Saturday, June 20, 2009

Starry Starry Night

Josh Groban has become one of my favorite vocalists. This song about Vincent Van Gogh has got to be one of the most moving songs he sings.

I wonder if van Gogh - like Don Quixote - saw the world, not as it is but as it should be.

Lyrics by Don McLean: Vincent 1971.

Starry, starry night. Paint your palette blue and grey, Look out on a summer's day, With eyes that know the darkness in my soul. Shadows on the hills, Sketch the trees and the daffodils, Catch the breeze and the winter chills, In colors on the snowy linen land. Now I understand what you tried to say to me, How you suffered for your sanity, How you tried to set them free. They would not listen, they did not know how. Perhaps they'll listen now.

Starry, starry night. Flaming flowers that brightly blaze, Swirling clouds in violet haze, Reflect in Vincent's eyes of china blue. Colors changing hue, morning fields of amber grain, Weathered faces lined in pain, Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand. Now I understand what you tried to say to me, How you suffered for your sanity, How you tried to set them free. They would not listen, they did not know how. Perhaps they'll listen now. For they could not love you, But still your love was true. And when no hope was left in sight On that starry, starry night, You took your life, as lovers often do. But I could have told you, Vincent, This world was never meant for one As beautiful as you.

Starry, starry night. Portraits hung in empty halls, Frameless head on nameless walls, With eyes that watch the world and can't forget. Like the strangers that you've met, The ragged men in the ragged clothes, The silver thorn of bloody rose, Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow.
Now I think I know what you tried to say to me, How you suffered for your sanity, How you tried to set them free. They would not listen, they're not listening still. Perhaps they never will...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

High School Science and Buck Rogers

Zombies from the Beyond
by Roger Smith

The publicity says that “Zombies from the Beyond” is based on early, low budget Science Fiction movies of the 1950’s. I remember the Buck Rogers serials that appeared on the silver screen every Saturday at the Margie Grand Theater in my hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. I remember my 9th grade science teacher, Miss Parker, chiding us ‘not to laugh’ at those serials because someday man would go to the moon. Of course, we didn’t believe that anyone could ride one of those tin bucket rockets to outer space. Based on what I saw at the Ashtabula Arts Center, I still don’t believe it.
Unless readers understand Buck Rogers and ‘tin bucket rocket’ and ‘serials’ in movie theaters, they aren’t going to understand the theatrical attempt at reviving and poking fun at those early black and whites.
The low budget aspect of those early movies is duplicated in spades on the stage of the Arts Center. The show is written to be farcical and hokey beyond belief and at times, that happens; and even though there are some merry moments that bring guffaws, it still falls short of the intent.
It’s evident that lots of hard work went into this production, and many hours have been spent in rehearsal. I would venture a guess that the cast had lots of fun in mounting this show. But it just doesn’t work. Sometimes, even when all the ingredients are measured correctly and the baking temperature is just right, the finished product just doesn’t match the description given in the recipe.
“Zombies from the Beyond” runs weekends through October 18 at the Ashtabula Arts Center. Dinner will be available prior to the show on Oct. 11. Reservations and pre-payment are required for all dinners and can be made by calling the Arts Center. Cost of dinner is $16 plus the price of theater ticket. The box office phone number is 964-3396.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Dumpster Diving: Searching the trash of a political opponent to find something to 'use'.

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

G.O.P: See above definitions.

Don't Stand in Line Behind Me

Heed my warning!

If you have the opportunity to stand in another place, do it. If I am in line at the grocery, when it's my turn to have my groceries rung out the register either runs out of paper or the computer chip dies. The gas pump malfunctions when the auto needs fuel.

If I'm on the freeway and there is a traffic jam (stau - my first German word) I always move to the wrong lane. Without fail I choose the wrong handyman, the appliance that breaks down as soon as I get it home, or the clothes that fall apart at first wash.

I bought a Honda Accord in 2006; for 3 years the teckie has been searching for what causes the rattle. The crown molding separated. The GE Adora microwave has been repaired two times in 4 months. The Cuisianart Grind and Brew coffee pot leaks from the inside. The Mohawk laminate floor creaks. The painter did a crappy job of painting the woodwork. The wood floor was stained with odd markings.

I won't even write about the bagless vacuum cleaner. Did I mention the gash made in the leather chair when it was taken out of the box for delivery? Or the hole in the 'left facing arm' of the sofa when it arrived - and the 3 subsequent appointments it took to get it repaired? Or the 'not quite right' tailoring on the garnett chair from Macy's? Maybe you'd like to know about the JC Penney draperies headers that came apart, or the solar shade that hangs just a bit crooked.

I buy milk that seems to sour in the jug on the way home. When I'm in a hurry, my Dell isn't.

Social Security was not happy with the amount of part-time job money I made, so I was subjected to that nightmare for 8 months. Now, they owe ME money! And Medicare. Now there is an adventure in itself. Aside from the aches and pains, I understand why "Growing old is not for sissies."

Every Monday during the summer there is an old car show next door - with music from the 50's and 60's. At least I can understand the music, and the cars look familiar.

Even my condo that affords me a great view of Lake Erie sits beside a township park that is 'blessed' with Methodists who think it's just groovy to have their church services at the lake from the 1st Sunday in June through Labor Day. I don't mind the services so much, but the soprano (way off-key) who feels as though she must practice beginning at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday so she can hear herself on the public address system gets on my last nerve. I'm thinking of blasting her out with some Beatles music.

Luckily, my friends are solid and well put together and pretty much don't break down.