Monday, May 31, 2010

Troubadour Reunion... LIVE!

This was the stage, as we saw it last night at the Troubadour Reunion tour with Carole King and James Taylor. WOW! What a show!

They performed at the Troubadour in Los Angeles back in 1970. This is what the reunion was all about. They had all the same musicians with them this time. And they were all fantastic!

James sang in his own mellow voice, making each song sound personal and heartfelt. He had an easy presence on stage, as he spoke to the audience about his music and the stories behind some of his songs. He sang a tender lullaby in "Sweet Baby James" which he wrote for his little nephew and namesake.

Carole was dynamic, a force to be reckoned with. Prior to this, I hadn't been very familiar with her, other than as a songwriter. I didn't know what a firecracker of a performer she is. She danced around the stage, shaking her curly blonde hair, smiling like a beam of light. Her voice ranged from low and soft to an almost Janis Joplin-like intensity. When she sang "You Make Me Feel Like a Natural Woman" she brought the house down!

Each musician was featured in turn, the bassist, the drummer, the keyboardist. Each is a star in his or her own right, too. One highpoint was a rocking, electrifying jam session with Carole, James, and the bassist all on guitar. Another was "Smack Water Jack". That brought the house down, too.

This concert had it all. I'm so glad I didn't miss it. If you have a chance to see it... GO!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


I took these photos today, as we drove in the convertible. It was a beautiful day.

Yes, I do have my head in the clouds. I think I am having a "late-life crisis" (I'm too old to call it a mid-life crisis). I look at my mom in her eighties, and I realize I have only about twenty really good years left. I want to make the most of them. I want to live somewhere else, do something else, before it's too late.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Thursday was "Moving Up Day"

This is Molly, my youngest niece, who is eight years old. She is "moving up" from Lower Elementary to Upper Elementary, in their Montessori school.

This is her sister, Sarah, who is twelve. She is "moving up" into Junior High next year. Sarah is an accomplished gymnast, who is also moving up to level five in gymnastics this summer. She is a state champion in the bars and the vault.

This is Sarah doing her presentation:

And this is Molly, reading from hers:

And this is Aubrey, who is ten. She didn't have a "moving up" this year because she is already in Upper Elementary, going from fifth to sixth grade. She is smart and funny and generous, and the fastest reader I know.

My nieces are all bright, beautiful and talented, and they are growing up so fast!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Holiday Weekend

Guess where we are going this weekend. To see these people:

We are going to drive several hours, up to Columbus, Ohio and stay overnight so we can see this concert. There is not much we can do or see if we stay at home in Kentucky (unless you want to go to the motorcyclists' convention over in Rabbit Hash).

We drove to Cincinnati to see The Eagles last year. We have to drive to Cincinnati to go to Trader Joe's, or Fresh Fields, or the Apple Store too. There just aren't many places near us now that we were used to when we lived in Philadelphia. Here, we have a biker bar and a flea market and lots of Rand Paul campaign signs. I still miss Philadelphia.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

"The End"

Re: The "Lost" finale.

I followed these characters for six years. The writers did such a good job making us care about them. Sunday night I watched as their stories were brought to a conclusion. I cried happy tears as I watched reunions and redemption. So happy for them. It was great.

Then I cried sad tears as the final scene unfolded. It was perfect and it was right, but it was so sad. Then Vincent (see Vincent below) showed up to stay with Jack. Happy and sad all mixed up together. Some fans were upset that all the mysteries were not answered. I didn't mind that at all. It was all part of the "Lost" experience.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Dentist Dilemma

I wrote about breaking my tooth in Italy, and the Italian dentist who did such a beautiful job repairing it. He emphasized that it was only temporary and I should have it done when I got home. When I came home I consulted a cosmetic dentist, who told me I needed extensive work and gave me an estimate for $26,000. Yes, I have written about all of this before.

After the $26,000 estimate, I went looking for a less pricey dentist. My neighbor trusts her dentist 100% and he has treated her whole family for years. So, I took her recommendation and consulted him for a second opinion. He gave me a much more realistic treatment plan. I liked him. However, my husband reminded me that we have to use a dentist that is "in-network" for our insurance plan.

I looked up our insurance plan and found a list of dentists they cover. My neighbor's dentist was not on the list. I recognized the name of a lady dentist that I had seen a couple of times in the past, when she was with another practice. I went to her new office and got another reasonable treatment plan, one that our dental insurance would cover. So I let her do the work. I have had to go back a couple of times to have work redone. One filling came out, and another one was too rough and hurt my tongue. Now I have a tooth that she capped that has been hurting like crazy.

I told my husband last night about the pain I was having in the tooth she completed. (I mentioned it to her before and she said it should "calm down" with time. Well, it's only gotten worse.) He said "maybe she doesn't do such good work". Now I am worried. Should I go back to her and ask her to fix it, or should I go back to my neighbor's dentist and have him look at it and tell me what he thinks is going on?

I have already paid the lady dentist for my new veneers (for the tooth that broke and the one next to it) but they aren't ready yet. Now I am reluctant to have her proceed with them. I wonder if they will be okay. That's my dilemma.

Will this ever end?

Saturday, May 22, 2010


I have a pretty active imagination. I enjoy stories that inspire it. When I was a child I loved "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass". I read Lord of the Rings three times. I like really good science fiction. I think I inherited that from my dad who had a huge collection of science fiction classics. When I was having a sick day from school as a child, I would pick out one of his books to read.

This week I've been reading The Time Traveler's Wife. I started it once before, but gave up after reading a a few pages. I thought it was too confusing, with all the times and ages jumping around. This time, though, I am finding it interesting. I guess I'm in a more patient mood now. I was thinking maybe I should see the movie, to see how they handled the story. But maybe not, after enjoying a book, the movie is often disappointing. Does anyone know about this one?

Speaking of unbelievable stories, I can enjoy them if they are told well. I can suspend disbelief if the story is good enough. Like "Lost" the t.v. show. I've been watching it from the beginning. I almost gave up on it a couple of times, but always came back. The finale is tomorrow night, and i will be watching... all two and a half hours of it! I was intrigued by the characters and how they have developed. As I have written before, my favorite character was Daniel Faraday, a physicist who landed on the island and immediately sensed abnormalities in the light rays there. Also, I had to find out what was up with that Four-Toed Statue! Cool!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

War of the Roses (and Other Skirmishes)

When we bought this house, I was happy to find that there were big beautiful red rose bushes on one side of our front yard. I love these roses, and care for them by watering, feeding, and deadheading them. They have responded beautifully. They are full of blooms.

One day last week my husband and I had a fight about them. He was outside pulling weeds and trimming shrubbery. When I came outside I saw him putting some branches of rose bushes in the trash. They had buds on them. I was heartbroken to see these potential blooms in the trash. I asked him what was he thinking, cutting these off. He said they were low-hanging branches, so the bush didn't look neat. I said "you should never cut off buds... such a waste!" I don't care if they are low-hanging or not, they are going to bloom! Well, he was angry in turn. I don't think he understood me, and I certainly didn't understand him.

This incident is typical for us. He is a buttoned-up type of guy, who likes things to be neat and tidy. This is his version of shrubery... all neatly trimmed and orderly:

This is my version of shrubery... natural and free, as nature intended:

I guess this is what happens when a button-up guy like this one:

gets together with a free-spirited woman like this one:

Back when we met (on a blind date) I was a semi-flower child (not a hippie by any means, but kind of a hippie sympathizer) and he was a preppy businessman who liked to play golf. (I tried golf for a while but found it "too structured". He thinks that's weird.) He showed up at my door in a madras jacket like this one:

I had him pegged! I didn't think he was "my type" at all, but I guess he grew on me. In a way, we have complemented each other. I loosen him up (he used to be a Republican!) and he keeps me somewhat grounded (although sometimes a bit too much!). But it does cause the occasional "war" like the one about the roses and the bushes. He still trims too much off and I still get upset when he does it. I told him I am going to supervise when he goes out to trim things... but he sneaks out when he thinks I am not paying attention. Some husbands sneak out to drink or gamble... mine sneaks out to disfigure the shrubery!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Say Yes to the Dress!

Have you watched this show? It takes place at a bridal salon in New York City. I don't really understand my fascination with it. I guess it's a "fantasy world" for me, where girls spend thousands of dollars on one dress, to be worn on just one day. The dresses start at around $2,000 and go up to $20,000 and over. One girl spent $26,000 on her dress! (Or, rather, her father did.) My own wedding dress was $500, so this is a whole new world for me. (Well, that was also ancient history!)

Some of the brides are nice girls; others are real "bridezillas". Some of the mothers are straight out of "Mommy Dearest". Some of the brides bring a whole gaggle of girlfriends, who sit on the sidelines and heckle the bride, finding fault with every dress she tries on. The salespeople, for the most part, have the patience of saints. Never has anyone come to blows. I'm not sure I could be so patient.

Things have changed since my own wedding day (ancient history again). Weddings have become over-the-top extravaganzas. I think the current generation of young women watch all these shows and get grand ideas. I've noticed how many of them talk about wanting to feel like a "princess" on their wedding day. Maybe this is Disney coming back to bite us all, with all the "princess" business. Feeling like a princess on your wedding day isn't so bad, I guess, as long as you don't expect that feeling to last when the "bride" becomes the "wife".

Thursday, May 13, 2010

This Is Going To Be A Long One...

Remember what this man said in "Network"? He said "I'm Mad As Hell". That's how I feel about the oil spill.

I just feel sick, angry, and sad every time I see one of these. And it keeps happening. It makes me want to declare a "War on Oil". I still believe the adage that "money is the root of all evil" but I also believe that "oil is the root of all evil" too. Oil and money... very much related. Oil and money and politics. So many are getting rich from our dependence on oil. They are not going to give it up easily. Our never-ending quest for oil leads to two main choices: 1) foreign oil (war) and 2) domestic oil (spills that ruin our coastlines).

I believe we should be doing everything possible to develop other sources of power. We know what they are, but where is the will and the commitment to developing them? Big oil has been fighting to stop projects to develop wind farms, because they know it would cut into their profits. Too many legislators will not stand up to them because oil lobbyists have them in their grip. Now that the Supreme Court, in its wisdom, has declared that corporations have "free speech" rights to make campaign contributions. It looks like big oil's influence is going to be even stronger.

"Big Oil" has this country in its grip.

We should be encouraging and developing wind power...

and solar power.

And here comes the part where some of you will call me a real "party pooper".

Do we really need all these things?

Big, gas-guzzling cars:

Wave runners and snow mobiles, purely for entertainment purposes:

ATVs and RTVs, again purely for entertainment purposes?

I know, I know... it's unAmerican to give up all our fun toys. But Americans made huge sacrifices during both World Wars. Women gave up silk stockings, raw materials were sacrificed for the war effort, rationing, etc. I think we should declare a "War on Oil" and be willing to make sacrifices for this effort. I realize this is not realistic and most Americans would never go along with it. But I wish we would!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Next July We Collide With Mars...

I found another favorite performance on YouTube. I saw this movie, "High Society" when I was a little kid. When they sang the lyrics "next July we collide with Mars" I believed them! It scared me a little, but I was also a bit excited because my birthday is in July. I thought "Wow!". I was a silly kid!

Daniel Faraday, the Physicist.

Only three more weeks till the final episode of "Lost". This video features my favorite character, Daniel Faraday. Daniel is a quirky scientist, a soft-spoken hero and interesting character. This is where he meets time-traveler, Desmond. So cool! Go ahead and click on "Watch YouTube". You can see it there.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mother's Day

We had a nice Mother's Day at my sister's house. Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas, Aunts, Uncles, Daughters, Nieces, Brothers and Sisters... everyone was there!

(That's my license plate. I love Hawaii and like to pretend I live there. I live in a fantasy world.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Another Vintage Musical

I love this performance by Robert Morse... such body language. I play this song to myself when my self-esteem needs a boost.

Music That Makes Me Cry... In A Good Way

Was anyone else listening to NPR this morning, when Terry Gross was interviewing Burt Bacharach and Hal David? I pulled into my driveway and left the car running, so I could listen until the interview was finished. I have always loved Burt Bacharach and his music. His music makes me happy. That whole era when I was younger had so much great music. I have always loved Henry Mancini's music too. Such melodies from these men! There is nothing like it today.

Burt Bacharach: a beautiful man who wrote beautiful music:

Anyway, back to my car. They were playing Burt Bacharach's music from "Promises Promises". I would love to see the revival of that show on Broadway; although, no one could take the place of Jerry Orbach. I wish I could have seen him in the role. They played a recording of Jerry Orbach singing the title song "Promises Promises". I have always especially loved that song. The melody and the energy it contains! The orchestration is beautiful. Jerry Orbach singing that song was totally incredible! That's what made me cry. That he is no longer alive. That I never got to hear him sing it in person. That it made me so happy that I just wanted it to go on forever.

I finally came into the house and started looking up Jerry Orbach's career online. So many people these days know him only from "Law and Order" on television. He was so much more than that. He starred in so many wonderful Broadway musicals: 42nd Street, Chicago, Promises Promises, The Fantasticks. I found videos on YouTube. As I watched and listened to him singing "Lullaby of Broadway" in 42nd Street, I was swept away... it was so amazing. He sang and danced so beautifully. I wish I could post it here, but I can't figure out how to upload videos from YouTube and get the onto this blog.

Jerry: Orbach on "Law and Order":

Jerry Orbach On Broadway:

If you have never heard Jerry Orbach sing, go to YouTube and look up his "Promises Promises" title song. Such a wonderful voice! While you're at it, look up him singing "Lullaby of Broadway" from "42nd Street" and stick it out to the end to see the whole number. He sings. He dances. The whole cast sings and dances. It's fabulous! (Did I mention before that I love Broadway musical shows?) Oh, and "Chicago" (the original from 1975). He plays Billy Flynn, and he even strips during the "boo, boo, boo" song with the feather fans... I never knew that before!

What a morning! I got all distracted and spent an hour listening to all this music and watching videos. I was laughing and crying all at once. Music just gets to me!