Archive for June, 2012

Happy Bi-Centennial!

Star-Spangled Banner flagI love this stuff!  Don’t blame me, it’s genetics.  Mom and Dad were both history buffs and history teachers.  I can’t seem to help myself when something historically interesting grabs my attention.  Nerd.  Whatever.  So be it.  This blog will take advantage of something historical, educational, and in keeping with my online friends and associates.

How is this literary?  Follow me with this.  I was in Starbucks, yeah I know you want to say, “Again?!?”

Anyway, I was in Starbucks and saw an interesting headline in the latest issue of USA Today.  They published an article entitled, “America’s ‘Whatever’ War,” written by Rick Hampson.  Of course I took immediate offense to that accusatory title but I was wrong.  No, the article does not discuss our attitudes about Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or anything like that.  It’s all about the War of 1812.

I know what you’re thinking.  Now you want to say, “Oh.  That war.  Whatever.”  See???

USA Today’s Mr. Hampson shares a very well written article that contains a lot of “I-didn’t-know-that” content.  It also tells us all about what Canada is doing to celebrate.

Oddly enough, I was also alerted to an article written by Joy Neighbors, one of my cemetery friends, which speaks of the exact same topic.  Timing is everything.  On her blog, A Grave Interest, Joy shares even more tidbits about this somewhat confusing piece of our history.  It seems that several things we are all familiar with originated at this time.  How can we I not know these things?

Yeah, I had to look up that last one.  I knew I had to know it but I couldn’t figure out why.  Go listen to it, then you’ll say, “Oh, I know that song.”  (If you’re on Facebook, come over to the blog so you can get access to the links.)  Joy’s article on A Grave Interest shares just how the lyrics were written for that song — it was actually another great teaching idea.  Poetry and song lyrics are literary, by the way.  At least I see them as such.

The anniversary of this fallen-off-our-radar war is on Monday.  The date Canadians will be commemorating, partly on our behalf, is June 18, 1812.  We have such good northern neighbors!

Why did I just have to share this?  Must be the caffeine.  It’s all Starbucks’ fault.  Again.


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This came out of left field and the impulse to share it was overwhelming!

Two years ago I cut all caffeine out of my diet.  When it got to the point that a cup of coffee from Starbucks or Seattle’s Best followed by a Diet Coke chaser, was only the kick-start of the day, it became obvious that the caffeine overload was gettng out of hand.

It was not until I was introduced to a Starbucks’ Caramel Frappuccino that I realized just how much I missed it.  I am also a much nicer person when I have just a little caffeine.  They did say it’s good for women to have a cup of coffee a day, right?  Does this count?  Some website upgraded the Caramel Frapp from a D- to a D+ once you remove the whip cream.  Hooray!

I had to soften this bad-boy beverage a little so I just do the coffee Frapp without the whip cream and often with soy milk.  I’m still happy, I’ve rekindled my love affair with caffeine, and Starbucks loves me.  My pocketbook doesn’t see, or appreciate, the difference!

Anyway, I was waiting one evening, yes evening, for my Frappuccino.   There were a lot of newspapers — Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc.  “Why are these here and not in the downtown stores?”  I was more than a mile outside of Downtown Honolulu.  There are two Starbucks downtown but they don’t have any of these reading materials.  Whatever. I bought a Wall Street Journal.

A few weeks later I was about to throw it away when a copy of the Wall Street Journal magazine slipped out of it and fell on the floor.  I did not know there was such a thing.  Did anyone?

Wall Street Journal magazine.

I confess, from time to time the Wall Street Journal does catch my attention.  It is full of news-related content, a lot of which you will not not hear or read elsewhere.  It is a fine publication.   But, a magazine?  I picked it up and looked at the table of contents.  “THE NOVELISTS p. 28″  Really?  The Journal went in the trash, the magazine went with me back to the couch, along with a notepad, a pen, and a used Starbucks bottle for photographic emphasis.

Edna O’Brien and Andrew O’Hagan

This was a simple article that was, for me, simply inspirational.  After reading about them and their friendship I couldn’t help but be reminded of the film, Out of Africa.  I liked that movie.  Do you have to be eccentric to appreciate that film?  It did win best picture but others I know didn’t seem to appreciate it the way I did.  But, it’s all about the conversation.  I get visuals of journals, pens, coffee cups (or maybe tea), and all of that with a hint of quiet sophistication.  To the photographer and the writer, Alex Clark, thank you both!  I really enjoyed this piece and the photos were regal!

I am amazed by both of these writers.  I can only wish to someday be even half as beautiful as Edna at her age.  Wow!  These two love each other.  But, they’re not in love with each other?  My arse!  Prove it!  If not, they should be!

Do I have anything in common with them?  Ethnicity.  A passion for words, for talking, and for writing.  I have a desire, but they’re already there.

I wanted to share their story so I took the chance and, “I’ll be darned!  It’s here!”  Check it out: “Edna O’Brien and Andrew O’Hagan share a passion for life, letters and conversation.

If you’re on Facebook, follow the link back to this article and you’ll see the link to go to the story.

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