One-Year Blogiversary and a Gift for Alan Rickman Fans…

So today is my one-year blogiversary!  That’s right, one year ago today I made my first post here on Sappho’s Torque, and I’ve tried really hard to keep posting about once a week ever since. Thank you so much to everyone who has been following me since the beginning, and to all of you who have joined in the last year or who keep up with my posts via Facebook.  I appreciate you all!

So to celebrate this milestone, I have a little gift for you.  Well, it’s really a gift only if you’re a fan of Alan Rickman.  If you are — and I suspect most people who’ve enjoyed his movies have to work pretty hard not to be — you probably already grasp his immense talent.  But check out this video of him doing something which in real time takes 11 seconds — and I encourage you to check out the video of that, afterward — and marvel at his ability to convey this wild range of emotions with such expressiveness.  This video takes some time to watch, around 8-9 minutes, so I recommend you do it when you can watch it from beginning to end without a break.

So out of curiosity, what’s your favorite Alan Rickman role?

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R.I.P. Count von Count

One…one piece of sad news to unfortunately mar your hopefully otherwise wonderful start to the weekend…ahh haa haaaaa.

Jerry Nelson, the talent behind Sesame Street‘s Count von Count and The Muppets’ Robin (Kermit the Frog’s nephew) and Mr. Snuffleupagus, among many other beloved characters, has died.  (Here’s the LA Times article about it.)  I’m not sure the world will ever be the same.

Is it any wonder I turned out the way I did when a vampire taught me to count?  He very probably is where my counting obsession came from.

Check out this beautiful image made by Ivan Guerrero, posted on my Facebook author page, which is currently floating around FB and Twitter and probably everywhere else right now.

And Robin the Frog?  I loved him.  He was the Frog Prince in The Muppets’ version of the fairy tale.

I had the recording on vinyl.  Sweetums as the Ogre and his mother The Wicked Witch used to frighten me half out of my wits when I’d listen to it.  And Melora, the lovely princess and Robin’s love interest, had been cursed with Wackbird Talk.  That fascinated me to no end, and I used to speak in Wackbird Talk myself because it was slightly more interesting than Pig Latin.  I was so struck by her unusual and euphoric name, I slightly altered it and used it in my first novel.

When my own children began watching Sesame Street, I was fortunate enough to catch this clip, which is one of my favorites.

I invite you to share your favorite clip of Count von Count or Mr. Snuffleupagus or Robin or any of Nelson’s other awesome characters in the comments section, if you are so inclined.  Be well.

Here We Go Again…

I’ve been really sad and angry this week.  The news cycle has upset me even more than it usually does.  I came to accept a long time ago that the political system in our country is dilapidated and crumbling and that it seems to get worse each year.  I still participate, though.  People ask me how I can stand to live in Texas, and the answer is that I love it here, even if I’m embarrassed sometimes by our state government.  Texas has a long and rich tradition in the Democratic party, but many of our non-conservatives are frankly so disgusted or cowed by the current state of affairs that they give up.

I don’t, though.

I don’t ally myself with any party, choosing to be an Independent because honestly, that’s really what makes the most sense to me.  I work to make the world a better place from within as much as I can; I try to keep an open mind.  I have many friends and family members from all parties and all political persuasions, and I know there is intelligence and compassion and good-heartedness in all corners.  I just wish THOSE people made it onto the news.

I’ve been wanting to write all week about the Akin debacle, but every time I tried, I didn’t know where to begin.  There’s just so much to deal with!  (Fortunately, The Onion did a pretty good job of expressing how I and nearly everyone I know feels.)  Perhaps I could start by saying that this was never about a “poor choice of words,” but rather a poor choice of thought.  That the entire concept of rape having different varieties is ludicrous.  That we shouldn’t be offended by the term “legitimate rape,” but rather by the idea that any victim’s pain and trauma could possibly be minimized or marginalized by such utter idiocy as the garbage that spewed from his mouth on Sunday.  That the term “forcible rape,” which was part of some nonsense co-authored by Paul Ryan (currently backtracking as fast as he can from Akin and his ilk) and which implies that rape is only truly rape if the victim also gets beaten up, deserved the ignoble death it got and hopefully won’t be resurrected.

But see, then I start to get angry again.  Not just at Akin, but at all the people who demean others for so very many reasons.  In this world, it’s a hard battle to not hate on people.  It’s tough to remind myself every day not to look down on others for their views or beliefs when they so clearly contradict what I understand as logical or true or good.  But for Christ’s sake, if I can do it, so can everyone.  It’s not like I didn’t have to teach myself this principle, and later in life than it should have been.  Come on, people, deal.

And I have to stop myself — again — from becoming so upset.  Take a deep breath.  Calm down.  Remember that it is not good practice to demean other people for having beliefs different from yours.  Remember that.  Try to make sure everyone does.  Take the emotion out of a situation so you can look at facts.

But when someone on a SCIENCE COMMITTEE says something so utterly mythological it defies not only logic but the common sense God gave a chicken, something so ridiculous that it flies in the face not just of decency but of historical and proven fact, what the hell has happened to this country?  And who let those people in charge??  Oh, good grief.

Today was the first day of school.  I had such a good time meeting all my new students, fantastic and wonderful kids in grades 9-12 who are going to make my days fun and challenging and exciting and intellectually stimulating.  And I got to walk my own children down to their building (I teach in a school which has PreK through 12), and it took forever to get there because my kids had to stop and greet and hug every friend they hadn’t seen over the summer and even the new friends they were meeting just for the first time today.  And when we got to the kindergarten hallway, my son’s new teachers were in the hall exclaiming his name and how happy they were to see him, and he ran to them and hugged them, too.  And my daughter had to stop in each of her old classrooms and hug every teacher she’s ever had — PreK, kindergarten, 1st grade — and visit with them all before joining her new 2nd grade class, who also looked happy to see her.

Today was hectic and energetic, and it was also damn good.

My kids love school, and I want them to.  I count my lucky blessings every day that they’re in a good place, learning and loving it.  This is an excellent foundation for their whole lives.  They are curious.  They question.  They think for themselves, and I am joyfully grateful, numerously blessed.

My kids acting silly in my classroom before school one morning, reminding me to cheer up, that life is still good sometimes. (We don’t let them watch or listen to the news.)

And each day I sally forth, as a parent and as a teacher and as a thinking human being, stamping out ignorance the best I can, one delighted moment or one horrifying piece of propaganda at a time.

Aw, look, here they are again. Doesn’t this just make your day?

Fight the good fight, people.  Be well.

 

Ooh, Ooh! Vote For Me! Vote Early, Vote Often!

So the incredibly awesome blogger Byronic Man has this Weekly Question of the Week thing, and each time he asks one of these thoughtful delights, his readers can send in lots of answers and then the top choices get picked to be voted on in a poll.  (I think that’s how it works.)  Anyway, this weekend, one of my responses was tapped to be a candidate.  Woo-hoo!

So please mosey on over to his blog and vote for me.  You can, in fact, vote once per day, so please do!  (And voting for me each time would be AWESOME, by the way.  I’m just sayin’.)

Here’s the link to the poll.  Vote for me here!

And here’s the link to the original post where the question was first asked, in case you’re curious about it.  While you’re there, browse the archives.  That is some quality humor.

Thank you!

I, Too, Am A Rêveuse (repost)

PLEASE NOTE:  This is a repost from earlier today.  Due to some technical glitches in the system, this post was not received by some of my followers in their email, so it’s being resent.  The post has not substantially changed since earlier.  

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I recently read Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and for days afterward, I had to distract myself with other things to keep from breathless reverie. I’m trying to remember the last time I was so affected by a book, and I think it was the first time I read

cover of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Continue reading “I, Too, Am A Rêveuse (repost)”

The Rêveur Revelation Fashion Project

Click here to be taken to your invitation.

Feel free to share photos of yourself (or links to photos of yourself) as a rêveur in the comments section of this post.

Here is mine from August 13th. White shirt, black and white skirt, red earrings.

Ange 8/13
Very simple because the weather today is hot.

If you want to share your photo here in the comments section, please do!  If you have trouble doing this, please feel free to post to my Facebook page.

And if you’ve stumbled upon this post but aren’t sure what it’s really about, read this other one.

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By the way, please note that I will be posting on the 13th of each month with my rêveuse picture for that day.  Look through the archives of my posts to find them!  🙂

I, Too, Am A Rêveur

I recently read Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, and for days afterward, I had to distract myself with other things to keep from breathless reverie. I’m trying to remember the last time I was so affected by a book, and I think it was the first time I read
cover of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Continue reading “I, Too, Am A Rêveur”