30 June 2012

Good Neighbors Holidays

Happy Canada Day - 1 July

Happy Independence Day - July 4

29 June 2012

5 On friday - The Land Down Under

This wonderful meme was started by our friend Travis of Trav's Thoughts. To join in, visit his page, sign in and post your selections for the week.

It's Colin Hay's birthday.  Given my obsessions with Scotland, Australia, music (particularly guitar and piano) and yummy men, a yummy Scottish-Australian guitarist who was part of the equally yummy Men At Work just pushes all the right buttons.

28 June 2012

22 June 2012

5 On Friday - Golden Anniversary

Five on Friday is the meme invented by our friend Travis of <a href="http://travsthoughts.blogspot.com.Trav's Thoughts</a>.  To join in visit his site, sign in and go forth to share your musical choices for the week.

This week isn't a five but a 50 as it is the 50th anniversary of the song that started a global music and dance craze with the Bossa Nova.  You can read the whole history of The Girl From Ipanema and Heloisa Eneida Menezes Paes Pinto who inspired the song by clicking the link under her picture.

21 June 2012

Farewell LeRoy Neiman

LeRoy Neiman (June 8, 1921 – June 20, 2012

Artist LeRoy Neiman has passed away at 91.  A long, productive life, but unwelcome news.  The image above is the one that turned me into a life long admirer.  A limited edition version hung on a friends dining room wall and you could not walk by it without spending at least a few seconds being drawn into the power of the picture.  Love them or hate them, that is the mark of a great artist:  You cannot be indifferent.  LeRoy Neiman was a great artist and will be missed.

18 June 2012

Happy Birthday Sir Paul

Thank you for a lifetime of music!!!



The latest story from Philosophy Works:

A Rabbi gathered together his students and asked them: "How do we know the exact moment when night ends and day begins?" 

"It's when, standing some way away, you can tell a sheep from a dog," said one boy.

The Rabbi was not content with the answer.

Another student said: "No, it's when, standing some way away, you can tell an olive tree from a fig tree."

"No, that's not a good definition either."

"Well, what's the right answer?" asked the boys.

And the Rabbi said: "When a stranger approaches, and we think he is our brother, that is the moment when night ends and day begins."  

Author Unknown

An opportunity to Pause and remember your Real Nature Brought to you by The School of Practical Philosophy. . www.philosophyworks.org 212-744-0764    

16 June 2012

Repost - Daddy Was A Drunk

This was written for Father's Day three years ago. It seems a good time to repost.


It will be Father's Day on Sunday. Sons and daughters will be out there doing nice things for their fathers or those whose fathers have passed on will be saying nice things about their dads. They have fond memories of the males who helped make them. What do I remember most about Bob White? Daddy was a drunk.

That fact colored the whole of my life from 1944 to 1971 ... more than a quarter of a century of alcohol until his last attempt at sobriety took hold and he became a recovering drunk for the last ten years of his life until 1981. For the ten years from 1971 to 1981, I got a once a year visit that usually included a "you are just like your mother" lecture when he was trying to work the "make amends" step and I was tolerant as he tried to talk to me while I stubbornly sipped a cocktail in front of him over dinner. Can we say this was a difficult relationship?

I've been known to write poetry, so what did I write about my dad?

Daddy sold the piano that was my life
Thirty years late he died
I said that I forgave him
I think he knew I lied

So given all the above, particularly the gypsy existence and the emotionally devastating (though I didn't say anything) loss of the piano, why did I cry for three days when his last wife called to say he had died and I wasn't able to get to Arizona? Why did my son who never comes unglued come totally unglued and get into the only fist fight of his life while in the Army in Germany? Why do I send daisies (gowans in Scots) to him every Memorial Day for Auld Lang Syne? Why did I make a trip to Scotland just to see where he was born, and why to this day do I still miss my daddy? Because at some point in our lives most of us become orphans. In order to grow up you finally have to see and accept your parents as human beings with all of their failings and virtues. This is a love story about my daddy.

Let's start with the simple things. From birth to 17 I may have spent six years total in his presence and that is as a result of adding days together not much living with. So why do I remember daddy holding my hand as we climbed the stairs to the club house at Hollywood Park, Santa Anita, or Del Mar and why to this day do I love horse racing? Why do I remember learning to dance with my feet on his shoes and to this day I love dancing. Why do I remember him soused and still able to count cards at blackjack or points in Cribbage at lightning speed because he was a mathematical genius, and to this day I love to play cards (His great granddaughter that he met when she was six weeks old got the math skills). Why did he send me postcards from every state line on Route 66 that he crossed when I was seven? To this day I love getting behind a wheel just for the sheer joy of driving and want to echo as much of that trip as possible, even though it scared me to death when he rolled a car while driving drunk. Why do I remember that he borrowed a mink stole from a girlfriend so that I could wear it to the Balboa Bay Club on my 16th birthday and dance to "My Funny Valentine" with my father? To this day that is my one of my favorite songs. And for all the drinks that caused all the pain, I still love cabarets and piano bars and all the dark places with candle lit tables where you can actually hear the lyrics to a well written song.

Interspersed with all of the above are a whole lot of ugly memories that you don't need to know except that he was a kind, gentle man who never raised a hand to anyone he loved. Embarrassed them horribly - Yes and made them angry - Yes. Life around this man wasn't easy. He was literate, funny, musical, all sorts of charming - enough to get himself married three times for ten years each, not to mention the girlfriends in between.

So I'm 65, two years older than my dad when he died, and Sunday is Father's Day. Last May he would have been 91. Not impossible as his father lived to be 89. If alcohol and the damage it did to his heart hadn't done him in, he could have been here to see his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He isn't here. That is a shame, because my son and I are the only ones left to remember and laugh every time we watch the "Show Me The Way To Go Home" scene in Jaws, because it was one of his favorite songs when drinking, and why Amanda McBroom's song Errol Flynn always gets to me. If Ms. McBroom and I ever meet we can talk about memories of daddies and Union Station. In the meantime, here she is singing her love song for her daddy and in many ways mine as well. You see. My daddy was a drunk.

15 June 2012

5 On Friday - Everybody's Talking

We are well on our way to summer, so I'm breaking out the beach umbrellas.  To join in on the fun of 5 on Friday, please visit our friend Travis at Trav's Thoughts to sign in and then share your musical choices for the week.

Not saying my musical tastes are eclectic on anything, but today's birthday anniversaries for June 15 happen to belong to two of my favorite artists on the IPOD

1933 - Waylon Jennings

1941 - Harry Nilsson

05 June 2012

The Everything and Nothing Meme - Her majesty, the doyen of Bloggingham is once more asking intrusive questions.  To provide your answers, please visit her at the castle, swim the moat, thrust a battering ram against the gates, and try to avoid time out in the dungeon.

1. I would like to know: Is it possible to do everything and nothing at the same time?  

It's right up there with one hand clapping - Very very Zen

2. If the definition of everything is all that exists, then which piece of all does not exist for you? - 

Actually I try to avoid reality as much as possible so everything is nothing ... back to very very zen.

3. Oscar Wilde said, "I can resist everything except temptation." What is your irresistible temptation? - 

Bread pudding with brandy sauce and the zone I enter into when eating it - very very zen

4. Good scholars are always those people who question everything. What is the one thing you will never question? - 

Why I am me - Didn't have anything to do with it and prefer not to question being very very zen

5. Nothingness is the state of being nothing. If you could live in a nothing state, what state would that be? 

Probably New York City close to Urban Zen

6. When is the last time you had a fantastic conversation with someone and said nothing at all? 

Last night while talking to myself - it was definitely very very zen.

7. Albert Einstein wrote, "There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle."  Which philosophy do you prefer? - 

Everything is definitely a miracle and very very zen.

A Great Party

01 June 2012

A Dress Remembered

I am not a fashionista by any stretch of anyone's imagination.  Still there have been outfits fondly remembered if only because they were associated with family or emotional events in my life.  One of the dresses with the greatest impact gets echoed today:  A Coronation and A Jubilee.  It was loosely based on the Beefeater costume and purchased for one simple purpose:  To wear the day Elizabeth was crowned a queen.

To this day I remember it.  Black and red on top with tiny crowns in silver decorative buttons down the front and grey and white flared skirt on the bottom.  Who bought it:  My Scotland born father.  Who saw that I wore it:  My opinionated aunt.  Where was it worn:  Two places June 2, 1953 the day of the coronation and July 1953 to watch the film of that coronation in a tiny backwater theater in Chowchilla, CA.  (You can see a remastered copy of that film by clicking on the link.)

Just in case I ever do meet her majesty, I do know how to do a full court curtsy though that is frowned upon these days and I might never get up again.  Today, we begin the celebrations for a great queen who has been on the throne for 60 years - a feat only echoed by Victoria.  Great Britain has always been fortunate with her queens.  You would think by now they would just stick with the ladies rather than wasting history on the men.

As a resulting hopeless anglophile who not only follows British and family icons, TV, movies, and former possessions such as Australia and Zimbabwe where my Scottish ancestors wandered, I shall be glued to BBC America, Hello Mag and every other British site I can find throughout the weekend, for a great day to celebrate a great woman.

So there you have it.  Sixty years later.  I remember a dress and I remember the woman who was the reason I remember it.  We have both survived and for the most part done well.  I hope her majesty has a wonderful day.