31 August 2009

A New Ending




“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”

Maria Robinson quotes

I found the quote above and fell in love with it, as it is sort of a companion with another motto: "It's never too late for a happy childhood."

While looking back can give you an appreciation of history, wisdom gained from mistakes made, and a perspective on life as you go forward, you simply can't waste your hours living there. If you worry about the road not taken, you may miss a really great detour ahead.

Being happy is really a decision. You make it and go through the motions until you convince yourself that you are. At times this will mean wearing a mask. That isn't phony, it's an acting job. As the old song says,

While shivering in my shoes
I strike a careless pose
And whistle a happy tune
And no one ever knows I'm afraid.
The result of this deception
Is very strange to tell
For when I fool the people
I fear I fool myself as well!

Once you get in the habit of looking for new roads to travel, people to meet, and adventures to have, it's almost as if they start to come looking for you. A friend once asked me how to fall in love and I told her to go where she was happy. If you are fortunate, you will bump into someone who is happy being there as well. If you don't, you will still have had a good time.

Have a great month and I hope you find another new ending.

30 August 2009

Take This Tune - Life Is A Highway


This week's Take This Tune song is "Life Is A Highway" by Rascal Flatts. Confession time. My right foot is made of lead. California girl from the golden age. I learned to drive at 12 on my uncle's raisin ranch, sneaky drove every summer on public roads when necessary for the next three years, and got my first driver's license at 15. You could do that then if you had passed Driver's Ed and Training and I was a year ahead in age of everyone in my 10th grade class. Fifty years later I can say that I have never, ever had a moving violation or accident. Not that I didn't deserve the speeding tickets. The police were just never where I was doing it. Either that or I was doing it so well, they let me slide. Take your pick.

In college in 1961, me and my 52 DeSoto were whizzing down freeways that are now parking lots most of the day. Remark to girlfriend riding along: "Gee everyone is moving slow today". Girlfriend's response: "Have you looked at the speedometer lately?"... Doing 90 on the 10 from West Covina to San Dimas. Try that today, you poor overcrowded souls! Now when you add this need for the open road to an early gypsy upbringing then you have someone who considers sliding behind the wheel an act of love ... a deeply ingrained passion ... a desire to see the other side of the mountain. We are talking lust here folks.

It sometimes seems as if through the years, every problem in my life has been at least partially solved by getting behind a wheel ... not to run away, but to clear the fog, unload any sadness and to let the wind and the road help me make decisions. As the song says, "Through all these cities and all these towns, It's in my blood and it's all around."

Just a few years ago, some friends were stunned, though the children knew better, when I threw a bag in the car at the age of 61 and just drove the 600 miles from California to Washington. Somehow those people seemed to think that it wasn't something a grandmother did alone. To me it was just another leg in the great American road trip. Right now I'm planning a practical way to do something on the bucket list: Drive the country coast to coast while I still can without worrying about my judgement or reaction time. My concession to age so far means driving the speed limit. My aunt got skittish about driving on freeways when she reached her 80s (Yes another California raised girl who drove easily and well until her death at 90 except for the concession to surface roads only). I guess the dream trip has to be done some time in the next 25 years.

The movie Cars brought back the early trips with family in Arizona and New Mexico when Route 66 was still a thoroughfare everyone used. My dad had sent me pictures of his trip across country from East to West on the great highway and then as a child we drove from California through Arizona and New Mexico. To this day I remember the Motel with the Tepees and getting caught by a huge thunderstorm out in the middle of nowhere while seeking refuge in a farmhouse that still used kerosene lamps because they didn't have electricity. Now that was driving. To this day a favorite book is Blue Highways. If you aren't in a hurry, go see America.

As a young married, I opened the door one day to see some College friends from about 500 miles away. "We went out for a Sunday drive and forgot to stop." That is the way my generation drives. Now I feel guilty about the oil. My son owns a Prius. My own car is a Cavalier with high MPG and when the lottery comes in I promise to buy a Volt or something similar ... electricity will be my friend. In the meantime you should know that my Girls school in the third grade was on Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena so of course this Little Old Lady has her foot on the pedal, the CD player or FM radio volume is turned up, the hands are at two and ten, the open road beckons with its allure of freedom ... And I will always love the Beatles because they have promised, Baby You Can Drive My Car.








29 August 2009

Life's A Highway




The new prompt for Monday is now up at Take This Tune

End of An Era



Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy
February 22, 1932 – August 25, 2009


“For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives, and the dream shall never die.”

"Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will someday come to pass for all the world."

To hear memorial service live, comments and more, go to the Memorial website.







Mozart's Requiem Mass in D Minor I - Introitus and Kyrie

27 August 2009

Starting Out

This is a reprint from one of my earliest blog posts. The death of Senator Edward Kennedy reminds me of the first time the nation lost a Kennedy. Today, the brother who picked up the pieces for his family following the deaths of John and Bobby and the man who took up the causes following the deaths of Bobby and Martin Luther King is gone. Almost 50 years ago we had a set of ideals. We really did believe that a helping hand to the weakest among us was a good thing. This all too self centered age needs to remember that lesson now. Health care that does not destroy a family with unbearable expenses when it can be had at all is not a privilege, it is a right ... one we should all be willing to afford.


A child was born in February of 1963. Approximately 15 years later, a teacher gave him the assignment to write about the year he was born. Since he wasn’t, as yet, confidant enough to tackle a creative exposition completely on his own, he sought his mother’s assistance. After a little enforced research, he came home with, “I have an idea”. He and his mother sat down together to do an interview and then have him write about the year plus one month from October 1962 to November 1963. Starting Out was the result.

STARTING OUT

Had she or hadn’t she? Sleeping pills, yes, but what? Thalidomide – the name haunted her and every other pregnant woman in 1962. Those babies! – Her baby? She was scared and would stay that way until next year.

El Camino Real – beautiful as only Northern California can be in the October sun. The radio blared away with the Four Seasons’ “Sherry”. They were young, a baby on the way, and happy – at least on this day. The President interrupted the music, “Today I have ordered a blockade of Cuba!” Suddenly their bright world was dark. They waited. The world waited. Six days later the Russian ships turned around and the sun came out again, but for how long?

“You won’t have Nixon to kick around any more” sounded like as good a promise as any following the November elections. Vaughn Meader had them all laughing with his satire of the Kennedy White House, “Goodnight Jackie. Goodnight Bobby. Goodnight Ethel. Do you have your bear, Teddy?”

“Puff the Magic Dragon” welcomed a baby boy into the world on February 21, 1963. His mother counted fingers and toes in time to the music. He was beautiful, perfect, loved. She was politically aware and terribly liberal, but at this moment, it didn’t matter that the South was in an uproar over integration or that the Supreme Court had reaffirmed the right of peaceful assembly. Christopher Alan was here and safe. Let the world take care of itself. She had bigger responsibilities.

The baby went to the movies right along with mommy and daddy. An infant-seat made seeing “The Birds” and “Lawrence of Arabia” easy. And to think it wasn’t that long ago that she thought Hula Hoops were the greatest invention ever!

Divorce was becoming the great American pastime. She was just one more casualty that May. There were lots of casualties – her kind and the “advisors” in Viet Nam. It was a time of commitment and she was supposed to care about the Green Berets, care about the Peace Corps, care about LSD and Timothy Leary, care about so much, but there just wasn’t time. Being a single working mother took all of her hours. Given her choice of trends to lead, this wouldn’t have been it. She and Tony Bennett had both left their hearts in San Francisco. Rod McKuen might think that love had been good to him. She disagreed. Oh well, McDonalds sold 15-cent hamburgers. At least she didn’t have to cook.

JFK was a Berliner at the wall, and Camelot was in full swing. Pope John XXIII died; the world mourned a good man. Fanny Hill fought its way through obscenity trials, while Bob Dylan led the war protesters with “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Martin Luther King had a dream near the Washington Monument – too late for Medgar Evers murdered the previous June and not in time for the four young girls bombed to death in church the following September. The US/USSR hotline was installed, and the “red phone” became a symbol of the unthinkable. Could anything else happen in this crazy year?

Los Angeles baseball fans were in heaven, and Kofax and Drysdale were patron saints! A four game sweep of the World Series had the city pretending it was New Year’s Eve, as confetti and champagne rained down on the heroes! Those beautiful no-hitter bums!

Her child was ten months old now, but for three days he slept almost constantly as if he understood that this was no time for a baby to cry. The tears fell uncontrollably from much older eyes. The drums of November marked a national tragedy. “Where were you when you heard?” would become the question a generation could answer. Kennedy dead and two days later his accused assassin died “live” on TV. On the television: the flag, the riderless horse, and the constant pictures of a nation stunned by grief. She hovered over the sleeping infant, her tears dropping on the blond curls. What have we done to you? What will become of you? Was there any hope left for the world or this new person? They would have to wait and see – together.


For those curious as to “then what happened”, Christopher is now past 40. He retired from the U.S. Army and now lives and works in the state of Washington. He is divorced with one son. His parents remarried only to divorce again seven years later (another story). He has a sister and two beautiful nieces.

His mother is a retired writer and editor and is still happily single. As with most of the country, she is no longer a sixties liberal and has settled somewhere around fanatically moderate Democratic/Republican: Social issues left, fiscal issues right with more than enough exceptions in between to give anyone political schizophrenia

25 August 2009

Queen's Meme

Queen Mimi of Bloggingham has declared that there aren't enough message bottles bobbing about the blogosphere. This is an older meme, and my previous bottle is out there riding the waves, but anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

The Message In A Bottle Meme

Here's what the Queen says you have to do:

1. Compose a message to place in your virtual bottle below. It can even be ANONYMOUS message and she will not reveal your identity.

2. Right click and Save the graphic below




3. Use a graphics program of your choice to place the message on the picture

4. Post the meme and these rules on your blog

5. Tag a minimum of five people - or your entire blogroll if you like - to do the same.

6. Notify them of the tag and let Queen Mimi know your bottle is afloat where it will be posted to the Message In A Bottle blog.

Your virtual bottle will remain afloat in the blogosphere ocean for all blogernity (That's a Mimism for blog + eternity.)I will add it to the master list of message bottles when you let me know you've completed the meme.

How to stay out of the dungeon:

Once upon a time in a faraway Bloggiverse there lived a maiden named Queen Mimi Pencil Skirt. She slayed her own dragons, stoked her own fire and well.....wrote memes by the light of the Bloggingham moon. One day a kind blogger from England noticed her meme lovin' ways and royally crowned her Mimi Queen of Memes. As time passed in the peaceful kingdom of Bloggingham, her Royal Highness found comfort in the company of fellow bloggers who also loved memes. But the Queen had a wicked disposition too. It is widely reported in historical Blogosphere archives that any and all bloggers found guilty of not completing their memes were promptly thrown into the dreaded Bloggingham dungeon.

Now I've seen that dungeon and I'm not risking another visit. If I were you, I would do this meme as well. So here is my bottle tossed with gusto into the bloggy ocean.



Linda of "Are We There Yet" and I have become total Doctor Who addicts.

As to tagging, I don't do that. I will notify all the good folks out there that the meme exists and if they know what is good for them, they really really should do it since their fate if they don't do it is just too terrible to contemplate.

You think those emails warning you about your fate if you don't nag at least ten of your friends are bad? Compared to our beloved Queen, they are child's play. So save yourselves, JUST DO IT.

22 August 2009

Take This Tune #4 - Vincent



I apologize up front for all the links, but loading them into the article would have taken forever to load, and this just needs way to many examples to carry out the mandate of this week's Take This Tune - Vincent

To my mind art should rattle the cages. It should extend the boundaries and throw platitudes in the nearest dumpster. Not because the boundaries and platitudes are wrong, but because if not challenged there is no thinking or growth. Brains and feelings just like muscles need to be exercised and strengthened. Fail to do so and you might as well curl up in the status quo to shrivel away.

Certainly there are pretty pictures, pleasant to see that appeal to me. Jack Vettriano has a lovely one called "Dance Me To The End of Love", that I just love, but I am more intrigued by his paintings that show the more intricate forms of relationships: Vettriano You can have the shiny cottages of Thomas Kincaid. Give me Van Gogh raging at his encroaching madness above or Picasso slashing a canvas with the screaming bulls of Guernica.

For Poetry, it's Auden's "Shield of Achilles" to put a blinding light on the illusion versus the reality that comes in the clash of patriotic ideals against the tragedy and destruction of war. With music bring on The Band Played Waltzing Matilda.



If you want to fight racism, don't look the other way in hopes things will change, growl out "Strange Fruit"



If you are Mark Twain detesting the jingoism of the encroaching Spanish American conflict, then write the War Prayer

O Lord our God, help us tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended in the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames in summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it --

In some respect every one of the artists above has or had situations in their own lives that made them sensitive to their surroundings more than their more comfortable contemporaries. This may be at the heart of all real charity and change. Stop being comfortable long enough to see what is wrong so that maybe you can help fix it. Thank goodness for the sometimes tortured artists who help us do just that.

There's A New Blog In Town



Sean Holton has brain cancer, and he is telling the world all about it in his new blog Same Time Tomorrow. You have a few days of catch up to get through since the original surgery, hospital stay, home coming, and now radiation and chemotherapy. Think of it as a great voyage because that is where Sean is taking us as Captain, crew, social director, counselor, and maybe, as you can see above, Pirate raider.

Take the time to meet a wonderful human being if only to do yourself a favor. This may have happened to you, could happen, or you might face it with a loved one. It is always good to have a road map just in case you might need to make a trip.

21 August 2009

20 August 2009

Edinburgh Gathering








Just received from my cousin who got to Scotland this year for Homecoming. She is at about 3:09 in the longhaired (grey/blond) wearing MacGregor tartan cheering.

19 August 2009

Everything You Needed To Know




If the Theory of Relativity gives you a headache, you need to visit Einstein Light. As Scientific American described the site: "The finer points of relativity in less time than it takes to eat a sandwich."

Jugglers juggle, trains whiz past, planets turn, rockets fire and by the time you get to the end, you might be able to explain it all to your favorite ten year old unless they beat you to it first.
Just another fun stop amidst the tubes of the internets.


18 August 2009

Beaches




Beaches In The Sun


Playas become beaches by virtue of a fence
traipse up the coast north to whence
state of mind doesn't quite cross into Oregon
Sands march town by town
Each with a character all its own.





Lighthouse at Cabrillo standing
beach head for the Navy landing
with tourist dollars spent by midwest boys
on native girls or on a so so day
their mothers spin into the bay
to check out Seaworld and their sons.



Del Mar races to the Sea, a thoroughbred created
surf and turf now spread nationwide
Lobster purists may complain,
But what the heck this isn't Maine.



Newport's towers rise in the sun
home to corporations and the American Way
while Lido Isle imitates packed Mediterranean
Together they cuddle Balboa Bay



Seal and Long - working beaches
tankers, liners and fishing craft
bulky armed tattoos climbing derricks
or hauling lines fore and aft
to wave goodby to love boats










Venice Home to those of odd
or muscular bent
People on wheels cavort the bike paths
into overfilmed Palisades
where Santa Monica sand
sprouts bodies bathed in Oil



Insist wrong if you must but for what it's worth
Stuffy Santa Barbara thinks it starts the north
University and artists lighten it some
as 101 officially becomes Highway One.



Park joins forest until you reach Big Sur
Where llama have been known to graze
As do golfers at Pebble Beach north of there
to where tourists see the best of Monterey



San Francisco rises on its hills
A precious jewel now become
shopworn gaud unsure of future
glorying in past of pirates and pioneers
who celebrated money and arts.





Drakes Bay and Fort Ross proclaim
versions of who came when
English pirate or friendly Russian invasion
Take you to Point Arena
Last of the Lights that frighten away the dark
But can't keep Eureka or Crescent City's arc
from flooding away each year.



Here are the beaches you'll find and more
as you climb from the floor
of California where we boast
a thousand miles of coast
and think it's normal, just like the people.

HERE COMES THE SUN

16 August 2009

Take This Tune - Sull'aria



'She is not ugly, but at the same time, far from beautiful. Her entire beauty consists of two little black eyes and a nice figure. She isn't witty, but has enough common sense to make her a good wife and mother .... She understands housekeeping and has the kindest heart in the world. I love her and she loves me....' .

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart about his wife Constaze

Constaze and Wolfgang seem to have been happily mated even in a life filled with sadness. Four of their six children died in infancy and when Mozart died at the young age of 35, she was left a young widow with two children. After Mozart's death, Constanze met and evetually married Nikolaus von Nissen, an official in the Danish Embassy, and it was he who raised Mozart's sons. von Nissen died in 1826, and Constanze in 1842.

Fortunately for us, she seems to have cherished her first husband enough to protect his work, some of which is still being found even as recently as last month.




14 August 2009

New Take This Tune #3



The new prompt is up for this weeks "Take This Tune". Hope everyone enjoys this one.

Go Get A POLST



The above fuzzy image is a P.O.L.S.T. except that the real thing is a bright NEON GREEN OR PINK so that your doctor, your relatives or you can see it from half way down the block if necessary. Whatever your position on healthcare reform, I'm not going to fuss about it, but willful ignorance really, really bothers me. If you click on the POLST link above, you can find out if you live in a POLST state. If so, your doctor probably has copies in his or her office. If not, it will cost you to do the same thing in a living will that you can do with a P.O.L.S.T. for free. YOU REALLY, REALLY WANT TO DO THIS.

Those five letters stand for "Physicians' Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment" They are yours or your families' instructions on how you want to be treated medically if you are in critical condition and not physcially able to issue orders on your own behalf. It handles antibiotics, feeding, pain killers, resuscitation, and hospice among other items. You may want to speak with a medical professional as to exactly what each of the terms mean and what the effect will be on you of each order.

That consultation with a professional will cost you at least an office visit so that you have your physician's undivided attention while each item is explained. Some lawmakers thought that paying for this important office visit was probably a good idea so paying for the interview and assistance with these instructions were included in the proposals for the health care bill. (NOTE: THERE IS NO HEALTH CARE BILL - it doesn't exist yet. There are proposed actions and amendements nothing more.)

In their opposition to the Health Care Bill, certain opponents have decided to lie to the American public about a really good thing. It is their right to oppose this legislation. I have no problem with this, but they should tell the truth while doing it.

You see, this is the "DEATH PANEL". This is "PULLING THE PLUG ON GRANNY". This is whatever term some inventive type who wants to pull in political donations has decided to use to agitate the more hysterical amongst us. They should be ashamed of themselves.

Whatever your opinion about the health care bill for or against, do yourself a favor. If you live in a POLST State, go get one. If you don't, go get a living will. Your relatives and doctors will thank you for taking these decisions out of their hands at a difficult time.

13 August 2009

A Chain Email To Pass Along



None of that 'Sis'-sy Stuff

Are you tired of those
sissy 'friendship' poems
that always sound good,
but never actually come close
to reality?

Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of
True Friendship. You WON'T see cutesy little smiley faces
on this card- Just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.

1. When you are sad, I will jump on the person who made you sad
like a spider monkey jacked up on Mountain Dew!!!

2. When you are blue, I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

3. When you smile, I will know you are plotting something that I must be involved in.

4. When you're scared, we will high tail it out of here.

5. When you are worried, I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be until you quit whining, ya big baby!!!!

6. When you are confused, I will use little words.

7. When you are sick, Stay away from me until you are well again.
I don't want whatever you have...

8. When you fall, I'll pick you up and dust you off-- After I laugh my rear off!!

9. This is my oath... I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask;
-- because you are my FRIEND!

***********************

Try sending this to 10 of your closest friends .. including the person who sent this to you ... Then, get depressed 'cause you can only think of 4!

***********************

A good friend will bail you out of prison.
A true friend will be sitting next to you saying"damn that was fun, but we messed up somewhere along the line!".

A good friend wonders about your romantic history.
A true friend could blackmail you with it.

A good friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A true friend has their phone numbers in his address book.

A good friend will help you move.
A true friend will help you move a body.

12 August 2009

R I C E



Don't have a laptop, so sitting at computer will be limited due to

REST

ICE

COMPRESS

ELEVATE

And what's more it hurts darn it!!!!

There will still be a Take This Tune prompt put up automatically on Friday, so I hope you will all participate.

Take Care.

09 August 2009

Take This Tune - Sunday Morning Coming Down


This week's "Take This Tune" takes a walk in the country and leads to a memory from twenty years ago.

After being back in Washington DC for a few years, I returned to California in 1989. I knew I didn't want to go back to Los Angeles so I settled into what is as close to a "home town" as I have ever known simply because it was the summer destination during childhood to visit maternal relatives. The Fresno I found wasn't anything like I remembered as the graceful old courthouse was gone replaced by some modernistic tribute to ugly. All of the old theaters were in disrepair as were all the old "downtown" stores and restaurants that had disappeared for suburban centers farther north.

One area had revitalized and that was the "Tower District". It was midway between the death of downtown and the McMansions up north. Here you could find Roger Rocka's live theaters, musical presentations at the converted Tower Theater, and a group of excellent restaurants, all surrounded by refurbished older homes and a mix of offices. I found an apartment in the "coach house" of one of those older homes and a job a block away at the premier Country stations in the market. KNAX was "modern" country and KFRE was "classic" country. In the still very Ag oriented Fresno country with it's mix of descendants from Oklahoma refugees, Mexican workers, Armenian, Basque, and oriental imports and a hodgepodge of every ethnicity on the face of the earth (Fresno is actually as "cosmopolitan" as many much larger cities.), Country ruled with close runner up being the News/Talk of KMJ.

Growing up, I had liked a few country artists and enjoyed recordings by Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, or Johnny Cash and sang along with major covered crossover hits such as "Ghost Riders In The Sky", I really didn't know anything about "Country" as a format. Suddenly at age 45, it was my job to know everything FAST in order to book national advertising, arrange coverage for tours, and marry country acts to various charitable and political events and advertisers. Talk about getting thrown into the deep end of the pool and told to swim! Fortunately, I had some of the best DJs in the business filling my ears a minimum of eight (usually 10) hours a day, five work days a week and drop ins on weekend, remote broadcasts.

As a result of the above, in middle age, I added "Country" as a beloved genre. This is not as good as it sounds. It wasn't enough that the "Great American Songbook" is part of my DNA, or that a father's nationality hadn't added folk music and everything Gaelic, or that close relatives hadn't tossed in Jazz, Gospel, Blues, and even opera ... Now it was everything from the earliest Grand Ol' Opry performers to Garth Brooks hitting his stride as the hottest thing since Bar B Q. Side note, I just finished "The Garth Factor", a biography by Patsi Bale Cox. If you like bios, Garth, country or just good writing, go grab it.

I once tried to program Pandora with songs I loved and ran out of radio stations. My CD collection looks like a library of music from 1400 to 2009, and trying to decide what to listen to at any given second simply means hitting "random". Like weather, if you don't like it, wait five minutes. Still the subject today is country, and I love lyrics. That right there is reason enough for all the story songs, the outpouring of emotion, the great voices, and the instruments never before considered. (What's a Dobro mama?).

Sunday Morning Coming Down is just one example of the great lyrics you will find in country. It would be virtually impossible to list my favorites as they probably change every hour, but the story songs such as "Pancho and Lefty" and "Fancy", heartbreak songs such as "Crazy", slice of life such as "80s Ladies" or the damned and drinking such as "Walking the Floor" or "Wurlitzer Prize" or or or ... well you get the picture. I can even throw in a tribute or ten to a town farther south with "The Streets of Bakersfield" and the whole Central Valley sound of Buck Owens.

There is a truth in Country that you rarely find anywhere else except maybe the Delta Blues (OMG ... another genre... somebody unplug the jukebox in my head!!!). If you have never been a country fan, take the time to get acquainted. The range is broad enough to reach virtually every taste and is always a good reason to listen to some of the links on "Take This Tune" and why for once, I wasn't able to single out a particular recording. You will have to decide your own brand of wonderful.

WHEW!!!


Spent the day reorganizing books. These are just the bedroom. Living room has three more cases yet to go. Can you have too much of a good thing?

08 August 2009

New Prompt



For those who would like to start participating, the newest prompt for "Take This Tune" has been published. Enjoy writing and we will visit on Monday.

07 August 2009

Proximidade Award



Thank you to Mary over at Work of the Poet for presenting me with The Proximidade Award. It was a delightful surprise that certainly brightened my day!

Being a recipient of this award affirms that this blog invests and believes in the Proximity – nearness in space, time and relationships. I hereby nominate the following blogs to receive this great award and a further way for me to reiterate that these blogs are exceedingly charming, blogging friends who aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this clever-written text into the body of their award. "I am grateful for an opportunity to award this to a few bloggers who are very special people. I include the following bloggers who may have received this award in the past but I'm sure won't mind receiving it again:"


Shelly
Linda
Carol
Queen Mimi
Mo
Marilyn
Travis
Thorne

06 August 2009

Billy and The Bunnyfoot



Now as I tell this story, you need to remember several things. One, I was about seven. Two, I had just awakened in the back seat of a car parked outside of a Phoenix, AZ nightclub in 1953. Yes I know you wouldn't do this to a child now ... altogether now, "More innocent age". Three, I have no idea why I took it into my head to leave the car and go into the nightclub instead of just rolling over and going back to sleep, except that by this time I had figured out that where my parents were, there was bound to be music and music was already the joy of my life.

Even then, children were not taken into nightclubs even though virtually every town of any size had them. In the 1950s, these clubs were everywhere and they all had small tables with white table cloths and candles modeled after similar clubs in New York and Hollywood. The ladies in their full skirts. The gentleman recently out of uniforms and into suits. The entertainers backed by small combos instead of the big bands of the 1940s.

So there I was in the doorway, staring at the grownups and thoroughly enjoying my bunnyfeet pajamas as the Maitre'd raced up only paces ahead of my mother who hoisted me up and was about to walk out. What I didn't know is that only minutes before she had been singing with the gentleman up on the stage who beckoned her and the miscreant in her arms. (Have I mentioned that mama could really, really sing?) This is one of those "If I knew then what I know now" moments, because he took the little bunnyfoot and placed her on his lap. Why didn't anyone take a picture? Why ... moan moan.

As far as I know, this was the first time I heard this song. You Tube forbids imbedding, so please do click on the link to hear absolute greatness singing what has become one of my all time favorite songs as well as the many other recordings. The first time I heard it was as a duet. To this day, I don't know why this man was in Phoenix. I don't know why he was singing with mama. I don't know why his big band wasn't there, but only a small group. All I know, is that Hoagy Carmichael was a songwriting genius and another genius, Billy Eckstine, took his creation that night, put his arm around me, and he and mama sang "Stardust" to the bunnyfoot.

04 August 2009

Sleeping Muse



There are times when reality catches up with fancy. Writing has been dificult of late, a labor of duty rather than love. To reflect this I went to Google and being in a somewhat fanciful mood, I typed into the image search: "Sleeping Muse". The above image popped up and it turned out to be a creation I had never seen by an artist that I genuinely enjoy viewing ... sometimes with a great deal of bemusement (there's that muse again) ... Roy Lichtenstein

Now most people are familiar with his pop art creations with the seemingly simplistic comic book images such as "The Melody Haunts My Reverie", a work that fits with my love of music, and which is at the Housatonic Museum of Art in Connecticut (Okay Linda, go take pictures).



When the brain goes into gear, it leaps from link to link and the current exhibition at the Housatonic is a wonderful artist by the name of Frank Warren and his exhibit "Postsecret" about the innermost secrets of people. I just love the one below. It could have been my secret.



Now about those muses. There are nine of them. You would think at least one would show up on the doorstep, but Apollo may have been keeping them busy. Even Shakespeare could mourn their desertion:

O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!

So if yours is on vacation or sleeping just assume they are off cavorting with some Greek God and hit Google until you get a good idea on your own.

03 August 2009

Thank You



A big thank you and hug to the first participants in "Take This Tune". Please take the time to stop by and read their entries. There is a whole week left, so if you would like to participate, just click on the link to reach the prompt and linky sign up to let us know to visit you.

The next "Take This Tune" prompt will be posted on Friday, August 7 for Monday, August 10.

Carol of A Letter To Me

Anthony North of Beyond The Blog

The South Lakes Mom

Linday The Female Fencer

Shelly of This Eclectic Life

02 August 2009

Take This Tune - A Grand Night For SInging



This is the first week of the Take This Tune meme. The full prompt and the other participants can be found at that link. My reasons for picking this as the first song has about three dozen answers so I may have to save some of the stories for later editions. The simplest answer is that it is summer and we are planning a trip to the Puyallup Fair this month when the grandson returns from his summer visit to his mother.

The real answer is that I picked a subject almost too broad and ended up with more ideas spinning around the brain from my love of old fashioned wooden roller coasters and Tilt A Whirls to my loathing for cotton candy or song after song that brings on memories of summers past. I finally went back to the original musical and a small bit of old Hollywood.

I adored Dick Haymes, the star of the original 1945 movie version of State Fair. If you are too young for that name to ring any bells, just go to You Tube and type in the name, seven pages will pop up followed by the word "next". In the 1940s his melodic voice was in head to head competition with Frank Sinatra. Among his many film leads in addition to State Fair were Diamond Horseshoe (1945) and The Shocking Miss Pilgrim (1947) both paired with Betty Grable, and One Touch of Venus (1948) with Ava Gardner as the Goddess of Love and beautiful love song "Speak Low".

Dick Haymes private life was a shambles of multiple marriages and alcoholism, but through it all, the magnificent, smooth baritone voice was a constant, singing some of the greatest songs in the American Songbook. My association with other than the music is a rather strange one. Never having met him in person, I was one of the 150 people or so who attended his funeral in 1980, not as a fan but as one of the representatives sent by the Los Angeles Musicians Union. A friend who was a Union executive didn't want to go alone and knowing how I felt about the music asked if I would be available on that day.

It was a small gathering consisting of family and long time loyal friends. He had been such a major star and many had hoped he would have made a comeback if not for the lung cancer that took his life. What for another singer might have been a Hollywood extravaganza, was instead a dignified tribute to a friend, colleague and father. Attending with a singer and musician meant that on the way home, I heard another voice singing another lovely song from State Fair: