Sunday, February 11, 2007

Still moved...

Here is the new address:

Please update your bookmarks, favorites, blogroll, and any other links!

Thanks, gracias, merci, and спасибо!

Live Observations from the Grammys

Solely for my own amusement, but if any of this gives you a grin, cool!

The Police…Oh YES baby
Sounds just as good as in '83
What the hell was he singing in the breakdown?
hmmmm, Sting is now in the running for the Gingey Award for Best Hottie-Over 50 Category

Best Pop Colab...YEAH...Stevie & Tony...I love me some Tony Bennett now...PURE CLASS.
They both are making me tear hormones are out of whack.

Chicks...ok, I get it...they spoke out for what they believed...but they aren't heroes, they are musicians. Enough with the overblown Joan Baez introduction. As they ask in this song: "Can't you just get over it?" Oh, and I had a prom dress that looks like Natalie's. The other two look hot.

Prince...what was that? Beyonce...great dress. Lose the flowers in your hair. I am amazed you didn't fall down those steps...good girl! Fantastic performance! WOW.

Carrie Underwood: you have looked bored in every shot so far...get excited!!! You were sitting at home eating a pint of ice cream and watching this show only 2 years ago!

I LOVE Fergie's hair, and her pewter baby doll dress...lovely.

Mary J. looks sincerely touched and a little taken aback. She even brought her purse up on the I'm happy for her.

Queen L...not crazy about your dress...but who am I? I'm sitting on my couch w/ my laptop and a are rich and on national tv. lol

Justin Timberlake...nice echo effect going on here...ouch, this is a song written about Brit-Brit, isn't it? ok, I am loving this performance... I always love black "ensemble" BGVs, too... NOOOOOO, don't ruin the performance with this cheezy holding the camera in your face gimick...GONG!!!!!!

Mary J, Mary J, Mary J....Blige. Preach it, girlfriend.

Corrine, John, & John...ahhhhhh, I lovvvve good music... sweet. This is the kind of music I like to turn all of the lights out, crank it up, and bask in every note...

John Mayer is now in the running for the Gingey Award for Best Hottie-Under 30 Category...for his musicianship alone...and the hair...great hair.

Next presenters: uh, who are you ladies? Holy crap...I can't believe Christina Ag didn't win Best Pop Vocal...oh well, John Mayer is a good second choice.

Commercial break: Holy shit, I am 0 for 0 in my predictions this year...I suck!

Shakira...DAMN! Look at her shakin' that thang! Very cool production number. I'm sure all of you ass men are having a coronary right about now! Wait. Did he just rap, "Obama"? I want an outfit like hers...however, I would end up looking like Buddah in it.

Ok, this is really sad...aging sucks. I hate seeing our legends looking sooooo elderly.

hmmmm...Chicks again...and Natalie was almost...almo...nope...she wasn't speechless...

Wow, I feel like I'm listening to Jackie Wil ...oh there was Algore... Wilson...who are all of these airline pilots? Did Delta go on strike again?

Best Rap category...dead to me. Time for a potty break.

Back just in time for Ludacris to give a shout-out to Bill O'Rilley...that was funny!

oooh, this guy is going to play Charlie Pride (one of my favorites)...Terrance Howard...(thx, Sista), a pretty intense intro for Mary J. She's good, but, "royalty"? Not yet...not for a few years/decades...she isn't quite Aretha yet...
Ok, I take it back...that was amazing.

Please, God...oh, this is farkin' ridiculous...somebody pleeeeze give Natalie a muzzle.

Carrie Underwood...ok, this is kind of cute, The Bob Wills thing. Rascal Flatts doing't crazy about Gary LeVox' lead. Not at all.

Carrie Underwood on Desparado...thumbs up.

Just not into Gary LeVox on any of this. NOOOOOO, please don't do the face to face hump dance ... whew! it's over...

Natalie Cole: "uh, this is great. Carrie Underwood." I don't think it was a "Great!", but a "Great."

Samuel L. & Christina Ricci: awkward.


Lionel...omg..."Hello"...I'm back in 1985 again...

next number: ummmmm....potty time again...

ah, here we go...Christina Aguilera...LOVE the performance, hate the, that was some scream!

Ok, had to take a break to address a child issue.

I always get sad when they show who all has passed away in the last year. Ahmet Ertegun...what an amazing pioneer in the recording industry. Buck Owens, Denny Doherty, Freddy Fender...

...James Brown.

David Spade...somebody remind me to blog about when I asked him for directions underneath 30 Rock in 1995...

Ludacris & Mary J. Blige...oooh, very cool vocal acrobatics from Mary J. ...Ok, at first I wasn't into this...but I kinda am now. Wow. Powerful.

James Blunt: I must be really, really hormonal...this song is really depressing me tonight...kinda makes me wanna go jump off the Batman Building...

...not really, but geez...

Jennifer Hudson...I would've picked a different dress...
ummm...this whole "contest" thing really cheapens the purpose of this event...but ok...
oooh, Justin...I love this it, love it, love it...ain't no sunshine, amen.

ok, bring up the beat...this girl looks pretty polished considering that she just got pulled from the audience to sing on freakin' national television and in front of all of most of her vote: winner pre-determined and performance pre-rehearsed.

Quentin Tarrentino...wins the Gingey Award for Best Hyperactive Loud Presenter in Need of Sedative.

Dixie Chicks got Record of the Year...sweeping...

I'm getting very sleepy.

Red Hot Chili Peppers...I'm disappointed that they didn't wear their socks. ;)

It's the amazing Algore! Holy crap, they are only on Best Rock Album? I thought this show was almost over! The Chili Peppers won. "We need more ROCK BANDS!!"

Don Henley and Scarlett Johanson...AWKWARD!

Album of the Year and the last word...Dixie Chicks.

Good show. I'm spent.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Picks for the Grammys

The only membership I kept after my departure from the corporate side of the music business was my membership to the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (NARAS), which is the voting entity for the Grammy Awards. It was the most special one because you have to earn your membership. You have to have at least 6 album credits to your name to become a member, so becoming a member is an accomplishment I am very proud of.

Hence, I get the privilege of voting for the Grammys every year, and so thought I'd share my votes for the categories I'm most interested in...we'll see if my picks are in line with the rest of the Academy and the critics!

Record of the Year:
"Be Without You,'' Mary J. Blige
"You're Beautiful,'' James Blunt
"Not Ready to Make Nice,'' Dixie Chicks
"Crazy,'' Gnarls Barkley
"Put Your Records On,'' Corinne Bailey Rae

My pick: "You're Beautiful,'' James Blunt
Because I am a mushy girl. Seriously, it's a beautiful song that will be remembered for years to come.

Winner: "Not Ready to Make Nice,'' Dixie Chicks
Well, I do believe these girls have gotten the last word, no?

Album of the Year:
"Taking the Long Way,'' Dixie Chicks
"St. Elsewhere,'' Gnarls Barkley
"Continuum,'' John Mayer
"Stadium Arcadium,'' Red Hot Chili Peppers
"FutureSex/LoveSounds,'' Justin Timberlake

My pick: "FutureSex/LoveSounds,'' Justin Timberlake
I can't help it...he sings in falsetto like Barry Gibb. Seriously, he gets a lot of flack, but the guy has real talent. I'm just not into the other albums in this category.

Winner: "Not Ready to Make Nice,'' Dixie Chicks
Thank God we can all move on now...

Song of the Year:
"Be Without You,'' Johnta Austin, Mary J. Blige, Bryan-Michael Cox and Jason Perry (Mary J. Blige)
"Jesus, Take the Wheel,'' Brett James, Hillary Lindsey and Gordie Sampson (Carrie Underwood)
"Not Ready to Make Nice,'' Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Dan Wilson (Dixie Chicks)
"Put Your Records On,'' John Beck, Steve Chrisanthou and Corinne Bailey Rae (Corinne Bailey Rae)
"You're Beautiful,'' James Blunt, Amanda Ghost and Sacha Skarbek (James Blunt)

My pick: "You're Beautiful"
Same reasons as above. Sorry, I can't jump on the Chicks or Underwood bandwagon on this one.

Winner: "Not Ready to Make Nice,'' Martie Maguire, Natalie Maines, Emily Robison and Dan Wilson (Dixie Chicks)
um...ooook...this one's for Sharon and Angie... :)

New Artist:
James Blunt
Chris Brown
Imogen Heap
Corinne Bailey Rae
Carrie Underwood

My pick: Carrie Underwood
You can't argue that she has talent and lasting power.

Thank God...Carrie, you finally made me 1-14 on my picks!!! geez!

Pop Vocal Album:
"Back to Basics,'' Christina Aguilera
"Back to Bedlam,'' James Blunt
"The River in Reverse,'' Elvis Costello and Allen Toussaint
"Continuum,'' John Mayer
"FutureSex/LoveSounds,'' Justin Timberlake

My pick: "Back to Basics," Christina Aguilera
This category has the word "vocal" in it. This girl has pipes, and they are showcased on this album beautifully.

Winner: "Continuum,'' John Mayer
Well, it's definitely my second choice. Glad it won.

Best Country Album:
"Taking the Long Way,'' Dixie Chicks
"Like Red on a Rose,'' Alan Jackson
"The Road to Here,'' Little Big Town
"You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker,'' Willie Nelson
"Your Man,'' Josh Turner

My pick: "The Road to Here,'' Little Big Town
Hands down! If you haven't listened to this album, pick it up! The songs, the harmonies, the pickin'...everything about this album is perfect.

Winner: "Taking the Long Way,'' Dixie Chicks
Damn, people...share the love...unbelievable.

Best Female Country Vocal Performance
"Kerosene Miranda," Lambert
"I Still Miss Someone," Martina McBride
"Something's Gotta Give," LeAnn Rimes
"Jesus, Take The Wheel," Carrie Underwood
"I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today," Gretchen Wilson

My pick: "I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today," Gretchen Wilson
The song and the performance slay me.

Winner: "Jesus, Take The Wheel," Carrie Underwood
Woo hoo! I still like Gretchen's performance better.

Best Male Country Vocal Performance
"Every Mile A Memory," Dierks Bentley
"The Reason Why," Vince Gill
"The Seashores Of Old Mexico," George Strait
"Would You Go With Me," Josh Turner
"Once In A Lifetime," Keith Urban

My pick: "The Seashores Of Old Mexico," George Strait
Pure country song, pure country performance. Good stuff.

Winner: "The Reason Why," Vince Gill
Name recognition.

Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal
"Not Ready To Make Nice," Dixie Chicks
"Heaven's My Home," The Duhks
"Boondocks," Little Big Town
"What Hurts The Most," Rascal Flatts
"Leave The Pieces," The Wreckers

My pick: "What Hurts The Most," Rascal Flatts
This was the hardest one to decide! All of the performances are excellent. I have to choose the Flatts guys because overall, it is a powerful performance in every way. Absolutely amazing. I crank it up everytime it comes on.

Winner: "Not Ready To Make Nice," Dixie Chicks
A political statement by a bunch of West Coast liberals. ;-)


Best Country Song
Every Mile A Memory
I Don't Feel Like Loving You Today
Jesus, Take The Wheel
Like Red On A Rose
What Hurts The Most

My pick: "What Hurts The Most," Rascal Flatts
Another difficult one to pick out of this lot. I would say that the structure,, who am I kidding...I like it because it reminds me of something the Brothers Gibb would have written.

Winner: Jesus, Take The Wheel
Man, I am sucking in my picks this year...

Best Bluegrass Album
"Long List Of Heartaches," The Grascals
"Bluegrass," Jim Lauderdale
"Instrumentals," Ricky Skaggs And Kentucky Thunder
"Live At The Ryman," Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives
"All American Bluegrass Girl," Rhonda Vincent

My pick: "Long List of Heartaches" The Grascals
This has nothing to do with the fact that the bassist, Terry Smith, is the husband of one of my best blogger buddies, Sista. It is an excellent album, and another one to pick up as soon as possible.

Winner: "Instrumentals," Ricky Skaggs And Kentucky Thunder
Name recognition.

Best Comedy Album
"Blue Collar Comedy Tour — One For The Road," Bill Engvall, Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy & Larry The Cable Guy
"The Carnegie Hall Performance," Lewis Black
"Life Is Worth Losing," George Carlin
"Straight Outta Lynwood", "Weird Al" Yankovic
"You Can't Fix Stupid," Ron White

My pick: "Blue Collar Comedy Tour -- One For The Road," Bill Engvall, Ron White, Jeff Foxworthy & Larry The Cable Guy
I don't care who you are...that ritechair is funny. Git-r-done!

Winner: "The Carnegie Hall Performance," Lewis Black
Who the f*ck is Lewis Black?

Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media
Can't Take It In (From The Chronicles Of Narnia — The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe), Imogen Heap
I Need To Wake Up (From An Inconvenient Truth), Melissa Etheridge
Our Town (From Cars), James Taylor
There's Nothing Like A Show On Broadway (From The Producers), Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick)
Travelin' Thru (From Transamerica) Dolly Parton

My pick: "Travelin' Thru," Dolly Parton
I truly believe this song deserved the Oscar...what a rip off! Therefore, I hope the Academy had enough sense to vote for it this time and give her what she deserves! I did...

Winner: Our Town (From Cars), James Taylor

Best Short Form Music Video
"8th Of November," Big & Rich - Deaton/Flanigen & Marc Oswald, directors
"When You Were Young," The Killers - Anthony Mandler, director
"Here It Goes Again," OK Go - a bunch of directors
"Dani California," Red Hot Chili Peppers - Tony Kaye, video director
"Writing On The Walls," Underoath - Anders Forsman, Ragnar Granstrand & Linus Johansson, directors

My pick: "8th Of November," Big & Rich - Deaton/Flanigen & Marc Oswald, directors
This is one of the most powerful videos I have ever seen, bar none. If you ever get the opportunity to see the extended documentary of the making of, you must. They show it on the video channels occasionally. If you don't tear up watching it, you ain't got a heart.

Oh, and George Flanigen is a hottie...old crushes die hard.

Winner: "Here It Goes Again," OK Go - a bunch of directors
This goes under my blog category: Bullshit.

Best Polka Album
Never mind...

Other shout-outs:

Frampton comes alive again! He won for Best Pop Instrumental Album...YAY!

Final Thoughts: I suck! I got 1 of 14 picks... I guess I should have jumped on the Chicks wagon after all...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

This Blog Has Moved

Here is the new address:

Please update your bookmarks, favorites, blogroll, and any other links!

Thanks, gracias, merci, and спасибо!

Quote of My Day

My 6-year-old daughter, upon seeing pictures of Anna Nicole Smith and hearing that she was 39:
"Wow! She was as old as you are and she's that pretty?!?!?!?"

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Gay! Cured! Get real!

Well, the Denver Post reports that Ted Haggard has claimed that after three weeks of intense counseling, he is "completely hetrosexual"! Damn, what program was he in? Too bad my ex-husband couldn't have enrolled there, because he counseled for a year and it didn't "cure" him!

Haggard's logic is that because he only had "sexual contact" with his Meth dealer/prostitute accuser, that he was just "acting out". Actually, Ted, you were acting "in" the closet, but I digress.

So now he's uprooting his family, moving to another town, and he is considering going for his Master's in Psychology. Hmmm, how would he analyze himself? Lying to thousands, using the tithes and offerings of his church members to buy illegal drugs, judging and condemning others for the very same thing he was secretly partaking in... Diagnosis: Psychopath.

Perhaps as he studies for his degree, he will learn that it is completely preposterous that only three weeks of any type of psychotherapy would be an adequate amount of time to draw a conclusion on any difficulty a person is dealing with. Especially when there is repeated behavior for which he put his wife's health, well-being, and security in danger. That's some pretty deep-seated issues there. Issues that a quick-fix, moving to another state, and changing professions cannot resolve. Been there, tried that, didn't happen.

Sorry, Ted, but you are still living in denial. Just because you don't "act" on your attraction to men doesn't make you straight. This is not going to go away for you.

Furthermore, another one of the problems with these "restoration" programs is that a person leaves it thinking it is their ticket back into their job (ministry), and they'll be back on the gravy train. How insulting to the congegration he devestated and the family whose heart he broke to think he can, after a few short months, brush this aside and move on as if there are no consequences for his actions. What brand of arrogant pride is that?

The best thing Ted Haggard could do right now for the sake of his family is keep his penis in his pants, keep his mouth shut, get some therapy that doesn't allow him to continue the ruse, and GET REAL.

Update: One of my very best friends know of this whole debate first hand, as a Christian who is also gay. Read on for his personal perspective...

Personally, I love your blog. Too right! You know, as real Christians, we should be able to discern a deception when we see, hear, or otherwise experience it. Ex-gay ministries are just that…a deception! They don’t ‘cure’ who a person is…and I seriously take offense at the term “cure”. God wants and loves us as we are already! God made each of each us the way we are and you know what?...He said that we are ‘fearfully and wonderfully’ made. How can anyone possibly be so arrogant as to believe that they could understand something so intimate to a person’s soul? Our soul is who we really are.

I learned a long time ago that Jesus never said one word about ‘homosexuality’. Even though the word itself didn’t exist in that time, there was certainly a way to describe it. But I find it very, very interesting that the Lord Himself, who never condemned anyone, but accepted everyone where they are as they are, did not see this as an important issue whatsoever. And no matter what Paul wrote or what is in the Old Testament in the book of Leviticus (don’t even get me started on that one…I mean, we don’t do animal sacrifices anymore either! Give me a break. We are under Grace through Jesus, not under Law. So there), I am so much more willing to believe in the Man who died for me than someone who made many, many mistakes (and admitted them)…meaning Paul. Not to say that Paul was not inspired. He was. But, don’t forget that he was flawed. He was not at all perfect. Jesus was the only perfect man…which is why He became the sacrifice for all of us.

Now, I could go on and on about my own personal research and about the meaning of ancient words and ancient contexts and I would prove my case. However, the simple truth is that our Lord did not consider it a sin to be who you are. So, of course, He never mentioned homosexuality. (Stepping down from the soap box…) ; )

English-Only Passes...or...Proof Metro Gov't is Still in the Hee Haw Era...

Hope you're proud Metro Council and Eric just set the image of this city back 50 years...

Even if it doesn't change much in the daily practice of city government, in principle it sends a message loud and clear.

Yee haw...let me git back on my haybail...

Updated: Here's the whole Hee Haw gang!

Metro Council...gone mad?

Mom, in honor of your birthday, I present to you two of the most amusing ideas that our government here in Nashville have proposed. Why? Because I know you, of all people, will appreciate the idiocy of these two, of many, horrifying proposals from my fair city. If this happened down in your neck of the woods, there would be riots in the streets...

First of all, tonight it is actually going up for vote to actually pass a bill making it illegal for city departments to use any other language but English in their signage, communications, or voicemail systems! (That means our Spanish-speaking friends couldn't even have the option to "Press 2 for Spanish".) Demoralizing, no? Can you even wrap your head around this actually being considered? No, but in Tennessee, it is still 1920 when it comes to this kind of thing... So much for opening our doors to the international community and all of the economical and cultural benefits they would bring to our city.

Secondly, and this has only been suggested, there is a councilman who has suggested upping the tax on coffee (!) as a sort-of "sin tax" along with cigarettes and alcohol...which would, of course, raise money for the education of our children. Nice guise, there, huh? What's next Councilman Isabel...taxing my tea, Diet Coke, and for the love of God, CHOCOLATE? Might as well...they all have the same drug, hence the same sin, right?

In the spirit of our forefathers at another tea party, I propose turning the Cumberland into a nice mocha latte to get the point of our dismay across...

So, there you have it, Mom...I know you want me to move back to Miami, but if I did I would miss so much comedy that this town renders!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Taking the WordPress Plunge!

Lynnster has created me a beautiful website over at WordPress...I must admit that I am a little intimidated by jumping my blog over there, seeing that I can be somewhat resistant to change...

But what the hay...
Go check it out and let me know what you think!
GingerSnaps at Wordpress...

In the words of Grandpa Castorini...

"Somebody tell a joke!"

--One of my favorite scenes from Moonstruck.

Got any good jokes to cheer me up?

Irreverent? eh, go for it...
Did you ever see that Mary Tyler Moore episode when Chuckles the Clown dies, and she can't keep from laughing hysterically at his funeral? That's how warped and irreverent I can be sometimes, especially to ease the reality of the moment...

Sunday, February 04, 2007

My Heart Is Broken

What does one do upon finding out that 4 people in your life have died in the past 48 hours...I suppose you just lose everything inside of you (including your cookies) and you're thankful that it all hit you while you & your daughter was at one of your best friend's house--so you could lose your mind, and your 6 year old didn't have to take the brunt of it?

I dunno...I'm at a loss.
Terry McMillan
October 12, 1953 - February 2, 2007
One of the best harmonica & percussion players ever...

Rev. Eric Falk
Age 35
Died February 2, 2007

Emmy Scott
Age 23
Died February 2, 2007

Rev. Gene Jackson
Died February 4, 2007

The Sarcastros are Showered

Much fun was had today at the Sarcastro Shower. It was great to see the gang again, and to meet face-to-face, live and in person from Memphis, that WonderWoman of Wordpress, Lynnster!

Thanks to everybody to came by and blessed Mr. & Mrs. Sarcastro with everything from onesies to a Diaper Genie.

Here are the Sarcastros opening their baby booty.

Sista had a great idea to put together a collage of baby photos of some of your favorite bloggers, as seen here...

Here are a few other highlights of the shindig...more will be uploaded to Flickr as soon as they are up & running again...

Friday, February 02, 2007

Shower for Sarcastro!

Come one, come all to the shower of the century!

Tomorrow (2/3/07) is the Bodacious Blogger Baby Blowout to shower Sarcastro and his lovely wife, Erica, with lots of gifts as they welcome their new baby boy into the world! The festivities will begin at 2pm at the Mothership.

So run to Target, grab a pack of diapers and something really cute for a baby boy, and join us as we celebrate another Sarcastro coming into the world!


*An Evite was sent out to try and get a head count, but please come even if you didn't get one...we didn't know everybody's e-mail addys...

Snowball Fights and Snowmen

Yes Snow!

Holy snowman! Ok, so the forecasters were a day late, but it sure is purty outside.

I'm sure there will be pictures of daughter in snow posted later on once we finish sleeping in.


Thursday, February 01, 2007


Snow? NO!
School? NO!
At least, not in my county...and why, I have no's barely a dusting.

Fire the forecasters!

Monday, January 29, 2007

Stinker Ginger

If this is not a portrait of my future stinker-ness,
then I don't know what is...

Happy Birthday, Little Al

A happy birthday shout-out to my awesome nephew, Alvin! I know you're growing up, but you will always be "Little Al" to me! I love you!

RIP Barbaro

Poor horsey. He certainly fought the good fight.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Chuck in Harlem

In today's royals news, Prince Charles shoots some hoops in Harlem...this is how I always dress to shoot hoops...

Diana would be laughing her arse off.

AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Middle Tennessee Blogger & Podcasters Group

Had a lovely time today at Espresso Joe's, enjoying a killer frozen espresso thingy and meeting some more blogger friends face to face.

The crew consisted of that Malicious Malia, Chip Talks, Kathy T, Big Orange Michael, Shauna's pish*posh, the dailydiablogger from Smyrna, that Bad, Bad Ivy, Gunner, and his lovely (and very tolerant) wife, Elizabeth.

A big, huge, gargantuan THANK YOU to the Big O for going with me up to the now former cube at my former employer, and helping me pack my desk of all of my former work crap. I could never have done it without you, and if I had tried, I would have cried, and probably gone all postal and then been sent to the funny farm where life is beautiful all the time and I would have been happy to see those nice young men in their clean white coats and... well... just thanks, my friend!

These blogger folks...they are good people.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Pacific Sunset

My friend Angie is a helluva photographer...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Counting my Blessings...

Yeah, my future may be unknown as to how I am going to provide for my household, but when your little girl comes up to you, wipes the tears from your eyes and brings you all of the change from her piggy bank just in case I need help to pay the bills...well...I can't even put into words how full my heart is with such gratitude for the blessings in my life.

Today, I meditate on this:
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." --Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Bush's Lullaby...

My favorite part of the State of the Union address...

Monday, January 22, 2007

2007: Annus Horribilis? ... or... Warning: Contents under Pressure - Venting Imminent

We are 22 days into the new year, and I have decided I want a refund! Let's see, highlights include: my first week of '07 was spent in bed with the flu, some of my dear friends are experiencing a constant stream of illnesses and losses, at least 4 people I know have lost their jobs or gotten notice thereof, today I finally received my official letter of notice after anticipating it for weeks (and still no word on if I'll get the new gig), and to top today off, I got a call this afternoon to pick up my daughter early because she's sick with a fever of 100.4. This is not the way I planned the January of my 40th year to be, dammit!

Here's the thing, '07, my buddy 'ol pal...I truly am not hard to please. Would it be possible to go easier on a girl just trying to do good for herself and her sweet child? Oh, and while you're at it throw in some good stuff for my buddies, too. Come on '07, help a sister out!

*Disclaimer: I know. It could always be worse. However, who said I had to accept that cop out?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sweet Dreams 'Til Sunbeams Find You

I was so sad to learn of the death of Denny Doherty from the Mamas & Papas. My favorite music is driven by harmonies, so you can imagine how much I have enjoyed their stuff.

Our musical heroes are slowly dying off...and it breaks my heart.

By the way, how 'bout these bathtub dancers? Sweet!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

To Those Who Have Touched My Life in the Past 12 Hours

To Sharon Cobb: It was wonderful meeting you! Thank you for the birthday drink!

To the Hostess at Chili's: You suck for telling me that the place I parked was ok and my car wouldn't be towed.

To Sarah: You are an angel for coming to get me & my daughter at 9pm & taking us to the tow lot. Oh, and for berating the tow company guy for making this "poor, cold single mom with her small child" pay $80 bucks to get her car back. You can be my representative any time!

To the Towing Company: You suck!!!

To the cop officer who pulled me over this morning for getting in the HOV lane for 3 seconds to pass an idot in the left lane, only to learn that my driver's license had expired 3 days earlier: I swear I thought I had until the end of my birthday month to get it renewed! My most heartfelt thanks for not taking me to jail. My deepest gratitude for having mercy on me and not giving me the ticket. You were so kind and gentle as you wiped the tears from my eyes asked me not to cry. I promise to never go in the HOV lane again and I promise that I went immediately and got my new license. Oh, and you were cute so please use the info you got from the license that I had to surrender and call me.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Mount Rushmore of Racing

I just wanted to share this photo I came it!

From left to right: Bill Elliott, Bobby Allison, Benny Parsons and Richard Petty.

Photo: (Daytona Beach News-Journal, Jim Tiller/Associated Press)

RIP Benny Parsons

Racing great, Benny Parsons, has passed away from cancer at the age of 65 today. It always makes me kind of sad when a racing legend passes, because it reminds me of my daddy. If it is possible for those who have passed to know one another up in heaven, then I'm sure my daddy and Benny have already shaken hands today.

Monday, January 15, 2007

I Need a House Call

If you were within a 10 mile radius of my house tonight, you may have heard a high-pitched squeal at around 7:35pm. That would have been yours truly giving it up for my man, Hugh Laurie, who won a Golden Globe tonight for Best Actor in a TV Series, Drama.

To top it off, during my hyperventilation attack, he gave one of the funniest acceptance speeches I have ever heard in my life. "I'm speechless. No really, I don't have a speech prepared!" He really would have loved a pre-written speech in his gift basket rather than the Cartier watch and a gift certificate for high colonics for two.

It was also rather dreamy (yes, I used the dreamy word - this guy doesn't have the corner on that market!) to hear him speak in his native British accent rather than his fake American English. Sigh...

I know all of you 24 and Grey's Anatomy fans are probably disappointed, but don't fret...the best man won.

The Big Four Oh

Welp, here it is...I'm 40 now.

Time for some Geritol.

That is all.

I Have a Dream

Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends. And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together." This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.
With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, From every mountainside, let freedom ring! And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that: Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:
Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!
© The words of Martin Luther King, Jr. are copyrighted by the King Estate

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pillar of Strength

I am sitting here watching Larry King Live, and Terri Irwin is on. It has been four months since her husband, Steve - The Crocodile Hunter - was killed in that freak accident with a stingray.

All I can say is what an amazing woman. She has great faith. The kind of faith that I strive for. When Larry asked her how she was handling what happened, she told him that she believed in destiny, and that what happened to Steve was meant to be. "It must have been time for me to take the lead..." in raising their children. She said she knew that it was destiny that they met and married, and now accepts his fate. Such strength through acceptance.

Her honesty with her grieving process was moving. She said that in the beginning, she could just take it one minute at a time, then one hour, then days, and now she has made it 4 months. She can't imagine 2 years even, but she'll make it just fine.

These are the kind of people who bless our world with the enthusiasm and positive energy that I endeavor each day to become.

"Prince Harry Trains for Deployment to Iraq"

Tons of media outlets are reporting this story. It should be noted that technically, he cannot be deployed to a "war zone", because he is 2nd in line for the throne. However, he could indeed be sent to Iraq for other duties. Nevertheless, I suppose that being anywhere in Iraq at this point could be dangerous, and he would most definitely be a target for insurgents or terrorists to prey on - what better way to get the publicity they obviously want than to off a British royal?

This may be much ado about nothing, but I was just thinking...wouldn't it be interesting to see what would happen if President Bush had a son in the military right now? I wonder if he'd be "allowed" to go?
Photo: Pravda


My total fine from the true confessions meme that Sista borrowed from Blogarita, and then Aunt B did it, and then the confessions started rolling in from Sarcastro, the Knuck, Exador, nm, debbie, Peggasus, saraclark, the Recovering Baptist, etc., etc., etc.

And yes, I am avoiding elaborating on my fine at all costs!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Fun Lunch at the Mothership

I took a long lunch from work today to join some of my blogger buddies over at Mothership Barbecue. The Sista and I arrived at the same time, and we were greeted by one Sarcastro and Dr. Funkenswine. After some laughs and more penis talk, we settled in for some kick-ass cue. We were joined by the Wonderdawg and Mr. CeeElCee from the Dry Spot.

Sista gave me the funniest birthday card, which was so thoughtful and it really made my day. We had a lot of good laughs along with a very educational technological seminar by Mr. Woo.I want to thank Dr. Funkenswine for treating me to the most wonderful early birthday lunch. I really was kidding when I said I wanted a free lunch, but he insisted. To quote him, "Any woman who will admit that she's turning 40 deserves a free lunch."

So here is my plug: If you are jonesing for some of the best barbecue you've ever put in your mouth, you must run, not walk, to Mothership Barbecue in Berry Hill. It's right off of Bransford & East Iris on Columbine Place. You will be glad you did!

Only The Good Die Young

Maurice Gibb
December 22, 1949 - January 12, 2003
Now that I have a moment, I wanted to share my experience of when I met Mo. I got to meet all three of the brothers the same day back in 1998, when they were at their studio in Miami Beach. While Barry and Robin were extremely gracious and took time to chat for a minute, it was Mo who completely blew me away with his fun personality and genuine love of chatting it up with the fans. Remember, I worked in the music business and had met just about everybody famous I had ever wanted to, but I was reduced to complete idolizer when it came to the Bee Gees--old crushes die hard and my appreciation & love of their writing and records...well, you know. Anyway, Barry was running late because he had a dentist appointment. So Mo, being his comical self proceeds to inform me that, "Barry probably won't even make it. He hates the dentist. He is such a pussy cat (his words). He is probably sleeping right now." So, of course, we had a good laugh from that at Barry's expense. Then when he realized I was from Nashville, he completely lit up. He said, "Oh! I love Nashville! I love country music. I like Tim McGraw! I love Dolly!" Then, he told me this cute story about how when they came to Nashville sometime in the early 70s, somebody told them incorrectly that there was a hotel that Elvis had stayed in called the King's Inn. So, they insisted that they must stay at that hotel. Now, I am thinking that this was a hotel in one of three locations in Nashville: Murfreesboro Road near Fessler's Lane, Dickerson Road, or Trinity Lane. You locals can draw your own conclusions from that. The rest of you just know that "seedy" is a good description. So anyway, he said they arrived at the hotel, were horrified, but had nowhere else to go, so that is where they stayed. It must have made a huge impression on Mo, because that was one of his lasting impressions of our fair city. He also said he had friends up in Hendersonville (perhaps Johnny? Barry had never met him, but perhaps Mo did!) that he had visited before.
Mo chatted with me for at least 15 minutes or so when he really needed to be working. From all descriptions and impressions I've ever heard, that's the kind of guy Mo was.
So, that's why today, I raise my glass to Maurice Gibb - Mo - may you be jamming up in heaven with Andy and company today. We miss you.
Update: Here is a very cool tribute post from San Francisco Journal complete with video.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Prayers & Good Thoughts Needed For a Friend...

Hey everybody, I just got one of those bad phone calls from a co-worker/friend who went in for a routine colonoscopy only to find out she is eat up with cancer. She is going in for surgery first thing in the morning. She is 50 years old. Her name is Vivian.

Your prayers and positive thoughts for a successful surgery, treatment, and outcome--and most of all for peace in her heart--are much appreciated.

Gray's Calamity!

Oh, this has not started out to be a good day. In my "Last Week of My Thirties Post", I stated that sometimes I have felt like the Court Jester for the Powers that Be. Well now I am even more convinced! With less than 4 days until my 40th birthday, I am sitting at a red light this morning on my way to work. I look in the mirror and what do I see? A GRAY hair imbedded in my eyebrow, and a PATCH of gray hair on the left side of my hairline staring back at me!!!! What is UP with that? I suppose my body just decided that since the clock is ticking closer and closer to D-Day, let's rub it in!!!

I will have none of this! If anybody is looking for me on Saturday morning, you can find me at my hair stylist's place with lots of coloring in my hair!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I Hope She Doesn't End Up Like Diana

You probably know from some of my posts that I was a huge fan of Princess Diana's. I don't know why...she was just so intriguing to me. A beautiful, spoiled, troubled, generous, lost soul. So now with all of the hysteria that is beginning to brew about Kate Middleton, Prince William's potential princess, it appears that the stalking and incessant photographing has already begun.
One would think, or at least hope, that the world had learned a hard lesson when Diana was so harrassed by the stalkers--and I do believe that although her driver was drunk, the paparazzi who were chasing the car had a lot to do with the crash that killed her. This girl may have the most eligible bachelor on her arm and a future of royalty, but I wouldn't trade places with her for anything. She will never have a moment that is not scruitinzed, probably bugged, photographed, and judged from now on. Even if they were to break up, she will still have to deal with it...maybe even more so. It is truly sad.
When William becomes King, I would bet money one of his first acts will be to demand from the Parliament that a law is put in force to ban stalking by penality of imprisonment.
Good luck're gonna need it.
Photo 1: Gareth Cattermole -- Getty Images
Photo 2: ABC News

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Final Week of My Thirties

At 12:36 am (EDT) tonight, I begin the final week of my thirties. Yeah, I know…I’ve heard it/said it all…”age is only a number”, “life begins at 40, “40 is the new 30”, yadda, yadda, yadda. I appreciate all of those encouraging comments, and absolutely will need welcome them in the next few weeks, but today, as I am still recovering from a serious bout of the flu/strep, taking down my Christmas tree, watching football, and doing laundry, I’m thinking about my life.

I have had some incredible moments in these 40 years. Pretty dramatic in the not-so-incredible way as well. Many times I have even begged God for some boredom to tone down the theatre that is my existence. I’ve been beat down, and then rose up again, and beat down, and rose up again, sometimes wondering if I was the Court Jester for the Powers That Be. Those moments of self-pity have always turned into the pissicivity (I love that word) I’ve needed to turn the situation around. Just another opportunity to prove everybody and myself wrong. Thank the Lord I have always rose up again from the ashes like the Phoenix. I thank God and I thank my own Spirit, because I am a strong woman more inside than out, but in my opinion, that’s where it truly counts to survive in this world.

So, I thought it would be cathartic and interesting (to myself at least) to list 40 (40 out of many-these are just what I can think of right now) defining moments of my first 40 years…

1. The birth of my precious little girl, who has made me more fulfilled than any other person, place, or thing ever could.
2. The serious complications that followed her birth, which became the crisis of faith I needed to re-evaluate my beliefs.
3. The day my mom & dad sent me to Dade Christian School to give me a better opportunity than what the Miami-Dade County public schools could at that time.
4. The very first solo I ever sang in public/church. I was 13, and the song was, “What A Difference You’ve Made In My Life”…from that moment, my love of singing for people was lit on fire.
5. The first time I laid eyes on the Bee Gees singing “How Deep Is Your Love” on a clip (before music videos) they did for Saturday Night Fever. I was smitten. Being able to escape to my room and listen to their music for hours. It has been a 30 year love affair. Their music taught me to harmonize and listen to each part around me. Musicality.
6. The day I met Barry, Robin, and Maurice…and got to tell them face to face the things I just said above.
7. Barry’s hug and how he called me “luv.” I can still feel that hug if I concentrate enough!
8. The night my daddy gave me my first car: a white 1976 Camaro…I think it’s interesting that at 40, I have only owned 3 cars in my entire life.
9. Driving to the beach every opportunity I could. Drinking California Coolers on Ft. Lauderdale beach the day we got to skip school to sell yearbook ads.
10. The day I cheated in Bible class (of all classes, I know!!!!), and the teacher (Mr. Humphreys) showed me the true meaning of mercy and grace, by not punishing, failing, or turning me in to the principal. It was the most valuable lesson I was ever taught in 10 years of intensive biblical studies.
11. The day I graduated high school.
12. The day I moved to Nashville. It has been home ever since.
13. My first real job in the music business. It was my senior year of college, and the job was a Receptionist for Ronnie Milsap’s management office and studio.
14. The day I graduated college.
15. The day I walked in to Christ Church. This was before they became a mega-church. They were still meeting in what is now their smaller chapel. I will never forget the sound of their choir and the sermon of Dan Scott. I knew I had landed home after searching for the right church for me.
16. The day I joined the “world renowned” Christ Church Choir. It began 15 years of some of the most joyous times of my life.
17. The first time I stood up and showed the soprano section their part by using my hands to guide whether they sang the notes up or down. It was something my high school choir director did, so I was just mimicking her, because it had worked for us back then. The directors still use that method of teaching parts to this day.
18. My first trip to Europe. My second trip to Europe. My 4 trips to Ukraine, Russia, and Finland—all to sing.

19. The day I went to the orphanage in Cherkasy, Ukraine and met a darling, precious little girl, Ilena, whose face I will never forget, and how we both cried when we had to part ways.
20. The day I met Dolly Parton (who I just basically wanted to be when I was a little girl). I knew I had picked a good woman to admire and want to be like. Again, more inside than out, although when I’m 60, I wouldn’t mind looking as great as she does. Gotta save up for some plastic surgery!
21. The night my dad was killed by a drunk driver. ‘Nuff said.
22. “Daddy’s Hands
23. When a week after his funeral that I got the phone call to come back to Nashville and sing with Dolly on the CMA Awards. My “sign” that life will go on and I will rise above the devastating blow I had just taken.
24. Getting to wear my dad’s Army patches and pins on the Army “costume” I was (by chance) assigned to wear for that performance. Having Garth Brooks put a rose in his mouth and salute me (he thought I was really in the military and there because of the President) backstage right before he went out to sing “Shameless”. Looking out during that performance and seeing the President of the United States & Barbara Bush sitting in the audience watching.
Photo: Kats Barry / The Tennessean) 10/2/1991
That's me on the left in the Army get-up.
25. Doing session work, loving it, and being pretty good at it. Getting to record and sing live backgrounds for many of the artists I have admired through the years.
26. Working at Sony Music and getting to meet most every famous person I ever wanted to meet.
27. Getting to work on the “Honky Tonk Angels” video with Dolly, Tammy, and Loretta. That was very cool in my little world.
28. Counting #1, 4, 6, 7, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26 & 27 all a huge privilege. Knowing how lucky I’ve been to live out some of those dreams.
29. My wedding day. I may be divorced now, but it was still a fairy tale wedding dress and ceremony! I was a beautiful bride, if I say so myself…yeah, I do say so myself.
30. The day Elvis died. The day Princess Diana died. The day Maurice died. The day my marriage died.
31. Losing 40 lbs. Twice.
32. Getting to take part in MADD through meeting and talking with the leaders, police task force, offenders and victims. Getting to sing for the National Convention and Tennessee vigils.
33. The day I was hired at Baptist Hospital. Realizing how much of a blessing it was now that I look back on it.
34. Getting to meet patients, doctors, chaplains, nurses. Getting to minister kindness, healing words, healing songs, and help to those I have met there.
35. Being chosen and singing at the Ascension Health System National Convocation in Washington DC this year.
36. My hysterectomy—the pain, the recovery, the healing.
37. My dear friends who upon me finding out I had 3 days to prepare for a debilitating surgery & 6-week recovery, took my daughter as their own, taking her on their family vacation so neither of us would have to worry about each other.
38. Having my friends and family take care of me during that time, when I couldn’t function. Being humbled at how kind people were. Having my little 6-year-old daughter help me out of bed, make me snacks, and clean the house while her mommy could only lay in the bed.
39. Having some of the best, most faithful & long-suffering friends a girl could ever hope for.
40. Any time my daughter gives me hugs, wipes a tear from my eye, tells me I’m the best mommy in the world ever.

I know some of the items on this list would appear to be trivial to some and even raise a chuckle…but that’s ok…in my world, those things have meant the world for many reasons that I care not to go into here just yet.

Am I where I thought I would be at 40? Not by a long shot. The curves and detours of life have taken me to far different places than I thought I would have traveled on my journey. As I reflect on the past 40 years, I hope that in going forward I will have another 40 filled with good better health, a happy & healthy child, a good job (fyi, I’m looking—my position has been eliminated at my current place of employment!), a safe & comfortable home, more time & energy to devote to enriching others’ lives in whatever way I can, being the best mom I can be, and bottom line, evolving into a better person than I am today.

Happy Birthday, E

Elvis would be 72 today...

I love this pic of Elvis and Johnny Cash...two classics...


Sunday, January 07, 2007

RIP Bobby Hamilton

This is so sad. He had battled cancer for 11 months, but it took him at age 49. My thoughts & prayers are with his family, friends, and fans.

Photo: Bobby Hamilton Racing

Friday, January 05, 2007

Podcast on Mo

For my fellow Bee Gees fans, you probably know that we are coming up on the anniverary of the death of Maurice. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biographies has released a podcast biography of Mo. If you are interested, I have attached it below. (Time-8:31).


Top Selling CD of 2006!

My daughter's favorite movie and CD is the top selling CD of 2006. It sold 3,719,071 units!

Way to go, kids...

Thursday, January 04, 2007

A Sacred Promise

Keith Ellison will be the first Muslim to be sworn in to Congress. This guy has been criticized for wanting to use the Koran for his swearing in. There have been some unbelievable comments targeted toward this guy, even an inbred-sounding representative from Virginia who said that he was in favor of restricting immigration so we don't have a bunch of Muslims elected to the House of Representatives!

So now, Ellison has made an ingenious move: he will be sworn in using a copy of the Koran that was owned by one of our founding fathers, Thomas Jefferson. How can you argue with that?

Call me crazy, but why would any American want a guy to be sworn in with his hand on the Holy Bible if that book means nothing to him? He might as well have his fingers crossed behind his back. I am 100% Christian, and if I was asked to swear in on the book that means the most to me, it would be the Holy Bible. The book that means the most to Keith Ellison is the Koran.

Before you argue that the Koran endorses "smiting the infidels", be sure you read the Old Testament where there were many religious wars in the name of Jehovah God. Just as most Christians denounce the method of religious war to settle our differences, I venture to say that most Muslims denounce Jihad for forcing the message of their faith.

Bottom line, I want to know that the Oath of Office our Representatives take today is taken with the utmost reverence. It is a sacred promise. If using the Koran for his swearing in means Keith Ellison will do his job to the utmost of his ability, so let it be.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Way to GO VY!!!

Our man, Vince Young, was voted AP Offensive Rookie of the Year! Of course, we all knew he was whether he was voted it or not. In reading about it on TitansOnline, the quote that stuck out to me was not about his playing, but his character and ability to lift the team up:

"Besides the physical skills, it's the will and the strength inside, the 'it' factor that a quarterback either has or doesn't have. Obviously, he has it. The quickness in which he won the team over and the quickness in which he became the leader, the guy everybody looked up to, that was special. Vince Young has this great ability to lift others around him. To see him do it so quickly, that wasn't a surprise..." --Norm Chow, Offensive Coordinator, Tennessee Titans

And the best part? This is just the beginning.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

101 to start 2007

To the person who evidently decided it was ok to go out and party on New Year's Eve while immune system thanks you.

I have had a temperature since yesterday afternoon. It peaked last night at 101.4 and is currently hovering around 100. This all accompanied by the chills, aches, etc. I went to the doc today. I have strep and the flu. Just in time for the new year!

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year's Eve Adventures!

My friend who is up visiting from Miami and I rang in the new year at the Station Inn with the Grascals! I thought it would be the perfect "Nashville" style celebration for Kenny to see, and I was so right. If you are at all into acoustic music and harmonies, you've gotta check these guys out! They are all amazing musicians in their own right, but to put them together and let'em loose, well, you just gotta hear them for yourself! The other fantastic part of New Year's Eve is that we got to ring in the New Year with everybody's favorite Sista and her adorable Drama Queen and #2! I was just thrilled at the opportunity to hang out with the Smiffs for the evening, along with another dear friend who just moved here from New Jersey along with her hubby.

Here's the Sista and I...

Kenny & I...
The Infamous Mr. Smiff!

More Grascals goodness...

Me & Georgette

This is when everything started getting blurry...I could've sworn I saw a beer bellied baby in a diaper and with a cigar in his mouth...

And finally, my dear friend Mersaidee Soules...we hooked up after midnight and hit Buffalo Billiards down on 2nd Avenue for one final "Last Dance"!

Happy 2007 everybody!!!
ok...time for more of this: and this: