The Mind Wobbles

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

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - "The Longest Short Week Ever" Edition

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I would love to be sitting in an Adirondack chair on the pier in the picture above with a book and a glass of Claret.

I only worked three days this week after a five day weekend and it feels like the

But it's finally over. As of right now I have absolutely no plans for the weekend. Now last Sunday I had FOUR things to do - just on Sunday. This weekend - zip.

It's time for a shuffle...hit it Lola:
  1. The Sound of Silence - Paul Simon
  2. The Lucky One - Aliison Krauss & Union Station
  3. Dreams - Fleetwood Mac
  4. Who Will Save Your Soul - Jewel
  5. He Went to Paris - Jimmy Buffett
  6. Copacabana - Barry Manilow (Stop laughing it me! Yes, Lola has "Copacabana" in her)
  7. Ants Marching - Dave Matthews Band
  8. I Just Wanna Be Mad - Terri Clark (thus far, I don't - let's keep our fingers crossed)
  9. Waterfalls - TLC
  10. Message to Myself - Melissa Etheridge

Have a great weekend everyone!


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Papi!

My father would have turned 78 today.

I remember we used to always make a big deal of his birthday, because as I've said before my father would make up excuses to have people over to eat and drink - so when there was an actual reason like a birthday he was all over it. My mother and I were never big on parties for ourselves, so he was forced to focus on his own.

I specifically remember one year we celebrated his birthday with a cheese and wine party - at the time they had not come back into style yet, so it was a retro 70s thing. As a theme he picked wines and cheeses from Spain. In case you didn't know there are a lot of different types of Spanish cheese! And happily just as many types of wine.

He went all out - he researched different cheeses online before there was Wikipedia or Google to simplify things, he contacted restaurants and wineries and then drove all over the Greater Miami area looking for the different cheeses and wines. We wound up having quite a selection. We got these little tooth-picky sign things so we could label the different types of cheese and indicate the region they were from. He printed out pairing information and details about the cheese and wine areas and then put them in those report binders (wine-colored of course) with the clear covers so everyone could take one home. The whole decor was wine themed - I'm telling you he was totally into this - in short, he had a blast.

Old friends and family were invited, around 30 people showed up. The Cuban music was playing and the Spanish wine flowing. Everyone had a great time comparing the different cheeses, picking their favorites, figuring out the best pairings, etc. His friends still talk about that party.

In fact, years later on the day of his funeral, one of his friends brought the binder he had been given at the party. He said he had kept it because of all the great information it provided and that he still referred to it and annotated it whenever he heard of a new Spanish wine. Papi must've have loved that as he watched the last and biggest party given in his honor.

¡Feliz cumpleaños Papi! I hope you're having a phenomenal party with Mami and all the friends that have joined you.

I love you and I still miss you every day.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Friday, May 22, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Rainy Day Off" Edition

It's finally raining in Miami! I took today (Friday) and next Tuesday off to get an extra-long weekend. Today I slept in until noon with a thunderstorm going on. I love sleeping during a thunderstorm.

We have a busy weekend ahead, but then I'll get a chance to relax a bit more before going back to work.

Lola...give us a holiday weekend shuffle.
  1. Dancing in the Dark - Bruce Springsteen
  2. A Whiter Shade of Pale - Sarah Brightman
  3. Delilah - Tom Jones
  4. There's a Kind of Hush - Barry Manilow
  5. Help Me Make it Throught the Night - Willie Nelson
  6. White Horse - Taylor Swift
  7. Burbujas de Amor - Juan Luis Guerra
  8. Black Velvet - Alannah Myles
  9. The No No Song - Ringo Starr
  10. Desperado - The Eagles

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend - and as we observe Memorial Day think a thought for our military men and women who have died while serving our country.


Thursday, May 21, 2009

YAY Kris!

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What a great American Idol finale! The guest performances were great and the underdog win was perfect! And Kara out-singing Bikini Girl, and then flashing her own bikini was awesome - I actually disliked Kara less because of it.

I really got the sense that Kris and Adam were friends and that Adam was genuinely happy for Kris. And I thought Kris was sincere when he said Adam deserved to win.

Adam will be just fine...he's ready to be a star right now. Kris will come out even better after he's American Idolized.

All in all I thought it was a great season!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

American Idol Recap - The Finale

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This was very different from the last two seasons where I had a clear cut favorite up against performers I *really* didn’t like - Archuleta and Blake. As different in style as they are – and we’re talking polar opposites! - I like both Adam and Kris very much. While I think either would represent American Idol beautifully - I think Kris has more to gain from the American Idol *machine* than Adam, who I consider to already be a polished performer.

For the final the guys had to sing three songs: their choice from prior performances, the Producer’s choice, and the so-called “Coronation Song”, as many in the Blogosphere have dubbed the first single to be released by the winner - they both had to sing the same song, but they were able to arrange it any way they wanted.

Performer’s Choice

AdamMad World – I consider this to have been his best performance of the season, so I was glad he performed it again tonight; I find Adam’s voice to be achingly beautiful when he sings softly as he did on this song tonight; he is so dramatic but he pulls it off; I love the outfit and the lights and the smoke; the performance was perfect. My score – 10

KrisAin’t No Sunshine – amazing performance the first time and this one, more energized, was even better; his voice was beautiful, capturing the emotion of the song simply and perfectly; and he is so cute! My score - 10

Producer’s Choice

AdamA Change Is Gonna Come – fantastic song; he looks great; he did the whole screaming thing – which while I don’t like it I recognize he does it very well; he hit that last note and gave a great performance, I just didn’t love it.
My score – 9

KrisWhat’s Going On – another R&B classic; I like his arrangement, again he knows how to control his voice; he’s mellow but never boring; beautiful. My score – 10

No Boundaries (IMO the song itself is awful)

Adam – way too screechy for my taste; the song didn’t flow; the arrangement didn’t match the lyrics; far from his best; I really didn’t like this performance.
My score – 8

Kris – I thought this was a better arrangement for the song making more sense for the lyrics; he seemed to be straining as if the notes were too high for; while I liked his version better than Adam’s I still don’t like the song.
My score – 9

Average Scores:

Adam – 9.0
Kris - 9.6

Who I would prefer win:

Who I think will win:

Who do you think will win? What do you think about Adam and Kris? Do you think Danny and/or Allison should have been there instead of Adam or Kris?

See you next season - maybe!


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Season Finale!" Edition

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Wow! The season finales of my "must-see" shows have been fantastic so far! It started with Heroes last week, which was the weakest finale of the lot yet still good, and then Brothers and Sisters on Sunday. This week kicked into high gear with the mind-bending House season-ender Monday, on Tuesday we had the beyond freakishly awesome Fringe, then Wednesday we had the amazing LOST season finale and Thursday the heart-wrenching Grey's Anatomy ending. The only one of my main shows that hasn't ended yet is 24 - always exciting - and that ends next Monday.

It seems that while we weren't looking TV got good again. For example, "LOST" for all its frustrating contrivances is a *smart* show - and say what you will about TV making us dumber, I know that I have Wikipediad and Googled references to Egyptian mythology, religious symbolism, countless literary references and lots of other stuff because of this show. The writers have introduced concepts from a panoply of areas in an entertaining fashion, and I think that's great - I've actually learned because of it.

It had been a while since I followed so many shows. In addition to those I mentioned, there are others that I watch regularly but are less important: Lie to Me, Castle, and The Mentalist stand out.

If you haven't watched any of these, try to catch the reruns or online and let me know what you think - you may find a new favorite!

So Lola, just because I'm watching TV doesn't mean I don't love you! Shuffle it up baby...

  1. It Had To Be You - Dinah Shore
  2. Livin' La Vida Loca - Ricky Martin
  3. S.O.S. - ABBA
  4. You Raise Me Up - Josh Groban
  5. Fly Like an Eagle - Steve Miller Band
  6. Sweet Jane - The Velvet Underground
  7. Waterfalls - TLC
  8. De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da - The Police
  9. Scenes from an Italian Restaurant - Billy Joel
  10. Luxurious - Gwen Stefani

Have a great weekend!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

American Idol Recap - Top 3 - Where the Boys Are

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Well, it’s almost over. Frankly, I wouldn’t have a problem with any of the remaining three winning this thing, I think they’re all very talented. However, I have to say I was a little disappointed tonight, I expected everyone to bring their A+ game and I don’t think they did.

First the Judges choices:

DannyDance Little Sister – (Paula); I’ve never heard the song, so I really don’t know if he “made it his own”; he sounded good and looked good; I liked the performance but found it a bit boring. My score - 8

Kris - Apologize – (Randy and Kara); I love this song and I loved the performance; he sounded great and connected with the emotions of the song; he hit the high notes nicely and as usual he looked adorable. My score - 9

AdamOne – (Simon); fantastic song and a good choice for Adam; the slow parts were beautiful, but the high parts were good but too “screamy” for me; not my favorite of his performances, I expected better. My score - 9

Now the Singers’ choices:

DannyYou Are So Beautiful – A beautiful song but way too safe a choice for tonight; it suits his voice and the arrangement was good; I liked it better in the high parts; he should have taken more of a risk; he was fine but I’m disappointed. My score - 8

KrisHeartless – A Kanye West song! *That* ladies and gentlemen was brave! He did an acoustic arrangement for a hip hop song and he nailed it; I loved, loved, loved this; excellent vocal; very cool. IMO this was the performance of the night. My score - 10

AdamCrying – great song; didn’t love the arrangement; again too much screaming, but unlike Danny’s Aerosmith performance last week, Adam was screaming in tune. This is Adam, of course it was a good performance, but it was predictable and disappointing; he could have done and has done much, much better. My score - 9

My average scores:
Danny – 7.5
Kris – 9.5
Adam - 9

Who I Think Should Go Home:

Who I Think Will Go Home:

Were you disappointed? Did your favorite meet your expectations? Do you think it’s a done deal and Adam is going to win?


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Monday, May 11, 2009

One Love

Just watch the whole'll make you smile.

Then check out the Playing for Change site for more smiles.

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Friday, May 8, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Mother's Day" Edition

Happy Mother's Day Mami! If I know you, you'll be first in line (well maybe not first, you do like to sleep in) for Heaven's Mother's Day Brunch Extravaganza. Eat as many oysters as you can fit on your plate along with super rare prime rib, and for dessert your favorite chocolate mousse and floating islands - all washed down with never ending mimosas of course. I love you and miss you so much.

Oh how my mom loved Mother's Day brunches! The whole idea of being able to get as much as she wanted of whatever she wanted as well as mimosas delighted her to no end. It was always the same procedure - my Dad (and later David) would sit at the table while Mami and I went first, of course! First we'd case the whole thing out...check out what was where, what the dessert table looked like, etc. Then we'd strategize as to what to attack first. Usually we'd bypass the regular breakfasty stuff and head for the seafood raw bar where my mother would proceed to get 82,345 raw oysters on the half shell. And bread..always bread. After that she'd work her way through till she got to the carving station and manage to get the reddest, bloodiest slices of Prime Rib available. And then of course...dessert. Once we were done, we would always go to our favorite Cuban restaurant for some good cuban coffee . The espresso served at the brunch wouldn't do - it must be café cubano.

I've pulled up my "Mami Playlist" on Lola...let's see what we get:
  1. That's Amore - Dean Martin
  2. Glow Worm - The Mills Brothers
  3. Drume Negrita - Bola de Nieve (one of my mom's favorites!)
  4. What a Wonderful World - Louis Armstrong
  5. I Get a Kick Out of You - Frank Sinatra
  6. Just In Time - Tony Bennett
  7. La Vie en Rose - Edith Piaf (as some of you know this was my parents' song)
  8. Mambo - Cachao
  9. Sing, Sing, Sing - Benny Goodman Orchestra
  10. Bonito y Sabroso - Beny More

Since my mom is gone and Hubby's mom is in Pennsylvania, on Sunday we're planning on shutting all the blinds, turning the air conditioner down cold and watching Planet Earth - the Complete BBC Series in its entirety! All 9 hours of it!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, especially the Moms!


Wednesday, May 6, 2009

American Idol Recap - Top 4 - Rock Week

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Rock is really not my genre and this week’s “mentor” Slash scares me - but I have to say the songs tonight weren’t bad. I’m also thrilled that they *finally* did what I had been saying they should do for years – duets! I loved that! I think how a *pop star* handles duets is relevant, since they will eventually have to do it – be it in awards shows, or benefit shows, or tribute records, etc.

First I’ll review the duets:

Danny and KrisRenegade – loved it! Excellent pairing and an excellent song for them; they harmonized really well and sounded better together than not. My scores: Duet – 10; Danny – 9; Kris – 8.

Adam and AllisonSlow Ride – good song, but I think they could have probably found a better one for these two; they sounded great, both together and apart; fantastic performance. My scores: Duet – 10; Adam – 10; Allison – 10

Now for the individual performances…

AdamWhole Lotta Love – Wow! He seemed perfectly at ease; he owned the stage; he was doing way too much screaming for my taste but that's how the song goes and he did it perfectly, I didn’t hear a bad note, his control was incredible; while I don’t like the song at all, I loved the performance. My score – 10

AllisonCry Baby – very gutsy and risky on Allison’s part and she totally pulled it off; she has the perfect voice to sing Janis Joplin; she looked OK, but I liked her duet outfit better; the hair which has been bothering me all season looked good for tonight’s genre; I haven’t really *gotten* her throughout the season, but tonight without a doubt it was my absolute favorite performance for her; this is definitely her genre. My score – 10

KrisCome Together – great song; as usual he looked adorable; he sounded OK, but it was a bit boring; in addition to his voice and looks, Kris’ strength has been that he makes performing seem easy, today it didn’t flow, it didn’t seem easy; even though he pulled it off it was his weakest performance. My score – 8

DannyDream On – great song…but not for Danny; Ouch! While there were some good moments, it really fell apart towards the end; when he started with the high notes he sounded hoarse and that final note was a crime against music and all that is good; both in this song and in the duet he seemed winded on the long notes, like he was running out of steam; I think this may be the end of the road for Danny. My score – 7

Who I Think Should Go Home:

Who I Think Will Go Home:


Do you think that in order for Adam to lose this thing he'd pretty much have to kill and eat Paula's chihuahua on stage? Does Slash scare you too? Did Rock Week put the *Go* in Gokey?


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

'Toon Tuesday

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Monday, May 4, 2009

Sidecar Saga

As you may remember, in March Hubby and I went to the Philly area for his sister's wedding. I had decided that my drink for the evening was going to be an old-school cocktail - the Sidecar.

However, when we arrived at the reception the bar had a menu of what they called "Featured Drinks" - various types of vodka drinks. I thought those were the only mixed drinks they would serve, so I *sacrificed* and proceeded to have a few "Appletinis". Then we toasted the couple with champagne, and of course with dinner I had red wine.

It wasn't until after dinner that I found out they made all kinds of cocktails. I immediately went to the bar and asked the nice man for a Sidecar. He gave me a blank look for a minute, then said that he had made them before but could only remember that brandy was involved. I had no idea what was in them, I just knew I liked them. The guy felt bad for me so he suggested a Brandy Manhattan, which replaces the whiskey with brandy. Again I *sacrificed* and had a couple of those.

When I returned to the reception area I immediately went to a friend of the family (one of my favorite people - he's just that fabulous!) who I thought might know the ingredients in a Sidecar. He's one of these people who should have been born in a different era - in his 30s but all about retro stuff...and debauchery. So you see, he was perfect! Sadly, he told me he didn't know. Dejectedly - while sipping on my Brandy Manhattan - I returned to my table and shared my tale of woe.

Suddenly, my brilliant computer god brother-in-law whipped out his...Blackberry (dirty-minded people!). He Googled the recipe! Just as someone at my table was writing it down on the back of the wedding favor engagement picture of the newly-married couple, the guy I had checked with earlier was at my side delivering the drink and a copy of the recipe on a wedding favor engagement picture! It turns out he too had "Blackberried" (is that a verb?) it and had given the recipe to the bartender. YAY!

Talk about synchronicity of brilliant minds devoted to the all important task of helping me get a cocktail. I have the greatest friends and family don't I?

Here's a picture of the hand-written recipe:

Needless to say - several Sidecars were subsequently consumed. That's me at the top of this post in my wedding finery and delicious Sidecar. Don't I look happy?

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Friday, May 1, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "May Day" Edition

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Well, for most of the world May 1 is International Worker's Day:
a celebration of the social and economic achievements of the international labor movement.

But since the US has to be different, we've been celebrating Labor Day in September since 1887 in order to:
disassociate labor activism from the radical left.

Ooooooh...the radical left...scary!

May Day is also associated with various pagan celebrations throughout the centuries. Cool!

So Lola, give us a shuffle that will both unite the workers of the world and pay tribute to ancient traditions.

  1. Don't Stop the Music - Rihanna
  2. South Side - Moby and Gwen Stefani
  3. When God-Fearin' Women Get the Blues - Martina McBride
  4. Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain - Willie Nelson
  5. Message in a Bottle - The Police
  6. My City of Ruins - Bruce Springsteen
  7. Stompin' at the Savoy - Benny Goodman
  8. You're the First, the Last, My Everything - Barry White
  9. You're So Vain - Carly Simon
  10. I'm Like a Bird - Nelly Furtado

I hope you all have a lovely spring weekend...