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The Mind Wobbles

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

Updated: 2018-03-06T02:55:19.671-05:00


I Moved


Hi! I'm back and I'm still here! Except not *here* here. I've moved the Blog due to general wonkiness on this one.

If you want to read my yammering go to The Mind Still Wobbles and let's see what happens. I'm going to try the 2012 NaBloPoMo.

Hello again...


(image) ish. For today at least...

So Happy New Year! YAY! New year, new commitment to Blogging every day! What can I say? My muse is apparently taking an extended vacation with relatives.

So...a quick update.

I'm alive. I'm alive despite having a cold from hell that tried to kill me over the holidays. I celebrated Noche Buena and New Year's Eve with a fever. But did that keep me from going to parties? Hell no!

Currently I'm mildly obsessed with and wildly amused by the Republican primaries. Seriously - they're a riot.

As some of you may know, I am most definitely not a Republican, but I am a political geek. I've watched *all* the Republican debates - alternately
fulminating (Scrabble word!) and cracking up.

I was awake until 3:30 a.m. watching the Iowa Caucus until
Carolyn and Edith saved democracy. That's great TV folks!

And then there were four...

You'd think the departure of Perry, Bachmann and Cain (huntsman - not so much) would diminish the hilarity - but no! The fab four are a ton of fun!

Watching Rick Santorum trying to reign in the crazy while still spouting stuff like
how women pregnant as a result of rape should make the best of a bad situation is exciting; watching The Strange Case of Doctor Gingrich and Mister Newt is riveting; watching the Mittster pretending hes not rich rich is laugh out loud funny; and watching Ron Paul, god love him, making sense until he doesn't is always entertaining.

I can't wait for tonight's debate on CNN. Will Newt yell at John King again? Will Mitt become a quivering mess if his father's exemplary campaign practices are pitted against his own? Will Santorum finally get that stick out of his butt? Will Ron Paul be allowed to speak?

The excitement!

Maybe I'll come back tomorrow and give you my impressions of tonight's debate. Or not...who knows?

No More Drawing


So yeah...I quit the drawing thing because it was too hard...I'll be back!

30 Day Drawing Challenge - Day 5 - My Best Friend


Oh dear...I have to draw my best friend.  Cris, I'm sorry! Hahahahaha!

 Tomorrow I get a day off from drawing...and you get a day off from looking at it!

30 Day Drawing Challenge - Day 4 - Favorite Place

2011-12-09T00:40:53.780-05:00 favorite place is Miami! And no it's not just because it's relatively easy to draw! It's home :)

Wow, that's bad! Clearly, not so easy to draw after all!


30 Day Drawing Challenge - Day 3 - Favorite Food


Food? They want me to draw food?  It's hard enough to figure out what my favorite food is, let alone draw it. Today, I'll say Sushi.


30 Day Drawing Challenge - Day 2 - Favorite Animal


So how did Day 1 work for you? Staggering genius - I know! Well today's is my favorite animal, haha. Any of you who have played Pictionary with me know that in my art work all animals look exactly alike, except for an occasional hump if it's a camel.

Day 2 - "Favorite Animal"

See? Told you!

30 Day Drawing Challenge - Day 1 - Myself


OK...let's see how this goes...I so can't draw! And I'm doing this using MS Paint. 

Nothing good can come of this...

Day One - "Myself"

The End...of NaBloPoMo


Well...I did it! Some days better than others, but I completed NaBloPoMo - 30 days of Blogging. It had been a long time since I Blogged for 30 consecutive days.  It was hard. I didn't resort to memes, but I did use a writer's prompt once. 

I'm glad I did it, if nothing else to prove to myself that I could. I want to get back into writing more, but I guess I'm distracted. There are days when there's just nothing in my head that I feel merits writing.

I want to try and write more frequently here, but I won't make promises. I don't want this to be a chore, that would defeat the purpose of outside work writing.

If anyone is reading this, thank you...and if you've actually stuck with me the whole month a bigger thank you!


Is it wrong to want to live at Trader Joe's?


Have you ever been to Trader Joe's? OHMYGOD! It's magical.  *EVERYTHING* is good. And inexpensive. And...good. Sadly we don't have one in Miami, but there are several near the in-laws' house.

Two of the most popular items are seasonal and sell out quickly - but I got them! Trader Joe's Candy Cane Joe-Joes and the Dark Chocolate Coated Peppermint Cookie - amazing! Look at them!


And I also got the Peppermint Joe-Joe Ice Cream!

We got a bunch of other non-Joe-Joe related stuff...cheese, wines, soups, bread, sausage...YUMMY!

If you have one near you run don't walk!



We went driving around sightseeing today. Look at all the cool stuff we saw all within an hour's drive from inlaws' house!The picture above is just a pretty road. In this area you can drive for 15 minutes turn off a main road for about a mile and you get ruraler and ruraler as you go.More prettiness... Downtown New Hope, Pennsylvania...While driving around New Hope I saw this signAnd of course I made David pull over...and bought one of each of the beef and game jerky! I haven't tried them yet...Here's the Delaware River...The Bridge over the river from New Hope into Lambertville, New JerseyLambertville prettiness...We had a great time and a nice easy day...I love just driving around going up and down random streets. You never know what you'll find![...]

Sunday Tomato Pie


(image) We had a good, relaxing day today. We went to the "new/old-fangled" mass. Today was the first day of the revised English mass. Ridiculous waste of time, money and effort as far as I'm concerned. Basically they changed words around to what is supposed to be a closer translation from Latin. So pretty much it's a translation of the prayers I learned in Spanish. Whatever.

We had lunch at a neighborhood Mexican restaurant and then came home and hung out. Some friends came over for the Eagles game - they lost - and we ordered a Tomato Pie which was AWESOME!

Later we started talking about old TV shows and wound up watching old episodes on YouTube of stuff like the Six Million Dollar Man, Bionic Woman, Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (ohmygod), Wonder Woman, Shazam!, The Secrets of Isis (Oh might Isis, Isis, Isis!) and even Battle of the Network Stars. We laughed till we cried!

Do you remember any of those?

Vacation Styles


(image) Some of you may know that Hubby and I met online back in 1995 before it was a "thing", we met in an AOL chat room. He lived in PA and I lived in Miami, so our entire "courtship" occurred by telephone back when there were way fewer cell phones and no free long distance plans - so you can imagine the cost!

Despite the soaring phone bills really all we had was talking, so for over 2 years we talked at least once, often twice a day. So, we had a lot of time to talk about all the stuff you *should* talk about before getting married - such as politics, views on child rearing, views on family, how we'd handle finances, etc. So much so that when we took our pre-wedding retreat (a Catholic thing) we had already talked about literally *every issue* they told us we should discuss before we got married.

You know one that the retreat people didn't mention and we didn't discuss? Vacation Styles. Do you view out of town vacations as an opportunity to relax, if visiting family just hanging out with them at home watching TV, sleeping in late every day, etc.? Or, do you view them as opportunities to go out with or without an agenda) and explore places you don't know or return to favorite places, do some sightseeing, just walk around and soak in the place?

Someone should have suggested that we discuss it. So I am hereby advising any and all people who are planning to get married to discuss it. It doesn't have to be a deal breaker if you have differing styles, but at least everyone will know how to set expectations. We've been married 14 years and I'm still struggling with it.

In case you haven't guessed, I'm the second style described above. David...not so much. So what usually happens is as follows:

I want to go somewhere - anywhere really - and I tell him. He tells me he doesn't want to go. I try to convince him to go. He still doesn't want to go. I get all passive-aggressive. He gets pissed and says something like "FINE! We'll go, let's just go!", clearly not wanting to go. I get pissed and tell him to forget it, I don't want to go if he doesn't want to go because then it wouldn't be any fun.

WOO HOO Vacation fun!

Everything had been fine until now because with the holiday hoo-ha and his brother and family in from Texas it was reasonable to want to stay in. They flew back home today. So, we went through this exercise earlier tonight. We wound up going to dinner nearby *but* to a restaurant to which we'd never been...a compromise of sorts.

Tomorrow we're mostly staying in so he can watch football with hometown friends and I'm perfectly fine with that. It'll be fun.

Then there's Monday...(sigh)

What's your vacation style? Is it compatible with your SO's?

Pandora Pandemonium - Black Friday Edition


Look at what a pretty day we had today! Sunny and low 60s - perfect day to not be in the mall going crazy. Instead SIL and I went to a nice shopping village called Peddler's Village, had a lovely lunch and walked around. It was great!So...let's see what Pandora gives us as we recover from Thanksgiving overindulgence. It should have been a Lola Shuffle this week, but I think I left Lola in Miami!Waterloo - ABBA - them! And this is a great song as are the outfits in the video! C'mon, you want that blue gaucho outfit and white boots...don't lie.The Delivery Man - Elvis Costello - I'd never heard this song, but I love this guy's voice, he just oozes cool.You and I - Michael Bublé - Meh. I have Bublé issues. He obviously has a great voice, that not it. And I love his original songs, in other words not covers of other people's hits. I find he nakes the covers boring when compared to originals. Here's Stevie Wonder's original of this song - no comparison IMO.You've Lost That Loving Feeling - The Righteous Brothers - What needs to be said? A great classic song, and they sound great.Don't Tell Me - Avril Lavigne - I like this girl and this song has a necessary and surprising message, and is quite empowering for teen girls. YAY Avril!On the Floor - Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull - JLoooooo and Pitbulllllllllllllll! Wooooo! My home boyyyyy! I love this song...straight up dance music that's it and that's enough.Pride (In the Name of Love) - U2 - Another classic - vintage U2, all righteous and "anthemic" and awesome...Aurora Lucis, Hymn for Easter - Gregorian Chant - Wrong holiday but very very pretty.Going to the Fair - The Chieftains - I love Irish music, both traditional, like this one as well as classic rock and current stuff. These guys have been around frever and still manage to stay relevant and current. (I couldn't find a YouTube entry for this song.)Have You Ever Seen the Rain - Creedence Clearwater Revival - Another classic! How great is this song and how great are CCR? Good job Pandora! I hope you all have a great weekend and finish those leftovers![...]



(image) Happy Thanksgiving for those who celebrate the holiday, and for those who don't, I hope you have many things for which to be thankful.

Thinking about that for which I'm thankful is a yearly exercise and an important one. It seems that the last few years have been the same, I'm thankful for the same things, and honestly, that's a good thing. That means my life is consistently blessed!

For what am I thankful? First and foremost, of course, my husband David. He's my heart, he believes in me, he inspires me, he props me up, he challenges me, he makes me laugh - all of equal importance - in short he loves me beautifully.

Then there are my friends. As I've said before I have several groups of friends corresponding to different aspects of my life - all are important, all are integral to my happiness. As an only child of a relatively small family, friends have always been important - but now they're more important than ever and I'm lucky to have a phenomenal group of people in my life.

My family. Now that both my parents are gone, most of my family are my in-laws. There's loads of them - and I just had Thanksgiving dinner with all of them! And there's also my aunt - my father's sister - and her husband and two kids who in turn are married and have two children each. Coincidentally, because life is like that, they live in New Jersey, about an hour away from my in-laws', so whenever we come for the holidays I see them. In fact we're having dinner with them on Monday.

My job. Yes, it's a painish and I complain, but I know I'm lucky to have a job and even more lucky that I enjoy it. It's a good company with great benefits. I'm definitely thankful for that. lease remind me about this in a week and a half when I have to go back to the office after being on vacation for two weeks.

My health. It's not perfect, there's a lot that can be better, but big picture - I'm so lucky!

Those are the big ones, but I'm also thankful for countless moments of joy and blessings.

What about you? For what are you thankful?

Have a happy and safe holiday weekend!

There's Pie!


Look at what my sister-in-law Cristi made! The bottom left is Pear/Cranberry/Apple Crumble; the bottom right is Pumpkin Pecan; and the top two are Dixie Pie which consist of Walnuts, Chocolate Chips, Bourbon and Brown Sugar! She also made a pumpkin roll and is going to make a sweet potato pie per my request!

This is the sister-in-law that lives in Texas. She' David's brother's wife. In addition to wonderful pies, she's an all-around great cook. She was the "head chef" for the famous Christmas Goose dinner a couple of years ago.

We're going pretty standard traditional this year - regular roast turkey cooked with turnips and butternut squash, several stuffings/dressings, mashed potatoes, sweet potato mash with bacon (!), green bean casserole, creamed onions, Brussels sprouts (yay!) and the pies. You know me though, I could easily do with just the side dishes. The turkey can be the centerpiece, Ha!

Rainy Days and Tuesdays...


(image)'s rainy and chilly and gloomy. Even though it rains a lot in Miami, it's usually a quick intense downpour, but before and after might not be super sunny all the time, but it's rarely dark and gloomy the whole day - that only happens a few times a year.

But the morning took a decided upturn when we went out for breakfast and I got my scrapple!

(image) Scrapple is one of my favorite breakfast meats! You can have it savory, as is, or you can have it sweet which I did this morning by pouring syrup over it...yummy!

Tonight we're celebrating my niece's 6th birthday by going to a neighborhood Italian restaurant...and then we come back for cake - actually per the birthday girl's request, not cake, she wants cherry pie - and presents. And maybe later some board game playing.

For tomorrow, I'm lobbying for a visit to Wilmington and Dover, Delaware. David is less than enthusiastic but I've never been and wanna go! Wish me luck, I'll let you know how it goes.

iPhone Blogging


See that's a lie. You, or maybe just me, can't Blog on the iPhone. I can type in the title...but then there's no way to get to the text body area. I tried to be good and Blog on the road during the last leg of the road trip. Epic Fail.

Anyway, we're here! We arrived to fog and rain but it's not too cold. It's supposed to rain a lot tomorrow but be dry and "allegedly" not too cold by Thanksgiving. We'll see.

When we got to my in-laws' house all four nieces were here and the nephew arrived shortly thereafter. YAY! All the Christmas gifts I ordered are here and ready to be wrapped. YAY! I already had my first Philly Cheese steak YAY!

And...I won $50 on a North Carolina scratch-off lotto ticket! WOO HOO!

Lets see what adventures await tomorrow!

Roanoke Rapids - Here We Come!


(image) Saturday was a great driving day! We even got to Kingsland a but ahead of schedule.

The weather was great and there was no traffic. And the drive went quickly because David and I spent a lot of the time chatting about all sorts of things. You know how when you live together you find yourself more often than not talking about "logistics" and quotidian stuff? Well, yesterday we told stories about our teenage years, we talked about our proms, etc. It was really really nice!

Hopefully today's drive will be as nice or better!

Aaaaaand...we're off!


OK, today we start the two day drive to Pennsylvania. Tonight we'll be stopping in Kingsland, Georgia.

Oh the road wonders that await...Waffle House coffee...Sonic Chocolate Coke..."road food"!

The Blogging may be sketchy, but I'll try my best!

Pandora Pandemonium - The I'm About to Go on Vacation Edition


Coat of Many Colors - Eva Cassidy - I had never heard this song, it's written by Dolly Parton and is lovely. Cassidy's voice is so amazing!Ten Years Gone - Led Zeppelin - Meh. Some of you may know I'm not a Led Zeppelin. I don't know this song, and don't particularly like it. YAY for Pandora's fast forward...After the Thrill is Gone - The Eagles - Fabulous! I love the Eagles and this song while not as popular as many of thier other songs is, imo, one of their best. The lyrics are staggering..."What can you do when your dreams come true and it's not quite like you planned? What have you done to be losing the one you held it so tight in your hand?..."This Land Is Your Land - Peter, Paul and Mary - I think this song should be the national anthem of the United States. It's more relevant and is easier to sing. And it's all kinds of awesome. Speaking of awesome - Peter, Paul and Mary - love them!The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga - This is probably my favorite Lady Gaga song, and I like most of her songs. It's definitely a "dance alone in the living room"'s invigorating and happy! And the Clarence Clemons solo in the video - one of his last performances - way to stay current Clarence...such a loss. Good for Gaga to feature him in her video!Chasing Pavements - Adele - This girl is amazing! Her songs are so evocative...coupled with her voice they are raw emotion. This is one of feel her confusion and pain. And she's so young, I can't wait to see what she does next.Mucho Corazón - Beny Moré - Moré is my favorite Cuban singer hands down. This is just one of his many phenomenal boleros. And the orchestra...listen to those horns. This makes me want to dance.See You Soon - Coldplay - I don't know this song, but like all the Coldplay songs I've heard, I like it. I don't really know a lot of their stuff other than the "hits" - maybe I'll set up a Pandora Coldplay station. Plus I think Chris Martin's a cutie.Many the Miles - Sara Bareilles - Another song I don't know, Pandora's shuffling up lots of new music for me today. I like it, and I really like her voice. This song is kinda bluesy with gospel sounding back up vocals.Coyote - Joni Mitchell - Wow, I hadn't heard this song in years! It's supposed to be autobiographical where she tells about an affair she had with Sam Shepard. It's an odd song rhythmically and not especially sing-alongable, but with that voice this woman can do anything and it sounds fantastic. And how cool is this video from the movie "The Last Waltz"?So there you have it boys and girls. Next Friday I will be in the Philadelphia 'burbs in a post-Thanksgiving stupor. Who knows what will happen!Have a great weekend and try to start a little pandemonium of your own.[...]

I Hit the Wall #1


(image) it is Day 17 of NaBloPoMo and I have hit the proverbial wall...I got nuthin'. But I knew this was going to happen and I prepared for it. A hundred years ago when I wanted to "improve my craft" (stop laughing at me!) I bought something called A Tool Kit for Writers. I am using it today. Here we go...

The the "innovative card designed to help me break through writer's block" (according to the back of the box) that I chose says "Write a Letter".

(blinks) I don't need to write a letter.

OK fine...this has been on my mind since Tuesday. I've Facebooked it (yes I made it a verb), I kvetched about it at work, I Plurked about it, so here we go.

Dear Domino's Pizza,

Let me start by commending you on your vastly improved pizza. The changes you've advertised are, in fact, awesome. Yay you!

Now to the point of this letter (other than the NaBloPoMo thing). I am going to explain to you why you shouldn't cut your thin crust pizza into teeny-tiny squares.

Basically, it's stupid. If I wanted hors d' ouevres I'd buy Totino's Pizza Rolls and shove a toothpick in 'em. I don't want cocktail food - I want dinner!

We ordered a thin crust Pacific Vegetable, which is delicious. But, the pieces were so damned tiny they couldn't even hold a black olive! I can't get yummy pizza goodness in a 1" x 1" square. I need a triangular slice the way God intended pizza to be eaten! That way the plethora of veggies can get all up in there.

Now, I'll happily eat a slice of Sicilian pizza cut into squares. Or the fantastic tomato pie we get in the Philly suburbs which is also cut in squares. *They're* cut in big pieces - at least 3" on each side - I can actually taste the pizza! But those ridiculous little tid-bits you inflict on us are useless. And messy. And!

If you must continue being wrong and cutting it into miniscule bites, then at least gives us the opportunity to tell you to cut them *correctly* when we order online. There's nowhere to write "special instructions". So here I sat sadly eating miniature pizza molecules.

Everything else is strive for perfection and do the right thing.

Hugs and Kisses,

There...I made it through Day 17.

Bah! I have a cold!


Really? Seriously? Four days before I take off on a road trip to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving I get a cold? A road trip when you're feeling like crap sucks - and I love road trips!

Having a cold and staying home sick was so much better when we were kids! Of course at the time I felt awful but looking back now it was great!

I would get to sleep in and watch TV all day. Depending on the time frame there were the game shows - $25,000/$100,00 Pyramid, Let's Make a Deal, Match Game, Joker's Wild, Concentration, The Dating Game, The Newlywed Game, Hollywood Squares and so many more.

Then there were the soaps -
never mind most of the time I was too young to understand what was really going on. Again, depending on the year there was Love of Life (raise your hand if you remember that one!), Ryan's Hope, Dark Shadows, All My Children and General Hospital - this was before VCRs, so it was the only way to catch up on your "story" until Christmas and Summer vacations. Oh and remember the talk shows? The Merv Griffin Show and The Mike Douglas Show were my favorites!

My grandmother would make me comfort food...of course, depending on what was wrong with me the food varied. If it was my stomach she'd make chicken soup with angel hair pasta, potatoes, malanga, etc. It was very close to this recipe in fact.

But if it was a cold, well then she had to feed me so I could get my strength back to fight the cold - which meant - lots of food! There was still the chicken soup, or sometimes she would make "potaje" which is kind of a soupy stew made with vegetables and meat run through a blender. I might even get my ultimate comfort food fried eggs and white rice!

And later when they got home from work, my parents might bring me a comic book or some other inexpensive trinket to distract me. Sleep, TV, good food and a toy! Such a deal!

But guess what! I stayed home sick yesterday. I slept in, watched TV and Hubby warmed up some left over take out Wonton soup and made me fried eggs and white rice for lunch! I didn't get an Archies comic book, but that's OK!

Coffee Night


(image) image source

Last night was "Coffee Night". Once a month I get together with my "core friends" - these are women with whom I've been friends between 10 and 30 years. I've known most of them for at least half my life. I'm blessed to have several groups of wonderful friends from different areas of my life, but these "girls" are my foundation.

For the last 11 years we've been meeting once a month at a centrally located Starbucks to spend 3 hours or so talking and laughing - there's lots of laughing. When we started "coffee night" my friends all had kids in grade school - I'm the only one in the group that doesn't have children - now most are in college, in fact a couple are Seniors in college! We've endured cancer diagnoses and treatments, illness, the death of parents and grandparents, vacation adventures, turning 40!, husbands turning 50, marriages on the brink and back, near nervous breakdowns and everything in between.

Basically we've experienced life - and we experienced it together. We know as we get older we'll have new experiences, some harder than others, but by now we know we'll do it together - and that will make it easier, more fun, and hopefully will bring us lots more laughter.

Book Review - "Just Kids" by Patti Smith


(image) I loved Patti Smith's Just Kids. I love the story she tells, the way she tells it, the people she talks about and the places where she takes us.

The book is Smith's keeping a promise she made to her friend, lover, and muse - artist Robert Mapplethorpe - as he was dying of AIDS in 1989. It's the story of their 22 year friendship, love story and collaboration - a coming of age story set in New York's art and music world. New York City is as much a main character as are Patti and Robert. It's not a pretty New York City - lots of drugs and hustling - but a vibrant art and music scene.
And my elusive Shengri-La, the Chelsea Hotel is also a star in the book. They lived there for several years and it was crucial to their development as artists.

I was actually more familiar with Mapplethorpe's work than with Smith's until recently. I've always admired Mapplethorpe's work even as it disturbed me. Reading about how his art evolved as a mirror of his life was fantastic. The name-dropping in the book is fabulous - Smith and Mapplethorpe were in the thick of the Warhol and Chelsea Hotel scene. That's how Smith came to be in the same room as Kris Kristofferson singing "Me and Bobby McGee" to Janis Joplin for the first time - can you imagine!

Smith's writing is beautiful, her love for Mapplethorpe is felt on every page. What started as an accidental meeting, led to a friendship, a love affair and a symbiotic artistic relationship - they fed off each other's creativity. It's really amazing how they each helped the other develop their talent.

While I loved it, I recognize it's not for everyone, the sotry is hardly universal and if you aren't familiar with or curious about this time period, you won't get the same out of it that I did, you might be bored.

Click this link to see Smith's amazing impromptu, a capella performance of "Because the Night" at the 2010 Miami Book Fair.