Tag Archives: endangered elephants

December Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Dec






For love is the color this place imparts
Admission is easy, just say you believe
And come to this place in your heart
Paisley Park is in your heart

I love paisley. It’s always held a funky, cool meaning for me. It has been a popular motif in fashion for centuries. To think how far it has travelled and how it developed in a small town in the Scottish Lowlands is truly amazing. Here’s how paisley went from Persia to the Beatles! … In early Persia, its distinctive tear drop shape called boteh, was a symbol of everlasting life. Then with a more floral appearance, it was used on royal crowns and court garments. It spread to other Asian and Indian countries over the centuries and became most popular in the 1600’s when it appeared on men’s shawls that were produced in Kashmir. In the 1800’s they were imported into the UK where they were made more cheaply by mass production in Edinburgh, Scotland. And then to the skilled silk workers of Paisley where the industry thrived. Which explains how the boteh pattern got renamed paisley throughout the Western world … Once the French were counterfeiting and copying them, the British government patented the pattern. By the late Victorian era, technological developments meant the pattern could be weaved into other garments, causing the spread of its popularity. But as anything that becomes too cool, it fell out of favor … And then came the peace and love psychedelic 1960’s! And paisley was the thing. With the bursting colors of flora and fauna, it was everywhere. Which meant the Beatles had a lot to do with that. John Lennon even painted his Rolls-Royce paisley after the Beatles’ visit to India. In fact, the band’s embrace of everything Eastern boosted paisley’s coolness factor considerably. To me, it will be cool forever.




“I have done so much more than I thought I would do,
and yet I am not finished.”

Just like paisley, Cher will be cool forever. Why else would there be a Broadway show all about her? What about a movie, too? And a memoir? The answers are yes and yes. In a recent tweet, she confirms it:

Writing Life Story🕶
Book Due Out First Part Of 2020🎉
Bio Pic To Follow.




December is a singular month, when the Festival of Lights and Christmas are co-residents. Both are full of wonder, meaning, and tradition. Both bring light, joy, and warmth to our homes. Both offer the possibility that we may see each other anew. With generosity, kindness, and love? Well, anything is possible in this month of possibilities. Wishing you love, peace, and joy.




Hot cocoa is just fine but it’s the season to celebrate! How about a Melted Snowman Martini? … You’ll need 2 oz Vanilla Vodka, 1 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whisky, 1 oz Rumchata, and 1 oz Half & Half … Shake well and pour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. And then garnish with Wilton Snowman Candy (available on Amazon) … Looks cute. Tastes yummy.




“Mission complete.”

Sully, the yellow Labrador service dog who worked with President George H.W. Bush, traveled with his casket on his flight to Washington, DC. This pic of Sully was posted by Jim McGrath, Bush’s spokesman with the above caption. Trained by America’s VetDogs, Sully can perform a two-page list of commands, including answering the phone and fetching items. America’s VetDogs provides service dogs to veterans, active-duty service members, and first responders with disabilities. Sully is now at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Facility Dog Program working alongside other VetDogs to help the wounded warriors there.




“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies … you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics … There is only one thing for it then. To learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

(T.H. White, The Once and Future King)




On December 6 a little female Asian elephant calf was born at the Columbus Zoo in Ohio. But the joy was short-lived. Three weeks later she died suddenly from an infection. “At only a few weeks of age, this little calf had already won our hearts. She was a cherished member of our Zoo family, and we are mourning her passing,” said the Zoo’s president in a press release. The Zoo supports many programs to save these animals. We can make a donation  so they can continue their great work in elephant conservation. Did you know they are an endangered species? Yeah, due mostly to habitat loss and poaching. How sad to think that we might lose these majestic creatures. The loss of this new baby is all the more reason to get involved.


Soundtrack to this Issue


The Zombies
Time of the Season

“INVENTIVE, LUSH, AND TIMELESS. PSYCHEDELIC POP AT ITS BEST.” That’s how the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame described The Zombies, the newest inductees into the Hall. How cool is this? … Time of the Season was on their 1968 album, Odessey and Oracle (CBS) … Rod Argent wrote the lyrics, “What’s your name, who’s your daddy, is he rich like me?” as a nod to the George Gershwin standard, Summertime, which contains the lyrics, “Your daddy’s rich and your mama’s good looking.” … R.I.P. my old friend and colleague, Paul Atkinson (guitar and vocals), who died in 2004.

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

It’s the time of the season
When love runs high
And this time, give it to me easy
And let me try with pleasured hands 

To take you in the sun to (promised lands)
To show you every one
It’s the time of the season for loving 

What’s your name?
Who’s your daddy?
(He rich) Is he rich like me?
Has he taken, any time (any time)
(To show) to show you what you need to live 

Tell it to me slowly (tell me what)
I really want to know
It’s the time of the season for loving


Who rescued whom?9.KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Paisley Park lyrics: Prince Rogers Nelson ©Universal Music Publishing Group
Martini recipe: Drinks & Decor
Dog News pic and quote: Jim McGrath/@jgm41
EndNote pic of Merlin: Dennis Nolan for the cover of Sword In The Stone
We Can Help elephant pic: Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Soundtrack Time of the Season lyrics: Rod Argent ©Marquis Songs USA

December 27, 2018
All Rights Reserved

May Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 May


Prince Prince.May2015.credit-SchureMediaGrouprules! He performed his stand-alone Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore on Mother’s Day, with proceeds going to Baltimore youth charities. A shout-out for equal rights and justice, he performed a new song, Baltimore, released the day before the concert. “If there ain’t no justice, then there ain’t no peace.”


A new memoir from Willie Nelson, 82, is always refreshing, direct, and honest – like the man, and just like his music … You know his songs, Crazy (made famous by Patsy Cline) and On the Road AgainWillieNelson.Memoir.May2015On his songwriting process: “When songs fall from the sky,” Nelson writes, “all I can do is catch them before they land.” … On writing his song, Night Life: “I heard myself ruminating…It ain’t no good life, but it’s my life…It happened because I was living it.” … On the state of the music industry today: “The only money I’ve ever counted on is the money I make when you buy a ticket to my show. And if hearing my record on your laptop or your smartphone motivates you to come see me, I’m a happy man.” … And on recording: “Simplicity is always the key. Sing the song. Get out. My kind of singing isn’t meant to be perfect. It’s meant to reflect the imperfections of a human being like me.”

R.I.P. Part 1: B.B. KING

“The BB-King.died5.14.15Blues has lost its king and America has lost a legend,” said President Obama. Born Riley B. King in Mississippi to sharecroppers, B.B. King – B.B. for Blues Boy – passed away this month … Lucille, as all his black Gibsons were called, will be remembered right along with him … Asked to describe the blues, B.B. said, “It’s good for me when I’m feeling bad and it’s good for me when I’m feeling good.”


Bruce Lundvall, BruceLundvall.May2015.NYTimeswho headed Blue Note Records for almost 30 years, died on May 19. He was always generous to me, always kind. And boy did he love music and the artists he recorded … When I ensured Seagram a five-city multiple-venue summer jazz series with one major artist as the cornerstone artist to perform in all of the five cities, it was Bruce I called. I didn’t have to say much. We had a trusting longtime relationship since our days at CBS Records. All he said was, “Dianne Reeves.” And that was that. The Myers’s Rum Taste What’s Happening Jazz Series featuring Dianne Reeves was off and running! … Speaking of, he signed Willie Nelson, whose 1975 Columbia debut, Red Headed Stranger, is considered a modern classic … Bruce was one of a kind, well regarded by anybody who had the good fortune to know him. In a word: he was a mensch.


Following the WeCanHelp.NatlDisasterDogFnd.May2015.2deadly earthquakes in Nepal, U.S. teams on the ground in Kathmandu included 12 canine disaster search teams. The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation recruits rescued dogs and partners them with first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. Rescued dogs turned rescuer! …

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing for the National Defense Authorization Act that would authorize military dogs return to the U.S. after their service ends so that veterans and their dogs stay together post service. The law at present doesn’t guarantee soldiers get their dogs. “Here we have a commonsense policy that is good for the animals that give it their all for America—and for the American heroes who love these dogs so dearly.”


“I thought Slash.May2015a great thing to do would be to try to raise more awareness in the U.S. about how significant the U.S.’s contribution to the ivory trade is because I don’t think a lot of people know what’s going on.” … Inspired by a trip to South Africa, iconic rock guitarist Slash’s new song, Beneath the Savage Sun, confronts the crisis of the ivory trade and brings attention to the plight of the elephants … It is written from the perspective of an elephant whose family has been wiped out …


In the field you hear us crying, For the ones we lost and loved, oh, ‘Cause the evil never stops, So we keep dying, Underneath the savage sun, Underneath the savage sun … How many bleeding and how many die?, All for the greed of an Ivory lie, When will they see what they’ve done is a lie, Blood that they spill could not be justified, How many bleeding and how many die?, Blood that they spill could not be justified.” …

Partnering with Slash to help protect the elephants and destroy the ivory trade is the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Proceeds of the sale of the digital downloads of the song go to IFAW. We must urge politicians and consumers to oppose ivory trade while elephants are still being killed for their tusks. Let’s support elephant protection efforts now!


Soundtrack to this Issue is
in honor of David Letterman:
Bob Dylan’s
The Night We Called It a Day
a single off his Sinatra-inspired album, Shadows in the Night.

Introducing Bob Dylan, his penultimate musical guest, David Letterman explains the most important things we need to know: “I spend a lot of time, like everyone does, driving around with my son, Harry, and sometimes you take an opportunity to teach him or reinforce things for him. And I say, ‘Harry, what are the two most important things to know in the world? One, you have to be nice to other people, and what’s the other one? The greatest songwriter of modern times is Bob Dylan.’ That’s all you need to know in life.”

C’mon, sing along:

The moon went down, stars were gone
But the sun didn’t rise with the dawn
There wasn’t a thing left to say
The night we called it a day

Take a listen to this classic classical performance from The Late Show with David Letterman: In 2004, 53 members of the New York Philharmonic played on the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater. Maestro Lorin Maazel conducted Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro.


Who rescued whom?


So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l


“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”


Prince pic: Schure Media Group
Prince lyrics: Prince ©NPG Records 2015
Willie Nelson quotes: It’s a Long Story: My Life, by Willie Nelson with David Ritz (Little, Brown 2015)
B.B. King quote: CBS Saturday Morning, May 16, 2015
Bruce Lundvall pic: NY Times, Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Sen. Schumer quote: Press release May 26, 2015
Beneath the Savage Sun lyrics: Saul Hudson and Myles Kennedy © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
We Can Help Slash video: Official IFAW video
The Night We Called It A Day: Tom Adair, Matt Dennis © Dorsey Brothers Music A Div. of Music Sales Corporation

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