Tuesday, June 30, 2009

sugar magnolia

If the Earth
were only a few feet in
diameter, floating a few feet above
a field somewhere, people would come
from everywhere to marvel at it. People would
walk around it, marveling at its big pools of water,
its little pools and the water flowing between the pools.
People would marvel at the bumps on it, and the holes
in it, and they would marvel at the very thin layer of gas. The
people would marvel at all the creatures walking around the
surface of the ball, and at the creatures in the water . The
people would declare it precious because it was the only
one, and they would protect it so that it would not be hurt.
The ball would be the greatest wonder known, and people
would come to behold it, to be healed, to gain knowledge,
to know beauty and to wonder how it could be.
People would love it, and defend it with their lives,
because they would somehow know that their
lives, their own roundness, could be
nothing without it. If the Earth
were only a few feet in

still trying to find my summertime blogging groove, I don't feel as if I'm having very much success in reestablishing my rhythm. oh well, summertime and the living is busy!

f and I made a quick trip to metro dc this past weekend to see my sister and her kids who are visiting the states for several weeks from africa where they are currently living. they have one more year there then, who knows where they will be off to. everyone looks great - including my mom and dad. it is amazing how much kids can grow in a year. my niece recently turned thirteen and already she's almost as tall as I, it won't be long before she is taller than I. I'm not short (5'7") but increasingly I feel dwarfed by younger people. my own em has towered over me for years (she's 5'11"). we grow and then we shrink - isn't life trippy?

our visit primarily focused on spending time with family. but, I'm happy to report that I did make one excursion into the district from suburban virginia in order to check out the maya lin exhibit at the corcoran museum of art which I recently wrote about. it was fantastic, afterward we walked over to visit the vietnam veterans memorial which lin designed when she was still an undergraduate student. it has been years since I visited the site and I hadn't been there since the installation of the very powerful and moving vietnam women's memorial statue.

sugar magnolia has got to be one of my absolutely favorite grateful dead songs. the magnolias were in full bloom when we were visiting metro dc. god their scent is so intoxicating! ever since I filled myself up on magnolia-ness, I've had the song swirling around inside my head. unlike many other songs that get stuck in one's head, sugar magnolia is quite a pleasant earworm. I wish there was information on when and where this vid was taped. jerry and bob look so young and sweet. can you believe it's almost fourteen years since jerry passed away.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

summer wine

Quickly bring me a beaker of wine, so that I may whet my mind and say something clever.
Aristophanes (ca. 446 – ca. 386 BC) playwright

I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) novelist and social campaigner

Nothing makes you more tolerant of a neighbor's noisy party than being there.
Franklin P. Jones (1887-1929) American businessman

Where words fail, music speaks.
Hans Christian Andersen (1805-1875) writer renown for his fairy tales

Everything is created from moment to moment, always new. Like fireworks, this universe is a celebration and you are the spectator contemplating the eternal Fourth of July of your absolute splendor.
M. Scott Peck (1936-2005) psychiatrist and best-selling author

Love is to the heart what the summer is to the farmer's year - it brings to harvest all the loveliest flowers of the soul.
author unknown

You must not know too much or be too precise or scientific about birds and trees and flowers and watercraft; a certain free-margin, and even vagueness - ignorance, credulity - helps your enjoyment of these things.
Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) essayist, poet and philosopher

The wild bee reels from bough to bough
With his furry coat and his gauzy wing.
Now in a lily-cup, and now
Setting a jacinth bell a-swing,
In his wandering
Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) poet, novelist, dramatist and critic

Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability.
Sam Keen (1930s??) philosopher of everyday life

notes on photos:
  1. summer is enjoying a glass of wine on the back porch
  2. summer is a study of color
  3. summer is the joyous sound of a backyard party
  4. summer is eileen ivers and the cleveland irish festival
  5. summer is fireworks at blossom
  6. summer is the weekly farmers market
  7. summer is beauty all around
  8. summer is the sweet buzzing of bees
  9. summer is feeling zapped by the heat
summer is also the time of traveling, the mouse is hitting the road for a few days - no new posts until next week!

andrea of the corrs and bono singing summer wine ..... summer wine was written by lee hazelwood in 1966 and hit the charts in 1967 with this version - I really don't know which rendition I like better?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


A library is not a luxury but one of the necessities of life.
Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887), minister, abolitionist, and writer

ohio, like everywhere else, is facing a budget crisis. unfortunately, the axe-wielding politicians have the ohio public libraries in their sights. in principle I oppose any cuts to the public library system, but, I understand that in times of financial crisis everyone has to make some sacrifice and hence a bit of trimming may be necessary - but 50%!! yes, you read it correctly, the governor has proposed cutting the library budget by 50% - absolutely ludicrous and unthinkable!

please send out an s.o.s. for our libraries -- call or email your legislators before june 26 let them know you need your library now more than ever. (thanks whatsup digest vol. 29 f0r the following!)

Ohio Governor Ted Strickland 614-466-3555 www.governor.ohio.gov

Addison, Fleet, Garden Valley, Harvard Lee, Hough,
Rice, South Brooklyn, Sterling, Union, Woodland
Representative: Sandra Williams
(614) 466-1414 * district11@ohr.state.oh.us
Senator: Shirley Smith
(614) 466-4857 * senatorsmith@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Broadway, Brooklyn, Collinwood, Fulton, Jefferson,
Langston Hughes, Main Library, South
Representative: Robin Belcher
Senator: Shirley Smith
(614) 466-4857 * senatorsmith@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Carnegie West, Lorain, Walz, West Park
Representative: Michael Skindell
(614) 466-5921 * district13@ohr.state.oh.us
Senator: Dale Miller
(614) 466-5123 * SD23@maild.sen.state.oh.us
East 131st, Mt. Pleasant
Representative: Michael DeBose
(614) 466-1408 * district12@ohr.state.oh.us
Senator: Nina Turner
(614) 466-4583 * senatorturner@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Eastman, Rockport
Representative: Mike Foley
(614) 466-3350 * distric14@ohr.state.oh.us
Senator: Dale Miller
(614) 466-5123 * SD23@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Glenville, Martin Luther King, Jr.
Representative: Barbara Boyd
(614) 644-5079 * district09@ohr.state.oh.us
Senator: Shirley Smith
(614) 466-4857 * senatorsmith@maild.sen.state.oh.us
Representative: Kenny Yuko
(614) 466-8012 * district07@ohr.state.oh.us
Senator: Nina Turner
(614) 466-4583 * senatorturner@maild.sen.state.oh.us

For other communities, go to www.cpl.org

Visit http://saveohiolibraries.com to find out how you can help.

abba's catchy number s.o.s.

photos: tom otterness' bronze figures above entrance to the eastman reading garden, cleveland public library; bottom - a view of the louis stokes building, cpl

Monday, June 22, 2009


Creating a world that is truly fit for children does not imply simply the absence of war. It means having the confidence that our children would not die of measles or malaria. It means having access to clean water and proper sanitation. It means having primary schools nearby that educate children, free of charge. It means changing the world with children, ensuring their right to participate, and that their views are heard and considered. It means building a world fit for children, where every child can grow to adulthood in health, peace and dignity.
Carol Bellamy (b. 1942) NGO executive and activist

today is the 40th anniversary of the infamous cuyahoga river fire. on june 22, 1969 part of the cuyahoga river in cleveland burst into flames. it wasn't the first time the river caught on fire, but because of a story published in time magazine, it was the first time one of the river fires got national attention. as with many things in life sometimes good things can come out of tragedy. the national attention generated by the 1969 fire was able to inflame the public to put the heat on our elected officials to pass federal legislation, like the clean water act, to protect our environment.

there are a few celebrations happening today around town. I hope I can check one out; but if I can't get, there's always the annual burning river fest in august. this annual environmental and music festival is always on our must do list of summertime fun.

unplugged version of r.e.m. performing their song cuyahoga. the song features the cuyahoga river! because of the protections afforded by the clean water act, the lyrics which state the 'cuyahoga gone' are no longer true - today the cuyahoga isn't gone but quite the contrary alive and I'm happy to say because of the committment and dedication of various stewards of the river, doing better every day!

photo: the fireboat which put out the 1969 fire on the cuyahoga. photo taken at the 2005 burning river fest.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

my father's eyes

To become a father is not hard, to be a father is, however.
Wilhelm Busch (1832-1908) caricaturist & poet*

I am grateful and very happy that my dad had the latter half the the busch quote down! thanks dad for being a father, not just becoming one when your children were born!

I just gave my dad a ring to wish him happy father's day. he sounded good. he was enjoying the u.s. open on the television. later he and my mom will head to my brother's house for a father's day get together.

next weekend my father and mother will be surrounded by all three of their 'kids.' of course, the three of us are far from being kids, but anyone who is a parent knows that when you are a father or a mother (opposed to simply becoming one) your kids are always your kids no matter how old they are! however, as we age and our parents age, the roles become a little mixed up and blurred - adult kids, if we are lucky, may even find ourselves at times 'parenting' our parents. whenever that happens I feel even more blessed. does that make sense?

I hope everyone is having a good father's day weekend - especially all the fathers out there!

photos: top - my dad in may, 2009; bottom - the picture I will always have in my mind's eye of my dad and mom on the links, a lifelong passion they share - alas, today their golfing is confined to watching on the telly....but golfers are being parents - once a golfer always a golfer and once a parent always a parent.

*along with rodolphe töpffer, wilhelm busch can be considered one of the fathers of the modern comic strip.

an acoustic version of eric clapton performing my father's eyes - a song with discusses the transition from becoming to being

Thursday, June 18, 2009

shelter from the storm

But what is happiness except the simple harmony between a man and the life he leads?
Albert Camus (1913-1960) novelist, essayist and playwright

May you always have walls for the winds, a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire, laughter to cheer you, those you love near you and all your heart might desire.
Irish Blessing

It is sad to grow old but nice to ripen.
Brigitte Bardot (b. 1934) actress & activist

We take care of our health, we lay up money, we make our roof tight and our clothing sufficient, but who provides wisely that he shall not be wanting the best property of all -- friends?
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) poet, lecturer and essayist

On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life, nothing can destroy him.
Buddha (563-483 B.C.E.) Hindu prince, teacher, philosopher

Who that hath an hed of verre, Fro cast of stones war hym in the werre!
Geoffrey Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde (c1385)
in other words - People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Faith is the sense of life, that sense by virtue of which man does not destroy himself, but continues to live on. It is the force whereby we live.
Leo Tolstoy (1828 - 1910) writer

I long, as does every human being, to be at home wherever I find myself.
Maya Angelou (b. 1928) poet

notes on photos:
  1. view of the roofs of the village of roussillon in the provence october 2005
  2. thatched roof in adare a village which preserves this traditional roof - according the village's website adare is 'Ireland's prettiest village' - from what I saw the claim could be true, but first I'd like to visit the rest of ireland's villages!
  3. random paris roofs. the picture above was taken in the 18 arrondissement (the montmartre neighborhood) but I also really love the snap on the right which was taken from the top of the centre georges pompidou (4th arrondissement). it was very hard selecting only one snap from paris, a city with marvelous roofs!
  4. one of the marvelous gingerbread houses at the annual botanical garden holiday extravaganza. such a yummy looking roof - but then again I do have a soft spot for licorice of all flavors and varieties!
  5. the roof of casa batlló which I believe is the most exciting and creative roof I have ever encountered. but I am in search for a roof that can top this!
  6. looking through the glass ceiling and glass roof of the british museum, london
  7. st. theodosius russian orthodox church in the tremont neighborhood of cleveland. this church is featured (made famous?) in the wedding scene of the 1978 movie the deer hunter, a film which went on to win several oscars. I'm ashamed to admit I have yet to watch the movie (the subject matter I fear will leave me in a puddle of tears - I do like a good cry, but there is something about war and war movies that I find most difficult!)
  8. the roof of the house in which I live adorned with a particularly lovely bit winter frosting called a snow cornice! how I do love winter and all it brings!
today's song is dedicated to squirrel...I'm crossing my fingers that we will make it to hibbing in 2010 for dylan days - alas, we blew it this year, where has the first half of '09 gone and what happened to our plans! oh well, as john says life is what happens when we are busy making plans!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

with or without you

Hold to the now, the here, through which all future plunges to the past.
Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses by James Joyce

happy bloomsday! this year the local ulysses group will be reading chapter ten from joyce's masterpiece at nighttown, a local establishment named to honor this great book . ah, I look forward to being transported to dublin this afternoon, albeit only for a few brief hours.

with or without you by u2

photo: detail from the dublin castle, dublin may 2001

Monday, June 15, 2009

everybody's talking

Someday, maybe, there will exist a well-informed, well considered and yet fervent public conviction that the most deadly of all possible sins is the mutilation of a child’s spirit.
Erik Erikson (b. 15 june 1902 - 1992) developmental psychologist & psychoanalyst

in addition to it being erik erikson's birthday, today is also the birthday of two others who have made an impact on the social and cultural world of children - at least through their books. first is w.v. awdry (1911-1997), if awdry's name is unfamiliar to you, his creation, thomas the tank engine, most certainly is not. anyone who works, cares for, or plays with children knows thomas. awdry created the thomas tales almost 65 years ago and over the years thomas has acquired a kind of superstar standing in the world of children. not only is thomas a superstar, did you know that in the mid 1980s rockstar ringo starr was the first narrator of the thomas television show? in the united states the voice of starr was later replaced by george carlin and later alec baldwin.

the other bright light in the world of children's books whose birthday it is today is brian jacques (b. 1939). jacques created perhaps one of my favorite children's book series, the redwall series. the series started in 1986, today there are dozens of redwall books and redwall spin-offs (including, of all things, a redwall cookbook, a television series, and an opera). by the way, you don't have to be a child to enjoy the redwall books, but of course, mouse lover that I am would say that!

today is also the birthday of the incredibly talented harry nilsson (1941-1994). like many rock stars of his generation nilsson embraced a 'live hard, die young' lifestyle. I hope I can get my hands on the 2006 documentary who is harry nilsson (and why is everybody talking about him)? unfortunately, at first search it doesn't look like cleveland public library has it in their collection, but maybe one of my buds with netflicks will look and see if they carry it and put it in their queue for me!

photo: an artful bird nest, cleveland june 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

it don't mean a thing

Contemplation seems to be about the only luxury that costs nothing.
Dodie Smith (1896-1990) novelist and playwright

The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) dramatist and poet
Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923

There often seems to be a playfulness to wise people, as if either their equanimity has as its source this playfulness or the playfulness flows from the equanimity; and they can persuade other people who are in a state of agitation to calm down and manage a smile.
Edward Hoagland (b. 1932) essayist and novelist

What is a friend? A single soul in two bodies.
Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) philosopher, student of Plato

Language... has created the word "loneliness" to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word "solitude" to express the glory of being alone.
Paul Tillich (1886-1965) theologian and philosopher

To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one's self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived - this is to have succeeded.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) philosopher, poet, essayist

Those who dwell, as scientists or laymen, among the beauties and mysteries of the earth are never alone or weary of life.
Rachel Carson (1907-1964) biologist, writer, ecologist

notes on photos:
  1. a swingseat overlooking lake erie at lakewood park, june 2009
  2. ms t swinging at kauffman park, lakewood - june 2008
  3. backyard party cleveland, june 2009
  4. two friends swinging on a porch, lakewood -june 2009
  5. playground in winter, grant elementary school, lakewood - january 2009
  6. buddy b swinging on a very resilient tree in front of the superior schoolhouse, cleveland heights - october 2007
  7. a swinging vine at palmetto state park, gonzales, texas - april 2009

duke ellington and the band performing it don't mean a thing (1943). quite honestly today's song was between this tune or this or this

it don't mean a thing was written and arranged by ellington in august 1931 during intermissions at chicago's lincoln tavern and was first recorded by ellington and his orchestra for brunswick records on february 2, 1932. this may have been the first song to use the phrase "swing" in the title, it introduced the term into everyday language and presaged the swing era by three years. the ellington band played the song continuously over the years and recorded it numerous times, most often with trumpeter ray nance as vocalist.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

walk on the wild side

You cannot write for children they're much too complicated. You can only write books that are of interest to them.
Maurice Sendak (b. 10 june 1928)

1982 version of lou reed performing perhaps his best known song walk on the wild song.

photo: ms t waking up after one of those now infrequent events - the afternoon nap

added at 11:45 a.m.
ever wonder what was sendak's inspiration for the book, where here's what he had to say:
(click on photo to enlarge)

and thanks artsparker! I definitely should have mentioned that in the queue for a fall release is a film adaptation of sendak's most famous book where the wild things are. I don't know about you but I wait with bated breath! given the talent behind the film I can't wait - first, there's the book by maurice, second, the screenplay was written by david eggers (who wrote the brilliant book the heartbreaking work of staggering genius) and by the director of the film, spike jonze (in addition to doing a slew of really great music videos, jonze has done a number of films, including the wickedly mind-bending being john malkovich).

here's a sneak peek:

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

anything goes

Now I need to take a piece of wood and make it sound like the railroad track, but I also had to make it beautiful and lovable so that a person playing it would think of it in terms of his mistress, a bartender, his wife, a good psychiatrist - whatever.
Les Paul (born Lester William Polfuss on June 9, 1915) musician, songwriter, inventor

in addition to guitar hero les paul 94th birthday, today is also the anniversary of the birth of the cole porter (1891–1964). les and cole were both ahead of their time.

I'm kicking myself for not going to a les paul salute concert last november which was part of the american music masters series. in fact, the only one of the american music masters series concerts I attended was the one in 2003 in honor of buddy holly. we went to that only because bud jimmie dale gilmore, was among the musical guests paying/playing homage to buddy. since I'm living in cleveland, I really need to make a point of going to these shows. another instance of missing out on special things happening right under one's own nose! none of you guys are guilty of that, right?

enjoy the vid, I think it's a kick in the pants! speaking of kicks here's another song of cole's that I get a kick out of!

photo: inside ithaca guitar works, may 2008

Sunday, June 7, 2009

build me up buttercup

When the world wearies, and society ceases to satisfy, there is always the garden.
Minnie Aumonier (dates unknown) poet

don't forget to take time to smell the flowers this weekend!

golden oldie: build me up buttercup by the foundations

Saturday, June 6, 2009

how you've grown

Time has no divisions to mark its passage, there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols.
Thomas Mann (b. 6 june 1875-1955)

today is the 30th birthday of my daughter! last year when em turned 29 I put up a birthday post, since the sentiments still holds true no sense repeating myself!

happy birthday em!

how you've grown, by the 10,000 maniacs. not only is the title of the song is so fitting but when I think of em's childhood and the 'soundtrack' I have of that period, a few songs by the 10,000 maniacs are right in there (however, mainly from this album). I wonder what groups and songs are on em's childhood soundtrack - sounds like a perfect conversation topic. I'm sure we share a few tunes - for sure this and several songs from here .

photo: taken in 1987 at em's 8th birthday party. it seems like yesterday. yes, definitely issues with the time-space continuum!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Life is thickly sown with thorns, and I know no other remedy than to pass quickly through them. The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us.
Voltaire (1694-1778)philosopher and writer

I cannot promise very much.
I give you the images I know.
Lie still with me and watch.
We laugh and we touch.
I promise you love. Time will not take that away.
Anne Sexton (1928-1974) poet & writer

The only reason for time is so that everything doesn't happen at once.
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

How much of human life is lost in waiting.
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) poet, lecturer and essayist

Magic is believing in yourself, if you can do that, you can make anything happen.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)playwright, poet, novelist

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by heart and his friends can only read the title.
Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) novelist and essayist

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.
Paulo Coelho (b. 1947) lyricist & novelist

A baby is God's opinion that life should go on. Never will a time come when the most marvelous recent invention is as marvelous as a newborn baby. The finest of our precision watches, the most super-colossal of our supercargo planes don't compare with a newborn baby in the number and ingenuity of coils and springs, in the flow and change of chemical solutions, in timing devises and interrelated parts that are irreplaceable.
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967)historian, poet and novelist

The greatest stories are those that resonate our beginnings and intuit our endings, our mysterious origins and our numinous destinies, and dissolve them both into one.
Ben Okri (b. 1959) poet and novelist
best known for the famished road, winner of the 1991 booker prize

The years like great black oxen tread the world
And God, the herdsman, goads them on behind.
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939) poet and dramatist

notes on photos:
  1. le defenseur du temps - a large mechanical clock found in the passageway known as the quartier de l'horloge in paris, quite close to the centre georges pompidou. the clock shows a soldier battling a dragon and other mythical animals. the clock was erected in 1979 and was created by jacques monestier.
  2. another wonderful parisian clock can be found at the musée d'orsay. this photo was taken from inside the museum.
  3. since I'm in europe I should post a pic of perhaps the most famous european clock - big ben in london -technically, it isn't the clock which named 'big ben' but rather the bell. however, most folks refer to the clock as big ben. did you know that in may of this year the clock celebrated its 150th anniversary!
  4. from the capital of the u.k to the capital of the u.s. - inside union station in washington d.c.
  5. a fanciful and magical clock on some avenue in new york city.
  6. since I'm traveling about I thought I'd include this clock tower on a church in reykjavík, iceland.
  7. have you ever noticed that in an exam room the clock never seems to move?
  8. wrist clocks for sale on the streets of new york city.
  9. clock tower in santo domingo. I never had to worry about what time it was while I was on an extended business trip in the dominican republic for this was the view from the room I was in - pretty gorgeous!
  10. a very precise countdown clock in new york city - somewhere I have the address of the website which explains all the numbers, if I run across it I'll come back and add it - until then you can try and figure it out yourself!

well, duh what else, clocks by coldplay

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

doctor my eyes

Poets are Damned ... but See with the Eyes of Angels.
Allen Ginsberg (b. 3 june 1926 - 1997) poet

looking into this gentleman's eyes, I thought of this old (1972) jackson browne song which I just love.....

I also liked the photo below, so you get them both.

click on pic to enlarge.