Monday, January 26, 2015

Music Monday - "Blue Rondo à la Turk" by The Dave Brubeck Quartet (1959)

Dave Brubeck is my favorite jazz musician, and Time Out is one of my all time favorite albums (of any genre).   "Blue Rondo a la Turk" appeared on the album Time Out in 1959.  Dave Brubeck was inspired by an unusual song he heard some Turkish street musicians playing.  He asked one of the men about the rhythm, and the musician replied "This rhythm is to us what the blues is to you."  Hence the song title.

This video is fun!  The Dave Brubeck Quartet plays the song on a magic carpet as they fly above a Los Angeles freeway.   Stick around for the motorcycle cop at the end of the video.  This was filmed for "The Lively Ones" television show first broadcast July 25, 1962.   Enjoy!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Downton Abbey: Season 5, Episode 4

What Happened (A Very Short Summary)

This episode highlighted relationships between men and women.  Rose's father came to Downton with news of his upcoming divorce.  Tension built between Robert, Cora, and Simon Bricker, as Bricker continued to flirt with Cora.  Violet looked for her Russian Prince's lost wife.  Edith worried about Michael's disappearance after he was bullied by brownshirts in Germany.  Isabelle received a proposal from Lord Merton, which she is considering.  Mary flirted with Charles just before she tried to turn down Tony's proposal.  Tony refused to accept her rejection.

In other news, Barrow took a mysterious drug, as Baxter worried about him.  Anna visited Piccadilly, where John Green was killed.  Robert had problems with modernization, including a discussion with Tom and Mary about building houses on the property and a conflict with Sarah Bunting.  During the dinner conflict, he called Daisy and Mrs. Patmore to the dining room to quiz Daisy about Sarah's tutoring.

On a happy note, Isis appeared in several scenes.  Downton needs more Isis scenes!
Character Of the Week

I am not a great fan of Robert -- I find him stodgy and stubborn.  But he was the focus of a lot of attention and conflict this week, so I will give him the Character of the Week title.

Line of the Week

As part of her search for the lost Russian princess, the Dowager Countess learns that many Russians moved to Hong Kong and worked as servants, taxi drivers, milliners, or prostitutes.  Violet sniffed, “I will not suggest which of those callings the Princess Kuragin was most suited.”

Most Striking Visual

Mary chose a statue of Peter Pan in the park as a meeting place to break off her engagement to Tony.  The juxtaposition of the happy childhood statue and their conversation was striking.

"Oh My" Moment

Tony's refusal to accept Mary's rejection surprised me.  He has been such a little puppy dog with her up to this point.  

What I Hope Will Happen Next (All Speculation - No Spoilers!)

I hope Daisy will continue her education (go, Daisy!).  I hope that Mary will continue to flirt with Charles -- they have great chemistry!   I hope Tom will stay at Downton and turn away from Sarah.  I hope Edith will stop moping and tell the truth about Marigold.

How about you?  What did you think of this episode?   What should happen next?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

International Book Giving Day Is Coming February 14th

International Book Giving Day is coming up on February 14th.  I think it is wonderful that this day coincides with Valentine's Day.  What better way to share love than to share a book and the love of reading?   This day is designed to promote childhood literacy and to put the gift of a book into the hands of children around the world.  The website is lovely:  just click here.   You can download a Gus Gordon designed bookplate to print, or an Anna Walker designed bookmark.

Of course, if you are shopping for children's books, I hope you'll visit Birdhouse Books.  I have a lovely collection of books for children -- mostly vintage but some new editions as well.  Birdhouse Books on eBay:  click here for nostalgic children's books.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Inspiring Quotes from Maya Angelou

Last night I could not get to sleep, and I went looking for my favorite Maya Angelou quote.  I found it, and others as well.  They inspired and uplifted me, and I thought you might find the same thing.  I love the way her words combine wisdom and poetry.

“When someone shows you who they are believe them, the first time.”  This is an important quote for me.  At one point I had it posted several places in my house.  I think I may do that again.

"Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option."   I love Dr. Angelou's words of wisdom about relationships!

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change
your attitude. Don’t complain.”   This is the same idea as the Serenity Prayer, and I am a wholehearted believer.

"You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can
decide not to be reduced by them."

"You alone are enough. You have nothing to prove to anybody."

"You are the sum total of everything you've ever seen, heard, eaten,
smelled, been told, forgot - it's all there. Everything influences each of
us, and because of that I try to make sure that my experiences are
positive."  I am such a believer in this -- positive thoughts and images in, and positive out.

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have."

"My wish for you is that you continue. Continue to be who and how you
are, to astonish a mean world with your acts of kindness."   I love this quote.  It has such power!

"Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances."

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."

I have always found Maya Angelou so inspiring as a writer, a woman, and a person of faith.  I would love to hear from you in the comments below - any thoughts on Dr. Angelou, favorite quotes by her?