Jan 03 2014

The weather reports promised an onslought of snow, Thursday night into Friday.

Although it sounds like it hit hard up north, those of us in the Washington Metropolitan Area got off lightly.

Through the dining room windows.

We woke up to a beautiful morning, white snow and vivid blue skies. I didn’t have to go far for a nice photo, in fact, just out the kitchen window.

Snow with sun. Reminds me of Colorado.

And, while I waited for the coffee to brew, I was able to make my “Photo of the Day” using the iPhone app “Collect,” that I dearly love. BlogHer Laurel Regan shared it on Twitter and I have been mesmerized by the ease of taking a fun photo everyday. A diary in a second, so to speak. Then each day is added to a calender for the month and saved, I guess, forever. And, ever? That Laurel sure is on top of things.

Love the Collect App. Saving a record of
each day for my Presidential Library.

It was energizing. So much so, I was motivated to make an improvement on our living space. But, fixing up the house in some way sounded like WORK, so we decided to fix up a smaller project. The bird restaurant in the backyard was due for a redo.

Our old feeder, squirreled to unuseability.

After the usual discussions of whether to fix up or replace, we decided to replace. But, that was probably influenced by our neighborhood ACE Hardware having a sale on the “Squirrel-Be-Gone Bird Feeder” from PerkyPet.com that caught our eye last week. Such a cute feeder, like a little red barn with a “Whoopsie” bar for squirrels, should they shinny up the metal pole.

The Perky Pet Feeder

Isn’t it CUTE? The roof comes off after the weathervane is turned to release it. And, it’s powder coated so cleaning with a damp cloth, every two weeks the directions say, will maintain its shiny barn-like finish.

 Well, thar she blows!

Perfect viewing distance from the house. I hope my birdie friends will be pleased with the new addition. Having a nice clean feeder will help me with my bird counts when I start up with the Cornell Ornithology Feeder Watch, counting birds coming and going in their migration patterns.

So, check in block for Friday, January 3, 2014. We did something in addition to complaining about the cold. :)

 SunbonnetSmart.com is authored by a little bird who loves to lure unsuspecting BlogHer bloggers to her web site, daily newspaper,
The SunbonnetSmart.com NewsFlash, and Facebook Fan Page

 



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Filed under: Beauty,Outside — admin @ 4:40 pm Comments (1)
Mar 28 2013

Well, I am getting reports that Elaine has been a good patient, taking her vitamins while being sensible about her pain medication intake.

Because she is doing everything right to speed her recovery, SunbonnetSmart is rewarding her progress with another *TA-DA!* Activity Page. You’ll notice I am really getting into this. While homeschooling, I used to make learning puzzles for the Peanut Gallery, but it’s been a while. What fun to revive this old skill-set and put it to use.

And besides, because the puzzles are for “big people,” I can make them bigger and harder so that all of BlogHer-dom comes to a grinding halt while trying to solve them. The power. The control. I’m enjoying it.

First off, let’s start out with another Candid Camera type video. I loved that show as a kid. Allen Funt got a little boring sometimes, but the premises were so funny, I remember many episodes well. See what you think of this:

Just for Laughs Gags

Now, just to make sure you’re not getting too far afield of Passover, here is a remarkable video combining a tribute to Passover and Les Miserables. I think it is nothing sort of brilliant. And while we’re discussing Passover, Elaine, I hope your Seder plate is sustainable, good and good for you. If not, you might want to read, The Seder Plate and Your Health: Nutritious Benefits of the Passsover Symbols.  Now get your spiritual groove on while you relate to a popular musical at the same time:

Maccabeats

Here is a BlogHer Word Search with lots of your forest friends and some memories from BlogHer ’12 in New York City. I have to apologize in advance as I am not getting in all of the thousands of people you know, but I did the best I could to try to catch most of them. If anyone is left out, tell me in the Comments and I’ll include them in the next puzzle.  This should take you a while, so no kvetching:

BlogHer Word Search: Click Image

See what you think of this video pitting Lance Armstrong against Babe Ruth in an epic rap battle. I thought it was crazy, but interesting. Some bad words, so make sure kiddos are not in earshot, or maybe not play this at work, everybody else:

Lance Armstrong vs. Babe Ruth

So, that’s all for today. I hope your funny bone, not your wrist bones, got a work out.

We LOVE YOU, Nurse Plummer!



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Filed under: Beauty,The Arts,Uncategorized — admin @ 2:01 pm Comments (0)
Mar 02 2013

You have to understand. I grew up in the 1950s and 60s. Activism was a part of my childhood, like Dora the Explorer instructs children today.

Radio and TV stations were independently owned and played whatever suited their style. And, what caught on and suited many AM styles were songs of social betterment. Rather than follow a marketing plan while singing kiddie songs to sell congruently marketed toys and brands, we children got behind spreading the word, the call to action. So, at camp we sang, “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” moving, pretty folk songs about making the world a better place. We raised our voices up as well as eight to ten years possibly can, hoping to convince people improvements needed to be made.

In the dawn of the 1950s, change began at a rapid pace.

While most people connect protests and activist language with the 1960s and 70s, such inspirations actually began in the 1950s, in many ways due to singer songwriter Woody Guthrie early on and then Pete Seeger. The magazine, “Sing Out!,” first begun in 1950, records its own history along with that of the folk song, activist movements. The magazine stills prides itself on “serving the common cause of humanity” and celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2000.

 

Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?”

I remember a boy in my fourth grade class, named Tom Sawyer and yes, that was his real name. He was going to play his guitar on WWDC radio and sing along. What an incredibly big deal this was as we were encouraged by our teacher to listen when Tom was going to be on the radio live. He sang a song with a haunting beauty and powerful refrain, called, “Blowing in the Wind.”  The wind that was blowing affected all age groups, some individuals swaying with it and some offering resistance, but every person affected.

Priscilla Judd sings to protect our environment and its people.

I miss activist folk songs. Clever songwriters tipping us off to inequities that might otherwise go unnoticed. It doesn’t seem these songs are played on the radio much anymore. The music we hear today seems canned, repetitive and market driven. I guess that’s why finding Canadian singing activist Priscilla Judd on Twitter, then following up on her web site, was such a breath of fresh air. Thankfully, the Internet still pulses with musical activism. Music is the spoonful of sugar that promotes the medicine of social change.

Tomorrow: Canada’s Priscilla Judd, Singing Activist

Spoiler Alert! Canadian singer, Priscilla Judd is in a contest and would love some help to win!

 

Please VOTE at http://bit.ly/V4XtnU

The contest ends tomorrow, Sunday, March 4, 2013.


NaBloPoMo March 2013

March 2013
Join SunbonnetSmart.com
for a post every day
here and/or on BlogHer.com



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Filed under: Beauty,Music,Uncategorized — admin @ 4:30 pm Comments (0)
Feb 18 2013

Every once in a lifetime, I meet someone so profoundly amazing, to be with them is to stand in the presence of brilliance. My mind can hardly focus on witty repartee as it tries to keep up and assimilate the input from a dazzling source of soul light.

I want to introduce you to a friend who is just such a person. She’s beautiful, gifted and lovely, inside and out. And, as amazing as her renown and talents are, she is all the more so engaging, because to talk with her, she will never, ever, point to all of her accomplishments. Her name is Christi Stewart-Brown and today is her fiftieth birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRISTI!

Christi Stewart-Brown

But, I am not bound by such compelling modesty. I can share the profound points of her chocked full CV without any humility whatsoever. In fact, I’m sharing not as much to praise Christi, as she’s had plenty of that, but rather, so you know this little Sunbonnet is Smart enough to know someone this special! Why, every time I read about her, or find out about her latest accomplishments, my self esteem goes up a notch and I don’t have to do a thing.

Writing plays, books or “wrasslin’ cattle,” Christi ties one on.

Just read this bio from her web site, for instance: “Christi Stewart-Brown has had over 40 productions of her plays across the U.S., in Canada, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Stewart-Brown is a four-time Helen Hayes Award nominee and her plays include: Morticians in Love, which ran Off-Broadway in 1995 at the Perry Street Theatre, The Gene Pool, Three More Sisters, Sweet Land of Liberty, Full of Grace, Steak! (co-author), a country-western musical about cattle-rustling vegetarians, and Do Not Use if Seal is Broken, which was made into a film entitled Loungers. Loungers, directed by Marc Forster (Finding Neverland, Monster’s Ball, The Kite Runner), was featured at the 1996 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where it won the Audience Award and placed second for the Jury Award. Stewart-Brown has also written a work of young adult fiction, entitled Kin. Click HERE to read reviews at amazon.com.”

“Kin,” poignant young adult reading.

“Kin,” Christi’s latest accomplishment, is an edge-of-the-seat Young Adult read that was satisfying to me as a grown-up as well. Christi is a startling wordsmith, able to spin a phrase creating images before your mind knows what’s happened to it. She is smooth in her verbiage and mischevie0us. When I read her works, I keep turning pages to see what will delight me next. In addition, because she’s clever, her characters have to follow along behind. A review for one of her plays, Morticians in Love, commends her thus: “…Morticians [in Love] is a simple enough idea: the tender story of first love between two devout necrophiliacs. Now, the idea itself gets a laugh, but what’s a pleasure is that Stewart-Brown follows through and creates characters, dialogue, and stagings that are a real joy to watch. It’s so depressing to see ingenious ideas or plots wasted by paper-thin characters, or to watch great characters ruined by dumb dialogue. Morticians scores on all counts, following up a great idea with solid writing.” — Matthew Richter, The Stranger (Seattle)

But, the most amazing thing about Christi is the entourage of friends she is carrying through life. Just reading through her Facebook page, she has blessed many people with her friendship and they, remembering her birthday is today, have left comments by the dozens. You have to see it to believe it! What love, what tributes and all of these friendship go back years, even years and years. Why, Christie’s friends are writing poems, making movies and singing original compositions for her birthday, each vying for her attention. Why, the staggering fanfare is giving competition to the Queen of England’s 2012 Diamond Jubilee, celebrating her sixty years on the throne.

 

Christi’s friend, Gavin Derek is moved to song. What a guy! LOVE this.

So, don’t be left out of the party! Go to Christi’s Facebook page and say, “Hi!,” check out her books on Goodreads and look to Amazon to see all of her books and mentions, some in the Kindle’s immediate download. Make Christi’s birthday a fiftieth to remember and grab on to a bit of her intellectual celebrity presence, for she is Renaissance in her command of many venues.

Every now and then, someone comes along with spell-binding gifts in order to create joy and happiness for others. Join me in shouting out, “Yay, Christi! Happy Birthday with many more to come.”



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Filed under: Beauty,The Arts,Uncategorized — admin @ 2:25 pm Comments (0)
Feb 10 2013

In my next life, I will love crowds. I will spend each New Year’s Eve in New York City at Times Square and each Chinese New Year in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown.

Today is 2013′s Chinese New Year, a year of the Snake. It will be celebrated in fine style, here in Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown. If I didn’t mind crowds, I’d be there. Or, if I could use the Popemobile, and be encased in plexiglass while I zoom around, that would be OK as well. But, just being me, I have to enjoy the festivities on TV or YouTube, safely sequestered away from the crowded excitement, but missing out on lots of it. Even so, I’ve got the pitch that celebrating the Chinese New Year in the District of Columbia is a very good time.

A targeted view of the D.C. Dragon Dance winding around.

When we go to the National Gallery of Art, we come home by way of 7th Street, a main north-south artery of the City. The City was carefully planned as the Nation’s Capital by Pierre Charles L’Enfant, appointed by President George Washington in 1791. All of the streets are on a naming system with all of the north-south streets being numbers and all of the east-west streets being letters of the alphabet. When we drive on 7th Street, we cross H Street, passing right by the Friendship Arch signaling the beginning of Chinatown at 7th and H. For those interested in going to Chinatown by subway, there is a convenient Metro stop, Gallery Place/Chinatown.

The Friendship Arch welcomes visitors to Chinatown, D.C.

Washington’s famous Friendship Arch is the world’s largest arch of its kind. It is a “seven roof arch” consisting of three large and four small tiled roofs. The Arch was erected in 1986 to celebrate our friendship with Washington’s sister city of Beijing, China. Designed by local architect, Alfred H. Liu, the arch boasts 272 dragons, reminding the viewer that many Chinese people consider themselves People of the Dragon.

The Washington, D.C. Chinese New Year’s Festival, 2012.

As with all political situations, there are many stories and back stories associated with the Friendship Arch. Many of Washington’s Chinese businessman did not want the Friendship Arch to be built in association with Communist China. As their sympathies aligned with Taiwan, they were intent on building a second arch on the other side of Chinatown to represent what they considered the true government of China. After many years, the funding for the businessman’s Taiwan Arch never materialized and the present Freedom Arch was built in concert with Beijing and the Communist People’s Republic of China.

Making New Year Cake or Nian Gao.

My parents lived near San Fransisco, CA in the early 1950s and were friendly with their Chinese neighbors. My father developed a definite fondness for sweet Bean Paste Cakes which you can study by clicking on the Guide to Chinese Pastries. Whenever I was near any sort of Chinatown with traditional Chinese Bakeries, whether in Los Angeles, New York City or Boston, I would always buy a box of Bean Paste Cakes to insure a happy homecoming and see his big smile. Although the Bean Paste cakes are eaten all year long, the New Year Cakes seen in the video above are special to the Chinese Lunar New Year.

By watching the video above, you can bake them “just like your Chinese grandmother use to make.” Sounds good to me. I LOVE recipe secrets! Happy New Year, everyone!



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Filed under: Beauty,Outside,Uncategorized — admin @ 1:10 pm Comments (0)
Jan 20 2013

Sometime last fall, I was talking with Darcie, a BlogHer moderator who lives way north in Canada. She mentioned she likes it when I blog about my travels to Pennsylvania. I asked her if she would be interested in photos from trips into Washington, D.C. and she said, “Yes!” So, Darcie, this little travelogue is for you!

Going down into Washington, D.C. on Saturday, January 19, to attend a class at the National Gallery of Art, I was able to enjoy the preparations for Monday’s Inauguration Parade first hand. The National Gallery is located on the Pennsylvania Avenue parade route, so it was obvious something very important will be happening Monday, January 21, 2013, the day we are also celebrating as Dr. Martin Luther King Day. The Inauguration Parade is an American tradition to welcome the newly sworn in President and Vice President.

President Barack Obama, elected to a second term in last November’s elections, will be sworn in on Monday in his official Inauguration Ceremony, although he first was sworn in today at the White House because of a Constitutional Requirement that he assume the office by noon on January 20. On Saturday, the day was sunny and bright and the anticipation of Monday’s events were easily seen. As we drove down Pennsylvania avenue and turned right on 17th Street to go around the the Ellipse, in back of the White House, the excessive numbers of visitors, security police and lines of restraining fences foretold of a coming big event.

The Washington Monument first thing in the morning.

Our classes began at 10:00am, so we had to get up early, leaving the house by 7:30am to get downtown, find a parking garage. We found public parking with an all day rate, cheap at $11.00 and parked the car. We walked a half mile to the East Building of the National Gallery, where the educational classrooms are located.

Reviewing stands on the Pennsylvania Ave Parade Route

On the way, we passed any number of reviewing stands as we walked along, because the main parade route goes along Pennsylvania Avenue, then proceeds on Constitution Avenue after Pennsylvania ends.

A journalist’s delight, The Newseum, is “dressed” for President Obama.

The National Gallery of Art is on Constitution Avenue, both East and West Buildings, so the parade will go right past the National Gallery. Each building along the way is important and they all seemed to know it, decked out in patriotic finery to welcome visitors, as well as the President.

Heading toward the Capitol, still on the Parade Route.

Constitution Avenue goes right up to the Capitol Building where Presidents take the Oath of Office. It was exciting to see the City decked out to greet President Obama. Every building seemed to have stars and stripes on signs and flag bunting.

At the front of the East Building, National Gallery of Art,
with the Canadian Embassy diagonally across Constitution Ave.

I was amazed at the number of people downtown. It seemed like there were many more visitors, noticeably so, for what would be usual for tourists on a Saturday. Everyone walked along laughing, in high spirits, while enjoying themselves on such a festive occasion.

All the lampposts have flags. All the buildings have bunting and signs.

Our art class that began at 10:00 in the morning, didn’t end until 4:00pm, so by the time we were starting home at 5:00pm, the crowds had greatly increased.  While we were indoors all day, American flags had been put on every lamppost, one on either side of a Washington, D.C., District of Columbia flag, for a total of three.  The party atmosphere was in full force as we walked back to the car with the sun going down amidst lots of happy people.

We drove out of Washington, by going through Georgetown, going west on Pennsylvania Avenue, until it became M Street. The heavy traffic and throngs of party goers indicated to us President Obama is well on his way to a successful and happy 2nd Inauguration.





Filed under: Beauty,Outside,Uncategorized — admin @ 11:39 am Comments (0)
Dec 23 2012

Good news! BlogHer’s own Rita Arens, Senior Editor, has moved ahead in the publication of her latest book, The Obvious Game. On Thursday, December 20, 2012, she shared the Cover Reveal for this, her first young adult novel and invites you to the party.

Those of you who know Rita as the party girl she is, will not be surprised she comes through the door with party favors for all. Not only has Rita shared the cover, but she graciously tips off her BlogHer.com friends, they can scoop a pre-pub discount from the publisher. Inkspell Publishing has scheduled The Obvious Game for a publishing date of February 7, 2013 and you, and you, and you as well, are invited to order it at a 30% discount on paperback and e-book by clicking here.

Rita Arens authors her first young adult novel, due out February 7, 2013.

When I went to BlogHer ’12, I was amazed to see real live BlogHer celebrity avatars walking around the New York Hilton. I was like “I Love Lucy’s” Lucy Ricardo sightseeing with Ethel, star-stuck in Hollywood. “Oh my goodness! That person looks just like DENISE!”  “Look over there! That must be ELISA!” “Wow! Can you believe I was twenty feet away from DEB ROX?”

And, so it was when I saw RITA ARENS, sitting with her sister, giggling and laughing, looking just like her avatar. BTW, when I say “her avatar,” I mean the earlier version where she was laughing, not the new blue one where she is looking dignified, sophisticated and like a published novelist. Although her previous avatar looked lively and endearing, nothing prepared me for seeing Rita in real life. If I had to sum her up in one hyphenated word, it would be “Fun-Seeker” with capital letters.

For many BlogHer ’12 events, we met in the Grand Ballroom of the New York Hilton. It was a tremendously large meeting space. But, even so, I could easily look over from my table and see Rita and her friends. Every time I saw her, she was giggling, sometimes throwing her head back as she started off again on another laughing fit. It was infectious and I wanted to get to know her better.

It was real life experience arising out of the online women’s forum known as BlogHer, with its never-ending opportunities.  And now, reading up on Rita’s BlogHer posts, her web site posts and her journalistic resume, I am getting to know her better. Because of that, I am also looking forward to reading The Obvious Game in February and have pre-ordered my copy.

Rita has widened her publishing horizons with The Obvious Game. Well known for editing the award winning anthology, Sleep is for the Weak (Chicago Review Press 2008), Rita has focused on editing professionally as she is BlogHer’s Senior Editor,  directing assignments and syndication. Rita is a wordsmith who multitasks better than most. In addition to her BlogHer.com position and her books, she also maintains a web site, Surrender, Dorothy. Her web site’s title alludes to her living in the State of Kansas, of The Wizard of Oz fame, with her family at their home in Kansas City.  Writing The Obvious Game adds “novelist” to Rita’s extensive list of accomplishments and, being forward thinking, she is already working on her second novel.

Sleep Is for the Weak

A cover any parent can understand.

Thinking of Rita’s latest book, memories of my own teenage years are fought with remembered uncertainties and misgivings. When I read comments about The Obvious Game, I feel teenage worries coming back, like they were yesterday.  I immediately can relate to the “…hunger, pain and uncertainty of adolescence” as Ann Napolitano says in her comment below.  When I was growing up with these adolescent thoughts, the closest thing we had to young adult novels were Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.

Rather than trying to relate to those literary figures solving crimes and driving around in “roadsters,” it would have helped reading about kids my age, addressing and working through real life problems. Now, how helpful to have a literary genre specifically devoted to young adults. Even more so, how nice to have accomplished authors focusing their efforts on such youth oriented self-healing. Looking back, I believe the most important thing for a teenager with problems is to feel connected, not isolated and alone. By reading The Obvious Game, more young adults will be able to reach outside of themselves for answers. What a great self-help opportunity in a great read. My inner teenager says, “Thank you, Rita Arens!”

The Obvious Game is a story that will touch the heart of each reader as they experience the painful reminders of high school and dealing with the hardest part of growing up–learning to accept yourself.  Diane must face her biggest fears as she deals with her mother’s illness and her first love.

Pre-order now at Inkspell Publishing Website at a special discount of 30% on both paperback and e-book.

Praise for The Obvious Game:

“I couldn’t put down THE OBVIOUS GAME. Arens perfectly captures the hunger, pain and uncertainty of adolescence.” — Ann Napolitano, author of A GOOD HARD LOOK and WITHIN ARM’S REACH

“THE OBVIOUS GAME is a fearless, honest, and intense look into the psychology of anorexia. The characters—especially Diana–are so natural and emotionally authentic that you’ll find yourself yelling at the page even as you’re compelled to turn it.” — Coert Voorhees, author of LUCKY FOOLS and THE BROTHERS TORRES

“Let’s be clear about one thing: there’s nothing obvious about THE OBVIOUS GAME. Arens has written a moving, sometimes heart-breaking story about one girl’s attempt to control the uncontrollable. You can’t help but relate to Diana and her struggles as you delve into this gem of a novel.” — Risa Green, author of THE SECRET SOCIETY OF THE PINK CRYSTAL BALL

 “THE OBVIOUS GAME explores the chasms between conformity and independence, faith and fear, discoveries and secrets, first times and last chances, hunger and satisfaction. The tortured teenage experience is captured triumphantly within the pages of this unflinching, yet utterly relatable, novel. – Erica Rivera, author of INSATIABLE: A YOUNG MOTHER’S STRUGGLE WITH ANOREXIA

 

See Rita in action, in an Interview.

Pre-order The Obvious Game now at Inkspell Publishing Website at a special discount of 30% on both paperback and e-book.

About The Author:   Rita Arens is the author of The Obvious Game and the editor of the award-winning parenting anthology Sleep Is for the Weak. She writes the popular blog Surrender, Dorothy (www.surrenderdorothyblog.com) and lives in Kansas City with her husband and daughter. The Obvious Game is her first young adult novel. She is at work on a second. Rita has been a featured speaker at BlogHer 2012, BEA Bloggers Conference 2012, BlogHer Writers 2011, BlogHer 2011, Blissdom 2011, Alt Summit 2010,  BlogHer 2010, BlogHer 2008 and BlogHer 2009, the 2008 Kansas City Literary Festival and 2009 Chicks Who Click and appeared on the Walt Bodine Show in 2008.   She’s been quoted by Bloomberg Businessweek, The Associated Press, Forbes Woman, the Wall Street Journal, Businessweek and Businessweek Online and featured in Breathe magazine, Get Your Biz Savvy, The Kansas City Star (archived material available on request), Today Moms (Today Show blog) and Ink KC.

Website/blog: http://www.surrenderdorothyblog.com or http://www.ritaarens.com  ;  Twitter: https://twitter.com/ritaarens ; Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rita.arens ; BlogHer: http://www.blogher.com/member/rita-arens ; LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=4048495&trk=tab_pro ; Pinterest: https://pinterest.com/ritajarens/ ; Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002KRLEHE

BlogHer '13



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Filed under: Beauty,Literature — admin @ 7:31 pm Comments (1)
Nov 23 2012

Being habitually behind the popular culture eight ball as I usually am, it was a while before I got into Breaking Bad. I didn’t like the violent noises coming from the other room. Included were shrieks and cries of anguish, and that was just from the family audience watching.

Eventually, one cannot help but be pulled in by the cast of Breaking Bad. It’s inevitable and one might as well sit down and give in. If it’s not the cast, it’s the story line. If it’s not the story line, then you’d have to be a rock not to love the musical score. What a package. What a show. I’m a fan.

So, here. Just in case you missed the last show of Season Four, here is a great video clip of Walter White and his sidekick Jesse Pinkman burning down the meth SuperLab. But, there is more to it than that. Listen to the musical score and how the action is coordinated to its tempo. Masterful.

Walt and Jesse destroy the SuperLab.

Set in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the Spanish influence in the Flamenco guitar is hypnotic. It captivated me and I had to find the origin of this musical piece. When I did, I was very surprised, as the musicians are teenage brothers.

Look who’s playing this Breaking Bad score!

What great young musicians. Their mother must be so proud.The Taalbi Brothers were fifteen and thirteen years old when they composed the theme. As the YouTube title says, they “shred” flamenco rock guitar. I haven’t been so thrilled since Antonio Banderas played in the beginning of the movie, “Desperados.”

How the Fourth Season finale was filmed.

So, if you haven’t done the Breaking Bad marathon, now’s the time. It takes a firm commitment and several days. Work starts back bright and early Monday morning.

Better get started.





Filed under: Beauty,The Arts — admin @ 9:53 pm Comments (0)
Nov 22 2012

There I was. Minding my own business. Clicking through BlogHer, enjoying myself while reading and writing Comments.

And it happened. I started taking one of Jane Collins’ surveys, nothing extensive, mind you. Just a few questions on what I’d be doing the day after Thanksgiving Day. I answered without a second thought. I might check out a few Black Friday sales, but mostly, hating crowds and traffic, I’d be sitting at home eating leftover turkey. I selected my answers and voted.

The bar graph came up and whoa! Most people were planning on watching series TV shows and being couch potatoes. Oh well. Tut. Tut. I thought. Couch potatoes! Cheeze. Can you imagine! Ha-Ha. Watching series TV.

But then, that got me thinking. I remembered that Portlandia clip on YouTube showing Carrie and Fred Watching Battle Star Galactica, for DAYS.

Just one more. We’ll just watch ONE more.

That got me started. I just HAD to find the clip to add to my Comment, in case BlogHers visiting Jane’s post hadn’t seen it. In the process, I started looking at Portlandia videos. Seen them all, but had to, just had to revisit and watch. That did it. Having laughed at the TV serial watching couch potato just before, now I was not only in the mood, but obsessed on finding a serial show to watch.


I like spiritual movies that make me think differently.

Now it is 10:30 at night, and I just finished watching the movie, The Secret,AFTER watching two Battle Star Galacticas, movie on Alexandria, the newTreasure Island with Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver and to round off the spiritual rough edges, 3 Magic Words. These are all streamable on NetFlix and I had a blast. So, I have to admit, I didn’t wait for the day after Thanksgiving to begin couch potato activity.

I started two days early. Woo-Woo! It’s fun being me.





Filed under: Beauty,The Arts — admin @ 10:29 pm Comments (0)
Nov 21 2012

Oh, it always sounds so simple: a month’s worth of posts in thirty days and thirty nights.

Following the adage of easier said than done, however, the less time I have to finish something, the harder it is to do, which is a problem.

What’s the problem? Well, when I finally get time to myself to sit down and enjoy my writing for BlogHer, it’s when I’m really tired and would rather be slipping in between the covers, than into a desk chair to work the keyboard. But, work it I must, If I want to display that little success square “I Did It! NaBloPoMo 2012″ on my web site.

Every night, I have to give myself the pep talk. The “outta’ the locker room and on to the field” mental boost to keep me going, just one more night. I treat myself to some drama as I imagine I’m Gloria, played by Jane Fonda in that movie that came out when I was a senior in high school, “They Shoot Horses, Don’t they?”The film was about The Depression, the futility of life and how, sometimes it goes on past one’s level of endurance.

One of the famous movie scenes from 
“They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”
by Director Sydney Pollack.

How I enjoy feeling sorry for myself. Whining as I sit here, moping around, wishing I had started earlier. I torture myself by looking at the bed. It is so close. So warm. Electric blanket turned on and up to level two. I pour salt into the wound of reality as I know I could quit NaBloPoMo at any time, finally descending into an eternal eight hour sleep, but also sliding down into the land of the wannabes. Somehow, I hang on my partner and start dancing, shuffling my feet over the dance floor and fingers on the keys. Whine. Whine. Whine.

Then, when my blogging thoughts, whatever they are, are finally posted, I feel such relief. I switch from Gloria staring at the water, to a self made Jane Fonda on the red carpet, dressed in Dior. Oh, what agony and what reward I take myself through every night. And, tonight, unusual for someone who loves to talk, I couldn’t think of what to say. On top of being Gloria, staring at the water, I was afraid I’d never reach the red carpet for my preening session.

So, take five.

Imagine my delight when I was making Comments tonight, getting ready to agonize myself into an undirected NaBloPoMo post and fortuitously came upon the ad for the “BlogHer ’12 Voices of the Year” e-book. What!?!? It’s out?

Well, I thought, I can’t start agonizing, yet. I have to Amazon the e-book to Kindle!

And then, I had to start reading it, because Voices of the Year at BlogHer ’12 was a phenomenal experience, just as Dawn from AlphabetSalad says it was. Being a little jaded that I’ve “seen it all,” I had no way to know how impressed I would be by the Voices when I first attended BlogHer ’12. Each reading was profoundly memorable. I had underestimated the impact and was, at times, moved to tears and then, unstoppable laughter.

So all I can say is, the Voices ’12 e-book is out! It’s available and you’re going to want to download it to your electronic device, read it and call it your own. Run, do not walk your fingers to click on the hot link above, because your BlogHer sisters, and some brothers, have volumes to share. No, make that Voices to share and an e-book, not a volume.

And, BTW, I’m “on the red carpet,” with my post done for tonight.  :)





Filed under: Beauty,Literature — admin @ 10:04 pm Comments (0)
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NaBloPoMo November 2012