Wednesday, July 30, 2008

By the Sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea...

When we redecorated the kitchen last year, I decided I wanted a beach house feel. I've always wanted to live on the beach, but my husband is more interested in having house on a lake or a river. Someday, by the way. Right now we live in a nice suburb with plenty of friends for our sons, good schools and an easy commute for my husband.*yawn*

Since I doubted I would ever wash dishes while looking out at the ocean, I decided to trick myself by making our kitchen feel like a charming New England cottage on the shore. Lots of white, some framed photos of Long Island beaches and these very cool fish dishes that once belonged to my grandmother.

Something unexpected has occurred, though. While I was away at that wedding in New York, my husband called to tell me that he wants to buy a weekend get-away house. Not completely out of the blue, he's talked about it before, but suddenly it's something he wants to do immediately. Seems he had been doing some research while I was gone and decided the time is NOW.

And, get this- he thinks a beach house would be a splendid idea! After more research and a couple of trips down to the Galveston shore we've decided to buy a place we can rent out AND we've taken on partners. Close friends of ours have also been looking for a weekend escape and since we saw the kind of place our money could buy, it seemed a good idea to pool our resources.

Stay tuned for further beach house updates! (OMG, I'm gonna have a beach house!)I'll have to redecorate the kitchen. Perhaps a mountain cabin motif?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Thrill is Gone

The thrill is gone
It's gone away for good
Oh, the thrill is gone baby
Baby its gone away for good
Someday I know I'll be over it all baby
Just like I know a girl should

You know I'm free, free now baby
I'm free from your spell
I'm free, free now
I'm free from your spell
And now that it's over
All I can do is wish you well

Written by Rick Darnell & Roy Hawkins

Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's Goin' On?

Do you think it's a celebrity's obligation to communicate often with his/her fans? I've never followed a celebrity's career as closely as I've followed Taylor Hicks', so I don't know what the norm is. How involved should he be at his official website?

I'm very patient and very forgiving. I'm pretty good at waiting and seeing. But I know of fans who have simply lost interest as time ticks by without updates. I hate to see that happen.

(Let this play out while you do other things. Marvin sounds great here!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Christian, the Lion, Reunion

You must have seen this by now. If not, you've got to see it. Here's the back story:


"The video is the work of Anthony “Ace” Bourke and John Rendall, two Australians living in the hip Chelsea section of London in 1969. According to published reports, a friend came back from a trip to Harrods and told them that you could buy exotic animals there.

The two friends went there out of curiosity and spotted a 35-pound lion cub in a small cage. Bourke and Rendall felt sorry for the cub and bought it for 250 guineas. They named him Christian.

But after a year, the 35-pound cub had grown to 185 pounds. Feeding him was costing the friends 30 pounds a week, and in 1970, that was real money. They knew they couldn’t keep Christian, but didn’t know what to do with him.

Rendall and Bourke flew with Christian to Kenya, where they and George Adamson introduced the lion to his natural habitat. When they felt sure he had a new family and a safe territory, the two friends went back to their lives in London. But they kept in touch with Adamson and made a few visits to Kenya to see Christian from afar.

But in 1974, Adamson lost touch with Christian for three months. When he told Rendall and Bourke, they decided to make one last trip to Kenya to attempt to say goodbye to Christian. The night before they landed, Adamson said, Christian suddenly reappeared and sat on a rock outside the naturalist’s camp — as if waiting for his pals.

The main part of the film shown on YouTube was shot the following day, when Bourke and Rendall went into the bush to attempt to see their old friend.

Christian's former owners had been told the lion wouldn't recognize them. But the video shows the lion's obvious joy at being reunited with the two men."

And on a side note, this is how Henry (the dog --->)always greets me when I come down in the morning. Or when I return home from running errands. Or when I come out of the bathroom. Or when I walk out of the room for a minute and then come back in. Or...well, you get the idea.

Prepare to cry. This is very sweet:

Thursday, July 17, 2008

You Will Never Have Him

I usually only write about Taylor Hicks on Tuesdays but since an article appeared today revealing where he's living in NY, I got to thinkin' about all those hopeful fans who will stake out his residence in hopes of...what? I'm not sure what a stalker hopes to accomplish but since this particular apartment building is home to other celebrities, I'm fairly certain they'll never see him as he slips in and out through some private entrance.

Even if a fan managed to find him, he ain't gonna be inviting anybody up for coffee. Did you happen to see this interview with John Mayer? When asked if he has ever hooked up with a fan, he said:

“The answer is: Yes, I have. Not in a really long time. Not since the camera phone. That camera phone will get you, even if you’re sleeping. Your doughy frame all laying in a bed dead-like. I can’t deal with that. I’m not trusting enough to open up to anyone I don’t know very well anymore, which is good for my immune system.”

This is why I've always said that Taylor Hicks will never get involved with a fan. It's obvious from his interviews that he's far too private a person and doesn't trust easily.

I doubt we'll ever hear him state outright, "Forget about it, it ain't gonna happen," because he has to keep the possibility alive in the imaginations of his admirers. It sells tickets. And CDs. And...let me see what else I have around here...T-shirts. (ha)

I think he does a good job indulging his fans, but as he works his way down the line, signing autographs, you can tell he's got one eye on his escape and it never involves grabbing a girl from the crowd to go along. I like that about him.

I could be wrong, but my gut tells me that not matter how adorable the fan is, there will always be a fence up (real or imaginary) protecting Taylor from her. As John Mayer pointed out, a groupie could easily snap a photo that could wind up online in minutes. Believe me when I say, this is one recap I'm sure Taylor would rather avoid.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Just Jack

Well, OK, not just Jack. Jack and "The All Gay Men's Chorus". This is one of my favorite scenes from Will and Grace. Matt Damon makes a guest appearance as a "straighty" posing as a gay man to get into the chorus.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Thank You!

Thank you...

Debra Messing,
Keira Knightley,

Kelly Ripa,
and Kate Hudson...
...for NOT getting breast implants! I'm serious. I love that they love their bodies as they are. Pay attention, ladies! Just say "no" to implants!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Niagara Falls, Canada

A couple of months ago I suggested my family drive up from Long Island to spend time with me in Buffalo, where I would be for Peggy's wedding. I could stay until Tuesday, so we would have the whole day on Monday to do something fun.

Guess I forgot what a long drive that is (10 hours!) because they all opted to fly. Mom and my sister, Cathy, flew up together from Long Island and another sister, Nancy, flew over from the Boston area. Sadly, my third sister couldn't make it because of an obligation with her in-laws.

Sunday Mom and Cathy arrived early enough to attend Peggy's post wedding picnic.

Mom and Sue (a sorority sister)

While we were tearing the roof off the sucka (translation: talking and sipping beer), Nancy arrived at the airport and picked up a rental car. Sounds like a simple task, but it took her an hour and a half! We met up with her back at the hotel.

Our plans for that night included dashing off to Niagara Falls to watch fireworks. Geez, that sounded good on paper, but we were all exhausted. But, in keeping with the theme of the weekend, we went for it!!

I took a pill to keep the migraine fairy away, Ileana took a pill so her knees wouldn't bother her, Cathy took a decongestant for her cold and Mom took a look at all of us and called us wimps. (Not really. That's what we call "literary license." Just go with it!)

We made it to the Falls, but missed the fireworks due to some confusing directions.

Real sister, Nancy, and sorority/Puerto Rican sister, Ileana, at Niagara Falls.

Our photos came out very dark:

Trust me, Mom is looking at the wonder that is The Falls.

Monday morning we woke with a groan...I mean...full of energy and ready to tour Grand Island, NY (where my husband grew up) and Niagara Falls, Canada. "Woo-hoo!" said my brain. My body replied, "Woo-frickin'-hoo. Let me lay down for a while. Anywhere. This quiet corner of the hotel lobby is fine." My brain told my body to suck it up and off we went.

Before climbing into the rental car, we said goodbye to all remaining sorority sisters and vowed not to wait 28 years to see one another again. I think we really mean it, too.

Grand Island is only about 15 minutes from Buffalo and you have to drive across it to get to Niagara Falls:

(Awesome shot I got of Grand Island from the plane.)

My husband grew up there and every summer we go back for a visit. His family owned a house right on the Niagara River. We drove over this bridge to get unto the island. And yes, this river eventually goes over the Falls:


We stopped and said hello to a few Grand Island friends and even indulged in some authentic Buffalo wings. We then continued on towards "The Cave Of The Winds" attraction on the American side of The Falls.

We walked along the rapids to get there:

Upon arrival, you are given a plastic poncho and special "Cave Of The Winds" shoes.

You are then directed to an elevator which takes you down to the base of the Falls. A wooden walkway lies ahead, which you climb down in order to gaze at the rushing Falls and surprisingly quiet river below.

Photo above by Nancy

Photo above by Nancy

Nancy is the figure on the left:

"Maid of the Mist" cruising by:

Photo above by Nancy

Then the stairs climb upward, towards a section of the Falls that is close enough to stand under.

Sorry, but at this point I tucked my camera inside my purse and under my stylish poncho. The portion of the walkway that's directly under the Falls is called "The Hurricane Deck". It's windy and chilly and you WILL get soaked. (By the way, if you ever go, you don't have to go up to the Hurricane Deck. You can bypass it).

Everyone comes away giggling and wet. It's exhilarating.

Photo above by Nancy

Finally, it was time to find our hotel. Since we only had one night to enjoy Niagara Falls, we decided to splurge. We reserved a room at the Embassy Suites, with a view of both the American and Canadian Falls.

The view from our hotel room:

Photo above by Nancy

Check this out. You could sit in the jacuzzi tub and look through the bedroom to see the view from your floor to ceiling window. We gave it a try:

I think you're supposed to add water. Oh- and turn around.(Look how tired I am! This weekend just about killed me).
That night we had a fantastic dinner (with a view of the Falls)

and checked out the nearby casino. The following day we walked down to the edge of the Canadian Falls and took some photos.
I'm standing by the Canadian Falls, but looking across to the American Falls. "Cave of the Winds" is down there somewhere.

We found a spot along the rail, where you can see the very point where the water tips over the edge. As you look at these, imagine the deafening sound of rushing water and a light spray on your face:

The dark green water is the top of The Falls, the light green is the water in mid air as it plunges downward. The gray water is the whirlpool below:
You know what? I don't have the energy to come up with a good ending to this story. I was gone four days. Here it is a week later, I'm still exhausted. I'm afraid you'll have to help me out and write your own. Zzzzzz...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Urban Cowboy Party

When I graduated from college, I moved from NY to Texas to be near my boyfriend, Greg, who had transferred to a school down there. Before I left, my family threw me a going away party with an "Urban Cowboy" theme. (The movie was big that year.) Some of my buds from college drove down from Geneseo, NY to attend it.

While I was at Peg's wedding, we couldn't remember exactly who was there. So, those of you who aren't old sorority sisters will have to indulge me while I post some old photos from the party.

Here are the Clios who were at the party: Teri, Caryl, Ileana, Natalee, Diane and Nancy.

You guys, that chick in the cowboy hat who's dancing is my Mom! And the dude is my Dad.

"The stars at night..." well, you get it.

Some of these people are High School friends.

Now, this is interesting. Nancy Trenkle is sitting next to my sister, Nancy. See, I knew you guys met before!

Ileana's got her Clio mug! Have mug will travel.

The next morning. Guess these are the only survivors.