Wednesday, February 18, 2009

got my mind set on you

The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within.
William C. Bryant (1794-1878) poet, journalist, and editor

on sunday I went to see a performance of ma rainey's black bottom at the local beck center for the arts. it was very well done and all aspects of the production exceeded my expectations. I love when this happens!

ma rainey's black bottom is a play by the brilliant playwright august wilson; it is one of the plays in wilson's ten play series known as 'the pittsburgh cycle' or 'the century cycle.' personally, I prefer the moniker 'the century cycle.' first, not all of the plays take place in pittsburgh (yes, nine of the ten do, but ma rainey's black bottom does not) and second, I find that the significance of the cycle is not the location but the experience wilson sets out to capture and portray in this series of plays - the experience of blacks in twentieth century america.

several years ago I added wilson's cycle of plays to my must do/must see list (a list which I now call my 'bucket list.'). I'm doing much better with seeing productions of wilson's century cycle than with meeting my goal of reading the twenty novels in zola's rougon-macquart cycle. so far, over the last fifteen years, I have seen 50% of the wilson plays: joe turner's come and gone (1910s); ma rainey's black bottom (1920); the piano lesson (1930s); fences (1950s); and king hendley II (1980s) - five down, five to go! but, as far as the zola novels are concerned so far I've only read three of the twenty (l'assommoir or the drinking den, au bonheur des dames, and germinal - if you haven't read germinal -DO! but I digress*. anyhow, at this rate I'm going have to live a really long time or I'm going to die disappointed - I really hate to be disappointed).

by the way tomorrow is mouse medicine's second birthday! wow, time flies when you're having fun! I'm having fun, I hope you are too!

george harrison singing 'got my mind set on you' - r&b artist james ray wrote this song in the 1960s, harrison's recorded the song on his 1987 album cloud nine. the song became a number 1 song in 1988. golly, this is one george that I really miss.

*what's new?


Squirrel said...

Beautiful Picture--some great "February Spring" days we've had lately! Back to winter soon, but it was so nice to get some crisp fresh air that wasn't completely frozen.

You'll enjoy reading the Zola--he is my #1 Favorite author of ALL TIME.

Must see some of the Wilson Plays--Thanks for a great post as usual :)

tut-tut said...

I'm hunting out my Zola this morning. didn't know that Wilson wrote a play for each decade. I have a copy of one of his plays here that I got at a library sale.

marianne said...

beautiful photo- spring will be here, won't it? love these february days when it warms a bit & the sun comes out!

Adam said...

you got me lost at, I got my mind said on you!

immediately i think of the weird al song, this song is just, 6 words long.

I loved it!

Roy said...

Hmmm... That's quite a goal you've set yourself. I've seen three of Wilson's plays - Joe Turner, Ma Rainey, and Fences.

I didn't realize there's a George Harrison website up. How cool! I'm still staggering over the news, just discovered this morning, that bith Jean Ritchie and her husband George Pickow are still alive and active, active, active. Being a folkie and a dulcimer player, of course I'm gonna love "The Mother of Folk", but believe it or not George Pickow's photography has had an influence on my own. And they have a website, which is how I found out they're still around. Ain't the Internat grand?

R.L. Bourges said...

cool-cool-o (a True Confessions moment: Forgive me and so on, George was my favorite Beatle. I thought he looked cute and shy. End of True Confessions, three Hail Marys and in the name of father, son etc.)

Ah, les Rougon-Macquart - read through the whole thing during a three week summer of Zola madness so it's a bit like with my binge on Balzac: there's a Zola template and a Balzac template in my head, where individual works should be.

Will have to check into the Wilson plays, don't know any of them.

Love the light shining down on the tree.

willow said...

I really like your EX-tra large photos. And many congratulations on your second blogoversary!

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

Happy Anniversary, Mouse Medicine! You liven our world and feed us new thoughts.

Lover of Life said...

George was incredibly talented, wasn't he? My daughter (21) says Ring Starr was the most talented Beatle. I just laughed.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

squirrel - I have two zola's at home waiting for the right moment.... the earth and the first book of the cycle (which I actually printed off via the project gutenberg - try as I could, I couldn't find a copy anywhere!) am sure once the wilson plays on on your radar, you will find them -

tut - I will have to see if any of his plays will be playing next month when I'm in nyc...there is a theatre now named after him - I think on broadway.

marianne - hard to imagine spring anywhere near us today.....brrrrrrr

adam - oh gosh, I forgot all about that weird al daughter had a couple weird al albums when she was young....he really grows on one! and is the ultimate in terms of being able to creat an earworm!

roy - I love jean ritchie - I just assumed she was still alive as I figured we have surely heard had she passed away. I just went over to wiki to see how old she is, she is just a few months younger than my dad....hey ol' pete is still singing - maybe there's something about folk music! on may 3rd pete is going to be 90 - which reminds me I need to check and see what is happening with the campaign to have him nominated for the nobel peace prize...although there are many who believe he deserves to win for his lifetime of work on peace and social justice issues, it may be hard since al gore (from the u.s.) just won a few years back....

r.l.b - wow!!! 20 books in 3 weeks....did you come up for air, did you eat! I am tres impressed!

willow & meri - thanks! I'm happy that I'm starting year 2 of the mouse with both you in my cyberhood!

lover - well one's favorite beatle is a very personal and subjective matter. who is to say? I always oscillate between john and george...and have since 1964 when I was 9 and we started playing those crazy beatle games that girls of my era did....

ArtSparker said...

The squirrel playing the pipe was good too...reminded me of the Sarah Palin in the White House scrollover, that video. Hope your birthday will be fun.

R. Yaeko said...

Mmm... I think I like the original better. Then again, I'm going on an R&B kick.

I have never read either Wilson or even heard of Zola! A few more tidbits to add to my lists of "to reads."

R. Yaeko

P.S. Finally did my "P"

Megan said...

Happy Birthday to Mouse Medicine! May there be many, many more.

George was my favorite Beatle.

Reya Mellicker said...

I miss him, too.

Strangely, the week he died I was compelled to listen to All Things Must Pass over and over again.

I also love Here Comes the Sun.

Great tree and sky pic!

R.L. Bourges said...

re Zola frenzy:

breathed: check
ate: check

but didn't sleep a whole lot


Happy second anniversary to the mouse.

K. said...

My boys loved dancing to this song. They were 4 and 2, and had us play it over and over and over so they could dance to it.

WAT said...

Congrats to you blog's second triumphant year. I'm jealous at the amount of traffic and comments you generate!

George Harrison's song was indeed a #1 and I remember liking it a lot when it first came out (still do today), but not realizing at the time that it was former Beatle singing it!

AuroraSkye said...

I love the Beatles too -=- Especially George and John! I miss them both soooo very much!

I found your blog because I have Google set to alert me of any George Harrison postings. (grins)