25 September 2011

Nice Work If You Can Get It

Glitter and Be Gay from Candide

Glitter and be gay,
That's the part I play;
Here I am in Paris, France,
Forced to bend my soul
To a sordid role,
Victimized by bitter, bitter circumstance.
Alas for me! Had I remained
Beside my lady mother,
My virtue had remained unstained
Until my maiden hand was gained
By some Grand Duke or other.

Ah, 'twas not to be;
Harsh necessity
Brought me to this gilded cage.
Born to higher things,
Here I droop my wings,
Ah! Singing of a sorrow nothing can assuage.

And yet of course I rather like to revel,
Ha ha!
I have no strong objection to champagne,
Ha ha!
My wardrobe is expensive as the devil,
Ha ha!
Perhaps it is ignoble to complain...
Enough, enough
Of being basely tearful!
I'll show my noble stuff
By being bright and cheerful!
Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha!

Pearls and ruby rings...
Ah, how can worldly things
Take the place of honor lost?
Can they compensate
For my fallen state,
Purchased as they were at such an awful cost?

Can they dry my tears?
Can they blind my eyes to shame?
Can the brightest brooch
Shield me from reproach?
Can the purest diamond purify my name?

And yet of course these trinkets are endearing,
Ha ha!
I'm oh, so glad my sapphire is a star,
Ha ha!
I rather like a twenty-carat earring,
Ha ha!
If I'm not pure, at least my jewels are!

Enough! Enough!
I'll take their diamond necklace
And show my noble stuff
By being gay and reckless!
Ha ha ha ha ha! Ha!

Observe how bravely I conceal
The dreadful, dreadful shame I feel.
Ha ha ha ha!

19 September 2011

The Lady With A Temper

When I knew her she was in her 70s, rather sweetly mellow and teaching my cousin and myself how to hemstitch a pillow case.  She was an excellent seamstress and an expert in crochet, tatting, and lace making.  She made the best fried chicken, biscuits, and gravy I've ever tasted and she loved her visiting grandchildren whenever they dropped in.  Still the stories of her rages were legendary.  Her children relayed that her husband would literally flee the house rather than deal with her when she was on a tear.

In the picture above, she is the rather obese woman in the funny hat in about the center of the picture.  The two elderly people are her parents.  The man holding the baby is her husband.  All the other people are eight of her nine children.  She had lost one at three years of age, but managed to get all the rest to adulthood.  So for the most part, she was pregnant for 23 years.

Now Lydia was born in 1880.  Her once wealthy family had lost everything during the civil war and as a result moved from their lost properties in Tennessee to a rather dusty portion of Texas named Jacksboro and then moved on to the larger cities of Siloam Springs Arkansas with her parents and finally at 20 to Rowe, Oklahoma with her husband in 1901 where all of those children were born.  But she always retained an air of entitlement of courtesies and behavior.  When those were violated she would make her disapproval known in no uncertain terms.

They weren't wealthy even with the ever exploding brood but he was a hard worker with his own grocery store .  Of course when he entered her room in July of 1923 to congratulate her on the birth of their latest daughter, she did throw her shoes at him and informed him if he ever entered her room again, she would kill him.   That is about the time he took to humming and singing:  "Kicking My Old Dogs Around".

Just to make things interesting, a little dustbowl came along.

When you own a store and your clientele comes from the farming community, there is no way to stay in business.  Lydia, James, and their eight children moved to Fowler, California in 1930.  Again he was able to work, this time for a grocery chain until his death in 1936, leaving her with no insurance and three children still at home.  So she went to work as a maid.  Still the imperious lady announced to the local paper when a formal tea was served in honor of her last daughter's birthday complete with the guests and description of the service.   She would work until finally able to collect Social Security and live in a tiny apartment in Chowchilla and later Fresno near her daughters.  Before she passed away at the age of 89, she dealt with the deaths of four of her remaining eight children.  In 89 years of life she dealt with everything that came along, but there were definitely times when she made it clear that she deserved better.

It probably comes as no surprise that while working on some genealogy papers, I came across this hymn written out in her perfect, well instructed, ladylike, handwriting with a request that it be sung at her funeral.  From the words it is clear that she had finally arrived at an acceptance and wisdom about life that you take your joys where you find them and deal with the bad things as they happen without anticipation.  Still I think I would have loved to see her throwing those shoes.

Lydia McKeehan Pifer (1880 - 1969)

I know not what awaits me,
God kindly veils my eyes,
And o'er each step of my onward way
He makes new scenes to rise;
And every joy He sends me comes
A sweet and glad surprise.
Where He may lead I'll follow,
My trust in Him repose;
And every hour in perfect peace,
I'll sing, "He knows, He knows";
And every hour in perfect peace,
I'll sing, "He knows, He knows."
One step I see before me,
'Tis all I need to see,
The light of heaven more brightly shines
When earth's illusions flee;
And sweetly through the silence comes,
His loving, "Trust in Me!" 
Oh, blissful lack of wisdom,
'Tis blessed not to know;
He holds me with His own right hand,
And will not let me go,
And lulls my troubled soul to rest
In Him who loves me so. 
So on I go not knowing;
I would not if I might;
I'd rather walk in the dark with God
Than go alone in the light;
I'd rather walk by faith with Him
Than go alone by sight.

17 September 2011


I literally "stumbled" across this today at a stumble blog called "Somethings Going Down" written by a lady who describes herself as: "I'm the duchess of all things nerdy, hot guys, nerdy guys, and movies. 50 points to Gryffindor if your mind is a messed up as mine. P. S.  My name is Emily"

Now I don't know if Emily wrote this piece or committed a small criminal act by stealing it from elsewhere. Whatever the source, it is my total philosophy of life, and I would like to thank her for putting it where I could find it in just a few words. My contribution is to give it a title: LIVE and to add this one sentence: "It is never too late to have a happy childhood."


Take a step back. Fucking Look at yourself. You are human. You are beautiful. You are so beautiful. And you can be anything. You can be everything.

Do not hate everyone because someone broke your heart, or because your parents split up, or your best friend betrayed you, your father hit you, the kid down the street called you fat, ugly, stupid, worthless. 

Do not concern yourself with things you cannot control. Cry when you need to then let go when it’s time. Don’t hang on to painful memories just because you’re afraid to forget. Let go of things that are in the past. Forget things that aren’t worth remembering.

 Stop taking things for granted. Stop taking life for granted. Live for something. Live for yourself. Fall in love. Fall out of love. Fall in love. Do this over and over until you know what it really is to love someone.

Question things. Tell people how you really feel. Sleep under the stars. Create. Imagine. Inspire. Share something wonderful. Meet new people. Make someone’s day.

Follow your dreams. Live your life to it’s full potential. Just live, dammit. Let go of all of the horrible things in your life and fucking live.

 And one day when you’re old, look back with no regrets.

15 September 2011

5 On Friday - The Opera Opus

Welcome to another 5 on Friday courtesy of Trav at Trav's Thoughts. To join in, just visit his site, sign in and go forth to add more music to the blogosphere on your own site. This week I have it really easy as this is the day in history when we lost the in person voice of the glorious Maria Callas. So here are five very popular arias thanks to the fact that sound was recorded and is now available full time on You Tube.

First up one of my all time favorites: O Mio Babbino Caro from Gianni Schicchi with a very weird video of "DRAMATIC" Callas expressions but no open mouth, just the recording.

The beautiful vissi d'arte from Tosca

One of these days I have to figure out why the first six notes of this aria make me tear up every time. Un Bel Di Vedremo from Madama Butterfly. Unfortunately for this high quality version, embedding is denied, so you will need to click on this link to You Tube.

The flirtatious gypsy seductively dances to every note with the Habanera from Carmen

And last, the Libiamo ne' lieti calici (Drinking Song) duet from La Traviata

14 September 2011

The Love Match Meme

Mimi Queen of Memes calls us forth for another grilling. To report in and submit your own answers for the fun of it all and to avoid the cat of nine tails hanging in the dungeon.

1. Which is more important.... romantic chemistry or friendship?

Chemistry with a capacity for friendship

2. Would you date someone who is much taller or shorter than you? How about older or younger?

I'm only 5'3" and hate high heels but I was married to 6' 2" for nine years. Once you get their legs out from under them it works, otherwise forget taking me to your leader:  Take me to a ladder.

I have a 15 year Cougar cut off. Anything more than that and it's change your name to Jocasta and put an eye surgeon on speed dial.

 3. How soon should you bring up past relationships in a new relationship?

When asked but no detail until I really feel comfortable. I try not to carry excess baggage

 4. What is the one red flag you KNOW from past experience to pay attention to when getting to know a new person?

Anger or rudeness towards strangers means it will be directed at you at some point ... run don't walk for the exit.

 5. When dating someone, what would you consider the ultimate deal breaker?

To much pressure for commitment or intimacy too fast ... general creepy neediness.

 6. Tell us about a date you had with someone that went all wrong.

That one went way way all wrong and you really don't want to know. Come to think of it, I don't want to know.

 7. Imagine you have a teenage daughter. She just asked you to give your best dating and relationship advice. What will you say?

Same thing my mom told me. "Honey they like it more if you resist at least a little."

13 September 2011

Just Because

I don't want to hear a love song
I got on this airplane just to fly
And I know there's life below
But all that it can show me
Is the prairie and the sky

And I don't want to hear a sad story
Full of heartbreak and desire
The last time I felt like this
It was in the wilderness and the canyon was on fire
And I stood on the mountain in the night and I watched it burn
I watched it burn, I watched it burn.

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in his saving grace.
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face.

Well you really got me this time
And the hardest part is knowing I'll survive.
I have come to listen for the sound
Of the trucks as they move down
Out on ninety five
And pretend that it's the ocean
coming down to wash me clean, to wash me clean
Baby do you know what I mean

I would rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham
I would hold my life in his saving grace.
I would walk all the way from Boulder to Birmingham
If I thought I could see, I could see your face. 

11 September 2011

Ten Years Later

Some times the best thing you can do is repeat yourself. Ten years after the attacks of 9/11 we are still involved in two unnecessary wars creating even more anguish in the world. There is a better way to resolve differences than with the slaughter of innocents just to get the bad guys.

09 September 2011

5 On Friday - A Little Theme Music

Friday comes around again, so it is time to join in with the folks who visit Trav each week at Trav's Thoughts for another round of great music. The more the merrier so go forth and share. Well before the "official" premiere in Atlanta, audiences are treated to surprise preview of Gone with the Wind on this date in 1939. Audiences at the Fox Theater in Riverside, California had a surprise showing which the manager showed as a "sneak peek" second feature so that producer David O. Selznick could observe the audience reaction. The movie was not officially released until a few months later. The other day I put up one of my favorite movie themes, "Two For The Road" and I've done some others over time such as "The Last Time I Felt Like This from "Same Time Next Year". For this 5 on Friday a few more songs to remember from the movies kicking off with Tara's Theme:
Things had certainly changed by the 60s and it was a Hard Day's Night
Did anyone ever make a walk look as good as Travolta in Saturday Night Fever
Then along came the skinny guy in the funny suit and some strange name changes: Prince in Purple Rain
And I'll close off this run of movie songs with the very hopeful, "Let All The Rivers Run" from Working Girl. The towers are still standing if only in memory.

08 September 2011

Two For The Road

Some movie themes become classics. Others can get lost in time unless something triggers a memory. This is one of my favorite themes from the motion picture Two For The Road starring Albert Finney and Audrey Hepburn. Which movies have themes that you enjoy?

If you're feeling fancy free,
Come wander through the world with me,
And any place we chance to be
Will be our rendezvous.
Two for the road, we'll travel down the years,
Collecting precious memories,
Selecting souvenirs and living life
the way we please.

*In summertime the sun will shine,
In winter we'll drink summer wine,
And every day that you are mine
Will be a lovely day.
As long as love still wears a smile,
I know that we'll be two for the road,
And that's a long, long, while.

(Instrumental interlude and pick up at *.)

In summertime the sun will shine,
In winter we'll drink summer wine,
And every day that you are mine
Will be a lovely day.
As long as love still wears a smile,
I know that we'll be two for the road,
And that's a long, long, while.

06 September 2011

Happy Birthday Freddie

Google did a tribute to Freddie Mercury with this video. Freddie was another of the fantastic entertainers that we lost way too soon because of AIDS. He would have been 65 yesterday. It's hard to imagine Freddie joining AARP but if he had, it would have been way cool!!!  The Christian Science Monitor has a great article about the man behind the music.

Welcome to The Queen's Meme #93 7 Royal Questions on Tuesday To join in visit Queen Mimi and sign in to share your answers. Is it just me or is the world getting stranger by the minute? Every time I turn on the news there is some stupidity amongst humans and all living mammals, reptiles, and aliens to report. Do we walk among the insane or do they walk with us? Did you get that? Think about it..... Answer these questions based on weirdness, unfairness and just plain stupid circumstances. Apparently, stupid is as stupid does. Or is it?

 The Strange Stupid Meme

 1. According to a news report, Medicare in the US stops plans to stop paying for preventable health problems or complications caused by hospital mistakes, including operations on the wrong person or wrong body part. These mistakes are called "never events." What would you call them?


 2. It is the policy of some TV news broadcasters to show automobile wreckage photos as soon as they can possibly get to the scene of the accident. Sometimes the family has not been notified. They get away with it by "not releasing names." How do you feel about this?

Ghouls should be shunned whenever possible.

 3. Did you know that some car dealership service departments charge extra for "shop supplies"? This includes the ever expensive shop rag (retail 99 cents) which can be billed for 10x that much, Have you ever been ripped off by a car mechanic?

Actually No.  I'm usually related to them.

 4. In some states, including California, Alaska, Florida and Hawaii, a motorist can be cited for driving too slowly. What would make you drive under the speed limit for a long period of time?

I couldn't push the little pedals fast enough.

 5. In Arkansas the law states: No person shall drive a motor vehicle onto the premises of a drive-in restaurant and leave the premises without parking such motor vehicle, unless there is no unoccupied parking space available on the premises. Explain this to me. Please.

I know the answer!!!  Way back when in the mists of antiquity when drive-ins were where all the teens gathered, it would get so crowded that there was nowhere to park so the "cruisers" would get out of their cars to go order at the window and sometimes jump into other cars and leave their own.  This law as poorly worded as it is was trying to deal with the blocked cars parked in the lanes.

 6. But in Indiana, a horse cannot be ridden or driven on the street in excess of 10 miles per hour. Do you drive a fast horse?

A couple of hundred of them at one time.  Lead Foot Lucy.  See picture above.

 7. And in the great city of Youngstown, Ohio, you must keep your rats under control. Do you find this to be a problem in your life?

Would you like their names and pictures for the wanted posters?

05 September 2011

Happy Labor Day

For Labor Day a little reminder for the GOP:
“Labour was the first price, the original purchase – money that was paid for all things. It was not by gold or by silver, but by labour, that all wealth of the world was originally purchased. ”
Adam Smith

Thank you Labor Unions:

1. Minimum Wage
2. 8 Hour Day
3. Overtime
4. Creation of the Middle Class
5. Insurance Coverage
6. Improved Lifespan
7. Disability Coverage
8. Workplace Safety
9. etc. etc. etc.
Thank you to all political figures who boldly defend Organized Labor!!!

01 September 2011

5 On Friday - Is It Getting Hot In Here?

Another Friday rolls around and It's time to check in with Trav's Thoughts to sign in and share your music choices.

September 2, 1666 - Great Fire of London Begins - In remembrance of this rather momentous event and few melodies to make the temperature rise.

Burning Down The House

Ring Of Fire

Fire - Babyface

I'm On Fire

We Didn't Start The Fire