Thursday, March 29, 2007

13 Favorite TV Theme Songs

Mary Tyler Moore's theme is one of my faves, but didn't make the top 13

On Wednesday, my radio co-host Darren Marlar declared it "TV Show Theme Song Day." By the way, if you go to the Retro Crush site, they provide links so you can listen to the songs if you like. Just a note: These aren't MY Top 13. I personally think some of them don't belong there, and there are many great ones that SHOULD be there. My own personal faves may be a topic for another TT.

Here, according to Retro Crush, are the top 13 TV theme songs of all time:

13. Hawaii Five-0--Oh, yeah! Love that signature drum riff.

12. Doctor Who--Doctor whuut?? I don't think I've ever heard this one, or seen the show.

11. ABC's Wide World of Sports--Boy, does that ever bring back memories!

10. All in the Family--Who could forget Edith Bunker screeching, "And you knew who you were then!"

9. Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids

8. Spongebob Squarepants

7. Twin Peaks

6. Star Trek

5. Mission Impossible--Well, definitely.

4. The Jeffersons--yep...we're "movin' on up"!

3. Batman

2. Tie: The Brady Bunch/Gilligan's Island

1. Sanford and Son--Really? Ahead of M*A*S*H, The Odd Couple, The Mary Tyler Moore Show? Ooh-kay.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The rumors of Sinbad's death are greatly exaggerated

This story is actually a little old now, but I'm revisiting it because it happens to be the subject of my "Cindy Swanson, CyberSnoop" radio feature this week.

As CyberSnoop, I de-bunk or verify those dubious e-mails that continually pop up in your inbox. Now, I've developed radar. I can almost tell you at first read whether the e-mail is a load of baloney. It always amazes me that wonderful, really intelligent people will unquestioningly send these things along to everyone on their e-mail list without bothering to check them out first.

There are a few good ways to check them out, by the way. My favorite is I've found them to be very reliable. Another good one is

Anyway, back to Sinbad...

Earlier this month, a Sinbad bio on Wikipedia
claimed that Sinbad had died of a heart attack on March 10th.

The actor first heard about it through a phone call from his crying daughter. Not long afterwards, the phone calls and e-mails started pouring in. In a radio interview, Sinbad noted wryly, "I wish that people would’ve called me back like this when I was alive. I gotta die more often.”

Sinbad said a couple of other pretty funny things in the interview, including, "I'm writing a movie about this right now. Seriously, my death is gonna be my comeback!"

He also said his new voice message on his phone is: "I ain't dead. Call me back."

Afros and Bellbottoms

Personally, I've always liked Sinbad. If you've never seen his stand-up video, Afros and Bellbottoms, you should--especially if, like Sinbad and me, you are a child of the 70's. In the video (or DVD, of course), Sinbad proves that you can be guffawingly hilarious without resorting to sexual humor and profanity.

He's on the road doing stand-up, and I have no idea if he's continued that tradition of being funny without being nasty. If he could "come back" onto the entertainment scene with that relative wholesomeness intact, I'd love to see him make a comeback. Lord knows we have enough comedians who think they can't get a laugh without being gross.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, Jonathan!

Jonathan at about 4 years old

A grown-up Jonathan

Today is the 27th birthday of my firstborn, Jonathan. It's so hard to believe that it was 27 years ago that he was born. March 27, 1980, was without a doubt one of the happiest days of my life. Doug and I were so young, so clueless, but Jonathan was an easy baby and brought so much joy to our lives.

The years have flown by. Jonathan has matured into a wonderful young man. He's brilliant, has a wonderful sense of humor, truly loves the Lord, and is a man of integrity and character.

Now, I see him as a first-time father, and I know he'll be a terrific dad for little Payton.

Happy golden birthday, Jonathan! I love you!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Remembering my favorite writers from my early teen years...

From the Rosamund du Jardin website:

"Most people wonder why I like these books so much when I am a child of the '80's and the '90's and these books are about what it was like to be young during the '50's and the '60's. To tell you the truth, I don't know myself! Perhaps it's because they are about a time when it was safe to walk a girl home at night or when people drank malteds in the soda shop while wearing their charm bracelets and sweater sets. In some ways, their world of wearing class rings and hoping for orchid corsages is the opposite of my world of MTV, gangs and violence, and teenage pregnancy, but it's still the same when it comes to joys and heartaches, growing up and learning."

Today is Robert Frost's birthday. Most people remember the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963) for his poem, The Road Not Taken.

However, my favorite Frost poem is Reluctance. It ends like this:

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

Mary Stolz, et al

I've liked that poem ever since my early teen years, when I read a book whose title was taken from it: A Love, or a Season, by Mary Stolz. To be honest, I don't remember what the book was even about. I do remember that Mary Stolz was one of my favorite writers at the time, along with the likes of Betty Cavanna, Rosamund du Jardin and Janet Lambert.
(By the way, if you were ever a Rosamund du Jardin fan, this website dedicate to her is really enjoyable.)

While some of these books were already ten to 20 years old when I was reading them, they still resonated with me as a starry-eyed bookworm.

Francena H. Arnold

Christian fiction was in its early stages, but there was some good stuff out there even then. I loved Not My Will, Light in My Window and Then Am I Strong, by Francena H. Arnold. (I even listed Not My Will as one of my Top 25 Books of All Time.)

I've since lost track of most of my copies of these books, but I see now that many of them are available online. Moody Publishers has even re-released Not My Will. I will probably eventually purchase some of my favorites online. Reading them again will be a delight.

Any favorites that you'd like to let me know about?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Sincerely thankful that it's Friday

I don't know why, but this week has been kind of rough for me in some ways. I think it's been hard for me to get back into my normal schedule after my week of vacation, and my blogging has been one of the things that has suffered a bit.

I thought about blogging about "Lost" (was that last episode a jawdropper or what?), or about the fact that Sanjaya is still on American Idol while much better singers are dropping like flies. Amazing. (Check out Ganns Deen's amusing Thursday Thirteen--actually from last week--about possible reasons why Sanjaya is still not gone.)

(By the way, if you're a "Lost" fan, I'd love for you to give me your reactions and/or comments to Wednesday's episode, in my comments section.)

I even thought about doing the Friday's Feast meme, but I just don't have the energy to think up good replies.

So I leave you with a picture of my hubby with our new grandson, Payton. Yep, Grandpa is just as smitten as I am.

Hopefully I'll be a better blogger next week. Until then, everyone have a blessed weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Texas Taste Temptations

Bev, me and Mom at County Line BBQ

One of the joys of going to Texas is...well, eating.

There are a few things I HAVE to eat when I'm in Texas. One of these is Tex-Mex food. The Austin area has the best Tex-Mex food I've ever eaten. One of my favorite restaurants is Chuy's, and yes, I enjoyed the chicken taquitos there one day during my recent visit. They also have some of the best chips and salsa ever. I simply cannot find salsa that delicious in northern Illinois...I'll tell you if I ever do.

Keep Austin Weird

My sister Lisa was also kind enough to buy me a Chuy's T-shirt. It simply reads "Chuy's" on the front, then "Keep Austin Weird" on the back. "Keep Austin Weird" is a catchphrase often seen around the area. I assume it has something to do with the city's funky, artsy, liberal vibe.

Interestingly enough, Round Rock--which is north of Austin and is where much of my family actually lives--has its own slogan, seen on bumper stickers and the like: "Keep Round Rock Mildly Unusual." I thought that was cute. I've also heard there are actually bumper stickers that say "Keep Dallas Pretentious."

We actually didn't make it to one of my very favorite Tex-Mex restaurants--Pappasito's. Actually, we made it, but we left after being informed of a 2-hour-45 minute wait. 2 hours and 45 minutes! I don't think so. (Maybe it's time for them to add another Austin location?)

The County Line

One of the most enjoyable eating experiences, though, was at The County Line Bar-B-Q. My mom and sisters and I went to the location on Bull Creek off Lake Austin, and the atmosphere was as enjoyable as the food.

It was a lovely spring day, and we strolled along the creek after our meal (see picture above). We were able to get a table immediately, it being toward the end of lunchtime, but my sister Lisa tells me that people normally enjoy the outdoor waiting area during the evenings when waiting times are longer. Often there's live music outdoors.

I had the "lite lunch," with two meats--brisket and turkey--potato salad, beans and cole slaw. This was some of the best cole slaw I've ever had. The taste was much milder than cole slaw usually is, and the cabbage was cut in small pieces rather than being shredded. Wonderful.

And the bread...oh, the bread! Served loaf-style, cut in thick slabs with little tubs of honey-butter for slathering. My only complaint: the bread isn't gratis with the meal--you have to order it extra. At 2.49 for a half-loaf, that's not bad, but I appreciate it when restaurants bring a basket of bread to the table right off the bat. (I appreciate it, but my figure probably appreciates not having it there for me to over-indulge in.)

Round Rock Donuts

No discussion of Texas culinary delights would be complete without mentioning Round Rock Donuts.
These light-but-substantial, golden-colored donuts have officially become my favorite, surpassing even Krispy Kreme. At least once per visit, my sister Lisa dutifully shows up with a supply, fresh, warm and delicious. If you ever have the means of enjoying them, I highly recommend it!

Related Tags:

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Legacy Five member passes away

Southern Gospel loses a great

Thanks to my friend Mark Haynes for letting me know about the passing of Roger Bennett of Southern Gospel's Legacy Five.

I have many friends and loved ones who are avid Southern Gospel fans, and will be saddened by this news, although it wasn't sudden. Bennett, who was 48, apparently had been battling leukemia for some time. Bennett, a pianist and vocalist, joined the Cathedral Quartet in 1979. (Legacy Five was formed by Bennett and Scott Fowler after the disbanding of the Cathedrals.)

More info on Bennett's passing here.

Martin Roth's Southern Gospel Beat includes some touching tributes to Roger Bennett, as well as links to many blogs where Bennett is being remembered and eulogized.

Although I'm not very well-informed about Southern Gospel artists and events, I find much of it very moving and inspiring. A few years ago, I was able to go to a Greater Vision concert that was wonderful. And I've been to Gaither Homecoming events a few times and really enjoyed and was uplifted by both the message and the musicianship.

It sounds like Roger Bennett was a wonderful man.

Related Tags:

Monday, March 19, 2007

Back from God's Country

..Well, today's my first day back to reality. I just returned from a trip to the Austin, Texas area, the main purpose of which was to meet my adorable new grandson, Payton.

The good news: he's absolutely wonderful and incredible. The bad news: I don't live near him. I am now making it my mission in life to see him as often as is humanly possible. All of you grandparents who told me about falling in love with a grandchild--you were totally right. There's no way to describe it.

I had an amazing time in Texas. Not only did I get to spend quality face time with Payton, but also my son and daughter-in-law, my wonderful mom, my fantastic sister Lisa and her family, my brother's wife and daughters (he's in Iraq), and my fabulous sister Bev came down from Wyoming!

Flying back home would've been unbearably sad, but somehow Bev and I ended up on the same flight to, of all places, Minneapolis. Yep, I was flying to Chicago, but Northwest Airlines had me changing planes in the twin cities. Bev would fly back to Wyoming from there, and I would fly back to Chicago. But by a wonderful quirk, we were able to be on the plane from Austin to Minneapolis together on a two and a half hour flight! How awesome is that? I truly think it was a "God" thing.

Bev and me on the plane

Now I'm back home and suffering from post-vacation letdown. Hopefully the advent of spring weather and looking forward to seeing Payton this summer will get me through!

If you'd like to see more pictures of my Texas trip--and of course of wonderful Payton--go here.

Friday, March 09, 2007

On hiatus

I'll be on a blogging break for the next several days, as I head to Texas to see my wonderful new grandson. Lord willing, I'll be back on Monday, March 19th.

In the meantime, feel free to browse the archives!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

13 Things to Tell You

My beautiful grandson

1) The Ultimate Blog Party has proven to be an amazing way to check out other blogs and have other blogs check out mine! Kudos to the lovely ladies at 5minutesformom for coming up with this terrific idea. It's not over yet; the Party lasts through tomorrow, so go check it out if you haven't yet.

2) USA Today has a interesting article today about how Americans are ignorant about religion. My own Bible knowledge is fairly good, but I must admit I probably don't know enough about other religions.

3) American Idol last night: I think my favorites were Melinda and Lakisha. The girls continue to impress more than the guys.

4) Lost episode last night: I really, really liked it. It was a return to what drew me to the show in the first place. Naveen Andrews, who plays Sayid, is a wonderful actor, and I was touched by the Iraqi woman who had been tortured. Plus, the ping-pong on the beach was fun.

5) The movie "300" looks intriguing--probably for a couple of reasons for me. My mother's family came to America directly from Sparta, Greece, so I've always been rather interested in the Spartans. Plus, Gerard Butler is in it. I loved him in Phantom of the Opera. However, there appears to be quite a bit of violence and eroticism in the movie. Definitely not family-friendly.

6) I'm reading Lisa Samson's Quaker Summer and loving it. I'm continually amazed by her seemingly effortless way with words. Beautiful.

7) It's good to see my friend Don Elbourne blogging again. Don is the pastor of a church whose facilities were destroyed by Hurricane can check out my interview with him here.

8) *Sigh*'s Cadbury Creme Egg season again. I'm addicted, but hey, they're not as bad as you may think. They are 3 Weight Watchers points, and they're so rich, even sweet-toothers like me would have trouble eating more than one at a time.

9) Did someone say spring is right around the corner? It doesn't feel much like it here in Northern Illinois, although it's supposed to warm up to a balmy 38 degrees today.

10) Don't forget the Daylight Savings Time change this weekend. I'm a big fan of Daylight Savings the "longer" days!

11) Good article here about "Amazing Grace"--more about the song and its author than about the current movie.

12) I got a call late last night from my husband, who had just arrived in Texas and gotten his first introduction to our new grandson (yes, he got to meet Payton first. And I'm jealous, but not too much because, Lord willing and if the creek don't rise, I'll be seeing him soon myself. *big smile*) Well, apparently little Payton more than lives up to the hype, and the e-mailed pics we've received (and gushed over) don't even do him justice.

13) Which brings me to the fact that I'm flying out of O'Hare tomorrow evening to head down to Texas myself. I have a million things to do, and if you are so inclined, I'd be grateful for any prayers lifted up for traveling mercies for me!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

This, that and the other...

I've mentioned this before, but I have to say it again: Mei Flower is one of my favorite blogs. Written by a young woman who teaches high school (that alone is enough to make it interesting!) this blog has a delightful, charming appeal. Mei is just really funny. She's made me laugh out loud countless times.

In "American Idol Sucks My Soul Out and Eats It," Mei reviews last night's American Idol, in which the guy contestants sang and were, for the most part, less than stellar. Her review is pretty much spot-on and very humorous.

My friend Joel is blogging the Shepherd's Conference

My friend and former co-worker Joel Griffith of The Seventh Sola is attending the Shepherd's Conference at Grace Community Church in California, and he's blogging about it.

From Grace Community Church's website: " is our common commitment to the truth that underscores the reason we gather each year. It is also the reason we invite faithful and gifted servants of the Lord to proclaim the Word of truth to us. This year, we are pleased to have Mark Dever, Ligon Duncan, Steve Lawson, Al Mohler, and John Piper join us, as they refresh our hearts through the ministry of the Word. In a day when even the idea of truth is unpopular, what a joy it will be to hear the truth declared clearly and without hesitation."

Says Joel: "This will be my first [Shepherd's Conference], but I know from those who have attended that they go all out to make this a wonderful, edifying week for all who are there." He asks for prayer for the event's speakers and attendees, as well as host pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church.

...and Wayback Wednesday!

A year ago at this time, I was blogging about my love for Chicago, Larnelle Harris, and coincidentally, something funny that Joel Griffith said! Do check it out if you're so inclined.

Related Tags:

Monday, March 05, 2007

I finally saw "Facing the Giants"...

and call me sentimental, but I liked it a lot

"There's no denying the show's amateurish acting. But the movie's strength is its true-to-life situations and wonderful dialogue. Here's a middle-class couple who barely can hang on, despite two jobs. The Taylors predicament is reflected in the households of millions of Americans who are one paycheck away from losing a car or not making a mortgage payment."--Linda Cook, Quad City Times, Davenport, Iowa

I know, I'm late to the game (no pun intended). But I'm just now seeing Facing the Giants, after the girl's basketball team my husband coaches gave the DVD to him as an end-of-season gift.

In case you didn't know, "Facing the Giants" was made by a group of amateurs. It was written, directed, and produced by Alex Kendrick, who also plays the starring role.
Kendrick happens to be on staff at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. When, during a staff meeting, he voiced his dream of making Christian movies, the pastor surprised him by saying, "Why not?"

The result somewhat parallels the movie's story of a small, Christian-school football team going up against the "giants" of their football world. Only it's inexperienced, definitely out-of-the-industry-mainstream church members going up against the giants of Hollywood. And maybe they didn't quite sling the stone into the giant's head--ok, not at all-- but they did make a surprising little dent.

The movie has been soundly denounced by mainstream critics for its bad acting, predictability and cliches. But hey, I've seen those in plenty of Hollywood movies, too--and at least this one has an uplifting message!

Bad acting?

The Davenport, Iowa critic I quoted above--whose review was one of the few positive ones I found online--went on to say, "Why, oh, why, didn't the Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Ga., spend just a little money on talent coaches or even semi-professional actors? If they had, 'Facing the Giants' would be a high-quality movie that could hold its own with other feature films."

When my husband and I first started watching the movie, I did cringe a little at first. But as the movie went on, I got so caught up in the spirit and emotion it conveyed, I stopped being so critical.

And by the way, Alex Kendrick is not a bad actor. He did a very convincing job in several key emotional scenes.

My husband and I found plenty to relate to in the movie. He has been a Christian school teacher and coach, and now administrator, for nearly thirty years. When it comes to depicting a Christian school, the movie really rings true...right down to the sub-par salaries.

The message

What we found most compelling was the message. What if a group of athletes decided that their sole purpose was to honor and glorify God--win or lose? On the football field and in everyday life? What could happen if they fully committed themselves to that goal?

Yes, it's predictable. And perhaps it wrongly conveys, to some extent, that if you commit to the Lord, everything is going to turn out great. And honestly? I would have made the crippled-dad storyline just a little less corny.

That said, the movie engaged me--which, ultimately, movies are supposed to do. It tugged at my heartstrings, entertained me, affirmed my faith, and uplifted my soul. It's not too often that I can say that about a Hollywood movie.

Not bad for a film made by amateurs.

Friday, March 02, 2007

May I introduce myself?

...welcome to my Blog Party!

Hello, and welcome!

If you're visiting my blog for the first time as part of the Ultimate Blog Party, I thought I'd take a moment to introduce you to myself and to Notes in the Key of Life. Most of the links in the following paragraphs will take you to a post about that particular thing. Also, be sure and listen to my audio blog intro, which is to your right on my sidebar.

My name is Cindy Swanson. I am a wife, mom to Jonathan, Justin and Elizabeth, (three wonderful twenty-somethings), mother-in-law to Daylyn and for the first time, a grandma--to beautiful Payton, born 1/31/07. I am a radio personality at 101QFL and Radio 91, and a voice-over artist as well.

My faith in Christ defines me; I couldn't live a day without Him. I also love music , reading, and writing, and dream of visiting Ireland, Scotland and England.

I often blog about interviews I've done, often including transcripted excerpts and/or soundclips. Some of my interviews are linked on my sidebar, but I'd also love it if you'd check out my recent interviews with Darlene Schacht of Christian Women Online and Chip Flaherty of Walden Media about the movie Amazing Grace.

Feel free to take a look around, and enjoy this slide show!

The Ultimate Blog Party is Underway!

Ultimate Blog Party

This is a fun way to get your blog noticed and to break up the winter doldrums! The Ultimate Blog Party, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom, ,lasts through March 9th. Go here to find out how you can participate and even win prizes!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday 13 is Back!

13 things to tell you about

The demise of the Thursday Thirteen meme was brief. Just days after the manager of TT bowed out, two other bloggers bought the rights. (So, Randy, no excuses! :))

(By the way, if you're a Thirteen'er who is just cruising by to sign my TT, I'll understand that you're not going to have time to look any of these links up right now. I'd love it if you bookmark the page and come back when you have more time, though!)

Here we go...13 things to tell you about...

1) In connection with the Amazing Grace movie, here's a touching video about the song.

2) Looking for a good used car? Consumer Reports is out with its "Good Bets" list. They also list the bad bets.

3) Today is Whuppity Scoorie Day in Lanark, Scotland. There's a Lanark, Illinois...I wonder if they celebrate Whuppity Scoorie day there?

4) There's now help for your carsick dog. (And are there many things much worse than a carsick dog?)

5) I really enjoyed last night's episode of Lost. I appreciate the show's moments of lightness and comic relief, and this episode focused on the importance of hope. And I love Hurley!

6) The resting place of Anna Nicole Smith's body has finally been determined. I've found the whole saga very sad.

7) Leading archaeologists are calling "The Lost Tomb of Jesus" documentary "a stunt."

8) So Madonna is now having to tell her daughter not to wear sexy clothes? Several adages come to mind here, among them: "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree" and "you reap what you sow." Wonder when Lourdes will point out Mom's nasty coffee table book?

9) Robin Lee Hatcher blogs about an atheist who "sold his soul on eBay." What he did was attend a lot of different churches, and apparently his impressions are rather eye-opening.

10) One of the coolest posts I've seen in a long time--you MUST check it out if you haven't yet--Carol's at She Lives. (Yep, it's where I got the idea for the "ticket" pictured above.)

11) Good news if you're a Kellie Pickler fan: she returns to American Idol tonight to sing her latest song.

12) Using a certain popular phrase as a catch-all for anything disagreeable...could get you in trouble.

13) I'm sure it's not easy being a conservative in Hollywood, but apparently there are some who are making their voices heard.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Related Tags:
Related Posts with Thumbnails