Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Sometimes you run into a new word, for you, that makes so much sense that you can’t help but admire the English language for its beauty. I found just that word this morning on my daily word list widget - Abecedarian (a·be·ce·dar·i·an) or A B C darian. Now I’m sure you’ve guessed it already, but, a Abecedarian is someone learning the basics of literacy or a subject. In other words, learning their A B C’s.

So give your little, or big, Abecedarians a hug and tell them how good Abecedarians they are and enjoy using the English language a little more than before.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Cat Herding

When I grow up I want to be a Cat Herder just like these guys.

Believe it or not this was a Super Bowl commercial for EDS. Even football geeks can like cats I guess. Get along little Kittie!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Stupid Decisions

While watching the Obama Inauguration Special on HBO this afternoon I listened to all the allusions to the past and future events of our county. So being born and raised in California I of course began to think of the stupid things that happened in that great state in the past that affected it’s future.

So here’s today’s lesson from California, the "Stupid Decision State."

Stupid Decision Number One: San Francisco Cable Car System. The decision to let the system go from 12 lines down to three during the 1930's. You can bet that San Francisco's present municipal government would love to just shoot those guys running the city then. What a tourist dollar loss! Ding Dong Dumb!

Stupid Decision Number Two: Venice, California Canals. The decision to fill-in 14 of the original 16 miles of Venice, California's canals, leaving only two miles of the canal system in 1929. I can double, triple guarantee that today's Los Angeles city fathers would love to have those 14 miles back considering what the tax value would be today. Never fill-in a water way you might need later to drown your stupid ass.

Stupid Decision Number Three: Pacific Electric Railway. The 1954 decision to eliminate the "Red Cars" which at it's high point had over 1000 miles of track, connecting Los Angles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties with a real rapid transit system. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. All those rails and land rights gone. I bet that every time today's Los Angeles area politicians look at the cost of land, rails and construction they could just cry. Never, ever, let a good thing die, you might need it in the future!

So ends the lesson.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Mean Mama's

“Mean Mama’s” permeate our culture in art, literature, music, theater, film and I belive the meanest has to be music's the Queen of the Night from the “Magic Flute.”

Edda Moser sings "Der Holle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen ("hell's vengeance boils in my heart") from Mozart's Magic Flute

Der Hölle Rache kocht in meinem Herzen,
Tod und Verzweiflung flammet um mich her!
Fühlt nicht durch dich Sarastro Todesschmerzen,
So bist du meine Tochter nimmermehr.
Verstossen sei auf ewig,
Verlassen sei auf ewig,
Zertrümmert sei'n auf ewig
Alle Bande der Natur
Wenn nicht durch dich Sarastro wird erblassen!
Hört, Rachegötter, hört der Mutter Schwur!

Hell's vengeance boileth in mine heart,
Death and despair flame about me!
If Sarastro does not through thee feel the pain of death,
Then wilt thou be my daughter nevermore.
Disownéd be forever,
Forsaken be forever,
Destroyed be forever
All the bonds of nature
If you do not make Sarastro turn pale!
Hear, Gods of Vengeance, hear a mother's oath

The Bible has Herodias, who convinces her daughter Salome , to ask Herod to "Give me the head of John the Baptist on a big plate". Then there is Faye Dunaway in her role as Joan Crawford in “Mommy Dearest. Now Joan Crawford comes off as one of films great “Mean Mama‘s” (who can ever forget the “No more wire hanger” moment?).

Of course we don’t want to forget the Internet’s current “Mean Mama” who advertised "OLDS 1999 Intrigue. Totally uncool parents who obviously don't love teenage son, selling his car. Only driven for three weeks before snoopy mom who needs to get a life found booze under front seat. $3,700/offer. Call meanest mom on the planet."

But the meanest “Mean Mama” has to be the Queen of the Night form Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute.” Her aria "Hell's vengeance boils in my heart", depicts a fit of vengeful rage, in which the Queen of the Night puts a knife into the hand of her daughter Pamina and exhorts her to assassinate Sarastro, the Queen's rival, on pain of denying and cursing Pamina if she does not comply. How would you like to be disowned forever, forsaken forever and destroyed forever by your loving Mommy? Now if you ask me that’s one mean Mama!

Besides the lyrics, which were written by Mozart’s friend Emanuel Schikaneder, the music in mean too. The aria is considered to be one of the most famous opera arias, highly memorable, fast paced and menacingly grandiose. It is widely renowned for being a demanding piece to perform well. The artistic demands of the dramatic context, a vengeful demand for murder, put a heavy demand on even the well-qualified voice.

Sung well you can’t help get the general idea that this Queen of the Night is one really mean piece of work. So let’s hear it for my nomination of music’s “Mean Mama”, the Queen of the Night!

By the way I think Edda Moser is the BEST Queen of the Nignt and has a truly "well qualified voice". On the other hand... Listen if you dare to Florence Foster Jenkins who made a good living as the "worse" opera singer ever (she said she never sang badily - oh yeah?.