Your Songs by Harry Connick Jr.

Autumn is upon us, and today, finally, the air has a bit of a crispness to it that leaves me wanting to curl up with a blanket, a nice, pumpkin latte, and some relaxing, comforting tunes.

Thanks to One2One Network, I have been given the perfect album for doing this. Harry Connick Jr's new album, Your Songs.

On Your Songs, Harry takes classic favorites by greats such as Sinatra, Elvis Presley, & Elton John; mixes them with big band jazz styling, and his sexy voice to create something new and fresh that still respects the original piece.

Typically, I expect to have quite a few songs on an album that I don't care for, when I first listen. Then, after awhile, I may give them a chance and they grow on me. An album, like a new pair of shoes, usually requires a break in period. This album wasn't like that. I immediately fell in love with it, and listened to it from beginning to end repeatedly. It was comfortable like my old favorite shoes, but stylish like that pair of heels you keep for special occasions.

Of course, with any great album, I have my favorites. I especially love Harry's rendition of Smile, and Some Enchanted Evening. It's hard to take a Beatles song and improve on it, but, I think he's done just that with And I Love Her.

There is one song on the album that I could have done without, and that is Close to you. This is no fault of Harry's, I just have never liked this song, originally by The Carpenters. This version has made it tolerable, and yes, even slightly pleasurable, a true feat in itself.

So, if you've never purchased a Harry Connick Jr. album before, this is a great one to start with. If you're already a HCJ fan, this album will not fail you.

Now to curl up with that latte. (If I stare at his beautiful face on the cover while I'm listening, it's like my own personal concert.) ♪The first time ever I saw your face...♪

Don't miss Harry on the Today Show on 10/1 and on Rachael Ray next week.
for more information check out:

Party Like a Rock Star

What a crazy weekend! Friday was my friend/tattoo artist's birthday, so we naturally had to go out and celebrate in true Rock Star fashion. ♪Party like a rock, Party like a rock star♪ (Shop Boyz) There were shots, (many shots! including, a Sexual Alligator, Yum!) dancing, a rock band, (with a way over the top, pretty haired, thinks he's sexy, too short singer) a fight, (not me, thankfully) and to top it off: The birthday boy proceeded to get up on stage and attempt a pole dance! That's when we knew it was time to go home!

At 4:30, I crawled into bed. At 6:30, I crawled out of bed to take the dog out, and got back in bed at 6:45. At 8:30, the obnoxious alarm screamed at me that it was time to get up, so: ♪I tumbled out of bed and stumbled to the kitchen, poured myself a cup of ambition, and yawned and stretched and tried to come alive♪ (9 to 5 Dolly Parton)

See, Saturday was Homecoming and the girls had hair appointments at 9:00 AM. Why so early? Because it was also the night of the annual charity ball which I was co-chairing. While they were getting their hair in up-dos, I was shopping for an outfit for the evening, since my standby outfit failed to fit me (one of the down sides to losing weigh.) Then we had to go meet the volunteers for the event to set up auction items, goody bags, etc... before taking the girls to their friends' houses. I then showered, got ready to go, and headed back out to be at the event to finish setting up.

When I got out of the car, I looked down at my feet, and: OMG! I FORGOT MY SHOES! HOW THE HECK DID I DO THAT?!

Dear, sweet, hubby, drove all the way home to get them for me so I wouldn't look ridiculous in a pair of brown plaid flip-flops with my new black and pink outfit! My Hero!

With the proper shoes on, the event went fairly smoothly, with only a few minor bumps. There was dinner, drinks, (Mmmm Pink cocktails,) a chocolate fountain, dancing, and door prizes. While the economy took its toll on ticket sales, and auction bids, we still managed to raise about $6000 for Breast Cancer Care & Research, and have a little fun.

Now, a deep sigh of relief, that the hard part is over, and for now, I can relax. ♪At Last♪ (Etta James)

Now, to see if I can get away with working with my eyes closed. I'm tired!

Going Down to New Orleans

One of my favorite places to visit is New Orleans. It's a city full of life, fun, good people, good food, and of course MUSIC!

♪I'm going down to New Orleans, leavin all of this behind♪ (Kid Rock)
♪When I get to New Orleans someone's gonna treat me right♪

♪I'm goin down to New Orleans where the stars on the sidewalk shine♪

♪Good Morning America, how are you?♪ (Arlo Guthrie)
♪Don't you know me? I'm your native son♪
♪I'm the train they call the city of New Orleans♪
It's been over a year, since I last visited the Big Easy, and it's been way too long! Who's ready for a Road Trip?!


Today, hubby and I went with another couple to Universal Orlando. Hubby had a free promo ticket that came in the mail, randomly (I'm sure they figure you won't go by yourself, so you'll have to buy at least one ticket.) I actually, got a free ticket, as well, when they advertised to go online during the Superbowl! Woohoo! We fooled them, we bought absolutely zero tickets!

The bad part was that my ticket turned out to be a free 7 day pass, and because I have to work; I could only use it today! What a waste! ♪Wasting away again in Margaritaville♪ (Jimmy Buffett)

I am a Roller Coaster freak! I love them! (they must really be moving, though, not one of those pretend to be moving, simulated rides, those make me so sick!) So, I was excited to get to ride the new Rip Ride Rockit Coaster. I went online a couple nights before and picked which song I would listen to (it has a built in system where each person gets to choose a song to play on speakers behind their head.) I decided on Paralyzer by Finger Eleven, and was all ready to rock. The coaster was awesome!

The bad news: My speakers didn't work so I only heard the sounds of my screams, and there's not much rhythm to that.

Hubby got unexpectedly wet on the Jaws ride, because they changed it a little since we were there, last. The Mummy coaster was great, as always. I had to pass on The Simpsons ride (being that its simulated, and I didn't want to spew chunks all over Crusty the Clown,) but hubby went on it, and said it was Great! We ate some good food, and shared a very large blue drink with rum and other yummy stuff in it (it was so good, we got a refill.) We were scared on Dr. Doom (totally awesome) and got soaked on Popeye (I don't think there was dry spot on me.)

The bad part: The chafing! OMG! I was so wet that blue liquid started running down my legs! Seriously! It was dark blue and it was everywhere! I was concerned for a minute that I had some rare form of Smurfism, until I figured out that it was most likely from the dye in my panties, or shorts, or both, and I wasn't really sweating out my Gatorade in colors, (like the commercial.)

All in all it was a great day with great friends, and even the weather stayed nice for us. The bad part: I am so sore from all the walking, and the bumping around on rides, (and the chafing) that I can barely move. Of course, playing loudly on the speakers in my head ♪I get paralyzed♪

And the worst part: I have to work tomorrow! Bleh!

Get out tha Way

Everyone watch out! Not just one, but now, both kids have learners permits. ♪Get out tha way, Get out tha way♪

It happened, yesterday, the girls had a half day at school, so off we went to the DMV to get #2's learners permit. We walked in full of excitement, and within minutes, became part of the morbidly bored, waiting on our number to be called, victims of the DMV. Despite our best efforts, we had, indeed been infected with governmental beauracratic zombieism, and it was spreading to all who walked in the door.

Finally, our number was called, she answered some questions, "under penalty of perjury, blah blah blah" she took her picture, waited another 5 minutes, and her fresh warm permit was in hand, and with a cute picture!

After picking up hubby from work, we went to Hooters to celebrate (weird, I know, but she loves their salad.) ♪Celebrate good times, c'mon♪ (Kool & the Gang)

#1 has had her permit for a year (the required eligibility time in FL) but she is not quite ready for her license. She says she's a good driver, and I agree, she drives great, she just won't drive on the busy road, and she can't park, so as long as we only want to drive around our neighborhood and never stop, she'll do fine.

We leave Hooters, where #2 asks "Can I drive home?" "I have my permit!" as if the permit instantly makes her able to drive in rush hour traffic, when she's only previously driven a total of 100 feet in an empty parking lot?! I appreciate the enthusiasm, but no.

Meanwhile, #1 is being teased by Daddy about how #2 will have a license before her if she doesn't start practicing. So I chime in with, "I want you to be able to do some driving when we go to North Carolina." ♪Baby, you can drive my car♪(The Beatles)

Unexplainably, her jaw drops to the floor, and she whines "what?!" "I can't drive out of state!" "I won't know where I'm going!" "Why are you laughing?!" "Why is that funny?!" "Stop laughing, I don't see how that's funny!"

In the age of GPS, and Mapquest, she's afraid to drive out of our neighborhood, but she can't drive out of state, because she won't know how to get there?! OMG!

Wordless Wednesday: Pink

♪ Pink, it was love at first site
Pink, it's like red but not quite
and I think everything is going to be all right♪

Random Rants

This is a post about random things with totally no rhyme or reason, but I hope you'll read it just the same. Random song choice (also, for no real reason other than it's stuck in my head as I write this) Automatic by Powerhouse 5000

I get aggravated when people use religion as a descriptive for a person when it is not relevant. Ex: "They are good, Christian, people." Does this make them better than say Jewish people, or Wiccan, or Muslim people?! Why wouldn't you just say "they are good people?" Especially, when you don't know the audience you are speaking to! I've watched the prison inmate shows, and there are quite a few crosses tattooed on prisoners' arms. Do you think anyone says "he's a good Christian, thief?!" ♪Oh no, I've said too much, I haven't said enough♪ (Losing My Religion by REM)

A recent interaction really caught me off guard. I was talking about what I thought to be a pretty mundane subject (given my audience) when the next thing I know, my friend was clearly upset and actually managed to insult me in the process. Normally, I'm the "we need to talk" girl, but this was so, out there, that I don't even know where to begin. I know my friend will feel bad about hurting my feelings, and apologize, and I'm sure the apology will be heartfelt, but it doesn't change the "in the moment" things that were said, and the way I was left feeling.

If Patrick Swayze's soul is dancing around us? Is he now ♪like the wind next to me♪ (sorry! too soon and in bad taste, I know, but I had to get it out. RIP Patrick)

Why do employers think doing less for their employees, and telling them how they are lucky to have a job will actually make them work harder? Check out Roxane's recent post about her motivating employer (sarcasm implied) here.

My 15 yr old (#2) has an Asian friend whose mom makes a dish called Pendong? (how #2 says it, not sure how it's spelled) When it is Pendong night, I know my #2 will not be coming home for dinner, as was the case last night. So yesterday, she calls me to say "please, Mom, let me eat Pendong? I'll even bring you home some!" so naturally, when presented with the opportunity for me to get some food, I say "Yes!" so around 7:30, the front door opens, and #2 walks in with a paper plate with another plate on it as a lid, and I get excited about trying this famed dish (famous with #2, anyway.) she begins to tell me how hard it was to save it for me because it was so good, and presents me with the plate of.... 1 piece of meat! not like a big steak or even 1 rib, but 1 little maybe 2"x2" piece of meat! "sorry, Mom!" she says. (She's right, though it was really good!)

I am Invincible

I have never driven a stick, and I really don't get the attraction. Why do all that work, when you can drive an automatic and not have to worry about a thing?! So, I admit I've never really cared to learn. Until, recently.

You might remember my friend, that got a DUI, a couple months ago. If you don't remember, It's all fun and games until or didn't read it the first time around, (which I would understand, because I don't know if anyone read it then) check it out now. I'll wait...

Okay, so Jess (picture Jessica Rabbit, she grabs every one's attention with her curves, keeps them with her fun personality) got a DUI and is going through the process which means that she can't drive for awhile. Since, she'll be relying on friends to get her where she needs to go, she thought it would be a good idea to let me drive her car while she's not using it. Great idea! except it's a stick!

She assures me it's not a problem, she can teach me, and throws around some "you are a strong woman, you can do anything" crap, which, I naturally fall right into with every woman's anthem by Helen Reddy in my head ♪I am strong, I am invincible♪

This is not my first rodeo ride with this learning the stick thing. When I was 16, my father took me to an empty parking lot, and said "You're driving." I proceeded to stall the car no less than 20 times just trying to get it into 1st, while good ol' dad laughed hysterically at my frustration, which just served to increase my frustration, and in turn increased laughter from him (apparently, I was the clown in this rodeo.) Needless to say, it was not a successful ride, and it was one that was never repeated.

So, here we go, almost 20 years later, and I finally dust off the dirt to get back on the horse, and learn to drive this thing. I start off trying to get into gear, and it stalls, and Jess giggles, and reassures me. I try it again and it jerks and stalls, and again she giggles. Again, the same thing, and again, and again. I'm getting frustrated, and have a deep desire to bang my head on the steering wheel to, what else, but the rhythm of Quiet Riot's ♪Bang Your Head♪. Jess is now rolling with laughter, and I am about to scream "Woman, or not, I can't do this!" when she points down between the seats to the lever in the up position.

"The emergency brake is on!" "Are you kidding me?!" "No wonder it won't go anywhere!"

At this, we're both laughing, and I am once again thinking ♪I am invincible, I am Woman♪

With the emergency brake off, I gently slide it into 1st and off we drive. (okay, so it wasn't really gentle, and it still stalled a few more times before I was actually going anywhere, but I did drive, and even got into 4th gear.)

Now to get out of the neighborhood.

Mind Getaway

This is the first of the Mind Getaway Series. Just look at the picture, listen to the song (or provide your own) and let your mind drift away for an instant mind getaway. Feel free to post a link to your own mind Getaway.

Song for this getaway: Toes by Zac Brown Band

♪I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand

Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand

Life is good today. Life is good today.♪

Could Have Been the Champagne

The past couple of days, I've been nursing a terrible sinus headache, well, really all week, but I finally gave in and stayed home, yesterday. Joining me, in my suffering yesterday, was #1, the 16 year old, who was hacking and blowing in a lovely shade of yellow. In between all this ruckus, she actually said to me "I don't understand why I'm sick! I don't hang around with sick people!"

No kidding, that's what she said, and when I started laughing she said "Why are you laughing? I'm asking you a question!" which sent me into a belly laughing furry.

Last weekend, before I got attacked by the sinus monster, hubby and I went with the usual cast of characters to Crue Fest. We started tailgating at 2:00, so by 2:30 I had downed a couple of XL Jaegerbombs (my drink of choice.) We listened to a mix CD of all the bands playing the concert (not quite the same as a mix tape, but it will have to do) ♪He's the one they call Dr. Feelgood♪ played some washer toss (great game that requires tossing a washer into a box, and gets much more entertaining when mixed with frosty libations) and had a great time.

We wandered into the concert around 5 and by 7 our best couple friends were in an argument. One of those silly little arguments that couples have that make everyone around them think "Really?! you're arguing about that?" He wanted to hear ♪Bad Bad Girlfriend♪ by Theory of a Deadman, and she wanted to go see Cavo sing ♪could've been the champagne♪, both of which could have been achieved if the alcohol wasn't making their brains a little fuzzier than normal. Instead it escalated into some ginormous fight that had them throwing the "D" word around, and the rest of us thinking "Well, Crap! this sucks! and what does this mean for tomorrow's party at their house?!"

That's right, when friends have stupid fights, I don't worry about the stability of their relationship, or which one I will hang out with after the divorce, but instead I was worrying about the next day's party, and wishing they would just have some fun so I can fully enjoy Godsmack! ♪I Stand Alone♪

By the way, the next day's party was great! The alcohol wore off, and while I don't know the details, I'm sure their was some great making up. ♪could have been the champagne, the champagne♪