The Mind Wobbles

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

Friday, April 27, 2007

The "Lola's Back from Vacation and Ready to Shuffle" Edition

Let's see what we have today...

  1. "Like U Crazy" - Mates of State (I heard this on NPR the other day - cool!)
  2. "Cry! Cry! Cry!" - Johnny Cash (awesome song, his voice is amazing)
  3. "What's New Pussycat" - Tom Jones
  4. "Give Me Novocaine" - Green Day (old school Green Day, incredible lyrics: : "It's like a throbbing toothache of the mind" - I love these guys)
  5. "Stormy Weather" Sarah Vaughn
  6. "Drops of Jupiter" - Train (another favorite, and the lead singer is hot!)
  7. "Lady" - Little River Band (Whoa! There's a ride in the Wayback Machine for you Sherman!)
  8. "Dear Mr. President" - Pink (have you heard these lyrics? Fabulous!)
  9. "Take the 'A' Train" - Duke Ellington and his Orchestra
  10. "Check On It" - Beyonce and Slim Thug


Tuesday, April 24, 2007

American Idol Recap - Week 7

Songs That Inspire/Idol Gives Back

So, does it make me a bad person if I wasn't really inspired by most of the songs that were supposed to inspire?

Here we go...

Chris: "Change the World" - Either the judges were moved by the charitable vibe in the theater or we were listening to a different singer! I love this Eric Clapton song, and Cris bored me with it. I found his voice weak and uneven. As Randy would say, I just wasn't feeling it - Dawg.

Melinda: "There Will Come a Day" - I had never heard the song and didn't particularly like it. Of course Melinda sang it well and her voice was strong as usual, we had a little bit of a gospel revival moment there, but she didn't sell it to me.

Blake: "Imagine" - OK - as Simon said this is one of the greatest songs of, well, ever. I think this is the first time I've heard that song and *not* gotten verklempt - and most of you know I'm a big cry baby. But Blake just sat there, I was completely nonplussed. But then again, I never really drank the Blake Kool-Aid...

LaKisha: "I Believe" - I had never heard the song and was never Fantasia fan, but I liked how LaKisha sang it. I thought she looked good and she sang and performed well. It was a good song for her and she showed emotion - I was moved.

Phil: "The Change" - Again, I never heard the song, but I thought he sang it beautifully and with emotion. I still love Phil's voice and I thought he did a great job.

Jordin: "You'll Never Walk Alone" - IMO, this was THE performance of the night. She made me cry, she sang it perfectly - softly in the soft parts and soaring in the high parts! She looked lovely and performed it beautifully. I think Jordin is going to win this thing.

Big News!!! Since this was for charity I actually voted for the first time ever! I voted for Jordin several times. It won't happen again.

My Bottom Three: Chris, Blake and Melinda (yes Melinda!)

Who I would send home: Chris


How Dare They?

Brother: Military Account of Tillman Death “Utter Fiction”

From the article:

As the tide was turning in the U.S. battle
against Afghan insurgents --and as media outlets prepared to release reports on detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib in Iraq -- the military saw Pat Tillman's death as an "opportunity," Kevin Tillman told the panel.

Though it was clearly a case of fratricide, the military released a "manufactured narrative" detailing how Pat Tillman died leading a courageous counterattack in an Afghan mountain pass, Kevin Tillman said.


Lynch became a celebrity after U.S. troops filmed what they said was a daring raid on a hospital where she was being held after a March 2003 firefight. Lynch, the Army claimed, was shot and stabbed during a fierce gun battle with Iraqi troops that left 11 of her comrades

Hospital staffers, however, said there were no Iraqi troops at Saddam Hussein General Hospital when the purported rescue took place. They also said they had unsuccessfully tried to hand Lynch over to American forces before the raid.

It was later learned that Lynch never fired a shot during the firefight because her gun was jammed with sand. She incurred some broken bones when her vehicle crashed during battle.

What the hell? As the representative from California said:
"The bare minimum we owe our soldiers and their families is the truth," said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-California. "That didn't happen for two of the most famous soldiers in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars."

These kids don't need the Pentagon to make shit up so that they can be considered heroes. They are heroes for simply being there! To use them as props to propagandize an inexcusable, unnecessary war is not only disrespectful to them, but to their families and to the military as a whole. How can we believe anything they say now? How do we know that whatever they say isn't manipulation and propaganda to cover their sorry asses.

I hadn't really focused on this story, but Tillman's brother's face today made me take notice. How absolutely horrible and disgraceful. This administration continues to blemish all that is good about this country.

How dare they?

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Musings from the Big Easy

The Final Edition - Friday's Highlights

  • Wild alligator soup and Pork Porterhouse for lunch at Bourbon House - right at the corner of our hotel - FABULOUS!
  • Walking around getting last minute souvenirs
  • Praline Brittle from Leah's Pralines - the pralines are good too!
  • Going to Blues Club for the last time before we leave and being recognized by most of the management and musicians - the owner even gave us a free round of drinks!
  • Finishing off the night at the hotel bar and getting a hug from Chuck the bartender when we left - and a damned good seafood nachos platter and chocolate martini


Thursday, April 19, 2007

Musings from the Big Easy

Thursday's Highlights

  • I spent all day with my husband, all over the Quarter
  • Barbecue Brisket and pulled pork with turnip greens for lunch
  • Beignets and Cafe au Lait at Cafe Dumond - the first time hubby tried them
  • Walk along the Mississippi with hubby - I even went down a pier thingy and *touched* the Mississippi!
  • A stranger giving me a gabillion beads
  • Mint Julep at Pat O'Brian's
  • I had always wanted to get a caricature done, so today hubby and I had one done at Jackson Square across from St. Louis church - we look so cute!
  • Another Absinthe Drip - YUMMY!
  • A visit to Faulkner House book store - located in the same space that served as Faulkner's home in 1925 while he wrote his first novel "Soldier's Pay". I bought another book of essays about New Orleans - this time written after Katrina
  • Quiet dinner at the hotel bar and a set of blues at "our place" Blues Club
  • A group of about 5 or 6 Marines walking along Bourbon in full dress uniform - they looked so handsome, and made me feel so proud - and relieved - better here than there!

We leave Saturday morning so tomorrow's our last day here...we don't want to go home!


An Interview

My long-time e-friend and blogging inspiration Dixie offered to interview me and I took her up on it. She asked me five questions and I answered them here for all of you to see.

1. I want to visit you and have you plunge me into the Miami Cuban-American scene. Tell me three things you'd take me to/have me hear/have me eat/whatever that would get me knee-deep in that culture.

  • First I'd take you to the most fabulous, kitschy, loud Cuban restaurant in Miami. The kicker is that the food is awesome! It's called "Versailles" and really has to be experienced to be believed. They don't have a web site, but this site gives a good overview of the *Versailles experience*:
  • After dinner we'd go to "Hoy Como Ayer" (parts of the website are in English, just poke around) - a funky little club in the heart of Little Havana. They have live acts - many recently arrived from or maybe even still living in Cuba. But the best part is before the live show starts and while the bands take breaks - during that time they show old film footage - the 40s and 50s equivalent of music videos - of Cuban music greats.
  • The next day we'd go to "Cuba Nostalgia" .OK, so you'd have to come in May while this is going on - but it is totally worth it. You will be plunged into hyper-Cubanness and come out of it having eaten, danced, explored and OD'd on all things Cuban! It's a blast.

2. I met my husband online. You met your husband online. Was there a time when you didn't like to tell people where you met him? Do you feel more comfortable about it now? And since you did it long ago, do you feel like one of the pioneers of the met-him-on-the-Internet crowd?

Honestly, I was never uncomfortable telling people. I absolutely feel like a pioneer. I met him in an AOL chat room - long before all the fanchy-schmancy online dating sites were even on the radar. We started chatting and it moved to the phone and the rest is history!

3. I know you attended an all-girls school. What would you say is the greatest thing an all-girls school education gave you?

There's lots of good that came from my all-girl high school experience, but I'd have to say the greatest one would be self -confidence. Think about it: being an all-girl school, the student body government were young women, the school paper editors were young women, the star athletes were young women, etc. Since we didn't have to worry about intimidating boys with our intelligence we thrived.

After 25 years I saw many of my classmates, and I was stunned at how fabulous we all are! And just recently after one of us died, we are banding together to establish some of kind of memorial to her. My high school is Catholic, and I think something the Priest assigned to our school, Father Elbert (God bless you wherever you are),once said encapsulates my experience: "Today's world doesn't need "nice Catholic girls", it needs "strong Christian women".

4. You're bi-lingual and live in a city where English and Spanish are both spoken. Are there times when you don't speak English and what times are those? How do you decide on whether to speak English or Spanish in a given situation or is it more automatic?

I speak Spanish every single day - unless I'm out of town like now. I work with many Hispanic people and we'll often fall into Spanish. Most of my friends are Hispanic, so we speak Spanglish all the time. Unless my husband is present I speak to my mother in Spanish - even though she speaks English - it's just easier for her, particularly now. And of course, if I'm dealing with someone who struggles with English I speak to them in Spanish - why suffer? It is pretty much automatic, I rarely make a conscious decision as to what language to speak - it just comes out. On a related note, people often ask me if I think in English and translate to Spanish or vice-versa - I can honestly say I think in both, depending on what I'm doing or who I'm speaking to. I know you didn't ask, but what the hell - I also dream in both English and Spanish, depending on what's going on.

5. What's your favorite way of comforting yourself if you're feeling down?

I sink into vacuous television. I'll just sit there for hours if I can, and watch crap. If I can't watch TV, I'll listen to music. Thankfully I'm not usually blue for long. I think I'm blessed with a relatively good mindset.

Now it's someone else's turn to play if they wish: Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” I will respond by asking you five questions in the comments here on this post so check back here. I get to pick the questions. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Musings from the Big Easy

Wednesday Highlights...lazy day today, ate at the hotel restaurant, stayed in the hotel room, late dinner.
  • Sleeping in late
  • Artichoke Cheddar soup at Redfish Grill
  • Lazing around the hotel room - reading, semi-napping and watching General Hospital
  • Dinner at Emeril's NOLA - phenomenal! Crab cake, smoked duck and chocolate pecan pie served with sweet potato ice cream - all accompanied by a lovely Shiraz

A *lowlight* - watching the video and listening to the writings of the Virginia Tech killer. Unreal. How is a person with a history of mental illness - including being hospitalized - allowed to buy two guns with an enormous amount of ammo? The mind wobbles.

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YAY! He's Gone!

No not Dubyuh...unfortunately.

Sanjaya! Sanjaya is gone!

I really don't wish him ill...I hope he enjoys the tour and has a wonderful life. He seems like a nice kid.

The real competition beigns now.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Musings from the Big Easy

Tuesday's Highlights

The weather remains fabulous...
  • 4 raw oysters (hubby had the other two - until today he was a raw oyster virgin!) and a soft-shell crab po' boy at Acme Oyster House
  • An Absinthe Drip at the Old Absinthe House
  • A long walk to the Vatican Mosaic collection on exhibit at the Old Ursuline Convent
  • Stopped in at St. Louis Church and enjoyed the cool, calm quiet. They had a recording of Gregorian chants - which happen to be one of my favorite types of music - playing. And the church is beaitiful!
  • Some shopping at the souvenir shops
  • Yet another Pimms Cup at Napoleon House
  • Sharing a whole muffuletta from Central Grocery with hubby - delicious!
  • Trying yet another type of Woodchuck Hard Cider
  • A miracle - at a fabulous used bookstore I came across by accident, I found a book I've been looking for forever, but I couldn't remember the name. It's called "Food Book" and it's just a history of food, food traditions, etc. My dad had it when I was growing up and I loved it, but had lost it somewhere along the line. When I walked into this bookstore I was just browsing and saw a huge collection of food-related books, most of them cook books of course, but I got a feeling I was going to find this book there. So I started looking at any book that sounded like the one I was looking for. When I saw this book, it was missing it's cover which I remember vividly. I didn't want to fool myself into believing this was the book, so I thought about what I remembered - some illustrations and a chapter on figs. When I opened the book - it was *the* book! I was so happy! I now own the book again.
  • Another evening at the Blues Club - different band, same good vibe
  • Two hurricanes and a late night Lucky Dog

It's all good...


No American Idol Recap...just a comment

I wasn't taking notes, I missed Phil's performance and everyone else was as expected - I think Melinda's was the performance of the evening.
Apparently Sanjaya was cleaning the ceiling fans at American Idol camp and he forgot to take off the kerchief. However, all is right in the American Idol universe...Sanjaya was a disaster yet again. Last week's rift in the space-time continuum when Sanjaya wasn't awful has been resolved.
Bottom Three - Sanjaya, Chris and Blake
Gone - Chris (because Sanjaya is never leaving...he'll still be next season!)


Monday, April 16, 2007

Musings from The Big Easy

Monday's Highlights - except for the Virginia Tech Horror

  • We slept in late, woke up and watched TV only to hear a major *low light* - the horrific shootings at Virginia Tech - I can't even begin to wrap my head around this.
  • We went to Harrah's casino - it's supposed to be the largest casino in the world. We had lunch at the all-you-can-eat buffet. It was really good - I had wonderful BBQ brisket and turnip greens.
  • We were at the casino for about 4 hours. We played video poker and then I played a ridiculous 2 cent slot game. I started with $5 and ended with $20! Plus there were lovely complimentary cocktails - that's always a happy thing.
  • We had dinner at Felix Restaurant and Oyster Bar. I had a wonderful "sampler" with red beans and rice (a New Orleans tradition on Mondays), jambalaya and crawfish etouffee - it was good!
  • After dinner we strolled on Bourbon for a bit until we stopped at "Blues Club" where we spent the next 5 hours, drinking and enjoying great music. I accidentally had a shot of Jagermeister - it was interesting and strong. I actually thought I was ordering Goldschlager, which is cinnamon schnapps and very delicious. I don't know that I'll order Jagermeister again, but now i can say I've had it. I eventually also had the Goldschlager, a jello shot and some peach schnapps - a good time was had by all!
  • The music was fantastic and hubby was completely in his element - I was happy to see him so happy.
  • A guy threw several strands of beads at me from a balcony and I didn't even have to flash anything!


Sunday, April 15, 2007

Musings from the Big Easy

Sunday's Highlights:

  • Jazz Brunch at Antoine's - everyone MUST put this on their list of things to do before you die. OHMYGOD! This New Orleans tradition has been owned by the same family forever. This is where they invented Oysters Rockefeller and the original *secret* recipe does not contain spinach. I know it contains various greens, anise liqueur and...magic! Of course I had them as an appetizer, along with the house's signature cocktail "Antoine's Smile" - it has Calvados and other good stuff. My brunch entree was Ouefs Sardou (Eggs Sardou) which consists of poached eggs over artichoke bottoms, slathered with hollandaise sauce, served with breaded asparagus and the lagniappe (little surprise) of an anchovy fillet under one of them! Hubby had a Shrimp and Crawfish Bisque which contained his lagniappe, we're not sure what it was but he says it was delicious (some sort of seafood mousse). As an entree he had a crab meat omelet, which was chock full of fresh, sweet crab meat. While there, hubby was thinking of asking the jazz trio to play "Basin Street Blues" and all of a sudden, without him asking, they played it! Our fabulous waiter Chuck (who gave us his business card!) gave us a tour of the restaurant including the wine cellar which is slowly being rebuilt after being destroyed by Katrina, as well as several of the restaurants different rooms.
  • After brunch we went for a walk and discovered a blues band called Gary Brown and Feelings that was awesome - hubby bought their CD. As we were standing there watching them, I thought to myself that I should have requested "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans" which is one of my favorite songs and, believe it or not, they started playing the song! At this point I started crying because it was so perfect. (Yes, I'm a dork.)
  • I saw the Mississippi - breathtaking! I got a little verklempt here as well.
  • I tried a Pimm's Cup cocktail, at Napoleon House, the bar where it was an invented (it was my day for originals). There I met a very nice - albeit alcohol induced potty-mouthed - Southern gentleman, he reminded me of Truman Capote. Very nice.
  • Walked around more of the quarter - exploring, stopping at several clubs and listening to phenomenal music.

Now we're off to dinner...


Saturday, April 14, 2007

Musings from the Big Easy

We got into New Orleans today. It turns out one of the better seafood places in town is in our hotel! So of course we had lunch there.

After lunch my husband went to the room to rest and I went out into the French Quarter to explore.

Highlights of the day:

  • In walking around the Quarter for about two hours, about 25 blocks (I got a little lost - big surprise!), I enjoyed live performances of jazz, rock, blues, zydeco and gospel - I even got to hear a live rendition of "When the Saints Go Marching In"!
  • I stopped at a bar I read about in "New Orleans, Mon Amour" described as a "locals" hangout and imbibed in a delicious pear flavored hard cider
  • I came across a patio with statues of Pete Fountain, Al Hirt and Fats Domino
  • I ate alligator sausage gumbo, crawfish bisque and a barbecue oyster po' boy
  • Hubby and I stopped at the bar in our hotel and had something called a *snickertini* - consisting of Bailey's Irish Cream, Frangelico and Godiva Chocolate liquor. Yummy!
  • For dinner we had Krystal Burgers - double yummy!
  • There's a bar down the street from our hotel called "Bourbon Cowboy" (get it?) and as we walked around a bit after dinner we saw a lovely young woman riding a mechanical bull with no top on...the *girls* were jauntily bouncing about. Mind you we saw this from the street, as all the doors and floor to ceiling windows were wide open.
  • In my wanderings I came across a really cute little building announcing their imminent reopening and advertising *Furnished rooms for rent - long or short term* - and for a moment I really regretted not being able to rent an apartment for two or three months due to job, mortgage, mother, etc. (sigh)

Tomorrow morning (Sunday) we're going to a jazz brunch at Antoines!

Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez!


Friday, April 13, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "New Orleans" Edition

[As you may know, I'm leaving to New Orleans tomorrow and I'll be there for a week. So next Friday there may or may not be a Lola shuffle...]

Won't you come along with me, To the Mississippi,We'll take a boat to the land of dreams, steam down the river to New Orleans.
"Basin Street Blues"
OK, let's go...
  1. "Hips Don't Lie" - Shakira and Wyclef Jean
  2. "Ain't No Way to Treat a Lady" - Helen Reddy (Dixie - don't judge me!)
  3. "The River" - Garth Brooks (Appropriate!)
  4. "Mexico" - James Taylor
  5. "Watching the River Flow" - Bob Dylan (Another river song!)
  6. "This Side" - Nickel Creek
  7. "Sk8er Boi" - Avril Lavigne (OK, the spelling gives me a headache, but it's a cute song)
  8. "Put Your RecordsOn" - Corinne Bailey Rae
  9. "All of Me" - Billie Holiday
  10. "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" - Panic! At the Disco (I love that their name contains an exclamation point - plus it's a cool song.)

Oh well, no zydeco. I've got some in there but I guess Lola is saving her zydeconess for tomorrow...:)

Have a great weekend. I may check in during the week, we're taking the laptop.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Happy Birthday David!

No, not *my* David - my *other* David...David Cassidy!

Can you believe David Cassidy turns 57 today? 57!!!

While I think he still looks great, in my mind (and heart) he'll always look like this:

Come on every body, sing along for David...

"Hello world, here's a song that we're singing...come on get happeeeeeee! A whole lotta of lovin' is what we'll be bringin' to make you happeeeee....!"

(I even wrote this post in purple because that's his favorite color - tee hee!)

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007


So, MSNBC has announced they are cancelling the simulcast of Don Imus' radio show. Apparently eight major advertisers - including American Express and General Motors - have decided to pull their ads. CBS Radio has suspended him for two weeks and are also considering cancelling his radio program. Here's what's going through my head:
  • I'm glad he's getting his comeuppance for being such a jack-ass
  • I feel horribly for the young women who were inexcusably attacked by this idiot and am so proud of their dignity and grace during this whole circus
  • I'm uncomfortable at the idea of a media company taking someone off the air due to what they said
  • A private company is allowed to eliminate someone who is costing them profits - but should media companies be held to a different standard because they (supposedly) serve the public interest?
  • Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are coming across (to me at least) as somewhat hypocritical for calling Imus out on this, but not really criticizing language of an equal or even more offensive nature from some rappers and hip-hop singers
  • Why aren't women as critical of Imus' use of the word "ho" as the Black community is over the use of the term "nappy-headed"?
  • This, along with the Mel Gibson/Michael Richards fiascoes may be an indication that finally we as a society will not sit back and put up with hate-speak
  • There's a lot of stuff going on that should get our attention such as the war, the Alberto Gonzales scandal, a plethora of Presidential candidates, etc. They are important issues - are they more important than this? I don't know.

Things that make me say Hmmmm...

What do you think?


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

American Idol Recap - Week 5

Latin Week!

Jennifer Lopez was the mentor. I have to say I'm not a JLo hater - she's OK. She seemed nice to the contestants and seemed like she wanted to help.

Frankly I was completely nonplussed by this week's show and none of the contestants blew me out of the water. Most seemed concerned about how to "move" and IMO wound up looking too self conscious about their movements. JLo tried to tell them to not think about it, but, of course, they didn't listen.

Let's go...

Melinda - "Sway" - I LOVE this song! She looked great, sounded great and gave a good performance. I thought this was the performance of the night.

LaKisha - "Conga" - OK, I'll admit, while I like the song, because this is Miami, I'm pretty much conga'd out. LaKisha's voice was very good, but not her best performance. She looked OK, but I didn't like her "dancing".

Chris R. - "Smooth" - About as opposite of smooth as he could be. He took a great song and massacred it. I thought his voice was awful.

Haley - "Turn the Beat Around" - OHMYGOD! What was with the restless leg syndrome at the beginning of the performance? Bring in the "REQUIP"
! STAT! She sounded awful as usual, but today she didn't even look pretty. Again with the short shorts, no bra and gratuitous shimmy - but this time she wore *porn shoes*!!! A train wreck. And seriously, after what Simon said to her tonight about her strategy beings to wear as little as possible (I happen to agree) - if next week she doesn't wear a turtle neck and long pants she'll prove him (and me) right.

Phil - "Maria, Maria" - I love this guy's voice and I thought his performance was OK. I thought he looked better, like he gained some weight (maybe he ate the corn dogs like I told him!). I'm still worried about his connection with the audience (or lack thereof).

- "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" - The song is OK and she sang it well. I didn't like her outfit and again, she seemed self-conscious about her dancing. I think this was her worst performance to date, but she's still OK.

- "I Need To Know" - I love this song. Blake tried to sing it like Marc Anthony, but he simply doesn't have the voice for it. His outfit was absurd - the whole thing was a mess.

Sanjaya - "Besame Mucho" - I swear I didn't
drink the Kool-Aid, but this week Sanjaya wasn't awful. Props for singing part of the song in Spanish and while the singing started out rough it actually got better as he progressed. By far his best performance, and IMO he's not even in the bottom 3!

Bottom Three: Haley, Chris R. and Blake

Going Home: Haley

NOTE - I will be on vacation next week - New Orleans here we come! - so there won't be an American Idol Recap.


Damned Fool

You know? He saw what happened with Mel Gibson. He saw what happened with Michael Richards.

What the hell?

Is he allowed to say what he said? Absolutely.
Should he have to deal with the fall out? Damned straight.

Do I want him to be fired? No.
Do I think he should be fired? That's between him and his management.

Do I agree with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in calling for Imus' firing? No.
Do I think Sharpton and Jackson should call Imus out on this thing? Absolutely.

What about the Rutgers' girls? My not-so-nice side would like to see them smack Imus around a little bit - because they *so* can take him.

But in the real world, they're having a press conference later today to comment on the situation - I expect they will be gracious and dignified and prove what an azz Imus is.


Monday, April 9, 2007

Evening with Friends

Saturday night my husband and I went to a barbecue at a friends house. A mutual friend who we all met playing World of Warcraft came to town so we all got together. It was a lot of fun.

In addition to the lovely barbecue, I've developed a fondness for
Lambic. I actually tried the raspberry flavored lambic at a Vietnamese restaurant a while ago, but didn't like it. Probably because I don't like raspberries that much. But this time I drank peach lambic and it was fabulous! Actually I drank a lot of peach lambic. And my other new favorite - Hard Cider. I drank a lot of that too.

And then we watched the movie
"Borat". Alas, I hadn't drunk enough lambic and hard cider to enjoy it. Frankly, I don't think there's enough lambic and hard cider in the world that would make me enjoy it. I am glad I saw it though, because now I can unequivocally say I don't like "Borat". At all. There wasn't any part I can say I enjoyed. I did sort of laugh a couple of times, but mostly it was at my husband and friends laughing so hard.

That's the beauty of getting together with good friends - you can watch a movie you really (really!) don't like, but it totally doesn't matter. You have a great time anyway.


Sunday, April 8, 2007

Happy Easter!

Today was a quiet, mellow Easter. We woke up late and then took my mother for an Easter lunch. We took er to her favorite restaurant and had a fabulous paella. She was happy and ate well. Then we came home, I watched 3 episodes I had *Tivo-like substanced* from a recent "House" marathon. Oh and I took an hour-long nap. Then I watched "The Sopranos" (YAY! It's back!) and "Brothers and Sisters".

Today was very different than the Easters while I was growing up, and even after I grew up but before I got married.

I have few memories of my Easters in New York (I was 5 when we moved to Miami) but based on pictures I know *hats* were involved. There are pictures of my mom, my grandmother and me in Easter hats. Scary.

Many Catholic Cuban families consider Easter as the "godparent/godchild" holiday. So while growing up we would always go to my godmother's house for Easter. She's my godmother, and my mom is her youngest daughter's (Patty, the one with breast cancer) godmother - so it was a double-whammy.

There was always a ton of people there. And a ton of food. We would do the Easter ham, but we'd have it with black beans and rice (in Spanish called moros y cristianos). I'd get Easter baskets from my parents, my godfather (he lived in Michigan and New Orleans while I was growing up) and from my godmother, and then she'd also give me an extra present, usually earrings, or a bracelet or something like that. Now I send my nieces Easter presents. I get them a toy and a book.

Later when I got older and my friends started having kids, we had Easter Egg hunts for the kids a couple of times. I'd go even though I didn't have a kid, it was fun and loud with lots of people.

Even though today was nice, I kind of miss the ruckus. My godmother now lives too far away to go for a day, my friends' children are too old to hunt for Easter eggs, and it's not worth making a big meal for my mom and us. Everything changes I guess.


Saturday, April 7, 2007

10 Year Anniversary of Allen Ginsberg's Death

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by
madness, starving hysterical naked,
dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn
looking for an angry fix,
angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly
connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat
up smoking in the supernatural darkness of
cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities
contemplating jazz,
who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and
saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes
hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy
among the scholars of war,
who were expelled from the academies for crazy &
publishing obscene odes on the windows of the

excerpt of "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg

The 10th anniversary of Ginsberg's death was actually Thursday, April 5th. I completely missed it. I only realized it when I read Poppy Mom. If you want to read about my *Allen Ginsberg moment*, check out my comment in Poppy's Ginsberg post.

Or forget about me and just check out her blog - it's great!


Friday, April 6, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The"Easter Weekend" Edition

Let's see what Bunny-Lola puts in our aural Easter Basket...
  1. "Nuevo Boogaloo" - The Iguanas (excellent groove in this song)
  2. "Renacer" - Miami Sound Machine (a very young Gloria Estefan)
  3. "Jackson" - Johnny Cash and June Carter (classic)
  4. "Are We the Waiting" - Green Day (old school Green Day, awesome song!)
  5. "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" - Marlene Dietrich (I am fascianted by this woman - did you read about the recently published letters between her and Hemingway? How cool!)
  6. "Both Sides Now" - Joni Mitchell (phenomenal version, in her mature, smoky voice - heartbreaking!)
  7. "I Only Want to Be with You" - Bay City Rollers (YAY! Bay City Rollers!)
  8. "Mockingbird" - Carly Simon and James Taylor (classic)
  9. "The Sweet Escape" - Gwen Stefani (from her new CD - really cool)
  10. "Grace Kelly" - Mika (I recently discovered this kid - in this song he reminds me so much of Freddy Mercury)

Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

So wrong on so many levels...

I swear I am thisclose to stop watching this season. The only one keeping me watching is Jordin. If she goes, I go.

Bye deserved much better.

Perhaps if she had worn less...because, you know Haley is *still* there. I'm guessing next week she'll be dry-humping the mic stand.

Anyway, next week J-Lo is supposed to be the "coach" and the theme will be "Latin music" - I have no idea how they're going to pull that off.


Tuesday, April 3, 2007

American Idol Recap - Week 4

I just want to say that I think Tony Bennett totally rocks the free world and parts of China!

We heard American Standards this week. This is probably my favorite American Idol theme not only because I love that music, but I also think it's a generous genre for singers as there are many "easy" songs. And I have to say almost everyone did what I think is their possible best.

So, as Pink instructs: let's get this party started...

Blake - "Mack the Knife" - Great song; this is the first time I didn't dislike him; actually I liked the performance but still don't think he has much of a voice; thankfully he didn't try to beat box his way through it.

Phil - "Night and Day" - Another great song; personally I liked it - I really like his voice; I worry about him though, I don't think the general public *gets* him and he still looks ill. Again - he needs a spray tan and a corn dog or two. Really.

Melinda - "I've Got Rhythm" - Well, well, well...just as I was getting bored with Melinda and complacent about her talent, tonight she was awesome. It's still too safe a choice for her, but she sang the hell out of it. And she looked good too.

Chris R. - "Don't Get Around Much Anymore" - I love this song and he *still* bored me. He was better than usual, but I still don't care.

Jordin - "On a Clear Day" - This is the one song of the night I don't really like, but Jordin sang it beautifully, if a bit dully. Not only did she sound great, she looked great. She's still my favorite.

Gina - "Smile" - I was really worried about Gina and this genre and she totally pulled it off. It's a beautiful song, she sang it beautifully and she looked beautiful. Tonight, for me, she was better than Jordin.

Sanjaya - "Cheek to Cheek" - What can I say? A classic song and he couldn't find a note. I will say he looked cute, he was charming and he was entertaining. But still - he can't sing to save his life.

Haley - "Ain't Misbehavin'" - Yeah, well, you ain't singing well either. Let's see...short skirt - check; no bra - check; low cut halter - check; gratuitous (albeit still lame) shimmy - check; looking all cute - check; a strong viable singing voice - BZZZZT, I'm sorry, not so much.

LaKisha - "Stormy Weather" - Again WOW! I know I said this was a generous genre, but this is a tough song and she totally nailed it. Her dress was fabulous and she owned the stage. IMO, this was the performance of the night.

Bottom Two: Since the US has apparently lost its collective mind and want to keep Sanjaya, I think the bottom two will be: Chris R. and Haley.

Going Home: Haley


Sunday, April 1, 2007

Book Reviews

Since a lot of us like to read, here are brief reviews for a couple of books I recently read:

"Naked" by David Sedaris

I was very disappointed with this book. I've enjoyed Sedaris' essays on "This American Life" and loved his "Holidays on Ice" book, so I was really looking forward to this. It simply wasn't funny. I found it sarcastic, angry and even depressing. It wasn't just self-deprecating, it was mean-spirited.

I definitely do not recommend it.


"The Last Cato" by Matilde Asensi

I enjoyed the book even though I found it too long. However, the plot was interesting enough to keep me going through the too-detailed explanations of Dante's "Divine Comedy" which served as the guide for the quest the characters are completing. Although somewhat complex and predictably contrived it was a good story.

Character development was good for the novel's narrator Ottavia, but less so for supporting characters Farag and the Captain.

I would recommend it to people who enjoy this type of story.