The Mind Wobbles

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

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

R.I.P. Robert Goulet

Robert Goulet died, just as we're about to start the holiday season.
While many associate him with his role as Sir Lancelot in Camelot, I associate him with Christmas.
In addition to several Christmas albums on his own, he and his former wife Carol Lawrence were always included in those Christmas compilation LPs you would get at gas stations when you filled up your tank back in the 60s and 70s.

As far as I'm concerned Goulet's is the best rendition of "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" and the definitive version "There’s No Place Like Home for the Holidays". His voice was so deep and resonant, and he was just so beautiful when he was young and then he grew handsome as he aged.
Thankfully we still have the recordings. This year Robert Goulet will be singing Christmas music in my house, as he has since I was a child.
"Don't let it be forgot / That once there was a spot / For one brief shining moment / That was known as Camelot!"

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Friday, October 26, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "Halloween" Edition

This is the last Lola Shuffle before Halloween so, ummm...BOO!

For Halloween this year Hubby and I are going to a couple of parties - social beasts that we are - and we're going as Tourists. See, my criteria for the costume were: Cheap, something I already own, no arts and crafts required and cool (as in not hot, the parties are both outside and it's still hot in Miami). So as a tourist I will wear a tank top, shorts, sneakers, a hat, sunglasses and wear a digital camera around my neck - oh and maybe I'll stick one of those street maps in my pocket. BOOM SHOCKALOCKA - I gots me a costume!

Lola is going retro and dressing up as a record player. So, go Lola, let that LP drop from that weird magnetic record holder arm thingy...
  1. Don't Stop - Fleetwood Mac
  2. I Drove All Night - Cyndi Lauper (fantastic song!)
  3. Allentown - Billy Joel
  4. Reasons - Earth, Wind and Fire (Whoa - talk about retro! Is anyone else having flashbacks of being at a school dance and hoping a guy you really like would ask you to dance to this because the song is azz-long?)
  5. This Side - Nickel Creek (Pretty!)
  6. Message in a Bottle - The Police ("I'll send an SOS to the world")
  7. Tell Him - Vonda Shepard (Yes, it's from the Ally McBeal soundtrack - don't judge me!)
  8. Will I Ever Make It Home? - Ingram Hill
  9. Back on the Chain Gang - The Pretenders
  10. Drops of Jupiter - Train (Ooooh...trippy!)

OK boys and girls, have a wonderful pre-Halloween weekend. If you're going to a party behave - and if you don't behave, post pictures! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Five Song Meme

I was wandering around the Blogosphere and found this challenge over at The Nose Knows - the idea is to do a shuffle on your iPod or iPod-like substance or PC or off the top of your head - anything that has songs in/on it. List the first five songs that come up, and then tell a story about the song - what it means to you, why it's there, where you got it, whatever.

Lola and I have accepted the we go:

  1. Baby Can I Hold You - Tracy Chapman: This is from Chapman's self-titled first album which I bought for "Fast Car". Her voice is so amazing and the words are so evocative, you can hear yearning in her voice. One of my favorite Chapman songs.
  2. Honey I'm Home - Shania Twain: Fine! Go ahead and make fun of me, but I like Shania! I heard this song while watching the country video statin and got a kick out of it. The words to this song are awesome, it so describes those bad days that get worse, and then she gets home and tells her "honey" to pamper her and just let her chill. I totally relate - especially lately! It's a fun song.
  3. Passionate Kisses - Mary Chapin Carpenter: Love, love, love this song! A real woman's simple wants - she describes them and asks why shouldn't we expect all that *and* passionate kisses? I'm not sure when I first heard it, but once I did I immediately identified with it.
  4. Out Tonight - Rosario Dawson (RENT movie Soundtrack): I love this musical - both the play and the movie. This is a great song that Mimi sings late at night as she leaves her pole-dancing job, and she talks tough and actually howls. The song revs me up.
  5. Me and Bobby McGee - Janis Joplin: I love that this song ends this shuffle! This is one of my all-time favorite songs. I am in awe of the beauty of Kris Kristofferson's poetry and of course, Joplin's amazing voice. The lyric and voice combination transports me into the story, a woman traveling, looking for something even though she doesn't know what it is - and she meets this beautiful boy, who eventually leaves. "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose". Indeed...

I guess Lola is in Girl Power mode - what a great selection! I wish I could claim all my iPod songs are this good, but those of you familiar with my Friday shuffles know the depths to which Lola can occasionally sink.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "Bleh" Edition you all remember the theme song from "Cheers"? The part that said, "you wanna go where everybody knows your name."

Yeah, well, I wanna go where *nobody* knows my name.

Lola, shuffle away for the nice people.
  1. Tell Me 'Bout It - Joss Stone
  2. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
  3. Pinball Wizard - The Who
  4. The Long and Winding Road - The Beatles
  5. 'Round Here - Counting Crows
  6. The Girl Is Mine - Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney (the *doggone* girl is mine?!?)
  7. It Ain't Me Babe - Bob Dylan (Perfect song for today Lola. Gracias)
  8. South Side - Moby and Gwen Stefani (I guess Lola has deemed today collaboration day)
  9. Brown Eyed Girl - Van Morrison (Ah,'re trying to cheer me up! Well, as always, this song and this version, made me smile)
  10. Come On-A My House - Rosemary Clooney (OK, this got a little grin too...)

Have a great weekend everyone.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Book Review - "Celebrity Detox (The Fame Game)" by Rosie O'Donnell

I'll start out by saying that I like Rosie O'Donnell. I have for years - back since her stand-up days on VH1. I like her as a comic, an actress and as a person.

This book is odd. Extremely revealing, yet reticent at the same time. She addresses the year she was on "The View" candidly, the brouhaha with Trump, etc. She admits her mistakes and recognizes her weaknesses. But then she hints at possible abuse in her childhood, but doesn't follow through. We're left to wonder *if*she was abused - apparently sexually - who abused her? Her widowed father, one of her brothers, a relative or family friend? It's presented very cryptically.

The writing is a combination of straight narrative and the cross between poetry and text message-speak she uses on her blog. It jumps around a lot, going off on tangents and sometimes not returning to the original thought until later in the book.

The book is sad and made me feel sorry for Rosie. It leads me to think she's in a lot of emotional pain and not all together well, although she seems on the right track. She talks about refocusing on her family, and her love for them comes through clearly.

I read her first book Find Me which was also disturbing, but for different reasons.

I found Celebrity Detox a difficult book to read, and it may not be worth the trouble unless you're a fan. There aren't really any life lessons or grand overarching themes, just a fragmented story about a specific time in a troubled celebrity's life.


Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Meme of Four

YAY! Another meme! I got this one from Tere at A Mom, a Blog and the Life In-between. As always let me know in my Comments area if you play along...

Four Jobs I Have Had

  1. Medical billing clerk
  2. Hotel Reservations Manager
  3. Customized Tour Coordinator
  4. Telemarketer (I sucked!)
Four Places I Have Lived
  1. New York City
  2. Sweetwater
  3. South Miami
  4. Kendall
Four TV Shows I Like To Watch
  1. LOST
  2. 24
  3. Brothers and Sisters
  4. Heroes
Four Places I've Been On Vacation
  1. New York City
  2. New Orleans
  3. Las Vegas
  4. San Francisco
Name 4 places you would like to go on vacation
  1. Spain
  2. France
  3. Brazil
  4. Australia
Four Favorite Foods
  1. Pad Thai
  2. Sushi
  3. Duck Confit
  4. Fried Eggs, White Rice and Ripe Plantains
Four Places I'd Rather Be Right Now
  1. Watching a musical on Broadway
  2. Listening to Blues in a club in New Orleans
  3. Playing Black Jack in Las Vegas
  4. Hanging out with girl friends over wine or coffee
Four Places I Like To Shop
  1. Books and Books (local independently-owned book store)
  2. Target
  4. Whole Foods

Four Things I Can't Live Without (excluding loved ones and life essentials)

  1. A book
  2. Music
  3. Computer/laptop
  4. TV


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

10 Things on My Desk Right Now

I'm swiping a meme of sorts from Curmudgeon over on Second Effort. He got it from Barb at Skittles she's the genius behind "Heads or Tails".

The challenge is to list "ten things staying within any category of your choosing."

So, I'm going with 10 Items on My Desk Right Now (try to control your excitement!!!)

As they say on Dancing with the Stars, "in no particular order" these are ten items on my desk:
  • A mini-fan so I can survive the hot flashes
  • A bottle of water
  • A red calculator - because if I must have a calculator, it will be red
  • A set of 4 Medieval Chant CDs by Anonymous 4 (love them!)
  • A Kleenex box with a really cool 60s looking flower design
  • An old-school composition-style notebook
  • A little tube of Cucumber-Melon hand cream
  • My Barnes and Noble mug with a bunch of authors pictured
  • Two mini Hershey bars I'm not supposed to eat and don't particularly like but someone gave them to me
  • A small stuffed moose from Finland

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Friday, October 12, 2007

The Lola Shuffle - The "YAY AL!" Edition

As you probably know by now, Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize! I'm so happy I am once again doing my *sitting-in-an-office-chair-happy-dance* (patent pending).
And another reason for celebration - congratulations to Troy at Pheasantly Fascinating! Their baby boy arrived a couple of days early. Mommy, baby, big brother and Troy are doing great!
So, Lola - let's give Al a Nobel prize and Troy new baby shuffle!
  1. Ice - Sarah McLachlan ("The ice is thin, come on dive in..." - I swear this came up all by itself - any symbolic connection to global warming and the thinning ice caps is purely coincidental!)
  2. I Get Along Without You Very Well - Lena Horne (Actually, I don't, get along without Al very well, I want him to run fro President. I miss him.)
  3. Jazz Man - Carole King
  4. Southern Nights - Glen Campbell (Al is a Tennessee boy after all!)
  5. Fields of Gold - Eva Cassidy
  6. The Party's Over - Willie Nelson (Nah, the party has just begun! Great song though.)
  7. Hotel California - The Eagles (Classic!)
  8. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey (That's what I'm talkin' about!)
  9. Chiquitita - ABBA (This one's for Troy's baby boy)
  10. Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground (!)

Interesting shuffle dear Lola...

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Another reason I love Miami

I love Miami because this happens here.

Here's another image:

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another Book Meme

A book meme...happy, happy, joy, joy! I saw this at Observations of a Librarian and of course, couldn't resist.

Here are the instructions as copied from Katya:

"These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by Library Thing's users, as of I don't know what day -- the original said "today" but I got this a week or so ago. As usual, bold what you have read, italicise what you started but couldn’t finish, and strike through what you couldn’t stand. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list. "

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Anna Karenina

Crime and Punishment


One Hundred Years of Solitude

Wuthering Heights

The Silmarillion

Life of Pi: A Novel

The Name of the Rose

Don Quixote

Moby Dick


Madame Bovary

The Odyssey

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Eyre

A Tale of Two Cities

The Brothers Karamazov

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies

War and Peace

Vanity Fair

The Time Traveler’s Wife (I'm reading it right now)

The Iliad


The Blind Assassin

The Kite Runner

Mrs. Dalloway

Great Expectations

American Gods

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Atlas Shrugged

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books

Memoirs of a Geisha



Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

The Canterbury Tales

The Historian : A Novel

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

Love in the Time of Cholera

Brave New World

The Fountainhead

Foucault’s Pendulum



The Count of Monte Cristo


A Clockwork Orange

The Once and Future King

The Grapes of Wrath

The Poisonwood Bible : A Novel


Angels & Demons

The Inferno

The Satanic Verses

Sense and Sensibility

The Picture of Dorian Gray

Mansfield Park

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

To the Lighthouse

Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Oliver Twist

Gulliver’s Travels

Les Misérables

The Corrections

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time


The Prince

The Sound and the Fury

Angela’s Ashes : A Memoir

The God of Small Things

A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present



A Confederacy of Dunces

A Short History of Nearly Everything


The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The Scarlet Letter

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

The Mists of Avalon

Oryx and Crake : A Novel

Collapse : How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed

Cloud Atlas

The Confusion



Northanger Abbey

Catcher in the Rye

On the Road *

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values

The Aeneid

Watership Down

Gravity’s Rainbow

The Hobbit

In Cold Blood : A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences

White Teeth

Treasure Island

David Copperfield

The Three Musketeers

If you participate, please let me know in my comments.

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Monday, October 8, 2007

Book Review - "The Wall" by Peter Sis

This book is a graphic memoir for children, but I enjoyed it and definitely recommend it if you want a quick, easy to understand, recent history of the Czech Republic.

It starts with the Soviet Union's closing of Czechoslovakian borders in 1948 and ends with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. In between those years Sis describes life in his country and how the Soviet repression affected him and his art.

He happily describes the Prague Spring in 1968 when there was a temporary reprieve and uncensored music, literature and films were available. During this time he got the opportunity to travel to London. But too quickly the Soviet repression returned and once again, he was forced to draw what he wanted to draw in hiding, while in school and in public he drew what he was told to draw.

Through illustrations and journal entries we get a glimpse into how a creative child and young man endured varying degrees of censorship and lack of freedom of expression.

As I said, I recommend this book for both adults and kids.


Sunday, October 7, 2007

Deep Tissue Massages and "Scar Face"

What do Deep Tissue massages and "Scarface" have in common? I don't like either one of them.

OK, here's the massage story. About three years ago my sister-in-law gave me a gift certificate for something called SpaFinder, which allows you to use the certificate in one of many spas throughout the country - several in my area. It just so happens that the spa I normally go to for massages isn't in their network, but the one I chose has very good reviews and I know several people who have gone and love it.

Now at my regular spa I usually get a 90 minute stress relief massage, which is basically a Swedish massage - and it's fabulous. You come out all noodly and relaxed, but the usual tense areas - lower back, neck and stiff shoulders come back right away. So in looking through the options at this new place I saw they had a 50 minute combination Swedish/Deep Tissue massage where the deep tissue part focuses on problem areas, so I figured I'd give it a shot. The Swedish part was great and even some of the deep tissue stuff felt good, but at one point I actually had to tell her that was she was doing hurt! And she eased up and it was fine. I came out feeling good.

As the day progressed however, my neck and the area between my shoulder blades were bothering me a bit. When I went to sleep and I actually lay down on my back the shoulder blade area really hurt when I touched the bed! And today the area is really bothering me, specially when I touch it. So I Googled and found that it's apparently normal. I also called the spa and spoke to another masseuse (a guy) that said that it was normal to feel some discomfort because in deep tissue massage it actually *tears the muscle tissue*! But that was OK! I'm sorry what? How is it OK that I went in there with something whole and now it's *torn* - which means broken - but that's "OK"? He said it really was OK and then tried to make the concept clearer to me by making the analogy "it's like when you work out" which of course is completely wasted on me. So I popped some Advil and am hoping for the best. We'll see how that goes.

And then there's "Scarface" - yes the second one - the one with Al Pacino playing a Cuban drug dealer. I saw this movie in the theater when it came out in 1983 and hated it, but everybody keeps talking about it like it's the greatest thing since Spaghettios, so I figured I'd try again. Yeah - ummm - still hate it. I fell asleep through parts of it. It is waaaaaay too long to be listening what must be the worst Cuban accent in the history of Cuban accents on film. Don't get me wrong, I love Al Pacino, I think he's one of the generation's greatest actors - but in "Scarface" - not so much. The whole damned thing is so over the top, the violence, the language, the predictably stupid storyline, the stereotypes. Not doing it for me.

On a happy note, we went to my new favorite place - forget Disney World - my new Whole Foods is the new *happiest place on earth*! It was wonderful and I got some fabulous prepared Indian food to bring home - it was awesome. I also perused the wine section and am happy to report they have a nice selection of very reasonably priced Rose wines, and although not inexpensive, they have *Ice Wines*! YAY!

Another happy thing - I'm taking Monday off. [Dragging soapbox out and climbing on to it] Yep, commemorating when Christopher Columbus and company arrived on American shores and *discovered* a continent that had been inhabited for centuries (I guess all those people didn't know they were here!), and thus began the centuries of systematic cheating, raping, pillaging, enslaving and general havoc that Europeans inflicted on the indigenous people of the Americas! WOO HOO - let's have a furniture sale! [Stepping off soapbox and putting it away]. Hubby works at a bank and they have the day off, so I'm gonna stay home with him.



Friday, October 5, 2007

YAY! A Book Meme!

I found this over at 50 Books and it's a meme and it's about books. HELLO! Talk about a no-brainer-this-is-gonna-suck-Hilda-in exercise!

So here we go...

Hardcover or paperback, and why? Paperback, because they fit better in your purse.

If I were to own a book shop I would call it: A Good Book for Your Shelf

My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is: I have a lot. Today I'll go with - from "The Color Purple" by Alice Walker:
"'I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it."

The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be: Harper Lee

If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except from the SAS survival guide, it would be: "The Oxford Book of American Short Stories"

I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that: Serves as both a highlighter and a book mark

The smell of an old book reminds me of - My father - we went to so many used book stores together...

If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be: Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's"

The most over-rated book of all times is: For *me* and I realize this is very subjective - Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye" - I just don't get it.

I hate it when a book: Messes up details which makes me focus on the mistake and takes me out of the story

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The Lola Shuffle - The "I'm Going to the Spa and Getting a Massage" Edition

YAY me!

OK, your thing...
  1. Everywhere - Fleetwood Mac
  2. I Need to Know - Marc Anthony
  3. Angel - Sarah McLachlan
  4. Big Girl (You Are Beautiful) - Mika
  5. I've Been Everywhere - Johnny Cash
  6. Scarborough Fair - Sarah Brightman
  7. Say You, Say Me - Lionel Richie
  8. The Gift You Are - John Denver
  9. Who Says You Can't Go Home? - Bon Jovi
  10. La Vie Boheme - RENT Soundtrack

Good mix Lola - I hope everyone has a relaxing weekend!


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Donors Choose

Some of you may have noticed the Donors Choose thingy on the upper left of my Blog. If you have contributed - thank you so much! I love the fact that they support projects requested by teachers targeting specific needs.

After I selected the Harlem Renaissance project for my challenge I saw that as of September, Florida now has some projects in the program.
As I was browsing through them I found that there is a middle school in Miami that doesn't have frickin' frackin' dictionaries for the students! We're talking about kids to whom English is a second language! How are they supposed to learn a language without damned dictionaries?

It's been deemed an "F" school within Dubyuh's NCLB debacle. Gee - ya think maybe they're an "F" school because the kids don't have dictionaries? I'm just saying...

How is it possible that a public school in the United States of America doesn't have dictionaries for students? There are layers and layers of well paid to highly paid administrative staff at the school board level - I'm not talking teachers, I'm talking bureaucrats - with phenomenal benefits and retirement packages but the children in the schools don't have dictionaries.

This is the stuff that makes the mind wobble!