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Friday, December 14, 2012

What the Living Do

 I I

Lost a good friend recently.  Just fifty she was, a marathon runner.  Beautiful woman.  Still don't know what took her.  Some illness, it was fast as I'd only just had lunch with her a few months ago.

I heard this poem on the radio awhile back.  Written by Marie Howe about her brother:

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there. And the Drano won't work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up waiting for the plumber I still haven't called. 

This is the everyday we spoke of. It's winter again: the sky's a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through the open living-room windows because the heat's on too high in here and I can't turn it off. 

For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking, I've been thinking: This is what the living do. 

And yesterday, hurrying along those wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve, I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it. Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning. What you finally gave up. 

We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss--we want more and more and then more of it. 

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass, say, the window of the corner video store, and I'm gripped by a cherishing so deep for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I'm speechless: I am living. I remember you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Blue Moon

August, 31st will see one in 2012  

This, copied from elsewhere:

What is a Blue Moon?

There are in fact two definitions for a blue moon. According to the more recent definition, a blue moon is the second full moon in a calendar month. For a blue moon to occur, the first of the full moons must appear at or near the beginning of the month so that the second will fall within the same month (the average span between two moons is 29.5 days). The full Moon on Aug. 31, 2012, will be this type of blue moon; it will be the second full moon in one month.

The Other Kind of Blue Moon

The older definition, which is recorded in early issues of the Maine Farmer's Almanac, states that the blue moon is the third full moon in a season that has four full moons. Why would one want to identify the third full moon in a season of four full moons? The answer is complex, and has to do with the Christian ecclesiastical calendar.
Some years have an extra full moon—13 instead of 12. Since the identity of the moons was important in the ecclesiastical calendar (the Paschal Moon, for example, used to be crucial for determining the date of Easter), a year with a 13th moon skewed the calendar, since there were names for only 12 moons. By identifying the extra, 13th moon as a blue moon, the ecclesiastical calendar was able to stay on track.
For more background information on the controversy over the two definitions of blue moon, see the Sky and Telescope article, "What's a Blue Moon?" In it they explain how the two different definitions of a blue moon came about—including their own role in introducing the second, modern definition.

A Star Rating for the Modern Blue Moon

Although Sky & Telescope calls the modern blue moon definition "trendy" and a "mistake," the fact that there is an older, preexisting (and more complicated) definition does not necessarily make it the more interesting or meaningful definition. Charting the "third full moon in four full moons" in a season isn't everyone's idea of an fascinating enterprise. The modern, "trendy" definition, however, points to an intriguing astronomical phenomenon—every so often two moons can manage to position themselves in the same month. Given that full moons occur once every 29.5 days, this is quite an accomplishment!

How Often Does a Blue Moon Occur?

Over the next 20 years there will be about 15 blue moons, with an almost equal number of both types of blue moons occurring. No blue moon of any kind will occur in the years 2011, 2014, and 2017.
The more recent phenomenon, where the blue moon is considered to be the second full moon in a calendar month, last occurred on December 31, 2009. Two full moons in one month may occur in any month out of the year except for February, which is shorter than the lunar cycle.
The other, older blue moon event, which happens when there are four full moons in a season, last occurred in May 2008 and will again on Nov. 21, 2010. Since this type of blue moon is reckoned according to the seasons, it can only occur in February, May, August, or November, about a month before the equinox or the solstice.

Twice in a Blue Moon

The rare phenomenon of two blue moons (using the more recent definition) occurring in the same year happens approximately once every 19 years. 1999 was the last time a blue moon appeared twice, in January and March.
The months of the double blue moons are almost always January and March. That is because the short month that falls in between them, February, is a key ingredient in this once-every-19-year phenomenon. For January and March to each have two full moons, it's necessary for February to have none at all. Since February is usually 28 days long, and the average span between full moons is 29.5 days, if a full moon occurs at the end of January, it's possible for the next full moon to skip February entirely and fall in the beginning of March.

Once in a Blue Moon

"Blue moon" appears to have been a colloquial expression long before it developed its calendrical senses. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first reference to a blue moon comes from a proverb recorded in 1528:
If they say the moon is blue,
We must believe that it is true.
Saying the moon was blue was equivalent to saying the moon was made of green (or cream) cheese; it indicated an obvious absurdity. In the 19th century, the phrase until a blue moon developed, meaning "never." The phrase, once in a blue moon today has come to mean "every now and then" or "rarely"—whether it gained that meaning through association with the lunar event remains uncertain.

A 1961 tune by the Marcels featured in the film, 'American Graffiti'. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Les Yeux Sans Visage

"Eyes Without A Face"

Billy Idol, Steve Stevens on guitar and Stella Soleil with the dramatic eye shadow singing in French

I'm all out of hope
One more bad dream could bring a fall
When I'm far from home
Don't call me on the phone
To tell me you're alone
It's easy to deceive
It's easy to tease
But hard to get release

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.

I spend so much time
Believing all the lies
To keep the dream alive
Now it makes me sad
It makes me mad at truth
For loving what was you

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.

When you hear the music you make a dip
Into someone else's pocket then make a slip.
Steal a car and go to Las Vegas oh, the gigolo pool.

Hanging out by the state line,
Turning holy water into wine
Drinkin' it down, oh
I'm on a bus on a psychedelic trip
Reading murder books tryin' to stay hip.
I'm thinkin' of you you're out there so
Say your prayers.
Say your prayers.
Say your prayers.

Now I close my eyes
And I wonder why
I don't despise
Now all I can do
Is love what was once
So alive and new
But it's gone from your eyes
I'd better realise

Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Les yeux sans visage eyes without a face
Got no human grace your eyes without a face.
Such a human waste your eyes without a face
And now it's getting worse.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

As heard on NPR this AM....

by the Canadian band 'Moxy Früvous'

No No Raja lyrics:

(Jian on lead)
I wanna taste it,
give me a little taste.
I wanna taste it again.
Oh, no, no Raja,
don't you go back to her.
No, no Raja, don't you.
I wanna smell it,
just a little smell.
I wanna smell it again.
No, no, no Raja,
don't you go back to her.
No, no Raja, don't you.
And it's so hard,
khaili mushkileh, (*See below*)
it's getting so hard again.
Oh, no, no Raja,
don't you go back to her.
No, no Raja,
don't you.
I want it stupid,
just a little feel.
I wanna feel it again.
Oh, no, no Raja,
don't you go back to her.
No, no Raja, don't you.
For Raja, quiesence was wrought from the start.
Now Raja bleeds out his broken heart.
I want it stupid.
Just a little feel.
I wanna feel it again.
Oh, no, no Raja,
don't you go back to her.
No, no Raja, don't you.
No, no Raja,
don't you go back to her.
No, no Raja, don't you.

"khaili mushkileh"  Farsi: big problem

Monday, June 25, 2012

Corazon Espinado

A good friend, (we've been buds since 1st grade) sends me recordings from time to time. Has for years.  Indeed, one of his nicknames is Mr. Rock and Roll.  This was a cut on one of the recent discs.  He names the collections for our life experiences, old and new.  The collection this came from was for a road trip to see me.

I have another friend.  A young man who is a gifted guitarist.  He's led a bit of a sheltered life so it seems to me, as he often reacts with incredulity to my tales of misspent youth.  His recordings lack everything that this one has.  Primarily, the thing I'm after in a tune, and an experience, is that it'll pick me up and transport me from one time and place to another, or at least pick me up give me a good shake and set me down.   Music is freedom in time, from time.  I like to be transported, even sometimes if it's to a place I might not go willingly.

Santana: Corazon Espinado featuring Mana
Lyrics (English)
Chord Progression
Guitar Tabs
One of Santana's many successful collaborations on his seminal rebirth album, Supernatural, was with one of the most popular bands in the Latino market: Mana.
Due partially to the fact that the lyrics are in Spanish, Corazon Espinado didn't have the success in the English-speaking world that "Smooth" did. However, in the Spanish-speaking countries, it became a huge hit, all but eclipsing the other songs on the album.
Written by Carlos Santana and Fher Oliver, Mana's founder and lead singer, Corazon Espinado is actually more of a classic Latin song than Smooth. Starting off with a tradtional "montuno" on the piano (an arpeggiated, syncopated chordal pattern), Corazon Espinado maintains the same progression throughout all the verses and choruses: i - iv - V - iv, modulating only once, in the bridge.

Click here to buy this album
As in Smooth, Carlos floats over the top with riffs that mix the Aeolian mode (natural minor) and Harmonic minor (raised 7th tone). In fact, he references Smooth in a few of the licks he plays. In another appropriate gesture, he borrows from the main guitar hook in Eric Clapton's Layla! Santana has always been a master of throwing in signature riffs from other songs. Although its chord progression, melody and arrangement are simpler than Smooth, Corazon Espinado is undeniably hooky, and drawing as it does on traditional Latin music elements, its status in the Latin music world is well deserved. Not surprisingly, it won the "Record of the Year" and "Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group" at the 2000 Latin Grammy Awards.

Corazon Espinado Lyrics

Esa mujer me esta matando
Me ha espinado el corazon
Por mas que trato de olvidarla
Mi alma no da razon
Mi corazon aplastado
Herido y abandonado
Aber aber tu sabes dime mi amor por favor
Que dolor nos quedo
Ah ah ah corazon espinado
Ah ah ah como me duele el amor

Como duele como duele el corazon
Cuando nostiene entregados
Pero no olvides mujer que algun dia diras
Hay ya yay como me duele el amor Como me duele el olvido
Como duele el corazon
Como me duele estar vivo
Sin tenerte aun lado amor
Corazon espinado

English Translation
This woman is killing me
She's broken my heart
The more I try to forget her
My soul doesn't reason
My heart, depressed
Hurt and abandoned
Let's see, let's see, you know, tell me please, my love
How much pain can we take?
Ah ah ah broken heart
Ah ah ah how love hurts me
How it hurts, how the heart hurts
When one surrenders completely
But don't forget, woman, that one day you'll say
Ay ay ay how love hurts me
How it hurts to forget
How the heart hurts
How it hurts being alive
Without you beside me, my love
Broken heart

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Spare me over til another year.

I have about as many unfinished posts as those that have been published.  Of those, it's a shame that the ones that get the highest traffic aren't the thoughtful bits, but the graphic ones.   I've always said that the general population would eat cow pies and swear that they were delicious if you marketed them properly.  My fault for serving cow pies then.

Much sadness has visited my little world in the past twelve months.  The twenty two year old son of a friend died.  The result of his drug use, yes, but that does not relieve the pain for those who loved him.  My friend offered a tearful admonition to me to love my children while I can.  You never know when they might be taken away.

A neighbor passed about six months ago.  Just my age. Went to bed and never woke up.  Her daughter found her the next morning.

This week another neighbor passed.  Just shy of fifty.  Pretty, smart, athletic.  A good man and three little boys without their momma now.

Tough to keep faith on days like these.  Some folks don't believe in the afterlife.  My self included at times. 

O, Death
O, Death
Won't you spare me over til another year
Well what is this that I can't see
With ice cold hands takin' hold of me
Well I am death, none can excel
I'll open the door to heaven or hell
Whoa, death someone would pray
Could you wait to call me another day
The children prayed, the preacher preached
Time and mercy is out of your reach
I'll fix your feet til you cant walk
I'll lock your jaw til you cant talk
I'll close your eyes so you can't see
This very air, come and go with me
I'm death I come to take the soul
Leave the body and leave it cold
To draw up the flesh off of the frame
Dirt and worm both have a claim
O, Death
O, Death
Won't you spare me over til another year
My mother came to my bed
Placed a cold towel upon my head
My head is warm my feet are cold
Death is a-movin upon my soul
Oh, death how you're treatin' me
You've close my eyes so I can't see
Well you're hurtin' my body
You make me cold
You run my life right outta my soul
Oh death please consider my age
Please don't take me at this stage
My wealth is all at your command
If you will move your icy hand
Oh the young, the rich or poor
Hunger like me you know
No wealth, no ruin, no silver no gold
Nothing satisfies me but your soul
O, death
O, death
Wont you spare me over til another year
Wont you spare me over til another year
Wont you spare me over til another year

Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!


This for all the petite women I know and love.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, Y'all! 

This from 'The Henpecked Giant' in the book 'Irish Wonders', popular folk tales as told by the people of Ireland:

"But its me own belafe that the most sarious mishtake av Finn's was in marryin' a little woman.  There's thim that says all wimmin is a mishtake be nacherbut there's a big differ bechuxt a little woman an' a big wan, the the little wans have sowls too big for their bodies, so are always lookin' out for a big man to marry, an the bigger he is, the betther they like him , as knowin' they can manage him all the aisier.  So it was wid Finn an' his little wife, for be hook an' crook she rejuiced him in that obejince that if she towld him for to go an' shtand on his head in the corner he'd do it wid the risk av his life, bekase he'd wanted to die an' go to heaven as he heard the priest say there was no marryin' there, an' though he did n't dare to hint it, he belaved in his sowl that the rayzon was the wimmin did n't get that far."