George Michael

George Michael

June 25, 1963- December 25, 2016

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I can’t believe I’m actually writing about this. 

The past few days have been incredibly sad for me and for my fellow Lovelies. On Christmas Day, George Michael was found peacefully gone in his bed, by his boyfriend of several years, Fadi Fawaz.

The news broke in the evening, here in New Jersey. My husband came to tell me as I was changing into my pajamas after our happy Christmas Day with my parents. He told me and I was of course in disbelief. I really thought my husband was telling me a tall tale, maybe a joke that wasn’t funny. How could this be, I said? Christmas is George’s favorite holiday? How could this have been his Last Christmas, I thought to myself? Silently, I was praying this was NOT true. I went downstairs to double check this information on my phone. Surely, I’d discover it was a hoax, and my fellow Lovelies would reassure me and everything would be okay! I picked up my phone and looked.

Oh My God! Nothing was okay… It was true. George was gone.

This was the news we had been dreading for a long time and this was just really bad. The Lovelies were in tears. Tributes were flowing into our wonderful Facebook group. I felt my blood turn to ice and started to shiver before I even started to cry. I was truly heartbroken from that moment forward.

George Michael… Where do I begin? I suppose from the beginning.

Way back when around 1983-4, I heard of a duo from England called Wham! I thought they were okay. “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” was catchy but I wasn’t grabbed with that one song. But, that’s okay because, once “Everything She Wants” was released I fell in love!

That intro to the song, that video and good grief, that sexy voice!

 

SMITTEN!! YES!

Ha! Loved this song and then I heard “I’m Your Man,” “Careless Whisper,” “Last Christmas” and his vocals in Band Aid’s “Do They Know it’s Christmas.” My Wham! love was cemented and soon enough, it was announced that George was splitting from Andrew Ridgeley to have a solo career and The Final was to be held at Wembley Stadium. What a crushing blow as a fan from the US! I spent that day on the beach with my friend, listening to Make it Big on my boom box.

We all know how it goes, a group breaks up and everyone falls into obscurity and you never hear of them again until something bad happens.

Incredibly, George had things in the works like his fantastic duet with Aretha Franklin and created something very special with her. This single was very reassuring as a fan.

What an incredible song and by far one of the very best duets I have ever heard! Honestly, at this point I figured this guy was surely something special if he was working with the Queen of Soul! (The 80’s were such a GLORIOUS time for music, so diverse, fresh and fantastic!) This had been the era of many duets, so many types of music played on radio stations and this song showed George had the stuff to work with the big league artists.

Then, Faith arrived and rocked my world! That album! It was like Magic!

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It’s the type of album that you can listen to all the way through. No skipping of songs, every single one of them was special and incredible. Faith was the bridge for George from his young adult, fun working through songs from Wham! to more mature but still very much, a  fun style of music.

I was lucky enough to see George in concert during the Faith era. I saw him at The Spectrum on August 9, 1988. I went with my best friend at the time, Wendy. It is by far my favorite concert I have ever been to. My only regret now is, I will never have the chance to see him in concert again. Thank goodness for YouTube! So much of what he’s done is on YT and much of it is glorious!

George had a true gift with that in songwriting. He grew with his music. He didn’t write just one style of music, he wrote everything! From a little bit of rapping with Wham! To recreating his music for the Symphonica tour to be played with a symphony orchestra. (Who takes their songs and puts them to an orchestra? Well, George did and it’s brilliant!) In the past, George lent his vocals to a few of Elton John’s songs, sang “Somebody to Love” with Queen at a tribute concert for Freddie Mercury, as well as many charity concerts, a Cover to Cover tour and his Trojan Souls project.

As I became an adult, and day to day life over took my love for music, I stopped listening and got away from music on a whole. But, in the meantime, George did make more music. His style changed from the earlier “Faith” and even “Listen Without Prejudice.” He went through major life changing events that impacted him in ways we will truly never know about. Some of those events were very public, but I think there was much that happened behind the scenes that remained private for him. All of those events created gorgeous, reflective, hauntingly beautiful and fun songs that would carry him through to the end of his very public, yet private life.

I’m sure by now people have heard about George’s philanthropy. It doesn’t hurt to mention it again, because it is important to know about how generous this man really was. Over the years, George gave money to many people and charities anonymously. He volunteered at a homeless shelter and gave money anonymously to a woman who wanted IVF treatments. He helped a student in nursing school pay off some of her debts. I could go on all day about the lovely, giving things he’s done. He wanted to make the world a better place for everyone, always and never wanted to be in the spotlight because he was kind and generous.

George was thoughtful and sensitive but could always find the humor in the ridiculous of mistakes he’s made in life. I think his humor is what I will miss… well, no, the unknown music yet to come… No, his humble spirit…Maybe his smile and kindness in his eyes… Actually, I’ll miss it all. George was the whole package. He was an honest human. He embraced who he was and owned it, all of it and I admire how ultimately, he handled himself. Unfortunately for George, he carried depression with him and he could never shake it no matter how hard he tried.

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I’ve been a fan of his since the mid 80’s. This past year both of my kids went back to school full time. My days became free in the sense in I could finally put the music I wanted to listen to, on in the car. In January, I popped in my one George Michael CD, Ladies and Gentlemen. (my other GM music was all on cassette tape and in my parents basement somewhere)

For 3 months straight, I listened to that 2 CD album. While I felt I was a bit lost internally as to who I am now, this music reminded me of who I once was. The old tracks reminded me of the music I once loved more than anything and the new tracks, well, they were new and different. I was unsure about them and I guess afraid to really try them out. Chicken to try something new. But, that would soon change.

I had been following George on Twitter for a long time but he rarely tweeted anymore. I looked at his page here and there… Then Prince died. Everything changed that day for me about how I felt about George. Something inside told me that I needed to tell him before it was too late.

That day, I tweeted to George about how I felt about him. I let him know that I loved him, appreciated him, his music and all the GOOD he’s put into this world. I then met Gus, who brought me into his incredible group where I learned SO MUCH about George and his music. Gus blew me away with his knowledge, dedication and incredible passion for this man we both admired. I’m really thankful to have become friends with Gus. I then became friends with the lovely Ilse and began tweeting with some LOVELY people (mostly Ilse’s friends :)) who embraced me and took me under their beautiful wings. I’m thankful to have them as friends.

I soon discovered that the music I was at first unsure about, was incredibly moving, mature and just so beautiful. I then realized that my George of Faith, grew into a gorgeous man with an incredible gift of sensitive songwriting and funky, fun dance music that makes your body want to get up and move. George Michael grew up and became a man, but embraced his music of his past, all the while creating more music that is truly timeless!

It’s a gift. I cannot think of any other musician/songwriter who has evolved in the way George has… Perhaps that’s truly the tragedy of this loss. George wrote music that was very personal, but while it was personal to him, the way it would hit you became very personal to you, like he wrote it for you.

Did you know that George wrote a follow-up to “Everything She Wants?” He did, it’s called “Understand.” It’s about that couple 30 years later. They love each other, worked out their original issues and are still together. I found that song to be so incredibly lovely because of the thought he put into both songs and that fictional couple. How is that possible, over that bridge of time for him to have found it important to follow up? It’s incredibly sensitive and beautiful, in my very humble opinion.

I fell in love with George’s music all over again this year. Gus, reintroduced me to old favorites I had forgotten about and introduced me to just the loveliest “new” music I had no idea existed. Plus the covers George loved to sing? I’ve been completely blown away at the vast range of music George sang! He was the most incredibly gifted artists I think I have ever been exposed to in my life. There will never, ever be another like George.

One of my very favorite songs of recent years is one called “Round Here.” I particularly love it because it is about George’s parents, David, Andrew and how George became the man he was.

I’m thankful for my journey of the past year. Maybe it wasn’t just because of my internal struggles of finding myself, perhaps my journey was so I could rediscover my love of George and to find my favorite Lovelies. So, when this awful time would come, I wouldn’t be alone and I would have the camaraderie of friends who feel exactly the way I do about this man who touched my heart way back in 1984. I grew up with him and this incredible treasure trove of music. I will grow old still listening, hearing his beautiful voice and remembering all the joy his music has brought me through the years.

George Michael will never, ever be forgotten by his fans, whom he nicknamed his Lovelies/Lovely.. We will introduce him to new generations of Lovelies and  hopefully, his music will carry on until the end of time. There’s always time to discover George Michael. While his mind and body are gone, his music and legacy will live on for years and years to come.

I’ve wept here and there since the news broke. It’s still surreal. Perhaps when they have the funeral, it’ll really hit me that this incredible person is truly gone.

Rest in Peace, George. Sing to God and the Angels and I hope you are now at peace with your beloved Mum and Anselmo. It comforts me to know you are with them now.

You Have Been Loved, George. I hope you know that.

TTFN~ Ro xoxo

 

My very favorite from waaaay back and for always…

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R.I.P. Claire Labine

Claire Labine in attendance for 64th Annual 2012 Writers Guild of America WGA Awards East, B.B. King Blues Club, New York, NY February 19, 2012. Photo By: Gregorio T. Binuya/Everett Collection

Claire Labine in attendance for 64th Annual 2012 Writers Guild of America 

Today is a sad day, S&Bers! Today, we mourn the loss of our Beloved, Claire Labine. The 1990’s for GH was a spectacular time, full of family, friends, love & loss. She wrote stories that touched our hearts and souls. Claire created Sonny and Brenda. Without Claire, we would never of had S&B or many of our existing friendships today. I can’t even begin to tell you how much her work meant to me… I’m heartbroken.

When Claire Labine and her team of writers took the reigns at GH in the early 1990’s, they created a solid family centered, friendship building era. They told intense stories of Monica’s breast cancer, BJ’s heart, Luke and Laura’s return to Port Charles, reintroduction to the Cassadine Family, Stone and Robin’s story, Ned and Lois, L&B Records, Mary Mae, Jax, and our beloved Sonny and Brenda.

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Many of those stories had lessons written into them as well as being interwoven into other stories on canvas. If something happened to someone, there was a ripple throughout the canvas of stories. Ones actions affected everyone in some way.

One very important story was Stone and Robin’s HIV story. Many of us learned much about the virus from her work bringing HIV/AIDS into the main stream daytime market. Claire understood the importance of girls watching soaps with their mothers and grandmothers. She used this medium to educate millions of young women, young men and the older generations about the facts about HIV/AIDS. It is most likely THE single, most important story ever told in the history of soaps, maybe even tv in general. I say that because the weight of that storyline has stayed with us from that moment through now. We will carry that story and what we learned with us for the rest of our lives. Be safe, protect yourselves and get tested. You never know. Stone taught us the hard way. Thank goodness, Robin still lives to teach us that a positive test doesn’t have to mean death. Thank you, Claire for your vision, ballsy courage and fantastic storytelling to make this story still relevant today and always!

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Sonny and Brenda.

Where do I begin with them? Claire’s vision to put them together was absolute magic! She wove a tale of love, always love between them! Even with the Wire and all the crap, love was never, ever the issue. She wrote a love story that captured the imagination of thousands, if not millions. What Claire didn’t know was while she wrote this, and the internet grew and message boards and Twitter became possible, many, many friendships were created along the way. I know, for myself, there are so many of you I can’t imaging not having in my life, it’s as if we’ve known each other all our lives….

Our common, initial interest was S&B, CL, Wendy Riche and love for GH.. Now, we’ve gotten married, had children, moved all over the place and one thing has always been a constant comfort for all of us—- Our bond all because she wrote one of the greatest love stories ever told! The best triangle– we had so much angst and insanity because of S&B!

I wonder if she ever knew the depth of our love and devotion, not just to S&B but to her? I remember times where groups of us would talk about opening “Claire Labine University.” Heh.. We wanted classes on writing, Sonny and Brenda, Stone and Robin, clip watching, fanfic, the music.. and so on and so forth.. I bet it would have been a wildly successful uni!

As we mourn the loss of this beautiful, giving soul, let’s celebrate Claire’s life, her incredible storytelling and what she meant to us.

I am truly thankful to Claire for our S&B and mostly, bringing all of us together, because I cherish each and every one of you. We may never have met if it wasn’t for Claire Labine, her courageous vision, passionate spirit and endless storytelling.

We salute you, Claire Labine! We thank you, love you and hope you rest easy, collaborating with the best story writers in heaven. R.I.P.

TTFN xoxo~Ro

 

 

Sonny and Brenda Clip Party

S&Bers!!!

Hi!

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So, as so many of you have seen, I have been posting clips on our Sonny and Brenda Haven Facebook page. Sonny and Brenda Haven Go click that link and watch the clips I’ve already posted. While I’m not posting every single scene, I am posting enough so the newbies can get a good idea of our couple, and enough so my seasoned S&Bers will get that love-bite for our couple and send themselves down that inevitable S&B YT Vortex.

Why am I doing this you ask? Well, the answer is somewhere between simple and complex.

I blogged recently about Giving Love to my Fandoms and in there, I of course paid my homage to my S&B and beautiful S&Bers. We have been together, whether we knew it or not since 1993. 23 years later, we still want the same thing. We want our beloved couple to be together and someday ride off into the sunset together. Until that “sunset” day, our Ride is Far from Over.

In June, we found out that Jax was coming back to #GH for a short stint, concerning Joss and her kidney. His first airdate, as far as I know, is July 29. I will be tweeting & blogging his return. Let’s hope it’s gonna be good! (I know, I know… It’s Jax—– welp, I’m bored & this will be a way to pay homage to the era that created him. #LabineRiche)

That made me start to think. Thought about when Jax first arrived in PC and what followed from that fateful day. It kicked off the very best triangle in the history of soap operas! The dynamic between Maurice, Vanessa and Ingo was so fiery, passionate and raw, they made you feel and understand all sides in this love triangle. You knew what made each of the players tick, why they wanted what they wanted (Brenda :D) and you saw her genuinely torn between her two lovers. We felt her joy and anguish. We cried many times along with our Brenda. We still do, it IS that powerful of a story!

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As a full-fledged adult now, not a young 20-something with her head in the clouds like our Brenda, I understand the value of Jax and why Brenda needed him as an alternative to the chaos of Sonny and his life. I still think Jax was always her safety net and #2 in her heart, that’ll never change. Sonny was that endless, fiery passion for Brenda…. S&B always burned for each other. B&J were more conventional, Jax was more of a domestic, traditional type— Yes, Sonny has “traditional” values as well, but he brings much danger with him.. Sometimes exciting, sometimes too chaotic and out of control. How do you choose between exciting/passionate and safe?

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Anyway, these thoughts sparked that endless vortex on YT, looking at S&B images and actually visiting my board (which is currently like a ghost town– sigh). I started mulling over my options. Not many of them since it isn’t our Brenda coming back, but Jax. I had thought perhaps I would just do a clip party of JUST the triangle. So, I searched and somehow came across the First Meeting on the Docks. I watched the cute and mad Brenda carrying her heavy suitcase and Sonny brooding on that bench. He went to help her– “Hi, I’m Sonny Corinthos.” “And, I’m leaving!” was Brenda’s sassy response to him. LOL! Well, that inspired me to just start our ride over from that epic moment!

FWIW::: As far as I know, Vanessa Marcil is NOT returning to General Hospital to reprise her role as Brenda Barrett Corinthos at this present time. (Yes, I’ll leave that Corinthos there, because I can.)

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General Hospital right now is just a shell of what it used to be. Watching the clips has really shown a spotlight on that very real fact! Brenda spent SO much time on the phone! Just like we did in the 90s! Getting to know Sonny, talking to Lois and getting to know her! Back and forth! Having a sleepover at Karen’s house with Robin– the 3 were flopped out on Karen’s bed eating and drinking soda, all the while dishing about their men! I so related to B back in the day! Scenes like that, scenes of Brenda on the phone and then having fantasies about mostly Sonny– all relatable as a 22 year old girl! I did all those things! Now, what do we have? There’s no romance or real friendships– everything is a plot point and you can’t even keep track of the stories at this point. I think I counted that we have somewhere in the vicinity of 30 open stories running now. Too many!

So, yes, please do come with me on the Sonny and Brenda Ride on Facebook and Twitter. Come play with the S&Bers, we always welcome new players in our threads! The more the merrier! Another thing that I love is the continued love both Vanessa and Maurice give to their most successful coupling! Every now and then Vanessa tweets/Instagrams S&B images 😀

One day she will come back. One day we will all hop back on that gorgeous S&B bus and savor the ride once again! Sonny and Brenda are not cut and dry… They are messy, passionate, fiery, angst ridden, they understand each other and are just meant to be (sounds like S&Bers, too!)— They are Moths to a Flame, just like we are.

Hopefully, I’ve answered some questions for those who have them but have not asked me personally. I have really been overwhelmed by the response of my clip party, pic parade(s) and tweets over the past week! Thank you all for your support, thank you for providing me the platform to be able to share in our love for this very special pairing. I do what I do because of each and every one of you S&Bers. Even after all this time, for so many of you to come out of the woodwork to get sucked right back in to where we were 20 years ago is just so unbelievable to me! It truly has made my day and inspires me to keep the bus rolling.. I hope you all continue to enjoy our ride, sometimes it’s incredible, sometimes painful, always interesting, always a journey of 2 AWE-INSPIRING souls who not only set their world on fire, but our world, too.

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Again, a HUGE thank you to Wendy Riche and the Labines for creating such a story to capture our hearts & imaginations in such a timeless way! After 23 years to still have the same feelings, emotions and reactions (after seeing the same clips hundreds of times, too, mind you)— It’s like seeing it all for the first time, every time. It’s just beautiful. We love you, Wendy and the Labine family… S&Bers hold you all in the utmost of esteem, ALWAYS.

Of course, we love our Maurice and Vanessa— They hold the key to the magic of Sonny and Brenda. Their intense connection makes the viewer believe what they see on screen, ALWAYS. Acting soulmates is what they are and thank you to both of you for all you do to honor Sonny and Brenda! xo

TTFN~~Ro xoxo

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Giving love to my fandoms…

Ahh, yes… Long time, no post from Miss Ro.. again. I wish daily that the status of my first love, General Hospital and my beloved Sonny and Brenda would change but, alas, Brenda and her spectacular jacket have not come back… YET. #ImWaitingWithBaitedBreath #BringBrendaBack

Let’s talk fandoms. Everyone has one or 5 that they belong to right? It’s not just me who has an obsessive compulsive side to them that needs to be a part of something amazing? Right? I hope not! I am part of a few different fanbases now. For sometime, it was exclusively General Hospital/Sonny and Brenda. But, here we are 3 years after Brenda’s last foray into PC happened and I have evolved. Kinda.

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Sonny and Brenda…. Ahhh, the GORGEOUS, lustful and passionate couple I fell in love with 23 years ago. They captured my heart, my imagination and swept me out into the rain and into a powerful love story that most S&Bers still covet today. While things for our couple NEVER end on a high note, there’s always hope! Why is there hope? Because Brenda ALWAYS comes back and then… Like Moths to a Flame, they cannot stay away from each other! I just need Carly to die sometime soon. When you come back, Brenda, bring that leather jacket! Yes, this one!!

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The S&B fanbase is still out there. Unfortunately, because of TPTB writing, particularly for Sonny, has been pretty crummy and in return, it has turned a lot of people off on the character. But, I have a feeling everyone would come together for both Sonny and Brenda if Vanessa Marcil would come and reprise her role as Brenda one day. I pretty much guarantee the S&Bers would flock back to see their girl in action once again. Let’s have Sonny grovel, have a few health check ups and let’s hop on the S&B Bus once again!

P.S. I will blog about Jasper Jacks return on July 29!! (Sssshhh… He helped create the magic & nostalgia we all loved and miss for the 90s. Perhaps his return will be interesting!)

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I think you all know where to find me— I mostly play on Twitter at this point @SonnyandBrenda. Look for new blog posts soon for Jax– I really can’t believe that I am looking forward to seeing him, but I guess it’s really just a bit of nostalgia, baby!

 

Now, my newest love…  Outlander! Look at the pretty:

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Jamie and Claire… Have you not read the books? No? Hmmm… Have you taken a peek at the GORGEOUS show? No? Well, come sit by me and let me tell you a bit about my couple! Outlander was originally a book, written in practice by Diana Gabaldon and was first published 20 years ago on June 1, 1996. It is about Claire Randall, who was a nurse in England during WWII. She was married to Frank Randall and after the war was over, they went on a second honeymoon to the Scottish countryside. Long story short, she goes to a stone circle to pick some little forget-me-not’s she saw the day before. Claire touches one of the huge stones and in moments, she is thrust back in time and soon after, she meets Jamie Fraser. Jamie becomes her husband in 18th century Scotland.  Jamie and Claire are the type of couple that love each other with every fiber of their beings. They are truly connected and their love transcends through time, war, space, Black Jack and Frank Randall. So many things happen to this couple, it’s really quite tremendous what they overcome over the course of 8 big books! We are in season 2 of the Outlander tv show and just got renewed for 2 more seasons. (SO EXCITING!!) It’s not a spoiler but if you, like I was, are looking for an ENDGAME couple, this series of books is for you! There’s a touch of  sci-fi, history, love story, family drama, medical drama, homeopathy and an army of characters who stay with you, even after their part of the story is over— Or is their story over? Will they show up again 5 books later? You should read the novels to find out! Best story I have ever read! Outlander airs on Saturday nights on Starz at 9pm est. You can purchase the Outlander series of books here: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

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Okay, so here we are.. I’m digging deep, very deep into my past. Remember how I once wrote I Loved a Hair Band from the 80’s? Welp, this is really in the same vein.

After David Bowie passed away in January, I really started thinking about my musical history. It is pretty varied but most specifically originates from the 80s. I have no shame to say that that decade contains all my favorite music! I like the dance, pop, rock and hair bands from that era. I mostly loved rock and pop bands from England. One person in particular is my very favorite; George Michael. Follow @GeorgeMichael on Twitter and send him a little tweet of love!

I think that we should honor our favorite musicians, actors and everyday people while they are still alive and can appreciate our love and affection. When they die, it is entirely too late.

Music, in particular, gives us so much through our lives. It’s there to excite you, comfort you, fall in love to, break up with, it’s there to make you feel good and remember awesome times with your friends. The people who create our music are given such an amazing gift that they choose to share with all of us. That music becomes the soundtrack to all of our lives. No matter the genre of music you most adore, it is all important.

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Ahh..  George and Andrew Ridgeley were Wham! Now, I loved Wham! a lot prior to George heading off on his own. They were a fun duo from England. Had some great hits: Everything She Wants, I’m Your Man (my personal favorite!), then there’s Last Christmas and Careless Whisper, just to name a few of the goodies from that time period. I loved it all in my young teenhood! My friend, Wendy and I listened to them all the time and then The Final! happened. We didn’t know if we’d see either of those fine lads again… We were very pleasantly surprised with “I knew You Were Waiting”, the duet with Aretha Franklin came out! Who knew what was coming next!

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Faith was what happened to be next….  WOW! That album was amazing at the time! That Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go guy grew up and was hot as hell and in every single way possible! I was 17 at the time when I saw George Michael preform his Faith Tour in Philadelphia. It was August of 1988 when the tour came to our area. Wendy and I saved all of our babysitting money to buy tickets to his show. I remember being on the phone, on and off for an hour prior to when the tix went on sale, got our tickets and the whole venue was sold out within 10 minutes! We felt so lucky and spent the whole summer planning our concert night out! (Oh, to be 17 again!! THIS was a HUGE deal for us!) Life was gloriously fun and completely wide open to pretty much everything! Music was insane back then. Seriously, it was a time where the radio and MTV were EVERYTHING!

Anyway, Faith was George’s debut as a solo artist and he hit it big with that album! It captured so much of my imagination! I loved the naughtiness of I Want Your Sex, the soulful Kissing a Fool really hit home, Faith was so much fun, and to be honest, there’s not a track on that album I skipped over. (Now might be different, in that I look for different songs/emotions– I don’t seek out I Want Your Sex as Wendy and I used to hit repeat/rewind/or put the needle back on the record back in the day!) His music had grown from the Wham! days. This was a bit more mature as a bridge from youthful fun to lusty, adult music to the evolved serious, honest music he wrote later on.

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January of this year found me very retrospective about life, paths chosen and where life will take me next. I’m 45, so I suppose it’s that time in my life to see where I’ve been and to look to the future and what could possibly be next.  So one day back in late January, I popped in George Michael’s Ladies and Gentleman CD and haven’t looked back since. After a week or so, I found myself gravitating less toward the music that I knew on the CD’s, but connecting with the newer songs I had avoided in the past. I was in such a haze of babies, with very little time for myself that I really only had time for a quick fix of what I knew. (That familiarity aspect of music is comforting and certain songs become a “go-to.”) But now, with a little more time on my hands (both kids in school) and morning car rides around town, I dove into the GM stuff I didn’t know.  I slowly became familiar with his velvety voice again and got to know his very complex and extremely thoughtful lyrics. Then, I realized, I DID know this “new” stuff… I never heard it before BUT the adult in me knew it because I have felt some of those emotions, I have experienced love, pain and loss (maybe not on same level, but, love, pain & loss are universal.), and what happened along the way was the realization not only did I grow up, but George did, too.

The music George Michael made after Faith is beautiful. It is mature, sensitive, incredibly honest and complex. His dance music is fun, lusty and beautiful in the upbeat rhythms he creates. George’s music that isn’t the flowery, everyone is always happy kind of beautiful, but, really life sucks beautiful and YOU WILL OVERCOME beautiful.  GM’s music is real, it’s about life. You can connect with it emotionally and feel the heart he has put into his life’s work.  George doesn’t write cheery love songs and he likes to write a lot about his experiences, in both his love songs and his dancing songs. You know what? It’s okay that he doesn’t, life isn’t always happy BUT, in everything he writes, there is always HOPE somewhere included in his lyrics. He always has hope in the future. I love that. When I listen to his music, there’s really a wide range to go to from Wham! days through White Light to choose from. Something for every mood, something for different stages of life.

During this time, I discovered a group. No, not a help group to get me over my fandom obsessions, but a George Michael group. It’s an incredible group of people, run by the coolest person I have come in contact with online for a really long time, Gus. Gus is a WEALTH and treasure trove of information, music, videos and images of George and Wham!. I think I have become a full-on fangirl just for him! Honestly, all joking aside, he’s a cool guy, great admin for the group and a fun person to be friends with. (follow @TheGMCollector on Twitter)

I love the interactions of the people in the GM group & Outlander fanbase, so many of us from all around the world… That’s another thing: When you are part of a fandom, you make friends with people from EVERYWHERE! You learn about them and where they are from, you cultivate friendships where it was really impossible prior to the internet/FB/Twitter.

The GM group is so diverse,  interesting and always puts a smile on my face with everyone’s enthusiasm! (Sometimes I even join in… lol okay, I join in commenting all the time and I loveeeeeeee it! Reminds me of early days with the S&B girls at the forum)

Come and join me there if you’re a George Michael fan or a Wham! fan or both— Or perhaps you are seeking some new music you haven’t heard or maybe you feel like revisiting your inner 80’s self… George Michael group

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So now you all know. I love George Michael, Outlander and Sonny and Brenda. The people I come across daily are interesting, fun and informative. We have fun in all 3 areas of my interest, maybe one or all 3 could be an area of interest for you, too.

TTFN~ Ro xoxox

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BrensonRain update

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Hi S&Bers,

 

Quick update on our friend, @BrensonRain:

 

I just received a text from T and she had a bit of a rough go over the weekend but as of now, she is resting comfortably and healing seems to be on track. It seems she burst a few blood vessels and some stitches, all has been taken care of and she is okay.

T wanted me to thank everyone for all the kind thoughts and prayers, it has helped her tremendously knowing so many of us were sending so much positivity.

 

I will update you guys again in a few days. Please keep the prayers flowing for our friend, BrensonRain… They do help no matter what to give peace, comfort and love headed in her direction daily.

 

TTFN~xoxo Ro

Prayer Circle

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S&Bers,

We have a wonderful S&Ber who has found out her has a tumor in her neck that has been diagnosed as Cancer. She will be having the tumor removed on Friday (November 7) and I’d very much like for everyone to send well wishes, positivity, love and prayers her way.

Our S&Ber is: 

 

Please keep BrensonRain in your thoughts for the next few days as she begins her journey with this awful disease. Lets give her some uplifting thoughts and love. I believe in the power of prayer, I believe in all of you coming together to make things happen.

I will post next week with an update on her surgery and what her next steps will be on the road to recovery.

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Thank you!

TTFN~ Ro xoxo

Outlander

Hi all!!

Long time, no post once again. I am truly sorry about that but when there’s nothin’, there’s just nothing to share about our beloved S&B. Right now, Sonny is all foolish with sparks of our guy underneath who just appears to be a shell of himself. While I would totally, beyond a doubt LOVE for Vanessa to come back and bring our Brenda back to life, I truly believe there is no room for her on-screen right now. The story does not indicate any longing for B on Sonny’s part nor does the character seem needed. In 6 months however, we may be seeing a different tale start playing out on-screen. I do think in time the character of Sonny needs Brenda to become viable once again and possibly to usher him off canvas unless TPTB can come up with a sweet contract for Vanessa where she can have tons of time off ala, Tony Geary. But, that’s really here nor there…

Today, I am sharing with you all my new obsession, in book form and tv series form: OUTLANDER.

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This is the premise:

Claire Randall is leading a double life. She has a husband in one century, and a husband in another…

In 1945, Claire Randall, a former combat nurse, is back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon–when she innocently touches a boulder in one of the ancient stone circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach–an “outlander”–in a Scotland torn by war and raiding border clans in the year of our Lord…1743.

Hurled back in time by forces she cannot understand, Claire’s destiny in soon inextricably intertwined with Clan MacKenzie and the forbidden Castle Leoch.She is catapulted without warning into the intrigues of lairds and spies that may threaten her life …and shatter her heart. For here, James Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior, shows her a passion so fierce and a love so absolute that Claire becomes a woman torn between fidelity and desire…and between two vastly different men in two irreconcilable lives.

Quoted from http://books.google.com/books/about/Outlander.html?id=LjTKSJGfQVMC

This series covers 8 BIG books, a few mini books & novellas. There’s even a graphic novel that Diana Gabaldon created as well as companion books to keep the characters straight and to fill in some details. Diana is very interactive with her thousands of fans, huge Outlander communities and now an army of Outlander lovers on Twitter.

Okay, so you guys are wondering where I am going with all of this, aren’t ya? Well, I started reading the series shortly before the first episode aired on Starz in the beginning of August. I finished the first book the night before the series premiered. It was a pretty massive book that I loaded on to my Kindle. It took me 2 days to read 642 pages and jumped into the next book post-haste! The 8 books combined, work out to be somewhere around 10,000 pages.

The love story of Claire and Jamie grabbed me in the very same way Sonny and Brenda grabbed me all those years ago. Their hands and eyes met over a suitcase on the docks… Here, Claire popped Jamie’s shoulder in place and then took care of a gunshot wound. Their eyes met, a touch lit a fire within their souls and then this was said by Jamie:

“Ye need not be scairt of me,” he said softly. “Nor anyone here, so long as I’m with ye.”
Diana Gabaldon, Outlander

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From that moment on, Jamie and Claire forged a beautiful friendship and she grew to trust Jamie. Many things happen within the first half of the book… Mostly Claire finding her footing in the 18th century. She tries in vain to get back to Craigh Na Dun (the circle stones, picture a small Stonehenge.)….

I won’t spoil the books or series for you so I shall stop there but not with my comparison of my beloved S&B and J&C.

The passion each couple carry for each other is all-consuming. It is raw, true and beyond the soulmate definition. They are split apart souls who search for each other in each lifetime. Sometimes those souls are meant to be, against all odds and sometimes it’s just to remind the other soul that the one is still there, waiting for the one’s life lesson to be learned before the two can be joined into one as a couple.

Claire and Jamie save each other like Sonny and Brenda have saved each other. We know that Brenda’s blood flows through Sonny’s veins. We saw that happen. No matter what, Brenda lives within Sonny and he is her true home and always will be… Brenda will always be Sonny’s savior and safe place. Even when things were ugly, they always accepted each other for the messy, very human & passionate people they are. (Of course, very fictional, too!) Claire and Jamie have all that…. in spades and then some. There’s even a blood scene between them. If you read oe watch you’ll see and I’m not talking about the normal bloodshed of the 1743 time period in Scotland. Trust me, there’s blood and gore galore mixed into a very beautiful love story. Kind of like the massive mob wars Sonny and Brenda lived through and were able to tell the tale of 20 years later! 2 different time periods, a war for territory, survival, keeping your love safe and very hot sex peppered within. Imagine Sonny in a kilt and Brenda in a corset and you’re pretty well good to go… Oh, give Sonny a Scots accent and imagine him calling Brenda “Sassenach.”

OH, Claire’s first husband would be Jax… Jamie is Sonny in this beautiful story. Keep that in mind as you go just so we can keep the love for S&B alive! 😉

The visuals on the tv adaption are just breathtakingly beautiful. The music score is timeless and addicting. The characters in both the books and series are rich, rounded and seem very real. The way DG (Diana Gabaldon) writes is full of so many visuals, so much history, so much story, colorful characters, places and fabrics, you must read the series more than once in order to capture all of the details you missed in the first, fast and furious read through. DG makes you FEEL what the characters are feeling. You weep, you smile, you laugh, you feel passionate, you’re angry, mad and left with a feeling of wanting more. As I read the books or watch the series, the scenes play out in my head like our beloved S&B clips. I remember the quotes, especially from Jamie to Claire. He just loves her so. She is his first, his last and his everything. She is his whole world and you can feel that. Claire is more complicated but, for her, Jamie is her life, breath, heart and soul.

You all need to read the books and if not because you’re not a huge reader, you must watch the series on Starz. They just started their midseason hiatus, coming back on April 4, 2015 but they are repeating the first 8 episodes and you can see them on demand. It is well worth the $ for Starz. This is probably one of the most epic stories I have ever read or watched unfold on my tv. TPTB have stayed pretty true to the book. Of course there are changes and additions to make the story fuller for tv but imo, they are good changes because it all stays within the true spirit of the story. While I think some awesome things are left out, I also understand the time constraints on an hour-long tv series. There’s really only so much you can include.

What I also love is how many books there are in this series and that DG is working on #9! Remember when Sonny talks to Brenda about growing old together in the caves?

Sonny: Yeah, yeah…for about five seconds. That’s all it took me to know that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. You know, even now, I walk by your billboards and see some guy staring up and I think – this guy’s an idiot. What does he know? He doesn’t have a clue how beautiful she really is. Not even Jax knows… (Brenda starts smiling again at this!)…only me. And if we had grown old together, when you had lines on your face and gray in your hair, you’d still be the most perfect thing in the world to me.

Brenda: (Smiling) You know I can’t even picture you old…it doesn’t matter what happens to your face. I’ll always look in your eyes and see a little boy…abused and scared, holding all the pain inside. 

THIS you will carry with you through Claire and Jamie’s story…. I know I did. No matter how crazy, heartbreaking and complicated things get for J&C, somehow, love always prevails. I just pray that one day, our beloved S&B get the pay-off like other fictional characters I have come to know and love.*

*Not spoiling anything because the book series *is* so far 8 books long and Jamie and Claire are in all books. The writer says the series stops with their deaths… Or will it?

Come and take this time-travelling journey with me! I read almost daily…. The first book and the last one are so far my favorites. The first one because everything is just so fresh and new; and the last one because you can really see the journey they took together… Plus in the last one it’s the location that gets me because I can picture it with where I live and the journey with my family tree I just took earlier this summer. The books in between are magnificent, too but just like with clips and storylines, certain things grab you more than others. You’ll always have your favorites for certain reasons… Like, for instance, The Wire… Most of us hate The Wire scenes and cannot watch it after the first time. I, for one, *like* The Wire. I think it truly shows how much they both lost because they didn’t trust the other enough to be honest and communicate. It is heartbreaking, violent, crazy and beautiful. I personally think it is one of Maurice’s and Vanessa’s best work in all their years. That one scene brings out many emotions, good or bad, what it does to you is what they were trying to convey and they did that with unbelievable passion!

Claire is a very strong, independent woman… Really much ahead of her time, no matter the time in which she is in. She is a quick learner and adapts well. She is someone to admire and want to throttle at the same time. Sometimes her choices are questionable but she does make them with heart & other people’s well being in mind.

Jamie is described as “The king of all men.” He is such a strong character, trouble is never far behind him but he’s crafty, loyal to the end, trustworthy, true and very gentle and loving. He is a natural born leader and he shines throughout the series with his care for others.

Jamie and Claire truly compliment each other… Just like Sonny and Brenda compliment each other. Sonny knows how impulsive Brenda can be… He accepts her no matter what and knows when she’s gonna do something stupid. He also saves her from herself.. He’s sent her to the edge, too, more than once but each time he did it to save her. You’ll understand.. just buy Outlander and read it. You’ll see! If you don’t love it, I understand. It’s not meant for everyone but it is an amazing read which is wrapped in MANY different genres. It is a very interesting story.

Jamie is played by a wonderful Scot, Sam Heughan. He is fantastic as Jamie Fraser.. Or formally, James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser. 🙂

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Claire is played by the beautiful Irish lass, Caitriona Balfe. She is wonderful as our Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser.

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A couple of sites for you to check out if interested after my crazy, full post:

Outlander Book Club:  http://outlanderbookclub.freeforums.org/ (SUCH an excellent site!!)

Diana Gabaldon Twitter: https://twitter.com/Writer_DG

Outlander Starz Twitter: https://twitter.com/Outlander_Starz

Caitriona Balfe: https://twitter.com/caitrionambalfe

Sam Heughan: https://twitter.com/Heughan

BTW: Sam and Cait have unbelievable chemistry between them… On and off camera. Just sayin’. Reminds me much of M&V. In fact off camera I see such a spark between S&C.. Their Twitter interactions are verra cute!

If you’ve stayed with me this far, thank you and if not, I understand! Thank you for allowing me this forum to share in my joy of finding a new couple and introducing them to you. I hope it peaks your interest. I’d love to eeeeeeeeeeee with my girls again, even if it’s about something new. 🙂

TTFN~ xoxo, Ro

 

Nurses Ball 2014

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I believe that TPTB need a little history lesson and they should honor one of the most important storylines that ever emerged from this show.

Long, long ago, 20+ years ago, a boy met a girl. Boy and girl did not care for each other very much at first but then realized they were attracted to each other. They snuck around, they fell in love and girl lost her virginity to boy. They were careful, they spoke about protecting themselves. One time they did not protect themselves and soon after, boy caught a cold he couldn’t get rid of. Girl taught boy how to read and they fell deeper in love. Weeks went by and boy was still sick, he went to the doctor. Tests were preformed……. Boy was not only HIV+, he had full-blown AIDS! Not very long later, boy died and girl found out she had gotten HIV from her first love. She began a protocol that has saved her life for 20 years. She went on to have a healthy marriage and even have a baby.

That couple was Stone Cates and Robin Scorpio. Their love story was not only epic, but very, very important. HIV/AIDS was still quite a taboo and daunting subject to discuss. This story arc brought it to the forefront of not only the teenagers who fell in love with them but their mothers and grandmothers. It opened up a dialogue and took away some of the taboo… A very attractive couple, such a handsome boy, contracted HIV from an old girlfriend who used dirty needles. He never got sick and didn’t think about it again. He thought he was safe. He thought wrong. Robin led a sheltered life with Uncle Mac, she knew however that safe sex was very important. Felicia took her to the dr to start the pill. The mistake was the fact Stone never thought to check his status.

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The whole town came together to celebrate Stone’s life and make his soon-to-happen death easier. They celebrated Christmas early. He went to Robin’s senior prom. Robin and Stone exchanged vows while Robin wore her mother’s mantilla. They were bonded, they understood the end result but they lived in each moment they had left together.

The audience was moved to tears. Tears flowed for a fictional character who told an amazing story of unconditional love, courage, friendships and even at times, prejudice. Those feelings stayed with all those viewers who watched this unfold in real-time…

Flash forward 20 years from that  Nurses Ball when Robin broke down onstage, wrapped in that part of Stone’s quilt, and Jason came in and picked her up off stage and carried her away, to now, today, May 13, 2014…

I had my moment(s) where I enjoyed this years’ ball… My favorite being Dr. O’s rendition of “Willkommen” from Cabaret… After that, it was downhill… There was no mention of HIV or AIDS. No mention about Robin or why the Nurses Ball began. There was NO INFORMATION given to anyone about any new findings in the fight against HIV/AIDS! No education, no numbers flashing onscreen for donations, or more information about HIV/AIDS, no websites in the crawl at the bottom of the screen… Look, I understand this is a soap opera, a show… But, once a year, General Hospital has a very unique, amazing opportunity to do something fantastic! They could gather donations and/or raise true awareness for a nasty illness that has taken many, many people away from their families and friends.

The sexual innuendo during this Nurses Ball in particular I have a hard time with. While you can get HIV through needles or blood, mostly this is a virus contracted through sexual contact. I think some of the acts were inappropriate and a slap in the face to those who remember the origin of the ball itself.

If GH wishes to continue down this road, then the Nurses Ball needs a new name… Perhaps the General Hospital Variety Ball… They can raise money for the hospital or whatever..

I like original recipe. I like when editing and continuity go hand in hand. I like respect to history, especially one as important as this. I know I learned SO MUCH from the HIV storyline. It educated me and what I learned has stayed with me. I’m not perfect, perhaps I don’t remember the facts quite as exactly as they happened or I learned them BUT the jist is still there. The feelings I had that moment when Stone said “Robin, I can see you!” and then he passed on, has stayed with me and each time I hear about the Nurses Ball, those feelings are evoked and my hopes are raised.. I’m sorry to say that my hopes fell flat on its face and I am disappointed in the lack of respect or a tradition that was carried on for many years….

If you can’t do it the right way, don’t do it and create your own thing. Let us have our memories and as you create something new, we’ll have new memories.

Life is short and I do enjoy GH.. I nitpick certain things I feel are important.. The Nurses Ball is one of those things… It was about everything else other than what it was supposed to be about! You can have an entertaining, yet educational few days of a show, while watching the fantastic and  talented cast do showcase their talents outside the box.

TTFN~xoxo Ro