1.30.2017

Makes me happy

Continuing the music conversation, and something I've mentioned a few times over the past couple of weeks--with the current political climate, I need to find different outlets where I can decompress and stay away from the news of the day.  Music is the outlet I turn to most often.  I created a playlist on my iPod simply called, "Makes Me Happy."

For the most part, I only add to this list.  Very rarely to I delete songs from it.  Kerri had mentioned in response to my last post songs that you never tire of...this list is full of those songs.  One that I did delete, ironically, was Pharrell's Happy.  That one was just overplayed and I got sick of it. 

Without further ado, here's my current "Makes Me Happy" playlist:

Love on Top - Beyonce
Just Fine - Mary J. Blige
Outstanding - The Gap Band
Rock with You - Michael Jackson
Lovely Day - Bill Withers
Mercy - Darcy
I Try - Macy Gray
You Rock My World - Michael Jackson
Upton Funk - Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars
Before I Let Go - Maze feat. Frankie Beverly
Voices Inside (Everything is Everything) - Donny Hathaway
Love Never Felt So Good - Michael Jackson & Justin Timberlake
Remember the Time - Michael Jackson
Can't Feel My Face - The Weeknd
Can't Stop the Feeling - Justin Timberlake
24 K Magic - Bruno Mars
Perm - Bruno Mars
Finesse - Bruno Mars
Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
1+1+1 is 3 - Prince


1.29.2017

Forever's a long time--plan accordingly

While out to dinner tonight with my family, my sister posed a question:  if you were going to be stranded alone on an island for the rest of your life and could take the music of 10 artists with you, who would you take?  (I might be paraphrasing some of that, but that was the gist.)  Instead of coming up with my list at dinner, I said I'd save it to write about on my blog.  I heard some good ideas from my parents and sister, and my list overlaps a lot with all of their.  Here we go, in no particular order:
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Prince
  • Michael Jackson
  • Earth, Wind & Fire
  • Adele
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Otis Redding
  • Bruno Mars
  • Aretha Franklin
  • Al Green
If I were allowed to negotiate and add 5 more, I'd also include:
  • Amy Winehouse
  • Marvin Gaye
  • Teena Marie
  • Donny Hathaway
  • New Edition (I've been listening to them non-stop since the movie aired...this would be good, and would have to include the members' solo projects (Ralph Tresvant, Bobby Brown, and Johnny Gill), and Bel Biv DeVoe.
Oohh....one more, if I could for an even 16:
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers (Hmmm....one of these is not like the others.  However, sometimes I might just need to rock out on my island)

1.28.2017

Red riding hood

My friend Kerri commented the other day about a post I wrote a few years ago about knitting.

As I mentioned in response to her, I haven't knitted anything in a while and will get back to it after I finish a crochet project I'm working on. Kerri asked if I've ever knitted a sweater for myself. I haven't yet, but I would like to. I tend to stick to square or rectangular items (washcloths, scarves, blankets), and a few occasional round items like hats. My ultimate dream, though, is to knit this beautiful coat:


I found the pattern several years ago and hope to attempt it some day. There are some additional pictures on Ravelry.com. You can also see some photos on Google images. I love it in red best, but the purple looks nice too. It's so beautiful and looks so comfortable. There's a lot I'll need to learn first before attempting this, such as cable knitting, but one day, I will get it done.

1.27.2017

A little joy today

I've had a rough couple of days...and I'm SO glad today is Friday. On my Metro ride home from work, I checked out one of the happy Instagram places that I mentioned the other day. And that's when I saw this. And it made my day. I already shared it on FB, but wanted to spread the joy here too.

I bought Bikini a custom made, fleece lined, puffy jacket. Sure it sounds snooty that Bikini won't buy "off the rack" but it turns out not having a neck necessitates very specific dimensions for your clothing if you don't want them to slide right off. I got it fleece lined and insulated to make sure she stays warm because if she's cold, Bikini won't got out and play. And when Bikini doesn't go out and play she gets bored. And when Bikini gets bored, we all suffer. Her favorite inside game is to "gently" bite the dogs on the butt when they aren't looking. Not hard enough to break the skin but hard enough to cause a yelp and a jump and a slight neurosis as they constantly look over their shoulders. She enjoys this game immensely, they do not. Or she unties my shoes.....while I'm still wearing them. Or she goes through all the cupboards, or spills her water bowl on purpose, or turns over the recycling bin. I don't want to throw out any unnecessary labels, so let's just say she can be "difficult". So, to battle Bikini's boredom during the winter months, I sprung for an expensive, custom made, pig jacket. Now let's just hope she still fits through the doggy door while she's wearing it. #idlehoovesarethedevilsworkshop
A photo posted by Steve (@wolfgang2242) on

1.26.2017

Ralph was always the one for me

I'm watching the first episode of the three-part miniseries, The New Edition Story that's airing on BET this week. I've been looking forward to this for so long, and despite the long commercial breaks, it hasn't disappointed.

Ralph Tresvant was always my favorite and in this story you see that he really was a good kid, and not just good looking. :) He was loyal to his friends. He was offered a solo contract, but said no, it was all of them or none. Awww.

In the episode I'm watching, they just performed "Candy Girl." I bought that 45 record at an outdoor festival at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, just about a full year before I ever heard them on the radio. To this day, I feel like *I* discovered them before any of my friends did. I knew all the lyrics to the song by the time it came on the radio. Candy Girl brings back such fun memories!

Look how young they are!

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1.25.2017

RIP Mary Tyler Moore

I was sad to hear of the passing of Mary Tyler Moore today...she was 80 years old.  The Mary Tyler Moore Show was ever-so-slightly before my time, but I remember my parents watching it.  I have friends for whom Mary was the model of how they wanted their lives to be when they entered the real world.  Over the years I've seen bits and pieces of the show, as well as The Dick Van Dyke Show, and Mary was great.  I came across this clip today, and thought it was a great testament to what talent she had as a comedic actress.


I'll have to add Ordinary People to my list to see her dramatic side--I saw it years ago, but don't remember much about it other than Pachelbel's Canon playing throughout. 


RIP Mary.

1.24.2017

Huh? Who now?


I started watching the new season of Homeland where Saul and Dal go to meet the new president-elect. Elizabeth Marvel plays the pres-elect:


Several thoughts went through my head...the first was, wait, didn't she run for president on House of Cards? Yep, she sure did. Here she is on that show:


That's when I checked the characters' names.  On Homeland, she's Elizabeth Keane.  On House of Cards, she's Heather Dunbar, so no, even though they look exactly the same, there's no crossover situation, and these are two different characters.

Then I started thinking...but, isn't "Elizabeth Keane" on another show?  I first thought of Madame Secretary, where Téa Leoni's character was, I think, contemplating running for president the last time I saw the show (last season).  I looked her up, but no, while that character's name IS Elizabeth, her last name is McCord:


Then it hit me, Elizabeth Keane is on Blacklist!  But there, her name is spelled Elizabeth KEEN.




Conclusion:  There are just too many Elizabeths! 



1.23.2017

There is still beauty and good in the world

The last year and a half, even two years, have been so ugly.  All the politics, hatred, racism, misogyny, on and on and on, have really impacted my mood.  I know I should turn off the news and stop reading the paper so that I don't go insane, but I also worry about missing out on important information, so I'm trying to find some sort of balance.

One thing I do is seek out funny videos.  I've got a regular rotation of videos I go to that  I know will make me laugh.

Another thing I've done lately is to look through my favorite Instagram accounts. 

The photos on the National Geographic account show the beauty and wonder of the world.  Despite all the ugliness we see on TV, beauty is still out there.  This account helps me remember that.  It also shows different cultures around the world, which is a good reminder that it's not all about the U.S.

Another favorite account is Humans of New York, which, if you're not familiar with it, shares the personal human stories of everyday regular folks.  People's stories help to keep my faith in humanity when it feels lacking.

And a third favorite is Wolfgang2242, which is run by Steve--the description of his page says:  "Life with Senior Dog Rescues, Bikini the pig, Stuart the rabbit, Oprah the chicken and etc."  What can be more charming than that?  Steve adopts senior dogs and provides the best life they can have in a loving and caring home and not in a shelter.  Bikini the pig isn't a dog, but she's my favorite character.  I also love Enoch the wolf hound, and sweet Edna.  Seeing these guys just makes my heart swell.  Check out their lovely Thanksgiving!


We definitely need more of stuff like that.

1.22.2017

To Sir, with Love

Last night on Saturday Night Live, Cecily Strong and Sasheer Zamata paid tribute to Barack Obama with a rendition of "To Sir, with Love" from the movie of the same title.  It was very sweet and a touching tribute.  Seeing it reminded me that I love that movie and haven't seen it in years.  It's one of those movies that I'd stop and watch any time I came across it.  It stars Sidney Poitier as a teacher who winds up teaching a class full of "hooligans."  He not only teaches them their school work, but he also teaches them manners, self worth, and respect--for themselves and for each other.  Sidney Poitier's so great, and this movie just brings me joy.

I just had a thought about it--so often these days, there's talk of all the movies with the "white savior" who goes in to a situation and saves all people of color.  To Sir, with Love is the opposite--it's a distinguished black man who saves the white children.  And this movie is from 1967!  Imagine that!

So, To Sir, with Love is on my to-do list for this weekend.  In the meantime, here's Lulu singing the title song.



1.21.2017

THIS is what democracy looks like

Holy cow.

Today I attended the Women's March on Washington with my sister and some friends.  I'm sure you've seen the coverage on TV.  Coordinators were expecting 200,000 people, but at least 500,000 showed up.  Just in DC.  That doesn't count the 600+ demonstrations that took place around the world.  There were so many people there, they were unable to follow the designated route to march to the White House.  The police had to mark off new routes to accommodate all the people.  We saw men, and women, and black people, and white people, and latino people, and native americans, and asian people, and muslims, and gay people, and young kids, and senior citzens, and people with disabilities.  It seems that everyone was represented.  Hmm.  Dogs.  I didn't see any dogs or other pets, but I'm sure they were there in spirit.

With the exception of President Obama's first inauguration, this is the biggest event I have ever been to.  I had been on the fence on whether to attend--it seemed unorganized for quite a while, and then I wanted to see what the weather would be.  After feeling so dismal and disappointed on inauguration day, it felt so great to be among all of these people.  It was incredible and quite inspirational.  And I'm so glad I went.

Here are some photos from the day:










1.20.2017

Hungry Heart by Jennifer Weiner

Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and WritingHungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing by Jennifer Weiner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I listened to the audio version of this book, read by Jennifer Weiner, and really enjoyed it. It was interesting to hear essays about her childhood, college years, and early 20s, and her family, and see how those pieces of herself fit into her books Good in Bed and In Her Shoes. I was particularly moved by the essays about her father, her miscarriage, her pets. She has a couple of chapters about tweets she shared--one was interesting, but the other was all about The Bachelor and The Bachelorette. On the audio version, each tweet is introduced by a birdie tweet sound, and in The Bachelor chapter, it was quite annoying. I follow her on Twitter and find her Bachelor tweets annoying there too. But beyond that, I found the rest funny, honest, sad, cute, and/or charming (especially the parts concerning her Nanna).

View all my reviews

1.19.2017

Moonlight

I was off work today and decided to go see a movie.  I had two thoughts in mind--one was that I hadn't seen a movie in a long time and the other was that seeing the movie would give me something to blog about today. 

I can't wait to see Hidden Figures, but today I selected Moonlight because it's been out a while and I thought it might be leaving theaters soon.  I didn't know much about the movie but had heard such good things about it.  Now I know why. 

Now that I've seen it, though, I realize there's really not much for me to write about.  It's difficult to describe what the movie is about, beyond saying, "It's a coming of age story," because it's so much more than that.  It tells the story of Chiron, in three parts of his life--as a young boy, as a teenager, and as a man.  Each part is played by a different actor, who were all great.  Each part shows different moments in time that influenced Chiron's life.  I didn't read any reviews of the movie until after I saw it, and I'm glad I didn't because I feel they give away too much of the story and I don't want to do that, so I'll stop here. 

1.18.2017

A Bronx Tale - part 2

I wrote the other day about seeing A Bronx Tale on Broadway at Christmas time.  In the comments, my sister mentioned that the cast performed on the Today show, so I wanted to share that with you.  (I can't embed the video, so you'll have to visit the link.

A Bronx Tale performance on The Today Show.

I also wanted to mention:  can you imagine if Tommy Mottola was still married to Mariah Carey??

1.17.2017

Thanks, Stevie!

This morning, for whatever reason, I woke up with Stevie Wonder's "Love's in Need of Love Today" running around in my head, so I decided to listen to his album, Songs in the Key of Life, on my way in to work. It's such a great album that reminds me of my childhood.

My commute takes me to Union Station in DC, and you can see that they're amping up for inauguration activities this week. Most of the rotunda is closed off and it looks like they're building a stage. Fake blossoming cherry trees surround the area, and there were three moss-covered obelisks that look like mini green Washington Monuments. Once you get outside, there are three huge U.S. flags hanging from the front of the building. It's really quite lovely, but I couldn't really enjoy it because of what it represents and what's happening at the end of the week. I found myself feeling negative and refused to take any photos of the decorations, because I don't want to commemorate this inauguration in any fashion.

Just as these negative thoughts were flowing through my mind, "Isn't She Lovely" started playing through my headphones. What a pick me up! It's such a peppy song and great to walk to. By the time I walked to my office, I was in a great mood! I love the audio of Stevie and his daughter Aisha at the end. It's so sweet.

I think today I'll just listen to Stevie and keep the good mood going. Thanks Stevie! Turned my day right around!

1.16.2017

For the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King!

Today's post was easy to come up with.  Thirty-one years ago, the third Monday of January was declared a Federal Holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.  That same year, this song and video came out, and I've been watching it every year ever since.

It first started with me recording the video from a local video show, "Friday Night Videos."  That video was on a VHS tape and I'd pull it out every year to watch.  Eventually, I transferred the video to DVD and watched it that way.  My sister and I lived together for 3 years, and we had the ritual of watching it each year.  Then YouTube came along and made it SO easy!  I love the song, I love the message, I'm glad Dr. King is honored each year.  His words are still as relevant today as they were when he spoke them. 

1.15.2017

In Her Shoes

I've been listening to Jennifer Weiner's book, Hungry Heart on Audible.  After hearing her tell about how her book, In Her Shoes, came to be a movie with Toni Collette, Cameron Diaz, and Shirley MacLaine, I decided to watch the movie again this evening.  It'd been a long time since I'd seen it, and even longer since I read the book, so I only remembered bits and pieces.  Now I can say, it really is a good movie about the strong bond between sisters.  Although Rose and Maggie had a pretty tumultuous relationship, they're ultimately there for each other no matter what.  I can't help but think of my own sister--our relationship wasn't as fraught as Rose and Maggie's, but we did used to fight a lot when we were younger.  In college, we became friends, and now we're the best of friends.  I don't know what I'd do without her.  Watching the movie tonight made me reflect on that, and I'm so grateful that she's my sister.

1.14.2017

A Bronx Tale

My family and I spent Christmas 2016 in New York City and had the opportunity to see A Bronx Tale on Broadway.  I'd seen the movie years ago, and loved it. It starred Robert DeNiro and Chazz Palminteri.  I didn't realize when I'd seen the movie that Chazz wrote it and that it was based on his real life until I read all that info in the Playbill.

A Bronx Tale originated as a one-man show that Chazz did off-Broadway, then the movie came along, and now it's a Broadway musical.  We really enjoyed the show, which is a coming of age story about a kid (Chazz) who struggles between the influences of his blue-collar father, a bus driver, and the richest man in the neighborhood, who's a mobster.  In the movie, Chazz played the mobster, and DeNiro played the father.  The musical was great and is being compared to a mix of The Jersey Boys and West Side Story.  I can see that, because there's a subplot where Chazz falls for a black girl--this was in the 60s and interracial dating wasn't really accepted by either side.

We heard that Chazz was in the audience the night we saw it, but we didn't see him.  Talk about pressure for the actors!  They all did great though.

As an aside, after the show, we made our way over to Rockefeller Center to see the tree.  That was quite the scene, but it's always fun to see.  You just have to have patience.  I know we're long past Christmas, but here are a couple of pics:


Window at Saks Fifth Avenue - dreaming of The Nutcracker


1.13.2017

Throw some perm on your attitude!

When I get a new album that I love, I listen to it over and over and over again, and generally, don't tire of it.  When I like every song, I try to pick out which one is my absolute favorite.  Then I listen to that over and over before moving on to other songs.  The latest album I'm doing all this with is Bruno Mars' 24K Magic.  I LOVE the whole damn album.  (I still call these things albums...even though I haven't touched an album in years.)

I loved the song "24K Magic" when it first came out.  Then when I downloaded the whole album, I decided that "Finesse" was my favorite song.  Now that it's been several weeks, I've decided that for the dance songs, my favorite is "Perm."  You can't go wrong with a lyric like:

Throw some perm on that attitude....
Girl, you gotta relax!  

There are certain parts of this song where I can picture the choreography and type of moves that would go with it.  I found this video that nails it.  Especially at 1:40 when they start pop locking like ReRun from What's Happening.  I just love it.


There's a part around 1:53 where I picture James Brown moving across the floor on one foot.  The video above doesn't capture that, but I see it so clearly in my head.  It looks like this:  https://youtu.be/ZF_rZrH4yBY?t=148.  (I couldn't embed the video and get it to start playing at the right point.)

Of the slower variety, "Too Good To Say Goodbye" tops my list.  This song is fun to lip sync to and I sometimes want to break out into a full lip sync performance as I'm walking to work from the Metro.  


Instead, I sing quietly inside my head.

1.12.2017

Words to live by?

Today's email for the blog challenge suggested selecting a favorite quote and talking about it.  I decided to go ahead and do this one, because I need to get to bed (I'm SO tired!) and it shouldn't take me too long. 

I'm selecting the quote that's on the right side of this blog:
I wish there was a way to know you're in the 'good ole days' before you've actually left them.
 That quote was spoken by Andy Bernard (played by Ed Helms) on The Office series finale.  I remember when he said it, thinking, that's SO true.  The best example I can think of is childhood.  When I was in high school, I couldn't wait to get out of my town.  There's nothing to do here.  We were always SOOO bored.  But now I long for those days, when I could hang out with my friends at school, talk on the phone with them at night and in the summer, be with them from morning until dark.  We thought we were bored, but we really did have a lot of fun.  I'm so glad we weren't bogged down with technology like kids are today.  We were active, imaginative, and creative, in creating activities for ourselves.  Those *were* the good ole days, but when I was 15, I could only think, "It can only get better."  It's all about perspective.  And nostalgia, I suppose.

1.11.2017

Bittersweet Bright Lights

I just finished watching the HBO documentary, Bitter Sweet,  about Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher.  It was interesting, sweet, funny, and of course bittersweet.  Knowing that they each died one day apart makes some of the scenes between them so poignant.  They definitely had a special relationship that shines through.

There's a scene at the end, where family and friends are gathered after Debbie was awarded a lifetime achievement award by the Screen Actors Guild.  Carrie asks Debbie if she'd like to get another lifetime achievement award.  Debbie responds that she can't answer because she will have gone on.  Then she says, "You don't get a chance to have a moment like this very often.  Not like any moment...it's its own special moment."  It's a sweet moment with Debbie, Carrie and Carrie's brother Todd. 

There are a lot of laughs in the movie--Carrie was very funny.  Debbie too.  There's a scene where Carrie's working out with a personal trainer in preparation for Star Wars VII.  Carrie's on an elliptical and she muses:  
If you die when you're fat, are you a fat ghost? Or, do you go back to a flattering time?
Hmm.  Good question. 

If you can catch this on HBO, I do recommend it.  It was an interesting glimpse into their lives and relationship and I'm so sorry they're both gone.  Variety's review says it best:  "Watching “Bright Lights,” it doesn’t seem too much of a stretch to presume that they’re still together, and always will be, holding up their mirrors of love."

1.10.2017

Thank you, President Obama

I just finished watching President Obama's farewell speech.  I was doing fine until they showed Michelle and Malia, and then Malia wiped away some tears.  That's when my own tears started up.  I'm so glad to have been alive for this presidency, and so proud to have been there when it all began, on that 19-degree morning for his first inauguration.
Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

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Thank you Mr. President.  I wish you and your family all the best.

1.09.2017

The challenge is getting challenging

Ok, this is a quick post because it's time for me to go to bed, but I didn't want to miss posting today.  I'm not sure what to write about, so I'll just go with some random thoughts.

  • Because I had to get to bed early last night, I didn't watch the Golden Globes.  I did, however, hear about Atlanta winning best comedy, and Donald Glover winning best comedy actor, and I felt so pleased. 
  • I didn't meet my reading goal for 2016--I was supposed to read 24 books, but I only got 21.  I've got three separate books going right now, so if I finish those up soon, this year will be off to a good start.
  • Also, if I finish those books up soon, I'll have something to post about here on the blog.
  • The other day, I was with a musician friend of mine and I was telling him how I wish I hadn't given up music (I used to play the flute) and that perhaps I should take up an instrument.  He immediately said I should play the ukelele.  I looked them up online, and you can get one pretty cheaply--I just might do that.  What I really miss, though, is knowing how to read music and the tiny bit of music theory that I used to know.  I'd like to get back into that again.  I haven't made my goals for 2017 yet, but one of them will involve this topic.  I have the bonus advantage in that the friend who suggested the ukelele also teaches it (and other stringed instruments). I just have to find a way to fit his schedule.
  •  I'm in the process of moving--I sold my house and am living with my parents temporarily.  While I'm going through all this house stuff, I've become addicted to HGTV.  Chip and Joanna on Fixer Upper and the Property Brothers are my favorites.  
Like I said, random thoughts.  Good night!

1.08.2017

Mark this momentous occasion on your calendars!

Uh-oh, world.  It's happened again...I downloaded a country song.

I actually had meant to do this a while ago, but I forgot.  Then today, I came across this video of a dad singing Tennessee Whiskey while his daughter records it.  I love this guy's voice and I love the pride you see in his daughter's eyes and smile.



Seeing that video reminded me of the performance on the CMAs last year or the year before with Chris Stapleton and Justin Timberlake singing Tennessee Whiskey AND Drink You Away. That was a fantastic performance and I meant to download Tennessee Whiskey at that time.


So, today, I finally did it.  I downloaded Chris Stapleton's version of Tennessee Whiskey. Time didn't stop, but I thought it might since it's such a rare occurrence for me to download country music.

THEN, I took it one step further. A while back, I discovered MediaHuman's app, YouTube to MP3, which lets you create MP3 files from YouTube that you can then listen to on your iPod or iPhone.  I downloaded the whole performance too because of course I LOVE the version with Justin taking part.  The only problem with YouTube to MP3 is there's no way that I could see to clip Brad Paisley's introduction at the beginning.  A quick Google search led me to Audio Cutter, which did the trick.

Now I'm all set on country music for a while!


Close enough to January 7

It's 3:30am on what is technically January 8 but since I haven't gone to bed yet, I'm considering this my January 7 post.  It was a busy day and fun (albeit late) night, but I wanted to get something posted to meet the challenge. 

Let's continue with the funny videos. A cousin of mine recently started posting videos from a comedian named Tony Baker.  This one, so far, is my favorite.  I couldn't find a way to just embed the video, so here's a link to it. 


High knees! High knees!

That is all. 

1.06.2017

And now, another George Michael (and Jim Vance)

This video came up today in response to a friend's Facebook post.  I've posted it before, back in 2007, but it's always worth re-posting.  This is my favorite funny video of all time.  I have it bookmarked and it's my go-to when I need or want to laugh, or when anyone else needs a laugh.


By the way, the sportscaster, on the left, is also named George Michael.  This is from my local NBC channel and I remember seeing it live when it happened.  George, sadly, passed away several years ago.  He and Jim used to laugh like this a lot--it was always fun to see them together.

1.05.2017

George Michael

This morning, George Michael's "Praying for Time" was running through my head.  Then, when I got to work, I saw that a friend of mine had posted a link to "Freedom" so I was thinking today's a good day to write a few words about George Michael.  We were in NYC for Christmas when we learned of his passing--I was so shocked and saddened.  I told my family that we'd listen to George on the way back home to Maryland, which we did.   My dad pointed out that he had forgotten how many songs he had.

My sister Debbie and I shared our experience of seeing him in concert a few years ago, where a really nice usher moved us from nosebleed seats down to near the floor.  I'm so glad we had that opportunity--it was a great show.

We also talked about how Debbie first heard "One More Try" during Debbie Thomas' exhibition performance at the 1988 Winter Olympics.  I'd forgotten about that, but enjoyed watching the video this evening.  George sounds so young on the recording. This was the year I graduated high school. Wow.


And then as tends to happen when I watch one thing on YouTube, I started going down the rabbit hole and came across this great video from James Corden.  Who knew that George Michael was part of his first Carpool Karaoke?!


And finally, I've been trying to pick my favorite George Michael song--there's Careless Whisper, Praying for Time, Freedom, Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me....but the one I always come back to is Kissing a Fool from the Faith album.  Any time I listen to George and get to this song, I always replay it two or three times in a row before moving to the next song.  (As I type this, I've listened to it three times...) I just love it.  And I loved George Michael.  May he rest in peace.


1.04.2017

Hate is such a negative word, but...

When I was in junior high, my best friend and I would walk to the bus stop playing "I hate ______" and we'd take turns filling in the blank.  On a rainy day, it might be stuff like, "I hate when it rains and all the worms come out," or "I hate when it rains and it stinks," or "I hate when it rains and my umbrella blows up and I can't get it back down."  You get the idea.  We'd do this on the way to school and on the way home.  I know "hate" is so negative, but this game amused us to no end.

Nowadays, I still play this game from time to time (in my head) and I realize a lot of what I hate now has to do with new technology, the internet, and social media.  For example, I hate when someone shares a video on Facebook and it takes you to one of those sites that gives a long description of the video while at the same time raising your expectations of how great the video will be.  Then you watch it, and it's not all that.  This happened to me today when someone shared a video from Shareably.com, a huge offender.  The title was:

Groom steps out onto the dance floor, performs an incredible Michael Jackson-inspired dance

1.03.2017

So much admiration

As I mentioned the other day, I'm participating in a challenge to write one blog post a day for the month of January (Ultimate Blog Challenge).  I should mention that I'm only loosely participating in it--I signed up to receive daily emails and posting once daily, but since I'm really not focused on gaining a larger audience, nor am I selling anything, I'm not following all the rules such as tweeting about my posts, or posting them on Facebook or commenting on others' posts.  

The daily email for Day 3 suggested the topic: Who Do You Admire and Why?  I thought this was a good topic and with only 17 days left of his presidency, I have to say President Barack Obama and his whole family.  I admire how he remained so eloquent and measured and reasoned throughout his term while facing so much opposition.  He's a man of integrity and I greatly admire that.  There's a meme going around talking about how there have been no scandals in his presidency--no affairs, no drunken children, wholesome family, etc.  All of that is to be admired.  I will miss the charm and grace he and his family brought to the office.  It will be all the more missed considering what's coming next, but this is not a political blog and I'll save that for others to write about.

I just wanted to tip my hat to President Obama.  Pete Souza, the official White House photographer, posted a wonderful collection of his favorite photos from 2016.  The ones with kids are my favorites. 


1.02.2017

And the Oscar goes to...

Or, it should go to:

Casey Affleck!


Now granted, Manchester By the Sea is the first movie I've seen in a long time, and I haven't seen any other actors that are being talked about for the big prize, but man, Casey brought it in this movie.  He gives an understated performance that just got to my heart.  Michelle Williams does too, even though she was only in it briefly.  In case you don't know, in this movie, Casey's character is named guardian of his nephew after his brother passes away and for various reasons that reveal themselves, he doesn't really want to do it.  It requires as many hankies as it sounds like it might, but there were also moments that made me smile.  I had a small issue with the ending, but that didn't affect my overall enjoyment of the movie.  It's worth watching just for Casey's great performance.

1.01.2017

One blog a day challenge

Happy New Year everyone!

I'm joining my friend Kerri in doing a challenge to post one blog a day for the month of January.  I told her I have a hard enough time posting once a month, but I'm going to go ahead and give it a try.  I don't know what I'll talk about all month, but I'll see what comes along.

For today's post, I am wondering if anyone has seen the previews for A Monster Calls, and wondered if Groot grew bigger and got himself a new role?

Here's the trailer:


And here's Groot (from Guardians of the Galaxy):