The Mind Wobbles

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

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Seven Random Things Meme - The Sleepy-Time Version

Dixie Peach has a "Seven Random Things Meme" on her blog, and she chose to do hers about sleep. I'm going to do the same and write about "Sleep and Me":

  1. I'm a horrible sleeper, and require chemical enhancement in order to sleep at night - nothing exciting, just "Lunesta"
  2. But...if I'm in a car, plane, bus -basically any mode of transportation - I can be out like a light in under 10 minutes
  3. I like hard mattresses and super firm pillows
  4. I sleep on my stomach, with one leg hitched up and my face sideways on the pillow
  5. I sleep with a lava lamp on my nightstand - it's my night-light
  6. I'm a bilingual dreamer - English and/or Spanish depending on the situation
  7. I must have the outside and bottom of the sheet tucked in, and if it gets untucked and my foot hangs outside the sheet I will get up and retuck the sheet before I can sleep
Now this is a Seven Random Things Meme, so if you want to tell us seven somethings, let us know in my Comments, and we'll go check it out on your blog!


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday's Ear Worm

So...what song have I had in my head all day?

Are you ready to get in the *Way Back Machine* with me Sherman?

None other than Ringo Starr's "No, No Song", released in 1974. Seriously. Does anyone remember this song?

Here it is...sing along...BWAHAHAHAHAHA:

The No No Song by Hoyt Axton

A lady that I know just came from Colombia
She smiled because I did not understand
Then she held out some marijuana ha-ha
She said it was the best in all the land.

And I said: No no no no, I don't smoke it no more
I'm tired of waking up on the floor.
No, thank you, please,it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door.

A woman that I know just came from Majorca Spain
She smiled because I did not understand
Then she held out a 10 pound bag of Cocaine
She said it was the best in all the land.

And I said: No no no no, I don't sniff it no more
I'm tired of waking up on the floor.
No, thank you, please,it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door.

A man I know just came from Nashville Tennessee-o
He smiled because I did not understand
Then he held out some moonshine whiskey oh-ho
He said it was the best in all the land.

And I said: No no no no, I don't drink it no more
I'm tired of wakin' up on the floor.
No, thank you, please, it only makes me sneeze
And then it makes it hard to find the door.


Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

I had a fun and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. As I mentioned in the previous Blog, we played Poker on Sunday night with a bunch of friends. There were four couples playing, so we split into 2 tables of four and we separated the spouses. It was soooo much fun! And best of all - I wound up being the big winner for the night! Who woulda thunk it? I put $5 in the pot and ended up with a grand total of $12.95 - that's right babies...I won a whopping $7.95! WOO HOO! We got home at about 2:30 in the morning. We're too old for such late nights!

Luckily today (Monday) we didn't have a damned thing to do, so we slept in till around 11 a.m. And we proceeded to do nothing at all of significance for most of the day. At some point hubby decided he wanted grilled Brats and Hamburgers, on account of it being Memorial Day and all. So I ventured into the super market - always an adventure - and got the supplies. Since we live in a condo run by an evil, oppressive, dictatorial condo management company, we aren't allowed (among a plethora of other things) to grill outside on our terrace, so Hubby "Georged" (made in the George Foreman Grill - among the greatest inventions ever, by the way) the food - everything was absolutely delicious! I loves me my Beer Brats...

I spent the whole night catching up on some of the last few episodes of "Heroes", I still have two more to go to finish the season. Did you all know you can watch the CBS, NBC and ABC shows online? Ooooh...Dixie, maybe you can catch up on LOST - they show them online at after they've aired here!

I hope everyone had a great Memorial Day weekend too!


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Dinner with Friends

When I woke up this morning I called a friend who had left me a message on my cell yesterday. It turns out she and her husband were alone for the long weekend having sent their kids away with her sister - she wanted to know if we wanted to join them for dinner. So we went to a great Vietnamese restaurant and had a great time, just eating and talking long after we were done eating...talking about nothing and everything.

Tomorrow night we're getting together with a bunch of friends for cards and hanging out. Rumor has it we're going to play poker. My hubby and another one of the men are going to be teaching us all how to play - that promises to be a hoot! Luckily there will be copious amounts of wine.

I really enjoy getting together with friends - be it a large group or just one or two couples. I have several groups of friends: what I consider my *core group* that I've known for over 20 years now, friends I made in my book club, friends from work, friends from hubby's work and friends I've made along the way.

Being an only child with no local family and with my husband's family also out of state, these people - particularly my core group - *are* my family. These are the people with whom I share both good and bad times, and who prop me up and keep me sane. They're the ones with whom we celebrate the major *family* holidays.

They're my *peeps* - I'm very, very lucky.


Friday, May 25, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "Blogger's Composing Menu Doesn't Appear for Me So This May Look Like Crap" Edition

This is probably going to look really bad, but I can't get the composing menu bar to show up on my office computer...sorry!

Let's see what Lola has for us today. She hates it when she can't primp so she may be a bit pissy!

  1. "Check on It" - Beyonce and Slim Thug
  2. "Anticipation" - Carly Simon
  3. "I Only Want to Be With You" - Dusty Springfield
  4. "Makin' Whoopee" - Ella Fitzgerald
  5. "I Just Want to Make Love to You" - Etta James
  6. "Stay" - Alison Krauss and Union Station
  7. "Shut Up" - Black-Eyed Peas
  8. "Love Shack" - B-52s
  9. "Tequila" - Beau Jocque(zydeco)
  10. "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" - Panic at the Disco!

Once again somewhat estrogen-heavy, but whatever Lola wants...


Thursday, May 24, 2007

Mish Mash Hodge Podge

I'm stealing Dixie Peach's bullets today. I've got all sorts of random thoughts in my head...

  • I'm happy Jordin won the American Idol shebang. It's the second season in a row my I picked the winner from the Top Twelve.
  • The season finale of LOST was awesome! It answered questions, asked new ones, and kept us on a trippy roller-coaster ride during the full two hours.
  • I was really, really disturbed by Wednesday's episode of The View. I've always liked Rosie O'Donnell a lot and believe Elisabeth truly hurt and disappointed her. I've been hurt and disappointed by someone I considered to be a friend and it sucks. I think Rosie didn't articulate her position as well as she could have, but to extrapolate that she believes our troops are terrorists is ridiculous - particularly when you take into consideration how much time and money she is dedicating to the returning wounded troops.
  • Although I'm disappointed with the war-spending bill Congress presented to Dubyuh, I believe they did the best they could with the situation at hand. It was a given anything with a time-line was going to be vetoed, so I like that they made it crystal-clear that it was the President that was completely disregarding the opinion of the increasing majority of the American public that wants our troops out of Iraq.
  • Everyone keeps telling me Dubyuh and company are not going to invade Iran, but this they seem to be doing the same things they did pre-Iraq: exaggerating the danger they pose, military maneuvers in the area, calling for increased sanctions, etc.
  • I'm glad to see most of my must-see TV shows coming to a conclusion - be it season finales or series finales - I want to concentrate on other things.
  • I'm getting my hair cut this weekend for the first time in a couple of years - I have no idea what I'm going to have done.
  • I've been feeling unnecessarily tired lately. I thought it might be that my long-lost period was coming on. Since the joy that is peri-menopause hit, I have no idea when, or if, it's coming. Apparently that wasn't it though. Still, just in case, I'm going out this weekend to a favorite Cuban restaurant and having a big, fat "bistec de higado con cebolla frita" (liver steak smothered in fried onions).
  • At the office today we got a copier/printer/scanner/fax machine that basically requires an advanced degree in Engineering (sigh).

That's all for now...


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

American Idol Recap - The Finale

OK boys and girls, this is it! Blake or Jordin?

The finalists had to sing three songs each: a song they pick among those they've performed during the competition, a song they pick that they've they had never performed before and both had to sing the song written by the song writing competition winners. Let's see what happened...

Blake: (song he has performed before) "You Give Love A Bad Name" - AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!!! Noooooooooooo! OK , I can deal with the beginning where he imitates a record player dropping the album onto the term table...fine. But then in the middle of the song - an iconic song, mind you - he starts in on the beat box crap and totally messes the whole thing up.

Jordin: (song she's never performed) "Fire" - A Cristina Aguilera song I've never heard before. I don't particularly like the song, but she sings it well, good control on the high notes and she looks beautiful.

Blake: (song he's never performed) "She Will Be Loved" - Awesome Maroone 5 song; OK people, the boy just can't sing, he's nasally and flat - but I didn't hate it.

Jordin: (song she has performed before) "A Broken Wing" - A Martina McBride song; while she sings it beautifully, I think she performed better songs from the competition that she could have chosen. However, again she hit the high notes beautifully and looked great.

[At this point Paula slurred that Jordin was "in great vocal voice" - as opposed to what - great *optical voice*? I don't believe for a minute that she broke her nose because she tripped over her dog - I think she tripped over the tequila bottle she dropped on the floor in her drunken stupor last night!]

The winning song by two guys from Seattle is called "This Is My Now" (or something like that). The song itself is IMO, a sappy boring ballad clearly designed to be a high school prom song - but hey this *is* American Idol so...

Blake - OK, as much as he's not exactly my favorite, I feel bad for the guy. Blake really got the shaft on this song. It is completely out of his genre, and totally something he would never sing - and predictably it was a train wreck. His voice was uneven, he looked bored uninspired and it just needed to end.

Jordin - While still a boring song, she improved it tremendously, but the song is much more suited for her style and voice (because she actually *has* a voice, AHEM). She sang it very well, starting soft and pretty and building up to a soaring vocal; again, she looked absolutely beautiful.

Who do I think will and should win? Jordin - no question. She was my pick for winner since the top 12 were established.

See you next season...maybe.


YAY - Book Meme!

I horked this from Dixie Peach who horked it from Katya. If you want to use it for your blog, please leave a note in my comments so I can read your answers!

  • A book that made you cry: "Paula" by Isabel Allende.

  • A book that scared you: "Blindness" by Jose Saramago.

  • A book that made you laugh: "Without Feathers" by Woody Allen.

  • A book that disgusted you: "Memories of My Melancholy Whores" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

  • A book you loved in elementary school: "Little Women" by Louisa May Alcott

  • A book you loved in junior high: "Gone with the Wind" by Margaret Mitchell.

  • A book you loved in high school: "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Bronte.

  • A book you hated in high school: "The Heart is a Lonely Hunter" by Carson McCullers.

  • A book you loved in college: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

  • A book that challenged your identity: "Roots" by Alex Haley.

  • A series that you love: Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

  • Your favorite horror book: "Rebecca" by Daphne du Maurier.

  • Your favorite science fiction book: "Fahrenheit 451" by Ray Bradbury.

  • Your favorite fantasy book: "Mists of Avalon" by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

  • Your favorite mystery book: "Murder on the Orient Express" by Agatha Christie.

  • Your favorite graphic novel: I've never read a graphic novel.

  • Your favorite biography: "Che Guevara - A Revolutionary Life" by Jon Lee Anderson. It should be required reading for clueless kids before they buy those frickin' frackin' t-shirts bearing Che's likeness!

  • Your favorite "coming-of-age" book: "I KNow Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou.

  • Your favorite classic: "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen.

  • Your favorite romance book: I don't have one.

  • Favorite kids book: "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

  • Favorite cookbook: "The Joy of Cooking" and "Cocina Criolla" aka "Cocina al Minuto" by Nitza Villapol (the Cuban cooking bible).

  • Your favorite book not on this list: "To Kill a Mockingbird".

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  • Saturday, May 19, 2007

    Lola Shuffle - The "Still on Minnesota Time" Edition

    OK, so it's not Friday in Miami, but it's still Friday in Minnesota...sorry!

    Let's see what Lola has in her now that we're home.

    1. "Let it Be" - The Beatles
    2. "Passionate Kisses" - Mary Chapin-Carpenter (fabulous lyrics)
    3. "Have a Nice Day" - Bon Jovi
    4. "Gin and Juice" - Snoop Dogg
    5. "Basket Case" - Green Day
    6. "Mexico" - James Taylor
    7. "Stompin' at the Savoy" - Benny Goodman and His Orchestra
    8. "Lady" - Little River Band
    9. "Lay Lady Lay" - Bob Dylan (oh sure *now* we get Bob Dylan!)
    10. "Un Poquito de Tu Amor" - Desi Arnaz

    Well, it was varied...


    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    Minneapolis - Wednesday

    Well today was the last day of the conference, and my last day in town. It was a short day at the conference so I was able to go sight-seeing, but before I left the conference I had quite a thrill!

    I was approached by a fellow technical writer who knew my name from one of the technical writers' listserv groups, but she approached me to ask me if I was the same Hilda who had a Blog! She told me that she reads my Blog regularly and really enjoys it! OMG - I met a fan! How exciting! I know it's not the same as Curmudgeon who's nominated for a Blog award, but it was cool.

    It was a great day for walking around, so when I left the conference, I made a bee-line for the Mary Tyler Moore statue and I saw it! Not only did I see it, but I threw a pretend hat up in the air and twirled around. Apparently this happens often because no one looked at me like I was insane - but I amused myself, so there.

    Then I took a cab to the
    Minneapolis Institute of Arts
    . The museum is absolutely beautiful and it offers free admission every day! How amazingly and thrillingly civilized.

    I was there for hours! The first thing I did was have lunch at the lovely restaurant. Then I walked around the permanent collection which has some fabulous stuff. But the highlight was definitely two of the special exhibits: "San Francisco Psychedelic Posters" which displayed a phenomenal collection of the posters that used to be plastered all over the city advertising the now legendary performances that took place at The Avalon and The Fillmore. The posters are incredible examples of psychedelic art and some even have elements of belle-epoque art and art nouveau.

    The second exhibit "San Francisco Psychedelic" which is a collection of photographs of musicians from San Francisco's psychadelic hey-day was incredible. There were awesome pictures of Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, etc. But the most fun was that they had listening stations where you could listen to songs by all of the musicians represented in the exhibit. They had three stations and at one point there were three of us sitting there, completely rocking out with our head sets on. I listened to some favorites like Big Brother and the Holding Company's (with Janis Joplin) "Piece of My Heart", Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit" and "Somebody to Love", The Grateful Dead's "Truckin'" and Country Joe and The Fish's "I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die-Rag" - so appropriate these days. I was sitting in this big, comfortable leather arm chair listening to Janis Joplin and I looked over and there was a heart-breakingly beautiful picture of her.
    Afterwards I walked back to the hotel and stopped at a middle-eastern restaurant for some Turkish coffee - yummy! Then I went back to the hotel, changed and went to the theater to get my ticket for that evening's performance of Triple Espresso. I then went across the street for some delicious barbecue before the show.
    The show was great - if it ever tours to your home-town, check it out.
    So, my stay in Minneapolis is over, but I definitely want to come back, it is a wonderful vacation destination. There are 72,000 things I still want to see...

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    Tuesday, May 15, 2007

    Minneapolis - Tuesday

    OK, so I've posted three posts for one day...what can I say, there's a lot going on in Hildaland! Or maybe, there's just a lot going on in Hilda's head!

    I just wanted to report on the day. I spent most of the day in the conference, you know, the reason I'm here. But I did take a walk along Nicollet Mall, the street my hotel's on. It was cold when I walked to dinner at 5 p.m., it's in the mid 60s - you have to understand, yesterday the high was 92! It was hotter here than in Miami!

    So, I wound up going to the British pub. Question: How have I lived my entire life not knowing about Scotch Eggs ? OHMYGOD - they are awesome! Dixie - did you know about these? Why didn't you tell me?

    So, obviously I had scotch eggs as an appetizer. Is it wrong to have an appetizer *and* a cup of soup? Well, too bad. After the scotch eggs I had a cup of Garlic Pepper Steak soup - yummy. As an entree I had this awesome lamb stew all washed down with a British hard cider named Strongbow - very nice. And for dessert, I had bread pudding topped with English toffee - yes, bread pudding and toffee. YAY!

    Tomorrow I have a short conference day, so I plan to do a bit of sight-seeing: the Minneapolis Institute of Arts has a psychadelic art exhibit along with rock and roll posters from the late 60s and early 70s concerts at San Francisco's Fillmore. They're also supposed to have a very good permanent collection. And I'm going to search for the Mary Tyler Moore statue damn it! Tomorrow night I plan to go see a play called "Triple Espresso", it's been running in Minneapolis since 1998. It's supposed to be really funny - I'll let you know.

    I'll leave you with a quote from the great Ted Baxter: "It's actually tomorrow in Tokyo. Do you realize that there are people alive here in Minneapolis who are already dead in Tokyo?"


    American Idol Recap - Week 10

    And then there were three...

    So, tonight everyone sang three songs - one chosen by the judges, one chosen by the producers and one they chose for themselves.

    Let's go...

    Jordin - "Wishing on a Star" - Simon chose this for her, apparently he got on is way-back machine and went back to the late 70s, the question is *why*? It's just not that good a song, but she did OK with it - she started off shaky but got it together as she went on; she looked beautiful and ended well.

    Blake - "Roxanne" - Paula chose this for him, it's my favorite Police song and they gave it to Blake! At least he didn't beat box through it, but why was he singing with a Jamaican accent - what is that about? Can't he just sing a frickin' frackin' song? Well, IMO, he actually can't. I don't like his hair and I don't like what he's wearing. The boy bothers me.

    Melinda - "I Believe in You and Me" - Yo, listen up dawg, Randy picked this for her, because you know, he's worked with Whitney (presumably before her cocaine- induced melt-down). The song is OK, and Melinda starts off soft and nice.

    Now, the Producer's choices...

    Jordin - "She Works Hard for the Money" - Of all the Donna Summer songs they could have picked, they chose the one I *hate*! She looked good, except I think she was wearing Haley's (remember her?) left-behind porn shoes. Well, I guess they kinda go with the song. Anyway - she did OK, but I didn't love it.

    Blake - "This Love" - Again they give this guy I song I really, really like! OK, so he wasn't awful, except for the damned beat-box crap. He was doing fine and the song certainly doesn't need to be augmented. WhatEVER.

    OHMYGOD - was that Hugh Hefner? I didn't think he ever left the mansion. He was probably there to find his next wife from among the teenagers in the audience. Too bad Haley's gone. (ahem)

    Melinda - "Nutbush City Limits" - I've never heard of this song; what did they do to Melinda's hair? It looks like she's got horns coming out the back of her head - I think she used some of Blake's *product*. I have to say, I didn't particularly like the song and/or her performance. She's no Tina Turner - she just doesn't have Turner's presence or personality or passion.

    Finally the contestants' selections:

    Jordin - "I Who Have Nothing" - She repeated her British Invasion Week song and it allowed us to see how she has grown as a performer, she did a great job back in Week 2, and now she did even better! For such a young performer, she certainly knows her strengths and continues to challenge herself with substantive songs. Simon complained the song was too old, yet he chose a 29 year-old song for her! I think both he and the producers are trying to *youthify* her by giving her more upbeat songs - but I think she recognizes she's a *torch singer*. I think this was the performance of the evening.

    Blake - "When I Get You Alone" - Robin Thicke, Blake? Really - that's what you decided to go with? A Robin Thicke song? Compare and contrast people: 17 year-old Jordin picks a *Shirley Bassey* song, Blake picks a Robin Thicke song! Hello? To be fair, he's less awful than perennially-bad-falsettoed Thicke, but then again, so am I. The song is god-awful. Go away fool!

    Melinda - "I'm a Woman" - Awesome song; this was another repeat performance and as before she did great! She started off a little wobbly but she quickly fixed it and nailed it. I didn't like the outfit though.

    Who leaves? Blake


    Jerry Falwell's Dead

    [I'm writing this post in purple in honor of Tinky Winky ]

    From all accounts he was alone when he was last conscious...for all intents and purposes, he died alone.

    Now, let's go to the Bible, the law by which he allegedly lived:

    Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

    Matthew 7:1-2

    Is it wrong, that what comes to my mind after the above citation is a very different source, Flip Wilson: "Here comes the judge, here comes the judge..."? Yeah, I guess it is.

    My prayers are with his family and those who considered him their spiritual guide...


    Monday, May 14, 2007

    Live from Minneapolis

    I'm in Minneapolis and it is beautiful! I'm here for a Technical Writers' conference so I can't do too much sight-seeing, but what I've seen I've liked.

    You know what I found interesting? In every public establishment I've been to - the hotel, restaurants, conference center, etc. - there's a sign saying something to the effect of "No Guns Allowed On Premises"! So of course, I asked the hotel concierge what that's all about. It turns out that Minnesota is one of the (I think) 48 states that issue concealed weapons permits - but this is the only place I remember seeing these signs. So pretty much the state may allow people to carry a concealed weapon, but all the businesses I've been to do not allow much for that!

    On a more pleasant subject, I've been having some lovely meals here so far.

    Although I have tried my damnedest to find a frickin' frackin' Scandinavian restaurant, I've had no luck. So...I've had to "settle" for African on Sunday at a place called "Safari" where I had traditional Somalian Goat Stew - YUMMY! Monday I went to an Indian restaurant around the corner from the Convention Center called "New Delhi", there I had Coconut Soup, Onion Kulcha (a bread), Lamb Vindaloo with mango and tamarind chutney, Gulab Jamun (dessert - dough balls in rosewater and honey) and Chai. YAY!

    Tuesday I think I'm going to a British pub and Wednesday to a Japanese place that specializes in teppanyaki (the fancy frying a la Benihana).

    I still haven't found the Mary Tyler Moore statue...maybe Wednesday!

    Well, that's it for now...


    Friday, May 11, 2007

    The Lola Shuffle - The "North Star State" Edition

    I'm going to Minneapolis on business, leaving Sunday and returning Thursday. The Minnesota state bird is the Common Loon, which is somehow appropriate for Lola, dontcha think?

    Let's see what Loony Lola offers us this week, I hope we get some Bob Dylan or Prince in there...

    1. "Landslide" - The Dixie Chicks (good start...)
    2. "Walk in Jerusalem" - Mahalia Jackson (if Mahalia's version of this song doesn't send your spirits soaring, nothing will)
    3. "Glory Days" - Bruce Springsteen (a long-standing favorite of mine)
    4. "All of Me" - Billie Holiday (wonderful Billie)
    5. "A Whiter Shade of Pale" - Sarah Brightman (I like her voice very ethereal)
    6. "Over the Rainbow" - Eva Cassidy (Dare I say it? I like her version better than the original. Don't hate me.)
    7. "I Need to Know" - Marc Anthony (love his voice, it's so plaintive)
    8. "Jesse" - Carly Simon (one of my favorite songs of hers)
    9. "Dear Mr. President" - Pink (You go sistah friend!)
    10. "Cold, Cold Heart" - Norah Jones (pretty)

    Hmmm...quite the estrogen-heavy shuffle this week. Bruce and Marc are in excellent company though.

    Alas, no Minnesotans made the shuffle! Mayhaps the excess estrogen has made Lola a bit ornery...


    "These dreams go on when I close my eyes"

    I rarely remember my dreams, but I had a cool dream last night. ready? Here goes:

    Bill Clinton was in town (in reality it is extremely common to have all levels of politicians come to Miami, usually for fundraising) for a day, not spending the night here. For some reason he chose *our* 1,000 square foot condo in the heart of the most suburban of suburbs to use as his hangout while he wasn't doing whatever he was in town to do. He could've picked the beautiful Biltmore Hotel
    in Coral Gables, or Ritz-Carlton in Coconut Grove - but no, he picked my place!

    Anyway, in my dream I ask what he'd like to drink and he says "beer or sangria". I don't drink beer at all, and my husband drinks sometimes but not often enough to necessarily have beer in the house. And while I love sangria, I like it freshly made and I don't always have the necessary ingredients lying around. So I found myself in the horrible position of not being able to give Bill Clinton what he wanted to drink! I panicked in my dream. I went into the kitchen and found several bottles of red wine - frankly too good to use for sangria, but I was willing to sacrifice for Bill - but I didn't have Seven-up or even Sprite!

    Freaking out I looked in my refrigerator and lo and behold, there I saw an un-open bottle of "Real Sangria"! If you've never tried it I can tell you, IMO, "Real Sangria" is VILE and wrong! Not to mention the fact that I have never, ever in my life owned a bottle of "Real Sangria". But, it was an emergency - so after some dream time was spent trying to remember in what kind of glass sangria should be served, I served "Real Sangria" to the former President of the United States - a President that I actually liked! He loved it - and then I woke up.


    Wednesday, May 9, 2007

    American Idol Recap - Week 9

    Bee Gees Week

    I don't know why they waited this late in the competition to do Bee Gees songs. They have a huge repertoire - much more than eight songs!

    My husband told me I couldn't be objective tonight because I really like the Bee Gees (mostly pre-Saturday Night Fever) and I was a *purist*. That might be true.

    Here we go...

    Melinda 1: "Inside and Out" - Well, as much of a Bee Gees' fan as I am, this is a song I don't really like. With the plethora of songs available, I can't fathom why she chose this one. She was OK, but I found her boring.

    Blake 1: "You Should Be Dancing" - Amazingly *another* Bee Gees song I don't particularly like. I didn't like his falsetto and of course the beat box nonsense just made an annoying song even more annoying.

    LaKisha 1: "Stayin' Alive" - OK, a great song, a classic - but did it really need to be performed? More importantly did Lakisha have to do it? Actually she did better than I expected. It was fine.

    Jordin 1: "To Love Somebody" - Now we're getting into the good stuff - I think this is a beautiful song and Jordin was phenomenal with it. Her voice was perfect for it and she sang it with the proper amount of feeling; she looked beautiful as well. I think this was the performance of the night!

    Melinda 2: "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart" - I love this song but I didn't like the way Melinda performed it. She belted it and this isn't a "belty" song - this is a soft, plaintive lament. Her voice was good as always but the rendition was too strident.

    Blake 2: "This is Where I Came In" - I had never heard this song. Maybe that's why I wasn't bothered by Blake's performance - I don't know if he butchered it or not. Therefore, this is the first performance by Blake that I liked. It may not be a style I like, but it sounded current and pretty much in key.

    Lakisha 2: "Run to Me" - Another pretty ballad; she sang it beautifully, controlling her voice and avoiding being to loud and strident. It was good.

    Jordin 2: "Woman In Love" - This was ambitious on her part, it's a 17 year old girl singing a Streisand song written by Gibb; again we see Jordin taking risks. I think she did a wonderful job, although I didn't like it as much as "To Love Somebody", but still a great job. IMO - she was, hands down the star of the show tonight.


    Bottom 2: Blake and Melinda (again, yes Melinda)

    Going Home: Blake


    Sunday, May 6, 2007

    The Lion King

    Today I went with friends to see the musical "The Lion King". The traveling company is playing in Fort Lauderdale, about an hour north of here.
    I saw the Disney movie and loved it, but the play is amazing. I've seen many musicals through the years but this was undeniably the most visually beautiful show I have ever seen. The costumes, the choreography, the colors, the simple sets...all stunning. And I happen to love South African music, which is the style of most of the show's music - so I was in heaven.
    If you don't already believe Elton John and Tim Rice are geniuses...I recommend you see this show. There's way more to them than "Crocodile Rock"!
    Hakuna Matata!


    Friday, May 4, 2007

    The Lola Shuffle - The "I Only Worked 3 Days This Week" Edition

    And awaaaaaaaay we go...
    1. "Wanted Dead or Alive" - Bon Jovi (What a coincidence! This makes for a promising start.)
    2. "The Rising" - Bruce Springsteen (powerful)
    3. "Let It Be" - The Beatles (love this song)
    4. "Round Here" - Counting Crows (yawn)
    5. "This One's for the Girls" - Martina McBride (great girl-power song)
    6. "Come to My Window" - Melissa Etheridge (love her)
    7. "Grace Kelly" - Mika (cool song...)
    8. "Travelin' Soldier" - Dixie Chicks (love them)
    9. "J'Menui De Toi" - Danny Collet & The Swamp Cats (Zydeco - yay!)
    10. "Chan Chan" - Compay Segundo (for most he's known from Buena Vista Social Club - but he's been a Cuban music legend since forever)

    Well most of that was good. Have a great weekend!


    Thursday, May 3, 2007

    World Press Freedom Day

    I found out about this today and thought it was worth bringing up. Messing with a free press - regardless of the medium - cannot be justified by claiming to *protect us*. Give us the information and let us protect ourselves.

    Check it out...

    World Press Freedom Day

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    Wednesday, May 2, 2007

    American Idol Recap - Week 8

    The Music of Bon Jovi

    I really like Bon Jovi, but I'm a relatively new fan. I always knew who they were and enjoyed the music enough in the periphery of my life, but within the last 7 years or so, due to my friend's husband I've come to appreciate them more. I even went to see them in concert - I went with my friend's husband and son and it was great! So I was excited, albeit wary, about "Bon Jovi Night" on AI.

    So, let's get to it:

    Phil: "Blaze of Glory" - WOW! Not among my favorite Bon Jovi songs, but Phil completely sold it! He sounded terrific, strong voice, great energy in the performance, lots of feeling - and he looked good, like he's gained a little weight. I think this was THE performance of the night.

    Jordin: "Living on a Prayer" - It had to happen, she had to have a bad night. One of my concerns about tonight was that Bon Jovi doesn't really have "chick songs" or even neutral songs - they are pretty much all guy songs, and Jordin picked a difficult song. She's a talented girl, and arguably a bad night for Jordin is a stellar night for others - but she's Jordin and we've come to expect awesome all the time. I thought she was brave to try such an iconic song, her high notes were good and that she looked beautiful - but this was definitely not her night.

    LaKisha: "This Ain't a Love Song" - I'm impressed. She pulled it off - I was really worried about her. I had never heard the song but she did a good job with it. She looked good, her voice was strong and her high notes controlled. Way to go Kiki!

    Blake: "You Give Love a Bad Name" - OK, I know a lot of you will disagree, but I thought this was horrible. The primary reason I so actively dislike Blake was because at the start of the season he was *beat-boxing* on everything. He finally stopped doing it, and now he comes back with this crap and does it with an iconic song. I thought it was a nightmare. Oh, and he looks better blond.

    Chris: "Wanted: Dead or Alive" - (yawn)...only this kid can make this song boring. He was nasally, he was uninspired, there was no emotion. Bleh. Can we please be done with him yet?

    Melinda: "Have a Nice Day" - Again, I was worried, but of course - she nailed it. She did a great job with the song, but once I heard her singing it I wished *she* had sung "Living on a Prayer" - she totally has the voice for it. In this song she seemed to be building up to a great vocal burst that isn't in the song. It was anti-climatic. But she was still wonderful.

    Bottom Two: Blake and Chris

    Out this week: Blake and Chris.


    Tuesday, May 1, 2007

    Playing Hooky from the Opera

    One of my best friends and I got season tickets to the opera this year, we do Sunday matinees - and for the most part it's been great. But Sunday when we were supposed to go see "Samson and Delilah" well, we didn't really feel like dealing with the heavy drama of the opera itself and all the logistical issues that go along with it (parking, etc.). So, at the last minute just as we were supposed to take the correct exit for the opera...we didn't.

    We already had plans to have dinner later that night with a group of friends (The Culinarily Adventurous Girls Club(CAGC) - I'll post about that another time - it's a hoot!) at a Russian restaurant, so we went ahead and drove up to the area early to get out bearings, grab some lunch, maybe catch a movie.

    As we were driving around we unexpectedly came across a fabulous Bengali restaurant the CAGC had already been to. So we stopped there for lunch - delicious! Then we went to a nearby theater and saw the movie "The Namesake" - coincidentally about a Bengali family! The movie, was great, as was the book - I highly recommend both.

    Then we met for Russian food! Another success!

    So...not that I'm advocating playing hooky or shirking plans as a rule - but every now and then, it really pays off!