Thursday, June 30, 2011

sharing joy!

a few joyful experiences i witnessed this week

em & bingo having a cuddle (look closely and you will see the edward gorey inspired bat tattoo i mentioned the other day!)

ms. t enjoying a cool treat

finding buddhas in a local shop

a pile of ducklings

seeing the little black squirrel at the backyard feeding station

joy also came when i wrapped up the music challenge meme on fb!

the songs reflect where my head was at during a particular moment in time - the other day i indicated that i might share the list, well here it is - if anyone else has played the music challenge, i'd love to see your list. i started the challenge on facebook the beginning of june, all the responses are what i posted on my fb wall.

day 01 - your favorite song:
depending on my mood i have many 'favorite songs' but i want to try and keep it simple, so i really must say my favorite song is the shaker hymn simple gifts which coincidentally was today's song on the mouse! on the mouse i posted jewel's version of the song, however, truth be told, i prefer yo-yo and alison's cover

day 02 - your least favorite song:
"least favorite" - crimson and clover by tommy james & the shondells. no link as it is a most insidious earworm and i don't want to infect anyone else!

day 03 - a song that makes you happy:
3 little birds - this song makes me so happy - whether it's bob, tasha's kindergarten class, or the cover done by "playing for change" I love, love, love this song!

day 04 - a song that makes you sad:
i say, if this song- june tabor's the band played waltzing matilda - doesn't break your heart maybe you don't have one.... june a voice so pure and clear - she could sing the phone book and i'd be in a ecstasy

day 05 - a song that reminds you of someone
carey reminds me of my best friend alice - joni's blue album is chock full of songs that bring my loved ones to mind - little green has always been my song for my darling daughter and when i hear a case of you - i want to drink a case of f, my guy and life partner.

day 06 - a song that reminds you of somewhere:
the 59th street bridge song reminds me of new york! i love new york city and when i'm there i'm just feeling groovy!

day 07 - a song that reminds you of a certain event
neil young's ohio - beautiful song, but makes me sad and angry every time i listen to it.....who would have thought 40 years ago i'd be living in ohio, not to mention so close to kent!

day 08 - a song that you know all the words to
john prine's sam stone

day 09 - a song that you can dance to
i'm cheating and not putting up a song but a genre - celtic/folk mix - a la eileen, tommy and the rest of the boys w/ the immigrant soul! i'm counting the days to the 29th annual irish festival in cleveland (july 22-24)

day 10 - a song that makes you fall asleep
i'm stumped - how about rock-a-bye baby

day 11 - a song from your favorite band
like favorite songs, can't say i have a favorite band depends on the day. today is a neil day and any band neil's playing is a favorite! and we can't get much better than rocking in the free world with neil and pearl jam!

day 12 - a song from a band you hate
a song from a band you hate: hate is somewhat strong, however, if pressed would have to spit on kiss

day 13 - a song that is a guilty pleasure
madonna - of course! and ray of light is a song that gives me much pleasure!

day 14 - a song that no one would expect you to love
bet no one could have predicted jim nabors singing oh my papa

day 15 - a song that describes you
this was a no brainer..and no surprise for those that really know me! joni's twisted been my personal theme song for 30 years!

day 16 - a song that you used to love but now hate
i don't know if i ever loved this song, but i do find iron butterfly's in a gadda da vida quite annoying ......

day 17 - a song that you hear often on the radio
i listen to a lot of radio, but outside of late night jazz on wcpn, the music on npr's weekend variety shows (specifically, phc and the vinyl cafe) and wksu's weekend folk programs i really don't hear much (any) music on the radio. so when it comes to today's challenge, this has got to be it! can anyone else identify????

day 18 - a song that you wish you heard on the radio
just think if woody's gonna get through was played on the radio and folks really listened to it and to heart the lyrics...what a world it would be!!! thanks woody for writing it and thanks klezmatics for this wonderful version!

day 19 - a song from your favorite album
i have quite a few favorite albums, but since today (june 19th) is father's day, i have to choose one from one of the boys who is also a terrific father. neil's harvest moon album is right up there in my top top tier of favorite albums. and i'm missing and thinking of one of my old men so today's song is old man.

day 20 - a song that you listen to when you’re angry
gotta be - a pict song by billy bragg it never fails to empower me and make be feel good! sometimes righteous anger is a good thing!!

day 21 - a song that you listen to when you’re happy
today i'm super happy as we are going to the beachland tonight to see/hear jimmie dale gilmore! listening to jimmie's wonderful warbling, wavering, watery, voice always makes me feel good. if you were a bluebird

day 22 - a song that you listen to when you’re sad
my hope is you - joussou ndour's voice never fails to lift my spirits and this song really can make me soar!

day 23 - a song that you want to play at your wedding
gotta take a pass on this one

day 24 - a song that you want to play at your funeral
first off no sappy songs - i think green day's time of your life would be a good start for the end

day 25 - a song that makes you laugh
i can always count on monty python to crack me up - my top two faves by the boys are the lumberjack song and the spam song!

day 26 - a song that you can play on an instrument
give me a kazoo and the list is quite long; in terms of other instruments, i know nada. however, i am looking at expanding my musical talents and exploring the idea of the cowbells

day 27 - a song that you wish you could play
i've often said in my next life i want to play the fiddle - that is if i don't come back as a dolphin. if i could play the fiddle any song will do!!

day 28 - a song that makes you feel guilty
can't say that any song makes me feel guilty, however, that said, if i shot the sheriff i know i would feel guilty.

day 29 - a song from your childhood
the songs of the kingston trio were the first to come to mind; this dark, tragic song was the first i thought of, followed by they call the wind mariah

day 30 - your favorite song at this time last year
this is a no brainer - summertime and no one does it better in my humble opinion than ella and louie!

to sign up and/or see who else is sharing joy this week visit meri's musings

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

beautiful loser

Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always and forever explaining things to them.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (29 june 1900 -1944) author & aviator

wall wednesday continues.

i encountered this scrawl earlier today. when i saw the sign for a fast food restaurant (now closed) my wacky-wired brain filled in: then i discover monster 24 inch submarine sandwiches...

the area of greater cleveland i live in is quite tough on graffiti. the scrawl must be fairly recent as the town's removal team is usually quite quick covering up the writing on the wall. I expect by next week the wall will be whitewashed and the owner of the shopping center may be fined to cover the expense - grossly unfair but i heard that is the policy.

bob seger released beautiful loser in 1975 on his eighth album likewise named beautiful loser. the song is not about losing weight but rather about folks who set their goals so low they never achieve anything. during an interview with cream magazine seger stated
"A lot of people think I wrote 'Beautiful Loser' about myself. I got the idea for that song from a book of Leonard Cohen poetry by the same name. The song was about underachievers in general. I very rarely write about myself that much. I draw on my own experiences like anyone else, but I'm not what you'd call auteuristic. I'm not like my songs at all. I'm a lot more up person than what I write."

photo: lakewood, june 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

bat's mouth

Bat, bat, come under my hat
and I'll give you a piece of bacon,
and when I bake, I'll give you a cake,
if I am not mistaken.

english nursery rhyme

bats have both fascinated and stricken fear for like ever. my family belongs to the bat loving group - one member of the family has even adopted the bat as her animal totem and sports a small, attractive, edward gorey-ish bat tattoo on her wrist.

the origin of many nursery rhymes is quite interesting - several years ago chris roberts examined the meaning and stories behind some of our most enduring nursery rhymes and found that many nursery rhymes are quite dark and there are some very sinister and unseamly stories behind the rhymes. roberts shares what he found about the complex history behind the rhymes in his book heavy words, lightly thrown: the reason behind the rhyme (2004).

roberts doesn't deconstruct the meaning behind the bat rhyme above and from what i've read elsewhere the meaning of this nursery rhyme is fairly straight forward. bats often enter homes through the chimney of a house, seems that at one time and in some places, it was a common practice to hang smoked meat like bacon in the chimney, and for some they believed the bats were come down the chimney to get at the bacon. although the belief isn't accurate about bacon loving bats the inspiration has created a whimsical little rhyme!

bat's mouth performed by the talented and ever ethereal bat for lashes (aka natasha khan)

photo: little brown bat hanging around sister annie's house, virginia, june 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

tuning in

I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; I will not refuse to do something I can do.
Helen Keller (27 june 1880 - 1968)

i can't believe it has been over a week since i posted anything on the mouse.

summertime and the living is - BUSY! seems as though the time that i have carved out for being at the computer has mainly been eaten up by logging into facebook and keeping up with my scrabble games (which have not been going well, i've been routinely getting creamed - oh well, win or lose, its still fun to play - gotta keep that gray matter in the pink!).

in addition to my usual fb scrabble addiction, i've been playing another game of sorts on fb - a thirty day music challenge. megan's sister tagged me to play, i don't usually agree to such prolonged memes, but this one sounded fun. the music challenge involves coming up with a song a day to fit some category (for instance: a song that make you happy, or a song that reminds you of a certain event) - maybe when it's all over i'll put up the list on the mouse including my picks. only 3 more days to go!

i love summer in cleveland - its the season of festivals!

for me the season is kicked off with the annual bloomsday celebration. this year one of the fellows from the local joycean group decided that they should read as much of ulysses as possible! the gathering was once more held at nighttown; it started at 9 am and continued until midnight.

yeah, i took a few snaps while i was there.

this year instead of just being a spectator and documentarian, i decided to participate by reading a few pages from the book - which was quite thrilling. no one documented my turn up at the microphone, which is just as well as i wasn't wearing a hat. i didn't attend for the entire day - i got there around 10:30 and left at 3:30; enough time however to get some momentum going in terms of the book. i am confident that i'll have the entire book read by next year's bloomsday celebration!

from the sublime to the ridiculous - the next festival i attended was the annual duct tape festival. yeah, that's right - there is a duct tape festival up here - who'd of thunk it! turns out the world headquarters for the duck brand duct tape is in nearby avon, ohio.
i talked with a few of the folks i took pictures of and what amazed me about the duct tape festival is how passionate some folks are about duct tape! for instance, there was a girl attending the festival with her family, a couple years ago she wanted to be a roll of duct tape for halloween. well the family worked together and made a duct tape costume (you can see the girl in her duct tape costume in my flickr set from the duct tape festival) - i don't know what came first the costume or her alter-persona, she told me that her nickname among her friends is "ducky." a couple weeks ago the family moved from houston to a town outside columbus, ohio. the girl was elated to find out that the father was being transferred to ohio for after all, ohio is the home of duck tape. the mom told me that instead of unpacking they were attending the duct tape festival!

other serious duct tape fans included couple women i met who came to the festival from upstate new york. turns out that one of the women was celebrating her birthday that weekend and she choose to celebrate by coming to avon to attend the festival. they even made outfits out of duct tape as part of the birthday extravaganza!

wow, what can i say but quack. quack.

speaking of quack - a head's up about a children's book that ms t and i just discovered at the library. if you are a fan of ducks, mysteries, tongue twisters, wordplay and puns check out the web files by margie palatini.

much of the humor and even the rhythm of the text is an homage to the old tv show dragnet - so the book is great fun to read - and read aloud.

a brief except:

6:32 a.m.
This is the farm

My partner, Bill, and I were working the barnyard shift. It was peaceful. Quiet. Then we got the call.


"A lot of squawking going on down in the coop area, Ductective Web. Looks like fowl play. Report says feathers are flying. Chief says we shout check out the chicks."



"Let's fly."


that's it for now.... off to tune into the blogroll catch up a bit! not only have i not been posting, for the most part i've also been not keeping up with what's going on in the bloggyhood!

hopefully whatever has been going on hasn't rivaled the following:

photo: top photo - a sign that is no longer, tune inn bar, washington dc, 3 june 2011; duct tape costumes, avon 18 june 2011

by the way if you clicked the link to read the story about what happened to the legendary tune inn bar i hope you noticed the name of the detective connected with the case. detective webb! i ain't quacking!! (well detective webb is more connected with the tune inn than the actual case - i sure hope the fire at the tune inn wasn't a case of fowl play - or foul play for that matter!)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

song for my father

It is a wise father that knows his own child.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) dramatist, playwright and poet

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes.

Gloria Naylor (b. 1950) writer

although no longer on this mortal coil, my wise, loving father will be with me forever.....forever and a day as i'm fond of saying.

in celebration of fathers day, i offer this version of horace silver's jazz standard, song for my father. in this version leon thomas sing silver's song, what i like about this vid is it has the words and features a lovely collage of images of men from all over the world. i couldn't find a vid of horace silver playing and singing with the lyrics, of course there are some great instrumental versions of the song with the man himself on piano out there, like this from silver's 1964 blue note recording.

long time visitors to the mouse may experience a little deja vu, a few years ago i also used another version of for a father's day post. things have changed since then - both the vid i used then and my dear beloved dad are no longer around except in memory.

photos: top - 1955, dad with me and my older brother; bottom - 2010, dad with 'his two girls' - me and my younger sister

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

between the wars

If you don't create change, change will create you.


now for something a little bit different for wall wednesday - a snap of a part of the berlin wall.

this section of the wall now resides in the kentuck knob sculpture meadow in pennsylvania. i really like the street scrawls that are on this segment of the wall - 'create' and 'totem power.'

i wonder how much this section of the wall cost? according to the kentuck knob website, there are two pieces of the wall residing in the meadow, courtesy of lord peter palumbo (who is the most recent owner of kentuck knob). this section was the only one i snapped a picture of although i do remember walking by the other piece of the wall, and truth be told i didn't realize its significance when i walked by it.

if this website is accurate there are sections of the wall still for sale. isn't capitalism incredible - don't you wonder who is profiting from this symbolic collapse of communism. i wonder, but then again, i am a most curious mouse.

billy's 1985 song between the wars.

Monday, June 13, 2011

move it on over

Form follows function - that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.
Frank Lloyd Wright (1867 -1959) architect & interior designer

we packed in quite a bit of art, architecture, and nature this last week - i can now cross "visit falling water" off my bucket list. but then again, maybe not - having visited in late spring/almost summer and witnessing first hand wright's masterpiece's spiritual union with the surrounding environment, i now want to visit the place in every season. i guess this is a case of one step forward and three steps backwards!

in addition to visiting falling water, we also checked out another of frank's houses, kentuck knob. both places were amazing - although they were very different from one another, yet each blended perfectly with their respective environments. we weren't planning on visiting kentuck knob, but when i heard about its "sculpture meadow," there was no way i was going pass up the opportunity - after all, we were right in the neighborhood.

we arrived at falling water a half hour before our scheduled tour so had enough time to visit the museum shop - we didn't go crazy in the museum shop - just bought a couple small gifts - one a small book entitled 101 things i learned in architecture school by matthew frederick. i thought #6 is not only instructive as far as understanding architecture and space - but is also a good lesson for living - we move through negative spaces and dwell in positive spaces. doesn't that sounds like some mighty good mouse medicine!

photos: top - falling water; bottom - claes oldenburg's apple core, pennsylvania, june 2011

move it on over hank williams sr's very first country hit. hank wrote this song in 1947 and although considered a country classic, the song is considered influential to rock and roll.

Sunday, June 12, 2011


You should always go to other people's funerals; otherwise, they won't come to yours.

Yogi Berra (b. 1925) professional baseball player and manager

last night i returned home from my most recent wander. the highlight of the trip was the service for my father at arlington national cemetery. several friends of the mouse asked if i could share some photos. i didn't take photos during the chapel service; however, i did take plenty of photos at other times during the funeral. the service was beautiful and moving - it was a hot day, in the upper 90s, but just the kind of day my dad loved.

i hope you enjoy this brief glimpse of a navy funeral (to enlarge click on lower right icon)

there are many versions of taps posted on youtube, since dad was a navy man, i thought this was fitting (sorry, no idea who the sailor is)

photo: detail of mcclellan gate at arlington national cemetery with stanza from the poem bivouac of the dead by theodore o'hara

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

summer in the city

The point of books is to have way too many but to always feel you never have enough, or the right one at the right moment, but then sometimes to find you'd longed to fall asleep reading The Aspern Papers, and there it is.
Louise Erdrich (b. 7 june 1954)

the mouse is currently on a wee wander in metro dc, or as reya so lovingly refers to it "the swamp" - geologically and politically.

i arrived on friday and it's been pretty much non-stop activity since the moment i stepped off the marc train at union station. the first few days here were surprisingly mild, but the heat and humidity are starting up and today's high is predicted to be in the 90s. tomorrow, the day i've been doing my 'cool dance' for, the accuweather forecast says will be "sunny, humid and hotter" - oh joy!

but aside from the weather forecast, there is much joy as i'm spending time with friends and family. on friday, alice and donita, and i spent the afternoon wandering the city - we had lunch at the national museum of the american indian - a must museum for both its exhibits and as a place to eat -i can't think of a museum cafeteria that has better or more exotic fare. after lunch we checked out the gauguin exhibit at the national gallery of art. although i've seen it already, neither alice nor donita had; it was fun to see it again through the eyes of friends. the exhibit was packed as it was in its final days. we left the art museum took a leisurely stroll through the outside gardens of the u.s. botanical garden on our way to meet up up with reya for a dinner at sonoma a delightful and delicious restaurant and wine bar in her hood. how fun was that to be with friends from two different worlds of mine - the roots of my friendship with alice and donita's go back to the early 1970s when we met as freshmen in college; reya, met through the bloggyhood a few years ago - first in cyberspace, but then as we say in the flesh.

sunday alice and donita and i went back to d.c. for some more art and culture - we went to the textile museum - the current exhibitions, "green: the color and the cause" and "second lives: the age-old art of recycling textiles" are fantastic - the exhibition on green will be leaving in september and the recycling textile exhibit remains until early january 2012. from there we wandered over to dumbarton oaks - the addition designed by phillip johnson to hold the institute's pre-columbian collection totally blows me away - as does the collection.

tomorrow is my family's big day - and the day which is the purpose of the current visit for tomorrow we take my father's ashes to his final resting place at arlington national cemetery. it has been almost nine months since my dad passed away and not a day goes by when i don't think of him and miss him, but the rawness of the grief is gone and there is comfort in being able to feel his spirit and in the memories i have of the fifty-five years i had with him.

i expect the mouse will be silent until next until then - take care and be well.

lovin' spoonful's 1966 hit summer in the city - coincidentally it was the summer of 1966 that my family moved to the washington d.c. metro area!

photos: buddha & bookcase, georgetown antique shop; view of capitol from u.s. botanical gardens; insert dumbarton oaks. washington dc, june 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

stjt: simple gifts

this week's simple gifts
peony season

finding a garden buddha

a chipmunk who defies being classified as a ground squirrel

a mother robin who doesn't fly off when we get right next to her

the peaceful countenance of a sleeping baby

finding that jewel sings simple gifts

to sign up and/or see who else is sharing joy this week visit meri's musings

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

some like it hot

Ever notice how 'What the hell' is always the right answer?

Marilyn Monroe (1 june 1926 - 1962) singer, actor, model

for today's wall wednesday experience i'm sharing another snap of the mysterious nyc moustache tagger - mouse readers may remember just a few weeks ago, I posted another subway advert artfully customized by mr (or ms) moustache.

it sure has been hot here on the north coast over the last few days, definitely not to my liking. however, i'm happy to report as of today some sweet cooler weather will be arriving. yesterday the high hit 90, but with the heat and humidity, accuweather gave it a 'realfeel of 99. yowser - what the hell, it was only may - okay, the last day of may, but still! according to the same source today the high is forecast for a reasonable 78. yeah!! tomorrow's forecast is even better with a predicted high of 72! after tomorrow i'm off on a wee wander to metro dc for some family business. accuweather's forecast shows the hellish weather pattern they've had will moderate some also. unfortunately by mid week next it will be back to being steamy and hot.

some like it hot but i'm not one of the some! unless, however, we're talking about poor norma jean.

poor sweet marilyn dead at 36, had she lived she would be celebrating her 85th birthday today. even though she has been much longer than she was alive, she will live forever - in memory and in myth.

here's a lovely tribute to marilyn by a fellow named jonathon (aka artboytn). i was looking for a clip from the 1959 film classic some like it hot, by billy wilder. the film features marilyn, tony curtis, and jack lemmon and according to "the portal" in 2000 the american film institute rated some like it hot as the greatest american film comedy of all time! wow, now that's hot!

oh, here's the trailer to the movie...they just don't make trailers like they used to, do they?