Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Halloween Tale of Terror

One All Hallow's Eve, 'neath the silvery moon

on a night meant for witches in flight,

two children went looking for treats at the door

of a house that just didn't look right.

Their knees started shaking because they both knew

jack o' lanterns don't light on their own,

but these jacks were burning

right there in the yard...

the GRAVE yard––where

ghosts moan and groan.

The kids dropped their candy

and ran for the street,

but the bats didn't want them to go.

Swarms swooped from the sky

with a trio of ghosts

and a witch, flying in the moon's glow.

Those kids ran as fast and as far as they could

from that frightful old house on their street.

But they never were heard from again...No, not once.

Are you ready to go trick-or-treat?


to Jeremiah, Carli, and Bryce
with love
from Grandma and Grandpa

Friday, October 30, 2009

To Each Is Given A Gift...

Quite simply one of the most powerful, passionate and perfectly amazing talents I have ever witnessed––a degree of artistry at once humbling and uplifting. How truly blessed are those men and women who are given to create such beauty.

(Because the video's soundtrack really complements the effect, please scroll down slightly to turn off my playlist in the right sidebar before viewing.)

Thought you might be interested in some notes written by people from the Ukraine about this beautiful piece of performance art:

The most emotional part starts at 3:50 when she draws the face of the young woman and an envelope - obviously a letter telling her of his death, She draws tears on her face, the woman becomes old, then the image morphs into the monument of the unknown soldier - well known monument in Ukraine. The music changes from violin to a song about the soldiers who died in other countries but came back to their homeland as white cranes.

It's about a young couple in love. He goes off to war; she has a child, but the man dies in the war. At the end she writes "We'll be together always." (Another commenter translated the words she writes as "You are always near.") One of the songs is a well-loved song about dead soldiers who become white cranes - very emotional. In Ukraine 1 in 4 people died during World War II - likely everyone in the audience is personally connected to someone who died. Some of these people ( ~60 yrs old) could be those children who never knew their fathers because they died in the war.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Basic French and a Bit of Family Pride

Check out the video short that won my nephew, a BYU film major, the Dartmouth University Critics' Award. It's quite entertaining...clearly conceived and created by a budding genius (just keepin' it real here)...and I know you'll like it.

(Do be sure to reach over to the right-hand side bar, scroll down slightly, and turn off my playlist, because his soundtrack is an important part of the action.)




Notes from the critics: Mr. Blake constructs a simple, concise, but fantastically charming story. Furthermore, Blake is an inspired stylist, channeling David Gordon Green and Wes Anderson.

Not that I know who David Gordon Green and Wes Anderson are, but wow. My nephew won the Critic's Award for his movie short, Basic French. (Am I repeating myself?) You bet I am!!

Because, seriously...How cool is that?!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Braving the Naughty Space

Consider the look on my grandson's face.
Have you ever been in that same "thinking" place?...
That little bit haughty and naughty space?

I sure have, and when it happens, I can usually manage in my old age not to act those feelings out. Instead, I diffuse the impulse to just say yes to bad behavior by treasuring up a few rebellious thoughts unto myself in a (mostly) facetious way and trying to let off some steam. When that doesn't work, I move to threat level two, which involves sharing those thoughts with my husband––including but not limited to assuring him that I am going to to take up swearing, begin smoking stogies (or at least carry one around to gesticulate with), offer up various outrageous comments for public consumption, and the like. (I guess I should mention here that we both know I am teasing, but we also pretend not to know. It's kind of fun.) Threat level two generally does the trick for me (generating these childish promises of evil-doing tends to crack me up and restore me to what passes for sanity), but now and again I just decide to chuck all of my efforts at self-containment and clean up the mess afterwards.

I think this may run in the family.

But we're working on it.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Birthday Ode to the Brother Lode


My little bro, Rich, doesn't like corny stuff.

For him, HAPPY BIRTHDAY would be quite enough.

(Well, that and a win over Oregon's Ducks...

So his homies, The Trojans, don't come off like schmucks.)

With four older sisters he's pretty well-trained.

His turkeys are basted; his shrimp is deveined.

His sons are good-looking. They don't cross him, either!

(If he's pushed in one way or t'other, it's neither.)

Rich loves heavy reading and things existential.

His feeling for Frankl is near reverential.

But brains take a back seat when he plays team sports,

and he seizes the moment on basketball courts

with no glimmer of caution or self preservation...

as shown here at home, on the Newport vacation,

and at other venues not pictured or named.

Suffice it to say that his play is...untamed.

And when he gets injured, he takes off his cast,

or says it's not broken then finds out at last

that it IS. It IS broken, Rich. Leave the cast on!

But wait. I digress. Is this poem getting long?

Yes it is, but I haven't yet mentioned his wit.

I guess you could say that he's chock full of it.

And, of course, he's perceptive and sensitive too,

to say nothing of well-educated. Woo-Hoo!

This birthday guy's perfect. He's really a peach.

He lives in both Tahoe and Manhattan Beach,

has an MBA...Beamer (the SUV one)...

and is quite overprivileged, when all's said and done.

(And yet, he's still humble.) Hey, dude, we all love ya!

Hope you liked this tribute, 'cause we're thinkin' of ya.