June 25, 26, 27, 28.. 2007

June 25, 26, 27, 28 . . . (I told you life gets in the way!)


Well, it appears my webmaster should change the home page and put “Updated Monthly” since I’m always late on this thing – but hey, let’s look at it this way – when this BLOG does appear there is lots to read in one sitting J 


Okay, let’s get it over with. . .


A few words about you-know-who: 


We Americans should be ashamed (well some at least). What is it about celebrities (especially those who have not done one thing to improve the world) that capture us so?


I don’t watch much TV, but I only had to turn it on for a minute the other day to catch the media folks making idiots out of themselves scurrying to get to Paris Hilton as she walked out of jail. They weren’t that excited when THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND came to America last month for the Kentucky Derby. They were clustering around her like the mob of those mating Lake Erie Mayflies that attach themselves to our house each summer.




Why does anyone care??


I just wish the world would give that much energy to concentrate on issues of poverty, crime, and HELLO – THE WAR! 


And then before I had a chance to switch the station (I actually had the remote control thingy in my hand – which, in our house, is highly unusual – you wives know what I’m talking about J.) Entertainment Tonight was showing this man, this awful, despicable man (I have more choice words for him but this is a family BLOG) who was touting his NEW BOOK on John F. Kennedy Jr. and revealing all kinds of shocking revelations! about his life, his dalliances, and of course speculations about how he died – now, hasn’t’ all that been done and sensationalized before, time and again? 


Again, why would we want to know these things? The poor man is dead, for heaven’s sakes. Geez, leave him alone already . . . and leave his poor sister alone. My heart goes out to her every time these things come up, it’s got to be really painful to hear that crap. 


Okay, I have to settle down a bit, I know you didn’t come here to hear me rant (or maybe you did?) because we all know how I can go on . . .


So I’ll conclude this topic of Paris and why she matters (or more so, why she shouldn’t) by actually quoting her:


“Jail is scary.” She says.




And this one, in answer to Larry King’s questions (and no, I didn’t watch it, but people talk):


“I’ve never done drugs.”




Okay, that’s all on that one, folks.  


Oh, this just in . . . There is one more complaint I have (today anyway).


Am I the only mother in America who still wants to actually talk to another parent when it comes to my children’s whereabouts?


Case in point:


I used to think that kids outgrow sleepovers once they’re in their teens but nowadays it’s nearly a weekly event, especially in the summer. My daughter often stays over a friend’s house, and vice versa. And it seems to me that it’s a no-brainer that parents should touch base or at least talk to each other when they are responsible for another kid (and if this sounds familiar to you then I thank you for reading my Essays link).


I’ve raised two teenagers and although I’ve had many kids stay at our house through the years, I can’t recall one parent calling me to be assured that we in fact will be home, or to meet my husband and be reassured he isn’t some deranged person, or that alcohol won’t be given to these under-aged kids. And why do some parents act like I’m bothering them when I call just to make sure everything’s on the up and up?


I don’t get it.


Right now, I have a beautiful teenage girl staying overnight at our house and not only have I never met the mother or father, but neither one of them has even bothered to call me to make sure their daughter is in fact really staying with us! In fact, they don’t even know where we live – and we don’t even know where she lives! 


Why don’t most parents today seem to even care to know who these people are where their child is staying?


Again, I just don’t get it.


Though I do believe part of it is because parents feel funny about calling and talking to strangers. I myself am very uncomfortable making these calls, but then I remind myself I want to know who my child is staying with, even if I just talk to them on the phone (and in one instance, I decided my daughter is better off not staying there).


Isn’t your child, your teenager, worth taking a few moments out of your busy schedule to make sure (best you can) that she or he, will be safe?


Whenever I mention these kinds of issues to my daughter, she calls me a “worry wart.”


Well, isn’t worrying a parental trait? It’s the lack of parental worrying that bothers me. It seems there are a lot more causes for worry and concern these days than ever before, and the fact that some parents are oblivious is extremely disturbing to this “worry wart”... 


Of course, this is a topic that can go on and on, so let’s just say parents need to be more involved with their children lives. They’ll be doing everyone who ever has contact with them in the future a favor. And the kids themselves will thank them later.


Trust me on that one. 


And on a lighter note. . . 


More Favorites 


Great Bands, continued: 


It’s been awhile since I included some of my favorite things. And as often happens in this BLOG, the topic includes music.


Besides being a die-hard Rolling Stones fan (and thank you, Paula Balish at WNCX for always playing my requests, even though we differ on who’s the Best Rock and Roll Band in the World - she thinks it’s Led Zeppelin, but they’re Number Two, followed by Van Halen – and how do I know this? It’s My BLOG, correct?) I’m also a big fan of many, many Cleveland bands (remind me to tell you of the time someone – who in fact has never BEEN to Cleveland – ignorantly questioned the talent here just because of the city itself and how I sent the poor fool straight).


Anyway, there is one local band that you simply must check out, especially if you’re a Bruce Springsteen and Southside Johnny fan (and actually even if you aren’t, they are that good). Quite simply, this band will make you happy.  


The Stone Pony Band


I’ve been meaning to mention them for some time now and after seeing them perform once again, I cannot delay any longer. They are so good that now, whenever I hear a Springsteen song, or a Southside Johnny song, I often think of Kelly Derrick singing and performing it.


Here’s the thing about Kelly that makes him stand out - He can sound exactly like the singer of any song he sings! I am not kidding. He’s got those kind of pipes that seem to adjust to any vocals. His history is too long to go into here, but when he was in "Stage Pass," the Michael Stanley tribute band, he sounded just like Michael Stanley. And now he sounds like The Boss, or Southside – whoever he is singing – and get this – he can even sing a Barry White tune and sound just like him! – it’s truly amazing!


And in addition to that, he is a great performer, and has a great stage presence.


In fact, the entire band - that includes all equally talented musicians - is fun to listen to and entertaining to watch (because they’re having fun, too).


That’s when you know a band is doing its job.


So first thing you should do when you leave this BLOG, is go to www.stoneponyband.com


to check them out.


And the second thing you do is go see them perform… 


And here’s a photo of another local band, Damnation of Adam Blessing, I’ve always loved (they go way back to the late ’60s and early ’70s and still perform occasionally, such as last April when they performed at the Beachland Ballroom as seen here): 


 I believe they are playing my favorite song here – “Back to the River.” Excellent song.  

Harley Davidsons: 


There is simply no better way to enjoy and appreciate the land in which we live than riding on a Harley (notice I did not mention those other motorcycles, and there’s a reason for that - beginning with the vroom vroom sound).


I do some of my best writing on a bike (mentally, of course, although I admit I have been known to write a few things down while driving a car, I feel it’s best not to do either). It clears your head, and makes you feel good. I liken it to sitting in a church pew, really. It’s very satisfying and produces great thoughts.


So naturally, people often ask me, do I ride my own bike? That would be a no (remind me to tell you of the one time I tried lifting my husband’s bike off its kick stand and ended up on the other side…). But I do so admire other women who ride their own bikes (and that would include, once again, Paula Balish, who I’m sure rides down the highway listening to Zeppelin). But hey, it’s never too late and maybe someday, like when I’m 60, I’ll decide it’s high time to get my own. But for now, I am very content to let Jeff do the driving, so I can merely enjoy the landscape and think great thoughts. 


Summer Reads


And speaking of books (remember up at the top?) I have a lot better suggestions for you than reading some sleaze bag who makes money off poor dead people who can’t defend themselves.


The following are but a select few of my favorites (with more at a later date) 


As they say, summer is the best for reading a good book. So here are some (old and new) that will surely become some of your favorites, too:




The entire Kent Family Chronicles by John Jakes (though The Rebels and The Seekers are the best –in my opinion)


East of Eden, by John Steinbeck


What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg (Wonderful!) and so is Berg’s Open House


Lily White by Susan Isaacs


Looking for Peyton Place by Barbara Delinsky


Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann (yeah, I know - but it’s still a good read)


And an old favorite – Marjorie Morningstar by Herman Wouk




Family Portraits: Remembrances by Twenty Distinguished Writers edited by Carolyn Anthony


The Liar’s Club, by Mary Karr


Mommies Who Drink: Sex, Drugs and other Distant Memories of an Ordinary Mom, by Brett Paesel (actually haven’t read this one yet, but love the title! And the book cover with the lady with the lampshade on her head)


Why Do I Love These People? (about families) by Po Bronson (another one I haven’t yet read, but I’m sure we can all relate!)


The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls


Small Wonder – collection of essays by Barbara Kingsolver


Teach with Your Heart by Erin Gruwell (should be a summer must-read for all teachers)


The Seasons of Women: an Anthology edited by Gloria Norris 




Great books by Ohio Writers – Fiction and Nonfiction




Tinkerbelle: The Story of the Smallest Boat Ever to Cross the Atlantic Nonstop by Robert Manry (who is from my hometown of Willowick, Ohio). Although the book is out of print, try to find it – it is a truly amazingly, intriguing, and inspiring story of a man’s journey to fulfill a dream.


Some Things That Stay by Sarah Willis


We’ll Always Have Cleveland by Les Roberts (Read it especially if you’ve never read anything good about this really fine city).


Rock ‘n’ Roll and the Cleveland Connection, by me – this is not a self-promoting plug - it’s for those kind of people I mentioned above, who haven’t a clue as to the huge amount of musical talent that stems from the North Coast of Ohio. So for those of you who are quick to judge, especially you who have never even been to My Town, please - Read This!


House by Michael Ruhlman


The Year that Trembled by Scott Lax


Gum-Dipped: A Daughter Remembers Rubber Town by Joyce Dyer




And for now, I’ve Saved the Best for Last:


Journey Through Heartsongs, Reflections of a Peacemaker - and anything by the amazing young poet Mattie Stepanek (one of the reasons there is some truth to the saying the good die young). If you do not know who he is – you need to find out. Your life will be enriched a hundred fold . . . And that’s an absolute promise. 


Well, that should keep you all reading for awhile . . . Enjoy 


And till next time . . .


Read, Ride, and Dance to your favorite band  . . .