Music, Movies & Sports Archives

February 6, 2009

My All-Time Favorite Band

I wasn't a fan way back when they were first popular in the 70's. I didn't begin to love them until way after that - probably mid to late 90's. And then I really, REALLY loved them!

Now their music just makes me happy! I play their music when I drive. I play it while I am working on my computer. When I go to Curves, I request their music. I even play it in my dreams. Anytime is a good time for EAGLES music!


I have seen them in concert several times now, and I never get tired of hearing them. I could very easily follow them around on tour and be an Eagles groupee!


Here is my favorite Eagle, Glenn Frey. Don Henley has probably had a more successful solo career, but I like Glenn's personality better. Joe Walsh and Timothy B. Schmit add a lot to the group too.


Already Gone - 1974

And this is my favorite Eagles song from their newest album, "Long Road Out of Eden":

February 7, 2009

James Dean - A Rebel Lost Too Soon


I guess I was an impressionable teen (like most are), and James Dean came along at just that time and made a lasting impression on me. A lifelong lasting impression. I still remember him as he was in "Rebel Without a Cause" and "East of Eden" and "Giant". A star that burned so brightly and was so quickly extinguished.

Yes, his mortal life was extinguished but not his status as a cult hero, and even though it has been over 50 years since his death, his worldwide fame is legendary. After all, it was a Japanese businessman, Seita Ohnishi, who erected a memorial at the site of his death in Cholame, CA, on Hwy 46 near Paso Robles. Back on September 30, 1955, when the accident occurred, it was known as Hwy 466.



The State of California has even erected a couple of their own signs:


Jimmy (as his friends called him) started out the day in Los Angeles and with his mechanic and a stationwagon entourage (see car at left) was planning to drive to Salinas to race his Porsche Spyder.


It was a horrible accident, according to all accounts. Jimmy was driving west on Hwy 466 (now Hwy 46) when a car turned left in front of him onto Hwy 41. Jimmy was the only fatality, but it is a miracle that his passenger, his mechanic, Rolf Wütherich, survived. The other driver, Donald Turnupseed, had minor injuries.


This is the view of the road where Donald Turnupseed made his fatal left-hand turn.


Whenever I drive to Paso Robles on Hwy 46, I always make sure I have my Eagles song "James Dean" playing as I pass the memorial in Cholame. It's sort of my tribute to him.


Tomorrow, February 8th, would have been Jimmy's 78th birthday. He was only 24 when he died - only one of his movies (East of Eden) had even been released, but the world remembers James Dean as if he had made 100 movies instead of only three.


Wikipedia - James Dean

"Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die today"
(Quote from the James Dean Official Website)

March 6, 2009

A Song that Makes Me Happy

There are some songs that just make me happy when I hear them - make me want to jump up and dance. I know other people must have songs like that too.

First and foremost for me are Eagles songs. I wrote a blog entry about that awhile ago, My All-Time Favorite Band.

Beach Boys songs make me happy too (not as happy as the Eagles though).

But here is one song by its original singer that I just love! When I play it in my car, I put down the windows and play it as loud as I can stand it. And then I put it on "repeat" and do it again.

Here is the "Risky Business" video - Check out the very young Tom Cruise. Do you think he did his own dancing?

May 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to a Hunk!


I think most women will agree that this guy has what it takes to make women swoon, no matter what their age is. He could just about be my son, but I would still be thrilled beyond belief to just meet him. He makes ME swoon!

But, it isn't just his looks (although he was named Sexiest Man Alive twice) - it is his cute personality and devilish prank-playing ways. And he doesn't seem too impressed with himself. I like a humble man!

Thinking about this makes me wonder what makes a man a "hunk" to women. Personally, I don't like really pretty boys because they usually know they are attractive (Rob Lowe is an example). I like masculine-looking men who are ruggedly good looking (like Clint Eastwood or Tom Selleck). I guess I am really dating myself with these examples!

But, I digress. Today's birthday boy was born on May 6, 1961. He has had a multi-faceted career. Wikipedia says that he was called Frankenstein in high school because of his strange looks - a result of the Bell's Palsy he acquired and recovered from. What do you think? Sort of like the ugly duckling turns into a swan:


I just want to wish a Happy Happy Birthday to George Clooney! And he is a Taurus like me!


PS - I just saw this article about George's house in Laglio, Italy. Nice pictures too.

May 22, 2009

Am I a jinx?

This has been a bad week for the people I voted for.

My first pick was on "Dancing with the Stars" - I voted for Melissa Rycroft but thought that Gilles Marini deserved to win. But who won? The person I hadn't even considered - Shawn Johnson.


My second erroneous pick was on "American Idol". Adam Lambert was favored (on the polls and seemingly by the judges) throughout the contest. I voted for Adam but (I guess) not enough. Kris Allen, the underdog, won. Even Kris said that Adam should have won it. Go figure! Probably it doesn't matter if Adam won or not - here is one news story that gives some good reasons for that view.


So, my question here is did I play a part in the defeat of my favorites? Did I jinx them? I want to take responsibility for my actions, so maybe I need to quit voting - maybe even quit having favorites. What do you think?

May 28, 2009

Jerry West - An All-Star & a Gentleman

Official NBA Logo

Anyone who has seen this official NBA logo and is a basketball fan at all knows that it depicts Jerry West back in his playing days.


Jerry was the ultimate All-Star and the ultimate southern gentleman. His playing accomplishments are too numerous to mention, but just to give you an idea, here is Jerry's bio on Wikipedia.

I had the privilege of meeting and talking to him several different times. Back in the mid-80's I co-chaired a committee to plan an annual golf tournament/dinner in the Palm Springs area for CPA's and attorneys. We always had a guest speaker - mostly sports personalities but once we even had John Dean, who attended with his beautiful wife Mo.

Anyway, this particular year the Lakers were training at College of the Desert in Palm Desert, so I knew Jerry would be in the area. I contacted the Lakers organization and finally received a confirmation that he would attend. I had the job of sitting with him for dinner and introducing him before he spoke. I was a nervous wreck, of course, but thrilled beyond belief to have this opportunity. He even let me try on his NBA championship ring!

We stayed in touch, and he even spoke to another CPA group about five years later. He always returned phone calls, which is unusual.

Just this past week you may have seen a story in the news about Jerry discussing the heart condition that he has had since his 20's. He played pro basketball all those years without anyone knowing he was suffering from atrial fibrillation. What a guy! He's lucky to be alive!

Anyway, today is Jerry's birthday, and he is 71.


PS - I see that yesterday was a special birthday for Dolores Hope (Bob Hope's widow) - She was 100! Happy Birthday to her too!

May 29, 2009

Championship Rings

Before I get off the subject of sports personalities (and before I forget), I thought I would do one more post - this time about championship rings.

I posted yesterday about Jerry West and the fact that he had twice been a speaker at a CPA golf event that I helped plan. He allowed me to try on his NBA championship ring, which was exciting. Even with his illustrious career, this was the era of the Boston Celtics, and his one and only championship ring was from 1972. I couldn't find a photo from that year, but here are a couple of other Laker championship rings:



Next on the championship ring quest was Tommy Lasorda. This is actually an interesting story. Again, I had arranged for him to speak at a CPA golf dinner in the desert. I waited in the golf clubhouse lobby for him to arrive. There were 200 people already seated for dinner. Tommy got there with his "entourage", and I handed him a check for the agreed-upon honorarium. He turned to me and said, "This is supposed to be cash, not a check!" and threatened to walk out unless I made that happen. I was shocked, of course, but I promised to rectify the situation, and he stayed. Somehow I was able to get the cash and deliver it to him at his home a couple of days later.

Anyway, he let me try on his World Series ring. I don't know if it was 1981 or 1988, but here is a photo of both.


My third championship ring story was about George Blanda, who spoke to the same group the year after Tommy Lasorda. I sat next to him at dinner (he had played golf with the group that day, and this was the first I had seen him) and handed him his check. Without blinking an eye, he said "I am supposed to get cash!" I almost fainted! Someone on the golf course had tipped him off about Tommy Lasorda and told him to tease me! He was a really nice guy, though, and let me try on his Super Bowl ring. Here is a photo:
I didn't even think about it at the time, but maybe Olympians get rings too, so I could have tried on a fourth ring. Rafer Johnson spoke at the same event a year or two after George Blanda. He also was a nice guy and very fun to talk to.

June 6, 2009

Should Adam Lambert Sing with Queen?

Since Adam Lambert's second place finish on American Idol, everyone is wondering what Adam will do next. One option, according to the online rumors, is that he has been offered the opportunity to be the frontman for rock band Queen. Here is one story about it. And here's what TV Guide wrote.


He had a chance to sing with the band (minus Freddie Mercury, of course, who died in 1991) during the finale of American Idol, when he and Kris Allen sang "We are the Champions".

Freddie Mercury, the band's first frontman, was a supreme showman, so we wonder how Adam would compare. Take a look - this video was from the Live Aid concert in 1985.

And here is the recorded version:

Personally, I think Adam should indeed do a tour with Queen. It would be sold out all over the world, making Adam a world-wide sensation (if he isn't already) and making them all a ton of money. He could still make an album, but this would give him a jump-start to super-stardom. I say YES!

June 17, 2009

Woo Hoo Lakers!


By now the world knows that the Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA Champions, beating the Orlando Magic 4 games to 1.

This is their 15th championship - Of course, that includes when they were known as the Minneapolis Lakers. But the Boston Celtics have 17 championships, so the Lakers still have a way to go to be at the very top of the statistics.

This was Coach Phil Jackson's 10th NBA Championship, which IS a record. He passed the legendary Red Auerbach for the most titles.

But, most importantly (at least to Kobe Bryant) is the fact that the Lakers won with a Kobe-led team instead of Shaquille O'Neal.


The Los Angeles Times had a Lakers Commemorative Section Monday, with some interesting blurbs about the team.

I have been a Lakers fan for many years, but that is probably not surprising since I live in Southern California. Today is the victory parade in Los Angeles - wish I could be there to celebrate with them!

June 19, 2009

Lakers Victory Celebration

Laker fans came to celebrate - 250,000 of them - on Wednesday when they attended the Lakers Victory Parade and Rally, a route that took the celebration from Staples Center (where the Lakers play) down to the L.A. Colosseum.

Kobe takes charge of the championship trophy.

Parade as it goes by Staples Center, the Lakers' home.

The double deck buses were really decorated colorfully.

Laker players and lots of balloons.

Even the LAPD wanted souvenir photos.

An air view of the Colosseum. At the far end is the stage with the Laker floor. The floor was transported from Staples Center in 200-some pieces and set up for the rally. Pretty neat!

Continue reading "Lakers Victory Celebration" »

June 26, 2009

They come in threes . . .

Such a sad day was June 25th, 2009. The loss of two entertainment icons and another just a couple of days ago.

I don't know if you believe that celebrity deaths come in threes, but I think I do. So, yesterday we had Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson and, a couple of days ago, Ed McMahon.

R.I.P. Farrah

R.I.P. Michael

R.I.P. Ed

July 10, 2009

It's an Elvis Night Tonight!

It's an Elvis night tonight! I would prefer that it was Elvis Presley, but we all know that's not gonna happen.

We are going to see Elvis Costello tonight at the Agua Caliente Casino in Palm Springs! Actually, it's not really Palm Springs - the casino is right next to the I-10 freeway in Rancho Mirage, but Palm Springs is very close.


Bill kept bugging me about going but, of course, we didn't get tickets when they first came on sale, so the pickings were slim at the box office. So, I checked on eBay and found several auctions.

Those of you who buy things on eBay know that sometimes auctions have a Buy It Now price but will let you Make an Offer for a lower amount. I had to make three offers before one was accepted. It turned out to be just a little more than the face amount of the tickets, so that was good.

Elvis C. (I have to call him that because the original Elvis is the only one who can be called by only his first name) released a new album recently, which was only sold at Starbucks. I got it for Bill, and he has been listening to it in his car for a couple of weeks. So, of course, we will listen to it on the way to Rancho Mirage tonight so we will know the new songs when we hear them.


I am hoping that his wife, Diana Krall, shows up. She is a terrific jazz singer and beautiful to boot. She has a concert scheduled at the same casino in about a month. I would be so excited to see them perform together, but that is probably too much to hope for.


July 11, 2009

Elvis C. (Part 2) & Dinner at Roy's

What a fun evening! Not only did we see Elvis Costello in concert, but we had a wonderful dinner at Roy's Hawaiian Fusion restaurant in Rancho Mirage.

We had been to Roy's several times before for winemaker dinners (which were outstanding). He was even present at one of the dinners and autographed the cookbook I bought. It had been several years, though, since we last tasted his food.

We started with a shared appetizer of Crunchy Golden Lobster Potstickers with Spicy Togarashi Miso Butter Sauce.

For my entree, I had Roy’s Classic Roasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Mahi Mahi with Lobster Cognac Butter Sauce and Bill had a Shellfish Combo Plate with Sea Scallops and Black Tiger Shrimp with a really tasty risotto. Everything was wonderful!

There were quite a few nice choices for wines by the glass. We had Au Bon Climat "Roy’s" Santa Barbara chardonnay.

For those of you who watch Top Chef Masters, Roy was shown as one of the participating chefs, but he hasn't yet appeared and the first round only has two more episodes. So, I asked our waiter to find out if and when he was on. Not this coming week but the final week. I am anxious to watch him cook.

Enough about dinner - on to Elvis Costello! The concert was held in the brand new showroom at Agua Caliente Casino, a beautiful facility seating about 2,000. Not a full house, though, which was sad.

I have to be honest and tell you that I really don't know Elvis Costello's music. Bill is the Elvis C. fan in our house. If I knew his songs, I probably would have enjoyed it more because I would already know the words to the songs. As it was, I couldn't understand what he was singing.

He sang for almost two hours nonstop. Not much conversation, just music. There were a couple of songs that I really loved - his hit song Alison and one from his new album called Sulfur to Sugarcane. The new album (only available at Starbucks) is very country-sounding, but he only sang that one song from it at the concert.


July 16, 2009

10th Anniversary - JFK Jr.'s Death

It's hard to believe that it has been 10 years since John F. Kennedy Jr's plane crashed, killing him, his wife Carolyn Bessette and her sister Lauren. It seems like only yesterday that it happened.


Thinking about this makes me wonder about the What If's. For instance, what if he had not died - what kinds of things would he have accomplished. He always seemed like an intelligent young man who cared about people.

Would he have gone into politics? Personally, I think he would have at some point. The Kennedy pressure would have been great for him to run for office, and he and his wife certainly had the "look" - a beautiful, stylish couple. Barack Obama might have had some stiff competition for the Presidential nomination!

In any case, three young lives were lost way too soon, and their possible accomplishments will never be known. So very sad.

Continue reading "10th Anniversary - JFK Jr.'s Death" »

October 20, 2009

Adam Lambert's New Single

Have you heard Adam Lambert's new single yet? It has been leaked in advance of its release on October 27th. For those of you who don't know, Adam sings on the soundtrack of the new movie "2012".

Adam Lambert single leaked online

So, I headed over to YouTube and found several versions.

Here is the one that shows the movie trailer for "2012":

And here is Adam's own video of the song, with scenes from the movie "2012" in the background.

November 25, 2009

Donny Osmond Wins DWTS!


I can't help it - I am just so excited that Donny Osmond and his partner Kym Johnson came out on top of the Dancing with the Stars competition! Here's the story.

Mya was probably the best dancer - she looked like a professional on the dance floor. But come on - Donny is almost 52 years old, more than 20 years older than Mya and 25 years older than Kelly Osbourne (the other two finalists)!

It is a brutal competition, with lots of contestants sustaining injuries. Hundreds of hours of practice. Physical pain and mental misgivings. But, the "old guy" persevered. He wanted to win that mirror ball trophy!

So, today I salute Donny!

ABC/Adam Larkey

Here is Donny & Kym's Freestyle dance, which earned them a perfect score of 30 on Monday night.

January 8, 2010

Elvis - The Original!


Today is a special day - the 75th anniversary of when Elvis (the only one known just by his first name) was born. He was the original Elvis and the performer by which all others are measured. Here's Wikipedia's bio.

I was 13 when Elvis came on the scene in 1955, and it was love at first sight. For the rest of my life I have been attracted to dark-haired slightly "bad boys" (like James Dean) because Elvis was the ultimate man in my eyes.

On August 16, 1977, I was in Hawaii on the island of Kauai at the very hotel where Elvis filmed "Blue Hawaii" when we heard the news that he had died. I was devastated. The rest of the trip was a complete waste because I sat by the TV and cried.

I was lucky enough to see Elvis perform in Las Vegas twice, once in the early 70's when he was in his prime and once in 1976 when he was not.

I was even lucky enough to talk to him and get his autograph in Las Vegas. My husband and I were at the old Aladdin Hotel (where Elvis and Priscilla were married) when I saw him standing at the bar with his whole entourage. I walked right up to him (I was surprised that no one stopped me) and asked for his autograph. He was very nice about it and, needless to say, I was thrilled beyond belief!

Elvis had a lot of looks during his career, but the one I liked the best was in his 1968 Comeback Special - the black leather outfit and smaller sideburns than in the jumpsuit and cape performances.

Of all of Elvis' music, I think my favorite songs are his spirituals because you can tell that he loved to sing them. I always tell people that when it is my time to leave this earth, I want to be listening to Elvis spirituals, and one of my fondest wishes is to hear him sing those songs again in Heaven.

Continue reading "Elvis - The Original!" »

January 9, 2010

Graceland West - Elvis in Palm Springs


Elvis spent a lot of time in Palm Springs back in his heyday. There was the Honeymoon Hideaway that Elvis rented and where he and Priscilla spent their honeymoon.

The house pictured above, though, is the only one that he actually owned in Palm Springs, and he owned it up until he died in 1977. I found a fairly recent article with lots of good information about the house:

Part 1
Part 2

All of this information is to give you a little background because in honor of Elvis's birthday yesterday, I visited the Elvis Presley Palm Springs Estate (aka Graceland West) today!

I had to be in Palm Springs for a memorial service, and I decided to stop by the Elvis house on my way home. In all of the years I lived in Palm Springs or lived closeby, I had never taken either of the house tours. This was my chance!

I arrived at the house late in the afternoon, just when they were ready to close. But there was one more small group ready to start their tour, so I joined them. Reno Fontana and his wife Laura are the current owners of the house, and the story about how they acquired the property is a story by itself. Laura was the one who took us around the house, and she was so hospitable, even poured us each a glass of wine!

Here are a few photos of the house, which is being restored to its Elvis-era glory:

Continue reading "Graceland West - Elvis in Palm Springs" »

January 29, 2010

Gratitude Friday - I still love Elvis!

Another Gratitude Friday, and I am looking back. Back to January 8th, which would have been Elvis's 75th birthday. I started a post then but didn't finish it until now.

In honor of his birthday, I have put the post back where it belonged (on Jan. 8th), but here is the link.

Elvis Birthday Post

Graceland West - Elvis in Palm Springs


Gratitude Friday was started by Diana of Creative Structures.

February 3, 2010

On the Road Again

I'm "On the Road Again" - heading to Paso Robles this morning and then to Santa Barbara County for a Slow Travel GTG next weekend.

My sister and I usually get together in Paso Robles after Christmas, and we try to do it on Super Bowl Weekend when the annual Slow Bowl is scheduled.

This year, because of the BIG March Slow Travel GTG in San Diego, only a small group was able to come to Slow Bowl, so it has been switched down to Santa Barbara County instead of Paso Robles. Lots of good wines there too!

My sister has been to each of the first three Slow Bowls, but she has a brand new puppy and doesn't want to drive down that far. She is bringing little Bindi with her, so I will get to meet her for the first time. I'll post some pictures later this week.

May 6, 2010

Happy Birthday, George!

I can't let the day go by without wishing George Clooney a Happy Birthday! Like fine wine, he's not getting OLDER - he's getting BETTER!

I remember George's birthday every year - check out my entry from last year.


May 23, 2010

Soar Like the Eagles! Woo Hoo!


I blogged a year or so ago about My All-Time Favorite Band. That was the Eagles, of course!

I continue to be one of their biggest fans, so last night was a BIG night for me because we went to one of their concerts. If you live in Southern California, you probably know that the Eagles did three shows at the famed Hollywood Bowl in the middle of April. The last one was actually on my birthday, so I seriously considered getting tickets for that, but I was kind of worried about the weather factor in April. It looks like I made the right choice because I have seen some videos of the concert and even the performers said they were freezing.

The Hollywood Bowl WAS a very picturesque venue, though, according to the Orange County Register. This fan website also showed the setlist that they sang.

So, Plan B went into effect. We have a fairly new concert venue close to us, Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, CA, which is less than an hour from home. This would be a much easier drive and, more importantly, is indoors.

The seats I got were right at the side of the stage. That meant they were really close, but we saw the side of the group rather than the front. But that was OK because one of the jumbo screens was right next to us. It was an interesting perspective - we could see all of the equipment changes and stuff you would never notice in front-facing seats.

This little video is gives you a sampling of what we saw. And here is a review of our concert that appeared this morning.

One interesting thing (mentioned by Glenn Frey during the concert) was that the Eagles had appeared in Ontario in 1974 at the California Jam, which drew 400,000 fans, similar to Woodstock, but in Ontario they were PAID admissions. Wow!

Needless to say, it was a crazy wonderful night. They sang for about three hours, and I am a little sad today that it is over, but I loved every moment of it. Thank you Eagles - you are the best!

Continue reading "Soar Like the Eagles! Woo Hoo!" »

June 25, 2010

Gratitude Friday - Lakers Win!

I have been remiss this week in not blogging about my favorite basketball team, the Los Angeles Lakers, who just won the NBA Championship - a back-to-back win, having also won the 2009 championship. Needless to say, I am grateful and proud of those Lakers!

Here is the blog post I wrote last year when they won.

And here is last year's victory parade post.




November 22, 2010

DWTS - Don't let this happen! VOTE FOR JENNIFER!


First of all, let me say that I don't dislike Bristol Palin on Dancing with the Stars. She seems to be a sweet girl, and she has come a long way in her dancing ability during her tenure on the show.

But her tenure should have ended many weeks ago IF the competition was based on dancing ability like it should be. Bristol being in the finals is just plain ridiculous - the only reason she is there is because of political voting.

Many different websites are urging voters to make Bristol the winner whether she deserves it or not. Here is one site that gives some links:

Check this Link

We cannot let this happen! DWTS will be the biggest laughing stock on TV if Bristol wins. I personally will never watch the program again if that happens, and I know that a multitude of other fans will follow suit.

By all rights (and dancing talent), Jennifer Grey should be the winner. Help me make this happen. Everyone will have five votes per phone number or identity online. AT&T customers can also text on their cellphones. Here are Jennifer's numbers:

Phone: 1-800-868-3411
Text: Vote to 3411


November 23, 2010

DWTS - And the winners are . . . . .

Woo Hoo!

The champions - Jennifer Grey & Derek Hough:

Second Place - Kyle Massey & Lacey Schwimmer:

Third Place - Bristol Palin & Mark Ballas:

America finally got it right!

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Winelover's Wanderings in the Music, Movies & Sports category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Gratitude Friday is the previous category.

Pets is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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