"A word in earnest is as good as a speech"
~Charles Dickens: Bleak House

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Finding it hard to find inspiration .....

I have been having a hard time getting back into the swing of things after my vacation. I haven't been posting on Facebook, haven't written a blog ..... just haven't really known what to say. There are of course so many things in the news to talk about:
As I look at this list I realize I am a little overwhelmed. There is so much going on in our world right now ... and not much of it seems to be happy news. You really need to read the fine print in the news to find stories to make you smile such as people in Japan returning money they found after the tsunami. But again, that is positive news in the face of horrific news. For once I would like to turn on the news or boot up the computer and have the headlines be: No one has been killed today, everyone ate 3 meals, the weather is beautiful everywhere and everyone is getting along. Just for one day! Of course the reality of the day after those headlines would probably throw the world in to massive depression. I realize of course that I am babbling and not being very creative.

I will say that I have watched two really great Masterpiece Theatre movies this week: Bleakhouse and North and South. Aside from the fact that I love classical literature (I have actually started reading Bleakhouse, I apparently missed this one during my Dickens phase), I am amazed at how the themes of these particular stories are still in the news today!

Bleakhouse is primarily about a civil court case involving a will that goes on for years to the point that there are only two distant heirs left. By the time the case is settled, there is no money left because it has gone to the attorneys. It is about poverty, despair, drug addiction, inequity. In a word it is a bleak existence (but all works out in the end for the heroes and heroines).

North and South is about unions. The battle between those whose job it is to maintain a profitable business and the workers whose job is to feed the family. I was shocked at how much of an issue this still is today when the original novel the film was based on was written in 1855. Elizabeth Gaskell questions religion, female roles, family, honor and extreme poverty. I feel like if you changed the clothing and the accent you could be talking about so many places in the world today.

I have completely digressed from my topic that I have had a week lacking creativity. But I guess that is ok. So, I will end with answering my last 30-day blog questions .... and then I must be off to plan how I am going to spend the day tomorrow preparing for Irene. I am a firm believer that if you are prepared the storm will swing on by (most of the time, and if it doesn't at least you are prepared)!

The Outsiders

My first celebrity crush: I don't really remember. I know that these two posters were on my bedroom ceiling for a very long time when I was a tween - and I am pretty sure I had some sort of tween crush on all of them (except for Molly Ringwald - although I did want to be her).

The last person who texted me: that would be the teenager - several times a day! I actually love the fact that we communicate more than we did when he did not have unlimited text on his phone. I always know where he is, what he is going and who he is with. It is a great parental invention!

Five Things Within Touching Distance Right Now: I am not going to include the laptop - that is kind of a given.
  1. The five-year-old (he fell asleep next to me and I have not had the ambition to put him back to bed).
  2. A glass of Diet Pepsi
  3. 3 remote controls (Television, DVD player & cable)
  4. Map of New Hampshire (from when I was preparing for vacation)
  5. A ceramic hurricane-like lamp that my Nana made
Someone's facebook status I can always count on to annoy me: I don't know how to answer this one. The only people I am friends with on Facebook are people I actually like and am friends with .... anyone who annoys me I have already blocked.

And last ..... name everything in my pocketbook right now:
  • $5.00 cash & a handful of coins
  • My wallet - id, credit cards, health insurance cards
  • checkbook (yes I still carry one)
  • monthly calender (yes I still have one of those as well)
  • small photo album of the kids (it actually only holds wallet size pictures)
  • aveeno hand cream
  • nail file & clippers
  • Soft as lips vanilla lip balm
  • gum
  • small pill box with Tylenol and Tramadol
  • keys
  • ID card for work
That is all I can think of (my pocketbook is actually downstairs and I am not going to get it :)

I hope everyone has a safe Hurricane Irene experience this weekend - see you on the flip side!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Another Fun Thing To Do With Blogs ......

So, again Sam of Honest to Blog introduced me to a fun blog thing, which she got from Lauren at The Little Things We Do. It is called "Fill in the Blank Friday." But since it is Sunday I guess the title needs to change. Here are the blanks

1.   My idea of pure perfection would be  World peace & equality for all. But in my little world, hanging out with the boys in the back yard, lobster for dinner and a nice chilled glass of white wine.

2.    Dreaming big       makes the world go 'round.

3.  If it weren't for    the fact that I hate winter    I'd    live in a cabin on a lake in the White Mountains.

4.  Bloggers are   people with a lot to say .

5.  If I had    money & ambition    I'd buy   a Greek restaurant/gift/craft store (sort of like a mini mall of Greekness).

6.  I'm glad it's Sunday because     I have nothing planned to do today except make dinner for the family    .
7.  Something I'm excited about is     My oldest son starting his senior year in High School and my youngest starting Kindergarten and Soccer   .

Saturday, August 20, 2011

What Police in a New England City Deal With!

So, today's blog question is to talk about my siblings. My parents divorced when I was 3. My mom remarried when I was 4 and my step-dad adopted me (he was daddy from that point on! One of my favorite sayings is "anyone can be a father but it takes someone special to be a daddy). So, I was raised as an only child. I did meet my 2 half-sisters and brother when I was about 18 and we were in touch for a number of years. Due to family drama we lost touch. I have found them again on Facebook and I hope we can someday be close.

So - on that note I decided to write a blog about funny things that happen where I live. On Facebook there is a local news page called The Patch and you can follow the blog for cities all over the US. Part of this blog is the "Tales from the Police Log." Mixed among the robberies and sadness are some entries that make me laugh so hard I thought I should share - because really couldn't we all use a little laughter in our lives!

August 18, 2011
At 3:32 p.m., a Sprague Street resident called police about a cat that is constantly trying to get into his house. Animal control responded, but did not find the cat.

August 16, 2011
1:11 p.m. A caller on Lowell Street reported she would like to turn in a weapon found in her house. An officer said the woman thought it was a taser, but it was actually just a battery charger.

August 15, 2011
9:30 a.m. A caller on Highland Street reported he had a bat isolated in a room in his home. He said neither he nor any member of his family came into direct contact with the bat or spent the night exposed to it. The animal control officer advised him to open the window and let it fly out on its own or hire an exterminator.

August 8, 2011
1:54 p.m. A caller on Columbia Boulevard reported he left his bicycle at a Castle Circle residence and a person there sold it. Police said the bike wasn't stolen or sold. The person was just teasing his friend. Both of them were "advised to refrain from their youthful shenanigans." ...... (doesn't the word "shenanigans" just make you smile?)

August 7, 2011
3:40 p.m. Police received a call of a snapping turtle in the road at the corner of Lowell Street and Samos Circle. The person said the turtle was causing a traffic hazard.

July 30, 2011
12:51 p.m. The Fire Department requested assistance with ducks in a pool on Daniel Terrace.

July 20, 2011
9:07 a.m. A resident on King Street reported she lost her chicken. The female said her chicken got loose the night before and was missing. The chicken is described as “solid black.”
July 21, 2011
1:54 p.m. A male caller reported he had the missing chicken from Wednesday morning. The owner was contacted and put in touch with the man. (just FYI - there are no farms on King Street!)

These are just a few of the entries that I found particularly amusing! I am sure every city/town has similar stories. Again - I am not saying that there are not terrible things that happen, that make me shake my head and wonder what this world is coming to. It never ceases to amaze me what one human being will do to another human being.

Friday, August 19, 2011

30-Day Blog Challenge Catch Up!

So, just a reminder (since I have been gone for awhile): On July 29th I decided to join Sam and Cheryl in completing the 30-day blog challenge. The goal was to post everyday for 30 days and answer all the questions/prompts. Well - since I have not posted since August 11th I am 8 days behind and August 29th is fast approaching .... so here is the catch up post!

Talk about your family:
Family is such a huge word! There is the family in my home - my husband and the boys! I like to think we are the happiest dysfunctional family you will ever meet. On most days there are two people in the house not getting along about something. It could be my husband and the teenager (step families are really hard to blend), or me and the pre-schooler (I discipline more than Daddy), or me and the teenager (do I have to explain this one, he is after all a teenager) or the five-year-old & seventeen-year-old, or it could be all of us and the dog! Who knows .... our life would be pretty boring without the drama we create. But at the end of the day there is nothing we wouldn't do for the other - whether it is the boys taking care of me when I am not feeling well, or my husband giving the teenager rides to work, or the teenager protecting his brother from older kids. We care about each other and love each other regardless of our faults (and we admit to many). Then there are my parents ... who are fabulous and who we could not live without! I do not have the time or space here to go through the list of trouble my parents have gotten me out of - including our vacation this week (we booked our vacation before we got the puppy, they do not allow dogs so my parents dog sat for the week). My Nana (my only grandparent still living) is one of my idols. I think she would be even if she was not family!

My family is not perfect - there are people I don't speak to much or get along with all the time or agree with on many occasions, but they are family and you can't choose the family you are born into. Overall I think I am fortunate and I am glad I have the family I have.

Things that instantly make you happy:
I have a page on my blog ....1,000 things that make me smile. I have been trying to update the page on a regular basis, the idea was to find one thing everyday that makes me smile. Again - I am a little behind. But here are a few things:
  • My children's laughter
  • Coffee
  • Watching my children do things that make them happy
  • Quiet mornings (with coffee)
  • My House

Name the thing you are most scared of:
First it is always my children being hurt - not a booboo hurt that a bandaid will fix, but the kind of hurt that Mommy can't fix. That is the thing that will wake me up in a cold sweat.

Then there is the completely irrational and illogical fear of driving on the highway. Many years ago I suffered from panic attacks (I have since learned that this can be one of the weird lupus symptoms I suffer from). I had several while driving on the highway. The thing about panic attacks is that they happen for no rhyme or reason - your body suddenly goes into fight or flight mode, and on the highway you have nowhere to go. So ever since then I will avoid the highway at all costs. This is not a bad thing - I have discovered alot of small out of the way places on back roads that I never would have found speeding by on the highway. I can drive on the highway if I have to, I just prefer not to.

Your favorite music:
I have been known to like all kinds of music. I admit I am not one to seek out new music. I tend to stick to my favorite songs (see the blog about my MP3 player). But I am willing to listen to just about anything. Right now I love the show Glee! and I actually tortured the boys all week listening to it in the car!

How important do you think education is:
I think education is the most important thing you can give your children. I don't mean that I think everyone needs to go to college (of course don't tell this to my boss - enrollment is part of my job). Some of the smartest people I know never went to college - but they were always learning. Education can come in so many forms, whether it is learning about your job, or about politics, or nature. So, I think everyone needs to keep learning and education should be a vital part of a child's life.

What is one of your favorite TV shows:
Right now I have two. I like both of them because they are completely unrealistic and give me that sort of break from reality that is needed. One is just funny, the other is full of suspense. Glee and The Walking Dead. I can't pick one as my favorite because they each have a different purpose.

What is the last movie you saw in the theatre:
This answer actually compliments the last answer! Last Friday my mom and I went to see Glee 3D. My husband got me 8th row tickets to see The Glee Live Tour for my birthday and I went with my mom. We went to see the movie to see if you could see us in the audience (you can't, they did not use our concert as part of the footage). If you are a Glee junkie it was a great movie, if you are not I don't recommend it! :)

List photos of 5 famous guys you think are attractive:

Wow - seeing them all together I just realized how much they all look alike!

So, I am all caught up on my 30-day blog! Hope you enjoy!

Technology Free Vacation!!!

Well, there have been no posts in awhile, I have been in the White Mountains with the family enjoying the world without technology and without news! No Internet, no e-mail, no Facebook, no blogs, no television, minimal cell phone service (they are good to have in case you lose each other at Storyland or Clark's Trading Post). We enjoyed a couple mile walk in the Pemigewasset River (nature photos to follow shortly), campfires, some antique shops, hiking at The Polar Caves and catching crayfish and tadpoles along the river, and frogs in the forest. Overall it was a really nice week. The "cabin" we stayed was a bit scary (I am actually not sure this adjective is strong enough for the situation, but it will do). The cabin was actually a very small old trailer, covered in wood to look like a cabin, and that was ok. But we walked in to find a hole in the floor covered by a rug and when I put the pillows on the table it collapsed (I will not even attempt to describe the scent of the cabin for I do not think adequate words exist). One "bedroom" was big enough for the bed and that was it. The other "bedroom" was really a closet with bunkbeds. The five year old was impressed, but the six-foot teenager was not amused (fortunately there was a pullout bed in the "livingroom/kitchen"). After the 70+ year-old owner and his grandson came by to check things out, we ended up with a piece of plywood drilled over the hole, and they took the table off the wall, mounted it to the top if a stool and brought it back we settled in for our camping adventure! The location was fabulous and they had a tractor ride through the forest and waterslides at the pool, so overall the vacation was a success! But I was so glad to be home and take a long shower and get the old laptop fired up. There is so much to catch up on and I do not even want to think about what my work e-mail is going to look like! Perhaps later this evening I will catch up on the 30-day blog .... but that may have to wait until tomorrow, I don't want to rush back into the hectic world of technology just yet!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

My first memory & favorite blogs ........

My first memory is very vivid. I don't actually know how old I was, but it had to be before I was three because my parents were still living together. We lived in a 2nd floor apartment. I remember it being big - but that could have just been because I was small. I remember my bedroom was off my parent's bedroom and I have a big bay window with a bench you could sit on.

The memory is actually partially a dream about a huge spider. I remember I thought it was at the foot of my bed trying to get me and I screamed. My father came into my room - but I only remember him as a silhouette. He came and got the spider and took it out of my room and put me back to bed. Now I am pretty sure there was not really a huge spider (I mean huge - like Aragog in Harry Potter) and I can't be 100% sure that the whole thing was not a dream. But I remember it. I have very few memories of my father and this is one I hold dear to my heart!

Since I skipped the blog yesterday I shall answer the next question as well. As you know, I am new to the whole blog thing, but I have found a few that I read quite often (well, whenever they post):
Coffee With Cheryl: Cheryl is actually my blog guru! She has taught me all I know (Thanks)
Home Thoughts: Tony is my pen pal from England! Having read my previous blogs you will know what a thrill that is for me!
Mark's Space: Mark writes about writing and has a pretty cool view of things!
Herstory - Poderings, Passions & Politics: The Wizewoman keeps me honest and in touch with my feminism! She reminds me to always be true to me!
The Katherine Wheel: I just started following this one. I just love the way she writes and her outlook on parenting with humor!
Honest to Blog: Sam introduced me to the 30-day blog! And it really has been fun!

So I thought that would be it for today. But Mark shared a video on his blog today that I think should go viral. It is about pride in the face of pain. This man is an incredible spirit and I think everyone should celebrate him and his child!


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Somewhere I would love to live or visit ........

I love where I live! New England is a beautiful part of the country - mountains & lakes in New Hampshire, great beaches in Maine, all four seasons. I just love it (well not so much in January & February)! So I do not think I would want to live anywhere else. I have, however, always dreamed of having a ton of money so that I could have several houses that I could visit whenever I wanted. And so today, this question makes me sad.

Being Greek I obviously would like to have a house in Greece. My family was originally from Kalamata. I search for photos like this one of the beaches in Greece and I melt! What a view to go to sleep and wake up to. I want to see the history and shop in the markets! I want to listen to the music and dance. I want to swim in that beautiful water and get the perfect tan my Yia-yia was always striving for. I want to pick olives from the trees and purchase an evil eye from a street vendor. I want to renew my marriage vows in a small church and hand down the crowns to my grandchildren. This is the image I have in my mind when I think of how I will spend the billions of dollars I will never have (I do still hope that some day I can visit).

But then I get sad because today, the real pictures of Greece do not match my imagination. With conversation turning to what Greece can sell to settle its debt the reality is that the classics I want to visit may not be there by the time I arrive. With the talk of austerity measures & riots my quiet, peaceful ocean paradise may be as unattainable as the money I would need to keep a second home there. As any good Greek will tell you, "There are two kinds of people - Greeks, and everyone else who wish they was Greek." I am not sure if that is the case anymore. And that makes me sad.

I have spoken a lot about my Greek half of my family. My Nana is English. She loves tea and we refer to her as the Queen Mum. In another blog I will talk about how fabulous she is and why I am so proud to call myself her granddaughter. I have loved England since I was a little girl and I would watch Monty Python and Benny Hill with my Dad (I know, not children's television but this was the 1970s). I love British television, music, movies, actors and actresses: Spooks (aka MI5), Eric Clapton, Gosford Park, Ioan Gruffod, Dame Maggie Smith (just to name a few). England is the second place I would love to be able to visit any time I want. I did manage to land at Heathrow Airport twice - once on a trip to Portugal, once on a trip to Spain. On the way back from Spain I actually had a 12 hour layover. I got to ride the Tube, visit Trafalgar Square see the guards at Buckingham Palace, and eat lunch at a pub across from Victoria Station before I had to get on the plane and head home. England fascinates me. I love the way Parliament works, I love the majesty of the Royal Family. I want to visit Abbey Road, and take a ride on The London Eye and visit Big Ben. I would love to go to a soccer game (oh, sorry football) or watch my first game of cricket. I envision a cottage in an English village, walking through my garden, going to the shops for ingredients for dinner and riding my bike through the village; peaceful and calm.

But this too has been shattered. The riots in London have horrified me. You hear about riots in other places and somehow you can make sense of them: Greece, Egypt, even Los Angeles in 1992. But this makes no sense to me. While people keep talking about the killing of Mark Duggan as the catalyst for these riots. But I keep asking myself - what do groups of young people care about that? I think the Globe said it best: "Conditions have been perfect for the unrest: Britain’s economic outlook is bleak, youths are out of school and unemployed, police ranks have been depleted by summer vacations, and social media sites – coupled with dramatic video of the rioting – have bolstered a mob mentality and spread disobedience." 

How long do we think this can go on! It has been three years of slow, painful cuts to services, disregard for the regular worker bees and a complacency toward fixing the problems (I could be talking about the U.S., England, Ireland, Greece, Spain or Italy). How long did people think that the wealth for the few could just grow and grow and grow while the wealth of those pay the salary of the rich keeps getting less and less (yes, I feel like I pay their salary - without my purchasing their products, they would not get paid. I feel the same way about the politicians)? How long did people think they could just live off "the system" without contributing to it? I think at this point we need to move beyond blaming one political party, one politician, one industry or corporation, one group of people. Now we need to look in the mirror and decide what we are going to do about fixing the system (what those rioting do not understand is that they are destroying their own community and their actions are going to do nothing but make their situation worse - riots are not productive and don't change a thing).

I think we need to go back to 1961 when President Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." It appears to me that people don't want to do that anymore.

Monday, August 8, 2011

What my day looks like .......

So, today's challenge is to bullet my whole day. It was a long one!

  • 5:30 am -  push the snooze button on my alarm.
  • 5:45 am - roll out of bed, brush teeth & hair, get dressed and head out the door.
  • 6:00 am - start my commute (yes I can get ready for work in 15 minutes), stop for coffee.
  • 7:00 am - get to the office, grade & upload final papers.
  • 8:30 am - teach my social change class - today's topic: civil rights in the workplace; finish the documentary A Class Divided.
  • 10:00 am - head to Capital Coffee for brunch
  • 10:15 am - drop homefry on my shirt
  • 10:30 am - spend 15 minutes in the bathroom washing the ketchup off my shirt.
  • 10:45 am - begin answering the 125 e-mails in my in box.
  • 11:30 am - impromptu meeting with the boss.
  • 12:00 pm - get a call from my aunt telling me my Nana who lives in Indiana is in the hospital
  • 12:15 pm - call Nana
  • 12:30 pm - back to work
  • 2:30 pm - give into my headache and head home for a nap - solve the US economy while listening to the news - stop at bank on the way home
  • 3:30 pm - try to nap, can't - take out the puppy.
  • 4:30 pm - forget about the nap when the youngest gets home from camp - start cleaning my room and sorting laundry.
  • 6:00 pm - play hide & seek with the boys.
  • 7:00 pm - read stories and tuck in the little one
  • 8:00 pm - update Facebook and start blog.
  • 9:00 pm - post blog and watch The Closer.
  • 10:00 pm - go to bed so I can start again tomorrow.

So - just your average day. Tomorrow I will talk about how I have solved our economy issues while commuting home.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Yia-yia's Kupama

Sometimes for no reason you miss someone you have lost. It doesn't have to be a birthday or anniversary. It can be just a day. Today I was watching my son's soccer game and I thought to myself that she would be so proud of him. He had just turned three when she died, that was 14 years ago. He doesn't remember it, but he brought so much happiness to her life. She wasn't well toward the end of her life, but I would bring him over and she would just light up!

She was the coolest woman and I learned a lot about being strong and taking care of myself from her. Her husband died suddenly when my mother was ten. She raised her three daughters on a cashier's salary - without public assistance. She even put my mom through college. I wish I had spent more time asking her about what her childhood was like. As children we never think of that. I know that she lived through the depression and she was responsible for her father and her four brothers after her mother died. I know that sometimes she went to school with holes in her shoes and they would search the city for scrap metal after school. I know that she loved to go Greek dancing and at least one of her brothers had to go with her in order for her father to let her go. She met my grandfather there and she fell in love with him because she could dance. I know that at one time in her life she had been a devote Greek Orthodox, but lost her faith in the church and God when her husband died.

I remember a couple of things from Yia-yia's house when I was little. She loved Frank Sinatra, Englenglebert Humperdinck, Elvis Presley and the Beatles. She had this awful French Poodle named Brigette. She was a hoarder!!! I would love to go into her back bedroom and play with the gowns, shoes and jewelry she would never get to use. The room was filled floor to ceiling with stuff and as a kid it was always an adventure! She loved the beach. Some days she would pick me up from school and I would change in the backseat and we would go to the beach until dark. Whenever we went to the beach she would cover me in baby oil so that I could get the darkest tan possible. If you were tanned you looked healthy ..... if she only knew. When I spent the day at her house I had her undivided attention and she played with me whatever I wanted. We would watch Elvis movies and cook. She really taught me my love of food and fresh ingredients. There is not a more comforting memory than walking into Yia-yia's kitchen on a rainy day, Greek music I could not understand coming out of the radio, the warm coziness, the sounds from the stove of simmering water and sauces, and wooden spoons stirring this and that,  and the smells of cinnamon, oregano, cloves and all good things.

Below is the dish we made most often together. It is very yummy and really the measurements are a guesstament - she would just throw things in the pot. But since everyone's taste is different and it is always easier to add more I started small.

Yia-Yia’s Kupama
1 lb chicken thighs or breasts
(Yia-Yia used skin & bones but you don’t have to – if you do, remember to remove the skin and bones before you serve it)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbs ground cinnamon
1 Tbs Greek Seasoning (Cavander’s Greek Seasoning)
1 tsp ground cloves
Juice of 2 lemons
½ tsp sugar
14 oz can diced tomatoes
14 oz can tomato sauce
6 oz can tomato paste
6 oz can water
1 lb pkg fresh spinach or dandelion leaves
Spaghetti, linguini or orzo (cooked as directed)

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven. Add the chicken and brown on all sides, remove from the pan. Add the onion to the oil until slightly browned but not burned; add the garlic and saut̩ 2 minutes. Add the chicken and cook through Рabout 8 min. per side.
Sprinkle the chicken with cinnamon, cloves, Greek seasoning, salt & pepper, mix to coat the chicken with the oil and spices.
Add the lemon juice, bring to a boil and cook down, 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, sauce, paste and water, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer 30 minutes – 1 hour (the longer you simmer, the more intense the flavor). The sauce will be watery. Taste and season as needed, adding more seasoning to taste.
Add the spinach and cook 2-5 minutes until wilted.
Serve the chicken and spinach over the pasta with the sauce. Make sure you have lots of bread to soak up the tomato sauce.

When I was little I thought no one else in the world knew this recipe. I discovered over the years I was wrong. I have found some version of it in several Greek recipe books. Yia-yia taught me about love, family, respect and responsibility. I miss her a lot. I wish she had gotten to know my oldest as a young man and that she got to meet my youngest (she would love him and he would make her laugh).

The night she died I had a dream - I felt the end of my bed sink down and there she was sitting at the end of my bed. She just looked at me and smiled. Then she walked away, took the hand of a tall thin man and they began to walk away. When they had gone some distance she turned, smiled and waved. I like to think this was her way of saying goodbye and letting me know she was ok. I tell my children about her all the time and I hope that someday they tell their children about their great-great grandmother.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Five Messages to Five People & Ten Random Songs!

Before I start today's blog I would like to thank Cheryl for designing and sharing the 30-day blog logo! Well done my friend!

So, I thought long and hard about this challenge. There are lots of things that I could say to alot of people - both good and bad. But as stated in a previous blog about privacy online I decided it would be a little hypocritical for me to share information about people without their knowledge and permission. So instead I am going to share some one liners that only the people who they involve will understand!

  1. YOU are my Dancing Queen!
  2. I can't feel my face!
  3. I hope you dance! (this one actually goes out to two people)
  4. Your enthusiasm and energy inspire me.
  5. Baby I'm Amazed By You!
Some people may figure out a couple of them. Good Luck!
Since 3 out of my 5 messages invlove song lyrics, I thought it would be a good time to move on to the next question.

The next question says: Put your iPod on shuffle and list the 10 songs that come up:
I may be one of the few people left in the world that does not purchase Apple products. There is nothing wrong with them. I am just a creature of habit and a little old school. I had to use a Mac once a long time ago when I worked briefly for a local newspaper. I hated it! While logically I understand that it is much better now (my students inform me of this every semester) I just can't bring myself to do it. So, I will shuffle my cheap little MP3 player and see what happens:

  1. Jessie's Girl ~ The Glee Version (I also have the Rick Springfield version but this is the one that came up)
  2. When I'm Gone ~ 3 Doors Down
  3. Come on Eileen ~ Dexys Midnight Runners
  4. All Shook Up ~ Elvis Presley
  5. Down Easter "Alexa" ~ Billy Joel (this is actually one of my favorite songs ever!)
  6. Don't Wanna Fight ~ Tina Turner
  7. Mercedes Boy ~ Pebbles (I actually wasn't going to admit this one - but it was a really good song back in the day. Now you can get the whole CD for $.99) :)
  8. Brown Eyed Girl ~ Everclear (this is another one that I also have the original version by Van Morrison but I actually like the Everclear version better).
  9. Treat Me Right ~ Pat Benatar
Wow - I really loved the 80s! I love how you can go back and listen to the music you grew up with and all kinds of memories, friends you forgot, hairstyles you wish you could forget, loves lost, dreams remembered instantly come to mind. Music has the same affect on me that scents do. Sometimes I can smell something (like cinnamon) and be transformed instantly to a place (usually my Yia-Yia's kitchen).

I also like how we as a nation can follow our history through music Yankee Doodle Dandy, God Bless America, Zydeco, Blue-Grass, Jazz, Blues, Big Band, Swing, Doo Wop, Musicals, Gospel, Motown, Country, Rockabilly, British Invasion, Folk, Disco, Pop, Punk, New Wave, Rap, Heavy Metal, Rock Opera, Grunge, Protest Rock, Psychedelic, Christian Rock, Latin Invasion, Hip Hop, Techno, Boy Bands .... These are only the ones I could come up with off the top of my head! Each Genre has a history and each history has had an impact on the life we live today.

Well, I could go on talking about music all day! But instead I think I will sign off and go listen to some tunes!