Thursday, November 29, 2012

Friday, November 23, 2012

Spirit In The Sky

I'm gonna go to the place that's the best.
-Norman Greenbaum

(East of Joes, Colorado on US Highway 36. Liberty Baptist Church in the distance.)

I was lucky enough to actually see the spirit of all the turkeys who died for our sins winging their way to heaven yesterday. Was your Thanksgiving dinner worthy of them?

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Pre-Holiday Greeting To You All

Who knew football has been connected with Thanksgiving since 1900. Have a great Thanksgiving Day, everyone.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Sunshine Patriots

These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of his country;
Thomas Paine in The American Crisis (1776)

I've tried to keep away from politics on my blog since the end of the election because I didn't feel the need to gloat after President Obama won another four years in the White House. This was mostly because the results of this election did not bring me a feeling of elation like in 2008 but instead a feeling of relieve. Relieve that most people understood going backward politically and socially the way the Republican Party wanted us to was not going to be good for our country. Now 15 days later I'm ready to jump back in. Why? Because of the reactions of Romney supporters to their candidate's loss- and I'm not just talking about the voters.

In the last 15 days I've read many articles detailing the numerous ways in which the Republican Party has blamed everyone but themselves for losing the election. I've read stories about people threatening to move to Canada. I've heard stories about people being upset with President Obama's win because the are absolutely certain he is a "Communist" or a "Muslim Plant" and that his reelection is prove that democracy in America is coming to an end. (Oh, all you people calling President Obama a communist? What you mean to call him is a socialist since he has been accused of pushing socialism with his health care plan. There is a difference.)

And I've read stories about people filing petitions in Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indian, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas to have their states secede from the Union. Shades of 1861!

I first thought these were the reactions of a group of very poor losers to what to them was a very shocking loss. Now I see that what some of these people are trying to do is nothing less than unpatriotic and that they may even be stepping over the line into traitorous behavior. I can already hear the shouts of dismay coming from all you true Americans who say you are only following what is written in The Deceleration of Independence:

"Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and institute new Government."

Crap. Pure unadulterated crap. Read it again. It says that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, which is just what democracy is all about. In a democracy the will of the majority takes precedent over the will of the minority. And how do we know just what the will of the majority is? We vote, every four years we vote, just like we did 15 days ago. We voted and by our vote we, the majority, gave our consent to be governed. Democracy in action.

So, all of you who do not like the outcome of this election and consider yourselves the only true Americans and the only true patriots, face it, by your actions you are proving that you are neither. You are nothing but Sunshine Patriots, willing to believe in democracy only when it favors you whether you are in the majority or not . Some of you are perfectly willing to tear the government apart just to get your way and that, my friends, is not only un-American, and unpatriotic, it is treason.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Leaves Of Brown Came Tumbling Down

I've just noticed that almost all the trees in town have dropped their leaves and those displaced leaves are now being tossed about by the wind. Seeing this reminds me of another time when I took notice of the leaves.

It was a cold and windy October day.  I was carrying my four month old niece across the street in front of my sister's house to my  car .  When we were half way to the car she pushed herself away from me to stare mesmerized at something down the block.  I turned my head to see what had caught her attention so completely and saw hundreds of yellow leaves tumbling away from us as the wind pushed them down the street.  Then,  for an instant, I was able to see the leaves through her  four month old eyes- not as inanimate objects being carried by the wind but as living things dancing with the wind and having a grand old time.  I haven't looked at blowing leaves the same way since.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cleve Duncan (1935-2012)

Cleve Duncan, lead singer of The Penguins, died on November seventh. In 1955 The Penguins haunting version of Earth Angel reached number one on Billboard's R&B chart and stayed there for three weeks. It also reached number eight on the Pop chart. The Penguins version of Earth Angel has sold ten million copies since its released back in 1955. Cleve Duncan's voice has got to be the main reason for this.

(Oh, oh, oh, oh,
Oh, oh, oh, oh)

Earth angel, earth angel
Will you be mine?
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you

Earth angel, earth angel
The one I adore
Love you forever and ever more
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you

I fell for you, and I knew
The vision of your love-loveliness
I hoped and I prayed, that someday
I'll be the vision of your hap-happiness

Oh, oh, oh, OH!
Earth angel, earth angel
Please be mine
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you-ou-ou

(I fell for you, and I knew
The vision of your loveliness
I hoped and I prayed, that someday
That I'll be the vision of your happiness)

Oh, oh, oh, OH!
Earth angel, earth angel
Please be mine
My darling dear
Love you all the time
I'm just a fool
A fool in love with you-ou-ou




Cleve Duncan's New York Times obituary is here.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

And They Call It Puppy Love

She sneaks up on the furniture to sleep if you don't watch her. She sneaks people food if you don't watch her. She licks the dirty plates in the dishwasher if you don't watch her. She digs holes in the yard if you don't watch her. She eats Duke's food along with her own if you don't watch her. She scratches the walls with her toenails while sleeping. She chases cats- if they don't chase her first. She ignores you when you call her if she is busy doing something else........but........

But look at that face. How can you not forgive her anything with a face like that?

Photo by Maura Thompson

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Going Home

Home is where the heart is.

I watched The Snakepit (1948), staring Olivia de Havilland as a housewife who has a mental breakdown and ends up in an insane asylum, last week for the first time in many years. The first time I saw it I was about thirteen years old and it made a big impact on me. Especially the scene where the inmates are at a dance and actress Jan Clayton starts singing the song Going Home. I cried like a baby as she sang because I knew most of the people listening and singing along were most likely never going to leave the hospital. Watching it this time I still teared up during this scene because I now understand the poignancy of it all even more than I did as a child.

In addition to watching it with older eyes this time I was also watching it with years of movie experience behind me and now have a greater appreciation of the supporting cast. At thirteen I knew who Olivia de Havilland was, recognized Celeste Homes in a small part, and was surprised to see Jan Clayton but did not know she could sing. As for the rest of the cast, well, I didn't even think of them as actors but instead saw them as real inmates in a real hospital.

Below is the scene I've been talking about and it starts with Olivia de Havilland as Virginia Cunningham talking with her Doctor who informs her she is "going to staff" which means she will soon be discharged from the hospital. In the background the melody of Going Home starts playing and then the voice of Jan Clayton is heard.

Jan Clayton (1917-1983) was, for a certain generation of Americans, the first "Lassie's Mom" on television when she played Ellen Miller on TV's Lassie from 1954 to 1957 . She started her career as a singer and was the original Julie Jordan in the Broadway production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel.

At 1:53 and 2:08 you will see a woman in the crowd who is holding her intertwined arms in front of her. That is actress Celia Lovsky (1898-1979). She was born in Vienna and moved to Berlin in 1929 where she met actor Peter Lorre. She married him in 1934 in London after which they both moved to America. She is best know by Star Trek fans for her role as the Vulcan high priestess T'Pau in the 1969 episode titled Amok Time.

The women standing to Lovsky's right is Italian born actress Inez Palange (1889-1962) who is best know for playing gangster Tony Camonte's mother in the original version of Scarface (1932).

At 2:21 there is a close-up of a crying Ruth Donnelley (1896-1982). She shows up in many movies from the 1930s and 1940s including Footlight Parade (1933) with James Cagney, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) with Gary Cooper, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) with James Stewart, and The Bells of St. Mary's (1945) with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman.

Standing just to her left is a man who looks like actor Sterling Holloway. He isn't but he looks like him enough to send me on a search to find out just who he was and what other movies he had been in. He turns out to be an actor named Ashley Cowan (1921-1990) who, according to IMDB, appeared in 76 movies and/or television shows during his acting career.

As the camera pans to the left of Ruth Donnelley you can see actress Angela Clarke (1909-2010) standing on her right. I recognized her because she had small parts in two of my favorite movies from 1953, Houdini and The Wax Museum. Like most of the other actors listed she also did a lot of television work.

At 2:48 is actress Betsy Blair (1923–2009). Technically Blair wasn't a supporting actor as this role was at the beginning of her career. A few years later she would star with Ernest Borgnine in Marty (1955). At that time she was on the Hollywood Blacklist and was only allowed to do the movie when her husband, actor Gene Kelly, intervened. Her work in Marty brought her an Academy Award nomination but did nothing to help her career. In 2003 her autobiography The Memory of All ThatLove and Politics in New York, Hollywood, and Paris was published.

The song has always brought up melancholic feelings for me when ever I've heard it since I connect it to this movie but for the last week the lyrics Going home, going home, I'm a going home have been going through my head or have been sung out loud by me and creating a feeling of joy and happiness.  This is because the lyrics are true.  One of the reasons why I've have been away from blogging so much is because my husband and I have decided to move back to Colorado.  We have been looking at houses along the front range near Fort Collins and if  things work out we will be back there by the middle of December.  I'm going home.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Can You Tell Me How To Get...?

Republican bigwigs and pundits have come up with many reasons on just why voters rejected their candidate this election year including the following; Karl Rove claims the president won because he suppressed the vote, others claim New Jersey governor Chris Christie is to blame, while some blame Hurricane Sandy herself.

Well, they are all wrong as the letter below proves. This letter, which seems to have been slipped under the front door of Mitt Romney's national headquarters some time last night, was found by a campaign worker this morning.

No comment about the letter has been made by any Romney official at this time.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

God Is Good

We as a people chose:

Hope over fear.

Looking forward instead of backwards.

The bottom 47% over the top 1%.

Reason over self-righteousness.

Loving our neighbors as we do ourselves.

Separation of church and state.

Political fairness over political privilege.

In the end, we as a people chose to believe in truth, justice and the American way. We voted not against each other but for each other and that, my fellow Americans, is the true American way.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012