the Bush administration’s decision not to deploy a larger force to stabilize the country in 2003. That decision was made after Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, the Army chief of staff at the time, told Congress that several hundred thousand troops would be needed. His testimony was derided by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, and the general was ostracized at the Pentagon before his retirement a few months later.

“General Shinseki was right that a greater international force contribution, U.S. force contribution and Iraqi force contribution should have been available immediately after major combat operations,” General Abizaid said. "

Mind you I think we should get out of Iraq *right now*, and of course I never thought we should have gone into Iraq at all in the first place, but damn it, if you're gonna do it, do it right!

What I'm highlighting is Rumsfeld's arrogance and incompetence.

The thing is they don't want us there and we're not helping enough to, IMO, warrant the deaths from either side.The article goes on to say:

"In all of Iraq, attacks against allied troops last month averaged 180 per day, up from 170 per day in September and 70 per day in January, General Maples said in written testimony. Daily attacks on Iraqi civilians averaged roughly 40 per day last month, four times higher than the average in January. General Maples also noted that recent operations in Baghdad had achieved only a moderate success, because after American officials had turned neighborhoods over to the Iraqis, “attacks returned to and even surpassed preoperational levels.”

Reinforcing this view, General Hayden said the C.I.A. station in Baghdad assessed that Iraq was deteriorating to a chaotic state, with the political
center disintegrating and rival factions increasingly warring with each other."...

..."Many experts have advocated talking directly to Iran and Syria to help stabilize Iraq, an approach the Iraq Study Group is expected to endorse. "

You know what? I'm fine with that. I'm all for talking. Am I thrilled that it would be with Iran and Syria, maybe not, but I definitely prefer it to this damned war.

New York Times 11/16/2006


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Miami Book Fair International 2006

I spent Saturday and today at my favorite Miami event the Miami Book Fair International 2006 .

This is the 23rd book fair, and I have missed only 2 of them. On these two days I completely allow myself to be absorbed into books and book stuff. I rarely buy books at the book fair, I go to the author sessions. Every year both my days are filled with author readings and presentations, there are always conflicts where I need to pick one over the other.

It is probably my favorite time of the year - in some ways superseding even holidays. I enjoy the fair in a way I can't enjoy the holidays because it expects nothing of me. I disappear into the throngs and immerse myself in the ambience. If someone I know happens to run into me it literally jars me to come back to the real world - it's a weird sort of literary disassociation!

I usually go alone, however, if I do go with someone, we go our separate ways, meeting when we have a common interest. I used to go with my father, comparing our schedules to see where we would coincide, trying to coordinate a time for lunch. This year I met up with my best friend on Sunday afternoon - it was her first time, so we stayed together for the afternoon. Next year, she'll probably have her own schedule.

So, who did I see and listen to this year? I'll tell you:

  • Helen Thomas and Myra McPherson (journalists who have each written books - and all around fabulous women, specially Helen - she's a legend and a hoot!)
  • two local guys discussing Miami history and architecture
  • Jonathan Franzen ("The Corrections")
  • Nora Ephron (wrote a bunch of stuff - another fabulous woman)
  • A panel comprised of Anthony Bourdain (smoking hot!) and three other chefs, all of whom are included in a new book entitled "How I Learned to Cook"
  • Melissa Bank ("The Girls' Guide to Hunting and Fishing", she has a new book)
  • Sara Gruen ("Water for Elephants")
  • Janet Fitch ("White Oleander", she has a new book)
  • Meg Tilly (the actress - she's written a couple of books)
  • two guys who wrote biographies of Harper Lee and Peggy Lee

And to top it off we've had fabulous weather this weekend, the first cool weather we've had this year, with practically no humidity and lots of sunshine. All in all a perfect weekend before the holiday insanity begins.

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Saturday, November 18, 2006

My Head Is Going to Explode


Contraception, abortion foe to head family-planning office

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Bush administration, to the consternation of its critics, has picked the medical director of an organization that opposes premarital sex, contraception and abortion to lead the office that oversees federally funded teen pregnancy, family planning and abstinence programs."
What the hell is this?

This administration isn't even trying to appear objective. They are shamelessly pushing their agenda. Unfortunately, as the article indicates, because this is a sub-level position it doesn't require the Senate's approval, which means Dubyuh and his handlers can continue to pull this crap for the remainder of his presidency.


Write to Fox About the O.J Special

I sent the e-mail message below to both the Fox network and its local affiliate. I intend to send it to advertisers on the local channel's web site as well.

I encourage you to consider doing the same. This is not a matter of censorship, as anyone who knows me knows I would never encourage that - this is a matter of letting networks know that they are being held accountable for what they are willing to air in order to profit. The reason to contact advertisers is to let them know that a significant number of people will not be watching this program and that their advertising dollars may be better spent elsewhere. I am not espousing a boycott of the advertisers' businesses.

If you agree and want to make your feelings known, feel free to use my e-mail message in its entirety (changing the local network call letters if applicable) or partially.

I got this idea and some of the content from a woman who posts on a forum which I read often.

Here's the e-mail message:

Subject: O.J. Simpson Special

To Whom It May Concern,

Domestic violence is a socially and emotionally devastating problem throughout the country. Every day women and children struggle to stay safe and recover from abuse. That's why it is particularly disturbing to see the Fox Network and its South Florida affiliate WSVN exploiting a domestic homicide with its upcoming special during which O.J. Simpson will discuss how he "would have" murdered his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend, Ron Goldman, “if he did it.”

This type of broadcasting is irresponsible and offensive. To give Simpson a forum to play this sick, cruel game and to assist him in receiving any sort of compensation is appalling. And furthermore for Fox to exploit this tragedy is a mockery of a network's responsibility towards the public. If Fox and/or its South Florida affiliate WSVN airs the O.J. Simpson "If I Did it" special, it will only confirm the network's disregard for its responsibility as a purveyor of information, its lack of sympathy towards the victims' families and its prioritization of earnings over professionalism.

This e-mail message is being sent to everyone in my personal e-mail address book. I am strongly encouraging everyone I know to NOT watch this special if it airs and to advise local advertisers of their discontent. Hopefully advertisers will heed the public's sentiment and pull advertising from this despicable program.

Friday, November 17, 2006

He's a Pig

"Simpson to tell how he could have killed pair - LA Times
"It is an all-time low for television," Goldman said. "To imagine that a major network would put a murderer on TV to have him tell how he would murder the mother of his children and my son is beyond comprehension." Goldman said he thinks the outrage should extend to the entire Fox network. "Send a message to Fox that if Fox believes their viewers want this kind of trash on television, they must not think very highly of their viewers," he said. "

I completely agree. It's not bad enough that he's doing this to the Goldman family and the Brown family, but does he give a rat's ass about his children? Do they really need to hear their father talk about how he *would* kill their mother?

And don't *even* get me started on Fox Network and Harper Collins!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pope Considers Lifting Celibacy Rule

From Wednesday's news:

"VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI has called a meeting Thursday with top Vatican officials to discuss lifting the celibacy requirement for priests seeking to marry or who have already married. "

I am shocked and awed. And skeptical.

As a Catholic I don't necessarily think priests should be allowed to marry. I think it would make their jobs very difficult and distract them from their obligations. Let's say, for example, a priest is married and has a young child. The same day he has to perform last rites on a long-standing and beloved parishoner who is on his deathbed, the priest's child becomes very ill. To whom does he tend? Which relationship is more important?

To me it is more important and a more logical and practical solution to allow women to become priests. They too would have to take vows of celibacy.

I know my opinion that priests should remain celibate is not a popular one - but then again, it wouldn't be the first time that was the case.

I'll be curious to see how this plays out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Holiday Shopping

Have you started your holiday shopping? I have, I've already gotten a lot of stuff and have a lot on order. 100% of the shopping I've done thus far has been on the Internet or from catalogs. I just don't have the patience to go shopping at malls in general, let alone during the holidays.

The most difficult are my in-laws, with us living in Miami and them in Pennsylvania and Texas it's difficult to know what they want. I've been trying to get them to make wish lists for years but they won't do it. So, we have to guess...

Every year I swear that next year we're making donations to a worthy charity on everyone's behalf in lieu of gifts, but then I cave and buy presents - because honestly as much as I like to get presents (and believe me I *love* presents) I really enjoy giving them.

I've got a few more to get, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

These are a few of my favorite things...

...and/or things that make me happy.
  • ladybugs
  • dark chocolate
  • good (not necessarily expensive) red wine
  • the full moon (I howl at the full moon, do you?)
  • Peanuts holiday specials
  • "The Sound of Music"
  • listening to Cuban singer Beny More
  • David Letterman
  • just "hanging" with my friends
  • going to a movie matinee by myself and being the only person in the theater
  • taking a nap on rainy Sunday afternoons
  • butterflies
  • drinking Coca Cola
  • seeing a whole rainbow
  • the smell of gasoline
  • getting unexpected mail
  • daisies

More some other time...:)

Monday, November 13, 2006

An afternoon at the opera

If you read my friend purplepassion's blog "Gimme Patience" you'll see she's also writing about the opera. That's because we went together. We got season tickets for this year's Florida Grand Opera, it's the inaugural season of the beautiful Ziff Opera and Ballet Center. We saw Verdi's "Aida" and it was fantastic.

This whole opera thing is a work-in-progress for me. Back in my early 20s I had a mild flirtation with a significantly older and quasi-dangerous Italian man - he was actually arrested in Cuba for allegedly smuggling Cuban art out of the country! Anyway, one night after a wonderful rodizio dinner and copious amounts of wine, we were discussing our likes and dislikes and I told him that I didn't really like opera. He told me that opera would be the last genre of music I would learn to love, he said I had to be exposed to many types of music to be prepared to appreciate opera. I think he might have been correct.

I have taken opera slowly and in small, easy doses - gradually increasing the amount and complexity. The first real opera I attended was two seasons ago, I went to see "Madame Butterfly". The following season I got a *three-pack* comprised of "The Barber of Seville", "Carmen" and "Rigoletto". Relatively light, popular operas. This year I went ahead and comitted for the full season - six operas.

The first was "Aida", the next one is by Mozart and the season culminates with "Anna Karenina" written for the FGO. So far I have thouroughly enjoyed all those that I've seen. Granted I'm not quite tackling Wagner yet, but who knows...maybe next season!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Class of 1981, 25th Year Reunion

Saturday night I went to my Class of 1981 high school reunion, celebrating 25 years since our graduation. I'll admit I was ambivalent. Back in August or whenever I first got the invitation, I thought it was a great idea. After I sent the check, I pretty much changed my mind at least once a week about wanting to go. Saturday I was convinced it was a mistake.

I went with a couple of classmates that are still among my *tribe* - I see them regularly, one of them was my matron of honor. We left the husbands at home, why torture them? I figured at least I'd have them to hang out with.

I graduated from an all-girl Catholic high school, my graduating class was about 150 girls. How is it possible that there were people I don't remember ever seeing in high school? I swear, I felt really bad, there were a couple of the girls who made a point of saying hello to me that, as far as I'm concerned I'd never seen before. Even after surreptitously glancing at their name tag - nothing!

The event was held at a trendy tapas restaurant, open bar, "heavy appetizers", door prizes, etc. Among the items on display were our old school uniform, a god-awful polyester monstrosity. The material was magically excruciatingly hot when it was warm, and ice cold when it was chilly. They also had our PE uniforms on display - basically bright blue full body bloomers - it was just SO wrong! I've decided the nuns made us wear them to build character. there is no way anyone could have looked at those and said - those are nice, let's have those be the school's uniforms. Thankfully - albeit unfairly - they've since changed the uniforms to more humane Lacoste-type shirts and pants. Of course these new girls with their tolerable uniforms won't have nearly as much character as we do.

As it turned out I wound up seeing a lot of really cool women and having fun after all. I re-met a really nice girl with whom I was sort of friends in school - nuns have a compulsion to seat you in alphabetical order and this girl sat if front of me in many classes. We had a great conversation during which she told me that she too had married an "americano" - she's Cuban-American like me - from out of town. And also like me she has no children. I made a point of giving her my card and I plan to get together, this time with our husbands. I'd like to rekindle that friendship.

So, in addition to a bottle of wine door prize, a goodie bag with all kinds of stuff, a video of class of 1981 memories, I may have made a new old friend! All in all, a good night!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

All About Me!

I "borrowed" this from "Major Bedhead" which I found using the "NaBloPoMo Randomizer" feel free to use it on your blog:



WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? Friday evening watching "General Hospital" - Laura's back!




DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Nope - just this Blog





DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Physically, no. Mentally, most of the time

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOUR? Today I'll say Strawberry Cheesecake

SHOE SIZE? 6.5 or 7




WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Aqua and white shorts set and black Birkenstocks

LAST THING YOU ATE? Tomato and Fresh Basil Pizza

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? CNN report about something having to do with the military


FAVORITE SMELL? Onions sauteeing




FAVORITE DRINK? Non-alcoholic - Coca Cola; Alcoholic: I'm really into red wines right now

FAVORITE SPORT? To watch: College Football; To play: None


HAT SIZE? No clue, but I have an unusually huge head - I'm not a hat person


FAVORITE FOOD? Today I'll say Cuban food




FAVORITE DESSERT? Chocolate souffle

WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? "Take Big Bites" by Linda Ellerbee

WHAT'S ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Right now I'm on my laptop - no mousepad


FAVORITE SOUNDS? Rain on a window



WHAT'S YOUR SPECIAL TALENT? Remembering useless trivia


Friday, November 10, 2006

Stuff I Haven't Done

There's a bunch of stuff I haven't done that most women my age have...some of them I would like to do, some I'm not particularly intereted in doing.

Now, in no particular order a list of stuff I've never done:
  • Owned a car
  • Had a permanent driver's license
  • Pumped Gas
  • Been to Europe
  • Played quarters
  • Played marbles
  • Been pregnant
  • Sung karaoke
  • Finished a martini
  • Flown a kite
  • Used any sort of illegal drug
  • Been to the symphony
  • Barbecued
  • Smoked an entire cigarette
  • Been in a girl fight
  • Seen the movie "Damian"
  • Seen "The Exorcist" in its entirety
  • Seen the Grand Canyon
  • Been to the top of the Empire State Building
  • Seen an entire circus show (I fell asleep the only time I went to the circus,I was 7)
  • Cleaned windows from the outside
  • Been on a roof
  • Been able to tread water
  • Had surgery
  • Fainted
  • Shoplifted
  • Cheated on a man
  • Not voted in an election since I was 18
  • Mastered an instrument
  • Successfully used a glue gun
  • Shot a gun (hell I've never held a gun!)
  • Planted anything
  • Held a hamster, gerbil or guinea pig
  • Baked a cake from scratch (as opposed to a box mix)
  • Used a pressure cooker
  • Played on (with?) a pogo stick
  • Gotten stitches
  • Cleaned an oven

That's all for now, but there's plenty more...

Added after initial posting:

  • Been arrested
  • Had a Brazilian wax (never gonna happen!)

Thursday, November 9, 2006

So - we got the Senate too!

I am so happy, albeit overwhelmed. Apparently the Virginia thing is pretty much done and Webb won!

I watched Dubyuh's press conference Wednesday and I thought he was pissy. It was fabulous!

So what happens now? Will stuff actually get done or will there be gridlock for 2 years? I mean if Dubyuh vetoes whatever the Congress and Senate present we won't have the necessary numbers to override it so...

It has the potential of being a very interesting time.

Do you think we'll see more of Dubyuh's posse leave or will Rumsfeld be the only sacrificial lamb?

The mind wobbles...

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

So much good news...

I know, I know, I should save this for my NaBloPoMo entry for tomorrow - but I'm too happy.

Why? Let's review:

  • The Democrats got control of the House of Representatives
  • Nancy Pelosi is going to be Speaker of the House - which of course means (among other more important but not nearly as amusing things) that during Dubyuh's next State of the Union speech she'll be sitting right behind him and not getting up when he says something she thinks is wrong - and everyone will see it!
  • South Dakota - God bless them - blocked a draconian abortion ban
  • Missouri voted to protect stem cell research
  • As of 2 p.m. EST it looks like Montana's Senate race is going to the Democrat John Tester, meaning if we get Virginia we get control of the Senate - effectively blocking any dunder-headed bullshit Dubyuh comes up with.
  • Oh yeah, and one other little thing...DONALD RUMSFELD RESIGNED!

You should see how cool my sitting-in-an-office-chair-happy-dance is! It involves chair spinning, throwing my hands in the air and waving 'em like I just don't care ;) , bopping my head, and kicking my legs. I'm telling you Twyla Tharp would be wowed...

Happy, happy, joy, joy, happy, happy, joy...

The Election and Mrs. Dalloway

First and foremost as of this writing (Wednesday at 12:05 a.m.) the Democrats have just won the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi will be the first female Speaker of the House and we may still win the Senate (tough but possible), so if you'll excuse me for a minute...


OK, now back to my planned entry...

Wow! Clarissa and Virginia kicked my butt.

Regular readers may remember that in mid-October I began reading Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" and was struggling. Well, after reading more than half of the book, and seeing the movie, I gave up on the book. At least for now. Perhaps I'll revisit it, when I have time to read it in longer stretches.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa [thumping my chest three times]. Why do I feel so guilty about this?

The writing is wonderful - the details, the character development, it's all there. But the stream-of-consciousness was too difficult for me to keep up with.

The entire novel - 200+ pages - takes place over one day. There is relatively little dialogue and when there is dialogue Woolf doesn't distinguish it from the narrative. It is written in an omniscient third person POV but it tells the story from inside one person's head at a time - it's difficult to explain and tough to read.

I've already read Woolf's "Orlando" and "To the Lighthouse" and I still want to read "A Room of One's Own", so I will be visiting with Virginia once again.

I recommend "Mrs. Dalloway" with the caveat that it is a difficult read.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Election Day Quote

I came across this quote the other day - some of the regular readers of this blog may have come across it as well - and it spoke, no it actually sang, to me...

"The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the Nation as a whole.

Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else."

Theodore Roosevelt
Kansas City Star, May 7, 1918

2 more years...just 2 more years and *my* national nightmare will be over ...

Monday, November 6, 2006

Mastectomy Hospital Bill in Congress

[A friend sent this to me via e-mail - I checked its veracity on and it is legit]

If you know anyone who has had a mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure.

There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the "drive-through mastectomy" where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached.> >>Lifetime Television has put this bill on their web page with a petition drive to show your support. Last year over half the House signed on.

Please! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below.You need not give more than your name and zip code number.

From the Ted Haggard Debacle

I don't want to talk about Ted Haggard. We all know the story, blah, blah, blah. All I will say is that my prayers go to his family and to those who trusted and believed in this man, while I may not agree with them, no one deserves to be betrayed this way.

What caught my attention this morning while reading The New York Times article "Disgraced Minister’s Church Wrestles With His Absence" was the following comment by a pastor from another congregation while discussing how this may or may not affect tomorrow's elections: (bolding mine)

“God does things when he thinks they’re appropriate,” said Larry Stockstill, the pastor of the Bethany World Prayer Center in Louisiana, from which the New Life Church began in 1985 as an outreach mission.“What’s going to happen in the nation?” Mr. Stockstill said. “You know what — I don’t think that’s your concern or mine..."

I'm sorry, what???

Did he say that what is going to happen in this nation is not our concern? Do you all realize that when this man speaks people actually listen to him and follow him? He goes on to say:

"...He chose this incredibly important time for this sin to be revealed and I actually think it’s a good thing — I believe America needs a shaking,

Well I believe this Stockstill dude needs a shaking, physically.

Stuff like this, my friends, is what makes the mind wobble.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

The Big Red Purse Revisited

Remember back in September when I wrote about The Big Red Purse ?

"So whatever happened with that?" you may wonder. (OK so maybe you don't wonder, but just play along, OK? Thanks!) Absolutely nothing, that's what's happened. The big red purse is sitting right where I placed it when I got it, atop a pile of books near my bed. Mocking me. Taunting me. Looking all smug, while looking fabulous.

I still haven't gotten up the nerve to use it.

Dixie and Purple Passion - don't read my post in that tone!!! I already know I'm a wuss.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Chocolate Happiness!

During the post-Halloween candy deluge in the office someone brought in Dark Chocolate Kit Kat Minis - OHMYGOD! But wait...there's more. Apparently these have out for a while, but I had never heard of them: Take 5 bars - this is a pretzel combined with peanuts, peanut butter and caramel covered by milk chocolate! Can you even begin to imagine? Phenomenal! it bad that I went to Walgreens where Halloween candy was 75% off and bought...SEVEN bags of Take 5 bars? The bags only cost 74 cents a piece! It would be fiscally irresponsible to not buy them. Yeah - that's right. I'm *all about* fiscal responsibility.

Stop laughing at me.

Friday, November 3, 2006

Our Anniversary Tradition

As you may remember from reading this blog a couple of days ago, on November 1st my husband and I celebrated our 9th anniversary - YAY!

On our first anniversary we started a tradition that we've kept even when we were out of town. What we do is at some point during the evening, we light the unity candle from our wedding mass, turn down the lights, pour some champagne in the Bride and Groom flutes from our reception and dance in our living room to our "first dance" song - "Beautiful In My Eyes" by Joshua Kaddison.

It's simple and private and wonderful. It gives us a few minutes to focus on our marriage, remember our wedding and just dance. I pray I will be keeping this tradition with the most wonderful man in my world for many years to come.

Do you have any special, private traditions?

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Another One of Those Question Thingies

I love these! I got this one from Katya's blog Observations of a Librarian.

1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 - in the book closest to you right now, what does it say?
" 'Fuh' she says once more, as if to an especially slow child."
("Take Big Bites" by Linda Ellerbee)

2. If you stretch out your left arm - as far as possible, what are you touching?
My couch's right arm rest

3. What's the last program you watched on tv?
A PBS documentary about The Blue Man Group

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.
10:45 p.m. I was wrong it's actually 11:24 p.m.

5. Except the computer, what can you hear right now?
Whatever is on ESPN - hubby is watching.

6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do?
During vacation at the beginning of October, I walked around the antique area of Mount Dora, Florida. I don't really *do* outside!

7. What are you wearing?
One of my hang around the house shorts set

8. Did you dream last night? If you did, what about?
If I dream, I rarely remember it

9. When was the last time you laughed?
Last night at a friend's house for Halloween

10. What's on the walls, in the room you're in right now?
Several paintings and wall hangings

11. Have you seen anything strange lately?
Yes, some of last night's Halloween costumes

12. What do you think about this meme?
I like it - not the usual questions

13. What's the last film you saw?
"Syriana" on DVD. I can tell it's a good movie, but I was completely lost

14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money?
Pay off our mortgage, give money to family and friends, ensure the kids in the family have a trust set up, set up a swcholarship at a local university so that every year a student can get a full four year ride, buy a house and travel

15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.
When I first registered to vote - another life time ago - I registered as a Republican

16. If you could change one *superficial* thing in this world - not involving politics - what would it be?
I'd air condition everything

17. Do you like dancing?
Sometimes - I have to be in the mood

18. George Bush?
I can no longer stand to look at or listen to him

19. What do you want your children's names to be, girl/boy?
If I had had children and it was completely up to me I would name a girl Miranda and a boy Eric

20. Would you ever consider living abroad?
Not for extended periods

21. What do you want God to tell you, when you come to heaven?
There are several people waiting for you right over here...

22. Who should do this meme? Everyone!

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

9 Years Ago Today...(Long)

...I got married!

Let's see it's 11ish - so at this time I was at the hair dresser getting my hair done and veil attached, as well as having my makeup done. My wedding was at 2 p.m.

Because my husband was going to move from Pennsylvania to Miami when we got married I thought it was only fair that we get married up there. "Up there" is a suburb of Philadelphia called Warminster. So I figured if I'm going to get married in the Northeast, I'll do it in the fall because in Miami, we don't get the whole leaves turning show.

When I woke up that November morning it was POURING - not raining, no POURING! And it proceeded to pour till early evening.

The most wonderful day of my life - and it really was - turned out (because it is MY life after all) to be Murphy's Law to the *nth* degree. Let's reminisce - shall we?

OK, so as I said it was pouring. Fine - got to the hairdressers, got my hair done (it was up so the humidity wasn't an issue, that *and* the fact the amount of hair spray they put on me was IMO directly responsible for the fact that metropolitan Philadelphia hit 100 degrees F last Memorial Day). When I got back to the hotel, my father had lost the fancy buttons he was supposed to wear with the tuxedo and my mother had forgotten to pack pantyhose! Luckily before I left Miami I had my doctor prescribe Xanax for me.

So eventually the buttons were found - however in the pictures the photographer took of my father and me before we left to the church, he doesn't have them, he has regular buttons. And my aunt came to the rescue with the pantyhose - that wasn't a problem for the pictures because we didn't see my mom's legs.

Fine, so we're ready, my father and I get into the beautiful antique Rolls Royce (black and gray) and drive to the church - still pouring by the way. When we get there I'm very calmly (remember the Xanax) trying to figure out how to get into the church without getting my dress wet and my train ruined. All of a sudden 5 men I had never met appear by the car carrying a white shower curtain: four of them were each holding up a corner of the curtain over my head like a canopy and the fifth one hitches up my dress and train - scandalously half way up my legs! - and the little procession goes into the church. It turns out the men were part of the church choir which my parents-in-law direct. The dress didn't get a drop or stain on it!

The mass was beautiful, the choir sang for us accompanied by my uncle - a wonderful organist and piano player. My father-in-law, a music teacher and choir director, who has a beautiful voice, sang for us and my brother-in-law, a professional musician and also a music teacher, played a trumpet solo. We had friends and family do the various readings - it was everything I wanted.

Of course at the end of the mass we wanted to do the limo shtick with the champagne and everybody blowing bubbles at us and the pictures - alas the rain (yes, still raining) changed those plans. It also changed the plans we had to go to a nearby park for pictures. Since our reception wasn't till 6 p.m. my mother-in-law had already planned to have the out-of-towners to her house for a pre-reception reception while the wedding party had the pictures done. We figured OK, we'll do the pictures at the reception place. So my brand-spanking-new husband and I get into the limo to head for the hotel when we hear "RIIIIP" - I immediately looked at my dress, but it was fine. My husband's pants had ripped down the seam along his butt! I calmly (Xanax!) suggested we stop at his mom's house so she could sew it up in a jiffy - God bless her she did!

Great so now we're headed to the reception place, the rain was starting to slow down. We get there everything was perfect, we get great pictures done, fabulous! Guests start arriving, we have a wonderful cocktail hour prior to the dinner - open bar, roaming waiters, jumbo shrimp, pasta bar, lovely! Then when it's time for dinner our parents walk in, the wedding party walks in - everyone looks beautiful - we walk in, everyone claps - YAY US! The DJ's playing his music - perfect.

But, we had a surprise for our Cuban-American guests - my wonderful husband managed to find what has got to be the only Cuban DJ in the Philly suburbs (King of Prussia to be exact), but we hadn't told anyone. All of a sudden he slips in a 1940s Cuban dance classic - and all the Cubans flipped, it was the last thing they expected to hear. Disregarding all the wedding etiquette rules, one of my family's dearest friends since forever comes to the head table and insists I dance with him - mind you I hadn't danced with my father or my husband yet - this was just pre-party music, but Pipo insisted, so what the hell - it was my wedding and I could do what I wanted, so I danced. It was great!

OK, so now we get settled, a lovely dinner is served, of course I'm not eating a bit of it. All of a sudden I look to the table where my parents were sitting with all their friends, and all the men including my father are gone! Instantly I knew something was wrong, because my father would never abandon a good meal. I poked my husband and we went to find out what was happening. It turns out my father was having horrible pains in his side and the men had helped him to the restroom. My husband went to check it out - again thank God for Xanax - I maintained. My father suffered from kidney stones and apparently one of them decided to make an appearance on - of course - my wedding day!

So I go out to the lobby to see him and he was pale as a ghost, he had to leave. He tells me to absolutely not cancel the party, that we knew what it was, nothing to worry about, everything would be fine - but he wanted to dance his dance with me before he left. Those of you who know me or have been reading my Blog know that my father meant the world to me - I was definitely Daddy's girl. So he walked back into the party room and I told the DJ to cue up the father/daughter, mother/son song (Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World"). Of course as I'm dancing with my dad I am openly sobbing like the dork that I am and feel my contact lenses fall out. I catch one and give it to my sister-in-law so I could finish the dance. At this point I'm blind from tears and lack of contact lenses. We finish the dance, my parents leave and I put my one remaining contact lens back in. I figured I could at least see half-way, but I really couldn’t see anything, I thought it must be because my eyes were irritated from crying.

I went back out and we proceeded to have a fantastic party (YAY Xanax!) - I had never had such a good time at a party, it was fabulous. We left the party (that's when everyone blew bubbles at us) and headed for a nearby bed and breakfast before heading off to The Poconos the next morning. Throughout the reception everything remained blurry - I barely actually *saw* any of it. When we got to the B & B - it turns out both of my lenses had not fallen out, only one of them (the one I caught) had - so I wound up with two contacts in one eye, and none in the other.

What can I say? The mind wobbles!

Happy Anniversary Honey!

Wow! This is long!