25 January, 2009

My Favorite Redheads

It's a fact. I have always wanted to be a redhead. It is simply unfair! What is the purpose of this complexion, if not to be rewarded with red hair! Still, I do love my dark locks, it's just difficult when all the greats are redheads!

Some of these were my childhood heroes or friends, some are new acquaintances.

Redheads in Fact:

*Elizabeth I (A Fabulous Female! Talk about power and not letting anyone control your destiny)
*Katherine Hepburn (I love a gutsy lady! My favorite actress of all time, she could do drama or comedy)
*Vincent Van Gogh (one of, if not the, greatest painters of all time. I know Starry Night is over-used but, seriously, have you seen it? Also, just had to share, my husband recently purchased this lovely alternate Van Gogh shirt: a "what if" affair.)

Redheads in Fiction:

*All the Weasleys, especially Ron and Ginny ....and the twins...and well....all of them.
*Dr. Crusher (These commercials brought to you by the airforce. That's right kids, stay in school and you might get to meet aliens one day! ahuhu)
*Anne of Green Gables (best moment at 1:45) (Is it weird that I've felt spiritually uplifted from reading these books? And also from the first two movies? Anne is my hero!)
*Mara Jade (Proof that I am an uber dork! Another redhead that kicks serious butt! There's something awesome about a badguy that doesn't know they're really a goodguy. If you like Star Wars, don't read any SW book that isn't written by Timothy Zahn.) (if you click the above link, you will see that I am not as big a fan as I thought!)
*Freckles, the sweet Irish orphan with an angel's voice, he triumphed over his disability and background to gain his heart's dearest wishes while teaching me the beauty, power, and sacredness of nature.


*Mr. Bingley, as portrayed by Simon Woods, did not fit into the fact OR fiction category, so I've placed him here. (I'll never forget when Grannie turned to me in the theatre and said, "Who is that actor?" "I don't know," I replied. She paused, "He's very lovely, isn't he?" Yes Grannie. He certainly is.

21 January, 2009

Great Characters Portrayed by the Perfect Actors

I used to call it a crush, but that was before I'd actually had one of those. I guess it's a movie-star crush, cause I only get it with guys.

It's the power of a great actor portraying a great character.

The first one was funny and sweet Bill Pullman in While You Were Sleeping:

I thought he was my favorite actor, but his only other movie I really like is Spaceballs.

Next came Matthew Broderick in Ladyhawke (Despite the score, huhu) . Skip to time 5:40:

When I finally saw Farris Beuller's Day Off, my crush was killed. (Maybe it was just the accent)

Then along came Jeremy Northam in Emma. This time I thought I was in love with the character....but then I read the book. That's when I realized....it has to be both!

Jeremy Northam is the master of "The Secret Look." If you want some poor girl to fall in love with you, give her that look in front of her friend so she'll hear about it later. She can't think you're doing it on purpose.

Northam uses it to great advantage in The Winslow Boy (skip to 2:25):

Unfortunately, I could only find this clip. He does it even better later on in the film (Which actually has very little romance, so it's great that what they do include is so well done.)

The next closest would have to be Edward Norton in Fight Club (but that might just be because he looks like my husband):

What is it about social diviance that is so attractive!

Finally, my new favorite: The creatively clever out-of-work spy Michael Weston from TV's Burn Notice (Actor Jeffery Donovan). He's got this great dry sarcasm....he's taught us fans so much (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGU8CkOG9a8), and best of all, he knows how to Suit Up! This is the only clip I could find:

I've never enjoyed violence so much!

New episodes start THURSDAY!!!!

19 January, 2009

Something a Little Different

There is only one way to know for sure if you are one of Them.

Some people go their whole lives and never know, because they are never summoned. They suspect, because they have always felt different, special, but they never know for certain. They die alone, cursing The People who should have been their family, never realizing that it is their own fault.

You will never be summoned until you are ready.

And even then, you have to be alert, on your toes. They only give so many chances. After all, what is the point of teaching a student who does not wish to learn?

One day, when you feel particularly alone, you will realize that you've never been alone in your entire life, and, as you look around for Those that are watching you, you will see it, and your breath will catch in your throat at the familiarity in its eyes.

It has been waiting for you.

The Pard are an ancient race, ancestors of the average house cat. They first came to the Ancient Cornish, looking for allies. It was they who set the stones, enabling mankind to reach their land, if only in dreams. A chosen man or woman's spirit may pass through Men-an-Tol only in the deepest of sleeps.

Many men and women desperately trace their history to Cornwall, citing Cornish diaspora as evidence of their own power, but power cannot be claimed, merely bridled. Only when it is tame can it be trained.

The sooner you realize this, the sooner They will come.

There is great discrepancy about timing in these situations. Some say you must greet the Cat on your first meeting, others that it wishes for the respect of patience.

But when you meet your Pard, you will know.

It will be walking parallel to you, on the opposite side of the street, or perhaps sitting on a bench across a garden, looking for all the world like an innocent, average cat.

It might even be a Cat you know, one you've seen in your present or past. It was your best friend's lost kitty, or your grandmother's spoiled empress.

Or it may be a Cat you have never laid eyes on.

In any case, it will be staring, and you must stare back. Breathe slowly, and do not blink. Show it that you are unlearned, but not unequal. Take first one step, then another. The Cat, if it is a Cat, will remain frozen, waiting for you. You must continue in exactly a straight line.

When you are a single pace away, drop to your knees without breaking eye-contact. Now, you must wait. I do not know how long, but in the proper moment, for the first time in your life, you will See.

Only then, is it safe to touch the Cat (they enjoy being scratched behind the ears like any mammal).

That night you will begin your education, your real life.



I was twelve when the cat first came. She was young and lithe, and belonged to the neighbors two doors down. She had a unique coat, with a single wide stripe running down her spine and along her tail, dark grey on light.

I didn't know tame cats had spots.

Occasionally I would see her watching me and, somehow, I knew what to do.

It took a few tries, she would leave before I arrived, or I'd blink and she'd be gone, but one day, she let me come.

I don't know why I was on the other side of the street that day, I'd long since given up my acquaintance with the girls there, they did not understand nor like me, and we had little in common. I still liked them, but I liked everyone. I was too old to be out playing, so I must have been on my way to my grandmother's, but why on the opposite side of the street?

She was in front of the two-story home next to Grandma's, watching me again, waiting for me again.

I took my first step, leaving the sidewalk, praying that no cars would come and disturb my path. I continued with shallow breath, heart pounding all the same, and my progress was so slow, too slow.

I began to panic, willing her to wait, wait until I could get there. I had never been so close before, so sure. I arrived in front of her, hardly knowing what would happen, just that Something surely would!

I knelt before her and, as I reached for her, she stalked away, casually, looking at me with an indifference that had no concept of the magnitude of my situation.

Was that it? I asked. Was that enough?

But my desperate heart knew the answer,
and I dreamed no dreams that night.


Perhaps there were a few more Cats in my life, but they all seem so ordinary now. In the last ten years I have moved four times, each time feeling farther and farther from certainty and humanity. I see only ordinary cats, but occasionally I dream that they are more, only to awake and realize that if they were, they wouldn't want me.

15 January, 2009

Insert Cheesy Title Here

I can barely describe the feeling I want to explain in this post.

Occasionally, I hear a piece of music, either instrumental or in a language I don't understand, that is SO pure....SO exquisite I simply want to....




Those aren't very positive words, but that's as close as I can come.... Something about these rare pieces make me want to change my physical form and....what? Leave my body and become the music? I don't know. All I know is that they make me feel large and small at once. Happy and sad.....but inspired, full of Light....and....peace.

Maybe that's it, Peace.

Whatever this phenomenon is, I'd like to share the melodies that cause it.

I first discovered the feeling while watching the Jody Foster movie Contact. I decided it was my favorite movie, and asked for the soundtrack for Christmas. I haven't seen the movie since, but the music, by Alan Silvestri (Beowulf, Forrest Gump, The Polar Express), still holds me in its power.

I couldn't find it online, but THIS cheesy website uses the main theme in the background. Incidentally, the site is called Pathways to Peace.


Next, I was introduced to Howard Shore, and the magic simplicity of the Shire with: Concerning Hobbits. (See player below for the rest of the songs)


Followed by Renata Tebaldi's O Mio Babbino Caro on Pavarotti's Opera Made Easy: My favorite Opera for Everyone. (I could not find that recording, but Sissel does a beautiful job. I also liked the Renee Fleming one, but her strong vibrato can distract from the purity of the sound.

Listen to those high notes! It just makes me feel....

I have no words.


Next, representing my college years, we have Always with Me, from the Spirited Away Soundtrack. This woman wrote and performed the song, accompanying herself on the LYRE! She was a fan who sent her beautiful work to Mr. Miyazaki (The Disney of Japan--popularity wise, not style wise). It was inspired by a previous movie, but worked well for Spirited Away so it was included as the closing Theme.

You are not allowed to say you don't like Anime until you have seen at least two or three Miyazaki movies. Suggestions? Spirited Away (in English or Japanese), Castle in the Sky (Don't watch it in English, Mark Hamil as the bad guy is fun, but the rest is ridiculous), and Howl's Moving Castle (with the title character voiced by Christian Bale).


Finally, we have the song I scoured the
internet for all morning. Eventually, I found it by typing "Modern Traditional" in google. It has been stuck in my head for a few days, but I couldn't remember the name! I have heard it several times, originally on American Tapestry by Jenny Oaks Baker and Jenny Richards, but couldn't remember where I'd heard it.

So here's Ashokan Farewell.

Enjoy your passage into my head!

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