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Friday, May 1, 2009


It has just been rainy and dreary for days here in the Chicagoland area and I felt I needed something upbeat. Enjoy!

Time To Share & Win
Ann asked if anyone had brought anything to a potluck that no one was eating. It's been awhile since I've been to a potluck. Actually yes and no. Once I was going to an L Word home viewing party and I needed to bring something, but didn't have time to make anything, so I stopped at Dominick's Grocery Store and picked up a completely sinfully scrumptious looking chocolate layer cake. None of those skinny betches would touch it, but they were salivating like dogs! No one touched it until I cut into for a slice. Then they were like vultures, I tell you! Hardly a crumb was left and someone stole my slice! I couldn't get mad about it, because after all we were bringing to share. The bad thing was, no one else brought any dessert. So I sat there and ate the hummus and pita chips someone brought.

Thanks for stopping by for VGNO! If you like what you see, please consider becoming a regular at Lola's Diner by becoming a Follower.
Also, be sure to check out my contest at Lola's Victory Garden

Lola's Diner

Top Commenter Winners Announced!

I am pleased to announce the winners of my April Top Commenter Contest.

Drumroll please...

1st Place Harriet @ I Am Harriet winner of 750 Entrecard Credits.
2nd Place Auntie E @ At Home With Auntie E winner of 500 Entrecard Credits.
3rd Place John @ Gay Dads In Munchkin Land winner of 250 Entrecard Credits.

Congratulations to the winners! The Entrecard Credits have been transferred before this post.

Thank you to everyone who participated! You can join in the fun in May where I will again be rewarding my Top Commenters.

Let the Comments begin!

Lola's Diner

Do Re Mi - Amazing!

"Antwerpen Centraal gaat uit zijn dak want Op zoek naar Maria komt er aan! Bekijk hier hoe meer dan 200 dansers en danseressen het station op zijn kop zetten op het klanken van de Sound of Music!"

Thanks to Auntie E @ At Home With Auntie E for taking the time to search out an online translation for us.
"Antwerp Central goes out of his roof because Looking for Maria is coming! View more than 200 dancers and dancers of the station on his head onto the sounds of the Sound of Music!"

Lola's Diner

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Follow up to "It's The Stand"

This is my follow up to my post It's The Stand!. It was the post I jokingly did comparing what's been going on in our country with the Swine Flu and the plot of Stephen King's movie, "The Stand".

Today on my twitter, "motherabigail" started following me. I haven't seen the movie in awhile, but I seemed to remember the name, so I googled the movie for the IMDb website to check out the character names. Yup, Mother Abigail is a character.

Ok, so I bit, I started following her and reading her tweets. Quite a few other characters from the movie are also following her. Frannie Goldsmith, Larry Underwood, Moon, Nadine Cross, Randall Flagg.

Here are a few of the tweets:
"Lord, please let these terrible visions stop. I ain't no moses, or noah, for that matter.about 1 hour ago from web"
"Lord, I pray you are merciful with those you takin to your bosom in the long, dark days ahead. Let not the children suffer, I beg of thee.about 4 hours ago from web"
"He's gatherin his people, the dark one. Time is growin short. Mailman says people gettin sick, and he's not lookin so good himself.about 4 hours ago from web"
"@larry_underwood oh, Larry, you dear boy. You got some tribulations ahead. My prayers are with you, child.2:18 PM Apr 29th from web in reply to larry_underwood"
"@Stu_Redman you be careful, East Texas. God's already takin' his children back to his bosom. They the lucky ones.1:17 PM Apr 29th from web in reply to Stu_Redman"

Some of this looks like lines from the book or the movie. So I guess this begs the question, are there a lot of people on twitter doing this? Taking on characters from their favorite book/movie and reciting lines back to each other? If so, why did they let me in on this? Do they always tweet in character? How long has this group of people taking on the characters of "The Stand" been doing this? Is it recent?

Do you know of any other twitter peeps who have taken on a book or movie character and are tweeting with others who are also in character?

I think I'm filing this under...

Lola's Diner

If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays - Reunions

Come join me for If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays! We'll be taking time out to share some memories. We'll Blog Back Time with possible ways to right past wrongs or about how times have changed. We'll share childhood memories, school/work memories, family and friend memories.
Today's topic is: Reunions
I've been to 3 reunions.

The first was a family reunion on my Mom's side of the family. The Italian side. The food of course was awesome! Some relatives actually came from Bagheria, Sicily and Santa Flavia, Sicily, both being outside Palermo, Sicily. So many people, I think it was the largest party I attended up to that point. So many people speaking Italian. I'm sure my Mother was both having a field day at being able to speak it, but also feeling overwhelmed because she was a bit rusty. She only spoke it with my grandmother, with my aunts when she didn't want us kids to understand what she was talking about, or when she was frustrated with us.

Just like all of our large family events, this was at Club Garibaldi in the Bay View area of Milwaukee. I had to have been maybe 12, 14 years old. It was odd being around so many people speaking Italian, many of them assuming that my sister and I did. We just gave them all 'duh-oh' looks and stood there. Lol! Unfortunately my mother never taught us any Italian. Of course, as kids do, we did learn some Italian on our own, the more colorful words.

One of my aunts has mentioned wanting to have another reunion, but she's moved out of state, so I wonder if and when one will take place and where it would be. Doesn't it get sad as you get older how the only time you get to see some of your distant relatives is at funerals? It used to be you'd see them at weddings too, but with there being so few weddings (at least in my families) and with budgets the way they are, distant relatives typically aren't even invited.

The second reunion I attended was my 5 year high school reunion. I graduated class of 1979. The reunion was 1984, just a week or so after my Mom passed away. All the kids from the neighborhood who didn't make the funeral came up and expressed their condolences. This was my first social event after the funeral and it was really difficult to keep it together. A lot of stories about my Mom. My Mom, the unofficial Mom of the block. It was like the funeral all over again. Being that this was at a hotel, and it was open bar, alcohol was free flowing. Yeah, not such a good thing in retrospect. Oh don't worry, it wasn't too bad, but I'll save that part of the story for an upcoming If I Could Blog Back Time Thursday - Courage In A Bottle post.

I missed the 20 year reunion because it was at the same time my ex-husband had his psychotic break and I couldn't possibly leave the kids with him in Chicago and go to the reunion in Milwaukee.

I was all excited to attend our 25 year reunion, but it was cancelled for 'lack of interest'. WTH? How is it that a class so large didn't have enough people to have the event?

This year is our 30 year reunion and I've been checking, mylife and a reunion site for the high school, not a word about a class of '79 reunion. How can it be that no one is getting together for your 30 year reunion?

The third reunion I attended was for Anastasia's family in 2008. It was a 3 day extravaganza. Friday was dinner at Murphy's Pub in Orland Park. Saturday was a golf event. Sunday was a get together at the local VFW.

Anastasia was on the planning committee and I worked behind the scenes creating a directory of everyone's contact information.

I have to say that her family is awesome! AWESOME! I really felt like I was a part of the family and they made my kids feel like they were part of the family too.

Rumor has it there is another event planned later this year. That's in addition to the usually smaller, regular annual golf event which should be coming up soon.

Here's an old family photo and then the 2008 version.

And no, for you sneaky sneaks trying to sneak a peek of Anastasia or myself, we are not in either photo.

Now it's your turn. Please post your Reunion Memory on your blog. Then come back to Lola's Diner and leave the actual post link here. Please grab the html code for If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays! Badge HERE. Please note these links are STRICTLY for If I Could Blog Back Time Thursdays! participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.

Don’t forget to visit the other participants! It’s a great way to make new bloggy friends!

Lola's Diner

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

This And That

Ah hem, my name is Lola, and I have lawn mower envy. As I begin typing this post at 7pm from my comfy seat in my living room, I can see clearly out one of my front windows. My neighbor across the street just lowered ramps off the back of his truck and rolled down a brand spanking new John Deere Riding Lawn tractor.

Just moments before, I was driving home from Target, turned onto my street and another neighbor was taking a brand spanking new, black non-descript riding lawn mower off the back of an open trailer. Maybe a Yardman? I don't know, and I don't care, because I covet it just the same. How in this economy is anyone able to afford these machines? Why do I covet one so? Because we have quite a bit of lawn to mow in the front, on the side and in our backyards. We currently have an antique Toro riding mower that is literally held together with chewing gum, wire and duct tape. I have to put a call in to our repair place and find out if they can solder the front axle because it's broken and we've been holding it together with wire and a prayer. No joke! Oh look, my neighbor across the street has to mow his lawn right now, with the headlights turned on, on his new John Deere. It couldn't wait until morning. Gee thanks. Rub it in, why don't you?

As I just mentioned, I just came from Targhay. On the way to the pharmacy I noticed bagged coffee at the end of one of the checkout lanes. On the way out the door after picking up my pharmacy items, I walked by close enough to find out what brand and variety the coffees were. It was Caribou Coffee. Yup. At the checkout lane, directly in front of the Target snack bar area, which includes...a mini Starbucks. Clever.

So, do you think that was Tupac in New Orleans?

My Cubbies. 10-0 shutout this afternoon. Harriet, what's gone wrong? What has happened to our boys in blue? It's a good thing Jeff Samardzija is supposed to be back in the Cubs bullpen Thursday. It couldn't hurt considering the way Marmol has been pitching.

Wow, the criminal division of the EPA has raided Crestwood Village Hall offices. I used to work for a village hall on the north shore, I bet village employees had an interesting morning.

Why are all of these reality shows wanting to hire Rod Blogojevich? First it was "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here", now it's the HBO's "Cathouse" that features the Moonlight BunnyRanch. They want Blagojevich to "'assist with hiring ladies in addition to facilitating with training and proper disciplinary action,' Dennis Hof, owner of the brothel, said in a written statement." What qualifications does a former, allegedly corrupt Governor have to hire prostitutes? I don't know about the rest of the country, but speaking as an Illinois resident, I don't consider Blagojevich to be a celebrity, nor would I care to watch him on a reality show.

Remember this?

Lola's Diner

It's The Stand!

Remember the Stephen King movie "The Stand" 1994? From the plot summary from,"After a virus escapes from a government research facility, most of mankind is wiped out. Those who are immune from the virus subsequently form into two camps. The first is lead by Mother Abigail and the second by Randall Flagg. Within a few months, it becomes apparent that those who support good will need to confront evil if they are to survive."

Which camp are you in? Who will be our Stu Redman?

CALM DOWN! I'm joking.

This breaking in on television this afternoon in the Chicagoland area has to be freaking people out. Did they really need to break in to regular programming? Do they really think our seeing Mayor Daley breaking in on our soap operas is going to reassure us? They really aren't telling us anything they haven't told us before, except maybe that there are now 9 suspected cases in Illinois, rather than the 1 reported on the news this morning.

Don't you think they are just blowing this all out of proportion? There was one question that was asked of the purported experts on Abc, that was something like 'considering how many cases of the flu our country sees on an annual basis and the number of deaths, is this Swine Flu really cause for concern, or is this part of the usual annual statistics?' And guess what? The local news anchors broke in so that we, the audience, could not hear the answer.

That is something that I'd really like to know! Is the media blowing out of proportion reports about a single strain of flu? Are we really on track for this year with the number of reported flu cases and deaths?

One thing I did hear, before the expert was cut off, was that in the past, people may not necessarily have reported the cases to their doctor, and those that were reported. So, aren't we still at a point where we should be looking at, are the number of cases right now really out of the norm? Do we really need to be alarming people like this?

On the 4:30pm Chicagoland local news on Nbc, Mary Ann Ahern reported about the closing of Kilmer Elementary School. After airing the video, she bantered with the female host and said very flippantly that she wouldn't be surprised if there were more school closings. That's very irresponsible to say that on the air.

Have you seen people sporting medical masks in your area? If so where are you?

On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 - being not at all concerned, to 10 - freaking out, stockpiling food and hunkering down for our version of "The Stand" 1994, where do you rate yourself?

Lola's Diner

The Mystic Of The Smoking Jacket

Does anyone even know what a Smoking Jacket is anymore? I mean, when was the last time you saw one? Cary Grant, Fred Astaire, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin were all devotees of the Smoking Jacket, back in the day. Fred Astaire was buried in his Smoking Jacket! (For a moment, lets bypass the fact that Dean Martin died of lung cancer and Frank Sinatra died of pneumonia.) I’m talking about the heir that one appeared to have by owning and wearing one.

A Smoking Jacket screams, ultimate relaxation and luxury, doesn’t it? I think there is a whole mystic about it. You don’t really even need to light up a pipe or a cigar. Don’t you just get the idea that when you put it on, sit in a nice big leather chair, put your feet up, grab that scotch on the rocks from the desk, that you will feel this wonderful calm about you? I want one of these!

The only person I’ve seen lately sporting a Smoking Jacket is Hugh Hefner. In fact, I think it’s his uniform. I mean, how often have you seen him NOT sporting a Smoking Jacket?

What celebrities, people do you imagine sport a Smoking Jacket?

Do you think President Obama wears one? Hmm. Jack Black? Possibly. Justin Timberlake? Not likely. Matthew McConaughey? (Nah, he's worked on those abs to hard to not show those off!)

Here are a few that I found on the web:

Comedian - Emo Philips. Fail! Doesn't seem to fit, does it?

Hugh Hefner. Of course!

And here is an embarrassing photo that the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council probably wouldn't like to get out:

Smokey the Bear.

I think I could “rock” a Smoking Jacket. I mean, a delicate flowered silk robe just isn’t me. Whenever I’m very cold or feeling ill I will wear my fleece robe which has a snowflake pattern. Anastasia just snickers at me because I look like a big ol’ dyke snowflake. But, if I had a Smoking Jacket, I would look all calm, relaxed and worldly. Goodness knows I could use some relaxation and stress reduction! And I would definitely look like a dyke, because a traditional Smoking Jacket is very butch looking and not at all femme. I think I could "rock" a coordinating paisley scarf.
What do you think?

Be sure to check out today's posts on my other blogs:
Fire Crotch Rocket
Lola's Victory Garden
Lola's Diner

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Chicago Area Blogger Meet-up Results Are In!

Five of us Chicago area bloggers met up Sunday afternoon at Panera Bread in Aurora. Blogs participating were, from left to right Look It's Megryansmom, A Malasian Abroad, Communication Exchange, Duck And Wheel With String, Lola's Diner.

Umm, see, did you notice I went with the squirrel theme? Do I get extra bloggy friend points for that? And Patricia has the "Easy button" just to prove how easy it is to successfully hold a blogger meet-up.

I had a really great time learning about my fellow bloggers and sharing bloggy tips. Lin and I even compared deformed nails.

I'd really like to get together again soon. These are some really great ladies and great bloggers. If you haven't checked out their blogs before, please do, Look It's Megryansmom, A Malasian Abroad, Communication Exchange, Duck And Wheel With String.

If you want more details about the blogger meet-up, be sure to check out Fire Crotch Rocket - Chicago Area Blogger Meet-up - A Fly On The Wall.

Why the squirrels? Because I am a big, huge dork! One of the bloggers at the meet-up talked about collecting stuffed animals and dressing them up in outfits, kind of like build-a-bear. I thought she said "SQUIRRELS". It was "BEAVERS". I stand corrected, I am hanging my head in shame and embarrassment. SUPREME embarrassment!

I guess my error was a good thing because I would very likely be in serious trouble with the Mrs.'s if I had googled "beavers in costume". One can only imagine the images one would find were they to google that.

I'll be hiding my red face in shame back in the kitchen.

Lola's Diner
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