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Ya, Mon May 18, 2019

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Mindfulness, Music & Dance.

We’ve been watching musical “documentaries” lately ~ Bohemian Rhapsody, Joan Jett, Muscle Shoals, and Marley.  What they have in common is a desire to elevate the musicians to the highest possible pedestal.

We didn’t buy into the hype.

That said, there’s something to be said for Jammin’ on a Saturday morning.

And sometimes it pays to Stir it Up.

Other times we have to accept the “what is.”

Cos every little thing gonna be all right.

Especially if we have One Love.

Aah . . . that’s better!



A Christmas Parade December 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.

We finally got to see the Macy’s Christmas Parade . . . in Florida!

On a cool, clear night, we lined up along the parade route and enjoyed a ring-side seat.

The floats trended away from simple and elegant.

And focused more on whimsical creations of our Fairy Tale heroes . . . like Shrek and Fiona!

We also saw giant wooden nutcrackers . . . as well as the helium-filled variety.

Our friends from the New York Zoo visited via Madagascar.  We saw Alex the lion, Melman, the hypochondriac giraffe who is afraid of germs, and Gloria, a strong, confident, but sweet hippopotamus. …

And the penguins of Madagascar . . . after a crash landing.

King Julien XIII, a ring-tailed lemur and the king of the lemurs, stopped “moving it” long enough for me to grab a quick shot.

And, of course, Marty attended.

As you know, zebras are a favorite of mine.

So I snapped Marty from every angle.

Sure that one would be crackalackin!

And then the big guy himself arrived in a tiny sleigh drawn by eight tiny reindeer . . . which, to be truthful, weren’t terribly tiny.

There he is . . . on top of the world!

Wishing you all a Crackalackin Christmas!

Aah . . . that’s better!


A Scary Time For . . . October 17, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Music & Dance, People.

Trump says this is a scary time for American men . . . because just look what’s happened to Bill Cosby, and Harvey Weinstein, and Louis C.K., and all those other powerful men who thought they should be allowed to assault women with impunity just because they’re men.

Trump’s rather lopsided view of the #metoo movement inspired Lynzy Lab Stewart to counter with a song:

Dancer, choreographer, singer-songwriter Lynzy Lab Stewart took to social media to share a song titled “A Scary Time” that appears to be written in response to Trump’s assertion. To the tune of a melody plucked out on her ukelele, Lynzy sings about the ways in which the world has always been a dangerous place for a woman, calling out the inherent privilege for men in a patriarchal system.

Aah . . . that’s better!

To read more:  Dancer Lynzy Lab Wrote A Song(Time)

Landscape of Guitar Tour 2018 September 29, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Food & Drink, Music & Dance.

Our friends, Julie & Bruce, went on tour in China this summer, using Bruce’s artwork as a backdrop on stage.

While there, they filmed bits and pieces of their fascinating adventure:

Speaking of adventure, they were a tad more adventurous about trying the local food than BFF & I would have been.  Cow, Duck, Chicken, and Bullfrog are not a part of our vegetarian vocabulary or dining preferences.

But, judging from the video of several meals, we wouldn’t have starved to death ~> we would have enjoyed cabbage, corn, curried cauliflower, and tofu bags (16:37).  We also like the looks of the rice cakes, the rainbow cake (30:00), and (just for Kate!) the Starbucks logo.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Fountains Of Light June 27, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Less IS More, Music & Dance.

For Happy Hour, I decided to listen to Starcastle ~ Fountains of Light, a band I heard for the first time in 1977 at the College of William & Mary.  As I was reminiscing and enjoying the album anew, I saw a comment about someone who also saw them at W&M:

Anyway, saw them open for Boston at William and Mary and was immediately hooked. Thanks for the post.


Then I saw this reply to the comment:

I saw them open for Boston @ William & Mary too. I still have half of the ticket stub, but the year isn’t on it, and I can’t remember what year it was. It was late 70’s, maybe 77 or 78. I was stationed in Norfolk at the time.

Then this one:

Me too. It was Starcastle, Boston and Atlanta Rhythm Section.

That’s right!  My sister and I went to a Boston concert in February 1977. Starcastle AND Atlanta Rhythm Section both opened for Boston.

Great concert.
Ticket price = $6!!!

For 3 bands!

Aah . . . that’s better!

Cue The Music June 5, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Life Balance, Music & Dance.

Music can improve our mood and positive feelings of well being.  Like meditation, it can improve blood flow, lower levels of stress hormones, and ease pain. It can also improve the quality of our sleep.

Music activates neurochemical systems and brain structures associated with positive mood, emotion regulation, attention, and memory.

But listening to music can also be unsettling.  Be selective.  Experiment to find what resonates and makes you feel good.

To read more:  Is Listening to Music Good For Your Health

Aah . . . that’s better!

“We’re All Here . . . “ January 20, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Music & Dance, Word Play.

While driving up A1A through Fort Lauderdale Beach, a sign caught my eye:


Hmm . . .

Curious, I looked closer and spied a funny tagline (like the one in this “borrowed” shot):

Image result for we're all here because we're not all there

After doing a quick google, I found bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, plaques, and even clocks sporting the same punny tagline.

Image result for we're all here because we're not all there

Even Steven Tyler is familiar with this funny punny.

Image result for we're all here because we're not all there

Which left me wondering ~> where have I been???

If not “all here” or “all there,” I guess I’ve been “out there” somewhere.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Follow The Dancing Bear! December 13, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.

After lunch at Be Our Guest, we enjoyed the (Toucan Tango Better Than One Can) show in the Enchanted Tiki room and then climbed around the Swiss Family Robinson treehouse.

On our way to Big Thunder Mountain RR to ride the coaster, we got spit on by a camel!

They should include some sort of warning to unsuspecting passers-by.

Maybe something like this:

As we continued our trek to Big Thunder Mountain RR, we got stuck in a Jamboree Jam.

Just follow the dancing bear!

These dudes had moves!

They grooved to the tunes!

They did the hokey pokey.

And turned themselves about!

And that’s what it’s all about!

After the Jamboree Jam cleared, we headed straight for Big Thunder Mountain.

Where we rode the rails not once but twice.


And we remembered to abide by the rules!

We then settled our stomach on a soothing boat ride through It’s A Small World before heading for Cinderella’s Castle to see Elsa put a Frozen spin on the holiday decorations.

Here’s the before:

And here’s the after:

Before leaving the park, we had supper at Pinocchio Village Haus, went on a relaxing Riverboat cruise narrated by none other than Mark Twain, and soared over Never Never Land with Peter Pan.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Epcot Food & Wine Festival ~ 2017 November 29, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Music & Dance, Travel & Leisure.

We decided to head to Epcot for the last Friday of the International Food & Wine festival (which ran from August 31st through November 13th).

No . . . that’s not a figment of your imagination ~> it is Figment!

On arrival, we meandered from Future World to World Showcase, stopping at Kiosks to check out the menu offerings (and plan our snack attack).

When we reached France, we headed straight for Les Hailes Boulangerie-Patisserie.  Despite crowded kiosks outside, we sped through the line for Baguette & Pissaldiere ~ $8.  Our favorite treat at Epcot.

After stowing the rest of the baguette for later munching, we wandered through a French store, then headed to Morocco for Musique Aramenco ~ lively musicians accompanied by a belly dancer in full regalia.

This is a G-rated blog, so I didn’t snap a picture of her.  Instead, here’s the Moroccan marketplace where you can purchase your own belly dancing outfit.

When Musique Aramenco concluded their set, we retraced our steps to see Impressions of France ~ a lovely film with a beautiful and haunting soundtrack.  It’s a fun way to see the sights and sounds of France, from the castles of the Loire Valley to Versailles to the Eiffel Tower to the vineyards.  C’est bonne!

Time for dessert!  We decided on a Belgian Waffle with chocolate ganache and whipped cream from the Belgium kiosk ~ $4.  The soggy pastry base was underwhelming.  Most disappointing food of the day.

We headed to the United Kingdom via Morocco to catch Quickstep ~ a lively quartet playing acoustic music from Scotland, Ireland, and England.  Loved it.

After dancing with Quickstep, we needed to refuel.  We wandered next door to Canada for Cheese Soup with a Pretzel roll for dipping ~ $5.  YUM!

After supping on soup, we listened to Raffy ~ a high energy Canadian quartet.  We loved the sax!

On the way to China, via Morocco, we stopped again to listen to Morocco Musique and smiled as the belly dancer gave free dance lessons to a pre-schooler.

We had planned to watch the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats.  By the time we arrived, the area was Standing Room Only.  So we admired the gardens instead.

Time for another snack.  This time in India for Madras Red Curry (Cauliflower, Carrots, Chickpeas, and Basmati Rice) and Naan bread with 3 dippers (Coriander Pesto, Mango Salsa, and garlicky Pickled Garlic) ~ $9.50 for both.

Sorry . . . the dog ate my photo.

By this time, the air was getting chilly and the walkways were way too crowded, so we headed for The Seas with Nemo & Friends.

Crush escorted us inside . . .

While Bruce enjoyed swimming with the fishes outside . . .

After swimming the seven seas with Nemo and soaring through the air on Soarin’ (front & center for the first time!), we made one last stop at the Festival Center to see the Ghiardelli exhibit ~> The Chocolate Experience: From Bean to Bar.

On arrival, we each received a Ghiardelli Chocolate Square with Caramel.  Yes, please!  The exhibit included amazing chocolate sculptures featuring:

Beauty and the Beast . . .

Moana’s sidekicks . . .

Wreck It Ralph . . .

And the stars of Born in China . . .

Aah . . . that’s delicious!

Good Vibrations March 23, 2017

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Happiness, Music & Dance.

Another favorite aspect of our Disney trips has been stopping to enjoy street performances by musicians, acrobats, mimes, and jugglers.

We’ve enjoyed Matsuriza (Japanese Drummers), Sergio (Italian Mime), Alberta Bound Fiddlers in Canada, Matboukja Groove (Moroccan Musicians), Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in China, Viva Gaia Street Band & Carnivale on Discovery Island, A Frozen Sing-A-Long, The Festival of the Lion King, Beauty & The Beast ~ Live on Stage, African Acrobats at Harambe Market, PLUS . . .

Chakranadi (sitar and drums) in Asia:

Burudika (sax, drums, guitar, vocals, dancers) in Africa:

Quickstep Fiddlers (fiddle, mandolin, flute, drum) in the UK:

Harambe Parti (drums and other percussion instruments) at night:

And all of them were sending out Good Vibrations!

Music reminds me to flow with the rhythm of life and celebrate THIS moment with joyous abandon.

Aah . . . that’s better!