Tag Archives: Merlin

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

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