Thursday, March 31, 2011

You Won't Believe What I've SEEN

Today's edition of Retro Friday features the band Red Hot Chili Peppers ... a band that was near and dear to my heart during my college years!!

The Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American alternative rock band that formed in Los Angeles in 1983.

I first discovered the band in 1989 when their album Mother's Milk came out. This album gave them their first series of top modern rock hits—a tribute ballad "Knock Me Down", their cover of Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground", and the song "Taste the Pain", which formed part of the film Say Anything's soundtrack.

But I didn't really get into the band until their album Blood Sugar Sex Magik was released in 1991. One of our best guy friends made my friend K and I a copy of the "cassette tape" (yes, I said cassette tape) and we instantly fell in love with the songs. It also helped that the boy that I had a crush on, also loved the album, and was constantly singing it ... in class ... on the way to class ... while studying ... and quoting the lyrics any chance he got! Which was really quite amusing when some of the lyrics included "Suck my kiss" and "Hit me you can't hurt me." Then, to top it all off, there are quite a few New Orleans references in the songs on this album,

Yes my favorite place to be ... Is not a land called Honah Lee ... Mentally or physically ... I wanna be in New Orleans.

and that was the year that Notre Dame played Florida in the Sugar Bowl and we road tripped down there for New Year's Eve and for the game. Ahhh ... sweet memories of being told we could not beat Florida and Jerome Bettis high-stepping it (repeatedly) into the end zone.

What amuses me the most about our love (my friend K and I) for the Red Hot Chili Peppers is that, even to this day, when we are together ... we seem to, at one point or another, bursting into a Red Hot Chili Peppers song. They just always seem to manifest into what ever trouble, I mean fun, that we are into!

So here are a few Red Hot Chili Pepper songs for your listening pleasure ...

And of course ... Suck My Kiss

Oh, and one more thing ... the title of this post, "You won't believe what I've SEEN," is from the song Apache Rose Peacock ... another song making reference to New Orleans, with ... um ... interesting lyrics!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hockey Overload

I think I was officially on hockey overload this weekend. I was feeling a bit under the weather, and the weather itself was a bit crazy (4 inches of snow this late in March!!), so what better way to spend the weekend than on the couch and watching TV?!
First, Saturday afternoon, I overloaded on March Madness basketball games ... and what a crazy tournament this has been. After lounging around on the couch all afternoon I made somewhat of a rally. We headed out for Mexican food and 'ritas, and then had folks over to watch hockey. I was like a woman possessed ... the Blues on the TV ... Notre Dame on the computer ... yes, it was the perfect hockey night. And to complete the perfect hockey night, both teams won! The Blues handed it to the Minnesota Wild 6-3, and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish ended up winning a thriller in OT, 4-3!!

Sunday was pretty much a round two of Saturday. I lounged around all day on the couch and watched more crazy March Madness basketball, and then finished off the night with family over for dinner and more Notre Dame hockey!! They came out of the box on fire, and managed to make their way into the Frozen Four with a 2-1 win over UNH!!

Seriously, this weekend was heaven for me. The Lady Irish won, the Blues won, and Notre Dame hockey one twice!!

I must say, after getting my fill of college hockey this weekend, (because not only did I watch ND hockey ... but I watched a lot of other college games going on in the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey tourney) I remember how much I really did/DO love college hockey!

I have so many great memories of hanging out at Notre Dame hockey games, "running the track" next to the ice rink while the guys "practiced", and just hanging out with the guys in general. College was fun, pretty much as a whole, but being a girl who liked sports and who was actually quite knowledgeable about sports made it just that much more fun!

Don't get me wrong, I still love the Blues. I am not close enough to get up to Notre Dame for too many hockey games, so the Blues have definitely filled that void and become my top hockey team of choice (Well, except for when the Penguins are in town! Yes, I will always be a Pittsburgh girl at heart!) ... but there is something about being at a college hockey game. They just have so much more passion than the pros do. Maybe because they want to get to the next level so badly? I don't know ... but there is just a different kind of vibe when you're at a college hockey game.

So now I guess I need to re-look at what Notre Dame football game(s) I'm attending in the fall and see if I can work it around a weekend when there is also a home hockey game. Notre Dame has also built a new hockey arena which is opening this fall, and I am looking forward to seeing it as well ... though it just won't be quite the same without sitting on those old rickety bleachers!

On a side note ... the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have advanced to St. Paul, Minnesota to play in the Frozen Four, and their next game will be on Thursday, April 7, at 5 PM on ESPN2.

Happy Tuesday ... Cheers! ... and GO IRISH!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Retro Friday

Good morning, folks!

The Retro Friday series will resume next Friday, but in the mean time, here is a summary of the Retro Friday posts that I have penned so far! And by all means, if you have any suggestions for future Retro Friday blog posts, please leave me a comment!!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Erin Go Braugh

Well, this has certainly been one heck of a weekend, and I have even learned a few things along the way.

A little bit about me ... I am a planner. I am a very organized person. I live and die by my calendar. I like to plan ahead, and to know exactly what is going to happen (at all times!), which, as we all know, is not always possible! And in reality, things hardly ever go quite as planned!

So I knew this weekend was going to be a hectic one, but I had it very precisely planned out, and then it happens. That first bump in the road.

The weekend of St. Patrick's Day festivities was to begin with the Irish luncheon on Friday. I had a conference call on Friday morning scheduled from 8:30am - 10:30am, which then gave me just enough time to finish getting ready and be down at the Hilton Ballpark for the 11:30am luncheon.

After I get off my conference call I notice that there is a call and a message from my Mother. Now in my mind, there is nothing really overly alarming about this. She was to be my date for Friday Night's Irish Gala, as my husband had to work, and so maybe she was just checking in to see what I was wearing. (Typical girl thing, right?) So on my way downtown I call her back, only to find out that she has twisted her ankle, and will not be able to attend the dinner with me. Aghh. I was really looking forward to spending a nice evening with her, and these kinds of social events are not nearly as fun when you are by yourself.

I then made a couple of phone calls to a few friends to see if anyone is available to fill in as my date, but it is such late notice and they all have plans or do not have a babysitter. Bummer. Oh well, I continue on down to the luncheon, ready to wear my green parade jacket for the first time!

The luncheon was absolutely wonderful. Complete with old friends, and a few new ones as well, and it could not have been a nicer event! The luncheon ran a little longer than I had expected (I should know better! The Irish are definitely not known for being short winded) and so I had to dash out of there just before the last speaker was done as I had a hair appointment at 2pm. I just made it to my appointment on time, and had my amazing hair dresser freshen up my hair cut and added some va-va-voom blonde to my dull winter hair! Now I am ready for dinner ... oh yes, my dateless dinner. Aghh.

Off to the house to get ready for the Irish Gala, and make sure that the kiddos are all settled. Grandpa is headed over to steal them and take them to Steak n' Shake for dinner (a fan favorite) and I am headed out the door to quickly grab some green hair extensions from Hot Topic (gotta add a little spice to this night) and head on down to dinner ... stag.

On my way downtown I decided to shoot a quick message on Twitter to a fellow Domer who is new to St. Louis, letting him know that the Notre Dame Club of St. Louis has a float in the St. Patrick's Day Parade tomorrow, and inviting him to come meet some fellow Domers and ride on the float with us. To which he responds that although he would love to, he has to work tomorrow, and so he will have to pass. Bummer.

And then the idea hits me ... hey, why don't I invite him to dinner? He's new to town. And this dinner is going to be crawling with Notre Dame folks ... the perfect place for him to meet some people that he instantly has something in common with. And lets face it, every one is Irish on St. Patrick's Day! So I shoot him a message back asking him if he had any dinner plans and if he'd like to join me for dinner! And he says yes! So much for my intricately planned weekend, huh? The dinner was a blast, and he got to meet a bunch of fellow Domers (and even got two dinner invites!), and I think a good time was had by all!

The parade on Saturday was awesome! Sunny and 65F ... surrounded by good friends ... even got to briefly say Hi to a friend in town from Florida. Absolutely perfection. And today the weekend came to completion with a beautiful Mass at St. John the Apostle (Irish) Catholic Church. The Lenten message in the homily was quite beautiful. Lent is supposed to be a "desert" experience for us. A time when we examine our lives. A chance for us to become what we should be, if we are not quite there. A time for us to refocus our lives on who and what are important to us. A beautiful reminder for all of us to slow down and make sure that our priorities are in the right place!

I am so glad that my perfectly planned weekend ended up a little chaotic. I am so happy I was able to reconnect with old friends, and get to know a few new friends as well. And I welcome Lent with open arms, and the chance to do a little refocusing on who I am, and where I need to be.

I hope your weekend was just as wonderful as mine was ... and I hope that your week ahead is truly blessed!

Cheers! ... and Erin Go Braugh!

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
And rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of His hand.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Retro Friday ... Depeche MODE

Today's edition of Retro Friday features the band Depeche Mode ... but picking a DM song is darn near impossible as I love them all!!

Depeche Mode (pronounced /dɛˈpɛʃ/, de-PESH) are an English electronic music band which formed in 1980, in Basildon, Essex.

Depeche Mode have had forty-eight songs in the UK Singles Chart and #1 albums in UK, US and throughout Europe. According to EMI, Depeche Mode have sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide, making them the most successful electronic band in music history. Q magazine call Depeche Mode "The most popular electronic band the world has ever known".

And I truly don't think there is a Depeche Mode song that I've met ... that I haven't liked!

Here are a couple of my faves.

Everything Counts ... oh how I love this song. I know if you look at the lyrics it is more of a big business greed song, but this week it has meant something very different to me. I know we are not meant to be on this earth forever, but we all need to slow down and keep in mind that everything does count ... every moment, every conversation, every experience. Everything counts in large and small amounts!

Behind the Wheel/Route 66 ... I love the mix of these two songs. Behind the Wheel is such a seductive song, as many of Depeche Mode's songs are, and Route 66 is a favorite of mine seeing as I've landed myself in St. Louis .... Route 66!

Blue Dress ... yet another seductive Depeche Mode song ... they seemed to have been very much captivated by issues of control ... and then the lack thereof! But I do love the haunting sound of this song.

A Question of Lust ... and finally (though I could keep doing this forever as I really haven't met a DM song that I don't like) a song that shows a softer side of Depeche Mode. I can vividly remember being on spring break, Junior year at Notre Dame, sunning ourselves on the beach in Fort Myers, listening to this song on my walkman ... pining over some boy ... who probably didn't even have any clue that I existed! Ahhh ... teenage (early 20's?) angst!

And there you have today's edition of Retro Friday ... a smattering of Depeche MODE!

The Ties That Bind

I'm not sure that I can put this into words, but I am going to give it my best shot!

Fathers and daughters have a very special relationship, but the interaction between a son and his Father is something a daughter simply cannot duplicate.

I must say my Dad and I have a very special relationship. I followed in many of his footsteps. I excelled in High School, went to his alma mater Notre Dame, and I have always shared his competitive nature and love of sports ... but the relationship that I see forming between my Father and my son is something I could never have done.

From a very early age my son loved baseball. The year that Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs my son was two years old, and even at that young age, he would sit with me on the couch and watch Mark McGwire and Cardinal baseball.

When my son was 4 years old we signed him up for his first t-ball team, and he was a natural from the word go. He had the perfect swing. Such focus on the ball. And already I could see my Dad's eyes lighting up.

When it was time for my son to join a competitive league, my Dad hit it off with his new head coach (a fellow military guy) and as a result my Dad ended up being one of the assistant coaches on the team. My Dad, and the coach, being military guys, were pretty tough coaches. We lost a couple of players along the way because the boys did not like being yelled at, but the coaches really knew what they were doing (my Dad included) and they shaped these boys into some pretty decent ball players.

Here we are in my son's last season before High School, and he really has come a long way. He used to get so upset when Grandpa would yell at him, but now he can stand there, process what is being told to him (or at times yelled at him), and make the necessary adjustments. It has really been quite a ride.

I love watching the two of them sitting together, watching baseball, or the Discovery Channel, or whatever they happen to be doing. I loved to share time like that with my Dad myself ... but when I watch the two of them together, there is something special there that only comes from two guys spending time together.

This spring my Dad and my son will attend their first Cardinal Spring Training game together (a first for both of them) and I couldn't be happier that they will get to do this first together.

I love my Dad, and I will always be Daddy's Little Girl ... but I am so glad that he is finally getting the little boy he never had!

Now lets play ball!!


Friday, March 4, 2011

Retro Friday: Head Like A Hole

Today's edition of Retro Friday features the band Nine Inch Nails and the song "Head Like A Hole."

I was introduced to the band Nine Inch Nails my freshman year in college. Their first album, Pretty Hate Machine, dropped that fall and we instantly fell in love with the band. They had a totally unique sound, all their own, and the lyrics were perfect for the rebellion that we were feeling in our first year away from home.

Nine Inch Nails (also known by the acronym "NIN") is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction.

Reznor's singing follows a similar pattern in all of his songs, frequently moving from whispers to screams. He also uses noise and distortion in his song arrangements, and incorporates dissonance with chromatic melody and/or harmony.

The first of NIN's songs that we fell in love with was "Head Like a Hole." It was a staple at all dorm parties/dances that year. Apparently we were not the only ones who loved that song, as to this day the song is the set closer for most NIN shows, or the last song before the encore if an encore takes place.

Some other songs of note off Pretty Hate Machine are "Terrible Lie" and "Sin."

The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock recording act Nine Inch Nails, released the spring of 1994. The album was designed to tell a story of sorts, detailing the destruction of a man, from the beginning of his "downward spiral" to his climactic attempt at suicide. The Downward Spiral features elements of industrial rock, techno, and heavy metal music, in contrast to the dance-influenced Pretty Hate Machine.

The album The Downward Spiral was a major commercial success that established Nine Inch Nails as a reputable force in the 1990s music scene, particularly following the release of the single "Closer" and its controversial video. It has been widely regarded by music critics as Nine Inch Nails' best work.

(Due to the very adult nature of the Closer video, I will not be linking to it on YouTube.)

An interesting note on the recording of the album The Downward Spiral ... To record the album, Reznor rented the house located at 10050 Cielo Drive in Beverly Hills, California where actress Sharon Tate was murdered by members of the Manson Family in 1969. Reznor built a studio space in the house which he named Le Pig, after the message that was scrawled on the front door with Tate's blood by her murderers.

There it is ... your introduction to NIN ... and if you're in the mood for a little rebellion and head banging, NIN is your band!


Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Path of Life

My latest blog post has been featured on the blog "Then Life Happens," a wonderful blog full of stories about how "life happens!" Life happens ... Live yours beyond your imagination!

Here is as little excerpt from my blog post. You can read the full post on Then Life Happens! (photo courtesy of maxpate at stock.xchng)

I am well aware that the path of life that we travel down is full of twists and turns, and forks in the road. But I have never been so aware of the great importance that our fork in the road decisions hold, until the past few weeks.

I love being a Mother. I can’t imagine for one second not being a Mother. It is something I have always wanted to do. It was never a question of “if” I have kids, it was always a “when” I have kids. They are my pride and joy. My everything. And although every decision, when it comes to your child, is an important one, they seem to be getting more and more important as time goes by ...

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