Friday Dance Party – Back Again

I just looked up the last time I posted something here on Acorns On Glen and I can’t believe that it has been close to three months ago.  A year ago, I was posting stories (sometimes almost daily) about my life here in Connecticut and now I am posting nothing.  From cooking and gardening stories to absolutely nothing.  I just haven’t felt like it.  I just haven’t had the energy.  You see, I lost my father on April 12.  You may remember that I briefly wrote about it during the holidays.  The days leading up to his leaving and all these days after have been some of the hardest of my 48 years.  I think I have learned a lot about myself during these days of despair.  I know that I have faith.  I have never really been a religious man.  Don’t get me wrong, I have always believed in a power bigger than me.  I think it’s God, but whatever you want to call it is fine by me.  But the belief that there is someone or something up there for me to talk to as well as someone or someplace up there for my father to go to has been very comforting to me over the last few months.

I have also discovered from the ‘most played’ feature on my iPad, that I have listened to the same group of songs over and over during the last few months.  Songs of inspiration, understanding, hope and faith.  The one I chose for today is the one that I listened to the most.  Sometimes it made me think about myself and sometimes it made me think of my father and his battle against cancer.  I’m just glad I found it.

I think my father left us in Spring so that there would be so much for us to do after he was gone.  We’d get on with our lives in a quick manner because there would be gardens to plant, yards to be mowed and flowers to watch bloom.  He wouldn’t want us to be sad for very long and he would want us to quickly get back to living our lives to the fullest without him, just like we did when he was here.  So guess what?  Like I’ve done for so many Fridays here on Acorns On Glen:

It is time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

Friday Dance Party – How About The Civil Wars?

Guess what?  It is time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

I have a bad habit of always second guessing myself.  Once I make a decision, there is this little voice inside my head that says ‘Are you sure you did the right thing?’.  Then I reach out and make people crazy by asking for their validation about my decision.  To make matters worse, if any of my family or friends tell me they think I didn’t make the right decision, I end up getting my feelings hurt and say how I can’t believe they didn’t support me.  A vicious cycle.  So this weekend, I took it upon myself to buy some furniture.  A new chair, two new bar stools and a bench to put in front of the bed.  I picked fabric, matched it to other fabric and left the furniture store confident that I made all the right choices.  Three days later, I keep thinking….did I do the right thing?  Should I have chosen brown over blue?  Is the chair too small for the space where it is going?  Is the fabric too busy on the chair?  I’ve also tricked two different people into going with me to the furniture store for validation.  Both of them know my tricks and have told me that I’m absolutely right on trend.  Even if they thought the furniture was the ugliest stuff on Earth, they validated my choices.  I know they just didn’t have the energy to deal with my wrath if they said they didn’t like the pieces.  I really need to buy a big dose of confidence somewhere.  Which leads me to The Civil Wars.  I heard them sing a part of this song on the Grammys.  They had such big voices and such a unique sound that I immediately went on-line and bought their CD.  I’ve listened to it over and over and over.  Then last night, I was told to turn my speaker volume down because folks were sick of hearing those people screaming from the CD.  What…no validation?  How could I be wrong with this new group?  A bad decision?  Honestly, I don’t think I am wrong.  Turn on the speakers and listen to The Civil Wars.  It’s a great song to pair up with a little dancing.  Remember, it’s another week down and we owe it to ourselves to give thanks for that.  Then let me know what you think.  If you disagree with my music choice, I will only be pissy to you for a week or two.  No big deal.

Friday Dance Party – My Whitney Tribute

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

As most of you know, Whitney Houston was one of my favorite singing stars ever since I first heard her in my senior year of college.  I can pretty much say without hesitation that I have played her music about every week from the time I discovered her through today.  I wouldn’t feel right if I did not take this opportunity to pay my respects to this wonderful singer.  If my life ever becomes a movie (which I doubt, but let’s just say), Whitney’s music would surely be on the soundtrack.  I remember hearing her in college during my senior year singing ‘The Greatest Love Of All’.  I then traveled to New York City for the first time shortly after and heard her sing it live on Governor’s Island for a celebration of the re-opening of the Statue of Liberty.  There would be four other times I heard her sing live in concert.  I remember begging my friend to dance with me at the clubs to ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’.  That was when I was young and thought going out to a club was a good time.  I remember a big break-up and listening over and over to ‘Where Do Broken Hearts Go’.  Feeling proud to be an American from her ‘Star Spangled Banner’.  You really couldn’t turn on a radio when I was on the West Coast and not hear ‘I Will Always Love You’ during ‘The Bodyguard’ era.  It always makes me smile today when a contestant on ‘American Idol’ tries one of her songs from ‘The Bodyguard’ era and the judges criticize the contestant because no one can sing ‘Bodyguard’ Whitney better than Whitney.  I discovered gospel music after buying the soundtrack from ‘The Preacher’s Wife’ and the song ‘I Believe In You and Me’.  Happy to hear her voice again when ‘I Look To You’ hit the airwaves.

So thank you Whitney for always singing when I needed someone to sing.  In your honor, we dance with you today here on Acorns On Glen.  I hope all of you who are reading this will join us.

Friday Dance Party – Give Me All Your Luvin’ Madonna

Guess what?  It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

OK, who watched the Super Bowl?  Maybe it’s easier to ask who didn’t watch the Super Bowl?  Me, like most Americans, watched the game during a Super Bowl party surrounded by pigs in the blanket, sliders, pulled pork, chicken strips and nachos, to name a few of the things that were there to eat.  While I thought only the fourth quarter of the game was exciting and was happy that the New York Giants won, I thought it only right to give big props to Madonna who I thought put on quite a fun and lively half-time show.  Like her or not, you have to admit that at 53 years old, Madge still has it.  At 48, I can’t:

  • Run around and dance for 13 minutes,
  • Round up fifty gladiators to pull my throne and me around,
  • Stretch my leg straight and pull it above my head.  Even if I could, I would need an orthopedic doctor to be present to help re-attach my leg to my hip bone!, and,
  • Keep hip and understand who Nicki Minoj, LMFAO, CeLo Green and M.I.A. are and where they come from.

So I give Madonna an A for her half-time show.  Since it’s Friday, turn up your speakers and enjoy her two ways:  I put her new song at the beginning of my post and her actual Super Bowl performance here.

Pick your poison and dance.  You’ve made it through another week and you deserve to celebrate.  Just don’t let me catch you trying any moves from ‘Vogue’….I’ll have to laugh at you.

Friday Dance Party – Fun. We Are Young Featuring Janelle Monáe.

It’s time for another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

January, 2012 has been typical of all the January’s I’ve experienced over the last ten to fifteen years.  We go to a New Year’s Eve party where everyone complains the next day on how it could have been better even though I had a good time.  Within a week or two into the new year, I decide that I am too heavy and I decide to go on a strict diet.  Towards the end of the month, I always buy a self-help book and begin reading it and then decide that I don’t really want to work on being (pick one:  more loving, more caring, more honest with my partner, better able to read my internal body signs, able to pick healthier foods, ten years younger in ten days).  The list goes on and on.  This year the self-help book I’m reading says that a common trick to looking and feeling younger is to act like you are young again.  It says to pick a time in your young life when you were the happiest and act like that for a period of time and you will feel better and look younger.  So I ask, does this make any sense to you and do any of us really want to go back and act like we did when we were young?  I’m not sure I do!  Granted, if I could go back and be 25 or 30 again, but with the knowledge I have now, then maybe I would do it.  However, without my 47 years of wisdom, I’m not a fan of going back to those days.  Even at my youngest and happiest, I still did some really stupid stuff:

  • Relationships – I remember during a break-up, I went and laid behind the back wheels of the person’s car so there was no way the person could leave without either dealing with me or running over me.
  • Work – I made people at work understand that I would most likely be hung over every Monday because there was a bar that I liked that had Sunday night beer blast when bottles of beer were only $1.
  • Finances – I took out cash advances on three credit cards and borrowed money from my parents to buy my first apartment.  Savings at that time totaled $0.

I think you get where I’m coming from.  Acting like this again just isn’t in me these days.  How about I just stick with something I know and think I’m getting really good at –  being 47 and proud of it.  This week’s dance number comes from a group named Fun. with their song ‘We Are Young’ featuring Janelle Monae.  So let’s dance this week and be proud of earning our stripes over the years.  It’s another week down and we’ve made it through.  After we’re done dancing, I’m off to find another $1 Beer Blast.  I think this beer blast from the past should really come back in style, don’t you?

Friday Dance Party – Beyonce’s Countdown

So here’s another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

It’s strange what makes the news nowadays.  It seems we hear more and more celebrity drama reported right up there with the European debt crisis, the war in Afghanistan and the Republican primaries.  On a recent newscast I watched, Mitt Romney’s win in New Hampshire was followed by an in-depth story on Katy Perry’s divorce and the reaction it has gotten from her very Christian parents.  Was this newscast for real?  Do people really care?  I guess they do or this type of reporting wouldn’t exist.  Is it that there is so much going on in the world to depress people that any chance to show someone fall down who seems to “have it all” makes the masses a little happier?  Case in point, the birth this week of Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s baby girl, Blue Ivy.  Can you imagine how you would feel if you got your contractions down to a few minutes apart, you rush to the hospital, you deliver your child and at the same time you are creating an international scandal.  Here are some headlines across New York City newspapers this week:

“See The Room Where Beyoncé Gave Birth”

“Beyoncé Gives Birth On Saturday”

“Beyoncé And Jay-Z Welcome Blue Ivy”

“Name Blue IVy Centers On Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s Infatuation With The Number 4″

“What Kind Of Name Is Beyoncé’s Baby Blue Ivy”

(Picture courtesy of 50 Cent on Twitter)

“NYC Hospital Under Scrutiny After Beyoncé Birth”

“Hospital Investigating Beyoncé Birth Allegations”

“NYC Mayor Weighs In On Beyoncé Birth”

“New Mother – I Couldn’t Breast Feed My New Baby Because Of Beyoncé Security”

Enough already.  Just let them enjoy the birth of their daughter.  Yes, I know that people say they make a lot of money and sign up for this type of scrutiny, but really, does this mean intense scrutiny even in the most private of life events like the birth of a child.  I just don’t agree with that theory.  So here’s my headline:

“Beyoncé Gives Birth –  Let’s Dance”

We made it through another week.  Let’s celebrate with “Countdown” by Beyoncé.  Go on, you deserve it.  Get up and dance (just don’t let any paparazzi take your picture).  Don’t even let me see you on the cover of the National Enquirer.

Friday Dance Party With Some Extras – It All Starts With A Christmas Without You

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

It’s our last Friday before Christmas.  I hope everyone has purchased all their gifts and have wrapped the majority of them.  Unlike me, that has not even sent one box to my family back home in Iowa, does not have all their presents purchased and not one single package wrapped.  I may be in trouble, but as a woman at work told me there is always money.  It always fits and is always the right color.  I think this week it is only right to dance to another Christmas carol.  Last week, we listened to one of my favorite Christmas songs sung by Judy Garland in “Meet Me In St. Louis”.  Here is another favorite but we will need to travel from 1944 (the year last week’s song was released to the masses) to 1984 (when this week’s song was released to the public).  Yes, 1984!  I can’t believe that it was over 25 years ago that I watched the Christmas special “A Christmas To Remember” with Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers.  O.K., their names may make you snicker a little, but back in 1984 these two were hot, hot, hot.  They were just coming off the success of their smash hit “Islands In The Stream” and so naturally when you have a big hit you immediately turn around and do a Christmas special with some new Christmas songs to introduce.  Are you thinking Justin Bieber right now?  The same trick is being used over 25 years later.

I don’t know what it was then, but my friends and I that watched this special loved this song.  We bought the album (yes, it was an album) and have listened pretty much every year to this song (from album, to cassette tape and now to CD).  We have actually used it to tease several of my divorced friends.  What better way to tease someone divorced than to play “Christmas Without You” over and over and over.  Call us cruel, but this “inside joke” has helped keep the song alive for us over all these years.

This week, I’ll admit finding that one perfect Christmas song for us to dance to was tough.  I have a lot of favorites.  Let me share with you some of my runner-ups.  If Dolly and Kenny aren’t your style, here are a couple of alternatives:

I love me some Amy Grant!

A Nat King Cole classic.

I still have the original album in my collection.  It’s the same album cover as in this little goodie.

I hope you liked this little Friday Dance Party with a twist.  Pick your favorite from the music above and just dance.  It’s the holidays and we’re still alive and kicking.  Here’s to us!!  I wish all of you a happy holiday season and let’s pray for peace on Earth.  What are your favorite Christmas carols or other holiday music?

Friday Dance Party – Getting Into The Spirit Of Christmas

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

It’s official…we are most definitely in the holiday season.  Besides coconut pyramids and cranberry-pistachio biscotti, Christmas carols are always needed to get me into peak Christmas spirit.  So given we are a little over a week away from Christmas, I thought it was only appropriate to pull out one of my favorites.  There is none better to me than Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” from the 1944 movie “Meet Me In St. Louis”.  I love this song on so many different levels.  First off, Judy Garland can sing this song with a voice so clear and sweet how can you help not loving it.  The way it was shot is also fantastic.  Every time I watch this clip, I feel like I am sitting there in that cold room with them looking out over the snow in the yard.  The lyrics about friends and family are great.  Isn’t that really what the holidays are all about?  I also love the back story on the movie.  Judy Garland was 21 when she was filming the movie and it was the movie that successfully transitioned her from child star to an adult superstar.  The movie was also directed by Vincente Minnelli, who fell in love with Judy Garland during the filming and eventually became her husband.  From there, I’m sure you all know that this union produced a daughter, Liza Minnelli.  Margaret O’Brien, who is the little girl in this clip, won an Oscar for her work in this great movie.  The song is also special to me even more than it has been in years past.  It’s because this year I won’t be with my parents and brother for Christmas day, so the lyrics really hit home because I think this is only the second time in my life I have not been with them.

Someday soon, we all will be together,

If the fates allow,

Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow,

So have yourself a merry little Christmas now

So join me in getting into the spirit of Christmas and listen to this little carol.  Turn your speakers up and I assure you that when the song is over you will be a little more in the mood for this holiday.  I hope you like it as much as I do.  What is your favorite Christmas carol of all time?

Friday Dance Party – David Guetta, Usher and StoryCorps

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

Almost every Friday at 8:30 AM Eastern time, I am in my car driving to work with tears in my eyes.  Many times the tears spill out.  It really is not the most optimal way to drive a car.  Right on schedule, it happened again this morning.  Why you ask?  The answer is that I am listening to StoryCorps, which is a regular feature on National Public Radio.  StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of their lives.  Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 30,000 interviews from more than 60,000 participants.  Each conversation is recorded and then preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.  StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind and millions listen to weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition.  StoryCorps does this to remind us of our shared humanity, strengthen and build the connections between people, teach the value of listening and weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that every life matters.  At the same time, StoryCorps creates an invaluable archive of American voices and wisdom for future generations.

The one today really hit home in so many ways.  A man was being interviewed by his friend about the loss of his partner 14 years ago on December 2, 1997.  At the end of his short interview, he told a story about him and his partner with so much emotion in his voice that it was hard to listen.  However, it made me think that even though a loved one may leave you here on Earth, you will always have strong memories like the man on StoryCorps that keeps a loved one alive in your heart forever.  These strong memories are probably the only things you have that keep you from cracking up when you deal with such a loss.  Memories enable you to move on and get on with your life.  Here is what he said:

“I have this memory of looking out our bedroom window,” he says.  “It was a night with a lunar eclipse.  We looked out and watched the lunar eclipse together.  I remember thinking that it was the last one he would see, and we would see together.  I remember, I don’t know what I said, something stupid, and made him laugh.”  “And I just loved, loved, loved hearing him laugh.”

Sometimes on Fridays, we have to give thanks for our lives and dance with a little bit of a heavy heart.  This week, let’s do that and dance to “Without You” by David Guetta with Usher.  It’s for Chris and Coda and their story on StoryCorps.  Let’s give thanks that we are alive and safe.  Let’s also remember to make the type of memories that last more than just one person’s lifetime.  Have you ever listened to StoryCorps?

Friday Dance Party – Sharing Taio Cruz’s Hangover (Literally)

This is another edition of Friday Dance Party on Acorns On Glen.  It’s the time where we give thanks for making it through another week and for being alive and present here on Earth.  How do we celebrate another week of living?  We dance.  So, are you alive this Friday?  Are you and your family safe and sound?  Take a few seconds now to be in the moment and realize what a great life you truly have.  Did you give thanks for that?

Good, now let’s dance.

So what do you do at night when you don’t have electricity for 8 days?  You drink.  I mean, what else can you do?  There is no food in the refrigerator anymore because it had to be tossed out.  You’ve already devoured most of your dry goods like crackers and cookies.  You can’t buy new groceries as you don’t really have a way to put them away in the pitch black darkness.  So, you raid the liquor cabinet and drink your sorrows away.  It doesn’t matter what you really grab as the alcohol, any alcohol, serves multiple purposes (not one being great taste).  The booze:

  • Takes your mind off of your electricity woes,
  • Makes you forget that you’ve only taken a whore’s bath for the last eight days because you can’t take a complete shower (you know what a whore’s bath is….a little water on the important parts of your body and then out the door),
  • Makes you forget that the only way you can access the internet is at the shelter set up in the recreation center for old people senior citizens (I don’t need to hear, “Can I log on with you Sonny’),
  • Enables you to laugh at the fact that you’ve had the same pants on for the last four days because you can’t do laundry,
  • Enables you to sleep (in a passed-out fashion) in a 49 degree house.

If we had music, the dark house would also enable you to dance like crazy to this week’s song.  Given the importance of alcohol this last week, it was only fitting to play Taio Cruz’s ‘Hangover’.  You’ve made it through another week and you deserve to celebrate.  Grab a glass of wine and turn your speakers up and dance.  Hopefully, it’s in a house with electricity…yikes!  What other home remedies can you think of that cure the “no electricity” blues?