Honor What is Ordinary

23 - Brene Brown quote

It’s a cold and blustery Sunday in June - windy, rainy, overcast.  A perfect day for sitting inside where it’s warm, having no place to go and thus some time to spend simply contemplating the meaning of life. (Did you fall for that?  I actually haven’t been contemplating any such thing, really.)  Or have I?  What I’ve been doing is realizing how joyful I am when I am not busy, not in a hurry, and not worried about anything in particular.  I am just happy to be happy with my completely ordinary existence. Grateful for all the simple, ordinary things in my life that I try to remind myself every day should never be taken for granted.

What brought all this on?  you may very well ask.  And also know that whether you ask or not I’ll still go ahead and tell you anyway.  I’ve spent the morning watching You Tube Videos of  Dr. Brené Brown.

Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW, is an American scholar, author and public speaker, who is currently a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. Over the last ten years she has been involved in research on topics ranging from vulnerability, courage, authenticity, to empathy and shame. She has written notable books like The Gifts of Imperfection (2010) and Daring Greatly (2012), and she and her work has been featured on PBS, NPR, TED and CNN. (Wikkipedia)

I’m so impressed by what she has to say that I’ve downloaded her books to my Kindle.  Reading them is going to be next on my agenda for this lovely lazy day.

If you’ve never heard of her, here’s a Super Soul Sunday video with Oprah to get you started listening to her very wise advice about being enough, having compassion, and whole-hearted living.  It will lead you to many more links, and if you have the time, her TED talks are well worth the twenty minutes or so it takes to listen to them.

Listening to her talk has made me appreciate even more all the incredible people who are brave enough to tell their stories here in the blogging world.  What an incredible way this is to reach out and express how we feel, to give and receive empathy and understanding.  To know that none of us is ever alone.

Love A Rainy Night

Paris in the pouring rain

Paris in the pouring rain (Photo credit: david.nikonvscanon)

The only thing better than a rainy night in Paris is a rainy night here followed by a rainy morning which turns into a rainy day.  And then a rainy weekend.  My little patch of the world is very green.  And extremely wet. Okay, maybe that’s not better than Paris.  But I can’t imagine their rain is any more fun than ours.

With two days off to stay in out of the rain, I am happy to report that Operation De-Clutter is going swimmingly!  Two big purple bins are full and tucked away in the basement.  I no longer feel like the walls are falling in on me. I can see the surfaces of things.

Still lots to do, but I may have to slow down in the next few days because the middle toe on my left foot is badly bruised.  You know how it is when you bang some part of your body on something and it really hurts, so you continue to bang into things with it several more times over the course of the day?  Just to make sure you can go through your entire repertoire of curse words?   That was my Sunday.  Hallelujah.  God gets you for doing housework in your bare feet.

I wanted to post some great rain music on Sunday, but I never got around to it, so it’s been bumped to Monday.  We’re not expecting to see much of the sun until Thursday this week, but I like the rain.  You can sing in it.  And laugh.  And walk hand in hand with the one you love and get drenched and catch pneumonia.  I put that last bit in to see if you were still paying attention.  It’s okay, I’m done, so you can go ahead and listen now, and let these rain songs make you feel good.

Arrested Development Running Gags

arrested development season 4

Pilot (Arrested Development)

Pilot (Arrested Development) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Arrested Development (season 1)

Arrested Development (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A running gag is a literary device (usually a funny reference, or silly joke) that appears repeatedly throughout a work.

The 4th season of Arrested Development was released on Netflix on the 26th of May. I have watched a few of the episodes, and will reserve judgement on this new series until I’ve seen more, but it has received mixed reviews so far.  Everybody who loved this show and was sad when it was cancelled knew the original three seasons would be a hard act to follow.

This weeks Prompts for the Promptless  prompted me (see how well that works? a prompt that prompts?) to pick a running gag from the original series, but there are so many of them it boggles the mind.

Luckily for me, (and for you too, since having someone tell you about something funny is never as good as seeing it for yourself) I found this video on YouTube.  So here’s 18 running gags.  They never got old for me.

None of these characters appears to have changed or matured much during the long pause, but that’s okay.  I’m just happy to see the dysfunctional Bluth family all together again.

Making It Better

The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka

The Many Sides of Neil Sedaka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Prompts for the Promptless, Episode 11:  Remake!  To remake is to make anew or in a different form. 

Here is a short list of things that you can remake.  It’s short because this is Friday and nobody wants to read a long list on a Friday.  (Never mind write one, if you want to know the real reason.)

1.  Your bed.  But don’t remake the beds of your children unless you want to risk scarring their little self-confidence psyches for life.  I read that somewhere, but never worried about it myself and remade my kids beds all the time.  Because seriously, what a mess.

2.  Plans.  Even if they are carved in stone.  Just get yourself a new stone.

3.  Lego and Puzzles.  Although if I had my way I would super glue the pieces together and never put myself through that agony again.

4.  Movies.  When there seems to be nothing new under the sun, movie makers start reminiscing about some classic film or other that was immensely popular back in the day and which made a whole shit load of money.  Then they start to believe that with a few changes, they could update, remake and improve upon it.  Plus rake in another whole shit load of cash.  Sometimes they’re right.  Sometimes they are sadly mistaken.

5.  Songs.  There can be as many versions of a song as there are people to sing it and genres of music to set it to.   If we like the original a lot, chances are we won’t be happy with a remake, simply because it doesn’t sound ‘right.’  If we dislike the original, a remake can turn out to be a happy surprise.

In the sixties I loved the original version of Breaking Up is Hard to Do by Neil Sedaka, including every single “down-doobey-do-down-down”.  We were heavily into making up nonsensical gibberish lyrics to go with a beat back then.

Then I grew up a little, and so did Neil I guess.  I love this slower, jazzier version of the song even more.  Remakes can be a beautiful thing.

April Friday

In my mind, April is my brothers month, just like May is mine, and June and November belong to  my sisters.  He was born on the 19th, a Good Friday in 1946.  It’s been half a year already since he was ‘stolen’ from us, no longer a child of course, but still a child of the earth and the universe and lost to us much too soon.

So here’s a rather melancholy tune for our last April Friday.  Poetry set to music.  I guess I’m still in my saudade mood.  Bring on the rain.

A fairy offering wishes, illustration by John ...

A fairy offering wishes, illustration by John Bauer to Alfred Smedberg’s The seven wishes (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Stolen Child

(Words by W.B.Yeats-Music by Loreena McKennitt)

Where dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water-rats
There we’ve hid our faery vats
Full of berries
And of reddest stolen cherries

Come away, O human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

 

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim grey sands with light
By far off furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles
Whilst the world is full of troubles
And is anxious in its sleep.

Dream Fairy

Dream Fairy (Photo credit: Alexandria LaNier)

Come away, O human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

 

 

 

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams

The Visit (Loreena McKennitt album)

The Visit (Loreena McKennitt album) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Come away, O human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

 

 

 

 

Away with us he’s going
The solemn-eyed
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.

For he comes, the human child
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand
For the world’s more full of weeping
Than you can understand.

Setting The World On Fire

The Ink SpotsWhen there’s all kinds of things I should be getting done on a Sunday afternoon, I like to go to YouTube and listen to music from my youth (and even more ancient times than that).  I’m not saying this is a good plan to have, but it’s a lovely open-ended one.  If you don’t like a lot of discipline and structure in your life, I suggest you try it.

The worst case scenario is that you end up with some strange tune in your head for about three days.  But there’s also definite perks involved.  Like discovering a cover of a song that you like just as much, if not better, than the original.  Sorry to all you Peach Stealing Monkey fans out there, but I’d never heard of them until today.  “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire” was, is, and ever shall be an Ink Spots hit from the 1940′s.  It lives on in a video game called Fallout.  Another new thing I learned today.  Proving one is never too old to learn something, no matter how irrelevant or useless the information might seem to be at the exact moment in which it is duly noted.  These random facts could pop up in a trivia game at some point in the future making you look brilliant, you just never know.

So here’s the version I like enough to share on this sunny cold Sunday in our non existent Spring.  The one in which we couldn’t set the world on fire if we tried because of all the stubborn snow still hanging about.  Hope you’re having a lovely lazy Sunday doing whatever it is you love to do.

Beans In My Ears

Beans

Beans (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This great but extremely dangerous little song was Number 30 on the charts in 1964.  I can remember singing along to it on the radio.  What I cannot remember is exactly why.  Guess I’m just a sucker for repetitive lyrics and a catchy tune with a message.  Len Chandler and the Serendipity Singers meant it as a statement about adults not listening to their children.  What followed the songs release was a number of radio listener complaints and doctor reports about children putting objects in their ears, so the song was banned and black listed.

This is one of the reasons we can never go back to the sixties.  It’s just too scary.  Listen at your own risk.  Hide the beans.

The Telephone Doesn’t Ring (aling-aling-aling)

bang bang lingo lingo

Awwwww….ooooooooh!

It’s been a long hard day, all alone at work,  holding down the fort for over nine hours without a break.  So I’m tired, and a little punch drunk maybe, because this song on YouTube is the funniest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life.

I’m sure tomorrow I’ll wonder what was so funny about it.  Whatever.  Spanish Doo Wop.  Amazing stuff.  This is a track from Bang Bang Lingo Lingo Vol. 7.  I kid you not.  So turn up the volume, make up some doo wop lyrics and sing along.

Because it will probably feel SO good to stop.

A Songbird for St. Patricks Day

Green beer on St. Patrick's Day

Green beer on St. Patrick’s Day (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sunday, beautiful Sunday.  After six days of work, I get to rest on the seventh. Today there will be no talk of the weather.  Oh, except for this – W flew off to BC yesterday and sent me the following text:

Made it okay.  Beautiful here!  No snow, green grass!

Men can be so heartless and cruel.  I sent him a text back suggesting he buy us a house there. I hope he gets rained on. And then I hope the rain heads east and some green things happen here at last.

My grandfather on my mother’s side of the family had roots in Ireland, so I always think of him on the 17th of March.  I don’t think you have to be Irish to celebrate St. Patrick’s day, you just have to be okay with green beer.

As so often happens when I spend time on YouTube looking for something specific (in today’s case Irish or Celtic music) I get completely sidetracked to the point where it’s like that degrees of separation game and even I can’t remember what brought me to wherever I ended up.  Which at this particular moment in time would be with Chris de Burgh.

Chris de Burgh (born Christopher John Davison, 15 October 1948) is an Argentinian born British-Irish singer-songwriter. He is most famous for his 1986 love song “The Lady in Red“, which reached number-one in Belgium, Canada, Ireland, Norway, and the United Kingdom.  (Wikipedia)

Too bad he didn’t sing Lady in Green;  but this song is close enough.  It’s a lovely tribute to Eva Cassidy.  Hope it doesn’t make you cry in your Irish beer.

 

I heard a voice so pure and easy, a songbird singing for me,
I had no choice, only to listen, and surrender to her world;
And she will fly over the rainbow,
She will walk in fields of gold,
And when she sings from the high walls of Heaven,
Will the angels cry like me?

At first alone, then with hundreds around me,
Enchanted by her song,
But as the day is done, and the darkness is falling,
The songbird sings no more;

And now she flies over the rainbow,
And she walks in fields of gold,
And when she sings from the high walls of Heaven,
Will the angels cry like me?

And when she sings from the high walls of Heaven,
Will the angels cry like me, will the angels cry like me?