Sunday, September 26, 2010

Day 236/365 Fever

So it's a cool rainy fall day here in Virginia, all grey and gloomy. Good day to have tons of books to list and work against a deadline.

And a perfect day for jazz, specifically Miss Peggy Lee.

I have vivid memories of watching my parents dance to this in our kitchen. Even though I was seduced by my four boys from Liverpool at age 8, jazz was always the background soundtrack for most of my life. Somehow I forgot that for the last 15 years or so.

The last few months I've been rediscovering why I loved jazz so much.

And Fever is just mindblowing.

"and what a lovely way to burn......"

****I have been taken to task by my less than impressed DD for not mentioning that *she* first found the Peggy Lee clip and mentioned it to me. Thereby reminding me of it. She found it first. So there.****

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Day 235/365 Ultimate Bookshelf

This is my new favorite library in Kansas City Missouri.

I'm wondering how they picked which books they would giant-size, especially since I can't argue with any of the selections: Invisible Man, Lord of the Rings, Charlotte's Web, A Tale of Two Cities, Romeo and Juliet and of course, my own personal favorite: To Kill a Mockingbird.

The bookshelf that runs the length of the parking garage has more eclectic titles: Catch-22, Silent Spring and O Pioneers.

I especially love the way every book looks like a leatherbound classic (that's one of my weaknesses - leather bound, gilt-edged books - the kind with marbled endpapers and ribbed spines.

I guess having a row of Kindle's just wouldn't be the same now, would it?

(Thanks to my BFF Cathy for the pics)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day 234/365 Totally Effing Haunted

In honor of my most-favorite-month-of-the-entire-year coming up next(ghost lover that I am) I'm recommending you run right over to The Bloggess and read Jenny's account of their visit to The Stanley Hotel.

Stephen King would be so jealous. And laughing. He'd be laughing too.

Probably more laughing than jealous.

Warning to some of my readers - there's bad language involved. A lot of it. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Warning to the rest of my readers- there's bad language involved. Probably not enough for you, but I do what I can.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Day 233/365 The Paws Before October

So it's the last half of September, and I'm buried under work trying to accomplish a major relocation of my book stock done by the 30th. There's also the whole garden catastrophe that needs to be cleaned up. And the winterize-the-house-stuff.

This all pales in importance when Oscar announces he has issues. Seems he remembers the month of October is dedicated more-or-less to the black kitties in the household, being Samhain or Halloween.

He anticipates feeling neglected. Therefore, all other activity must come to a full stop in order to provide poor baby Oscar with some one-on-one attention.

It's a hard job, but someone has to do it. Amazon will have to wait.

Ever seen that T-shirt that says "Cats were gods in ancient Egypt. They have never forgotten this."

Oscar wrote that.

For the moment he is somewhat content, although realistically there will never be enough attention paid to the kitties of the household (see that little pink tongue tip?).

Meanwhile, the black cats are patiently lurking on the staircase, just waiting for Halloween.....their season is just about here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 232/365 Nothing At Georgetown is worth $56,660 a year

Sorry it just isn't.

Once again I am pondering the cost of higher education as I watch my daughter start year two at one of our local community colleges. Her associates of science degree can be complete in two years, but she will most likely stick around for a third year, simply to knock off even more basic classes at the lower community college price.

Then she is hoping to transfer to a more-or-less nearby four year school to get seriously into forensic science (read: bones and grisly topics). Even so, she will graduate with approximately $25-30,000 in debt.

This is ridiculous.

The cost of higher education in this country is shameful. There is no rationale for it, no justification.

There is no reason one year at Georgetown should cost near the equivalent of buying a house in many parts of our country.

I wonder if this includes textbooks? Textbooks alone qualify as scam number two. Never mind that many of the science and math books come with an access code to allow the studen to work online as well. For a book that cost $140, I expect not only the book, but the access code as well, *and* I want the author to come over to my house and explain the difficult parts, at my convenience.

Education loans are right in line behind underwater mortgages and medical bills in terms of destroying the financial base of this country. Thirty-somethings that should be raising families and buying homes and contributing to the economy are instead working minimum wage jobs and struggling to share rent with friends, just to pay their student loans off.

Something isn't right.

Even the Washington Post knows it. And they're in Georgetown's overpriced backyard.

15 Colleges That *ARE* worth the price, meaning they understand college is for education, not cushy jobs for profs, and least of all for football.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Day 231/365 Not What's Expected

I know it's 9/11, and it's expected to do something that "remembers". I don't want to. It just draws it out and makes it worse. Fortunately, in the midst of a pile of "let's remember and make ourselves miserable again" headlines, one of my favorite blogs ran this.

I'm reposting it. Mostly because it made me laugh, and also because I have two of my own black kitties looking over my shoulder saying: DO IT, DO IT, DO IT!!!!

Thanks to Smart Bitches, Trashy Books for the much needed laugh.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 230/365 Shrink to the Stars

Forty-four years ago today.....September 8, 1966....

"Space: the final frontier.

These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.

Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations,

to boldly go where no man has gone before."

Turns out little girls wanted to go there too. Star Trek just added fuel to the fire started by the space program: I grew up wanting to be an astronaut. Or a drummer for the Beatles. But it was years before the boys allowed girls into the space treehouse, and Ringo never quit his day job.

So instead I got a degree in psych. Shrink is kinda the same thing as an astronaut. And pretty much definitely sortof the same thing as a drummer. More or less. Right?

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Day 229 and a half/365 New Orleans 1961

January 1961, New Orleans - it's still illegal for black and white musicians to play together, much less for black musicians to play for white audiences. New Orleans jazz is available mostly in black neighborhoods and is definitely not part of the white tourist package.

Later that year, Allen and Sandra Jaffe move to New Orleans and rent out an old art gallery, strictly for the purpose of giving New Orleans jazz musicians exposure to audiences in the French Quarter. They hang an old instrument case over the door, add some wooden chairs for the musicians, and call it Preservation Hall.

"Preservation Hall" explained Louis Armstrong "now that's where you'll find all the greats."

The sweetheart of Preservation Hall is Sweet Emma Barrett on the piano - she is a local star in 1961, and spent the 1960s touring the world with her Preservation Hall Jazz (Alonzo Pavageau, Big Jim Robinson, Emmanuel Sayles, the Humphrey Brothers -Willie and Percy - and Cie Frazier), with Ernie Cagnolatti leaning in from time to time on trumpet.

Sweet Emma and Preservation Hall both became iconic figures in jazz.

Then, in 1967, Sweet Emma suffers a stroke that paralyzes her left hand. No matter. She plays on until her death in 1983, with the same unrelenting tight rhythm she was famous for.

But back in late 1961, to my six-year-old self, Miss Emma was the nice lady who played piano and always handed me a sucker right before we settled down on the floor to hear the band.

Day 229/365 No Votes For YOU!

The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

Passed June 4, 1919. Ratified August 18, 1920.

Read it and weep: The Nineteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Posted only because I just read that Saudi Arabia is still frightened of women voting. No votes for any vagina over there. Wonder what those guys are scared of?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 228/365 When The Levee Breaks

Sick of the Katrina anniversary yet?

Yeah me too.

Five years ago I watched the coverage late on Sunday night as the news stations chortled that New Orleans dodged the bullet again, and, knowing better (as did most NOLA folks), got up at 5 am Monday morning to watch the levees break - knowing my city would be underwater in hours.

I haven't watched any of the documentary films. They still make me sick.

Mostly I remember days of hearing this song run through my head.

If it keeps on raining levee's going to break
If it keeps on raining levee's going to break
When the levee breaks have no place to stay

And every year I am reminded of the hours and days I spent combing the various message boards trying to find word of friends who didn't pick up their cell phones.

Four of them never picked up and I'm pretty sick of remembering that too.