Alas for anyone who might have read my entire 5 post blog, it must seem I am the laziest of persons; and 'struth, I can't deny it when it comes to writing. I just have such a fully engaging life this autumn in the "meat world"!
So, here goes an easy one. Sharon, from "Life is Good"...has done an open call for "favorite things" and I just had to take the bait, so..,Do scan to the end of the post and turn on the musical accompaniment if you wish. And enjoy a bit of my favorite Art by Daniel Sprick. He is represented by Salon d'Arts in Boulder, and in my wildest dreams, I own one of his paintings.
Food: Enchiladas or molé poblano...enchiladas are my standby comfort food. With good frijolés on the side and a luscious, home made sauce, I can't resist. But molé is the food of the gods. This is how chocolate was meant to be eaten, with chilés! Chocolate originated in Mexico, you know, but then so did Vanilla, my favorite ice cream flavour. For those of you who did not know, vanilla means "little sheath" and is named for it's resemblence to another "sheath"...the vaina (archaic Spanish) for "vagina". So all of you who say that a "vanilla life" is boring are missing the essential sensuality of this most lovely of flavours.
Drink: I'm not much of an alcohol drinker, just don't have the constitution for it, but good Irish Whiskey is my very favorite. Jameson Signature or Limited Reserve, with just a splash of water to free the aroma, or (I know it is sacrilege) one single lump of ice. Drunk in a tall thin glass...NOT a shot glass, so that the "nose" is fully enjoyed. Slainté! My Irish hubby is partial to Powers himself, but I stick with the "Jemmy". I understand why they call it uisce bheatha, or "water of life", but too much of it can make you feel like death warmed over, so "drink in moderation."
Holiday: Christmas. I celebrate this season with a lot of contemplation. My favorite carols are the eldest ones, where joy is imbued with sadness. The obscure ones. "The Huron Carol"; "Don Oíche Úd I mBeithil"(That night in Bethlehem"), and most of all, "Down in Yon Forest"...perhaps the most syncretic blend of pagan "grail king" imagery and Catholic Christianity of all. It moves me at the bones. I'll link them at the end of the page, or at least one of them. Not that I don't enjoy me some "chestnuts roasting" or "silver bells"...but I love the really old stuff best. This is Saturnalia; Midwinter's Eve; Yule...the coming return of the sun at Solstice. The Roman bishops were crafty to place the birth of Jesus on such a bone deep feast day! Another favorite is "Tomorrow Will Be My Dancing Day". Good stuff, and a true remedy, along with mulled wine, to the dreary commercialism that Christ's Mass has become. Alleluia...
T.V. Show: Mad Men. The erotic pull of Don Draper and his secrets is really chilling. In the first season, when he was such a cipher, it drew from me an "oh my"...like that of Susan Sarandon in Bull Durham, when she realizes that maybe that "baby boy" she has chosen to warm her bed will be a pale substitute for "Crash Davis"... I love the period authenticity. I adore the characters. Even a bad episode has much to ponder. Great T.V. Second place goes to House. Hugh Laurie is phenomenal in this show.
Movie: Oh, dammit...there are really too many to name, but I'd have to say that among my favorites are Wings of Desire and The Lives of Others. These two German films are heartbreakingly well-made. I defend The Lives of Others against the cynics who say that it surely could not be that a Stasi agent could have such an enlightenment. If you haven't seen this film, it is about an East German couple under surveillance by the secret police. It is so compelling and well made. You should watch it. I wept.
On the lighter side, the aforementioned Bull Durham ranks among my favorites as well, as does Field of Dreams. Baseball is a metaphor for life. There are many others, and I will rue the entries here, as I think of them.
Flower: Iris or Hyacinth. Spring bulbs, gorgeous blooms, fragrance to die for. Come to think of it, I don't think I have ever met a flower I didn't love. Stargazer Lilies are lovely too, and multi-hued roses take my breath away. *sigh*
Fruit: Raspberries and Mangos, though both present challenges. Mango Lassi is a fine lovely drink, and raspberries ripe over ice cream are wonderful. I adore baked apples, there is something about the heat that brings out another dimension in this most popular fruit. I bake them a lot. There's no finer dessert!
Tree: Aspen...they are actually "joint organisms" or "clonal colonies" in which the root systems can live for thousands of years, sending up new shoots when the old trunks die off. Perhaps the oldest living organism on earth is a stand of Aspen in Utah called Pando, which means "I spread"...it's root system may be up to 80,000 years old. Besides, they remind me of home (Colorado). They are lovely to behold in autumn and their leaves dance in the wind and make their own lovely music.
Animal: Dogs are captivating. I love them. Cats too. I have loved horses all my life, and they are special animals indeed. As far as wild animals go, my totem is coyoté, his archetypal attributes are transformation, travel, high deeds and power. Transformation indeed. These guys show up whenever a change is in process or on the way. I find them beautiful, though others may say coyote is a thief or a scavenger, I say he adapts and overcomes.
Actress: I am taken with Emma Thompson. I so identify with her, for some reason. Kate Winslet is divine, and I have a really soft spot in my heart for Laura Dern. Another favorite movie of mine was her Rambling Rose, a moving Depression era depiction of a young woman of ill repute being "rescued" by a southern family of some means, as they employ her as a maid and nanny. The scenes with her and her own mother, Diane Ladd (both Oscar nominated for this film!) were so achingly beautiful. Kristen Scott Thomas has impressed me as of late, especially in the moving I've Loved You So Long, where she poignantly plays a woman released after years in prison for murder. Penelope Cruz and Salma Hayak are both incredibly creative and talented.
Actor: I love the intensity of Russell Crowe, from A Beautiful Mind to Gladiator, he has a lot of range. He's going to be Robin Hood next, directed by his pet director, Ridley Scott. I wonder if that will be good? I like Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig...both are talented, as well as eye candy. I love Liev Schrieber and Gary Sinise, quiet actors with lots of depth. John Malkovich is mesmerizing to watch as well. Daniel Day Lewis is perhaps the most intense actor of his generation, and I can't wait to see him in Nine, based on Fellini's 8 1/2...surrounded by some of the most luscious women in film. Whew...!
Artist: Velasquez; Vermeer; Frida Kahlo; Goya; Bernini; Filipo Lippi...as you can see...I stray almost always toward representational art. I even like Norman Rockwell and the somewhat "cheesy" sweep of a Bierstadt landscape. Remedios Varo, Chirico, Magritte and Dali all still draw me in, though surrealism is not "in vogue" at the moment. Favorite active artist right now: Daniel Sprick, a hyperrealist who bows at the altar of Vermeer. Check him out: http://www.danielsprick.com/index.html He is divine, and I'd give my eye teeth to own one of his works...though they are usually so large, I'd not have a proper place to show it. PLEASE CHECK HIM OUT!!
Music: Now this part of the post could take a month. The major criterion is, "does it touch my soul and does it HAVE soul?" I love "old timey" music. The Be Good Tanyas; Gregory Alan Isakov; Gillian Welch. I crave the Blues on a regular basis, and am especially taken with the music of one Chester Arthur Burnette, aka Howlin' Wolf, and also love Muddy Waters, B.B. King and a young and phenomenally talented artist called Corey Harris (who happens to be the little brother of a dear friend. http://www.myspace.com/coreyharrismusic
I play Irish traditional music (irish flute) and love jigs, reels and hornpipes. As for other things Irish, I love U2, and am not ashamed of the way their music still touches my soul and moves me. These guys, of an age with myself, just keep going strong. Saw them in Chicago this year, and was still blown away by their energy. Other lovely Irishers: Damien Rice; Bell XI; Danu; Dervish; Colm O'Donnell (my flute and voice idol)...do check these artists out, they're all so much better than the somewhat cringeworthy "Celtic Women"...errrrghgh!
I grew up playing classical/concert flute (Boehm flute for all you flautists out there)...and am so very grateful to my flute teacher Ms. Katherine Skinner, who educated me on all things classical, baroque, romantic and otherwise musical. I love: Telemann; Vivaldi and Schumann to play...I love Saint Sans; Debussy; (<----they hated each other) Satie; Rachmaninoff, Beethoven, Chopin; Brahms and Schubert to listen to.
I love Led Zeppelin; The Grateful Dead; CSNY; Creedence; Zappa; Joni Mitchell; Janis Joplin; Leonard Cohen; The Beatles; The Stones; British Invasion groups; Mersey Beat; Reggae (Peter Tosh is a god); Prog Rock (sorry...sheepish) Motown; Southern Rock ala Marshall Tucker/Doobies ("Can't You See? and"Black Water" anyone?) And am hooked on "Trip Hop". "Morcheeba" are still the greatest chillout pill ever.
Other, more "up to date" loves: "A Fine Frenzy"; "Bat for Lashes"; Beth Rowley; Jack White; "Sea Wolf"; "Great Big Sea"; Mark Knopfler and on and on and on!
You see the list... I can't live without music.
Books/Writers: Now I really run into a conundrum. Reading is like breathing to me. Hubby just gave me a Kindle, probably to see if it would help reduce the stack of books in the bedroom! I think the transformational book of my life remains The Lord of the Rings, despite the numerous critics and the lack of female characters...I love the book(s). My favorite recent "epic fantasy novel" is Patrick Rothfuss' The Name of the Wind, a stunningly well wrought debut. But that is the tip of the iceberg. Recently read and loved: Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee; The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker; The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry; A Mercy by Toni Morrison and War Dances by Sherman Alexie. Currently reading: A YA novel called Ballad by Maggie Stiegvater; This is Where I Leave You by Jonathon Tropper and Perma Red by Debra Magpie Earling. The Kindle has just certainly become a "pusher" of choice, but has not slowed down my paper book purchasing...I bought 3 books just this week in paper...*sigh*...
Destination/Place: Colorado beats about 80% of the places on the planet, but that number is compounded because it's HOME. Take a look at bbd's gorgeous photos and tell me it's not magnificent: http://open.salon.com/blog/bbd/2009/10/10/closer_to_the_sun_moon_and_stars
Second would be Ireland in Summer. I won first prize at the "In-Law Fair"...mine are great! They live in County Sligo, Ireland...Yeat's coutry:
"I will arise and go now, and go to Inisfree and a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made. Nine bean rows I will have there, and a hive for the honey bee, and live alone in the bee mad glade." (Apologies for the formatting...I can't seem to format poetry well here.)
My husband's Auntie Moírín lives just above this island, and it is stunning.
Third could be any number of places: Berlin; Rome; Santa Fe...I love to see new places and re-visit "old" ones.
Life is full of favourites and the more I age, the slower the savour of such things as these. Full on favourite thing to do: have a great conversation with good friends over good food and drink. Not a thing in creation (except maybe glorious lovemaking) compares.
So sláinte...here's a health to the company...do tell me of your favourites now!