Great cover by the Violent Femmes – Sunday night inspiration for a ponder. Listening to this while the wind howls outside, our first kick ass punch of the season finds me chilling to “Crazy” as I sop up our flooded basement.

Across the Universe

People I know either love this movie or don’t get it for reasons I’m unable to comprehend. Across the Universe is one of those films that makes you leave the theatre with a grin from ear to ear. Released in 2007 after delays and controversy, director Julie Taymor’s masterpiece faded into obscurity; dead end Golden Globe and Oscar nominations did little to bolster appreciation for what I can honestly say is one of the best musicals in modern history.

A link to Across the Universe…

A Musical Theory


Despite the fact I couldn’t carry a tune to save my life, I secretly dreamed of being a “do-wap” girl. To be honest I thought life should be a musical. Certain there was a tune for any situation – I would imagine city streets erupting into song and dance. Maybe I was having a bad day or bored out of my mind; I can’t say for sure, it was a long time ago. The point is – music made everything right – even if it was only in my head.

Watch the little girl in the video; not a care in the world, allowing herself to taken away by music. Music is primal, powerful, and liberating. The world would be a better place if we all just let our hair down and gave into it. Playing For Change is trying to spread that message – go ahead, let down your guard and dance, The world might  seem a bit easier to take –  and for anyone with 13 minutes to spare, click on the link below  – Clarence Bekker kicks ass.

Maybe I’m a Little Biased


Maybe I’m a little biased, this photograph was taken by my husband. That said, he’s damn good.

Forget travel books and on-line forums, if you want a glimpse of Vancouver, Canada, and dabbles of places in between; click on the link below.

Pondering Cover Songs

Every once and a while I stumble upon a great cover of some song I love. “Covering” another artists music is tricky; especially if the song is well known, or the artist has a unique voice or style. Tribute bands can scrape together a living playing rock for booze fuelled patrons in bars across the country; most likely decent musicians, but lacking the creativity or inexplicable quality to set them apart.

Often the most appealing “covers” are those performed by an artist who simply plays “tribute” by singing something from their heart and soul. No pretention, no mimicking, no effort. It’s no secret Neil Young is one of my favourite artists, I would place him at the top of my list. This lovely cover of Old Man by Elen Wendt put a smile on my face.

Pondering Geeks

Why is it that people who speak fluent Klingon, translate time into “star dates”, grow pasty in their solitary gaming dens; coaxed out into a world of actual human contact, only when fan expos or game releases demand a physical presence – are called “geeks”? While those who delve into ancient history, gaze at the stars, or question logistics of ancient mysteries are called “wing nuts” or conspiracy theorists?

I don’t speak a word of Klingon despite growing up on Star Trek, haven’t played a video game since Pac Man ruled the pub, and gawk in astonishment as costumed devotees line up for science fiction conventions. Before any one jumps down my pondering throat – I am speaking broad generalizations. All gamers couldn’t possibly aspire to learn Klingon or dress up for Comicon. Science Fiction and fantasy thrive on imagination, role play, escape, and wonder. It just so happens that we give the name “geek” to those people who take it most seriously.

The term “geek” evokes an instant understanding, dare I say explanation for behaviour. Free from truly negative connotations; a geek is harmless, perhaps a little lacking is social graces or self esteem, and thanks to Hollywood writers – capable of saving the day. “Geeks” are free to imagine, escape, and wonder – unfettered by a society willing to look beyond first impressions. Once labelled “geek”, behaviour is overlooked or dismissed as quirky – no harm, no foul.

I’m a geek of sorts. Living in a world of imagination and wonder – the problem rears its ugly head when my inner geek is classified as “wing nut”, or worst of all alien or conspiracy theorist. I ponder ancient accomplishments with wild abandon, don’t for one second think we are alone in the universe, scratch my head; yet not once have I entertained “ancient aliens” or conspiracies. Eyes start to roll at the mention of solar flares or near earth asteroids – all seemingly lumped in with my fondness for ancient cultures fascination with the constellation Orion.

My “geek” and Klingon geek may be like talking apples and oranges. Just the same; I want a warm fuzzy name for my geeky interests. I’m a lot more vocal than Klingon speaking dungeon masters, spend more time in science than fiction, and am quite certain my analogy will be lost on many a now irate gamer. Put your swords and magic potions away, I’m making a point.

Ponder the label geek and then conspiracy theorist. The first is passive, the later aggressive. Maybe if we came up with a socially acceptable generalization for people who marvel at the ancients or gaze at the stars, I wouldn’t be so pissed off when having to explain for the hundredth time – there are marvels beyond explanation shaping our universe. Not any God, not alien intervention – simply kick ass accomplishments that make me smile – not crazy, just a pondering geek.

A – Z Poetry: P Is For Pink

In keeping with the A – Z poetry challenge; I offer Pink. Penned 40 years ago by my mother, an example of `pink prose` offered to students in her English class. So bad and unlike any of her published prose, all I can do is laugh out loud.  I`m certain she`ll crack a smile when I call her tomorrow to tell her `Pink`is public.

The summer I finally got laid, was a summer of pink lemonade.

With pink geraniums in the gin,

Pink fireflies flitting out and in.

Pink planets plunking banjo stars, with Jupiter as pink as Mars.

When rosy Venus opened up, my blushing petals like a cup,

I laughed like strawberry jello to think,

Even the panther invader was pink.

We combed our hair with pink shell combs, sunrise was pink when we went home.

I write it all down with my pink pen, because pinks been my colour ever since then.

Obviously this is not a `P`poem but a `Pink`poem; chuck me out of the A – Z challenge  with apologies for trying to slip it in. I needed a laugh and this horrible prose makes me smile.

Why Playing For Change?

It occurred to me, I’m always posting songs by Playing For Change without explaining why their message means so much.. It’s no secret how strongly I feel about the power of music, a universal language capable of uniting humanity.  Since man first beat two sticks together, or banged  a drum – music signaled ceremony, celebration, battle and protest.

Playing For Change is the name given to a movement started in 2004 by California music producers Mark Johnson and Enzo Buono. They heard street musician Roger Ridley playing Stand By Me in Santa Monica, and the rest is history. Travelling the world, they recorded street musicians interpretation of a song, compiling them into a single. Their vision is to bring people of all cultures together, breaking down barriers through music.

Playing For Change  core musicians  tour, so check out the link below and catch a show if you can. I missed them last year in Vancouver and am still kicking myself.

Playing For Change has a non profit foundation that funds music schools and programs in developing countries.With three in Ghana, and one each in Nepal, Rwanda, Mali, and South Africa. Never underestimate the power of music; who knows, it just might succeed when all else fails.