The Mind Wobbles

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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

"Big Shots"? Ummm...not so much

Buh-bye Big Shots! Thanks for playing - at least with me. This is the first of the season's new TV shows deleted from my TiVo-like substance program list. I watched the recording of the season premiere and I can't believe how much I *hated* this show. If I were a man I'd be insulted - hell, I'm not a man and I'm insulted for them! How they managed to make me dislike Dylan McDermott - who I now know cannot play "funny", not even sarcastic funny - and Joshua Malina is astonishing.

Some are comparing this drivel to my dearly-departed, IMO, brilliant Sex and the City. I heartily disagree. Unless it's a man-woman thing. If there are any men reading this who have watched "Big Shots", please weigh in.

The characters played out the worst male stereotypes and *none* of them were likable. Not even "James" - played by the stunningly handsome James Vartan - who is supposed to be the one for whom we feel sorry is likable. He's a clueless wuss.

Oh well...maybe I'll program Journeyman in it's place, I've been hearing good things about that one.


Friday, September 28, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "We Got a *Whole Foods Market* in My Area!" Edition

YAY! Do you have a Whole Foods Market in your area? We do now! And I'm so excited I can't stand myself. We're going this weekend.

Go Lola shuffle away...

  1. Unchained Melody - Il Divo (I still haven't decided if i like these boys or not)
  2. Jackson - Johnny Cash and June Carter (Love this song!)
  3. Ice - Sarah McLachlan - (I'm somewhat ambivalent about McLachlan's music, but I really like this song...haunting)
  4. Puro Teatro - La Lupe
  5. Oh Boy - Buddy Holly (Wow! Talk about a contrast - Buddy Holly and La Lupe!)
  6. If You Love Somebody Set Them Free - Sting
  7. Jesse - Carly Simon (I like this song - it is so real. How often do we wind up doing stuff we consciously know is bad for us, but we do it anyway? Oh Jesse....)
  8. The No No Song - Ringo Starr (OK I know marijuana is associated with Colombia, and moonshine can be associated with Tennessee - but is cocaine really associated with Majorca, Spain? Should I have known this? Or is it more a matter that Spain rhymes with cocaine?)
  9. Out Tonight - RENT Movie Soundtrack (This is actually sung by Rosario Dawson who plays Mimi in the movie - she has quite a good voice. A great song - lots of sexy energy)
  10. Hotel California - The Eagles (Ah yes...we end with a classic of my generation)

Good job Lola! I think I'll take her to Whole Foods this weekend, maybe they'll have organic batteries or something for her.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone...:)


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Has Sound...



Wednesday, September 26, 2007

New TV Season - "Cane"

I have a more than casual interest in Cane, obviously because of the Cuban-American angle. So, I watched Tuesday night's premiere and my first impression of it was that it was pretty good, but intense.

There's the potential for some disturbing stereotypes, but I want to see how they play it out. As for the Cuban culture aspect - it was the most accurate I've seen on TV ever. The creator of the series was born in Cuba and raised in Miami - and it shows. They actually played *Cuban* music for some of the dance and music scenes - not just generic Salsa, the cafecito was served correctly - not like espresso, etc. And most importantly I think they captured the typical early-Exile feeling towards the US - they love this country fiercely and know how to work the system like a *native*, but they still have a deep connection to Cuba and Cuban culture. There was also a nod to the difference between *traditional* Exiles and Balseros.

All in all it looks promising, as long as they don't succumb to negative stereotypes that may make for a good story but are inaccurate and offensive, and they don't get lazy about the cultural details.



Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Would you? Wouldn't you? Have you?

I found this on MySpace (don't ask) - respond to each with "I would", "I wouldn't" or "I have".
  • Touch a snake - I have
  • Ride in a hot-air balloon - I would
  • Sky dive - I would
  • Scuba dive - I wouldn't
  • Sing in front of a huge audience - I have
  • Sit in the front of a roller coaster - I have
  • Walk through a graveyard alone at night - I would
  • Join a space mission - I wouldn't
  • Call off a wedding - I would
  • Walk naked through a crowded city - I wouldn't
  • Disarm a bomb - I wouldn't
  • Clean the outside windows on a skyscraper - I wouldn't
  • Go on tour with a rock band - I wouldn't
  • Go skinny dipping in mixed company - I have
  • Heckle a comedian at a comedy club - I wouldn't
  • Eat something really gross - I have (according to some)

I won't tag anyone, but if you want to play along, let me know in my Comments.


Monday, September 24, 2007

What did you do last weekend?

I had an OK weekend...

  • I got my hair cut. I don't love it. I think I look like Prince Valiant - remember him? I'm 44 years old and the hair stylist gave me a page boy haircut! What is that about? Anyway, it'll go away when I wash my hair and don't blow dry it.
  • I went to visit the new local Whole Foods Market. Sadly, I was a week early. Bummer. I'll try again next Saturday. You can't imagine how excited everybody is about this place!
  • My refrigerator, which came with the condo and is about 87,000 years old, is acting weird. We have a mysterious daily pooling of water on the bottom shelf - but nothing else is wet, so it's not dripping from the freezer. It's just water that apparently comes from nowhere. It's just there. Of course when hubby and I started discussing getting a new refrigerator, the mysterious pooling stopped.
  • Sunday my friend Cris and I made spaghetti squash with a fresh tomato, olive oil and fresh garlic sauce. It was awesome. We also made (invented?) a lovely appetizer: fresh figs cut in half then stuffed with a veined cheese with which I wasn't familiar, topped with a dollop of balsamic vinegar and nuked. The thing is we nuked them a bit too long which made them really tasty - the cheese sort of dissolved into the fig - but not pretty. Further experimentation is required.
  • Sunday night/Monday morning I didn't fall asleep till like 4 a.m. then woke up today at 7:00 a.m. and managed to go to work, not fall down, attend a meeting and not fall asleep, and actually wound up being relatively productive. I had, I'm totally not exagerrating, 7 shots of Cuban coffee in two sittings - 4 shots at around 9:30 a.m. and 3 shots at around 2 p.m.

I'm sleepy now...good night.

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Friday, September 21, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "OHMYGOD This Week SO Needs To Be Over!" Edition

Remember the cheesy disco (is that redundant?) movie "Thank God It's Friday"? Well, Imma gonna cheese it up because - Thank God it's Friday!

OK Lola, let's end the week with a bang!
  1. Over the Rainbow - Eva Cassidy (Absolutely beautiful, heart-wrenching version of this song)
  2. Forever Young - Joan Baez (Go, Lola, go're doing great! Forget Rod Stewart's version - this one is so much more heart-felt.)
  3. You're My World - Helen Reddy (Don't you start with me Dixie! - I like this song and I like it by Helen, so there!)
  4. Oye Como Va - Santana (Perfection!)
  5. Gypsy - Fleetwood Mac (Meh...OK I guess, not doing it for me today)
  6. Take Me Home - Cher (Ha! Cher and disco! Well, it made me laugh.)
  7. Don't Go Breaking My Heart - Elton John and Kiki Dee (Lola - you're killing me!)
  8. One More Saturday Night - Grateful Dead (Ah...better. The Grateful Dead are always good for a smile.)
  9. The Ballad of John and Yoko - The Beatles (I hadn't thought of this song in forever - it's pretty good actually)
  10. Sister Goldenhair - America (Yeah, good way to end the shuffle and start the weekend)

Once again - for the most part - Lola knows what I need to hear.

Have a great weekend everyone!


Thursday, September 20, 2007

Film Meme - Dixie Made Me!

OK, so Dixie, who I love and adore posts this on her Blog and rightfully predicts that I will jump all over this like a Golden Retriever glad to see his owner after a whole day away from him!

Here are the instructions as presented by Dixie:

"Here's a list of 239 films. Supposedly if you've seen more than 85 of them you probably have no life. I'm thinking that if you've seen less than 85 of them you probably haven't been inside a movie theater since before Nixon was president and you refer to the television as the "boob tube". Or you're my mother.Here we go. Assorted comments by me in italics."

I'm guessing (because I'm smart that way) that we're supposed to "X" the movies we've seen and total them up by section and come up with a grnad total at the end. I too will add comments in italics.

I just want to add that when I copied this it all came in as one giant paragraph, which I then had to go through and separate - a further testament to just how much I love and adore Dixie - and memes!

(x) Rocky Horror Picture Show - See, this is a movie that I saw for the first time as a 30+ year old woman, on video, at home, alone. I'm pretty sure that had I seen it in my 20s, somewhat chemically enhanced with a bunch of friends at a theater I would have appreciated it more and then wanted to see it over and over again. Alas...
(x) Grease - This movie came out the summer I turned 15. I saw it in the hteater over 15 times and on TV and cable probably 82,000 times
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
( ) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest
( ) Boondock Saints
(x) Fight Club - love this!
( ) Starsky and Hutch
( ) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles - I so don't *get* this movie
(x) Airplane - I so don't *get* this movie either
total = 7

( ) The Princess Bride
( ) AnchorMan
(x) Napoleon Dynamite - I haven't decided if I like this movie yet
( ) Labyrinth
( ) Saw
( ) Saw II
( ) White Noise
( ) White Oleander - I *hated* this book, haven't seen movie yet
( ) Anger Management
total = 1

( ) 50 First Dates
(x) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement
( ) Scream
( ) Scream 2
( ) Scream 3
( ) Scary Movie
( ) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
total = 1

( ) Scary Movie 4 - OK, why wasn't this included in the group above with it's prior versions?
( ) American Pie
( ) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp Even I know when to quit.
(x) Harry Potter 1
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
total = 4

( ) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Little Black Book
( ) The Village
( ) Lilo & Stitch
(x) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
( ) The Grinch - I refuse to see this because I don't think a remake was necessary. The original caroon version was *perfect*!
total = 3

( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning
( ) White Chicks
( ) Butterfly Effect
(x) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
( ) Robots
( ) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
total = 3

(x) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
(x) Never Been Kissed
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
( ) Joe Dirt I'll admit it - I find this movie to be hilarious.
(x) King Kong - which version? I saw the original and the 70s version with Jessica Lange
( ) A Cinderella Story
total = 5

( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
( ) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
( ) Final Destination
( ) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
( ) The Ring
total = 1

( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
( ) Flubber
(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
( ) Ghost Ship
( ) From Hell
( ) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
total = 3

(x) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards
( ) The Whole Ten Yards
(x) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child’s Play - This is single-handedly responsible for my fear of ventriloquists and puppets
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
( ) Ten Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
( ) Gothika
total = 3

( ) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
( ) The Grudge
( ) The Grudge 2
( ) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask
(x) Bad Boys
( ) Bad Boys 2
total = 2

( ) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean’s Eleven
(x) Ocean’s Twelve
( ) Bourne Identity
( ) Bourne Supremacy
( ) Lone Star
( ) Bedazzled
( ) Predator I
( ) Predator II
total = 2

( ) The Fog
(x) Ice Age
(x) Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
( ) Curious George
(x) Independence Day
(x) Cujo
(x) A Bronx Tale - loved this movie!
( ) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
total = 6

(x) Children of the Corn - Absolutely horrifying! I know it's cheesy and ridiculous but this movie totally creeps me out.
( ) My Boss's Daughter
(x) Maid in Manhattan
(x) War of the Worlds - Awful
( ) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2
( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She’s All That
(x) Calendar Girls - Awesome
total = 5

(x) Sideways
( ) Mars Attacks
( ) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Wizard of Oz
(x) Forrest Gump - I'm still pissed this got the Oscar insted of "Pulp Fiction"
( ) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
( ) The Terminator 2
( ) The Terminator 3
total = 5

(x) X-Men
( ) X-2
( ) X-3
(x) Spider-Man
( ) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
( ) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Little Mermaid
total = 4

(x) Freaky Friday
( ) Reign of Fire
( ) The Skulls
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2
( ) Swimfan
(x) Miracle on 34th street - both versions, original better
total = 5

( ) Old School

( ) The Notebook
( ) K-Pax
( ) Krippendorf’s Tribe
( ) A Walk to Remember
(x) Ice Castles - Oh how i cried!
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old Virgin
(x) Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings The Two Towers
total = 4

(x) Lord of the Rings Return Of the King
(x) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
(x) Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(x) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
( ) Basketball
( ) Hostel
( ) Waiting for Guffman
( ) House of 1000 Corpses
( ) Devils Rejects
(x) Elf
( ) Highlander
total = 5

( ) Mothman Prophecies
(x) American History X - chilling!
( ) Three
( ) The Jacket
( ) Kung Fu Hustle
( ) Shaolin Soccer
( ) Nightwatch
(x) Monsters Inc. - Love it, own it!
(x) Titanic - Three hours of my life I will never get back
( ) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
total = 3

( ) Shaun Of the Dead
( ) Willard
( ) High Tension
( ) Club Dread
( ) Hulk
( ) Dawn Of the Dead
(x) Hook
( ) Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
(x) 28 days later
( ) Orgazmo
total = 2

( ) Phantasm

( ) Waterworld
(x) Kill Bill vol 1
(x) Kill Bill vol 2 I love these movies
(x) Mortal Kombat
( ) Wolf Creek
( ) Kingdom of Heaven
( ) The Hills Have Eyes I have it recorded but I haven't watched it yet.
( ) I Spit on Your Grave aka the Day of the Woman
total = 3

( ) The Last House on the Left

( ) Re-Animator
( ) Army of Darkness
(x) Star Wars Ep. I The Phantom Menace
(x) Star Wars Ep. II Attack of the Clones
(x) Star Wars Ep. III Revenge of the Sith
(x) Star Wars Ep. IV A New Hope
(x) Star Wars Ep. V The Empire Strikes Back
(x) Star Wars Ep. VI Return of the Jedi
( ) Ewoks Caravan Of Courage
total = 6

( ) Ewoks The Battle For Endor
(x) The Matrix
(x) The Matrix Reloaded
(x) The Matrix Revolutions
( ) Animatrix
( ) Evil Dead
( ) Evil Dead 2
(x) Team America: World Police
( ) Red Dragon
(x) Silence of the Lambs
( ) Hannibal
total = 5

My grand total is 88! I guess I'm a *no-lifer*. Oh well...

I won't tag anyone, but if you wanna play - let me know in my comments section.


Regarding My Reading

For about 2 or 3 days, the book shown above, The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy, has been appearing in my "What I'm Reading" section. Well, I'm invoking the 50 Page Rule. The book was irritating the hell out of me - perhaps I'm not in the right frame of mind to endure the misadventures of a 22 year-old college graduate on a 2-year-funded-by-her-rich-uncle-so-she-doesn't-need-a-job jaunt in Paris! Call me an envious bitch, I'll own it, hell I'll embrace it!

I implemented the 50 Page Rule about a year ago when I quit my 10 year book club and decided that life is to short to read bad books. Often I don't get rid of the books I abandon, I may lone them out or just set them aside. I may decide I want to read them later. Of course it would probably be easier for me to part with a kidney than with a book, but that's a whole other dysfunction.

So, there will be no book review of "The Dud Avcado" for now. Oh, and I didn't comment on the book I read before this one because it was a very me-specific book written by a friend about her life and I didn't think anyone would benefit from a review of it because few people would be interested in reading it. (WOW! That was a long-azzed sentence.)

Hopefully the new book I'm reading New Art City, will be a more successful endeavor about which I will report later.

Or maybe not...


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

New TV Season what new shows is everyone looking forward?

Here's my list so far:

Cane- Great cast, relatively local, about Cubans and about rum! What's not to love?

Dirty Sexy Money - The ad has intrigued me. Also Donald Sutherland and Jill Clayburgh - awesome!

Big Shots - Love Joshua Malina and Dylan McDermott. The show seems like it could be funny in a dysfunctional sorta way. If nothing else McDermott and Michael Vartran will provide delightful eye candy.

Moonlight - I think I could get into a vampire series. I never got into Buffy, but this has a dark, sleek look to it. We'll see.

Brotherhood - The Irish "Sopranos"? Showtime usually produce good shows, I'll *TiVO-like substance it* and check it out.

Pushing Daisies - The weirdness of the premise has intrigued me, and it's getting good critical buzz.

Also, new to me 30 Rock - I never saw it last season but have heard great things, so I'll check it out this season.

And then, of course, returning faves..."Heroes", "Men in Trees", "Brothers and Sisters", "House"...later on "LOST", "24", etc.

Thank the goddesses for TiVO-like-substance!


Friday, September 14, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "Iron Lung" Edition

I don't want to talk about still being sick, because as The Boss so eloquently put it..."I'm just tired and bored with myself.." - so I can only imagine how tired and bored with me and my bubonic plague (OK cold) y'all are.

So Lola, shuffle us up a little sumptin', sumptin'...
  1. Touch Me in the Morning - Diana Ross (Appropriate since it's 9:06 a.m. Do you all love Diana Ross? Both with The Supremes and her solo career? I mean before she got a little wacky? I love her voice.)
  2. Landslide - Fleetwood Mac (You know I loves me my Dixie Chicks and all...but this is *the* definitive version, IMO)
  3. Killer Queen - Queen (Perfection!)
  4. Message in a Bottle - The Police (An SOS to the world indeed!)
  5. 32 Flavors - Ani Difranco (Love her! Love the song!)
  6. New Kid in Town - Eagles (Another great song)
  7. Holiday - Green Day (Again, perfection)
  8. Annie's Song - John Denver (OK, OK, really sappy, but, well...)
  9. No Vivire - Gipsy Kings (Nothing like some flamenco guitar to get you going in the morning)
  10. Why Don't We Get Drunk and Screw? - Jimmy Buffett (Sounds like a plan!)

So remember, this weekend, if you get drunk go ahead and screw - responsibly - just don't drive!

Have a great weekend everybody.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Aaaaaaaah! It's the 80s!

I picked this up over at Pheasantly Fascinating. If you want to answer - let me know in my comments so I can check it out.

Worst 80's Video: "Rapture" by Blondie. What the hell was going on there?

Best 80's Video: "Take On Me" by A-Ha. Don't you laugh at me it was a cool video dammit! Of course, there's "Thriller" which I believe is brilliant, but that was really more of a mini-movie, don't you think?

Worst 80's Fad: Can my answer be "all of them"? No...fine, then I'll go with the big permed hair. And *yes* - I too had big permed hair. (sigh)

Best 80's Fad: If I *must* pick one, I'll go with big, bright-colored jewelry.

Worst 80's TV Show: Small Wonder. 'Nuff said.

Best 80's TV Show: A lot...let's see, Sitcom: The Cosby Show, Drama: Thirtysomething, Campy: Miami Vice.



I have nothing to say that hasn't been said. I just didn't want this day to go unmentioned in my Blog.

My thoughts are with the families of the 9/11 victims - today that's all that matters. Petty politics, elections and partisanship can wait until another day.


Monday, September 10, 2007

The "N" Word and Me

On Saturday afternoon hubby and I went to a a good friend's house to watch the University of Miami vs. Oklahoma game - we lost horribly.

Anyway, as it turned out I wound up being the only woman present, in addition to hubby there were three other men. This has never been a problem for me, as I have always been comfortable in the company of men. Of the remaining three men two are good friends of mine and the other (a close friend on one of the other guys) an acquaintance of over 15 years - we see each other regularly at parties, casual gatherings, etc.

So, I wind up sitting next to the acquaintance - a professional, fairly reasonable, 45 year-old man, father of two. In discussing the new UM coach, who is Black, and his newly implemented disciplinary tactics, this guy drops the "N" bomb on me as part of a joke! Obviously he has never heard me use that word before, nor has he heard anyone else use that word around me - what the hell makes him think I would be OK with that? What is wrong with people?

Since my stunned silence was not the reaction he expected to his stupendous display of humor he actually said to me "Did you hear what I said?" to which I icily replied "Yes I did and I really don't want to hear it again." But, I don't think he understood that I was offended.

What more could I have done? How could I have made it clear to him that I don't appreciate that kind of language without making everyone else uncomfortable? In the past (when I was younger and much more hot-headed) I asked someone who used that type of language to leave my home, but it was *my* home. And once at a dinner party another person said the word and I excused myself from the table and went to another room - thankfully we were having dessert, but that guy definitely understood why I had left.

Why would someone assume people are OK with this? Has it not been made clear enough that a significant number of people are offended by such language? Have we not yet created a zeitgeist where such people would at least curtail their use of hate speech unless they were sure they were speaking to like-minded individuals?

The mind wobbles...


Friday, September 7, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "I Have a Frickin' Frackin' Cold AGAIN" Edition

(sniffle, sniffle, cough, hack)

Woo Hoo! Yet another summer cold for Hilda! Honestly I have the immune system of a gerbil (I'm guessing theirs isn't very robust, but what the hell do I know from gerbils?)

OK Lola...shuffle away Miss Thang...
  1. You Oughta Know - Alanis Morissette (The quintessential angry chick song, you tell him Alanis! The bastard!)
  2. Knowing Me, Knowing You - ABBA
  3. Start Me Up - Rolling Stones
  4. Porcelain - Moby
  5. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic - The Police (let's have a moment of silent meditation on Sting's fabulosity)
  6. Golden - Jill Scott (have y'all heard this girl - awesome voice!)
  7. This Side - Nickel Creek (pretty, pretty, pretty song)
  8. Whenever, Wherever - Shakira (shake that bon bon girl!)
  9. At Last - Joni Mitchell (OK, she's not Etta James, but Mitchell brings a smoky, sultry, worldly vibe to this song - it's amazing. This is the version that appears in the wonderful movie "Love Actually".)
  10. You Should Be Dancing - The Bee Gees (HA!)

(sniffle, sniffle, cough, hack) Have a great - and healthy - weekend. Don't mind me I'll just sit here and cough up a lung...;)


Thursday, September 6, 2007

Four Years Ago Today

Four years ago today - September 6, 2003 - my father died and my world changed - it became a little sadder and a little emptier.

Papi, I love you and I miss you every single day.

Enjoy the Pavarotti concert tomorrow night, I think he may be performing a duet from "Carmen" with Beverly Sills. The acoustics are supposed to be awesome!


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Luciano Pavarotti - R.I.P.

In my opinion no one ever has and no one ever will sing "Ave Maria" with the magic of Pavarotti. His rendition made my heart stop and made tears come to my eyes.

Although the world will be a sadder place because of the loss of this true and unique talent, there will be a magnificent concert in heaven tonight - and just this once the choirs of angels will remain silent, so as to listen to the incomparable Luciano Pavarotti.


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Book Reviews: "Persepolis" and "Persepolis 2" by Marjane Satrapi

I read these books consecutively - in fact I bought them as a box set - and I really enjoyed them. It gives us a genuinely intimate portrait of what life was like growing up in Iran, first under the Shah's right-wing dictatorship, then during the Islamic revolution which led to a clerical state and through the war with Iraq. The two-part memoir takes us from 1980 when Marjane was 10 years old through the 1990s when she's become a woman who had endured exile at a young age and a return to her country.

Because these are illustrated novels there isn't as much depth as there would be in a traditional novel. The characters aren't fleshed out in the narrative because we have the visual element available. And the visual element is wonderful. Through the relatively simple drawings the fear, turmoil, frustration and even humor of Marjane and her friends and family are easily identified and enrich the story tremendously.

At first I had a problem with the writing style. Having just read "Middlesex" which is filled with nuance and a more complex writing style, the direct and simple prose of the Persepolis books were a huge contrast. However, the more I read the more I became comfortable with the style, pacing and rhythm.

I would definitely recommend that these books be read together as a valuable introduction an overview of the history and traditions of Iran, as well as for the wonderful story of a little girl growing up in an impossibly complex and frightening environment.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It was 50 years ago today, we were told that we could run away!

(with props to The Beatles for the post title)

50 years ago today Jack Kerouac's landmark novel "
On the Road" was published. I wrote briefly about this anniversary before
, but today is the actual anniversary.

As I wrote in the linked entry and in other places this book had a profound impact on me. Not only was it - as it was for many - my gateway to the Beat movement which is one of my favorite literary movements, but it was also the first time I felt the wanderlust that fuels the adventures of Sal and Dean (the names used for Kerouac and Neal Cassady).

I can't pinpoint exactly how old I was when I first read the book, but it was in my teens. At that time I was fascinated by the story and misadventures they encountered "on the road", it was so far removed from my good Cuban-American girl existence. And of course at that age everything seems possible.

I read it again later on, in my late 20s, when my life was in a bit of turmoil and the idea of just picking up and going and ending up wherever was dangerously alluring. "Why think about that when all the golden land's ahead of you and all kinds of unforeseen events wait lurking to surprise you and make you glad you're alive to see?" (Part 2, chapter 6)

As I think back on the book now my life is very different, but I still wonder what it would be like to travel without the trappings of an organized life - no map, no itinerary and (gasp!) no reservations! While a disconcerting idea for this slightly obsessive middle-aged woman with control issues - it still holds a certain attraction.

Who knows, maybe some day we'll do it. Hubby and I will get in the car and just drive till we get tired, sleep wherever we land and do it all over the next day. Maybe some day...

In the meantime, I plan to read the book’s “original scroll” , where the names haven't been changed and piddly stuff like paragraphs aren't really an issue. This is how Kerouac wrote it, and according to reviewers, in the scroll you can actually hear the bee-bop rhythms in the writing.

So, thanks my mind Sal will forever remain riding the roads with Dean.
"We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one noble function of the time, move." (Part 2, chapter 6)

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