Monday, June 30, 2008

Rainy Ravinia

Saw Poi Dog Pondering at Ravinia last night. In the rain. Was totally not prepared, no wellies, no umbrella...
Good music, but for the miserable rain I would have preferred to be at Glastonbury in the mud watching Amy Winehouse fight a touchy feely fan.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Flash Back Friday #11

The most famous television cliffhanger of all time.
Who Shot J.R.
After this episode people wore Who Shot J.R t-shirts for months.
I was a regular viewer of Dallas, Dynasty, Love Boat and Fantasy Island and this episode is still one of the classics.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Trailer for Marley & Me

Very cute trailer for the book to film adaption of the bestseller Marley & Me. In theaters this Christmas.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Great Green Product-Envirosax

I found this website
for reusable bags sometime last year and have purchased many of them for myself and as gifts. These great little bags roll up for easy storage and can fit in the smallest of spaces for later use. I have a couple in the door pockets of my car for grocery shopping and 1 or 2 in different purses for trips to the farmers market. No more need for plastic or paper bags when you can use these instead.
They come in a variety of colors and patterns and if you purchase the 5 in 1 pouch (5 bags in a reusable pouch)you get a free shower timer. This little timer comes with a suction cup to attach to your shower door to time your shower to 4 minutes which will conserve water and energy.
The 5 in 1 pouch is priced at a great price of $37.95 and you can share the pouches as gifts. For more information click here:

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

If You Eat Fast Food-Read This Book

I just finished an eye opening book, Chew On This by Eric Schlosser and Charles Wilson. The authors uncover the business of fast food and what really goes on at restaurants and on your plate. Read about the 6 week life of the chicken you eat from McDonald's or Tyson before it ends up on the menu and how your favorite candy and yogurt gets its red color (from crushed bugs!)Not only is the book a national bestseller it's a fascinating glimpse into the food culture that feeds our country. After the book was published 2 years ago many companies and organizations stopped their association with fast food chains. Disney pulled Mickey Mouse from McDonald's promotional toys and schools are pulling soda pop off their lunch shelves.
Now I am not a fast food eater and being a vegetarian haven't had a burger or McNuggets since I was kid. After reading this book I'm glad the food that sustains and fattens Americans hasn't passed my lips in years.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Nights at Ravinia

Most Chicagoans know of the outdoor music/dance/arts venue Ravinia located northwest of the City in Highland Park. This private park is host to the Ravinia Festival which is a summer long series of concerts and dance all offered in beautiful outdoor surroundings. The Pavilion is the more traditional concert experience with stadium seating in an open theater but covered from the elements with a roof. The general lawn surrounds the Pavilion and offers picnic like settings for those who pay a lower ticket price but offers the benefit of creating your own concert experience. Lawn tickets are the most popular way to experience Ravinia and attendees get highly creative with their picnic and dining settings. I have seen fully catered picnics complete with table clothes and candelabras as well as the more traditional blanket and coolers picnics. I try and get to Ravinia 1-2 times a month from June through September and have seen some terrific concerts (The Corrs and Gypsy Kings are 2 favorites). This Sunday is my first trip to Ravinia of the season, the picnic is planned and I will enjoy a lovely catered meal on a comfy blanket while listening to Poi Dog Pondering and drinking a cold beer. I'm also looking forward to Sheryl Crow later this summer.
For more info, check out the site at:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Flash Back Friday #10

Taking a walk at dusk last night I realized the fireflies are out. I love watching them shine in the dark and dragged my dog around the neighborhood trying to catch one in the palm of my hand.
Fireflies always remind me of carefree childhood summers and waiting for my mom to wash out the pickle jar so I could catch a few and watch them light up in the jar before I let them loose.
Here is a video from YouTube showing an adorable little girl catching fireflies, remember how much fun it is?

Have a good weekend, I have my 2nd wedding to attend in 2 weeks and again it's out of state.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Do You Live365?

This is one of my favorite sites and one I utilize almost daily while at work. Live365 is an Internet Radio site where individuals or organizations can broadcast their station over the WWW. Listeners can chose from thousands of radio stations from all over the world. As a free member you can preset your favorite stations or chose from a wide genre of musical tastes. If you join for a small fee as a VIP, you get extra perks, such as commercial free listening.
Depending on my mood my radio tastes run from Celtic broadcasting straight from Ireland to Sirens of Song, a station out of LA. Live365 has a presence on Facebook where you can request songs as well as a MySpace page.
On the topic of music, I am currently addicted to Ladytron's song Destroy Everything You Touch, here is a clip:

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Congratulations Newlyweds!

Wonderful day in California as same sex marriages take place LEGALLY across the State. Here's hoping that one day this basic human right to love and marry whom you chose is legal everywhere.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Giant Turtle Movie

Yup, 2 posts in 1 day. After 30 years I solved a mystery today.
This morning after a particularly vivid dream, the kind where you wake up and go, "Crap it was a dream", I starting wondering about other "dreams" I've had that haunt me. I've had this memory, I've always wondered if it was a movie or just a larger than life dream I had when I was a kid. All I remember was a giant turtle, a house on a cliff overlooking the sea and a girl. That's all I've remembered for years. Occasionally when it's popped up in my head I've done a half ass Internet search, I've even searched the IMDB with multiple search terms and found nothing. But today I did a Google search using boolean search terms including 1970's + giant turtle + cliff house and BAM I found a post from just last month by a guy on Amazon titled, The Giant Turtle Movie That's Been Haunting You. Seriously the posting was exactly what I had been looking for.
Sure enough there was a made for tv movie back in 1978 titled "The Bermuda Depths" and just like I remember, it's about a giant turtle, a house on a cliff and a girl. The weirdest thing is, this movie was only shown once in the US and it has haunted a generation of kids who saw it ever since. No kidding, read the Wikipedia entry about the legend of this movie.
Good to know I wasn't the only one who has been haunted by this movie for 30 years, hard to believe a movie I saw when I was 8 years old left such dream like memories.
Read this article about a guy's search for the film, who like myself, couldn't forget it.
Wanna see a clip, check out this YouTube video or stop by my house, I just bought a bootlegged copy on DVD.

The Voice of Lisa Hannigan

This lovely mellow song is how I like to start a Monday.
Irish singer Lisa Hannigan on Damien Rice's song Volcano.


Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Baby

My boy is 15 years old today.
Happy Birthday honey!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Flash Back Friday #9

Because it's a birthday weekend in my household.
My baby's 15.
And because this is the most famous Happy Birthday every sung.
May 19, 1962, Marilyn Monroe singing Happy Birthday to JFK.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

WAG Wedding

I love English football and follow not only my favorite teams (Manchester United and Celtic F.C.)but my favorite WAGS (Wives and Girlfriends of Sportsmen) of the players.
Today in Portofino Italy, Wayne Rooney, Striker for Manchester United, married his longtime girlfriend Coleen McLoughlin. Together since they were 16, Wayne likes hookers and Coleen likes shopping and together they are fantastic fodder for the rags. Besides the Beckhams they are my favorite football couple.
They married in a small ceremony in Italy but are splashing out on a celebration aboard a yacht that is costing them more than the record breaking deal they got to share their wedding with a British tabloid. Last I read it was in the range of 2 million pounds.
I visited the area they were married on my trip to Italy last October and they picked a gorgeous place to marry. Now I can't wait to read about the rest of their married life, which in the English world of football is about as long as a game.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Do You Believe in True Love?

So I consider myself a "romantic realist". I am a sucker for romance books and love a good chick flick but I take a very realistic approach to love in real life.
Last night I watched a major girly film, P.S. I Love You. Having read the book I knew what I was in for, a total sob fest, and although the film was wildly different from the book, the basic idea of the main 2 characters stayed the same. Home alone, I cried through most of the film, very cathartic really.
Then I was up most of the night, couldn't sleep. Wondering about true love and love at first site. I'm not a believer in it, I've never had it happen to me and I've yet to meet a person who has experienced and remained with their "soul mate". But I find it interesting that my favorite genre is romance and my favorite vacation is the fantasy of Disney World, but I'm not a believer in the fantasy of 2 people meant for each other. Maybe I'm a "romance hoper".

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Old Man Movie-Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Now I am old enough to have seen all of the Indiana Jones movies in theaters and remember the hype of each release. The first one is a classic, the second one is horrifically bad and the third one is my favorite. Last night my son and I saw the 4th and hopefully the last Indiana Jones movie. Obviously this latest film is in the "Old Man Club" of filmmaking. Director Steven Spielberg, Writer George Lucas, Producer Frank Marshall and Star Harrison Ford are all back and have created a fun, adventurous but ridiculous movie. Many times I caught myself saying, "Are they kidding"? Other times I just laughed out loud at how bad it really was. Entertaining, absolutely...a good film, definitely not. I hope that these filmmakers leave this one as their last hurrah together and spare us another Old-Man-Out-of-Touch film.

Monday, June 9, 2008

What are you reading this summer?

Libraries all over the State of Illinois are kicking off their Summer Reading Programs this month. Developed through a partnership between iRead and the Illinois Library Association and with the support of Illinois librarians, this summers reading program is Get in the Game, Read! Libraries will offer incentives to participate such as prizes for reading, playing games and attending programs. Local businesses support their area libraries and patrons by donating coupons and gifts for the program.
Summer is the perfect time to catch up on your reading and what better way to support your library than by signing up for their Summer Reading Program.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Flash Back Friday #8

Because it's summer and you're getting back in the water. And because this movie still scares the sh*t out of me.
Enjoy the original trailer from Steven Spielberg's Jaws.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Fun Way to Stay Fit

Last evening I hosted a bellydancing party in my backyard. My friend Jenny who is a dance teacher and performer taught us a bit of background on the middle eastern style of dance and showed us some of the basic moves. It was a fantastic workout and a ton of fun. I'm sure my neighbors will be asking me for weeks what all the women were doing throwing scarves around, shaking their hips and laughing in my yard.
The dance style has become a popular form of fitness and there are classes offered through many park districts and dance schools. My library system has multiple books and DVD's on getting in shape by bellydancing and there are many websites devoted to the style.
For more information on Jenny's teachings, visit her site at:

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

6 Year old Saves Friend From Drowning

The best reporting I have read all week.

Create a Music Video at Animoto

One of the websites I have discovered through my current Tech Tools class is Animoto. This very cool website allows you to upload pictures, chose music (either from their music selection or by upload)and a customized music video is created for you. You need to sign up for an account and short videos of up to 30 seconds are free, longer videos can be made by upgrading to a $30 yearly membership. I have made numerous videos and each one has turned out great. For more information check out Animoto at their website:

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Who Watches Dr. Who

Ok so seriously I tried to watch the latest Dr. Who. After 15 years between Dr.s I netflixed Season 1 with Christopher Eccleston as the Dr. and the lovely Billie Piper as Rose (she is one of my favorite British actresses). My son and I sat down and barely got through the first episode. It was absolutely the dumbest crap I have seen in years. Because the preview for the 2nd episode looked interesting with all sorts of aliens, we sat through the 2nd episode and that was all we could handle. I love a good sci-fi, deranged madness type of show, but this was not only ridiculous but mind alteringly stupid. I returned the entire 1st season and am going to give it a try with the 2nd season when the Dr. is replaced by actor David Tennant.
I really wanted to like the new series because I was a big fan of previous Dr.s, especially Dr. #4 portrayed by Tom Baker (love the scarf)and I enjoyed the show in the 80's. I am a complete addict to British television series and regularly pop in a DVD of either: (click for more info on each show)
Rosemary and Thyme
Absolutely Fabulous (Edina & Patsy are 2 of the best characters EVER, I've been obsessed since college)
The Vicar of Dibley
Robin of Sherwood (my favorite series of all time)
We will see how the second season goes, but I am afraid my kid is turned off the Dr. for good....shame really.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Wedding Season is Here

I attended an interesting program the other day, a fashion show of wedding gowns from 1900 to 1991. Most of the gowns were beautiful and timeless with the exception of the mini skirts from the 60's, the long shapeless dresses from the 70's and the Princess Diana look from the 1980's. This weekend starts the beginning of wedding season for most brides and the frenzy for those of us either in weddings or attending them. I have 4 weddings to attend this summer, 1 next weekend, 1 two weeks after that, 1 in July and 1 in August. All 4 are completely different in size and style, 1 is a Friday evening at a large hotel, another is a wedding for hundreds of guests in a backyard, another is in a small Evanston hotel and the 4th is a small party since the bride is British, the groom is Nepalese and they already married in India! Where ever the location and whatever the style, I love a wedding and look forward to the traditional and non-traditional aspects of each couple's special day. Now I just have to start printing out each wedding registry and get shopping.