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Wednesday music: Bartoc

Fluent Historian is the one who started all this music stuff, so blame them and not me for filling your feed with classical music.

This week Bartoc just floated into my brain. I am really not sure why either.  I don’t particularly remember much music of his I was forced to learn as a small child seated at that huge piano.  I certainly don’t remember LIKING practicing his music.

It is a puzzlement………..

Maybe it is because this Hungarian composer had the first name Bella…and I have always associated that name with a woman.  Or it could just be because he IS Hungarian and in one of my favorite movies (My Fair Lady)  Audrey Hepburn’s character is sworn to be an Hungarian princess which made the professor (Rex Harrison) guffawed!

I love the word Guffawed….don’t you?  Where was I?

Oh, yeah…Bella Bartoc, the Hungarian composer, was born in 1881….the same year my grandmother was born.  Yea, isn’t it strange the oddball connections our brains make? I am pretty sure he was influenced by Claude Debussy’s music as there are certain characteristics to his compositions that remind me strongly of Debussy’s work.  I could be wrong, but somehow think I am not. In any event, here’s my favorite piece by Bella Bartoc.  Enjoy (and be very glad YOU don’t have to practice this piece on a too big piano!)

ageing considerations

OK, this is one of those posts that you pray you never need, but when you do it sure is nice to have someone else’s experiences as a back-up guide.

Many of my blogging friends are in the same age group as I (yes, we’re old but still damned vital!) and probably know all of this already…but for those who have aging parents or siblings, those who are just starting the blessed journey into decrepitude…YOU might want to pay attention for a bit. Continue reading

We were given a brain for a reason

I often come across people who deny in toto the theory of evolution for some quasi-scientific religious theory.  I think perhaps what they fail to grasp is the term “theory”, and feel compelled to deny anything that shakes their faith.

There is a sort of knee-jerk reaction…a mandate to deny anything that could possibly take away some of the validity of their religious positions.

Personally, I think their faith is lacking if they have to deny something in order to protect their beliefs.

A theory is an idea…a proposition….a way of explaining something to be tested until proven.  It is something with a beginning and a middle but no end in sight. It isn’t gospel, it isn’t proven.  So what’s the big deal, people?  Why do the evangelicals and far right religious groups have such an aversion to evolution?

They simply do not wish to think of humanity as coming from “apes”.  It lowers them in their own tiny minds to something less than magnificent.

A relative of mine was raving on about the Creation Museum recently and was astounded at the “truth” shown there.  He said, for example, that “evolution is a bunch of hooey. There were dinosaurs living at the same time as humans and they showed it!”.  And I thought “this is what that church school education did to you, poor thing”.

I said, “but Carl…dinosaurs were thousands of years BEFORE humans evolved”…at which point my cousin went absolutely bonkers and started screaming I was going to Hell because I believed that false teaching”.  He said “dinosaurs did so live with humans. Where do you think dragons came from? They were dinosaurs!”

I have to admit I snorted trying not to laugh at that point.

I don’t mean to denigrate believers…well, beliefs….but. Some things are just too easy, and to me, this is one of them.  I have absolutely no problem saying I believe that Darwin’s theory is easier to believe than the creationist’s beliefs.

I have no problem reading the Bible as a history book, a book of mythology and a book of poetry as well as a religious guide to life.

But, I have a huge problem with closing off my mind to the possibility that God, or whatever we wish to call him/her wants me to believe a book written by humans without thought.

We were given a brain for a reason.  I’ll cease with a quote from my GGGGGrandfather……….

 

Gripes, grumps and grumbles………..

First, this won’t be the last time I mumble grumpily about other blogs…it isn’t the first and knowing me, there will be others.

But this afternoon I was just interrupted yet again by an extremely LOUD commercial while trying to read a post.

I understand that bloggers monetize their blogs. I even understand why they do so.

BUT………….

I absolutely, positively hate with a purple passion those dad-blasted commercials ya’ll are showing!

Commercials are one of the biggest reasons I no longer watch national television.  It is probably the second biggest reason I don’t watch ABC, CBS, NBC, etc.  The first is nothing is worth watching but that is post for a different day.

I DON’T watch television because every twelve minutes some screaming moron appears to startle the crap out of me trying to get me and my purse to part ways for the “newest, biggest, brightest, most improved” piece of junk imaginable!

I could easily ignore the blog-mercials except for one little thing….they all SCREAM at me! I HATE that!

Why can’t people who blog find some other way to monetize the blog?  Do they HAVE to have a commercial for whatever nonsense that SHOUTS at them or blasts them out of their respective computer chairs?

Isn’t there some way of making those commercials just a tiny bit quieter?

I was reading an absolutely lovely blog this afternoon, and just getting absorbed in the flowing prose when out of nowhere this horrible voice pops up and advertises adult diapers by shouting about “leakage”! SERIOUSLY???? A blog post? about BOOKS…..not about leakage!

If you absolutely HAVE to stick ads in your blogs…please…PLEASE try and modify the volume before you set those blogs loose on us all.  PLEASE!

Like 12+

I just wasn’t in the mood

for Christmas.  I’d see the lights George strung up all over the house and think how big a pain they were going to be to take down and store for next year.  I’d see the ingredients for Christmas cakes and fruit cakes in the grocery and think “OH crap, I don’t want to make them this year”.

I’ve seen the glitzy and the cheesy commercials being strewn across the airwaves and think “why is it Christmas time already” or “Can’t we just bypass the whole danged thing this year?”

Then I went to my husband’s employer’s Celebration of Life.

Hospice Circle of Love is the non-profit organization George works for.  He’s a registered nurse that provides services to those at the very ends of their lives…and he loves his job. The people he works with are what my grand daddy always called “the salt of the Earth”////caring, empathetic and professional all at once.

Each year, right before Christmas, COL puts up three gorgeous Christmas trees with brass bell ornaments on them. Each bell is inscribed with the name of a former patient. Their families receive a bell free of charge from the hospice, and people can purchase them with a donation to the organization.

Last year, George and I bought ornament bells for each parent of ours as they have all died.

The night of the celebration of Life, the names of all patients are read aloud.  A chaplin gives a very short sermon (for lack of a better word for it). The Executive Director thanks the family members for allowing their loved ones to be cared for by the organization. It is beautiful in the very simplicity of it all.

A soloist sings a song. This year, a young college soprano sang the same arrangement I sang in college at age 19 for my Christmas concert/midterm.

Of course, I cried.

Some times, all it takes to completely change a thought from negative to positive is a song.  I am so looking forward to Christmas now.

Share your world, week 32: a reblog since Cee’s puter is acting wacky!

Cee has some wonderful challenges. I wish more people would go check her out and see how she makes us think…I am having a wonderful time going through the various challenges! Share your world (my answers are in Black)

If you could have an endless supply of any food, what would you get? Brussel sprouts.  I know it may seem a crazy thing to want but I have completely fallen in love with the veg.  It all started with a recipe I saw on a fellow blogger’s site.. FonduFondue..a lovely young ballerina who shares recipes. She had a very simple recipe for them..a sort of stir fry. It brought them to my attention and I have been tweaking it daily. Adding this, taking out that..and now I have a dozen ways of fixing them that are all equally good. Since I must eat three times as many veg as anything else with every meal (diabetes) it is nice to have one that I absolutely adore.

What is the worst thing you ate recently? Nothing really. I am a good cook and rarely muck up a recipe.  I try not to eat out (too much money spent, can’t control portion size). ..and if eating at a friend’s home the food is always good. My friends are great cooks actually. Now if the question was the “worst thing for me” it would be two helpings of my birthday cake. 

You are comfortable doing nothing? For long stretches of time? I sort of stink at doing nothing.  I start to feel as if I am being lazy, and I can not abide being lazy.  Oh I can sit on the front porch watching the world go by for hours, but that isn’t doing “nothing’ it is recharging my soul for another week. I am not a person that has to be constantly doing “something”…I do tend to get chores done whenever I have the gumption to do so, but I will have a book to read or a project to work on that takes up time.

List of Jobs You Think You Might Enjoy: Even if you aren’t thinking about a career change, it can be fun to think of other jobs you might enjoy.

This is strange to see this now. Just yesterday I was considering applying for a teaching position at one of the middle schools. They are in rather desperate need of Maths teachers and I adore math. I also adore the kids at that age..between 11 and 14.  They are smart enough and educated enough to carry on a conversation and not yet so spoiled by a public education that they are a danger to themselves or others. 

I KNOW I would make a wonderful prosecutor..only problem there is I have zero desire to go through law school. If I could be one without the school, I would do it in a minute.

I’d make a darned good Judge.  Except Judge Judy has the perfect job and I would want hers.

I’d also like to be a jockey. I adore horses and having a job riding them would be marvelous. My back and my arthritis might object but I think it would be worth the pain to be able to ride everyday.

I most want to be a professional traveler..much like the kids on Globe Trotter. What a great life..going to foreign countries and immersing oneself in the culture and history while telling others all about it.  THIS would be my dream job.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

Each week for me is pretty much the same. I am grateful for my friends and family (the one I have created for myself that is). I am grateful that I continue to wake up in the mornings, that I have the energy to do housework..I actually enjoy some of it.  The one thing that most pleased me last week was the purchase and installation of an electric dryer.  I still find myself hanging my sheets and clothing outside but for the first time in years I have soft fluffy towels instead of stiff and scratchy ones.  I am looking forward to the local kids going back to school next week. They are fun, they are charming…they are NOISY!  I am looking forward to several hours of uninterrupted porch sitting…time to NOT have to look up and check that the screams coming from the next door neighbors house are NOT due to a mass invasion or an armed incursion…that the squeeling is due to a child playing and NOT an animal in excruciating pain..blessed silence except for birds chirping and the wind in the leaves on my oak tree. THAT is what i am looking forward to.

Fandango’s 20 questions

I never could pass by a challenge without thinking to myself “I could do that”. Fandago posted his own little challenge this morning, and it IS something I can do…so here it is.

I looked for rules in the post, didn’t see any, so of course I may twist off to the left during this. Continue reading

letters not sent…………a reblog from my letter writing days…

I was considering sending this off to the morons that provided service here, but George advised me not to…actually, he said “Suze, if you send that I will be bailing you out of jail”…so I decided to wait.  Then I thought, wouldn’t my friends like to see an example of the sort of complaints I tend to write to companies that fail to follow through on their promises…………and yes, names of companies were changed to protect them (and me!!)  so, without further ado………………………..
Dear Cretins,
I have been an Veri-horizons customer since 9th July 2012, when I signed up for your
3-in-one deal for cable TV, cable modem, and telephone. During this three-month
period I have encountered inadequacy of service which I had not previously
considered possible, as well as ignorance and stupidity of monolithic
proportions.
Please allow me to provide specific details, so that you can either pursue your
professional prerogative, and seek to rectify these difficulties – or more
likely (I suspect) so that you can have some entertaining reading material as
you while away the working day smoking and drinking vendor-coffee on the bog
in your office:
My initial installation was cancelled without warning, resulting in my spending
an entire Saturday sitting on my fat ass waiting for your technician to arrive.
When he did not arrive, I spent a further 57 minutes listening to your
infuriating hold music, and the even more annoying Scottish robot woman telling
me to look at your helpful website…. HOW? I alleviated the boredom by playing
with myself for a few minutes – an activity at which you are no-doubt both
familiar and highly adept.
The rescheduled installation then took place some two weeks later, although the
technician did forget to bring a number of vital tools – such as a drill-bit,
and his cerebrum. Two weeks later, my cable modem had still not arrived. After
15 telephone calls over 4 weeks my modem arrived… six weeks after I had
requested it, and begun to pay for it. I estimate your Internet servers downtime
is roughly 35%… hours between about 6pm -midnight, Mon-Fri, and most of the
weekend.
I am still waiting for my telephone connection. I have made 9 calls on my mobile
to your no-help line, and have been unhelpfully transferred to a variety of
disinterested individuals, who are it seems also highly skilled bollock
jugglers. I have been informed that a telephone line is available (and someone
will call me back); that no telephone line is available and someone will call me
back); that I will be transferred to someone who knows whether or not a
telephone line is available (and then been cut off); that I will be transferred
to someone (and then been redirected to an answer machine informing me that your
office is closed); that I will be transferred to someone and then been
redirected to the irritating Scottish robot woman…and several other variations
on this theme.
Doubtless you are no longer reading this letter, as you have at least a thousand
other dissatisfied customers to ignore.
Frankly I don’t care; it’s far more satisfying as a customer to voice my
frustrations in print than to shout them at your unending hold music. Forgive
me, therefore, if I continue.
I thought US Telecom were sh*t, that they had attained the holy p*ss-pot of god-awful
customer relations, that no-one, anywhere, ever, could be more disinterested,
less helpful or more obstructive to delivering service to their customers.
That’s why I chose Veri-horizons, and because, well, there isn’t anyone else is there? How
surprised I therefore was, when I discovered to my considerable dissatisfaction
and disappointment what a useless shower of bastards you truly are. You are
sputum-filled pieces of distended rectum – incompetents of the highest order.
UST – morons though they are – shine like brilliant beacons of
success, in the filthy puss-filled mire of your seemingly limitless inadequacy.
Suffice to say that I have now given up on my futile and foolhardy quest to
receive any kind of service from you. I suggest that you cease any potential
future attempts to extort payment from me for the services, which you have so
pointedly and catastrophically failed to deliver- any such activity will be
greeted initially with hilarity and disbelief quickly be replaced by derision,
and even perhaps bemused rage.
I enclose two small deposits, selected with great care from my cats litter tray,
as an expression of my utter and complete contempt for both you and your
pointless company. I sincerely hope that they have not become desiccated during
transit – they were satisfyingly moist at the time of posting, and I would feel
considerable disappointment if you did not experience both their rich aroma and
delicate texture. Consider them the very embodiment of my feelings towards Veri-horizons,
and it’s worthless employees.
Have a nice day – may it be the last in your miserable short life, you
irritatingly incompetent and infuriatingly unhelpful bunch of tw*ts.
Signed: me

reblog: I still haven’t changed my ways! “Dinosaurs are cool” from 3/7/13

So I was reading my old posts on a different site and came to a conclusion……I am either an idiot or I just have a sense of the ridiculous that is unusual in a human being…..Can’t believe how many times I have been in “trouble” with various and sundry retail establishments for doing dumb things……………

Can’t believe how many people I have confused over the past two years of miscellaneous postings……….so……………..I decided to turn over a new leaf……well it’s actually an old leaf that I left behind in my various adventures but I thought it was probably a good idea to drag it back out of the closet and give it a good wash-up…………..ya know….it’s the “act your age” leaf…………….

George says it doesn’t matter how much I wash this particular leaf, it isn’t going to do a danged bit of good as I “won’t be able to help myself and will act stupid”……but I am determined.

In an effort to prove me right (and consequently my loving hubby totally wrong) I accompanied George to the local dollar store…..he wanted to get a toy for a friend of ours and I was going along just to “behave appropriately” and prove my new leafiness to him……………………

So, I drove….George hates to drive and besides my car LIKES to go so I drove us………we parked in a safe spot far, far away from anyone else and wandered into the store……….George went straight over to the toys and quickly found just the right one…….he then said “I’m going over to the gardening stuff” and left me in the toys…………….I was really proud of myself for doing NOTHING but looking when I spotted a dinosaur……now it wasn’t just ANY dinosaur, it was a three foot tall mechanized monster walking growling dinosaur………………….and the box said “try me, I walk and talk”…………………

I picked up the box and thought how does this work while pressing bits and pieces of the dino in an effort to have some sound………………I finally 9since I couldn’t find a switch anywhere) took it out of the box and turned it upside down……….and found a switch……………….so (of course) I turned it on……and it did nothing!

I set it on the floor in disgust and it immediately started to walk across the toy aisle, bumped into the shelf and knocked a bunch of stuffed animals off…then it started to growl…………….ohhhhhhhh! how cool is this!  It had a deep horrible sounding reptiley sort of growl and it was attacking all the little stuffed animals, shoving them across the floor while it was walking………………

and of course, the manager shows up and screeches at me to “stop playing with all the toys”

I (of course) said “are you talking to me?”  She screeched “yes, you! what are you doing?”  I said……………………….”well, I followed my husband over to this aisle and as he was leaving this thing (and I pointed at the dinosaur) started to chase him and attack all these animals”…………………………………

George (of course) heard all the noise and wandered (very slowly) back over to us and said “are you ready Hun?”  as if there wasn’t a screeching manager and a growling dinosaur in the aisle with me…….so I grabbed my new leaf (sure she did) and said “I’m ready when you are”  and asked the manager if she could move aside so I could leave now……………………..

George escaped without any negative consequences but I have been banned from yet another store……..