Saturday, July 25, 2020

Journey's End

Today our family said its farewells to the booger-headed kittyboy, better known to the civilized world as Mom's black cat, Lucas. Mom had made arrangements with the veterinarian, but he decided he would not wait for the assistance of a doctor. Mom rocked him, in his carrier, in her lap, and, with a lone cry, he left us.

Lucas arrived in our house, almost a decade ago, in a roundabout manner. He had been a rescue, brought from Texas as a companion for the aged parents of a dear friend, and, when those parents moved from assisted living into a full-time care arrangement, the cat was not allowed to follow them. Worse, he couldn't stay in their family, due to their powerful allergies. After a very brief discussion, my parents offered to take the wee beastie into our family. We already had, at the time, a 98-pound weakling of a Labrador retriever and a 7-pound, half-feral female cat, so was clear there was still room for a pet in the remaining lap. And thus it was that Mom brought the tiny tyrant into our home.

Through the years, he took on many different roles to hold his power base, from member of the pack
 to critic
 to work supervisor,
 leg warmer

 window dressing
 fitness coach,
 artist's model,
 seat balance,
 gravel bed tester,
 passenger/neck warmer,
 shipping/receiving inspector,
 and solar collector,

 to god-emperor and,

 most important, friend.

May we all meet again in his newest home, some day.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Birthday Song: I'll Get By

I heard this song recently, and put it in my "I'll get back to this" list, and then discovered that today is singer Avi Kaplan's birthday, so… featured. He's really come into his own since leaving Pentatonix.

I have a weakness for bass and baritone voices, so this is just icing on my cake, too. I'll be listening to the rest of his solo work, for a while, today.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Today's earworm and birthday all in one: Walk Hand In Hand

I grew up hearing the Gerry and the Pacemakers version of this song. It was pretty darned good, after all.

Now I discover what I've missed, all those years: Roy Hamilton.

Stylistic and general influence on Elvis Presley, as well as the man who inspired Sam Cooke to switch from gospel to  his famous secular sound, Hamilton combined elements of classical and gospel vocal training, to create his own unique handprint on American music.

Plus, he was one of the first to make a hit record of what has since become one of the most overdone tunes of the 1950s, "Unchained Melody".

He would have been celebrating his 92nd birthday, today.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Earworm of the Day: "Ombra mai fu" by G.- F. Händel.

It's not merely an earworm, it's a timely reminder. On this date in 1738, Serse, the opera from which this aria is taken, was first performed in London, at the King's Theatre, Haymarket. It was not well received at the time. Some critics and historians say it was because the audience was disinclined to appreciate comic elements in a serious opera. I can't argue one way or the other on that, but the love story is darned convoluted... even moreso than it had been in Xerxes' real life (yes, that Xerxes, sort of). But then, that was how a LOT of operas in the 18th century were.

But never mind all that. I'm going to be watching the entire opera, to make sure the earworm works its way out of my head. Also, because I can spend all day listening to just about anything by George Frideric Handel, because he was that awesome a composer.

Even the cats in our house like to listen to Handel. If they can't have Mozart.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Earworm of the Day: The Little Fugue

Probably not a version most people think of first, but the radio was playing a nice enough woodwind version of Bach's "Little" Fugue in G minor, and my mind wandered overnight into this territory.

You're probably somewhat familiar with this group, whether you realize it or not. The Swingle Singers have been performing, in one form or another, for nearly six decades. They come cropping up in my head at night rather too often for comfort, though.

I blame the sixties.

Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Friday, April 03, 2020

Earworm of the Day: Dire Wolf

I've never been a DeadHead, so I have no idea why this song has stayed with me for, lo, these many long years. Perhaps it was the handsome local singer who spent a few hours flirting with "Bubbles". Perhaps it was my darker nature. Or, perhaps it's just a catchy little ditty.

But my not being a DeadHead also means if you want to listen to them, you're on your own. I was in the mood to hear someone else's cover.

At any rate, I hope I wake up tomorrow having not been murdered in my sleep, as a result, by an oversized canid. I hope you do the same.

Thursday, April 02, 2020

Play Shrooms

Click any picture to embiggen
 Playing around with pix of shroomies, from my garden. Worked through Photoshop Elements filters, mostly using watercolor or dry brush (sometimes both).

"The Hat Shop"

"Victory Garden"

These last few were worked up with "Find Edges" filter:


Friday, February 28, 2020

Earworm of the Day: Volare (Nel blu dipinto di blu)

Why I couldn't have had an English version stuck in my head, I'll never know. Maybe it's the way "nel blu dipinto di blu" trips off the tongue, no matter what it translates to. Maybe it's that Domenico Modugno was such a dashing fellow, he's a virtual siren for this aging wanderer… or, maybe I just like a little Italian every once in a while.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Earworm of the Day: Rise

There is nothing quite like having Johnny Rotten dancing through one's dreams…

I'm not sure this is the kind of thing to hunt down & play during a migraine, though. It's sure to cause more Problems