It’s Friday night. Not only is the week behind me, but my ritual pizza has been enjoyed with gusto. Leftover slices were especially set aside, now sitting patiently waiting in the refrigerator for a favorite cold breakfast in the morning. Excellent. It’s a little after 9PM and time to write. Time to settle and let something bubble up. Breathe in. Breathe out.
Is the front door locked?
Is the coffee set for the morning?
Sensing trouble, I’ve taken advantage of the apparent muse-us-no-show-upitus and poured a glass of Rick’s world-famous and oh so refreshing sweet tea in an effort to help coax the riot of the week into quiet before a muse shows up. ‘What do I feel real about?’
Any time now…muses are completely unreliable.
Avast there Matey. My eyes suddenly sense movement. There’s a spider making its’ way across the ceiling. My first impulse is to get up, grab a tissue and kill it. ‘My room, not yours.’
In the lamp light coming from atop the dresser, Spider must have sensed I had spied him making his way towards me.
What if I do nothing and the spider drops a line down my way and kills me in my sleep? I watch Nature Channel. I better kill it first. Spider stops.
Wait a minute. What gives me the right? What kind of an honorary Taoist am I? Mr. Spider must have sensed my decision because in that very instant, he does an immediate about-face and heads around the corner of the closet into a shadowy part of the room where I can’t see him.
Out of sight and wondering if he knows Charlotte of Wilbur fame, I lose interest in killing him. ‘…just don’t invade my space and we’ll be fine.’
OK, any time now. Ah crap. I can hear noisy weekenders in the parking lot downstairs.
‘The Sound Machine! That’s it!’ Mask the revelry outside with my own sound of rain and happy crickets. That’s the ticket!
Now I can write.
It’s not happening. You see, ye ol sound machine has been on a slow slide towards oblivion for the past month or so…the volume dial just spins and spins to no effect. And of course, it’s stuck on LOUD.
OK, let me backtrack. Did I mention it’s Friday night and I’ve retired to the bedroom to write…I have a post to produce. Production deadlines are by definition, oh I don’t know, rooted in producing. But the sound machine I’ve grown to rely on has become unsound. Did I mention its’ stuck on LOUD. I can’t seem to bring the decibels down to a peaceful level. The ‘gentle rain’ is more akin to a thunderous downpour that’s making me feel the need to find a bathroom. No muses there.
None of this is conducive to my wish for a Zen space from which to pour out my soul on the page. I wonder if the radio function still works?
A fellow conspirator, I can see the numerical indicator is dark. This isn’t boding well. I have no idea where I am on the radio’s dial. The buttons on the back of the unit tell me I’m on FM, but beyond that…whoa…I’ve got something. But what station is this? Marcus Miller, Thelonious Monk…all these great jazz performances have begun coming into the room from a radio station I do not know. How is that possible? The tracks are wondrous, but I have no idea where I’m at.
As I continue tweaking the dying sound machine, I find what seems to be a short in the volume dial that halves the output. So in a rare display of restraint I decide to leave well enough alone and tip-toe away vewwy quieeetly.
My beloved device is obviously in distress, but in the process, I’m now listening (quite unexpectedly) to a station that’s playing all the manners of jazz I like and yet would have never likely found. Why not? Because I know what’s out there. I know the numbers of the stations I like – the ones I listen to all the time.
But radio stations don’t just pop up for a day. This station, whatever it is, has been there all along. I still don’t know its call letters or where it is on my dead dial. But there it is, streaming through my machines speakers.
The DJ just did a station identification: “WDCB 90.9FM Public Radio. Chicago’s listener supported jazz station! jazz, acoustic/Americana music and news to Chicago, Northeastern Illinois and the world …”
But I’m already sold. True, now I know the source, but I’ve already fallen in love with their output.
Odd how dysfunction can lead us to things we’d have never discovered otherwise. I had it in my mind to produce some manner of haiku this week and stun the world with my insight!
Instead I’m working with what I have and found treasure when only 20-minutes ago I was silently muttering under my breath, ‘stupid sound machine’.
“It’s not the machine fitting that descriptor, now is it?”
Begrudgingly I reply, ‘No’.
We both know it was me, a perfect example of a hard-headed Human.
And the signal came crashing through my thick skull!
When things don’t work, it’s not a failure…it’s new treasure asking if you are noting the arrival of the golden gift. And why am I talking to a spider? Muse smiles.
I am open.
Finding you in the blogosphere was not a coincidence. So many of you have been there all along. I’m the one who was tardy, finally opening up to receive what so many of you transmit all the time. One more time, I’m humbled as I realize it isn’t signal strength or the frequency that is important. It’s us, each finding the spot on our cosmic dial, listening to the frequencies all around us at the very moment we were convinced the problem was with the radio.
Truth? Sure. My unsound machine forced me out of my comfort zone which, in turn, freed me up to find something new and healthy to tune in to. And there’s nothing unsound in any of that.
Muse smiles. “Writers are funny. I’ve got eight legs, I’m a girl and he’s the one talking to me! And I’m crazy?”
She sighs, “…that’s OK, it took the pig awhile before he got the hang of it and that turned out alright. This one will be OK too.
“So from the beautiful ballroom high atop the dan4kent studios, thanks for listening to another broadcast of Captain Dingy and His Band of Renowned. It’s going to be a good week. This has been your announcer speaking.
Tuning in and signing off.”
ANN BRADFORD DAVIS
(May 5, 1926 – June 1, 2014)
Davis, known for her beloved role as housekeeper Alice on the Brady Bunch has died.
Emmy Award-winning actress Ann B. Davis, who died Sunday at 88, was the “glue that held ‘The Brady Brunch’ together,” Barry Williams, who played Greg on the show, said today on “Good Morning America.”
Davis was known for her beloved role as housekeeper Alice on “The Brady Bunch,” and her death in a San Antonio, Texas, hospital after a fall in her home inspired former co-stars and other celebs alike to reach out and talk about the iconic actress.
“I was reflecting throughout the day yesterday about one of the first times I met her,” Williams said. “She was already a big star when she joined ‘The Brady Bunch,’ won a couple of Emmys with ‘The Bob Cummings Show,’ and I knew that this was someone I wanted to pay attention to but she had a wicked sense of humor.”
“I remember watching from behind the camera when she was rehearsing one of the scenes for ‘The Brady Bunch’ and I was laughing along with her timing and stuff. Well, apparently, I was messing up her timing so she turned around and said, ‘Barry, comedy is not funny.’ I was crushed,” he said.
“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh. I’ve upset her. A little later I went over and said, ‘Excuse me. What did you mean when you said that comedy was not funny?’ and she said, ‘Oh, I was just kidding with you.’”
Florence Henderson, who played mom Carol on the show that ran from 1969 to 1974, also tweeted her condolences for her friend. “I’m so shocked & saddened to learn my dear friend & colleague Ann B Davis died today. I spoke with her a few months ago & she was doing great,” she wrote.
And article By MICHAEL ROTHMAN via http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/ann-davis-remembered-glue-holding-brady-bunch/story?id=23955916 Photo Source: Ann B Davis_ABC Photo Archives ABC via Getty Images: http://mashable.com/2014/06/01/brady-bunch-ann-b-davis/
DONALD WILLIAM ZIMMER
(January 17, 1931 – June 4, 2014)
Baseball lost one of its most beloved characters Wednesday night with the death of Don Zimmer at age 83.
Zimmer had been in a rehabilitation center in Dunedin, Fla., since having seven hours of heart surgery in mid-April. Zimmer was proud of the fact that he never had a job in any other field but baseball. His career spanned 66 years, beginning in 1949 when he signed with the Dodgers. His last position was senior adviser for the Rays.
Zimmer was teammate of Jackie Robinson, played for Hall of Fame managers Walter Alston and Casey Stengel and coached Derek Jeter — quite a span, by any major league measure.
“Zim was around when I first came up. He was someone that taught me a lot about the game — he’s been around, he’s pretty much seen everything,” Jeter said after the Yankees lost to Oakland 7-4. “His stories, his experiences.”
His tenure in baseball was nearly cut short in 1953, however, when while playing in the minors he was beaned and left in a coma. Doctors had to put metal screws in his head..
He recovered and went on to play through 1967. After retiring, he embarked on a managing and coaching career. He managed the Padres, Red Sox, Rangers, Cubs and Yankees, compiling a .509 winning percentage over parts of 14 seasons. His best-known stint in the dugout was with the BoSox. He was their skipper in 1978 when Boston surrendered a big lead in the AL East to the Yankees, then lost Game No. 163 to New York at Fenway Park. The key blow was a three-run homer by Bucky Dent over the Green Monster.
In 1989 he led the Cubs to the NL East title. Chicago lost to the Giants in the NLCS. The Sporting News featured his club that summer:
SOURCES: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Zimmer And article By TOM GATTO http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/story/2014-06-04/don-zimmer-dies-rays-yankees-cubs-dodgers Photo Source: Manager Don Zimmer of the Chicago Cubs during a MLB game at Wrigley Field on August 8, 1989. (Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery / Getty Images / August 8, 1989): http://www.chicagotribune.com/site/ct-cubs-don-zimmer-mitchell-spt-0606-20140606,0,3405488.column
June 4th, 2014
Chicagoans are mourning the death of Vicky, a geriatric chimpanzee at the Lincoln Park Zoo was euthanized Wednesday at age 50.
Though she beat the odds and lived a dramatically longer-than-average life, Chicago’s Lincoln Park Zoo is mourning the death of a geriatric chimpanzee euthanized Wednesday at age 50.
Vicky, who lived in a behind-the-scenes group at the zoo’s Regenstein Center for African Apes, was also the zoo’s last chimp to have been born in the wild.
“These are very personal losses for everyone that worked with her,” Steve Ross, director of the zoo’s Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes told The Huffington Post. “It’s a very personal relationship.”
Ross, who saw Vicky nearly every day for the past 14 years, added that when an animal’s health fails, “it’s a difficult but right decision [to euthanize.] Ultimately, our goal is to help our great apes live healthy and thrive.”
The average life expectancy for female chimpanzees like Vicky is just under 39 years, making her survival to 50 an exceptional feat — one Ross credits to the zoo and advances in veterinary care.
At zoos around the nation, the population of wild-born chimpanzees like Vicky is growing smaller every day.
“There are still about 45 wild-born chimps living accredited zoos, which is about 17 percent of the accredited zoo population,” Ross said. “Vicky came to Lincoln Park Zoo in 1971 and at that time, zoos and other places were still importing apes from the wild.”
That practice was ended in 1975 when the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Treaty was adopted with the goal of protecting endangered species worldwide.
Now that all great apes in zoos are born into captivity, the Chimpanzee Species Survival Plan (SSP) — a program implemented in all accredited zoos that helps chimps and other endangered species — protects the “demographic and genetic health of the population.”
“The SSP, which is based at Lincoln Park Zoo, ensures things like inbreeding don’t happen at zoos and that breeding recommendations are made to reduce the loss of genetic diversity,” Ross explained.
During her time at Lincoln Park Zoo, Ross said Vicky played an important social role in her peer group since animals born in captivity often learn the most from their wild-born peers.
With just two chimpanzee groups at the zoo now, Ross said Vicky’s loss will be felt by the apes, too.
“There’s a lot of exploratory behavior that happens after the loss, which seems to indicate they may be looking for that [missing] individual,” Ross said. “But the chimps at Lincoln Park Zoo have amazingly good relationships with the researchers that work with them, so it’s nice they have social support from their caretakers as well.”
Ross added, “I’m happy that she had a very long and very healthy life.”
And article By KIM BELLWARE in the Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/06/vicky-lincoln-park-zoo_n_5455631.html
Photo Source: Manager Don Zimmer of the Chicago Cubs during a MLB game at Wrigley Field on August 8, 1989. (Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery / Getty Images / August 8, 1989): http://www.chicagotribune.com/site/ct-cubs-don-zimmer-mitchell-spt-0606-20140606,0,3405488.column
Mo Ghile Mear
Permitting your indulgence, this one is for the Love of My Life who’s far away right now. Tend to your tasks, travel well and be safe. And yes, I’ve left the light on for you.
“Mo Ghile Mear” (My Gallant Darling) is an old Irish song, written in the Irish language by Seán Clárach Mac Domhnaill in the 18th century. Composed in the convention of Aisling poetry, it is a lament by the Gaelic goddess Éire for Bonnie Prince Charlie, who was then in exile.
SOURCES, PHOTO CREDITS and ATTRIBUTIONS:
Banner Coastal Redwood Forest by Eric E Photography is used with permission.
Visit Eric and see his other work at: http://www.ericephoto.com or at
Mo Ghile Mear Backstory SOURCE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mo_Ghile_Mear; Unsound by Anthony Naples – Unsound Festival: http://stoneyroads.com/polish-festival-unsound-bans-cameras-crowd-turns-creative/; SOUND MACHINE , An Alternative: http://www.icrates.org/pendulum-sound-machine/; Spider Wuv: https://soundcloud.com/spider-muse
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