Sunday, December 30, 2012

we are the little folk

For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
Rudyard Kipling (30 december 1865-1936) writer,  nobel laureate

today is the birthday of rudyard kipling a fascinating individual and brilliant writer. in 1907,  kipling was awarded the nobel prize in literature. he was the first english language writer to receive a nobel and remains the youngest literature laureate. 

kipling was a prodigious writer - short stories, novels, poetry.  today's quote comes from  the jungle book,  perhaps his most famous collection of short stories.
when i read in the writer's almanac that  today was kipling's birthday, it wasn't his short stories or  kim, a picaresque novel about an adventurous boy named kim, that came to mind;  rather it was his poem a pict song that jumped into my consciousness.  the poem appears at the end of a short story entitled the winged hats which is part of fascinating 1906 collection of short stories published under the title of  puck of pook's hill. each story in the collection is bracketed by a poem which relates to the theme or subject of the story.
the picts were the original inhabitants of scotland and are often characterized by their blue war paint. although they were persecuted by the invading romans they were never subjugated by them.  kipling  celebrated the defiance of  underdogs and "little folk" in his poem a pict song. 

i first encountered the poem as a song on billy bragg's 1996 album william bloke.   

as we end one year and enter a new one,  i offer this as a song to lead us into a new year!

photo: historical reenactor outside of edinburgh castle, scotland, october 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

christmas time's a comin'

At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year. 

Thomas Tusser (1524-1580) english poet

i've had the song, christmas time's a comin, stuck in my head since thursday night when we went to the barking spider to catch hillbilly idol, one of our favorite local groups, for the spider's annual holiday extravaganza.  below some snaps of hillbilly idol performing at the cozy spider.

the musicians for thursday's show were andrew (last name unknown - as of yet the band doesn't have a regular member on the bass, but they are extremely lucky to always get extremely talented folks to sit in), roy king on drums, the versatile multi-instrumentalists jen maurer and paul kovac, rachel wearsch on keyboards and below, al moss on pedal steel guitar.  everyone sings depending on the song

thought i'd be nice and pass the song along - however, if it becomes an earworm, you may consider me a bit naughty.

christmas time's a comin' has become a holiday classic in bluegrass and country music circles, it was written by tex logan and made popular by bill monroe.  although the youtube version of bill and bluegrass boys performing the song is fun there's too much chatter, so i offer this lovely version by larry sparks from the 1988 album christmas time back home.


top photo: billboard off i-39/90, wisconsin july 2012

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

ride my motorcyle

Worse than not realizing the dreams of your youth, would be to have been young and never dreamed at all. 

Jean Genet (19 december 1910 - 1986) writer & political activist

cards to write, projects to finish, cookies to bake....oh my no time to blog.  but lots of time to dream!

for the country and particularly for the community of newtown, connecticut,  we have had a tragic lead-in to the holidays - so many shattered dreams.

thoughts of comfort, solace and healing to all those touched by the horrific violence and rage that visited sandy hook elementary school.   may each of us add a special prayer to the end of violence which rides through the world this holiday season.

photo:  cleveland, december 2012

arlo guthrie performing his hilarious song (with requisite arlo storytelling banter) on the johnny cash show. according to the portal, the arlo appeared on episode #16 which aired on january 21, 1970.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

roads to moscow

One should never direct people towards happiness, because happiness too is an idol of the market-place. One should direct them towards mutual affection. A beast gnawing at its prey can be happy too, but only human beings can feel affection for each other, and this is the highest achievement they can aspire to. 
Alexander Solzhenitsyn  (11 december 1918 - 2008) writer, dissident, human rights activist

today's tats adorn the neck and face of two colorful blokes i cross paths with in london .  the first photo was taken of a fellow leafleting along brick lane - this snap was taken using guerrilla photography techniques (in other words i didn't stop and ask permission).   second photo is of a  fellow staffing the muttley's kitchen stand in the greenwich market.  muttley's specializes in dog treats which are hand made in greenwich (of course we had to bring treats home for the family pups!).   as you can probably tell this guy did know i was taking his photo - in fact, i even asked permission!

photos:  london, october 2012

al stewart's epic song roads to moscow, according to songfacts, stewart supposedly read forty books and spent countless hours doing research to write the song.  the song contains some beautiful acoustic guitar work.    there is a bit of controversy about who the song is about - some say it is solzhenitsyn's story, others say it is about an anonymous russian soldier.

al states in the liner notes that the song is about "The German Invasion of Russia, on the 22nd June 1941 was on of the greatest single events in the history of the world. The hero of "Roads to Moscow" fights his way first backwards towards Moscow, and then all the way to Berlin, only to be imprisoned by Stalin, as were incalculable millions of others at the end of the Second World War." 

those aware of solzhenitsyn's story can tell the song was obviously inspired by solzhenitsyn.  it is a powerful, poignant  and at times haunting song. 

roads to moscow appeared on stewart's fifth studio album, past, present and future in 1973. each song on the album has a historical theme and represents a decade in the 20th century. the final song nostradamus is about the prophecies of the alleged prophet

Monday, December 10, 2012

higher ground

Where after all do universal human rights begin? In small places, closes to home - so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any map of the world. Yet they are the world of the individual person: The neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination. Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962)

today is human rights day.  in 1950, the u.n. general assembly established the day to honor the u.n. 1948 proclamation of human rights, the first global enunciation of human rights.

since its inception there is generally a theme associated with the day.  this year the theme is my voice counts - whereby each individual has the right to have their voice heard in public life and government, including freedom of expression, opinion, and assembly.

photo: music shop in the collinwood section of cleveland, ohio. december 2012

for today it seems only fitting to go around the world through music with playing for change.  playing for change is an  multimedia movement which seeks to unite, connect, and advance peace through music. click on the embedded link to learn more about playing for change. 

today's song, steve wonder's 1973 hit song higher ground.   in 2004 rolling stone listed the song among the 500 greatest songs of all time.

according to the portal there is an interesting story about the saving power of music with respect to this song.
'Ground' was recorded just before Wonder was involved in a near-fatal accident in August '73 that left him in a coma. Early in Wonder's recovery, his road manager sang the melody of 'Ground' into the singer's ear; Wonder responded by moving his fingers with the music.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

whole lot of shakin' goin' on

We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. 

 Joan Didion (5 december 1934) writer

the mouse is back and so is wall wednesday!

even though i didn't go on a deliberate street art safari while in london (it wasn't for lack of desire, more that i simply didn't have time) i still had the good fortune to encounter some marvelous stuff while wandering about.

today's three photos were taken on princelet street, which intersects brick lane in east london.  turns out east london is nirvana for street art aficionados!

the second photo is of an intense piece done by the visiting artist mear one (aka kalen ockerman).  the piece is entitled freedom for humanity - while we were standing there studying it, another bystander said that rumor had it that the piece was going to be whited out in a few days.

hmmmm,  some power that be must have felt its critique was too radical or maybe its accuracy was a tad too threatening?


i don't know about you but i find the piece pretty damned powerful  - - and in terms of my world view it is pretty spot on - rich fat cats playing their games on the backs of working people.  yeah, sounds about right.

curious mouse that i am did a bit of research on the piece (isn't google wonderful). during which i discovered the marvelous stop action video below.

the vid was filmed over the course of three days and the artist discusses the meaning of the work and the reactions he encountered while working on the piece.


today's posted photos were taken on october 6th;  which might have been just days after the mural was finished.

i wonder if the work is still up.  do any of mouse's visitors know?  if so, please leave a comment.

across from mear one's masterpiece is this little delightful hodgepodge of graffiti:

aren't you just tickled by the ewok on the skateboard and the i like you tag?

guess who else has a birthday today?

none other than little richard (b 5 december 1932) here he is on a 1964 broadcast of shindig! with the classic whole lotta shakin' goin' on

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

i didn't see it coming

Adversity is the diamond dust Heaven polishes its jewels with. 

Thomas Carlyle (4 december 1795-1881) scottish essayist & philosopher

tattoo tuesday is back!  been a while, eh?

today we travel back over the pond to the isle of skye to check out a little body ink -  a memorial tat on the arm of a very lovely lass named siobhan. 

siobhan was our server at the the charming and delicious harbour view seafood restaurant in portree.  she shared a bit of the story which inspired the tat which is in memory of her boyfriend who died a few years back.  it has been a couple months since we were there, so i can't remember all of details of the sad tale, but i recall his name was ollie and that there was a car involved in his death.

i can't remember what the top row with chinese characters reads - perhaps it is a translation of his name or something else.  below the characters is inked the german words  ich liebe dich (i love you)

i didn't see it coming from the 2010 album belle and sebastian write about love

Monday, December 3, 2012

ramble on

We all need space; unless we have it we cannot reach that sense of quiet in which whispers of better things come to us gently [and we need] places to sit in, places to play in, places to stroll in, and places to spend a day in.
Octavia Hill (3 December 1838-1912),  social activist/reformer

above is a photo of  "i, goat" by kenny hunter - 2010 winner of the spitalfields sculpture prize.  hunter's goat is located in the spitalfield market neighborhood of london;  the work, a hand sculpted goat which sits atop a stack of packing crates was inspired by the community's rich and diverse social history.

at the unveiling of the work in january 2011, hunter stated that "Goats are associated with non-conformity and being independently-minded. That is also true of London, its people and never more so than in Spitalfields."


photo: i, goat by kenny hunter at twilight with christ church in background,  london, october 2012

led zepplin's ramble on which is on their 1969 album led zeppelin II - written by jimmy page and robert plant, the song is included in rolling stones list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

give a little bit

The global HIV/AIDS epidemic is an unprecedented crisis that requires an unprecedented response. In particular it requires solidarity -- between the healthy and the sick, between rich and poor, and above all, between richer and poorer nations. We have 30 million orphans already. How many more do we have to get, to wake up?
Kofi Annan (b. 1938) diplomat,  peace & health/AIDS activist
served as UN secretary general from 1997 - 2006

today is world aids day.  world aids day reaches back to 1987 and WHO's global programme on aids based out of geneva switzerland. since 1995, the us government has issued an official proclamation.

this year's proclamation by president barack obama:
On World AIDS Day, more than 30 years after the first cases of this tragic illness were reported, we join the global community once more in standing with the millions of people who live with HIV/AIDS worldwide. We also recommit to preventing the spread of this disease, fighting the stigma associated with infection, and ending this pandemic once and for all.

In 2010, my Administration released the National HIV/AIDS Strategy, our Nation's first comprehensive plan to fight the domestic epidemic. The Strategy aims to reduce new infections, increase access to care, reduce health disparities, and achieve a more coordinated national response to HIV/AIDS here in the United States. To meet these goals, we are advancing HIV/AIDS education; connecting stakeholders throughout the public, private, and non-profit sectors; and investing in promising research that can improve clinical outcomes and reduce the risk of transmission. Moving forward, we must continue to focus on populations with the highest HIV disparities -- including gay men, and African American and Latino communities -- and scale up effective, evidence-based interventions to prevent and treat HIV. We are also implementing the Affordable Care Act, which has expanded access to HIV testing and will ensure that all Americans, including those living with HIV/AIDS, have access to health insurance beginning in 2014.

These actions are bringing us closer to an AIDS-free generation at home and abroad -- a goal that, while ambitious, is within sight. Through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), we are on track to meet the HIV prevention and treatment targets I set last year. We are working with partners at home and abroad to reduce new infections in adults, help people with HIV/AIDS live longer, prevent mother-to-child transmission, and support the global effort to eliminate new infections in children by 2015. And thanks to bipartisan action to lift the entry ban on persons living with HIV, we were proud to welcome leaders from around the world to the 19th International AIDS Conference in Washington, D.C.
Creating an AIDS-free generation is a shared responsibility. It requires commitment from partner countries, coupled with support from donors, civil society, people living with HIV, faith-based organizations, the private sector, foundations, and multilateral institutions. We stand at a tipping point in the fight against HIV/AIDS, and working together, we can realize our historic opportunity to bring that fight to an end.

Today, we reflect on the strides we have taken toward overcoming HIV/AIDS, honor those who have made our progress possible, and keep in our thoughts all those who have known the devastating consequences of this illness. The road toward an AIDS-free generation is long -- but as we mark this important observance, let us also remember that if we move forward every day with the same passion, persistence, and drive that has brought us this far, we can reach our goal. We can beat this disease. On World AIDS Day, in memory of those no longer with us and in solidarity with all who carry on the fight, let us pledge to make that vision a reality.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States do hereby proclaim December 1, 2012, as World AIDS Day. I urge the Governors of the States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, officials of the other territories subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, and the American people to join me in appropriate activities to remember those who have lost their lives to AIDS and to provide support and comfort to those living with this disease.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

photo: one of the 128 panels of the names project aids quilt that were on display in cleveland during the weeks surrounding last year's world aids day.

okay, so today's song/video is an advert for coca cola, the action in the video is real thing!!  watching this sure makes me feel good and i hope it makes you feel good also!

from my research (google) i learned the advertisement came out this summer. i must not have been watching much television during the summer as i don't remember seeing it; the first time i saw it was last night when a friend posted it on his facebook page. 

by the way the ad is set to supertramp's 1970s bubbly sweet tune and is performed by roger hodgson. roger along with being a member of supertramp (1969-1983) also toured with ringo starr's all star band in 2001. these days roger still performs sometimes as a solo but other times with other musicians and sometimes with full orchestras!

Friday, November 30, 2012

the long and winding road

The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. (1897)

Mark Twain (30 november 1835 - 21 april 1910)

okay,  i don't think there were any reports of my death or the death of the mouse - but it does seem like a fitting quote as i attempt to wake up the mouse who has been hibernating for the last couple months. 

on the last day of august, after a long dry spell, i wrote "okay, so much for getting back into the blogging groove - well, at least it hasn't been weeks or months since i last posted here on the mouse."

well, i certainly can't say that here on this last day of november! now it has been weeks and months since i last posted here on the mouse!

no promises but i'm missing the mouse and i have collected quite a stash of images from my incessant snapping that i'd love to share.  so i think i'm going to rise up this little mouse once more! in the days ahead it will most likely be a photo and a daily quote and if there is time some some blathering, but really who comes to the mouse for my blathering.  i think most visitors come for a little eye candy of our wonderful world - particularly of tats and walls!

today's image comes from a wander that i took in late september and early october to the u.k. with f, my partner, and two of our bestest friends.  we spent ten days in scotland and london.  it was an absolutely wonderful trip,  none of us had been to scotland before, we found it a most magical land.  

since time was short we never were in one place too long, but we did spend a couple days hiking around the isle of skye and a couple days soaking in scottish history in edinburgh - both places i would go back to in a heartbeat!  

our days in london were equally wonderful  - london has long been one of my favorite cities.  as it is a fantastic place, so vibrant and diverse. in addition to walking the streets, eating great food and visiting museums, we were blessed with spending time with some family and friends - including two folks, steve and lettuce, who i met through blogging.  steve is still very active blogging and has even published a book of his photos.  what an inspiration. lettuce (aka sally) alas has given up blogging, but still stays in touch with many in the bloggyhood via the other means of social networking - thank goodness for facebook and words with friends!   i think for many of us plugging into facebook has put a kibosh on our maintaining regular blogs.  but some folks are skilled at doing both - as for me, i just don't seem to have the time or ability.

oh well, what is, is.

well, that is all i have time for today.  i have projects to tackle with deadlines breathing down my neck to banish!

adieu,  catch you when i can!  until then,

photos: top, cemetery with many of the clan macleod  rest,  isle of skye near dunvegan, scotland; middle, detail of shakespeare's globe theater gate, london;  bottom, detail from macleod gravestone. october 2012.

Friday, September 7, 2012

read it in books

Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.
 Voltaire (1694-1778) writer, philosopher, playwright

wednesday night my bookgroup, the cleveland bookwomen,  gathered for our annual book selection meeting - the evening was a feast in terms of both food prepared for the potluck that precedes the selection part of the meeting and in the bounty of books from which to choose our upcoming year of reading.

the group is fourteen women strong - a number that we have found to be ideal.  this year we tried to limit the number of suggested titles, each person only brought between one and three titles; oy, those  years when most of us would bring between four and six books! those meetings would go on forever!  limiting the number of books worked out great as i was able to get home in time to hear the terrific speeches by elizabeth warren and bill clinton at the democratic national convention.

i have a  tradition to share our reading list with other booklovers.  although it  appears i broke tradition last year, what was with that?   if you are curious about our cumulative lists from 1989 through 2010, click on the link and you will be on your way.    

the cleveland bookwomen year of reading 2012-2013
(for a description of the book click on link embedded with the title)

october doc (2011) by mary doria russell

november american made: the enduring legacy of the wpa (2009) by nick taylor

december pope joan (1997) by donna woolfolk cross

january  swann in love (1922)  by marcel proust

february  bruno chief of police (2009)  by martin walker

march  destiny of the republic: a tale of madness, medicine and the murder of a president (2011) by candice millard

april  let the great world spin (2009)  by colum mccann

may  the hangman's daughter (2010) by oliver pötzsch

june the sense of an ending (2011) by julian barnes

july  a lady cyclist's guide to kashgar (2012) by suzanne joinson

august the shadow of the wind (2004) by carlos ruiz zafón

echo & the bunnymen read it in books from their 1980 debut album crocodiles

photos:  top - mural created by gene epstein on the side of the building which houses loganberry books, cleveland.  second - cleveland bookwomen, september 2012 meeting

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

which side are you on?

tattoo tuesday is BACK!

i planned on posting this photo yesterday in honor of the labor day holiday, but then the activities of the day got in the way and i never found the time! pretty much what has been happening to me with blogging all summer!

i took the photo sunday. we came home from a wonderful day out to find two electric company trucks in front of the house. curious mouse that i am went up to one of the trucks to find out what was up. while talking to kyle and getting the 4-1-1 on the electrical situation, i couldn't help but notice his wonderful tattoo in praise of the working class.

kyle has had  this tat for about four years - he told me the name of the artist who did it, of course i didn't write the name down so i forgot it, but i do remember he said the guy worked out of the gen x tattoo studio in willoughby (a town in the greater cleveland area) . i found the inner arm ink as interesting as the outer - here's a snap of that side:

since it is heavy duty election season we are hearing a lot about "working americans" and the "middle class" by both the democrats and the republicans.   although i take issue with how both parties exploit the terms and the issues, i really take umbrage with the republicans trying to portray themselves as the people's party.  oh yeah - how much money did the romneys make over the last few years?  oh yeah, we don't really know since working-man mitt refuses to release multiple years of tax returns, but we do know that estimates of his net-worth range from $190,000,000 to $250,000,000.  (and seriously this guy thinks he knows about what its like to be an average working american!)

at the recent republican convention, and in a large percentage of republican political advertisements, they are trying to convince the electorate that they are the party for working, middle america.  oh yeah, if you believe that, let me tell you about this bridge i have for sale!

cleveland's own nationally syndicated columnist connie schultz most recent column does a great job revealing the disconnect in the walk and talk of the republican party.   i particularly appreciate this passage:
So, here's the thing about all those Republicans bragging about their working-class roots:
 Either they're exaggerating about their meager beginnings or, worse, they're betraying the people they come from.
If you want to destroy unions, you are not a champion of the working class.

If you won't stand up to China, you aren't fighting for American workers.

If you support cuts to education that make it impossible for poor and middle-class kids to go to college, you're defiling the America that changed your life.
 If you want to force women to have babies they cannot afford to raise, you are condemning another generation of children to a life of poverty.
If you don't think every American has the same right as you to affordable health care, I don't know the God you claim is on your side.

pete seeger performing the folk and labor-organizing standard which side are you on? the song was written in 1931 by florence reese, florence was the wife of sam reese a united mine workers union organizer in harlan county, kentucky. florence wrote the song, during the harlan county war of 1931-1932 when mineworkers were engaged in a particularly long and bloody struggle with mine owners.

like every good folk song, musicians have taken the song to fit new times and new situations. one of my favorite versions of the song is one that traveled across the pond.  while holding on to the message, the song was reworked by billy bragg who added a bunch of new lyrics to reflect a british miners strike of 1984-1985. billy's version may be found on his back to basics album (1987).

 in addition to billy's version, i also love natalie merchant version. what's not to love with a voice like natalie's - here's natalie's cover which accompanied by a terrific set of images of past and present union and class struggles.

Friday, August 31, 2012

gone, gonna rise again

The life of the spirit prepares the dynamic power for daily life, and, on its side, daily life encourages thought by means of ordinary work.

Maria Montessori (31 august 1870-1952), educator & philosopher 

okay, so much for getting back into the blogging groove - well, at least it hasn't been weeks or months since i last posted here on the mouse.  even though i've been pretty regular over on my other blog, the lakewood daily snap, i fear my posts and pictures haven't been very inspired this summer. oh well.  it is what it is.  

i can't believe today is the last day of august.  not considering the weather it has been a very pleasant summer .   last weekend i went off on one more wee road trip to attend a wedding in northeastern pennsylvania.

unlike the wedding of my nephew we attended this spring in florida, this wedding was very traditional.  even though it was traditional it too was a beautiful and moving. 

on the way to the wedding which took place in mcadoo, a small town located in northeastern pennsylvania.  i took a detour to a little town south of pittsburgh in order to visit the final resting place of andy warhol.  earlier this month npr featured a story about andy's grave as part of this summer's dead stop series.  

andy's birthday was august 6th, i think because it wasn't too long ago there were plenty of gifts decorating his grave.  of course, i left a little token of my respect,  however, it wasn't a can of campbell's soup or a coke bottle,instead i left two little figurines - a cat (in case you didn't know andy was cat lover extraordinaire) and the other a mouse (of course!)

the visit to the cemetery where andy is buried was the second dead stop i made this summer to visit notable dead people.  on my midwest roadtrip in july i visited a cemetery in chicago where many activists and labor leaders are buried.

on the back of emma goldman's grave it appears that graffiti is the gift that folks like to leave - not really my style, so i just left my little tokens of respect - a rose and a piece of bread, on the front face.

unfortunately i forgot to bring anything for lucy or the others buried in forest home cemetery.

while i was in mcadoo, i stopped at the cemetery where many of my pennsylania people are buried. here's a snap of the grave of my beloved paternal grandparents - next to grandpap and grandmam rest uncle joe and aunt eleanore.  i miss them all

the hot weather we had during most of the summer will be coming back today - it is expected to reach 90 degrees today here on the north coast.  i hope this will be the last hurrah for hot days.

see you in september!

happy labor day - and while you are enjoying the last long weekend of summer don't forget to give thanks to the unions and for all they have done to help make the world a better place. 

si kahn performing his song gone gonna rise again - a moving homage to his grandfather and a lovely melodic reminder to give praise to our roots. the song appears on the si's 1994 album in my heart it is a folk standard and has and has been covered by many others including john mccutcheon and the gordons.

High on the ridge above the farm I think of my people that have gone on.
Like a tree that grows in the mountain ground
The storms of life have cut them down
But the new wood springs from roots in the ground
from gone, gonna rise again, by si kahn

Friday, August 17, 2012

phenomenal cat

Une maison sans chat, c'est la vie sans soleil.

a house without a cat is a life without sun.  i don't know if julia child was the first to coin this expression but i have to agree!

continuing the celebration of julia child's 100th birthday, i wish to give a shout out on two books that are recent additions to the casa mouse library. both books celebrate child's love of cats, which is apparently is becoming the newest sub-industry in julia child mania.

the first is  julia's cats: julia child's life in the company of cats by patricia barey and therese burson.  julia's cats was released earlier this month.  the book chronicles julia's lifelong passion for cooking and cats and is filled with the most wonderful archival photographs of the cats that shared julia's long and luscious life.

the other book is aimed at children minette's feast by susanna reich and illustrated by amy bates.   this is too is a fairly new addition to the bibliography of books on julia child and cats, it came out in may 2012.  although geared toward children minette's feast is purr-fect for any cat and word-loving person.

the books opens with this delightful introduction:

Minette Mimosa McWilliams Child was a very lucky cat, perhaps the luckiest cat in all of Paris.

Day and night she could hear the bells of Sainte-Clotilde tolling the hour.

And day and night she could smell the delicious smells of mayonnaise, hollandaise, cassoulets, cheese soufflés, and duck pâtés wafting from the pots and pans of her owner, Julia Child.

But life has not always been like this for Minette.

Oh no, not at all.

and so the story begins of julia and minette.

before we move on to today's song, one more photo - it has been eons since bingo appeared on the mouse (well truth be told it's been eons since anything new has appeared on the mouse).  this snap was taken a couple days ago bingo is holding 'piggy' one of the kittens born to one of the feral cats than live here on avenue c which recently had a litter of kittens.  many of the cat loving neighbors are working on trying to tame the kittens and one of these days we'll be successful in capturing the mama cat and taking her in to get spayed.  so far we haven't had much luck with the process and the one time mama cat was successfully captured and brought in she was already pregnant - despite nursing the litter born right before this summer's brood.

the kink's lyrical and fanciful song phenomenal cat, which can be found on their 1968 album the kinks are the village green preservation society.   accompanying the song is an amusing montage of cat photos which was created by some youtube contributor named backwardsiris.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

keep on cooking

Find something you're passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it. 
Julia Child (15 August 1912 - 13 August 2004) chef, author,  bon vivant

Cooking is like love; it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
Julia Child

oh my, it has been well over a month since i posted on mouse medicine!  poor neglected mouse! it appears that ever since summer started i've been on an unplanned hiatus from the blogosphere - not only have i been absent in terms of posting here on the mouse, but i have also been horrible in terms of visiting my bloggyhood friends and neighbors.

i'm sorry!

i miss sharing my random snaps of the world around me, and i miss the regular mind mining  i engage in to come up with the typical quote and song for the day.

i could offer 1000 excuses of why i've been a negligent blogger.  but then who cares  - suffice to say life got in the way.

the last month as been full or the passions of summer.

i even satisfied my passion for travel a bit.  in mid july i took an spontaneous a road trip through parts of the midwest.  as soon as i heard about a billy bragg concert which was part of billy's woody guthrie centennial celebration in madison wisconsin i thought "why not?".   on the way to madison i stopped in chicago and visited a friend i haven't seen in seven years [although in my mind i thought it was only 5]. after the madison stop i made another pit stop in chicago to cross an item off my bucket list (visit emma goldman's grave and the haymarket martyrs memorial).  then i swung through the northern part of indiana where i had the wonderful privilege of meeting a few friends from the bloggysphere (hi tom and michael)  and the  world of fb (hi cheryl, and terry) - all friends i've never met, but have known.....such a era we live in!

after indiana i jogged north to meet up with alice - a friend i met the old fashioned way - face-to-face on our very first day of college orientation thirty-nine years ago!   we met at alice's mother's home near the shore of lake michigan to attend what looks like might be becoming an annual summer pilgrimage - the krasl art fair.

after michigan, i've been back in cleveland and my summer continues to be filled with other summer  passions  - such as festivals, food, music, and friends  - often all at the same time....and work.

now the challenge is after such a long bloggy break can i get back into the rhythm?

well, i'll give it a go - after all my photo stash grows daily and i like having an outlet where i can share some of my favorite images of what i encounter as i wander through our world.

today's photos were taken a few years ago when i visited the julia child's kitchen which was once on display at the smithsonian museum in washington, d.c.  now it can be viewed through the virtual reality of cyberspace. 

in case anyone missed the date by julia's name after the first quote - today is the centennial of julia's birth!  2012 - a year with a summer with the 100th birthday's of two of my lifelong heros and cultural icons - woody guthrie on july 14th and julia child on august 15!

 this just in: in celebration of julia's 100th birthday a wonderful remixed mashup of julia on cooking for the pbs digital studios (by melodysheep)


Friday, July 6, 2012

kind hearted woman blues

Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (b. 6 july 1935)

just joining the stream of energy going up offering the sweetest wishes for a happy and healthy birthday to his holiness the dalai lama - many thanks for the lessons and the reminders on the art of a loving, happy and compassionate life!   i'm working on it.....i promise!

My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness. 

robert johnson performing kind hearted woman blues (1935) ~ according to the youtube this vid "contains the only guitar solo Robert Johnson ever recorded"  - there are two takes of the tune. both are terrific - total time approx 5 minutes.

photo:  green tara, 14 century tibetan, rubin museum of art, nyc from masterworks: jewels of the collection, on view until september 24, 2012.  click here for list of current and upcoming exhibits.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

sitting on top of the world

Under the bright sun, many of us are gathered together with different languages, different styles of dress, even different faiths. However, all of us are the same in being humans, and we all uniquely have the thought of "I," and we´re all the same in wanting happiness and in wanting to avoid suffering.

  Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (b. 6 july 1935)

anticipating the dalai lama's upcoming 77th birthday,  today's tattoos share a buddhist or sacred theme.

although the top photo leaves something to desire in terms of capturing the intricacies of the tattoo,  i love the photo as it captures the joy of the moment and the beauty of the woman her smiling companion in the background.

i don't know about you, but i've been noticing a lot of buddha inspired tats lately.  it seems that some folks go with full buddhas while others prefer just a buddha head, or other parts of buddha's body.   the fellow who sports the buddha head tattoo was most interesting and i learned he had strong opinions regarding buddha imagery - he favors the the traditional buddha with the cranial bump over images of fat, happy, bald buddhas.  according to him, the latter buddha is symbolic of chinese suppression of tibet and the china's attempt to coopt buddhism.

although i don't know the veracity of  his political interpretation  regarding the fat happy 'buddha,'   he is correct when it comes to the fat, bald, happy buddha image - this buddha is not representative of siddhartha gautama-  the historical individual who is at the enlightened human core of buddhism, but is rather an enlightened monk/teacher.

to many, it is believed that all the teachings of the buddha are contained in the mantra om mani padme hum  -  tibetan buddhists believe that saying the mantra, out loud or silently,  and even viewing the mantra in written form invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of chenrezig, the bodhisattva of compassion (embodiment of compassion).

directly above is a wristband with the mantra written in tibetan script - the man with this tat is jason eady; i met jason, who by the way is a very talented singer-songwriter  a couple weeks ago when he opened for one of my favorite groups, the flatlanders who were playing at the beachland ballroom  -- i was smitten by jason's tat (not to mention his singing voice), although i recognized that it was tibetan script,  i didn't realize it was the popular and powerful mantra om mani padme hum.

while today's last tat snap is not a buddhist inspired tat does fit in with today's theme.  the image is of a female deity in the hindu  pantheon of gods.   coincidentally,  this past friday while i was in metro dc visiting family and friends, i went to another concert of eady and the flatlanders at the birchmere a popular music venue in alexandria, virginia.

during a break between sets i noticed the tattoo on the arm of the fellow i was sitting next to,  we had a nice conversation about body art.  he is fairly well inked - this upper arm sleeve covers a few 'chapters' in the life of this fellow - if you look closely you will see both a tribal-ish band and a set of three highly stylized initials, which represent  the fellow's three children.  both the band and the initials predate the hindu goddess.

the flatlanders performing sitting on top of the world


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

what's new pussycat?

I guess all songs is folk songs. I never heard no horse sing 'em.

 Big Bill Broonzy (26 june 1903 - 1958) blues singer, songwriter, guitarist 

the first two tat photos  were taken at the art fur animals benefit and auction i attended this weekend.   it was the first time i attended this annual fundraiser, it was so much fun, i'm going try and make it an annual rite.  based on the attendance and seeing what the silent and live auctions brought in, i expect it was a tremendous success.  my impression is spot on; according to this article, this year's benefit brought in a record amount!  (coincidentally, the lead picture in the article is none other that of mandi and her dog!)

there was a lot of ink at the event, but i was there to support the cause, not take tat snaps, but i couldn't resist the capturing the tat of the cats on mandi's arm - and isn't her dog too cute - the dog reminded me of a little star wars ewok.  mandi adopted her a few years ago from the cleveland kennel.

carla's pitbull tattoo, along with being aesthetically lovely also commemorates the controversay surrounding the public hearings the city of lakewood had in 2008 concerning pit bulls;  unfortunately despite strong support for the breed, the city council passed an ordinance which essentially  became a "pit bull ban."    however, i understand that the city is now rethinking the ordinance in light of a newly passed and signed state-level bill which states that pits are not "dangerous animals."

anyone who knows pits knows that their basic nature is to be affectionate, caring,  and very human-centered. any breed of dog can be conditioned and trained into becoming an aggressive  animal. unfortunately pit bulls because of their innate strength, intelligence, and loyalty are often targeted by unscrupulous people to turn into fighting dogs.  this is incredibly ironic considering that in the history of the breed, pit bulls were once known as "the nanny dog."
For generations if you had children and wanted to keep them safe you wanted a pit bull, the dog that was the most reliable of any breed with children or adults. The Nanny Dog is now vilified by a media that always wants a demon dog breed to frighten people and LHASA-APSO BITES MAN just doesn’t sell papers. Before pit bulls it was Rottweilers, before Rottweilers it was Dobermans, and before them German Shepherds. Each breed in it’s order were deemed too vicious and unpredictable to be around people. Each time people wanted laws to ban them. It is breathtakingly ironic that the spotlight has turned on the breed once the symbol of our country and our national babysitter.

..In temperance tests (the equivalent of how many times your kid can poke your dog in the eye before it bites him) of all breeds the most tolerant was the Golden Retriever. The second most tolerant was the pit bull..

the excerpt above is from  yonah ward grossman article which sets the record straight about this very misunderstood breed.  check it out  especially if you would like to see some marvelous old photos of pitbulls living up to their reputation as "the nanny dog."

one more tat photo which fits in perfectly with today's dog and cat theme.

while on the train a couple weeks ago, i noticed the intriguing tattoo above, i spent most of the ride trying to figure out what it represented.  lucky for me, the fellow got off the train at the my station and of course i ran up to him to satisfy my basic cat-like curiosity.- as soon as he turned i was able to see that the tattoo was based on the logo for the cleveland police k-9 unit which happened to be on the t-shirt he was wearing.

the fellow's name is doug and he was most gracious, first he said i could take his portrait and then provided the back story on his tat.   long story short, doug was a cleveland police officer.  his dream was to be a k-9 officer;  in time he realized that dream - the tattoo commemorates that part of his career and is a reminder that sometimes dreams come true.  by the way,  the image for the logo is based on  the dental x-rays of german shepards, one of the most popular breeds to be used as canine officers.

okay here's about what may be the craziest cover ever, bob marley and the wailers reworking of burt bacharach's song, made popular by british pop star tom jones, what's new pussycat?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

sweet dancer

A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
W. B. Yeats (13 june 1865 - 1939)

today wall wednesday shines a spotlight on anna arnold's mural 'the storyteller' - the work was created as part of the cleveland museum of art (cma) community mural project.   anna's work celebrates the sense of place by metaphorically stitching together the thoughts of the importance of connections and of the importance of past, present and future.  the mural is a vibrant and welcoming image which graces the front of the thurgood marshall recreation center located in cleveland's hough neighborhood.  

i took the photo above on saturday - i can't believe my good fortune to have the group walk in front of the mural right at the time i was present to take a photograph  - it may be magical thinking but it was as if the group was a physical manifestation of the mural's message.

the second photo is an image of the mural when it was not on a wall but on a walkway!  this photo was taken in september 2010, when anna shared the concept and design at the cma chalk festival.

during the chalk festival was a sign on which anna describes and explains the work.

A wise old woman is telling the neighborhood children about her past in the neighborhood and her hopes for a peaceful and prosperous future, represented by the young couple cradling the child.  In the first part of the mural the old woman is a little girl with her parents and you see the church looming prominently behind her.  The church is the foundation in the neighborhood and a place of redemption and hope.  The patchwork quilt, representing the wise woman's stories and dreams,  is a theme that weaves throughout the work and is a symbol of unity and connection with one's past and heritage.

powerful.   thanks anna!

sweet dancer, words by w.b. yeats, music by the waterboys. this song appears on the waterboys 2011 album entitled an appointment with mr. yeats.  the album consists of 14 tunes which all are musical arrangements of yeats poems.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

can't find my way home

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.

Maya Angelou (b. 1928)  writer, poet, activist

i enjoy running across body art which celebrates someone's hometown or their love of a place.

today's tattoos fit within that category of tats. in the top photo katie, a bartender at the magnificent crop bistro, sports an image of the logo for her hometown, the city of cleveland heights.   ironically she had the tattoo done hundreds of miles from home while on vacation; she explained what she wanted to the tattoo artist, pulled out an envelop she was carrying to show him what the design looked like and voilà!

the next two snaps are of brian, a proud clevelander living in cleveland's west park neighborhood- brian's right leg features some intricate iconic images of downtown cleveland - including terminal tower along with a portion of the detroit-superior bridge.  i didn't really probe brian about some of the other images on his leg - hey, sometimes it is better not risking alienating someone by asking "hey what's with the hand grenade and brass knuckles?"  despite the tough guy imagery, brian seemed to me to be a sweetheart.  by the way,  brian's work was done locally by chico one of the tattoo artists at classic tattoo.

this weekend was full of the sort of things that make me the proud (albeit transplanted) clevelander that i am. i couldn't attend all the super events happening this weekend (i especially regret missing  the relatively new event  weapons of mass creation - i heard it totally rocked!), however, i did make it to a few other things.

i started the weekend festivities at the annual parade the circle extravaganza sponsored by the cleveland museum of art.  for over twenty years parade the circle has been bringing color, art, music and whimsy to the community.  it is an incredible sensory experience; in the ten  plus years i've been a regular it just keeps getting bigger and better!   below, i offer a mini slide show (29 photos) from the day for your enjoyment!  (if you want to slog through a more expansive slide show  - with almost five times the number of photos, click here)

saturday after parade the circle we wandered over to the gordon square arts district to check out their day long community party.  .*¨*•♫♪ east side, west side all around the town, cleveland's happening with lots of fun going down.....♪♫•*¨*.•*¨*•♫♪

sunday's highlight was attending chef jam 2012 held at the rock and roll hall of fame and museum.  this is the fourth year for the event  in addition to bringing together some of cleveland's super chefs, the event helps raise money for the rock hall's education programs and ohio city farm. considering how much i love food, music and good causes, i can't believe this was the first year i attended; but then this is the first year i've been blessed with a foodie fairy godfather!

not surprisingly chef jam was a great place for tattoo sightings, but alas i was preoccupied by the food and the music, i passed on asking anyone one if i could take photos of their tats (save for one person and unfortunately the pics of her tats didn't pass muster).  I did surreptitiously snap a couple interesting tats  while taking photos of cream of the crop -  a group assembled by chef and drummer steve schimolor of crop bistro.  steve gathered together a bunch of talented local musicians who dish up fabulous fare and also know how to kick out the jams!  cream of the crop opened for ivan neville and his band dumpstaphunk  who took the party to the next stratosphere.

can't find my way home (1969) by the supergroup blind faith - the group consisted of the incredibly talented quartet of ginger baker, eric clapton, ric grech, and steve winwood.  -- blind faith existed for only a year,  a year in which the band toured widely and produced a single mega album, blind faith, which immediately became the #1 album in the US, the UK, and in Canada - and within the first month of release the album sold more than half a million copies!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

singing for our lives

Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others.

 Marian Wright Edelman (b. 6 june 1939)  attorney & activist

later this year cleveland's historical west side market will celebrate its 100th birthday!  the centennial  celebration kicked off on saturday with a  party for the opening of the recently renovated market square park .  today's wall features the new mural that adorns the building on the western edge of the park   (click here for my slide show of some of saturday's festivities).

speaking of birthdays, today is  the birthday of my darling daughter -  happy birthday emma!!

in addition to emma and marian wright edelman, who as you probably  know is the founder of the children's defense fund and one of the leading activists for the world's children ,  another wonderful woman was born on this date - singer-songwriter and activist holly near.

today's song by holly is one of my favorite holly near songs.  i consider it one of the all time great anthems for the movement towards achieving social justice,  singing for our lives the song is also known as we are a gentle, angry people.

holly wrote the song on the night in 1978 that harvey milk and george moscone and were killed in san francisco. on writing the song holly said:

“The rage we felt after the assassinations was so powerful…and we had a choice at that moment, to fall prey to grief and rage, or to turn those emotions into a movement… Along with the sadness and the grief and the missing comes the excitement that we as human beings have the potential to change the world — again and again and again. And as I was riding to one of the demonstrations and vigils I began to write this very simple song. And you sang it, and sang it, and sang it.”

Thursday, May 31, 2012

song of the open road

TO The States, or any one of them, or any city of The States, Resist much, obey little;
Once unquestioning obedience, once fully enslaved;
Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city, of this earth, ever afterward resumes its liberty.

Walt Whitman (31 may 1819-1892) poet, essayist, and humanist
"Caution" in Leaves of Grass

Thus in silence in dreams’ projections,
Returning, resuming, I thread my way through the hospitals,
The hurt and wounded I pacify with soothing hand,
I sit by the restless all the dark night, some are so young,
Some suffer so much, I recall the experience sweet and sad,
(Many a soldier’s loving arms about this neck have cross’d and rested,
Many a soldier’s kiss dwells on these bearded lips).

excerpted from "The Wound Dresser"  in the Leaves of Grass

to celebrate walt whitman's birthday i turned to my cache of photos and post two photos of walt's words that i've encountered on my wanders.

the first photo is of the sign that stands proudly in front  visible voice books - one of the few remaining independent bookstores remaining in town -- as walt whitman is a national treasure; visible voice books is a cleveland treasure.  

the second photo is of the entrance to the dupont circle metro station in washington dc - pretty far out to read walt's words emblazoned as one descends or ascends from the depths of the earth.

instead of a song, today i offer a reading of one of my favorite whitman poems,  song of the open road - (to hear the second half of this epic poem go here)

 in response to  steve's comment and question, i offer this addendum:

walt whitman lived in dc for 10 years (1863-1873) during that time he nursed wounded soldiers - whitman was a great opponent of slavery when he was living in new york he was most affected by the reports and photographs of injury and death to the union soldiers. he was also most worried about his brother george; george was serving as a union soldier. walt was so moved and worried, he decided to walk to washington from ny - he found his brother (who it turns out at the time he got there was okay) but whitman stayed on and cared for the wounded. i'm sure this is the backstory as to why this verse was chosen. a few years ago there was a wonderful exhibit at one of the smithsonian museums i attended on whitman's experiences and life in washington. if i find a link to this exhibit i will add an addendum to the addendum!

addendum to the addendum:

ah, the wonders of google.... the exhibit i remembered was at the smithsonian's portrait gallery july 2006-march 2007, to get started an on-line version of the exhibit, one life: walt whitman, a kosmos  click here