Sunday, November 30, 2008

3 Best Songs About Drug Addiction

I know this may be a queer subject. I've never taken hard drugs, but plenty of other poisons. In my opinion, these fantastic songs capture the angst of addiction. Do you have a few more suggestions?

1. White Rabbit Jefferson Airplane 1969

2. Ashes To Ashes David Bowie 1980

David Bowie - Ashes To Ashes.mp3 - David Bowie

3. Jane Says Jane's Addiction 1988

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Family Recipes

Thanksgiving is often the time to drag old family recipes off the dusty shelves. Every year, my grandmother made Waldorf Salad on Thanksgiving. This year I decided to make it. I made a variation of her recipe, and also searched online to discover there are many versions of this dish---- tropical, New York style, curry.....
Here's my concoction:

Waldorf Salad
Serves about 6

4 cups peeled diced apples

3/4 cup orange juice

1 cup diced celery

2/3 cup chopped walnuts

1/2 mayo

2/3 cup dried cranberries

Cut up the apples and place them in a mixing bowl with the orange juice. Stir until the apples are coated with juice. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the apples very well. Add the remaining ingredients to the apples. Chill the salad for 1 hour before serving.

Ta Dah! Everybody liked it.....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Wordsworth & Pink Floyd

Last night I was at a birthday party, which ended with a group of us having a sing-a-long. As I was leaving, the group was singing Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb." I love this song, and know every word.

It has long been on my mind how this song reminds me of the Romantic poets---Wordsworth, Shelley, Keats, etc.

Long, long ago in college, I remember discussing the philosophy of the Romantic poets, which I was very intrigued with. Wordsworth (1770-1850) ardently believed in the sanctity of the natural world, as a pathway to a spiritual "oneness". If the material world "is too much with us," we get out of tune with the oneness, and become spiritually bereft. Wordsworth also believed that children were naturally closer to the 'oneness'.

Wordsworth also lived during the time of the impeding Industrial Revolution in England, which dramatically altered rural life, and encroached upon the natural world. I have often thought about how Pink Floyd's lyrics express Wordsworth's belief, about how children can see and feel the spiritual world, without even realizing.

In the case of Pink Floyd, however, it is drugs that bring you closer to this "oneness."

William Wordsworth, 1806
The world is too much with us; late and soon,

Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;

Little we see in Nature that is ours;

We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!

This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,

The winds that will be howling at all hours,

And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,

For this, for everything, we are out of tune;

It moves us not.--Great God!
I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;

Have sight of
Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old
Triton blow his wreathed horn.

Pink Floyd "Comfortably Numb" 1979

Hello? Is there anybody in there?
Just nod if you can hear me.

Is there anyone at home?

Come on, Come on, Come on, now,

I hear you're feeling down.

I can ease your pain

Get you on your feet again.

I'll need some information first.
Just the basic facts.
Can you show me where it hurts?

There is no pain you are receding

A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.

You are only coming through in waves.

Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.

When I was a child I had a FEVER
My hands felt just like two balloons.

Now I've got that feeling once again

I can't explain, you would not understand
This is not how I am.

I have become comfortably numb.
I have become comfortably numb.

Just a little pin prick.
There'll be no more aaaaaaaaah!

But you may feel a little sick.

Can you stand up?

I do believe it's working, good.
That'll keep you going through the show

Come on it's time to go.

There is no pain you are receding

A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.

You are only coming through in waves.

Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying.

When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.

I turned to look but it was gone

I cannot put my finger on it now

The child is grown,

The dream is gone.

I have become comfortably numb.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Graphs and Charts

There's a fun website called You can make your own silly pie charts, line graphs, bar graphs, flow charts, and Venn diagrams. Here are a couple of pies and charts other folks created, that I thought were funny.
song chart memes
song chart memes
song chart memes
more song chart memes

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Enchanted Ceilings

I discovered this great meme What a great title! Participants post photos of the sky from all areas around the earth. It's pretty cool. Check it out. Here are a few pictures of places that meant something to me. The artists' names are above. I'd like to submit my own enchanted ceiling soon.
1. North Conway, NH by Michael Rowland

2. Lebec, Maine by Chessie

3. Harbour Grace, Newfoundland by Karen Chappel (my grandmother's birthplace)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grandmother's Quips

My maternal grandmother had an awesome sense of humor. She often repeated odd turns of phrase and told many a joke. I've been trying to remember all her quips and jokes, and write them down. Help family! I may keep adding to this list:

"This is the Westinghouse. And I'm westing."

"For years they called it yelly. And now they calls it yam."

Woman to husband: "There's 3 kinds of turds in this world. Mustard. Custard. And you you big shit."

"I ain't worried about your carfare. It's your welfare."


As she bends over stiffly to pick something up: "How to keep from going old!"

As she says something very obvious: "Shakespeare!"

"An old Italian man goes into town to sign up for social security. When he gets there, he realizes he forgot the papers to prove his age. After he gets home he tells his wife: "I forgot my papers! I had to show the young lady the gray hairs on my chest to prove my age!" Wife quips: "You should have showed her something else. You would have got disability."

After many days in the house. "Get me out of here. I've got cabin fever."

"Skal vi ga hjem?" (Norwegian: Shall we go home?)

Person 1: "Hey, Did you hear about the gas explosion at Ma and Pa's?"
Person 2: "No, What happened?"
Person 1: "The roof came clear off."
Person 2: "Oh my."
Person 1: "Yeah. It's the first time ma and pa have been out together in years."

Person 1 (digging the butt of his trousers)
Person 2 "You going to the movies?"
Person 1 "No."
Person 2 "Well, you're picking your seat."


Sometimes I just need: a hot bath

Sometimes I want: something I can't have

Sometimes I like to: eat junk instead of dinner

Sometimes all it takes: is one thin dime

Sometimes I picture: romantic love

Sometimes I wish: I could live through my 30's again

Sometimes I find: a crumpled up dollar

Sometimes I take: what's not mine

Sometimes I look: at scary things

Sometimes I hate: what should be but won't change

Sometimes it’s nice: to say something clearly

Sometimes it hurts: when my heart is wounded

Sometimes it makes me happy: when I light candles

Sometimes it’s sad: when I think of the past

Sometimes I listen: to music

Sometimes I sleep: in the day

Sometimes I like to watch: true T.V. crime shows

Sometimes I feel: lousy

Sometimes I rant: about sexism

Sometimes I never: feel I can pay off my loans

Sometimes I really: wish it were true

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New Books!

Spent two hours wandering blissfully in the Brookline Booksmith last night. Once I pass the threshold of temptation and decide to buy one or two books, I go for 4 or 5. Why not? At least some of them were bargain books!
1. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. by Alison Bechdel

2. Buddha is as Buddha Does:The Ten Original Practices for Enlightened Living. by Lama Surya Das

3. American Bloomsbury: Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau: Their Lives, Loves, Their Work. by Susan Cheever

4. 1968: The Year That Rocked the World. by Mark Kurlansky.

5. Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers. by
Mary Roach

Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Yes We Can!

I heard about the Barack Obama action figure doll when I read a story about the Chicago rally on election eve. Instantly I wanted one to add to my collection! Tonight I found Obama at the Brookline Booksmith. He rode home with me on my scooter, and now he's standing and pointing his finger at my cats and telling them they should have voted.

Kitty thinks: "I'll vote.... purr... after I bite your head off...."

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Come over and see me sometime.....

Ernest Leslie Downing (grandmother's brother); Lillian Downing (sister in law) Cyril Downing (brother)
Here are some fun pictures of my grandmother and her friends and relatives in the early 1930's. I love the 'flapper' fashions of the time. What a fun era that must of been to experience! "A flapper" refers to a young woman who defied the times. The style of the day called for short, bobbed hair, short skirts, fancy hats, and clunky shoes. Women no longer wore corsets. After the end of W.W. I and the passage of the right to vote, women enjoyed more liberties. Many even began smoking, drinking, and driving cars! Oh my!
Lillian Downing; friend; Cecil Downing (grandmother's brother);Isabel Downing (grandmother's sister)

Prohibition was a desperate, conservative response to the excesses of the Roaring Twenties. My great-grandmother Mary Margaret solved the problem of Prohibition by having a whiskey distillery in her apartment in Chelsea. At the time, my grandmother's brother Cecil was a merchant marine and fisherman. My Norwegian grandfather Hjalmar was a seaman too. After many a fishing trip, Cecil would invite 'the guys' to his mother's house. That's how my grandparents met.
Grandmother Gwen and Lillian Downing

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tiny Treasures

I keep little boxes of 'stuff.' When I was younger, my pack rat tendencies were much more pronounced. At the age of 7 I kept a frozen or petrified orange for months that I found on the floor of my father's car, under the seat. It was hard as a rock & fascinated me!
These days I curb my collection tendencies significantly, and I have more practical and adult concerns, but
some objects I simply must keep!
1. tiny camera 2. drawing by nephew 3. key 4. tiny football shirt 5. Mt. Rainier pin 6. cowgirl pin 7. pistol cuff-links 8. Norwegian krone 9. swirly pin 10. tiny wood pipe

1. picture of grandmother
2. dumb & dumber pin
3. tiny wooden box
4. picture of nephew
5. tiny tarot pack
6. naked lady pin
7. piece of clay pipe found in yard
8. hula girl cuff-links
9. Vespa girl pouch
10. ruby ring

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Beloved Cello

The mournful sound of the cello seems to fit late Fall. Here I am vainly attempting my open strings----C, G, D, A. I love the richness of the C string, (look at it vibrate!)and the G string. The sound of these two strings reverberates through your body. The D string gives me the most trouble, because it's easy to hit the other strings. To me, A sounds somewhat whiny.