Hunter’s Moon

October 19, 2013 11 comments

Moon - Claire de Lune

 

Last night was another full moon. At this time of the year, it is referred to most often as the Hunter’s Moon, and sometimes as the Blood Moon or Sanguine Moon. The reference dates to agrarian times when, after the harvest and with the fallen leaves, the moonlight provides ample illumination for hunting at night, gathering meat which will be stored for the upcoming winter months.

 

Following is a musical composition for piano by Claude Debussy, titled Clair de Lune (French for moonlight), composed in 1890 and inspired by the poem bearing the same name written by Paul Verlaine in 1869.

 

 

Clair de Lune – Paul Verlaine

In its original French:

Votre âme est un paysage choisi
Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques
Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi
Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur
L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune
Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur
Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau,
Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres
Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau,
Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

English Translation:  (per Wikipedia)

Your soul is a chosen landscape
Where charming masqueraders and bergamaskers go
Playing the lute and dancing and almost
Sad beneath their fanciful disguises.

All sing in a minor key
Of victorious love and the opportune life,
They do not seem to believe in their happiness
And their song mingles with the moonlight,

With the still moonlight, sad and beautiful,
That sets the birds dreaming in the trees
And the fountains sobbing in ecstasy,
The tall slender fountains among marble statues

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Great Moments in Opera – Pagliacci

October 16, 2013 Leave a comment

It’s been almost a year since I dusted off the old Opera blog, so this evening, I thought I’d give it a little bit of much needed attention. I’ve often wondered if the fear of clowns that some people have might have stemmed from this kind of character depiction…

Random Musings About Opera

Pagliacci watercolor

 

Most finales in dramatic opera tend to be emotional roller coasters, and in many of these works, it may take a marathon of several hours to build up to that climax.  Unlike many of those longer works, Pagliacci (Italian for “Clowns”) is more of a sprint, firing off the starting line with its opening notes and thrusting the audience quickly toward that dark, tragic end.

 

The finale in Pagliacci is thrilling and tense, a play within a play.  Canio has a comic troupe that has arrived in town, and while he plays an idiot clown husband in his role on stage for the audience, he is in fact very jealous.  His wife Nedda, has engaged in an affair with another in town, and pledges she will run off with her new lover after the show.  Canio nearly caught the two in the first act though he didn’t see…

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October Music Passion – “One”

October 5, 2013 32 comments

 

I know, I know, it’s been like forever since I last posted.  It’s a long story, and well, maybe I’ll do some explaining in another post.  In the meantime, I thought I’d get back into the groove by joining Dolly’s Music Passion series of musical posts by themes.  October’s theme is “One.”  As long as One is somewhere in the title it’s good to go.  Now I have no idea if I even have any followers left, but here goes…

 

Bob Marley, a personal favorite of mine – One Love.

 

See, that wasn’t too hard.  Maybe I can get back into the swing of things.  I was getting worried that Random Thoughts might have to be re-labeled as Infrequent and Sporadic Thoughts.

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The Sky is Falling Down! The Sky is Falling…Oh, Wait. That’s Not The Sky.

November 27, 2012 27 comments

Just give me fresh water every couple of days and we can save a few bucks on buying a tree this year. But you will have to finally get me one of those Pee-in-a-Jar/Poo-in-a-Can gizmos that’s been on my wish list for years now.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed some pretty hinky-dinky stressed out  people lately.  And by “lately” I mean for the last decade or so.

We Baby Boomers kind of freaked out at the year 2000 when we were younger. And by “we” I mean me. I remember thinking that I was going to be 42 at the turn of the millennium and that I would be decrepit so mature I’d need dentures.

I think this is my new motto.

Then there was all the fuss about the Y2K meltdown because computer programmers didn’t leave four digits for the year on most of their programs. With all the computers confused about graduating out of their teens and into their 20’s, experts predicted that the banks would fail, the real estate bubble would burst, unemployment would skyrocket, and Justin Bieber would be famous for singing and looking like a girl. Blame it all on those frugal programmers who wanted to save two digits and ruin the future.

Justin? Justine? Whoever you are, you’re awfully pretty!

Add to that all this talk about the Mayans and the end of their calendar that just went on forever. But apparently it only went on forever backward, not forward. They had excellent hindsight. Um. I have that, even without my super-powers.

Should we really be putting all our future eggs in a basket woven by people from an extinct civilization?

Speaking of eggs. That reminds me of chickens and chickens remind me of Chicken Little–that paranoid excuse for poultry–which reminds be why I started writing this post in the first place. There’s something in the air that’s, well, unsettling. I’ve noticed it. Have you?

If you haven’t noticed it, maybe it’s because you’re part of it and it feels normal. Well, trust me, if you have any one of the following symptoms, then you’re on the trippy-dippy side of Unbelievabubble Street (translation for the un-hip–you’re not normal):

  • It’s Cyber-Everyday! I’ll buy this crap just because I’ll get free shipping. Someone will need it, want it or regift it.
  • Finally, Twilight, Breaking Dawn, Part 2 is in the movie theaters. Now I get to see for the 5th time that vampire love, just like vampires, is real and everlasting. Sigh. I wish I was a vampire.
  • Not tonight, Honey, I have to watch the next episode of Breaking-Bad. I wish I was a dying Chemistry teacher. It seems so exciting!
  • Dexter is my hero. There’s never a good sadistic sociopath around when you need him.

Take it from me. I know about normal. I’m constantly dizzy, converse with my dog, take 10 hours to write a post, and believe I have super-powers. I also meditate. If that isn’t normal, what the heck is?

So what’s making people so jumpy? Besides me and this weird post, that is?

Stop looking around and start looking up. There’s some wonky shiznut falling down from the sky. And I’m just here to warn you that maybe you want to wear a hat, a helmet, or a catcher’s mitt.

On September 26 in Butler, PA a 30-pack of beer came raining down on two police officers responding to a domestic dispute call. A woman, apparently not wanting the officers to come upstairs to the 2nd floor apartment, or not wanting any more beer (since it’s so filling and is bad for one’s figure), threw the beer out of the window hitting the two officers on the head. I know some people like a good head on their beer, but not the other way around.

The best of both worlds? The worst of both worlds? You be the judge…

On October 11 in Accomac, VA a one-foot piece of processed chicken fell from the sky and hit a teenager on the head. The teen was out exercising. This baffled local police and the execs at the nearby Tyson processing plant. No one could believe this story.  Processed chickens don’t generally fly, they fry. And what was a teenager doing outside exercising, anyway? It’s all a bit hard to swallow if you ask me.

I must say, she handled the chicken bomb with more grace than I would have…

On October 22 in Novato, CA a 2-inch meteor fragment struck the roof of a minister’s home, right over his study where he writes his sermons. He was elated, believing that God was sending him a message. The parishioners, not as thrilled with the roofing repair bill, also saw this as a message: “If the sermons aren’t more inspiring, we’ll make sure the next hit will be.”

Actually, Minister, we were looking for another meteor, er, um, sign from God.

Who knows what’s next? But you can count on me to keep you informed of any new developments.

In the meantime, take a listen to this oldie but goodie. Hopefully, it is only raindrops that keep falling on your head. I’d check often if I were you…

Gaaaaa!!!!

November 20, 2012 24 comments

Somewhere in there is my next WordPress post…

 

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.

 

Oh hey! I was wondering where that Victoria’s Secret Catalog was hidin… er… um… (ahem) lots of work! Yes, lots of work to do.

 

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!

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Music Passion – The World in November

November 4, 2012 19 comments

 

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.

 

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Fun With Pumpkins

November 1, 2012 26 comments

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:

 

I got your pumpkins right here pal…

 

Apparently these pumpkins are not bashful about showing off their assets.

 

Wait. (hic) Was that beer before (hic) liquor or… (hic) uh oh…

 

Yeah, the idea is to get into the spirit of Halloween, not let the spirits of Halloween get into you.

 

Push dammit! Push!!!

 

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.

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