Thursday, September 25, 2014

Herding cats!

Why is it that I find the background of this picture so fascinating?

Well, of course I love the main part of the picture!  It's a SELFIE by none other than Richard-freaking-Armitage!!

But those cats on the wall in the background?  I can't help thinking....  Is it a hidden message?
Is he playing cat and mouse with us?  That ginger cat folk art painting looks very familiar to me.  Does it have any other significance?  Could it be sort of a visual apologia to all us cat-loving RA fans for his infamous dog preferential statement? Does he even look remorseful?

Let's look at those background items more closely...

#1 is very familiar, in fact I thought I once had this same picture as a ceramic tile that I used as a trivet until it broke.  But after searching google images for quite some time I have not been able to find out anything about it.  But I did find a picture of my old trivet (and it wasn't the same at all!).  If anyone has any information about this cat painting - I would be very interested!

I did however, find plenty of other very interesting pictures of orange tabby cats. My favourites were the ones inserted into famous paintings over at Fatcatart blog -- especially (because of my fondness for Monet paintings) this one:

#2 appears to be a Felix the Cat clock.

Here is a still from the animated film Felix the Cat in Hollywood (1923)

#3 (The Hidden picture) is the real problem.
Luckily, I was able to find this picture of the same room where the picture is visible.
Note the Felix the Cat clock has moved.  In this picture it is just over the girl's shoulder. 
The little figurine between the cat painting and the now visible blue matted photo looks like a cat playing a musical instrument.
From Soundtrack's' Facebook Page

The photo of the figurine is very blurry but it does appear to be a cat playing a bass violin, or could it be -- a cello?  Hmmm... Curious and curiouser...RA fans know that Richard has been known to play the cello.

The above photo on the right is more of a mystery. It appears to be a handsome man playing an instrument which I have come to believe is called a Vibraphone.  My first impression of the blurry picture was that it was of Elvis (the King) but since my research didn't turn up any evidence that Elvis ever played a vibraphone, I had to look for other options. The best looking vibraphone player I could find was this man Tito Puente, otherwise known as the Mambo King.
Even though RA is also known by his Hobbit film character's nickname of the King Under the Mountain, I knew I was grasping at straws here...  I really didn't think his hairline looked correct, and besides where was the cat reference?!!  I was going to go with the fact that Jazz musicians are also known as Hepcats... but I wasn't fooling myself.  So I kept looking for another good looking vibraphone player.

Finally I came up with this man, Terry Gibbs.

His hairline looked spot on, and when I researched his music 
this album fairly sprang up and dug its claws into me!

There's that orange cat again!
Even more strange... this album was released the year I was born (1961). 
I have no idea what all this means but it seems that somebody around here must be some crazy cat!

Before you give up on me have a listen to the cool vibes of
 Terry Gibbs and Buddy DeFranco playing 

That orange kitty has found someone to love!
Manip from Richard Armitage with Cats Tumblr

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


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.