Saturday, April 26, 2008

Brazil Classics

If you have your phones on and you click on the jukebox below, you will be treated to the sound of Barak Obama's voice which will fade very nicely into a Brasil Classics mix I hope you will enjoy. The collection was compiled by David Byrne, who obviously understands and loves this music.

Brazil Classics I - Belize Tropical, 1989
1) Caixa de Sol (Box of Sun) by Nazare Periera
2) Um Canto de Afoxe' Para O Bloco do Ile (Ile Aye) by Caetano Veloso
3) Quilombro, O el Dorado Negro by Gilberto Gil

4) Sonho Meu (My Dream) by Maria Bethania & Gal Costa

Lyrics for Caixa de Sol (Box of Sun) translated from the Portuguese. It loses something in the translation but it is still a beautiful message. Enjoy.

My box of sun
Is the heart of the people
Where I can warm myself
To remember or to forget
To live or to dream
Fill myself with pure energy
That gives strenght to my singing
Your box of sun
Is my very own heart
Where you will have a spot
Always ready to shelter you
There you ca forget all your sadness
You can laugh or cry
The sunbox of the people
Is the heart of the world
Where humanity joins hands
To live in equality
Searching for eternal peace
But fighting all the time
Waging every war
1982 Cezzame Argile

Trot, Trot To Boston Town

Boston, Massachusetts
My trip to Boston to visit my daughter, Supergirl II, at Boston University was a total success. Too bad the photos I took were not.
We had lots of plans originally but
when we got together, all we wanted to do was talk. We shopped a bit on Newbury Street. She bought a little dress (size 4) which, I'm guessing, hardly had room in the bodice for one of my breasts. She's tiny, like her paternal grandmother, Bella. A most adorable little lady. I am 5' 6" and larger framed, though proportionately, both Supergirl II and
I have long, slender feet. I am the one with the red toes and no tan.
We were both a little discouraged by the unkempt nature of our dirty little feet, so we indulged and got pedicures. This is only the third time in my life that I've ever had one. I'm either a low-maintaince kind of gal, or, just plain poor. The latter, more likely, as I love having my feet tended to. I will admit to finding the experience heavenly.
We then had dinner at a yummy Thai restaurant on Newbury Street, talked and talked and went back to her dormroom and took a cat nap. Next thing you know, it was time for me to get back on the T, to the commuter train back to Leominster where my car was parked and drive the 50 miles to home. All together this trip, this way, is three hours one way. It's an hour faster to drive if you know where you're going to park and you can handle the madness of Boston traffic. I'm more willing to waste time than try my nerves, so this is my typical way to get to Boston.
I have to thank Supergirl II's dad, The Cunning Runt, for braving Boston traffic and the many hassles of moving a child out of a dorm room on the fourteenth floor of a dorm on Commonwealth Avenue; for in two weeks that is exactly how he will be spending his Sunday. I'm lucky. I get to help Supergirl I move out of her room at the beautiful and tranquil Mount Holyoke campus. Not so lucky is the part where I help move her from MHC right into a room at UMASS Amherst for summer session, on the same day. It looks like I'm not escaping my share of Crazy this time. Supergirl I thinks we can accomplish the move in one car trip. I'm incredulous.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

National Poetry Month

The Emily Dickinson Museum

Today I headed south to Amherst, Massachusetts to visit the Emily Dickinson Museum. I've lived in Western Mass for forty years and this was my first visit.

I parked on Main Street and walked down to the Dickinson compound. On my way, I stopped at a park with beautiful flowering trees, flowers and benches.

Across the street from the park is The First Congregational Church (below). It's a gorgeous stone church which Emily's brother, Austin helped to found. Emily dickinson, I learned later, was never to step foot inside it. Calvanism wasn't her thing. She had a difficult time accepting the idea of original sin. Her religion was the natural world and the ecstacy of living.

Some keep the Sabbath going to church; I keep it staying at home,And an orchard for a dome.
~ Emily Dickinson

When I first arrived, I went inside to get my ticket for the 2:00 p.m. tour and then went around to the back of the main house and out to the garden to eat my lunch. I bought a small baguette, an orange and a bottle of water at the deli up the street.

I learned later from our tour guide that Emily Dickinson, though a recluse later in her life, was not a stranger to her family. She was very close to her father, though from her letters it is theorized that Emily's relationship with her mother was chilly and strained. She adored her brother Austin and sister Lavinia and forged a strong friendship with Austin's wife Susan.

This beautiful old tree is to the left of the house as you come up the path from the garden. Though a recluse, Emily didn't stay in the house all day and write poetry. She kept quite busy in the garden, tending the animals and baking. She was known to adore her brother Austin's three children and spent a great deal of time with them.

The main house. We toured Austin Dickinson's house next door as well but I can't manage to upload another photo, as blogger is not working again for me today.

Tulips in the garden.

The experience was two hours well spent. Of course, I'm a bit of a geek about these kinds of things so I had a great time.

If you visit the area and you're into Emily Dickinson, histori places or other components of geeky tourism, I recommend you visit.

Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough. ~ Emily Dickinson

The Lou Reed Concert At The Calvin Theater

This happens to me every spring - I get rock and roll fever.

Some of you know that I went to see Lou Reed on Sunday at The Calvin Theater (there's a link here somewhere that tells you about the theater) We had great center isle seats in row H. No one too tall sitting in front of me. Perfect night. No dope. Just high on life. It doesn't take much to ammuse me these days. :-) So, if you're a Lou Reed fan, amuse yourself by following the link to the review of the show I attended on Sunday.

Except for the winters, I love living in Western Mass. Having had very bad experiences of various sorts in Vermont, I'll take The Happy Valley any day!

Anyway, I have things to do that will take all day so I don't have time to create a stunning post. Those three of you who think my posts are stunning will have to go somewhere else for your art fix. :-)

It's niiiiiiiiiiice out. On the cool side. The wind from the river makes the air, at least, feel like San Francisco Bay. Beautiful.

See you soon,

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New From REM - Accelerate

Don't forget to TuRn iT uP!

Here are some selections from the new REM CD Accelerate (click for Rolling Stone review)

1) Supernatural Superserious
2) Accelerate
3) Living Is The Best Reason
4) Until The Day Is Done

One of my favorite American rock bands in very good form, indeed.

Oh, and since I've been on vacation this week and there's been time for tinkering with Hipcast, I've gotten handy enough with it to keep paying for the monthly subscription. In fact, I've been having a blast with my music. I do have to one of these years organize my CDs.

One thing that's not been going well is downloading Mp3's from music sites. I bought one as a test and all I can find is an appropriately titled, but empty folder on my computer. I'm boggled.

I'd like you to join me in support of my blog friends Poetryman and Ben Heine's
submission to the Obama in 30 Seconds contest currently being sponsored by Their submission is excellent. Check it out. Ben Heine is the artist behind the graphic of Barak Obama on the sidebar of my blog.

I want to write more but I have to make this short because Blogger is wanting to quit on me.


Pronounced NamaSTAY.

Rainmaker from Musings of A Creek Dipper by Victoria Williams

I'm not sure how the song fits in but somehow it does in my mind.

I'm not tending to turn into a new age spiritualist in any big way but this greeting and all that it implies, makes perfect, beautiful sense to me.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

One Hundred Years From Now - Wilco

Speaking of Gram Parsons, here is one of his songs recorded by Wilco on the Gram Parsons tribute CD Return of The Grievous Angel.

And happy earth day - take care of our Mother.

May This Be Love - Emmylou Harris

This is a cover of the Jimi Hendrix song from Emmylou Harris' 1995 album Wrecking Ball. Between Emmylou's incredible voice, the wonderful selection of songs by great songwriters and the production work of Daniel Lanois, this is one of my favorite albums of recent years. Yikes. Thirteen years is not recent, but it just goes to show you how I haven't been counting.


My Life This Week

The prayer flags are flying and the forsythia blooming in my yard. This was taken on Sunday.

This is the part of our yard that faces the Connecticut River to the east. It's tranquil, beautiful and a perfect place to sit and contemplate, read, eat, drink and be merry. To the left, which is north, lies the eagles' nest. There is currently one baby in there. The other egg never hatched. With field glasses, we can see the nest and a blob of the eagle's fine head occasionally.

So, about my week. Firstly let me tell you that my weekend was splendid. On Saturday, W.P. and I went to our favorite breakfast/brunch spot in Amherst - The Lone Wolf. I had been craving a bagel with lox so I ordered their version which includes generous slices of red onion, sliced tomatoes and capers. Oh, was it good. Uuum.

Sunday night we went to see Lou Reed in Northampton. It was a beautiful night and we had ample time to walk around town and take in a sculpture exhibition in the park across the street from The Calvin Theater.

This week; this entire glorious week; I am on vacation. I have some projects I want to begin here at home. Some painting, raking and preparing of flower beds, window boxes and planters. W.P. has to be in Zurich on business all week, so I'm going to keep very busy. I have lunch planned with a friend later in the week and on Friday, I'll be spending the day in Boston with Supergirl II, who has only one class that day. We haven't finalized our plans yet but I think we're going to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art.

I am so diggin' this incredible weather, aren't you?

Monday, April 21, 2008

First Meme Tag

Gypsy Mona Lisa

I've been tagged by Liberality to play in my first game of meme tag ever.

Rules of the game …Link to the person who tagged you. Post there rules on your blog.Write six random things about yourself.Tag six random people by linking to their blogs.Let each of the six know they’ve been tagged by leaving them a comment (on their blogs).Let your tagger know when your entry is up.

1) When I was a little girl, I used to have an imaginary sister, so strong was my desire for one. She was older, kind, responsible, and spent time with me reading aloud, playing pretend and riding bikes. She was very nurturing but way, way cooler than my parents.

The reality was that my brother, five years my senior, was supposed to take care of me after school while both my parents worked the 3-11 shift. Well. Most of the time he wasn't around so essentially I was a latch-key kid for about a year. It had its advantages. I could watch whatever I wanted on TV and avoid doing my homework. I could eat extra Ring Dings instead of supper, which the older brother was supposed to prepare but didn't most of the time.

2) I'm borrowing here from a "five-things" meme I saw at my friend Singingbear's blog. To get me through high school and college, I had some weird jobs: waitress in a doughnut shop, telemarketer for rodeo tickets (they didn't even let me finish my shift before sending me home), ladies' dressing room attendant (What do you think, some would ask. Don't ask, I wanted to say), human collator of formica samples (you know, those little squares that then go onto a chain for customers at hardware stores, nanny to the brats of a rich family (those kids didn't know how lucky they were that they came out of that summer alive).

3) I gave birth to my second child at home on Sunday, December 18, 1988. Why? Because I'd had a Cesarean section for my first child sixteen months prior. Because the Cesarean rate at the local hospital was 28%. Because I wanted to prove the medical people wrong about my scar bursting if I gave birth vaginally. Because I did all my homework, talked to a dozen women who had home births and read the stories of dozens of others. I had a healthy, 8 lbs. 3 oz. baby girl but I did have a problem: the placenta wouldn't come out, I kept bleeding and had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. There, I was given a ration of shit for risking mine and my child's life but I handled it okay. I just wanted to get my baby and I the hell out of there. I enjoyed sticking it to them about the scar not bursting. What happened to me had nothing whatever to do with the dreaded scar. Do you detect a rebeliousness toward the medical establishment here? You're right.

4) Now that I'm on a Mommy roll, I'll tell you this: it pushes all my buttons when I hear of women not breastfeeding their infants at all; ever. If ya can't have the boob and the baby together, at least pump the good stuff and feed it to them when you can. I'm incredibly judgemental about this. So either go behind my back and sue me, or engage me in healthy debate. Or, agree with me.

5) When it's a single-stall bathroom and the ladies room is occupied, I use the men's room. So stupid that when only one toilet lives in the bathroom that they can't both be unisex. It's amazing the number of women who will wait in line when the the other stall stands empty because it has a sign on it that says "MEN".

6)For better or for worse, I once bore a strong resemblance to Mona Lisa. I really did. Now that my hair is silver and I have bangs, not so much. Gypsy Mona Lisa is so me at 21. My eyes are bit different; they turn down at the corners more. It's all in the smile.

So now I'm supposed to tag six other people, which is going to be hard. Most of my blog friends don't do memes. I'll tag four, if that's okay.
Cunning Runt




My apologies to Janis of Juanichis Way. For some reason, Blogger didn't like this entire post; refusing consistently to save as I wrote. I just couldn't get the link to your blog to happen. What a pisser this way. But here it is, errors and all.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Perfect Day - Lou Reed

I looked all over for New York, the newest Lou Reed CD I own, and couldn't find it. I'll leave you with Perfect Day as I get ready to step out the door with W.P. to go see Lou Reed at The Calvin Theater in Northampton, Massachusetts.

Blogger's being difficult today, but here it goes, errors or not.

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