Thursday, May 31, 2007

the glass cage (photo)

the glass cage, originally uploaded by lorrainemd.

her pain is exposed for the world to see...
and she can see all that she can never have.

    From the day's playlist...

  • Chameleon─Herbie Hancock─Head Hunters
  • Händel: Sonata for 2 Violins in A Major, Op.5─London Baroque
  • Don't Bother Me─The Beatles─With the Beatles
  • You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)─The Beatles─Past Masters
  • Godchild─Miles Davis─Birth of the Cool
  • Victor Herbert: Cello Concerto No.1 in D Major, Op.8─Lynn Harrell, cello; Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields; Neville Marriner, conductor

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Mel Does the Twizzle (animated gif)

Mel Does the Twizzle, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

I'm a huge fan of The Dick Van Dyke Show, and this scene cracked me up.

    From the day's playlist...

  • Meine Seele erhebt den Herren, BWV 648─Hans Fagius, at the reconstructed baroque organ in Kristine Church, Falun─Johann Sebastian Bach: Organ Works Complete
  • Hang Up Your Hang Ups─Herbie Hancock─Man Child
  • Der verlassene Mägdlein─Chamber Choir of the Berlin Academy of Music; Christian Grube, conductor─Hugo Distler - Mörike-Chorliederbuch
  • Crow Waltz─The Be Good Tanyas─Hello Love
  • Granados: Valses Poeticos─Stephen Hough, pianoStephen Hough’s Spanish Album
  • François Couperin: Troisieme Leçon a deux voix─Judith Nelson & Emma Kirby, sopranos; Christopher Hogwood, chamber organ─Couperin: Trois Leçons de Tenebres
  • For You Blue─The Beatles─Let It Be

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Lady Di Sings the Blues


Last night I watched the 1972 film Lady Sings the Blues starring Diana Ross (photo) as Billie Holiday. It is an extraordinary performance. And I mean extraordinary.

She sings all the songs herself and makes them her own, without consciously attempting to imitate Billie Holiday's singing style. At first I found this a little disappointing, but ultimately I think it was the best creative choice. It pays off in the course of the film.

Her acting delves deeply into the character of the jazz legend, absorbing the experiences endured. Gradually, as the story unfolds, the songs reflect more and more of the character and spirit of Billie Holiday's hard life, taking form in the expressiveness of Ross' singing. Toward the end of the film we readily imagine that it is Billie singing, notably with Don't Explain, Strange Fruit, God Bless the Child, and the title song, all Holiday compositions; this is when the signature nuances come through, naturally, as a result of a complete immersion in the role, and not through self-conscious imitations of vocal affectation.

An added bonus is Richard Pryor's performance as Piano Man, a wonderfully sweet and quirky friend to Billie. Much of his dialogue was improvised. Billie Dee Williams as Louis McKay, her gallant and debonair protector is also a delight. The natural rapport that Ross, Williams, and Pryor had as actors shows through between the characters they portray.

Ross had only recently said farewell to the Supremes when producer Berry Gordy saw her potential and gave her this challenging role. She knocked it out of the park.

I remember seeing Lady Sings the Blues when I was 16 or 17, ca. 1975. It was part of two double features in one weekend I enjoyed with my childhood friend Paul, a serious film buff who had a great influence in teaching me to appreciate the art of film-making. The other three films were The Godfather, The Conversation, and Silent Running. It was a big deal, because they were the first R-rated films I went to unaccompanied by an adult..and it was a lot to chew on. I'm still chewing on those movies.

I don't know if Silent Running stands the test of time─I suspect it might be a bit dated─but its message about the fragility of the earth's environment certainly is relevant today.

What strikes me about Lady Sings the Blues is how natural and realistic the dialogue and performances are. Considering the intensity of the experiences portrayed in the story and the lack of theatrical training of both Diana Ross and Richard Pryor it is...just as I said: extraordinary.

* * *

The DVD Special Collector's Edition (2005) includes a featurette with recent inteviews, as well as a great commentary track featuring director Sidney J. Furie, executive producer Berry Gordy, in which they reminisce affably and candidly about their experiences making the film, conveying their enthusiasm and pride with the project, sharing their insights, and remembering it all as if it were yesterday. Ross' manager Shelly Berger also contributes some to the commentary.
    From the day's playlist...

  • W.A. Mozart: Missa in C Major, K. 317: Krönungsmesse─Kölner Kammerchor; Collegium Cartusianum; Peter Neumann, conductor; Patrizia Kwella, Soprano; Ulla Groenewold, alto; Christoph Pregardién, tenor; Franz-Josef Selig, bass
  • Rock Me on the Water─Jackson Browne
  • Don’t Think Twice Its Alright─Bob Dylan
  • I’ll Cry Instead─The Beatles─A Hard Day’s Night
  • Air (Soprano): I Know That My Redeemer Liveth─The English Concert & Choir; Trevor Pinnock, conductor─Händel: Messiah
  • Ao Velho Pedro/Marie Pompoen─Clusone Trio─Love Henry
  • Flower Lady─Phil Ochs

Monday, May 28, 2007

Winners of Theme of the Week: Still Life (mosaic)

1st Place: Garden in the window
2nd Place: Early Harvest
3rd Place: Still Life With Bottle, Cookbooks, Sunscreen and Tape

Theme of the Week

    From the the weekend's playlist...

  • This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)─Arcade Fire
  • I Need You─The Beatles─Help!
  • Aquellos Ojos Verdes─Ibrahim Ferrer
  • Pay Day─Mississippi John Hurt─Legend
  • Alphabeta─Herbie Hancock─Future 2 Future
  • Nobody Cares for Me─The Be Good Tanyas─Hello Love
  • Chorus: for Unto Us a Child is Born─The English Concert & Choir; Trevor Pinnock, conductor─Händel : Messiah
  • Hallelujah─Imogen Heap
  • The Passion according to St. John─Schola Cantorum Basiliensis; Die Basler Madrigalisten; Fritz Näf, conductor─Alessandro Scarlatti: St. John’s Passion

Friday, May 25, 2007

Buoyant Boy, June 26, 2005 (photo)

Buoyant Boy, June 26, 2005, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Hurray for the return of swimming pool season!

    From the day's playlist...

  • Andreas Späth: Introduction and Variations for clarinet and orchestra─Dieter Klöcker, clarinet; Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra (Bratislava); Gernot Schmalfuss, conductor─Clarinet and Orchestra
  • Beethoven: An die Hoffnung─Ian Partridge, tenor & Richard Burnett, piano─Beethoven - Songs
  • Arvo Pärt (b. 1935): Summa (Credo)─Theatre of Voices, Paul Hillier, conductor─De Profundis
  • Meiron Williams: Aros mae’r mynyddau mawr (The great mountains remain)─Bryn Terfel, bass-baritone; Annette Bryn Parri, piano─Songs of my Welsh Home
  • All I’ve Got to Do─The Beatles─With the Beatles
  • Sie Liebt Dich─The Beatles-Past Masters

Thursday, May 24, 2007

free cupcake (photo)

free cupcake, originally uploaded by view-askew.

This photograph always cheers me up when I see it.

    From the day's playlist...

  • Lullaby─Jack Johnson─Sing-A-Longs & Lullabies For The Film Curious George
  • Love You To─The Beatles─Revolver
  • When You’re Gone─The Cranberries─To the Faithful Departed
  • I’m Only Sleeping─The Beatles─Revolver
  • The Shower─Worcester Chathedral Choir, Donald Hunt Singers─Edward Elgar: Complete Choral Songs
  • Good Day Sunshine─The Beatles─Revolver
  • Suite Revenge─Herbie Hancock─Death Wish (soundtrack)

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

big moon rising, cormorant, cloud (photo)


    From the day's playlist...

  • It Ain’t Me Babe (Janis Joplin - live, w Bob Dylan 1964)
  • J.S. Bach: Partita Nr. 2 d-moll BWV 1004 - Giga─Yehudi Menuhin, violin─J.S. Bach: Sonates et Partitas. Menuhin 1934-1936
  • So Happy Together (Frank Zappa - Fillmore East, June 1971)
  • O Ry Fody An’ Ala Ê! O!/Tribute To The Cardinal Of The Forest─Hiran-D Razafimahefa─Music of Madagascar - Classic Traditional Recordings of the 1930s
  • A Hard Road─John Mayall

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

fantasy land mural (photo)

fantasy land mural, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Julian, October 2002

A mural in downtown Santa Cruz.

    From the day's playlist...

  • Eve of Destruction─Barry McGuire, vocals; Phil Sloan, harmonica─Eve of Destruction
  • Ruby Tuesday─The Rolling Stones
  • Blues Harmonica─John Mayall
  • Tupelo Honey─Van Morrison─Tupelo Honey
  • F. Couperin: Leçon de Ténébres à 2 voix─Le Concert des Nations; Jordi Savall, conducting─Tous les Matins du Monde (soundtrack)
  • California Dreaming─Mamas & Papas
  • Bad Moon Rising─Credence Clearwater Revival
  • Schumann: Variations on Chopin’s Nocturne in G Minor, Op.15, No.2─Wojcich Kocyan, piano─Reflets dans Chopin: Wojcich Kocyan Plays Liszt Mompou, Schumann, Saya

Monday, May 21, 2007

Winners of Theme of the Week: Pets (mosaic)

1st Place: Twitcher ( Katz41)
2nd Place: Lazy Sunday (bbudke)
3rd Place: Can't touch this! (Olympic snow)

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Winner Discussion Thread


    From the day's playlist...

  • Anonymous: Lamento di Tristano: Rotta, Prelude, Lamento, Rotta (reprise)─Alla Francesca; Pierre Harmon; Carlo Rizzo, tambourines & vocals─Istanpitte: Festive Music for the Visconti Court
  • Sanya Sugagaki─Katsuya Yokoyama, shakuhachi─Japon: L’art du Shakuhachi
  • The Book Of My Life─Sting, with Anoushka Shankar
  • Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)─The Beatles─Rubber Soul
  • Springfield, or Bobby Gota Shadfly Caught in His Hair─Sufjan Stevens
  • I Scare Myself─Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
  • Every Little Thing─The Beatles─Beatles for Sale
  • Maiden Voyage─Herbie Hancock─Maiden Voyage

Sunday, May 20, 2007

"scarf penguin with hot cocoa", by Julian (artpad drawing)

    From today's playlist...

  • I’ll Take You There─The Staple Singers
  • Sun Touch─Herbie Hancock─Man Child
  • Por Los Siete Dolores (siguiriyas)─Antonio Mairena─Flamenco
  • Hey Nineteen─Steely Dan─A Decade of Steely Dan
  • Sari─Nellie McKay─Get Away From Me
  • I’ve Just Seen a Face─The Beatles─Help!
  • The Inner Light─The Beatles─Past Masters, Volume Two
  • I Almost Had a Weakness─Elvis Costello and the Brodsky String Quartet─The Juliet Letters
  • Locatelli: Sonata in C Minor Aria with 3 variations ─Philharmonia Virtuosi─Musical Evenings with the Captain: Music from the Aubrey-Maturin Novels
  • Lullaby of Birdland─Sarah Vaughan
  • Rancag─Uking Sukri, Burhan Sukarma, Ajan Warjan, Dedi Sobandi, Dodi Suriadi─Musiques Savantes-Musique Et Chants Classiques

    Time to clear out my Recently Seen Movies list...

  • Another Thin Man (1939)
  • Top Gun (1986)
  • Amadeus (1984)
  • The Boys of Baraka (2005)
  • The Cocoanuts (1929)
  • The School of Rock (2003)
  • The Skin Game (1931)
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)
  • Diva (1981)
  • Eraserhead (1977)

Saturday, May 19, 2007

this is about vomit

Today and tomorrow we're celebrating Single Parent Weekend, a very local holiday.

The fun began suddenly and spectacularly at about 2:00 this morning when Julian, from his top bunk aerie, demonstrated the devastating effects of pandirectional projectile vomiting. I will not describe the extent of the noxious devastation, but imagine the worst possible scenario. No, it was much worse than that. I was up until 4:30 cleaning and laundering. As a result, I am seriously sleep-deprived, and plagued with lingering gastric odors that hang over the whole house and lodge in the farthest reaches of my olfactory epithelium.

Julian is feeling much better this morning. The excess of a chocolaty rich muffin as big as a sow's heart consumed at his grandmother's house last night seems to have been the cause of his stomach upset.

I promised the kids a trip to the pool today. The first of the season. Maybe we'll go for a hike, too. I wish I felt more robust.

I love May weather. It's cooler than usual this year.

Friday, May 18, 2007

well, the children teach

My daily playlists are my personal indulgence, because I love music, and taking note of what I'm listening to, should it happen to spark a synaptic positron of "oh, I like this" in my brain, is my way of pausing in my diurnal activities to usher in the olfactory assets of rosaceae, so to speak. I forget why I mention this, except that I sometimes feel self-conscious of the fact that instead of the intended word-based exposition of my blogitious expressions, my daily offerings principally consist of a photo I happen to like and a list of music that floated my boat. Er, so, moving right along...

This morning when Cream's classic 1967 rock album Disraeli Gears popped up at random in the MP3 shuffle, Gabriel marched into the room with a big grin on his face and declared, "It's School of Rock!" I thought about it, and figured there was a good chance that indeed the song we were listening to was featured in the Jack Black movie, but I wasn't absolutely sure. "Oh, is this song in the movie?" I asked. "This part is: 'nuh-nuh-nuh NUH, NUH, NUH, NUH'", he sang, accentuating the familiar bass guitar riff of "Sunshine of Your Love", the song that happened to be playing.


A brief Google confirmed that this song is on the School of Rock soundtrack. I should have known this already, but almost all knowledge I have of rock music was acquired through osmosis, having heard it as a kid when my older brothers were playing it. At that time I didn't pay that much attention, so, I'm not as familiar with the particulars of rock history as I would like to be.

Anyway, that's neither here nor there. I just wanted to note my son's prodigious musical sensibilities, because I made a vow to pay more attention to this sort of thing.

Oh, and, another item...
Gabriel came up with a phrase last night: "awake nap". I had asked him if his older brother was asleep, because of the telltale quietude in the house. "No, he's having an awake nap," he told me, and when I asked him to clarify, he explained that this meant he was lying down, but his eyes were open. Julian had snuggled up next to Meera, who had gone to sleep for the night, and he was just resting there, not having fallen asleep.

* * *

Meera, traveling with her mother, is out of town for the weekend. Next month her little sister is getting married, her brother is graduating college, and her father is retiring. In this, the first of four road trips to Southern California in the next few weeks, Meera will be attending the bridal shower and bachelorette party for her sister. I hope everyone has a great time. We all miss her around here already, and look forward to her return on Monday.

(Pictured: Cream, left to right: Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, and Eric Clapton)

    From the day's playlist...

  • Variation 16 - Ouverture─New English Chamber Orchestra; Dmitry Sitkovetsky, conductor─Bach: Goldberg Variations (Transcribed for Strings by Dmitry Sitkovetsky)
  • Get Behind the Mule─Tom Waits─VH1 Storytellers
  • You’ve Got A Friend─Carole King
  • Cream─Disraeli Gears (entire album)
  • Iko Iko─Dr. John
  • Good Morning Good Morning─The Beatles─Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • Sergei Prokofiev: Alexander Nevsky Cantata, Op.78─Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Andre Prévin, conductor (This is a totally awesome piece that I don't listen to nearly as often as I should. By far my favorite Prokofiev...if I put it in a separate category from Peter and the Wolf)
  • Mrs. Robinson─Simon & Garfunkel─The Essential Simon & Garfunkel

Kundan on the trail... (photo)

Kundan on the trail..., originally uploaded by DaveSinclair.
The Johar Valley, Kumaon , India - on the way to Nanda Devi.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Playing the Cat (photo)

playing the cat, Meera and Yoshe rasslin'


    From the day's playlist...

  • Mendelssohn: Herr nun lässest du deinen Diener─Kammerchor der Universität der Künste, Berlin; Christian Grube, conductor─Mein Odem Ist Schwach...Konzertmitschnitt vom Herbst 2002
  • Diet of Strange Places─k.d. lang─Reintarnation
  • John Dowland: Lachrimae Pavin─Hopkinson Smith, lute─John Dowland: A Dream
  • Villa-Lobos─Bachianas Brasileiras No.5: Aria─
    Rene Fleming, soprano; David Grusin, piano; Lee Ritenour, guitar─Rene Fleming: By Request
  • Dino Saluzzi: El titere─Dino Saluzzi, bandoneon; Anja Lechner, violoncello─Ojos Negros
  • Maya Ne Jal Bichhaya─Master Labhu─Vintage Music from India
  • Chaakar Raakho Jee─Anuradha Paudwal, vocals─Meera (Bhajans)
  • For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her (Live)─Simon & Garfunkel
  • All of Me─Billie Holiday

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A sunny day in New York City (photo)

Be sure and look at this in a larger format.
    From the day's playlist...

  • Mendelssohn: Venetian Boat Song─Keola Beamer, guitar─Ka Hikina O Ka Hau (The Coming of the Snow)
  • Louise─Tom Waits & Ramblin’ Jack Elliott
  • El Corazon del Inca─Urubamba─Urubamba
  • Classic Andean harp and violin music from Ayacucho, Peru─Ayllu Sulca─Music of the Andes
  • Heinrich Ignaz Franz von Biber─Passagalia for solo violin─Andrew Manze, baroque violin, member of Romanesca─Biber: Violin Sonatas (8 Sonatae 1681, etc)
  • John Philip Sousa: Stars and Stripes Forever─Guy Van Duser, guitar─American Finger Style Guitar

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

white leaves

I bought about a hundred dollars' worth of blank books the other day. I was nearing the end of my current journal volume (about a year and a half of entries) and, much to my surprise, I discovered I'd used up all my blank books already.

The last time I bought a bunch of blank books, Meera seemed bemused; it would take years and years before I'd ever fill them.

Well, it did take several years (they passed very quickly) but I did it! The fact that there's very little in there besides a whole lot of self-therapy, and comments on how I did or didn't enjoy my breakfast, is neither here nor there. The fact is, it was very gratifying. And so, in anticipation of many more pages to fill, I overdid it again in procuring a fresh ample supply of blank books.

I want each book design to be unique. I loved those inexpensive Benedikt Taschen blank books with paintings by well-known artists on the cover. (Here's a photo of me, displaying the insides of one in 1993) The pages were white, smooth, and unlined. (Lines cramp my doodling style. Sadly, I seldom doodle nowadays. It used to come naturally, even compulsively, and I miss it.) I filled many of these Taschen editions, including Munch's Scream, Matisse's Blue Nude I, Dürer's bunny rabbit, and many more I've forgotten. I worried about the series going out of print, which is why I got in the habit of buying up several unique designs at a time.

My diary writing output, once quite prodigious, has dropped off considerably over the years. Besides not having as much spare time as I used to, my perception is that I've written so much about the same old vices and weakness and frustrations that there's precious little more to add. In the early days, troubled relationships, separated by long periods of unrequited love and foolish infatuations, filled many a page. Things are much simpler, more stable now. I am comfortable, I am sated. Bo-ring! :)

My love for my wife and children is strong and enduring; deeply gratifying and uncomplicated. I often stop and daydream about how lucky I am, how blessed, how happy I am. But seldom do I sit down and write about the details, the nuances; the remarkable things they say and do to enrich my life. I've been lazy in my contentment, I guess.

Well, I'm willing to make a conscious effort in my day-to-day writing to celebrate their unique qualities and contributions to the world. So, naturally, I should have plenty of blank books on hand.

The beloved old Taschen format seems to be a thing of the past, at least in our local bookstores. Spiral bindings abound...which I can't abide. On top of that, unlined is rarer than ever.

Eventually, I did find two or three brands I like. I was particularly pleased with paperblanks embellished wrap. They have an extended back cover that folds over from the right to cover the exposed page edges. The covers have handsome old leather designs including manuscript text facsimiles from the likes of Shakespeare and Charlotte Brontë and a faux but very realistic-looking worn spine. The choice for my next volume of scratchwork is the Van Gogh Wrap (right).

The pages are faintly lined, but with dim lighting, and my far-sightedness, I can barely see them...so I may just jumpstart my doodling career.

And certainly all those blank pages will beckon me to fill them with words. A new era of prodigious diary writing awaits me, I just know it.

    From the day's playlist...

  • Max Reger: Mein Odem ist schwach: "Mein Odem ist schwach"─Kammerchor der Universität der Künste, Berlin; Christian Grube, conductor─Mein Odem Ist Schwach...Konzertmitschnitt vom Herbst 2002
  • Bèbú─Clusone 3─Clusone 3
  • Gentleman [Edit Version]─Fela Kuti
  • Eight Miles High─The Byrds─Fifth Dimension
  • Khamma (légende dansée)─Martin Jones, piano─Debussy Complete Piano Music, Volume 4


Monday, May 14, 2007

Art Appreciation (photo)


COURBET, originally uploaded by lucesensibile.

Gustave Courbet's 1866 painting L'origine du monde", at the Musée d'Orsay, Paris.

    From the day's playlist...

  • Guillaume Dufay: Mass Se La Face Ay Pale: Agnus Dei─The Early Music Consort of London; David Munrow─Dufay: Se La Face Ay Pale
  • Morten Lauridsen: A Winter Come: When Frost Moves Fast─Jane Thorngren, soprano; Ralph Grierson, piano─Northwest Journey
  • J.S. Bach: Aria (Soprano I, Alto I, Chorus): «So ist mein Jesus nun gefangen»─Frans Brueggen; Orchestra Of The 18th Century─J.S. Bach: Matthaeus-Passion (I love this duet...with its extended vocalisiacal melismas and it's restless chorus erupting into a tense fugue.)
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water─Simon & Garfunkel─The Essential Simon & Garfunkel
  • Do I Ever Cross Your Mind?─Ray Charles & Bonnie Raitt (with a shout out to neeka!)
  • Sableyalo Mi Agontze─The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Choir─Le Mystère Des Voix Bulgares
  • Elsa─Bill Evans─Jazz Showcase
  • Temptation─Tom Waits─Frank's Wild Years
  • I Put a Spell on You─Nina Simone─Compact Jazz
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara: Symphony No. 7 ‘Angel of Light’─Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Hannu Koivula, conducting

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Winners of Theme of the Week: Work (mosaic)

Winner Mosaic Title, 1st Place: construction construction, 2nd Place: Pescatori all'opera, 3rd Place: Work

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Flickr's Theme of the Week group is here.
    From the day's playlist...

  • sweet judy blue eyes─crosby, stills, nash, and young
  • Two of Two─Wayne Krantz (with a shout out to Sir Realist!)
  • Scott Joplin: Solace: "A Mexican Serenade"; Paragon Rag─Alexander Peskanov, Piano─Scott Joplin Piano Rags
  • Summer in the City─Lovin Spoonful
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Televised─Gil Scott Heron
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps─The Beatles─Love
  • Sogna Fiore Mio-Il Trillo, w/Lucilla Galaezzai (with a shout out to Mary1971!)
  • Kylä vuotti uutta kuuta-Värttinä─Musta Lindu (with a shout out to lionlady!)

coffee bear (photo)

bobo., originally uploaded by sacrary.

perfected cappucino.
The Lobby @ Claska Hotel. Tokyo, Japan. 05/08/07.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

big wave (photo)


big wave, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.


From the day's soundtrack...
  • Jorma Kaukonen─Genesis
  • sweet judy blue eyes─crosby, stills, nash, and young
  • He Shall Feed His Flock─The English Concert & Choir; Trevor Pinnock, conductor─Händel : Messiah
  • Händel: Harp Concerto in B Flat Major/─Frances Kelly, harp; The Brandenburg Consort; Roy Goodman, conductor─Händel: Organ Concertos [sic]
  • Adelaide─Ian Partridge, tenor & Richard Burnett, piano─Beethoven - Songs
  • Homeward Bound ─Simon & Garfunkel─The Essential Simon & Garfunkel
  • William Byrd: Sixth Pavan and Galliard─Glenn Gould, piano─The Art of Glenn Gould
  • Dufay: Mass Se La Face Ay Pale: Credo─The Early Music Consort of London; David Munrow─Dufay: Se La Face Ay Pale
  • Moten Swing─Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra─Smithsonian Collection Of Classic Jazz

Friday, May 11, 2007

exercise your tongue (photo)

exercise your tongue, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Since the family photo on Meera's blog shows Gabriel as such a wee babe, I was inclined to post a more recent shot of him.
    From the day's playlist...

  • Bach (JS): Cello Suite #3 In C, BWV 1009 - 1. Prelude─Yo-Yo Ma, cello─J.S. Bach: Six Suites For Unaccompanied Cello
  • Pour La Danseuse Aux Crotales─Martin Jones, piano─Debussy Complete Piano Works Vol. 5
  • Bach: Aria: "Höchster, mache deine Güte ferner alle Morgen neu"─Neues Bachisches Collegium Musicum Leipzig; Ludwig Güttler, conductor─Bach: Cantatas with Corno da Caccia
  • Courtyard Lullaby─Loreena McKennitt (with a shout out to Nicola O!)
  • You Brought a New Kind of Love─Fred Sokolow, guitar; Mike Rose,sax; Jeff Falkner,bass; Russell Bizzett, drums─Jazz Quartet
  • Rachmaninoff : All-Night Vigil, Op.37: Vespers & Matins─Estonian Philharmonica Chamber Choir; Paul Hillier, conductor─Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil, Op.37: Vespers & Matins
  • My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)─En Vogue (with a shout out to Soj!)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Pink plumeria (photo)

Pink plumeria, originally uploaded by superhero.

To date: Viewed 356,077 times, 1,290 people call this photo a favorite.

Flower pictures on Flickr don't get much more popular than this one.

    From the day's soundtrack...

  • Anonymous: Salterello; Isabella─Alla Francesca; Pierre Harmon; Carlo Rizzo, tambourines & vocals─Istanpitte: Festive Music for the Visconti Court
  • Who Needs Sleep?─Barenaked Ladies─Stunt
  • Oliver's Army─Elvis Costello
  • Five Childhood Lyrics: 2. the Owl and the Pussy-Cat─The Cambridge Singers─Fancies: Music by John Rutter
  • Morten Lauridesen: Dirait-on, from the collection
    Les chansons des roses─Polyphony, Stephen Layton, conductor─Nocturnes
  • Radiance Part VI─Keith Jarrett─Radiance
  • Street Spirit (Fade Out)─RADIOHEAD
  • Change the World─Nellie McKay─Get Away From Me

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Wowl! (photo)

Wowl!, originally uploaded by nicebiscuit.

Have you see this one? One of my all-time favorite Flickr photos.

The owls are not what they seem.

    From the day's playlist...

  • Garden State Stomp─Dave Van Ronk
  • Evil Woman Blues─John Mayall & Peter Green
  • Alpha Blondie─Brigadier Sabari
  • Old Man River─Ray Charles
  • J.S. Bach: Chaconne, from Partita No. 2 in D Minor for unaccompanied violin─John Holloway, baroque violin─J.S. Bach: The Sonatas and Partitas
  • You Learn─Alanis Morrisette
  • Otto Wood the Bandit─Doc Watson─The Best of Doc Watson 1964-1968
  • St. Louis Blues─Bessie Smith─Smithsonian Collection of Classic Jazz

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My Wife's New Blog and Twin Peaks Revisited!

Spoiling Sugimoto, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Meera told me this morning how much she loves this shot, so, voila! c'est une blogule. And you can go here check out Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Yesterday she launched her blog, Boulder Crecian, so we're both off and running. Check it out!

* * *

My thinking hasn't been very cohesive the last several days, so my blog has been all photos and background music. Too many distractions, an attention span too short.

I meant to file a lawsuit against the United States Congress for abdicating their power to declare war and ceding it to a clearly incompetent president, such a glaring violation of the Constitution. The case is a slam dunk, really...but I had laundry and dishes to do. And since Clinton Proposes Vote to Reverse Authorizing War, I hope there's some progress on the issue without my help. The article says:
Mostly, Mrs. Clinton appeared to be trying to claim a new leadership position among the Democratic presidential candidates against the war in Iraq.
Well, if that's the case, I'll have to admit I fell for it. I hope it's not just bloviation. It seems to have dropped off the front page already.

* * *

I've been enjoying Season 2 of Twin Peaks, and, as of last night's viewing marathon, the Laura Palmer case is now solved. Meera had already revealed to me whodunit back when the first season came out on DVD...I don't know what she was thinking, but our marriage survived the incident. I go to great pains in my life to avoid even the most seemingly insignificant of spoilers, which makes me an obnoxious conversationalist when the topic of something I haven't seen and want to see comes up.

I thought it interesting that the family resemblance was strong enough for me to identify Mrs. Tremond's grandson as David Lynch's son. Meera caught the confirming credit at the end of the episode, Austin Jack Lynch. Mrs. Tremond was the nextdoor neighbor of Harold Smith, the shut-in that so intrigued Donna Hayward.

* * *

One of the reasons I write in my journal is to solve personal problems, and adjust my behavior for the better. Having written in a diary for years, and having struggled with many of the same weaknesses and vices with very little improvement, it's difficult to assert that the effort has been a success, but I take it on faith that it is. The day to day seems better for keeping a journal. And I have definitely grown as a person.

The blog is an extension of my personal journal, and I hope it will also help me to make improvements in my life. There are many issues to grapple with, and I want to address them as I go.

Item #1 on my agenda: Appreciate what I have, stay engaged with the blessings, don't miss out on the charms of life because of being dogged by petty anxieties and annoyances.

Item #2 is to stop giving numbers to my issues, because this self-improvement approach has got to be non-linear.

The house is a mess, and time is limited, so I'll resume this process later.

    From the day's playlist...

  • I Ain’t Marching Anymore─Phil Ochs
  • Changes─Phil Ochs
  • The New Nubia─Suliman Gamil─Global Meditation
  • Johann Michael Bach: Herr, ich warte auf dein Heil─Motets de la famille Bach
  • Festival dance of the Bena Luluwa─Sanza & Guitar: Music of the Bena Luluwa of Angola and Zaire
  • These Foolish Things─Bille Holiday and Her Orchestra─Smithsonion Collection of Classic Jazz
  • Köln: Part I─Keith Jarrett, piano

Monday, May 7, 2007

Winners of the Theme: Landscape (photo)

This Week's Theme of the Week Winners, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Winner Mosaic Title, 1st Place: PERFECT STRANGERS - Nicholson VIC Australia 2007, 2nd Place: Sheep grazing...., 3rd Place: Canola Field

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

    From the day's playlist...

  • Hurtin’ Love─Bobby "Blue" Bland (single)
  • Chorus: Worthy is the Lamb That Was Slain - Amen─The English Concert & Choir; Trevor Pinnock, conductor─Händel: Messiah
  • You Learn─Alanis Morrisette
  • Hyotikos Manes (If I Were the Hem of Your Skirt)─Yangos Psamatyalis─Greek-Oriental Rebetica, Songs & Dances
  • Aangan Mein Mat Sove─Shobha Gurtu, vocals; Sultan Khan, sarangi─Shobha Gurtu
  • Woman and Child─Sheila Chandra─The Zen Kiss

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Meera in her natural state (knitting). (photo)


knitting for warmth, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

At the California Shakespeare Festival production of Nicholas Nickleby

September 2005



Meera, my darling wife since 1998.

    From the day's playlist:

  • Pastorale─Camerata Köln─Georg Philipp Telemann: Essercizii Musici
  • Luci serene e chiare─Polyphony with Britten Sinfonia; Layton, Stephen, conductor─Morten Lauridsen: Lux aeterna · Madrigali · Latin Motets
  • Beethoven: Piano Trio in E Flat Major, Op.1, No.1─The Gryphon Trio: Annalee Patipatanakoon, violin; Roman Borys, cello; Jamie Parker, piano
  • Partida─Djosinha─The Soul of Cape Verde
  • Never On Sunday─Pink Martini─Sympathique
  • John Williams─Elegy for Cello and Orchestra─
    Yo-Yo Ma, Cello; Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles, John Williams, conductor─Yo-Yo Ma Plays the Music of John Williams
  • Samuel Barber: Agnus Dei─The Cambridge Singers; John Rutter, conductor─Images of Christ
  • Bird On A Wire (Leonard Cohen)─k.d. lang─Hymns Of The 49th Parallel
  • Somebody To Love─Brittany Murphy─Happy Feet, Music From The Motion Picture


Our boys in a rare moment of quietude. (photo)

Gabriel hasn't quite figured out yet that open eyes are a giveaway, though.



Our boys, Julian and Gabriel.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Foggy Forest Series, 23 (photo)

Foggy Forest Series, 23, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

It's been so cold this morning, thank ye sun for coming out and warming the place up!
    From today's playlist...

  • Ghost Riders In The Sky─Johnny Cash
  • Waiting─Sheila Chandra─The Zen Kiss
  • Lalayaran─Burhan Sukarma, suling (flute)
  • Fuse Box (AlexKid’s Dub Remix─Mychael Danna─Monsoon Wedding
  • apex─Robert Bailey─Northern Lights
  • Mama na Milka/Pajdusko─Medna Usta; Ruth Hunter, lead vocal─All Dressed Up: More Songs from Surf City
  • O Ry T’Siriry Mandalo An’ Itasy!/Bird Flying Above Lake Itaosy─Hiran-D Razafimahefa, valiha─Music of Madagascar - Classic Traditional Recordings of the 1930s
  • Vilambit Gat In Tintal─Debashis Bhattacharya, guitar; Samir Chatterjee, tabla

Friday, May 4, 2007

martini lover, gin lover (photo)

Martini-1, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

Even though she hates gin, my dear wife quite enjoyed this excellent NYT article on the art of the martini, and brought it to my attention. As I am rather fond of this cocktail and the author of the article seems to know his stuff, I thought I might as well blog the sucker. I'm rather fond of Tanqueray ordinaire, and for premium sipping gin, I enjoy Hendrick's straight (from the freezer) in a small shot glass. I have yet to try many of the fancier varieties discussed in the article.

They didn't discuss the olive component, though. The traditional pimiento-stuffed variety doesn't do much for me. Perhaps I'm gauche, but the flavor flair of garlic-stuffed is my favorite. Less often I'll go for olives stuffed with a cube of bleu cheese, or a chunk of jalapeño.
    From today's playlist:

  • Papa pique, Mama coud─Charles Trene─Trenet: Boum! (Greatest Recordings, 1937-43)
  • Brigadier Sabari─Alpha Blondie
  • Berlioz: Harold en Italie, Op. 16─London Symphony Orchestra, Sir Colin Davis, cond./Nobuko Imai, viola─Berlioz Great Orchestral Works
  • Hello Love─The Be Good Tanyas─Hello Love
  • Debussy: Preludes, Book I: La fille aux cheveux de lin─Pascal Rogé, piano─Debussy: Preludes I & II
  • The Intro and the Outro─Bonzo Dog Band─Gorilla (with a shout out to BurstOfLethargy on Waydrnophone!)
  • Thai Elephant Orchestra Wow, amazing pachyderm percussion!
  • California Dreaming─Mamas & Papas (with a shout out to Amy Aberdeen!)

Mr. Sandman...... (photo)

pretty flickr photo du jour

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Playing the Glass Armonica (photo)

Playing the Glass Armonica, originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.

I found this photo on the Internet here.

I was just listening to the glass armonica, played by Dennis James, featured on a Naxos recording of Mozart's Adagio and Rondo. A wonderful ethereal sounding instrument. The one pictured here was invented by Ben Franklin.

Another kind of glass armonica is comprised of wine glasses tuned by water level, shown here on YouTube in a performance of a well-known Bach bourrée. Check it out, it's wonderful! Perhaps you've run a wet finger around the rim of a wine glass to get this unworldly sound. If not, try it sometime.

I'm thinking of buying the CD Music for Glass Harmonica.

    From today's playlist...

  • W.A. Mozart: Adagio and Rondo for Glass Armonica, Flute, Oboe,Viola, Cello,K.617─Salzburg Soloists; Luz Leskowitz, conductor─Mozart: Oboe Quartet-Oboe Quintet
  • J.S. Bach: Motet "Jesu, Meine Freud", BWV 227─La Chapelle Royale, Paris─J.S. Bach: Motets
  • Sunny Afternoon─The Kinks─Lola.You Really Got Me.Tired Of Waiting For You
  • Ceremonies Against The Night of The Devil (Islamic Boujeloud Ritual)─Bachir Attar─Global Celebration 1: Dancing With the Gods, Religious Celebrations
  • Purcell: Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary, Z 860 - 7. March─John Eliot Gardiner; Monteverdi Choir & Orchestra, Equale Brass Ensemble─Purcell: Music For Queen Mary
  • Exsultate, Jubilate, Kv 165/158a─Kiri Te Kanawa/Colin Davis/London Symphony & Chorus─Mozart: Litanies, Vespers, Etc.

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

what you will


E non cessa di girare ..., originally uploaded by !!! k2208.


Now that I've blustered into bloghood and established myself (sort of), I'm finding that I'm suddenly very timid about posting here. I want to have content worthy of my few kindly readers, and lately my cerebral output seems to be of the tediously mundane variety...but here goes anyway, nothing profound or creative to see here today.

I do want to mark this day. It's the first anniversary of my having joined the legions of iPod owners.

It was kind of an impulse buy. I was very trepidatious, self-conscious that it was a gratuitously frivolous expense. In retrospect it made perfect sense, and has since proven to be worth every penny. I adore a wide variety of musical styles, have a large CD collection, and 60 gigabytes is ample room to store lots and lots of stuff for glorious easy access.

In the past I wouldn't get around to enjoying a lot of this music, because─now get this─the effort of retrieving any given CD from the shelf and putting it in the player is sometimes just too much in this age of impatience (and yet, believe it or not, there are (very rare) occasions when I do put an LP on the turntable).

To date I'm using less than 2/3 of my iPod capacity. After a fever in the beginning of ripping and loading compulsively, I tapered off quite a bit. I add to my iPod only once in a while now. But I listen to it daily. I love those auto-playlists, and the track audition counter.

As I thought about how to illustrate this post, I realized that I have taken no photographs of my iPod. I don't know what that says, except it's not very photogenic. I still use the original white sleeve it came with, which got smudged and dingy right away, giving it the appearance of a rectangular version of an old LP of the White Album (Yes, I ripped that CD, too.). Ungrateful owner that I am, I've never even given my iPod a name. Maybe I should have a naming contest.

In other mundane news, I purchased the 2nd Season of Twin Peaks a couple nights ago. I didn't watch the series when it first aired because I didn't have access to TV broadcasts. Still don't. So I watched the first season for the first time on DVD when it came out. I think a lot of people are learning that this is the best way to watch a good television series. No commercials, pristine image quality, all those yummy extra features.

But instead of delving into Season Two of the series last night, as seemed the natural thing, Meera suggested we watch the 1st Season all over again. I'm glad she did. There are so many details I had missed or forgotten. For one thing, orienting all those characters with the plot was awfully confusing the first time around.

Last night I couldn't stop myself. I watched the pilot, and the first three episodes till about 3:00 in the morning. Damn, it's a fun and brilliant show.

Whelp, that's all he wrote. I seem to have left the insights in my old kit bag.

Happy May Day Boxing Day, everyone.

    From Today's Soundtrack

  • Obiero─Ayub Ogada─En Mana Kuoyo
  • Augusta Read Thomas: Love Is a Beautiful Dream─Chanticleer─Chanticleer: A Portrait
  • Fall Line─Jack Johnson─In Between Dreams
  • What Are They Doing in Heaven Today? ─The Be Good Tanyas─Hello Love
  • I Got Rhythm─Don Byas and Slam Stewart─Smithsonian Collection Of Classic Jazz
  • Raga Zilla Kafi, Alap; Vilambit and Drut Gats in Tintal─Tejendra Narayan Majumdar, sarod; Kumar Bose, tabla
  • Golden Slumbers─k.d. lang─Happy Feet (movie soundtrack)
  • Do Right Woman, Do Right Man─Aretha Franklin─Global Divas




Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Why do I Blog?


Tag! You're IT!, originally uploaded by Blazingstar.

Okay, I'll bite, and thanks to O'Donovan for tagging a newbie. I have been in something of a blogger slump ever since someone a few days ago kindly remarked upon how prolific I've been since I started this little misadventure almost two weeks ago, so a lovely meme on 5 reasons why I blog is just the thing to get me going again. I hope I'm doing this right, said the rube to the farmer's daughter.

My five reasons why I blog. Let's see...the reason I started a blog was so I could comment on a friend's blog, so thanks go to Xtinpore for getting the ball rolling, but I only posted once and didn't post again for more than a year, so that doesn't count as why I blog.
  1. I blog to run with the crowd. So many of my writerly friends have blogs and it's fun and rewarding to read what they write. Invariably I've learned things about them that I didn't through my previous modes of contact. So, by blogging I'm giving back to the Blogosphere, and it's a spiffy new way for me to network.
  2. The software is cool. It takes my words and pictures and shapes them into an eye-catching interactive web page with very little effort (theoretically) from me. I provide the content and it sweetens it up for easy consumption...like a spoonful of sugar.
  3. I wanted a place to post things that I found vitally important, interesting, or for whatever reason, worth sharing. As a member of an on-line community (salon.com's Table Talk) I was going to the trouble of quoting, expounding, or linking, only to have it all get swept away in the mighty rivers of linear discussion.
  4. I am hoping the blog process will bring some coherence and illumination to my desultory absorption of the world around me. Already I think it has sharpened and expanded my consciousness. Particularly, it has made me pay more attention to the news.
  5. I wanted to see if it would change my life. It's a bit too early to tell, but it certainly has kept me busy in the blog-tweaking department, not to mention transcribing and editing sundry materials to share. I'm hoping the versatile blog environment will open up many doors of creativity, including those that were shut a long time ago for whatever reasons, as well as those that have never been opened.
And now, to tag who hasn't been tagged:
  1. Christine Lebrasseur
  2. Mary Elizabeth Willams' Neighborhood
  3. Going Jesus
  4. Miss Aniela
  5. life is a glorious cycle of song


    From Today's Soundtrack

  • Wonderful Tonight─Eric Clapton and Dire Straits
  • Only The Lonely─Roy Orbison
  • No Woman No Cry─Bob Marley
  • Brahms: Sonata in F Minor for Clarinet and Piano, Op.120, No.1─Kalman Berkes, Clarinet; Jeno Jando, piano─Brahms:Sonatas for Clarinet and Piano
  • Easy Living─Chet Baker─Chet Baker: Jazz ’Round Midnight
  • Beethoven: Quartet No. 12 Opus 127, II. Adagio, ma non troppo e molto cantabile─Juilliard String QuartetBeethoven: The Late String Quartets
  • Ujung Laut-Sinyur─Pusaka Sunda─Lolongkrang