Monday, May 31, 2010
Memorial Day

We are indebted.
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Sunday, May 30, 2010
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: The Closer






Started to call this Oops, I did it again! or you might be a redneck blogger if there are dead animal photos on yer blog.






Anyhoo. Squirrelses are officially on notice and Not Welcome Here.






Zero tolerance, and all that crap. :)






She was looking balefully up at me telepathing don't take it away this time, mommy?






Daddy let Chuy glom onto the carcass which Miss Praline quickly reclaimed, having closed the deal, and all
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Saturday, May 29, 2010
Rob Paravonian
From the guy who exposed the Pachelbel conspiracy comes the truth about the free credit report commercials:

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Friday, May 28, 2010
TCB
Last day of work was Wednesday so I could wrap up some things before I start my new job Tuesday. I took LouLou in to dad's shop in Dallas yesterday for an alignment to make sure the tires won't be ruined by maladjustment, and this morning I have to see my old orthodontist to check my retainers.

Turns out I have to take LouLou back in after the dr appointment to have new rotors and brakes. I hope to be heading back home by end of day, but my stay in Dallas may be longer than planned.

So much for goof-off time, eh? I'm glad I had the time off to take care of this, too.

Another post again soon. Cheers!
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Thursday, May 27, 2010
Steampunk comic
Courtesy of Ready, Fire, Aim, Apologize I discovered Wondermark, a marvelous steampunk cartoon. Filled with such delights and enchantments as will thrill the little clockroaches of your heart, methinks you'll adore Wondermark.

I especially liked the Steampunk'd and The Masters of Tea.


*****
...in which our heroine says it with excrescence:

Wednesday was my last day at work and it was generally pleasant and uneventful. I got cards from some coworkers and others brought cupcakes, sloppy joes and all kinds of goodies. That was really sweet. :)
Exit interview was interesting and I told them why I really really rilly left. Rilly. Now They Know.

"Were it not for *******, this job would have been a pure joy to come to every day."

I scarce would have imagined that in this lifetime I would ever use the expression "turd in the punch bowl" during an exit interview. But I did.

And I feel fine.


I think this occasion calls for a little bit of custom art from me. You haven't had custom art from me in a while.
Enjoy.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Bittersweet.
Today is last day at Big Company. I've been privileged to work with some of the finest folks I've ever met. I'm sorry to leave many of them.



The Carnival is Over by Dead Can Dance
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I remember me...


...
about 22 years ago.


[omg! can this be shoulder pads? please say it isn't so? little miss linebacker]

My sister found these pictures recently.




I have no recollection of them. There must be lots of pictures of me, but I don't have any of myself with carnation pink hair, alas.




Well, actually, it was bleached out and then dyed fuschia, and that faded into a pink which I rather preferred... Anyway, too bad this is not in color. Then again, I can't imagine that the addition of color would do anything but underscore the horror of whatever nimbus was erupting from the right side of my head at that time.




*shrug*




If you're at all lively with a vivid imagination, there will be the occasional style misstep. Better to look a little misguided on occasion than to never wander afield of the flock.




I forgive myself.
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Tuesday, May 25, 2010
BACON! CHEESE! PEPPERS! ACTION!

Here we are with grilling season rapping us on the backs of the thighs with a greasy spatula.



Time to think of creative ways to deliver fiery peppers, oily cheese and sweet, sweet bacon.


I saw this on the Sur la Table site and I've gotta get me one: chile pepper grill rack and corer. At $20, this set is on the dear side unless you're going to be grilling lots of these things, but I think it's pure genius. As you don't have to batter and fry the little devils, it's a pretty tidy delivery system. Without the extra flour and grease, it's a slightly less guilty pleasure, but still a pleasure. After all, there is bacon inside. Yum!
Did I mention bacon? Did you notice this is two bacon posts in a row?
Sur la Table, by the way, is one of the most ossum cooking stores, evar. Evar. Evar. Every basic cooking item is there, along with lots of fabulous serving pieces. I have been seen there alternately slobbering and whimpering at the All-Clad display. Yummy! The store I visit is on the west side of the Knox-Henderson exit from Central Expressway in Dallas, but you can order from the web quite easily.



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Monday, May 24, 2010
ZOMG! Caffeinated Maple-Bacon Lollypops! Oh My!
Over at Lollyphile, they've got lots of tantalizing lolly creations. I'm not a candy eater, especially hard candies, but I might make an exception for a caffeinated maple-bacon lollypop.






An even more perfect gift for the sweet-toothed pork aficionado in your life.




Yum! We couldn't agree more.


Ginger-Wasabi sounds good.


Bourbon lollypops? (for when you feel your breath isn't bad enough yet, I suppose? Come to that, can you pass a breathalyser after eating one?)


Absinthe Lollypops: "Our Absinthe Lollipops are really freaking awesome. And we say that without even an ounce of hubris- people go crazy (not like, cut-your-ear-off crazy, tho) for them."
Uh, count me in.
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Sunday, May 23, 2010
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: mOar whip cream, please.









The looks on their faces tell you they only ever get to eat pebbles and pine cones, right? You'd think he hadn't eaten in weeks, but you can just make out a dollop of freshly whipped cream on Chuy's mouth in one of the photos. Con arteeste.








Chuy works the wrinkles. Mommy's wrapped around his paw, or so I'm told.








Chuy has a grand flourish of a tongue, whilst Praline's is prim and ladylike. Unless she's hunting squirrelses.
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Saturday, May 22, 2010
Byline: THE STRONGEST VISUAL BIRTH CONTROL ON THE MARKET TODAY
Visit Shit My Kids Ruined for a few laughs.





Personal favorites: 5 minutes alone with a blue sharpie, Sweeny Toddler [day before the easter photo] and my appetite.








I remain childless and holding. *heh*
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Friday, May 21, 2010
Theme Song For Vacation Days
About 3 months ago I was in Home Depot buying stuff and I heard this song on the PA. VERY cool tune, but I couldn't discern enough of the lyrics, and internet searches at the time were fruitless. Thought it sounded like if someone gave Amy Winehouse a cheeseburger and made her step away from the speedballs. Wait? I didn't just type that out loud, did I? Good. I didn't think so.

Thursday (last of my 3 days of vacation WOOHOO), I got a new set of tars* for LouLou, had an eye appointment and ordered new glasses, then there was the iPhone... busy busy... I was sitting by my ownsome in a restaurant at lunch- a place I wouldn't normally go, and then this song came on and I heard enough of the lyric to hang my hat on, et voila. All my moments are lead to that one. Founded it!


Australian beauty Gabriella Cilmi singing Sweet About Me. Love it. :) Have a great Friday.





*tires
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Thursday, May 20, 2010
Did you know...?

That today was Everybody Draw Mohammed Day? Lots of glorious renditions over on Facebook.


hyuk.


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What's he building in there?
A man in East Austin dug tunnels under his house and had chemicals and firearms. The neighbors were suspicious. He apparently was not subtle when removing the excess dirt from his excavations, and the tunnels were not well-executed, as the ground collapsed along the fence line of his neighbor's property. Maybe he felt he had the right to dig on his own property? Yeah, yeah, I know: code violations. Still. The fact that he had 19 guns and welding equipment doesn't mean he was up to anything nefarious.

How cheeky. And in the Lone Star State, as well.

I will say his first mistake was to reside in Travis County - the city of Austin is lousy with California transplants, and they brought their own Berkeley style of fuckery with them to re-tool the running of that city.


This made me think of that song What's he building in there? by Tom Waits.


What's he building in there? We have a right to know.




Or do we?
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Witchy? Pooh.
I was talking to a friend from work today and she told me that one of my peers who is a bit of a holy-roller said she was scared of me when I first came to work there- said she thought I was a witch.

This was a genuine WTF moment.

Yes, I'm planted here in the middle of greater redneckia.

Yes, I wear some wicked looking shoes on occasion.

That doesn't make me Wiccan, or any other religion. What absolute twaddle.

The woman had apparently said that my hair made me look like a witch, and that is truly so magnificently annoying as to defy description. I've spent a lot of time, energy and no small amount of money trying to control my hair during my adult life, and the fact is that if the humidity is high, then my hair will puff up like a cat in the middle of a dog convention. How the hell, indeed? So my hair is large and in charge- does that make me inherently evil?

So I don't try to manage it by bundling it up in a ponytail or chopping it off to some middle-age know-your-place hairstyle. If that is someone's definition of pagan, then there's a lot more in question about that person than may be questioned about me.

How can someone look at your hair and say "she's clearly a this or a that"???

What an arrogant ass!
What makes it all the more obnoxious is that she claims to know the way to heaven and to understand something about grace and the redemption of a soul, and yet she didn't care enough to verify before she judged me based on something over which I have very little control?

On the other hand, thank goodness she didn't actually broach the topic with me-- she might have invited me to church, and any church she would go to is not a place I want to be.
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010
mad props and devil horns to Ronnie James Dio 10 July 1942 - 16 May 2010
Here's Ronnie performing for a TV show in 1983 in what may be the one timelessly cool strategically sliced t-shirt ever known to have existed. Note how well he uses his voice here at the age of 41. Also, if you watch the 2002 video immediately following this one, notice how his voice seems not to have aged at all, even though he's 59-- proof positive that it's possible to sing properly and have your voice work well for a life time. You can shred with out destroying the instrument. Here's to a vocalist who knew how to put it through its paces.




Thanks for making the music happen, Ronnie.
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job change...
Remember the pee test last week?

While the job I've been working the past 13 months has fantastic benefits and seemed a very good one at certain moments, I concluded some time ago that this is not the place for me.

The sad fact is that in such a large company, they seem to need to quantify job performance in overly-regimented fashion, and I don't respond well to that kind of micro-managey bullshit.
Actually, I believe it can be done in a way that is less spirit-crushing to the little worker bees like myself, but no large company I've ever worked for seemed to get the balance right.

Starting June 1, I go to work for a smaller company, one which I hope will be an environment in which I can flourish. I'm sad to leave some wonderful people at the other place, but it simply wasn't a good fit. I loved the work, the customers and the coworkers, but being micromanaged sets my teeth on edge. Plus there were massive federal regulations on people in that field, so I'll be well away from that. More on this later.
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Monday, May 17, 2010
whooooo, girl!


Love the jade beads, Nancy, but you gots to do something about them roots. With what you're stealing from us we're paying you, I know you can afford to keep after them a little better. And what's the use of that huge plastic surgery bill if you're going to let the drapes give you away, hmm?




Srsly.


Looks like your little helmet 'do is floating about an inch above your pate, sort of a hair nimbus. Do it for the children, Nancy.
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Barn Swallows

There are some bridges around here where barn swallows take up residence during nesting season. It's spectacular to consider the ingenuity of their dirt-and-spit nests engineered in the most unlikley of places. For one thing, I should think it would be a particularly rough place for younguns to fledge. I saw these Saturday and they were busy about the work of getting their little condos cobbled onto the underside of this overpass.



Neat stuff!
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Sunday, May 16, 2010
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: TartBoy

Chuy was just a handful of months old here, but you can see the grain of inveterate tart runs deep in this one. What and adorable baby!
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Saturday, May 15, 2010
Rated F for Effed Up
But I like it, for some reason. I love the lo-tech effects in this video. kinda funny.


Scorched-earth types are really funny. They are so seriously married to their mad-on that they have no idea that other people think they are silly.

In fact, it's a little gigglesome how furious they would be if they knew how predictable they are.
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Really? Really? No, seriously: really?
Barack Obama, the largest beneficiary of BP's campaign contributions in the last 20 years, has said that it's time to "end cozy ties with oil."

Um.

Wow.
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Friday, May 14, 2010
urine for a real treat.


...in which our heroine overshares about a bodily function. If you've not the stomach for it, may we suggest you go watch a video of baby otters?




So...




One morning this week I had to go for a pee test for something I promise to tell you about very soon.




On the way to there I drank a can of breakfast drink (with vitamins for super-yellow pee, y'all!) and I went by the good local place for a nice 32 ounce cup of unsweetened iced tea. I live on that stuff. And talking on the phone all day as I do, I need lots of fresh tea. I slurped a bit of the good stuff down on the drive over.




ANYhoo. I thought my preparations would be sufficient that it would be easy to produce, uh, product on demand..

The funny thing is I maybe have a little wine once or twice a month, and rarer still for beer. I never do anything wilder than dramamine or caffeine. Little old church ladies couldn't throw as clean a whizz as me. The only drug tests I've had for jobs have been hair tests.



So why did the very act of walking into that place make all my number one seem to retreat as far as possible from the nearest exit? I walked in and the guy was the most drab, humourless bastard you could ever want to meet. I quipped "sorry, I forgot to eat asparagus last night" and he didn't even crack a smile. [oh, yeah, maybe he'd heard that a million times before]. He had me lay all my crap on the counter and go into the bathroom, admonishing me to fill the cup up to the sharpie line, that I had two minutes and not to flush or warsh my hands until I'd come out and given him the cup.




So, at first I peed like 5 drops. I actually started thinking "omg! I'm going to have to go back out there and drink some more. I don't believe this!" I finally squoze out enough to nearly touch the mark and when I came out of the bathroom, he took the cup from me and then went in and looked into the toilet and the sink.




I suppose they have to do those things, but gee whiz! No sense of humour? That's inexcuseable.




So then he said we'd do the rest of the "physical."


*pin drop*




Uh, what?


Thought this was just a drug test. I was in heels, nice skirt and frilly top. *eye-rolling* I'm envisioning me on a treadmill in this outfit, suckery-nipple-shaped stickers all over my sweating form, attached to wires on some thingummy. It turned out not to be quite so dramatic.




Blood pressure? Check.


Height? Got it.


Weight? I admitted to a certain amount of gravity.




Then he told me to lay on the table on my back and he kind of massaged my guts and asked if I felt any pain or pressure. That felt kind of good, but it was over so fast.




Anyway, I passed the pee test. But you already knew that. :)




I'm just marveling at the thought of how hard it must be to pee if you actually have something to hide.
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Thursday, May 13, 2010
Who's that third man?



I was in a training group at work on Wednseday and we were looking at some images with personality types projected on the wall.


Teacher asked "do you see anyone you recognize here?" and the first two people were identified to be Martin Luther King Jr and Kanye West. Then one woman in the class said "who's that third man?"

The teacher said "uh, that's Mother Teresa".

Speaking of Mother Teresa kicking over your giggle box - mosey on over to pollsb.com and vote on whether or not it's a neat idea for Megan Fox to play Mother Teresa. Clearly she's the spitting image. *hyuk*


Actually, I think considering his do-rag action, Little Steven would be good cast as Mother Teresa. If he were slightly more wrinkly...
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I do love to read...


...but I don't have a lot of spare time for some reason. It seems I stay busy all the time, and I don't even have a tv plugged in. Also, reading can be a bit of a slog for me sometimes. I have to be in the right frame of mind for some books, and some I've never been able to make it through at all. Not so with Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey. This was a rollicking good read and I ploughed through it in just a few days. It's nice to rediscover the feeling of really itching to know what's going to happen to a character. The eponymous character gets thowed down to Hell by some magic-dabbling buddies, and he ends up playing gladiator and smoter of demons and other creepy-crawlies, and then he shuffles back to this mortal coil to exact revenge on the baddies wot sent him to hell. Oh, and he's kind of stupid, so it's like a cooler, bad-assier reverse-image Forrest Gump with a better sound track and the slight nose-burning singe of fire and brimstone.
Good times.



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Tuesday, May 11, 2010
If Mike Meyers and Matthew Broderick had a love child...





I mean that in the nicest way possible. Truly, I do.
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Isn't it funny...

how flat an armadillo can get?



I saw this from a distance and from a distance it looked like a very long snake was wadded up in the middle with the tail sticking out, and then up close, I was impressed by how very non-vertical this critter had become. It looks as though it rolled over on its back to have its belly scratched, then went all flat.


It's kind of facehugger-esque, innit?

Labels:

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Monday, May 10, 2010
baby steps...


In another life, I was a bigtime flower gardener with green thumbs on both hands and both feet. I'm loving having a nice place to start all over again. This is almost as good a therapy as the recoil variety.




In truth, given oodles of cash and time to do it, you can make a garden look impressive in a relatively short amount of time, but a trained eye can see when something was overly-engineered and popped up overnight. The impressive part of gardening is building around a good core of perennials native to your area which will thrive on the climate you have with a minimal amount of water. The real trick of gardening is to find and prefer the plants which will thrive on your amount of neglect. A well-done garden does not come into its own until all seasons have passed at least a couple times.




To that end, I've gotten some of my gardeny things out of storage the past couple weeks and I've cooked a little with my herbs and I have a raging mess of Roma tomatoes which will be ready for table this week. Here's my first nice basket of plants, and a before picture. The white and lilac flowers from the ground are volunteers - petunias that came up from seed dropped from plantings the previous owners put out.




I expect by Fall, the whole garden area will be looking very different, and next Spring it will be a riot of blossoms and fragrance and taste that will belie the hours of effort and thought I've put into it But it'll be a good two years before this looks like my place. I'm patient to wait for that, because I've seen it happen, and it's a glorious thing.




More to come. Cheers, m'dears!
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Sunday, May 09, 2010
Sunday, Bloody Puppy Sunday: Baby's First Kill
...er, or, uh, somesuch.


In which our heroine confirms her Terrierness.


Praline has been a regular Barky McBarkerson lately, and now we know why. She's been having cussing contests with a big honking squirrel that apparently took up residence in my attic.



Not so fast, sport. Not on Praline's watch you don't.


Praline enlisted Daddy's aid, and he got Mumsy's little lever-action Browning .22 and a single well-placed Super Colibri made the bad squirrel come down from the roof toute-de-suite.


Miss Praline went in to finish the job and snatched the squirrel from midair a couple feet off the ground, and then the awfulest bunch of shaking and thrashing you've never seen commenced. It was mayhem. There was blood flying all over the place and I thanked her for giving me a puppy post for the weekend-- something new and totally fresh.

She's all proud and prancy, having enjoyed a big adventure. I've begged daddy to skin out the squirrel for a little squirrel skin cap for Chuy. Praline, meanwhile, is just lusting for her next kill. Woe betide the squirrelses.

Squirrel is pining for the fjords.
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Sunday, Puppy Sunday: How to save OODLE$ on your pet flea treatments
Last week, the delightful Miz Minka posted a bit on how to save a lot of money on your pet flea treatments if you use Advantage.

Do note the disclaimer - The following information applies ONLY to Advantage for dogs and cats, NOT K9 Advantix or Advantage Multi. Always check with your vet first before giving your pet any medication, topical or otherwise.

This makes a lot of sense to me, and saves a few cents in the process. I'm going to give this a whirl and see how it works for my poochies. Have a lovely Sunday and give lots of loving to your fur babies this Mother's day.

Hmm... come to think of it, Praline hasn't bought me diamonds since 2008... ...and she's usually so thoughtful. I did tell her that next time, she has to get mommy the matching earrings. *snerk*
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Saturday, May 08, 2010
I have succumbed...
...to the Neti Pot.

Yeah, I have mild allergies and the sinus issues are a major nuisance. I am definitely allergic to rabbits (sinus, rash) and to cats (sinus), and probably to dogs [not as bad, and not having dogs is not an option], so I just live with the congestion, mostly. Sometimes, however, it just gets to be too much. Last weekend I finally bought a Neti Pot. It's unnerving to think about running water through my sinuses, but I really needed something to clear them without feeling like I'd taken a hit of speed or a sleeping pill. So I did it. It does feel like when you get water up your nose when swimming, but without the horrid burning feeling. Breathe through your mouth and it's all okay. Strange, but oddly soothing.
I will, however, only be using this in the proscribed fashion, and not with other liquids such as the ones in the video below.

Potty language warning:
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Friday, May 07, 2010
It may be impossible to tickle oneself...

...but you can definitely give yourself goosebumps with one of these.


Okay, it looks like a cheap do-nothing sort of thing, but this little metal jobber with the rubber on the tips gives the most amazing cranial massage.


At under $5, it's definitely a cheap thrill, but you've gotta get one of these things. It's amazing.


I found one at Bed Bath & Beyond for about $4.


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Thursday, May 06, 2010
How cool is this?!!!



Over at his blog, Thud had a post up last August in which he was looking for chimney pots to match the ones on the house he's restoring in England. [he needed 12. Twelve! Imagine how lovely that house must be!] I said I had one just like it, but that it was not available as it was used for my umbrellas and such and was all the way over here in Texas. Well, I got my chimney pot out of storage this weekend and it stands sentinel by the door. It's a lovely thing and as I'm getting things sorted and arranged here, it's feeling more and more like home all the time. Pictures coming soon of the flowers out front. Anyway, I'm imagining these two chimney pots may have run through a kiln together once upon a time. Isn't that neat?

By the way, check out Thud's blog in general, if you want to see a real craftsman at work. I'm besotted with the lovely door on his house, and here's a picture of part of the installation process.
*chimney pot photo at left by Thud
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Wednesday, May 05, 2010
File this under WOW.
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Tuesday, May 04, 2010
Just in case you missed it...
A couple days ago, Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man posted this hilarious reel of bloopers from fishing show host Bill Dance.




Anyway, I thought you'd get a laugh out of this, Dad. Enjoy!
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Monday, May 03, 2010
Ever have cheese dry out on you?
Yeah. Me neither.

This guy says never throw away cheese.



Uh. Okay. How about if it's sporting a forest of shaggy blue-green fur and it whips out a switchblade and asks to be introduced to your toenail fungus?

Not cools.
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Sunday, May 02, 2010
Sunday, Puppy Sunday: Chuy's cheese

Saturday, whilst mumsy was making a dish with a grand bleu cheese from France (super-stinky/super-creamy! om nom nom) the little puppies were going hawg-wild. Imagine the olfactory smell-o-rama that must have been for them.


Having cut away the lion's share of the cheese from the rind for the dish, I had the remaining bits on a plate and started to cut salvageable bits for the pups. They'd seemed addled since I'd unpeeled the cello from the cheese in the first place, as if they might come completely unhinged at any moment.


What amazed me is that normally, Chuy will chomp down on whatever is offered him, often nipping the fingers that gave the treat, and Praline always has a very soft mouth, daintily accepting anything offered. This time, with this gloriously pungent little universe of 3-d stink coming at him, Chuy oh-so-delicately took a little piece of cheese from my hand, as if it were a baby bird he didn't want to squish in his mouth, and then he proceeded to sort of gum it to death. I swear he went a little cross-eyed just there, and then he was ready for more.
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Saturday, May 01, 2010
Im wunderschönen Monat Mai...
In the wondrously lovely month of May...

From Shumann's sublime Dichterliebe, this is one of the loveliest of all songs in all of human history, in my opinion.

In beautiful May,
when the buds sprang,
love sprang up in my heart:

in beautiful May,
when the birds all sang,
I told you my
suffering and longing.)




A superb setting of the text of German Romantic poet Heinrich Heine's verses, the elegance of Shumann's austere tonal architecture is shown to best advantage in Dichterliebe. Listen to how the tones build a framework. I always think of this piece as the ribs of a ship, of all the wooden planking falling in order, a bark bearing up the text of the piece, with not a stray note, not a single note too many or too few. Notice how the suspension of the final tone leaves you yearning for something more. I always hear a resolution after that final tone -- my mind's ear shoots out in the direction Shumann had been aiming it all along, but he makes the listener fill in the gaps. This is very intellectual music in a very small serving. I recommend you digest then entire song cycle, if you've ever the opportunity.

There are many recordings of this on YouTube, but I chose this for the mastery of the musican's piano, as well as the plaintive yearning of his voice. Good audio for the piano here.

Another recording of this song sung by a young singer with a gorgeous voice is here.

My favorite, though, is Austrian baritone Thomas Quasthoff. This song cyle is often sung by a tenor, but baritone makes my heart sing.
May we all have a wondrously lovely time, this month.
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Name: Phlegmfatale
Location: Elsewhere, Texas, USA

I'm not whining;
I'm unburdening.
FATALE ABSTRACTION


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