Category Archives: television series

Patches of Thoughts

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There were a few loose ends rolling around my mind. Sometimes

I will post about snippets of news. This made me picture today a

patchwork quilt. The way the colors and patterns are beautiful,

connecting along the edges of each patch, with fine stitching.

 

Connections between my friends who are bloggers sometimes are

tenuous like fine threads which may or may not hold up over time.

There are some where similarities and commonalities have become

discovered and developed over time.

 

These unique people have woven intricate designs into my heart.

This has led me to believe our close relationships carry value and

weight. As friends do, over time, we have learned more about each

others’ daily lives. Sometimes, even the ones who create space and

distance, open up on their blogs to include personal news, too.

 

 

 

In recent posts, there have been a few questions I have found

answers to, along with situations which don’t warrant a complete

post on the subjects.

 

Did you hear that Dr. Seuss’ wife found a ‘lost’ manuscript from

years ago for a new book to be released in July?  It is called,

“What Pet Should I Get?” The commentator who announced this

made a joke, “Well, of course it will be a Cat in a Hat!”

 

I overheard someone say they “lost” a love along their path in life.

It made me think of the song, “You’ve Lost that Loving Feeling.”

(This song was originally sung by the Righteous Brothers in 1964.)

 

It may interest you to know I have a different ‘take’ on the subject.

I never felt I ‘lost’ after having loved someone deeply and with a full

heart. Especially if the love was returned with the same depth, even

if it didn’t last. Since the original loving feelings made an impression

on my heart and are in my memories, they will never truly be ‘lost.’

What do you think of this thought?

 

On someone’s post or comment, sorry I am not quite sure whose,

I mentioned the Hallmark movie, “Away and Back.” I recommend it

since it is about relationships and has beautiful Trumpeter Swans.

A little girl in the movie also mentions  one of my favorite books.

She says her mother used to read to her the wonderful E. B. White

book, “Trumpet of the Swans.”

 

When I was describing the baby swans, hatched from eggs and the

children of a widower trying to raise them I couldn’t remember

what those adorable ‘chicks’  or ‘goslings’ were really called. In

the middle of my shift today, their name popped into my mind:

“cygnets. ”

 

Mom and I loved this movie which has a serious role for Jason Lee

to play. (He performed the character of “Dave” who yells, “Alvin!”

in the Chipmunks recent movies. He is also of television fame, on

the past silly but addictive show, “My Name is Earl.)  The Hallmark

film also had a feisty naturalist female part, well-acted by Minka Kelly.

The three children characters range from 11 – 16 years old.

 

A friend of mine, who I met two years ago through match. com,

still thinks about me and sent me Sneak Preview Tickets to see the

new Kevin Costner movie, “McFarland, U.S.A.” I knew I was going

to be busy with my grandchildren’s musical program and chili dinner,

so I gave them to one of the ‘clerks’ in our Bin Order Filler department

at work. Michelle is a calm ‘oasis,’ always upbeat, so I was pleased

to be able to pass these tickets forward to her. She told me that the

movie is inspirational and worth going to see. Her boyfriend enjoyed

the running part of the movie. Michelle liked the international cast and

the emotions expressed. The guy who works for the Columbus Dispatch

sports section is named, Gary. This movie comes out tomorrow in our

local theaters. (They felt it was cool to attend this special preview.)

 

Speaking of Gary’s, there is a bit of news about a younger man with the

same name.

 

The other man, who I wish my oldest daughter would meet someday,

named Gary, is moving into my apartment building. Today, he told

me he had signed the lease, got the keys and was going to have a good

friend and his father help him to move in this weekend. I am glad to

have a coworker in the building, since it is nice to share rides, from

time to time.

 

When I first moved in there was a Ron, who actually knew me for the

first two years while I was still teaching. When I knew I would have

to switch careers, he is the one who persuaded me to try Advance Auto

distribution center.  He has since met a great woman through his

church, moved out and is now working for a correctional institution.

Then, there was a nice man named Don, who has retired and moved

to Florida on February 14, 2015. On a different shift, I do have a male

neighbor named Pete. None of the above were the ‘right’ ones to try to

date.

 

Saturday is a busy day for concerts at the Delaware Hayes High School.

Skyler, aged 10, will be performing in the gymnasium with his cello.

Right before his performance, my granddaughter, Lara, will be singing

with the middle school chorus in a completely different location! In

the auditorium.  If you don’t see any posts or comments, there are my

plans and if you are in the area and wish to sit and listen to some funny

musicians and young chorus members, you may run into me there.

 

Speaking of music, I enjoy watching “American Idol.” I believe the

singers who come from other shows are good singers, but there have

been many fantastic ‘discoveries,’ from this fine entertaining show.

I am going to tell you ‘who to watch,’ and I hope he makes it to the

Top Ten. His name is Clark Beckham.  Last night, he performed

amazingly well, at this beginning level of rounds, still not cut down

to 25 performers. His song was, “Georgia on My Mind.” Wow!

 

Last but not least, there were a few people who were asking me why

in the world Vanilla Ice would be at this weekend’s Home and Garden

Show? The answer will surprise you! Vanilla Ice is a regular handyman

and also, an entrepreneur. You may find him on not one, but two HG-TV

shows. My girlfriend, Jenny, told me that Vanilla Ice buys homes, repairs

and decorates them quite elaborately. They are very lavish in their decor,

which are then sold, this process is called, “flipping houses.” Jenny thinks

he looks handsome and not aged like other singers. The other show is even

more interesting, she told me. It is called, “Vanilla Ice Goes Amish.” She

says the people probably are really Mennonite, since they allow themselves

to be filmed. Vanilla Ice has learned how to do carpentry work, woodwork

and is very skilled, according to my ‘source.’

 

Do you have any special weekend plans?

I hope everyone manages to stay warm, healthy and enjoy your weekend.

 

 

 

 

“The One You Feed”

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There is a parable which really has me thinking about our Native

American culture and their intuitive minds. It is always nice to get

our minds working, especially from a different perspective.

 

There is  a “podcast” called, “Good Life Project,” which focused on

this story first. The parable is simply what choices we make in how

we ‘feed’ our souls.  It ‘spoke’ to me about so much in a short amount

of words.

 

The entrepreneur and business consultant, Chris Zimmer and his

friend, Eric Forbes, developed a podcast played on iTunes out of

Columbus, Ohio. It is an interactive podcast and has reached huge

numbers of responses.

 

Zimmer is a follower of the podcast, “Good Life Project,” by Jonathan

Fields. He wanted to come up with his own ‘angle’ on using the parable

about two wolves. He explained why he invited his long-time friend,

Forbes, to join him in this quest to analyze the impact of this subject

upon new listeners and followers of the podcast, “One You Feed.”

 

The people who respond to the parable may choose to give up their

addictions such as food, alcohol, drugs, and other areas of their life

which ‘drain’ and ‘take away’ from their fully functioning lives.

Personal areas of lives are openly expressed on the podcasts. This is

reminiscent of the days when you would hear radio broadcasters

encouraging people to ‘call in and spill your guts’ on subjects.

 

There are still many radio announcers today doing just this sort of

thing. The idea of podcasts creates more of an international audience

rather than just ‘local call-in’s.’ It is still a very popular way of sharing

private areas of people’s lives. The same process is found on a wide

variety of television talk shows and self-help programs out there,

where this happens daily.

 

The subject matter may not be as deep as this parable leads you.

Taking you into your own inner workings and promoting self-

awareness seem to be two valuable processes that come out of

reading this parable.

 

I believe and hope this parable will stay in your mind for quite some

time. If you are not ‘into’ sharing publicly on the radio, a podcast or

television talk show, you may start a conversation with your family

or friends after you tell them this story.

 

“THE PARABLE”

“A man tells his grandchildren about a fight going on inside him,

a terrible fight between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger,

envy, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment and ego.

 

The other wolf stands for joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness,

empathy, truth and generosity.

 

‘This same fight is going on inside you and inside every other person,

too,’ he added.

 

One child asked, ‘Which wolf will win?’

 

The old Cherokee grandfather simply replied,

‘The one you feed.'”

 

Here is a quote about the podcast by Forbes:

“Most surprising to me is the success of the podcast. Eric and I knew

going in that we would have fun doing it, but it quickly became much

larger than just having fun.”

Zimmer also had a dream guest list for his podcast, which includes

some fantastic guests:  “Leonard Cohen, Dalai Lama, Pope Francis,

and other spiritual leaders. Zimmer credits the work of Buddhist

nun Pema Chodron, (another ‘dream guest’) for basically saving

his life through her powerful book, “When Things Fall Apart.”

He continues by saying, “It’s beautiful the way Pema Chodron

sees the world.”

Where did Zimmer and Forbes come from? They are both Ohio

residents from Worthington, Ohio. They view the world from a

Midwestern viewpoint, down to earth, practical and nothing

fancy. Their podcast has had a few notable guests, Lewis Howes,

a professional athlete with roots in Columbus, Ohio. Also, Ohio

Congressman, Tim Ryan, who  wrote, “A Mindful Nation.”

 

If you are interested in joining the ‘conversation’ about the wolf

parable or listen to others who have been guests on this podcast,

you may check out topics covered, articles, websites, blogs and

in some cases, free guides or books at:

 

http://OneYouFeed.net

 

Thank you Jenny Patton who wrote an interesting and much more

detailed article in the January, 2015 “Natural Awakenings” magazine.

You may check her out at her email address: Patton.220@osu.edu.

 

Mystery about a Sister

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Be prepared to read about a woman’s story, one which may or may

not have been relevant and meaningful to the musical world. I feel

there is a true basis and possibility that she made a big difference in

how her famous brother became who he was. I have to admit, I was

on my  own personal “movie fest” over the weekend. Originally I was

thinking, I would just post some of my favorites and give short film

critiques.

 

Somehow, this evolved into something ‘bigger’ than I expected. It

was time-consuming and yet, I felt like a private investigator with

her mind open and ready for understanding and analyzing the facts.

I looked up, using different sources, to find out more about this

fascinating woman.

 

Now that I may, or may not, have your attention, I will tell you the

riveting movie that led to my research.

 

MOVIE REVIEW:

“Mozart’s Sister,” a French film which needs you to read the sub-titles.

 

In the movie,  which came out in 2011, Rene Feret is the director

and a young actress who is his daughter, Marie Feret, plays the

sister to her character’s famous younger brother. Historical details

that were  discerned through research shall follow this summary of

this fine movie.

 

First, here are three splendid comments from famous reviewers,

starting with one who’s deceased.  Roger Ebert, “Chicago Sun-Times,”

was always one of my favorite reviewers. He is such a trustworthy

man to recommend movies.

(Of course, many of you will recognize his name and the television

show which I used to enjoy- “Siskel and Ebert at the Movies.”)

 

Here is what Roger Ebert said of, “Mozart’s Sister:”

“Marie Feret is luminous.” (in this role.)

 

David Noh, “Film Journey” says:

“A triumph!”

 

Ronnie Scheib, “Variety” Magazine:

“A treat for classical music lovers and cinephiles alike.”

 

What was a turning point in this movie which motivated me to

investigate and research?

What happened to make me seek the truth?

 

When Leopold Mozart, father of Maria Anna (also referred to as

Marianne and affectionately known as, “Nannerl”) tells his only

daughter when she is interested in writing musical compositions,

“Harmony and counterpoint are not understood by women.”

 

Of course, this caused me to say indignantly to my television screen

which was innocently displaying the film,

“That’s outrageous!”

 

Big sister, “Nannerl,” is helpful to toddler brother, “Wolfie,” and

helps him practice his keyboard lessons on a harpsichord. This

baroque instrument is lovely sounding. The scales and other early

beginning lessons are closely supervised by their father.

 

At age 5 or 6, “Wolfie” is paraded in front of wealthy families and

is also given an audience with royalty. He is a cute boy and shows

great potential and musical aptitude. The film shows Wolfgang

using creative interpretation of the music and dramatic arm

flourishes. He was supposedly beginning to write his own musical

compositions at age 4 or 5.

 

In the beginning of the movie,  their coach’s wheel breaks after

going over a rut in the country road. It is late and the Mozart family

stays in a nearby nunnery. It is interesting to note that there are

two sisters living there. Their story emphasizes the difference in

the way male and female genders were treated in this period of time.

The two girls have been shuffled and taken away from the palace,

being raised by nuns.

 

At one point, there is a name mentioned of the two girls’ brother,

who is being raised to be a ‘Royal.’ The part that Maria Anna plays,

and is asked to carry out a charade, is to transport a letter to their

brother, if the Mozart family should be ever happen to appear at

Court. Anna Maria treasures this new friendship and promises to

keep the letter safe and take it to their estranged brother.

 

This movie would engage someone who has been enjoying the inner

workings of the staff and upper class levels or tiers of British society

on the PBS show, “Downton Abbey.” Although this is a whole other

period of time, there are still the ideas of class structure and family

expectations being expressed. Definitely, it is an eye-opener in both

the film about the late 1700’s and the television series of the 1900’s.

Traditions and historical details about clothing, customs and roles

women and men played also are featured in both of these storylines.

 

At the end of the film, there is not much said about Nannerl’s  being

anything but helpful to her brother.  There are no illusions that she

may have helped Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart compose his greatest

works.

 

In the movie’s middle,  there is a nice romantic interlude, where

Maria Anna disguises herself as a boy, in a white-haired wig, to give

the hand written letter to the young Monarch from his sister. They

use the young man’s title in the film as ‘Louis XV.’ This story becomes

a very sweet part of the movie. I will not tell you about how it unfolds,

hoping you will someday pursue viewing this one. I will say it depicts

Nannerl’s character as having spunk, showing independence and also,

her romantic side.

 

Before the credits roll, there are a few sparse details given. The written

lettering after the movie ends mentions Maria Anna helped to write

some of her own sonatas as a young woman. It mentions she helped

Wolfgang transcribe his first writings, since he scribbled them. There

is a subtle undertone of the possibility that she was his ‘muse.’  As his

sister, she may have written (created) some of his early works.

 

The movie has places that explain traditional upbringing of “fine young

ladies.” The women are encouraged to wait on men, not to further their

education. Maria Anna tries to ‘rock the establishment.’ Her mother has

disappointment and her father shows anger for her independent streak.

She doesn’t wish to follow the social order of the period. I was rooting

for her, all the way!

 

RESEARCH:

If you enjoy history and reading about a famous person’s family,

you may enjoy this part of the post. . .

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived from January 1756 until December,

1791. There is confusion about why he died at such an early age of 35.

 

He was the son of a musician and teacher of music, Leopold Mozart.

His mother was named Anna. He was born in Salzburg, which later

became part of, or known as,  Austria. Wolgang’s father and mother

had seven children, only two that lived beyond infancy. The oldest

living child was a daughter named Maria Anna, nicknamed, “Nannerl.”

There were four years between the two children, sister and brother.

 

When Wolfgang was 3 years old, his sister was learning her lessons,

which included language, music and reading. She was practicing

with her brother close by her side. Later, she would be by his side,

while he was the one leading the lessons. This relationship lasted

probably all of their childhood. “Wolfie” was her little shadow,

trying to do everything she did.

 

There is a notebook that Leopold made for Maria Anna, which is

known as “Nannerl’s Notenbuch” or also written as, “Notenbuch

fur Nannerl.” In English, this was “Nannerl’s Music Book.” This

amazing composition book demonstrated the first lessons that

Leopold gave to her, along with her brother. It consists of only

(originally) 48 pages, now only 36 pages remain.  This book has

her father’s exercises for her practicing beginner harpsichord

pieces. This also included anonymous minuets and some of her

father’s  original  works.  Two composers,  Carl P. E. Bach and

George C. Wagenseil, had their pieces transcribed as passages

in this musical exercise book.

 

In 1982, a man (just a coincidence) named Wolfgang Plath

studied the handwriting within the Notebook and attributed

the variety to consist of five different handwriting samples

or sources. There are evidences of the collaboration between

Leopold, the father, and his son, “Wolfie.”

 

Leopold took his family touring around countries and the cities

of Vienna, Austria and Paris, France. Maria Anna Mozart was

born in 1751 and lived 78 years, until 1829. When she became a

young lady, it was considered inappropriate for her to continue

to publicly play the harpsichord, piano or sing. Up until she was

18, Maria was part of her musical touring family. A biographer

considered her to be a great singer and an,

“Excellent harpsichord player and fortepiano player.”

 

Sadly, there is no mention about Nannerl being a conduit, or

letter transporter, between the sisters raised in a nunnery and a

member of Louis XV’s “Court” or “Royalty.”  This was the main

part of the plot I enjoyed in the movie I reviewed earlier.

 

At age 18, Maria Anna went home to Salzburg with her mother,

to teach musical lessons and stay at home. The following reason

was mentioned in one source,

“This was due to her being of marriageable age.”

 

Wolfgang and his father both wrote letters to Maria Anna which

some have been saved. Wolfgang during the 1770’s, was touring

in Italy and mentioned Nannerl’s writing musical compositions

and Wolfgang goes so far as to ‘praise her musical works.’

 

There are no references in her multiple letters from her father

to any of her own musical compositions in his correspondence.

 

An interesting note (and slightly salacious fact) is mentioned

in some of the biographers’ notes about Maria Anna’s and

Wolfgang’s close, intimate relationship. When they were young,

they developed a “secret language” and they had an “imaginary

kingdom.” They pretended they were married and carried out

their positions while playing together, as “Queen” and “King.”

 

There are a few indications and there is evidence of Wolfgang’s

using sexual wordplay which he used in other letters to his

lovers or girlfriends. This can be found also in the words he

chose and were included in his writing to his sister. One

historian considers this to be a ‘strange relationship’ for a

sister and a brother.

 

As an aside, my two brothers and I would play ‘house’ but

we would not have myself be the “mother” and one of my

brothers be the “father.” We would instead play that one of

the brothers was the “father” and other brother and I were

his “children.” Like the old television show, “Family Affair,”

where the uncle has “Buffy” and twins “Cissy” and “Jody.”

(I used to love this show, with Sebastian Cabot playing the

butler/nanny and Brian Keith playing the bachelor uncle.

did you know it ran from 1966 until 1971?) Or I would play

the ‘mother’ role and the brothers were my ‘kids.’ We usually

had company or neighbors over.  Once in awhile, they would

‘marry’ one of my girlfriends, or once in awhile, I would ‘marry’

one of their guy friends. I mention this to confirm that I would

also think it strange that the siblings played ‘Queen and King’

together over a Kingdom.

 

A sad note about Maria Anna’s independence shown in the

movie, “Mozart’s Sister.” This is not to be found anywhere in

any biographies or any letters. She is shown to be subservient

to her father, allowing him to forbid her to marry a man named,

“Franz d’Ippold.”  They were both young, he was a Captain and

a private tutor. When he proposed, there is an implication she

would have liked to say, “Yes.”  There is a letter in the family’s

collection where her brother, Wolfgang, tried to persuade her to

stand up to her father. Ultimately, Maria Anna was ‘forced’ to

turn down Captain Franz d’Ippold’s proposal.

 

Years went by, Maria Anna was allowed to marry at age 32, when

asked by a man named Johann Baptist Franzvan Berchtold  “un

Sonnenburg.” They were  married in 1783.  Listen to the “fun” life

Maria Anna participated in:  She became the wife of a widower

with five children she helped to raise. She had three more of her

own children with Johann. When she had her first born son,

she named him Leopold. Her father insisted on taking the her

only son to raise him in Salzburg at his home. The biography

doesn’t mention her mother’s role in this drama. From 1785

until he died in 1787, Leopold Sr. wrote letters and in a journal

telling about his toilet training Jr. and teaching him how to talk.

 

There was no mention of the boy’s illness nor a reason why he

should not have been raised as a baby until age 2 by his own

mother.  There is some speculation for her father’s thinking he

would raise another musical prodigy. Since he felt he was the

reason Wolfgang A. Mozart turned out the way he did.

 

After all, Leopold Mozart, Sr. did write and publish a violin

music textbook.

 

SUMMARY:

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was known for his classical

musical compositions, which included over 600 works.

They include symphonies, concertos, operas and choral

music.

 

Beethoven, while young, lived in the shadow of Mozart.

During his early years composing his own original music,

he was constantly compared to Mozart’s body of work.

 

Composer, Joseph Hayden said of Mozart’s legacy:

“Posterity will not see such a talent in another 100 years.”

 

Wolfgang A. Mozart married Constanze and had two sons.

He died at the early age of 35 years old.

His magnificent “Requiem” was never completed.

His music is still revered and considered the best in classical

music.

 

Maria Anna was never given any credit (that I could find out

about) for her influence on her brother’s music nor were any

of her musical compositions published. The book, “Nannerl’s

Notenbuch” is not considered to be anything but her lesson

book to practice and play music using the hand written

exercises.

 

I need to see the movie, “Amadeus,”  (again) to see if there

are any musical or notable references to his sister. If you

have a good memory or recently seen this, let me know in

the comments whether there is mention of Anna Maria

Mozart please.

 

I strongly recommend, “Mozart’s Sister” as a film to savor

and enjoy, while wishing the story line really happened.

 

Truthfully, being an older sister myself, how could “Nannerl”

NOT have had an influence upon her little brother, “Wolfie?”

 

Either way you look at this famous musician’s life,

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart made a huge impact

on the musical world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleeping and Music

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When people say it is best not to go to bed angry, I can understand

their logic. There is a saying, often quoted, derived from the Bible,

“Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” I used to have a hard time

sleeping, while young,  if things were unsettled or unresolved in my life.

Recently, I read another way of looking at this,  a different perspective

being:  Why ‘battle it out’ while tired? Instead why not go to bed and

‘sleep on it?’

While we are sleeping, many neurons keep on firing in our brains.

Many people come up with book ideas, song lyrics or other creative

thoughts, along with going, “Ah ha!” and waking up refreshed and

having a whole different outlook on their life or problems. I know a

few people who have had a pad of paper and pen or pencil on their

bedside table, sometimes called a ‘night stand.’ The brain still practices

music, it is still active while we are still and deep in our REM mode of

sleeping. Instincts sometimes keep our mind alive, while we have a little

baby in our care, whether we are a parent, grandparent or babysitter.

Animals are on ‘guard,’ while we may be more sorting through our fears,

re-thinking and processing, our cautions may even become ‘fixed’ and

we may solve a way out of our danger, at hand.

While our bodies are slowing down, our metabolism also is slowing.

We have growth and cell repair sources released while we sleep.

Something scary that researchers are now filling us in on is that

those who are more likely to get Alzheimer’s and dementia are people

who have gone through most of their adult life, lacking sleep, this would

apply to nurses, doctors, air traffic comptrollers and others who have a

busy and hectic schedule, allowing less sleep and rest in their lives.

 

Some positives gathered from several sources gained from our deep and

tranquil sleep:

Mathematicians solve algorithms and problems while sleeping.

Scientists figure our solutions, structures and finish ‘their daily work,’ in

their sleep.

When we make mistakes, our mind rolls the process around in our head,

we are much more cautious, an example given, when we approach a slick

piece of ice on a road, after we have had an accident.

 

We may have our best songs that we sing and our best pieces of art,

while creative minds were finishing their projects, organizing and

composing.

Leading me into the next subject. . .

There is a musical milestone that we past last February: 100 years of

ASCAP.

Many songwriters don’t get the money from our downloading ‘free’

music. This organization was created in 1914, representing currently

over 1/2 million songwriters. It ensures the rights to make money while

others may sing their songs.

I have known two local groups who write their own music, who joined

ASCAP.  Team KNYCE (a trio of rappers with some blues and jazz

influences) and Morgan Treni, who wrote all of her own songs on her

Fall, 2014 release of her Essays album. A group that plays locally folk

songs, whose advice I sought about this subject, also all are members.

 

The American Society of Composers, Authors  and Publishers is a long-

standing organization who has famous members, including Irving Berlin.

This is a world wide organization and it is emphasized by mentors of

musicians to join this, to protect your music. When performers sing the

Irving Berlin song, “White Christmas,” his heirs will get checks. It protects

performers who sing their own songs. Although artists get royalties from

sales of albums, there was a time when famous musical composers would

die, virtually ‘penniless.’

 

Just for your interest, I found out the estimated sales of the song, “White

Christmas” make it the most sung and highest number of all time, as over

50 billion song copies sold , with the second most being Elton John’s,

“Candle in the Wind,” at 33 billion copies sold.

 

The President of ASCAP is the well-respected and likable Paul Williams.

I was amazed when I saw him speaking recently on television of all the

wonderful songs he wrote. I enjoy his sense of humor, along with in the

past, numerous guest starring parts on television shows. Here are just

a few examples of Paul Williams’ songs:

Three Dog Night sings his song, “Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song.”

The Carpenters sang his song, “Rainy Days and Mondays.”

The theme song for “Love Boat” still brings Paul Williams some royalty

checks, as it repeats and reruns on television.

 

ASCAP President Paul Williams (composer and singer) says it is very

frustrating how many sources on the Internet ‘try to steal music’ and not

allow the original artist or songwriter to get their ‘cut’ or ‘share of the pie.’

An example of how many songs are streaming was 7 million streams of

one Lady Antebellum song in a short period of time, losing quite a lot of

money for the group and composer, too. Taylor Swift was interviewed

about ASCAP, saying she was pulling her songs off of “Spotify.” Garth

Brooks and Billy Joel were also outspoken while being asked about this

landmark anniversary of the organization. They mentioned Pandora,

as another source which is a concern of theirs, allowing access to songs

without paying for them.

 

So, when you listen to “The Music in Me” (written by keyboardist Bias

Bochell, of the Kiki Dee Band), “New York State of Mind” (Billy Joel)

and Stevie Wonder’s “Dance to the Music,” you may not get these free

anymore.

There are some artists, musicians and composers standing up for their

rights, in the face of the internet. We will see if the songs that are pulled

off, will still reach the popularity level that others which are free and

available.

As fellow bloggers and writers, we must admire their integrity and

believe in their right to having their music kept original and protected.

 

Patricia Cornwell was a 1975 high school graduate. I graduated in 1974

which makes me feel like we could have been friends. My brother, Randy,

was a ’75 graduate so I hung out with a lot of his friends. She is an author

I deeply admire. I was interested in knowing how she reached her level

of writing and productivity. Her most recent book, “Flesh and Blood,”

was published in November, 2014.

 

I enjoy her murder mysteries that often dwell upon the forensics found in

the coroner’s office. Ms. Cornwell says her favorite book for years, one she

carried around everywhere, was titled, “The Inner Game of Tennis.” She

has been a tennis player yet never became a professional tennis player.

She suggests there is much to find in the book about life. She also slyly

mentioned in AARP magazine, that she may not play like a pro, but she

has through her writing and recognition been able to make friends with

Billie Jean King. Timothy Gallwey wrote this book Patricia admired and

studied.

 

Although she does not mention sleep and creativity, I imagine she would

say she discovered some of her best plot lines while sleeping. I contemplate

how rest can prepare you for reaching your own personal goals.

Patricia Cornwell on her personal motivation:

“After reading the book, “The Inner Game of Tennis,” I made it my ambition

to pay attention and not live a fear-driven life. When I sit down to write, I

remind myself to stay in the moment.”

 

J.M. Barrie, author of “Peter Pan,” is often quoted:

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able

to do it.”

 

Sometimes, as in Peter Pan, it is fun to be child-like. In “Downton

Abbey,”

Elizabeth McGovern portrays the character, “Cora,” Countess of Grantham.

In her personal life, she may not be so serious, as exhibited by this quote:

“You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.”

 

Hmm. . .Or is this possibly a ‘slam’ on those who tend to act immature,

even as adults. . . up to your own interpretation.

Sit-Com Stars in Hallmark Movie

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On another post, we had just been talking about 1989, when a few

of our favorite funny situation comedies originated. I could not

believe my ‘luck’ when I turned on the Hallmark Channel to find a

movie with a catchy title, “The Christmas Con.” There is an ensemble

cast of six famous actors from more than six situation comedies.

They show their talent and  versatility in this meaningful Hallmark

movie.

 

I will sketch the plot in, along with giving you the ‘who’s who’ of t.v.

series actors. If you are a fan of television trivia games, you may be

able to ‘keep up with me,’ in this essay about performers who have

been around television for years: one since 1982. Although the title

isn’t very pretty nor the story as simple as some Hallmark Christmas

movies are, it tells a meaningful story of hope and forgiveness.

 

There is a collection of outstanding, amusing actors who played

character parts in this story of ‘redemption.’ The movie has two

characters, an ex-convict who needs to change his way of dealing

with people, passing through his life ‘taking’ and never ‘giving.’ The

second character must face his addiction, he has to fall flat on his

face, embarrass himself, go to jail and then, find his way home.

 

The actor who plays the character of an alcoholic man, came from a

caring family, dramatic show, “Party of Five.”  My two daughters loved

the whole cast of this show. They would know this man who later left

this show to play an irascible red-headed doctor.  Although, you may

or may not,  have known the popular teenaged-cast of “Party of Five,”

he was, “Will Mc Corkle.” Then you may have seen him as the red haired

“pain in the butt” doctor from the serious show, “E.R.”  This character

was the head of the “E.R.” as, Dr. Archie Morris. “Archie” was disliked by

most everyone, (nurses and the E.R. hospital staff) which showed quite

a range of talent in this role played by Scott Grimes. It was nice to have

known him as a likable man in the first show, then respect his portrayal

of a ‘by the books’ doctor who sometimes went ‘head to head’ with John

Stamos, who played another type of character on “E.R.” Scott Grimes

went from “E.R.” to act in a few television movies, along with another

series, “Band of Brothers.”

Interestingly enough, Scott Richard Grimes made a ‘soft rock and roll’

album, (also described as  ‘popular rock’) called, “Sunset Boulevard.” He

wrote all of the songs and sang them, too. I have not checked this out

but it was favorably reviewed, in its genre.

 

Then there was the character of the  endearing ex-convict with a ‘heart

of gold,’ who plays Santa Claus, making a promise he nearly is unable to

keep for the son of the red-headed man. Scott Grime’s plays a father/

ex-husband who is unfortunately battling alcoholism. His son asks Santa

Claus to bring his mother and father back together again for Christmas.

 

Santa promises to bring this estranged father back ‘into the fold,’ becoming

part of the trio the boy considers his ‘family.’ The ex-con is played by Barry

Watson, who both my daughters had major ‘crushes’ on, while he was the

oldest son in a family of seven members being raised by a minister, known

as, “Seventh Heaven.” Barry Watson left “Seventh Heaven,” to battle in his

own personal ‘real life drama,’ Hodgkins Disease. My family, son included,

had Barry in our prayers for a few years. His attractive long-haired look in

the family show changed to a gaunt, bald look when he was interviewed

during this period of time. The producers allowed him to ‘spread his wings,’

by being behind the camera, in his writing plots and helping set up scenes.

 

There is a memorable scene, in The Christmas Con,” which paints a fairly

accurate picture of an A.A. meeting, where Scott Grimes’ meets Santa Claus,

out of costume. I feel capable of analyzing this subject, due to my own personal

experience of being married to an alcoholic, having attended one year of A.A.,

two years of Alanon, and taking my three children to Children of Alcoholics

meetings.

 

The man who is Santa/Barry’s best friend is played by, Jaleel White, who

portrayed the dorky, inept character named, “Steve Urkel,” in “Family

Matters.” His character has mended his ways of conniving and trying to

trick others, while also being a good and supportive friend to Barry’s

character. He gets to also romance Barry’s ‘sister,’ in the movie, using his

charming demeanor. He looks ‘nothing’ like Steve Urkel, has grown into

a handsome man.

 

John Ratzenberger’s in the cast of this Hallmark movie, playing a Grandpa,

and you know where he came from?  “Cheers,” where he was “Cliff Clavin,”

the mailman, the one who sometimes kept the bar stool warm for hours.

He was the stocky man’s (“Norm’s”) best friend, “where everyone knew

their names.” This series lasted from 1982 -1993. No wonder we felt these

actors were part of our family! John R. went on to make a few different

television movies, played guest character roles on shows and my ‘grandies’

love him in such familiar children’s animated films as the “Toy Story” series,

“Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars,” where he plays (‘voices’) a rusted-out truck.

 

Another familiar character, where you may wonder, “Where have I seen

this attractive black woman before?” She has a unique character part,

as a female preacher in a church.  By the end of the story, you realize this

does not exist. It is a boarded up church, having been condemned. The

recognizable woman, who you don’t immediately ‘place’ or figure out

where she came from, is  talk show hostess, Wendy Williams. She ends

up being a fantastic singer, when she is caroling with church folks in a

neighborhood. I felt she was the Guardian Angel for Barry’s ex-convict

character.

 

The last famous displaced series player, is the actress, Melissa Joan Hart.

You got to know her as a teenaged witch in “Sabrina the Teen Age Witch,”

if you had children in the 90’s. (This ran seven years, 1996-2003.) Along

with Melissa’s more current role on  the show, “Melissa and Joey.” In the

Family Channel show, she is a town councilwoman and Joey (Lawrence)

is playing her ‘stay at home’ Nanny/Housekeeper. Can you believe Joey

was on The Johnny Carson Show, singing at age 5 years old? He is NOT

in this Hallmark movie, but was in one with Melissa Joan Hart, a few

Christmases ago.

(Yes, the plot for “Melissa and Joey,” resembles the one of “Who’s the

Boss?”)

 

Melissa’s character believes in her brother, the man who has just been

released from prison. You don’t feel he was a dangerous criminal and

are sympathetic to his character. (He had been a ‘grifter’ or ‘con artist,’

hence the name of the movie…)

Melissa and Barry make a believably good sister and brother team.

Melissa Joan Hart debuted as the director of this movie, which is a

new position for her to be in.

 

When Jameel’s character meets Melissa, he shows his debonair side,

which eventually they become close and they make a ‘cute couple.’

Their characters go about playing the ‘normal’ fantasy of carrying out

Christmas routines, as they decorate Melissa’s house, listen to Santa/

Barry’s quandary. Both Jaleel’s buddy character and Melissa’s sister

character cheer for the miracle of fixing the nearly irreparable marriage

and family together again.

 

Yes, I told you part of the ending.

The journey makes it worth watching.

The cast of recognizable people who have become part of our ongoing

landscape of television. Those people who come into our living room,

visit and stay awhile. They become more familiar than big screen

actors.

There are a few ‘surprises’ and twisting turns leading you to the

expected and satisfying ending. I didn’t tell you anything you didn’t

know since almost all of these movies come out ‘safe and sound.’

 

Hopefully, instead you will want to watch this more. Since it is the

way they handle the simplistic story, how they fulfill their duties as

characters which will help you admire Scott Grimes, Jaleel White,

Barry Watson, Melissa Joan Hart, John Ratzenberger and Wendy

Williams. In my mind, this is an ‘All Star Cast’ of television experts.

 

This is a treat to see, savor and remember. It shows me Christmas is

a time for all possibilities imaginable to come true.

 

Musical Notes

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When David Letterman took over for Johnny Carson, it was not a

pretty sound heard around the country, possibly the world. There

were four letter words, profanity being blurted out and there was an

inexplicable sadness for ‘losing’ the off stage private person, on stage

hilarious man. Who could replace Johnny?

My parents  were open-minded  and would routinely enjoy ‘new’ things,

which meant they eventually watched, “The Jay Leno Show” and “The

Late Show with David Letterman.”

There was a night owl lurking in both parents, even while completing

their careers, they were ‘stout’ and ‘devout’ late to bed and during the

week, early to risers.

Now, retirement changed this but that is another story!

I was flabbergasted that TONIGHT will be the LAST Christmas show

with David Letterman where he features the fabulous (‘dahling’) woman

known to many as “Darlene Love.” You must have heard her singing, even

if not on this show, but David’s Late Show band leader, Paul Shaffer,

was the one to have discovered her and encouraged David to have her on

his show, particularly singing (should I say, ‘belting out?’) this marvelous

song,

“Baby, Please Come Home for Christmas.”

She came in short hair, blonde hair, long and wavy hair, sometimes even

crimped hair, she changed her octaves over the 18 years of being the one

who heralded in the Christmas season’s last week before evening show.

 

David Letterman has declared her (or ‘dubbed her’) the Christmas Queen!

 

There is someone or something that brings Christmas into your heart,

if you follow the tradition to celebrate this holiday. . .

Who or what makes the holiday come true?

David Letterman sometime almost 30 years ago said,

“It’s just not Christmas, without Darlene Love on our show.”

 

If you cannot listen tonight, don’t have DVR to save this momentous

occasion, then find her and look her up on Youtube or listen to her one

one of Phil Sceptor’s brilliant Christmas albums, recorded in 1963…

Recent Stuff, (Including 1989 T.V. Shows)

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I had my two grandsons overnight, we went out to look at the Dec.

13, 2014 Geminid Meteor Showers at 9 p.m. and were a little unsure

of whether we were looking in the correct direction. The meteor

showers were located behind the Gemini constellation, (the “twins”).

We saw more brightness there, but since we were relying on our

own eyesight, we were not able to see the radiating yellow flashes.

It is always fun to walk over to Ohio Wesleyan campus and go to the

center of the circle of the original buildings made of blue limestone

from Delaware’s old quarry.

 

We came home and put our pajamas on to play ‘flashlight’ Hide

‘n Seek. I have a few ‘tricks’ up my sleeve, while the two boys hide

in the bathroom to “Count to 20.” I am getting rather good at

figuring ways to make myself small to hide under things and

behind them, too.

 

They walked right past me, flashing their lights at the bed, while

not looking behind the door. Another time, I rearranged the toy

chest location, making myself  hidden by covering up with a soft

blanket behind an upholstered chair. Their vision played tricks

on them, thinking no one was there, the toy chest blocking me

behind it.

The boys favorite surprise hiding place was in the kitchen, a

narrow ‘closet’ where I keep my small upright vacuum cleaner.

Skyler quickly hid this item in my front closet under some coats.

Micah stood in the back flattening himself, then Sky closed the

door, using the edge of my Christmas apron that hangs on the

doorknob to this narrow closet to pull it closed from the inside.

I actually have never found both of them in there together, so I

circled my one bedroom apartment a few times. I was puzzled

and one of our ‘last resorts’ is to ask for a vocalized response,

“Are you still here?” I heard the muffled voice of Sky, saying,

“Yeah.”

Their other favorite ‘team hiding place’ is my bedroom closet

where there is a small dresser on either side of the closet. They

shut the door on either end, climbing up on each respective

dresser. One hides behind my clothes while the other one hides

behind the wedding dress, flower girl and bridesmaids’ dresses.

I guess by the time my oldest daughter has decided to marry,

the dresses will need to be pressed or steamed…

The kids giggle while they hide in ‘plain sight’ under blankets,

since it is a silly companionship moment, where I say such things

as, “Who in the world would ever just hide in a blanket in the

middle of a room, don’t they worry their old Nana will step on

them? Is this short body, Skyler, all drawn up into

himself or my little Micah?”

 

If you look in the area of the Gemini constellation, you may

have one more night of sightings of the yellow, golden flashes.

Good luck and hope you have binoculars! I hope you get a

chance to see this and let me know about this beautiful

experience.

 

In 1989, a few series of quirky, wacky and fun shows were

initiated. One ended up lasting 25 years, one introduced us

to a strange pre-teenager who wore pants that showed his

socks or ankles, (we used to call these pants, “high water,”)

and another helped us to believe in geniuses who could

carry out a professional job. There is one in the bunch which

was all about ‘everyday’ and discussion about ‘nothing.’

These shows came on the television screen 25 years ago:

 

1. “The Simpsons” was a show I watched with my children.

I supervised this show, which over all had a “Dennis the Menace”

message. Where lessons of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ choices were actually

shown but in such a way, there are a vast number of people who

despised the show and others who watched this one for famous

people caricatured but voicing their own character.  There is a

PG-13 video game where it is not a positive force for children,

where points may be earned by being ‘bad.’

 

The thing is, my son pointed out, it is like acting out their

thoughts of disliking other kids, usually the ‘bullies.’ I do

not judge this show, since I have laughed out loud and have

enjoyed famous guests on it. Nor would I say I was a ‘perfect’

parent, since I knowingly let my son and his best friend go

to the multi-plex with other babysitting kids and they went

to the next theater to watch Will Smith and Martin Lawrence

in a rated R movie. They were probably 14 and 12, at the time.

I did clear this with the other boy’s parents, and Mick was also

allowed to sneak into “Bad Boys.” They later, when it came out,

were allowed to see, “Bad Boys 2” but this was in 2003, so Jamie

was 22 and Mick was 20. The way I look at it, ‘you pick your

battles in parenting.’

 

2. “Seinfeld” came out in 1989 to much success, it lasted quite some

time with its simple plots but complicated characters. I liked the

main characters, while sometimes I did not always appreciate

the way some ‘bad’ habits carried on throughout the series, no

real signs of ‘growth and development.’ Many special episodes

are memorable, ones with parents involved, dating and parties,

the Chinese restaurant waiting in line, the shopping multiple

level parking lot and the final episode in jail. While I liked

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in this show, I completely enjoyed the

one where she was in her own show, “The New Old Christine

Show.” It was hilarious, since she had a funny brother, a coworker

and partner in running the gym, where you never saw her or

Wanda Syke’s using the gym equipment.

 

3. “Family Matters” was a family show where we actually would

schedule our bedtime routine around, baths and snacks before

watching it, then reading a book before going to sleep.  Carrie

was 9, Jamie was 7 and Felicia was 4 years old. It was one of our

favorite shows. There were times we would discuss the character,

Urkel’s ineptness, clumsiness and not fitting into school, too. It

had heartfelt acceptance at the core of this show.

 

4. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” had mostly ‘accidental’ laughs,

ones where some family member was videotaping another, a pratfall

or something would occur, the inevitable guffaws would follow. My

own children liked to play their own ‘home version’ where they would

get the babysitting kids to create a scripted sequence, while I was

doing laundry or cooking lunch, on a snow day. They would invited me

to be their ‘guest’ and witness the carefully planned ‘accidents.’ It is

one of my fondest memories of my children, so I am thankful for this

long-lasting show.

 

5. “Doogie Howser Show” had a young professional physician, where the

ensemble cast helped to create this amusing show. It was one where

there were problems, time spent solving them and sometimes a few

tears shed when challenges got the best of the patient or doctor. Would

you trust someone so young? I may believe he would be more current

than an older doctor, but this was a constant question in clients’ minds.

I still enjoy Neil Patrick Harris, wherever he performs, in a show or as

a host. He is quite witty and never unkind in his comments. I feel he

‘radiates’ a child-like and friendly ‘boy next door’ quality.

 

6. “Cops” started in 1989 and I have never watched this. I feel the plot

of real life is definitely a good source of ‘stranger than fiction’ stories.

 

This quintet is a ‘mixed bag,’ with my favorite one being “Family Matters.”

I did not list the actors and actresses in this, since my grandson is now

finished with an hour of playing games with “SpongeBob Square Pants”

and checking out the Columbus Zoo website. He felt the baby bonobo

was “so cute” and the stingrays in the reef photographs were “scary”

and “interesting.” He told me he would like to go home and play video

games with Skyler, now. Micah allowed me to type out this post, but

it is being published:

“As Is!”

P.S. Micah is watching me type out his name and wishes me to tell

you the movie we watched was about Dinosaurs that Walked the

Earth and was “really, really good!” He said the best part of the

movie was when the main character, Satchi, saves his brother.