C I V I L    M A R R I A G E    I S    A    C I V I L    R I G H T.

A N D N O W I T ' S T H E L A W O F T H E L A N D.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in Review

It was quite a remarkable year in many ways, good and bad. Here are some milestones:

And a few more milestones to make you feel old jog your memory, fellas. This was the number-one song in America 50 years ago this week:

And this was number one 40 years ago:

And one more thing: do you realize that kids graduating from college this year were in first grade when the Twin Towers fell - and have no memory of a world without the Internet?

Where does the time go?

Hawaiian Surprise Wedding

A sweet surprise for two servicemen, Christian Alarid and Shayne Barnes, courtesy of the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau:

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Bear-Naked Chef: Chicken Cacciatore

Adrian de Berardinis serves it up au naturel in this new web series:

Read more about Adrian and his recipes at bearnakedchef.com.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: My Reputation

Steve Hayes reviews:
Barbara Stanwyck and George Brent make holiday sparks fly when they begin a controversial romance in Curtis Bernhardt’s MY REPUTATION (1946). Stanwyck plays a newly widowed woman with two teenage boys who meets a handsome major on a skiing trip, and much to the dismay of her friends and family, falls in love and must choose between her happiness and her reputation. Eve Arden is on hand as her best friend to offer humor and consolation, and Lucile Watson plays her formidable battle-axe mother. Warm and romantic, Stanwyck and Brent make a wonderful team. Beautifully photographed, the film is also lovingly scored by Warner’s favorite Max Steiner. It’s a holiday romance that you won’t want to miss. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Catch more fabulous movie reviews at Steve's YouTube channel.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Sunday Drive: O Come, All Ye Faithful

As performed in Westminster Abbey, Christmas Eve, 2013:

I post these choral pieces every December in memory of my late husband Cody, 1950-2005, organist and choir director, who always put his heart and soul into his Christmas concerts and Sunday services for forty years, and thereby gave delight to many.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Christmas Dishes from around the World

Kate Arnell gives us a Cook's Tour of holiday meal customs:

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Queen's Christmas Broadcast, 2015

The Queen, who will turn 90 next April 21st, today delivered her 63rd televised Christmas message to the nation and the Commonwealth:

For Joseph and Mary, the circumstances of Jesus's birth - in a stable - were far from ideal, but worse was to come as the family was forced to flee the country. It's no surprise that such a human story still captures our imagination and continues to inspire all of us who are Christians, the world over.

Despite being displaced and persecuted throughout his short life, Christ's unchanging message was not one of revenge or violence but simply that we should love one another. Although it is not an easy message to follow, we shouldn't be discouraged; rather, it inspires us to try harder: to be thankful for the people who bring love and happiness into our own lives, and to look for ways of spreading that love to others, whenever and wherever we can.

Full text of Her Majesty's message here.

So This Is Christmas 2015

Our little hacienda, all lit up for Christmas.

Well, fellas, it's been a momentous year in many ways, not the least of which is the legalization of marriage for all across this U. S. of A. - so I picked this song to express what's in my heart and send it out to all of my truckbuddies with good wishes for a very merry Christmas.

Here where I live, we are especially grateful for all our blessings, as last night M.P. in his little Hyundai was hit by a truck full of giggling girls doing 60 across an intersection. But thanks be to God, they only clipped his front fender instead of ramming him broadside, so he was completely unhurt. We'll be carless until next week, but it could have been so much worse, you know? So give those you love an extra hug today, fellas, and be careful out there.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Got Wine?


Sunday, December 20, 2015

Sunday Drive: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

The Magnificat:

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;

for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.

His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.

He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,

according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

As performed by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge:

Saturday, December 19, 2015

More Churches Okay with the Gay

Results from the 2014 Pew Research Center survey of religious life in America continue to be assessed.  This week, the Pew folks released these charts showing the change in acceptance of homosexuality among various Christian denominations between 2007 and 2014 (click to enlarge):

And here's a chart Pew created last July showing where American religious groups stand on same-sex marriage:

Also of interest from last summer is this chart showing religious affiliations in major U. S. cities:

In case you are wondering, Wikipedia lists the major American metro areas and their populations here.

And of course individuals vary widely in how much time they devote to church activities, as shown in this chart released last month:

Friday, December 18, 2015

Waitin' for the Weekend

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Love the Stranger

A Syrian refugee fleeing Isis fighters in Tal Abyad holds onto his daughter as he waits to cross into Turkey at Akcakale border gate, on June 15, 2015.  (International Business Times, July 10, 2015)

Well, what to do about it?  Before you answer, consider two families, two stories:

1.  Welcome to Canada

2.  Welcome to Texas

Today's text, Deuteronomy 10:16-19:

16 Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked.
17 For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:
18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.
19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

Cf. Matthew 25:31-46.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Separated at Birth: Bunker & Trump

Not to be outdone by the Brits, who have only a smattering of genuinely ludicrous pols, America has turned its entire electoral system into a sitcom. As witness this brilliant comparison, and I only wonder why someone hasn't done it before now.  Not embeddable, and autoplay will start when you click the link - but totally worth watching.

And don't miss Trump's magnificent campaign song, "How Great I Am," over at Wounded Bird.

P.S. - Yes, children, this really was a thing way back there in 1972 - ah, those were the days:

Monday, December 14, 2015

Oh, Those Hilarious Brits

Check it out, guys: England's answer to Homo Depot.  I think this is supposed to be what we would call a laff riot - but then, with the British one can never be quite certain, can one?  I wonder what dear Oscar would say if he could see this.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Waitin' for the Weekend

Here's to Firsts: Family

A new ad put out by Allstate Insurance, featuring two dads and their brand-new daughter:

Monday, December 7, 2015

Obama: "Freedom Is More Powerful than Fear"

Last night, the President addressed the nation from the Oval Office for only the third time in his presidency, speaking about the threat of terrorism and the means to overcome it:

As might be expected, prominent Republicans immediately denounced the speech.

Full text of the President's remarks here.

Update, 7 p.m.: Adam Glopnik writes about Obama's speech and Republican double-talk in the New Yorker, concluding:
If the gun lobby ever spoke honestly, what they would say is that of course we are broadly responsible for these killings, but regular mass killings of innocent people is the price we pay for the liberty to own whatever guns we want, in order to be protected from a phantom threat we cannot name. That is their actual belief, although one sees, on examining it, why they never want to state it quite so clearly. So there will be ever more mass gun murders, some to be accepted blankly as the cost of liberty, others to become the occasion for surrendering liberty to a militarized state. Like the song says, only in America.

The New York Daily News front page referred to in Gopnik's article:
who is a terrorist, exactly?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Waitin' for the Weekend

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: The Thin Man

Steve Hayes reviews:
William Powell and Myrna Loy create marital bliss and movie history in their first two teamings as Nick and Nora Charles in W.S. Van Dyke’s The Thin Man (1934) and After The Thin Man (1936). Taken from a novel by Dashiell Hammett and based on his relationship with playwright Lillian Hellman, this off-beat husband and wife detective team round up a bunch of fabulous suspects played by top notch character actors and proceed to solve multiple murders. The results are a perfect combination of suspense, hilarity mixed with a touch of sophistication that simply can’t be beat.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

What To Do with Those Leftovers

Hope all my truckbuddies are having a good turkey day.  M. P. is dining with his four children, their spouses, and their mother today; we will have our own turkey feast next week.  But in the meantime, here are some really good ideas for all those leftovers you are wondering what to do with.  Enjoy.

Note: For the turkey roll-ups, instead of crescent rolls you can also use plain biscuits, rolled flat and cut into squares or triangles. These make great snacks or sandwiches.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving: Myth vs. Fact

Kate Arnell knows more about the origins of Thanksgiving than 98 percent of Americans, so you guys better listen up:

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Sunday Drive: Non Dimenticar

As performed by Percy Faith and his orchestra, 1953:

Friday, November 20, 2015

Waitin' for the Weekend

Thursday, November 19, 2015

La Fábrica de Maniquíes

You all will enjoy this ad for Spain's Christmas Lottery, set in a mannequin factory:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Okay, So Just WHO Is Destroying the Traditional Family?

Breaking news out of Alaska: Noted Christianist, TV dancer, and unwed mother Bristol Palin is pregnant - and unmarried - again. And her righteous, God-fearing, Bible-believing, gun-toting, born-again mother says that is just oh-so-wonderful, and best of all, God is totally fine with it, too. Heck yeah! Jump ahead to the 3:20 mark:

Meanwhile in Ireland, that country's first same-sex marriage took place today as Cormac Gollogly and Richard Dowling, a barrister and a banker, tied the knot in County Tipperary, after 12 years as a committed couple, as reported by the Irish Times. All good wishes to the happy couple.

I could say more, but I'll let you fellas judge for yourselves which story is praiseworthy and which is just total bullshit.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Sunday Drive: La Marseillaise

As conducted yesterday by Placido Domingo at the Metropolitan Opera, New York:

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Je Suis Paris

The Telegraph and the Guardian are providing extensive English-language coverage of developments in France.

Et pour mes lecteurs français, je dit:  Lafayette, nous sommes avec vous.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How It's Made: Worcestershire Sauce

A fascinating peek at the making of the famous sauce, first sold in 1838 according to Wikipedia.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Sunday Drive: Offenbach, "Belle Nuit"

Montserrat Caballé and Marilyn Horne in concert singing the duet "Belle Nuit", also known as Barcarolle from Les Contes d'Hoffmann by Offenbach. Munich, 1990.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Waitin' for the Weekend

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why Halloween Is Really British

Kate Arnell explains the mystery behind the history:

Monday, November 2, 2015

Tired Old Queen at the Movies: The Day the Earth Stood Still

I should have posted this last week. Steve Hayes reviews:
Halloween brings thrills and suspense as debonair Michael Rennie arrives from another planet to warn the Earth of impending doom in Robert Wise’s Sci-Fi classic, The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951). With a brilliant supporting cast including Patricia Neal, Billy Grey, and Hugh Beaumont, and a spine-tingling score by legendary composer Bernard Herrmann. It’s just the thing to set the hair on the back of your neck on end. Happy Halloween from Tired Old Queen at the Movies!

Catch more fabulous movie reviews at Steve's YouTube channel.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Sunday Drive: This Is My Song

In 1967, Paul Mauriat and his orchestra recorded this lovely instrumental version of the song written by Charlie Chaplin - yep, that Charlie Chaplin - which was an international hit for Petula Clark that same year.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Waitin' for the Weekend

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