Sunday, April 27, 2008

Boobs, tatas, funbags ~ Thelma and Louise


Somethings I know to be true. This is one of them: Women check out other women. In this photo, I believe Sophia Loren is checking out the bedangling breasticles of Jane Mansfield or some other heart break of a story platinum blonde from Hollywood gone by.

We can't help it. I have a heapin' helping of the mamms and I still look at the protuberances on other women. I don't envy their size. However, I might give a discreet eye roll to those I can detect are enhanced. Or, I might wearily wish my girls could remain 'way up firm and high.' Ten months of breast feeding Man-cub took a toll on Thelma and Louise.

Because I don't have glorious gams I tend to gaze upon women who do have legs worth celebrating. My legs are long. To quote Steve Urkel, "she has legs that go alllll the way to the floor." Seriously, I do have long legs. Sadly, genetics cursed me with hefty thighs, knobby, fat knees and calves that would better suit a ham hock. Shorts are demonic fashions. Thank the gods of mercantile for capris or I'd be at a loss. Sadly, this situation leaves me at a loss when it comes time for going for a dip. I can only hope that those accompanying me look worse than I do in swimwear (or drunk enough not to care). I'd sooner go for a skinny dip in the dark than wear a swimsuit in broad daylight. My buoys would deter anyone from looking at the atrocity that is my legs.

When summertime approaches I long for the days of old. Take the swimwear styles of vintage era and combine it with the high tech, super fabrics of today. I'd be a bathing beauty if that were the case. With my weight loss endeavor I am hoping I can find a bathing suit top that will give the boobalas ample coverage and support while I don the surf shorts I've seen hip girls wearing on the beach and at the water parks. I don't proclaim to be hip, but I do declare that I'm not a granny panty wearing old broad willing to sit in the shade.

Always a weiner; Nuts to you!




The most recent Stuck in the 80s podcast is my inspiration for the above photos. I can't take full credit for their discovery. Myspace friend Ebonyeyez had these posted in her photo albums. I just couldn't resist snagging them and using them for my own purpose. She has fantastic finds tucked away in her photo albums.


If you haven't checked out the Stuck in the 80s blog and podcast I have to ask. WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR? You can download it from the blog or find it on iTunes. It's not hard and I promise that you'll laugh until you snort.


This week, Sean Daly discusses an incredibly embarrassing moment when he goes to the doctor to have his man junk checked out. For Sean, it's not unusual for him to talk about personal things on the podcast. Like, when his Forever Fiancee gave birth to their second daughter. However, this adventure gives the listener insight to a whole new side of the adorable SIT80s co-host and music critic of the St. Pete Times.


Host Steve Spears digs into the mailbag and hands over the execution of reading the letters on the air to Sean. Again, hilarity ensues when the 'angriest email ever' is read. Great music accompanies the letters and commentaries. Hear Sean insist that Steve not engage in any carnal relations with fans while on a possible Vegas 80s style trip in early August. He doesn't say a thing about declaring it improper during a proposed Tampa Stuck in the 80s extravaganza, though. There's still hope for me! I'm their self-proclaimed numero uno groupie.



Friday, April 25, 2008

Blogthings, I think I love you

Guess who's bored!? Moi. So, I ventured over to that pesky site known as blogthings.com. Blast them for this minor, probably short lived addiction!

I'm not really familiar with this cat:




Who Should Paint You: Alfred Gockel



All American yet funky, you inspire an artist's imagination

And while not everyone will understand your portrait, you will!



What Artist Should Paint Your Portrait?
I'm not really sure how this came about. I've been told I'm a classic, but never classical.





You Are Classical Music



You are a somewhat serious person who enjoys studying subjects deeply.

Art of all kinds interests you, and a good piece of art can really effect you emotionally.

You are inspired by human achievement, and you appreciate work that takes years to accomplish.

For you, the finer things in life are not about snobbery - they're about quality.



Aha! Something I can agree with (even though I don't really like S'mores)


You Are Smores



Unusual and unconventional, you make your strange ways work for you.

You've got personality - no one's denying that!





Somebody's watchin' meeeee... and I never touch something that tastes like sock sweat. Spewwww




You Are Tequila



When you drink, you're serious about getting drunk!

You'll take any shot that's offered up to you...

Even if it tastes like sock sweat!

And you're never afraid of eating the worm.





Yo bra ~ you fit

This is such exciting and fantastical news that I have to shout it out to the world. Well, at least the half a dozen or so folks who read this blog.

A bra that didn't fit me 3 months ago is gently cradling my bosom as I type this. Thelma and Louise aren't trying to escape from the bottom, top or sides of the cups. I am absolutely delighted. I'm jumping for joy! And look, ma! My tits didn't flop out!

Friday Frivolity ~ Rissology

People often ask me my opinion on things. Depending on my mood, it could be a serious dissertation on the subject matter flung my way or some smart assed, one liner that leaves my audience wondering if I'm serious or drunk. Here are some examples of the latter. These are Rissisms or meandering thoughts I'll call Rissology:
* While talking to a small group of people (the subject matter I can't recall), one of the doctors says, "You know, what Marissa calls me." without a beat I reply, "Bitch?"
* "Be who you is"
* On men: "You can't live with 'em, and you can't bury a hole deep enough not to get caught."
* Regarding a chubby co-worker's inability to wear shirts that fit. Me: "are you really that broke?" Her: "What do you mean?" Me: "You couldn't afford the other half of that shirt?"
* Eat one cookie now; or, eat the entire bag when no one is looking.
* There is a right way to replace the toilet paper.
* I know a lot of songs, but I rarely know the right lyrics.
* "Everybody has a passion for something. Some of us simply can't narrow it down to one thing."
* "If life is like a box of chocolates; then someone poked holes in the bottoms to see which kind they don't want. It's a good thing I'm not picky."
* "I like my men how I like my coffee: Ground up and put in the freezer."
* I am not a homicidal maniac.
* It does NOT make you go blind, but you'll get pink eye if you don't wash your hands afterwards.
* Driving and texting do not mix.
* People need to disconnect themselves from their cell phones. It bothers me that you can't talk to me without checking your cell phone every 3 minutes for an incoming message that is clearly more appealing than I am to you. Have fun with your phone -- refer to pink eye comment.

* This song is stuck in my head. Now it's stuck in your head. We're all Stuck in the 80s. HA!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

David Cook's Analog Heart ripped from Amazon's chest




Per the norm, I'm a day late and a dollar short. This is something I noticed while visiting my favorite shopping site Amazon.com. I think it was Sunday when I was downloading music and I had to chuckle that American Idol 7 front-runner David Cook's digital album was outselling the shriekfest of Mariah Carey. Despite all the advertising for Carey's new E=MC2, AI's resident rocker (and now balladier) was outselling Carey. Funny. A heart kicked an ass. WOOT!


So, I have to plead for the reasons why this was done. I've been reading numerous blogs written by AI and David Cook devotees and I have yet to uncover the justification. Tons of speculation, but nothing clear cut. Brooke White and Carly Smithson have digital CDs for sale as of right now. Their tunes have not been pulled. They, of course, were not in the number one position on Amazon's MP3s. Conspiracy? American Idol producers chafed they weren't raking in on the deal? Mariah's people didn't like seeing their princess being beat by an American Idol contestant? Perhaps David was a gentleman and requested it be pulled so Ms. Carey wouldn't be embarrassed. Afterall, he kicked "Always Be My Baby" into another level with a new arrangement.


I like the style David is taking now in comparison to that of his 2006 SELF produced Analog Heart. It's not to say it was bad by any stretch. It's just more throaty and gritty. He's obviously worked on his vocals to expand his range.


C'mon! Somebody give me answers. I'm just a lowly blogger without much resource. The truth is out there. ::cue X-Files theme song::

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Frivolity to offset the stream of consciousness

Aw, shucks!


People Envy Your Compassion



You have a kind heart and an unusual empathy for all living creatures. You tend to absorb others' happiness and pain.

People envy your compassion, and more importantly, the connections it helps you build. And compassionate as you are, you feel for them.


Well, I do love to snark



You Should Be a Joke Writer



You're totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.

Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...

You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.

You have the makings of a great comedian - or comedic writer.


I've been called worse


You Are 20% Weirdo



Your thinking is so in line with the mainstream, it's pretty freaky.

Have you ever considered running for political office?

You're so normal, people can't help but feel comfortable with you!


I can totally live with this


You Are Ani Difranco!



Honest, real, and well liked.

You're not limited by any boundaries.

"And you can call me crazy

But I think you're as lazy as white paint on the wall"


Jeez, thank God something cheery happened. ME! ha.


In 1965 (the year you were born)



Lyndon B. Johnson is president of the US



Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara calls for a nationwide network of bomb shelters



Former leader of the Black Muslims, Malcolm X, is shot and killed in New York City



To protest voting rights discrimination, civil rights demonstrators begin a march for Selma to Montgomery with federal troop protection



The first commercial satellite, Early Bird, is launched into space by Nasa to transmit telephone and television signals



Voting Rights Act is signed into law



Riots by young blacks in the Watts area of Los Angeles begin, causing $200 million in damage



Hurricane Betsy claims 75 lives in southern Florida and Louisiana



United States President Lyndon Johnson proclaims his "Great Society" during his State of the Union address



Dr. Dre, Sarah Jessica Parker, Robert Downey Jr., Shania Twain, Moby, and Ben Stiller are born



Los Angeles Dodgers win the World Series



Green Bay Packers win the NFL championship



Montreal Canadiens win the Stanley Cup



The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews, is the top grossing film



Dune by Frank Herbert is published



The Beatles' Rubber Soul is released



"Satisfaction" by Rolling Stones is a top hit



The Beatles appear on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing songs from their new album Help!



Sony introduces the Betamax, a home video tape recorder



Nearly all of NBC's programs are now broadcast in color



I Dream of Jeannie premieres


This is just scary beyond words


You Are a Ferris Wheel



Deep down, you are a fun, whimsical, and easygoing person.

You often enjoy life for what it is, and the littlest changes in course can be quite thrilling.

In relationships, people tend to feel what you feel. It can be liberating at first...

But after a while, the people closest to you end up feeling a little trapped.



Your life has perfectly normal cycles of ups and downs.

However, you can't help but sometimes feel that you're missing out on the most exciting aspects of life.

You only are happy when you're experiencing the highest of highs.

Your low points just make you feel depressed, restless, and bored.



At your best, you feel on top of the world with a great sense of perspective.

You believe that anything is possible, and that you are happily looking down on everyone else.

At your worst, you feel like your life is going in circles. You often feel like you're not going anywhere.

This is sometimes psychologically disorienting. And sometimes it brings on a sense of hopelessness.

Neurosis Rewind


I'm the youngest daughter of eight children. There are two additional boys via father's second marriage post madre's passing. Confused? Don't be. The only thing in consideration for this ramble is this fact: There are five daughters in my clan. I am the youngest. I am the only brunette, green eyed girl. The elder four are beautiful blondes with blue eyes. You'd think I'd be a stand out based on aesthetics alone. However, from this girly's point of view, I was lost in a sea of confusion.

I'll give you a quick synopsis of why I felt overshadowed in an already hectic household.



  • Martha: The eldest daughter. The ground breaker, rule shaker. Tall, thin, blonde, blue eyed, flirty, had the world by the balls. Before I could develop memories of her living at home she was off to college and traveling the world. My recollection of her is the excitement that fluttered about the house when she'd be making a return. She was the one who had the boyfriends and excitement.
  • Karen: The nurturing sister who had a zest for life, the outdoors and kids. I was her flower girl. She made me an aunt at age 9. Very cool to be in 3rd grade and announce I had a niece. Many of my fondest memories is hanging out at the park where she was the recreation director. There was a time when each park in our town had someone to oversee activities. Karen fit the bill. She's still married to the man she wed at age 19. Four children and six grandchildren later she continues to have that verve for creating and strengthening family. Karen's home was always the playground to neighborhood kids. She organized playtime. She made it educational and exciting. She is our family's mother earth.
  • Maureen: My best friend. I was a few hours short of being born on her 10th birthday. An instant bond. Moe, as she's affectionately called, has always been a friend and mother to me. She is the level headed one. She is the hometown girl that was/is the glue to our family. Everybody loves Maureen. Accepting and loving. She is righteous. Flawed, but I hold her sense of commitment and values with great regard.
  • Mary: Mary let me hang out with her even though I was the little sister. She and her friends never made me feel like I wasn't one of them. Mary was the defiant one. She'd stand her ground and go 'round and 'round until her case was heard. Mary is also the one named after our Mom. She is the singer. She's also the shortest girl. High school musicals were her oyster. The leading lady. In our family being in a musical was everything. At least, to my childhood ears it was the end all to beat all if you were cast. Mary didn't tower over the leading men. She was the songbird. Her voice fills the heavens and hearts.

I know to all of them I managed to forge my own path. I have my own label or place in the family scheme of things. However, this is my perception of life as I knew it. This is how I cope with coming out of their shadows. Quite frankly, I have, but periodically those childhood insecurities still manage to rear their ugly heads.

I have found that, in my daily life, I continue to compare myself to others. Rather than being my own gauge for success, I weigh in for how I am assessed and revered. That's not in every aspect of my life. At work, I don't worry. I am who I am and the rest be damned. I am, without a doubt, very good at what I do for a living. Employment isn't a worry. It's within my personal latitude where I struggle.

I've never been the hot girl to date. With the exception of Junior Prom, I was dateless in high school. I was timid and shy if I wasn't in a group. I hadn't experienced a lip lock until I was 19 years old. By then I learned that my breasts and small waist would garner me attention. I allowed myself to be objectified and forgot that it was acceptable for me to prove there was more to me than an hourglass figure and a penchant for making out. I was getting attention. Remember, I grew up in an ocean of kids. Getting noticed wasn't easy.



I don't know if my parents subliminally drilled it into my head that as long as one is pretty life will be easier. I know my father would get very frustrated with me when I was in my late teens/early 20s for being too hard on myself. He hated the fact that I dated (and married) the first guy with whom I became serious. I had untapped potential, but I never fully accepted it. I wasn't ready for the challenge. I just wanted to be adored. I wasn't, but I pretended that my boyfriend did.

I have never felt like the prettiest girls. I had enough friends that didn't worry about guys to give balance to those who were never without a boyfriend. My close male friends were gay. So, they were never considered a threat. I did, however, have one friend in high school that was the drop dead gorgeous girl. She always had a boyfriend and she always 'put out' for love. I was her dorky, less than fashionable tag along friend. There was always this insistence that I change my manner of dress and thinking. I didn't know I was a fixer upper. I just knew that when walking through a bar, we'd put her first because she could divide the crowd like Moses parting the Red Sea.

One particular afternoon she and I went to Merle Norman for pre-wedding make overs. Her wedding, not mine. The cosmetic specialist was raving over how gorgeous my friend's eyes, lips, skin, and teeth were. She was fussing over the bride to be, naturally. But when she came to me, she said, "you have nice eyebrows. Do you pluck?" Now, I know I'm not the stop traffic sort of good looking girl, but I think I have more attractive features than my 'nearly never need plucking brows.' I was dying inside. I just smiled and pretended she'd told me I had perfect features.
In retrospect, I think about how many times I had been given attention from the hairier sex, but she'd go out of her way to embarrass me in front of them. With that, the blossoming girl would become the shrinking violet. I never let her know how belittling she was. I never let her see how much it hurt that her own hunger to be the center of attention caused my already ailing ego to wither.
I have always had cheerleaders in my corner. My sisters and close friends have always given me countless reasons for why they adore me. Most of my co-workers, past and present, find that working with me is always an adventure. In reviews on my performance it's always notated that "Marissa's mood directly affects the workplace." Now, I hate feeling that I have such emotional control, but it was explained to me that my personality is so big that it encompasses the entire area that I occupy. Whoa! With great power comes great responsibility, Peter Parker. With that being said, it's an oddity for me to be seen really unhappy or discontent. I battle to not let it show. As of late that doesn't apply (in the workplace). I digress.

The bottom line of this rant is that regardless of how I was raised, or with whom I was reared, I'm my own person. I'm the one at the controls. Despite the number of people in my corner, I'm powerful enough within to breakdown the greatest amount of praise with the flick of my hand. One instance of disappointment and none of the accomplishments matter one iota. What the hell is wrong with that picture?



Stuart Smalley ~ I deserve good things. I am entitled to my share of happiness. I refuse to beat myself up. I am attractive person. I am fun to be with.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Funkytown ~ GET ME OUT!

I was in funkytown when I got home from work. It happens. I allow myself a little time to wallow. Then, it's time to move forward with a better outlook. I haven't been in a funk like that in quite awhile. Maybe it's my early 40s hormones. Maybe life just bitch slaps me from time to time and, instead of bobbing and weaving, I take it. I let it smack me in the kisser with nothing but a welt to prove it. Well, I screamed (to myself) I gotta get outta this place!! I ate a healthy salad and checked out Amazon.com for free downloads. New music always gives me a lift. FREE new music makes me a scant happier. Here's the flavor of happiness for me on this night. I dare your foot to not set to tappin'.

Inner Demons

I have a side of me that isn't fully aware that it's evil. My inner demon has not reached maximum development. However, the thoughts run rampant of what I would do if the little devil within reached full growth. It boggles my mind.
On the surface I am mild-mannered Marissa. That ever smiling woman who would be likely to give someone her last dime or the shirt off her back. Underneath it all I often long to rip someone to shreds. That someone is me. I get so irritated that I let small things get to me. I get angry that I'm nauseatingly gullible and, without a doubt, ignorant about human nature.
Something else that undoubtedly irks me about me is how easily I am swayed by flattery. Ugh! Foolish girl. I talk myself into being assertive; then, turn around and slap myself silly for being too outspoken. I, for the record, blame no one else but myself for my fate. Chances are that while I'm giving myself a good mental lashing, those that I feel I offended have long forgotten or simply dismissed my offense. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm hyper-sensitive in a world I curse for being chronically politically correct.
At what point in my life did it get drilled into my noggin' that I'll never be as good as the kid next door? Why can't I be content with paving my own path and looking back to enjoy what I've created? When did I become incapable of intrinsically appreciating myself? I consistently assume that people only see the outer layer; the slightly overweight shell (with fantastic hair, by the way). I know the answers, but I simply don't want to face facts.
I encourage those around me to 'be who you is' and never apologize for it. There is a chance that the people who know me just appreciate me for the woman I am. Those who've known me for a long time have made it abundantly clear that they are with me till the bitter end. The 'in-betweeners' are those who baffle me. Sadly, I trust myself far less than I trust others. Could it be that people know that about me? Do they sense it as an animal senses danger? Is there an internal warning system that goes off, "Danger! Danger Will Robinson!"
So, the devil in me isn't wanting to inflict harm upon anyone else. I let it overcome me and do the damage within. I keep praying I'll malnourish that demon until it withers and dies. Unfortunately, that's not today.

It's a Beautiful Morning

I love Spring. The trees are budding. The flowering bushes are blossoming. It's gloriously gorgeous! Buds are on the lilac trees. I'm so thrilled. I love opening the windows and letting their fragrance permeate my home. The downside of springtime is having open windows in the wee hours of the morning and the chirping birds awaken before my alarm is set to go off at 6:00 a.m. What's worse is this happening to the Man-cub. "The stupid chirping birds kept me up all night." If it's dark; it's night. "Actually, they only started chirping as the sun began to rise. You'll be fine."
The reason I look forward to winter breaks and summer is that I don't have to get the kid up for school. He's not cantankerous in the morning, but, like most teens, he doesn't get enough sleep. School starts at 7:40 a.m. Sending him to bed at 8:00 p.m. is just not practical. Studies have been done recently on the issues teens, namely high school students, are having with falling asleep in school. I'm sure there are reasons why school starts so early. I know in our own district the buses are shared for all grade levels. Therefore, they run in shifts. All I know is that my child isn't getting the recommended 9-10 hours of sleep. He's a growing boy. When I let him sleep in on the weekends AND he happens to go to bed at a normal time, he'll sleep until 8:00 a.m. I know I don't need nearly that much sleep, but having quiet mornings is truly a delight. Just me, a cup of coffee and the computer. Ah.
Opening the windows reminds me that everything is coming to life. Like the other late afternoon when I was putting on make-up in my bathroom. Through the open windows came the strains of Lynard Skynard. Oh yeah, buddy. 'Sweet Home Alabama.' That alone made me race to the window to close it. ACK! On my pink cd player I cranked "Living in Oblivion 2." Oh Mickey you're so fine. You're so fine you blow my mind! Situation remedied. Small town living at its finest.
Tonight is IDOL night. It's all just a matter of time. I'm running out of steam. Andrew Lloyd Weber is the mentor. Well, at least his music is the subject matter the contestants have to work with. This should be interesting. Well, I'm HOPING it will be interesting. Mariah Carey week had me nodding off. Is it just me, or does Mariah seem more and more like a robot? She makes those hand gestures while singing as if she's touching an imaginary scale to remind her what notes to sing. It's ridiculous. She's such a twit. I don't like her music or her style. I don't care how much she writes or produces. It all just stinks like the burning trash that finds it's way into my house on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Blast! It's SPRING!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fantastic Friday Photo Feature -- F U N K Y!




I am such a goober for not remembering where I found this photo. I'm sure it was on Flicker. Kimberly Madsen Art & Design is the artiste. It's her favorite t-shirt peeking out from a black jacket. It find it totally bitchin' and need to snag the Holly Golightly vintage shirt. It's supremo delectable.


This Consumer Report photo was found while perusing Google Images. The copyright information is at the bottom of the photo. Who thought CR could produce a framable piece of art?
Hunter S. Thompson. You know, writer of "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." Then, made into a movie starring Johnny Depp. This is a totally righteous colorized version of a black and white. Again, I have no idea on who's flicker account I found this gem . I was seeking out Vegas goodies. With any luck, I'll get there this summer. Granted, it won't be nearly as trippy and dangerous as that depicted in the above mentioned book. I am, however, reading it for inspiration. Well, there's that and it comes highly lauded by a friend. As with music suggestions, I take reading material recommendations, too.

Dude! Mom!

My son and I live a relatively normal existence. Each school day his alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. and he promptly jumps up to shut it off. He then returns to bed and attempts to ignore the sunlight drifting through his window. During that time I have already removed myself from slumber, put a pot off coffee on and started my ritual online. I can hear him moving overhead. He's not fooling anyone. Without fail, I will have to groggily head upstairs to rustle him.
In this morning tradition I remind him of the time like a nagging mother should. He keeps plugging along and our conversations are kept minimal. The same thing goes for when he calls me at work after school. He's home safely and is only interested in catching the latest Naruto or Yu-Gi-OH! episode. Talking to me doesn't hold a candle to the Cartoon Network. I remind him that any homework is to be done once a snack is consumed. He's pretty diligent about following this rule. By the time I get home his work is done.
Upon arrival he'll tell me about his day with the ease of unclogging our bathtub drain. It takes a little plunging, but eventually he's willing to embellish upon, "Yeah, it was fine. Unhuh, yeah. What did you say? I'm sorry. I wasn't listening, Mom. What's for dinner?" That is the standard conversation between 13 year old child and 42 year old mom. That is until this evening.
It's not so much a conversation, but a conversation piece. I'd adjourned to the living room to have a round of channel flipping with the kiddo. We'll watch his program until commercial break. Then, we switch to something I find more appealing. It's a wicked game, but with my adult A.D.D. I don't mind. I was sitting in the recliner, and it hit me; the results of eating veggies. Yes, I am human and I passed gas. Don't laugh or snark. You know Brussels sprouts make you fill the room with doom. What immediately followed was a surprise to me. A greater surprise than the rumbling in my Old Navy pj's. My son's response to the audible flatus was, "DUDE!!!" My not so little boy called me, his mother, DUDE! I have gone from Mommy to Mom to DUDE!!
So, there you have it. I'm now a dude with intestinal distress.

Willis -- not Arnold's brother, either

I speak of the artist known as Willis. She's amazing. The first time I heard her haunting sounds was, oddly, while watching CSI: Las Vegas. Lab technician Hodges is awaiting test results from some forensic doohickey machine and he dances to a creative cover of Cameo's "Word Up!" Willis' version will not put you into a hyper dance groove. Instead, you'll be entranced by the coolness of her take on the once quick paced tune.
Taken from her Myspace page bio:

  • HAVING GROWN UP IN WEST LONDON ON A DIET OF ELVIS PRESLEY, HOLLYWOOD MUSICALS, NURSERY RHYMES AND COUNTRY MUSIC, A FORTUNATE INABILITY TO REMEMBER OTHER PEOPLES LYRICS FORCED WILLIS INTO WRITING HER OWN SONGS. THOUGH HUGELY INFLUENCED BY FEMALE AMERICAN ARTISTS LIKE BARBRA STREISAND, ELLA FITZGERALD AND BRENDA LEE, SHE BEGAN SINGING TRADITIONAL IRISH FOLK SONGS BEFORE DISCOVERING 1970S AMERICANA, VIA NEIL YOUNG AND THE BAND, DURING THE 90S. A SIX YEAR SPELL WORKING AT THE ECLECTIC LONDON STORE, SOUL JAZZ RECORDS, BELATEDLY INTRODUCED HER TO THE WORLD OF DANCE MUSIC AND ELECTRONICA, AND BY THE EARLY 2000S SHE WAS RELEASING RECORDS VIA HER OWN LABEL, CRIPPLE CREEK. AFTER RECORDING 'COME GET SOME', AN ALBUM FOR 679/WARNERS, SHE RETURNED TO RUNNING HER OWN LABEL AND IN 2008 THE 'GET IN THE RING EP' IS SET FOR RELEASE VIA CRIPPLE CREEK. WITH FURTHER RELEASES PLANNED ON THE CRIPPLE CREEK IMPRINT, WILLIS WILL EMBARK ON LIVE DATES LATER THIS YEAR.
Apologies for the caps. It's written as she wrote it. You can download some of her tracks on iTunes. Included in the limited songs is another cover. This time it's Dolly Parton's "9 to 5." Trust me, if you hated that catchy song, you might find yourself changing your mind when you hear Willis' rework of Dolly's most notable cross over hit.
Naturally I can't discuss an music artist without giving you a taste of what makes her one of my most favorite artists around today.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

American Idol 7 -- Luck be a lady!

My luck turned a corner for good. Kristy Lee Cook? Not so much. Her luck turned down a dark path known as elimination alley. She overstayed her welcome on American Idol 7. In my opinion she should have been long gone, but she tugged on America's heartstrings and earned a bonified membership to the country club. However, even with all the folk in West Virginia dialing until their fingers were down to nubs, it wasn't enough. She's the latest casualty on AI7. Good riddance!
This happens to mark the first night I was correct about the bottom three. I've been putting Kristy Lee as my personal mark for elimination for weeks now. I finally got it right. With this minor run of luck I'm going to buy a Lotto ticket and start planning my trip to Vegas. Had she not been eliminated tonight I was seriously considering hiring a voodoo priestess to help me out. I have a couple other uses for such a person. Perhaps she'd give me a 3 for 1 deal.

Sexbomb -- Sir Tom says so

Today I was fortunate enough to be released early from the prison which I refer to as work. The weather is absolutely sublime. I can't tell you how delighted I was to hear the words, "Do you want to call it a day?" DO I!?!
The temperature is somewhere around 70-gorgeous degrees. For the Midwestern wicked winter we've had, that's a heat wave. And everybody was snatching up the opportunity it bask in it before the cold snap heading our way from the Northwest beats us up for a few more days. The wind was brisk, but I figure on a power walk that just adds a touch of resistance.
I got home around 1:15. Naturally, I felt compelled to check out my two favorite blogs before lacing up my sneakers and hitting the trail. Exciting news about Deborah "she'll cut you if you call her Debbie" Gibson is gracing the podcast studio of Stuck in the 80s tomorrow. I can just imagine the puddles of drool and sweat that'll stain the floor and memory of Ms. Gibson. Eesh. Once I put in my two cents for what questions Steve and Sean should ask the original pop princess, I jammed the iPod earbuds in my ears and off I went.
Without regard to the song that would start me on my blazing power walk, I clicked 'play'. The Black Eyed Peas helped me warm up with "Hey Momma!" Perfect! Love it! Then, Nelly Furtado gave warning about being a "Maneater." Once I was in the groove I switched gears to take on a more serious power walk with aerobic walk master Leslie Sansone. Nearly 3 miles later my buns and thighs were burning and I was feeling that rush I've heard people who exercise talk about. Cool!
I still had to walk back home. Doing so without a soundtrack just didn't suit me. So, I turned to the man I knew would validate the way I felt about my journey toward physical improvement. With my tummy tucked in and my shoulders pulled back, Tom Jones serenaded me with "Sexbomb." Yeah, momma had it goin' on.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Secrets not exposed -- random blathering alert!

I have a staple of blogs that I read daily. They often give me inspiration or fill a social void in my life. As I sat here at my own domain, I was strapped for something to write about. I censor myself greatly as I know many of my regular readers. This blog is inching toward 5000 hits. I realize that isn't 5000 individuals, but someone out in the blogosphere is taking in some of the words that I put to pc. With that being said, I am fully aware that family members, friends and co-workers read my meandering thoughts ... even if it's a quick perusal at most. Hence, self censoring. Do I really want my brothers and sisters to receive full disclosure? Not yet. I'm only 42. HA! I guess they'd get over it since it is just the past. And it was part of my late bloomer rebellious phase.
I'm reminded that confessing my sins of the past is quite cathartic and, at times, hilarious. When tales are retold they seem to take on a lighter tone. This sort of thing happeend last night as I spent a great bit of time flappin' my jaw via the telephone. I don't often get an opportunity to talk on the phone. In this make it quick world texting is the way to go. Texting or instant messaging. As laughter ensues during the call, I am reminded how much I miss that human element of a conversation. Hearing the person's own chuckle and inflection can't be interpreted by "LOL" or an emoticon. It is through hearing his voice that I find great pleasure. Mind you this isn't a perverse sense of pleasure. I take in my own giggle and wonder if he thinks I make a sound not unlike a turkey in the wild.
There are things I openly and gladly share with this person that I'd never write here. I open up without consideration to the dreaded censor button. I feel that I can give a humorous spin to my past behaviors. Humor in a lifestyle that I once chose to lead. Albeit decadent, it's pertinent to the shape my present has taken. In comparison to many people out there I still appeared relatively prudish. I say relatively because many people with whom I associated had lifestyles that would make Charlie Sheen blush (well maybe not, but you get the point). I respected them by not passing judgement. I respected myself by maintaining my own comfort level.
Perhaps one day I'll start another blog that is solely dedicated to this once nice-girl-gone-temporarily-wild portion of my life. I'll give it a fictional edge so readers will have no idea where fact ends and fantasy begins.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Afternoon Delight

On Sunday afternoon you couldn't find me at home. I was no where near my computer or television. I was sitting in a friend's living room listening to live music. I sat next to one of my oldest and dearest friends. Along with us was a double handful of women and men who appreciated the artist who was gracious enough to let us bask in her humbly fantastic sense of humor and songwriting. Her name? Martine Locke.
The best way I can describe her is an Aussie Indigo Girls minus one. Armed with nothing but her wit and two guitars she entertained us with 2 sets. One song in particular, "Fall From Grace," left me in tears. It was a moment that took me by surprise. I wasn't aware how emotionally taken I was until a lone tear found itself meandering down my left cheek. I didn't dare look around to see who else might have been drawn in by the powerful lyric and melody. Fortunately, I had a napkin sitting on my plate that had once been covered with veggies, cheese and a sinful chocolate dipped strawberry.
The only song I was remotely familiar with was, "Hallelujah." She invited anyone who knew the song to join her. Friends from the back of the room added harmonies. For those moments a hush was over the rest of the world. A small gathering; a loving community. I didn't want to look for I knew my watery eyes would become an outpouring stream. I turned to my dearest friend sitting next to me and handed him my extra napkin. Clearly, the feelings were mutual throughout room.
Sitting with friends and new faces radiated so much warmth and community. It was something I'll not soon forget. My heart swelled as the tears rose. Once the music ended, we all adjourned to the dining area to, once again, break bread and drink wine. We toasted to happiness and friendship. We laughed. I drank it all in with an effort to embed this moment in my mind.
I hope you'll give Martine a listen with an open mind, heart and ears. Trust me, her music is worth it.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Michaels Johns -- exit interview American Idol 7

It's clear that I'm not fully over the shock of Michael Johns being oddly and suspiciously ousted too soon. Color me a conspiracy theorist on this one. Where's my evidence? I don't need no stinkin' evidence. He's too good to hit the bricks before the pathetic country crooneress Kristy Lee, and far more thrilling and exciting than the dull Brooke White. Regardless, my Roo won't be performing on Idol as a competitor. I just look at this as the faster pace to making his own music with greater control over what goes into his piece of work.
This interview will give anyone who hasn't had enough of Michael some morsels to aleviate the fixation ... just a little.
Part One:

Part Two

Thursday, April 10, 2008

American Idol 7 is nothing without an Aussie


It's done. It's over. I can't believe it. I'm in shock. My 'Roo. My darling Aussie with the bluesy, sensual charm is no longer on American Idol. I'm pissed. I'm miffed. I'm in need of CPR. I need tequila. I need something to help me grasp this totally insane result night. Idiot Kristy Lee Cook continues, but Michael Johns is cast off like Daughtry in season 5. America: You vote like you .. well, vote. I can't believe it. My Roo is gone.

On Idol nights I spend the evening snarking with friends from the blogosphere on Sean Daly's Pop Life blog. You can join in, too. It's quite refreshing and cathartic. Tonight, my pals all knew how this would devastate me. In response they offered support and sympathy. Most profoundly expressed was that of Jeff in Cuba. Here is his out-reach for my plight:


I'd like to interrupt the snark for my own "Idol Gives Back" message.
Hi, I'm Jeff in Cuba. Each year thousands of Midwestern single mothers are tragically denied the eye candy they need to keep the gossamer threads of their hormonal balance from snapping like twigs. But you can help. Your vote for hunky boy toys will not only help your single Mom neighbors, but will also help insure the world tequila supply for the rest of us. So vote for the hunk; the margarita you save may be your own.
So, with a heavy heart I bid adieu to my Roo. We won't be separated for long as I know you'll have a hit record in no time. I have my FILM downloads that are thick with your soulful sounds. I'll always have youtube and iTunes downloads of your performances to cleanse me of the dreadful noise put out by those you've left behind on the velvet blue couch. You're a star already, Michael Johns. So, while Kristy Lee Cook is blowing Simon out of his socks, you blew the crowd away with your farewell replay of "Dream On."

Idol Gives Back ~ Annie Lennox gives me chills

This performance left me emotionally drained. I sat numb after seeing and hearing the brilliance that is Annie Lennox. This is a performer. This is how you sing a song. Simplicity, spectacular, soulful.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

American Idol 7- Idol Gives back ~ Praying For Time

Carrie Underwood sang this song tonight on American Idol: Idol Gives Back. I am not a CU fan whatsoever. So, I had to cleanse my palate and get the master; the original. Ladies and Gentleman, George Michael.


- Praying For Time -

These are the days of the open hand
They will not be the last
Look around now
These are the days of the beggars and the choosers

This is the year of the hungry man
Whose place is in the past
Hand in hand with ignorance
And legitimate excuses

The rich declare themselves poor
And most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we'll take our chances
'Cause God's stopped keeping score
I guess somewhere along the way
He must have let us all out to play
Turned his back and all God's children
Crept out the back door

And it's hard to love, there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope
When there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
Well maybe we should all be praying for time

These are the days of the empty hand
Oh you hold on to what you can
And charity is a coat you wear twice a year

This is the year of the guilty man
Your television takes a stand
And you find that what was over there is over here

So you scream from behind your door
Say what's mine is mine and not yours
I may have too much but I'll take my chances
'Cause God's stopped keeping score
And you cling to the things they sold you
Did you cover your eyes when they told you
That he can't come back
'Cause he has no children to come back for

It's hard to love there's so much to hate
Hanging on to hope when there is no hope to speak of
And the wounded skies above say it's much too late
So maybe we should all be praying for time


George Michael- October 1989

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

American Idol 7 -- Inspirational turned perspirational




I really didn't come away from the performances this evening feeling inspired to do anything other than buy earplugs and drink more while watching Idol. I realize the kids were rushed due to pre-taping for the BIG IDOL GIVE. Oh wait! It's IDOL GIVES BACK. I was confusing it with Oprah's Big Give schtick.




Michael "ROO" Johns needs to stop with the ascots. It's my guess that he's been sneaking away with his chemically enhanced bleached blond wife and she's left her own version of ink on his neck. Chicks might not vote for him if they feel he's really gettin' it on with the wife. Bleah. Anyway, I was diggin' on his Aerosmith "Dream On" squealing. Of course, he was slightly drowned out by my own squealing.




Do I have recollection of other performances? Oh yeah, Jason Castro wasn't showstopping phenomenal, but I do love the Hawaiian Isles version of "Over the Rainbow." His low key persona is true to form. He didn't seem quite as stoned tonight as he has in the past. Nice performance, but he's not 700 pound Samoan with a ukelele.




Carly needs anger management if she wants to get closer to the top. The scowling is a no go on inspiration night. The tats are annoying. I keep looking at her arm and thinking she's got a severe bruise. Sleeves might be recommended from time to time by the show's stylists. Just sayin'.




David Cook who has been my front runner these last couple of weeks left me befuddled by one, his jacket. All that was missing was the sequins and one glove. His muddled delivery of the lyrics wasn't typical of him. I hope he's not trying to make like Daughtry and take an early exit. He's anxious to get his own record out there, but several weeks are still ahead of him. He's still safe.




The rest work boring or annoying and I don't have the attention span to bother with critiques. I don't have enough snark left in me. I'm just uninspired to do it.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Oh, Hush! -- The band to look out for

There is a mystery that shrouds the Tampa Bay, Florida based band, "Oh, Hush!" Only their close friends, family and manager knows what they look like, who they are, how old they are ... but their fans don't seem to let that get in the way of loving the one thing that is apparent: talent. They want to be recognized by their songs. Wow! What a concept, eh?
I received a myspace invite to check them out. Upon first click I fell in love. I may be one of their oldest fans. They take the time to personally answer as many emails and comments as they can. The primary myspace techie in the band claims over 200 personal responses a day. I give him/her kudos for taking the time to devote to fans.
If you're interested in viewing and listening to them, you can click the obvious link over the right. They have a humor about themselves that endeared them to me beyond the music. I look forward to the release of their upcoming cd.

Sunday discovery

It's early and Man-cub is still snug in his bed. I often Google search images to find something unique for later use with my blog. This image struck me and I had to share. No sense in waiting for something to write about that will fit the photo. The artist has her stuff on Flicker. Nina's Photos is where you want to go for further viewing of her cool stuff.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

You're Glowing!

That's what I've heard these last two days from co-workers. No, I am not pregnant. That would be a feat of immaculate-esque conception. Apparently eating well, getting enough sleep and exercising has, indeed, had an outward effect on my appearance. It's also been noted that I look thinner. YAY!
Today I wore a shirt and jacket that I haven't been able to wear due to sizing issues. The shirt is one of those v-neck lines with an empire waist. You'd think it would overly accentuate Thelma and Louise, but it doesn't. The jacket is a short, buttoned blazer. I got it buttoned and it the seams weren't screaming for mercy. Miraculously, my pants also appear longer. Funny how less flab on the fanny will do that to trousers.
The weather in Kankakee was so beautiful and picturesque. Not a cloud was to be spied and I had to work. Fortunately, the days are longer and I was released from the work prison an hour early. I made tracks for home. On the way home I called Man-cub to inform him he was hitting the walking track with me. First, he requested nourishment. I obliged, let it settle and we hit the road. I insisted he walk one full track before copping out to just sit in the sun and listen to his Jonas Brothers cd. I kept walking at the pace set by my Leslie Sansone 3-mile walk session. I made it! I'd been only walking 2 miles lately and I decided I needed to push myself a wee bit farther.
I've decided to not let the scale be my guide to success. I get down on myself and feel like a failure if the pounds are melting away with ease. My clothing is indication of weight lost. I will, in good time, set foot on the scale just to see my progress, but for now I need to keep my eye on those skinny trousers I have hanging on my closet door. Being able to slip into those without fear of busting a seam will be a real coup; a shining moment. They greet me each morning and bid me good night before I snuggle under my comforter. Oh yeah, it's gonna happen. This may very well be the summer the Man-cub and I hit the water park and I'll actually be wearing a swimsuit, climb the stairs and hit the slide right behind him. Wooooooooosh

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

That Song!

You know how it is when you hear a song and you want everybody and their brother to know about it. You love it; they should love it. This tune I am about to present to you is that song for me. After energetically burning my Sauconys on the walking path, I turned to my regular MP3s. My Amazon.com freebie gems. This song got me through squats and stretches.

I ran ... not so far away

OK, so Flock of Seagulls didn't quite sing it that way. I take pleasure in granting myself poetic license to alter lyrics to suit me at whim.
If you've been reading my meandering thoughts put in blog form, you'll know that I've embarked upon a lifestyle challenge. I am trying to lose weight via changing the way I think about food and exercise. It's ridiculous for me to commit suicide in a slow manner. When you think about it, that's what gaining an excessive amount of weight exhibits. Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "SLOTH" one of the Seven Deadly Sins? I could be taking the suggestion out on the ledge, but by not exercising the very body--temple-- that God has given me, I am abusing His love. I have been taking advantage of the gift of life. With that in consideration, I found new incentive to persevere even though the weight doesn't seem to be falling off my posterior in the manner I had hoped. Return to focus: Health for the long term.
NutriSystem makes it easy for me to plan meals and not have to focus all day on food. The problem is that they don't send the food Nazis in the heavy box of food. I still have to maintain self-control. My lack, thereof, is what got me in this fatty fatty 2x4 predicament to begin with, yes?
I wrote to my brother to tell him that I'm working toward a health goal. First, he congratulated me and helped shed some light on why I might not be dropping the chub factor as steadily as I had hoped. In our family, we tend to get or discover post 40s hypoglycemia. I have been tested for diabetes and hypoglycemia in the last 5 years. I'm sure plenty could have changed with my increased weight. However, I don't show any outward signs of it since changing my eating habits and increase of activity. My thought is not so much what I'm eating but when I'm eating it.
I'd been lax in reading labels fully. I was forgetting that I not only have to be concerned with caloric and fat contents, but sugar & bad carb content. I love yogurt if there is flavor in it. Plain yogurt? Egads! Too sour! I'd been buying the vanilla flavored fat free stuff. It's loaded with sugars, too! Zoinks! And I'd been eating that at night. Double zoinks! Carbs before bed? Shazam and Holy fat deposits, Batman! With that mid weekend realization, I turned to my food journal and I've been keeping track of what I consume, how much and equally importantly, WHEN.
Today is so beautiful that I took my walk outdoors. The wind was brisk against my face, but I wasn't about to not enjoy the sunshine and blue sky. I adopted a state of mind that I was a diva strutting her stuff. It helped me pull in my tummy, and walk a little taller and prouder.
As I pumped my arms and moved with the tempo of the music on the Leslie Sansone guided 2 mile walk, I envisioned a new me. I didn't get cramps or twinges. I only stopped to get the teeny rocks out of my shoes. I guess I was making quite a stir in the fine granule rock path. My arms were pushing me to take wider, quicker strides when before I realized it ... I was running. Mind you, I'm sure I didn't look like a gazelle on the Sahara. I'm also quite sure the up and down jarring movement of my butt cheeks was far greater than the forward movement my feet were making, but the point is that I RAN. OK, I jogged for the first time in many years. I'd go so far as to say well over a decade. I nearly wept at this fantastical feat of physical improvement. Yesterday I managed to do 10 modified push-ups. TEN PUSH-UPS! I high fived myself and hit the showers.
Thank you God for giving me this body. Thank You for giving me the chance to realize how special I am. Thank You for allowing me to see myself as You see me.