Friday, November 1, 2013

YOU NEED TO SEE THIS

If you remember 9/11, if you watched the planes hit the twin towers, if you saw the buildings come down.  If you knew anyone who was there.  If your heart broke for the loss of innocence that day.

If you're ever in New York City, you need to see this.  The enormity of that day hits you right in the heart.


My friend, who visited for the first time since her friend died in the towers, described the running water as a constant flow of tears.

The experience can't be put into words.  You have to be there and feel it for yourself.  Feel the loss.  Feel the horror of the act.  Feel the love for the victims and the pain of the ones left behind.  Feel the hope for a better tomorrow.

Monday, October 28, 2013

GUESS WHERE I'M GOING TODAY?

Here's a hint!


Planning to see Ellis Island


And then visit this wonderful lady


Hopefully we'll see the 9/11 Memorial


And maybe have time to go here


Planning to have a ball!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

THE BIG 5-0



I went to my high school 50th reunion this past weekend.  What a fantastic experience!  I saw people I haven't seen since we got out of school, others I've seen more recently.  Everyone looked terrific.

We started partying on Friday night at a high school football game.  There, in the middle of the stands, sat about 50 of us.  I think we made more noise than the rest of the people there.  An announcement was made that we were celebrating 50 years.  About half of us left after the half-time show and we headed to a bar in town, where they had a room reserved for us.  Spent the time mingling and catching up on the past years.  After the game the rest of the crowd showed up - more laughing and hugs and fun time.  We probably stayed until midnight or a little later - most likely past everyone's normal bedtime!

The next morning, we met at the high school for a guided tour through the new additions to the school.  So much has changed.  They were doing SAT's in certain parts so we couldn't see some of the parts of the school that were there when we were.  But it was fun just the same.

Some of us went to lunch after - some went home to take a nap!  I was part of the lunch crowd.  I didn't want to waste a single minute.  I spent the rest of the afternoon with my best friend ever, Tina, as we rode around looking for familiar places.

Saturday night was the reunion dinner and dance.  Being on the reunion committee, we had to be there a little early to help decorate.  Tina set up a memorial table with listings of the ones who have passed on.  Very pretty set-up.  We had balloons and flowers including a huge blow-up 63 for our class year.  Table were set beautifully with lots of purple and gold, our school colors.  We had a big banner that we all signed and a gigantic blowup of our class picture on the steps of the Washington capitol building during our school trip.

The drinks flowed, more and more people arrived and the laughter and tears continued.  We had a great meal, a toast to our lost, then we sang our Alma Mater lead by 3 classmates who sounded great.  By then the disc jockey had arrived and we cleared a dance floor.  Cameras were flashing all night as we all wanted to capture these moments.

All too soon, the music stopped and we had to leave.  Hugs and kisses all around and the promise to keep in touch.  We've decided that 5 years is too long to wait to get together again, and we're starting to float the idea of yearly get-togethers.

I brought home some precious memories of old friends and new friends.  It was a weekend that will stand out in my mind for a long time to come.

Monday, September 16, 2013

HARMONY


I know I said I wasn't going to blog anymore, but I had to tell SOMEONE about this fantastic show!

Harmony is a new musical written by Barry Manilow (music) and Bruce Sussman (book and lyrics).  It's based on the true story of the Comedian Harmonists, a group of 6 singers and dancers in Germany in the late 1920's-early 1930's.  They were a sensation during those years.  They traveled throughout Europe and even to New York City.

These were the years when the Third Reich was coming into power in Germany, the early days of Hitler.  At first the changes didn't affect the group that much, but as the Nazi party became stronger, there were more and more restrictions placed on them.  They were told to be ambassadors and spread the word of the Third Reich.  Realizing what was happening to Germany at the time, they did spread the word through their music - satirical jabs at the new government.  Back home, they were finally told they could no longer perform together, their records were not to be sold or played, and their movies were destroyed.  All because the group consisted of 3 Gentiles and 3 Jews.

It's no secret I'm a big Barry Manilow fan.  But more than his singing, I appreciate his musical abilities.  He's a perfectionist, and it shows in this production.  The songs are perfect for the time and the story.  He's captured the feel of the era and wrote music that could fit then as well as today.  Mr. Sussman's lyrics convey the story and fit perfectly with what is being told.

And the talent!  The six young men playing the Harmonists are absolutely perfect.  Each one is given an opportunity to individually stand out.  The show is narrated by Rabbi (Shayne Kennon) with help from the other group members:  Lesh (Will Blum), Erich (Chris Dwan), Chopin (Will Taylor), Bobby (Douglas Williams), and Harry (Tony Yazbeck).  The two female leads, Mary (Leigh Ann Larkin) and Ruth (Hannah Corneau) have a number in the second act that is amazing.  The 11-member ensemble played various parts throughout the show and were also fantastic.

Harmony is playing right now at the Alliance Theater in Atlanta through October 6.  It will then move on to Los Angeles early next year.  I don't know if this cast will continue with the show or new talent will be used.  If you're anywhere near Atlanta, please try to see this show.  It will make you laugh, make you cry, entertain you - an absolutely perfect show!

PS - I'm going to see it again on September 29!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

OVER AND OUT


I think I'm about done with this blog.  It's turned into mostly blurbs about books and you can read them on many other blogs.  I've posted some about my family and things I'm interested in, but after a while that gets old too.

I guess I've said just about all I have to say.  It's been fun, but it's time to leave.  Thanks to all who've read and commented.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHELBY AND ASHLIE



My beautiful granddaughters celebrate their birthdays 6 days apart.  Shelby, on the left, turned 23 yesterday and Ashlie will turn 17 next Tuesday.

I'm so proud of both of them!  Shelby will be finishing her cosmetology course at the end of this year and Ashlie will graduate from high school next May.

Love them both!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

LOOK HOW THEY'VE GROWN!

It's amazing to see how these panda cubs have grown.  They're starting to look like pandas now - getting the black and white coloring.  Adorable!  I can't wait until I can see them at the zoo!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

THE LIFE YOU'VE IMAGINED

THE LIFE YOU'VE IMAGINED by Kristina Riggle

From the back of the book:

Have you ever asked yourself, "What if?"  Here, four women face the decisions of their lifetimes in this stirring and unforgettable novel of love, loss, friendships, and family.

Anna Geneva, a Chicago attorney coping with the death of a cherished friend, returns to her "speck on the map" hometown of Haven to finally come to terms with her mother, the man she left behind, and the road she did not take.

Cami Drayton, Anna's dearest friend from high school, is coming home too, forced by circumstances to move in with her alcoholic father...and to confront a dark family secret.

Maeve, Anna's mother, never left Haven, firmly rooted there by her sadness over her abandonment by the husband she desperately loved and the hope that someday he will return to her.

And Amy Rickart - thin, beautiful, and striving for perfection - faces a future with the perfect man...but is haunted by the memory of what she used to be.

Kristina Riggle's The Life You've Imagined takes a provocative look at the choices we make - and the courage we must have to change.

After reading two books by Ms. Riggle that I really liked (REAL LIFE & LIARS and THINGS WE DIDN'T SAY), I was disappointed in this book.

The story line was OK, but I just couldn't connect with the characters.  It seemed like they were just "put" there, with no real back story on them.  The only one whose story was told, in bits and pieces, was Maeve, and she was the only one with whom I felt a slight connection.  I couldn't understand how Anna and Cami had been friends in high school.  They seemed to be complete opposites.  And Amy, with her dream of a perfect wedding, got on my nerves.

Maybe it was the timing of reading this book, having just finished REAL LIFE & LIARS.  I might have possible enjoyed this one more if I had read it at another time.  I have one more book on my shelf by Ms. Riggle, but I think I'll wait a little while before I read that one.