Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Lamenting

I first heard Lynn Miles perform at a local music festival this summer.  I completely feel in love with her talents and was amazed that I had never heard of her before.  Apparently she has been writing and recording songs for over 25 years!

I always buy some CDs from new performers every year when I attend the festival, but over the years as my festival collection has grown I have become more picky in my selections.  This year, as soon as I heard her, I had to have her CDs.  One song in particular, stuck with me and my husband both.  It was a beautiful, but mournful song called "Black Flowers".  It spoke to us particularly because we are from a mining town and it is about a woman grieving her husband who has been killed in a mining accident.

Even though I loved this song at the first listen, it didn't really hit home to me until the night my mother died.  It was just a couple of days ago, but already it seems so long ago.  I stumbled home late Saturday night after leaving her death bed, feeling stunned, feeling somehow numb, actually not feeling -- at least not what I thought I should be feeling.  Then the words to Black Flowers started to echo in my head and I needed to play that song.  So I lay in bed with my iPad playing the song over and over because it made me cry and I needed to cry.

I have never before understood the ancient practice of using professional mourners, usually female who would participate in funeral rites by loud expressions of grief, sometimes even of a musical nature.  I have always found it easy to cry for others, but somehow not for myself.  My father passed away 12 years ago at the age of 90 and now my mother reached the end of her life at 97.  I feel their loss, but it is not a painful one.  Perhaps if I did not believe that they went to a better place I would be more upset.

Lynn Miles' voice is tender and achingly sad. The song reaches a keening climax that is breathtaking. I am in awe and I am grateful for her gift of song which is my grief therapy.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Happy Armitage Day!

Is Richard Armitage on Twitter?  I'm not 100% convinced but this certainly looks like him!

Yes, it is really August 22!  But this was posted in UK time which is 6 hours ahead of me (that is why the date stamp is incorrect).

So... I was thinking about what was going on in England that day 43 years ago when little Richie came in to the world.  Oh sure, there was probably a lot on the news and depressing stuff like that, but what I'd like to remember is what was playing on the radio!  I looked up UK hits from 1971, and during the month of August it was this song that was the big hit. Even though I consider myself a fairly knowledgeable pop music fan, I had never heard of I'm Still Waiting, by the former Supreme - Diana Ross. Apparently it was huge in Europe and didn't even register on the charts in North America.  I have to admit I didn't really like it at first, but after repeated listenings it is growing on me.

This is a nice recording here, but I wanted to include this UK concert footage to show how popular this song is with her fans.

I'm Still Waiting / Diana Ross
 
As the lyrics go:

"Little girl, please don't wait for me
Wait patiently for love
Some day it will surely come
Oh, little girl, please don't wait for me
Wait patiently for love
Some day it will surely come"
And I'm still waiting

Read more: Diana Ross - I'm Still Waiting Lyrics | MetroLyrics

It made me wonder if there is someone waiting for Mr. Armitage, or if he is waiting for someone... I guess I'm just a romantic at heart, but I wish that everyone will some day find someone to share their love.




Friday, July 25, 2014

Holy shirt!

Nathan Kress, who stars as one of the sons of Richard Armitage's character in the soon to be released summer block-buster disaster flick "Into the Storm", has just tweeted this photo.


Believe me, my heart is chewed to bits!!!

How does this man look so good dirty?
 
I won't be able to make it to theatres on the August 8th opening weekend, as our local Music festival is on then.  But the next weekend, nothing will stop me from heading to Winnipeg to enjoy it in all its big screen glory (better late than never).

 

And here is a great review by a fellow Armitage fan who was lucky to get to see this film previewed at ComicCon.
Read Kathy's review here

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Everybody's crazy about this sharp dressed man!

I know this sweet little video will show up on almost every RA blog, and I do try to be a bit different but ....  I just have to have this video on my blog!  I can't stop watching it!!!

How can I resist?

Richard Armitage Esquire Magazine Photo Shoot / Directed by Blair Getz Mezibov

And now, I must thank Gratiana Lovelace for posting this on her Facebook page as hers was the first post I noticed.  Her link was to another Facebook page which was posted by Fernanda Matias who shared it from RA Bulgaria.  Also RAfandreamer later posted the link to this video on Youtube which was uploaded by Kathleen  Evans.  Great team work, eh?  Go RArmy!

But before I leave... one last lingering look!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy!

The colour Yellow makes me happy.  Balloons make me happy. Books make me happy -- even just the thought of books!  Reading books, talking about books, showing books, owning books, looking at books, yes. Books make me happy.

Here are a couple of my favourite children's book characters by Roger Hargreaves (England's 2nd bestselling author of the last decade -- after J.K. Rowling as reported by The Guardian in 2009).


Funnily enough, they are both yellow and balloon-shaped.

May I present: Mr. Happy and Little Miss Sunshine!








As readers of this blog can attest, I also love pictures of a certain actor (especially those rare shots of him smiling)...  So when I find a picture of said actor reading a book and smiling!... BINGO!  All systems are GO!

Richard Armitage performing the audio book Hamlet 
adapted by A. J. Hartley, and David Hewson for Audible.

Music also makes me happy...

This is a song which I sing to myself quite a bit when I need a little cheering up.
I really like this version sung by (not only) June Carter, of the Carter Family fame but with the bonus of her husband Johnny Cash and their daughter Carlene.

Keep on the Sunny Side (Blenkhorn and Entwistle)



I remember this next song from my childhood and it brings back many happy memories.
I didn't realize until recently that it was written by Marvin Hamlisch.
I saw a documentary about him a couple of months ago.
He certainly knew how to make himself happy.  He gave up a promising career as a classical pianist to write music for Broadway plays and soundtracks for films. 
He met Barbara Streisand when she was performing Funny Girl on stage, and later worked with her when he wrote the sound track for the movie The Way We Were.  He also worked with Woody Allen for the sound track of his movie Bananas.
He earned many awards over his lifetime, but better even than that -- he enjoyed his work,
which was essentially - entertaining the public (making people happy).

Sunshine Lollipops and Rainbows (by Marvin Hamlisch)

Notice that singer Lesley Gore is wearing yellow?
And yes, that song is so sweet it could rot your teeth.


Here is my favourite summer camp song:
If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops,
Oh what a world it would be...
Standing outside with my mouth open wide
Ah, ah, ah-ah, ah, ah, ah-ah, ah, ah-ah!
If all the raindrops were lemon drops and gum drops,
Oh what a world it would be!
That really would rot your teeth!


Then there were those delightfully crazy yellow minions from the Despicable Me film and its sequel.
They certainly made me happy -- hilariously so!

I didn't realize there were so many animated short films about these critters!
Here is one where they are fighting over a banana.



Despicable Me 2 had such an upbeat song (which should have won the best song Oscar instead of that overwrought outpouring from Frozen! --Don't hit me!)
I know the song has been overplayed on the airwaves but I'm not sick of it yet.  I love the Youtube version with Pharrell Williams in it, but I can't resist this version either.

Richard Armitage -- HAPPY / by Crystal Chandlyre



Lately, it makes me very happy to read so many stage door fan encounters with Richard Armitage as he plays the role of John Proctor in the Old Vic's production of The Crucible. There is even a blog which collects all those experiences!  http://thecrucibleexperience.wordpress.com/
and a Facebook page called 'Richard Armitage in The Crucible' Appreciation Page
The play has been getting rave reviews from critics, regular theatre attendees and fans alike.
I thank Servetus @ Me + Richard Armitage blog and Perry @ Armitage Agonistes blog for keeping the fans up-to-date with the flurry of tweets, instagram pictures and Tumblr posts after each performance.
This is one of my favourite bloggers reactions to seeing The Crucible:  Maria Grazia @Fly High .

Judi, who blogs at Confessions of a Watcher  imagines Richard Armitage's feelings about the opening night success of his current play: The Crucible at London's the Old Vic in a lovely story called Happiness: http://www.jagrant.com/watcher/happiness/


Yes folks, Richard Armitage has come a long way
from his long ago (but never-to-be forgotten) stage role as a dancing banana!

 Forgive me if I resurrect one of my old videos!
Well, I'm no Bccmee -- but he's yellow! (That's all I'm sayin')...



Saturday, June 21, 2014

School's Out!

Yesterday was the last day of school at the elementary schools in my area. The tradition lately has been to play "School's Out" by Alice Cooper on the P.A. system just before the final bell. It was originally the idea of a former principal, but teachers and students really enjoy it, so it seems to be a tradition that is sticking. :)

I wasn't crazy about it at first, particularly the line about school's out forever [because] "my school's been blown to pieces" seemed to be tempting fate!  But really it bothered me because the music was played SO LOUD over the intercom in the library that it was almost painful to the ears (my ears - as no one else was around). Then, of course, it had to be played over and over - until people actually started leaving the building - which drove me CRAZY! One year I actually complained (not that anyone cared - but I think they turned the music down a smidgeon).


This year I am at a new school, where the library is not situated in a far removed part of the building but is front and centre, right by the office and the staff room. :)  When they started the song at the end of the day I started to get my grumpy pants on. :(  But then a surprising thing happened -- I realized the music wasn't blasting in my ear, like in the "old school".  It was quite bearable actually.  Then I looked out in the hallway and saw all the students gleefully running down the hall, and hugging teachers and each other.  I smiled.  Then I got up from behind my desk, and left all the overdues and missing items reports (I forgot to mention how much I HATE this time of year).  I stepped out of the library and smiled at the last bunch of graduated grade 8 students still lingering around like over-sized baby birds, not quite ready to leave the nest.  Then two of the boys started hugging the secretary, principal and vice-principal.  I just happened to be there, and since I have only been at that school since December, and the previous librarian was much loved, and the grade 8s hadn't had very many classes in the library since their teacher was too busy to bring them most of the time.... I prepared to move out of the way. But one of the boys, with only a slight hesitation just opened his arms and gave me a hug too, which was followed closely by the second boy.
If I wasn't already sure that I was happier at my new school, that one moment illustrated for me everything I love about my new place of work. I have had many a hug from Kindergarten students, even up to grade 2s, but never before from a grade 8 student -- let alone a boy -- No TWO!

Here is a great illustration I have borrowed from teacher and blogger buddy Maria Grazia's blog @ Fly High!  I love her posts about her taste in books, television and film (and she is a fellow RA fan as well).

I have four more days of sorting out all the teachers' returned resources, storing everything for the summer and tying up a thousand loose ends.  That last picture is how I will look after I wake up from a long sleep on my first day of summer holiday.  Until then I will look more like this:

Warner Brothers Pictures