Thursday, July 29, 2010


Dancers often become enthralled with their artistic performance form when they're quite young. A family member who later danced professionally first began when in college. The dance class had just happened to fit into his schedule to provide needed credits. Until then he had no plan to become a dancer. His athleticism prepared him well for the hard work, dedication and discipline he soon learned dancing requires.

I was introduced to dancing at a very early pre-school age as has been my granddaughter. Now a teenager, she's been dancing ever since, participating in dance competitions around her home area, traveling to Washington, D.C., Orlando, Florida, and most recently New York City.

I had made tentative plans early this year to visit NYC during her trip there the first of July, but re-considered as summer drew near. I concluded cooler temperatures at a different time of year would be more desirable there than the high humidity heat I'd likely encounter. I knew we wouldn't be able to spend that much time together, plus, when there is free time teenagers often have important friend-filled activities. There will be other competitions in the months, next few years, and possible holiday get-togethers.

I have been able to glimpse my granddaughter with her Richmond, Virginia dance team members at the front of the crowd outside NBC TV's studio. They had to arrive there really early in the morning to garner those spots with their specially prepared banner. They were thrilled to be seen briefly on MSNBC Today Show introduction on this link to a Meredith Vieira Tech segment.(Beginning has a 15 sec. commercial)

Friday, July 23, 2010


Definition: Inception is an event that is a beginning; a first part or stage of subsequent events.

I came ..... to the summer fare American science fiction film "Inception," written, produced, and directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page with others including Michael Caine appearances.

The movie's plot centers on a man who is able to enter others dreams to obtain otherwise inaccessible information. His skill has resulted in him losing his family and his nationality. An opportunity to redeem himself, including with family, occurs when he and his special team are engaged to seed an idea in a target's subconscious.

I saw ..... virtual non-stop action, visual special effects showcasing massive architectural creations, spectacular outdoor scenery, car chases, explosions, crashing wrecks, killing, mayhem, romantic moments, dreamers .....

I heard ..... noise, soft human vocal tones, explanatory scientific conversations, cajoling language, frantic yelling voices, rapid-fire weapons, more noise - louder, racing vehicle engines, daunting mood-creating music, over-whelming noise, humans voices expressing anger, rage, guilt, remorse from well-intentioned love.....

Then, I went home ..... to further decipher my movie experience. I concluded dream concepts continue to be intriguing. Complexity reins supreme on multiple relationship levels with significant others. Ideas can be unintentionally, deliberately or even falsely formulated in our minds by ourselves and others. I thought about why on two brief occasions toward the film's end tears came to my eyes and wondered if I was the only one with this reaction. This story is hardly a classic tear-jerker nor is it presented in a traditional way to be so.

Coincidentally, I discovered an early-in-his-career 1962 album titled "Inception" by jazz pianist McCoy Tyner accompanied by Art Davis and Elvin Jones. Perhaps I'll think more about the movie as I listen to this unrelated tune.

Friday, July 09, 2010


(A very special blogger, Pam Antonivich, who wrote at "Mind Trips" departed this life on April 4 this year. I stopped by her blog for a visit recently and was saddened to learn she would be writing there no longer. She successfully enjoyed life despite the effects of ALS. I had found her blog by randomly selecting it from the blog roll on "Time Goes By" and wrote my impressions on 12/11/07. She was a remarkable lady and artist adapting her talents as her functional skills changed over time.)


Many of us have probably recognized instances in which we've come to realize we have slipped into that group society now regards as "old." I think "old" is a relative term, depending on where we fall on the age continuum as to who we regard as "old." As a young grade school student, I thought high schoolers epitomized the peak of adulthood and everyone past their age was well on their way to being old, others even ancient.

Then, when I was in high school, those in their twenties, maybe thirties, too, were certainly the "older adults." People in their fifties, sixties, much less those in the following decades were either "getting old" or were "really old." Even when I was in my forties, fifties, entering my early sixties, those whose age was beyond my own were the ones occupying that "old" category which I had still not yet entered. This isn't to say I discounted all these "older" adults at my various ages. I had been taught to respect my elders, even if I might not agree with some of their tastes and viewpoints, especially if they seemed mired in the past.

I didn't associate getting older as a negative, either, unlike the revulsion or fear expressed by some of my contemporaries. Perhaps my experiences with "older" people had been more positive than those less tolerant. Maybe I had been more fortunate in the interactions with my grandmother (other "grands" were deceased,) most relatives and adult family friends.

When I think of "old" I'm often reminded of my Mom telling me about her friends and conversations they had about activities of other people in her senior citizen community. I was in my forties or fifties then. She and her friends ranged in age from seventy to eighty. Occasionally, she unsuccessfully tried to recall the name of someone she and her friends all knew, and to whom some interesting event had occurred that she wanted to relate to me. Exasperatedly, when the name didn't come to her, she would utter, "Oh, you know, that old man/woman that lives down next to Myrtle" or whoever. I knew who she meant, someone who, coincidentally, was also her contemporary. Interestingly, she didn't describe herself or her friends as old, nor did they -- just all those other people were "old." They weren't in age denial either, since they freely spoke of their actual age.

Aging in my family has simply been been a matter of fact happening that everyone experiences. I've never been quite able to understand fighting against this natural process, as I've tried to focus my energies on matters on which I have greater influence. This isn't to say I haven't considered the benefits of having the physical body, strength and endurance I had at younger ages. There are limits as to how much is within my control - despite what some of the "eternal youth," "turn back the clock," or "slow the process" marketers promote in the name of selling their various products.

So, here I am still traipsing around in the later decades of my life, and it's still all the people beyond my age that are "old." I experience the vagaries of life and aging. I still care about and am as interested in life as I ever was, but sometimes in different ways. I think people of all ages who maintain an underlying sense of hope toward life may experience more happiness than those who do not. I still have hopes, dreams for my future.

Saturday, July 03, 2010


Independence Day 4th of July celebrations are prominent across the USA this long weekend. Those people who benefit from having this holiday from work are likely most appreciative. The extra day off work is reason enough to celebrate but patriotism prevails in the thoughts of many individuals.

These are difficult times for our nation. Our military troops are dying every day in the longest war in which we've ever been engaged. The financial condition of our country is arguably in a questionable state. Too many men and women are unable to be gainfully employed so are without income. Environmental concerns unlike any we've ever faced before assault significant portions of our shoreline and remain unresolved. Our national congressional representatives and senators continue locked in ideological battles with far too many unwilling to explore compromises necessary for issue resolution. (This is also true in some States, including my own, California where they can't even pass a viable budget.)

Celebrations such as Independence Day can give us hope, reason to renew our efforts and motivate us to contribute to the excitements of innovative new technologies. We see promises for tomorrow to give our children, grandchildren and generations to come by persevering to insure the freedoms vital to our nation's survival. Perhaps thoughts of our historical strength, past ability to overcome adversity will remind all who need reminding we can and must preserve this noble nation as our founders intended.

A number of cities proudly present a parade. Occurring on Sunday, July 4th at 11:45 a.m. in a most significant monument-surrounded setting is the National Independence Day Parade which travels down Constitution Ave. (click on link) in Washington, D.C. Invited bands, military units, floats, and special guests including costumed 1776 reenactors participate. This parade sponsored by the National Park Service features representatives from across our country, fife and drum corps, balloons, celebrities and national dignitaries. A street audience of hundreds of thousands of spectators will be present.

Driving through my small town community I see a number of residents homes decorated with a variety of patriotic red, white and blue banners, flags and other symbols honoring our nation's birthday. A city-wide judged contest has provided incentive for creative talents to devise visually attractive features that convey national pride. Similar events likely occur in towns and cities across our country on any one of this weekend's days.

I note in those cities mentioned below an Ohio parade is Saturday, a California parade is Sunday, and our nation's oldest parade in Rhode Island is Monday. Advance flight planning might make it possible to attend each of these 2010 July 4th Independence Day Parades.

"Star Spangled Claremont" is the theme of Sunday, July 4th's annual celebratory event in my hometown. The parade begins at 4 p.m. in the afternoon, ending with a fireworks display at a nearby park in the evening. Many years ago my young children participated in the parade's decorated bike brigade. Here's a video of an earlier year's parade.

The oldest continuous parade held since 1785 is in Bristol, Rhode Island. Costumes, old firetrucks, creatively designed hats and much more are featured in this recent year's video. The 2010 parade is Monday, July 5th with a theme, "The Star Spangled Experience."

Upper Arlington, a suburb north of Ohio's Columbus capitol, has had a parade since the mid 1920s. The 2010 parade is Saturday, July 3rd with a theme, "Buckeye Fourth of July." Local citizens continue to justifiably pride themselves in this patriotic activity, just as I recall from when I lived in the area. Parade participants include a variety of bands, floats, drill teams, horses, unusual animal pets, a bike brigade, old cars, unique vehicles, jet planes and more in this parade video from an earlier year.

Some excellent television and Internet coverage is also available of many parades, concerts and festivities.

Enjoy Independence Day wherever you live, whatever the day of celebration.