Happy Happy Happy George Harrison’s Birthday


May you always walk on cloud nine
May the gnomes in your gardens always be grinning
May your Wellingtons never be heavy
May you always have a ukulele handy
May you always know what life is
May you always be best friends with your mate
After he just boinks your wife
When I say love one another
You don’t have to take it literally
But anyways
May your guitar never weep
May the sun always rise
And always handle each other with care

Today is George’s 71st birthday! I wish it were a national holiday. We could celebrate by sitting cross-legged while learning how to play sitar.  However, I can’t sit cross-legged due to spinal fusion surgery so I’d have to stand and play the tambourine.

There are only a few songs that make you stop whatever you are doing or thinking and experience the moment. “Here Comes the Sun” does that for me.  Of course, the majority of George’s songs does that to a fanatic like me but that song I’ve heard since the womb.  Today’s kids have heard Mozart in utero. I heard the Beatles.  So there.

flat stanley in hawaii

Flat Stanley here again!  Thanks to my friend Tony I visited the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

Yay! I'm in Hawaii!

On the front lawn!

Bobby Brady? Where are you?

Check out my hula dancing, y'all!

I'm stuck in a tree!

Then I flew over here. Can you spot me?

Now for a relaxing walk on the beach.

Hey, that water is getting kinda close.

What does "Oh no, Mr. Bill" mean?

Whew! I'm okay.

I think I'll try some surfing...

Uh...maybe not.

I think it's time to come back. Thank you Tony and thank you Hawaii!


Hugh Hewitt, Gary Sinise visit Temecula

Gary Sinise with the Lt. Dan Band are holding a benefit concert tonight in Temecula for Marine Cpl. Juan Dominguez. who lost both legs and an arm in Afghanistan.  Hugh Hewitt hosted his radio show from Baily’s in Old Town Temecula sponsored by KTIE 590.  I was happy to be in the audience, not only because I’m a Hewitt fan, but that he celebrated the life of Andrew Breitbart, the recently deceased conservative commentator.  Here are some shots of Hewitt on air:



And taking a break in between segments:


He was kind enough to come up to me and say hello.  I was also lucky to get there just in time to snap this pic of Sinise:


Here he is talking to a representative from KTIE who commended him for all the work he does for the troops:


It was quite cold this evening at the show but it was such a wonderful way to celebrate Andrew Breitbart.  May he rest in peace.

dear today’s shopping mall, I unfriend you

Dear (insert every city’s major indoor/outdoor shopping mall),

As a teen, I fell in love with you.  I visited you with friends to buy the trendiest of clothes with my meager wages.  I got Orange Julius though I didn’t know what was so great about it.  I walked by girls (and boys) getting their ears pierced since it was the eighties. I snatched up every pair of parachute pants paying full price because getting spotted in K-mart was worse than leprosy.

Then in the nineties something smart happened.  You became the place  for The Intellectual.  Electronic stores invaded, major book stores opened for the now mature shopper who no longer needed hair scrunchies and leg warmers.

One could sample music through headphones while sitting around other people like a music bar. Game and puzzle stores laid out chess games for passers-by to play.

You bore toy stores stepped up from the usual Barbies and fake flipping barking dogs.  You sold science experiment kits and (gasp) art supplies.

If an artist or scientist suffered at an impasse, a trip to your glittery cages and “mall air” cured what ailed us with a salted soft pretzel, of course.  Like when we eat ice cream while suffering sore throats.

Then the recession of ‘Aught 8 rolled in.  Electronic devices blew up with books, music, movies and games that nobody had to touch except for touch pads.  Book stores dropped you and set themselves up outside your parameters with no weary shoppers to wander in.  Hot potatoes be damned.

Today, if we want to open a book we must do so whilst standing because big name book stores no longer offer comfy chairs to relax and browse. We must buy the magazine we want to look at along with a drink otherwise we can’t sit at the tables.

But face it, we get magazines solely to read in the bathtub because we can’t risk dropping our iPads in the water, unless you have a bowl of rice and a heat source handy to dry it out.

There’s hardly nothing left to touch before we buy.  The only place left in your vast expanse for The Intellectual is the overly sterile Apple store. There’s nothing colorful to feast on except the casings for their devices.

All that’s left now, Dear Shopping Mall, are stores with clothes, shoes, shoes, clothes, clothes, jewelry, and shoes.  And you know the sad part?  Nobody’s in those stores.  High-heeled Lady Gaga shoes sit on stands, shining their rhinestones and leopard and cheetah prints, lonely and soon to be forgotten in 2 months when they are shamefully out of date.

I shouldn’t complain, Shopping Mall.  I’m typing this on a software program that provides me with links, articles and pictures to accompany me which is pretty nifty.  I just wish something nifty was left over in your glass-windowed hallowed halls.


The Average Intellectual Shopper

midnight in paris: on a whim movie review

Salvador Dali with ocelot and cane.

Image via Wikipedia

I was in the mood for an artist’s date yesterday and in true form, I planned nothing ahead except for bring with me a free movie pass I won in a raffle.

Without checking to see what was playing, I went to the theater to see what movie was starting next.  One couple bought tickets to Midnight in Paris.  I’m not a movie goer so I’m not familiar with anything on the silver screen that doesn’t involve Harry Potter. The couple said it was a Woody Allen film.  I’ve loved his movies for many years but got creeped out with him marrying Mia Farrow’s daughter, but I thought I’ll give it a shot.

And what a shot it was.  We hear but not see Owen Wilson as Gil Pender talking to his fiancée (Rachel McAdams) about how tired he is of being a hollywood hack and how he wants to live in Paris to write a novel but she wants to stay in Malibu. They are in France on business with her parents so they take in the sights.

Gil goes for a walk at midnight and on a whim he gets picked up in a cab from the 1920s with some partygoers. At the party he meets Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, while Cole Porter entertains on the piano.  The Fitzgeralds take Gil to a bar where they meet Hemingway then see Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) where he gives her his novel to critique.  By the way, Picasso is with Stein analyzing a painting I swear looks like something my 7-year-old concocted, but hey, it’s Picasso.

Other artists from the 1920s make appearances such as Adrian Brody as Salvador Dali.  I never knew Dali could be so sexy and crazy at the same time especially since he only spoke of rhinoceroses.

This is the kind of movie I’d write.  Or it would at least be in my dream journal.  It was like walking through all of my lit and art courses in college.  If this movie existed back then, I’d have straight A’s, no problem.  We want to see the people we study come to life.

After the movie I felt inspired as an artist so on a whim I walked to Michael’s.  I still felt like I was in the movie as I walked by an Italian restaurant as a street performer sang, “It’s a wonderful night for a moon dance.”  I walked straight to the artist supplies and saw sketchbooks on sale, so I picked one up with some charcoal pencils.  I plan on using these at the beach today like Reginald Marsh as he sketched by the ocean.

What a terrific unplanned artist’s date’ it’s something we all need to unblock our creativity.  I give this movie a rating of all the stars Vincent Van Gogh ever painted.

we need a holiday: george harrison day

George Harrison in the Oval Office during the ...

Image via Wikipedia

There’s too much fighting and protesting and anger today.  We got Libya, Egypt and Wisconsin holding up signs and marching through streets to the tunes of bongo drummers (I’m from Wisconsin and I never thought I’d ever lump my home state with Libya and Egypt).

Yesterday morning while Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana senators played Midwest Chinese Fire Drill, I strolled into my Starbucks.  A showdown between two sisters played outside:

“**** you!” said one.

“I’m telling you the truth!” said the other.

“I don’t have a sister!”

“You have plenty of sisters!”

“Yeah, but I don’t have a sister named Julie.”

I assumed it was Julie the other sister yelled at.

With all this unrest there is no better time for a holiday.  I hereby declare February 25th, George Harrison‘s birthday, a spiritual holiday.

Do we give each other gifts on this holiday?  No.  We use the gifts God gave us. Rumer Godden, author of the children’s book “The Story of Holly and Ivy” said:

“There is an Indian proverb that says that everyone is a house with four rooms, a physical, a mental, an emotional, and a spiritual. Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time but unless we go into every room every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not a complete person.”

With the help of Mr. Harrison’s songs, here’s my outline on how to celebrate this day in those four rooms:

Take a yoga class.  My orthopedic surgeon and dentist, both of Indian descent, recommended yoga for my back and thyroid.  Indians in the medical profession got it goin’ ON.  I can see why George was so fascinated with Indian culture and learned how to play sitar.

Play Scrabble online.  You’ll learn new words when the computer gets away with words you never heard of, like Qi and Ka.

Read to improve your mental well-being.  Adam Carolla‘s In Fifty Years We’ll All Be Chicks is good for laughter but it’s also eye-opening.  Did you know you can get rid of a zit by taking a shower, sterilizing a pin to pop it, then covering it with Oxy-10?  That’s what Adam says.  Why didn’t I know this as a teenager?  I just covered it with make-up with an icky way-overused sponge which made my acne worse.

Whenever we apply a method to deal with anger it never works.  So I let Angry Birds take out my rage for me.  Shooting birds shaped like bombs through sling shots to destroy little green pigs is at least a little entertaining.  See if you’re still mad after that.

One of the easiest ways to enhance your spiritual life is to sign up for a daily e-mail.  I get mine through Heartlight.  They send me a Bible passage and a quote for the day.  Rumer Godden’s quote popped up in my in-box just a few days ago.

Men, on George Harrison Day, grow mustaches.  Respect the ‘stache!  Since George Harrison Day falls on a Friday this year, you get a 3 day weekend to grow it.

So roll out your yoga mats, wear breathable cotton and go barefoot.  Report back to me on Monday.

vote slim paley for a homie!

Slim Paley Photo

Do me a rockin’ favor and vote for Slim Paley for a “Homie” for Best Home Design Blog at Apartment Therapy.  Here’s the link:  http://bit.ly/edYKZo

First check out the site – it’s chock full of pictures of the author’s homes and gardens, vacation pictures from around the world, and incredibly high-heeled shoes.  What sets Slim apart from the other home design blogs is her witty commentary and soundtracks.  Think if Martha Stewart, Elaine May and Vivienne Westwood had a baby.  That’s Slim.

Then go to Apartment Therapy’s site here to vote.   Scroll down to vote in the poll, then scroll down to the bottom and input this info into the comment field:

Name: Slim Paley
URL: http://slimpaley.com

It requires registration to vote, which might be quick or a little finicky, but please be patient.  It’s worth it.

it’s dark and we’re wearing (ray bans wayfarer) sunglasses…hit it!

I'm Still in Love with You (Roy Orbison album)

Image via Wikipedia

Elwood: It’s 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it’s dark, and we’re wearing sunglasses.
Jake: Hit it.

my ode in acrylic to my fav sunglasses: wayfarers

First there was Audrey:

image via flickr

Then the Blues Brothers:

image via flickr - poster from the movie blues brothers

Then Tom:

image via flickr

Then finally me:

notice the beale st shirt - straight from memphis

When Tom Cruise brought back Wayfarers in Risky Business and Don Henley sang about them in “Boys of Summer“, I found an old pair of my brother’s (maybe it was his tribute to Roy Orbison). I couldn’t stop wearing them in high school.

Like when it was Fifties Day at high school. I forewent the poodle skirt and dressed like a greaser with my dad’s old shirt and my brother’s Letterman jacket:

My over-sized pair came in handy (still don’t believe the school allowed us to wear shorts that short):

Even during the Miss Bristol,WI pageant (one year I won Miss Congeniality – take THAT Sandra Bullock!)

My friend Jill got in on the action. A boy in school thought Jill had a body that was illegal for freshmen to look at.  I have to agree.

Today I can’t wear Ray Bans due to my prescription eye glasses. I once owned a pair of prescription sunglasses but I made the mistake of wearing them in the ocean at Laguna Beach. A wave swept over me and off they went.  Somewhere there’s a fish who can see REALLY well but more importantly, looks REALLY cool.