Monday, October 31, 2011

Ghosts of Halloween Past

My First Halloween
In my family, Halloween was always thought of as a fun holiday where you went trick-or-treating and got candy. My dad (a civil engineer) always carved the Jack-o-Lanterns. Since there were three kids in my family, we had three Jack-o-Lanterns. You better believe that every one of Jack's features was perfectly aligned! Check out his handiwork! :)

When I was little, my mom always made my Halloween costumes - as in bought a pattern and material and sewed them! I wish I could say that I did the same for my children, but my abilities as a seamstress are pathetically limited. I can sew on a button, but that's about it. I'm not exactly sure how that happened, as my sister is an excellent seamstress. She made her kids' costumes (as well as curtains, pillows, cushions, etc.) I did not inherit (or learn) that talent. 

The first costume that my mom made for me was a leopard. It was made of a soft, lined fur. I still have the costume (and it still smells like it did in 1973). Alana wore it too! Chase never did, though, as the year it would fit him was way too hot. It was clearly made for a New Jersey Halloween. Even Makani has worn (though, not willingly) the head part of the costume. He doesn't think being a cat is funny. Another year, my mom made me a beautiful witch costume with decorative fringe around the edges. She even made the pointy hat complete with green yarn hair. It was awesome.

I'm ashamed to admit it, but (at the time) I didn't really appreciate the beautiful costumes that my mom made for me (and all the hard work that went into them). I wanted a costume like everyone else had! I finally got my first store-bought costume when we moved to Florida when I was six. My mom took me to Lionel Play World and I picked out a Barbie bride costume that I thought was beautiful. There are no pictures of me in this costume (I wonder why!), but if memory serves, it consisted of a white plastic dress (similar to a party tablecloth) and a plastic mask that, no doubt, made my face sweat profusely in the Florida heat. Still, I finally got to dress like everyone else on Halloween. Looking back now, I realize how cheesy that costume was and how much nicer my homemade costumes were!

In the years that followed, I was a tennis player (I still remember going to the iron-on t-shirt store and picking out a sweet glittery tennis iron-on for my shirt) and a cheerleader (neither of which I EVER was in real life). After elementary school, I stopped dressing up (except for fun - hence the lovely photo to the left). I think I was trying to be a punk rocker, but really just looked like an idiot. But look, my niece Ashley is holding my LeSportSac clutch (refer to earlier blog post about the 80s). 

I also dressed up for Halloween when I worked at Kay-Bee Toys in Pompano Square. The photo on the right shows me with my niece and nephew, Ashley and Matt - both wearing costumes made by my sister. :)

Rob has always loved Halloween, and still dresses up if he can get away with it. Our first house was right down the street from Dan Witt Park in Lighthouse Point where the big Halloween party and costume contest is held every year. Rob (the great husband and dad that he is) always took the kids to the park while I answered the door for 150+ trick-or-treaters. (The crowds at Dan Witt scared me more than any ghost or ghoul could!) Our first Halloween at our house in Pompano fell a few days after Hurricane Wilma hit the area. We had no power OR trick-or-treaters that year. 

Alana & Chase
Halloween 2010
The past few years have been fun in our neighborhood, though. Rob and I sit up on our balcony with Makani and lower a spider bag down for the trick-or-treaters that come up our driveway. (Note: Makani, despite his James Earl Jones bark, is a tender little guy. His first Halloween, a kid with a "Scream" mask walked up to our glass front door, and Makani was so terrified, he immediately peed on the floor. At least on the balcony, we can hose it off!) 

My own kids have reached the age where they no longer want to trick-or-treat, and I'm a little sad about that. Our pumpkin is sitting on the front porch right now, completely intact. I asked both Chase and Alana if either of them wanted to carve it this weekend, but neither was into it, so I've decided to leave it out as a Thanksgiving decoration. I look forward to seeing all the little ones who visit us this year (many of whom, in fact, live nowhere near our neighborhood).

Happy Halloween with love and aloha to all (and thank you, Mom, for the beautiful costumes you made for me)!

Friday, October 28, 2011

From Kissing Potion to Koala Clips - the 70s were Super Cool

The 1970s marked the first decade of my life. I don't remember a whole lot about those years, but I do remember some of the products and the trends! My friend Jane (who is a FABULOUS blogger herself!) and I had a discussion about this when we were writing sentences and definitions together for VocabularySpellingCity. From the shampoo named for the reaction it would get you to the lip gloss that would put a spell on your suitors, the 70s were filled with far out products. Do you remember...

Kissing Potion - Oh, I LOVED Kissing Potion. This flavored clear lip gloss came in a mini roll-on stick left lips super shiny and yummy-tasting. I remember having mint flavored and bubble gum flavored. I can assure you that nobody was tasting my lips...after all, I was about seven years old. 

Body on Tap Shampoo - Yep, this shampoo contained beer (or so they claimed)..."but don't drink it!" You would have to have a pretty serious dependency problem to resort to drinking beer shampoo. Good enough for Kim Basinger... (Turns out she was also in the print ad for Kissing Potion. Who knew she was so hot in the 70s?)

Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific Shampoo - Only in the 70s could you get away with a shampoo with this name. Guess what the groovy guy said to the chick with the beautiful hair in the commercial? Yep, as cheesy as it gets.

Pearl Drops Tooth Polish - Not toothPASTE, mind you, tooth POLISH. The most memorable thing about this product? The girl in the commercial who ran her tongue over the surface of her teeth and said "'s a great feeling." After watching the commercial on YouTube, I feel dirty.

Tickle Antiperspirant - The biggest roll-on on the market. It came in four colors/scents - yellow (lemon), blue (powder), pink (floral) and green (?). This was before I really needed deodorant, but I convinced my mom to buy me some lemon Tickle. It may have prevented perspiration, but it took about 30 minutes to dry under your arms!

Slime - This neon green not-quite-gel-but-not-quite-solid novelty was sold in a small green plastic trash can (I think). It oozed through your fingers. After you played with it with dirty hands a few times or, Heaven forbid, dropped it on the floor, it was pretty much worthless. Not long ago, I came across a product in our office supply cabinet at work that had the exact appearance, consistency, and odor of Slime. It's purpose was to clean electronics. Go figure...

Prell Concentrate Shampoo - This was the ONLY shampoo my parents used for years. Actually, it must have been my dad who used it and (ironically), he was mostly bald. My mom has always gone to the "beauty shop" and had her hair "set". Prell Concentrate could easily have been mistaken for spearmint gel toothpaste, which would have made for a very unpleasant dental hygiene experience. 

Koala Clips - These fuzzy little guys from Down Under were all the rage in the 70s. You could clip them to your collar, to your hair, to your purse strap, or to the belt loop of your denim gauchos (see photo)! I hadn't come across a koala clip until I was at ISTE this past summer and one of the teachers from Australia gave me one. Too cool! 

Roller Skating - This was HUGE in the 70s! I'm not talking about rollerblades. No, this was skating with the 4-wheeled boot skates to songs by the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, and more. Skating rinks were THE place to be (and there were a lot of them around). The one I remember most was housed in a Quonset hut (I just called it the "tin can") off of Sample Road. You could wear your groovy satin shirts, shorty shorts and jackets with your knee socks! Out of sight!

Feathered Hair - Farrah Fawcett did it best. Every girl (and even some guys) wanted hair like Farrah! Feathered hair made you look like you had wings on your head. I tried but could never quite pull this look off, seeing as I had a cowlick. 

Faberge Organics Wheat Germ Oil and Honey Shampoo - OK...I'm starting to think this was the decade when manufacturers tried to come up with the longest product names imaginable. Faberge Organics had a clear word-of-mouth marketing plan for their shampoo, encouraging viewers to "tell a friend, and she'll tell a friend, and so on and so on and so on..."

I hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane! If you know of anyone who might want to take the journey too, please feel free to tell a friend about my blog. Maybe then she'll tell a friend and she'll tell a friend and so on and so on and so on...

With Love and Aloha!

Monday, October 24, 2011

I Love the 80s Too! Do you remember...

Ribbon barrettes – In the early 80s, middle school girls not only wore them, they made  them for their friends! I can remember going to Worden’s World of Crafts and picking out different color ribbons and beads to make these awesome hair accessories. Basically, you took an ordinary, rectangular metal barrette (that was cut out in the center) and wove two colors of ribbon to cover the metal. You then let the ribbons hang down about 8 inches and tied beads to the end. Very stylish!

Dolfin shorts – these were the dress-out-for-PE attire of choice for teenage girls in the 80s. I never had Dolfin brand shorts. I always had “Dove” shorts from JC Penney instead. I remember that I had a couple of pairs of solids and a couple of pair of striped (vertical of course – more flattering).  Come to think of it, these silky shorty-shorts were also Richard Simmons workout attire of choice back in the day (and frighteningly enough, today as well).

Decorated shoelaces – Very few middle school-aged girls in the early 80s wore tennis shoes with plain white shoelaces. Shoelaces of any color or pattern that you could think of were also available at the above-mentioned-type store. Rainbow shoelaces, checkered shoelaces (to wear when you weren’t wearing your Jeff Spicoli Vans, which (of course) didn’t have laces), shoelaces with hearts, dollar signs, frogs, pigs, dogs, unicorns (oh, unicorns were HUGE in the early 80s), the list is endless. I even got a pair that said “I <3 SCIENCE” all over them at a Science Teacher’s conference in college. In searching online for a photo - I see that fun shoelaces may be making a comeback!

Rainbow shirts – In the days before the rainbow became the symbol of Gay Pride (not that there’s anything wrong with that), it marked a fashion trend for pre-teens and teenage girls in South Florida. I am willing to be that on the first day of the 1981-82 school year, one in five middle and high school girls in South Florida sported a rainbow shirt. These were white, ¾ sleeve t-shirts with a big, bright rainbow emblazoned across the front. Anybody who was anybody wore one. (I, by the way, did not own one on the first day of school, but I’m pretty sure I had one before the first semester was over). Of course, you could wear your rainbow shirt with rainbow shoelaces and rainbow socks and rainbow legwarmers. :D

Lollipop pens and such – These fruity scented, colorful writing instruments were popular back when there was such a thing as a retail store whose primary product was stickers.  Scented erasers were also big sellers, as were printed pencils.

Flea market purses – These handbags looked exactly like mini duffel bags with a screen printed design on the front. As far as I know, you could only buy them at the Swap Shop.  Mine was violet with a unicorn on it (shocker). I thought it was beautiful.

LeSportSac – Yet another handbag trend of the early 80s. I was amazed to see that LeSportSac still makes handbags today! The most popular style back then was the clutch (which I would call a cosmetic bag today). It was big enough, though to hold your lollipop pens, scented erasers, and Snoopy pencils.

Corduroy OP shorts – I still remember getting my first pair of corduroy OP shorts at Jordan Marsh.  I believe I had a white pair and a turquoise pair. I think I also got a Hang Ten (another popular brand of the 80s) shirt at the same time. It had horizontal stripes (NOT flattering). Speaking of OP – do any of my PBMS friends remember that Mr. Wooten would get mad if anyone wore an OP shirt in his class because someone had told him that OP stood for “Old People”. LOL! OP has made a comeback at WalMart. And if I'm not mistaken, I may have seen a pair of corduroy shorts among the surfer girl tees and tanks on the racks.

Neon accessories – In the mid 80s, your accessories could be seen for miles! :D Neon pink and green belts, earrings, socks, Madonna gloves, etc. were huge. I believe I had both a neon pink and neon green belt, which was great to cinch my…

Me and my BFF Isabel sporting
big sweaters, earrings AND hair
Big sweaters – Express was THE store for oversized sweaters, sweatshirts and t-shirts. Seeing as I spent my early teens on the upper end of the Juniors’ size chart, this fashion trend was a blessing for me. Although big sweaters could be worn over jeans, it was much more trendy to wear them with a pair of leggings (with or without stirrups).

Big earrings – I had some big earrings back in the 80s – all colors of hoops, squiggles, triangles, etc. But the Queen of big (fun) earrings was my BFF Isabel. She had a three-tiered jewelry box FULL of earrings. My favorite Isabel earrings were her green toy airplanes. Awesome!

I could go on and on. These were the trends that came to mind thanks to my insomnia. I hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane. I’m sure there will be future installments.

With Love and Aloha. <3 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Casting Call Out ~ Two and a Half Men

Bridget Schmidt
Can someone please explain how Bridget (Mrs. Walden Schmidt) used to be Herb Melnick's sister, Myra? Two and a Half Men has been one of the highest-rated sitcoms for years and with the show in syndication, playing multiple episodes at least five nights a week, did they think nobody would notice? This isn't even the first time they have recycled characters. Chelsea, the late Charlie's fiance, also appeared as another of his ex-girlfriends in the episode where he discovered the "Charlie Harper Sucks" website and visited all of his exes to apologize to each one of them for wronging them. Then, there was Jake's teacher Miss Pasternak, whom Charlie seduced. Her character was originally played by Missy Pyle (who scares me), a blond; but then returned a couple of seasons later as a redhead who looked totally different. Granted, by this point Miss Pasternak had given up teaching and become an exotic dancer (until she found God at the end of that episode). What's next? Will Charlie Sheen come back as Lindsay's brother? 
Myra Melnick
Now, Two and a Half Men has had some pretty cool guest stars. Martin Sheen (Charlie's real dad) played Rose's father, Harvey (Hey! Same name as my father!). Emilio Estevez (Charlie's real brother) played his longtime friend. Denise Richards (Charlie's ex-wife) played his ex-girlfriend. Her baby on the show was their real daughter (thanks for the confirmation, Ash!). What I'm hoping for is a  guest appearance by Molly Ringwald. (a Duckie and Andie reunion!)  

According to TV Guide, Charlie Sheen was making $1.25M (that's SIX figures) PER EPISODE before he went off the deep end and got fired. If I made half of that in my LIFETIME, I would be happy! Jon Cryer (Alan) earns $550K per episode (and I think Duckie is funnier - the episode where he was in a drug trial was hilarious!). Even Angus T. Jones (Jake) earns $250K per episode. Conchata Ferrell (Berta - didn't see that name coming!) didn't even make the list! Are these outrageous salaries why they have to recycle talent? It just doesn't make sense to me.

Yes, I admit, I've watched WAY too many reruns of Two and a Half Men and to be honest, I don't even like the show very much anymore (I lost interest even before Charlie "died"). I loved Ashton Kutcher as Kelso on That 70's Show, but Walden just doesn't do anything for me. I have a hard time watching a show when I know how (insanely) much the actors are making and I feel like they are trying to insult my intelligence. I'd much rather watch Rules of Engagement or The Big Bang Theory - I find them a lot more entertaining. 

Speaking of The Big Bang Theory, I also noticed on TV Guide's list of TV's Top Earners that Johnny Galecki earns more money per episode than Jim Parsons. In what universe does Leonard Hofstader deserve  more than Sheldon Cooper? Bazinga!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Meeting Duran Duran ~ "My 13th Birthday Present"

I have been a fan of Duran Duran for a looooong time – since 1983, in fact. I was 12 years old the first time I saw the video for Hungry Like the Wolf on MTV. I thought that John Taylor was the most beautiful man I had ever seen in my life. Seeing that video marked the beginning of a love for the band and their music that has continued to this day. 

Opening my "Union of the Snake" 12" Single
on my 13th Birthday
In the early years, my adoration of Duran Duran (and especially John) was, I have to admit, an obsession. I would buy every magazine, button, photo, book, record, poster, etc. that I could get my hands on (and my parents would be willing to give me the money to buy). I even bought imported Japanese magazines from Specs and ordered them from overseas. Remember…this was all before the days of the Internet, Amazon and eBay. Never mind that I couldn’t read the Japanese characters, those magazines consistently had the greatest photos of the band! I even bought their "Video Album" (on VHS, thank the Lord, as it was also available on Beta AND LaserDisc), which included many more videos than were commercially played on MTV.

My first Duran Duran concert  the highlight of my teenage life (at least until I met Rob at 18). It was 1984 and Duran Duran was coming to town to support their “Seven and the Ragged Tiger” album (No CDs, no iTunes, no downloading music young’uns!) I had seen (taped and watched over and over and over again) Duran Duran Live at the Hammersmith Odeon on MTV and an even older live performance on Nickelodeon where most of the band sported red lipstick (not one of my favorite phases), and now I would finally get the chance to see them IN PERSON! My brother-in-law, had a friend who knew a guy who owned a record store in Delray. He’d ask his friend to try and get me tickets. Record store guy pulled the first tickets he could when they went on sale. The seats were FRONT ROW, RIGHT IN FRONT OF JOHN TAYLOR! Oh, was my 13-year-old JT-loving-self ecstatic!

I still remember what I wore to that first concert on March 27, 1984 – black parachute pants, a white top with different colored squares all over it (so 80s!), a white vest with my DD buttons on it, and white Capezios (of course!). I still remember how excited I was when the first drumbeats of “Is There Something I Should Know” echoed throughout the Hollywood Sportatorium and then the deafening teenage screams began…I’m sure I was part of it, but I also sang and danced my heart out (even though I don’t do either well) and took lots of pictures (no digital photography back then…rolls of film baby that you had to wait DAYS to be developed, though I think I might have taken it to the “New” one-hour photo in the mall). It was an amazing show and memorable experience for me.

After “Seven and the Ragged Tiger,” the band members split to work on side projects – Simon, Nick and Roger went on to form Arcadia and John and Andy formed Power Station. I saw Power Station at the Hollywood Sportatorium on July 9, 1985. The band reunited onstage at Live Aid a few days later, and that marked the last time they played together until reuniting in 2003.

Over the course of the next 18 years, Duran Duran released seven records (many of which I bought, some I didn't) and I grew up, met Rob, got married, had children, started a career as an editor, etc. I saw the band live twice during that time period - once in 1989 at the Miami Arena during the Big Thing tour and once in 1992 at Sunrise Musical Theater during the Wedding Album tour (just a few months, in fact, after Rob and I got married!) John Taylor went solo shortly after the Wedding Album and I didn’t know about it until years later, when I discovered Meltdown radio on Live 365 online. I ended up buying two of his solo CDs off of – "Feelings Are Good and Other Lies" and "Retreat Into Art." I actually really enjoyed both of these – especially songs like Immortal and Hey Day. I never knew he could sing!

The Original Duran Duran
Then, in 2003, it was announced that the original five members of Duran Duran were reuniting for a tour and a new album. I think I bought "Astronaut" the day it came out and fell in love with the CD – the band that I loved was BACK! I missed the Astronaut tour (and the opportunity to hear the original lineup play live again), but kept up with news on

"Red Carpet Massacre" was released on November 13, 2007 – my 37th Birthday. I bought it the day it came out. I loved the CD and made up my mind that I wanted to see them if they came to town. They announced a show on May 17, 2008 at Mizner Park Amphitheatre in Boca Raton with my 9-year-old son, Chase. We really enjoyed the concert. I thought the band sounded better than they had in years.

I downloaded (a first for me) their latest record (is that right?), "All You Need is Now," when it was released on iTunes in 2010. Once again, I fell in love with the songs -- they sounded like classic Duran Duran. I knew that I wanted to see them, but was shocked to see the ticket prices ($68-$125+ each). I decided to try and get tickets when they went on sale. I knew there was a presale the day before, which I didn’t qualify for, but I hoped that there would be good seats left anyway. I logged on to Ticketmaster the second tickets went on sale to the general public. The best seats available were floor seats in the back for more than $90 each. I couldn't justify paying that much to sit in the very back of the theater. I later looked on eBay and found third row seats in front of John Taylor – a pack of four tickets for over $3,000! At that point, I accepted the fact that I wasn't going to see them live this time around.

The week before the concert, I mentioned on Facebook how I’d love to see Duran Duran in concert, but couldn't afford to pay such high prices for seats way in the back of the theater. My friend, Tonya told me about a Facebook contest that WRMF radio was having. Every day that week, they would post a Duran Duran trivia question on their Facebook page, and the first correct answer commented would win Meet & Greet passes and tickets to the concert! Now, I know my Duran Duran trivia! I figured I might have a shot at this. Each of us agreed that if one of us won, she’d take the other.

The first day I tried the contest (Tuesday), they posted the question,”How are the three Taylors  in Duran Duran related?” Oooooh! I know this! “They aren’t!,” I commented. Now, I typed it quickly, but in the millisecond it took my anal editor brain to make sure that I had properly punctuated my answer, another person commented. When I refreshed the screen, the first three responses (mine the second) were all posted “12 seconds ago.” Damn! Soooooo close!

The next day, Tracy St. George announced that the trivia question would be posted at 4:00 p.m. sharp. I left work at my usual 3:30 and went by PBMS to pick up Chase. At 3:45, the bell rang…no Chase. 3:50…no Chase. The clock was a-tickin’! At 3:52, Chase casually appears, drinking a Mountain Dew (he stopped at the vending machine?!!!). I open the car door and yell, “Hurry! We gotta GO!” He runs to the car and I get home as quickly as my car would take us. I screeched into my driveway at 3:58, left everything in my car (I did turn off the ignition), ran upstairs, logged on to WRMF’s Facebook page and hit the refresh button until the trivia question appeared. 

Refresh, refresh, refresh, refresh, refresh…”It’s that time! MEET Duran Duran by being the first correct response to this question – Since the beginning of the band, which member has had the most hair colors?” I knew the answer without thinking (Nick Rhodes!). With no concern for capitalization or other conventions, I typed “nick” and hit Enter as quickly as my fingers would allow. Ooooooh…it looked like I was the first to comment. I hit F5 – I WAS the first to comment…was I right? Surely it must be Nick! A lot of people guessed Nick. Did I win? No comments from Tracy St. George. So I streamed the radio station live through their WRMF's website. 

After the song finished, Tracy St. George announced on air, “Well, it looks like Nancy Nickerson from Pompano Beach will be meeting Duran Duran!” I screamed like a girl, jumped up and down and smiled uncontrollably for hours. The woman who was born on Friday the 13th had WON! After 28 years, I was finally going to meet Duran Duran. I was beyond excited!

Part of my Duran Duran
Memorabilia collection
That weekend, I got out all of my Duran Duran memorabilia that I had collected (and my parents stored) over the years - the books, the albums, the posters, the calendars, the buttons. I spent Saturday and Sunday reminiscing and trying to decide what I wanted to bring for the guys to autograph. I finally decided on a small version of one of my favorite posters of the band.

In the days leading up to October 11, I was as excited as a little kid right before Christmas (or as a teenage girl about to meet her teen idol!). The day of the concert, I was positively giddy! I'm almost embarrassed to admit that my heart was racing all day. Even my boss commented that I was glowing and that we should try to bottle my enthusiasm and sell it.

All ready to meet
Duran Duran!
I got home from work, showered, put on my black halter dress, tried to beautify as much as I possibly could before my “big night.” Tonya picked me up and it was so great to see her! We chatted excitedly the whole way to the Hard Rock and made it to the WRMF tent early. They showed us where the Meet & Greet was set to take place at 7:00 (the restaurant across from the venue) and checked our name off the list. Tonya and I met some of the other winners and I was really surprised to discover that most of them had already met the band (some several times!). Right before 7:00, we were all told that the Meet & Greet had been moved to the backstage area. We were told to line up, single file. They said that the guys were not going to sign anything and that we couldn't use our own cameras.  They would let us in two to four people at a time and we could pose for a photo (that the radio station would take and post on their website) with the guys. That was it. I was pretty disappointed, but still excited to meet the band.

We stood in line near the backstage area and through the curtain, I could see Nick, Simon, Roger and John standing there posing with the fans in line ahead of me. In my mind, I sang, “Now the time has come…the music’s between us…” (from Sunrise). Then, it was our turn. Walking through the curtain was a completely surreal experience. I remember thinking, “Duran Duran is standing right in front of me! I’m FINALLY going to meet them!” SO much went through my mind in those few seconds. As we walked toward them, Simon looked at me with what looked like recognition (?) and started to say, “Oh, it’s…” but never finished his sentence (or I missed it, as I was completely starstruck at this point). 

Then, it was our turn to meet the band. As I was walking up to the guys, I blurted out, “I am SO excited! You are like my 13th birthday present!” Simon looked at me and said excitedly, “You’re 13 today?! Happy Birthday!” and the others laughed. I thought “What the hell did I just say?” and quickly said (as my mind searched frantically for the RIGHT word)…”No...I mean, you’re my 13th birthday WISH!” I stood between Roger and John, with my arm around Roger (thinking, “Oh my Lord, I have my arm around Roger Taylor and it feels like standing next to Rob (they’re about the same size)…John Taylor is standing right next to/behind me (and he’s really tall!) I'm getting my picture taken with Duran Duran!”) Big smile for photo and we were told to move on. That’s IT???! 

Then, I had a total Ralphie moment. You know in “A Christmas Story” where Ralphie is petrified of the scary Santa and he’s hanging on to the top of the slide, about to get pushed down when he realizes that he never told Santa what he wants? That was me! I thought, “Wait! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity… SAY SOMETHING, WOMAN!” So I turned to John and said, “It is such an honor to finally meet you!” He smiled and nodded (OK, I’m sure he was thinking “You’re only the millionth person who has said that to me.” But, at least he was nice.) and that was it. The whole experience lasted (I’m pretty sure) less than one minute. So much for the “special” Meet & Greet. As Tonya and I walked out, a couple of older women who were working at the concession stand said, “That was the fastest Meet & Greet, we’ve ever seen!” We just stood there wondering if there was more...but sadly, there wasn’t. BUT, after 28 years as a Duranie, I had finally met John, Roger, Simon and Nick!

Tonya and I then made our way up to our “nosebleed” seats in Row M of the back corner of the balcony. We could see the stage really well, though. Precisely at 9:00, the lights went down and the beginning notes of "Before the Rain" echoed throughout the venue. Then, Duran Duran took the stage and played an absolutely phenomenal show that lasted over 90 minutes. They sounded great – playing a mixture of their new songs and old hits and Tonya and I had an awesome time!

I still listen to Duran Duran just about every day. The first Duran Duran record I ever bought, "Rio" remains my favorite album of all time. Save a Prayer and Lonely in Your Nightmare (both songs on "Rio") are my phone ringtones and my favorite videos of all time. All of the memorabilia has been put away, though. I’ve gone back to being a 40-year-old woman (though it really was exhilarating to relive the exuberance of a 13-year-old girl) and living my “real life” – a life that I love with people I cherish and I feel incredibly blessed.

With love and aloha <3 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Finally a Blogger!

I've been thinking about starting a blog for months - really just to release some the thoughts that are constantly floating around in my head! I've always enjoyed writing and have always been far more comfortable expressing myself in written form than verbally. Honestly, I don't care if anyone else reads my blog...this is therapy for me. If you choose to read it and it makes you smile (and I hope it does), all the better!

I chose to name my blog "Living Aloha ~ One Day at a Time" because I absolutely adore the concept of  "Aloha." It's much more than just a symbolizes living with a loving, positive spirit toward others. When I taught First Grade (very briefly, mind you...there will definitely be a post about this eventually), I tried to foster a spirit of Aloha in my classroom. This is how I really try to live my life. Now, I'm not always successful at it (I definitely have my "ugly" moments!), but I try to make people smile every day and I am so thankful for all of the people in my life who share Aloha and bring a smile to my face.

Since you've taken the time to visit my blog, I do hope you enjoy it!

With Aloha, 

To read more about the Spirit of Aloha, visit