Reflections: A to Z

5/7/16

A to Z Challenge wants reflections.

Turning to the East, I welcome in the Spirit of Air, the place of reflection, contemplation, and communication – among other things that are not coming to mind.

I wanted to do this in 2015, when I first heard about it but was a day too late to sign up. That’s me, Johnny Come Lately. But, there will always be next year… like *raising a glass of Mogen David, and saying “Next year in Jerusalem.”

And so it came to pass that this was last year’s next year, and thanks to Holly Jahangiri from A Fresh Perspective, I found out about the upcoming A to Z through her always helpful blog!

And I signed up. Just like I did back in January 2015 for Blogging 101. Easy Peasy.

I even made a game out of it for my ever faithful readers: Guess What? was the blog post. I even kept it going until one of my crew guessed what the What was.

Then it was April 1. I had not picked a theme, though others I know talked about picking a theme. I used the designation PR which equals personal, and figured that was theme enough. After all, that’s all I ever talk about, the realm of what’s personal to me.

Which brings a quote to mind… but never mind, not really important. It’s just how my mind works. But I did figure out, after all was written and posted on April 30, that next year I’m doing what comes best, easiest for me. MUSIC… There. Just picked next years theme. It can be a month long Monday Music Medicine Show. I’ll call it The April Music Medicine Show, or something like that. A to Z music.

But what of this year’s A to Z? I’m a survivor. Check out the badge over there >>>>

My number went from 1396 to 937. I stuck it out. I made it into the top 1000. Hot dog! I started picking my letters even before the challenge began. I think I got from “A to I” before  first challenge piece went up on my blog.

I did change things over the course of that time, as some of the things were longer, and harder to get stuff for.

I began visiting right off the bat, but that went the way of the dinosaur. I can’t walk and chew gum anymore, so it would seem. I used to be able to. But that was then, and this is now, and I accept my limitations.

I enjoyed it. I groused about it too. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t complain. I missed the structure I’d had at the beginning of my blogging ‘career.’ This was putting that back into my world.

I met some very cool folks:

Roland Yeomans

Curious as a Cathy

Pub Floors

Domestically Dippy

Kurt Nemes

The Squirrel Nutwork

Patterns of Randomness

Crone-ing

All in all, this will go up on the Blogging Hall of Fame of memorable moments. Sort of like faded photographs…

 

A to Z Challenge – More Than Zero

Day 26

April 30 2016

The Zone Letter: Z

Zerophilia

In the world of literature and movies there has been a huge uprising of morphing characters from the likes of vampires, warewoves, and other monsters, not to mention Terminators. All very interesting. But what if a person could shape shift – male to female, and back again – or vice versa? Regardless of anything else, it certainly would give us all a better way to understanding the opposite sex.

Zerophilia is such a movie; a 2005 romantic comedy film with speculative-fiction elements directed by Academy of Motion Pictures’ Student Academy Award-winning director Martin Curland and produced by Microangelo Entertainment. It is about a young man who discovers that he has a genetic condition which will cause a change of sex following each orgasm.

I came across this movie through Netflix. It is likely it came to my attention because of an actor, Kyle Schmid. I first saw him in a vampire movie, “Blood Ties.”

So when Calen wrote about the alternate universe idea, of what if we were able to write the story of us in an alternate universe, my thoughts turned to, what if I’d been born male?

Obviously it will take a far greater amount of time and space to get into that speculation, but I found the idea exceedingly appealing.

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http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/Z

Movie Information – Wikipedia

A to Z Challenge – Youngers in Long Riders

Day 25

April 29, 2016

The Younger Letter: Y

The Younger Brothers and the James Gang

For some of us – and I am one of them – there’s something seductively exciting about a ‘bad boy.’ Who’s to know what it is which draws us to that enigmatic kind of person.

I don’t remember exactly when I found the stories of The James Gang appealing. I do, however, remember that one movie made it a full blown desire to know more.

Long Riders

In “The Long Riders” this group of “Wild Wood Boys” not only brought the story to light, but one of the main things I thoroughly appreciated was that the casting was brilliant.

In a world of outlaws, it seemed that it often became a family affair.

The James Gang was led by Jesse James, and his brother Frank James. Their cronies in crime were the Younger Brothers, Cole Younger, Jim Younger, and Bob Younger. Two other brothers were also a main part of this train and bank robbing group: Clell and Ed Miller. On the outside, wanting to get in, were Charlie and Bob Ford, who never made the cut, but whose part in this story was still a major role in how it all ended up.

James Gang Cast

The idea of ‘crime’ families is not new, and more than likely didn’t begin with the likes of The James Gang. But what I found compelling is the casting of actual real life brothers in the parts.

Jesse and Frank James were played by James and Stacy Keach

Cole, Jim and Bob Younger were played by David, Keith, and Robert Carradine.

Clell and Ed Miller were played by Randy and Dennis Quaid.

And the Ford brothers were played by: Christopher and Nicolas Guest.

This made the relationships within each family and between the characters feel more real.

It also has a most excellent soundtrack, by Ry Cooder!

Here are two samples:

 

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http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/Y

A to Z Challenge – Puzzling

Day 24

April 28, 2016

The X-Files Letter: X

X Marks The Spot

I’ve always been a puzzle enthusiast. The idea of a scavenger hunt, or a treasure hunt is tantalizing. That’s why I’ve fallen in love with a type of game which I refer to as a HOG – Hidden Object Games.

I can spend hours just sitting and searching through scenes to find the items in the list of objects. The graphics are all so beautiful, and if you find the right kind, you can return to a room over and over and the items will be in different places each time.

So, what would a treasure hunt look like here in our blogging community? There’s always a reward. What would be a good reward for people?

I’m thinking, a poll might be in order.

Question: What would be a good reward for the winner(s) of the treasure hunt?

Please enter your answers in the comments section below.

The next step will be announced on Monday 5/2/16

 

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http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ – X

A to Z Challenge – Wonderful World of Dance

Day 23

April 27, 2016

The Winsome Letter: W

West Side Story

When I was a young girl, my family had a tradition for birthdays; dinner and a movie – sounds like a date to me. When I was turning thirteen – a real teenager, no longer pre-teen – I wanted to go see a movie called Diamond Head. Movies at that time had an increase from fifty cents, to ninty nine cents. But, hey, their daughter was worth it.

Anyway, it was at the amazing Valencia theater on Jamaica Man Avenue – where, upon the stage, beneath the screen, I’d be walking across to receive my JHS diploma in one year. But that’s not the point. Great theater, great movie. But wait! The lines! They were out the door and around the block! How could that be? On my birthday, I don’t get to see my chosen movie? My heart was breaking. Turning around I look at the RKO theater right across the street where some other movie was playing, and very few people were waiting to get in to see that film. I grudgingly agreed to go see that one instead.

Of course, I couldn’t know, in that moment, that this other movie would change my life – or at least make that coming of age birthday a whole lot better!

The movie begins with an overture, against the backdrop of an abstract painting of the skyline of New York City – my very own home town – in colors, one morphing into another.

 It’s like a little taste treats from most of the great tune in the picture. Leonard Bernstein wrote this wonderful soundtrack’s music, and Stephen Sondheim gave us the words for the different numbers.

The story centers around two rival gangs, The Jets and The Sharks.

Of course, at the core of this are two young lovers – think Romeo and Juliet since this is a contemporary telling of that story – Tony and Maria, who meet at the dance at the gym.

This is an obvious no-no for both sides which leads to all manner of trouble and becomes just another reason for the two gangs to get into a more serious rumble arena.

After the dance and after it is agreed upon to meet for a war council, The Sharks take to the rooftops to burn off their anger with their girlfriends.

Before the meeting at Doc’s Candy Store, we get to see how the Jets use comic relief to cool their heels.

At the war council, the time and place are set and the two representatives are chosen to fight. The night leading up to the rumble gives us glimpses into the moments of everyone involved.

What Bernardo believes is his chance to get back at Tony, turns out very different.

What started out as a fist fight turned into something not at all COOL:

We all know how Romeo and Juliet end up. West Side Story rewrites this:

What we don’t get to see after Maria collapses is that members from both gangs help to carry Tony’s body away. When Juliet lives, it seems, at least for a moment, that both sides begin to learn to put aside grievences in the wake of so much loss. Perhaps the world can learn something from rewriting a classic.

For me, West Side Story was the best movie I’d ever seen. This evidence is in the 40 times I went to see the movie over the years, until I found in Future World, the advent of the VCR would allow one of my dreams – to have a movie theater in my own home – to come to fruition.

West Side Story pushed me to pursue dancing in an effort to follow another dream I had then. I even tried out for the High School of Performing Arts (the venue where “Fame” took place). While I didn’t make the cut, I never stopped dancing, and I continue to hold West Side Story as truly one of my favorite ever movies.

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http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/W

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