Sole Focus

News, Views, Rantings & Ramblings by Carey Parrish

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Location: Georgia, United States

Monday, December 6, 2010

Monday's Author

Poetry is something I find absolutely enthralling. To read a poem is to get a glimpse inside the mind of the one who wrote it. Poets are often shrewd when it comes to revealing their true feelings and emotions. They hide them behind carefully orchestrated prose that sometimes one has to read closely in order to get the real meaning in the words on the page. This is why, in my humble opinion, poetry is an artform unto itself.

Timothy Gager is one of the most talented poets on today's scene. His words entwine together with such a clarity that the mental portrait he's painting comes through like a flash of sunlight. His work is lauded by critics from coast to coast. Collections like Short Street, We Needed A Night Out, and This Is Where You Go When You Are Gone are like multifaceted masterpieces of the genius it took to write them. Gager puts language to use with the dexterity of a sculptor sharpening a chisel before he releases the form within the marble slab he has chosen to transform. He also writes short stories with the same verve that he uses to create poetry.

Finding true artists in today's world is a difficult task to undertake. When one stumbles across the work of Timothy Gager, the mastery of his craft is undeniable. He simply exudes what it means to be a writer.

"Dandy" Don Meredith Dies

From Yahoo! News:

Marvelous Monday

The Temptations are without question one of the most successful and one of the most well known groups of the rock era. A Motown original, this group of five talented guys from Detroit is now considered the original boy band. With a roster of hits that includes My Girl, Get Ready, I Can’t Get Next To You, and Just My Imagination, among others, this group’s catalogue is ripe with hits that still thrill audiences forty years after their first successes.

I Know I’m Losing You is my favorite Temptations recording of all time. Their live performance of the song on TCB, their 1968 NBC special with The Supremes, is one of television’s most sizzling nuggets ever. This song still makes people hit the floor dancing. It’s absolutely infectious. The way the guys moved through the choreography while Dennis Edwards led the song is genius. It is simply a piece of history that stands up to any concert performance since.

The Temptations are still touring, although with an entirely different line up as most of the original five are now deceased, but this song brings a rousing reaction from audiences nonetheless. It’s just that good.

This Day in History: December 6

1492 - Columbus discovered the Dominican Republic.

1774 - Austria became the first nation to introduce a state education system.

1790 - The U.S. Congress moved from New York to Philadelphia.

1865 - The 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. The amendment abolished slavery in the U.S.

1876 - The city of Anaheim was incorporated for a second time.

1877 - Thomas Edison demonstrated the first gramophone, with a recording of himself reciting Mary Had a Little Lamb.

1883 - "Ladies' Home Journal" was published for the first time.

1884 - The construction of the Washington Monument was completed by Army engineers. The project took 34 years.

1889 - Jefferson Davis died in New Orleans. He was the first and only president of the Confederate States of America.

1907 - In Monongah, WV, 361 people were killed in America's worst mine disaster.

1917 - More than 1,600 people died when two munitions ships collided in the harbor at Halifax, Nova Scotia.

1917 - Finland proclaimed independence from Russia.

1921 - The Catholic Irish Free State was created as a self-governing dominion of Britain when an Anglo-Irish treaty was signed.

1923 - U.S. President Calvin Coolidge became the first president to give a presidential address that was broadcast on radio.

1926 - In Italy, Benito Mussolini introduced a tax on bachelors.

1947 - Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated by U.S. President Truman.

1957 - AFL-CIO members voted to expel the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. The Teamsters were readmitted in 1987.

1957 - America's first attempt at putting a satellite into orbit failed when the satellite blew up on the launch pad at Cape Canaveral, FL.

1960 - Gene Autry and Bob Reynolds were granted the Los Angeles Angels baseball franchise by the American League.

1973 - Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the vice-president of the United States after vice-president Spiro Agnew resigned.

1982 - 11 soldiers and 6 civilians were killed when a bomb exploded in a pub in Ballykelly, Northern Ireland. The Irish National Liberation Army was responsible for planting the bomb.

1983 - In Jerusalem, a bomb planted on a bus exploded killing six Israelis and wounding 44.

1985 - Congressional negotiators reached an agreement on a deficit-cutting proposal that later became the Gramm-Rudman-Hollings law.

1989 - The worst mass shooting in Canadian history occurred when a man gunned down 14 women at the University of Montreal's school of engineering. The man then killed himself.

1989 - Egon Krenz resigned as leader of East Germany.

1990 - Iraq announced that it would release all its 2,000 foreign hostages.

1990 - U.S. Vice President Dan Quayle was enshrined in the Little League Museum's Hall of Excellence.

1992 - Germany's primary political parties agreed to tighten postwar asylum laws.

1992 - In India, thousands of Hindu extremists destroyed a mosque. The following two months of Hindu-Muslim rioting resulted in at least 2,000 people being killed.

1993 - Former priest James R. Porter was sentenced to 18 to 20 years in prison. Porter had admitted molesting 28 children in the 1960s.

1994 - Orange County, CA, filed for bankruptcy protection due to investment losses of about $2 billion. The county is one of the richest in the U.S. and became to largest municipality to file for bankruptcy.

1997 - A Russian Antonov 124 military transport crashed into a residential area in Irkutsk, Russia, shortly after takeoff. 70 people were killed.

1998 - In Venezuela, former Lieutenant Colonel Hugo Chavez was elected president. He had staged a bloody coup attempt against the government six years earlier.

1998 - Astronauts aboard the space shuttle Endeavour connected the first two building blocks of the international space station in the shuttle cargo bay.

2002 - Winona Ryder was sentenced to 36 months of probation and 480 hours of community service stemming from her conviction for shoplifting from Saks Fifth Avenue. She was also ordered to pay $10,000 in fines and restitution.

2002 - Officials released the detailed plans for a $4.7 million memorial commemorating Princess Diana. The large oval fountain was planned to be constructed in London's Hyde Park.

Monday's Flashback

Barbara Streisand’s 1985 studio album Emotion was considered a commercial disappointment at the time of its original release. As fate would have it, time has been kind to this project and today it is considered one of her best efforts. The premiere single Left In The Dark Again remains a popular number during her live appearances. It’s a very involving song but its length may have added to the reason it didn’t receive a lot of the crucial airplay it needed to become a hit. At six minutes, twelve seconds it is undeniably much longer than most hit records of its period.

Emotion is still one of my favorite Streisand albums. I get out the vinyl and play it all along even now to remember how I adored this one when it was new. I was all of eighteen years old and divas like Streisand were my favorite entertainers back then. They still are, I guess, and albums like Emotion are the reason why.

The video for Left In The Dark Again is a noir, if you will. A short movie, Kris Kristofferson appears in it with Barbra and the effect of these two together is quite powerful indeed. The whole thing was a big dream that got away, but Emotion stands as a classic.

Thought For Today

I'm not playing a role. I'm being myself, whatever the hell that is.” --Beatrice Arthur