A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Saturday, April 21, 2012


This is interesting.

This is my first post with my new computer, and apparently making some major changes in the system gets me a new way to do blogspot.  Bear with me while I readjust the moved cheese.

It's been an interesting couple of weeks in an interesting couple of months in an interesting couple of years.  I've written before of the domino effect that started about the time that someone recommended Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way.  As is the way with elegant domino designs, mine keeps getting more and more complicated as the tiles fall.  At about the same time that AW came into my life, I also read Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol  and was struck by how close to my personal spiritual belief system his description of noetics fell.  More recently, I was intrigued by this trailer for Tom Shadyac's film, I AM..

The film was in very limited release and so I had to wait until I could buy the dvd to see it.  Have to admit, I was shocked to learn that it wasn't really about what I thought it would be about from the trailer, and very surprised to find a lot of noetics scientists interviewed in this inspirational - no, HOPEful - film.  I AM started a whole new design to fall into place and I have found myself devouring work by Lynne McTaggert (The Intention Experiment and The Field), Wayne Dyer, and Rhonda Byrne.  Last summer I read Deepak Chopra's The Way of the Wizard.  They're all saying the same thing, just in different languages for different audiences.

Last night I enjoyed - for the umpteenth time - the Remember, Dreams Come True fireworks show at Disneyland and was struck by how well one of my favorite Disney songs also shares the same message.

Fate is kind.
She brings to those who love
the sweet fulfillment of 
their secret longing.


When your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme...

Life continues to be an adventure...

Speaking of Disneyland, my mom, sister and brother-in-law and I were there yesterday to enjoy my nephew's Magic Music Days performance at Disney California Adventure.  It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since his performance last year!

My nephew traveled with the band in the band bus, but the rest of us were chauffered by my BIL in the 'Burb.  Now, that was a treat, since I'm usually the driver when I take my mom.  We had breakfast there, then were in time for the first Disneyland Band concert.  This turned out to be a very memorable performance for my mom.

Millions of guests have enjoyed Disneyland over the years, but believe it or not, they do start to recognize frequent guests.  Art, the DL Band conductor, always has a smile and wave for Mom, which is special.

We have been there with two different Hatters over the last year.  Both do fun things with the audience including parades with the kids and - my favorite - the Disneyland Stroller Drill Team.  About a half-dozen times, now, both Hatters have asked Mom if she wanted to participate (in her wheelchair) and she has always declined.  This time, Hatter didn't ask...

My BIL had been pushing her chair.  Hatter kind of slipped past Mom, pushed my BIL to the side and took over the chair.  She said later she couldn't figure out where my BIL was taking her!  You can tell she's just hating this.

Love the Hatter!

Once the DL Band concert was over, it was time to go across to Disney California Adventure to my nephew's concert.  This park is in the final months of  a billion-dollar renovation, and it's going to be spectacular when it's done.  Main Street USA in Disneyland represents the town of Walt Disney's childhood, Marceline, Missouri.  Guests to California Adventure - myself included - have complained that DCA just didn't have the "magic" of Disneyland.  Not enough of Walt there.  So, the theming of the newly-renovated park will be the Los Angeles area at the time that Walt arrived here.

 Re-creation of the Carthay Circle Theater where, in 1937, Disney's Snow White premiered.

They're even resurrecting the Red Line electric car system!

Back again at the Hollywood Backlot performing arts stage ...

Here are my favorite three favorite numbers from his concert band performance.

"Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen).

I know that Cohen has been around forever, but I had not heard of him until a friend posted a clip of "Anthem" last year.  Here's a clip of him singing "Hallelujah" is you want to check it out.

I think that my favorite was this piece by Higgins called "Pueblo..."  By the time they got to this one the sound engineers were having some fun with their music.  I don't know if it will come through my little Coolpix camera recording, but this piece came through especially "ethereal."

And finally, I can't post their Disney performance without a Disney song, so here's "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid.

7th and 8th graders.  Yes, there is hope for music in our world.

After the performance we left my nephew to his friends and the rest of us headed to Disneyland for the day.  We did a little shopping, then settled in at Coke Corner for musical chairs with Hatter and Alice (again) at the piano with Ragtime Robert.

Musical Chairs is always fun, but this time was especially hilarious because (and I've NEVER seen this happen before) people kept taking their kids out of the game mid-stream.  So, Hatter would remove a chair and the music would play, but when the kids sat down they would all have a chair again.  I have never laughed so hard at a Musical Chairs game there.  He was so disgruntled!

It was so much fun - and we were feeling so sorry for Hatter - that we couldn't bring ourselves to leave the Corner until the end of the game, which means we missed the performance of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies that we'd planned.  Another day.

After Coke Corner we headed down to Town Square for the parade.  Sis and BIL had not seen it yet.

They weren't disappointed.

After my last viewing of this parade, I got to thinking about the lyrics from "Chim Chim Cheree."

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-ee!
A sweep is as lucky
As lucky can be

Chim chiminey
Chim chiminey
Chim chim cher-oo!
Good luck will rub off when
I shake 'ands with you
Or blow me a kiss
And that's lucky too

"What would happen, " I wondered, "if I blew a sweep a kiss?"  Do these dancers - young as they are - even know that song?  So, as the darling sweeps came by (they are my favorite) I blew some kisses and...

... this was his first reaction.  I wasn't quick enough with the camera to catch his response, but I got a kiss blown back.  I like to think he got it, and I got my good luck.

From the parade we went immediately to the flag retreat, a moving part of our Disney day now.  Sis and BIL had not seen it yet and were touched.  After that we met my nephew and his friends for dinner at the Plaza Inn (rats!  I forgot to take a picture of the fuchsia baskets).  When we had finished (I splurged on fried chicken this time), we returned to the Coke Corner which is my favorite place to people watch at twilight.  I love this time of evening as the lights come on.

I'm not sure Ragtime Robert was feeling well (he sounded like he had a cold or something) but he kept us entertained well enough.  Mom pronounced him "very talented" (although I think he tends to pound).  Oh, well.  When you've heard the best there, I guess the others will never quite measure up.  Some experiences you just have to be grateful for and "keep moving forward."

We got home quite late, but I made my way home anyway because I had stuff I wanted to do early this morning (and no matter how I try, when I spend the night at Mom's I can't manage to get home much before noon).

We'll be returning to Disneyland next Saturday.  Wouldn't you know, Mom and I FINALLY, after over 50 years, become fans of the Jump Jive Boogie and Swing party on Saturday nights, and they will be closing it down on April 30.  They will be expanding Fantasyland into that space with a significant renovation over the next year.  They say the dancers will be back when it's done, but the regulars tell us they are skeptical.   So, next Saturday is our last chance to enjoy the swing dancers for at least a year - maybe forever - and we don't want to miss it.

Tomorrow should be memorable.  My son, his girlfriend and I are going to Venice (about an hour down the coast) to attend a coffee at a place called the Electric Lodge to hear Tom Shadyac (see above I AM) speak.  It's supposed to be a meet and greet and talk about sustainability.  We'll see.  If the man shows up, I will post something tomorrow.  Whatever, it has been gorgeous here and we should have a lovely drive along PCH.

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