I’m 40. 40 Years Old.

So no big deal.  I don’t feel any different.

But what is different, is that I spent it in Paris.  More specifically, London and Paris.  We spent 9 days in London, and made a day trip to Paris for my birthday.  I have to say that London is my favorite, though I plan to make another trip to France to spend more time, especially at the Louvre, which was closed on the day we visited.

According to our travel buddy Fred, “During my vacation we walked 70.88 miles (that is equal to walking 2.7 marathons), and climbed 277 flights of steps (or 2.7 Empire State Buildings) … I’m tired just thinking about it. Time to put my feet up and go to sleep.”  Well said, Fred!

Sailing the Ocean Blue

We take a trip just about every year with our friend Fred from back in Philly. Our birthdays are two days apart, so we always have an excuse to reconnect and visit someplace new. This year we decided to try a cruise. Rich and I have never been on one, and we worried we might spend the whole time sea sick or bored. But we had a great time!  We sailed with Royal Caribbean on the Navigator of the Seas.

Grand Cayman was our first port, where we swam with stingrays. We took a boat out into the bay where they gather (for feeding by tourists) in about 3-4 feet of water. They’ll swim right up against your legs with the flaps, and are very friendly. You have to shuffle your feet to avoid stepping on them (and getting a stinger in your foot).

We spent the rest of the time checking out the jewelry and watches available (in abundance) in George Town. I’m not much of a jewelry person… though all the tanzanite was pretty, I couldn’t see myself wearing any of it.

Our second port was Cozumel, which my first visit to Mexico.  We tried helmet diving, which is diving with a air-filled helmet connected to a pressurized air hose.  We got to explore some pretty cool underwater wreckage, including a wrecked plane and a canon from some long-lost era.

And of course, more jewelry and watches. Though we didn’t get to check out downtown, which I hear has more shopping.

But there’s always next time.  We definitely plan on taking another cruise, maybe on the world’s largest passenger ship.

And I definitely recommend Royal Caribbean.

Returned From Breckenridge, Nothing Broken

We just returned from our annual ski trip, and everyone returned safe and sound with all limbs intact. It was our largest group yet with fifteen of us in one big house.   In the past we’ve rented a house on or near the slopes, but this year we opted for a place in town.  The French Street Inn was formerly a bed and breakfast and was located just a few blocks from the gondolas and the slopes.  With over 30 inches of snow in during the 6 days we were there, there was plenty of awesome skiing.

With a house in town, it was also easy for those of us who didn’t ski every day to explore some of the other activities like getting a much needed massage!

It was a much needed break, and I believe we may have brought the snow back with us.   We’ve received snow and ice twice this week here in the Dallas area!

You can see the rest of our photos here.

Another Amazing Year at DCI

Just got home from another amazing year at the DCI World Championships at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  I’m blown away every year by the level of marching skill and musicianship these kids show.  They give up their summer to travel the country performing in the sweltering heat at a level of professional athletes.  If you’re looking to support youth in music, check out Drum Corps International (DCI); we joined the Friends of DCI this year and plan to continue our support next year.  Though I support all the corps, I tip my hat to Carolina Crown (below) who had a performer injured during the show.  He broke his leg near the end of the show, which was heartbreaking to see.  But they finished their show, “A Second Chance”, and placed 4th with a score of 95.95.  Check out the entire set here.
DCI World Championships 2010

At Angles for my Birthday, 1995

I moved to Oklahoma City in the summer of 1993, and spent most of my “coming out” years at Angles on 39th Street.  Angles was (at the time) the coolest dance club in OKC, with DJ Checkerz (Michael Chechoratti(sp?)) at the helm most nights.  Checkerz got most of his music from Oaklawn Records, formerly at Commerce and Oaklawn in Dallas.

While organizing my old stuff recently, I found two Hi Energy and Progressive Top 40 lists from from Oaklawn Records, still in their original envelopes addressed to me.  Coincidentally, one of the lists was from April, the month of my birthday.  So no doubt I was dancing to these toons at Angles when I turned <ahem> – something something.

Now be honest… how many of you have danced to “Mr Personality” or “Cotton Eyed Joe”?

Here’s the Top 40 Hi Energy list with a few videos of my favs from the time.  I’ve included links to the rest that I could find.

  1. The Bomb – Bucketheads
  2. Reach Up – Perfecto Allstars
  3. Lick It – Roula
  4. Baby, Baby – Corona
  5. Bedtime Story – Madonna
  6. Axel F – Clock
  7. Your Loving Arms – Billie Ray Martin
  8. Release Me – Industry
  9. You Can Have It All – Eve Gallagher
  10. Mr Personality – Gillette
  11. Can You Feel the Love Tonight – Harajuka
  12. You Belong to Me – JX
  13. These Are the Days – Human League
  14. Here I Go – 2 Unlimited
  15. Sleeping in My Car – Mobius Loop (I couldn’t find the Mobius Loop version, but here’s a pretty good version by Dancefloor Driverz feat Joana)
  16. Come Back – London Beat
  17. Bloke – Republica
  18. What Hope Have I – Sphinx
  19. Tonight is the Night – Le Click
  20. Hot Stuff – DJ Miko
  21. I’m Ready – Size 9
  22. Move It to the Rhythm – Technotronic
  23. I Only Wanna Be With You – Barry White (Dance Mix)
  24. Nights in White Satin – Sandra
  25. Always Something There to Remind Me – Tin Tin Out
  26. Don’t Fear the Reaper – Apollo 440
  27. Situation – Tom Jones
  28. We Got Love – One Family
  29. Don’t Be Proud – Cappella
  30. Be My Lover – La Bouche
  31. Keep the Fire Burning – Dan Hartman and Loleatta Hollaway
  32. Party People – KGB
  33. Keep on Trying – Twenty 4 Seven
  34. Love Come Rescue Me – Love Station
  35. I Wish – Eric Gadd
  36. Cotton Eyed Joe – Rednex
  37. Take Me Forever – Data
  38. You Bring me Joy – Mary J Blige
  39. Respect – Judy Cheeks
  40. The First, The Last Eternity – Snap

Here are the originals: