Clara

It has been a while since I have written just for me.  I have missed it.

It’s funny how things can change in an instant; sometimes for the bad, and sometimes for the good. This is one of those instances where change has been good, unexpected but good.

I should give you a little background. Clara, the beautiful cat in the picture, is one of three cats that currently live in my home.  If you know anything about me, you will know that the number of animals in my home can change at a moments notice.  Anyway, Clara is about 15 or 16 years old.  She is a sweet girl, comes when called and can cuddle for extended periods of time.  She loves humans, particularly my granddaughter, who carries her happily from room to room.  Clara does not bite or use her claws on humans.

On the other hand, she has not cared much for other animals.  She is a loner even though one dog and two other cats currently reside with her.  Max, my Chihuahua and Cookie, another one of my cats have been gone for two years. So Clara has remained the queen. She is the one who sits on the highest points while the others remain lower. She is the one who can yell louder than a dog can bark and can swat at the other animals in an instant.  She is faster than a mosquito when she wants to bite one of them, and then she retreats to her own little world.  She has been fighting with Trixie for years.  I have been unable to decide which one of them starts the ruckus but it always ends in me yelling at one or the other.  Frankly, it has been chaos.

One day, not too long ago, I came home and found Clara and Trixie on the sofa.  They were on opposite sides, but each was quiet and peaceful.  I pretended to ignore the situation because I was afraid the peace would end up in a brawl.  It didn’t.  The peace lasted through the night.

The next night was similar, only Trixie and Clara were snuggled on the sofa when I got home.  Later in the evening, when I was settled in to watch Netflix (one of my favorite things to do), Trixie moved next to me in her usual spot and Clara climbed onto my chest.

When I least expected, Clara moved off of me and close to Trixie.  Trixie didn’t move, and Clara began cleaning Trixie’s ear.  The whole episode lasted moments, but it changed our lives.

My son said it was a fluke.  He said there was no way Clara was going to get along with Trixie and she certainly wasn’t going to stop fighting with the other cats. I knew better. Moms always seem to know.

So it has now been about two weeks since the first day they started getting along.  Peace and quiet has become our norm.  After all these years, I can honestly say that the peace is easy to get used to.  I feel like I have a normal home now.  And as I sit at the edge of the sofa typing this,  Trixie, Clara, Cleo and Norton are all on the sofa behind me.  It feels like Christmas, “And to all a good night.”

 

 

 

 

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According to National Geographic, 300 to 400 dead sea turtles were found off of the coast of Jiquilisco Bay in El Salvador since last month.  As of the date of this article, the cause of the die off has not been confirmed.

I had to write this story because it should be told by one who is both on the outside and on the inside. I know and also I don’t know. I want to know, and also I don’t want to know. That is my story of Turtle Stand, but what is the real story? How does one blur the lines of truth, that which should be kept private and that which should be shared with the public? How does one survive a broken heart and not tell anyone the heart is broken? How does one drive down a long lonely rural road when the light in life seems to have gone out and keep driving towards a new dawn?

This was the first time I sat down and talked with the members of Phantom Phunk since the release of their first album, Arboles Ossific. So much has changed, and so much has remained the same.

While part of this album was recorded and mixed at Harmonic Factory in Tampa, Florida, some of it was recorded and mixed at Westfall Recording Company in Austin, Texas. This was a departure from the way they produced their debut album. This time they wanted to explore the other side of the glass. “I enjoyed just being a musician,” Hector said.

As an artist, the musician paints a story with music and lyrics that the listener can relate to. It was an easy question.

What are the songs about?

Hector, Nick and Juan all chimed in with their thoughts. It was an easy conversation. This was different from my first interview with the band, before they had toured the South East, before they had played large festivals. Now, Phantom Phunk are more secure in the way they talk about their work. Conversation is spontaneous and enjoyable with this band. Experience and time are great teachers and we, their listening audience, are reaping the rewards.

If you can relate, that is the point” – Juan

“Our meaning may not be the meaning of the listener, because the listener can create his own meaning” – Nick

“At some point, the music stopped being about one thing and became a metaphor” – Hector

In the Beginning

“It started out as a guitar riff…an unfinished thought,” said Nick. And then, when driving down a rural road on the outskirts of Tampa, he spotted two squashed turtles, and then a third.

“And then I found out that there used to be a lady who had a turtle stand,” Juan explained. “It was a long time ago. People would go to her stand. She sold dead turtles and turtle shells.”

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Turtle Stand (the song)

Music and Lyrics by Nick Emiliozzi

“Come and take a look at my turtle stand.
All my turtles Clean. They fit in your hands.”

Turtle Stand the song is a dichotomy from its haunting lyrics to its upbeat and even humorous presentation. It is a wild ride down a hill with the top down in the mountains of Georgia or a quick ride to the store in an early sixties gold Corvette with shiny chrome bumpers. It will make you happy and it will make you sad at the same time. It will make you long for things that are and things that could be but aren’t.

Listen here:

Paper Neck

Music and Lyrics by Alexander-Sasha Cheine

Written by a member who is now conspicuously absent from the studio and likely from the future, Paper Neck is a search. It is a pounding Tampa thunderstorm of thought and sound, and an integral part of the Turtle Stand journey.

“Misty salt water splashes up and catches my face
And it reminds me of a feeling I’ve had many times”

Listen here:

The Album

There are two sides, they explained. The public side identifies with environmental issues and the personal side identifies with process. Turtle Stand chronicles the uncertainty that spread through the band at a time when they were not sure what to do, and yet, as time went on they realized that the music told a much more cohesive story than they originally realized and originally planned.

Hearing is Only Part of the Journey

Phantom Phunk are more than musicians and song writers. They are artists as well, with a passion for creating worlds with photography and drawing. This can be seen in the booklet that comes along with the album, Turtle Stand. These pictures are a comment on the environment and a comment on humanity. Clearly, Phantom Phunk knows we can do better. Each of us simply has to find our own way of contributing to the betterment of the world. Ideally vegetarians and aspiring vegans, Phantom Phunk are already doing their part.

Their artwork has become a standout feature of their Facebook page and soon will be released as part of an on-line comic series which will be launched some time in 2018. The series will be based on the band mates chemistry and will follow them along sort of like a diary. Phunk Phans – stay tuned, because they plan to have Phan participation and will even be accepting Phan art as well.

Listening to the whole album, Turtle Stand, is like entering another dimension, one that is unfamiliar and yet familiar at the same time. It is a journey that anyone can take. Come along for the ride, you will not be disappointed.

This is their story. This is their second story. I can’t wait for the third.

Tracks:
Back Seat Sax
My Hands
Sleepy Willow
Turtle Stand
Paper Neck
Raymond Sanders Funhouse
Shadow Lawn
Memory’s a Ghost
Steep Your Body
People Watcher
Aricebo’s Lullaby

Phantom Phunk takes a Stand for the Turtles

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I have a Smart TV.  It was a birthday gift when I turned fifty – several years ago.  About two or three years ago I got an email from Amazon telling me not to renew my Amazon Prime because the software on my television could not support it.  Some time over the last two years, I gave up cable television and my love affair with Netflix began in earnest. For anyone who reads this blog, you will already know that I have written about that several times.

Up until now, I have not written about my problems with Netflix.  I began getting error messages that the episode I wanted to watch was unavailable – try again or try another episode. If you know anything about my television habits, you will know that watching episodes out of order would destroy my sense of Netflix purpose.  solution was to unplug my router, turn off the television, plug it back in, turn on the television and try again.  Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Just about that time my son told me that YouTube was going to stop working on our television because our software was too old. That is when I figured out why I was having so much trouble with Netflix. So I was faced with a dilemma.  Should I buy a new television when mine was in excellent working condition or break down and pay for cable again?

Luckily, there was a third choice:  Roku, a little piece of magic.  At first I was concerned about changing my television routine (the older I get the harder I find change), but I decided to give it a try.  Netflix was back! You can imagine how incredibly happy I was. Back to binge watching until 2:00 am, waking at 5:30 to get ready for work, almost back to normal.

Then it happened.

My niece gave my son her Hulu password. “Try it,” he said.  “You ‘ll like it.” My sister said the same thing.  And then my niece chimed in.  “Give it a try, you can watch General Hospital again.”

Well, frankly, the whole General Hospital thing is a completely different story for a different night. Suffice to say that I read Soap Opera Digest ever since the Soap Opera Channel was taken off of cable.  I can’t make that change and go back to watching. Then I would have to watch Days of Our Lives and Young and Restless.  Are there really enough hours in the day?

Back to the point, I agreed to give HULU a chance.  I didn’t bother looking at the movies available because these days I only watch series TV. After a cursory scroll across the available shows and I came across The Good Wife.  And thus, my exclusive love affair with Netflix is no more.  In fact, over the past week or so, I have not even turned on Netflix.

I am currently on Season 6, and Alicia is  considering the run for State Attorney.  I  really had no idea how she was going to move on from Will’s death, but this whole Cary Agos has gone to jail and is now out on bail and Diane joining the firm has left no doubt the writing team is on the top of their game.

I feel like I am meeting new people and getting to keep my old friends.  Cary Agos is played by Matt Czuchry, Logan from Gilmore Girls.  I promise not to gush about that show, but really, this character is the perfect follow up to Logan.  Cary is Logan all grown up,  successful and just as endearing as one would expect.

Frankly, just when I thought the show couldn’t get better, who now works for the firm?  Taye Diggs!  Can we say Private Practice? I cried and cried at the final episode of Private Practice.  And here he is again, on my TV screen and in my heart.  Right now he is on screen and his character is so well written I can forgive Sam for not bringing Naomi and Addison with him.  Once can hope, though.

As I have learned from Netflix there are some amazing ensemble casts on television.  I am so very glad they are available to me.  The writing is superb, the acting is superb, I am hooked.

Unfortunately,  that means the most recent season of House of Cards will have to wait.  I don’t even know if the next season of Scandal is available but that is ok for now.  The Good Wife has so many guest stars from my recent Netflix days that I am ok with my new obsession, HULU.

Who knew Roku was going to be this much fun?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bailey Boat Cat

Dear furiends,

Don’t panic! We’re all okay but I am feeling quite shocked because apparently we had an explosion in our taverna where the dogs sleep!

Of course April and Blue were playing it cool, because neither of them had anything to do with it. In fact they were both as shocked as I was. They were quick to explain how one of their beds spontaneously combust.

I’m just glad that I wasn’t bothered in the night by the “explosion” and that everyone is safe, but it’s a shame that one of the two beautiful beds that Shirley gave us has had to be retired. (The other one has been moved to an area where the dogs are only allowed whilst under supervision!)

Here is my reaction which is also my entry for The Cat on my Head’s Sunday Selfie Blog Hop!

I hope you’ve all had a pawesome…

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Reported by our News Anchor at WB News, Channel 11 – Lisa At the bottom right corner of the map of White Bear’s World you will find our library. It is a humble building with a gold roof and beautiful blue doors. Inside the library, Jacob the Librarian works tirelessly keeping books in meticulous condition […]

via Calling all Children’s Authors: White Bear’s World needs Books, Books and more Books! — White Bears World

Abandoned Southeast

Camp AlgiersCamp Algierswas a former embarkation facilityalong the MississippiRiver that was used as a Naziinternment camp during World War II. The internees included men, women, and children who had been detained by FBI agents in Latin America and brought back to the United States. Most of the internees were actually Jewish refugees who had fled Europe from the Nazis.

Camp AlgiersIn 1941, the Roosevelt administration asked FBI agents to find any Nazis hiding in Latin America. The secretive program, called the Enemy Alien Control Program, was run by the State Department, and in many ways illegal. It was against the law at that timefor the United States to seize individuals outside of the country. The State Department was able to get around this by refusing to issue entry visas for the Latin Americandeportees. When they arrived to the Port of New Orleans without papers, they were denied visas. They were arrested on…

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Entertaining Stories

Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio, I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and my guest today has a very important job. In America we would say he’s a stuffed animal, in other places they would refer to him as a plush toy. “Welcome to the show, White Bear.”

“Hi, Lisa. It’s a pleasure to be here. Thanks so much for choosing me to be your first stuffed animal interview!”

“Pleasure to have you. You’re best friends with someone named Angel. How did you two come to meet?”

“As far as I know, before meeting Angel, I lived always lived in a doctor’s office at Shriner’s Hospital in Tampa, Florida. I spent most of my time at the computer doing research or hanging out on a bookshelf. Lots of kids came in and out of that office, but they never paid any attention to me. One day, a…

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