Thursday, August 29, 2013

My Music - He Will Be Dave Davies

The infamous little green amp that put the rock in rock 'n roll and wonderfully changed the genre forever.
Photo Credit-Russ Fletcher (
David Russell Gordon Davies. Guitar virtuoso. Gifted songwriter. Founding member of the British invasion and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame quartet, the Kinks. And creator of that searing, crunchy distorted guitar chord heard round-the-world and in almost every rock song since the mid-60's.
                                                                                                 Photo Credit-Klaus Hiltscher

All the rock guitarists (and struggling wanna-be's) out there owe a lot to this pioneer. For if it wasn't for his frustration at not getting the sound he heard in his head out of that little amp that fateful day way back in the age of aquarius, where would music be? Would there be punk? Heavy metal? Dave Davies' latest retrospective homage to that music and life altering incident is included on his latest work of art, "I Will Be Me".

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

My Backyard - Rosecliff Mansion, Newport, RI

Another day. Another mansion. And another happy day for this blogger!

Hubby and I grabbed a rare day off from grandkid duty and hightailed it out of our house. (i.e. NOT a mansion.) It was no surprise where we wanted to go. One of our fav places to head to on a bright, warm sunny summer day - Newport. The place just calls to us. The water. The sail boats. The food. The history. All of it.

First stop:  The Corner CafĂ©. If you're ever in Newport, for whatever reason, you've got to try this place. An unassuming little restaurant in the center of town. Maybe seats 40 diners? And almost always a wait. On this particular morning, we were told it'd be about 20 minutes. So we gave our name to the hostess and strolled down the sidewalk and down a side street. Just meandering and chatting. Enjoying picture-perfect weather that seemed to be tailor made for our spur of the moment excursion.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Kaanapali Kate

Fine form ... um, no.
Fun ... yes!

Beautiful Kaanapali Golf Course in Maui, Hawaii.
Fine form ... um, no.
Fun ... yes!
A hula girl is born in Honolulu !
May - 2007

Monday, August 19, 2013

My Backyard - 6 Reasons to Love the Pawtucket Red Sox

Baseball. It's part of our heritage. As American as apple pie.

Peanuts. Cracker Jack. 
Balls and Strikes.  Gloves and Bats.
Three Outs.  Nine Innings.
I love the game. All my friends and family know I'm a lifelong fan. I've been to many a ballgame, both in my backyard and around the country. Nothing like kicking back and enjoying a bit of Americana on a warm, summer afternoon.
The stadiums the boys of summer play in vary from city to city. Small quaint historical playing fields like Fenway. State of the art contemporary Marlins Park. Each team puts its own local flavor on their home. Though I've enjoyed games in many minor and major league parks, in my opinion one of the best places to watch the old pastime lies only a few miles from my hometown. In Pawtucket. McCoy Stadium. Home of baseball's longest game. Home to the AAA minor league affiliate for the best team in the majors, the Boston Red Sox. The reigning International League Champs.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

My Music in My Backyard - Rockin' The Blues

Mixing things up today. Gonna get a little wild and crazeee. Get ready...I'm combining 2 of my fav blog topics: Music and Backyard. Whoa! Hope I didn't lose you there...hold'll be fine.

Recently I got to enjoy some good ole time rock 'n roll at a local venue I had never been to before (but have been wanting to visit after hearing some really promising reviews).
Thanks to the generosity of NBC10 WJAR-TV, I won tickets to the "Rock 'n Blues Fest" at Park Theater in Cranston, RI. The show starred rock, blues and veteran Woodstock performers and bands: 
  1. Canned Heat
  2. Pat Travers Band
  3. Rick Derringer
  4. Edgar Winter
  5. Ten Years After
What a lineup! What an exciting show! And what a nice theater!

Hold my hand...its time to step inside the way-back machine...groooovy...................

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Return to Sesame Street

Sunny Day
Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get,
How to get to Sesame Street
Come and play
Everything's A-OK
Friendly neighbors there
That's where we meet
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street
Thanks to the small fry who live with me, I've rediscovered Gordon and Olivia, Big Bird and Oscar, Bert and Ernie and all the other residents of that iconic roadway.
Comforting to know that the land of muppets, cookie monsters and (my personal fav) Super Grover is still there to entertain and educate a new generation in such colorful, sing-songy style.

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Cinema - Despicable Me 2

I don't care if you're 3 or 93. You will LOVE the new movie, "Despicable Me 2"!

It's laugh-out-loud hilarious! Thoroughly entertaining! And, believe it or not, better than the first.

And don't be scared off if you never saw its predecessor. You'll be able to follow the storyline in the sequel without having seen it. (And if you didn't see the first one, what is wrong with you? Go rent it NOW!)

My grandkids were very vocal about keeping me informed about when the movie would debut in our local theater. (The repetitive commercials and saturation of the marketing blitz for the movie were quite helpful in that regard.) And on the BIG day, we found ourselves sitting in a dark theater with 3 eager, excited little ones. Popcorn in hand. Waiting for the lights to dim.

As soon as the screen lit up with the opening scene, I could sense the joy emanating from those little bodies sitting next to me in the dark.

Despicable Me 2 picks up where the first movie left off. After retiring from his vocation as a villain, we find Gru (superbly voiced by Steve Carrell) making an honest living (cooking up home-made jelly...imagine!) and adjusting to being the father to three precocious little girls. He's recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help them find out who's stolen a formula that threatens civilization. After mulling it over and how it'll affect his new family life, he teams up with Agent Lucy and sets off to find out who's behind the evil plot. To compound the situation, unbeknownst to him, his minions are being kidnapped as part of the unknown villain's secret devious plan.

Ah, those crafty little, crack-me-up, twinkie-clone minions. The real stars of this movie. They steal the show! My grandkids are obsessed with them. (And I think some adults are, as well.) How can you not love them?!? I sure hope they get to have their own movie someday. (But think about it...there'd be no dialogue. It'd have to have sub-titles. No one can understand minion-speak...can they?)

(p.s.  Be on the alert: the use of words like "poop" and "fart" abound. If your kids are anything like my grandkids, i.e. perfectly normal, they will be repeating these words and laughing hysterically!)

The characters are well written. The writing uber-funny with the requisite important moral. Animation colorful. The film moves along at a nice clip that keeps the audience thoroughly engaged from beginning to end. (And please, do NOT leave until ALL of the credits roll by; some of the funniest bits are at the end!) Just brilliant!

Won't tell you anymore because I hate spoilers and don't want to ruin your enjoyment of the film. If you haven't seen it, head to your nearest theater; I'm sure it's still playing.

Get ready for an afternoon of laughs thanks to a great feel-good movie and those lovable little minions.



Friday, August 2, 2013

My Backyard - Oakland Beach, Warwick, RI

Have you noticed how life seems to always bring things 'round full circle?
When I was little, money was tight. Eight children seriously narrowed the options of where my folks could take us on outings. One usual excursion in the summertime was a 30-minute jaunt in our trusty old station wagon to Oakland Beach in Warwick, RI.

Ok, full disclaimer, for those who've never been to Rhode Island. Yes, we're called the "Ocean State". And I'm pretty sure that would lead most people to envision miles and miles of white sand Caribbean-style beaches. While there are a few beaches that are pretty nice, they wouldn't be described as tropical-like.

Oakland Beach is more of a "diamond in the rough". As in its a bit rough around the edges. A little stretch of sand along a bay inlet.

Let me explain...