On The Blackwater

Musing on retirement, writing, puppies, and whatever else strikes my fancy

My Photo

Spending my life in 20-year increments: DC, Calif, Maine, & now in the BlueRidge Mountains of VA, where my YoChon, Sadie Mae, has started to blog...

Sunday, May 24, 2009

I am just NOT a techie!

Keith, I tried to comment on your throwing away tons of e-equipment, but ran into a problem with my g-mail (which I do not use at ALL) password. Then (you'll love this one) I got a call from Directv that I can watch a PPV movie for free. All I had to do was visit their Website. Which I never use.

OK, I go to their Website but they refuse to recognize me because my e-mail has changed. Uh. Yeah. When DirecTV was bought out by Hughes.net, they stopped the original e-mail accounts and assigned me a Hughes e-mail. Years ago.

THEY changed my e-mail, not me. And I had just had it printed on the back cover of my book!

This e-world is more than I can deal with. And I was commenting, Keith, on the fact that I'd watched GMA this morning and an artist fellow was showing his i-phone(?) that, for a $5 fee, he had gotten a program to add color. He then took a B&W picture of times square, added color, and sent it to The New Yorker who had used it for one of their COVERS. We are being drawn into the e-future whether we wish to be or not.

As I say this, I am trying to remember how to put a picture here on my blog. AHA! Got it...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

A Visit to the Taubman

I groaned when realizing I did not bring my camera with me to the Taubman. I could have captured a picture of the life-like young woman sitting on the outside balcony, the one who scared passing motorists until the museum staff turned her around...it had looked as if she were about to fall into the street!

Our Rocky Mount "Eclectic Readers" book club, having just read Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland (an amazing day-by-day account of Renoir's painting of the magnificent portrayal of Sunday life in Paris) decided to tour the Taubman. We were able to take advantage of a group rate of $7.50 each, with a tour conducted by a docent. We also had a lovely lunch in Norah's Cafe', which is accessible from the street. There are also occasional events held in Norah's Cafe' in the evenings.

One of our book club members had to use the elevator, so several of us also took that option, missing out on the winding back-lit glass stairway. Upstairs, in the 8 galleries, there were benches to sit on to rest and to view the displays, which were captivating indeed. Devorah Sperber's unique work, using spools of thread to format a portrait of Marilyn Monroe which is only apparent when the image is seen through an optical device, for instance, is striking.

Her work will be displayed through the end of this month (May 31st) and other artists' work will move into the galleries. We were also intrigued by a display in a tiny gallery of sparkling crystal Lieber handbags. We were up close and personal as we slowly circled the bright globes, each holding a glittery handbag or compact. Lieber's bags are world-famous and this collection is so large that pieces are moved into the gallery and out again, creating a changeable "garden" of design.

At night, the ship-like glass showcases local icons; the coffee pot that pours, and the Mill Mountain Star. There's another rooftop piece, but I've forgotten which one it is. Guess I'll have to get to Norah's Cafe' some evening so I can see this museum in a different light. Go to their Website, artmuseum.roanoke.com for a virtual tour and information about ticket prices and hours.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Sleep Terrors

They are called Sleep Terrors, as opposed to Nightmares. Dr. Oz did a segment on sleep disorders and I was only half listening, until I realized he was discussing a condition I suffer from.

My husband wakes me, telling me I am screaming and anyone within the same house (such as my daughter's house in Maine) or in another room at a hotel or motel when traveling, must think I am being attacked. I've asked him to gently cuddle me and just "talk me down" when this happens. 90% of the time I have absolutely no memory of a dream or a nightmare. He tells me I thrash and scream.

Occasionally I will recall that I had dreamed I was running downstairs. Sometimes the running downstairs finds me crashing onto the floor and ending up with some serious bruises. (Poor guy: some day someone will call 911 on their cell phone and there will be lots of explaining on my part!).

I decided to post this in case there are others out there suffering from the same terrors. Health sites on the Net pretty much assume this is a childhood condition; well, it would have to be a second or third childhood on my part to fit that description. I am curious about what could be done; it appears that nightmares need a therapist while Sleep Terrors can respond to medication. One major difference is that you have NO recollection of the screaming or thrashing around.

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Irridescent Indigo Bunting

I've just spent over an hour stalking my bird feeder, trying to get a picture of the two male Indigo Buntings that usually visit this time of day. Someone must have tipped them off...

Today, during our Lake Writers meeting, Bruce read a poem about magical birds. I was certain he meant Indigo Buntings, with their gorgeous color change from black feathers to the brilliant Indigo color. When I mentioned that, neither Bruce nor others agreed with me!

So here goes: from the Audubon Society's Field Guide to North American Birds...

"Indigo Bunting, Passerina cyanea: Description: Sparrow-sized. Male in bright sunlight brilliant turquoise blue, otherwise looks black; wings and tail darker. Female drab brown, paler beneath."

Footnote on page: "Indigo Buntings have no blue pigment; they are actually black, but the diffraction of light through the structure of the feathers makes them appear blue. These attractive birds are also found in rural roadside thickets and along the right-of-way of railroads, where woodland meets open areas. (etc)"

I am blogging this to win an argument with a fellow who does not blog nor does he have anything to do with the (evil) internet. Oh well~ I WIN!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Roman Holiday

I was in high school when Roman Holiday came out, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Last night, it was on Turner Classic Movies channel, in black and white of course, and without commercial breaks.

I hadn't remembered that this was actually the first movie Hepburn made. Born in Holland, she wanted to become a ballerina but the Nazis starved Holland and Hepburn became too weak to continue dancing once the war ended. (She helped folks hide, carrying messages as did her mother, even as she suffered from malnutrition).

She had acted in one play, insisting she knew nothing about acting, before filming Roman Holiday. Yep, I teared up. Understandable while I was a teen to cry over a tale of unrequited love. Last night, tears came down again.

Someone must have known that it was Audrey Hepburn's birthday, because they have scheduled My Fair Lady as well. Of course, that one is in brilliant color, and I recall that they would not let her sing. Not too long ago, she was featured in a commercial as she danced in a black leotard...one of her sons had agreed to that, saying she had always been happiest when she could fulfill her dream of dancing.

Watch for Roman Holiday, but keep a hankie handy.