La Rambla – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman has wandered down to Montevideo, Uraguay on the southeast coast of South America. You’ll find an abundance of streets to wander down for inspiration on Google Maps.

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by this week’s location. Feel free to use the photo provided with the prompt. or roam Montevideo for your own inspiration. Once your piece is published, share it with others using the linkup below.

Thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this here weekly shindig!

La Rambla

“Do you want to try to walk the whole Rambla Sur, Felipe?  We’ll start at the top —”

“Rambla Baltasar Brum…”

“Right…and make our way all the way down the entire coast to the end —”

“Rambla Tomás Berreta…”

“— on Carrasco Beach.  The Rambla’s a must-see part of Montevideo, they say”

“You do know it is 22.2 kilometres long, Maria?”

“Yeah, so?  Half a marathon.  Big whup!”

WE don’t do half-marathons.  YOU are loca!”

“Don’t be a cobarde!  We can do it.  We can take our time, break as often as you need.  We’ll pack a nice lunch, so we can refuel for the rest of the way…

“Not a sissy, a realist.  I don’t want to walk.  How about we bike?  That way we make it to the end!”

“OK. Deal.  Then you can tell me all about the history of its creation, the World Heritage Proposal…”

 

 

Weekend Writing Prompt #67 – Haphazard

19 words… I can do that, she says to herself.  Then spends some time trying to make it work…. Silly little attempt at poetry…

A word prompt to get your creativity flowing this weekend.  How you use the prompt is up to you.  Write a piece of flash fiction, a poem, a chapter for your novel…anything you like.  Or take the challenge below – there are no prizes – it’s not a competition but rather a fun writing exercise.  If you want to share what you come up with, please leave a link to it in the comments.

Thanks, Sammi!

Word Prompt

Haphazard

Challenge

Per your request

My room is clear

No longer a mess

I think not dear

It’s haphazard at best!

Born This Way – Friday Fictioneers

Good Wednesday, my peeps!  It’s that time of the week.  Some call it Hump Day, we here in this group call it Friday Fictioneers Prompt Day!  And jeez louise, Rochelle chose a doozie from Ronda Del Boccio

I was stumped for a bit… then I wasn’t.  Hope it gives you a chuckle…  Click on the blue frog below if this photo inspires you to write something… anything!

©Ronda Del Boccio

Get the frog for your blog

Born This Way

“Wow… that is something else…”

“So, that is all natural?”

“Oh my! That is most impressive!”

“You must have suffered an immense amount of heartburn.  I have heard that women do in this instance.”

Jeanie couldn’t help but smile at all the comments she received when people were first introduced to her newborn son, George.  It truly was something else.  She had suffered an insane amount of heartburn.  During her whole pregnancy, Jeanie popped Tums like they were candy.

“Crazy, eh?  I don’t know where it comes from but his hair was like that at birth! Straight up and full!

 

Woodstock For Real – Wait, What?

This is the way to hear music, I think, surrounded by rolling hills and farmlands, under a big sky.

– Michael Lang (Co-creator of the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival)

As promised… here’s the next installment of our Woodstock Wander in Mid-July.  How can it be almost mid-August already?

Wednesday morning was THE day.  We were finally going to visit the site of THE Rock Concert of all time!  To say we were excited, is to put mildly.  Two Fifty-somethings all a-giggle, I tell ya…  By now we have watched countless videos about Woodstock, totally immersed ourselves into the whole experience as much as two born-too late-to-have-been-there peeps could be. (And if we had been there, would have been too young to remember and would have had beyond-cool (or crazy) parents… Just sayin’).  One hour, some 60-ish miles away.  I swear, we are still trying to wrap our heads around a Woodstock that never took place in Woodstock.  I think B’s wonderful intro post to our adventure says it best here.

But first, we needed sustenance.  I had brought my crêpe mix so of course I had to make those.  But then, I pimped ’em up.  We needed to fuel up, after all!  A little bacon, some Swiss cheese and a fried egg on top was sure to do the trick – add to that some Québec maple syrup and we had ourselves a breakfast of champions…

No matter how many videos we had watched – and we watched many there (not to mention tons more since our return), we were still amazed to drive through the winding country roads towards Bethel.  We tried to imagine all those thousands of cars simply left willy-nilly to block the road for three, almost four, days.  Insane.  Did you know that 37 rental cars were lost?  Thirty-seven!!  Just one of those little snippets of information discovered…

We finally get to our destination…

… and there are huge, I mean HUGE parking lots… now 😉  We chose a shady area to park the car and made our way to the main building.  How did I manage to NOT take a picture of the outside?  I dunno… So I have nabbed the one on the site…

I don’t know how to explain the myriad emotions this place evoked.  Maybe it was just us.  But I don’t think so.  Maybe we had created an expectation by reading about it, seeing movies, documentaries, listening to the music.  While neither one of us had this destination at the top of our bucket lists, we were still thrilled and awed that our desire to meet had directed us to this place.  Just how did the Universe sneakily direct us here?  Our love of music, culture and history might have had something to do with it.  Whatever it was that did bring us here, we felt we were on hallowed ground.  Or we gave it that descriptive.

Or maybe, just maybe, we each have a little Hippie in our Hearts.

We purchased our tickets and entered, looking forward to – we had no idea what!

“We were ready to rock out and we waited and waited and finally it was our turn … there were a half million people asleep. These people were out. It was sort of like a painting of a Dante scene, just bodies from hell, all intertwined and asleep, covered with mud.

And this is the moment I will never forget as long as I live: A quarter mile away in the darkness, on the other edge of this bowl, there was some guy flicking his Bic, and in the night I hear, ‘Don’t worry about it, John. We’re with you.’ I played the rest of the show for that guy.

—John Fogerty recalling Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 3:30 am start time at Woodstock”

There were so many things to see, notes to read, we could have stayed in there for hours on end.

It’s funny… I didn’t take the picture of the sign explaining the fence but felt this other sign said it all.  This concert was going to be way bigger than anyone could have anticipated (Imagine how parties have gotten out of hand with the advent of Facebook?  Could you even imagine?)  People were not going to let some fence stop them from getting in…  Might as well give in.  And they did!  In the name of peace.  And debt.

So many details, so many stories, so many things to see!

There is a small theatre within the museum that shows a 20-minute movie about the event.  So, of course, we watched it!

So many acts played in those three days, that spilled into part of the fourth.  Sha Na Na?  Really?  John B. Sebastian wasn’t even scheduled to play.  He was a “filler” and, according to Ira Brooker from “A Talent for Idleness” Sebastian was the ultimate hippie.  I dig, I dig.  And, I didn’t know him.  And now I do.

Time to go outside and see just where this party took place.

The grounds around the museum are beautiful and a stroll was in order.

Though he never made a sound, I could sense B was itching to get to the site itself and I quickly snapped a couple more pics before joining him.

I don’t know why I never realised how much of a hill it was!  You see the pictures and there are masses of people but somehow, I just never focused on the terrain itself.  This sign gives you such a perspective of the size when you are in front of the field.  I purposefully left just a smidge of said sign in the second pic showing the road (we felt it would be disrespectful to walk on the grass itself – at that time, anyway!) we took to get down to the bottom to show you a portion of it.

As we made our way down, we could see, right in the middle of the field, a huge Peace sign cut into the grass (like a crop circle 😉 )  Too bad they have been suffering from lack of rain because it is a tad difficult to see, no matter how much I enhanced it.

We, of course, went to the official memorial monument (which bizarrely is NOT where the stage was…)

The stage is left of and further down from the marker when looking up the hill.  It was confusing to us at first but then I could see the demarcation of the sort of square where the stage was.

Standing on the “stage”, looking up I could not imagine 500,000 people.  I’m sure the 600 acres Max Yasgur rented out spilled out beyond… Plus, I do not have a wide lens… but still.  It takes your breath away.

I’m a farmer. I don’t know how to speak to twenty people at one time, let alone a crowd like this. But I think you people have proven something to the world–not only to the Town of Bethel, or Sullivan County, or New York State; you’ve proven something to the world. This is the largest group of people ever assembled in one place. We have had no idea that there would be this size group, and because of that, you’ve had quite a few inconveniences as far as water, food, and so forth. Your producers have done a mammoth job to see that you’re taken care of… they’d enjoy a vote of thanks. But above that, the important thing that you’ve proven to the world is that a half a million kids–and I call you kids because I have children that are older than you–a half million young people can get together and have three days of fun and music and have nothing but fun and music, and I God Bless You for it!

— addressing the crowd at Woodstock on August 17, 1969
Peace and Love…

We made our way back to the car, our souvenirs in hand (of course I got a Tye-died shirt) with new memories created and oh-so happy we had made the trek.  We may have missed out on actually being part of the whole Woodstock experience 49 years earlier, but walking those grounds sure brought us closer to the feeling that we would have fit right in.

Joni Mitchell didn’t make it either, but all say she captured the feeling exactly.  I was torn between the video where Joni explains why she wasn’t there – with a little catch in her voice – or the one she did right after the concert… So I put both!

Part 1

Part 2

Per Your Request – What Pegman Saw

This week Pegman is at Rawson Lake in Alberta, Canada. Thanks to some intrepid travelers, you can tour the area yourself via streetview (actually I should say trailview) or chose a photosphere. (Rawson Lake, Karen Rawson?  Coincidence? I think not!)

Your mission is to write up to 150 words inspired by the location. Once your piece is polished, please share it with others using the linkup below. Reading and commenting on others’ work is part of the fun!

Okay… so my story has nothing to do with this particular lake… and I confess there is not one bit of fiction either…

Thank you, always, to Karen and Josh for hosting this weekly challenge!

Per Your Request

You told me where you wanted me to spread your ashes: one of the lakes where you went fishing with your buddies and “Bass Alley” on the St. Lawrence River. You told me what you wanted as your urn, too. Remember? You showed me one of your collectible Coke bottles and said, “This one.”

Too soon, that day came. I went down to the basement, collected that bottle and emptied it. Was shocked there was still a “pssshhhht” sound when I opened it. Next day brought it to the funeral home.

Spring came, and our boys went with your best friends on the requisite fishing trip. I gave them half of you in a mason jar. They performed a beautiful ritual and let you go.

It’s been over three years and I still haven’t released the rest of you. I don’t know why, really. Maybe because I’m not ready to.

 

*********

 

Fun Night With The Piano Guys

I have to thank Frank, I think, for introducing me to The Piano Guys on his blog.  If it wasn’t him… no… it was him, I’m fairly certain…  I then caught a video here and there on Facebook, which led me to watching one after another on YouTube.  Well, don’tcha know, way back in February, the 8th, to be precise, tickets went on sale for The Piano Guys.  They were going to be in Montreal for three nights.  Woot!  Without further thought, I bought a pair of tickets.  For Wednesday, August 1st.  Six months away.  Had no idea who would be joining me and it didn’t matter because I knew I would find a willing accomplice.

Only thing is, not many people in my crowd know who they are.  No matter.  I mentioned it to Julie, that kinda friend who is willing to join me for pretty much anything (Cubano Sammy Search? Check!, Ballet tickets sold to me from another friend? Check!) “Who are they,” she asks?  “Google ’em,” I say.  Same day, I get an “I’m in!”  Like I was surprised.  This chick is a lot like me.  We dig good stuff.  We like to explore, we love cultural activities… we were even asked if we were sisters as we walked to the venue!

So, let’s start at the beginning of our evening.  Yes, we went to a favourite restaurant in the Gay Village:  Mozza Pâtes et Passions (where I have brought about 13-14 people so far – I’ve lost count).  It’s good food quality/price-wise, it’s bring-your-own-wine and it’s the best place to people-watch as you sit on the terrasse (terrace for you non-Quebecers) – and lemme tell you, there are some wild ones.  We smiled and nodded at the ones we could not help but admire…. coz seriously, that scrawny guy in the floppy hat, yellow dress, fishnet stockings and platform sandals, not walking but sashaying in a way that said… “This is me, bitch!” deserved a smile.

Plus, where else can you dance in the bathroom?  (Yes, I am sitting on the toilet, looking up!!)

We decided to take a chance (dissing the weatherman’s predictions) and walk to Place des Arts from Mozza – we are talking a good 20 blocks, 1.7 km (a bit over a mile).  Now that is not so bad, a twenty minute walk or so, and part of it in the middle of St.Catherine Street which is closed off to cars during the summer and strung up with balls representing the LGBT flag. Fun stuff.

We made it, with time to spare, and sat in our front-row tickets on the first balcony, right in the centre.

What a show, with each half lasting one hour, a 20-minute intermission separating them.  Time flew.  These guys are hilarious, ridiculously talented and wonderful performers who who interact with their audience as well as each other.

So, why are they called The Piano Guys when there is a pianist and a cellist?  Oh, and two other guys who are officially part of the group, so to speak?  Well, it’s like this, see.  It was all part of a social media strategy… Paul Anderson had a piano store called, you guessed it The Piano Guys.  Jon Schmidt (the pianist of the group) came into the store to practice piano when he was in town.  Paul asked Jon if he could film him and upload it to YouTube to share on Facebook and such to sell his pianos.  Jon agreed.  However, Paul saw a video Jon had uploaded of him and Steven Sharp Nelson (the cellist of the group), doing one of their mash-ups they are so famous for, which had received more than one million hits.  He asked the two guys if they would allow him to make professional videos of them, which would be uploaded to YouTube and the store’s Facebook page, all to promote his store.  Paul then brought in his neighbour, Al van der Beek (singer and music arranger) into the fold.   They chose the craziest locations, places one would never expect to find a piano, to sell his pianos.  Not a single piano was sold.

But.

A phenomenon was born.   They blend classical and contemporary music which they put together as a “Mash-up”, i.e. The Mission’s Gabriel’s Oboe with How Great Thou Art – so beautiful.  They did, thankfully, play this one while the video played in the background.  Gorgeous.

They don’t limit themselves to this mix of genres.  They do straight-up classical or straight-up jazz, as well.  Jon played a beautiful solo piece he wrote when he was 17, called “Waterfalls”.  Hard to believe he was 17 when he wrote it.  Then Steven played his famous “The Cello” piece, as he calls it, by Bach, that he does for 8 cellos.  I was wondering how he would manage to pull this one off as he cannot be on 8 different cellos at the same time in a live performance! He showed us with all his accessories.  I must apologise for my video.  I was trying not to disturb others, so I had my hands covering the screen and was trying to place the phone between the bars.  Not quite so successful but voilà.

They played, they teased each other, they told their story.  Then they brought out the two others.  Al has quite a nice voice and he sang, “Okay”, getting the audience to sing along.

This is the type of concert where you half expect a rather sober experience.  Or a slightly “stiff” one.  So not the case!  Julie said she thinks she laughed more with these two guys then at the “Just For Laughs” shows she went to!

You do not expect four grown men to run around a piano, plucking the strings, banging the cover against the back, three sets of hands on the keys, slapping the sides like a percussion instrument and such.  I kinda wish I had taped it for you to see..

They brought in four local bagpipers to play “Fight Song”

Did one last “run around the piano piece” and took a final bow.

We were just so happy to have had the chance to see these wonderful performers and I highly recommend that you go if they come to your neck of the woods.  It was an unforgettable experience.

Still talking about the show, we stepped outside of  PdA, into the rain.  Remember, we have twenty blocks or so to walk.  Like two kids, instead of fifty-something broads, we gleefully just started walking, chatting away, laughing at those running – dudes! don’t bother!  We got totally soaked.  It was such a warm rain we didn’t care.  A red light, a bus hut, a quick selfie and we laughed the rest of our way to our cars.  A perfect night with a wonderful friend.  Thanks, Jules!  So glad you are my partner in culture and that Michael doesn’t mind me taking you away from him now and again!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Layers – Friday Fictioneers

Take 2.  I dunno what happened.  I’d like to blame the WordPress Gremlins for taking my post (which I kinda really liked) and tossing it in the dumpster.  Actually, I will totally blame them.  My post disappeared and  I have attempted to rewrite it.  It is amazing how once you have written it once, you cannot rewrite it exactly the same.  No. I do not write on another forum and copy and paste it here.  I’m a do it once in the right place kinda girl.  So… for those of you who read the first one, I apologise for not responding to your comments.  I was going to do that when I got home and found out my post no longer existed!  I do thank any of you who take the time to reread and re-comment!

Thank you to Rochelle for hosting this party weekly and thank you this week to Sandra Crook for allowing us to use this wonderful image!

Do join in on the fun by clicking on the blue frog below!

Get the frog for you blog!

Layers

Layers.  I can’t help but think of Shrek trying to explain to Donkey that ogres have layers just as onions do.  Donkey tried to convince Shrek to use cake instead, but onions are way more complex. They may look drab and ordinary on the outside but cut them to see what they are made of and they cry.  Their tears burn your eyes, Their flesh bites your tongue.  However, if you cook them gently, adding just a bit of salt and oil, they transform into something tender and sweet.

Time, patience, a little care and love is all it takes.