The Guilty Party

Monday, December 22, 2008

Goings On, Lately

December 22, 2008

The shot above is from the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens here in Phoenix. Every year the Gardens do a Luminaria thingie, where folks wander around the gardens with their way illuminated by luminaria along the paths. Luminaria, just in case you don't know, are usually candles in paper bags, although I think the Gardens use some sort of pseudo paper bag for uniformity, sturdiness and fire retardation. Luminarias are a pretty holiday tradition around here, with some folks lining their home walkways and some neighborhoods doing up the sidewalks each evening. Along with the chilly path wandering there is always music, this year ten different locations, each offering up a unique sort of musical entertainment, from the renaissance type music of Bartholomew Faire to the toe tapping Louis Prima stylings of The Swingtips to a festive handbell choir.

But this year the real attraction for most people was the Dale Chilhuly glass art. The photo above is just one of the few dozen different pieces, some quite massive, some modest in size but all brimming with creative color, shape and a goodly dose of what I guess you could call eyepopping whimsy. The way the pieces were incorporated into the existing garden exhibits was wonderful.

So that's what we did Friday evening.
Saturday was work.

Sunday I put up some elfa shelving in the den. We have gone for years without any proper bookshelves in the den and I was pretty psyched to take advantage of my employee discount at Ye Olde Container Store to get some really nice shelves.

(If I could figure out how to get pictures someplace other than the top of these entries, that photo would be right here.)

It is great finally having my most referred to books right there where I work. Mr. Twain is keeping an eye on everything (you can't see it in the picture, but to the right of the desk is a framed excerpt from his "Rules Governing the Literary Arts", just to help keep me on the right path).

And then yesterday evening my wife and I watched "Pollyanna". Turner Classic had played it several days earlier and I DVR'd it, figuring either I would watch it alone or never get the chance before it self destructed on the recorder. It's a good movie. And although I hadn't seen it in probably thirty-five or forty years it made me realize just how much movies and books with that sort of positive "Look for the Good" message have influenced the way I try to live my life. I sure don't succeed all the time, far from it, I can be as grumpy and angry and downright pissed off as the next fellow, but always calling to me, beckoning me towards the light, are the lessons I learned from Pollyanna and her literary kin. It was good to pay her a visit again and be reminded.

This is likely the last installment before Christmas, so may I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas or Happy Hanukkah or whatever it is you celebrate this time of year. I hope you all find a reason to be glad. Just like Pollyanna.

Go Ye Forth and Do Likewise.


Lexi said...

So that is where you sit, typing, Alan? I always like to see where people work. I've been in Anna's office and seen her desk.

Positive thinking is a Good Idea.

The film that Minty recently downloaded in a not totally licit way was South Pacific. I refer to Some Enchanted Evening in CaFS as uber-romantic, and had a curiosity to see the film again. As we watched the sailors singing and dancing, Minty shook her head. 'They're all gay,' was her verdict. And then the heroine turns out to be totally racist...

Happy New Year!

plumboz said...

I don't think the film version of South Pacific is the best route to an appreciation of that musical. And the fact that Nellie has problems dealing with the mixed race heritage of her lover's children is, I think, central to the theme. If the racism had been introduced in a character who didn't possess so many other positive character traits it wouldn't be so affecting. And as the song "You've Go To Be Taught" points out, we are all a product of our upbringing and the fact Nellie is able, at the end, to put aside what had been "drummed in her dear little head" is a triumph.

The concert performance of South Pacific with Brian Stokes Mitchell and, believe it or not, Reba McIntyre, is a pretty good way to get to know this show. The best way is through a great stage production.

Lexi said...

Yes, I remember my mother saying how breathtaking it was on the stage when it first came to London - would that be the American cast? I think it must have been.

Thanks for the song - Some Enchanted Evening still has the lead, I think.

And the sentiments are of its time; we won't look so hot in a few decades, no doubt.

plumboz said...

My sister gave me the DVD of that concert performance. It really requires both the sight and sound of his performance to capture all he puts into it.

A Bit About Me

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I am a writer with a longtime interest in photography. I'm a dad, husband, photographer, and not very good guitarist. My first novel, Boomerang, is available in both paperback and ebook form at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and As a matter of fact, my second novel, The Baer Boys, can be found at exactly the same places.