Category Archives: verses

Songs and Bands Stand the Test of Time

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While driving in your car, especially here  in America, we have the

luxury of a radio, sometimes if a newer car, Syrius. I used to have

this feature and would program my ride somewhere with such fun

topics as “Coffee Shop” tunes or “Old Rock and Roll.” I was listening

to Casey Kasem’s “America’s Top 40” program on the radio. Rest in

peace, you good man! (Casey Kasem died in June, 2014, at age 82 of

sepsis.) I was struck by this comment, paraphrased since my mind is

not a recorder nor a computer:

 

“More than 23,000 songs were written and sung during the seventies

in the United States, only 370 were major grossing songs, (making

Top Ten lists). In this time period, only TWO were number one hits

written by a duo of song-writers.

I will come back, from the commercial to tell you who they were. . .”

 

Of course, I tried to memorize this comment, was an a red light and

jotted down the two numbers and waited ‘with bated breath’ for the

answer. Why the excitement in this upcoming response? You may not

know me well, but music is a special part of my life and the 70’s were

my stomping grounds, where music laid its foundation and made a

huge impact on my life.  I was in band from 4th grade on, played in

three bands in high school, marching band, symphonic band, pep

band for the basketball team and homecoming pep rallies, along with

the stepping stone to symphonic band: concert band. I loved the way

current songs on the radio made their way into our performances,

along with learning the meaning of different musical terms and the

way the music would build and pull on my heartstrings and soul,

during crescendo’s.

 

The two songs were “Loco-Motion” and “Go Away, Little Girl”

whose authors were Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

The first song has such an incredible legacy, along with being a

fun song. It is one of the only songs of all time, which has been

number one in three different decades sung by three different

styles or cultures. What a landmark song!

1. Little Eva, who is African American, sang the song, “Loco-Motion”

in 1962. This helped her career in singing really soar.

 

2. Grand Funk Railroad, (rock and roll, Caucasian band), sang it

in 1974 and put their own ‘brand’ on the song, “Loco-Motion.”

 

3. The Austrailan singer, Kylie Minogue, made this song go

international with her 1988 rendition.

Way to go, Carole King and Gerry Goffin for making this song

a catchy tune that went across generations and cultures.

 

The second song, this tremendous duo wrote, “Go Away, Little

Girl” was one of my favorites in my teenaged years. When I had

a crush on a senior in high school, Todd D. of Science Club and

marching band “fame,” I pictured Todd singing this to me, along

with meeting me by the Bay High Rockets’ goal posts in five years

after I graduated from high school. (I was only a mere freshman

when I had this ‘crush.’)

1. “Go Away, Little Girl” was first sung by Bobby Vee in ’62. Soon

to be followed and reaching higher sales, by Steve Lawrence later

the same year, in 1962. This made the Popular Top 20 list.

2. The Happenings sang and got this song into the top selling

songs in 1966. This was also a popular song with my friends.

3. The most popular version and more often played song, “Go Away

Little Girl” is sung by Donnie Osmond, 1971.

 

While listening to Casey Kasem, another time, I wrote down this

short note on a scrap of paper last Autumn.

The “most popular song played at funerals” is Frank Sinatra’s

popular top 10 song, “My Way.” I can imagine a lot of people who

would embrace this in their different life styles and endeavors but

had no idea that this was so beloved.

It would take years to ‘replace’ this song but a new hit being played

at funerals is from the British comedy movie, “Life of Brian.” Who

could imagine choosing a song from this movie? Well, I can tell

you one: my brother Randy still roars in laughter while watching

this Monty Python spoof movie, once a year with my family. I am

surprised though at this musical choice:

“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life,” by Eric Idle of Monty

Python wrote this as a reaction to “Give a Little Whistle” from

the Disney franchise of upbeat movies, “Pinocchio.”

 

I am sure Eric is laughing out loud should he find out how popular

this song has become over the years.  Somehow, I thought a more

popular song would be, “Taps” or “Amazing Grace.”

 

Frankly, I feel this is refreshing and would cheer me up to know

I don’t have to listen to “Candle in the Wind,” at Randy’s memorial

service, should I outlive him. This may irreverent comment, but

believe me, Randy would be amused at this song being played,

so ‘Always Look at the Bright Side of Life,” will be on the playlist,

brother. Oh, that reminds me, I will have to add one of the songs

from his other ‘favorite’ movie, “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?”

 

MORE MUSICAL NOTES:

 

The recent death of the Gospel legend, Andrae Crouch, requires a

respectful “note” and pause. At age 72, Andrae had influenced many

listeners with his heartfelt lyrics and soulful songs. Here are a few

which you may wish to check out:

“Let the Church Say Amen.”

“Soon and Very Soon.”

“Take Me Back.”

Along with being what many considered a fine singer and composer,

Andrae helped influence three legendary musicians. Although, he

may not have helped increase each of their popularity levels; he

undoubtedly changed their lives. This was the kind of man Andrae

Crouch was. The tributes and interviews all held warm memories

and kind thoughts of this man.

Michael Jackson was helped with his own song, “The Man in the

Mirror,” by Andrae Crouch’s adjusting its musical arrangement.

Elton John and Madonna received positive influences upon their

careers, by Gospel leader, Andrae Crouch.

 

 

The James Band was one of the alternative rock groups I sometimes

listened to in the 80’s. Do you have any memories of this different band?

Their roots came from Manchester, England. They took breaks in their

recording and individual careers. Some time off, as you may remember.

The first’break’ was a rather long one, after being popular in the 80’s

and leaving the musical scene in 2001;  they got back together in 2007.

Then, another 7 year time span ensued, until last year (2014).

While the members followed their individual pursuits, the James Band

still played on the alternative rock scene on the  radio, though.

Their sales over the years amount to over $25 million.

 

Imagine my surprise and pleasure to say the James Band are back

on the road and had a new album come out in June, 2014 titled,

“Le Petit Mort” including a popular new song, “Moving On.” This

is a solemn, questioning song, one which shows how aging and time

passing influences how you choose your path. James Band has

changed their sound and song choices.  The wisdom found while

growing older is reflected here in their music. The slow pace rises

and slowly builds into a crescendo, with trumpets and guitars

playing. Here are a few snippets of the lyrics I heard of this “new”

song, “Moving On,”

“Leave a little light on. . .”

“Will we recognize our friends when this cycle ends?”

“Will it start again?”

There are moments where time is like seeds being planted,

dreams taken for granted.

Welcome back, James Band!

 

Mick Jones poured out his long and winding road life’s path,

in an interview on the 12/28/14 CBS Sunday Morning show.

Mick’s path is one which encompasses being part of a British

“Spooky Tooth” band, playing with “C’est La Vie” and a French

man named Holliday. Mick Jones said Holliday forgives his

leaving the group to find his own way. Holliday was a “French

Elvis,” according to Jones. Then, Jones proceeded to get to the

‘meat’ of his musical career with “Foreigner.” Not being one

who studies musicians’ lives as they are progressing, I was very

interested in how Jone’s compelling journey went. I always liked

Foreigner’s  songs, “Feels Like the First Time,” “Head Games,”

and “I’ve Been Waiting for a Girl Like You.” When the group

‘went soft’ in one of the band member’s eyes, (or ears)- they parted

ways and the band split up back in 2003.

Mick Jones and Ian McDonald were inducted into the Songwriters’

Hall of Fame, June, 2013, with Elton John presenting them this

prestigious award. They have never made it into the Rock and Roll

Hall of Fame.

Foreigner was unique in its combination of three British and three

American band musicians and singers joining forces. The band’s

3 Brits were Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Dennis Elliot, while

the 3 Americans were Lou Gramm, Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.

 

Wow, this has been 12 years since then! Their music is still daily

‘in my ears’ on the radio. Foreigner is a group which has stood the

‘test of time,’  I believe. Only one member of the original band,

has passed away. Ed Gagliardi died in May, 2014.

All have not worked together since 1989. They have had a few varied

combinations of the players.

In 2013,  Mick Jones, Ian McDonald and Lou Gramm renewed their

ties and are working on a new collaboration. They were part of the

Summer of 2013 Tour, including Eagles’ Don Felder playing with

Foreigner and the band Styx.

 

What are some “musical notes” you have been listening to?

What musician or group do you feel has stayed the most ‘current’ ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awards I Missed and Friendships Accidentally “Lost”

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May I use the excuse I swallowed sips out of

Alice’s cups of tea?  The result being a kind

of time-warp or life-changing experience

that happened due to this extremely

odd and strange adventure?

 

May I say that there are far too many friends

out there who are on my “To Do” list? Along

with my adorable six grandchildren who may

resemble the “Munchkins.” Maybe this is really

just my coming back from Oz  via a Tornado or

another exciting, rare weather extravaganza?

 

Oh, dear! I am going to tell you that there

are so many who recognize my apologies,

those who have been stuck in Spam-land,

those who I regularly read and follow, but

sometimes miss and don’t comment to you.

Then, there are the ones who are kind and

generous, who mention my name or blog,

who also give me nominations for fun awards.

 

I have a long list of thank you’s to hand out.

I wish to give a BIG Thank You

to all my followers!

You make me smile,

just by knowing you

are out there.

I love to see the little flags

and countries you all live in.

Along with reading

the comments and

pictures I see of your

faces or the images

you have chosen to

represent yourselves.

 

Thanks to Amanda for her wishing me to

have the “One Lovely Blog Award.”

Thank you for your

nomination for

this sweet and

extra nice

award!

You may know already I will

hand out a few ‘shout outs’

to my newest

friends.

 

Here’s to you Amanda!

Cheers and thanks

for the fun celebration

where she said we could

sip champagne

and glitter

may fall

upon

us.

 

Check Amanda out at:

http://insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com

I recommend, “Amanda’s

Best Bits of the Year” post.

 

Also, if you like to look back for the award

post in November when Amanda awarded

me a nomination for “One Lovely Blog Award.”

 

I found a long-lost daughter who is very

creative and could easily fit into my clan.

You ‘had me,’ when you asked me, “Mom?”

Smiles to my new girl!

http://verybangled.com

 

A wonderful friend and very artistic person

who brightens her posts with colorful, bright

and beautiful creations is Pauline King.

When I posted my January calendar

I shared all the activities, events and

holidays, including a few birthdays.

Pauline featured the fact that Rod Stewart’s

and Tom Selleck’s birthdays made her happy,

sending some of her readers to visit my post.

Thank you so much, Pauline! Check her out:

The Contented Crafter

http://paulinekingblog.wordpress.com

 

Brenda just mentioned me on her blog that has

amazing poems, haiku’s with folk and fairy tales.

She uses her own original photographs and lots

of creativity to make her place a warm, inviting

and friendly place to visit. Brenda surprised me

with a nomination for the

“Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.”

Thank you very much, Brenda!

Brenda may be found at:

http://friendlyfairytales.wordpress.com

 

I received a nomination for “The Versatile

Blogger Award,” from my friends Maria and

Doris, who have beautiful and creative posts

 

full of sweet drawings and lovely storytelling.

 

Please check out this amazing combination:

http://mudpilewood.wordpress.com

Also, to see Doris’ ‘Terrains of Symmetry’:

http://miartedoris.wordpress.com

To admire and enjoy Doris’ projects:

http://dorispacheco.wordpress.com

 

Now, I shall think of a few people who may have

never been presented nominations and suggest

each to pick any one of the three special awards:

 

“One Lovely Blog Award,”

“The Versatile Blogger Award,”

“Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award.”

 

Each of the above awards has its own special designed

logo or patch to find, which leads me to remind you

to go to those who passed the awards to me, should

you wish to display the special and deluxe emblems.

 

1. Bela is poetic and features photos or artwork

to go with her creative thoughts at:

http://belasbrightideas.wordpress.com

 

2. Funny Eli has his interesting male take

on the world of parenting. Find him at:

http://coachdaddyblog.wordpress.com

 

3. The beauty through words along with their

imagery is shown here. I enjoyed a pet post on:

http://smilecalm.wordpress.com

 

4. Comfort and joy is found at Anneli’s blog:

http://wordsfromanneli.wordpress.com

 

5. Somehow, I feel compelled to share this

man’s thoughtful posts at:

http://yeseventhistoowillpass.wordpress.com

 

6. Linda, who focuses on nature and outdoors.

We both enjoy birds and their songs.

http://naturestoresme.wordpress.com

 

7. Sometimes, you need to go somewhere to relax,

unwind and take in the most breath-taking views.

I have featured Tracy before but it has been ages:

http://tllsci.wordpress.com

 

8. Shel, we are just getting to know each other,

reading blogs and she already seems like a friend:

http://shelharrington.com

 

9. The prolific writer of “tanka’s” gives me quick bits

of “zen”  and sometimes sends my mind soaring at:

http://rainbowsutra.wordpress.com

 

10. Sheila and I have re-connected, so glad we have.

You know what happens, time goes by and suddenly

you miss an old friend? Please check out Sheila at:

http://redsrantsandraves.com

 

11. Somewhere over the rainbow, where

there are homemade colorful lanterns,

 

and markets of special, uniquely

patterned bright fabrics:

http://refreshinglyrandom.wordpress.com

 

Sometimes, in blogging,

we don’t get evidence

we are following

someone

in our Reader.

This is what happens,

I am sticking to this story.

 

 

If you have been on any other list

of previous Award Nominations,

I truly do wish to give you a

Prize

each and every time.

I mean this, in all sincerity.

You

are

a

Prize!

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.

Fun Clothesline Poem

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I have to admit this is not mine, nor is the author identified. It is one

where the memory of clean, gently blown sheets with the brisk, stiff

texture makes this poem worthwhile. I hope it is evocative of olden

days when your mother or grandmother, (father or grandfather) put

clothes on a line, using wooden clothespins and maybe, the image

of those undulating sheets will give you a smile or two:

 

Clothesline Poem

 

“A clothesline was a news forecast,

To neighbors passing by,

There were no secrets you could keep,

When clothes were hung to dry.

 

It also was a friendly link,

For neighbors always knew

If company had stopped on by,

To spend a night or two.

 

For then you’d see the ‘fancy sheets,’

And towels upon the line;

You’d see the ‘company table cloths,’

With intricate designs.

 

The line announced a baby’s birth,

From folks who lived inside,

As brand new infant clothes were hung,

So carefully with pride.

 

The ages of the children could,

So readily be known

By watching how the sizes changed,

You’d know how much they’d grown.

 

It also told when illness struck,

As extra sheets were hung;

Then nightclothes and a bathrobe, too,

Haphazardly were strung.

 

Clothes off of the line before dinner time,

Neatly folded in the clothes basket. . .

And ready to be ironed.

Ironed?

Well, that’s another whole other subject.”

 

My son and his wife, hang their summer laundry on a clothesline,

using the big plastic (non-rustable) clothespins. They also have

had clothing line disasters, since they have two big dogs, along

with my daughter in law’s Dad’s Great Dane. These dogs running

around have been known to create some havoc with old-fashioned,

but ecologically sound way of drying their laundry. There are only

a few things better smelling than clean, air- and wind-dried laundry.

The clothing, towels and sheets used to smell like sunshine!

 

Let me know of any memories this brought forth… thanks for

sharing!

 

 

December Wonders

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Making your spirits bright and your home fires warm,

makes me think of our Winter’s blustery cold and the

upcoming holidays. There are several directions your

faiths and belief systems may go- Kwanzaa, Chanukah,

Christmas or other ways. You may not be living in a cold

climate, you may be in the exact opposite of my location,

being greeted daily with warm sunshine, gentle breezes.

Wherever you are, I try to write a monthly newsletter to

keep up with various customs, cultures and faiths.

Please feel free to add in the comments section, a special

family tradition to make this interactive and meaningful.

 

Thomas Kinkade’s ‘healthy habits’ message for December is:

“Take care of your body, keeping your

body running the way it is supposed to

can be effective in lifting your spirits.”

(12/2001)

In a December issue of Prevention Magazine,

there was a list of “7 Foods to Keep You Healthy.”

I took the list and added a few personal favorite

ways to use these in the Season of Peace:

1. Eating almonds over the holidays will add some

much needed Vitamin E.

2. Serving different peas or beans, not only add

extra fiber to our diets, fill you up more, but also

give you a great source of Zinc.

3. The special addition to carrots, sweetens your

salads or grated can be added to various casseroles

(even mac and cheese), along with Vitamin A.

4. Mushrooms, cooked or raw give you Selenium.

They can be used in dips, stuffed caps or in gravies.

5. Drinking tea, either black or green, boosts your

antioxidants. Over a warming cup of tea, sprinkle a

dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to create some festive

flavorings.

6. Tomatoes give you Vitamin C, which can be so great

at fighting off colds. I like to have them in salads, but

also enjoy the way you can stuff them with crushed

croutons and Italian flavorings. Nutritionists advise

heating tomatoes releases more of its healing power.

7. Yogurt, which you can include in desserts, sauces and

dips gives you those probiotics that we all need, especially

as we get older.

 

DECEMBER

Birthstone:  Turquoise or blue peridot gemstone

Flower: Narcissus

I think of Poinsettias, when I think of December.

 

There are so many new and old books of Christmas,

along with other December holidays. This is a book

which can bridge any personal choices: “Rabbit’s Gift,”

by George Shannon and Laura Dronzek

(Harcourt Children’s Books) Snowfall, blue skies with

the beautiful effect of snowflakes and a message of hope.

 

December 6-

Full Cold Moon.

Full Night’s Moon.

 

December 7-

Pearl Harbor Day

and

Remembrance Day:

Wherever you live, take some moments to

honor your heroes. Those who serve and

protect us and our freedoms deserve our

meditation and gratitude.

 

“Believe in a Higher Being.

Believe in others and yourself.

Believe in miracles and wonders.”

(Author Unknown)

 

December 14- Quarter Moon.

 

15- Bill of Rights Day.

 

December 16th (sundown)- 24th:

Happy Hanukkah!

 

18-

This is the 50th anniversary of the Pink Panther

theatrical short featuring Pink Panther harassing

his foil/enemy. These characters are the creations

of Fritz Freleng. This won the 64th Academy Award

presentations in the department of “Animated Shorts.”

 

Definitely, this is a reminder that December is the time

to enjoy, laugh and be playful. Pink Panther was so silly

and fun.

 

22- New Moon.

 

December 25th- Christmas Day.

Many religions celebrate Christ’s Birth,

Rejoice and Follow the Stars wherever your faith

takes you.

“December is a time

of celebration and joy.

A time of promises kept

and Love reborn.”

~ Flavia, 2003.

 

26th- First Day of Kwanzaa.

This is a festive celebration of African American

community, culture and faith. This continues

until January first.

Boxing Day- Canada, U.K., Australia and NZ.

 

Many people shop for the following holiday

season (2015), finding bargains and gifts for

the coming year.

 

28- First Quarter Moon.

 

December 31st-

New Year’s Eve.

“Another fresh new year is here. . .

Another year to live.

To banish worry, doubt and fear,

To love, laugh and give.”

~ William Arthur Ward

(American Writer, 1921-1994)

 

May you and your family enjoy many experiences of

happiness. This final month of the year arrived far

too quickly! I hope you find ways to make December

stretch, savoring these special moments. Include some

meditation to help you to relax and not get too stressed.

For me, nostalgia arrives as I take out the ornaments

and decorations of Christmas past.

May this lovely time of year fill your senses with joy and

wonder in the simple things.

Most of all, wishing all of you to experience feelings of

Hope and Peace.

 

 

 

Youth Ruled at the AMA’s on 11/23/14

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If you have been around my blog awhile, you may know I have always

enjoyed the splendor and elegance of watching people on the Red

Carpet. I ‘made deals’ with my parents to be allowed to stay up and

watch the Academy Awards and the Kennedy Center Awards, as well

as the Miss America beauty (and talent) show. I thoroughly enjoyed

the AMA’s which stands for the American Music Awards. I know you

already have seen some of the beautiful dresses and attractive tuxes,

along with some of the performances. . .

Here is a summary of my viewing pleasure with some details which

may support what you watched, if you are one who enjoys this, or may

disagree with what some of the newscasters and entertainment emcees’

may say.

On the RED CARPET:

Here is my list of my favorite nine FEMALE performers or award

presenters’ attire.

1. Fergie (of solo performer and Black-Eyed Peas’ fame) wore a classic

black Halston dress, with a silver belt around her waist. It cinched in

nicely and what made her my favorite? Her special story she shared

with the E commentator, Juliana G., she talked about her two year

old son, who is also her husband, Josh Duhamel’s . He is currently

loving his guitar and drum set, while his favorite song is (and Fergie

sang it so sweetly), “Row, Row, Row Your Boat. . .” Being kind on

the inside and beautiful on the outside made me really smile and

vote for Fergie to get ‘Best Dressed.’

2. Heidi Klum, who is not only a past model, but a mother and one

of the coaches on the clothing design show. Also, she is one who is

very open and funny, just a special and talented woman. Her dress

had ‘cut-outs’ which showed her shoulders and a little bit of her skin.

The colors of her gown made it unique- pink, black, gray and white

geometric designs. If you have ever seen her interview children on

her talk show, she has a real knack, as good as Art Linklater. That is

saying something!

3. Kate Beckinsale was a presenter but is one of those famous women

who make you feel she is both classy and genuine. She did not appear

the least bit in a hurry, as she embraced and talked to the interviewers.

She wore a sexy, (Deep V-d neck) white dress. I feel she is ‘timeless,’

wearing the Kaufman Franco dress.

4. Julianna Hough is a country singer, dancer and actress. She is presently

employed as a Judge on dance show. She wore a vibrantly colored red,

pink and orange-ish colored dress which showed a mature side of this

young lady. (She was in a serious movie, along with the remake of

“Footloose.”) I think she is open and honest, while having dated Ryan

Secrest, she did not let interviewers ‘dig up any dirt’ on him, then or

now. She also is protective of her family and particularly, her brother

who still continues to dance on the show. She is sporting a short hair

style, with blonde highlights, this evening was wearing it ‘slicked back.’

5. The woman in Yellow, the only one all night. She was gleeful that

she was unique, while looking stunning. Her name it Rita and is from

the Broadway production of “Finding Neverland,” arriving with Matthew

Morris, who was the chorus teacher in “Glee,” while having been in

musicals for quite some time now.

6. Taylor Swift, gorgeous in a copper-bronze shimmery dress, which she

took the skirt off and made it shorter, while performing her song, “Blank

Space.” I enjoy all of her new album, which has ventured into the Pop/Rock

genre and away from Country Music. She holds her stories and weaves them

into her songwriting, which I deeply admire this multi-talented young lady.

Her short, wavy with a little curl in her hair style really made a big change in

her appearance since the last awards ceremonies. Her performance was my

second most favorite of the entire evening.

7. Nicki Minaj shocked me, no not by being daring or rebellious, but by being

such a stylish fashionista. Nicki is not known for this! Her more reserved, classic

look was in a black dress, with long, straight black hair. She has been known to

have wild hair dyes and sometimes showing up blonde. If she has not used her

distinctive and raspy voice, I would have possibly not identified her.

8. Mary J. Blige looked very attractive in a black fishnet, lacy styled top of her

overall black dress. The black lace was sexy yet not revealing, while there were

sequins sprinkled on this dress.

9. Selena Gomez, looking very mature, with pretty solid black satin dress from

the front, while from the back, it was squared off and totally backless to her

waist. She sang one of her songs, very nicely. I did not write it down, but I did

see on our television set at break time, an overview of all the performances,

with hers featured.

One Direction won my favorite dressed and fun filled group award, on the

Red Carpet. They allowed us to see their meeting with Kate and William, while

one of the men admitted he pointed out, “Nice bump,” to Kate. They won the

following awards, but if you wish to add another you can do so in the comments’

section! They wore black slacks and varied patterned black shirts. No matching

each other for this British group. They mentioned, “The UK,” in conversation,

too.

1. “Best Pop Song.”

2. “Best Pop Rock Album.”

3. “Entertainers of the Year.”

While they are far behind in their ages, much younger but energetic and so

much fun also, I cannot help but say I adore the group of Australian ‘lads’

known as, “5 Seconds of Summer.” Although the song is not uniquely theirs,

since it has been performed by others, I enjoyed their version of, “What I

Like about You.” I got up and danced to their riotous and lively song, which

had the entire audience joining in. They are like the Ramones, started out

in a garage band practicing together.

The A Capella group which starts with P and has a lot of strange letters behind

it, (somewhat like Punxatawney Groundhog, which I can never spell correctly

either!) stopped and won my heart with their in prompt singing of,

“Santa Claus Is Coming  To Town.” Wow! This is probably from the A Capella

television show, which I don’t watch, sadly.

They sure did give Bruce Springsteen a ‘run for his money,’ which is really a

high compliment from me. Their blended voices eliminated any need for a

band accompaniment.

“E!” channel also had an homage to Boy Bands, showing the old photos

of New Kids on the Block, Boyz 2 Men and the fairly recent Jonas Brothers.

(Of course, our generation would have begun the homage or tribute to

all male singing bands with The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and you

know the rest of the long list of entertainers who began the “Boy Bands.”)

It was a great way for those in their 30’s like my own two older children

to remember the period of time when these bands came to be. They were

passing the baton on to “One Direction,” Imagine Dragon, “5 Seconds of

Summer,” and “One Republic.”

I also liked Julianna G. who intervied One Direction asking them a great

question: What would you be doing if you had not joined a band?

One of the ‘lads’ mentioned being a teacher before, had completed his

college, another mentioned he would have liked to become a fireman and

the last one who spoke, was acting a little loopy, falling backwards off

the “E” stage platform which caused Julianna to say, ever on her toes,

“Things would be kind of ‘off kilter’ or you would not be the same,

without your musical group, would you?”

The Four Men I admired their clothing and fashion styles were:

1. Neo, who is ‘hip hop’ I feel. You may challenge this and let me know.

He was not on the singing parts I watched, so I am talking off the top

of my head. Neo looked sharp in a black suit and his words warmed my

heart. He embraces all musical genres saying that he admires country

stars and feels they are ‘humble’ and also says ‘rock and rollers’ are also

genuine and give to us all. Neo wore an Anthony Franco suit.

2. The GQ Cover model, actor in two famous and recent movies, who

played the character, “Gus,” in “The Fault is in Our Stars,” is gorgeous.

He also is popular in the movie, “Divergent.” This young man had a

unique short jacket and shirt, along with unmatched pants. It was all

put together in a way he described as from the past.

3. Brantley Gilbert, accompanied by a woman I should know with the

first name of Amber, looked great with his fashionable look. He is a

nice looking country musician who said to the interviewer, “I don’t feel

that fame will ever change me.” He went on to say he feels he is still

the same man under the expensive clothing.

By the way, Luke Bryan won the award for “Best Country Male Artist.”

He looked nice, but not on my short list of best dressed, accompanied

by a female who I should recognize named, Caroline.

4. Matthew Morrison is always attractive and wore a nice suit. I felt

this awards ceremony did not try to blow us away with wild costumes,

except during performances.

An announcement was made that Katy Perry will be performing 4-5

songs at the Super Bowl Intermission. There is a website set up, where

you may vote which songs she should choose to sing.

 

Here are some outstanding performers who did not win any awards

but I feel should be checked out:

1. Ariana Grande who trills like a beautiful songbird, accompanied by

a saxophone. This solo performance was simply lovely.

2. Ella Henderson wowed me, with her 70’s folk song voice, which had

some bluesy and throaty characteristics. She has been compared, which

is a huge compliment to Ella, to Adele!

3. Iggy Azalea, who was ‘discovered’ or sponsored by the hip hop/ rapper

known as, “T.I.” I did not particularly love her rapping song, nor the one

she did with JLo, but I can hear she is versatile and is a beautiful woman.

4. Charlie XCX, who did the song from the movie, “The Fault is in Our Stars,”

which is over-played, (but my three granddaughters love her, almost as

much as they did Idina M. who sang, “Let It Go,” for the movie, “Frozen.”)

Her song that is silly but catchy is called, “Boom Clap (Sound of my Heart)

which really does remind me of “Sugar, Sugar” by the Archies and also,

the song, “I Think I Love You,” by the Partridge Family. Charlie XCX

is young and also does a little more racy song about not liking school

and uses a vamp, sexy style while singing, “I Just Want to Break the

Rules.” (Reminds me of several of the songs from my teenaged years.)

 

I am always pleased to listen to “Imagine Dragons” and they have been

at all the musical awards shows of 2014. I liked their 2013 song which

won awards, “Radioactive,” but strongly recommend your listening to

their newly released (and first performance on television) song:

“I Bet My Life,” which starts out quietly, like a hymn, soulful and

intuitive, building and becoming a stand-up party anthem. Wonderful

and worth checking this one out. I would have liked to replay it again,

but do know this will be on all the radio stations and will set records.

 

My favorite duet, which was nicely and sweetly intertwining the older

musician, Wy Clif Jean, with the younger one named “Magic,” who is

famous for his song, “Rude.” How it starts out, was so clever! Magic

began the duet by singing the he wishes to “Marry that girl… for the

rest of my life,” and is asking for permission. Wy Clif Jean’s deeper

and throatier voice responded just like the father of a young woman

would, “No, you will not marry that girl and keep her for the rest of

her life…” Then, of course, the song goes into, “Why do you have to

be so rude? I’ll marry her anyway.” Outstanding performance and

my Favorite one of the night. (Taylor’s would be my Second Fave.)

 

Sam Smith, will be my Third Pick for Favorites of the Evening.

This man wrote the song that many performers have sung, he is

to be given credit for creating a classic. It is reminiscent of many

people’s all time favorite song, “Stand by Me.” Sam’s song is titled,

“Stay with Me.” He acknowledges his favorite artist who sings his

song is Ed Sheeran. I have featured Ed S. as one of my new 2014

favorite singers, and I do like his version of Sam Smith’s song.

Sam has a high falsetto voice, which is heart-wrenchingly and

hauntingly beautiful.  Sam Smith won Best Pop Male Artist. His

newest song, also one to check out is, “You Say I’m Crazy.” I did

feel his duet last night with the new song was exciting and good.

 

Lourde won her First AMA award for “Best Pop Female Artist,”

for her song last year, 2013: “Royals.” She just completed the

soundtrack for the movie, (Hunger Games), “Mockingjay.” The

song with her bizarre and gloomy performance was not nearly

close to how I felt about her fun and mocking song about the Royals.

 

Trying to get this in before everyone goes to watch the news and various

entertainment shows tonight. Let me know if I missed a great one

who performed or looked outstanding…

 

Diverse Snippets

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There are a few fantastic and interesting people who have shared their thoughts

recently in magazines, interviews and I wish to offer these as a ‘pick and choose’

post. I hope you will find something to give you something to ponder about and

may meet your own personal needs or concerns.

 

This will give you ‘food for thought:’

“Cooking demands attention, patience and above all,

a respect for the gifts of the earth. It is a form of

worship, a way of giving thanks.”

~ Judith B. Jones,

American cookbook author and editor.

 

The next one is concerning loss:

“The trick to adjusting to a life you never expected

is to allow yourself to have the emotions, to weave

them in with the positive and move on.”

~ Louise Bonnett-Rompersaud.

 

“Joy does not simply happen to us.

We have to choose joy and keep

choosing it everyday.”

~ Henri J.M. Nouwen

Dutch priest, professor and writer.

 

Feeling connected to humanity:

Anna Whiston Donaldson lost her son at age 12 years old.

He was playing in a creek bed, that was normally low, then

it swelled into a raging river. Jack had attended his second

day of 7th grade. His sister, Margaret, witnessed this horrible

event, running to get help, only 10 years old.

Quote:

“Over the next months, when all else was stripped away- most

of all, the flawed belief that living a simple, faithful life would

somehow protect us from pain- I found myself broken.

But it turned out, I was so broken that I was wide open to

receiving comfort in way I had not anticipated.”

~Anna Whiston-Donaldson’s book is called,

“Rare Bird” (Convergent books).

 

“28 Years; 28 Days,

Summary of Two Time Sequences”

by Robin O. Cochran

 

Two actresses have lived with challenges, one who has been 28 years

sober. This is the famous, Katey Sagal. You maybe able to detect her

very distinctive voice in commercials, but her most popular television

show may be considered ‘raunchy’ since she portrayed the Mom on the

show, “Married… With Children.” She also was memorable as Gemma,

in the show, “Sons of Anarchy.” I happened to really like her character

in the show she performed with John Ritter, “8 Simple Rules for Dating

My Teenage  Daughter.” One of the two ‘daughters’ character was played

by Kaley Cuoco. She was the one who made me laugh and had her ‘Dad’

(John Ritter) pulling his hair out. In the last t.v. show mentioned, Katey

Sagal played a smart, working mother who left the house in a nurse’s

uniform, hoping her husband would be able to rule the roost, while

she was gone. It is a funny series, which is well worth finding on a

DVD at the library. The late John Ritter captured both his daughters,

son and wife’s characters’ hearts and they all showed up at his funeral,

truly mourning their ‘father/husband figure’ friend. Katie shared her

sobriety on a CBS Sunday Morning Show, November 16, 2014. Her

husband and music, she feels saved her. She enjoys singing daily, along

with performing with bands. Katey is 60 years old, accomplishing much

and more to give in the future, too.

 

Wait until you hear the professionals, Katey Sagal has performed with

as a back up singer:

Gene Simmons

Molly Hatchet

Bob Dylan

Tanya Tucker

Bette Midler

Olivia Newton John

Katey’s remarkable musical career has included two albums:

“Well. . .” (1994)

“Room” (2004)

 

The  celebrity who went through a disaster marriage, not ever having

expected her husband to be so outwardly unfaithful, is Sandra Bullock.

How does she relate to Katie Sagal who has a wonderful partner in life?

She performed in the incredible movie, “28 Days.” Sandra’s character

is relatable in the difficult and gritty parts of having to choose to give up

her addiction. The message of it being important for the person to make

the choice, not the family is also a clear and meaningful one. This is one

of the main tenets or  principals of AA. The screenplay also shared and

showed some humorous, strange habits of an alcoholic.

Sandra Bullock’s performance and “28 Days” may not be considered as

significant (meaning it didn’t win awards) as “Leaving Las Vegas,” but it

really showed her acting “chops”. If you have been curious or had an

interest in this movie, you will find it engrossing. I had not seen it when it

came out, so it was a nice surprise to take it home from the library and

really dig into the ‘meat’ of the subject. Having been through an alcoholic

marriage and participated for almost two years in Al-Anon and AA meetings,

along with going through marriage counseling, I found the characters in the

AA meetings and in rehab’s behaviors realistic.

Usually ’28 days’ would not seem to encompass the enormity of this film’s

subject matter, but it definitely showed the ups and downs of this illness.

Having seen the movie, shortly after Katie Sagal’s interview, I appreciate

even more the magnitude of her ’28 years’ sober. Worthy of several ‘chips’

and major accomplishment in the fast-paced, pressurized life of acting.

 

On the Lighter Side:

I love the silly repetition of the 2014 song,

“Best Day of My Life,” by the group

American Authors.  Imbedded in their

lyrics are some deeper meanings:

“I howled at the moon with my friends

And then the sun came crashing in.”

(There are some ‘bridge’ humming sounds here.)

“But all the possibilities

No limits

Just epiphanies. . .”

 

May something here strike a chord or evoke an epiphany.