Jekyll Island Beach 2012

Jekyll Island Beach 2012
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Thursday, December 30, 2010

How To "Kindle" A Fire In My Heart!



The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny has given us an easy lesson for this week about the new year that is almost upon us. I am resolving to read more during the winter. I am usually so busy during the fall and winter that I don't have much time to sit down and read a good book. I try to make up for that in the summer, as witnessed by my reading list on the left-hand side of my blog. That has changed! I got a great new toy for Christmas! A Kindle! It was given to me by Rod's daughter, Allison! I was overwhelmed! As soon as Keil set it up for me, I was off to download books from Amazon.com, including one really low-priced one (.99) about where to download FREE books!

I have already read one of the books I downloaded. It is by Pat Conroy, one of my and Rod's favorite authors. Everyone who loves to write should read "My Reading Life." It is like a book list of all Pat's favorite books, and a list of his favorite people. It is also a book about how to be a better writer. I really need that part in a bad way, so I devoured Pat's book in two sittings!

The most important element in Pat's book is how a love of reading, instilled in him by his mother, helped ease the hurt in his life from having an abusive parent, his father.

Actually Pat and I have a lot in common. He was born in Atlanta--so was I. He suffered from child abuse--so did I. He has been married three times--so have I. His current marriage is wonderful--so is mine. He has published ten books-- so... oops! I guess that's where the similarities end! The only thing I publish are posts!!

The first of his books that gained notoriety is "The Water is Wide." This book tells the story of his teaching assignment on Daufausky Island, on the Carolina coast, and how he was fired from that job for his unconventional teaching practices. He won a humanitarian award from the National Education Association for that book. It was also made into a movie, "Conrack," and if you haven't seen it, well you just should!!

His novel, "The Great Santini," was also made into a movie. The main character in this one is based on his father, who ruled with a military hand, and lots of general meanness!!

The book most people know Pat for is "The Prince of Tides," which was ALSO made into a movie starring Nick Nolte, Barbra Streisand, and Blythe Danner. I have no idea just how many times I have read that book, or seen the movie, for that matter. Whenever Rod is channel-surfing and happens to find it playing, he stops what he is doing to watch it again. He claims he has never seen it all the way through, but that is just a ruse to watch it again.

Pat lives on Fripp Island, very near to where my favorite cousin has a home on Harbor Island. The next vacation we take (now that I have a Kindle) will be to visit her, and I just might go knock on Pat's door. Oh, yeah! You are all laughing at that! Uh huh! But I actually have an "in!!!" Yes, I do!! Pat worships Thomas Wolfe! He probably knows more about Thomas Wolf than anyone, and that is the truth. If he could, he would like to come back as Thomas Wolfe in another life! I happen to have two things that Pat would love to see--I have a picture of the boarding house in Asheville, N. Carolina that was owned by Tom's mother, and where Tom lived as a child. The picture is VERY old!! Some of the boarders are lounging around on the porch and front yard, even!! AND I have a letter that was written by Tom to one of his family members. Well, do you think that will let me in the door???

"Show us!" you are all saying. You want me to show you that picture! You want me to post it on my blog! O.k., well, I would do that, and I WILL do that just as soon as I can find it in my studio. You see, several months ago I was FORCED to do some serious cleaning in my studio in order to make room for a bed for guests, since Keil was sleeping in our guest bedroom. I worked really hard on that project. I worked so hard that I cannot remember just what box that photo is in. BUT I will find it withing the next few days, and attach it to this post so you will know that I am not full of bull baloney, if there is such a thing.

While you are waiting to see that picture of Julia Wolfe's boarding house, please read "My Reading Life." You will really be glad that you did!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Let Him Speak Now...

The Rogue Speaks:

Well, I'm only one day late for Jenny's Saturday Centus! I decided to write about something that actually happened many years ago when Rod and I were professional wedding guests(the children of our friends kept us on the go to many places around the country.). This took place in the same little church in which John F. Kennedy Jr's wife was baptised. We were in high cotton, but more about that later. This sort of thing only happens in movies, right? Wrong!! And we have lots of witnesses to prove it!!

The white-bearded man rolled through the church door,and staggered into a pew. Eyes rolled and hushed whispers could be heard.

“... let him speak now, or forever hold his peace..."said the minister.

"Let me speak!" shouted the man.

"Shut up, Eddie," someone said, pushing him down in his seat, The bride gripped her bouquet.

"PleasePeasePlease," her lips moved silently.

"I want to speak!" And again a hand appeared, shoving him back down.

Quietly, the minister spoke to the man. Then he returned to the bride and groom.

“Friends, Uncle Eddie wants to bless this union. Thank you, sir, for your sentiments."

"...off the wagon again!" each whispered to the next.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Presents


The Rogue Speaks:

I am a thief! I stole the ornament picture from one of my favorite bloggers so I could share it with you today. I sent her an email after the fact, because it is easier to get forgiveness than permission. At least, that is what my BFA always says.

I started my blog almost one year ago. It has changed directions many times in the last months, and it has finally come to rest at a spot that is very comfortable for me. I have read a lot of blogs and have reached out to a lot, as well. We tend to gravitate to those where we feel a kinship. It seems a little strange to people who are not bloggers that I consider the people whose blogs I follow as "friends," because we meet only in cyber-space. My answer to them is that one can certainly learn a lot by reading the words of others on a regular basis.

Today, I want to thank you for all the gifts I have received from you over the last months. They are my Christmas presents all year round.

Merry Christmas, my friends!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Rogue likes M for Miracle






The Rogue Speaks: Merry Christmas to everyone, and especially to Jenny for making us test our brains twice a week. I decided that rather than write something long winded and pedantic, I would instead give your some pictures to ponder about the miracle of Christmas. To all my blogging friends, I wish you a Merry Christmas, or a Happy Holiday, or maybe just a good weekend--whatever applies!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Our Christmas Letter







The Rogue Speaks:



Dear Friends and Family,

It’s hard to believe that another year has passed since we last wrote you. I hope you can read this without too much trouble. I suffered a broken hand while picking up a quarter on the floor at WalMart during the after-Thanksgiving sale. I guess that fat lady never saw me dive for it first.

This has been a pretty rough year for us. Junior was convicted, as most of you saw on the national news, and is serving 25 to life. Grandma blamed herself for giving him that assault rifle for his 21st birthday. Poor Grandma became so depressed over the whole thing that we had to put her in the old folks home, but it was closed down after a drug raid, so she had to go stay with her sister in the Swan Lake trailer park south of town. Unfortunately, a tornado came through and flattened the whole park. We never did find Grandma, God rest her soul.

Dad is recovering from surgery after trying to scrape a fresh possum off the road and getting hit by the mail truck. Clyde,the mailman, claims he never saw him, but we don’t believe that for a minute. It’s hard to miss Dad’s big butt with that red bandana sticking out of the pocket. Poor Dad really wanted possum stew for dinner.

There was one bright spot in our year when little Clara Nell got married to Clarence Wallermuck. You remember Clarence—he’s the fellow owns the Porta-Potty clean-out service. Has his own truck and everything! The wedding was quite the affair! The kids lined the church aisle with Charmin’ in honor of Clarence. Mabelle Pust, who owns the Bait and Cake Shoppe, made a chocolate cake in the shape of a Porta-Potty. We had a lot of that cake left over, and I froze it for Clara Nell and Clarence’s first anniversary. I think people would have eaten more if Clara Nell hadn’t gone into labor at the reception. Her water broke right in the receiving line and Clarence’s mother, Iphelia, slipped in the puddle and broke her hip. After someone called 911, the reception sort of broke up.

Clara Nell had twins! Two little boys that look just like Clarence! Let’s hope they follow in his footsteps! I am enclosing some pictures. There's one of our new Christmas wreath. Since Dad is laid up, and can't go hunting, he made it out of shotgun shells! He's always been the artistic type. Then there's one of Clara Nell and Clarence when they got engaged. I enclosed a picture of the twins. Don't they look just like Clarence? I took a picture of the Christmas tree in the WalMart so as to give me ideas for next Christmas. Ricky Bobby snapped that picture of me picking up the quarter in WalMart just before that fat lady came around the corner and dove for it too. We're using it as evidence in the lawsuit.

Well, that’s all the news from here. I want to get this in the mail box pretty quick, and get down to the Circle ‘n Shop before they run out of their Christmas Spam special.

We hope you have a Merry Christmas, but don't drink too much of the family recipe, or you'll go blind like Uncle Hiram did that year at the family reunion at the Moose Lodge.

Love to you all, and write me sometime.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Rogue With An "L"







The Rogue Speaks:

It' time again for YOU-KNOW-WHAT. Today I am writing about an artist who is also my friend. We met shortly after I moved to Tucson and soon became the best kind of friends that people can have in life. So without further ado, I present for my L offering, the life and times of Diane Loving:


Born the illegitimate daughter of Pablo Picasso and his eighty-fourth mistress, Diane Loving was forced to flee Paris after what has been called internationally “L’Incident du Louvre,” where she insisted upon “prettifying” her father’s works by cutting out facial features on his portraits and pasting them back on…properly. I mean, whoever heard of some lady having 2 eyes on one side of her upside down nose ?

Diane lived briefly in New York until the fateful night of the “Warhol Incident,” when she took a can opener to several of Andy’s famous Campbell Soup silkscreens. Though she was hailed by some critics, several members of Warhol’s Factory bought her a one-way ticket to Los Angeles where she thrived designing masterpieces sprayed onto buildings in the dead of night. This became known as the “Spray Paint Incident,” if only in Diane’s own head. She escaped to Tucson 2 steps ahead of the law.

The colors of the desert inspired Diane to paint canvases in beige, ecru, eggshell, brown, tan and dirt tones. She fought this inspiration however, and settled for exploring the intricacies of filigree with pen and black ink.

Diane’s works can be seen locally in galleries in Tucson and Tubac, and someday her works may re-appear in Italy, if the Vatican Council ever issues a pardon for the “Sistine Chapel Ceiling Incident.”

If you ever hear that I have been arrested and taken to jail for participating in some wild and dangerous act, you can bet the Diane will be my cell-mate, unless she was able to out-fox the law and make a clean getaway, leaving me holding the evidence.

Oh, and if I ever disappear while trying to find the home of a Guild artist who happens to live near the end of the earth, I guarantee that Diane will have been driving the car, leaving me to be the navigator, while knowing full well that I have serious right/left issues.

I must confess that I plagiarized the first part of this post, having stolen it from the Guild's Bio Book of Artists. I hope you still enjoyed reading it, though.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What Were You Thinking???

The Rogue Speaks:

I know I am getting old when it takes me more than two days to recover from Holidazzle! I haven't even finished reading all the offerings from Thursday, and it's Sunday! My offering for Jenny's Saturday Centus is kinda sorta true, but not all the way true. Here goes:

"An involuntary gasp of shock escaped my lips when I opened the shoebox and saw the pointy-toed shoes..."The grin on his face and the quizzical look in his eyes told me he was anxious for a response. I was speechless. Pointy toes? High heels? Where has he been for the last decade? All cruel shoes had been swept from my closet, never to be worn again in my lifetime. Had he not noticed my poor feet, and the horrible blisters and pain I had suffered? Did he forget about the surgeries and the months-long recoveries?

"I love to see you in fancy shoes! Try them on!!"

I stared at him in disbelief.

"You first," I replied.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Rogue Named Klee (1879-1940)





The Rogue Speaks:

Paul Klee, who was born in Switzerland in 1879, didn't start out to become a rogue, even though he began drawing at an early age. When he was seven, he began playing the violin, and when he was eight, his grandmother gave him some sidewalk chalk. I am amazed that sidewalk chalk had even been invented back then!! In any case, Klee was equally talented in both music and art. His parents wanted him to become a musician, but when he became a teen, he rebelled! Now that sounds familiar, doesn't it? He wasn't too keen on the "modern" music of his day, and he wanted to be free to CREATE and explore new artistic styles.

Klee began keeping a diary when he was 18, so we have a lot of insight into his life and the way he perceived it. Like a lot of rebellious young people, he drew in his school-books, daydreamed, and barely passed his final exams. "After all," he wrote,"it's rather difficult to achieve the exact minimum, and it involves risks."

Well, wouldn't you know it! Like so many other artists I have written about lately, his youthful adventure revolved around pubs, and sex! He had an illegitimate son in 1900, but the boy died shortly after he was born.

Klee married Lily Stumpf, a pianist, in 1906. Lily gave piano lessons, and an occasional concert while Klee stayed home to care for their little son, and work on his drawings. As we all know, multi-tasking with a child around is not easy, and it was no different for Klee.

Klee was afraid of color in his early years. He had done mostly drawing and etching, and found using color to be somewhat intimidating. This all changed in 1914 when he was visiting Tunisia. The quality of light there seemed to transform him and he wrote, "Color has taken possession of me; no longer do I have to chase after it. I know that it has hold of me forever...Color and I are one. I am a painter."

His new-found love of color prompted him to begin painting in the pure abstract style, and his work took on a certain harmony much like a musical composition. I don't know if Klee had music playing while he created his paintings, but I certainly love to have music in the background to inspire me while I work! If only I could be as creative and expressive as Klee...

When WWI began, Klee joined the German army, but instead of fighting at the front, after some finagling by his father, he served by working as a clerk, and painting camouflage on airplanes. He still continued to exhibit his work, and by 1917, he had become one of the best new German artists.

In 1933, Paul became ill with a fatal disease, scleroderma. He still continued to work, although very slowly. In 1936, he only produced 25 paintings. Paul Klee died a painful death in Switzerland on June 29, 1940.

For me, Klee's legacy is his manipulation of color. He became a wonderful teacher, and taught the mixing of color, and his color theory to his students at the Bauhaus.

"Art does not reproduce the visible; rathert it makes visible." -Paul Klee

I hope you have enjoyed my letter "K" for Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday. I am off now, to Jenny's blog to read ALL of this week's offerings. I hope you will do the same!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Whew! I'm Tired But Happy!!














The Rogue Speaks:

Another "Holidazzle" is now behind us. That's the name of the Southern Arizona Arts Guild winter exhibition and sale. This is the eighth year, and they just keep getting better and better! My BFA and I were co-chairs for this event. We have been as busy as ants since last Thursday morning when the artists checked into the venue with their work. Our reception was Friday night, and the place was packed. Just give a patron a couple of glasses of wine and turn'um loose. Needless to say, it was a financial success. Saturday sales were even better, and we broke our Sunday sales record yesterday. So today a few stragglers came to collect their paintings and then Diane and I went out to breakfast. I came home to my two furry children and we hugged and kissed and then collapsed in the recliner.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

LEAVE ME ALONE!!!!

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny Matlock has given us a very meaningful prompt for this week's Saturday Centus. Actually, she has given us two, but I will only address one this week. It is about boundaries. We all know what they are, and we should respect the boundaries of our friends and family members. Unfortunately, I am the only person in my family who knows about boundaries. That is why I live here, and they live there, and ne'er the twain shall meet! Unfortunately, this is an actual conversation between me and a member of my family who is now deceased. The prompt is in bold type, and here is my offering:

"My husband's salary is none of your business."
"Well, I just want to be sure that you are being well taken care of."
"That's a switch! You didn't give a rat's ass that my first husband was beating the hairy flang out of me on a daily basis."
"You're exagerating."
"You're just nosey."
" Humph! Well, forget about that! Come on! I want to show you what my renter has in the apartment downstairs."
"You have to recognize that a boundary is a boundary. You have no right to go snooping through her things! She PAYS you to live there, not to SNOOP!!"
"Whatever!"

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I READ IT IN THE STARS!!

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny! You have given us quite an assignment!We're writing our 100 word offering around a horoscope in today's paper?? Someone stayed up very late to come up with that one!! My horoscope message is a couple of days early, but still pretty much on target. I'm not using mine, though. I'm sure my blogging friends are not interested in hearing about Bunco here on Monday night. Frankly, following so closely on the heels of Thanksgiving, I'm not particularly interested, either, but since I host only once a year, I'll serve dinner to 16 dice-throwing women, with a smile, and I won't be making anything with leftover turkey in it either!!

I am using my son Joey's, instead. He is a Leo. The horoscope will be in bold type, and my offering will follow.

LEO (July 23-Aug.22)**** You cannot and will not be held down. Let your imagination combine with another person's inspired vision. You learn that nearly anything is possible.

Anything is possible. I've heard that all my life. Do I believe it? Maybe not at my age, but it could be for my son. He's young, a gifted teacher and writer, with a wonderful, supportive wife and twin toddlers!

He's been down lately--Mom knows! When he was teaching "at risk" teens, and mentally or physically challenged ones, he used his imagination to make them eager to learn.
Now he's teaching "smart kids." Many are lazy, and having them reach their potential is a struggle. He's lost sight of his vision, and needs some inspiration. I'm calling him!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm Thankful I Wasn't A Pilgrim!!




The Rogue Speaks:

It took the Mayflower 66 days to sail from Plymouth, England to the tip of Cape Cod. The 102 passengers were not on a Disney Cruise!! The trip was treacherous, to say the least, and the ship ended up far north of the Hudson River, which was supposed to be their destination. They hung around Cape Cod for about a month before crossing Massachusetts Bay, to the rock they named Plymouth.

The first winter was a woolly booger!! Most of the people never left the ship! It was brutally cold, and the poor Pilgrims suffered from scurvy, frost-bite, and a few contagious diseases, and many of them died without setting foot on American soil.

When spring finally came only around fifty Pilgrims were still alive. They went on shore in March, and were stunned when they were greeted by an English-speaking Abenaki Indian. He visited again and brought his friend, Squanto, a Pawtuxet. Squanto had been kidnapped by an English sea captain and became a slave. He escaped London and came back to America with an expedition.

The Pilgrims were pretty weak and malnourished after the long winter. Squanto taught them how to plant corn, catch fish, and get sap from maple trees. He also taught them to stay away from poison ivy, and other poisonous plants.

Governor Bradford decided to have a celebration in November of 1621, because the Pilgrims' corn harvest was so successful. He invited the Indians who had helped the Pilgrims, and they showed up with five deer. I guess they cooked them on a homemade spit, because the Pilgrims had no ovens. There wasn't enough sugar left on board the Mayflower for cakes and pies, so I guess they ate venison and corn, and whatever else the Indians showed them how to grow. So that celebration, which lasted for three days, was actually the first Thanksgiving, even though the Pilgrims didn't call it that.

In 1817, New York became the first state to celebrate Thanksgiving. Other states soon followed suit. In 1827, Sarah Josepha Hale (who wrote "Mary Had A Little Lamb" among other things) campaigned to have Thanksgiving as a national holiday. It wasn't until 1863 that Abe Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving as a legal holiday, to be held on the last Thursday in November. In 1939, FDR moved the date up a week in an attempt to increase retail sales during the Depression. That angered a lot of people, so he was forced to change it to the fourth Thursday.

The first Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade was held in 1924, with mostly bands and floats. They didn't have big balloons, but they did have live animals. The first animal balloons appeared in the 1927 parade. The first Micky Mouse balloon appeared in the parade of 1934. It is a tradition that New Yorkers gather the day before Thanksgiving to watch the filling of the giant helium balloons.

Beginning around the mid-20th century, the U.S. presidents started giving reprieves to one or two Thanksgiving turkeys each year. I believe Mr. Tom T. Urkee was one of those who was pardoned. I know you all remember him fondly.

It has become sort of a tradition for folks to express their thanks for various things during Thanksgiving, so I'll go first: I am thankful for JennieO turkeys because they were only 29 cents a pound at the grocery, and because if I had to go out and shoot one and clean it, my family would starve for sure. I am thankful for only having to bring two dishes to Allison's, the turkey and my squash casserole. I am thankful that Rod cleans up after dinner. Of course he does that every night, but I am still thankful.

I am thankful that I don't have to wear socks to bed this winter because Lizzy and Mulligan will keep my feet warm. Rod is thankful that I won't be wearing socks to bed, too, because he thinks I look goofy with socks on.

I am thankful that my children are all gainfully employed, and have given me such beautiful, smart, and talented grandchildren.

Finally, I am thankful to be living in America, despite the current unemployment dilemma, the deplorable outsourcing by companies to whom we gave bailout money, and the mean-spirited, divisive nature and uncompromising attitudes of certain politicians these days. This is still my home, and I'm gonna love it, come rain or come shine.

I am also thankful that God invented the Internet, and then gave me such nice blogger friends to hang out with every day.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pardon Me, Roy

The Rogue Speaks:


STOP!! Before you ready any further, you must first go read Tennessee Mudbug's offering for Jenny's Saturday Centus. Then with a smile on your face and a tune running through your mind, you can read the rest of this post.

Roy was so proud of himself! He had just gotten a deal on a stylish pair of new shoes! After a couple of blocks, though, those shoes began to pinch a bit. Roy sat down on a park bench, took off his shoes, and set them on the ground beside him. He closed his eyes as he rubbed his sore feet.

When he opened his eyes, he saw a mangey alley cat gnawing on his new leather shoes! He grabbed his shoes and the cat took off running with Roy hot on his trail.

As he was coming out of the drygoods store, Mr. Tom T. Urkee saw his friend Roy dashing by. Fearing he had been mugged, Mr. Tom hurried to catch up with Roy. Poor Roy stopped, out of breath, just as Mr. Tom caught up. Roy told his friend his tale of woe.

While Roy was talking, Mr. Tom saw something moving out of the corner of his eye. "Pardon me," said Mr. Tom T. Urkee in his usual singsong voice, pointing to something in the alley. "Pardon me, Roy. Is that the cat who chewed your new shoes?"



Note: Just so you know, this is not my Saturday Centus. You'll have to scroll down to read that!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

KEEPING ABREAST OF THE SEASON

The Rogue Speaks:

Jenny Matlock's Saturday Centus really has us pecking around this morning, trying to find just the right 100 words for her prompt. This one is a real challenge, but here goes:

"Pardon me," said Mr. Tom T. Urkee, but do you happen to have this in a short?"

"Sorry, sir, but that model only comes in large. Judging from your mid-section, I believe you would take a large. No offense, sir. You'll have to roll the legs up, though. Do you want to try it on?"

"I think I'll take it, but I would like to just wear it home, if that's o.k."

"Certainly, sir. I'm sure you'll be wanting the white beard as well."

"Can't forget THAT item! It makes the look complete, and keeps me safe. Now, do you think I look like Santa Claus?"

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"I" is for Isolde




The Rogue Speaks:

Here is my contribution to Alphabe-Thursday. I am still on the lookout for an artist, or composer who has led an exemplary life.

Before you get into reading this, pay attention to the music! It is from the opera, Tristan und Isolde, written by German composer, Richard Wagner (1813 - 1883). About the only thing I can say regarding Wagner's personal life is that he didn't drink to excess, or do drugs! He did frequently skip out on his debts, and he did cheat on his wife, but not before she cheated on him. He did have illegitimate children.

This particular passage from the opera, the love theme, is known to many people as Wagner's musical orgasm. If you listen all the way through, you will see why.

Now on to Isolde! Isolde was the daughter of a King of Ireland. In an arranged marriage, she is betrothed to King Mark of Cornwall. He was OLD, and Isolde is not happy about getting stuck with him. Her mother isn't too keen on it either, so she gives a flask of a love potion to Isolde's maid. The maid is supposed to give it to Isolde on her wedding night, hoping it will make Isolde's life at least tolerable after the marriage.

A young man, Tristan, the nephew of King Mark, is sent to escort Isolde back to Cornwall for the wedding. They sail away from Ireland, and soon the weather becomes uncomfortably hot for the passengers on board the ship. To keep everyone happy, Isolde sends one of the servants below to find some refreshing drinks for everyone. The first thing he finds, as fate would have it, is the flask of the love potion. I've yet to understand just what he was doing, rummaging through the maid's stuff to find it.

Isolde has no idea what she is doing, but she gives some to Tristan, and then takes a few sips herself. Well, you can imagine what happens next! Eternal love, of course!!

The two just can't stay away from each other, and spend the rest of the trip doing what lovers in the heat of passion do. Unfortunately, the boat ride is way too short, and they soon arrive in Cornwall.

Old uncle King Mark immediately falls in love with the beautiful Isolde. As soon as the wedding is over, King Mark and Isolde retire to the marriage bed. It would not bode well for the relationship should Mark find out that Isolde is not a virgin, so the devoted maid secretly takes Isolde's place in the arms of her new husband. Then Isolde sneaks off to be with Tristan. In the wee hours of the morning, she sneaks back into her husband's bed. Remember, Mark is pretty old, and Viagra hadn't been invented, so she was pretty safe from an early morning wrestling match.

Eventually, Mark finds out about the two lovers, and boy, was he pissed! He forgives Isolde, but not his nephew. It is off into exile for poor Tristan.

Tristan tries to forget about his heartache by joining King Arthur in Camelot. Eventually he makes quite a name for himself in Arthur's court. Subsequently, Tristan is sent on a quest, and while travelling through Brittany, he meets Iseult of Brittany. He fixates on her because of her name. King Arthur arranges the wedding, and so the two marry. Because he is still so desperately in love with Isolde, Tristan doesn't consummate the marriage, and it ends up being a "name only" deal.

Tristan becomes horribly ill. I suspect it was probably salmonella, or maybe e-coli, because there was not refrigeration in those days, and no antibacterial soap. In any case, he is pretty sick!

Tristan, fever raging, sends for Isolde in the hope that she will be able to cure him. This really annoys Iseult, his wife. She thought that eventually he would get over Isolde and they could start having children.

If Isolde, Queen of Cornwall, agrees to come to Tristan's aid, it was decided that the sails on the ship would be white. If she decides to blow him off, then the sails would be black.

Iseult stands at the window, looking for the ship. She is insanely jealous, and resents the fact that Tristan is calling out to another woman on his deathbed. Suddenly she sees the ship and its billowing WHITE sails.

"So sorry, Tristan," she says, "The sails are BLACK. No white sails for you!"

Poor Tristan! He is so overcome with grief, that he just rolls over and dies. When Isolde shows up and finds him dead, she is so broken-hearted that she just drops dead as well.

As most good romantic tales go, the two were buried side by side. From Tristan's grave, there grew a vine, and from Isolde's, a rose, naturally! The two plants became intertwined forever.

Now that you know the story, please listen to the music again. If you didn't get it before, you surely will now.



Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Last Goodbye

The Rogue Speaks:

Saturday Centus really crept up on me--I am still reading Alphabe-Thursday entries. Jenny has come up with a challenging prompt this week, so here goes:

The early November sunshine cast golden rays across the daybed in the den. A shaft of sunlight has fallen across her sweet face and makes me catch my breath. I cannot bear to lose her, and yet I feel her suffering with every beat of my heart. We have a secret language, a language of the eyes, created by all the years together.

I call her name, and she looks up at me. The sadness and pain in those beautiful eyes brings tears to my own. I bend to touch her and feel fever heat. My heart is breaking. The time has come for the last goodbye.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

H is for Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec





The Rogue Speaks:

Little Henri came by his creativity honestly. His father was a rather eccentric fellow who loved playing dress-up! Now before you start getting the wrong idea, he was not actually a cross-dresser. He had cowboy outfit he was fond of wearing, and once appeared in public wearing a Scottish plaid and a dancer's tutu at the same time. One of his pastimes, aside from hunting, was chasing young women. He was also quite interested in the arts, and dabbled in sculpture.

In 1879, at the age of 15, Henri broke one of his legs. The following year, he broke the other leg! The breaks were at growth plates and did not mend well, and as a result, Henri's upper body grew normally, but his legs stopped growing and became misshapen. He looked like a grotesque dwarf.

Henri had always been interested in art, and because of his deformities, his family decided to encourage his interest. Before his accidents, he had been studying art in earnest under a portraitist, Leon Bonnat, but Bonnat's career was near its end, and Henri later studied under Fernand Cormon. Cormon's studio was in Montmartre, and it was there that Henri began his discovery of dance halls and cabarets.

Henri had boundless, and a boundless thirst for alcohol!! He worked hard by day, but his nights were spend wandering around Montmartre, popping in and out of dance halls and brothels, known as the maisons closes.

Henri's lifestyle, as one might surmise, was very unhealthy! Despite his deformities, he was extremely sexually active and referred to himself as "a little teapot with a big spout." He naturally came down with syphilis, and became quite an alcoholic! At one point he had an attach of delirium tremons and was hauled off to an asylum. He dried out for around three months, but after he was released, he started drinking again. In August of 1901, he had a stroke, and was taken care by his mother at her home. He died three weeks later.

Henri was most noted for his wonderful posters, most of which were produced for his favorite dance hall, La Moulin Rouge. His portraits were lovely and sensitive, and he painted many of the prostitutes and dance hall women he had come to know.

My BFA gave me a coffee cup with the image of Jane Avril (4th photo down) and I frequently have my coffee while thinking of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, one of the few artists who actually made money before he drank himself to death. One day I will tell you about an artist who did not abuse his body with drugs, alcohol, or prostitutes, and was successful before death. I just have to find one.

Friday, November 5, 2010

OUR PRECIOUS GIRL











The Rogue Speaks:

Precious McEwen, December 12, 1996-November 5, 2010

Precious brought such joy, love, and lots of comic relief into our lives for so many years! It is going to be very hard tonight, not hearing her gentle snoring in my ear, or feel her little back up against me when I am sleeping. Now she is with all the angels in doggie heaven, wherever that may be. Good night, little girl. We love you.