31 January 2011

Take This Tune - Getting What You Need

Take This Tune provides a musical prompt each week, usually a video with the song lyrics.  The task is to write something inspired by the song or something in the lyrics.  Click on the link to join in on the fun.  Be sure to drop in on Travis of Trav's Thoughts as he always has something interesting to say about each week's music.

This week there is a choice of two songs, both from the soundtrack of the motion picture "The Big Chill":  Ain't Too Proud to Beg from The Temptations and You Can't Always Get What You Want from The Rolling Stones.

I've given a lot of thought lately to getting what you want vs. what you need.  It often seems that there is a great deal of injustice in the world.  One person will be blessed with looks, intelligence, talent, connections, and wealth while another will be dumped into an existence where they are lucky to survive to adulthood and condemned to a subsistent way of life amid turmoil and danger.  Even though this is true, there are times when the almost royally blessed will destroy themselves while someone who seemingly has nothing will rise to tower over those who live average lives, but those are the extremes of both conditions.

For most of us it is a matter of choices and opportunities.  When you look back you can see the forks in the road where you went left or right or, for that matter, just didn't choose which is a kind of choice and let life and those around you make you body surf on the swell of the waves of the selections made by others.  Some of those events led to great sorrow, but eventually brought the gift of a great happiness that wouldn't have happened if you hadn't been sent down that road in the first place.  Then there are the times when a totally unexpected opportunity will present itself - a "free for nothing" chance that almost makes you gasp at your good fortune. 

Much of our lives seem governed by fate and it is only in looking back that you can see that life itself is the "What You Need" and the best that most of us can do is to give someone else an opportunity whenever we can so that maybe, just maybe what goes around will come around again.  Don't ever be jealous of those who seem to have more because you never know what is happening in the lives of all those we see and meet.

Richard Cory

Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
We people on the pavement looked at him:
He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
Clean-favoured and imperially slim.

And he was always quietly arrayed,
And he was always human when he talked;
But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
"Good Morning!" and he glittered when he walked.

And he was rich, yes, richer than a king,
And admirably schooled in every grace:
In fine -- we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

So on we worked and waited for the light,
And went without the meat and cursed the bread,
And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
Went home and put a bullet in his head.

Edwin Arlington Robinson 

28 January 2011

Digging Through The Past

A recent question from the  Queen's Meme courtesy of her royal majesty Queen Mimi Pencil Skirt of Bloggingham stirred up some old memories.   Then a little sentence over at Are We There Yet with Dutchess Linda brought up the song One from a Chorus Line. You see there is this drawer in my desk filled with folders that contains all the stories, poetry, and journal type stuff that I have written over the years.  Most of the time once it's done it moves out of my brain and into a folder almost never to be seen again ... a way to unload baggage.  For some reason the question on the queen's list had me digging, and this piece from 20 years ago bubbled up.

All the flights of imagination and the need to record the passing of our days ends up passing through our fingers on the way to being forgotten until stirred in the dust of "what in the world is this stuff?"  It just may be why all of us lovers of words write by the light of a computer screen. Or maybe, just maybe, inside all of those nice, average folks that you bump into every day of your lives have another secret identity and lead hidden invisible and exciting existences  just waiting for that bat signal beamed on the moon.


What will you be in that far off time?
An "authentic eccentric" was the reply.
How "authentic?" the question once more.
Something never done before.

Pickles with marshmallows
Snails with jam
Deep dives in shallows.
The great, "I AM"
Something, someone never seen
Lace wings on elephants
Ruffles on beans.

"Just different", I said with stubborn pride
Let all the insides hang outside.
I'll roll down hillsides right after church
Strings of lovers will be left in the lurch.

I settled for less and became almost dull
Except for a pen that recorded it all.
Moonlight on fountains
Tumbled sheets on a bed
Children, grandchildren where has it all led?

What was expected was dutifully done.
But despite outward appearances
I'm a singular ONE.

5 On Friday - A Ray Bolger Dance Fest

Five On Friday now enters it's second year.  To participate, head on over to Trav's Thoughts to sign in and share one of the best memes out there.  This week I wanted something happy to kick off a celebration of another year.  The answer:  A really happy dance.

First song I wanted, quite naturally,from The Wizard of Oz - If I Only Had A Brain - First the song and then the deleted dance.

From "Look For The Silver Lining" Song: Who.  Can't imagine where Donald O'Connor might have gotten his ideas for the Make 'em Laugh number in Singing In The Rain.

From his TV Show Song: Aint She Sweet
Added note: Verna Felton was well into her 70s (Dancing is great for the heart)

From "The Hardy Girls" Song: Atcheson, Topeka, and the Santa Fe

Final Tribute when everyone echoed Dorothy with, "I think I'll miss you most of all."

26 January 2011

Oscar Contest

I'm using the six major awards plus a tie breaker for this year's contest.  Put your choices in comments or email me in the next 20 days.  I'll remind you at regular intervals to get your guesses in.  For those who want to make it "interesting" and actually know my address (or ask for it), send a dollar.  The collection will be forwarded to the eventual winner, even if they don't know my address.  I'll get theirs.

Best Motion Picture of the Year

• Black Swan
• The Fighter
• Inception
• The Kids Are All Right
• The King's Speech
• 127 Hours
• The Social Network
• Toy Story 3
• True Grit
• Winter's Bone

Achievement in Directing

• Darren Aronofsky, Black Swan
• David O. Russell, The Fighter
• Tom Hooper, The King's Speech
• David Fincher, The Social Network
• Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, True Grit

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

• Javier Bardem, Biutiful
• Jeff Bridges, True Grit
• Jesse Eisenberg, The Social Network
• Colin Firth, The King's Speech
• James Franco, 127 Hours

Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role

• Christian Bale, The Fighter
• John Hawkes, Winter's Bone
• Jeremy Renner, The Town
• Mark Ruffalo, The Kids Are All Right
• Geoffrey Rush, The King's Speech

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role

• Annette Bening, The Kids Are All Right
• Nicole Kidman, Rabbit Hole
• Jennifer Lawrence, Winter's Bone
• Natalie Portman, Black Swan
• Michelle Wiliams, Blue Valentine

Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role

• Amy Adams, The Fighter
• Helena Bonham Carter, The King's Speech
• Melissa Leo, The Fighter
• Hailee Steinfeld, True Grit
• Jacki Weaver, Animal Kingdom

Tie Breaker – Film with most Oscars & How Many

25 January 2011

The House That Built Me

Today's Take This Tune is The House That Built Me with its lyrics of unfixed loss.  In my case, the house fixed something that might have been broken.

There it is 9019 Earhart in Westchester, CA. It was a tiny house that is now erased and buried somewhere under the tarmac of the new Los Angeles International Airport. It is a measure of how long ago that I lived there, that what everyone assumes is LAX is not the first airport of my memories. That first one now called Mines Field had a chain link fence and people would park beside it for the excitement of watching the Lockheed Constellation land. There was nothing quite like that huge plane with its thundering engines coming in just a few feet over your head as the whole car shook with the vibration.

All of the streets around us had the names associated with the flight pioneers such as Bleriot, Wright, and Croydon for good reason. In addition to the airport, all the men were aircraft engineers at companies such as Hughes or Air Research. My Uncle Don was one of them. The lady in the picture is my Aunt Ruth. They were the people who took in this helicopter child every time a home was needed, first on Earhart and then later on 78th where it intersected with Croydon. If they couldn't do it then the slack was picked up by Aunt Helen or Aunt Eva, but most of the time this was the place I thought of as "home" even when temporarily lodged with one or the other of my semi delinquent parents.

At the age of the me in the picture above, my favorite song was Bing Crosby's, "Far Away Places".  To this day, I think that the sound of all those planes coming and going were what made a gypsy existence bearable. You see all the planes left and then they came back. They saw wonderful places all over the world and then returned to safety. Somehow this idea of the open skies built in a love for the freedom of the next destination, because you could always come home. As with this week's song, I could knock on the door of that 78th street home, but I can see from Google street view that it has been expanded and of course other people live their now. But I'm glad it is still there and that someday I might once more fly into the new LAX and just drive by before heading off one more time singing my theme song now, "Anyplace I Hang My Hat Is Home".

24 January 2011

Time Enough For Love Or A Really Good Job

Yesterday, Mary Tomaselli from Work of the Poet asked an old question with a new twist on Facebook. For all of us middle-aged and above, "What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?" This naturally got me thinking. Knowing what you know about yourself now and given the opportunity for a "Do Over", what would you be when you grew up?

This quite naturally led to considering one of my all time favorite books, Time Enough For love by Robert Heinlein (I read the Notebooks of Lazarus Long at least once a year) and dabble in one or more of the stories that make up the novel frequently just to touch something familiar. The Notebooks are on line if you want to click the link to read them, but I would recommend getting your own copy of the book.

 Lazarus is 2000 years old and over the course of his life has had many wives, children, jobs, and adventures.
If you could do the the same,  you have unlimited time, will always be young if you so desire as your "image" age can be frozen wherever it suits you to stay meaning no fear of mirrors. I told Mary that that Idina Menzel could move over and given my love for Theater and music, I would be kicking my heels up on Broadway. Here's your chance. What do you want to be when you grow up?

And for a little theme music: The Second Time Around

23 January 2011

Sit Back Relax, Here Come the Snacks

It's Sunday. Put your feet up, slowly sip your coffee, and unwind in preparation for Monday

Glen Gould playing The Goldberg Variations by J.S. Bach

22 January 2011


Yesterday's Oprah closed the last Australian show with Hugh Jackman, Olivia Newton John, Keith Urban, Nicole Kidman, and Russell Crowe singing "I Still Call Australia Home", Peter Allen's love song for a country. Unfortunately Peter wasn't there since we lost that magnificent talent to AIDS in 1992 As always, the song made me tear up. Peter Allen was one of the few composers who could make you feel what he was feeling even if you never felt it for yourself. I am officially stating that thanks to that song, I am homesick for Australia.

A few years back Hugh Jackman brought many of Peter's songs to Broadway and won a well deserved Tony for doing it. I can play all the following songs on my IPOD and know immediately which man is singing because Peter is a higher key and a thinner voice while Hugh is a lower key and a beautifully trained theatrical voice. Still when it comes to these particular songs, I really miss the Peter I saw perform in 1981 and truly wish he had been there yesterday.  You would have too if you had ever sat in an audience and watched this just a few feet in front of you.

Peter Allen in performance

I Still Call Australia Home - Peter Allen

I Still Call Australia Home - Hugh Jackman

Once Before I Go - Peter Allen

Once Before I Go - Hugh Jackman

21 January 2011

5 On Friday - I Name You - For The Ladies

Five on Friday is one year old. To join the party, go visit Travis at Trav's Thoughts for the easy instructions and to share some of your favorite music.  Happy Anniversary Travis.

Is there any standard female name not enshrined in time?  Here we go with a salute to the names that their parents gave them. Mine attacked me by the Scots while still too young to defend myself with Janet Jamieson Durward White. So we kick off the set with Damn It Janet

Now my mother was Mary Ellen. She would have loved Ry Cooder, so here is her signature song: Maria Elena

One of my favorite Broadway shows and eventual movie musicals is On A Clear Day which contains a great song about the woman from a past life: Melinda

Now on to one of my favorite movies, favorite songs, and favorite singers: Laura sung by Frank Sinatra

 I wanted to name my daughter Laura after the above song, but for some reason her father objected so we settled on Lanisa.  I got my own way, sort of,  because she has spent her life being known as Lani. Mothers being what they are I always hear Harry Owens and Sweet Leilani (Heavenly Flower) whenever I call her name and the one place she has always wanted to go is Hawaii.

So if you have a favorite "Girl's Name" in song, let me know.

20 January 2011

Out of the In Box - How To Stay Young

Most of the syrupy blech that hits your inbox can be trashed without a qualm, but every once in a while you get a keeper worth passing along.  Last night I heard Betty White say, "They don't tell you that you don't feel OLD".  

Sometimes the lady in the mirror scares the bejeesus out of me and then I go back to ignoring her and live with the decades year younger woman I am.  Today this came in an email and it is a good reminder.

1. Try everything twice.

On one woman's tombstone she said she wanted this epitaph:
"Tried everything twice. Loved it both times!"

2. Keep only cheerful friends.

The grouches pull you down.
(Keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)

3. Keep learning:
Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever....
Never let the brain get idle.

4. Enjoy the simple things.

5. Laugh often, long and loud.
Laugh until you gasp for breath.
And if you have a friend who makes you laugh,
spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.

6. Endure, grieve, and move on.

The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves.
LIVE while you are alive, all you really have is time.

7. Surround yourself with what you love:

Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever..
Your home is your refuge.

8. Cherish your health:

If it is good, preserve it.
If it is unstable, improve it.
If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.

9. Don't take guilt trips.

Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county,
to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.

10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

11. Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second chance..

Remember! Lost time can never be found.

And always be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

(Enjoy a glass of wine once in awhile with a good friend!)

18 January 2011

Queen's Meme - Theory & Supposition

Welcome to The Queen's Meme #68.  It's called the Basic Music Theory Meme 101

Here majesty is checking up on her subjects study habits.  Didn't someone tell her that it's a holiday?  To join in visit the doyen of Bloggingham on the link above to deal with the following questions.

It's simple! Answer the questions and/or identify the following very basic music symbols and tell us what you think they mean. You can answer correctly (don't peek in the dictionary!) or you can spoof 'em.

1. What is the symbol above called?  Blind Venetian in search of a cane?

2. Imagine you are playing saxophone and suddenly see the symbol above in your music score. What do you do?  Braid my hair.  Run down a beach and learn to play Bolero?

3. And this ornate object is???  I'll be C ing you in all the old familiar places.

4. Are these two rests equal or unequal in value?  They are much too lazy to say.

5. Name at least 2 things missing from the Treble and Bass clef shown above that would be seen in an actual piece of music. Where's a good bar when you really need one for a good time?

6. Why is the treble clef above always getting in trouble? What is wrong with it?  It never learned to speak English?

7. What is the name of this note?  It flew by so fast I didn't get a chance to ask.

8. What is the key signature in the piece of music below?  I asked three times but it got very sharp with me.

BONUS! The correct answer will keep you out of the dungeon for awhile.  Oh all right!!!! F Sharp minor - Give me an F Give me a C Give me a G ... now wave the pom poms.

9. What is the last note on a piano keyboard?  Do I get an A?

17 January 2011

Take This Tune - The Likes of Gilbert Roland

This week's Take This Tune is Guy Clark's "South Coast of Texas" with its story of the many cultures of South Texas from the French Creole, Mexican, and Texan hard working families that ring the gulf of Mexico now giving way to the gentrification of tourists but still hanging on to a proud way of life that requires the "dignity of whooping cranes and the likes of Gilbert Roland".  This set me off on one of my "follow that link" manias and this time lucky people, you get to tag along.  If you have a story of your own, please join in by clicking on the Take This Tune link above.

The first time I heard "The South Coast of Texas", my first thought was that I knew exactly what the words "the likes of Gilbert Roland" meant, but the second was "does anyone still remember Gilbert Roland".  My memory immediately took me to the movie "Beneath the 12 Mile Reef" where he played a Greek deep sea sponge diver.  It was only the 3rd movie made in Cinemascope so the underwater scenes on the huge screen made up for any weaknesses in the script loosely based on Romeo and Juliet.

Gilbert Roland (Luis Antonio D├ímaso de Alonso - December 11, 1905 – May 15, 1994) was one of the great Mexican leading men.  Though often cast as just about every swarthy ethnicity imaginable, he was one of the forces to gain both roles and respect for Mexican actors even while logging in time in roles often filled with cliches such as the Cisco Kid and Zorro.  His career spanned  from the silent era through to the early 1980s.  The coming of sound had not ended it, he had played in all kinds of movies, he had held the most beautiful women in his arms, and maybe the most important thing, he had been given the opportunity to show his acting talents.

Gilbert Roland and Ricardo Montalban among others were the spearheads that have made it possible for actors who followed them to play roles that were not caricatures of Mexicans but to give them a reality and dignity without prejudice.

Ricardo Montalban  ( November 25, 1920 – January 14, 2009).

Despite their campaigns on behalf of Mexican actors, both Roland and Montalban made one of their last major motion pictures together as Native Americans in John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn, a true story of the 1878 campaign of chiefs Little Wolf  (Ricardo Montalban) and Dull Knife (Gilbert Roland) who lead over three hundred starved and weary Cheyenne from their reservation in the Oklahoma territory to their home in Wyoming.  During the journey, they managed to elude the U.S. cavalry units which were trying to capture them. The two groups split up after reaching Nebraska, and while Dull Knife's party was eventually forced to surrender near Fort Robinson, Little Wolf's group made their way to Montana where there were finally allowed to remain.

This confluence of Mexican Actors striving for acceptance playing American Indians in a John Ford movie about driving tribes to the reservation.  Just to top it off the Indians may or may not have been speaking Navajo instead of Cheyenne per a story told in Tony Hillerman's Sacred Clowns.

Tony Hillerman - Sacred Clowns - Jim Chee, a Navajo tribal policeman, and his girlfriend Janet Pete (half Navajo, half white) take a Cheyenne law enforcement officer to see the movie at a drive-in on the Navajo reservation. They explain why the Navajo audience enjoys the film so much and finds it so hilarious by revealing to him that much of the supposedly "Cheyenne"-language dialog is actually in Navajo, and actually says things, mostly ribald or obscene, that have nothing to do with the scene supposedly being played in the movie.  So if you happen to know anyone who speaks Navaho, invite them over for a movie night and get them to explain the jokes.

As we are all well aware, the Gulf of Mexico has taken quite a beating in the past few years from Katrina to the BP oil spill.  It would seem that the damage may take decades to repair and in the meantime, the recovery of the fishing and the way of life for "Shrimpers and their ladies" may never be the same.  You might want to make the trip to "The Coast of Campeche" while something of its magic still remains.

15 January 2011

Morning IPOD - My Heart Stood Still

The morning IPOD was dream dropping last night and woke me with one of the All American Songbook's love songs written by the incomparable team of Rogers and Heart for the 1927 show A Connecticut Yankee.   I'm glad that Rod Stewart is recording the songbook so that these wonderful songs get a new lease on life.

I would have drifted back to dreamland but the stomping cat feet on my puss had meal plans.

"My Heart Stood Still"

I laughed at sweethearts
I met at schools
All indiscreet hearts
Seemed romantic fools
A house in Iceland
Was my heart's domain
I saw your eyes
Now castles rise in Spain!

I took one look at you
That's all I meant to do
And then my heart stood still
My feet could step and walk
My lips could move and talk
And yet my heart stood still

Though not a single word was spoken
I could tell you knew
That unfelt clasp of hands
Told me so well you knew
I never lived at all
Until the thrill of that moment when
My heart stood still

Though not a single word was spoken
I could tell you knew
That unfelt clasp of hands
Told me so well you knew
I never lived at all
Until the thrill of that moment when
My heart stood still
All that moment when
My heart stood still
My heart stood still
My heart stood still

14 January 2011

5 On Friday - A Birthday Toast to Doctor Schweitzer

Travis, blog-master of Trav's Thoughts. has created this fun meme.  To join in on the fun - just pick five songs whether they be in a set or random and post and then sign in on his site to share them with the other participants. 

The theologian, musician, philosopher and Nobel Prize-winning physician Albert Schweitzer was born on this day in 1875. He was a physician, humanitarian, theologian, and Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work in Africa.  His philosophy revolved around the concept of what he called "reverence for life"--the idea that all life must be respected and loved, and that humans should enter into a personal, spiritual relationship with the universe and all its creations. This reverence for life, according to Schweitzer, would naturally lead humans to live a life of service to others.

Because his work as a scientist and missionary, few know that he was also an authority on the life and work of Johann Sebastian Bach.  This gives me an excuse to play some of the lovely Brandenburg Concertos.

Brandenburg Concerto #1

Brandenburg Concerto #2

Brandenburg Concerto #3

Brandenburg Concerto #4

Brandenburg Concerto #5

12 January 2011

A Pie In The Face of God

My biggest problem with religion is that all of them make God too small. If I'm going to believe, I would like it to be something that doesn't need a bunch of teeny boppers squealing in an ecstasy of praise or some vindictive Big Daddy spanking those who don't worship properly with a promised eternal hell. As Mark Twain said, human beings invent heaven and then put in it everything they dislike and "Singing hymns and waving palm branches through all eternity is pretty when you hear about it in the pulpit, but it's as poor a way to put in valuable time as a body could contrive."

Quite frankly, if God is listening in on my every wish, whim, and fancy, He's not paying attention to the important things. There is a wonderful word from a Jewish Seder: Dayenu (Enough) about reasons to worship God. I think creation is "Enough". We are on our own. Heavy responsibility there. We are alive and now it is up to us to make the world created a better place to be. We can't scream for help. It is up to us.

My favorite Christian hymn has always been "This Is My Father's World" ... a tribute to creation and my favorite lines:

All nature sings and round me rings
the music of the spheres

Here is a beautiful video about the wonders of the Universe.

And just in case this is too serious. Monty Python about our position in space and if it doesn't give God a giggle, he doesn't deserve the job. I give you "The Galaxy Song".

So remember, when you're feeling very small and insecure,
How amazingly unlikely is your birth;
And pray that there's intelligent life somewhere out in space,
'Cause there's bugger all down here on Earth!

11 January 2011

Queen's Meme #67 - The Strange January Meme

Queen Mimi of Bloggingham is digging into the past with a January quiz.  To join in head for the Queen's Meme to join in.

There are some strange traditions associated with this month, many of them are British customs. Help me decipher the January mysteries of the Universe below. And I sincerely hope you remembered to bake a cake for the cow.

1. January usually has ample amounts of snowfall in parts of the world. Did you ever make snow cream as a kid? 

It's against the law at sea level in California even if you can find the materials in the underground.

2. January is the first month of the year in the Gregorian calendar. The name comes from the Latin word ianua meaning door and is named after the god of the doorway, Janus.
Is there a particular door you'd like to step through this year?  

Don't care as long as I'm in a size 10 when I do it.

3. January is one of the months with 31 days. What are you going to do with that extra day? 

Give it to February so there will be another Leap Year for ladies to propose to the object of their affections.

4. In medieval times superstition dictated that the 1st day of January was significant for prosperity, or lack of it, in a person's life. Farmers put a flat cake on the horns of a cow and they danced and sang songs around the cow until the cake was thrown to the ground. If it fell in front of the cow that meant good luck; it if fell behind the cow that meant bad luck for the rest of the year.

Do you have strange New Year customs in your household?  

We have found that waking up is very beneficial.

5. Did you know that it's unlucky to see the first new moon of the year through a window? You should, instead, look through a new silk handkerchief! Did you remember to do this? 

Against the law in Washington since that would require movement of the cloud layer ... also no star gazing.

 6. On January 14, 1986 motorists were required for the first time to wear seat belts? 
Do you always buckle up? Why or why not?  

It took me a long time to get used to it but now I do all the time.

7.   If you are single and want to find a mate, legend has it that on January 20th you should walk backwards up the stairs to bed.  If you don't have a staircase you should recite The Lord's Prayer while transferring pins from a pin cushion to your sleeve. 
I couldn't find a male ritual to attract women. 
Make one up.  

Men have it easy.  Walk into jewelry store, buy ring, wave in air to attract a crowd.  Grab the one that ooooohs the loudest.

10 January 2011

Take This Tune - Big City Blues

This week's Take this tune is from the 2:00 AM Paradise Cafe album and is sung by Mel Torme and Barry Manilow.  It is the classic expression of the jaded urbanite down in the depths over lost, missing or never arrived love.  It is one of those jazzy blues tunes that actually makes you happy rather than depressed.  From that standpoint, I can never hear it without thinking of the self deluding gentleman in the poem below from The Last Unicorn and Tommy Steel's cheerful if promiscuous leprechaun of Finnian's Rainbow singing When I'm Not Near The Girl I Love (Unfortunately no embedding, but watch it anyway).

Many people need the thrill of falling love and when the endorphins start to die down they think they need to go find someone new to get a new thrill rather than allowing time for it to grow into something deeper.  It may be the stuff of good music, good paintings, or good novels.  It is rarely the stuff of a truly happy life.

Way I Behaved
Peter Beagle

When I was a young man, and very well thought of
There was nought I could ask that the ladies denied.
I nibbled their hearts like a handful of raisins,
And I never spoke love, but I knew that I lied.
     But I said to myself, "Ah, there's none of them knows
     The secret I shelter, and savor, and save.
     I wait for the one who can see through my seeming
     And I'll know when I love by the way I behave".

The years they passed over like clouds in the heavens,
The ladies went by me like snow on the wind.
I charmed and I cheated, deceived and dissembled
And I sinned, and I sinned and I sinned and I sinned.
     But I said to myself,"Ah, there's none of them knows
     There's a part of me pure as the whisk of a wave.
     My love may be late, but she'll find I have been faithful
     And I'll know when I love by the way I behave".

At last came a lady, both knowing and tender
Who said "You are not at all what they take you to be".
I betrayed her before she had quite finished speaking,
And she swallowed cold poison, and jumped in the sea.
     And I say to myself, when there's time for a word,
     As I gracefully grow more debauched and depraved.
     "Ah, love may be strong, but a habit is stronger
     And I know how I loved by the way I behaved"

09 January 2011

Rock Band Meme

This fun meme was making the round a couple of years back.  I grabbed it from Mary at Work of the Poet.  We are supposed to tag others, but I'll just leave it as "If you want to do it, go ahead and have fun."

The Rules:

1 - Go to Wikipedia and hit random. The first random Wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to Flickr and click on “explore the last seven days”. Third picture no matter what ...it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use Photoshop, picnik.com or picasa, etc. to put it all together.

5 - Post it with this text and tag the friends you want to join in.

The name of my band is:  Whipping Knot.  The quote is from Katherine Mansfield and just may be one of my philosophies for a happy existence:  "It's only for wallowing in."  For a photo I got a very nice picture of the London Eye but it was copyrighted so I had to substitute another London Eye picture..  The result:

An Historical Understatement

On this day in 1493, Italian explorer Christopher Columbus, sailing near the Dominican Republic, sees three "mermaids"--in reality manatees--and describes them as "not half as beautiful as they are painted.

08 January 2011


If he had lived, Elvis Presley would have been 76 today. This sort of anniversary is a sign post on the rapid passage of time. Last year for a Take This Tune meme featuring "Black Velvet" I told a story about how I almost squeeeeeeled over elvis. Yesterday, while making the rounds on the 5 On Friday from Travis Julia covered the Elvis Gospel Songs and the merging of black rhythm and blues and white southern gospel and country music into Rock and Roll.  I have fallen in love with the Soundtrack of the current Broadway musical "Memphis".  One of the big dance numbers from that show in a tribute to that merger of sounds is "Steal Rock And Roll"

So here you have a chain of songs about a time and place that still feels close even though it was a long time ago.

Black Velvet about just why Elvis had such an impact on his time.

Gotta Lot of Living To Do from Loving You - 1957

Steal Your Rock and Roll about the time when changes were coming fast. - From Memphis - 2010 Tony, Best Musical

07 January 2011

5 On Friday - French Kissing

It's still cold, so I am hanging on to the 5 on Friday fireplace. To join in, visit Trav's Thoughts to get the details and sign in so that we can all listen to your choice of music. With all the hoopla over the recent Mega Millions drawing, a group of my friends were planning the hiring of our own personal jet for a group trip to the nude beaches of France courtesy of the winner in our midst. Unfortunately, all of us are still fully clothed, so I'm going with one of my favorite French composers: Michele Le Grand. It's hard to listen to one of his songs and not immediately recognize the movie he scored.

Les Moulins de Mon Coeur (Windmills of My Mind - Thomas Crown Affair)

I Will Wait For You (originally main theme of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)

In the original French with the luminous Catherine Deneuve dubbed for the song

Theme From Summer of '42

What Are You Doing The Rest of Your Life from The Happy Ending

The Way He Makes Me Feel - Yentl