Ah… I feel so much better now after the scream. Sorry if I scared anyone. I’ve got to hand it to the many of you who manage to find time to write here on WordPress with regularity. I’m just busy, that’s all. So… no, I was not taken hostage, nor do you need to send out the search parties wondering if I’ll wash up ashore, and please no candlelight vigils, for I am alive and well. Just a bit preoccupied, that’s all.
I know I’ve been a bit sparse around here and at your sites leaving my snarky little comments, but it doesn’t mean I don’t love you anymore. I’ll get back into the swing of things soon. In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans, and best wishes for a terrific week to everyone else. Until we meet again, adieu!
Another month, another musical topic for the Music Passion game hosted on Dolly’s Blog, All About Lemon. Carolyn, who writes and blogs on ABC of Spirit Talk is a repeat winner for both September and October. She has selected “World” as the theme in this month of November. Congratulations Carolyn – two in a row!
I’ve selected a song written and performed by War titled “The World is a Ghetto.” It is the title track of the album, released in 1972. In vinyl. It is hard to believe this melancholic and mournfully trippy song is now 40 years old. Moreover it seems to stand the test of time. Kick up your feet and have a listen – I’ve managed to find the full album version that has a great sax solo in the middle.
Halloween is past, all the little trick or treat kiddies are now on a sugar buzz, probably driving their parents and teachers to the brink of madness, and most folks are tossing out all their Jack-O-Lanterns freshly carved up just a few days earlier. When I was a child, most pumpkins were either carved into the familiar spooky scary face, or maybe was made into a head as part of a scarecrow like person, clothes stuffed with hay. Lately though we seem to have become a bit more artistic with this annual interpretation of expression. Witness the following sightings floating around:
Apparently these pumpkins are not bashful about showing off their assets.
Yeah, the idea is to get into the spirit of Halloween, not let the spirits of Halloween get into you.
I’m speechless with this one. Never ceases to amaze me what folks can do with a simple knife, a few pumpkins and maybe a vegetable or two, and a wild imagination.
Come on now – you know you smiled. I just know you did.
I’ve been busy these past few days. Hurricane Sandy, or what the weather forecasters in full Armageddon mode are calling the Perfect Storm, part deux, is bearing down on the Atlantic States waiting to take a left turn and make landfall on a pathway pretty much where I live. I am far enough inland to be spared the Tidal brunt of the storm surge, but the forecasters are calling for very heavy precipitation as the storm stalls and intensifies, along with high gusting winds. Likely result – flooding and power failures with fallen trees.
As a result, most of the weekend was spent in preparation of the storm’s wrath. This is the height of falling leaves, and I cannot begin to estimate how many cubic yards of leaves were raked up and mulched. All the drains were given a good cleaning, and I also had some fun up two and a half stories on a ladder cleaning out the gutters. Anything not bolted down was brought into the garage. The generator was brought out of storage and tested – all systems go. Batteries all stocked up, lanterns ready to go, and plenty of candles as well, just in case. I made the mistake of running out to the grocery store to pick up a few items last minute – big mistake! The place looked like a throwback to the Soviet Union. I was amazed at the empty bread shelves, no milk to be found, and eggs all gone. No wonder folks need to stock up on toilet paper in large amounts! I left, for it wasn’t worth waiting an hour for coffee creamer. Black will do just fine in a pinch.
I decided to get out and take advantage of the early voting allowed in our precinct. Oh the irony! Early voting is supposed to eliminate long lines on election day. This is the first time I decided to vote early, and the result is the longest I’ve ever had to wait in line to complete the process – about an hour and a half. I suppose all the other fellow citizens were wondering how their vote might be counted if there are power failures now that the ballot is electronic. Got my vote in just in time. The early voting will be shut down for the next three days until Sandy blows over. The closure may last longer should there be a sustained power failure. Last year, Hurricane Irene caused outages that lasted almost two weeks in some areas of the State.
It’s now raining in the wee hours of Monday morning. By Tuesday morning, the storm will be making its pass overhead. Nothing left to do but sit back and take whatever Mother Nature decides to dish out. So here’s a little mood music to drift off to sleep by, courtesy of The Doors.
Stay dry everyone!
October around my place is a month full of birthdays. In the extended family that lives nearby, there are five birthdays to be celebrated. Rather than do each separately, we usually opt for one big gathering and throw a large dinner party on a weekend convenient for just about everyone. This weekend, the festivities were held at my home. Lorna, I know your birthday is in October too and I have to say, you missed out on some really good food and some killer desserts!
The festive atmosphere filled with so many conversations bubbling at the same time, all at loud levels inspired me to write about that phenomenon of simultaneous conversations and its portrayal in Opera as ensembles. I decided to write the entry in my other blog instead of here. The teaser is here:
Click and enjoy!
As an avid reader of Lorna’s Voice I am awakened every Thursday with a regular entry of hers titled “Lighting Up the Blogosphere – One Flicker at a Time”, which is part of a campaign aptly named “Occupy the Blogosphere” started by another WordPress blogger, Soul Dipper. It is a rather refreshing and optimistic counter to all the stress and negativity that manages to creep into our lives, and being the eternal optimist, it strikes a resonant chord in me.
Since I’m away in a totally different time zone, and I’m wide awake due to my internal clock telling me morning should be long gone even when dawn is only now breaking into my window, I thought I’d try my hand at this uplifting kind of thing and showcase someone who really does light up the world in his own magical way. Have you guessed yet that it will probably be a topic about music? I know, so predictable sometimes, but hopefully you’ll be surprised.
Music is the universal language of mankind
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
So very true. In order to demonstrate both the universal appeal of music and the joy it can evoke from everyone, I have selected a few short videos of one of my favorite people on this planet when it comes to music, Bobby McFerrin, doing what he does well – playing the instrument that is his voice, and likewise playing the audience, engaging them to create magical moments through music.
Bobby McFerrin was born with mad vocal abilities. The son of Metropolitan Opera Baritone Robert McFerrin Sr. and regional opera and Broadway singer and Professor Emeritus of Music Sara, he certainly had the genes for vocal abilities. He is most famous for his 1988 hit, Don’t Worry, Be Happy done entirely a Capella with only his voice. But his real gift is how he shares that gift and joy with his audience.
I dare you to watch the following videos and not manage to crack a smile or feel a bit of happiness sweep over you, if only for a moment while you forget all else in the world:
Another month, another musical topic for the Music Passion game hosted on Dolly’s Blog, All About Lemon. Carolyn, who writes and blogs on ABC of Spirit Talk is September’s winner and has selected “Morning” as the theme for October. Congratulations Carolyn!
I’ve selected a Cat Stevens singing an old hymn “Morning Has Broken” for my entry this month. Many mistakenly credit Stevens for writing this, but the song itself has a long history. If you are interested and wish to read more about it, click here.
Sidey's Weekend Theme is "blue", so here is Tinman's guide to one of the most famous of all music genres....
The first requirement of being a blues singer is that you woke up this morning. Of course, most of us did, but we don’t feel the need to complain about it. Your next problem could be anything - your woman could have left you (the Lovesick Blues) you could have a hangover from last night’s pub-crawl (the 12-Bar Blues) or you might be tired after the walk uphill home (the Hill Street Blues).
This past week, very good friends of ours left town to move back to their native England. The family moved here about ten years ago following a job the husband had in a multinational organization with offices here in Washington D.C. area. It was a temporary assignment, as they all knew from the start, yet ten years is an eternity, especially for their two young daughters, both of whom are now in high school, the oldest in her senior year. It was a bittersweet farewell. I realize it was difficult to be separated from their extended families for so very long with only infrequent visits to and fro, and yet I could see in their daughters’ eyes a hint of sadness to be leaving the many friends they have made while living here.
I suppose in the day and age of Facebook and other social media, it will be far easier to keep in touch and keep up with the goings on than in the past. Still, I will miss them dearly. As you depart for another world, I offer this sentimental passage to you, my good friends Jane, Richard, and to your lovely daughters Ashleigh and Carol. Safe journeys my dear friends…
Soave Sia il Vento
~W. A. Mozart (from the Opera “Cosi Fan Tutti)~
Lyric in Italian:
Soave sia il vento,
Tranquilla sia l’onda,
Ed ogni elemento
Ai vostri desir.
May the winds be gentle
May the waves be calm
And may every one of the elements
To your desire.