Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It's My FRIDAY!!!!

It's a bright early morning with no sign of rain today in the Music City. Today is my Friday. By this time tomorrow I will be sitting in a crowded airport or in the air. It is beautiful to watch the morning wake...almost as nice as watching my peacefully sleeping wifey in a warm bed just before my kiss awakens her. Boy, I would love to have played hookie today; but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do; and this one intends to give his 110% til the end. I was raised "ol' school" under the phrases that have become timeless to me. "A man is only as good as his word" "If you say it; then you better do it" "Don't let your mouth write a check your arse can't cash." "Just because everybody else jumps off the bridge doesn't mean you have to"....and I am sure you can add half a dozen too. These are the things I grew up with. Almost 40+ years later; I am still guided by them.

I suppose sometimes I wonder, will or does the past hold us captive? What is so critical about those first years that cut a trench down through a lifetime? Why do we remember those years in cement; whether it was just perception or reality, we are provoked to follow or completely disallow those ideas and guidelines lain down during that time? If we know that such a time is so critical; why is it that often these years are subject to turmoil? I was fortunate most days and more fortunate than some I knew. At least I was "safe" at home.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Maui Over The Rainbow

Maui, Hawaii

Forgive my absense. I have been on a blogout! Don't know why or even if it was good. I missed hearing my fingers tap against the plastic keys as my mind leaked out before my eyes. Anyway, it is a nice calming rainy day in the city of Nashville, the home of country music. The Batman tower stands shrouded by clouds white with rain. No complaints; we needed it. This is a semi-short week for me. I am preparing (actually I am not yet prepared) for a trip to Maui, Hawaii for a week starting Thursday. Yes, I am looking forward to it; but I won't be excited until my feet walk on the sands of earth's paradise; then I will be excited and the xfactor will not have spoiled my hopes.

Meanwhile, I've got my pedal to the metal making sure everything is done and on its way. It's easy for me to focus when I have clear objectives. Others find that irritating; but that's not my problem. I typically write a list of objectives every morning so I can track my progress and harness my mind. Just because its Friday doesn't mean it's Friday afternoon already — things still need to get done. Today is my Thursday; but I still want to give my 110%. I am sure it will be bad enuf when I get back. Ahh....the end of Tuesday breaks just at the shore.

Everyone says Maui is absolutely spectacular. I suppose I shall see. I am looking forward to touching down on Maui soil...then my excitement will explode. My sweetie is of course already very excited and she deserves to be...I'm cool with that. We're opposites, that's why it works! I am sure this day has been filled with shopping galore.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Genius or Nonconformist?


Madness...it is defined as being extremely enthusiastic; fanatical; infatuated sometimes to a point of insanity. It is a word typically in the company of these words: wildly, furiously, fanatically, frantically, desperately, passionately, rashly, hastily, violently. All of these describe the character in a movie I saw this weekend starring Ed Harris, Copying Beetoven. Excellent movie with a thousand blogs to be written. I will attempt to only write one.

Would it be great to be genius?
Genius seems to always be tortured or torturing. How unfair could it be to be a legendary icon in music but be deaf...to never hear the sounds of your creations or the joy it creates in others? How cruel could it be to be trapped just "inside" your gifting; not quite being able to communicate yourself; just "of" yourself....? Why do some of us struggle so hard to just be normal; while others prefer to be superhuman and that ever so few to be nothing less than gods?

SYNOPSIS:   Young Anna Holz, (Kruger) a student at the Vienna Music Conservatory is summoned to the offices of Herr Schlemmer, Beethoven’s publisher. His Ninth Symphony is about to be premiered and Schlemmer, who is dying of cancer, needs a copyist to complete the score. Anna eagerly accepts, despite his warning that Beethoven (Harris) is a monster.

As her work of copying down the music of Beethoven proceeds, Anna is drawn into the maestro’s tortured and inspired world. She sees their collaboration as a God-sent opportunity to prove her own talent as a composer; he glimpses in her a pure soul who might help him realize the culmination of his art – the creation of the last string quartets, the most sublime and spiritual music ever written. ...more...

In this movie, eventually the genius Beethoven demonstrates the perfection of raw communication and release from the higher plane. He is so engrossed by this passion to express his music that "bumble bees inside his head" doesn't even begin to describe the necessity to get out what is inside his mind. The music wouldn't stop. It was like cerebral Chinese water torture...the constant dripping inside from above echoing passion's demand to be obeyed, regardless of sleep, the body, the world or responsibility.

Perception rules:
Beethoven would bathe by pouring water over his head, spilling it onto the floor which leaked through to the downstairs neighboor family dining table. Of course, they would shout and hammer on the walls; but it's all silence to the deaf man. He has no reaction since he has no perception. His young copier is mortified by their outbursts. So if a tree falls in the forest with no one around, does it make it a sound?

Conform or Exemplify
At a point in the movie, the young copier must chose between her passion or her fiance. Her family, fiance and even society said there could never be a female composer or conductor... Do what women could only do. You cannot succeed. She was bombarded with everyone elses decisions about the world and her place in it; even the great Beethoven for a bit.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday Fixin's!





3 pounds short ribs (or chicken)
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups water, or enough to barely cover ribs
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup catsup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

THE DAY BEFORE GRILLING THE RIBS, put the sugar and vinegar in a pot large enough to hold the ribs and place over medium
heat on top of the stove. Cook until the vinegar reduces and forms a syrup with the sugar, about 8 minutes. Watch carefully
as the syrup will suddenly darken in color. Immediately add broth, water, catsup, tomato paste, mustard, Worcestershire,
cloves, chili powder and pepper and bring to a boil. Add the ribs and cook 20 minutes. (for chicken, cook for 10 minutes)
Remove from heat, remove the ribs from the liquid and place covered in the refrigerator. Cook the liquid over medium heat until it becomes thick and syrupy.

DAY OF GRILLING, Place the ribs on the grill so they are not directly over the coals or flame and cover the grill so that smoke collects inside. If your grill does not have a cover, improvise one out of aluminium foil. Cook for 40 minutes, basting with barbecue sauce every 10 minutes. When ribs are well heated, remove to a platter and serve with extra sauce on the side.

They say, sloppy fingers make happy people squeal! Bon Apetité!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The POWER of Touch


It is used to communicate and to transfer. Entire conversations of touch can occur in a split second without one uttered word. Everything around us is related by touch in some fashion. I am a hand-washing fanatic. By the time you shake a hand or take your money out, there's no telling what all you have touched. You would probably be terrified to know. Luckily, my last touch was all good. Thanks, Pickle honey! I had a full body massage last night that was great. Good job, Bendy!

The science of touch...Studies have been done with newborn babies; half loved and held, the other neglected other than bare necessities. Babies can thrive without sight, without smell, even without hearing. But they cannot thrive without being touched. You may not be familiar with this next term. I wasn't; only it's symptoms and theories. ...skin hunger... Skin hunger is something that happens to people who have lost loved ones...people with few family or friends...people who are ill or who suffer from poor vision, reduced hearing, or dementia, such as Alzheimer's. People who because of disability and changed circumstances are too discouraged, or are simply unable to reach out for what they need.

So basic a human need is touch that neither children nor adults can live without it. Children who live in abusive homes and who are deprived of touch, have been known to wither and die. The need for touch is real, and persists throughout our lives. Indeed, as we approach old age, touching and being touched takes on added importance; it compensates for the decline in other sensory perceptions, and helps us stay connected with our environment.

Touch tells us we're safe, cared for and have value. People who are sure of a warm embrace are happier, more alert, more willing and able to communicate. ...more...

Touch somebody's life today in a good way. Leave a sensation that will magnify the beautifulness of living and increase.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

My Nappy Yesterdays

The drive in this morning was extremely delightful. A good nite passed with good friends and a fresh new day is on the rise. It's hump day! Don't slump on the hump! Ride, Ride, Ride! I am sure it will be a busy one; but there are just too many things to be thankful for to worry about what "might" happen. With that said, I flipped on the radio and this song sent me back to the future. It's an old Stevie Wonder song, I wish.

Stevie Wonder

Looking back on when I
Was a little nappy headed boy
Then my only worry
Was for Christmas what would be my toy
Even though we sometimes
Would not get a thing
We were happy with the
Joy the day would bring

I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go
I wish those days could come back once more
Why did those days ev-er have to go


Seems like only yesterday, I could see my mother smile. Sometimes I can see it in my own face. Life is simplier when adults do the things they should to be the kind of parents we treasure for a lifetime. I can honestly say I didn't grow up under the "we are your best friends" mentality. There was NO doubt who was the parent and who was the child. In the beginning, there were 4 of us and we were thick as thieves. That is to say that only one of us could be mean to any of us. They were some fun times. All the men of the family cook. I guess the women do too. Mom always insisted on men not requiring mothers after her. We were cross trained. Whatever the parents said is what got done. There was never a question of at our leisure; but now. That seems confused in a society of "ask the child what they want." Obviously I would have chosen to sit around all day and watch cartoons; but I was cutting grass from age 5, as well as us all having chores to be done before they got home from work. The "done or else" was never required...at least not more than once. And that lends fingers to thousands of blogs of tall tales and adventures...but not today.

I watch the school children play and wonder if tomorrow they will be ok. I wonder if they are safe when they go home. Will they even be safe on the bus? Obviously, the people in the world have changed and some think parenthood is the same as breeding; but they aren't. Like a garden, these little spirits must be watered, pruned and surrounded by warm light. Afterall, they are the gardeners of the future and we know what happens to unattended fields. In the eyes of my nephews and nieces, I see the glimmer of the future and pray for their safe passage til then.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Spiderman III: Three Times The Hero!

spidey reflections

I have always loved science and biology since I was a kid. In spring, I would be the first to catch caterpillars, tadpoles, etc and put them in jars so I could watch the transformation up close and personal. Even now, I am fascinated by transformations. In spite of the Spiderman III being way too long, it was actually a good movie, worthy of the big screen. Comics have always had the power to educate as well as entertain. I am sure there is more to come to this blog....meanwhile...Spiderman III: The Venom of Masks

Friday, June 01, 2007

Friday Fixins and Mind Music Morsals




2 pounds ground beef
1/3 cup pincante sauce (mild or hot to your liking)
1/3 cup (1 1/3 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Form mixture into 6-8 patties; layer patties in some aluminum foil and refrigerate to firm them up. Broil, grill or bake to desired doneness.

Great Composer

Words of the Great Beetoven

A great poet is the most precious jewel of a nation.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Anyone who tells a lie has not a pure heart, and cannot make a good soup.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Art! Who comprehends her? With whom can one consult concerning this great goddess?
Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven can write music, thank God, but he can do nothing else on earth.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Friends applaud, the comedy is over.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is mediator between spiritual and sensual life.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the mediator between the spiritual and the sensual life.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the one incorporeal entrance into the higher world of knowledge which comprehends mankind but which mankind cannot comprehend.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Music should strike fire from the heart of man, and bring tears form the eyes of woman.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Never shall I forget the time I spent with you. Please continue to be my friend, as you will always find me yours.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Off with you! You're a happy fellow, for you'll give happiness and joy to many other people. There is nothing better or greater than that!
Ludwig van Beethoven

Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Recommend to your children virtue; that alone can make them happy, not gold.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Recommend virtue to your children; it alone, not money, can make them happy. I speak from experience.
Ludwig van Beethoven

The barriers are not erected which can say to aspiring talents and industry, "Thus far and no farther."
Ludwig van Beethoven

This is the mark of a really admirable man: steadfastness in the face of trouble.
Ludwig van Beethoven

Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes.
Ludwig van Beethoven

What you are, you are by accident of birth; what I am, I am by myself. There are and will be a thousand princes; there is only one Beethoven.
Ludwig van Beethoven