Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I had to use personal time to get a billing problem straightened out with two doctor's offices. My new primary care physician (soon to be replaced) incorrectly made up a referral which later was rejected by a another's doctor's office, due to multiple entry errors, and I received a bill for close to $400.00. A friend went with me on the not-so-much-fun chore of returning to the primary doctor's office to get them to fix their mess. I wasn't thrilled with this little task, and I suppose some of my displeasure was showing, because while we were waiting in the reception area for the new paperwork, my friend picked up a children's book and said, "Let me read you a story."

He has this wonderful dulcet voice with calming tones, so I was game. The book must have measured about 5 x 5 inches and it was foam, covered in washable plastic, I suppose for those drool moments. My friend was squishing the pages of the book, then held it up to his chest on display and said, "What a great idea. Tactile and you can wipe up messes off of it. Why don't Hustler and Playboy print their magazines this way?" I choked back a nasty guffaw, while he opened the book and began to read.

e book was called The Rainbow Fish, and it is the story of a brightly scaled fish who has multi-colored glittery scales (holding up book to show you the picture), and one day a little, plainer fish swims up and asks Rainbow Fish if he might give up one of his pretty scales. Rainbow Fish refuses, and then all of the other little fish ignore him and he is lonely. Rainbow Fish goes to meet with the all- wise Octopus (holding up picture), and asks why he is so alone. I halted the reading at this point to say to my friend that I thought they had drawn the Octopus rather poorly, making him look like an elephant with eight trunks.

Where were we? Oh, yes. So the Octopus tells Rainbow Fish, "Give away your shining scales. You will not be as beautiful, but you will be happy." "See Rainbow Fish thinking about this?", my friend asked. I replied, "This story sucks." So Rainbow Fish swims off, and the next day a fish approaches him and asks for a pretty scale, and Rainbow Fish gives him one. In fact, Rainbow Fish gives away ALL of his scales until he has only one left. "Rainbow Fish wasn't as pretty as before, but now he had friends and swam off to play in the sea...the happiest fish." The End.

I looked at my friend, "Who wrote that garbage?" "Why this book was written by Marcus Pfister and translated into English by J. Alison James." "Translated into English? From what?" "This book was originally published by Nord-Sud Verlag AG, Gassau, Switzerland," he spoke in his still-reading-to-little-children voice, "It is a soft little book with it's message about sharing, and it is perfect for bath time, bed time, beach time, any time!," he said, reading from the back cover. Then he added, in the same tones, "What do I care if you take these hidden Nazi treasure scales from me? Just don't touch my numbered bank accounts." He sighed and added, "Those peace-loving Swiss."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Fade To White

I was out with a friend today, and we saw a aged lady talking to a postal carrier. She was quite tiny, white-haired, and extremely pale. He said that she looked "bleached by time," and I told him about pigment loss as we age... and other fossil facts.

He turned to me and said, "So. Are we on our way to being ghosts?

In the meantime, on your way to that fade to white.....

Monday, November 28, 2005

Cocktail Of The Week: The Letters T & U
Tie Me To The Bedpost and Umbrella Man

I hadn't wanted to post another cocktail entry so close to the Thanksgiving offering, but I am still researching what I wish to write about next. The irony is that I can do my homework and in the end find the whole piece falling apart and never coming to creation. Such is the world of blogging. I'm getting close to the end of the year, the end of my cocktail project, and the end of the alphabet. This week's cocktails were Tie Me To The Bedpost, and Umbrella Man.

The Tie Me To The Bedpost cocktail consists of the following ingredients:

1/2 ounce coconut rum

1/2 ounce melon liqueur
1/2 ounce sweet and sour mix
1/2 ounce lemon vodka

Shake with ice, (re) strain and serve in an old-fashion
ed glass.

My brother (who did the Photoshop work on these two pictures) was funny. I had taken the photographs of the cocktails and found the background art (in this case the bed), but I had to laugh when I saw what he came up with for his creation. When we spoke on the phone he said (in all innocence), "If you think the Dominatrix is too much, I can take her out, but I'd like to leave the rope I made." Not something you usually expect to hear a relative saying to you. I asked friends what they thought, and they all said "leave it as it is." So...not exactly PG-rated, but...

Tie Me To The Bedpost Cocktail

When I first heard of a cocktail called the Umbrella Man, it made me think of so many things, and it fascinates me how one idea will trigger a string of others: the lyrics to the Hollies song, Bus Stop:

Bus stop, wet day, she's there, I say
Please share my umbrella
Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows
Under my umbrella

All that summer we enjoyed it
Wind and rain and shine
That umbrella, we employed it
By August, she was mine

Also the bespoke umbrellas made by the British firm Swaine, Adeney, & Bigg. They are a wonderful London company that has been in existence since 1750 when the company made whips (appropriate subject for this blog), and they have since expanded over time to hold a Royal Warrant to make leather goods and exquisitely crafted umbrellas.

Their umbrellas are carried here in Washington by a company call
ed Sterling and Burke, Ltd. on Connecticut Avenue: by Sterling and Burke Ltd

I also thought about the French film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Les Parapluies du Cherbourg) made in 1964 and starring Catherine Deneuve. Deneuve plays a 17-year old girl working in an umbrella shop with her widowed mother. The movie was novel for it's time in that all of the dialogue was sung. It's not well remembered, but Catherine had an older sister, also a beauty, and also an actress, named Françoise Dorléac. She died in a car accident in 1967.

Catherine et Françoise

Now Memoirs of a Geisha is about to open in movie theatres, and there are even more umbrellas, lovely paper ones in the snow:

There are also intrigues surrounding the umbrella: in 1978 a Bulgarian dissident named Georgi Markov was killed by a poison dart filled with richin fired from an umbrella.


Just after crossing Waterloo Bridge in London, Markov felt a sharp jab in his
thigh and saw a man picking up an umbrella. He developed a high fever, and four days later he was dead. The only reason his assassination was not detected is that the pellet carrying the poison had not fully dissolved, as expected. Since that time two people suspected in the assassination died under odd circumstances: one in an unexplained car accident, the other committed suicide. The third suspect, a General, was sentenced to prison after destroying his ten volumes of material on the case. All had ties to the KGB.

Mysterious Umbrella Man on the lower left

And then there is the infamous mystery man: The Umbrella Man connected to the JFK assassination. His actions have long been speculated on in terms of being a signaler to the assassin, and JFK Umbrella Man remains a mystery to this day. The Umbrella Man

Umbrella Man Cocktail

Lastly, I thought of the French artist René Magritte who used umbrellas frequently in his paintings. His bowler-hatted men fell from the sky like rain, held umbrellas, even danced with did Gene Kelly in Singing in the Rain. The Umbrella Man cocktail is created in equal parts use the following:

coffee liqueur

Bailey's Irish cream
Grand Marnier orange liqueur
Drambuie Scotch whiskey

Mix in a shaker with ice, serve in a highball glass with a tiny paper umbrella. Oh yes...more umbrellas...for cocktails.

A Postscript:

Phil of
The Playaz expressed disappointment in no mention of The Penguin from Batman (and his umbrella), so just for you, Phil:

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

And Another One For My Little Friend...Thanksgiving Cocktail

A drink called Thanksgiving Cocktail for the holiday. Have a wonderful day with your family and friends.

Thanksgiving Cocktail

1 1/2 ounces Wild Turkey Bourbon Whiskey
1/2 ounce Applejack B
1 teaspoon Rose
's Lime Juice
4 ounces Cranber
ry Juice

Nothing Says Thanksgiving Like Drunk Pets

* Thank you to The Bro

Monday, November 21, 2005

Benjamin Franklin: Geeke Or Nerde
Charting Your Virtues...All 13 Of Them

"I had them put in some low lights," ~~ Benjamin Franklin

This past weekend was odd in that I kept receiving telephone calls from the people that provide me beauty services. The first call was from the hair stylist to pass on that another stylist had "quit" rather abruptly (I later heard "fired,") and "what does it all mean", keeping in mind that my stylist recently had a house built on the Eastern Shore and is commuting back to the Washington area mid-week to work. I'm asking myself how much longer they will be around. Then my manicurist called to tell me she's quitting and moving to a new upscale spa where she will have better pay and full health coverage, but concerns over losing clients and would I be following her and so forth (yes on the following), and then I heard from the skin esthetician who called to say the owner of her shop was moving to New Hampshire where her husband is being relocated for work, and the owner will be managing the salon from there. We went over her concerns about someone trying to manage a long-distance business and how long that situation would last before it collapsed, affecting her future business and would I be following (yes), and thus it went so that by this morning I was thinking of blogging a piece about the transitory nature of beauty services and how we either stay or shift and how often the shifting is done with some cross over back and forth to the same salons and spas, and the whole incestuous networking of the beauty field as a career. I was googling around this morning looking for a photograph of an old-fashioned chart made up of multi-colored pieces of string to show the confusion of these transitions, and while I was searching I stumbled onto something that sent me into an entirely different direction. When I told Direct Current about these changes in the game plan, he told me I was suffering from "BADD: Blog Attention Deficit Disorder."

It would appear Ben had trouble with
keeping his mouth shut and being messy

What altered my writing plan was this. I stumbled upon a photograph of a chart that Benjamin Franklin created to track his success in fulfilling life's 13 virtues. By further research I learned that Franklin devised this plan when he was 20 years old. Quoting from The Bible, Phillippians 4:8 : "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise,think of these things." (King James Version). Taking this idea and running with it, Franklin created a list of 13 virtues:

1. Temperance: Eat not to dullness and drink not to elevation.

2. Silence: Speak not but what may benefit others or your
self. Avoid trifling conversation.

3. Order: Let all your things have their places. Let each part of your business have its time.

4. Resolution: Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve.

5. Frugality: Make no expense but to do good to o
thers or yourself: i.e. Waste nothing.

6. Industry: Lose no time. Be always employed in something useful. Cut off all unneccessary actions.

7. Sincerity: Use no hurtful deceit. Think innocently and justly; and if you speak, speak accordingly.

8. Justice: Wrong none, by doing injuries or omitting th
e benefits that are your duty.

9. Moderation: Avoid extremes. Forebear resenting injuries so much as you think they deserve.

10. Cleanliness: Tolerate no uncleaniness in body, clothes or habitation.

11. Chastity: Rarely use venery but for health or offspring. Never to dullness, weakness, or the injury of your own or another's peace or reputation.

12. Tranquility: Be no disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.

13. Humility: Imitate Jesus and Socrates.

From everything I read, Franklin followed this plan until late in his life, mapping out on his charts whether or not he had succeeded with his
day. He tracked out his progress by using a little book of 13 charts. At the top of each chart was the name of the virtue, and the chart had a column for each day of the week, with thirteen rows marked with the first letter of each of the virtues. At the end of each day, he would review his day, it's successes and failures, and he would dutifully make a circular dot mark next to the virtue for each fault he believed he had committed that day: his ultimate goal being, of course, to have a chart that was mark free. I've read that at first he found the pages covered with dots, but as time went on he began to see the dots diminish. To quote from Wikipedia, "He eventually realized that perfection was not to be attained, but felt himself better and happier because of his attempt."

Ben Jah Man Flow Charts His Day

What a nerd! If they had pocket protecto
rs in the 18th-century, you just know Franklin would have been wearing one. I'm surprised he didn't take it further and use different colored inks to mark his levels of failure: blue (not too much off the mark), black (about average), and red (whoa!). Little gold and silver stars when he had a bang-up day of success. If Franklin were alive today, I have no doubt he would have been the inventor of the emoticons. :) I loved the idea that he always had these projects going, checking his progress and knowing he was falling short of perfection, still ending up better than when he started off. Franklin would have been an amazing software engineer. Binary code was meant for him. He could write (wait for it) Benary code. And you just know he'd be at every Trekkie convention. It's logical. ;)

14. Vulcan: Live long and prosper.

** Once again, I must credit the wonderful brother with the great Photoshop work on Mr. Franklin.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Guest Blogger: My Brother
Football Funnies

I thought I'd post some e-mail humor that my brother just sent me. He recently learned that his sister is blogging, and I'm hoping to have his help again down the road with my art projects. When I was a little girl, I have fond memories of following my brother and his friends in the neighborhood to watch their pickup games. He was a good big brother and never told me to get lost, so I'm posting this for him:

College Football

What does the average University of Michigan
player get on his SAT's?


What do you get when you put 32 West Virginia che
erleaders in one room?

A full set of teeth.

How do you get a Wisconsin cheerleader into your dorm room?

Grease her hips and push.

Go Satan!

How do you get an Ohio State graduate off
your porch?

Pay him for the pizza.

How do you know if an Alabama football player has
a girlfriend?

There is tobacco spit on both sides of his pickup.

Why is the Kentucky football team like a possum?

Because they play dead at home and get killed on the roa

What are the longest three years of a Miami, Florida football player's life?

His freshman year.

How many Purdue freshman does it take to change a light bulb?

None. That's a sophmore course.

Where was O.J. Simpson headed in the White Bronco

Durham, North Carolina. He knew the police would never look at Duke for a Heisman Trophy winner.

And finally...

Why did Tennessee choose orange as their team color?

You can wear it to the game on Saturday, hu
nting on Sunday, and picking up trash along the highways the rest of the week.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Cocktails Of The Week: The Letters R & S:
Red-Headed Woodpecker And Sputnik

It's funny. When I made the New Year's Resolution to have "a cocktail a week," my friends had said, " your way through the alphabet a few times," and here it is with the end of the year approaching, and only if I'm diligent will I have made it through once. With a record like this, how will I ever be part of that louche lush life society?

The cocktails this week were "R" and "S": Red-Headed Woodpecker and Sputnik, followed with some Lemon Drop Martinis to cleanse the palate. I had an idea in my head of what I wanted to do with the photography. It would involve my brother's skills, so I took the drinks out to the bar's patio area, and I used my black coat as a backdrop to set the drinks off in the light. A man who looked vaguely like Joe Isuzu came wandering out with his drink and a cigarette and said, "Are you getting ready to do a magic trick?" Well. In a sense I was, through the wizardry of Photoshop, but more on that later.

I used to have about four or five species of woodpecker come into my yard. Most are smaller with dots of red on their heads, but every so often I would see a pileated woodpecker which is the largest species in North America (19 inches) and
is the origin of the Woody Woodpecker cartoon character with it's shock absorbing red crown. Sometimes you will see things in nature that will stop you dead in your tracks, and this bird can do it. Here's how you make the Red-Headed Woodpecker cocktail:

2 ounces Malibu coconut rum
1 ounce Amaretto almond liqueur
2 ounces orange juice
2 ounces pineapple juice
splash of cranberry juice

Pour ingredients into shaker with ice and serve in a hurricane glass. I garnished mine with a strawberry impaled on a straw to duplicate a woodpecker's head with the green of the strawberry duplicating it's crown.

Table for One? The Red-Headed Woodpecker Cocktail

When the Russians successfully launched their sate
llite called Sputnik in 1957, it heralded a turn in the Cold War. It was the first time the Russians had the chance to control space with the threat of nuclear power always looming large in the background, but it affected culture as well.

You can still find retro Sputnik light fixtures at auctions, and Vegas lounge singer Louis Prima recorded a song called "Beep, Beep, Beep," that was basically a song about his girlfriend going to the moon, and as the lyrics tell you:

My baby's going on a trip to the moon,

And she won't be back soon.
She doesn't write me, and I can't sleep
All I hear from her is BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!

All of the beeps and bloops were not provided by t
he singer, but rather sound effects culled from cheesy sci-fi flicks. And the space race began. Here's how you make the Sputnik cocktail. I borrowed some toothpicks to decorate the cherry and keep the drink thematic:

1 1/4 ounces Vodka
1 1/4 ounces Peach Schnapps
3 ounces orange juice

3 ounces light cream

Mix all ingredients in shaker with ice until frothy. Pour into brandy snifter glass and garnish with cherry with four toothpicks to duplicate the satellite. The original instructions say to garnish with a peach slice, but I prefer my method for the visual.

Beep! Beep! Beep!....the Sputnik Cocktail

*** I would like to thank my brother, battling the flu, for using his graphic artistic talent in creating these images. I provided him with the raw material, but it was his skillful manipulations that really made the pictures work.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Capote, Correspondence And Communion

I went to see the movie Capote a few weeks ago, and I've been floundering over a written piece ever since: not a review of the film, nor a commentary on the book, In Cold Blood, but rather a reflection of the time. I'm still stewing with it. I will say this about the movie. It left me haunted and thinking for days afterwards--always the sign of good cinema in my mind. In the meantime, I went back and re-read In Cold Blood for the third time. One of the big issues when this book appeared was that it heralded a new method of writing: "historical fiction," so my latest reading was, more than anything, analyzing Capote's style. I've also ordered up from the library Gerald Clarke's biography of Capote, and I just finished reading his correspondence, Too Brief A Treat: The Letters of Truman Capote, edited by Gerald Clarke. Overall, the letters were a disappointment. For all of his love of his craft, for all of his love of society and gossip, it turns out Capote was rather a mediocre letter writer. Clarke states that Capote didn't write with posterity in mind, but rather in a free and natural voice. That proves unfortunate, because the decades fall flat even though they cover a succession of name dropping, a chronicle of the Trans-Atlantic gay crowd that Capote called "The Lavender Hill Mob," moanings about getting on with his work, and all of the varied physical ailments. He was, however, a dedicated friend and letter writer, and he did strenuously keep up with friends as he moved around the world. It is little remembered that Capote spent ten years of his life living in Europe, and oftentimes he was residing in remote, rural areas. You would have thought Capote was hunkered down in a hotel room in Holcomb, Kansas, but the bulk of In Cold Blood was written in a tiny village in Switzerland, while he was out taking the air with his pet bulldog or buying friends cuckoo clocks.

Our collective past relied so heavily on letter writing to keep in touch. I've often wondered what historical papered archive will survive in our generation of e-mails and texting. I just finished reading Capote's correspondence today, and in one letter written in 1962, he talks about the difficulties of sustaining friendship. He said, "There are certain people with whom one can be the closest and longest and most loving of friends--and yet they can quite quickly drop out of one's life forever simply because they belong to some odd psychological type. A type that only writes letters when he is written to, that only telephones when he is telephoned. That is--if one did not write him or phone him, one just will never hear from him again. I have known several people like that, and this peculiarity of theirs, this strange eye-for-an-eye mentality, has always fascinated me. Phoebe Pierce was like that: I have not heard from Phoebe in six years--merely because one day, in the nature of a test, I decided I would wait and let her call me. And she never did. Never. After sixteen years of the closest friendship! No quarrel. Nothing. It was just that all of the mechanics of the friendship had been worked by me. But--as I say, she would have behaved that way with anybody. It's a type." He was writing this to a man he did sustain a friendship with over time, a man who well knew societal isolation having being fired from Smith College over issues of his homosexuality.

Reading this struck a chord within me, because this past weekend I spent time updating all of my social calendars for 2006 which encompassed birthdays, anniversaries and days of note, as well as re-doing my address book, including a Palm Pilot form
at which I had written of earlier. Every year it's always amazing who gets "dropped." I may carry some of those "types" that Capote writes of on my lists for several years then finally give up and cast them off. I still mail Christmas cards with personal letters inside, and this is another dated concept with little return. That list, too, undergoes revisions every year. I'm as baffled as Capote was when he wrote that letter in 1962 in terms of the mechanics of friendship. I was talking to two friends online yesterday about this. We were discussing people we mutually knew and how they just never made any effort to keep in touch or show any effort to sustain a viable friendship, and like Capote, there was never any contention or upheaval to announce a break. Another friend today (speaking of this same group) said, "I would be happy with just an occasional "hi."" It is just beyond their capabilities or interests to do so, and thus the people fall away from us. One group of friends that I belong to have managed to keep together, and we talk with pride that we haven't had these silences and droppings off. We do pick up the telephone to reunit, we do mark important passages in each others lives (two had birthdays this weekend), and we do value what we've learned from holding on to this connection that binds us. The tasks I undertook this weekend, the conversations I had, and the reading of Truman Capote's correspondence reminded me of the work good friendships command. The friend I was speaking with this afternoon said, "Perhaps the real question we should be asking is "why do we go on trying?"

Sunday, November 06, 2005

What DSL Really Means

It's always fun to have a day out with girlfriends. I met my Cape friend, Ingrid, and we went out for some shopping time. I found new makeup (eyeshadow, blush and a lip gloss in a shade called "Desire"), and a pretty (but not pricey) velvet scarf for my Boho winter with a jewel toned crystal hair ornament to match. And fishnets....lots of pretty fishnets. Ingrid was looking for a elegant bar stool for her kitchen, so we decided to pop in to a local Ethan Allen. The girl at the desk got on the telephone to summon an aide to show us around the shop, while Ingrid wandered off into the next room. The way she chose to identify us sounded like a cop describing two perps. I stood there and heard the receptionist say "Teresa, you are needed up front. There are two females: one in black, one in red," and I threw out, "...and one is wearing Desire lip gloss." She never cracked a smile.

We stopped in a local coffee shop to recap our day, and I told Ingrid a story I had picked up earlier that day when I had a facial. The spa where I visited provides a full range of services, including monthly visits by a plastic surgeon where he injects ladies with their poisons of choice: botox, collagen and this new thing called Restylane. Restylane®

There is a stylist at the spa named Susan (We'll call her that as in "Desperately Seeking," as she and her husband are part of a couples swapping group. I know. I didn't think they existed either, but apparently they do). Susan used to have a
very tight, hot, body, but two years ago she was diagnosed with MS, and they have her on drugs that have bloated her out. Unfortunately, she's still dresses in her old wardrobe of skin tight and short, short, short. Susan knows this woman in the group that wanted a procedure from the doctor. I was told she is shapely, tall at 6'1", and a lot of boobage. (We'll call her Lynda after Lynda Carter in Wonder Woman).

Lynda wished to have collagen injected into her lips. Everyone was trying to talk her out of it, but she was insistent that this is what she wanted. She was left to fill out the paperwork, which included a section where you state what you are having done. The doctor arrived. (We'll call him Doctor Carter after ER),
and his assistant Wendy. When it was Lynda's turn, she was brought in to meet the doctor, and he was flipping through her paperwork. Dr. Carter said, "It says here you want DSL. I don't know what that means. Wendy? Do you know what DSL is?" Wendy stated that the only DSL she knew about was broadband. The patient Lynda spoke up and said, "I wrote that. It means "dick sucking lips." I want lips that look like that." When I was told this story I added, "Why doesn't she just get her teeth knocked out, prison style, so she is perfection." Lynda got her DSL lips, and when they were finishing up and Lynda had departed Wendy said to Dr. Carter, "I'll bet you can't wait to tell this story at the conference you are going to this weekend." He shot back, "I'll be telling this story as soon as I get to my car phone." Have a good work week everyone...and keep smiling.


Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Time Goes By

We all have remembered dates noted on our mental calendars: birthdays and anniversaries, but I've always had such a good memory of the history of my days that I carry a lifetime of associations with dates. People have told me they are envious of good memory. I've always said it's a blessing...and a curse. You remember the good things, but also the bad.

This summer I had a conversation with someone who was once close to me, and he told me "I have never forgotten a thing." He meant "about us." I held him to his boast when I asked him if he remembered what had occurred on the day we were speaking. My mere mention of it angered him so much he hasn't spoken to me since. Granted, it was a time when he acted less honorably than he should have with me. I've had time to regret mentioning it in hindsight, but in my own defense the matter preyed on my mind that day. Now when I remember that day next summer, I will undoubtedly go back to what happened that day in 2000, and factor in his ongoing silence of 2005 as another remembrance. Today is another one of those days, and it too involves Mr. Mute. Sadly, I remember what happened on this date in 2002, but I am sure he doesn't. I wish I didn't.

I asked my friends their feelings about dates and memories. They said when they are life-transforming you never forget them, and we are attached to them in the sense of experiences creating who we are. People say "we are only what we remember." I suppose this is true. Having been around people with Alzheimer's: people who lose all sense of their history and their selves, I've seen their personalities altered forever from that loss. It truly is frightening to see a person disappear before you, so I should be glad I haven't been ravaged by such a fate.

But... there are times when I have to ask and even wish, "Why remember?"

Acorn Serenade

One of my neighbors telephoned me last week with one of those checking-up "how ya doing" calls. There was news: she has a new job which started on October 31st, another neighbor's dog that never stops yapping, how many leaves have fallen...or not, and then she said "I keep thinking I'm hearing cymbals somewhere." I had to laugh. I had forgotten, but before I left town, I had boobytrapped my back yard.

Most drummers are passionate about the sound of their cymbals and the unique sound each produces. Zildjian, the best known quality producer of cymbals began their family craft in 1623, with the company as we know it in the U.S.
started in 1929. These are the cymbals treasured by drummers internationally. These are not, however, the cymbals being offered up as part of the package when a new drum kit or pieces are purchased. A drummer that I know was discarding what he felt were inferior cymbals, and I asked if I could have them, thinking they might be interesting to play around with in some creative capacity outside of music.

I have freestanding double hooked iron rods in my yard that usually hold planters or bird feeders. I also have oak trees. Knowing I'd be gettin
g my bumper crop of acorns that I normally do, I thought it might be funny to string up the cymbals on thin rope and put them under the oaks and see what happens. The acorns hadn't started falling before I left D.C., and in the flurry of my departure I forgot all about them. Apparently they are working. I asked her to take a photograph of them for the blog, which she has obligingly done, and I also asked her to move them away from the oak if they become too annoying. They make a ringing ker-ching sound, and she says she laughs everytime she hears one go off. ...but we'll see. Further into the season and whimsy may turn to weariness.

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