Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Birthday Bash with the Bard

Today, they say, is Will's birthday!
With cakes and ale we cheer!
And if ere long the ale's all gone,
We'll just have cakes and beer!

"A possum by any other name would still be a possum." William Shakespeare

So, it looks like we're talking about the Bard of Avon.
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. He then wrote mainly tragedies, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, until around 1609 when he penned his most renowned work, MacPossum, a dazzling work of brooding gothic drama which set the standard for all literature to come. That's why possums, all and sundry, can be heard to mutter, "Double, double, toil and trouble." as they fumble around the countryside, looking for some style of mischief to get into.

Here in Alabama, we are most fortunate to have in residence possums of the highest literary nature. Just a few nights ago, upon hearing a little marsupialesque voice quavering "Oh, do not swear by the MOON!" I looked out my back door to see who spake thus. Sure enough, my eyes were blessed with the sight of two little bardies, munching on cat food as they carried on such an urbane and sophisticated discourse! Who could not love a possum?

Back to the Bard; Shakespeare biographers have documented the indisputable fact that people were barely able to walk around the Globe Theatre without stepping on the tails of Shakespeare's many pet possums, who hung around the place, and were, at that time, believed to bring good luck to actors, writers, and artists.

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

 Happy Birthday, Oh Bard!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

We Note the Passing With Deep Sorrow

Peter Seamus Lorcan O'Toole (August 2, 1932 – December 14, 2013)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Random Thoughts and Images

Here we are, December 6th, 2013, and I need to update my blog! All the possums are getting rowdy and irritable, waiting for news of any kind whatsoever.

The best news of all is my recent installation of a fine Christmas display here at The Library, with happy possums gathered 'round the tree.

 The Christmas Possums Display
This makes all the possums happy!
 There is nothing I like better than a happy possum.
Have a merry December 6th, everyone!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Oh! Maggie's Farm!   That' s not Maggie's Farm on the previous page. It's Soy Bomb! But here's Maggie's Farm, if the link works.

Bob Dylan Obviously Ain't Working On Maggie's Farm No More

He's busy with other endeavors.

We all know about Bob Dylan's talent as a musician, song writer, singer, music legend. But did you know he's also a painter? Welder?

He makes iron gates from scrap metal.

  Image credit: Bob Dylan, 2013 © John Shearer

“I’ve been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country – where you could breathe it and smell it every day. And I’ve always worked with it in one form or another.
Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.”
– Bob Dylan

The hand made gates and his oil paintings are going on display at Halcyon Galleries in London.

 Halcyon's announcement states "Mood Swings will show iron works by Bob Dylan for the first time, alongside original works on canvas and signed limited editions, all of which will be for sale.

Seven iron gates welded out of vintage iron and other metal parts created by Dylan in his studio will be featured in the exhibition and will be displayed publicly for the first time."

 Dylan's paintings are mostly very clean, very open, with bright clean colors, the visual effect of a breath of clean air.

Bob Dylan

The Mood Swings exhibition dates are November 16, 2013 through January 25, 2014.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

What Did You Dream Last Night

It's that time again! Here at The Painted Possum, from time to time I tell a dream I've had and ask my readers to tell what dreams they have had. So, here goes:

A few nights ago I dreamed that I was onstage singing "Mack the Knife!" It was wonderful! I sang the entire song, and I remember during this performance, I was surprised and impressed with myself for knowing all the words!

I was wearing the cutest little khaki colored suit , very "au current," I must say. Not sure how to spell au current, but I think that's right.

Here's what my suit looked like.
Wish I had a film of ME singing "Mack the Knife," but I don't!  So, here's that famous guy himself,  Bobby Darin!
So, what did you dream last night?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Where did the Cheshire Cat come from?


The Cheshire Cat  is a fictional cat popularized by Lewis Carroll in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, known for its distinctive mischievous grin. But where did Lewis Carroll get the idea for the Cheshire Cat?

The phrase appears in print in John Wolcot's  Pair of Lyric Epistles (1792): "Lo, like a Cheshire cat our court will grin."

Dairy farming

A possible origin of the phrase "Grinning like a Cheshire Cat" is one favoured by the people of Cheshire, which boasts numerous dairy farms; hence the cats of Cheshire grin because of the abundance of milk and cream.

Cheese molds

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable says grinning like a Cheshire cat is "an old simile, popularized by Lewis Carroll. It has been said that cheese was formerly sold in Cheshire molded like a cat that looked as though it was grinning." The cheese was cut from the tail end, so that the last part eaten was the head of the smiling cat.
Grinning Cheshire Catt, St Wilfrid's Church
Grappenhall, Cheshire
The cat carving in St. Nicolas Church

Church carvings

There are many reports that Carroll found inspiration for the name and expression of the Cheshire Cat in the 16th century sandstone carving of a grinning cat, on the west face of St. Wilfrid's Church tower in Grappenhall, a village adjacent to his birthplace in Daresbury, Cheshire.

Lewis Carroll's father was Rector of Croft from 1843 to 1868, and Carroll lived here from 1843 to 1850. Historians believe Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat in the book Alice in Wonderland was inspired by a carving in Croft church.

In 1992, members of the Lewis Carroll Society attributed it to a gargoyle found on a pillar in St. Nicolas Church, Cranleigh, where Carroll used to travel frequently