The Mind Wobbles

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Book Review - "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" by J.K. Rowling (No Spoilers)

Wonderful! Hands down the best of the Harry Potter series. I laughed, I gasped, I was scared, and I most definitely cried. Rowling has managed to create a parallel world that has become so familiar you don't feel it's fantasy - it all makes perfect sense, there's no need to suspend disbelief.

This is by far the most complex book as there was a lot to explain. The significant back story is presented in various ways, some of them very imaginative. The ending while sad, was satisfying and realistic.

And now we say goodbye to this amazing cast of characters at least in book form. I read something by Stephen King (apparently a *huge* Potter fan) where he points out that kids who started off with the first book when they were 8 are turning 18 now...they grew up with Harry. To a degree so did we, even as adults. The books reminded us of simple, important values - loyalty, friendship, perseverance, bravery - that adult, more sophisticated or complex literature often ignores or takes for granted.

So I say goodbye to old friends, even though I know that I will revisit them, as these are books I will definitely read again

I recommend this book with no caveats. For those who have seen and enjoyed the movies - the books are so much better!


Friday, July 27, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "I'm Not Ready to Post Anything but Lola Insisted" Edition

I'm still reading Harry Potter - I know, I know - so I have nothing to post about. But you know how Lola can be. She insisted she be allowed her weekly shuffle.

FIIIIIIINE! Here it is:

  1. LDN - Lily Allen (a deceptively, delightfully subversive little ditty)

  2. Forever Young - Joan Baez

  3. Jessie - Joshua Kadison

  4. Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes - Paul Simon (awesome song!)

  5. Fat Bottomed Girls - Queen

  6. I Who Have Nothing - Jordin Sparks (yes, I paid to download an American Idol person - I like her!)

  7. I Don't Want to Be - Gavin DeGraw

  8. House on Pooh Corner - Kenny Loggins (Winnie the Pooh was my high school class mascot - happy memories!)

  9. Pavement Cracks - Annie Lennox (another awesome song - but the again what else would we get from her?)

  10. Somos Novios (It's Impossible) - Vikki Carr (The song was originally written in Spanish by Mexican composer Armando Manzanero; Vikki Carr herself is Mexican-American)

OK, that should satisfy Lola. I've gotta go read - actually now I have to get back to work. What? I'm serious damn it.

Have a great weekend!


Saturday, July 21, 2007

I'll see you 759 pages from now...

YAY! *THE* book was delivered to my door at exactly 1:58 a.m. today! I immediately sat down and read the last chapter and epilogue. This morning I started reading it from the beginning and so far it is awesome - there's been a lot of really interesting back story.

Until I finish the book, I don't expect to be posting much - unless something momentous happens - so don't worry if you don't hear from me for a few days. I'll be wandering the halls of Hogwarts, or the Ministry of Magic or wherever Rowling takes me - but I've got my phoenix tail feather wand and my invisibility cloak, so I'll be OK.


Book Review - "Barrel Fever" by David Sedaris

Yeah, uh..., no. I didn't like 95% of this book. I have now read all of David Sedaris books and I can unequivocally say this is the book I liked least. I liked it even less than I liked "Naked" - or should I say I disliked it even more than I disliked "Naked".

This is Sedaris' first book and IMO it's obvious. There are twelve "stories" - allegedly fiction - and four essays, supposedly non-fiction. As far as I know, all subsequent Sedaris books are essay collections. I can see why. The difference between the fiction and the essays is night and day. I found the fiction to be just *too* disturbing. Seriously - really disturbing. Happily, it seems Sedaris' *real* life - albeit dysfunctional - is no where near as scary and twisted as his imagination.

My favorite entry in this book is the essay "Diary of a Smoker" - I thought it was very funny. In real life Sedaris is an avowed anti-non-smoker, he has said that's one of the reasons he left New York City for France where he now lives. It also includes his classic "Santaland Diaries", which is phenomenal - but you can read that in "Holidays On Ice" and not have to endure the rest of this book's unpleasantness.

In my opinion, this book is *leagues* away from my favorite "Me Talk Pretty One Day" and I would recommend it, warily, only to Sedaris fans.


Friday, July 20, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "Harry Potter Tribute" Edition

I am a mass of conflicting emotions today - I'm excited about getting the new (and last) Harry Potter book, but I'm also sad because it's the last of a wonderful series.

As it turns out, Hubby has a bum knee and needs to keep the knee rested all weekend, so I will be able to do nothing but immerse myself in the book while he plays World of Warcraft rests and I read and maybe get him some water or something tend to him lovingly and without complaint (HA!).

Anyway, Lola wave your i-Wand and shuffle your little Gryffindor heart out!

  1. Bye Bye Bye - *Nsync (don't start!)

  2. Blue Velvet - Barry Manilow

  3. I Haven't Got Time for the Pain - Carly Simon

  4. The Bitch is Back - Elton John (one of my favorite Elton John songs)

  5. Movin' On - Elliott Yamin

  6. Southern Nights - Glen Campbell (I can hear you people snickering all the way over here!)

  7. Maniac - Michael Sembello (Don't lie, you know you danced to this song with an off the shoulder tee shirt and big hair!)

  8. Sunshine on My Shoulders - John Denver (awwwww...makes me happy)

  9. Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac (Go Stevie, go Stevie, woo woo, go Stevie and just rock on with your hippie chick self!)

  10. Baba O'Riley - The Who (This is agreat song, but now I can't hear it without thinking of the concert for New York and the city's first responders after 9/11 - I still get chills.)

Not bad Lola...we got some good new songs today!


Thursday, July 19, 2007

Birthday Meme

My Blog Buddy Curmudgeon has tagged me for this meme. Since I love talking about myself (What? Don't judge me! I'm an only child! It's all about me damn it!) I'm in meme heaven!

OK, so we're supposed to look up our date of birth on Wikipedia and find three events, two births and a holiday that happened on that date.

My birthday, as many of you know, just happened on July 8th.


  1. 1776 - The Declaration of Independence was read aloud in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

  2. 1889 - The first issue of the Wall Street Journal is published. (Things that make you say Hmmm: I worked as a telemarketer for The Wall Street Journal about 20 years ago!)

  3. 1947 - Reports are broadcast that a UFO has crash landed in Roswell, New Mexico.


  1. 1593 - Artemisia Gentileschi, female Italian painter

  2. 1970 - Beck, American singer


  1. Annual Soapy Smith wake, held each year in Skagway, Alaska in the Gold Rush Cemetery (that's Soapy's picture up there)

That was fun!

Now Curmudgeon is a lawyer, so he likes to complicate things. I'm supposed to copy the list below from his Blog, delete the top name and add my link to the bottom. So you have to do that too - Curmudgeon said so!

Big Leather Couch

Mimi Writes

Late Bloomer Boomer

Second Effort

The Mind Wobbles

And, I'm supposed to tag five people,so...purplepassion, Dixie, Sari, Troyboy and Toni - TAG, all y'all are IT!

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Moaning Meme

Curmudgeon posted the following meme to his Blog. And since I am forever moaning (although rarely whining) I took it. He said I could.

Here's how he presented the rules:

  • Link to the original meme at so people know what it's all about!
  • Be as honest as possible: This is about letting people get to know the real you!
  • Try not to insult anyone - unless they really deserve it or are very, very ugly!
  • Post these rules at the end of every meme! (Both Curmudgeon and I ignored this part - because that's the rebels we are!)

[I am purposely not including politics in this, because well, it would be all about politics because I moan about current US politics endlessly.]

List 4 things that should go into room 101 and be removed from the face of the earth:

  1. Those walkie-talkie things people use instead of cell phones. I don't care to listen to whatever you're talking about, particularly when it is preceded by static and squawky sounds
  2. Tofu - I'm sorry, I just think it's wrong to parasitically suck up the flavor of whatever you're served with.
  3. Tattoos. I swear I'm not judging anyone, I just don't like them, wouldn't want them on my body, would never have carnal relations with a man who has one, and if I had children and they got one - regardless of their age - I would attempt to rip it off their skin with my finger nails (I guess it's a good thing I don't have kids, huh?). But that's just me.
  4. Sports Commentators chattering endlessly during a game. I don't need to be told whoever passed the football to whoever - I can see it. Or some absurd, obscure stat about which no normal person should care. They should only speak when there's some sort of penalty that needs to be explained to me or if there's an interesting, feel-good, human interest anecdote about a player. Otherwise let us enjoy the ambient sounds of the game. Oh and for heaven's sake can we PLEASE be allowed to watch the college half-time shows? Those kids in the marching band work very hard and deserve air time. I don't need the commentators recapping what I just saw or what's going on in some other game! Oh and when the middle-aged former players take off their expensive well-tailored jackets and pretend to reenact a play, forget moaning, I want to shriek.

3 things people do that make you want to shake them violently:

  1. Talk on their cell phones in a restaurant, theater or during mass
  2. Toss garbage out of the car window
  3. Eat half a donut when someone brings them to work and leave the other half in the box. That's just nasty!

2 things you find yourself moaning about:

  1. Work. I want a temporary break from work (3 months should be about right) but can't afford it.
  2. Infotainment. I don't care if Lindsey Lohan is in or out of rehab. Really, I just don't care.

1 thing the above answers tell you about yourself:

  1. I have issues. :)

I won't tag anyone. If you respond, please post to my comments so I can go see your peeves.


Michael Jackson

So, I was sitting here at work listening to Lola (my iPod). I have it set to *Shuffle* and "Billie Jean" by Michael Jackson started to play. I stopped and listened and it was so damned good. So, I switched to play the eleven Michael Jackson songs I currently have loaded. Right now I'm listening to "The Way You Make Me Feel" from the late 80s - the "Bad" album - and it is really, really good.

What happened to him? If you think back through his career he was (is?) amazing! The variety of music, the quality, hell the sheer quantity of music is staggering. First with his brothers, then his solo career "Off the Wall" and then "Thriller" came out and he exploded - he was huge! Who doesn't remember his electric appearance on
Motown 25 – Yesterday, Today, Forever when he performed "Billie Jean". He followed "Thriller" with "Bad" and had another bunch of hits.

And then he started to unravel before the cruel public eye. What went wrong? Was it damage that lay dormant since his childhood that just blew up under the pressure of being the iconic figure of 80s music?

I don't really want to delve into the whole issue with kids as it is too disturbing to deal with, but I can't help but wonder if it stems - at least in part - because he's looking for the childhood he never had. It may be wishful thinking, but personally I don't think he has any malicious intent towards children, I just think he is so disconnected from reality that he doesn't realize how his actions are perceived.

Thankfully we have his music forever. I can't help but think what is left of his life will be a sad, lonely existence and that we've seen the last of his talent. I find that to be horribly sad.

Although he's still alive I already mourn the beautiful little boy who sang "ABC", the handsome young man who floated through "Billie Jean" and the man - growing stranger and stranger - who gave us the awesome "Black or White" and "Man in the Mirror".


Friday, July 13, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "Now I'm 44!" Edition

OK, so I'm 44.

I don't feel different.

Let's see what a more mature Lola has to offer...

  1. Give Up the Funk - Parliament
  2. Give Me Novocaine - Green Day
  3. Travelin' Soldier - Dixie Chicks
  4. Start Me Up - Rolling Stone
  5. Francisco Guayabal - Compay Segundo
  6. Veronica - Elvis Costello
  7. Amazing Grace - Joan Baez
  8. Hand in My Pocket - Alanis Morissette
  9. Althea - Grateful Dead
  10. Breathless - The Corrs

Wow! Lola is all over the place! Sort of like the way I've been feeling the last few days. I think Lola and I share a brain!


Monday, July 9, 2007

Book Review - "Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim" - David Sedaris

Yes, I'm in the throes of a Sedarisathon.

I read Holidays on Ice years ago and loved it. But in this spate first I read Naked - and didn't like it. But having enjoyed my first foray into the strange place that is David Sedaris' mind, I gave him another chance - I read Me Talk Pretty One Day and loved it! Now I've finished Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and have started reading Barrel Fever. I believe this completes the David Sedaris catalog so far.

I enjoyed "Dress Your Family...". It delves more into his family and personal relationships than the others have and while funny - it is occasionally funny in a disturbing way. You can't help but wonder how much is true and how much is sort of maybe true but somewhat embellished. You find yourself hoping there is in fact embellishment because we're talking serious dysfunction otherwise - particularly when he discusses one of his sisters and his brother.

His writing is as usual quick and biting and witty. He is self-deprecating, but compared to a couple of his siblings, and maybe his father (as he describes them) - he is the *less messed up*, which is scary.

Although I didn't like it as much as "Me Talk Pretty One Day", I still recommend it.


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Birthday Musings

WOOT, WOOT - it's my birthday, boopydoopboop!

I'm 44 today, and here's some of what I'm thinking:

  • I watched the whole Live Earth, on Bravo from 9:00 a.m to 2:30 a.m. OK, I TiVO-like substanced it, but I saw the whole thing. It was phenomenal! In addition to the message, which obviously was so important, the music was fantastic. They got everyone! The Police, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Black-Eyed Peas, Kanye West, Shakira, among others were great. Oh - and Nunatak were awesome! And Melissa Etheridge's performance was riveting and so timely. A great effort.
  • This is annoying me more than I should let it
  • Things that make you say Hmmmm...U.S. Aborted Raid on Qaeda Chiefs in Pakistan in ’05
  • We have a pair of orioles that live in the tree that sits in the patio where my favorite easy chair faces. They make me happy.

So, now that I've started my 45th year I look forward to our political climate changing, I hope to make some changes for my health and for the environment (what can I say, the concert inspired me!), and I hope my orioles stick around.

As I celebrate my birthday I recognized how blessed I am and I am thankful.


Friday, July 6, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "The In-Laws Are Coming! The In-Laws Are Coming!" Edition and pa-in-law will be arriving Sunday (my birthday by the way - 44 and counting!) and will be staying with us for a little over a week. I can't wait! Thankfully I am blessed with fantastic in-laws, we get along great and we have a ton of fun together!

So tomorrow will be frenetic shopping and getting ready - WOO HOO!

So get to shufflin' Ms. Lola, and make it snappy!
  1. Hold Me - Fleetwood Mac
  2. Lady - Lenny Kravitz
  3. 's Wonderful - Sarah Vaughn
  4. Running with the Night - Lionel Richie (Don't mock me people!)
  5. That's the Way of the World - Earth, Wind and Fire (Smooooth)
  6. I Shot the Sheriff - Eric Clapton
  7. Foolish Games - Jewel
  8. That'll Be the Day - Buddy Holly
  9. Not Ready to Make Nice - Dixie Chicks (if you haven't seen the documentary "Shut Up and Sing" - check it out!)
  10. Sunday Girl - Erasure

Not a bad mix - Lola did well!

Have a great weekend!


Thursday, July 5, 2007


(This is a bit long - about 10 minutes and requires sound - but IMO, worth the time.)

Keith Olbermann

My opinion? What Keith Olbermann said.

Labels: ,