May 31st, 2018

“ 侬早 (nóng zō)” “Good Morning” in Shanghiese.

Have you been voting for your favorite books on the The Great American Read site? This is your change to recognize all of the great novels that have shaped your life. It also is a great source for filling out your summer reading list!

We had a great celebration for Tippy’s Birthday. She had requested Ropa Vieja for dinner so I spend the better part of Saturday concocting the 32 ingredient beef dish so it could marinate in the sauce overnight. I even got to use some herbs from our new garden in the dish! Jess made a funny video for her. Everyone seemed to enjoy dinner, the cake and of course, singing the birthday song as she finished opening her gifts. The birthday girl seemed happy and we had nice evening.

This week I learned some stuff:

• May 31st is is “National Smile Day”!! Thats right we celebrate the most inexpensive gift of welcome and friendship on this day each year. Go ahead, smile and say, “Good morning” to every one you meet this morning. You have a lot to smile about when you think of it.
• On Sept 20th, 2017 Hurricane Maria made landfall bring 150 mph winds and torrential rains to Puerto Rico. In the days after the hurricane, the death toll was recorded at 64 but research by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, place the actual death toll at more than 4,645 and predict it could exceed 5,000 souls. Six months into the “recovery” over 11 percent of Puerto Rican households still do not have power! Here is a link to a snapshot into the lives of our countrymen’s children’s lives today.

Website Update:
• HAZZA HAZZA!! A New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• This is the last week for the “UJT Music Trivia Quiz”. I will be changing it every third week or so. How did you do like it? Please let me know.
• After having Ropa Vieja this week, I checked the recipe on UJT to see if I just had the slow cooker version or the real version and I found a busted link. A busted link is that 403 message you get when you click on a link. Please let me know if you ever find busted links on UJT. I try to keep all my links current but stuff happens.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• Still cannot touch the Wisteria in bloom painting. I started the String Of Pearls painting in class but was too hung over to do anything last Friday. I have another painting still banging around in my head as well.
• Took the Blue Meany and Glove home. I glazed the new Glove.
• Same story different day on the Chewy acrylic painting.

• It seems every day when I get up to shave, my dad has invaded my mirror. Not that looking like that guy that looked a lot like Paul Drake in Perry Mason when he was younger is a bad thing per say. But the man i resemble most has a lot more miles on him than old Paul did back in the day. In 12 days, I will be 66. That fact just amazes the crap out of me!
• I was thinking about Jack Nicholson this week. It’s been a long time since Jack appeared in anything outside of a Lakers game side line. I miss his brilliance. I know he is 80 years old and has certainly earned the right to “sit one out” but the greedy little fan of gifted acting in me hopes he will get off his righteously justified dead ass and get in front of the camera again.

Music Update:
As always, I try to make something in the UJT Radio mix work for everyone.
Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• The Beatles — If I Needed Someone — Another gem from “Rubber Soul”. I really think that record was the turning point that took them from boy band status to serious musicianship.
• Sarah McLaughlin — Adia — This was the song that introduced me to Sarah. I was stunned by her voices beauty. “…We are born innocent…”
• David Guetta, Kelly Rowland – When Love Takes Over — This is another refugee from the “Songs for Japan” album. Kelly does an amazing job with and I love the piano and rhythm. As I said in 2016 when it was first featured on UJT Radio, ”Have fun with it!”
• James Taylor — Enough to Be On Your Way — This is just a beautiful funeral song. James sings this epitaph to a singular woman, Alice, that was really his goodbye tune for his big brother Alex who passed out an suffered an alcoholic heart attack and never woke up at age 46. “Sweet Baby James” is actually one of Alex’s kids. This cut is from James, “Hourglass”album, released in 1997.
• Bonnie Raitt — Have A Heart — Another great song that was featured on UJT Radio in 2016. “Nick of Time” maybe her best album ever.
• Jackson Browne — Cocaine — This one comes from his “Running on Empty” album released in 1977. Lyrics were a collaboration between Reverend Gary Davis with additional lyrics provided by Jackson and Glenn Fry. It was recorded in room 124, Holiday Inn, Edwardsville, IL.
• The Thorns — Among the Living — Released in 2003, “The Thorns” is a collection of beautiful harmonies and pretty music.
• Sting — When We Dance — Beautiful poetry and music! This song was released for the first time on his “Fields of Gold” best of 1984-1994 album. Its almost hypnotic but also very moving, you feel the sway in the steps.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: