There are days that slip by
And hours that bite to hurt;
Never mind, I have known
Days take the elevator to stars
And left me to rusticate
‘mong angelic choir;
while sweet lullabies salved
hurt of hours misspent
I knew the year as my reckoning.
If such be the gift allowed
for you and me
For every year lost or misspent
The coming year must make amends.
Cheer up fellows
The year shall be ours, by Gawd!
Archive for December, 2010
There are days that slip by
Christmas At Heathrow©
So we’ll take no more a Boeing
Even if we want to,
Though the heart be, oh, a- winging
And the hearth be still ablaze.
For the sleet and snow falling
Has the runway out of sight-
So Christmas at Heathrow is
Our sad plight this year.
Though the ticket was all proper-
Homecoming, alas, must wait;
Though the heart be a-winging
We can’t shovel our way out.
BAGHDAD – When police came hunting for a 19-year-old woman they believed had been recruited by al-Qaida to be a suicide bomber in a town north of Baghdad, they found she was already dead: Slain by her father, who told police he strangled his daughter out of shame and then cut her throat.
The killing of Shahlaa al-Anbaky, reported by police Friday, appeared to be from an unusual melding of motives — part to defend the family honor, part to prevent her from joining the militants.(rebecca santana-APnews)
Fathers are called to uphold their honor in certain primitive societies by excising the shame their daughters bring into their homes. What al-Quaida or any terrorist groups who led women to such a terrible fate ought to prove their honor in far convincing manner: by choosing their mothers to be suicide bombers they would show that they do believe in the Cause. They do not really understand where their Cause leads them but will certainly know where their mothers would end up. Their mothers are as precious as the Cause to give a try.
Mothers may not understand the cause their sons so blindly espouse. After all each gave birth, in some cases almost at the risk of her health and life to a hope. Which mother could live with the shame of her sole hope and desire being eaten with hate and dead to sound advice or fine sentiments? They may be willing to take the way out such a son brings to them. They may also redeem their shame by sparing guileless girls,- who do not believe in the Cause anyway except as brainwashed and unwitting tools, from such dastardly fate as being blown to bits.
Terrorism merely breeds confusion and misery and it shall never build up a sane society. History has no example of a religion of hate or some beggarly band without allegiance to a land, toting a wretched set of laws and a Cause (and brutal repression and obscurantist ideas) ever nurturing a civilized society. Look at Russia: they had a geographical center from which they wanted to build up worker’s paradise throughout the Soviet Union. But purges and Patriotic war took their toll. Stalin the great Killing machine went on with his killing spree. Result? some twenty million people died. Against such human loss how many years their Cause lasted? Less than a century. From That terrible loss in man power Russia has not yet fully recovered.
Without winning the hearts and minds by good deeds and thoughts and making the believers pure in deeds and thoughts no religion can build a better society. Terrorists who use suicide bombers are prodigals who waste manpower; they are fools because they do not account for events that always upset their pipe-dreams. By beggaring their manpower, be it as cannon fodder or creative elements building up a new society, they shall see themselves stamped out by others who do not believe in prophets or their past but in their own destiny.
51 “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”( Often misquoted as “Do you feel lucky, punk?” Harry Callahan Clint Eastwood Dirty Harry 1971)
52 “You had me at ‘hello’.” Dorothy Boyd Renée Zellweger Jerry Maguire 1996
53 “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know.”( Often misquoted as “… How he got in my pajamas I’ll never know.”
Capt. Geoffrey T. Spaulding Groucho Marx Animal Crackers 1930)
54 “There’s no crying in baseball!” Jimmy Dugan Tom Hanks A League of Their Own 1992
55 “La-dee-da, la-dee-da.” Annie Hall Diane Keaton Annie Hall 1977
56 “A boy’s best friend is his mother.” Norman Bates Anthony Perkins Psycho 1960
57 “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” (^ The scene from the film in which this line appears is also excerpted in the movie’s trailer, but in the trailer the sequence is edited so that Gekko’s line occurs as simply “Greed is good.” This shorter version of the line has become more popular – and more widely quoted – than the version in the film.
Gordon Gekko Michael Douglas Wall Street 1987)
58 “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”( This maxim is attributed to several military strategists, notably Sun-tzu, Chinese general.
Michael Corleone Al Pacino The Godfather: Part II 1974)
59 “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.” Scarlett O’Hara Vivien Leigh Gone with the Wind 1939
60 “Well, here’s another nice mess you’ve gotten me into!” (Often misquoted as “Here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into!”
Oliver Oliver Hardy Sons of the Desert 1933)
61 “Say hello to my little friend!” Tony Montana Al Pacino Scarface 1983
62 “What a dump.”( Although occurring in the 1949 film, this line did not become a widespread catchphrase until after the 1961 premiere of Edward Albee’s play Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?. In the opening scene of that play, Martha quotes this line and then (since she has apparently forgotten) she asks George which of Bette Davis’s films it is from.
Rosa Moline Bette Davis Beyond the Forest 1949)
63 “Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Aren’t you?”( Often misquoted as “Are you trying to seduce me, Mrs Robinson?”
Benjamin Braddock Dustin Hoffman The Graduate 1967)
64 “Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here! This is the War Room!” President Merkin Muffley Peter Sellers Dr. Strangelove 1964
65 “Elementary, my dear Watson.”( This line, which does not appear in any of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories, was first said onscreen in The Return of Sherlock Holmes. The line’s first occurrence is in the stage play Sherlock Holmes, written entirely by William Gillette with Doyle’s approval, for which Gilette listed Doyle as co-author.
Sherlock Holmes Basil Rathbone The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes 1939)
66 “Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!” George Taylor Charlton Heston Planet of the Apes 1968
67 “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” Rick Blaine Humphrey Bogart Casablanca 1942
68 “Here’s Johnny!” (An ad-lib. The line, of course, is Ed McMahon’s introduction of Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show.
Jack Torrance Jack Nicholson The Shining 1980)
69 “They’re here!” Carol Anne Freeling Heather O’Rourke Poltergeist 1982
70 “Is it safe?” Dr. Christian Szell Laurence Olivier Marathon Man 1976
71 “Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!” (Ad-libbed after a particularly good take
Jakie Rabinowitz/Jack Robin Al Jolson The Jazz Singer 1927)
72 “No wire hangers, ever!”( Usually misquoted as: “No more wire hangers, ever!”
Joan Crawford Faye Dunaway Mommie Dearest 1981)
73 “Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?” Cesare Enrico “Rico” Bandello Edward G. Robinson Little Caesar 1930
74 “Forget it, Jake, it’s Chinatown.” Duffy Joe Mantell Chinatown 1974
75 “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.” Blanche Dubois Vivien Leigh A Streetcar Named Desire 1951
When I listen to Mozart i know I am transported to another level and having come down to earth I shall never be the same at least for a couple of hours. I am sure I have seen how my cat would come purring and walk around me swishing his furry tail as though he kept time to the Mozart’s piece. House tits also come flying chirring their delicate wings to wow my day. I haven’t cared to find if they find something special in his Requiem or in divertimenti.
I know I am at peace with the living and the dead.
D. Albert Schweitzer(1875-1965)
He spent his childhood in the little Alsatian village of Günsbach and one of his closest friends was George Nitshelm. They played together and were involved in the same boyish pranks. One day as they walked home from school, George challenged him for a mock fight. For a time they sparred and all of a sudden young Schweitzer knocked his opponent down and straddled him across the chest. “There you are!”, he exclaimed,”What do you say now?”
“You win George gasped,”but if I got good broth for supper twice a week like you do, I’ll bet you wouldn’t have won.” This outburst was simple as any from the heart is. Direct and blunt he was and he the underprivileged came out a victor. Didn’t he work a sea change in Albert? (I am sure if it was Adolf Hitler instead of George he would have waited for the dark and in an alleyway have settled the scores.)
Victory or loss is measured relatively.
Now to my main point:
What made Albert open for seeing their differences in station? There was a statue of an African in chains and bowed and seeing it often made him wonder why it was so that a man should be in chains while another is free?
Albert after that incident did his best to merge himself with others in the village. If they were to be his real friends that meant they should be same in everything. He would wear only clothes like his friends and would go without an overcoat when the weather grew cold because the other boys didn’t possess one.
Perhaps one might say it is very superficial to deprive you of your natural abilities. Yes indeed. What is a pair Gucci shoes or a Vuitton bag? To know you cannot provide your close friends with necessary articles meant for their comfort your friendship is made real in the manner you also can do without such luxury items. It is a positive action that holds great secret for you alone. You have consciously converted your inability to provide for them by treating these material advantages as superfluous. You made things less important than people. Even after you have outgrown your childhood friends when you have to hold responsible positions you know how to handle superficial things. In simple acts you have merely mapped out for the greater arena where your challenges are real and would affect great many. If not wearing Gucci or Rolex for a matter of principle did not bother you for the sake of friendship you will know in real life how to apportion worth to things and to people.
Great secrets of life are opened by influences to which you are open consciously when young.
BAYAZID I (1317-1403) Turkey
Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Nicknamed Yildirim, the Thunderbolt, for the speed with which he marched and overran the countries reminiscent of blitzkrieg of Hitler, he was the sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1389 to 1402. He ascended to the throne following the assassination of his father Murad I and immediately had his younger brother strangled to prevent him from staging a coup.
In revenge for his father’s death by stealth in the Battle of Kosovo, Beyazid massacred his Serb prisoners. Nevertheless, he was able to conclude a treaty with the Serb leader, Stephen Bulcovic, and granted Serbia considerable autonomy. In 1391 he laid siege to Constantinople. The call of a Crusade by the Byzantine emperor John V Palaeologus did not succeed. In 1396, the Battle of Nicopolis went against the Christian allies, under the leadership of the Hungarian King and Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. The siege of Constantinople lasted until 1398 and could end it only by paying heavy tribute to the sultan. However he was unable to take the city as the threat of Timurlane became very real.
In 1400, the Mongol warlord Timur Lenk had succeeded in rousing the local kingdoms that had been conquered by the Turks to join him in his attack on Beyazid. In the fateful Battle of Ankara, on July 20, 1402, Beyazid was captured by Timur and taken to Samarkhand. Contrary to popular belief he was treated with leniency. One year later, Beyazid died — some accounts claim that he committed suicide.
Postscript:Fall of Constantinople(1453)
After Timur’s death in 1405 in the ensuing confusion, the Ottoman Empire could quickly recover under Murad II’s son, Mehmed II, known as Fatih, or “the Conqueror.” He was determined not only to restore the Ottoman Empire to its pre-Timurid glory, but to build on it as well. Crucial to this was to conquer Constantinople, the Byzantine capital, once and for all. The siege of Constantinople began on April 6, 1453, with 50,000 Ottoman troops facing off against only 8,500 Byzantine troops. Since their introduction to firearms 30 years earlier, the Ottomans had drastically improved their artillery, and city walls, although the strongest of the Middle Ages, were no match for their cannons.
On May 29, 1453, after 54 days of battle, Sultan Mehmed II entered Constantinople and prayed at Hagia Sophia, which was built by the Emperor Constantine. He then ordered it turned into a mosque, and renamed the city Islambol – “Islam abounds” – or Istanbul. With the capital firmly in Ottoman hands, the rest of the Byzantine Empire quickly crumbled.
The Liars Club ©
One morning I woke up startled. Normally nothing short of a suicide bomber exploding him right on my face could make me nervous. What startled me was very mundane and I could have gone on my sleep had I a yen for it. You see my dream was asleep in my four-poster bed while I had my shuteye in the gazebo. Some must have a nightcap or count sheep but sleep under an open sky is de rigueur for me. Whenever the night is warm and stars are all out in the inky darkness above I sleep soundly without distraction. Dreams are the distraction whether they choose my bed or my head.
That morning my dreams like newspapers piled up by milk bottles not yet cleared startled me to put it mildly. My esteemed Members of the Club to which I aspire to be a part may naturally wonder, ‘Do I sleep?’
Some sleep like a log but must find a fetal position or curl around like a hound. No it is not for me and I sleep on my feet. As I feel magnetic lines zapping right through my crown to my soles I know my sleep shall be sweet. No dream can match my neon blue sleep what with my hair all up and muscles in a twitch. Wish fulfillment of dreams cannot quite match the pleasure I derive therein. Stars may fall in Alabama but sleep on my feet get me touch the stratosphere during my REM phase. Who needs dreams, I ask you.
Of course in my adolescent years when wet behind my ears to make any cap a shapeless wet rag I used to sleep like a bat from the tree house in my yard much to my dad’s annoyance. But then he understood the vampire was much to blame and he let me sleep anywhere even in the doghouse. But owing to my regards for Fido who never could have a shuteye with me around, I slept in the barn where my sleeping companions were much too dumb to wonder what I was doing from the rafters in the first place.
Well to cut short my request to the distinguished Club for allowing my company I also vouch that I do not snore or fidget while I catch forty winks. My sleep is bound to give no offense whatsoever to any distinguished member who may be catching his sleep of the just beneath the freshly pressed pages of his morning paper larded with gory details of murder and mayhem. Among my peers I am content to peruse the funnies while I rest my gray cells and my ivories. Lastly but not the least my fangs have never sought for the jugular of the dead. I am willing to abide by the rules and regulations of the Club scrupulously to the letter.
Chas. ‘Dracula’ Beddoes
Reply to the application came back and the letter carried only a line. ‘The request has been blackballed by the undersigned and refused with utmost regret that the Club cannot entertain a request from a living aspirant.’
Frank Stein, Hon. secretary of the Liars Club.
The name rang a bell and I knew the man who signed the letter. On the tenth grade he was my first victim and as a vampire I must admit my only unprofessional job. No wonder he has not quite forgiven me ever since.