Friday, September 30, 2011

All Too Much

It has been a strange journey. I never felt so disorganized on a Disney Cruise, ever. This was all my fault by covering my eyes to all the information I could have researched and it was all to my pleasure. There were so, so many things to explore. I'm literally seeing the world in a new way.

There was a preponderance of kids that we have not seen before, but we love kids so they are usually more precious than in the way. The ship was gleaming from port to stern. There is not an improvement I have ever thought of that hasn't been incorporated into the design, down to the smallest detail. It was as if they had addressed every comment card ever left, and then, taking all that into consideration, imagineered into the future beyond one's wildest dreams.

The new Animator's Palate restaurant is simply the best restaurant I have ever visited in my entire life. It is the show piece that awed me beyond words. The magic was so incredible that I just cannot describe the sensation. Our table was oval that setting for our large group was spot on perfect. We interacted so well and the room interacted with us so well. It was one of my top Disney experiences, I will never forget it.

While the surprise of Animator's Palate was heightened by the fact that I did not research beforehand, finding my way around the ship was chaotic. I'm not sure where the happy medium lies with research here. I found myself constantly surprised by nooks and crannies. Artwork would occasionally animate when I did not expect it. Surprise and wonder are good things and are rare in our world, so I believe I did the right thing by stepping aboard the ship ignorant of almost everything.

The Aquaduck water slide lived up to it's billing. The food was fantastic. The stage shows were so full of talented people. With expectations dancing on the head of a pin, the new show, "Believe," did not disappoint and instead dazzled so much you had to argue with yourself whether the previous signature show "Dreams" might be better, or might not. I prefer the message of Dreams, by just a bit, but it was so nice personally to see new production numbers from Mary Poppins and, glory be, The Princess and the Frog. Princess Tiana dazzled. (Ok, Ok, I do have a favorite princess and it is Tiana.)

I could go on and on about the ship and the joy and the magic. I could go on and on about our four days. The Dream was simply the most beautiful and well appointed ship in the world. I do not have to see other ships. THIS one is the best in the world.

Villains Tonight

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Country Dreamer (alt. One Hand Clapping version) - Paul McCartney

Finishing out the Beatles theme on all my blogs: This version of Country Dreamer turned out to be a revelation to me. The reason this song was not a favorite of mine before was that in it's polished state I just accepted it as a country song. What this version reveals is the entirely British tongue in cheek nature of the parody of the southern or country music. It also respects the music deeply. It is a game Paul was playing in composing it. It strengthens a conception that I have had for a while that Paul doesn't write to make hits, he writes and performs for the pure joy of it, releasing music that he really doesn't care if we understand or get it. It is a trait of of many artists as well as The Beatles and solo Beatles efforts from the time they became so famous.

Anyway I now "get" Country Dreamer.

Friday, September 23, 2011

She's Mine - Brett Dennen

"She's Mine"

Well the witches stare with their limbs akimbo
silhouettes of statues up in the window
call me to come here with a crooked crescendo
but i don't

devotees dance among the pantomime on the promenade
into a tabernacle on the lawn
but i don't follow

because she's mine, she's mine, she's mine, all mine
yeah she's mine, mine, mine, mmm

midnight moved across the people's park
and i fled the fire like a spinning spark
up onto a porch in the dark
she was waiting right there for me

she knows that my hands are empty
as i go past the mothers of envy
and i don't have to fumble in the dark for my keys

i believe she's mine, she's mine, she's mine, all mine
yeah she's mine, mine, mine, mmm

the pupils gather in the yard
around the pulpit made of cards
and waited for their leader's words
but his words didn't make much sense

his mouth spat out a fist of daggers
and his tongue swirled in a southern swagger
and i looked at all the people gathered
but they were all in a trance

and she's mine, she's mine, she's mine, all mine
yeah she's mine, mine, mine, mmm

i was thrown before the court of canes
tossed my soul to the furnace flames
where all my heros had been slain, exiled, or put in prison

because they rose above the mess
and because their power posed a threat
and because they spoke of something else
when everybody else didn't

the music fills the space between
the deities and the prophecies
of our bodies pressed seamlessly
silent in the shade

she looks at me so fearlessly
and i take it all too seriously
but it all becomes so clear to me
and makes me understand

that she's mine, she's mine,

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Soaking in the Quiet

I want to sit back in a nice hot bath of Blogspot. It's the same old thing out there: people fighting with people. They just can't see why their football fandom or patrotism or religion or stand on healthcare doesn't entitle them to hate other human beings. I like my reality here with the warm water soaking, the day behind me, and empty page ahead.



Well, I saw a bird today --- flying from a bush and the
wind blew it away.
And the black-eyed mother sun scorched the butterfly
at play --- velvet veined.
I saw it burn.
With a wintry storm-blown sigh, a silver cloud blew
right on by.
And, taking in the morning, I sang --- O Requiem.
Well, my lady told me, ``Stay.''
I looked aside and walked away along the Strand.
But I didn't say a word, as the train time-table blurred
close behind the taxi stand.
Saw her face in the tear-drop black cab window.
Fading in the traffic; watched her go.
And taking in the morning, heard myself singing ---
O Requiem.
Here I go again.
It's the same old story.
Well, I saw a bird today --- I looked aside and walked
away along the Strand.

Friday, September 16, 2011

I like the Google search graphic today


honoring http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albert_Szent-Gy%C3%B6rgyi with a little retro orange  and citrus fruit crate design. It honors Hungarian Albert Szent-Gy├Ârgy who discovered Vitamin C and must have saved countless people from disease and death. 


Monday, September 12, 2011

102 Minutes

I started my day off with the A&E documentary on 9/11 and it made me realize how thankful I am for everything I have been given. I remember being on the phone with Wanda ten years ago and weeping uncontrollably when the first tower collapsed on television. We knew it had fallen before CNN understood.  I was overcome completely and had to put the phone down. I paced the floor and cried.  I finally came back to the phone and could barely get out the words "We just witnessed thousands of people die." We also were cognizant of the firemen that must have been in the building. I remember saying "They need to get every one of those firemen out of that second building. They need to just run." I was very stressed at that and felt helpless. When the second tower came down, it was much clearer and more obvious on television. It just took my breath away. There was nothing to do but cry. It was over.

Wanda's and my 5th wedding anniversary was about a week ago. I am blessed beyond belief, no matter how many aches and pains I have.

There was a man in the documentary I saw today covered in thick dust, dust that had brought many to the ground coughing and hacking, in the dark eerie smoke that surrounded, this man said as he went by the person with the camera "I'm 69 but I can still run." I'm not sure why but I found his spirit very infectious.

The documentary was very overwhelming itself. It showed the story without narration. It showed the moments that we don't want to think about. It showed the helplessness in people's faces and the bravery of the government workers who tried to do the impossible. It showed the defeat they felt. It showed the way things appeared to ordinary people on the streets of New York.

I have to remind myself that there are other tragedies that are personal like this, tragedies where those involved are the only ones who understand the full extent of the moment. I have to remind myself of the innocent people in Iraq who died by the hundreds of thousands.

I felt it important that I relive September 11, 2001 with all of my emotion. Thank you to the producers of this documentary. It has to be the most compelling television I have ever seen.

A Sad Day



Blind Willie McTell


Seen the arrow on the doorpost
Saying, “This land is condemned
All the way from New Orleans
To Jerusalem”
I traveled through East Texas
Where many martyrs fell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
Well, I heard that hoot owl singing
As they were taking down the tents
The stars above the barren trees
Were his only audience
Them charcoal gypsy maidens
Can strut their feathers well
But nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
See them big plantations burning
Hear the cracking of the whips
Smell that sweet magnolia blooming
See the ghosts of slavery ships
I can hear them tribes a-moaning
Hear that undertaker’s bell
Nobody can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
There’s a woman by the river
With some fine young handsome man
He’s dressed up like a squire
Bootlegged whiskey in his hand
There’s a chain gang on the highway
I can hear them rebels yell
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
Well, God is in His heaven
And we all want what’s his
But power and greed and corruptible seed
Seem to be all that there is
I’m gazing out the window
Of the St. James Hotel
And I know no one can sing the blues
Like Blind Willie McTell
Copyright © 1983 by Special Rider Music

More like a "dirge" than a blues song. One great Dylan song.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My First Grade Class

This is my First Grade class. Click on the pictures to get the full size scan. You might have to click again depending on whether your browser is set to resize. These are big scans. (I will get this done better later but I have limited computer capability at the moment. )

Miss Warren is the teacher.  I am the only student holding my writing tablet up. I'm sure I did not follow instructions. I was creative even then. Angela Browder is in the back row, second from the right. I believe Steve Huffman is in this picture and I believe him to be in the front table second from the right. I think Larry (I'm not sure what his last name is but will find out because he is related to my sister-in-law) is on the first table, second from the right. I believe Jenny Welch is in this picture and is the one at the closest head of the first table showing her beautiful legs. :)  It is either Nicky or Dicky McPherson that is on the first table 4th from left. Any help with the names on the kids in this picture would be a great help. I used to remember all of their names all through grade school. Feel free to comment below this post.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

My Father's Distinguished Service

My father fought in World War II, and remained in the armed forces until he retired.
 Here are his discharge papers:







Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Dad

Exotica Music

My dad used to listen to this kind of music. It was a kind of "high fidelity" type of music. The joy of listening was often in the clearness or fidelity of the music. For more on exotica, which I have secretly collected for some time because no one would understand, here is wikepedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exotica

 Martin Denny was really responsible for the popularity of the format. Les Baxter came before him but Martin Denny took it to new realms and coined the name "exotica." It is a fantasy of what life might be like in far off places, all from the perception of America in the 1950's. It is innocent yet it adopts native instruments to create some American brand or idea of the music from far away places. In it's inauthenticity, it is like a book on Tarzan that delves into the realms of a mysterious land but makes up things where things would be more interesting that way. Animal sounds are concocted and "sung" by members of the band. Instruments are used to sound like animals and are played like instruments we already understand.. Instruments are played in ways that the native population of the land they came from would never play them. To me it is all rather relaxing from a period of time when we thought everything was under control and the world was just like us, just exotic.



I collect all kinds of this music because I know my Dad had at least 2 albums of it. And, therefore, despite all the music my dad and I did not have in common, we did have this in common. It is still hip, to me. Thank you Dad.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Disney Wall

Finally we decided to do a Disney Wall, or more like a Don Williams wall. The Pooh is actually a hand drawn original I was lucky enough to receive on the last cruise. The others are signed lithographs by Don "Ducky" Williams who is always inspirational and fun to see.

Life Elevated

Amiable Blog post 101: although, I have to admit it's much easier to be amiable than aimless, so this is not much of an accomplishment. ;)  

Because posting here is as easy as posting a picture, here is a picture that perhaps is as common as dust on a windshield to some, but here, I found it a little work of art. Retro-travel font and subject, art nouveau colors, just beautiful.



Thursday, September 1, 2011

Life's a Long Song - Jethro Tull


Ian Anderson at his home studio - with string quartet


"Life's a Long Song"

When you're falling awake and you take stock of the new day,
and you hear your voice croak as you choke on what you need to say,
well, don't you fret, don't you fear,
I will give you good cheer.

Life's a long song.

If you wait then your plate I will fill.

As the verses unfold and your soul suffers the long day,
and the twelve o'clock gloom spins the room,
you struggle on your way.
Well, don't you sigh, don't you cry,
lick the dust from your eye.

Life's a long song.

We will meet in the sweet light of dawn.

As the Baker Street train spills your pain all over your new dress,
and the symphony sounds underground put you under duress,
well don't you squeal as the heel grinds you under the wheel.

Life's a long song.
But the tune ends too soon for us all.

Wondr'ing Aloud - Jethro Tull


Ian Anderson performing at his home with a string quartet.

Wondr'ing Aloud

Wond'ring aloud --
how we feel today.
Last night sipped the sunset --
my hands in her hair.
We are our own saviours
as we start both our hearts beating life
into each other.

Wond'ring aloud --
will the years treat us well.
As she floats in the kitchen,
I'm tasting the smell
of toast as the butter runs.
Then she comes, spilling crumbs on the bed
and I shake my head.

And it's only the giving
that makes you what you are.