Shannon Ingram's Place

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Location: Orange County/CA

Musings of a woman who left her corporate career to become a caregiver for elderly parents, wrote a book and found her way back to corporate - with love, instead of fear, leading the way. Now working at my Alma Mater, UC Irvine, as Marketing and Communications Director for the School of Biological Sciences.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Knee Deep in Summertime

Just because I'm now bloggin' on doesn't mean I won't continue to post here. This is my home and I share anything (within reason). So today I'm sharing about my new favorite song.

Every once in awhile a song comes into my life that I just can't get enough of. It becomes a magnificent obsession. Amazingly, even after I stop listening to it a gazillion times a day, even after it falls off my iPod shuffle, even after I no longer turn up Pandora or the radio when it comes on, it makes me smile and brings happy memories. My last obsession song was "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. My all-time best list includes songs by the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Brooks & Dunn, Whitney Houston and the more obscure Michael Feinsten and even Bobby McFerrin. My maestro of obsession tunes is the inimitable Jimmy Buffett. Yes, I am a Proud Parrothead.

Yesterday, while riding home from a fabulous classic car show on a sunny summer day in Dana Point, California, a song came on my favorite country radio station that caused Gary to start bouncing in his seat - quite a feat for someone his size! Neither of us had ever heard the song. The upbeat guitar pickin' turned into really fun lyrics that reminded me of life in the tropics. I didn't recognize the voice and noticed the singer changed at the second verse. That vocal shift caused me to grip the steering wheel and bounce in my own seat! Sure enough, it was the divine Mr. Buffett! When the song ended, I wanted it replayed immediately. Thankfully the DJ mentioned it was "Knee Deep" by the Zac Brown Band, so when we got home, I downloaded it to my iPhone.

I knew the name, Zac Brown Band. My kids are crazy about them. They go to their concerts with bunches of friends in big RV's and tailgate. Hmmm...I remember when I first heard that, it sounded like Jimmy Buffett concerts to me. And when I heard the "Knee Deep" song yesterday, it all made sense. Zac Brown is the kids' Jimmy Buffett. And that's OK!

Today I introduced my associates to "Knee Deep." They are all younger than my kids, and they are aware of how obsessive I get about my songs. I mean, c'mon, I wrote the Boomer Can-Can and must have played and sung it many dozens of times. They were good sports about that - hopefully not just because I'm their boss! Now they know this summer is going to be "Knee Deep" in Shannon's office.

How can you not love a song with a lyric like "The ocean is my only medication." Wow. Here, you be the judge and let me know what you think! Click on this great YouTube video with gorgeous pictures of the Exumas, posted by a brilliant soul named RumShopRyan:

"And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise..."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

New Vibrant Nation Blog

I'm now blogging on Vibrant Nation site (woo hoo!!): Drop in over there and check out my report on the Morgan Freeman AFI Life Achievement Award event last week! xxoo

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Trying not to break my feet...

Yes, I'm jumping up and down. But that's not what's threatening to break my feet. It's all the name-dropping I've been doing the past 10 days since my friend, Gaye, invited me to be her date for the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award Gala honoring Morgan Freeman happening this coming Thursday at Sony Pictures in LA. It was probably enough that I wrote about Oprah in last week's blog post. But this invitation has transported me back to my starstruck teen years when I loved everything Hollywood.

Gaye, now an actor and renowned astrologer, serves on the Board of AFI. I've written about her in my blog more than once. She's my "oldest" - as in "longest term" - friend. We met at a beach on Balboa Island when we were four years old. Our mothers were best friends for life. Gaye's mom worked for CBS and my mom was an interior designer. Our dads were musicians. Gaye's father was a famous bandleader in the 1930's and 40's, Harmon Oscar Nelson, Jr. My dad, a pharmaceutical rep, played banjo for fun in a Dixieland band with a bunch of doctors from Fullerton. Gaye's dad had been married before he married her mom, Anne. His first wife was the actress Bette Davis and she called him "Oscar." His biggest claim to eternal fame is a gold statuette that Bette won and immediately named it after him because there was a posterior resemblance. That story is in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences history books.

When our family got together with the Nelson's, it was all about music and entertainment. Amazingly, all these years later, that's still what it's all about when Gaye and I and our families get together. We may not MAKE music, but we love listening to it. And we entertain one another with stories - great stories, happy and sad, of the past, present and future. It's a rich friendship.

Recently, Gary and I went with Gaye and Rick and our mutual friends, Sandy and Kirk, to the Hollywood premiere of "Midnight in Paris" at the Academy Theatre. Before the movie, we met at Kate Mantilini Restaurant, where Gaye said, "Are you doing anything on June 9th?" I checked my e-calendar and saw that the only thing set for that day were the words "Gaye's birthday." I thought she was going to invite me to lunch or a dinner party. She pulled out an invitation and said, "Rick can't go, so I thought you might like to join me for this event because it's my birthday." I looked down and saw a photo of Morgan Freeman, one of my very favorite actors, on the front of the invitation card. I took a deep breath and opened the card. And then I started jumping up and down, right there in the restaurant! I couldn't contain my glee!

And that brings me to trying not to break my feet. A week after writing about Oprah in this blog, I'm still dropping the names of the event committee members - Brad Pitt, Denzel Washington, Jack Nicholson, Helen Mirren, Steven Spielberg, Alfre Woodard, Clint Eastwood, Tom Hanks, Hilary Swank, Sidney Poitier, Jim Carrey, Ben Affleck and many more names I just can't remember right now. Dropping all those names threatens to break more than a toe, so I'm trying now to just chill out and quietly look forward to Thursday. I'm not fussing about my formal dress the way I thought I would because it's too soon for me to lose 10 pounds. I'll just be myself, muffin top and all - comfy and classy, with good hair and makeup.

My starstruck days are not over after all. One of the items on my "Planet List" - my version of a "Bucket List" (thank you, Morgan Freeman) because it's stuff I want to do while still here on the planet - is to meet or shake hands with 10 of my favorite stars of stage, screen, sports and business - Clint Eastwood, Oprah, Bill Gates, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, George Clooney, Steven Spielberg, Diane Sawyer, Helen Mirren. Of course, I also want to visit the Great Wall, the Sydney Opera House and Venice, and to be able to walk up the bleacher steps at both the Indy and Daytona 500 races!

And now, please excuse me while I go out in the back patio and jump up and down again on this beautiful spring Sunday. Jack Nicholson? Clint Eastwood? Helen Mirren? Tom Hanks? MORGAN FREEMAN?!! Seriously....