Archive for the 'Music' Category

Music to Work By

I had planned to go to the office today but my back had other ideas. I don’t know how I manage to damage my back, or my neck, or my hip, while I sleep, but I seem to have a talent that way. Anyway, I’m working from home. This week I have had the most delightful companion when I’m working from home. There is a bird sitting in the huge rhododendron bush outside the window. It is singing. A lot. It’s wonderful. It makes me happy.

Here, for YOUR listening pleasure, is Bird in the Bush (worth 2 in the hand that DON’T sing).

The best part of this video is that when I play it to test it, the bird outside starts chirping back. *grin*

What to Do in Phoenix

is it real cactus

I headed out to my Arizona vacation with only a vague itinerary. What I knew I wanted to do: hang by the pool, go to the spa, meet my son’s friends, see the desert, get to Taliesin West, Frank Lloyd Wright’s desert home.weird plant 1 That left a lot of unplanned time. My Super Shuttle drivers had many suggestions for me. They suggested the Phoenix Botanical Gardens, a trip to Sedona, hiking to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona, the Musical Instrument Museum and Taliesin West. They told me that it was a shame I was there then, because I should have come earlier when the botanical gardens (and all the plants actually) would have been in full bloom. They felt that I’d not get the true flower experience. Ah well, I got there when I got there. The point of the trip was escape, and that happens when it happens. 🙂

My son agreed with all of my plans and with the drivers’ suggestions. He’d also asked his friends for hiking suggestions for us. We woke up Friday morning and decided to have a comparatively relaxed day because we knew we’d be going out at night to meet up with his friends. Apparently mead and gaming are a winning combination. There are a lot of gamers in Phoenix and now there are meaderies as well.sundial Yes – multiple meaderies. The Scale & Feather Meadery in Avondale (part of the greater Phoenix area) is brand new – just opened in May. Jumping ahead to the end of our day I will say it was great fun to meet ‘the gang’ and taste the mead. There was live music and the place was full and it was a lot of good energy. I doubt I’ll ever be a mead aficionado but it was an interesting taste test. 🙂 There is another games & brewery right next door and there was a lot of back and forth traffic between the 2 businesses. I felt young again. *grin*

botannical garden desert hillOkay, so we needed to have a non-strenuous day so I’d be able to hang with the gang. We opted for a nice big breakfast at Chompie’s. This was actually a bit of an ironic choice in a way since it prides itself on being a New York deli. 🙂 Our meal was delicious and perfect for what we wanted. We headed from there to the Desert Botanical Garden. As we approached the entrance we saw huge lime green cacti rising up ahead. My son kept saying “those can’t be real” and I said “who knows – plants are weird”. We got closer and saw that my son was correct. The cacti were beautiful Chihuly glass sculptures. We paid the entrance fee and headed in. We realized that we had hats and sunscreen, but no water. You can’t go anywhere in Arizona in the summer without water.pink flowers and a cactus We stopped at a vending machine and got ourselves supplied. We wandered off to see the sights. I have to say that despite the pessimistic predictions there were still many, many flowers blooming.

Even had there NOT been flowers, the plants were fascinating. The layout consists of different garden areas – some are herbal, some contemplative areas, native american habitats, and more. Of course there are the wonderful surrounding mountains as well. Had NONE Of that been there, it would have all been worthwhile because I FINALLY saw a hummingbird.hummingbird closeup I do not think I have ever seen a hummingbird. Or if I have, for some reason I have been unable to retain the image in my memory. In one of the very first gardens we viewed, there was a hummingbird!!! I managed to take several photos. I was so excited! There were other birds and there were butterflies, and we saw a toad camouflaged among tree roots. For me the hummingbird was the star of the show.

both fountain pics

Fountain with alien/possessed water advancing on my son’s foot

There was also a possessed fountain. Oh sure, there will be those of you who are going to think I’m crazy, or that I have a vivid imagination. But I know what I saw. I didn’t take video, but I took photos. I’m telling you that it wasn’t really just water in that fountain. There was something alien and it was aiming at us. You want an explanation? We sat down in the shade, on a stone bench, near a lovely fountain.hidden toad As we sat there, the water began to flow over the top of the basin. It hadn’t been overflowing before we got there. It was a perfectly normal fountain. We sat down, chatted, took some photos. And the water came over the top of the basin. It began to trickle down along the bench, following the arc of the bench. It was aiming at my son’s foot. We moved down the bench. It followed. It kept coming. Right at us. Oh I’m sure some of you would say “what is WITH you???” But I have seen B movies. Everyone in the audience KNOWS that you don’t go in the empty house; you don’t sit in the deserted area; when the insects are buzzing and all else is quiet, you don’t stay.bird nesting in cool cactus 1 And when the mysterious liquid starts seeping towards you, following you, that is the time to FLEE!!! So we fled. I turned back to look. THE WATER HAD STOPPED FLOWING ALONG THE BENCH!!!! It KNEW we had left. I was right. We went to another garden. No mysterious alien water is going to touch us!!!

From the gardens we headed to the Musical Instrument Museum. My coworker had suggested this place before I left, saying that it was fantastic and well worth a visit.cactus and flowers Since the shuttle drivers had felt just as strongly about the museum we figured it should be on our list. I have to say – it is great. We got there in time for the next tour. It’s about 45 minutes and it’s set up to orient you to the museum structure and presentations. There are also audio guides which trigger automatically as you near an exhibit. It was very interesting to see the same kind of instrument being used in cultures all over the world. There was a good exhibit on the electrical guitar – so much I hadn’t known/realized and so much that triggered happy memories. The museum is worth a post for itself, but I didn’t take any photos.yellow puff flowers I was starting to fade a bit (probably from the heat in the garden and the 3 hour time zone change). We made it to the daily performance of the Orchestrion – a mechanical machine that plays music and is designed to sound like an entire band or orchestra. As it was the day after June 6, commonly known as “D-Day” in the US, the gentleman running the demonstration played a selection of military songs. I played the piccolo in our high school marching band, as well as in the marching band from our temple. I’ve marched in blazing sun and pouring rain, at football games, in holiday parades, in celebratory parades and there is one thing they all had in common – at least one song by John Phillip Sousa. Of course my favorite is Stars and Stripes Forever, where you can hear the piccolo above everything else. So for your listening pleasure I bring you the Orchestrion from the Musical Instrument Museum of Phoenix, playing Stars and Stripes Forever. (and a little bit of The Battle Hymn of the Republic)

botannical garden cave hill

contemplation garden

2 cactus plants with flowers

Small Town 4th of July

crowd 3

I live in a fairly small town. I’ve spent the majority of my life in this town. My immediate family is/was also in this town. We have street fairs, parades, festivals and, of course, a July 4th celebration. Oddly enough I don’t remember taking part in the 4th of July festivities very often, if at all. July 4th was my parents’ wedding anniversary, and I used to throw a BBQ for them. That evolved into a BBQ with friends (all of whom lived in town). We’d wander out into the street after dark to try to glimpse the fireworks, or we’d all traipse down to the river to have a good view of the fireworks. crowd 2In the last few years we loaded ourselves into the car and drove to a bridge to watch the fireworks from there (with many others who also pulled over and parked on the bridge for just that purpose). But we rarely headed down to the park itself to join the town celebration.

This year I’m a little tuckered out from busy weekends and sweaty weather. I made no plans to entertain, figuring we’d do this long weekend in the ‘spur of the moment’. Early in the week I asked my husband if he’d go down to the park with me and he agreed. You may not understand how momentous it was for him to agree. He isn’t really much into doing things outdoors in the heat. He gets devoured by mosquitoes. He has fair skin and burns in the sun. He’s not really overly fond of crowds. Opposites attract, right? I LOVE being out in the hot sun. I often think I am a form of vampire, because crowd energy is food for me, and I suck it right into my soul.

Once he agreed I started planning (some might say obsessing) with how to make it palatable so that (1) he would follow through on his agreement, (2) we wouldn’t have to leave early and (3) maybe we could do it again next year. 🙂 The park is on the other side of the town from us – about a 20 minute relaxed walk. crowd 1The police were going to shut down the streets next to the park and block parking as well. I figured we’d want chairs for fireworks viewing so I needed to figure out how to have the chairs there and ready and not have to shlepp them and carry them about while we ate, and saw whatever sights there were to be seen. I arranged with a friend to leave my car, with chairs-in-bags, parked in front of her house, which is about 5 blocks from the park. I drove the car over early in the morning and left it there so that I had MY SPOT all set before the crush for parking began in the early evening. I knew also that at the end of the evening we would not want to be hiking up hill all the way back home. We are at the highest point in town and the park is at the lowest. I was also hoping that I’d parked on the road that would have less pedestrian traffic as that road did not lead directly into the park itself. Now you see why some folks describe my planning as obsessing. 🙂

Came 6:30 and it was time. We coated ourselves liberally with insect repellent, long pants, sneakers and socks, and headed off to our car.bubbles in the grass We were obviously ahead of the crowd still and I saw a BETTER SPOT on the next block down so I moved the car. *grin* It’s PLANNING, really. 🙂 As we reached the entrance to the park we met our friends who were unloading passengers and chairs. A propitious omen for a good time. We wandered on down into the park, perused the food vendors, grabbed food and headed to the lawn to park ourselves in our chairs. I’m pretty certain my chair is broken. It sits VERY low to the ground and closer inspection seems to indicate that a bolt might be missing.

We were sitting and enjoying the periodic cool breeze, the beautiful sky, the musical attempts from the stage. We saw some friends we’ve not seen in ages, as she and I both exclaimed “Oh I’ve been meaning to CALL you!” I loved watching all the people. The children with their bubble machines (everybody wins at the carnival games there – play til you pick your prize). Did you know that if you aim your bubble machine at the ground you can make a mountain of bubbles?night sky Everyone has a different idea as to what one wears to the 4th of July festival in the park. There was a lot of happy and energy and good vibrations. Hey – we even met the mayor. *grin* My sister and her husband came down and joined us and soon it was TIME.

The fireworks were fantastic. I wasn’t really sure how good they’d be. I mean, fireworks are never BAD, but some are merely fireworks. These were FIREWORKS!!! They were beautiful and constant and they lit up the sky. People were oooo’ing and ahhhhh’ing and clapping and cheering. My husband thought that the finale might have been the best fireworks we have ever seen. They were truly stupendous. Absolutely great show and I’m so glad we went.

It was a perfect small-town 4th of July celebration. Not a single bug bite. Seeing friends. Eating festival food. Perfect summer weather. Even joining the exodus from the park went smoothly (yay for air-conditioned cars). As my brother-in-law quipped “Our tax dollars at work!” Worth EVERY penny.

5 fireworks

Almost Like Old Times

If you’ve read this blog from its inception, you know it began as a chronicle of my adventures in Second Life. Although I still maintain my (premium) account, I’ve not logged in for well over a year, maybe even longer than that. IMG_9753But for several years Friday night meant hanging about in SL, and listening to live music. I could always count on hearing Komuso Tokugawa, Von Johin, Taunter Goodnight, Keeba Tammas, Euterpe Queller, and Noma Falta. I loved them all but 2 of my best buds were friends with Noma. Friday nights would find me hanging with them for an hour, rocking out with Noma, who covered a lot of the strong women rockers, with a lot of Melissa Etheridge’s work. I loved my Friday nights filled with music, whether the live performances or hearing my favorite DJ Calli spin the tunes.

IMG_9745It’s been a very long time, as I said, and not only do I not get inworld anymore, I rarely get out for live music in the RL (is that outworld?). When my husband asked me a few weeks ago if I’d like to hear Melissa Etheridge I couldn’t say YES fast enough. Last night was Melissa-night.

We headed out for dinner in town first. We love catching an easy meal at the bar of one of the local restaurants. We love the bar (I mean the physical tangible wood, shape, look), the bartender (we’re on our 2nd bartender there), and the bar menu. I’m less thrilled with the dinner menu – the chef is enamored of pork in all forms and I don’t eat treyf. We were in luck all night long. There was room in the parking garage with a spot right near the exit door we needed. We walked to the restaurant and it wasn’t too cold nor was it raining. Given the weather lately, that was extremely lucky. There were seats at the bar (often come the holiday season the bar is full). IMG_9744When I told Matt (the bartender) I wanted something that would be warm and comforting he mentioned they had hot mulled red wine. PERFECT!!! My husband and I both ordered our favorite selections and sipped our drinks, chatted with each other, with Matt and had a great dinner.

We headed up to the theater and although it seemed like it might start raining, it stopped after just a very light sprinkle. We were warmed up from our meal so I have no idea if it was cold or not. *grin* Funny thing happened as I went through the bag check. The usher was looking in my bag and saw my lip gloss (really a lip moisturizer). She saw the brand name and got all excited saying she had wanted to try that brand, how did I like it? *laughing* So I stood there discussing cosmetics with her before being waved on through.

IMG_9757Perhaps my memory is faulty, but I seem to remember that when someone went to a concert there was no food or drink allowed in the theater, people listened to the performance and being there was about enjoying the performance, NOT about having conversations and wandering all over the theater. Times have changed. I admit I like being able to take a drink to my seat. But I noticed the gentleman in front of me reading recipes on his cell phone (I was standing, he was sitting and I happened to glance down). Really? Melissa is rocking the joint and you’re reading your cell phone?

I’m old enough to remember folks lighting cigarette lighters or matches as appreciation for the artist. IMG_9766I do not find folks holding up their cell phones to shine that light to be anywhere near as intimate and compelling as the fire. 🙂 I also marvel at the people who spent most of the night filming Melissa instead of putting down the phone and WATCHING her DIRECTLY and moving to the music.

It was a great night, don’t mistake me. Melissa has such energy, such passion up there. As my husband said on our way out “she has energy like Bruce” and I agreed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone who has Bruce’s energy but she may have come the closest. Oh really, you need me to tell you who BRUCE is??? Shame on you.

But there I was, rocking out to Melissa Etheridge on a Friday night. It was like SL, but better. 🙂

The Spirit of SL

dancing at the FogboundI have been determined to get inworld and visit some of the great seasonal sites as well as catch up – again – with friends. My day had been somewhat up and down. A VERY good up was news from my surgeon about my foot. *smile* His words were music to my ears: Push it Ahuva – USE that foot, wear shoes. At this point you’ll do more harm by NOT using than by OVER using it. Yes! Since I’d already managed to get into a pair of boots with 2.5 inch heels, that was both reward and incentive. *laughing* Those 2.5 inch heeled boots are my “flats”, btw.

fogbound at ChristmasLogging in I got more UP day. Hunter was on and we chatted for a bit. I don’t remember the last time we both were on with a few moments to relax and catch up. While we were saying “bon apetit” in parting, Patricia Anne logged in. Oh my, I don’t think PA and I have talked since perhaps the summer. Maybe even the spring. It seems like years. We had a great time chatting and catching up on both RL and SL. I’d been listening to Taunter while I chatted. She was singing at a formal attire venue so I had a chance to take one of my gowns out of inventory. 🙂 The risque brown one that would never ever work for me in the material world. Was lovely, as always, to listen to Taunter sing. When she was done, I headed to Fogbound, my home away from home when it’s NOT Friday night. (Then home away from home is Tribeca, of course.)

Once there, I saw more friends – Mae and Yanik. *smile* Bob was playing great Blues and the mood was perfect. Y joined me shortly after I arrived, so I got up to dance! We also had a LOT of catching up to do. I guess that’s true for me for all my friends. Since the last time I managed to get in was nearly 2 weeks ago, there’s a lot to cover.

Alessandra with the red boots onAs we danced I did the usual cam-around-the-room. I noticed a great looking pair of red boots. So nice, I thought I might like to find a pair for myself. I clicked on a boot and checked the object profile and took a screen shot for future reference. For the record: N&N City boots by candice OHare! I IM’d Alessandra, she of the lovely red boots, and told her I thought her boots were great! She said thank you and I said you’re welcome. I smiled, thought no more on it, and continued chatting with Y. Well. I saw an incoming box and checked. Alessandra had gifted me with a pair of the boots!!!!!! So generous! A simple compliment generating such a thoughtful gesture.

Yes, there may be griefing. Yes, there are trolls who announce unpleasant things in the local chat. Yes, SL has its share of not so pleasant beings. But SL also has the beautiful lovely people who reach out and make the world a happier place to be. Thank you SO much, Alessandra! You are a star!

Blurred Boundary

Ahuva's Steampunk ShoesAll who know me know how I feel about shoes: they are jewelry for the feet. In SL Ahuva is known for her hair and boots/shoes. In the tangible world it’s probably much the same. *grin* In that spirit, I show you my latest footwear: Oxford by Hades. (Hades used to be known as Metropolis.) I saw these shoes at a Steampunk festival in the early summer months and fell in love. I traveled out of state to find them so I could size them. *grin* When they didn’t have my size, I turned to the internet for gratification.

I know that there are those of you who say that my shoes are the reason I limp. Wrongo. Just to make it VERY clear: there is NOTHING wrong with the left foot and it wears the same shoes as the right foot. nyah, nyah, nyah. I’m so glad the weather got cool this week. I figure I’d best get in all my fav shoes before the surgery just in case….

My coworkers are the best, as I believe I’ve mentioned before. They may think (know) I’m just a little bit crazy, but they do support me in my eccentricities. Thanks to Michael for taking the pic of the shoes. Thanks to Bill and Michael for finding this song for me: Kirsty MacColl singing “In These Shoes“.

Como se puede bailar? Es un escandolo
(But the way she dances, it’s a scandal)

Impossible to Miss

Just as we always wereLest you think I closed my SL account and faded out of the digital world, I offer proof of my virtual presence. 🙂 Dz’s rez day was yesterday and Daez threw a party! *laughing* Of course, being Daez, she put her own twist of fun into it – she had Dz help plan it without knowing that it was for Dz! I rather like that, myself. What I liked even more was that Daez got word to me a week in advance so that I wouldn’t miss the party. I put it on my calendar and made sure I had reminders triggered so that I wouldn’t get distracted and lose track of time.

I rezzed in right on time. It was a big day for Abby Rose, since MALES were allowed to attend the party. Usually the Abby is gals only. *grin* The Abby is MANY things usually but certainly one of them is “gals only”. *grin* Noma Falta was rocking the joint when I caught Daez’s taxi. Dz and Daez were in their usual spot – right up front, stage right. Daez told me the dance hud was on her derriere and to give it a tap. Except…. omg….. I couldn’t remember HOW to do that. Seriously. I stood there watching them dance, trying to remember how to touch something in SL. I actually IM’d Daez to ask how. Thank goodness I remembered before she responded. Whew!!!! Okay, I have DEFINITELY been out too long. That was extremely embarrassing. As usual, Dz needed to give me some directions for getting myself inline. THAT has always been the case! *grin* I parallel park much better than I can line up in SL. Once in my place, I got to rock the night away to the great tunes of Noma, hanging out yet again with Dz and Daez. Felt like home, felt like I’d never been away. *smile*

Happy rez day, Dz!!!!! *HUGS* Great party, Daez! 🙂


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