Saturday, November 20, 2010

Rrrribbitt! Rrrribbitt!

The Boston Common Frog Pond opens for the season on Sunday November 21 at 5:30pm. I can't believe it is time to lace up the skates again!

People were working today to get the ice ready for tomorrow's opening ceremony.

Frog Pond, Boston Common

Momento Mori

Most of my day today was spent downtown, which is something I don't do often enough. I live in Boston; I should take more advantage of going downtown (especially when you can park in the Common Garage all day for $11 on the weekend, as I learned today.) This morning I met my friend "Miss Post" at the movie theater at the Boston Common; we saw Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. It was no surprise after having a complete meltdown on several occasions while reading the book that this was a four hankie (well, Kleenex, in my case) film for me. After the film, we had some lunch and rehashed the film (and possibly cried some more, but I am not telling.) Then we split up as Miss Post went off to run errands, and I went to the Granary Burial Ground on Tremont Street.

Granary Burying Ground, Boston Granary Burying Ground, Boston

The Granary Burying Ground is the third oldest cemetery in Boston, and it is the burial place of a lot of notable Revolutionary War figures. The men killed in the Boston Massacre are buried there, as are Paul Revere, John Hancock, and Samuel Adams. A lot of prominent colonial Bostonians are there too: the first mayor and the first governor as well as Peter Faneuil (of Faneuil Hall fame) and Benjamin Franklin's family (although that great man is buried in Philadelphia.) To walk through the graveyard is to walk through history.

Granary Burying Ground Granary Burying Ground, Boston

I have been by this old cemetery many times, but this was the first time that I actually walked into it, poking around to look at the 17th and 18th century gravestones. Some of them are in marvelously good condition while others showed the wear and tear of exposure to centuries of New England weather. Sometimes I feel really self-conscious taking photos in Boston, but today I felt quite at home among the tourists as I took out my little camera and tried to capture the quiet beauty of the place on this sunny (but chilly) day at the end of autumn.

Granary Burying Ground, Boston Granary Burying Ground, Boston

I know a lot of people don't like graveyards, but I find them beautiful. They are such restful places, as well as interesting. I find myself looking at the stones wondering who these people were and imagining what their lives were like. I wonder what people will think when they, years from now, look at mine.

Granary Burying Ground, Boston Granary Burying Ground, Boston

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Because I love the Interwebs

My friend JR sent me this the other day. She isn't sure where it came from, but it really does sum the internet quite nicely.

(If you know who designed this, please let me know so that I can credit them. Thanks!)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sing Sing Sing

The summer before my senior year of high school I got my bottom wisdom teeth out. Now, it could have been a lot worse (when I got my upper wisdom teeth out six years ago, I had both dry socket and bone fragments), but I was still in a lot of pain. So, in a parallel of what happened when I had the chicken pox in elementary school, I spent a lot of time in the wee small hours of the morning, not asleep in my bed, but watching television in the family room.

On the second night of being unable to sleep, I ended up catching The Benny Goodman Story on American Movie Classics. I loved it. I had been so tired and uncomfortable, and the movie, in particular the music in the movie, completely distracted me, and I completely fell in love with 1940s big band music. When I was finally feeling better, I took myself to the mall to buy some Benny Goodman tapes.

After that it was a downward spiral into the works of Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Harry James, and Django Reinhardt. I watched films like Swing Kids for the music and the dancing. Then of course, there was the whole big band revival in the mid 1990s, where bands like the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Royal Crown Revue, and the Cherry Poppin' Daddies embraced that whole big band vibe, and swing dancing became the thing to do.

I recently got XM Radio, and by far one of my favorite channels is "40s on 4". (Although this channel is temporarily on hiatus due to holiday music; I was NOT happy to discover that yesterday.) I still love current popular music, but there is something about the music of the 1940s that just makes you feel happy to be alive (not surprisingly, as there was a war on when it was being written.) It sets your toe tapping and makes you want to get to your feet, and who couldn't benefit from a bit of that?

(If you click on the links in this entry, it will take you to song clips by the artists so that you can enjoy a little swing too!)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Where is the cast of "Absolute Beginners"?

How much am I loving the Seventies "action set" that I was playing with the other day? So much!!! Doesn't it almost make these photos look like London back in the day? Possibly even straight out of Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy?!? (Hmmm, maybe I will watch that this weekend. I haven't seen that film in a while.)



Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Proudly Embracing the Nineteenth Amendment

First a "shout out" to all of the people working at my polling location: Jackson-Mann School in Allston. Your efforts at making the process easy were greatly appreciated!!

Next, on my way driving back to work after voting on my lunch break, I heard a DJ say "Happy Election Day, if you are into that sort of thing...", and that made me go "huh?". Really? "If you are into that sort of thing"? The bigger question is "why wouldn't you be into that sort of thing?"

Of course people get disillusioned with the government, especially in hard times, and the negative campaign ads haven't helped either. (I think that they are the worst things around.) However, it is important to remember that, for the last 235 years, Americans have made sacrifices, sometimes with their very lives, to allow American citizens to have the freedom to vote for our leaders. Less than 100 years ago, women didn't have that right; even 50 years ago, people of color didn't have that right (not across the country).

So, yes, I think that everyone in America should be "into that sort of thing". Even if you don't like any of the candidates, that shouldn't stop you from voting; you can write in someone. This is our one opportunity every year to actively participate in the running of our national, our state and our local governments. I urge people to take advantage of the opportunity and remember that this is both a responsibility and privilege of being a citizen of the U.S.A.


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