Friday, December 26, 2008
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
I met the Grinch today.
Who knew he lived here?
And drives a Dodge Sprinter Van?
I headed out to run an errand at lunch time. As I got out of my car and headed to the store, I spotted a gentleman getting out of his white sprinter van. He had jeans and jean jacket on, a black knit hat, and a long fluffy white beard.
I chuckled to myself, who knew Santa drove a Sprinter Van?
We hit the door to the store at about the same time. I smiled and gave him a cheery hello. Then I asked "do you get a lot of second looks from little kids this time of year?"
I swear I used my best, cheerful, friendly, making small talk with strangers voice.
He never stopped moving, never made eye contact.
And as he walked he said (and I quote, so please don't be offended) "yea that happens about as often as fat black women get mistaken for Aunt Jemima."
That's what he said.
I was so stunned I mumbled something like....."I like your beard, I didn't mean to offend."
And I am only slightly embarrassed to admit. I instantly got a lump in my throat, and had to fight back the tears.........I don't know why it hurt my feelings so bad, but it did..........
So there you go. Anyone looking for the Grinch............he's wandering around south Broadway in Denver...........in a white Sprinter Van.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
My reasons for doing so.................. are lame and not worthwhile.
I could easily say that I have been busy with holiday preparations and shopping.
The truth is less noble, and a true indication of my obsessiveness.
The truth is, I have been neglecting my blog while I hang out with my new IPod.
An early Christmas present, my Shiny new Silver 120GB IPod Classic has been obsessing me and keeping me up late at night.I resisted the IPod craze for as long as possible. But as a music lover, obsessed with having the right music for the right moment............well I got tired of dragging out my enormous CD binder and flipping through it to find "just the right CD".
After a YEAR or so of online and other research, I decided on the the IPod Classic, 120GB so I could upload ALL my CD's with room to grow..........
However, no one warned me (thanks, guys at work) about the "IPod Download Syndrome" where One becomes obsessed with downloading (uploading?) all One's current CD's. Oh.... and that process is not good enough.....One must download the album artwork. And if ITunes doesn't have it, then One must roam around on Amazon or elsewhere, to find the album artwork, copy the picture, and then drag it over to the little box ITunes provides for such things.
One becomes obsessed with creating playlists, apparently, my new hobby. This is the new version of the old process of loading 6 CD's into your six-pack CD player and hitting "random play".
THEN, creating playlists is not good enough for my obsessive self. I must mull and wax eloquent when naming my playlists. My current listing, in random order: Class of 77, Crooners, Harry, Like Butter, Relax, and Tequila.
Why can't I be normal?
Just to add final insult to injury, ITunes and IPods now have the "Genius" program, whereby you let Apple in on what is on your list, tell them a favorite song, and then THEY create a playlist for you based on that song.
This function will no doubt lead to hours of critiquing Apple's prowess.
So there you go.................all you regular readers, who wonder where I've been.
But so far the stats are............1709 songs, 161 albums, 4.9 days, and 39.94GB of music.
What a weak collection.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Last week, during my days off, I experienced my first Windows Vista "issue". Woke up to find my laptop wouldn't boot.
Spent an hour or so talking to "Ronald" from Manila. We set a restore point and all was well.
Next day, same thing...........no booting to be found. Long story short..............learned a good lesson about backing up my photos............and had to do a factory restart. Finally by Friday night we were back in business...........
Then the Internet went down. Out all weekend. Comcast restarted us over and over to no available. They told me the modem was toast. We set up an appointment to have them show up and replace the modem tomorrow. But when I got home tonight we are up and running.
It's like magic.
We will not be holding our breath. MAYBE we are back in business. We shall see.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
For the Chick Voice's family, today was not just another Thanksgiving feast. For years we have gathered as a family and feasted on the turkey with all the fixings..........followed by jockeying for the leftovers........football watching and turkey comas.......
But 2008 brings a momentous year. Fifty years ago today, my parents walked down the aisle and exchanged their vows. Since Thanksgiving doesn't always fall on the same calendar date, I think its very cool that their 50th Anniversary actually falls on Thanksgiving this year, just as it did the day they married.
Dad wanted everyone to be able to relax and enjoy the day..........no cooking or dish washing, so we gathered at a local restaurant. Not everyone could be there.........but those who came, helped us celebrate this historical day in our family.
It's hard to find the words, (and I'm sure my speech today didn't reach the goal), to express the pride and love I feel for Mom and Dad. The story of their lives, and how they came together, and the challenges they faced, is truly breathtaking.
My Mom is the toughest and bravest woman I have ever known. From her poor and difficult childhood, the oldest of 11 siblings, to the health challenges she has faced and survived, she has been an inspiration to me all of my life.
My Dad is a man among men. He married my mother when he was 22 years old, and took on the challenge of helping her raise all her younger siblings. My Grandmother had died when Mom was only 19 and Mom miraculously managed to keep them all together as a family. Mom and Dad came home from their honeymoon to a house full of kids. A year later, I joined the brood. I was born into a family of doting aunts and uncles, and parents who always put everyone else first. Then five years later, my Little Bro came along and joined the huge family.
These 50 years have been filled with challenges and heartaches. We have lost two of my Mom's brothers, one sister, and my Dad's younger sister as well. In spite of the difficulties, we have also shared laughter and love and many many days of joy. I have aunts and uncles I adore, and dozens of cousins with many children of their own. We have shared Easter egg hunts, and 4th of July's, shopping with the aunts, and many, many plates of Thanksgiving turkey and fixin's.
In a word, The American Dream. I know simply by looking around each day, how rare it is to have parents married all these years...........and a huge family who makes a point to gather each year.
I am blessed.
Mom and Dad, I love you more than I can ever express. I will never be able to repay you for the firm foundation, the legacy of Christian faith, the example of steadfastness, and a lifetime of generosity that you have modeled.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Kirill and Hanna.................Hanna of the sparkling eyes. Unbelievably good.
Mitchell and Maria...........Maria is she 13 going on 25, or a kid? Love the song they danced to "Mas Que Nada" Amazing and Len agreed.
Craig and Samantha.........got a visit from MAX! How can you say anything but Wow.
Have to give my vote to.........
Mitchell and Maria.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Really late this year for a first snowfall in the metro Denver area. But it happened this morning and I ran around the house silently (so as not to wake The Husband) cheering, "YAY!!" I love the first snow.
Of course, it's now sunny, melted and in the 60's by Sunday.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
"Comment by alppuccino on 11/5 @ 7:11 am #
At 10:40, President Bush will keep his streak alive by telling everyone how much he loves America. Just as he always has.
And he’ll show everyone how much he loves America by preparing Obama as best he can for the next 4 years. He’ll do everything in his power to impart to President-elect Obama the seriousness of national security. He’ll do it with dignity and class as he has always done - to the absolute disgust of his political enemies. But now those enemies must stand with George W. Bush in loving America, when just yesterday they hated her with a passion.
And a dumb hick Republican will lead them."
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I am sad. It is a time of great change. And change is always scary to me.
McCain's concession speech was eloquent and humble. Stirring and classy.
"Tonight, I remain Her servant", he said, speaking of his country.
He served his country with more fervor and devotion than many thousands of us combined together. He put his life on the line in ways that are beyond comprehension to 99% of us.
I might cry all night.
It is an amazing moment in the history of the United States. We have elected someone who represents a people, who at one time were not even considered human, much less citizens. A people who lived under Jim Crow laws not so long ago.
To a woman who grew up idolizing Martin Luther King, Jr., in all his flaws, this is a moment of mixed emotions. I am thrilled that we have taken this step forward................not happy that is was this man, at this time.
I believe our reaction should be to hit our knees, and as it says in
I Timothy 2:1-3. "I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior".
People were energized around the country, in a way I have not seen since the days when the Reagan campaign said, "it's morning again in America".
The nation has been in a bad place for some time now.............
I truly don't know if President-Elect Obama (I said it!!) will have it in him, to take us to a better place.............because we do need hope........... and change.
I do fear that he doesn't have the savvy and experience to do anything but.......I hate to say it...."bumble".
But alas, we shall see.
I won't take the low road and declare.............as many Democrats did about George W. Bush, that he is "Not My President".
He is My President.
I am an American. A Coloradoan.
And what we do...........we do together.
Haven't had a lot to say about the election and politics lately, frankly because there are so many out there that do it better.
Not feeling very happy about what I think is about to happen, but I did my part, I guess. Cast the ballot, sent the check.
Helped a few of my employees with the impromptu "ChickVoice Civics Lesson". Most were not registered, didn't even know what county they lived in. I think most of the ones I helped will vote for Obama. Maybe, over time, I can be a quiet influence on beng better educated about the issues, and the process.
Off to channel flip............
Saturday, November 01, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Since the early seventies, I have referred to Aerosmith as "my band". Had all the albums.........saw them three times in the seventies, and I seem to remember a fan letter once written to him with my friend Margaret........although I don't think we ever mailed it........
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I know, I know, the audience participation element (a la American Idol) keeps more people watching and a younger demographic. All the cross promotions STUFF (text messaging) is a part of the revenues, blah, blah, blah.
It still sucks when they send more talented dancers home, instead of people who get votes for popularity or other reasons.
Hence tonight, they sent home Toni Braxton............................AND NOT CLORIS LEACHMAN.
Is there anyone out there who can justify that Toni is less of a dancer than Cloris? Don't get me wrong..............I have been amazed at the fact that octogenarian Cloris can lift her leg above her head............and she is hysterical. Really, really, funny. BUT NOT A BETTER DANCER.
So Toni, VERY UNFAIRLY from my perspective hits the road.......and Cloris lives to see another day.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Then there was the Flamenco River Dance.........not something you see every day............and what exactly was the point of the shirtless thing??? Didn't do anything for me.
"We pinkie swear this is going to be the best Cha Cha ever." And it was.........Jessica and Mitchell. How do you decide between cute and cuter???
Special music by Nemo?? Or Neo?? Or who was that guy??? Man, I am so not hip........ Can we have some more Barry Manilow? At least I know the words.
So tonight's parting couple is........................ Rocco and Karina. Not really surprised. Rocco had a classy departure.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Brainwashed (for new readers) because I have made him watch and magically made him like it. No mystery that I enjoy it, because I'm genetically linked to dancing.....see this link here.
So tonight is results show...................and WHAT A RELIEF AFTER THE MIND NUMBING PRESIDENTIAL DEBATES..........................................
Kool and the Gang...................having 70's flashbacks...............
Really sad on so many levels that Misty May got hurt and is out...........
Terrible injury..........................AND..................no more Max.................how shallow of me.
Still loving Warren Sapp. So very cute and fun to watch.
Would love to see Rocco do better................poor guy.......what a terrible costume this week.
Don't really like Jennifer Hudson's voice...........can I say that?
So the final results are...........
NO ONE GOING HOME. Because of Misty being hurt. But they revealed who had the fewest combined score and WOULD HAVE gone home.......
Rocco............saw it coming.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
I hooked up satellite radio.
With a radio career in my background, I scoffed at anything other than LOCAL radio...........
Who needs satellite? It's soooooooooooooo............ NOT LOCAL.
The Husband got a free year of Sirius in his new Jeep.............I kinda liked it..........a few interesting stations here and there.
Then they pulled the plug on my favorite local station.
So now we had to decide whether or not to renew the subscription.............and for only $7 bucks more..........my car can have it too..........
So you know what goes together really well??
This car......... (top down)
A beautiful fall day.
And Sirius Channel 18. The Spectrum.
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
At age 10, my parents took me to see "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid". It was love at first sight for both Redford and Newman. As a high school freshman, the parents dropped me off with a few girlfriends to see "The Sting"..............and we ran around laying our finger on the side of our nose for the rest of the year.
As I got older I went back and sought out videos of the older Paul Newman movies, and was amazed at his range. Though I never got over my Robert Redford crush...........through the years I really grew to love and respect Paul Newman. The fact that his marriage to Joanne Woodward stood the test of time, well, that just added to the admiration. I found a quote, "Once asked if he was ever attracted by the beautiful women with whom he worked Newman famously replied, "Why go out for a hamburger when you can have steak at home". Gotta love that man.
When scanning around for a photo, I chose the one above, because I think he became more handsome with age..........
Hard to pick a favorite Newman flick, there are so many, and so many different roles. Just a few that always make me stop and watch............."Nobody's Fool", "The Verdict" and of course, "The Color of Money".
Wish they could have done just one more..............
Friday, September 26, 2008
I am a Republican, and I will vote for John McCain. By the way, I will not vote for John McCain BECAUSE I am a Republican. I will vote for for John McCain because I CANNOT vote for Barack Obama. He is not the man for the job. AND.....I think he is not ready for the job. Not EVEN CLOSE.
I look at things differently than most.......in the Event Business you notice all the small things. Senator Obama LOOKED terrible. He looked tired and sweaty and he needed a shave........
McCain has 30 plus years on him and he looked rested and sharp.
But all this is based on my frame of reference..............so it's clearly not objective. Through my Republican eyes I think McCain won by a nose.......
And it was boring as snot............
Couple of moments there when John shined................the "Oh Please" moment was the best.
Must say that the VP debate will be much higher on the entertainment factor.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Last night was a real "hoot"as they say. Fun to see the new stars, new pros, and returning pros. (Lets hear it for Maksim). I loved Warren Sapp best of all.
So tonight they sent home Jeffery and Edyta.......clearly the correct choice.
In a hectic world, with the upcoming election, financial woes, troops around the world, Dancing with the Stars is a is a bit of escape.........a la Fred and Ginger.......and it makes me smile and laugh.
At our house, we won't miss a moment.
We normally wake up Sunday morning, have coffee, read the Sunday paper and then he usually makes breakfast.
My nutty idea was to take advantage of two things..........
The unbelievably wonderful September weather, and our proximity to an amazing overlook.
So we changed up our firmly ingrained routine. We woke up, had one cup of coffee, threw on the sweats, and jumped in the Jeep to head to our nearby overlook.
Thermos of hot coffee, simple breakfast, two fold up chairs, and what a Sunday morning.....
If I could get the focus thing down on my camera, this would be and even better shot..........
It was peaceful and invigorating at the same time...........for me a real sabbath.
Saturday, September 20, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
I'm conflicted, and don't know what to think about this book. I read it quickly, and it held my interest. At times I loved it, then hated it, then laughed, then shed a tear. In other words, my typical reaction to a Frank Schaeffer book.
The full title of the book is
"Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back".
Yes, typical Frank Schaeffer.
I feel like I have a long standing relationship with Frank. My first introduction to Frank's writing was his 1981 book "Addicted to Mediocrity" I already knew of his father, Francis Schaeffer, and his groundbreaking "What Ever Happened to the Human Race". They showed the film version at our church.
"Addicted to Mediocrity" gave voice to thoughts I had been struggling with for a number of years. Frank (who then published himself as Franky) wrote, "Whenever Christians, and evangelicals in particular, have attempted to 'reach the world' through the media--TV, film, publishing and so on--the thinking public gets the firm idea that, like soup in a bad restaurant, Christians' brains are best left unstirred."
It rang true to me. Frank pointed out that in the past, many great works of art had been created "to the glory of God". You know...... stuff like....... the Sistine Chapel and Handel's Messiah. At the time I read the book (and sadly not much has changed) Christian bookstores were full of plastic "Jesus Loves You" combs and "Footprints in the Sand" plaques. I was moved and challenged by the book and it left me hungry to find "the good stuff" to this very day. It effected the way I looked at art, and literature, and in particular, music.
Frank freaked everyone out in 1994 with "Dancing Alone: The Quest for Orthodox Faith in the Age of False Religion". In that book he tells the story of his conversion to the Orthodox church. It was rambling, hard to follow, and cynical. He managed to tick off both the evangelicals and the orthodox. I still liked it.
But the book that really nailed me was "Portofino". I think I have bought this book 4 or 5 times, because I would give it to someone, then decide to read it again, buy it, give it away. I love Amazon's description of the plot.
"Calvin is the son of a missionary family, and their trip to Portofino is the highlight of his year. But even in the seductive Italian summer, the Beckers can't really relax. Calvin's father could slip into a Bad Mood and start hurling potted plants at any time. His mother has an embarrassing habit of trying to convert "pagans" on the beach. And his sister Janet has a ski sweater and a miniature Bible in her luggage, just in case the Russians invade and send them to Siberia. His dad says everything is part of God's plan. But this summer, Calvin has some plans of his own ..."
The story of Calvin was gritty and real. He was a boy growing up in the real world and trying to figure out how the "Christian world" fit in. Or rather, he was growing up in a Christian world, and trying to figure out how to apply that in the real world. He was embarrassed when his mother had a particularly long prayer over their meal in the restaurant. My gosh, the waitress had to wait! I lost my mind when his mother whipped out the "Gospel Walnut" while talking with someone on the bus. My kindergarten choir director at church amazed us with her gospel walnut.
Meanwhile, everyone one wondered how much of the "novel" was a description of his childhood, and the answer seemed clear.
If there was any room left for doubt, "Crazy For God" blows that doubt up. Franky/Frank tells us all. From his father's violent moods, to his mother's search to find her place in the creative, artistic circles, without compromising her faith. It's a sad and sordid story, and I think there were some things we didn't really need to know. But there were moments of tenderness and love and forgiveness too.
Frank doesn't spare himself in anyway. We now, officially, "know too many secrets, I wish now I did not know."(Rich Mullins). Frank was the "all too typical" "PK" (pastor's kid) who rebelled, all the while playing the part of the dutiful son and heir apparent to his father's ministry. Raise your hand if you've heard this one.
In the end, why did Frank write this book? To embarrass his parents? Considering his father had already died, clearly not. To make sure we all know the truth about life in the home of Francis and Edith Schaffer? Anyone who grew up in the church, if they are honest, knows that many families were not as they seemed. The church is full of imperfect people. Did he just need to get this all off his chest?
I will give him the benefit of the doubt, and hope that he just wanted to make sure we avoid the danger of putting leaders on pedestals. A lesson I learned early in life. For me it was a story about good intentions, with failed realities. I'm not sure I can really recommend it. For people who have walked this same road, it may be a comfort.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
But today's delay was a pleasure. Living out here in the vast suburbs of Denver, I had a little taste of small town America.
I got stuck behind the Homecoming Parade.
We live really close to both a high school and junior high. I can often hear the marching band practicing in their parking lot. Tonight as I got close to home the traffic was diverted to one lane, and we drove along side a very slow moving parade. Complete with floats, two marching bands and the entire football team.
Very very cool.
The Pom Pom girls were on the tepee float.
I'm impressed that the county sheriff's department helps the school facilitate this. It must be great for the students, and I thought it was a great slice of small town............in a big town.
Saturday, September 13, 2008
I'm always way behind on the bestseller book wagon. I joined a neighborhood book club a year and a half ago. And that's a story for another post. However, one of the books picked OVER A YEAR AGO, was "Love in the Time of Cholera". At the point when this book was picked........ I was already pretty burned on the "Tragedy Novels" the group always seemed to pick.
But I have this thing with books.
If I start it, I finish it.
NO MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES. This book set a record. I'm certain 14 months is the longest I've ever taken to read a book. Now granted, I don't just read one book at a time. I have one in the car, one upstairs, one downstairs, and I grab whichever book I'm near.
So ANYWAY..........can I say this out loud???? I HATED THIS BOOK!!!
I don't care if it won the Nobel Prize for literature. I hated it. Now taking into consideration the fact that it was written in Spanish, and then translated into English, that still doesn't make up for the plot.
Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl. Girl's father makes girl marry someone else. Boy is heartbroken. Boy decides to wait for girl's husband to die so he can get her for himself. etc., etc.
Now by "wait for girl" we mean boy sleeps with any and everyone he can. I mean HUNDREDS of women. And he writes it all down in a diary.
It's a love story.
Really. This is great literature? What did I miss?
So I watched the movie.
It didn't help.
Guess I had bad lit teachers. If someone out there can explain why this book won a Nobel Prize, I'm dying to know.
All I can say is, "Wow, I'm glad that's over".