Monday, December 31, 2012

Ending 2012

Mr. Snowman wishes you all a Happy New Year

Another year comes to an end, but the blogging goes on.

Yeah, there were times in 2012 that I considered closing up shop. My production schedule slowed to such a degree that doing the Weekly Wrap wasn't worth the effort. Likewise, I felt silly putting Friday Flowers back to back to back.

But we're turning the page. With the new year, we have a fresh opportunity to get back into the groove. For certain, there will be more posts, mainly because I'm going to do the 365 Photo challenge, but I'll also make a point of putting up worthwhile essays, reviews, and reports. There are so many awesome things that I experience every day, such magnificence, such excitement.

It seems a shame that so many fine memories of this outgoing year have been left to fade away in my mind, unshared and unreported. It's one of those “tears in the rain” situations, where these inspiring sparks of life's glory go away when I go away, unless I first convey them to my readers. That may sound really self-important, but I feel that we all should share the wonderful tales of our everyday existence, sifting through the dross of routine expectations and finding the special aesthetic moments, like gemstones, that can brighten our lives.

So, hold on to your hats and glasses, 'cause there will be a lot of stories, ideas, images, and memories coming this way. ;-)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holiday Cheer #3

Happy Holiday Barbie (1993) wishes you a Happy New Year!!!

Although the bulk of the Winter holidays have come and gone, in celebrating the season we are not quite done. Heck, even past New Year's Day, we still have Orthodox Christmas about a week away! There yet remains plenty of cheer to joyfully start off a most happy New Year.

So bust out the brandy and drain the last eggnog. Turn on the tree lights and spark up the Yule log. The winter season has just begun, and, if we must be cold, then let's try to have fun.

Though a Scrooge and a miser and an atheist too, I love festive times just as much as do you. Especially the music, carol and song, it lightens my day, and my spirit makes strong.

Santa puts a beat down on the Thanksgiving turkey!!!

Now, let us listen to harmonies gentle and melodious sounds. And end this dreadful poem which sets into howling the hounds. ;-)

Friday, December 28, 2012

Up and Down, In and Out

Outside of the Long Beach Library, facing Pacific Ave.

Over the next few days, I may not be doing much blogging.

So, have a great weekend.

And wrap up the year with fun times!!!


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Finery of Faberge

Empress Josephine Tiara

No, that is not what I got for Christmas. ;-)

A while back, I visited the Bowers Museum and checked out their exhibit, Faberge: Imperial Jeweler to the Tsars. It was an impressive display of works, not just eggs. The detail of these pieces was awesome, examples of the most amazing craftsmanship. I could have spent the entire day admiring but a handful of the luxurious delights on exhibit.

Sadly, the show is wrapping in a little over a week, on January 6, 2013. So, I figure that I'll share a few photos with you all.

Faberge Eggs

Yeah, it isn't a Faberge show without some eggs.

But there was so much more, from cigarette cases to carved figurines. The spirit of opulence and extravagance that characterized the Tsar's court was brilliantly conveyed.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Holiday Cheer #2

Christmas tree at the Promenade on the Peninsula

I'm not fond of the consumerist elements that have come to define the holiday season. I've gone on that rant many a time since starting this blog. However, I'm fully in favor of anything which promotes goodwill and compassion.

Personally, my favorite element to the season is the music. No, not the jingos that echo through the mall. Not the sappy tunes that ooze from "easy listening" radio stations. Those types of holiday fare are not necessarily bad, but they don't capture my interest like traditional carols, sounds from the centuries past.

So, let's enjoy a few "old school" tunes.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Turkey Time

Turkey with candy tail feathers. Yum!!!

It always annoys me how the seasonal decorations jump straight from Halloween to Christmas, skipping Thanksgiving in the mad rush to fuel consumer enthusiasm. After all, you don't generally sell costumes or gifts for Turkey Day. And, therefore, we go from pumpkins to snowmen overnight.

Well, in defiance of this trend, here's a photo that I took in late November. ;-)

Anyways, we can give thanks for our happy situations regardless of the date. And it's always a good time to have a fine meal.

And music.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Cheer #1

Celebrating the season with an inflatable puppy and penguin

Well, I haven't much to say today. I think that the long malaise that has been plaguing my health, sapping my energy, may finally be leaving. That makes me very happy.

And, therefore, I'm up for some holiday cheer.

Let's listen to some music.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

So You're Keen on Music?

"The Korova milkbar sold milk-plus, milk plus vellocet or synthemesc or drencrom, which is what we were drinking. This would sharpen you up and make you ready for a bit of the old ultra-violence."

I've been sitting a few weeks on some photos from the Stanley Kubrick exhibition at LACMA. However, to celebrate the traditional day upon which we recognize Ludwig van Beethoven's date of birth, I figured that we could post up a couple images from the Clockwork Orange section.

And here's a quote from Alex, while listening to Beethoven's Ninth Symphony:

"Oh bliss, bliss and heaven. Oh, it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh. It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. As I slooshied, I knew such lovely pictures!"

Well, Alex and I probably experience the music in radically different manners, but I can't disagree with his admiration for ol' Ludwig van. ;-)

Alex's costume from A Clockwork Orange

Let's look at some vids.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Festive Lights & Seasonal Cheer

Glowing peppermint lollipops provide a festive welcome to the house

Although we don't get any snow out here, it begins to look a lot like Christmas when the occasional house seems to be sporting holiday decorations. Here in the South Bay, no other neighborhood goes after the seasonal decor quite like Torrance's "Sleepy Hollow" district. For block after block, street upon street, the houses are all aglow with Santas, nativities, snowmen, and other such images lit up for the enjoyment of the community.

Yeah, I normally don't get into the holiday mood, but last week I found myself in the area. So, a walk around the neighborhood was on the schedule. It was illuminating. ;-)

Santa and Snowman

I'm still not big on such ornamentation, but it was an impressive show of community spirit. Transforming the neighborhood into such a spectacle of lights and music is no simple task, requiring significant resources of both money and manpower. With such widespread cooperation behind this effort, the end result was truly dazzling, a powerful demonstration of how group projects can outshine even the brightest efforts of a single household.

So, if you're in southern Torrance at night, consider giving this lovely project a viewing. Ho ho ho!!!

Glowing icicles and a balcony Nativity.


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Post #666

Devil School Girl by Coop

So, I was considering what the topic was going to be for today's blog post. Was I going to finally put up some museum photos? Or would the Christmas festivities get the spotlight? And then I noticed my post total. It was 665 posts.

Well, only a persistent blogger gets to enjoy a 666th post. So, here's a lovely, popsicle-suckin' Coop devil girl to celebrate the event right. ;-)

And how about some music. . .

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Quiet Nights, Gentle Sights

A view of the crescent moon, waxing, over the California Bank in Long Beach
Marlin by Brough Miller at the bottom left

I'm feeling a bit better now. A few days of rest has done some good. Nevertheless, I'm just not feeling in the creative mood tonight. I think that I'll call in an early night.

Yet, I do want to wish everybody some happy holidays. I would do it with a festive, seasonal post, but my energy isn't up to the full, exuberant blogging that would be required to do it right. Maybe tomorrow. . .

In any case, here are a few nice photos that capture my current mood.

Night and day, day and night. . .

Under the Dove Tower at the Skirball


Friday, December 7, 2012

Friday Flowers: Wet Roses

Pink roses, still in bloom at the Banning Museum

I don't want to skip our weekly celebration of floral delights. ;-)

There aren't very many roses to be found in the local gardens, but an occasional blossom here and there can catch the eye. These photos were taken last weekend, as I visited the Banning Museum to see their annual Christmas celebrations. The garden wasn't in high color, but that's to be expected, even out here with mild California winters.

The day wasn't very pretty, with dark skies constantly threatening rain. However, the little drops of moisture, having accumulated upon the petals and leaves, made for a nice sparkling accent, like liquid gems ornamenting the last roses in the final days of Autumn.

Very beautiful.

An orange rose, heavy with rain water


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Glimpse of Hidden Beauty

Even an ugly, old oil refinery can be transformed in a golden moment into a vision of Beauty

Feeling not so good right now. A bit depressed. A bit sick

Days have been ugly, overcast, cold. Trying to stay upbeat, positive, but bad sleep, coughing, and back ache. Makes me tired.

I feel like garbage. . .

Need comfort music. . .

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Point of View

Silently searching for something to show;
Three blue seats empty, arranged in a row.

Again, we're going a bit light on content in tonight's post. I was hoping to get to it earlier, before sleep started to press down upon my eyelids. However, distractions plagued my day. Oh well, at least I can still write "quality" poetry. ;-)

Well, let's send out a Happy Birthday to Cassandra Wilson, one of my favorite contemporary jazz singers. She was born on this date in 1955.

It's been a long time since we featured some Jazz music at this blog. So, let's listen to some fine songs.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Out of Order

Caution!!! Elevator Out of Order

With a bit of extra time tonight, it was my intention to blog about the various awesome things that I did over the weekend. From art gallery visits to Holiday festivities, fun times filled my days. However, upon my mind, a strange lethargy has descended. Befuddled with fatigue, I find that my fingers are leaden, unable to properly type out the words that I wish to express.

Sleep-sodden and stupid, my writing capacities are out of order. I had better wrap up this post now, before you, my dear reader, turn purple from reading this prose. ;-)


Sunday, December 2, 2012

Another Rainy Night

The rain-soaked street shimmers in the light of the oncoming traffic

I haven't much to share with you all tonight. However, here's a photo capturing the unusual wetness of the Los Angeles region. I can't say that I'm enjoying the moisture, but, sometimes, the liquid sheen tranforms the drab sights of this suburban blight into a vision of brilliance and lustrous beauty.

So, I guess that I'm alright with the rain, at least for now. We'll see how I feel after a few more wet days. ;-)


Saturday, December 1, 2012

A Singing Chihuahua with Maracas

Cuddle Barn's "Chuey Bamba" sings and plays the maracas

Well, here's a Silly Saturday treat for you: a toy chihuahua that sings "La Bamba" while shaking the maracas.

I really don't like holiday shopping, but sometimes you can see the oddest of things. Among the singing toys on display, I thought Chuey Bamba had just the right mix of cuteness and absurdity. Then again, I didn't notice Chili Pepe. ;-)

Let's look at some vids: