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Maryland's Eastern Shore
I craft, I bake, I knit, I scrap, and sometimes, I even parent my three growing teenagers!
Interests: Must rewrite...
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Hey Anita, thanks for the message. I'm reaallllly struggling now but I'm hoping we can stop and/or reverse some things before they go too far. Trying to enjoy Maryland life otherwise. Been thinking about you also! ~M
Hi, my friends. At least, I hope we're still friends. I know it's been about three months since I participated - or even wrote in my blog at all. Things have been rough for me healthwise, and that's really all I want to say about that right now. I miss y'all, and Saturday 9, and even though it's after 10:30 AM, I thought I'd give it a go to have a little fun. If you're new here and/or to Saturday 9, link up here to join in this weekend. Onward! ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: (God Must Have Spent) A Little More Time on You (1998) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) In this song, a boy celebrates the life of love he's received from his mother, saying it's more precious than any diamond or pearl. Do you have a piece of jewelry that means a great deal to you? Yes, except I mean, apart from of course my wedding and engagement rings, which I cherish, I would have to point to a group of jewelry that I think of all together instead of just one thing: Excluding the druzy necklace and big, dangly earrings, the rest of that lot are important to me. The bracelet maybe isn't super valuable, but it's sentimental because Rob and I got it on our European cruise (he absolutely spoils me, if you didn't know). For the rest of the jewelry there: the ring, the two necklaces and the pendant, and the two earrings, we sourced the loose sapphires together, and he took them to a jeweler to have them set for me for one of our early anniversaries. I love them! 2) NSYNC licensed their name and likenesses for use on a variety of products, and their official key ring was a big seller. Tell us about your key ring. Mine is nothing but a University of Miami (alma mater) lanyard with my "boop-boop," as I call it, to my van, and the spare aka "my" boop-boop to his truck. 3) NSYNC's lead singer, Justin Timberlake, is now a parent himself with two sons. He enjoys sitting on the floor so they can play Legos together. Today Lego sets for adults and adult coloring books are popular. As a grown up, do you enjoy coloring books or Legos? Sometimes. I've done some of both. I just have to be in the mood for it. 4) In 1998, when this song was popular, Seinfeld ended its 9-season run. Were you a fan? I was, but man, that finale was a letdown! 5) This week's song was chosen in honor of Mother's Day. Some mothers will find themselves treated to breakfast in bed this weekend. Is that a luxury you would appreciate, or would you worry about spilling food on the sheets? Sure, I would enjoy that. 6) Garrett's Popcorn offers a special tin for Mother's Day (the "O" in MOM is a daisy). When did you most recently have popcorn? Oh, gosh, it's been a long time. I don't eat it anymore. 7) Florists see a spike in sales for Mother's Day, too. Would you rather receive a plant or a bouquet of flowers? I love getting flowers, but nowadays I'd really love to receive plants. I don't have the greenest thumb, and I'd like to work on that. 8) Crazy Sam's own mother is big on couponing, while Sam thinks coupons simply aren't worth the effort. Are you more like mother or daughter? I gotta hand it to Mom. 9) Sam is celebrating Mother's Day with her mother's favorite, Hershey Bars. Would you prefer classic milk chocolate, dark chocolate or chocolate with almonds? I'd normally prefer the chocolate with almonds; I'd still enjoy the milk chocolate, and I'd make do with the dark chocolate, thank you! ~*~*~*~*~ Fin. Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2024 at MelaniePenelope
OMG I am TOO jealous!! Way too much many! Just kidding, that is REALLY cool. No, I'm jealous. Le sigh... I can't decide. ;)
Toggle Commented Feb 4, 2024 on Saturday 9: Poor Little Fool at MelaniePenelope
Well, hi there! If you even remember me, thank you, and I'm touched. I haven't ever let a S9 go by without feeling wistfully that I wish I had been able to join in amongst you all! By the way, I wasn't really familiar with Ricky Nelson - just his parents' and his names, truly - but in high school, I was a fan of his twin boys, Gunnar and Matthew, who performed as the band Nelson. I still have a song of theirs frequently on my lips, actually. They looked way different then, though! Check 'em out on Instagram here. I should really get this thing started before I make an entire post and none of it is the quizzionnaire. Link up here if you're playing along this weekend! ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Poor Little Fool (1958) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) Ricky Nelson sings of a girl with "carefree devil eyes." Are your eyes your best feature? If not, what is? I would say that they are at least one of my best features, yes. Two? 2) "Poor Little Fool" literally arrived at Ricky's doorstep. A pretty girl knocked on his front door, and played and sang her original composition for him. Who has most recently knocked on your front door (or rung the bell)? Pretty much no one except delivery folks, and even then, not too much. I usually write in the notes that I want a no-noise, contact-less delivery, because our dogs will go crazy. Or if I'm feeling feisty, I'll say our baby is sleeping. 3) That girl was Sharon Sheeley. A teen model in Los Angeles during the 1950s, she met many of the early rock stars at promotional events. Elvis encouraged her to follow her heart and start writing songs, so she did. Who have you advised recently? Did they take your advice? I don't think I've advised anyone lately except any of my own kids, and no, come to think of it, they haven't taken my advice! hmmph! LOL 4) With the success of "Poor Little Fool," Sharon gave up modeling and concentrated on music. Her songs were recorded by singers such as Richie Valens, Glen Campbell and Johnny Rivers. How many different occupations have you tried? Which was your favorite? [click to embiggerate] Let's see... I've cashiered at multiple grocery stores; worked for a dive shop as soon as I got certified; worked off and on as a legal secretary in an estate planning law office; interned (for pay! don't hate) in Fisheries Biology in a world-renowned marine lab & aquarium; filled every manner of waffle cones and created all sorts of frozen concoctions at a gourmet ice cream shop; moonlighted at a gas station and please trust me when I say that will not be the answer to the second question; was provided tutelage as a new Ph.D. Biology student while, in the same period of time, providing tutelage to incoming Freshman students from all walks of life. I've been babysitter, I've been Wife, Mother, Homeschooling teacher, too, but I'm not going to count these. So I'm going to say, unequivocally, that of all those jobs, my favorite was always being a cashier at grocery stories. I loved interacting with the customers! ♥ 5) Ricky Nelson was the son of Ozzie and Harriet and brother of David Nelson. They began performing together as a family with their radio program "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet." They took the show to television in 1952, where they were referred to as "The Most Famous Family in America." What TV family would you like to hang around with? I think I'd like hanging out with the Drummonds from "Diff'rent Strokes," - and not because they're wealthy! I loved those folks forever and still repeat certain lines... And obviously I mean the characters and not the actors, who have had as many or more, and maybe worse, problems as the rest of us schmoes. 6) While Ricky eventually became the audience favorite, he wasn't initially a likely candidate for stardom. A producer described him as "an odd little kid," shy and small for his age. In those early days, big brother David was more outgoing and considered a natural actor. Thinking back to your preteen years, were you more like David or Rick? Definitely like Ricky, but sadly, I don't have a handy picture to show you. 7) Ricky never got over his shyness. He often closed his eyes as he sang on camera or before an audience because it helped him battle his nerves and concentrate on the music. Fan magazine oohed and aahed over his beautiful long lashes and young girls fantasized about Ricky closing his eyes before leaning in for a kiss. Who was your big pre-teen crush? Oh, gosh. So we're getting the embarrassing one of the year out of the way early, huh? Hahaha! My big crush was Ralph Macchio from the Karate Kid movies. 8) In 1958, when "Poor Little Fool" was #1, American women were shopping for Italian-inspired footwear. Heels were lower, and the leather was textured and less shiny that the popular patent leather of years gone by. If you were to go shoe shopping today, what would you be looking for? Most assuredly, they would be Crocs. Now, don't hate me, don't hate me! Hear me out... Now that I'm in a wheelchair almost all the time that I leave the house, except for transferring from house to car and car to chair, etc., I need to have some slip-proof shoes. I'm a huge klutz (Chloë gets that from me), and my various pairs of Crocs (12 or so?) have saved my face, hands, knees, from numerous trips and falls. Plus, I no longer buy the regular clogs. I'm not even sure I still have any. I prefer Crocs that other people reeeeeaaally have to stare at for a long time before they guess these are Crocs. For example: I might get these Crocs' "Brooklyn Flips" from the Clearance racks if I were truly shopping for shoes. (But when isn't one?) Normally priced $54.99, these "Bone"-colored sandals - which hit the mark for all my needs - are marked down 40% to land in clearance. But that's not all! They take another 30% off clearance items right now, which, for me, means these $55 would come to me for $23.1o before shipping and tax! I like that price - and if you're looking for this same pair in black, they've got that, too. Or I might choose these Classic Flips, 2.0 in "Apricrush": ...for a lower profile foot bed (is it called that? Well, today it is) which, at full price, are only $29.99. I live near the shore and know I would be there every warm day if I could, despite the huge challenge that presents to me, personally. And for all full-price items, Crocs gives members a 25% off those items. I know that doesn't help everyone, but if it doesn't help you, make sure you sign in with the link at the bottom of the page before you check out. For me, the code brings this purchase down to $22.49 before S/H, or $30.48 including. Any order over $49.99 gets free shipping; under that costs $7.99. Plus, everyone can get 15% off if they sign up for the Crocs Club (near the bottom). And finally, you can get back 3% each (and these two can stack) from Swagbucks and MyPoints for a total of 6% back, or 4% from Ibotta. Apparently, I can talk Crocs all day! Can I just do that? 9) Random question -- Which of these parties sounds like the most fun: a) one you host yourself; b) one at a friend's home; c) a surprise party in your honor? Definitely (c)! I just asked Hubs if he would throw one for my 50th birthday in a few years. I got no real response. Typical! I've never had a surprise party and would love one! So many ideas here! ~*~*~*~*~ Oh, gosh, it's after 2 PM. I knew it would take me this long to finish this! ::head smack:: If you read all this, thank you. Brownie points for commenting. Y'all are the best. ♥ Fin. Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2024 at MelaniePenelope
Hello friends, silver and gold! Ayayay, I missed two weeks - two of the best weeks! I'm sure things here were great, but I haven't yet had even a moment to poke my head in. I wait to dive in and see what's happening with the Eagles, though, so if you're like-minded, link up here! And away we go! ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Hotel California (1977) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) In this song, Don Henley called the hotel's front desk and asked, "Please bring me my wine." He was told they haven't had wine since 1969. When did you last have a glass of wine? I hardly ever drink any alcohol these days, so when we decided to have some bubbly for our anniversary on January 2nd, and I drank a little bit, they were surprised. 2) The lyrics refer to wine as a "spirit." That is incorrect. Wines are fermented, not distilled, and have a lower alcohol content than spirits. When "Hotel California" was popular, listeners who were into wine called radio stations to let them know about the mistake. Are you a wine aficionado? Are any of your friends or family knowledgeable about wine? I am NOT knowledgeable about vino at all. Every time I've gone out for a nice dinner "on the company dime," I tend to have long, ridiculous conversations with the sommelier. It's possible of my in-laws are knowledgeable thusly, and a few of my friends, but they don't go out of their way to talk about it. It's cool, though; I wouldn't mind. 3) In the song, Henley sings about looking for the door that will take him "back to the place I was before." Don says that refers to a loss of innocence and a longing for a simpler time. When you think about "the good old days," where does your mind wander to? I really struggled to answer this. There were supershort periods in my childhood when I might be able to say that, but because they were short, the weren't real. And there were several periods after this I could say, so Im to go ahead and name the first period in my life that I can say that, since it seems the most genuinely real: College Life. I was completely responsible for myself; I didn't have to check in with anyone else. What a freeing feeling after the choking feeling I'd had up 'til then. Yes, very freeing. 4) With five #1 singles, six #1 albums, and six Grammy awards, it's generally agreed that the Eagles were one of the most popular groups of the 1970s. Which decade produced most of your favorite songs? ... and many more! I'm definitely an 80s baby! 5) The Eagles were formed in 1971 when four of them happened to find themselves hired to play back up for Linda Ronstadt. The men found they really hit off and wanted to keep working together when the gig with Linda was up. Tell us about how you met someone important in your life. Well, I mentioned that Rob and I just had an anniversary: our 23rd. I had just non-amicably split with my last boyfriend (fiance, really) and was lonely for someone to talk to, be a housemate, etc. I wasn't looking for a new relationship so soon, but my good friend from college, Victor, kept encouraging me to put a profile on the above website. I kept dismissing him, brushing him off, saying I wasn't ready, I didn't think it was my style, you name it. Nevertheless, he persisted. Finally I put "my profile" on the site, but on it, I listed all of my faults and negative qualities. Just everything I could think of went in the profile. I was terribly amused with myself. Then the responses started coming in. There was a dentist who wanted to see pictures of my teeth, one was a Greek man who was upfront about wanting to know if I could help him get his green card. There were several "dirtier" respondents in amongst these rather tame ones. I just rolled my eyes and their emails. And then I got the one from a Navy guy who rode motorcycles and had tattoos, who appreciated the humor in my profile and was able to smart and funny in his own right. By the time I read to the end of that first message from Rob, I knew right away and I said out loud: "I'm going to marry that guy!" ♥ And two months later, that's exactly what we did. ♥ 6) The Eagles are still on the road, filling big arenas for their Long Goodbye tour. One explanation for their enduring popularity is that their music spans genres. They scored hits on the rock, pop and country charts. Other popular categories of music include classical, gospel, jazz, Latin, reggae, New Age, and rap. Which do you listen to most often? Which did you listen to most recently? According to Spotify, at least for 2023, I listened to Broadway musical hits often. I know I listened to a lot of Hamilton, but of course there were others as well, of course. On the days my voice returned, I could be heard belting out "Suddenly Seymour!" along with Little Shop of Horrors. I mentioned that there were others, and surely mom can't live on Broadway alone. So I listen to a lot of current pop, and also ohhh who am kidding? Pop all the way from about 1980 to now is my jam! I do like some classic rock, even though I don't always know all the words. I just turn up the music and sing nonsense at a much lower volume. There, covered! 7) In 1976, when "Hotel California" was topping the charts, the trend in home decor was vibrant. Intense copper, bright pink and vivid avocado were among the popular colors for bath towels, mats and shower curtains that year. If we were to peek into your 2024 bathroom(s), what colors would we find? Our main bathroom will (hopefully) be turned into a scene ocean waves, with blues and deeper blues and light blues, mostly reflected in the floor mats and bath towels. When we paint - which I'm hoping to do in 2024 - There's going to be a tiny glimpse of yellow sinking down in one corner of the shower, We haven't decided on curtains for in there. There's only one large window. Maybe a roman shade but other than that... Older kid wanted all gray his bathroom, and younger kid wanted all purple. So they pretty much got what they wanted. 8) Handbags were big in 1976. Not just in popularity but in size. Purses routinely had compartments on the inside and pockets on the outside. When you leave the house, do you travel light? Or do you prefer to carry a lot with you? I would prefer to travel light, but ever since motherhood, I think, I need pockets, and snaps, zippies - all of that, in multiples, both interior and exterior. But it's my wallet, my umbrella, my lotion, my lip balm(s); those are non-negotiables. And they're all I'm using in the Kate Spade, because she's a pretty open bucket, and I don't want to lose my things. 9) Random question -- How different is your life today than it was a year ago: (a) a lot; (b) a little); (c) not at all? (b) a little worse off these days, physiologically and neurobiologically. I wasn't having so many problems in that regard, plus our finances were a little more lax, so we didn't have to be so careful about the odd purchase. ~*~*~*~*~ Belated Happy New Year, everyone! Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2024 at MelaniePenelope
Hello, fellow friends of Samantha and beyond! Seems like, for those of us who celebrate it, Christmas is nearly upon us. I'm excited this year - haven't always been, but this should be a fun one. However you celebrate whatever you celebrate, if anything, I hope it's as happy and merry and joyful as it could possibly be. 🎄 Now getting down to brass tacks. Crazy Sam has brought us back to some holiday-themed questions of yore. Like to answer with the rest of us? Link up here. Now let's do the thing: ~*~*~*~*~ SATURDAY 9: HAPPY HOLIDAYS (From the archives) 1 As you can see, when Sam Winters was a little girl, she loved giving her annual wish list to Santa. If you could ask Santa for anything at all, right now, what would it be? Honestly, right now? It would be a re-gain of the huge loss of income we experienced earlier this year, through no fault of our own. It hurts. 2 Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there? I think I'm currently on the Nice list, because I'm basically the Happiness Manager around here, and I'm pretty sure everyone's going to have a good Christmas. And I'm really just too ill right now to be anything else! I'm sure someone(s) out there would beg to differ, though. I have a pretty nasty breed of internet stalker/harasser/bullier/whatever/UGH! 3 Are you traveling this Christmas? If so, are you going by car, plane or train? NOPE! Staying home, just like we pretty much always do! Although a destination Christmas sounds fun... 4 Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If yes, which one traveled the farthest? We shipped a couple of gifts to my dad and his new wife (number six!) in South Carolina; they'll get there today and tomorrow. If we'd shipped them directly from us instead of, erm, Amazon, they'd have traveled just 583 miles. (The above is not one we ended up giving them.) 5 Did you buy yourself a gift this year? Well, yeah, how else would Rob know what to give me? I'm pretty sure there is something socked away that he bought me himself, but otherwise, when I see a hot deal for one of us - myself included - that we'll like, I pretty much grab it! 6 Which do you prefer: candy canes or gingerbread? I'm not terribly fond of either! 7 Close your eyes and tell us the first carol that comes to mind. "The First Noël" 8 What's your favorite winter beverage? Definitely hot cocoa! Oh, WAIT! Darn it, I spent all this time looking for a hot cocoa buffet photo that I wanted to borrow, I forgot all about mulled apple cider. Eh, it's a toss-up. I love them both. 9 Share a memory from last Christmas. It was a rave, y'all! You know, without all the street drugs and police raids, and stuff. And yes, that is our dog Tapioca. So, the second - I swear, THE. SECOND. - it's 12.01 AM on Christmas Day, our kids have historically been on us like white on rice to open presents. We always do our stockings on Christmas Eve, so you'd think that would hold them, but no. The problem is, we parents also feed into the excitement and want to get in there and see them unwrapping, too, so I don't think a year has gone by when we've ever been able to make them wait. Part of the goodies I packed into their stockings and under their tree included Silly String, these funny water guns, and a whole lotta glow-in-the-dark stuff. Can you imagine, in the middle of the night, hyping your kids up on purpose? Ha. Nah, but they're grown. We can go to bed and they'll be fine... right? ~*~*~*~*~ If you're not celebrating anything for the rest of the year, or if you observe something else, I wish you and yours well! If you do celebrate this one, Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night! Fin. Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hello there! I hope you're having a good holiday season, whatever you may celebrate -if you do. And, you know, like, just a great December if not. Hee. It's 10 days away from Christmas already, and we don't even have one of our three trees up, let alone decorated; the stockings aren't hung up on our faux mantel, and I think my husband still just doesn't understand the level of inner chaos this causes me. I'm the one who makes the lists, the budget, the menu at least in part, everything to do with sending Christmas cards (which we haven't done this year because, frankly, I don't feel well enough, and I'm tired), and everything. I started my Christmas shopping in September - maybe even August? - and have coordinated with Chloë to have her wrap each person's bin of presents in beautiful cloths, furoshiki-style. I'm going a little nuts over the tree being up, can't you tell? Regardless, I'm joyful that I'm able to do this, this weekend! I've been pretty absent lately and as I always say, I've missed you guys!! Everyone else, you should get in on this! Link up here to join in the fray this weekend. And away we go! ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: The Christmas Blues (1953) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) In this song, Dean Martin sings that the streets are white with snow. Do you anticipate a White Christmas this year? No, not here on Maryland's Eastern Shore: too far south and too coastal Not that it hasn't happened, even during our brief tenure here; it's just not common. 2) He tells us he's done plenty of window shopping this season. Do you find you're influenced by a retailer's window dressing and store décor? Are you more motivated by price? Or do you do most of your shopping online, making holiday decorations irrelevant? I'm wholly an online shopper nowadays. At most, I shop online for Rob to pick up. Anything else, and Rob has to shop for it completely in store. I rarely have it in me to go out these days. 3) Dean was born in Steubenville, OH. Though he rarely returned to his hometown, it was in his thoughts during the holidays. Every Christmas he made like Santa and sent toys to hospitalized children in the Steubenville area. Are there toys on your shopping list this year? Yeah, I sent a few toys to my good friend's four boys. They're all so special to me - even though I've only been fortunate enough to meet the older two! 4) He had fast hands when it came to cards and before he was famous he worked as a dealer in Atlantic City. When you play cards, what's your favorite game? Uhh, Uno? I guess? I'm not terribly good with cards of a gamblin'-type nature, ma'am. 5) Dean Martin was an avid reader ... of comic books. Especially in bed when he was on the road and couldn't sleep. Much as he enjoyed comic books, he was embarrassed by them. What do you do when you can't sleep? Oh, only the worst things. I've been binging through Duolingo on my phone, mostly Spanish now, although I certainly haven't given up on Japanese. And I've been reading a lot of news - and telling myself not to read the comments, and then I do. Arghhhh! Now let's have a few holiday-specific questions: 6) Every year, the United States Postal Service introduces special holiday stamps. Do you purchase them? Sometimes. Well, usually, but only sometimes "on time." Sometimes it'll be in May, but hey, you know what? Forever is forever. 7) Do you have a funny/ugly holiday sweater? Do you know what? No. I can't say that I have ever gotten one. It's a travesty. 8) Do you wrap your presents or use gift bags? Historically, some of both. But now, none of either. Now we're using nice silks and other cloth to wrap our gifts furoshiki-style, like the Japanese do, and plan to continue doing this sustainably from now on. Chloë tied all these. I love them! 9) We're doing Christmas karaoke! What holiday or winter-themed song will you perform? "I'll be home for Christmas" -- that's my Christmas jam right there! I sing it - if I have a voice that year - until I annoy everyone in the family, and then I try sososo hard not to sing it again. (Usually fail once or twice.) My other big one is "The First Noël," which has special meaning for me. ~*~*~*~*~ Well, I made it to the end, and we're not even an hour into the day. Look at me go! I hope all of you out there have a splendid weekend and, if I don't happen to make it back until 2024 (perish the thought!), a marvelous rest of December. Enjoy! Fin. Continue reading
Posted Dec 15, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hi, everyone! If you're American, happy belated Thanksgiving, and I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Mine was apparently great; we had our youngest's boyfriend for company for the first time, the food was good, and everyone had a great conversation - and I slept on the couch through the entire thing. Mortifying! Well, I enjoyed listening to the Hollies playing this song to me on YouTube, and now I'm listening to a whole anthology of indie rock from that time period, which is quite wonderful. Anyway, if you wish to play along today, link up here! Let's get to it: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress) 1972 Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) This week's song begins with Hollies' lead singer Allan Clarke telling us of a Saturday night trip downtown, taken at the behest of the FBI. What are your plans for Saturday night? (No, we don't expect you to tell us you'll be working undercover for a government agency.) No, no CIA, FBI, ATF, or anything like that planned for me. Um, let's see. Chloë has the day off, so she's spent Thursday & Friday night with us, along with her cat Pepper ♥, and on Saturday she is going to help me catalog and wrap - furoshiki-style - the presents I've bought so far for everyone. 2) At a bar, he meets a woman in a black dress. The LBD, or little black dress, is a wardrobe staple for many women because it's appropriate for almost any occasion. Let's say you get a last-minute invitation for a "dressy" dinner this weekend and you don't have the time or money to buy something new. What's your go-to outfit from your closet? It probably would be a dress, with a cardigan on top, but I don't know which one because who knows what's in the laundry at any given time?! 3) Everyone at the bar starts to run when they hear sirens. Do you often hear sirens in your neighborhood? Not very many in our neighborhood, but there are a fair lot in our town. 4) In 1972, the year this week's song was on the charts, Popeye's opened their first fast-food chicken restaurant in Louisiana. Now that the Thanksgiving feast is over, will you be eating any carry-out this weekend? No, no take-out planned for us this weekend. We still have plenty of Thanksgiving leftovers and need to use those up first. Plus I want to read this Martha Stewart article and see what we're getting right and wrong! 5) Black is this week's signature color because November 24th was Black Friday, when retailers historically have slashed their prices and the holiday shopping season begins. Have you begun your gift shopping? I'm well into it. I started in August. 6) Walmart, Best Buy and Target all advertise heavily on Black Friday. If you could have a $100 gift card from one of those stores, which would you choose? What would you buy? I would choose a gift card from Target, please. For $100 right now, I could get four Tile Mate Bluetooth Trackers for whatever my family of people who are forever losing things want to start keeping track of first, on sale for $18 a pop, down from $25. Then, I would get the Amazon Echo Dot for $23, down from $50 (!), I would make all that a store pick-up, just to avoid chaos, confusion, and any unnecessary shipping charges. And before taxes, I'd still have $5 to get a grande café or for me or my companion from Starbucks inside Target, if I wanted. Yay, please let's do this. haha 7) This Monday is sometimes known as Cyber Monday because shoppers can find big savings online. Do you shop confidently online, or do you worry about security breaches and identity theft? Ohhh, so true!!! 👆👆👆 I'm pretty confident, shopping online. I mean, while it's true that I trust everyone too easily, too early, too much, I feel like it's easier for me to be more discerning online. 8) What are you thankful for this year? Oh, gosh. You know the "e" error message you get on some calculators (not graphing calculators, just some simple ones) when you've done a calculation whose answer is too high for the calculator to compute? That's really my answer: e. 9) Random question: Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone (texting doesn't count)? According to my phone, it was Hubs. You can ignore the good doctor, because I just accidentally dialed her number when I picked up my phone, like a numbskull. ~*~*~*~*~ Welp, that's it for me! I'm going to try to get a few more zzzs. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend, however you choose to spend it! ♥ Fin. Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
こんにちは or, as you might recognize it better, Konnichiwa. I'm working on my Japanese. I'm also working on my Spanish more. It's easier for me to do the latter, so I find myself falling into doing that more than, currently, learning the katakana characters (the above is in hiragana, which I now feel like I have to relearn, oh no!!). So it's: take one step forward for Japanese, take three steps (or five, or eight) for Spanish. Sigh... It's a good thing there's a while before our trip! Anyway. Today is all about the Spandau Ballet, and I haven't seen them yet, but I'm sure Sam has given us some delicious questions. So I'm going to tell you now, you should link up here and get in on this bad boy. Let's go: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: True (1983) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) In this song, lead singer Gary Kemp tells us he's overwhelmed by his feelings as he and a girl dance "toe to toe." What song did you most recently dance to? I think it was "Walking on Sunshine," by Katrina & the Waves. Good tune. 2) Falling in love makes him want to listen to "Marvin all night long," a reference to Motown great Marvin Gaye. What's your favorite love song, and who sings it? Hmm. Hubs and I have at least three "love songs" together, and although maybe not all of them technically qualify for that particular designation, they do to us. May I share all three? Okay, thank you. First the obvious one that does qualify: "Wonderful Tonight," by my man, Eric Clapton. We danced to this at our "wedding reception," if you can call it that. Not only did we dance to it, but two of my friends from grad school, who are very musically talented, rearranged the music and recorded themselves on guitar and vocals in what I can only call a masterpiece. That's the one we danced to, which was intensely romantic, although of course I love Clapton's version. "Give Me One Reason," by Tracy Chapman, is the second song. Tracy, in this version, is happily (just look at her beautiful smile!) joined by none other than Eric Clapton. When Rob and were dating, for all five minutes of it, we were nine hours apart from each other, so distance was an issue. When we visited the other, neither wanted to leave, and driving away was a huge difficulty for me. In short, this song became part of our story. Finally, "If I Had a Million Dollars," by Barenaked Ladies is right up there with the important love songs for us. This is exactly the zany, silly, crazy, fun sort of way we'd live if we had a million dollars - and strive to live in the everyday, I-love-you-and-it-doesn't-matter-how-full-our-bank-account-is world. This is us. ♥ 3) This song was inspired by Kemp's feelings for singer Clare Grogan. When they first met, they discovered a shared love of literature and for his birthday, she gave him a book she thought he'd enjoy. Who received the most recent birthday gift you gave, and what was it? Our youngest kiddo, Rowan, has a friend named "Kenny," who had a birthday a couple weeks ago. Kenny is a big fan of Jack Skellington from Nightmare Before Christmas, and I'm a big fan of Kenny, so I sent him a few things: A cozy Jack S. blanket with a Jack stuffy in it, and cozy Jack S. pants. He seems to have loved them, yay! 4) Despite the popularity of the song it inspired, the Kemp-Grogan romance never really took off. Gary was involved with another woman and Clare was seeing other men and reluctant to settle down. The timing just wasn't right for them. Do you believe luck plays a big part in romance? Luck? Maybe a small part. I don't think it's a BIG part. I think most of that belongs to the actions and words of the people involved. 5) The cover art was created by Kemp's friend, David Band. David sketched it after seeing a man startled when a bird flew too close to him as he entered a pub. To Kemp, it represented how surprised he was by the sudden intensity of his feelings for Grogan. Band went on to become a world-renowned artist, with his work exhibited in galleries and museums in Australia, New Zealand, England and the United States. What museum have you most recently visited? It has been an age since I visited a museum. Not while we've lived in Maryland, I don't think, and we've been here three years + already! Hard to believe. I'll put that on my list of things to do. 6) In 2020, Kemp and bassist Guy Pratt launched their podcast Rockonteurs about the stories behind popular songs. Do you regularly listen to podcasts? I regularly try to get into Podcasts, but I'm afraid I just don't stick with them for long, repeatedly. Lately I've been trying to remember to keep up with the Mama Dragons podcast once in a while. 7) Super Mario Bros. debuted in 1983. Without looking it up, can you name gaming's most famous siblings? No problem: Mario and Luigi. I cut my my teeth on Mario Bros! 8) Also in 1983, for the first time, London's Abbey Road recording studio was open to the public. Visitors were treated to a multi-media presentation called The Beatles at Abbey Road. During the two months it was open, more than 22,000 tickets were sold. What's the most recent ticket you purchased? Every birthday in August, I get some scratch-off tickets for Rob to have his way with. He won some money this year. Woohoo! I know that's not the sort of ticket you were talking about but it's all I can think of off the top of my head. 9) Random question -- At your favorite restaurant, a genie will grant you one of these two wishes: 1) you can eat whatever you want without gaining weight or 2) you can order whatever you want for free. Which do you choose? Well, since I have a tiny little pouch from having gastric bypass surgery, this kind of question doesn't really make sense for me. Instead, I put it to Rowan, who chose option #2. Their favorite restaurant is Robeks - a juices and smoothies shop - which we discovered when we lived in Miami. They had smoothies there whenever they could convince me to buy them one! They are semi-pricey for what they are, though, and Rowan would be there all the time if they could, so FREE is the word of the day, thanks. ~*~*~*~*~ And that's how we play the game, folks. Take care. Fin. Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hi, guys. How are you feeling? What are you doing? What's the haps? Me, I'm feeling very emotional. I'm on call for outreach through my section of Mama Dragons today, and I had a call that had me really deep in my feels. Right now, I don't have the ability to speak. Much. Happens sometimes. So it's almost Halloween! I've got the candy, let's bring on some kids! But first, let's get into something spooky. If you're joining us this weekend, please link up here! Let's go! ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Spooky Scary Skeletons (1996) Unfamiliar with this week's featured song? Hear it here. 1) In this song, Andrew Gold sings that these skeletons send shivers down his spine. Do you often involuntarily shudder or shiver? Oui. But I'm cold often. 2) While they appear frightening, these skeletons are harmless and only want to socialize with us mortals. Can you think of something -- or someone -- that intimidated you at first but that you were more comfortable with as you became more familiar? That pretty much describes my entire life! 3) The video for this song was originally created in 1929. "Skeleton Dance" was a short movie produced and directed by Walt Disney himself. In 2006, Disney Studios paired Gold's song with this animation for a Halloween DVD. Do you have any DVDs that you watch seasonally (every Halloween, every Thanksgiving, every Christmas, etc.)? DVDs? No... I don't think so. I think we just wait for this or that TV special. 4) You may not realize it, but you likely already know one of Andrew Gold's songs. He wrote "Thank You for Being a Friend," the theme to TV's "Golden Girls". Blanche, Dorothy, Rose or Sophia: Which is your favorite? That's a hard one. I love(d) that show, and I love(d) all four of them. Probably in this order: Sophia Petrello, Rose, Dorothy, and Blanche. "Picture it: Sicily, 1922..." 😂 These questions will help us get into the Halloween spirit .... 5) Introduced in the 1880s, candy corn was originally called Chicken Feed. It was developed by a candy manufacturer who gave it the orange/white color and special name to differentiate it from jelly beans. Do you like candy corn (a) all year around or (b) at Halloween only or (c) never? (c) NEVER!!! 6) What candy will trick-or-treaters get when they show up at your front door? Let's see, I think we have some Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, some Almond Joy, Kit-Kats, and I believe Payday, which we've never done before. Hopefully it's enough. 7) Halloween was a 1978 movie by John Carpenter about Michael Myers, who kills while wearing a ghostly mask. In the original movie, the mask used was a $2 Captain Kirk mask, painted white. Both Halloween and Star Trek are successful franchises of more than a dozen movies. Have you seen more of Michael Myers or Captain Kirk? I haven't seen any Star Trek movies, and I've seen just one Michael Myers movie: Halloween H20, with a good friend years ago. I am not a horror movie buff, so he practically had to drag me kicking and screaming, or else the score would've been a tight 0:0 here. 8) In 2022, a survey of California schoolchildren revealed that Buzz Lightyear was the top pick of Halloween costume. When you were little, did you prefer to dress up for Halloween as a hero, like Buzz, or a scary monster? I was usually something silly, like a clown or a ghost, or a robot once. 9) Some long-time White House employees claim they have seen Abraham Lincoln's ghost wandering the halls of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Have you ever seen a ghost? No, I have not. Have any of YOU? I'll believe it when I see it. ~*~*~*~*~ And now it is after midnight, meaning it's Saturday, so I'm going to post this up and then get back into my Japanese and Spanish lessons on Duolingo. Take care! Fin. Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Well, hello friends, both silver and gold! As usual, I'm not doing things the way I'm supposed to be doing them and yes, it is now Sunday. I can't say I'm squeaking in on time this week, but alas, I'm trying my hand at it anyway. Forgive me, y'all? The past week, I took a shower and had three appointments, all of which I made more or less on time, so I consider that a success story. That's the way life is now. And I started a new weekly injectable med under the tummy skin, which didn't hurt at all. So, yay. I mean if I've gotta take injectables, pain-free is the way to go, IMHO. So this week we're rocking along with Sugarland, one of the few country bands I happen not to object to. Yeehaw. If you'd like to join up with this weekend's cast of crazy characters, please do so here. Away we go: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Something More (2005) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) Sugarland's lead singer Jennifer Nettles describes a busy morning that begins with a cup of coffee. Do you start your day with a cup of joe? No, I do not. Caffeine, yes. Coffee, no. 2) When she gets home from work, she sings that her house is dirty but says housework can wait until she has a glass of wine. Is there a particular chore on your "to-do" list that you keep putting off? Sorry, mermaid here. Also, omg, I'm SO anemic and have other stuff that makes me constantly tired. So yeah, there is my entire LIST being put off. It's aggravating, folks. 3) The lyrics tell us happiness is something we can create. Do you agree? ABSOLUTELY. DEFINITELY. WHOLEHEARTEDLY. 4) In the video of this week's song, the members of Sugarland ride along in a vintage Cadillac. Are you one of those drivers who has a nickname for your car? Sure do! I call mine Ruby. All of mine have had nicknames, before her. 5) The group hitches a ride in a red truck. The auto insurance industry tells us that Americans favor vehicles in the grayscale colors. Nearly 80% of cars on the road today are white, black, gray or silver. What color is your vehicle? Seest thou above? She's RED. ☺ 6) Nettles achieved her dream of performing on Broadway when she took over the role of Roxy in Chicago. What's your fantasy job? Honestly, for one, these days it would being able to have one, keep one, hold one - any one. I'm just not well enough to do that, and it would be really great to be able to make money and contribute to the familial livelihood. That's no small thing. But sadly, I think what my dream job is... ... is the job I walked away from some 23 years ago, before I married Rob and started a family. I would love to be a marine bioogist again, out in the field, diving, collecting and testing samples, observing, performing tests in the lab, and all that. But if I hadn't walked away, I would not have had this family, and I wouldn't trade this family away for ANYthing on the planet. But hell! They're all grown now, so give me my body back, my health back!! 7) She wrote a cookbook with her mom called Sweet, Savory and Simple. When it was originally published, it was spiral bound. That way, it could be laid flat on the counter as the cook tries one of the recipes. How many cookbooks do you own? I don't think too many. Maybe a dozen, dozen-and-a-half? My favorite, by far, is Martha Stewart's Cookies, the original one, which my sister-in-law Gail gifted me long ago. 8) In 2005, when "Something More" was topping the country charts, Paul McCartney won a People's Choice Award for his concert tour. Do you have any plans to enjoy music performed live between now and the end of the year? We have no specific plans, but I'm hoping to do so. 9) Random question: Who received the most recent compliment you gave? I complimented a fitness coach on the 'gram about her asana (yoga pose) the whole photographic composition of the shot. It was beautious. ~*~*~*~*~ Well, now that it's almost 5 AM, I suppose I should try to get some sleep. Maybe this will get read, maybe I'll be eatine by a rabid wolverine this week. Which is more likely, idaknow. Remains to be see. Fin. Continue reading
Posted Oct 22, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Kim - Right? Me too!
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2023 on Saturday 9: Goodbye, Cruel World at MelaniePenelope
Hello, hello, everyone! I've missed you so. I haven't written any entries for Saturday 9 for a few weeks now here and there, and I just feel/felt so bad about not being a part of things. But I've been having some trials and tribulations (and tears!) that we won't go into now, that have kept me away. Plus I'm still cruising along on learning Japanese and brushing up on my Spanish. However, I'm back today! I hope you'll join us in celebrating "Goodbye, Cruel World," and James Darren, if you're a newcomer to this meme. Link up here if you'd like to take part. We don't bite. Now let's get this thing started! Here we go: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Goodbye, Cruel World (1961) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) This week's song has a circus theme. Have you ever been to a circus? If yes, did you enjoy it? Yes! I've seen O™ by Cirque du Soleil in Vegas, and I became an instant fan of the company. Insanely beautiful and talented. ...And yes, I have been to the "old-fashioned circus" you probably mean as a young kid, but in hindsight, I don't really want to admit it, because as an adult I have been one of those people working to end forced animal participation in them. 2) James Darren sings that he's running away to join the circus. When you were a kid, did you ever run away from home? Yes, I did. The one time I can really remember, I walked pretty far, down to the house of the family whose kids I frequently babysat. They didn't know what to do about me, and I just sat there and cried and cried. My dad eventually put 2 + 2 together and came to get me, and then there was a small showdown! Gaaah it was ugly. But not as ugly as staying would've been. 3) While he understands intellectually that this girl is no good for him, he tells us his heart is stubborn. Do you have a stubborn streak? Most certainly. 4) Though he had three top 20 singles, including this one, James Darren found more consistent success as an actor. Between 1959 and 1963, he played surfer Jeff Matthews, aka "Moondoggie," in three Gidget movies. Have you seen any Gidget movies? What about the TV show, starring Sally Field? I have not seen any of the movies, but way back in the day, I caught a few of the Gidget episodes on television. Am I the only one who keeps expecting her to be a nun surfer, though? 5) "Moondoggie" got his unique nickname because he enjoyed surfing in the moonlight. Looking back on Summer 2023, did you visit the beach (by moonlight or otherwise)? Sure did! We were just there, in Bethany Beach, Delaware, ↑↑↑ tonight, in fact. And went several times over the summer. Y'all know I need my ocean ...and it needs me. 6) While he was playing Gidget's teen dream, he was a married man. He wed Danish beauty queen Evy Norlund in 1960. They met when she came to Los Angeles to pursue a career and they were both working at Columbia Studios. More than 60 years later, they're still together. Tell us about the longest-married couple you know. Hmm. Rob and I are coming up on 23 years. I know several of you have been married much longer, and I love that! Several coouples I know have been married one or two years less than we have... I'm drawing a blank on who I know IRL who've been married longer. 7) James Darren also played Officer James Corrigan on ABC's police drama, TJ Hooker. Have you ever considered a career in law enforcement? Not even for a hair of a second. That's just not my personality type, I don't think. 8) In 1961, when this song was on the radio, matching his & hers mohair sweaters were on trend. Do you have a favorite sweater? Not really, because I'm not a big sweater person. If I have to, I'll wear a cardigan, but I wear a lot of wraps. I think I should get these two sweatshirts for Rob and myself for our Christmas pictures this year - right??? LOL 9) Random question -- They say we're all young at heart. In what ways are you childlike? I'm very naïve and trusting, time and again. And I'm always questioning; I ask a million questions about everything, which I was told many times is what would make me a good scientist. I haven't lost that. ~*~*~*~*~ Well, I wish you all a tremendously good weekend. Don't look straight up at the eclipse. xoxo Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hey, friends. I'm happy to be back here posting today, since I missed two or three Saturdays here and there. Even if I am late, it's nice to still be part of the game. I haven't heard this song from Babs before, so I'll be hearing it for the first time right alone with, I suspect, several of you. Are you playing along with us? Be sure to link up here. Let's do this: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: On a Clear Day (1970) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) Is today a clear day where you are? Nooooo. The weather here has been shite all week. 2) Streisand sings that today she's "astounded." What has recently shocked or greatly surprised you? Okay, this might be gross, but I'll be providing no visual, at least. Between all of my many and several illnesses, even more medications, and so on, my teeth all just rotted away. My dentist and I just finally decided to remove what was left of them and go for dentures. The removal happened on Friday, and whoooo! I was shocked at how much pain could be inside my head. 3) Streisand's voice astounded people from an early age. She began performing in New York clubs when she was only 18, too young to order a drink in the establishments where she sang. Do you remember the first adult beverage you ordered at a restaurant or bar? Oh, yeah. I graduated college before I was even "legal," which was the one disappointing thing about finishing early. I had a guy roommate, and he had guy friends, and they all wanted me to go out on the town with them one night when I was still 20. We ended up in the town of Coconut Grove, in the CocoWalk plaza (this is in the Miami area). We had to show our IDs and then get our hand stamped if we were of age, and then go in. The first place we visited was Fat Tuesday's. Three of the four guys went through as I said, but K had his hand stamped before coming around rolling his hand on the back of mind. D'oh! Scandalous! But I got in. After that, we visited Hooter's and concentrated on wings and beer, before heading across the way to Don Shula's. I don't have any idea what went on there; I was beyond done at that point. Eventually we headed back home, and I felt a bit naughty, a bit exhiliarated, a bit more grown-up! 4) Barbra has discussed the importance of her Jewish faith in her life and has enlisted the guidance of Reform, Conservative and and Orthodox rabbis as she explored her religion's complexities. Do you enjoy discussing religion? I do to some extent. I won't discuss it with just anybody, because I don't feel like dealing with people who can't grasp certain important concepts, and I don't feel like dealing with hurt feelings were none were meant. But a good, rousing religion discussion is fun anytime! 5) Taylor Swift just passed Barbra Streisand as the woman with the most #1 albums (12). What's the last album you purchased? I haven't bought in album in aaaaaages, but Chloë came over recently with her newly-arrived "Speak Now" Taylor Swift album that she had pre-ordered. We opened it together, and it was spectacular. She was so excited about it, and I was overjoyed watching her be so happy. She's a true Swiftie! 6) The lyrics to "On a Clear Day" were written by Alan Jay Lerner. He attended Choate, a private boarding school in CT, at the same time as John F. Kennedy. While JFK was in the White House, Lerner had two major Broadway hits -- Camelot and My Fair Lady -- running concurrently. Obviously those two Choate alumni did very well. Have you been to any of your class reunions? Have you been surprised, pleasantly or less so, by how any of your classmates turned out? Yes, I've attended my 10th and my 20th high school reuni0ns. We'd be due for our 30th next year, but I don't know that there is going to be anything going on. All through school, from 6th grade on, I was with the same group of smart kids in our honors and AP classes, so of course I had high expectations for all of us. We have some lawyers, doctors, engineers... very bright folks. And then there's me, the former scientist-turned-stay-home mama. Oh, and we also graduated with baseball player Jason Grilli. 7) The music was written by Burton Lane. In the 1930s, Lane worked for MGM Studios in Hollywood. After he heard Judy Garland perform at the Paramount Theater in Los Angeles, he brought her to the attention of his studio bosses and the rest, as they say, is history. Lane and Garland later worked together when Judy was an established star. He wrote the song, "How About You?" for her to sing in Babes on Broadway and received an Oscar nomination. Judy's best known movie has to be The Wizard of Oz. How many times have you seen it? Oh, gosh. At least a dozen times, maybe a bunch more? 8) In 1970, Glenn Frey formed the Eagles. What's your favorite Eagles song? I believe it's "Best of my Love." 9) Random question: Which would upset you more, being trapped in an elevator or stranded atop a mountain in a ski lift? ...being trapped in an elevator! I'd be super claustrophobic! ~*~*~*~*~ Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with Don Henley singing "Boys of Thunder"... Fin. Continue reading
Posted Sep 30, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hello, everyone! I'm glad to be able to make it here with y'all this weekend, after missing the last two. I've been challenging myself this year to do as many of these as possible, so I was sad to miss those. Missed you guys! I hope you newcomers will join us and link up here. Let's get it started! ~*~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Got My Mind Set On You (1987) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) In this song, George Harrison tells us he's willing to devote his money, patience and time to his girlfriend. Of those three things, which can you most easily spare? For me, it's most obviously time. Which stinks, because with my illnesses, I spend what I feel is a lot of time sleeping away that time anyway... 2) This song had long been a favorite of George's. He first heard it in 1963 when visiting his sister in United States. He couldn't get the tune out of his mind and bought the record by James Ray. Do you have an earworm -- a song that, once you hear it, keeps repeating in your head? Oh, I have plenty - so many that I can't think of a single one - and if I can't remember one off the top off my head, I don't want to go hunting for it! haha - Okay, I will say pretty much anything by Whitney Houston, but definitely "Greatest Love of All," but that's just a jumping off point; "Mambo No. 5" by Lou Bega; and... I guess that's where my brain decided to stop for the moment. No. "Goodness Gracious, Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis, several different ones by ABBA, and so on. Don't even get me started with Queen! 3) Months later, in February 1964, the Beatles made their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. 73 million viewers saw them, and an astonishing 45.3% of the TV sets in America were tuned in to the show. In addition to the Beatles, Ed Sullivan used his show to introduce Elvis, The Rolling Stones and The Jackson 5. The Ed Sullivan Show ran for 23 years and reruns are now shown in syndication. Have you ever seen it? I have not ever seen the moving Ed Sullivan Show, no. I have seen these stills and some others that I have just viewed, but not a great many. I don't ever remember the show being on in my household, if it was still on when I was old enough to be cognizant of it. 4) While most of the best loved and most recognized Beatles songs were written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, it was George who penned "Something." Frank Sinatra called that song "the greatest love song of the last 50 years." What's your favorite love song? ► ► "If I Had a Million Dollars" by Barenaked Ladies ◄ ◄ 5) This praise represented a big change for Frank, who predicted in 1964 that the Beatles would be "of no lasting importance." Tell us about something you have changed your mind about. Last year, I decided I wasn't going to let the "important" people in my life continue making decisions for me, then punishing me when those decisions didn't go well. No more toxic. It's gone on so long that our kids are now grown, but this kid (pointing to self) is still not alright, and we need keep working for her. No, thank you. 6) Tom Petty, who went on to have more than 25 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, credits George Harrison as a major influence on his music. Tell us about someone who influenced your professional life. Well, I didn't have much of a professional life before I eloped, got pregnant with our first child, and immediately settled into that life. However, my graduate school advisor, Dr. Phil Motta, was the coolest, smartest, nicest, again smartest guy you'll ever want to meet this way to... anywhere. Great guy. 7) In 1987, when George's recording of "I Got My Mind Set on You" was popular, a squirrel unexpectedly made headlines. The furry fellow closed down the Nasdaq Stock Exchange when he chewed through a phone line. Do you often see squirrels where you live? Oh, yes, we often see them running through our backyard and even more throughout the neighborhood. 8) Also in 1987, third generation race car driver Marco Andretti was born. Naturally the skills required by a race car driver are unique. For example, while we know he can control a car at upwards of 230 mph at Indy, we have no idea if Marco Andretti is good at parallel parking in front of the local post office. How about you? Do you struggle with parallel parking? Well, I really struggle with physical and spacial relationships. That's what makes driving in reverse and parallel parking, for instance, hard for me. But my minivan has at least 4 back-up cameras, which helps me tremendously. That said, parallel parking is almost never required here. 9) Random question: When you woke up this morning, were you ready to face the day? Or do you wish you could have rolled over and snoozed a little longer? Today, because I'm sick, Hubs let me sleep in quite a lot. Though I still didn't jump right up, the extra sleep was great. Any other day (when I'm not sick), there's a 50% chance I'll either wake up and stay up before my alarm or be impossible to wake up. I'm a deep, deep sleeper. ~*~*~*~*~ You know what's annoying? I wrote this on Friday night and forgot to post it! I wanted to make sure it was ready for Saturday morning and it was... but I was not. Ah, well. Y'all take care. Fin. Continue reading
Posted Sep 17, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
{Disclosure: I may receive compensation for some affiliate links to products and services on this website.} Hello, and welcome to my domain. I'm glad you're here! I'm much later here than I had intended to be, but that's probably because Chloë was over into the wee hours last night, and she, Noah, and I were playing Song Quiz with Alexa on our Echo Pop. If I recall correctly, last night we had pretty miserable scores but still lots of fun. If you're new here, you should join us! Link up here if you choose to do the questionnaire. I hope you will! Let's go: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: My Sharona (1979) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) The Knack's lead singer Doug Fieger wrote this song for his girlfriend, Sharona Alperin. That's Sharona on the record sleeve shown here. Who took the most recent photo of you? Probably me! I hate having my picture taken, so I'm usually pretty careful about how it's done. (And I don't do the duckface - everyone stop duck-facing, already!!) 2) Today Sharona Alperin is a realtor in Southern California. (The photo on her website is more demure than the record sleeve.) She specializes in high-end properties. Have you ever attended an open house, not because you were interested in purchasing the property but because you were curious about the inside? I haven't, no, but I know that it's "a thing." Or that people go just for the fancy hors d'oeuvres. 3) Doug Fieger's brother is Geoffrey Fieger, a prominent attorney in Detroit. Have you ever consulted a lawyer? Oh, yes. We've had to several times. Mostly property claims stuff, though. Nothing too exciting for somebody else. 4) The Knack's record producer was Jimmy Miller, who also worked with The Rolling Stones. What's your favorite Rolling Stones song? I had to go through my head (and YouTube a little bit), but I think I've decided on "You Can't Always Get What You Want." It's pretty dope, as is this video. You should give it a look, if you haven't already. 5) In 1994, more than a decade after its initial release, "My Sharona" became popular with a new audience because it was included on the soundtrack of the movie Reality Bites. What's the most recent movie you watched? We're in the middle of an Adam Sandler & Jennifer Aniston movie right now on Netflix, so I don't know if I can say "watched," but it's been a few days since we had to pause. Nevertheless, that movie is: Just Go With It. It's a good one; I'm enjoying it, except the little girl in it is as annoying as hell. 6) President George W. Bush said he loved listening to "My Sharona" on his headphones while riding his bike. Do you often have music on when you exercise? No. When I exercise, it's usually under direct supervision of my physical therapist, being raised and lowered in a chair into the pool to work, and then if there's music on when I'm in the pool, I wouldn't be able to hear her at all. 7) In 1979, when this song was popular, the CBS TV show Alice was a hit. It was about a widowed mom who made ends meet working in a diner. Have you ever worked at a restaurant? No, not exactly. While I did my internship at Mote Marine Lab, I moonlighted in events catering at the upscale beach & tennis resort The Colony on Longboat Key off of Sarasota, Florida. Sadly, it is no longer, but I had a ball working there. 8) Also in 1979, the Voyager spacecraft sent back photos of Jupiter and its rings. Without looking it up, can you name all the planets in our solar system? Sure thing. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune (and the dwarf planet, sniff, sniff, Pluto). No problem! 9) Random question: If you could erase your most painful day from your memory, would you do it? ABSO-FRIGGING-LUTELY. Easily the worst ten. Maybe a hundred. Hell, I might go for a full 10 years if you let me. ~*~*~*~*~ Well, I hope you all are having a super day. I plan on it, too! Oh, and I liked Alice, too. Only since I'm a Melanie, I got a lot of "Mellll, kiss my grits!" from my older sister. Didn't mind too much. Fin. Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hello, everybody! I missed you last week. I would've done it early, but I've been so tired lately. Saturday, Hubs and I were out all day at the Ocean City Taco Festival, which was, in our opinion, kinda mediocre. Would we go again? Probably. Should they change a bunch of things? Definitely. However, the point was going out and doing something fun together, and to that end, we met the goal. I hope you are all doing well. If you're new around here, WHY would you start with me?! And link up here to join the fracas. Let's do this again, right now. okay? ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Diana (1957) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) Legend has it that Paul Anka wrote this song about his favorite babysitter. In your younger days, did you make a little extra money as a sitter? Oh definitely, yes. And I had my "favorites" too, from the kids I watched. Crazy now that those kids are all well grown and off on their own, too! 2) Paul sings he doesn't care what "they" say about his love for an older girl. Have you ever had a romantic relationship that your friends or family didn't approve of? Absolutely. For instance, I have had several interracial relationships that got me in hot water. The first one, I tried to keep under wraps. My stepmother found out about it and that I was planning on going with him to my Senior Ball. She told my dad, who said he wouldn't send me to college if I went anywhere with him. So I didn't go to the Senior Ball... even though we stayed together and eventually got engaged (which ran its course, but not before I wrote my award-winning poem based on our time together). I don't know why I didn't retort to my dad that he wasn't sending me so much as my grades and test scores were sending me. 3) Paul was once a choirboy, singing with the St. Elias Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral choir in Ontario. Have you ever performed with your church choir? I wish. My church didn't have a choir. And when I was an adult and got out of that cult, yes cult, and joined something a bit healthier and mainstream-ier with Hubs, I wasn't brave enough to try to join. Ehh, bygones. 4) When Paul was 15, he left Ontario to find fame and fortune in New York. He had $100 in his pocket, a gift from his uncle. Tell us about someone in your life who who believed in you and encouraged you. In high school, my Spanish teacher was Señora O. (She is now Doctora O., yay!!) We often wrote in journals and had other stuff going on, and she really could see and read both the lines and between the lines and understood that some pretty bad stuff was going on at home. What with her brilliance as an educator, her intuitiveness as my teacher, and her gentleness as sort of a motherly influence I needed in my life, Señora really made me feel like what I was doing - going on to college, continuing to practice my Spanish, moving on with my life, etc. - were worthwhile and not a waste of time. That I was worthwhile and not a waste of time. I love her, and I'm proud to call Dra. O. my friend today. 5) Paul seldom gets credit for one of his most familiar compositions: the theme to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Since Johnny retired in 1992, The Tonight Show has been hosted by Jay Leno, Conan O'Brien, and Jimmy Fallon. Which of these Tonight Show hosts is your favorite? I'd long since had enough of Jay Leno before he retired. I loved O'Brien on his show and might have loved him on The Tonight Show if he'd really been granted the time to be there! But I think Jimmy Fallon's really "got it." He's doing it right and I'm happy with him staying as long as he likes. 6) In 1978, Paul Anka hired Las Vegas' first female bartender for his restaurant, Jubilation. Where did you most recently dine out? Haa, I'm going to have to say the Taco Fest. (This was one of Rob's.) Otherwise, it's been quite a while since we've been out to eat, unless you want to count hitting up the ol' Taco Bell for a couple of chalupas. (Not the same day!) 7) In 1957, when "Diana" was a hit, Wham-O began producing Frisbees. The toy was a massive success, even outselling the hula hoop. Do you enjoy tossing a Frisbee? Yeah, I enjoy tossing a Frisbee... Now, catching a Frisbee really isn't my speed. Not so good at that. 8) Also in 1957, the book Peyton Place was made into a blockbuster film. Book lovers often say that, no matter what, the movie is never as good as the book. Do you think that's true? Generally, yes! I'm sure I've ranted and raved somewhere here before about Jodi Picoult's book My Sister's Keeper and the number the movie did on that. UGHHH. Contrarily, I adored the Hunger Games movie trilogy and couldn't be bothered to slog through the books, which I found tedious. So I'd say about 98% of the time, yes, I agree. 9) Random question: This Saturday, the treat's on Sam. Will you have buttered popcorn, caramel corn or cheese popcorn? Thank you, Sam. I will have buttered, please. On the rare occasion, cheese. ~*~*~*~*~ Well, Hubs is off to Annapolis today to get a part for his truck, one kid might be going with him, I've got to take the other to work later, and that leaves me, taking a bath, painting my nails, and reading one of our Japan travel guides. And then probably getting distracted by 37 things at once. You all have a lovely weekend! Fin. Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hey, guys. This week, we'll be talking about Tony Bennett, a master at his craft who died a little over a week ago. But I couldn't let this go without also mentioning another master (won't call her a mistress of) her craft, who sadly died at only 56 just a few days ago: Sinéad O'Connor. (She later changed her name to Shuhada' Sadaqat after converting to Islam, but kept the original when performing.) I'm so distraught over her death. Please, if you or someone you love is struggling with mental health issues, know the suicide hotline phone numbers, text numbers, and any other available helps. Share them with that person. Watch them. Check in with them. Show them that yes, somebody does care about them. /PSA Thank you. If you're playing along today, please link up here to have some fun with Anthony Benedetto and pals! And we're off: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: I've Got Your Number (1965) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. Chosen in memory of Tony Bennett, who passed away on July 21. 1) In this song, Tony sings that he recognizes his lover's insecurities because she's a lot like him. Are you unsure in social situations? Or do you meet new people easily? I'm very timid and insecure, at least at first. Once I've gotten to know people and am comfortable with them, I can totally let loose. But at first? I'm super uncomfortable. 2) While singing was his livelihood, painting was Tony Bennett's passion. What hobby do you participate in with the greatest enthusiasm? Well, let's see. I spend the most time on creating Paper Hugs for Mama Dragons, since it's such a constant need. The hobby for which I feel the strongest fervor would definitely be knitting, followed by crochet, both of which I've done very little of since we lived in Florida. Sad to say. But I'm thrilled to say I've got a project going right now. And the project I'd like to spend the most money on? Yarn-collecting. I could spend an absolute fortune at places like Expression Fiber Arts (some of whose yarns are shown here, along with link right here) and then just stroke and rub my cheek on the wool that comes to my house, before I ever start knitting. Heh. Yarn collecting is definitely a hobby, trust me. 3) Tony was a proud son of New Jersey. Many singers hail from The Garden State, including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi and Frank Sinatra. What heroes, heroines or celebrities hail from your home state? I'm from New York. Shall we say at least a good 30%? No? Okay, I'll put some work in. Stay right there. I'll be back. Y'all. I got lost. That is a long list! I'm only going to post a small smattering of original-New Yorkers here, who are only names I know. Semi-random draw from that subset: (a) Iron Man himself, Robert Downey, Jr. (b) Scarlett Johansson aka "ScarJo" (c) the beautiful Kerry Washington (d) ooh! Claire Danes! I've loved her since her "My So-Called Life" days (e) oh, another one I love: Lucy Liu, who I admired on Kill Bill & Charlie's Angels, among other things (f) Diane Lane (g) Ahh, here's the one on this list I was waiting for, who I knew would be there: Alicia Keys (h) Julia Stiles, about whom they're always making false claims (random people online, don't know who or why) that she's out of work, out of money, homeless, you name it. Always liked her (i) another big crush: Lenny Kravitz, and finally (j) (so hard to narrow this last slot down!) Whoopi Goldberg 4) Though Tony dreamed of becoming a commercial artist, he had to drop out of school in his teens to help support his family. Looking back on your teen years, what did you want to do for a living? Is that what you ended up doing? When I was a tween and a teenager, I wanted desperately to be a marine biologist. At 17, I was accepted to the marine science + biology double major Bachelor and Doctoral program at UMiami. I got the bachelor's degree in three years and always jokingly whined I got my degree before I was "legal." Anyway, by that point, the shark researcher I wanted to do my Ph.D. with had lost his funding for graduate students, which left me up shit's creek without a paddle. I had to pivot. Since I was only 20, I had plenty of time, but I was always in a hurry for everything. I started busting my hump preparing for the GRE, on which I eventually earned nearly a perfect score. I wrote to several professors/labs saying I wanted work with them, etc., even there was really only one. That one wrote me back and told me what I needed to bone up on in order to get into his lab - and I got in. Long story short, I wanted to be a marine biologist, I was a marine biologist. Until I left to go be wife and mom. 5) During WWII, Tony served in Germany. The first time his voice was broadcast was during an aircheck for Armed Forced Radio. For the occasion he sang "St. James Infirmary." That was Tony's first. Let's contrast it with your last. What's the most recent song you sang? Chloë, Noah and I semi-sorta-kinda sang "Nothing Compares 2 U," along with Sinéad O'Connor, through our Echo Pop last night. Also this photograph just nearly made me start bawling. 6) After the War, Bob Hope saw him perform under his real name, Anthony Benedetto. Hope told him that, no matter how great his talent, his name would hold him back because it was too long for a marquee. And so, Tony Bennett was born. Tell us about a marquee in your town. Is it announcing a movie, play, or concert performance? Well, there are the movie marquees advertising movies, especially Barbie & Oppenheimer, of course. But I'm waiting for something new to come out, or a few things, because the family and I want to drive about 2½ hours to the nearest drive-in theater for a double-header, and they're not so interested in those two. Someone let me know when things change! 7) In 2006, he recorded his Duets album, partnering with a variety of singers he admired. Tony said he enjoyed working with Paul McCartney at London's Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles created their classic recordings. If you vacationed in London, what would you be sure to visit? I'm such a tourist! Among other things, I'd have to go to Buckingham palace to see the changing of the guard. That and seeing Big Ben would be on my must list. 8) "I've Got Your Number" was performed by Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore on The Dick Van Dyke Show. According to Dick, they were so believable as a married couple that he received glares from a hotel clerk while checking in with his real-life wife, Margie. What TV or movie couple do you feel had "chemistry?" Hmm... what about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie in Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Whaaaaat? Too soon? 9) Special summertime random question: Would you have more fun at a pro baseball game or an art museum exhibit? I could have a lot of fun at either. I love going to a baseball game, but it's kind of sunny and hot for me (bad for me to be out in for hours, with my autoimmune problems), so maybe I should stick with an art museum for now - like one of these 3D museums? I've always wanted to go to Lisbon, Portugal! ~*~*~*~*~ Well, I hope you all have a tremendously wonderful weekend. If you have plans outside, stay safe and wear sunblock. TTFN! (Haven't said that in centuries, haha) Fin. Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hello and good evening. This lovely lady here, of course, is the late Dinah Shore who, I just learned, was a frequent companion of the late Burt Reynolds of Smokey and the Bear fame, which is one of the earliest movies I can remember watching. There's your useless trivia (about me, that is) for this week. Why don't you consider playing on your own blahg, and linking up here? We'd love to have you! Let's get it started: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To (1943) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. 1) In this song, Dinah Shore goes on about listening to the breeze. Is it windy, breezy, or still where you are today? It's sunny, hot, and very still. 2) The August moon is bright in Dinah's musical fantasy. Let's look at your calendar. Is anything special coming up in August (birthdays, anniversaries, vacation getaways...)? Let's see. Rob's (Hubs) birthday is at the tail end of the month, so that's the most important thing. There is a county fair and the State Fair that we want to check out. Oh, and we have tickets to the Taco Festival out in Ocean City, so of course that's big excitement. And I just better get to swim in the ocean at least once! <>< <>< <>< <>< <>< 3) Dinah was one of TV's pioneers. Her first show was a 15-minute variety show that ran two nights/week in 1951. What's the most recent show you watched? . I am getting ready to turn Netflix on to watch something else (don't know what yet) "here in a minute," as Hubs would say, but the latest thing I've seen was more House. Chloë and I have been watching together whenever possible for months, and we're f i n a l l y in the middle of the last (8th) season. Whew! This better be a doozie! 4) She followed that in 1956 with the "Dinah Shore Chevy Show." It was an hour long and sponsored by the car company. At the end of every show Dinah encouraged her viewers to "see the USA in your Chevrolet..." Today Chevrolets are still the most popular cars manufactured by General Motors. Tell us about your car. I have a '21 Honda Odyssey. She's red, and I named her Ruby. I'm keeping her as clean as possible, although she could use a vacuuming and maybe a wipe-down inside. LOL. I call her my spaceship because in place of regular gear shift mechanisms, including the starter, there are just buttons inside. Buttons for a lot of things. Sometimes I need to do several things at once and get overwhelmed for a second, not gonna lie! But I love her; she's the coolest car. 5) From 1970 to 1991, Dinah hosted daytime TV talk shows and found tremendous success, winning 6 Emmy Awards and repeatedly appearing in the Gallup Poll of America's most admired women. Do you remember her? Not really. Just her name. I'm sorry. 6) Dinah was such an avid golfer that, in 1972, she founded one of the LPGA's major tournaments. Though now officially titled The Chevron Championship, it's still often referred to as "The Dinah Shore" in her memory. Do you golf? If not, would you like to learn? I liked it and did alright in high school, but haven't played since. That was a different day; I don't think I could manage it these days, and it doesn't interest me much now. 7) In 1943, when "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To" was popular, so were tablecloths. It was common to have cotton tablecloths for everyday use, fun and festive ones for 4th of July and Christmas, and linen for formal occasions. Do you use tablecloths in your home? We have one or two, just for festive occasions. 8) Beatle George Harrison was born in 1943. Which of the Fab Four is your favorite? I really don't have much familiarity with George or Ringo, except for "Got My Mind Set On You" in the 80s. So I think in all fairness, it would have to be between Paul and John. I adore a lot of John's lyricism and emotional expression in his music, but I didn't get to "know" him, either. Not that his being assassinated should take him out of the running; it doesn't. That just means I got to see fewer years of his personality. That said, he always seems/ed quite serious to me. Whereas Paul, I've seen, has often been clearly capable of having a righteously good time. I like someone who can take themself seriously and also poke fun at themself or otherwise enjoy their time, alternately. To me, that Beatle is Paul. Paul, you are the strongest link. 9) Random question: Would you rather live on a houseboat or in a trailer? Oh, come now. You all should know my answer to that! I would live in a houseboat over a trailer any day of the week. With my nomadic brain and bent, my love for being on - and in - the water, and loving change and new adventures, being a liveaboard would be a natural choice. I love being aboard a small boat and being rocked to sleep each night (or nap). We actually were going to liveaboard a houseboat - a more modern one, sorta like this, not the older, stodgy kind you might think of when you hear the word - when we lived in Miami. We bought and read guidebooks, went to a boat show, talked about it at length... but at the end of the day, having several cats and dogs - not to mention three tweenagers! - just knocked the deal off the table. It seemed too dangerous for all of them and irresponsible of us to try. So that was that. ~*~*~*~*~ All right, now to find out what Netflix is recommending to me tonight. Probably one of the eleventeen shows I'm already in the middle of watching? Have a good night and a better week, folks! Fin. Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Syl, Thanks, me too! It really was so creepy. Enjoy your weekend, too! ~M
Well, well, well. Look who's here early to the party. C'est moi! I didn't want you ladies and gents to think I wasn't receiving my invitation. No, no, no... rather, it's that I'm dreadfully forgetful, I nap a lot, and I sleep in even more. This week's questions from Ms. Samantha revolve around Diana Ross's song, "Touch Me in the Morning," which I have just listened to for the first time. It's beautiful. Take a listen. And if you're going to participate this weekend (which you definitely should), link up here. Let's hop to it. ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Touch Me in the Morning (1973) Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here. 1) In this song, Diana Ross sings that nothing good lasts forever. Do you agree? The optimist in me could make a million different arguments against this sentiment, but at the end of the day, I'd have to hang my head and agree. But what about the converse, nothing bad lasts forever? Also true? 2) She sings about a happy past with her lover, and the strength she'll need to face tomorrow alone. Do you find yourself more often remembering the past or anticipating the future? At 46, I find myself smack in the middle of doing both. These kids here are now 18, 20, and 21; I was reminiscing about their little kid-hood yesterday. And then, being disabled -- especially with the expectation that things will progress -- I look around the house all the time and point out improvements we'll need to do (or just think it), or I wonder what I'd do without Hubs, God forbid, or just a lot of that. 3) In the 1970s, Diana Ross had young daughters. To spend maximum time with her girls, she would sleep all day when they were in school. That way she could have dinner with them, bathe them and put them to bed before going to the studio and recording all night. Have you ever worked the night shift? Well, not truly. I worked as the overnight nurse for a guy who became a good friend for many years, but we won't get into that now. I could sleep then, though. And I worked until midnight, sometimes 1 AM for a couple of jobs, like when I worked at this Larry's Ice Cream shop back in 1998-1999. Oh, the stories! I got fired because I'd been accepted into my Ph.D. program, and "I'd be leaving soon"!!!! The tips were great, though. José Canseco was an a--hole and did not tip at all. (Which was fine, his prerogative, but it wasn't the tiplessness that made him an AH, and I did bend over backward for him.) 4) Diana has five children altogether. There's a 16-year age difference between her oldest daughter, Rhonda, and her youngest son, Evan. Studies have shown that when there's a big gap between siblings, parents consider the older kids "built-in babysitters." In your family, were the older kids ever in charge of the younger ones? Look at that picture above again. You tell me. Haha. Actually, we would put Chloë "in charge" of the threesome when we had to go places like the Emergency Department or a quick grocery run, but only because someone had to be in charge and the eldest made the most sense. There's only 3.5 years between oldest and youngest. She'd have been 12-13-14 at that point. 5) She says her favorite sweet treat is Famous Amos Chocolate Chip Cookies. Do you have a favorite cookie? Those are a good snack sometimes. I usually got those out when it was snacktime after donating blood. But I much prefer the Nestlé Tollhouse chocolate chip cookies I (used to) make myself. 6) Around the time she recorded this song, Diana Ross considered making a movie called The Bodyguard. She was to play a singer who received death threats, and Steve McQueen would portray the man hired to protect her. Scheduling conflicts prevented the movie from being made. It wasn't filmed until 1992, and then with different stars. Without looking it up, can you name the stars of The Bodyguard? Aaaaabsolutely. Whitney Houston & the guy who's back in the news, Kevin Costner 7) In 1973, when this song was #1, Norman Mailer was atop the best-seller list with his controversial biography of Marilyn Monroe. Do you often read biographies and memoirs? Not really. I've read a few, but not too many. I don't know why that is. 8) Also in 1973, another Motown singer, Stevie Wonder, was injured in an automobile crash and still has a scar on his nose to show for it. Have you ever been in a car accident? I have been in a few. The biggest one, off the top of my head, was when: Dad rented a minivan to get me and all my stuff back for year #2 of college. We had to go from Aiken, S.C., to Miami, FL. He wanted to go in one long stretch that wasn't marked by too much traffic, so we left around 3:30 AM - or as Rob says, zero-dark-thirty. We'd been on the road about an hour, and it was still, of course, pitch black outside in the dead of South Carolina, in the middle of nowhere. I had just started to fall asleep, as I'd been excited to finally be getting out of my dad's! All of a sudden, BAM!!! Something hit us on the driver's rear bumper pretty hard. Hard enough that we went into something of a tailspin, and I remember to this day hearing my scream as if it was coming from somewhere outside my body. So simultaneously, we're spinning horizonally; one-by-one our tires are popping; and, we've slid down a ravine and wouldn't be visible from the road even if were day. I'm not sure at what point I stopped screaming. I'm not sure when I realized my dad was in some level of shock. Probably when the first thing ended, and I became aware of my boombox having been ejected into the brush around the van through a broken window and the only audible sound the eerie music it was playing as it hung from out there somewhere, only then did I start to take stock and realize Dad wasn't entirely with me. In my exaggerated state of disappointment over possibly not getting back to school (living with him isn't easy), and really only wanting to get out of where we were at that instant, I tried to hand him his car phone (this was 1995) and have him call friends from church. He couldn't do it. Or wouldn't, but I think, now, couldn't is more correct. Maybe he bumped his head? I knew I had to take it upon myself to get us out of there. When I started to see a trucker's lights coming down our way, I reached over and honked. No, that is a lie. I reached over and leaned on that horn until I could see for certain that we had been noticed and they were going to be stopping to help. They really had to cut some brush away from the car in order to open the door and lift us out! Meanwhile, down the road, a conversation between a father and his very drunk son was going, in part, like this: "Son, what did you do? You've got to go back!" And the Dad drove him back, and the cops were called, and we were all interviewed for what seemed like an interminable amount of time, before Dad and I, and all my stuff, were taken back to my dad's house to regroup - by that driver's dad! He was a peach. I wonder if his son kept up his drunkenness behind the wheel? The officers told us that if any ONE of those four tires hadn't blown out, we could've been toast. Anyway, that's most of one story. Sorry it wasn't too short. 9) Random Question: What's the last thing you borrowed or lent? Your time. ~*~*~*~*~ I hope you have a loverly weekend with much better weather than what we're promised! Fin. Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hey, everyone. Been looking through pictures of Shawn Mendes for the last little while for the right one to share with you, and let me tell you, it's been difficult. I mean, yeah, I'm a cis-het reddish-blooded American woman with eyes, and as far as I know, Shawn is a cis-het Canadian man who looks like that... And that's the problem. A. I'm married. B. There's a significant age spread. And C. my oldest daughter is one of his biggest fans! Needless to say, he's a good-looking specimen who can carry a tune. Where even was I?!! I'm just going to drop the link here if you want to go read the entries of those far wittier than I, and get right innit. ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Mercy (2013) Unfamiliar with this week's tune? Hear it here. Or here! 1) In this song, Shawn Mendes pleads with the girl he loves to be careful with his heart. Clearly he feels she's more important to him than he is to her. Do you believe that, in every relationship, someone always loves more? Probably. But I think it likely goes back and forth in waves. Sometimes it's one, sometimes it's the other, sometimes it's more equal (probably at the beginning, or in times of crisis, at least for the couples that aren't torn apart by it). 2) He says that he'd willingly drive through the night just to be near her. Do you enjoy your time behind the wheel? Or do you consider driving necessary but not necessarily pleasurable? I love driving my red "spaceship," Ruby. But I get so tired so easily, now, I either have to bring my back-up driver, Rob, at all times, or we know I'm never going to drive on a particular trip at all. Even if it's just around the corner. It sucks. My 2021 Honda Odyssey Touring has so many fun bells and whistles, and I still haven't learned some of them! 3) He acknowledges that she has good intentions, but she hurt him anyway. Can you think of a time when you unintentionally hurt someone's feelings? All the time. I am constantly sticking my foot in my mouth. I'm pretty dumb that way. 4) Shawn Mendes was a serious skateboarder during his high school years. Crazy Sam admits she's never even been on a skateboard. How about you? Are you more like Shawn or Sam, or are you somewhere in between? I was friends with some skateboarders back in my college days, and I always admired what they could do on a board. And what that board could do to me! So I never got on. And then our youngest youngster asked for a skateboard couple years ago, so of course I decided to see what was so scary. I'll tell you what: there is no braking about it. Those are my favorite feature of any moving object. Except maybe a ball. In fact, you know what, a ball should look into brakes, too, insurance rates being what they are. So anyway, I put one foot on there, it started to move, and I got off and noped right out of that situation! 5) While in his teens, he taught himself to play guitar while watching YouTube videos. Do you spend a lot of time on YouTube? If yes, what type of videos do you watch most often? I've spent about 5/8ths of my time watching various types of musical videos, 3/8ths of my time watching some sort of craft tutorial, a minute smidge of a sliver in there watching random other stuff. Note, though, that this all doesn't amount to a huge amount of time: I hate videos. I do my best to accomplish 38 things at once, and 6) When he's traveling or busy working, Shawn eats cold cereal for every meal -- breakfast, lunch and dinner. He says it's fast, tasty, and better than the fast food he'd grab otherwise. Will you be getting any meals "to go" this weekend? I've got a bit of an upset stomach from doing that very thing yesterday, so I don't know that I want any meals right now! Take that kind of naughty talk somewhere else. 7) In 2016, the year this song was popular, Game of Thrones was TV's hottest show. Were you a fan? Never watched a moment. 8) Also in 2016, a German shorthaired pointer won Best in Show at the Westminster Dog Show. Tell us about a dog who holds a special place in your heart. Oh, my gosh, how much time have ya got? Paco has got to be my favorite dog ever, and we've had a few. He's going to be NINE YEARS OLD in three days, and he's definitely greying up now. But he still runs around playing with his toys with the energy of a puppy, tears up and down the stairs like nothing hurts him (maybe it doesn't? Blame good nutrition and DNA, I guess), and makes us laugh constantly. He's cute as a button - look at him! Amirite?! - and always makes mom and dad feel special, too. I made up that last part just to say because I needed to finish out that list of three things! 9) Random question: What's the subject line of the top email in your spam folder? It says: "Adam Schiff is *concerned* Melanie" Well, someone go help the lad out, will ya? I'm over here clutching my tum. ~*~*~*~*~ Have a great weekend, every last one of you! Fin. Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Welcome to the jungle. I've been trying to write this post since Friday, but between some serious anemia and a whole of a whole lot going on, it just hasn't happened 'til now: Sunday morning. Would you expect anything different? Lots has happened, maybe, so that I don't want to say too much more in case I accidentally bump up against a question that addresses such a thing. You know how it is. So if you haven't already linked up your post, here is where to go. Let's do this thing, latecomers, you and I! ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: Over There (1942) ... because it's 4th of July Unfamiliar with this rendition? Hear it here. 1) George M. Cohan wrote this song in 1917, inspired by our country's entry into WWI. It was not only popular with the young men who enlisted, it was reassuring to their families. Tell us about a time when music was a comfort to you. Oh, right away, I thought back to the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic when Lady Gaga and Global Citizen organized this worldwide concert for all of our doctors and nurses and other medical personal, who were being sung to and applauded, and then finally this YouTube concert, in 2020, of course. I definitely found some solace in it. 2) "Over There" was revived at the start of WWII, and President Franklin Roosevelt cited this song specifically when he awarded Cohan with the Congressional Gold Medal. What's your favorite patriotic song? Oh, ask me this tomorrow, and you may get a different answer. But today, this one's for my dearly departed grandfather. You see, when I was 16 or so, Grandpa had a major heart attack, which required a sextuple bypass. But they gave him pretty stiff and stern instructions for healthy eating and activity if he wanted to stay alive, and he was bound and determined that that was what he was going to do. And for his activity, he got himself a Walkman, a JP Sousa cassette (or three), and would either walk around their neighborhood or a local park. I went with him several times, which was an occasion because: (a) he had headphones on, so I couldn't hear his music or talk to him, and (b) he ACTUALLY did march. And his ticker lasted almost another 20 years. ♥ He was the real deal. ♥ 3) This rendition of the song is from the 1942 film, Yankee Doodle Dandy. James Cagney won an Oscar for his performance as George M. Cohan. Also nominated that year was Gary Cooper, who portrayed a different Yankee, Lou Gehrig, in Pride of the Yankees. Tell us about a movie biography you have enjoyed. I rather liked Monster, the bio in which Charlize Theron played actual sexually abused kid - turned homeless teen - turned sexworker - turned six-time convicted murderer, Aileen Wuornos. Ms. Wuornos died on death row in the town of Starke, Florida, a town I used to drive through fairly frequently. This isn't a terribly patriotic answer. 4) Cagney had a rebellious streak. His boss, studio head Jack Warner, nicknamed Cagney, "The Professional Againster." Cagney joked that he was proud of the title. How about you? Are you rebellious? I prefer to say I'm MISCHIEVOUS! 5) In the clip linked above, a woman sings with Cagney. Her name was Frances Langford, nicknamed the "GI Nightingale" because during WWII she performed for the troops at bases throughout Europe, North Africa and the South Pacific. Do you have any nicknames? Well, aside from Smellyann, which most of you will know and which I'm trying to unchain myself from, what else is there? Does Wifey count? What about Mom! Mommy! Mama! Mum! Lois! Mother! 6) In 1942, when audiences were enjoying this performance of "Over There" in movie theaters, the fashion trend was for mothers and their young daughters to wear identical dresses. Moms would buy lots of fabric and patterns for the same casual day dress in both their own sizes and their little girls'. Can you sew? I am miserable at the craft. But two summers ago, Noah asked for a sewing machine and classes, and new neither is getting used much. I'm hoping to buy them some fabric and patterns soon to give them a bit of inspiration, whenever that magical date is that money isn't so tight. 7) The Fourth of July means we're in the middle of summer. Are you careful about applying sunscreen? Not as careful as I KNOW I ought to be! 8) Mosquito bites an be a major summer annoyance. Are you scratching any itches right now? Shhh! No, but don't jinx me! 9) Celebrity chef Rachael Ray says she considers mini-hamburgers, or "sliders," the All-American food. What will you be eating this 4th of July? OH, please no. I've had an upset stomach for days. I don't even want to think about, much less eat, any food! So... TUMS. Hope you'll all fare better, if you're celebrating! ~*~*~*~*~ On the other hand, I may be going to fireworks shows tonight, tomorrow, and the 4th, just to watch the explosions. All the different towns around here are giving them at different days and times. Fun, fun. Would y'all do that, even during these tumultuous times in our country? Stay safe, 'Murica. Fin. Continue reading
Posted Jul 2, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Hi folks! You may ask me, Melanie, do you know it's currently 23 minutes into Sunday? And I tell you, yes, I do. The days tend to go like that for me. Often have. But I try not to just roll over and forget about it, so here I am just starting Saturday 9, right? The singer of this week's song is Lenny Kravitz, of whom I have long been a fan. Since before his remake of "American Woman," "Fly Away." Since before he played Cinna on The Hunger Games. And so on. Lenny's been on my radar a long time, because I grew up as a big fan of The Jeffersons, and of course Roxie Roker (who played Helen Willis) was his real-life mother, so that would have been some point of knowledge I'd have looked up or come across at some point. Anyway, that son of Roxie's is now 59, and the photo above is of him now! Can we all take a moment to just appreciate? And after that, if you haven't participated in this weekend's meme, please link up here if you plan to do so. We'd all be happy to have you join us! So let's get to it: ~*~*~*~*~ Saturday 9: It Ain't Over 'Til It's Over (1991) Unfamiliar with this week's song? Hear it here. 1) In this song, Lenny Kravitz sings about all the tears he's cried over this relationship. Scientists theorize that human tears fall into two categories: emotional and irritant. "Emotional tears" are most often shed over physical pain, empathy, compassion, depression, and anger/frustration. Think about the last time you cried. What triggered your tears? The last time I cried? Definitely over physical pain. I have both Fibromyalgia and Lupus, ++ lots more. The pain's been pretty intense these last few weeks, so it's been a struggle to get ahead of it. The other morning, I just could not contain the tears. 2) We also cry "irritant tears," which means we well up when a foreign particle gets in our eye. Over-the-counter drops can help. What's the last thing you bought at the drugstore? Was it a medication (OTC or prescription) or something else entirely? One of my fingernails keeps splitting vertically (since Christmastime), so I finally gave in and bought this Sally Hansen Repair and Rescue. I'm bound and determined to overcome this problem! 3) TV actresses have played a big part in Lenny Kravitz' life. His mother was Roxie Roker, who played the neighbor Helen on The Jeffersons. His wife (and the inspiration for this song) was Lisa Bonet, who played one of the daughters on The Cosby Show. Their daughter, Zoë Kravitz, appeared in the HBO series Big Little Lies. What TV series do you never tire of, and could watch again and again? There aren't many such shows, I don't think, but I do love me some "Golden Girls." Especially if it's, y'know, 3 AM and I have cheesecake in the ol' icebox. 4) Thinking of Big Little Lies ... Zoe Kravitz co-starred with Nicole Kidman. Shortly after Kidman divorced Tom Cruise, she dated Lenny Kravitz. Have you ever been curious about a partner's past love? A little maybe, but not too too much. Unless my partner refuses to tell me anything. Then I find that interesting, and want to dig and start asking questions. Why not tell me anything if that's past and nothing awful happened? I'm not asking your private business, after all. 5) Lenny Kravitz and Today Show weatherman Al Roker are second cousins (their grandfathers were brothers). Do you turn to a TV weatherman for the forecast? Or do you check a website or app? 6) Also a talented photographer, Lenny's work has been displayed at the Leica Gallery in Wetzlar, Germany. What's the most recent photo you took? That would be this photo of Chloë Raine I snapped at our Pride celebration yesterday, while she and I were waiting for the rest of our crew to be ready to go. I thought she looked beautiful. 7) In 1991, when this song was popular, Murray Bicycles were the top seller among younger set. Popularity is fleeting, though. By 2004, the company filed for bankruptcy and no longer produces bicycles. Was your bike a big part of your summer when you were a kid? Oh, yes! I rode my bike everywhere. I remember it as a bit like this one, without all the Disneyfication. I had streamers, I think a bell, and for a while there, from 5-6 years old, I had training wheels. When we moved from the Hudson Valley area to outside of Syracuse, I was so determined I was going to learn to ride without the trainers. I knew they were giving me a fall sense of security, and I knew they were just holding me back, even if I couldn't vocalize as much. So while our giant moving truck was still in front of the house, I asked my dad to remove the training wheels. And then, I rode around and around the moving truck just within reach but on my own. Every so often, I'd wobble, and I'd grab that truck for support. I must have gone around the truck that way fifty times... But on the 51st time, I let go! And I was off to see the world neighborhood! 8) Also in 1991, Gene Roddenberry died. Mr. Roddenberry is best known as the creator of Star Trek. Who's your favorite Star Trek character? Truthfully, I've never watched an episode of "Star Trek" a day in my life, so I really have no business answering this one. As for cast, I do love Patrick Stewart and George Takei, though. Oh, MY! 9) Random Question: How do you think your high school classmates remember you? I don't know; I wonder IF they will remember me. I was kind of meek and blent into the shadows, I think, in large swathes of of my graduating class population. Many of them wouldn't know me if they were shaking my hand and looking at my name tag at a reunion, I'm sure of it. On the other hand, I think fondly of my high school friends and have many great memories from those times, including our reunions. I hope they can say the same. ~*~*~*~*~ Welp, that's a wrap! and Now it's time to eat some Cheesy Bake, a dish I invented that now the kids and Hubs are starting to make their own versions of. So I'll be noshing on some of Noah's, then bed. G'night! Fin. Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2023 at MelaniePenelope
Oh yes, Susan, I would be with you on that tummy zapper in a heartbeat if there were such a thing! Is there an app for that? Right now I have my desktop in my office, two laptops in front of me here in bed (I'm clearing the older one so it can find a new home), and my Galaxy S21 Ultra. Plenty well connected. Trying to be jealous of oldest kid & Hubs who have the S23s though, hah! Thanks for popping in!
Toggle Commented Jun 19, 2023 on Saturday 9: Beautiful Boy at MelaniePenelope