The Mind Wobbles

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

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Fantasy Football Draft" Edition

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Yes boys and girls it's Fantasy Football Draft time! Hubby participates in a "league" that consists mostly the husbands in our group of friends. This year however, there is speculation that one of the wives might participate (GASP!). Seriously, this girl knows her football. Through the years we (the other wives) have considered holding our own fantasy draft based on stuff like who's cuter, who has the nicer uniform, do we like the team's city, etc. But usually we just go out for dinner while the boys do their thing.

We used to stay while they did the draft but they are way too intense and we were "bothering them". Honestly, the planning for the invasion of Normandy was more relaxed than the draft - you'd think they were deciding the fate of the world rather than picking football players. This year the wives were considering having a *Pride and Prejudiceathon* where we would (in a completely different house than where the draft was going on) watch the entire BBC version - the one with Colin Firth (sigh) - of Pride and Prejudice. But the boys haven't gotten their shit together so we don't know when the draft is actually going to happen but it has to be before the season starts which is...soon (?).

Anyway, Lola and I were expecting the draft to be this weekend so, her shuffle this week is draft inspired...take it away Lola!

  1. A Change Would Do You Good - Sheryl Crow
  2. I Don't Feel Like Dancing - Scissor Sisters
  3. Lonely No More - Rob Thomas (he's kinda yummy)
  4. Rockin' All Over the World - John Fogerty
  5. Black Is The Color - Nina Simone
  6. Midnight Blue - Melissa Manchester
  7. Mockingbird - Carly Simon & James Taylor
  8. Ironic - Alannis Morissette
  9. Luxurious - Gwen Stefani
  10. Eternal Flame - The Bangles

Wow - some of those hadn't shown up for a while...good job Lola!

Have a great weekend y'all...stay cool and do something fun.


Thursday, August 27, 2009

'Toon Tuesday on Thursday - for Ted Kennedy

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bye Teddy...

This morning when I woke up I was in a funk - for no particular reason, just meh. I didn't turn on the TV before we left, nor the radio while in the car. The moment I got to my desk - literally before I even sat down - the phone rang and it was my husband who had just dropped me off. He had turned the radio on and heard the news about Ted Kennedy. He told me he considered not calling me since I was depressed already, but figured I'd hear about it soon enough, so he wanted to be the one to tell me.

I don't really know why Kennedy's death has affected me as much as it has - it was certainly expected. Other than the obvious reason that he was one more in a long line of early and tragic deaths in a family that has endured more tragedy than any family should.

Now, there's only one sibling, Jean, left from the most stunningly committed group of siblings I can think of. Think about their contributions to our country and in some cases the world - not just those of John, Bobby, and Ted - but Joseph Jr., Eunice and Jean as well. Talk about living up to JFK's "ask what you can do for your country" - despite all their flaws and missteps, they certainly walked the walk.

And now Edward is gone. He was 77 when he died.

During one of his last public appearances, when he defied all odds and appeared at the 2008 Democratic Convention he said health care was the cause of his life. He repeated those words in an article he wrote for Newsweek published just last month in which he wrote:

But quality care shouldn't depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to.

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege."

For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society. Now the issue has more meaning for me—and more urgency—than ever before. But it's always been deeply personal, because the importance of health care has been a recurrent lesson throughout most of my 77 years.

Is it cruel irony that he dies just as health care is at the cusp of reform or is it yet another tragedy? Now that his intelligence, experience and enthusiasm for this issue is needed most - now is when he leaves us.

He was no saint, he acknowledged and owned up to it in 1991 during a speech at Harvard:

"I recognize my own shortcomings, the faults and the conduct of my private life," Kennedy said. "I realize that I am alone responsible for this and I am the one who must confront it."

I don't think he was necessarily the most flawed of the Kennedy brothers, he was simply, and sadly, the one who lived the longest without the benefit of post-mortem forgiveness. He was also the one that was left to carry the burden of the family legacy and promise of greatness.

So yes, I'm sad. I'm sad that a man who had gone through a private (yet so public) hell for so many years and seemingly managed to quell his demons, was felled while still relatively young. I'm sad that he never saw his dreams of universal care achieved - possibly (hopefully) coming so close to it. And I'm sad because he was the last symbol of the elusive time which "for one brief shining moment that was known as Camelot".

Rest in peace Senator have so many waiting for you. And now "the boys" are finally together again.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School

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It seems summer vacation is ending much earlier than it did "in my day" (I'm over 40 I'm allowed to say that without irony). I did however start school slightly later than everyone else. Most people started school shortly after Labor Day, however, since I went to a very Cuban-American grade school (1st-8th grade) we didn't start until after September 8 which is the feast day of Cuba's patron saint La Virgen de la Caridad (Our Lady of Charity).

But my favorite part of going back to school was, of course, shopping for school supplies. Even now I'm a bit of an office supply junkie, but school supplies are so much better. Because I went to a private school we didn't have to worry about shopping for clothes because we had a uniform so it was all about the supplies. I know that today parents usually get a list ahead of time for what to get, but 142 years ago, when I was in grade school, the parents got nothing ahead of time. So before school started we would head off to the now defunct Zayre's, which was sort of like a Wal-Mart only not soul-suckingly evil, and buy general stuff.

General stuff was pencils - I would get 2 packs of pretty yellow unsharpened #2 pencils, a pencil sharpener - the black one with the domed plastic lid, depending on the grade either spiral notebooks or plastic three-ring binders with three hole punched college ruled paper, a wooden ruler, and starting around 5th grade we had to get ball point pens - a pack of blue, a pack of black and a pack of red. Then there was the matter of a carrying method - this was before backpacks and rolling suitcases were an option. When I was little I would get a book bag that looked like a soft sided briefcase with a buckle on the front - I can't find a picture of anything like it. Later on I was too too cool for book bags so I got those elastic book bands with hooks to hold the books together and hitched the pile of books and notebooks on my hip. Oh and there was that glorious time when the Trapper Keeper entered my life - as John Mayer said (although he was talking about the 80s generation it applies to me as well) it was "the genesis of obsessive compulsive disorder for my generation." I never needed a pencil case or pencil box because my mom would get me bank deposit pouches from work.

On the first day of school the teacher would give us the list of specific items we would need - crayons, scissors, and as we got older calculators, protractors, compasses (shudder!), etc. But best of all, we would get our books for the year. Again, because I was in private school we would buy our books, so each year we would get brand new books - people didn't sell used text books back then. I remember the crack sound when I opened them, the smell of new book...they were so pretty and shiny, so full of promise. Later that night my father would cover them, first in clear contact paper to protect them and then with whatever book covers I had chosen for the year which wound up lasting about a week tops. It was awesome.

Then of course, the second day of school we'd get homework and everything went downhill from there as I counted the days to the next summer vacation.

I hope everyone's 2009 back-to-school day is (or was) uneventful and full of promise!

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Friday, August 21, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Working From Home" Edition

I've been working from home for the past two days because my stomach has declared war on me. That's my view up there...the laptop and the TV in the background, but I usually don't have the TV on, I listen to music.

Bleh. It's been a day, I'm in a mood.

Lola, go ahead and shuffle something up for the nice people who came to visit...
  1. Never Can Say Goodbye - The Jackson 5
  2. Shut Up - Black Eyed Peas
  3. The Lucky One - Alison Krauss & Union Station
  4. You Make Loving Fun - Fleetwood Mac
  5. Tradición - Gloria Estefan
  6. I Don't Want to Wait - Paula Cole
  7. Another One Bites the Dust - Queen
  8. Brass in Pocket - The Pretenders
  9. Passionate Kisses - Mary Chapin Carpenter
  10. Hotel California - The Eagles

That's a pretty good shuffle Lola - good job.

Everyone have a great weekend, stay cool and do something fun.


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Friday, August 14, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "Woodstock 40th Anniversary" Edition

This weekend commemorates the 40th anniversary of Woodstock. Woodstock is now the age against which the attendees were rebelling.

What a weekend, huh? What a lineup - here are just some of them, the ones that I would have wanted to see:
  • Melanie
  • Arlo Guthrie
  • Joan Baez
  • John Sebastian
  • Santana
  • Grateful Dead
  • Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • Janis Joplin (!)
  • Sly and the Family Stone
  • The Who (they sang 25 songs starting at 4 a.m.)
  • Jefferson Airplane
  • Joe Cocker
  • The Band
  • Blood, Sweat and Tears
  • Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
  • Neil Young
  • Jimi Hendrix

Except for the mud and the whole being outside thing - I would have loved to have been there. Since then we've had events like Live Aid and other multi performer events, but the aura of Woodstock was never recaptured. There have been attempts, but they've failed because the world is so different now. Things were far from perfect then, and the festival had it's dark side - but I think there was a level of sincerity and innocence that isn't as prevalent. I think those kids really believed in their hearts as well as in their LSD and pot infused brains that they were going to change the world - and to be honest they did in a lot of ways.

Despite the turmoil and problems of the era, IMO for one weekend in upstate New York it was a magical moment. Sadly, we may need to wait 100 years like Brigadoon, or perhaps wait for "when the moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars and peace guides the planet" before the zeitgeist produces another Woodstock moment.

OK Lola, give us a Woodstock worthy shuffle - who knows we may get a ghost of rock festivals past...

  1. Crazy - Willie Nelson (Don't start Dixie!)
  2. I Wanna Be Your Lover - Prince
  3. I'm in You - Peter Frampton
  4. I Only Want To Be With You - Dusty Springfield
  5. God Only Knows - The Beach Boys
  6. Un Poquito De Tu Amor - Desi Arnaz
  7. Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) - Green Day
  8. Pinball Wizard - The Who (WOO HOO - Woodstock sighting!)
  9. Mercy - Duffy
  10. Crazy Little thing Called Love - Queen

So this weekend, stay cool, have a glass or two of Mateus or Lancers - maybe listen to a little Hendrix, some Joplin or some Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Send out good vibes so that some day we will again know the pleasures of peace, love and rock and roll.

But keep out of the mud and most importantly stay away from the brown acid.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Monday, August 10, 2009

Which Do You Prefer? Meme

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I haven't posted a meme in forever! I swiped this one from Facebook. If you want to play and put this on your Blog let me know in my Comments section.
Do you prefer...
  1. Traveling or Staying at Home? Traveling
  2. Dancing or Watching others dance? Dancing
  3. Oldies music or Country music? Oldies
  4. Hiking or Swimming? Swimming
  5. Hot Dogs or Hamburgers? Hamburgers
  6. Beer or Wine? Wine
  7. Cars or Trucks? Cars
  8. Resturant or Home Cooked Meal? Restaurant
  9. Hotels or Motels? Hotels
  10. Auto racing or Horse racing? Horse racing
  11. Winter, Spring, Summer of Fall? In Miami Winter, anywhere else Fall
  12. High School, College or NBA Basketball? College
  13. Swimming in a Lake or Swimming in a Pool? Pool
  14. Nightclub or Tavern? Tavern
  15. Cash or Charge? Charge

Your turn...


Friday, August 7, 2009

The Lola Shuffle - The "It's Been a Good Week" Edition

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To paraphrase my new boyfriend Craig Ferguson, it's a great week to be an American!

Oh my God - the news keeps getting better and better. Let's recap:

Come on Lola - shuffle us up a happy shuffle!

  1. Mi Tierra - Gloria Estefan
  2. Sunday Girl - Erasure
  3. Don't Stop Believin' - Journey (that's what I'm talkin' about)
  4. Closer - Ne-Yo
  5. Blue Skies - Willie Nelson
  6. Is This Love - Bob Marley and the Wailers
  7. Turn Me On - Norah Jones
  8. Paradise by the Dashboard Light - Meatloaf
  9. Don't Stop Me Now - Queen (my favorite Queen song!)
  10. Walk in Jerusalem - Mahalia Jackson

Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the waning days of summer...


Thursday, August 6, 2009

She's In!

Voting largely along party lines, the Senate on Thursday confirmed
Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the 111th justice of the Supreme Court. She will be the first Hispanic and the third woman to serve on the court.


¡Si se puede!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Review - "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett

I had been hearing about Ann Patchett's Bel Canto for a while and was intrigued by the description on the back cover, so when a friend offered to pass it on to me I jumped at the opportunity.

It tells the story of an unnamed South American country whose Vice President is hosting a birthday party for a wealthy Japanese businessman in the hope he will invest in the country. In order to lure the business man his favorite opera singer, an American woman, is provided as the entertainment. The country's President is supposed to attend but for a sadly ridiculous reason he winds up being a no-show. So when the rag-tag group of "terrorists" arrive to kidnap him, they wind up stuck in a house full of people they didn't want and don't know what to do with. As time passes, the hostages bond with each other and with the hostage-takers - but they're still hostages. The terrorist leaders are too proud to give up but don't know how to continue, so they make it up as they go along with only the faintest hint of control and discipline.

What follows is a well-told tale of survival, endurance, understanding and personal growth. Patchett develops the wide cast of characters beautifully as you see them evolve from terror, to anger, to resignation and finally to friendship and love. There is plenty of humor, some romance and even a little bit of intrigue and the setting, while limited to the house, is well established. At one point I felt like one of the hostages watching the events unfold around me and becoming invested in how everything would turn out.

I definitely recommend this book. It's an easy read but it has substance and will make you think. Check it out!


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

'Toon Tuesday


Monday, August 3, 2009

57 Years Ago Today

Today would have been my parents' 57th wedding anniversary. That's them up there, in 1952, shortly before they got married.

This year Hubby and I will celebrate our 12th anniversary, I can't even fathom 57 years!

In my heart they're together, celebrating with food, music and old friends. Hey - maybe in Heaven my father can dance! Maybe Edith Piaf will sing "La Vie en Rose" for them...

Happy Anniversary Papi y Mami! I love you and I miss you.

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