The whole family went out to see La La Land Friday night. Talk about a great movie! It is like an old fashioned musical with a bittersweet note. Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling do really well together in this movie. She is a struggling actress working as barista in a movie lot coffee store and Ryan plays a jazz pianist trying to make a living while staying true to his craft. They meet, they are a little bristly with each other and then they fall in love and they struggle to stay there as they through life together. Like I said it is bittersweet and in the meantime there is lots of singing and dancing. The costuming is beautiful and the dialog is sharp.
This is a feelgood movie deluxe and one of the best ones I have seen in a long time. I give it five stars out of five, or four out of four or just whatever scale you want to use this comes out at the top.
I went on a run at Tulsa’s Oxley Nature Center this week. I have taken off the whole week between Christmas and New Years and the weather has been quite mild. Unlike other parks around town, Oxley has their trails extremely well marked some even with gates like this. I’m a Forest Service kid and I love this type of construction. And, who can resist checking out a trail called the “Meadowlark Prairie Trail.”
And I am donating a free shadow selfie at no extra cost.
as a PS I am ashamed to say that I have subscribed to Photoshop for over a year and just this week have been figuring out how it works. I had always discounted Lightroom before but I have learned it is an integral part of the whole process. You do the easy edits in Lightroom and then pass the photo easily on to Photoshop. And then you can pass it back. Easy Peasy. Plus I have some of the Topaz Filters and have learned that the they are easily integrated into Photoshop as well. In the photo above I used I used a free Nik Filter from Google. They made them free in March of 2016 and they are very powerful. Anyway, they are integrated into Photoshop also.
I feel kind of dumb but having a little time to study things shows me that I have been wasting a lot of time. Better late than never I guess.
This is a floating stage on the west bank of the Arkansas River. The stage has not been used in years and is apparently too expensive to dismantle and impossible to move so I guess it will just sit there until a tornado takes it out. Back in the day, a lot of big names played on it Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Leon Russel, and others played on the stage. In the meantime it is biding its time with its memories in a little backwater off the Arkansas River. I don’t know how many dozens of photos I have taken of it, morning, night, noon, all four seasons. I love it.
I just finished this slim volume and boy is it a gem of a book. Willie Nelson wrote this book about his life and his family and his philosophy of life. I first took notice of him when he came out in the 70’s with his Red Headed Stranger album (remember albums?) which I played over and over. Well that was over 40 years ago and you know Nelson is still making records and at 83 years of age has a very rigorous performance schedule.
Willie writing about himself is one thing but he includes little snippets from his friends, family, and fellow musicians writing about him. I thought that was great especially the vignette’s from his children from several different mothers. The other thing I really liked is the lyrics. He started out writing poetry when he was six years old and did that until he learned to play the guitar. His lyrics read like poems. One of the last songs he quotes is “Whatever Happened to Peace on Earth”
…We believe everything they tell us
They are going to kill us so we gotta kill them first
But I remember the commandment thou shalt not kill
How much is that soldier’s life worth
And what happened to peace on earth
So I am not sure that I would like to hold up Willie Nelson’s life as one everybody should emulate but he has some things to say that are worth reading.
Well we did Christmas. I love Christmas and we had a nice quiet one at the house with our small family including my Mother-in-Law. We exchanged gifts and cards and had a nice meal and texted/facebook messaged our other family in Idaho, Colorado, and western Oklahoma.
Now I am ready to be done with it. Sure, leave the lights and tree up for a few days but it is time to go outside for a little while and get the head screwed on straight. I’m taking a week off and although we have errands and stuff to do I plan to get a few runs and hikes in and take a bunch of photos.
How about you? You done with Christmas also? (I know, I know, it is technically still Christmas while I post this but I am about to come out of my skin.)
This is my favorite Christmas Card this year. A water color set in New Mexico. I grew up in New Mexico and I don’t think there is anything prettier than snow on adobe. Throw in a traditional blue door and a ristra of red chilis and it is perfect as far as I am concerned. Check out the artist, Terry Clark, on his blog Coffee With Clark. Artist, Journalism Professor, Journalist, all around great guy, and fellow lover of New Mexico. He is painting and posting lots of New Mexican scenes and commentary this month on a Christmas theme.
I like the quiet moments of Christmas the best. The introspection and remembering years past, especially the loved ones who are no longer around.
Plus, young kids are great at Christmas. They still have the wonder of how it all happened. Plus I like playing with the little kids toys the best. Especially during the afternoon nap.
So unlike Professor Clark I never got around to making cards except I put this together on PicMonkey. So, to those who celebrate the holiday, Merry Christmas!!!
The Winter Solistice was Wednesday. I went out on the Arkansas River trails here in Tulsa to get some fresh air. Fall has definitely given over to Winter here. If we can just get through this season without ice I’ll be happy.
The Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, and the beginning of Winter was yesterday. So on the plus side the days are going to get longer! And on the downside the weather is going to get colder before it starts getting warmer. So I can go run in the woods and go geocaching without worry about ticks, chiggers, spiders, and snakes. Winter is when I can really relax in the woods and not worry about what I am about to step on or find underneath a rock.
Hey, plus Christmas is just a couple days off. Christmas is great but what I really like is the week between Christmas and New Years. This year I’m going to take the days off and we’ll go to some movies and just kind of chill. In early January we are all going to fly up to Idaho and go visit my Dad. Now southeast Idaho, that is where they have real winter. I don’t anticipate moving up there, ever!!! If anything I want to move south.
This time of year is special because this is around the time of my late Mother’s birthday. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. I don’t have very many photographs of her but this old faded polaroid is my favorite. She was smart and sassy and tough as nails and really loved her family. The wife of a Forest Ranger and the daughter of a copper miner and a dyed in the wool old school Democrat with an Irish twinkle in eye. I wonder what she thinks as she is surveying all that is going on these days in America.
First up is “Begins with Y” and I have this bit of serendipity
A few years ago we took our family vacation in Seattle, Washington. While there we took a whale watching tour which docked at a small town for a little lunch and rest and I took the above photo in the little harbor.
Later I googled the vessel’s name “Olympus” and it turns out that it began life in 1929 in New York as a private yacht of a wall street baron and has had several owners during its life including the US Navy during World War II where it served as a patrol vessel looking for submarines off the coast. Later on it was owned by the State of Washington and is under private ownership again. It is again privately owned and you can rent it out for an excursion or if you can purchase it for a mere $950,000! Check the purchase link. It has photo some great photos of the very deluxe interior.
Next up, “Favorite”
Heather and I went to see the Kingston Trio on Sunday afternoon. They put on a great show. The singing was wonderful and they were very engaging. There was a film crew there and they are going to try and get it on PBS every year around the holidays. It was amazing watching these guys do there thing. So hey look for it next year.
And next “Festive”
I found this tree downtown while at lunch this week. I’m going to post it on Instagram when I get a chance. Do you Instagram? Yes? then find me and friend me, I’m yogiab. I love Instagram. You can see some of my photos on the right sidebar.