Tag Archives: Michael Jackson

Pomp and Circumstance….


 

As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about……more pomp and circumstance! With the last uniform ironed and peanut butter and jelly sandwich packed, all that remained was the graduation. While my mantra is more of everything is always better, my children tend to have adopted a more minimalist approach to life. I was totally ready for a rockin’ graduation party, the graduate, however? Not so much. Nick’s preference was for an intimate celebration, in our home, with family and a few extremely close, life long friends.

Never one to be deterred, I would just make our small party extra special! When you’re taking the celebration on the road, with dinner reservations out on the town, the party planning is a piece of cake. Pick your favorite restaurant, select a few items from the menu, make the reservation, invite the guests and enjoy. A party at home, particularly one where the guests make it back to your doorstep before you do, is extra complicated, which is why it takes extra amounts of planning and careful consideration.

I am a purist, so I like for everything to be as complicated as humanly possible. Planning the menu was easy. I knew I could only make dishes that I could prepare in advance, would feed a crowd and were easy to cook. Because it was Nick’s special day, I wanted to be sure to serve food that he liked, which could have meant scrambled eggs with toast, and Reece’s Peanut Buttercups, but instead included; a cheese platter, veggies and dip, homemade salsa and guacamole, 106 little twice baked potatoes, 79 slider patties and an amazing chopped salad, which is just as good as Portillo’s. I swear. I made it for our Super Bowl party and it was AWESOME!

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After days of food prep and house cleaning, I had earmarked those last 15 minutes before Nick and I had to scoot to school, in his cap and gown, for putting the final touches on the buffet and fussing with the decorations (all black and yellow, with Mumms, Begonias and tiger skins, in honor of Nick’s college mascot; the Tiger). For a kid that had nothing to do but caddy, golf and work out for the past several days, and who had just strolled in the door from a leisurely breakfast with his grandfather, he had a lot of nerve racing into the kitchen, informing me we were in a huge rush to run a quick errand. What could he possibly need? Cigars……A Be All and End All Academy graduation tradition.

Where, I asked, did he think he’d find a fine cigar between here and school? The gas station, naturally. For a kid that doesn’t smoke, he wouldn’t know a Macanuto from a Tiparillo, but really, the gas station? You have to figure that anything that comes out of a vending machine, can’t be very good for you. Fortunately as we jumped into the car, Nick’s pal texted the boys that his dad had it covered.

The ceremony was a dream; the procession, opening remarks, the Salutatorian, the presentation of nearly 330 diplomas, the Valedictorian and the recessional, all clocking in at approximately 80 minutes. Rock on! After a few photo op’s, the boys puffed (choked) on their cigars, patting each other on the back and giving one another grief. Chuck and I left with my parents, while Nick took a detour to the Dairy Queen to get rid of the nasty taste of cigar residue left on his tongue.

We came home to family ready to toast Nick and celebrate his success! Dinner was simple and delicious and the party really got going once my cousin Terri and I opened up the dance floor to Amanda and my nieces, as we grooved to the likes of Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift, Michael Jackson and Wham!

It’s hard to believe Nick’s high school career is now just a thing of the past, when that first day of Pre-School seems like it was just a few days ago. While I might not be ready, it would appear that Nick is preparing to soar. Maybe I can talk him into a going away gala!?!

More pomp and circumstance, more celebrations, more family milestones…..

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We had a bad case of Bieber Fever….


Amanda and I were so sick this weekend; we had a bad case of….. Bieber Fever!

 

As the More is More Mom®, I have been all about….more Justin Bieber! Haven’t heard of him? Well then, you apparently don’t live with a teenage girl. He’s the latest, cutie pie, teen singing sensation, and in my day, I would have been totally drooling all over pictures of him in Tiger Beat magazine (pulling out the centerfold poster and hanging it on my bedroom wall, doodling; I “heart” Justin Bieber.).

You know that I am a teeny-bopper at heart, which makes me somewhat of an expert in assessing teen idols. The Saturday’s of my youth were spent, with rapt attention, loving every single second of Mr. Dick Clark’s, American Bandstand…..followed by jamming out the tunes with Don Cornelius and the Sooouuul Train. Back in the olden days, when I was just a tween and teen, I was smitten with the King of Pop (only then I suppose he was just a prince), Michael Jackson, Andy Gibb, Shaun Cassidy, Leif Garret, George Michael, Prince and my ultimate Teen Idol…..Donny Osmond (Patron Saint of all Teen Idol’s, whose feast day is December 9th. You can read all about him in my archives……).

 

Well, on Father’s Day (at my Faux of July party), my cousin, Nurse Terri, had a bee in her bonnet. She was on the ultimate quest to buy Justin Bieber concert tickets for Amanda and her niece, June-bug, and asked me if I wanted to go too. Hello!?! Miss out on teeny-bopper concert fun? No Way! So what if the concert was 2 ½ hours away in the Quad-cities; can you say…..road trip?

 

I’ve seen Aaron Carter, Jesse Mc Cartney, Nick, Joe and Kevin Jonas and not one of them holds a candle (not even a coveted disco ball) to my Donny, but I must confess; this Justin Bieber is pretty darn cute. He sings about love (Puppy Love? Perhaps this kid is on to something….) and devotion and respect. Literally, he wears his heart on his sleeve (seriously, every shirt he wore in the concert had a great big heart on the sleeve. How cute is that?). The noise; the screaming, the singing…….I was exhausted! The girls were pretty loud too.

 

What I absolutely adore about Justin Bieber. is that he comes across as sweet and sincere (just like another, certain pop idol that I know…..). Being earnest is an endearing quality. While Justin Bieber might not be as “Sweet and Innocent” as a certain, Donny Osmond, he’s pretty close. Justin Bieber is darling and cute and charming……..just like a teen-idol should be.

“And I was like
Baby, baby, baby ohhh
Like baby, baby, baby noo
Like baby, baby, baby ohh
I thought you’d always be mine, mine……”

Justin Bieber is; more sweet, more sincere, more talented, more funny and more everything a teen idol should be………

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Michael Jackson….Long Live The King Of Pop!


It is well known that Donny Osmond is my ultimate boyfriend. My all time favorite singer however, is Michael Jackson, BAR NONE. For years, both my cell phone ring tone and answer tone have been MJ’s; Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground). Every time my phone rings (which is like……. all the time (!) because I’m practically like a teenage girl and have the phone growing out of my ear. It bears repeating that it is a God send that we didn’t have cell phones when I was in High School because my already sketchy HS career would have been virtually nonexistent had I had a cell phone to occupy the balance of my time), people around me smile and I start to boogie…which is mildly embarrassing at the grocery store…..

 

As the More is More Mom®, I am all about…more Michael Jackson! Who doesn’t love the Jackson 5; ABC, The Love You Save, Never Can Say Good Bye, I’ll Be There, Who’s Lovin’ You, Rockin’ Robin, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town? These are the songs of my youth! My mom is awesome and has always been a total gamer, since the very beginning. Okay Chicagoans, I have the fondest memories of heading over to the Axel Roller Rink, on Harlem Ave, with my mom and my brother Ray on Friday nights and listening/skating to Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground) and my favorite Jackson’s tune of all time…Blame it on the Boogie!!!

 

Sadly, with middle age, my mind has become a sieve. When I was eleven years old, my friend Holly and I went to see The Wiz at the movie theater on Clark Street, just South of Diversey Ave (does anyone remember the name of the theater?). Then Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall album came out and I was in Heaven! Great tunes like; Rock with You, Don’t Stop ‘til You Get Enough and my 8th grade cheerleading squad did a pom-pom routine to Workin’ Day and Night (Michael is totally timeless. 25 years later, when my Nick was in 8th grade, he and his pals did Thriller in an 8th grade lip synch contest. MJ just stands the test of time….).

 

In a million years, I will never forget watching Michael Jackson do the moonwalk, wearing his fabulous sparkly glove, at the Motown 25th anniversary special back in the early 80’s. I still get goose bumps just thinking about it! I am the MTV generation. Come on…the Thriller Album; Billie Jean, Beat It, Wanna Be Startin’ Something, Baby Be Mine, The Girl is Mine (with Paul Mc Cartney!),  Human Nature, PYT (Pretty Young Thing) and of course…Thriller? Has any one single album ever had so many number one hits? I think not!

In 1984, my very cool mom brought my brother and me to Chicago’s Soldier’s Field to see all of the Jackson’s in the Victory Tour! It remains one of the highlights of my youth (though, I also thoroughly enjoyed seeing Barry Manilow..because I am a Fan-ilow… at Ravinia when I was 13 with my dad.). I was crazy for Body and State of Shock, with Mick Jagger. Throw in a little We are the World in 1985, and you’ve got yourself a super, super star.

 

How does one man top all of that? With Bad…..well, Bad, and I Just Can’t Stop Loving You, The Way You Make Me Feel, Man in the Mirror, Dirty Diana and of course Smooth Criminal (and I am all about Alien Ant Farm’s cover of Smooth Criminal. It’s amazing!). Round out a body of work with 1991’s Remember the Time (who doesn’t love Magic Johnson (?) as an Egyptian slave?) and Black and White (with Macaulay Culkin and George Wendt…Norm from Cheers). What an amazing body of work!

 

I don’t think a day goes by that Michael Jackson’s music doesn’t touch my life; through his own music or the artists that he has inspired. Long live the…King of Pop!!

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It Had To Be……Harry Connick Jr. on American Idol!!


This season American Idol has been a real sleeper….until this past week!

I am completely stuck in a time warp. You know of my complete and utter devotion to Donny Osmond. I have loved him forever, and we are fellow Sagittarians.

As the More is More Mom®, I love all kinds of music and musicians. My favorites being, in no particular order; Michael Jackson (he is the King of Pop, so you’ve got to give him that); George Michael (Wham rocks! But, who needs Andrew Ridgeley?); Morris Day (for the Minneapolis sound everyone else goes with Prince and his talent, but not me, I go Morris, with his naughty personality and fantastic delivery, every time); Elton John, the Bitch is Back (we’ve seen him once in concert by himself and he was amazing), Billy Joel, Only the Good Die Young (we’ve seen him twice with Sir Elton and their dueling pianos….once at Wrigley Field!); Frank Sinatra, for his musical styling’s; Bobby Darin for his silky, melodic voice; and of course Dean Martin for his rich baritone. But I think my second true love is Harry Connick Junior……

Chuck and I first met Harry Connick Junior (not for real, but metaphorically speaking) when he scored one of our favorite movies When Harry Met Sally (okay, it was probably my favorite movie, but as a young man in love Chuck said all the right things and agreed that it was his favorite movie too.). In fact, his version of the classic standard, It Had to Be You, is “our song.” We’ve seen him three times in concert, and he’s always been fantastic. What I love about Harry, besides his musical talent and his quirky good looks, is his amazing sense of humor and timing. I’m a sucker for smart, clever and funny….everything Harry is. He has impeccable timing and a way with a phrase.

Harry was unbelievable with the final five on American Idol. I venture to say that he was the very best guest they’ve ever had (and Quentin Tarrantino and Jamie Fox were pretty darn awesome last year). He did an amazing job creating the arrangements for all of the contestants, especially Big Mike, Crystal and Lee. I totally don’t get it though….how did Casey not go home? He was awful!

So last night, I was totally psyched that Harry was performing. While he’s great, why did he think that And I Love Her was an exciting and enthralling selection, even if it is on his new album? That is such a “B” side song (for those of you youngsters that haven’t ever played a 45 recording, like we did in the olden days on our phonographs, the “A” side is the popular single, and the “B” side is the boring song that doesn’t get any air time.). If you want to serenade your wife, do it at home, not on my time. Harry must know he’s not an amazing singer, he’s a stylist! He should have wowed us with a big band musical sensation, because he is sensational.

I know I’m getting old, because even though Harry’s song choice wasn’t very exciting, he still always delivers, and if he had sung the phone book he would still have been way more entertaining than Lady Ga Ga. Give me an old fashioned crooner over a freaky performance artist any day of the week…..especially if it’s Harry Connick Jr.!

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Home Depot Makes Me Happy….Who Knew?


Oh, happiest of days! Yesterday, on the most perfect of days, Wrigley and I were coming home from a quick jaunt (which we never should have done….my knee is killing me!) when I heard Michael Jackson blaring from my fanny pack (I know, totally loser, but I need to carry; money, just in case, my I-Pod, my Blackberry, and plenty of plastic bags to pickup you-know-what, and I am telling you a 92lb Labrador does a lot of you-know-what.), Let’s Dance, Let’s Shout….Shake Your Body Down To The Ground (my ring tone, and answer tone, so everyone gets to hear the King of Pop. I so enjoy it, and am always really tempted to just let it ring and listen the music….). I could see right away that it was my very dear friend and neighbor (her doggie is Mr. Hobbs, Wrigley’s very best friend in the entire world! Wrigley would walk on hot coals to be with Mr. Hobbs. He loves Mrs. Hobbs too. One day Mrs. Hobbs called me to tell me to come outside and bring my camera…..apparently, while Mrs. Hobbs was loading up her SUV, Wrigley decided he would like to accompany Mrs. Hobbs on her journey, you know, so she wasn’t lonely, and was found sitting in the passenger seat ready to go Bye-Bye-In-The-Car. Thank God he hadn’t decided to curl up in the back seat and surprise her along the way. That would have been exciting!). Mrs. Hobbs is a More is More kind of gal as well, and she was calling to tell me that the Home Depot had amazing Boston Ferns for $7.98 each and they were going like hotcakes!

Never one to miss an awesome sale, I decided grocery shopping be damned! It was time to head to the Home Depot. After a quick shower, I was on my way. Thankfully I had asked Chuck to leave me our Yukon XL for the day because Amanda needed me to transport a gaggle of kids after school for a class project. Serendipity? Perhaps.

The flowers were beautiful! It took every once of control I could muster to take a thoughtful inventory, rather than load up my cart and purchase everything in sight. It’s just so inspiring….

Fun accent plants that are also air purifiers. I mean, those are totally promoting health so I did buy two of those, but otherwise, I swear I was really good.

Gorgeous orchids! Barclay Butera (amazing designer, FYI) always features these incredibly beautiful orchids in unbelievably generous pots on his coffee tables. My coffee table however features magazines, a collection of boxes and tortoise hurricanes, so I don’t have room for orchids. Besides, they would completely block the idiot box, and you know how much I adore the idiot box.

These tropical palms were down right luscious; makes me want to save a Rain Forest.

I am totally in love with orange, which is crazy because I am red and HOT pink girl. These Orange Stars are lovely….

This was cracking me up. Scott Turf Builder is the Official Lawn Care of the Chicago Cubs. Go Cubs Go (BTW…LOVE the idea of Big “Z”, Zambrano, in the Bullpen. He is the Man!!!!!)!

Alright, you got me. I did purchase one (only one!) patio planter. But come on, they were only $14.98 each! If I was really in to saving money, I would have bought more….

Marigolds…..

Gerber Daisies….

Impatiens……

 

But in the end, other than the two accent plants and the one patio planter, I only bought two beautiful Boston Ferns (well actually four, but two are for my mom and I promise I am going to give them to her).

Now I know exactly what I want to do for Mothers Day…..buy flowers!

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