Once in a blue moon

Once in a blue moon

This “Year of Astronomy” is coming to an end with a lovely event, a blue moon. The lunar month is between 29 and 30 days long. Every two or three years there are two full moons in one month, and the second one is called “blue moon”. A rare occasion. That’s where the expression “once in a blue moon” comes from to describe something that doesn’t happen very often.

Have a delightful New Year’s Eve!

Blue Moon

Richard Rodgers / Lorenz Hart (1934)

Blue moon,
you saw me standing alone
without a dream in my heart
without a love on my own.

Blue moon,
you knew just what I was there for
you heard me saying a prayer for
somebody I really could care for.

And then there suddenly appeared before me,
the only one my arms will ever hold
I heard somebody whisper, “Please adore me.”
and when I looked,
the moon had turned to gold.

Blue moon,
now I’m lo longer alone
without a dream in my heart
without a love of my own.

Dinner for one

James: The same procedure as last year, Miss Sophie?
Miss Sophie: The same procedure as every year, James!

The same procedure as every year:
11.500.000 hits on Google
. 57.200 hits on German pages, alone.

A sketch written by British author Lauri Wylie in the 1920s, the German TV station Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) recorded “Dinner for One” with Freddie Frinton and May Warden to be broadcast on New Year’s Eve in 1963. This English (!) performance has since become the most frequently repeated TV program ever in Germany, and (if Wikipedia is to be believed) in the world. Entire dialog here.

Good-bye, and good riddance, to the Naughties. I have a grammar quiz of the decade at Spotlight.

Le Carré: A Most Wanted Man

The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
John Ray (1670) cited as a proverb “Hell is paved with good intentions.” Saint Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153): “Hell is full of good intentions or desires.”

On Christmas Day the 23-year-old “Underwear Bomber” tried to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253. Priviledged, rich, well-connected, educated, and so completely wrong-headed. So we will be seeing more of the controversial and frankly embarassing “Naked Scanners” installed at airports, and more senseless waiting and giving up of shampoo and bottled water, and more xenophobia, while the terrorists continue to spread fear and hate. Oh, doesn’t it just make you fume?!

Just before Christmas Stefan gave me John Le Carré‘s “A Most Wanted Man” to read, a most excellent thriller on the subject of counterterrorism. Set in Germany, specifically in Hamburg, where 9/11 was masterminded, the novel develops the story of how Issia, an illegal immigrant and asylum seeker with a secret and possibly sinister mission, becomes a pawn in a game of agencies seeking the extraordinary rendition of suspected terrorists. The players include Tommy Brue, a private banker who finds himself saddled with dirty money; Annabelle, an idealistic human rights lawyer with a naive view of the world; and the German and international intelligence community, with each agency following their own (limited) internal agenda, some with a far greated depth and scope of “intelligence” than others, effectively blocking each other rather than collaborating. The subplot is an emerging lovestory. In the end, individual human morality becomes very difficult to balance out against the political imperatives, and some “good” intentions go very “bad”, indeed.

A great read!

Björk: Cocoon

Björk’s most explicitly erotic song on Vespertine (video: Eiko Ishioka). The lyrics on this album were inspired by the poems of e.e.cummings. Excellent song review here.

Who would have known : that a boy like him
would have entered me lightly restoring my blisses
Who would have known : that a boy like him
after sharing my core would stay going nowhere
Who would have known : a beauty this immense
Who would have known : a saintly trance
Who would have known : miraculous breath
To inhale a beard loaded with courage
Who would have known : that a boy like him
possessed of magical sensitivity
would approach a girl like me
who carresses
his head in a bosom
He slides inside
half awake, half asleep
we faint back
into sleephood
when I wake up
the second time in his arms : gorgeousness!
he’s still inside me
Who would have known?
A train of pearls cabin by cabin
is shot precisely across an ocean
from a mouth
from a mouth of a girl like me
to a boy
to a boy
to a boy

song of the week 🙂 englisch lernen mit liedern

Björk: Unravel

This quiet week there’s hardly anyone spending time online visiting this blog, so I’m just going to post some stuff connected to my choice of album of the decade (drumroll:) Björk’s Vespertine.

While you are away
My heart comes undone
Slowly unravels
In a ball of yarn
The devil collects it
With a grin
Our love
In a ball of yarn

He’ll never return it

So when you come back
We’ll have to make new love

album of the decade 🙂 englisch lernen mit liedern

Grammar Guru: If Congress will pass/ passes/ passed

If Congress will pass/ passes/ passed the health care bill, US citizens will finally have universal access to health coverage.

The same health care bill (Gesetzesvorlage) has to be passed by both the House and the Senate. Right now the two chambers are still working on separate bills: “Now that the Senate has caught up with the House by passing a sweeping health care bill, lawmakers are on the verge of extending coverage to the tens of millions of Americans who have no health insurance… There are still many gaps to bridge between the House and Senate bills.” (NYT)

There is a great deal of public criticism whenever freedom of choice is affected. We will have to wait and see how the final bill is passed and then put into practice.

Z is for zen

Lovely snowflakes, they fall nowhere else!
No snowflake ever falls in the wrong place.
Two Zen sayings, or two translations of one saying?

When I was a little girl, taking ballet lessons at St. Mark’s, my parents would take me to see the Nutcracker around this time of year. And like most girls, I would go home pretending to be a snowflake.
(Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker, Snowflakes)

Advent was over on Christmas Eve, and Z, letter 26, falls on Boxing Day, the British day for gifting friends. Thanks so much for your interesting comments and kind encouragement and recommendations throughout the Advent Calendar Alphabet Game. And now: Game over!