The Mind Wobbles

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

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Meme

OK, so Thanksgiving's over - it's officially Christmas season. It's also the last day of NaBloPoMo (YAY I made it!) so what better way to end it than with a Christmas Meme? I found this one at Michael Mahler's Ditherings while Blog-hopping.

You know the drill - if you want to answer the meme let me know in my Comments.

  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? If I can get away with a bag, then definitely a bag - I'm the world's worst wrapper.
  2. Real tree or artificial? Table-top artificial
  3. When do you put up the tree? We try for the second weekend of December
  4. When do you take the tree down? Well, this past Christmas we took it down in March!
  5. Do you like eggnog? Yes, I love it!
  6. Favorite gift received as a child? So many...I'll go with my Easy Bake Oven
  7. Hardest person to buy for? My father -in-law
  8. Easiest person to buy for? My husband
  9. Do you have a nativity scene? Yes, several. My mother used to collect them - she has over 200 from all over the world.
  10. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail, but we're not sending Christmas cards this year
  11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? The plethora of pajamas I used to get as a kid, that's why I never buy clothes for children.
  12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story
  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? This year I started at the end of October.
  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? Absolutely! I see nothing wrong with that.
  15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Cuban-style roast pork
  16. Lights on the tree? Yes, twinkly and multi-colored
  17. Treetop: Angel, star or something else? Angel
  18. Favorite Christmas song? "O Holy Night"
  19. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Both
  20. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer? Yes
  21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? I prefer Christmas Eve
  22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? We've gotten ourselves into a vicious cycle where we worry too much about buying gifts
  23. Favorite ornament theme or color? I like all types of ornaments and a mish-mosh tree, no specific theme or color
  24. Do you make a Christmas wish list? Yes
  25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Shockingly nothing in particular - that *never* happens.

Now it's your turn!

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Pasta de Bocaditos (Cuban Ham Spread)

My wonderful hubby - an "americano" - learned how to make one of my favorite foods in the world - "Pasta de Bocaditos" or Cuban ham spread. It's not complicated: ground ham, cream cheese, mayonnaise and pimentos - but it is happiness on bread! Actually you can have it on regular bread, on special bocadito rolls, on crackers (saltines or Ritz), or straight out of the bowl with a spoon.

It is the quintessential Cuban kids' birthday party food. In my family at least you could determine the "Cuban refugee economic status" by the bocaditos served at the parties. In the early refugee years when there wasn't much money, Mami or Abuela made the bocaditos on white bread with the crusts cut off on the morning of the party and covered them with a moist paper towel so they wouldn't dry out. When there was a little more money they would still make the paste at home but buy the rolls - the moist paper towel still an integral part of the process. Later still as things got better, they'd buy the paste and rolls at the bakery where they bought the cake (the Cuban birthday cake - worthy of a whole other post!), but would assemble them at home - still covering them with a moist paper towel. And finally when there was more money the bocaditos came ready-made from the bakery covered in cellophane - the moist paper towel finally put to rest.

But you know what? This home-made "early Cuban refugee" version (sans moist paper towel) tasted a million times better than any bakery bought batch ever did. Maybe it was because it was the perfect comfort food after a week of not feeling well. Or maybe it was because my americano husband made it for me, just because he knew it would make me happy.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Lola Shuffle - The "Turkey Coma" Edition

Image Source

What a perfect Thanksgiving night! The weather in Miami was fantastic - in the mid to low 60s, low humidity -we were able to enjoy the delicious Thanksgiving feast outside. Everything was delicious and the company was, as always, wonderful. Hubby's stuffing was a hit and someone made a yam and marshmallow concoction that was heavenly.
  1. Take Me Home Country Roads - John Denver
  2. Pleasure Songs - The Many Onettes
  3. Glory Days - Bruce Springsteen
  4. 100 Years - Five for Fighting
  5. Runaway - Bon Jovi
  6. Brother Love's Traveling Salvation Show - Neil Diamond
  7. Whatta Man - Salt-N-Pepa
  8. Bleeding Love - Leona Lewis
  9. Little Red Corvette - Prince
  10. Shake a Tail Feather - Ray Charles (HA!)

I hope your turkey coma is as happy as ours!

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Year of Thanks

This is a bittersweet Thanksgiving for me.

It's my first holiday season as an official orphan. As you may know Mami died in February of this year. Since my father's death in 2003, we hadn't really done the traditional Thanksgiving meal with her. Her Alzheimer's made it difficult to go to a crowded party, and frankly, being Cuban, she didn't really miss the turkey and all the trimmings. Don't get me wrong, when I was a kid and up until my father died we always, always, always did Thanksgiving, either at home or with family - in fact due to my father's dealings with and travel to the United States (and the fact that he would use any excuse to gather with friends and eat), my parents were among the few who celebrated Thanksgiving in Cuba. In any case, with Mami we would usually take her to lunch during the Thanksgiving weekend and she would have her Thanksgiving steak!

Since we started not celebrating the actual Thanksgiving meal with my mother, we have been blessed to have dear friends who have adopted Hubby and me for Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve (we alternate holidays with my in-laws in PA). This year we will be going to our friends' house and giving thanks with and for them. I'll have some sweet potato mash - Mami's favorite Thanksgiving dish - in her honor. I'm comforted knowing that in heaven she and Papi will be dining with all their friends and family who are with them, Papi cutting the turkey (that was always his job - slice a piece, eat a piece, slice a piece, eat a piece) and Mami enjoying her super-rare Thanksgiving sirloin with fried plantains and white rice.

On the other hand what a year to be thankful! First the biggest blessing of my life - my husband - he drives me crazy, he keeps me sane, he picks me up when I fall, and he holds me when I need to be still - he is my life and my love and there will never be enough thanks I can give for him or to him.

Next the blessings of friends and family - these wonderful people fill my life with love and laughter. I am so much a better person because of them, I am so lucky. As an only child, these people are my tribe and my support system. And did I mention the laughter?

On the Sports front - let's give a big Thanksgiving shout out to the 2008 World Series Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies! WOO HOO! OK, that was mostly for Hubby, but he's happy and that makes me happy so - YAY!

And of course, what I've been waiting for since November 2000 - the end of the long national nightmare! We have a brand, spanking new President-elect! And what a President he will be! I am thankful for President-elect Barack Hussein Obama. I am so proud of him and so impressed by him and Michelle. January 20th can't come soon enough.

And I'm thankful for this Blog which gives me a chance to vent, ramble, rant, write, and share with old and new friends. And I'm thankful to you for reading my musings.

Have a safe, happy and blessed Thanksgiving with those you love. May next year find us with even more for which to be thankful.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Must See TV

I usually do this post earlier in the TV season, but I forgot.

This season my "must-see TV" shows are:

The Mentalist - CBS - this is a really cool cop drama about a guy (scorchng hot by the way) who isn't a psychic, but he has amazing focus where he sees details and makes connections others miss.

True Blood - HBO - actually True Blood's first season ended this past weekend. This was a tough one for me, even though I love vampie stuff, this show was so gory and so violent I kept saying I was going to stop watching it...but I didn't.

Fringe - Fox - This show is awesome! It's got elements of "LOST" and "X-Files". The cast is fantastic and the stories keep you on your toes.

Brothers and Sisters - I still think this is hands down the best hour-long drama on TV right now. The whole cast is so spot on, and the stories have both humor and drama. A highlight of my week.

Grey's Anatomy - (sigh) I go through phases with this show. Right now, we're in a good phase, primarily because of the new emergency room doctor Owen Hunt (played by yummy Kevin McKidd). Most of the annoyances have beeen resolved, so far so good.

Lipstick Jungle - This started as a mid-season replacement last season along with a similar concept "Cashmere Mafia" - and this one apparently won. It's a guilty pleasure, it's fun, pretty people wear pretty clothes to pretty parties.

House - Two words: Hugh Laurie.

Heroes - NBC - although I'm not loving this season, I'm sticking with it for now.

Lost is due to start in January, I can hardly wait! So is American Idol - I'm not sure about it this year - we'll see...

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

'Toon Tuesday


Monday, November 24, 2008

Back Ouchies

The weekend started well enough...I woke up ridiculously early (6:30 AM) to go to a Craft Show with some friends. It was really nice and we had a great time. Before going in though I almost tripped in the parking lot, and even though I never hit the ground I tensed up and must've wrenched my back. I was uncomfortable but thought nothing of it and walked around for a few hours and then went home.

As Saturday progressed my lower back really started hurting, getting worse as time went on. Eventually I was in so much pain I took a Hydrocodone pill left over from when I had work done on my teeth - it barely made a dent on the pain.

I was OK when I was lying down though, so I slept well, in fact I slept in until noon on Sunday. When I got up the back was a bit better but I was still in pain. I stopped taking the Hydrocodone and started taking Advil 4 at a time. Then I took a 2 hour nap.

I began to feel better throughout the night and as of this writing (Sunday 8:30 p.m.) I'm better but tentative and a little freaked out. It REALLY hurt!

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

The New Frugality

This article in The Miami Herald got me thinking about changes we've recently made due to our "bail-out" economy.

  • For groceries we've gone back to clipping coupons, are buying food at our "warehouse store" more often and taking advantage of "buy one get one free" deals. Due to my diabetes we have to watch what we buy, and healthy food tends to be more expensive.
  • We're eating out a lot less than we used to - we used to eat out at keast two times a week
  • We changed credit cards to no membership fee cards
  • Selling books on, buying books on
  • Our vacuum cleaner cord got messed up and where we would have bought a new vacuum cleaner in the past, we took it to be repaired
  • We're buying local produce
  • Cutting back on casual purchases
  • Hubby and I probably won't exchange Christmas presents this year

Are you doing anything differently?

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

What Makes You Smile?

Me...and my meme...strolling down the avenue...

Yes, I found another meme! This one is from Dixie's blog, here is how she explained it:

Some of my favorite things. Things I think about when I need a smile.
I'm listing 10, you can list as many as you like. If you want to share your list, let me know in my Comments section.

  • Ladybugs
  • Rainbows
  • Full Moon
  • Beny More songs
  • Dragonflies (they remind me of fairies)
  • Corndogs
  • The Miami International Book Fair
  • Cuban Coffee
  • Little Kids Being Cute
  • New Book Smell

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Friday, November 21, 2008

The Lola Shuffle - The "WOW Wrath of the Lich King Is Here!" Edition

Yes, World of Warcraft's latest expansion pack Wrath of the Lich King came out last week, but because of the Book Fair last weekend, I didn't really get much into it. This past week I played more and forthe mostpart it has been a lot of fun!

One of the new features of the game is a new "class" called a Death Knight. I created one and didn't even get to the next level because I had issues with the back story and what the character had to do in order to level, which include killing innocent civilians who beg for mercy (I decided to eliminate the 'toon when one of my potential victims told me "Please, don't kill me, I have children"), torturing enemies for information and killing your former best friend.!

So I'll remain with my regular existing 'toon and continue leveling and questing the "normal way". I plan to play a lot this weekend because, well, because I can!

Anyway, Lola...shuffle us a nice weekend set.
  1. No More Cry - The Corrs
  2. Just a Girl - No Doubt
  3. Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' - Michael Jackson
  4. I Want It All - Queen
  5. She's Always a Woman - Billy Joel
  6. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol
  7. Brown Eyed Girl - an Morrison (love this song and this is the definitive version!)
  8. Fanny (Be Tender with My Love) - Bee Gees
  9. Walking In the Rain - Erasure
  10. (I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden - Martina McBride

Have a wonderful weekend, and for those of you already in the cold weather - stay warm!

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Book Review - "El Juego del Angel" - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

NOTE - I read this book in Spanish, it's due out in English in June 2009

The book is beautifully written, there were literally parts I read two or three times for the sheer beauty of the writing. However, I just couldn't get into the story.

Unlike Ruiz Zafon's prior book, "La Sombra del Viento" ("Shadow of the Wind"), which I consider one of the best books I've ever read, I was never engaged with the characters. I found the story to be too long.

I thought it was too slow, had too many characters, had a confusing plot and had an unlikable (at least to me) protagonist. And then, he went all magical realism (not my best event!) on me. He completely lost me. By the end of the book I really didn't know what was going on, or why.

But again, the writing is just so beautiful that I pretty much finished the book just to keep reading the writing, not because of the story.

If you read in Spanish, and you enjoy beautiful writing - I recommend it.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hillary as Secretary of State

While I love Hillary (hell, I loved Hillary before Hillary was cool!) and think she's brilliant and would be a fantastic Secretary of State, I'm not at all enthused by the possibility of Obama tapping her for this position. The same goes for John Kerry. I don't want the Senate to be weakened by defections to the Cabinet - particularly Kerry and Clinton who have both been very effective Senators for their states and have done great work in the Senate. Also, in Kerry's case, with Ted Kennedy's condition, who knows what's going to happen when. I think Kerry would be perfect to take over Biden's position as Head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

My choice for Secretary of State: New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson for a variety of reasons: he was my favorite of the initial candidates for the nomination even though I knew he wouldn't get it, he's a Governor not a Senator, he already has diplomatic experience having served as US Ambassador to the UN during the Clinton Administration, and - yes - he's Hispanic.

I would love to see Richardson be the first Hispanic Secretary of State. Obama brings the promise of diversity and the Hispanics overwhelmingly supported him. Now, this is important, I don't want him to pick Richardson because he's Hispanic - I want him to pick Richardson because i really believe he's qualified and it wouldn't weaken the Senate. The fact that he's Hispanic is a happy bonus!

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

'Toon Tuesday

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Sunday at the Miami International Book Fair

It was another wonderful day at the Book Fair - and the weather was gorgeous! We had bright blue skies, sunshine, mid 70s and low humidity.

Thoughts, experiences and impressions of the day...

  • instead of going alone as usual, I went with my best friend

  • travel writers presentation, quote from Eric Weiner author of The Geography Bliss: "Happiness = Low Expectations"

  • two cooking and food related presentations - great conversations about food, stories about culinary school, mushroom picking in Italy

  • lunch at the Egypt pavilion - delicious Appetizer Sampler: Falaffel, Hummus, Baba Ghanoush, Dolmades

  • a performance by The Padura Girls, the beautiful and talented young woman in the picture above - they are the daughters of one one of my closest friends and I was literally at the hospital the day each of them were born 18 and 15 years ago, they've been performing since they were little and I still cry whenever I see them perform

  • a crowded, crazy, loud and volatile presentation by Cuban author Zoe Valdes; proof once again that older generations of Cubans simply don't understand the concept of "Question and Answer" instead they do "Autobiographical Soliloquy/Political Opinion then Question then Answer then Rebut the Answer"; author was introduced by the tallest transvestite I've ever seen in person

  • didn't want to deal with the crowds at the Vernon Jordan presentation, so I DVRd it on C-SPAN's Book TV and watched when I got home; what an eloquent, brilliant, attractive man; phrase (which I loved) that he used several times when discussing those who participated in the Civil Rights movement of the 60s: "Disturbors of Unjust Peace" - isn't that a great phrase?

  • saw and congratulated Miami Dade College President and Founder of the Miami Book Fair Dr. Eduardo Padron

This was the 25th Anniversary of the book fair, of those 25 fairs I think I've missed two of them. This is without a doubt my favorite event of the year - I can't wait to see what the next 25 years bring!

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday at the Miami International Book Fair

YAY! The Book Fair! Saturday was the first day of the street fair and I had a blast.

I took the Metrorail into Downtown early this morning and arrived at the fair a little before 10:00 A.M. Throughout the day I attended several author presentations including Esmeralda Santiago, my favorite "non-famous" poet Adrian Castro.

I learned about a fantastic organization called Las Comadres. They presented three Latina women authors which was fun and interesting because rather than read from their work they talked about their experiences in getting published, marketed, etc.

I had some Pad Thai from the international food court and walked around Children's Alley where I saw Madeline, Curious George and Raggedy Ann walking around! I stopped by an area of the fair called Write Out Loud Cafe where I relaxed and listened to several people read poetry before continuing with the author presentations. I browsed some of the books and went home, already planning my "Author Sessions" for tomorrow.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yes, another Meme - 7 Random Things

I got this from Robin. I think I've posted a similar meme before, bit since it's random stuff, it's unlikely the same seven random things will come up again.

Official Rules:
Link to your tagger and list the rules
List 7 random facts about yourself
Tag 7 people
If you’re tagged, play along and pass it on!

My Rule:
I'm not tagging anyone, if you want to use this on your Blog, let me know in my Comments.

  1. I need to get my bangs cut - I look like the Shaggy Dog (that was a movie right?)
  2. I'm at *my* personal happiest place on earth - the Miami International Book Fair today! I'll post about today (Saturday) on Sunday and about tomorrow (Sunday) on Monday. Well, at least that's the plan.
  3. I'm not going to continue watching "Dancing With the Stars" for the rest of the season - it's boring this year.
  4. I'm fascinated by the whole Obama picking his Cabinet thing
  5. I'm having a bad week of sugar readings...
  6. I am way too amused by the "throwing under the bus" of Sarah Palin by the whining loser McCain campaign people. It's wrong, I know, I'm a bad person.
  7. I like Rachel Maddow way more than I like Keith Olbermann.

OK, your turn.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Lola Shuffle - The "World Diabetes Day 2008" Edition

As you may know I was diagnosed with Diabetes 2 last summer (2007). Since then it has been a daily struggle but totally doable. There are good stretches and bad stretches but at least I'm aware of what is happening with my body. That's why World Diabetes Day is so important - early detection and education can make all the difference.
Lola, shuffle us up a good one...
  1. Streetcar Symphony - Rob Thomas
  2. Minnie the Moocher - Cab Calloway
  3. Nosotros - Orquesta Aragon
  4. Ready to Take a Chance Again - Barry Manilow
  5. Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen (Hmmm...a symphony and a rhapsody in the same shuffle...)
  6. Big Rock Candy Mountain - Harry McClintock
  7. You Know I'm No Good - Amy Winehouse (she's a trian wreck, but I love her voice)
  8. Sweet Jane - Velvet Underground
  9. The No No Song - Ringo Starr (HA! Remember that one?)
  10. Waitin' On a Sunny Day - Bruce Springsteen

Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Miriam Makeba Has Died

Miriam Makeba - "Mama Afrika", as she was lovingly known, died this week after collapsing on stage while performing. She had just finished singing her international hit "Pata Pata".

The world has lost a wonderful singer and a beautiful spirit who bravely fought through her art for her country, and who because of that fight was banned from her homeland for 30 years, not allowed to return even for her mother's funeral.

From her hit "I Shall Sing" (written by Van Morrison)

"I shall sing, sing my song
Be it right, be it wrong
In the night, in the day
Anyhow, anyway"

There'll be joyful "clicking" in heaven today...Uhambe kakuhle (have a good journey in xhaso) Miriam...

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Great Ending to the Election Season

I found this on a message board I read, it's from a Blog called There's all kinds of interesting stuff there.

But I think this "piece" I guess you can call it, is very important at this time and the simple messages from regular people are fantastic. Enjoy...

From 52 to 48 With Love

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

'Toon Tuesday

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Monday, November 10, 2008


Do you ever have someone pop into your head out of nowhere? Someone about whom you haven't thought of for a long while? Well it happened to me today, while I was minding my own business taking a shower - Pedro popped into my mind.

Pedro was a man I dated briefly about 20 years ago - my God, is that even possible? He was an artist and he was beautiful and he might have been bisexual.

Remember when we used to date people we knew we were only dating because they were attractive and fun and we knew nothing would ever come of it - and we knew they knew it as well? That's what it was like with Pedro.

As Maurice Chevalier once sang - "ah, yes, I remember it well". I met Pedro in his studio. I remember - like it was yesterday - I wandered into a vast warehouse space housing enormous canvases with brightly colored tropical scenes...a woman with a poppy-print dress wearing a straw hat with only her bright red lips showing, a toucan perched on a bright green palm frond with a patch of bright blue sky above, a beach view with splotches of color representing people on the sand contrasting the blue-green water. They were fantastic. So much color everywhere! And music. Loud, joyous, old-school Cuban music blaring out of a paint-splattered boom box - a traditional, percussion heavy guagancó.

But where was the artist? There's a saying in Spanish, "lo traje con el pensamiento" which translates as "I brought him with my thoughts" - that's exactly what happened. As I was taking in the sensory assaults of color and sound and wondering who was responsible for them, he walked out from behind a huge canvas. He was beautiful.

Tall, tan, lithe muscles, long limbs, no shirt, paint-splattered jeans, bare feet, long curly black hair, shining dark eyes and an impossibly bright smile. He literally took my breath away. As he walked towards me smiling I managed to compose myself and form coherent words. Within minutes, I was fine. He was easy to talk to, eager to talk about his work. I used to be on the board of a local museum and we were putting together an exhibit of local Cuban-American painters, one of them was Pedro - that's why I was there to begin with, to select the pieces to exhibit.

Next thing I know, we're dancing an old-fashioned danzon in the middle of the studio, with people walking in and perusing the pieces, like a couple dancing in the middle of it all was perfectly normal. And I guess it was. During the next few weeks we saw each other often, usually at the museum working on the exhibit and then we'd go out to dinner in his ancient Volvo.

We had a blast together. We went to a couple of gallery openings, a movie, just hung out. It never went any farther than kissing, he was a lovely kisser. One time after one of those lovely kisses in his car, I asked him if he was bisexual - I don't know why I had that idea, I just did - he looked into my eyes, laughed his wonderful laugh and kissed me again. It really didn't matter.

The night of the opening, I was at the museum with my friends, attending to the guests, answering questions about the exhibit, etc. All of a sudden he walked in to the building - he was dressed all in white with his dark hair and dark tan in stark contrast. Again, he took my breath away. All eyes were on him for a moment - he was fabulous. Even though it was a group show and despite that while good he was far from the best artist showing, he owned the night. Everyone wanted to talk to him, touch him, orbit the sun he was.

We went out casually for a a while after that, then he went out of town for a show and we slowly drifted apart. I think he may have moved away, I don't know. I just Googled him and couldn't find anything. I have one of the few small pieces he created - a Chistmas ornament.

I smile when I think about him and I'm glad I knew him. I hope he's well and happy.

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Weekend at Home

[Note: As you may see in the Comments section, the photo above is not of my feet! I found it via Google and thought it fit the mood perfectly, so I used it. The photo comes from Fluffbuff - she knit the socks herself! Thanks Francesca!]

So it's been a lazy weekend. After several late nights, I think it caught up with me. We're sort of under house arrest, because we're having car trouble, so we can't really go anywhere anyway, so it worked out. Friday night we went to a friends house for game night and had a lot of fun, but the rest of the weekend so far has consisted of lots of sleeping, drinking cofee, watching TV, reading, drinking wine, eating, playing World of Warcraft and just "hanging".

This type of weekend is not usually to my liking, I grew up going out practically every weekend shopping, visiting, doing stuff, taking family drives, going out with friends, etc. And I still bristle at staying home entire weekends at a time too often. But sometimes, like this weekend, it's OK.

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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Where Do You Want To Live Meme

Yep - another meme already! Don't judge me people! I got this one from Dixie.

Here are the instructions, copied from Dixie who copied them from another Blog...

"McCain has 8 homes in the U.S I thought it was 13 but whatevs. You have to pick eight places you would like to live. List them. You don’t have to list your reasons, but if you do at least for a few of them, it would be more fun. And remember that the only rule is: the homes must be within the borders of the United States of America or else, within the borders of the country you live in, so as to utterly emulate the McCains."

I'll add the usual, let me know in my Comments if you're participating...

This is really hard, because even though there are plenty of places I'd like to visit, there aren't that many places where I'd like to live.

  1. Miami - because regardless of all the negative press, it's my hometown and I love it. I love the craziness, the food, the music. Seriously, there's never a dull moment here. Easy drive to Key West and the Everglades.
  2. New York City - because it's New York City! Museums, restaurants, theater, universities, ballet, the New York Times, the New York Public Library, Little Italy, The Village...
  3. San Francisco - I think it's the most romantic city in the US. Absolutely beautiful architecture and views, great restaurants, great public transportation, driving distance to wine country.
  4. Philadelphia - My in-laws are there and they're great, it's a great city with lots to do, Philly Cheese Steaks, fantastic art museum
  5. Washington D.C. - Another phenomenal, cosmopolitan city, I'm a political junkie, museums, diversity...
  6. New Orleans - I think this is the most sensual city in the U.S. Music, food, booze, food, ambiance, music, food, architecture, music, cemeteries, food, the Mississippi River
  7. Seattle - Gorgeous views, a ferry ride away from Bainbridge Island which is gorgeous, progressive, clean, great coffee, easy drive to Oregon, easy drive to Vancouver...
  8. Minneapolis - Loved it! Another beautiful city, the Mary Tyler Moore statue, funky little cafes and bars, another great museum...

OK, now you...

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Friday, November 7, 2008

The Lola Shuffle - The "WOO HOO! Obama Won!" Edition

What a fantastic week! I am so happy, I feel like an enormous weight has been lifted, like anything is possible. And now we get to watch Obama put his Cabinet together, it's all so exciting!

And, because I am mean and petty, I'm loving the Republican in-fighting! Talk about throwing Sarah under the bus...dayum! I'm sorry, it amuses me - I'm a bad, bad person.

So Lola - who is over the moon herself because she is *sure* the quality of music in the White House will improve by leaps and bounds starting in January - is going to shuffle up a little sumpin' sumpin' for the First Family-Elect...

  1. Drops of Jupiter - Train
  2. Hump de Bump - Red Hot Chili Peppers
  3. Somebody to Love - Queen
  4. Let It Be - The Beatles
  5. Mambo - Cachao Lopez
  6. Smile - Barbara Streisand (dedicated to McCain supporters)
  7. Welcome Back - Mike Sebastian
  8. Señorita - Justin Timberlake
  9. Just In Time - Tony Bennett
  10. Casey Jones - Grateful Dead (always makes me smile)

Let's do something wonderful this weekend - Yes we can!

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election Night

Yesterday I posted my emotions about Obama's election as President of the U.S. Today I'll tell you about how my night went.

First of all I was a wreck! Actually I had been nervous all day at work just itching to get home and start watching the news. I started watching CNN at around 6 p.m. Then, when CNN announced their first results - they had returns from 1% of Kentucky and McCain was winning! WHAT? I freaked! Seriously, my heart started racing and I was hyperventilating a little. I had just finished eating a delicious dinner Hubby made and I almost lost it.

Hubby looked at me and told me to go take a pill. When I told him I didn't have that kind of pill, he told me to find one. Mind you this was before 8:00 p.m. EST. He said there was no way I would make it through the night at the rate.

Then the stomach cramps started - hello

We watched CNN all night. Did you see all the cool gadgets and gizmos they had? The new and improved magic map, the exit poll virtual drawers, and the hologram thingy, we got to see a hologram of singer! Actually, it looked exactly like the scene in "Star Wars" when R2D2 projected Princess Leia's hologram message to Obi Wan Kenobi! CNN also had an election thingy online where you could customize a page to track races in which you were interested, and they had an interactive map thingy where you could follow along as the results came in - fun!

Occasionally, as Obama's victory was becoming more and more of a sure thing, we'd flip over to Fox News to see if they were committing
hara kiri or if their heads were exploding, alas - none of that.

We stayed up until around 3 a.m. We were too wired to go to sleep I guess. Or maybe we just didn't want the wonderful night to end...

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes We Can...Yes We Did

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible; who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time; who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer".

President-elect Barack Obama,
November 4, 2008

(whew) <---- That's me exhaling.

It's been a long 8 years. It's been a long election.

I was one of those people to whom Barack was referring at the beginning of his speech. I had doubts that Obama could win. I didn't trust this country would elect a black man. After electing George W. Bush twice - OK, once - I didn't trust US voters.

But he did win and he won resoundingly. My faith in the US electorate has been restored.

He has a difficult job ahead of him. I'm excited! The political wonk in me can't wait to speculate on who will get picked for the Cabinet, who he'll nominate for the Supreme Court when the time comes.

The possibilities are endless and the feeling of hope - at least for today - is boundless.

Yes we did!

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

My American Prayer

If you haven't already -GO VOTE!!!

"When you get to the top of the mountain
Will you tell me what you see?
If you get to the top of the mountain
Remember me."

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Monday, November 3, 2008

10 Things I Can't Live Without

So early into NaBloPoMo and already a meme...shameless!

Here's the deal - excluding family, friends and important official stuff and *real* life necessities - what 10 things can you not live without?

OK, so maybe you could live without them but it wouldn't be nearly as fun...

As that shockingly annoying Samantha Harris on "Dancing with the Stars" says (seriously, don't you just want to smack her?) - "In no partcular order":
  1. Wine
  2. Cable TV
  3. E-Mail
  4. Music
  5. Books
  6. Laptop
  7. Cuban Coffee
  8. Lola, my iPod
  9. Internet
  10. DVR
You know the drill, if you want to play let me know in my Comments.

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

We are the world...

Go to Free Rice and test your vocabulary. It will help feed hungry people throughout the world and you'll learn something! It's a win-win!

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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Anniversary Baby...

11 years ago today Hubby and I got married - Saturday, November 1, 1997.

It seems surreal. In a way it's like he's always been in my life, and in others it seems like we've been married for 5 years or so.

Marrying him is definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made. It's not always easy, but it's always worth it. Some days are better than others but, to paraphrase the song, "I love him more today than yesterday, but not as much as tomorrow...".

Happy anniversary baby...¡te quiero!

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