The Mind Wobbles

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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book Review - "Dreams from My Father" - Barack Obama

I’ll preface this by saying that I love Barack Obama and think he’s the best thing that has happened to this country in a long time – there I’ve said it, you can stop reading now if you have a problem with that.

While I think he’s a phenomenal speaker and I appreciate his writing ability and think his use of language is spot on, I have not been able to get through either of his books! I did better with
Dreams from My Father than with The Audacity of Hope, but I still couldn’t finish it.

I started off fine, with the first section “Origins” where he describes growing up in Hawaii and Indonesia, meeting his father, his college years and living in New York. How he wrestles with his racial heritage and the conflicts therein is very interesting and his brief flirtation with Black militancy was fascinating. You can start to see how he grew up into the man he is today.

The second section “Chicago”, however, lost me. I found his narrative of the community organization stuff tedious. I got the people confused, all of his well-intentioned efforts were frustrating (at least as far as I got). So I started skipping around. I read about his meeting Reverend Wright and can completely understand why he chose to establish a relationship with the Reverend and it helps understand why Jeremiah Wright is the way he is. I read about when his Kenyan half-sister Auma visited him, and then I stopped reading that section.

The third section “Kenya” was OK, but by the time I got to it, I was tired of reading this book. I skipped around enough to learn about the complexity of his family in Kenya – where men have several wives and children with al of them. I’m not sure how many half-siblings Obama has on his father’s side but there seems to be a lot of them! There is some beautiful, contemplative writing in this section and you can see how this trip affected him deeply.

I may come back and read the whole thing some day, but for now I recommend it with the caveat that I found a lot of it tedious.

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

American Idol Recap - Top 10 - Motown

Rather than start all the comments with “great song!” let’s just assume those words are there unless I say otherwise. I mean – it’s Motown – great songs by default. And how much do we love Smokey Robinson? And I loved that he actually gave them usable advice.

MattLet’s Get It On – You know I’ve found him boring thus far, but today I liked him a lot! He was comfortable without the piano, he looked good, kinda sexy, I liked it – not boring. My score – 8

KrisHow Sweet It Is – This guy is so cute! He sounded smooth with little hints of roughness that was hot; very likable; a powerful but understated performance; he makes it look easy. My score – 9

ScottYou Can’t Hurry Love – (Yawn) I wish he had hurried this performance! He needs to get gone; while his piano playing is lovely, his voice just isn’t there for me; he just didn’t engage me even though the song is wonderful; boring. My score – 6

MeganFor Once In My Life – she looked beautiful; even though her vocal was wobbly and far from perfect there’s something about her – not just her beauty - that I find compelling, she entertains me and is pleasantly unpredictable; I like this girl, but she may be in trouble tonight. My score – 7

AnoopOoh, Baby, Baby – Love him! Sensitive Anoop is back and he’s damned good; he hit the high notes well on a really difficult song; sweet, powerful performance. My score – 8

MichaelAin’t Too Proud to Beg – Ummm…no. I like Michael, and I like his voice, but this wasn’t good; he didn’t sell the lyrics and the feeling of the song; IMO he’s in trouble. My score – 6

LilHeatwave – One of the few songs performed tonight that I don’t really like; I’m disappointed she didn’t sing Gladys knight – she would have been perfect!; she looked beautiful and of course sounded great, but she could have done so much better. My score – 8

AdamTracks of My Tears – OMG! Adam is SO the man! I triple loved this! Acoustic Adam is awesome; he looked great, sounded great; owned the song and gave the performance of the show; I have forgiven him for last week. My score – 10!

DannyGet Ready – He didn’t listen to Smokey’s advice but it worked out; he was really good; difficult to follow Adam’s performance but he held his own; I liked it a lot. My score – 9

AllisonPapa Was a Rolling Stone – of course she sang it wonderfully, but I didn’t feel it; I don’t know what it is but I just don’t get her; she is leaps and bounds better than Megan, yet I prefer Megan; didn’t like the outfit at all. My score - 8

Who I Think *Should* Go Home:


Who I Think *Will* Go Home:


What do you think?


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Annual American Diabetes Alert Day

It's the 21st Annual American Diabetes Alert Day. As some of you may know, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes a couple of years ago. It wasn't really a surprise as I had many of the risks. I had been educated about Diabetes because my father had it and I was aware the possibility of me having it was high. However, a lot of people don't really know what the risks are. It's not just if you "like to eat sweets" - there are a host of risk markers.

Take the quick Risk Test on the graphic in this post. It'll take a few minutes and might inspire you to talk to your doctor. If you catch it early and address the issues, you may be able to avoid getting full-blown diabetes.


'Toon Tuesday


Friday, March 20, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Spring Has Sprung!" Edition

Happy Spring!

Although Miami is green all year round we *do* have distinct signs of Spring, one of them being the flaming flowering of our beautiful Royal Poincianas. How I love these trees!

On another note, last night I had dinner with dear friends one of which I haven't seen as often as I should. We went to Panera and then to Starbucks and had a blast! She was recently laid off after working at the same job for over 20 years and is now in a state of flux. She's looking to change careers - isn't that exciting! It's a new beginning - so appropriate for Spring.

She was overwhelmed by decisions and choices and responsibilities and wanted friends' opinions. So we talked about that and about a million other things the way you always do when you reconnect with an old friend you haven't seen for a seamlessly pick up where you left off.

It was really nice!

So Lola...go ahead and shuffle us up a nice weekend mix to get this party started...
  1. New World Man - Rush
  2. Rock Me Gently - Erasure
  3. Con Los Años Que Me Quedan - Gloria Estefan
  4. Makin' Whoopee - Ella Fitzgerald
  5. I Only Want to Be With You - Dusty Springfield
  6. Que Bueno Baila Usted - Beny More
  7. My Sharona - The Knack
  8. I Drove All Night - Cindy Lauper
  9. I'm Gonna Make You Love Me - Diana Ross and the Supremes
  10. Radio GAGA - Queen
Very nice...again, a lot we hadn't heard in a while. Good job Lola.

I hope everyone has a great Spring weekend...enjoy!

Image source

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

American Idol Recap – Week 2 – Grand Ole Opry

Country Week is always a tough week for the singers, if it’s not your genre it is dangerous terrain. Now, I’m not the biggest country music fan in the world, but I like some of it and this week they sang some of my favorites. That wound up being very good and very bad. Very,very bad.

OK, here we go…

MichaelGarth Brooks’ Ain’t Going Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up) – he’s cute, he looked like he was having a good time, but I expected much better from him. I didn’t know the song, and I found it annoying. Meh…My score: 6

AllisonPatty Loveless’ Blame It On Your Heart – another song I don’t know; I didn’t like the outfit; the girl has a good voice, no question and it seems like a good choice for her even though it was a little screamy for me; I didn’t really like it. My score: 7

KrisGarth Brooks’ To Make You Feel My Love – OMG He’s adorable; beautiful song and he sang it so simply and sweetly, no yelling or theatrics, he just sang; I was riveted watching him; loved it. My score: 9

LilMartina McBride’s Independence Day – Great song for her; I completely disagree with the judges – hello! she didn’t sound R&B because you know why? It was *country night*! She got the feeling of the song, do the judges not listen to the words? She nailed the strong high notes – she was excellent, I got chills! Unlike the dumb-azzed Kara and randy I’m *glad* she didn’t sign “I Will Always Love You”. Loved her! My score: 9

Adam(allegedly) Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire – NO, NO, NO!!! Bad Adam!!! You do not mess with Johnny Cash people! Remember last season, on week 1 of the Top 12 during the first half of Beatles Week, when the god-awful Kristy blasphemed “8 Days a Week” by *countryfying* it? Well, this was the same only backwards. Now I like Adam a lot, but the whole thing was wrong - so let’s just pretend this aberration didn’t happen, and never speak of it again. My score: 3

ScottMartina McBride’s Wild Angels – I don’t know the song, and from what I heard I didn’t like it. I thought his low notes were weird; piano was nice; I thought it was boring. My score: 5

AlexisDolly Parton’s Jolene – Great song choice; she looks beautiful and she sounds amazing; once again the judges apparently haven’t listened to the words because they kept telling her she didn’t sound dirty enough, well it’s not a dirty song – it’s a pleading song, she sang it just right. My score: 9

DannyCarrie Underwood’s Jesus Take the Wheel – ACK! I *hate* this song, so pretty much anyone could have sung this and I would have hated it. But Danny's still my guy; hated the outfit; his voice was OK, not his best by far; just too cheesy. My score: 6

AnoopWillie Nelson’s You Are Always on My Mind – another beautiful, iconic song, but Anoop, unlike Adam, was smart enough to respect the song and the genre. He sang it beautifully; he did so much better than I expected tonight; I never lost interest. My score: 9

MeganPatsy Cline’s I Go Walking After Midnight – I love this classic and I think it was the perfect song for her; she looked beautiful! The minute she started singing I was confused as to what she was doing, I didn’t dislike it but I didn’t get it – I thought it was some weird affectation; later they explained she had Influenza B (?) and she had been to the hospital. While she didn’t perform as well as I think she could have with this song, I think she still did pretty well. My score – 7

MattCarrie Underwood’s So Small – (zzzzzzz – Huh? What? Yawn...) Boring. I’ve never heard the song and I thought both the song and Matt were boring. I think he’s a much better piano player than singer. I’m so done with him. My score: 4

Who I think is going home:

Who I would send home:

What do you think? Who was your favorite? Tell me in my Comments...


Tuesday, March 17, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Monday, March 16, 2009

What Do You Fear

Picture Source

What are the ten things you fear most?

In no particular order:
  1. Birds
  2. Being alone when I'm old
  3. Living too long
  4. Going down stairs (up is OK)
  5. Small spaces for long periods of time
  6. Rodents
  7. Reptiles
  8. Large groups of children
  9. Motorcycles
  10. Wilderness

What are you afraid of? Let me know if you use this on your Blog, by leaving a Comment.


Friday, March 13, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "No Title for this Edition" Edition

Image from
Sorry folks, I couldn't come up with a clever edition title. It's been a busy work week - which is nice. I still haven't gotten rid of the cold from hell - it seems to have taken up permanent residence at the base of my throat. You know the commercial for Mucinex with the lovely phlegm family moving in - well, they're heeeeere. Yep, right here, in my throat. Lovely. In more medical news, I went to a dermatologist and found I have psoriasis - again lovely. You know what she said exacerbates it? Stress. She told me I needed to relax and maybe start meditating. BWAHAHAHAHA! Me meditating! Yeah - not so much.

Hubby is doing better. The sleep BiPap machine for apnea is a miraculous wonderful thing. As I've been telling friends once we get our permanent machine (we currently have a rental), I'm going to officially make it part of the family and name it.

Anyway, let's let Lola do her thing...

  1. Whenever, Wherever - Shakira
  2. Low - Flo Rida
  3. Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
  4. Money Makes the Monkey Dance - Nil Lara
  5. This is How a Heart Breaks - Rob Thomas
  6. Crazy - Patsy Cline
  7. Come Dancing - The Kinks
  8. American Woman - Lenny Kravitz
  9. Good Riddance - Green Day
  10. Everyday - Erasure

Nice shuffle Lola! Have a great weekend everyone - I hope spring has sprung wherever you are!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol 8 - Top 13

If you haven't read my recaps before here's the deal - these are my wholly subjective, thoroughly meaningless, untrained musings on the "I don't want to watch but somehow I have to watch" TV phenomenon that is American Idol.

I have absolutely no business judging any of these people because I have no musical training or talent *whatsoever* - not that this lack of knowledge or ability stops me from singing often and loudly - but hey! they put themselves up there, so I judge them and mock them. It amuses me.

Because it's the first recap first I'll give you my opinion of them based on prior shows and then after the double-dash " - - " and song title, I'll comment specifically on Tuesday night's performances. In the upcoming weeks I'll only comment on the performances. Here we go...


Lil Rounds - The One That Can Sing: She's really good, probably the best pure singer, but I don't think she can win - - "The Way You Make Me Feel": great song; don't like the outfit; I didn't love the performance because it was to shouty; but again, the girl can sing. My score: 7

Scott Macintyre - The Blind Guy: Nice guy, nice enough voice, but I don't think he'd be in the Top 13 if he wasn't blind - sorry! - - "Keep the Faith": Don't know the song; don't like the song, it's to "revival-ly"; he looks comfortable behind the piano and seems to play it well; too shrieky; boring. My score: 5

Daniel Gokey - The Widower Guy: This is my guy, he's my early prediction to win the whole shebang! - - "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)": I love this guy! He sang a great song and gave it a bit of a new spin; looked great and comfortable on stage; excellent! My score: 9

Michael Sarver - The Oil Rig Guy: Adorable big teddy bear of a guy, even though he insists he's not "country" I still get a Rascal Flatts vibe from him - - "You Are Not Alone": pretty song; he looks cute; he sang it sweetly in good voice; seemed comfortable; I liked it. My score: 8

Jasmine Murray - The Pretty Little Girl: She's cute as a button and seems very sweet but IMO she has no business being in the top 13 - - "I'll Be There": beautiful song, she looks gorgeous, she sang fine, but the song was too old for her. My score: 6

Kris Allen - The Cute One: He's cute and he has a good voice, I think he'll get the teen girl vote, he'll be around for a while - - "Remember the Time": He's frickin' adorable! Weird song choice if he wanted to play the guitar; he was OK. My score: 6

Allison Iraheta - The "Oh My God She's Only 16!" One: I know she can sing, I know everybody is raving about her but so far I'm "just not feelin' her Dawg" - - "Give In To Me": I don't know the song and I don't like it, but it doesn't matter, she *rocked it*! *now* "I'm feelin' her"; she looked great and gave a great performance. My score: 8

Anoop Desai - The Indian Guy: I really like him; he has a good voice, good stage presence and a great personality, I think he'll be around for a while - - "Beat It": Well, after this performance, I *don't* necessarily think he'll be around for a while unless his personality carries him through; I was really disappointed; his voice was uneven; I didn't like the outfit; it didn't work. My score: 6

Jorge Nuñez - The Puerto Rican: I'm happy he's there because we needed someone from the Puerto Rico audition and it COULDN'T have been Tatiana (full-body shudder); he has a good voice a la Marc Anthony but I don't think he'll last too long - - "Never Can Say Goodbye": great song, he sounded good, but "She's Out of My Life" would have been a better choice for his old school love ballad crooner style; I liked his performance. My score - 7

Megan Corkrey - Tattoo Girl: I like her a lot, she's my favorite girl in the top 13; I like the Duffy vibe; I hope she's around for a while - - "Rockin' Robin": IMO the perfect song for her, in fact when I was thinking of who should sing what, I paired this song with her!; she looked beautiful and sounded great; although we could have done without the "caw caw" at the end (!), I disagree with the judges. My score: 8

Adam Lambert - Broadway Guy: I like him a lot; top 3 material IMO - - "Black or White" - he nailed it! Perfect song for his over the top style; looked good, sounded good, he owned the stage. My score: 9

Matt Giraud - The Boring Guy: Bleh...I got nothing for this guy - - "Human Nature" - (yawn) OK, now that I saw him perform, I've still got nothing; a fantastic song, but the performance didn't do it for me *at all*; the piano was "whatever", the vocal gymnastics unnecessary;! My score: 5

Alexis Grace - The Blonde: I don't get all the hoopla, yes she can sing well, but I don't really remember her for anything but the purple streak in her hair - - "Dirty Diana": OK, *now* I get all the hoopla! The girl can wail! Wow! I'd never heard the song but I loved it! She looked amazing and turned in a great performance. My score: 9

Who do I think *they'll* send home?

Jorge and Megan

Who do *I* think should go home?

Scott and Matt

What do you think?


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Monday, March 9, 2009

Wait! When did they grow up?

In talking with a friend yesterday the subject of kids - specifically teenagers - came up. As you know I have no children, but most of my friends do and I was in the hospital either during or shortly after many of them were born. And frankly, I consider them sort of *my kids*. OK, not technically my children, but at the very least my nieces and nephews. In other words I love them and have watched them grow and become pretty amazing people.

This year, the oldest batch turns 19.


What the hell? 19 is old. Well, for a kid. Not to mention how old it makes me (sigh).

Anyway, we were talking about how, despite some very, very minor mistakes they really are all good kids. Very good kids. When I read about the myriad of problems with "today's kids" I'm shocked and thankful that all that stuff is not a reality in *my* kids' lives.

Now, all of these kids went to private schools - as I did. I realize that private school, specifically in our upper-middle class "Miami Cuban" society, is almost a parallel universe to the *real world*. As I was talking to my friend I acknowledged that I had grown up in a pretty, pastel-hued bubble of a world, surrounded by friends and family, in small schools where everybody knew my name and feeling absolutely secure in the knowledge that I was never alone, that someone was always there for me, that I was always loved.

Then somewhere in my mid twenties reality hit. And it hit hard. It almost knocked me out. OK, wait. Despite the drama queen that I am, I'm not deluding myself into thinking I ever came anywhere close to "hitting rock bottom" - but it was rock bottom enough for *me*.

The thing is, I realize that when reality had the audacity to intrude in my rainbows and unicorns bubble it knocked me for a loop precisely because I lived in that bubble. So the question came up - is it better to raise a child in "a pretty bubble" only to have the snot knocked out of them at some point when they're older, or should you not protect your kids that much, should you let them see some of the ugliness of reality?

In my opinion - bubble away! As long as kids lucky enough to have the opportunity to live in a secure, nurturing and loving environment *know* that they're very lucky and don't take it for granted and don't feel entitled - I think it's OK. I'm not saying to spoil children by giving too much and expecting too little - I'm just saying that reality will eventually happen to them.

I know that I'm glad that when *the real world* hit me that I was in my 20s and not 14, or 17 or even 19. Maybe that's why it didn't break me.

19? My God - how is that even possible? I remember when she was all tiny and pink...when he was all scrunchy and shrieking. When did she become a beautiful young woman, and he a handsome young man? I don't want them to know too much reality just yet. I want to protect them for a little bit longer - not too much longer I know - but still, for a couple of more years maybe?

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Friday, March 6, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Now That Hubby's Getting Better I Have the Cold from Hell" Edition

Yuck. I have a stupid cold. Nothing serious, no fevers, just misery and more misery. Yuck. Come on Lola...shuffle me a "get better soon" shuffle!

  1. Erase - Mika
  2. Caruso - Josh Groban
  3. Brass In Pocket - The Pretenders
  4. La Tentacion - The Iguanas
  5. Wherever You Will Go - The Calling
  6. Amazing Grace - Joan Baez
  7. Livin' on a Prayer - Bon Jovi
  8. Heaven - Los Lonely Boys
  9. The Long and Winding Road - The Beatles
  10. Fell In Love with a Boy - Joss Stone

Very nice Lola, we hadn't heard those in a while!

I hope everyone has a happy and healthy weekend...


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

'Toon Tuesday