Earworm

My ear-worm is back. Well, I think I inadvertently invited it back.

Sometime last month, I watched The Fisher King. Made in 1991, the incredible cast stars Robin Williams, Jeff Bridges, Mercedes Ruehl, and Amanda Plummer, (not to mention Michael Jeter and an uncredited Tom Waits…whoops…I actually did just mention them…). Directed by Terry Gilliam, this movie has an enthralling surreal feeling.

Very briefly:
A talk radio DJ (Jack/Jeff Bridges) rants about Yuppies which inspires one of his listeners to open fire in a crowded New York bar. Robin Williams portrays Perry, a former professor who becomes first unhinged and then homeless after losing his wife in the atrocity.

We meet Perry as the homeless soul he has become and learn he is obsessed with questing for what he believes is The Holy Grail. Throughout, he is haunted and stalked by his delusions. Terry Gilliam creates memorable delusion scenes – especially with his magnificently horrible Red Knight.

The Fisher King was actually based on the Arthurian legend of the Fisher King, also called the Maimed King or Wounded King. According to the legend, the king was the last in the blood line of knights charged with keeping the Grail safe. He was wounded in the thigh, (although many think this was actually a groin wound), and cannot stand. He spends his time in his boat, fishing, and waiting for a nobleman to come to heal the wound. Eventually, he is healed by Percival.

An aside about Percival and the Red Knight:
Percival was one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. The Red Knight, according to legend, stole the Holy Grail from King Arthur. Percival pursues and slays the Red Knight. Percival then dons the slayed Knight’s armour and comes to be known as the Red Knight.

Now, there are a gazillion different versions of the Fisher King/Percival/Red Knight story(s) but this should be sufficient.

Back to topic. Click on the link and watch and listen to my ear-worm (this is the movie version, not Sinatra’s). It got in there after watching the movie and set up house keeping. This morning I thought,’Hey! I haven’t heard that song…..oh. crud.’. So. Maybe by writing all of this, I will somehow release it back into, well, wherever.

Thanks for reading! stay safe!

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+about+you+fisher+king&&view=detail&mid=3191FC31E8B2FB87C7A93191FC31E8B2FB87C7A9&&FORM=VRDGAR&ru=%2Fvideos%2Fsearch%3Fq%3Dhow%2Babout%2Byou%2Bfisher%2Bking%26FORM%3DVDRESM

How About You
Burton Lane/ Ralph Freed

I like New York in June, how about you
I like a Gershwin tune, how about you
I love a fireside when a storm is due
I like potato chips, moonlight
Motor trips, how about you
I’m mad about good books, can’t get my fill
And James Durantes looks give me a thrill
Holding hands in the movie show
When all the lights are low may not be new
But I like it, how about you
I like New York in June, how about you
I like a Gershwin tune, how about you
I love a fireside when a storm is due, how about you
I’m mad about good books, can’t get my fill
And James Durantes looks they give me a thrill
Holding hands in the movie show
When all the lights are low may not be new
But I like it, and I like it, I like it, how about you

My Virtual Revisit

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From October 9, 1996 to September 28, 1999, the BBC ran a wonderful cooking show called Two Fat Ladies.

I love cooking shows. I remember Mom watching The French Chef – not the reruns mind you – but as a brand spanking new weekly series. Mom marveled that the teeny tiny kitchen that produced those French gastronomic beauties was indeed Julia Child’s actual kitchen. It wasn’t until I was much older that I came to appreciate the show: recipes, petite kitchen, not to mention Julia Child herself. After Julia came a succession of cooking shows I enjoyed and watch(ed) loyally. Among the many titles and chefs, there is one series/chefs that has a special place in my heart: Clarissa Dickson Wright and Jennifer Paterson aka the
Two Fat Ladies.

The premise of the show is simple: Clarissa and Jennifer travel throughout the U.K. cooking for large groups of people. Each show has a food theme such as cakes or one episode is simply titled Meat. These two completely unscripted women are bold, intelligent, outrageous, funny, and incredible cooks. (They were also throughly unique individuals. Their lives make a fascinating read.). What’s more, this dynamic duo do their traveling via Jennifer’s vintage motorcycle with a sidecar for Clarissa – which leads me to my virtual vacation: Last Sunday, I dusted off my Two Fat Ladies dvd set and settled down for a nice little trip.

I rode with the ladies along the waterfront of Mevagissey, Cornwall sniffing the the catch of the day, moved on to Hallaton, Leicestershire and marveled as they creamed butter and sugar with just a spoon. The drive to Lennoxlove House in East Lothian, Scotland took my breath away – as did Lennoxlove House. I had just sworn (for the umpteen time) that I would make those chicken breasts with walnut l’aillade, (surely my cooking skills are up to that recipe?), when my DVD player hiccuped. Unfortunately, like all hiccups bouts, the pops and burps continued sporadically until I admitted defeat. Or rather an extended pause – I ordered a new dvd that afternoon.

I hope to continue my lovely journeys with Clarissa and Jennifer very soon. I say give them a try!
Thank you for reading and stay safe!

June’s end

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I’ve been in a somewhat negative philosophical mood. Actually, I’ve just been grousing.

It’s too hot.
After too much rain, now not enough.
What is the meaning of life?
Is there a meaning?
What is my purpose?
Have I accomplished anything at all?

In short, I’ve really been annoying myself.

I think it is due to the odd, floaty, no control sort of feeling that has accompanied the tragic and monumental events of the last six months. There is a kinda compulsive obsession to stay glued to the facts as they unfold. The awareness that we are living through a pivotal historic period cannot be denied but rather should be nurtured. And yet feeling helpless to speed events to their conclusion – the desire to see how it all turns out – to read the last chapter mid book.

You see? Really annoying.

I’ve decided to take baby steps to get this under control. To that end, I’ve recently returned to my ‘stuff to do while under stay-at-home orders’ list: Hmm….. The first on my list was to learn a language(s). Seeing as how I’m sort of a pudding head at this time, becoming conversant in Italian and French needs to stay on the back burner. The same can be said for writing that book or studying the Crimean war (don’t ask. long story.). I haven’t lost those fifteen pounds nor am I in shape for a triathlon.

On the bright side, we have cleared out the spare bedroom, painted and organized, and included an area where I can take product photos. And I have rejoined weight watchers. Yoga is daily and I’ve started meditating. With a bit of motivation, I’ll be able to complete my current clay projects. Well, that’s not so bad. Baby steps. It’ll work.

Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Breathing easier

Monday night, Ginger started sliding downhill.
She didn’t want to stand much less, walk.
She even ignored her favorite pastime – snacking.

Dave packed her off to our emergency center. Once there, the doctors decided on a course of treatment and a couple of days under their care. We brought her home yesterday evening.

Her improvement is astonishing. She is walking and eating and her breathing is nearly normal. She has two weeks of antibiotics and then a follow up. Her treating doctor, (I’m planning on shamelessly begging him to accept Ginger as one of his regular patients. Or at the very least recommending someone affiliated with the treatment center.), can’t be sure if this is pneumonia, bronchitis, or another lung disease until the follow up tests.

So. It is looking up here. Thank you for reading and stay safe.

Do over please…

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Ah… the long gone days of childhood. Playing outside and getting the frisbee stuck in the tree – or the ball in the gutter – and shouting ‘do over!’. Everything stopped, the ball/frisbee retrieved, everybody back to their assigned places and the game is restarted. But, come to think of it… there usually was one kid – the one who yelled ‘No, not fair! I’m winning!’ – even though all had agreed to their earlier do over. Hmmmm…. food for thought … for another time.

Anyway, my wish for a do over today is about our dog, Ginger. She has fallen extremely ill and is struggling to recover. When she came back from the vet on Saturday, she seemed to be improving. Yesterday, she was eating and drinking. Today. Well, not the improvement we had been hoping for but not necessarily worsening. I think this illness is unnerving both of us. She’s almost 13 and that is a big age for any breed. Well. I don’t know when or where this came from, so on a rethink, ‘do over’ is incorrect. I want an undo.

I almost forgot – my opening photo: I took a quick shot of some of my newly created polymer clay pieces. These will be part of my new jewelry collection.

Need to check on my girl. Thanks for stopping and reading. Stay healthy and safe.

My big day out

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Since this all begin – about three months ago (three? Really? Is that all?), I haven’t left the house. Well, yes, early in March I had periodontal surgery. Then the stitches removed a couple of weeks later. Oh – we had our taxes done. And let’s see… a couple of grocery trips before the stay at home order and then… nothing until the end of May. (Dave had volunteered to do our grocery trips, (for my Mom as well), and is still doing all errands.) Most of the time I putted around the house – occasionally napping with our sweet dog. At the end of May we went for a cup of coffee at our favorite local shop. And that was it – until today.

My big day out started with a periodontal cleaning. Okay, not the trip to make anyone’s top 20, (or more. Adjust as needed), however, it was necessary. And I decided it was also necessary to treat myself afterwards. After a good report from the hygienist, I drove off to our historic downtown area. A mocha under the trees on a park bench and then a stroll along the shopping area. A couple of stores were closed but I found a nice card and stuff shop. A wad of cards and steamed up glasses from my mask later I headed for home. (After stopping for a second mocha for Dave.). All in all a very pleasant outing. Just what I needed.

Odd days and Strange dreams

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A friend of mine described her frame of mind as:”…kinda like an astronaut who was out on a space walk and someone cut the cord to the mothership.” After reading that line, I realized that was exactly how I was now responding to everything. I had gone from involved and emotional to detached and drifty. I think I overloaded. So, I decided, I must knock that off. Well, as best as I can, one step at a time. Like blogging. Or the above photo.

I have been wanting to change our spare room into a study. Or yoga place. Or just a nice living space. Anyway, after looking at every paint chip Benjamin Moore makes, I decided on a soothing pale gray. I pulled out all my small wall art pieces: The things I’ve collected over the years from antique shops, shows, and posters originally purchased for my now defunct shop. Since I wanted to hang everything, collage wall it is. I’m quite happy with way it has turned out. Huge thanks to Dave for making it all happen.

As to blogging. I like it. So, in an effort to engage again, I think I’ll try to blog daily. Well, nearly daily. Okay I’ll play it by ear. I think it will wake me up again. And get reading everyone else’s thoughts and ideas.

So that’s it for today. Thanks for reading and stay safe!

Buds!

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Until today, I thought our April showers were bringing swampland rather than May flowers. Admittedly, I was avoiding slogging thru the muck and therefore did not spend any time admiring the trees. Last evening I popped my head out after the latest storm had passed and said ‘Hey! The lilacs and apple trees have buds!’ Dave, who has mowed the lawn and done some trimming, gave me a blank look. ‘Well yeah.’

Okay so I’m not a natural gardener. I know the skill is in my gene pool. (Somewhere. Most likely in the very deep end. To tell the truth, I’d rather stick to the shallow end with a sparkling cool drink resting on the ledge. Maybe with a delightful snack next to it…but I digress.) My maternal grandfather’s yard was nothing short of amazing. Fronted by a rather busy street, Grandpa’s house was flanked with box hedges trimmed with a military precision. Walk up to the unassuming front door and thru the house to the backyard – a different time and space awaited.

The hedge continued standing sentry on the perimeter of the double deep lot. In front of that, giant hydrangea bushes. And the center of the yard? The largest, and tidiest vegetable garden you have ever seen. Stand on the small patio, sound dampened by two rows of bushes, breathing the scent of sweet basil, one was transported to another world. A place of grasshoppers and caterpillars, humming bees and birds of every color. Lately, my mind has been returning to that yard. As Thomas Wolfe so famously said, “You can’t go home again.” However……

‘Hey Dave….what if we put in raised bed(s) and planted herbs and stuff?’
Dave just looked at me and took a deep breath.
Right. The truth is: While the gardening skill might lurk deep inside me, the passion, the true love that created the yard of my childhood memories, doesn’t.

‘How about we plant a couple of hydrangea bushes?’
Dave brightens.
‘We could do that.’

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget, we’re in this together.

Book orders

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I got off to a slow start today.

I stayed up late last night to finish a book, A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths. I happened to buy this book in January – or was it February – before the pandemic had been declared. I realized, at the time, this was the fifth in Ms. Griffith’s Ruth Galloway series but decided to buy it anyway. I was actually rather proud of myself: me? start reading a series out of order? Unheard of! I congratulated myself for such rebellious behavior and plopped the book on my ever expanding ‘to be read pile’.

A couple of weeks later Dave and I went to the library. I happened to see The Crossing Places by Elly Griffiths – the first in the Ruth Galloway series. What the heck…I checked it out. Read it. Loved it. A dandy mystery with a wonderful lead character. Dr. Ruth Galloway, an archeologist, is a stand out in the genre. A great character and a very interesting story line. Being a mystery lover, I am always delighted to ‘discover’ an intelligent and engaging series. (I know this one has been out for quite awhile – I’ve come to the party a tad late.)

By then, our governor had closed all non essential businesses. No more trips to the library or bookstore for my entertainment – I would have to make due with the umpteen books sitting/piled around my house. What to read? Revisit a comforting old favorite? That would be perfect to sooth the nerves. Or… As I stood in front of my overcrowded bookshelves, my eyes landed on book number five in the Dr. Ruth Galloway series.

Damn.

I ordered books two thru four from thriftbooks.com. Devoured them. Loved them too. So much so that today I have ordered the next three books. (And a couple from James Doss. His were easy to rationalize, I can’t find them in my library branch.) I’ve learned my lesson. No more random starts or stops – begin at the beginning and stay the course. A lesson for our times.

Exercise and wine.

I’ve gone back to basics.

A few years ago, I admitted to myself it was time to start exercising regularly. It wasn’t that I never exercised, I just never found an exercise I liked well enough to do on a daily/weekly basis. My unofficial hobby became searching for a likable activity.

I tried gyms. Hmmm. I approached my first gym membership with enthusiasm: stationary bike, tread mill, mixed with weights, right? Great… but there were a few things… like the time it took to get the place and back home was almost as long as a workout! And working out in a gym, for me, was okay but I disliked waiting for machines, wiping away someone else’s sweat, and having other people impatient for me to clear off. Next I tried various exercise classes. The dance workouts. I drew the line at the paramilitary stuff. Nothing struck a chord.

So.

What did I like? Walking briskly. I love riding my bicycle although I can’t stand a stationary bike. And yoga. Perfect. Cheap and easy, I can walk or ride my bicycle daily – weather permitting. As for yoga, I adore YogawithAdriene.com. My new goal(s): keep sane, healthy, and finally lose that pesky last ten pounds, through daily basic exercise.

And a bit of wine always helps.

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