30 July 2011

A Wedding

Canongate Kirk

Edinburgh Map

Zara Phillips, granddaughter of her majesty Queen Elizabeth II, is getting married today in the lovely church shown above. It is the Canongate Kirk.  Now normally I wouldn't be all that interested in the nuptials of people unknown to me except in this case.  The happy couple are getting married in the White family church.

If you look to the left of the map, you will see Tollbooth Wynd.  That is where the White family lived in the mid 1700s through to the end of the 1800s, so they actually saw the church being erected. Also, it is  the church for the Palace of Holyrood House (to the right on the map), the Queen's residence when she happens to be in Edinburgh.

Within a distance of three blocks, you have the homes of a dairyman and royalty, joined in time by a small church.

Holyrood House

28 July 2011

5 On Friday - The Way Out Edition

Five on Friday is the creation of Trav of Trav's Thoughts.  To take part, drop by his web site to sign in and then create your own five selections to share with others.

On this day in 1958, the U.S. Congress passed legislation establishing the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).  NASA has since sponsored space expeditions that have yielded vital information about the solar system and universe.  With the end of the Space Shuttle program, this seems a good day to dedicate a little music in it's honor.

27 July 2011

Snake In The Grass

One of my favorite numbers from The Little Prince with Bob Fosse as The Snake In The Grass.

25 July 2011

Rosalind Franklin

(25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) 

While watching Warehouse 13 tonight a person was mentioned who was totally unknown to me.  Since this is her birthday, and she really should get the well earned credit now that bypassed her except in very narrow circles during her lifetime.

Meet the lady who helped Watson and Crick win a Nobel Prize simply because she published her work third that they had based their work on before she published.  Because the Nobel nominations cannot be posthumous, she could not be nominated or awarded the prize despite her contributions prior to her death.

Wikipedia has an excellent article on Rosalind Franklin and she is well worth the effort to pursue farther.

21 July 2011

5 On Friday - A Purrrrrfect Set

Today our "I think I'll move in here" stray kitty is off to the dentist.  In Ebony's honor, I'm using Trav's 5 On Friday to do a collection of cat songs.  To join in stop by Trav's Thoughts, sign in and go forth to share your music of the week.

19 July 2011

OMG The Grumpus Will Get Me.

I can't believe I did it.  Powers of the universe forgive me ... please?  In listing some of the sweetest blogs, I forgot Claire.  You have no idea what could happen due to this oversight.  The creatures that might come out of the woodwork demanding retribution.

If you have never visited Claire's website, Claire's Facebook, Claire's other Facebook, Claire's Flickr or for that matter Claire's couch (she must have a couch somewhere), you are missing a great big piece of internet wonderfulness.
She a professional counselor, an artist, a photographer, a hiker, a teller of family tales, a Doodologist extraordinaire,  and a creator of flights of fancy that take us all along for the ride.  Then to top it off she does generous things that just make you smile and go along because it is the right thing to do.

You are therefor required to rush over and plead that I was just having a small seizure.  Do not send the Grumpus, you get the award.  Really you do.

17 July 2011

Seven Things I've Never Told You

Queen Mimi of Bloggingham has bestowed an Sweet Blog Award upon yours truly. Well actually she said some really nice things about me on her ever entertaining and amazing blog and then passed along a hand me down from One Gal Musings.

Now there are duties to fulfill in order to claim this bounty.  I am required to tell you seven things about myself that I've never told you before ... excuse me while I rummage in undisclosed information closet.  It's getting awfully skimpy in there.

Then I am to recommend others who have properly earned this lovely award.  So here goes.

1.  My Guardian Angel had to work overtime the night I swam nude in the pacific, got caught in a rip tide and ended up a mile down the beach from where I went in.  Not only that, but I did it at sundown when certain large fish are known to be looking for take out.  Teach me to go drinking with the girls.

2.  I once had one of the above for a pet and still really like California King Snakes.  Had to donate Squiggly to the school Science Dept when one of my many moves took place.  He was a great lap warmer and I missed him for quite awhile.

3.  Mimi told a story about somewhat unsuccessfully driving a tractor.  At the age of 12, I started driving a truck on an uncle's ranch.  Because of being a year ahead in school and California laws at the time, I was able to get a driver's license at 15.   So off road for 55 years and on road for 52.  One of my fantasies is still to have a Mary Movie Star thirties era roadster convertible.

4.  I hate liver.  I cannot even be in the same location where it is cooking.

5.  In high school I was cast as Amanda in Glass Menagerie.  Jonquils are my birth flower, but ever since doing Amanda's speech about the jonquils, they are my favorite flower.  "That was the spring I had the craze for jonquils. Jonquils became an absolute obsession. Mother said, 'Honey, there's no more room for jonquils.' And still I kept on bringing in more jonquils. Whenever, wherever I saw them, I'd say, "Stop ! Stop! I see jonquils!"

6.  This is Caesar.  He lives on my wall.  He has lived on my wall for 27 years.  I like him.

7.   The above are two cups from a collection currently of about 50 cups from 50 different cities.  Each one may be a tourist thing but they can't be one of those I Heart tacky cups.  Only rule is it must be from a city where I or one of the children have been.

Now for the other sweet blogs.  First let me echo Mimi with, "ALL BLOGGERS I READ who are not mentioned below:  You are every one amazing and I refuse to leave folks out." If any of you want a Sweet Blog award, feel free to grab it and have fun.

1. This Eclectic Life Shelly Tucker is a story teller of wonderful tales and a lady with a huge heart dedicated to bringing joy to children through Share A Square.

2. Fairweather Lewis - Fair may not do this because her blog is filled with wonderful ghost stories, mystery, and history but even if she doesn't, you should visit a truly sweet blog for a truly great read.

3. Watergate Summer - Alie writes about everything under the sun and then some. Every day is something different.

4./5. Now I've got a problem because Mimi nominated my two favorite bloggers in addition to herself. Trav's Thoughts and Are We There Yet. So Trav and Linda get a double dose of sweetness.

6. Border Explorer - Billie Greenwood writes an amazing blog about important issues. Whether you agree or not, she will always leave you thinking.

7. A Piece of My Mind - Julia writes books, poetry, and wonderful exposes on music of all kinds, her family ... If it is about life, Julia writes. Please go watch her do it.

15 July 2011

It all Ends and Not Just For The Kids

I stood on the sidewalk about four years ago because Amazon promised I would get it.  The poor beleaguered mailman knew why I was waiting and just extended his arm to deposit the book in my waiting hands.  I stayed up all night because I just had to know how it all ended.  There were so many questions about the intervening 20 years between the end of Voldemort and the newest class of Hogwarts boarding the train.

Tomorrow my mid forties son and I will watch the final final movie about that last book.  Half a continent away my "age appropriate" grandson will be watching the same movie with his mother.  So there you have three generations waiting for resolution.  Will the movie be as good as the book?  Will the movie be better than the book?  Will the last scene be the new generation?  How will it end?  Early reviews seem (to put it mildly) pleased. 


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is the seventh and final of the Harry Potter novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The book was released on 21 July 2007 by Bloomsbury Publishing in the United Kingdom, in the United States by Scholastic, and in Canada by Raincoast Books, ending the series that began in 1997 with the publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. The novel chronicles the events directly following Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2005), and the final confrontation between the wizards Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort.

5 On Friday - El viernes cinco

Travis of Trav's Thoughts has this marvelous meme ... Now all we need are more music lovers to take part. Stop by for a visit by clicking his link for the simple rules, sign in and then go forth to share your musical choices.

This week I'm featuring Spanish Songs that became major hits in English. Usually the exact translation doesn't have that much similarity to the original, but the music is beautiful and many artists have taken the opportunity to make these wonderful melodies into hits. Each English recording is followed by a link to the original Spanish lyrics.

I'll kick it off with an oldie from the 1940s.  Is it any wonder my favorite eye color is green?

Aquellos Ojos Verdes

The exact translation for the next one is Spanish at its most passionate which isn't echoed in the English version but all that trembling "palpitar" shouldn't go to waste:

When the sun heats up here at the beach
I feel your body vibrate near me;
It's your heartbeat, your face, your hair,
Your kisses, and I shudder, oh, oh, oh!

Cuando Caliente El Sol Vikki Carr

If the next one doesn't make your hips move, check your pulse.

"¿Quién será?" (Nat King Cole)

Now who could be unfaithful to Julie London?

Perfidia (Linda Ronstadt

Two great versions of the same "frenetic" song.

Frenesi (Linda Ronstadt)

14 July 2011

Is Anyone Surprised?

Just took the Nine Muses Personality Quiz

This was the result:

Do you hear music even when it's not playing? Sounds like your muse is Euterpe, patron goddess of music. Her name means "Giver of Pleasure" and she is often depicted playing a flute. Whether you are listening to music or creating it, Euterpe lives up to her name by imparting the pleasure of melodic sound; perhaps the next time you're trying to find your favorite song on the radio or struggling to get a chord down, you'll call upon Euterpe for help and inspiration.

Learn more about Euterpe.  Or click the link at the top and get your own muse.

Because Mimi Teased Me

In the comments down below, Mimi just had to mention that I typed four of my favorite letters. In response, I mentioned that I had heard the name Albert Namatijira twice in the same day in two different songs. The first was Diamantina Drover and the second was "I Am Australian".  This video on You Tube was so lovely, that it only seemed right to share.

In addition to above you might like to check out the Nomad Two Worlds foundation with its mission of sharing the work of indigenous artists. The links of this main page can lead you to many beautiful images in different mediums. A donation as small as $25.00 keeps the work moving forward.

Now Mimi does happen to be fond of blue globes floating in space and what better than two worlds at peace.

11 July 2011

One Thing Leads To Another

Albert Namatjira

Here we go again ... The stream of consciousness is taking off and running the rapids:

Just recently, I was on my favorite political site and a gentleman there put up a recording of "Diamantina Drover" by an American country singer.  Now this site is my favorite simply because if you must discuss politics, do it with outrageously brilliant people who really know music.

This caused me to counter with, "You can't put up 'Diamantina Drover' without hearing John Williamson sing".  Snarky I know, but you have to defend the original whenever possible.

This led to a previous post below where I did one of my arrogant, "If you have never heard" blah blah posts just to expose everyone who stops by to a singer who would be a global treasure if it weren't for a little detail like being born in Australia.  It is only recently that great things from Australia have been acknowledged as being as wonderful as they are.  For once I'm not pointing out Hugh but rather acknowledging artists of both screen and gallery such as  Jacki Weaver who got the AFI for "Animal Kingdom" but was robbed of the Golden Globe and Oscar  ... Take that! Black Swan, emaciated,  twinkle toes.

While listening to the John Williamson recordings again, the lyrics registered in "Raining On The Rock"  and all of a sudden I have something new to chase down and learn:  Who is Albert Namatjira?  This led to one of the first Aboriginal artists to be recognized for their skill and from there to one of my favorite Australian writers to date:  Nevil Shute and my favorite book by him of "A Town Like Alice".  Some of you may have seen the television miniseries production of this book starring Bryan Brown (my first Australian crush in the 1980s who was in the movie Australia as the bad guy cattle baron with Hugh, and more age appropriate if he weren't married to gorgeous Australian actress, Rachel ward ... sigh oh well).

Everything that goes around comes around.  All of the above links should keep you busy, but for me they led to another place I have to stop and explore should I get to do the great Australian adventure:  Alice Springs.

As it turns out, the paintings of Albert Namatijira are now shown in the National Gallery of Australia as a point of national pride for a great Australian artist, Alice Springs has become the center of both the country and Aboriginal art as well as a not to be missed stop over in your travels.

There are times when the seemingly simple are so simple they are glorious:

10 July 2011

John Williamson

Just in case you have never heard John Williamson - Enjoy

07 July 2011

5 On Friday - Happy Birthday Paris

Another week rolls around and 5 On Friday as created by Trav at Trav's Thoughts presents another musical interlude.  To join in simply visit Trav, sign in and share your selections with the other participants.

On this day in history in 1951, the city of Paris became 2000 years old.  In honor of it's 2060th birthday, a few songs set in, around or about Paris.

Short intermission here simply because you really need to see some of the scene from the show "Josephine"   If you can take the time to see all the pages and art associated with the phenomenal Josephine Baker.  The next song is simply my favorite Edith Piaf song:  No Regrets

And of course the show, Jaques Brel is Alive and Well and Living In Paris

Which means you get Amanda McBroom who played off Broadway in Alive and Well, singing Jaques Brel's "Carousel" and it's tribute (?) to modern life:

With a bonus because even Jimmy Buffett had something to say about the City of Lights

05 July 2011

Hungover Owls

Claire the Doodologist sent me to an hilarious website called Hungover Owls.  I may have found my alter ego.  Do yourself a favor and click the link for the rest of the birds gone bad.

“Are you kidding? I am better than okay. I have been enlightened to an entire spectrum of how good things feel when you rest your head on them.”

04 July 2011

Happy Birthday

The New Colossus
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
Emma Lazarus, 1883

03 July 2011

Is Anybody There?

Watching the shenanigans in DC of late, I feel as if the current Congress has forgotten why they are there.  They are not there to serve corporate masters, privileged contributors, or their next campaign finances.

I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.

John AdamsUS diplomat & politician (1735 - 1826)

Don't lose sight of the goals.  Cutting the opportunity for advancement so that the rich grow richer is exactly the opposite of the goals of the founders.  We do not need a new oligarchy to replace the one we overthrew in 1776.  Don't let the selfish and self involved, the greedy and those drunk on their own entitlements sell you a bill of goods about "cutting taxes".  All of the founders understood "The Commons" ... those things that belonged to all of the people and shared among them toward the betterment of the country as a whole.  Today's Conservatives have been lied to.  You conserve "The Commons".  When you fail to do that you damn the country.

Against the passion of Adams you have the "Cool Considerate Men" always dancing to the right. I both see and hear Adams than side with John Dickinson who refused to vote for independence though he did fight for it on the side of America.

John Dickinson: Don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. And that is why they will side with us.

01 July 2011

5 On Friday - Old Hong Kong

Travis over at Trav's Thoughts has instituted our weekly "Five On Friday" meme. To join in, simply visit Trav to sign in and then post your musical selections for the week on your blog for all to share. This week, I'm orienting myself towards the Orient.

At midnight on July 1, 1997, Hong Kong reverted back to Chinese rule in a ceremony attended by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Prince Charles of Wales, Chinese President Jiang Zemin, and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Over many decades motion pictures and music have been set in whole or in part in Hong Kong. This week's 5 On Friday includes just a few of the themes from these movies.

Enter The Dragon

The Man With The Golden Gun - James Bond

Love Story

You Only Live Twice - James Bond

Love Is A Many Splendored Thing

While it did have a theme, it was more of the "mood music" idea, so I didn't include one of my favorite pictures set in Hong Kong: The World of Suzie Wong. If you have never seen it, it is well worth hunting for to see Nancy Kwan in her first major role opposite William Holden in an East meets West melodrama well worth your time.