Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sepia Saturday 337: I Can't Give You Anything But Love Baby

Nothing in my photo albums comes close to a match for this week. I ended up settling on music from 1928 and further selected "I can't give you anything but Love Baby" which was written that year. No doubt the Ashwood Merrymakers would have this piece in their repertoire. I looked at many versions of the song but none can beat Louis Armstrong in my opinion. Diana Krall playing the song on the piano is excellent too - makes you realize what a great pianist she is.

I can't Give you Anything but Love.
Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields


Gee, but it's tough to be broke, kid.
It's not a joke, kid, it's a curse.
My luck is changing, it's gotten from
simply rotten to something worse
Who knows, some day I will win too.
I'll begin to reach my prime.
Now though I see what our end is,
All I can spend is just my time.

I can't give you anything but love, baby.
That's the only thing I've plenty of, baby.

Dream awhile, scheme awhile
We're sure to find
Happiness and I guess
All those things you've always pined for.

Gee I'd like to see you looking swell, baby.
Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, baby.
Till that lucky day you know darned well, baby.
I can't give you anything but love.

Rome wasn't built in a day, kid.
You have to pay, kid, for what you get.
But I am willing to wait, dear,
Your little mate, dear, will not forget.
You have a lifetime before you.
I'll adore you, come what may.
Please don't be blue for the present,
When it's so pleasant to hear you say

I can't give you anything but love, baby.
That's the only thing I've plenty of, baby.

Dream awhile, scheme awhile
We're sure to find
Happiness and I guess
All those things you've always pined for.

Gee I'd like to see you looking swell, baby.
Diamond bracelets Woolworth doesn't sell, baby
Till that lucky day you know darned well, baby.

From Wikipedia: The story goes it that the idea behind the song came during a stroll Fields and McHugh were taking one evening downFifth Avenue; they saw a young couple window-shopping at Tiffany's. McHugh and Fields understood that the couple did not have the resources to buy jewelry from Tiffany's, but nevertheless they drew closer to them. It was then they heard the man say, "Gee, honey I'd like to get you a sparkler like that, but right now, i can't give you nothin' but love!" Hearing this, McHugh and Fields rushed to a nearby Steinway Tunnel, and within an hour they came up with "I Can't Give You Anything but Love, Baby".[3]
Some controversy surrounds the song's authorship. Andy Razaf's biographer Harry Singer offers circumstantial evidence that suggests Fats Waller might have sold the melody to McHugh in 1926 and that the lyrics were by Andy Razaf.[4] Alternatively, Philip Furia has pointed out that Fields' verse is almost identical to the end of the second verse of Lorenz Hart's and Richard Rodgers' song "Where's That Rainbow?" from Peggy-Ann, the 1926 musical comedy with book by Fields' brother Herbert and produced by their father Lew:[5]

The group that reminds me, in looks, of the prompt band is Pink Martini but they have three girls and 12 men in their band. I doubt they'd agree they're anything like the MerryMakers but I wanted to use this song this week. My husband played it for me just after we met as a sort of test of culture compatibility. He thought it was an excellent tool to use to improve the french accent. Perhaps he hoped to upgrade my horrible Canuck french into something passable. It did improve my accent on this song, but that's where it ended.

And then, just before I was about to quit I remembered that I had a cousin Larry Killeen, long deceased, who played bass in Spike Jones band - Spike Jones and the City Slickers. And I spent the next two hours on Youtube watching the craziness unfold. The more I watched Spike's band members the more similarities I found between them and the Merrymakers - the barely suppressed grins, the twinkling eyes, the crooked moustache (?), the sense of having a great time doing what they did.  I couldn't find a bass player in any of the videos - only Spike himself playing a growing half cello in this famous number.

Here's the Diana Krall version of "I can't Give You Anything But Love"from the Newport Jazz Festival 1998. I'm sure my cousin would loved the bass.

Check out sepia saturday for more musical fun. 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Ballast Point Temecula

Nancy, Barbara and I had lunch Thursday at the newly opened Ballast Point in Temecula. They're located at 28551 Rancho California Rd. in Temecula off the 15 freeway, just a bit separate from Old Town. The huge parking lot is a plus that stands out among Old Town establishments where dedicated lots are almost non-existent. The site used to be occupied by a seafood restaurant, Captain something but it has been empty for a few years. It's easy to get in and easy to exit back out onto the freeway.

The space is light and attractive. The noise wasn't too bad, but the place was only about 1/3 full. I can imagine it would be too noisy (for me) on a weekend night, but on a Thursday, for lunch, it wasn't bad. There is music, but they kept it at a tolerable decibel level. Choose a booth where the backs and the upholstering buffer the sound a little.

We were a bit confused by the service arrangement. Apparently you have to order at the bar, but
because they weren't busy, they gave us a waiter, a very good one. We were very well treated!
I personally don't like ordering my food at a counter, particularly at these prices. It confuses me
especially when the person that takes the food orders is also serving beer. Who do you tip? 

The beer list was a bit befuddling to us, because we're not up to speed with craft beers however, they wisely offer a $2.00 sample of any of their products. We asked him to bring us one of their craziest beers to taste. He presented us with the Indra Kunindra Export Stout, described as a burst of curry, cumin, cayenne, coconut and Kaffir lime leaf. Nancy didn't like it. I enjoyed the flavor experience but it was nothing like you'd expect in a beverage. The aroma was great - fermentation notes and an alcohol tickle and a hint of vanillin. The heat from cayenne started on the sides of the tongue and ran down the throat warmly. I couldn't pick out the coconut or the cumin from the blend, but we drank it all up before there was time for close inspection. It's a fun beer to drink if you are out for a single drink. I can't imagine you'd have two of these. Here's a review by someone (lost the reference), which I thought was accurate.

"A complex foreign stout that would taste great chilled, but once warmed became almost like a soup."

He also brought us a sample of Habanero sculpin which was too, too hot for all of us. The flavors of the beers were interesting enough to make us put the place on the return list for lunches. Most of their beers are called sculpins - the name adopted from a fish with a stinger. From their website:

Our Sculpin IPA is a great example of what got us into brewing in the first place. After years of experimenting, we knew hopping an ale at five separate stages would produce something special. The result ended up being this gold-medal winning IPA, whose inspired use of hops creates hints of apricot, peach, mango and lemon flavors, but still packs a bit of a sting, just like a Sculpin fish.

The food: My charcuterie plate was by far the best-looking choice and I enjoyed it. It was a large enough plate for two to share for lunch or better as a beer accompaniment for three or four. Barbara had the Ballast Point burger and gave it a thumbs up, but she only ate about half of it. The fries were excellent - I think dusted in corn starch or perhaps dipped in a thin batter before frying. Nancy had the grilled fish sandwich. She enjoyed it and ate it all. Both the hamburger and the fish sandwich were served on quarter sheet pans with a paper underliner. Hmmmm...I've looked at those sheets for too many years in kitchens and bakeries. They belong in the back of the house for my preference.
Barbara's burger on quarter sheet pan.

If it works for their customers, they are certainly practical - no breakage, no chipping.
Fish Sandwich
Charcuterie plate
The menu insists on being downloaded as a pdf file unmanageable on the blog, but it
can be viewed here.

On Thursday, when we were there the daily specials were a Duck Confit Poutine for $14;
Corn Chowder for $6; Pear Bread Pudding for $6.

Today's specials are below: 

  • Burger Monday! Ballast Point Burger and a pint 10 Cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion, brioche bun. Choice of mixed greens or fries. Choice of main production pint. 
  • Soup of The Day: Loaded Potato Soup 6 Creamy potato soup topped with bacon, green onion, cheddar cheese, and sour cream

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sepia Saturday 336: My fantasy Motherhood

I have no children; I missed being part of a scene such as the one depicted this week in our Sepia Saturday prompt. No photos of sleeping babies or nurseries were unearthed from my photo albums. I did bump into this baby picture of my sister...the classic baby nude, made into a post card. 

Whenever I've had fantasies of motherhood, the scenes I dream up for myself are similar to this one; the pretty bassinet, the gorgeous baby with an enormous head (is that a photographic effect or are normal babies heads that large?) sleeping so peacefully. In my fantasy, there's a lovely tinkling lullaby playing in the background and I'm reading the baby a children's classic -  something Dr. Spock would approve. My fantasy baby never needs a change, never throws up, never wakes up in the middle of the night. There are no ear aches nor colic and no crying. My name is Rachel and my beautiful boy is GT (Grosse Tete). In my fantasy, life is permanently like the photo, but I wouldn't have that awful racist Golliwog* doll on the dresser. rid of that!

Continuing the fantasy, I have perfect hair and a closet full of beautiful dresses that I wear for just these night time reading occasions. The fantasy nursery is always clean and tidy. There is no loud and boisterous husband/father to mess things up; the fantasy father, Biff, only enters the scene to bring home a large  very large paycheck which I deposit into my own account and use for beautiful dresses, manicures and hair styling at the beauty salon. There's plenty of money left over for the Swedish nanny who is busy just behind that curtain washing and ironing the babies clothes and perhaps, if she has time, making Swedish meatballs which GT and I will enjoy after naptime.

The Swedish nanny's name is Ingrid of course. She came to us straight from Stockholm where she graduated from the University with a degree in Child Development. Graduated at the top of her class - what else? .....

Because even my own imagination cannot stomach such perfection for even one more paragraph and because my imagination is, as we speak, cooking up an utter disaster to end the idyllic scene, I'm leaving Ingrid, Rachel, Biff Paycheck and GT alone...frozen in bliss forever.

As a footnote to my fantasy and an antidote to all the saccharinity, here's what I really think motherhood would have been like for me.

www.123rf. Vector Cartoon The real relationship.

Golliwogg is a type of a rag doll. It is also known as golliwog or golly. It is made from black fabric and has black eyes bordered with white, red lips with white teeth and frizzy hair.
Inspiration for gollywogg dolls came from Florence Kate Upton who was born in 1873 in Flushing, New York and was daughter of English parents. Her father died when she was 14 and she moved back to England. To be able to afford art school she illustrated book “The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwogg”. It was a children’s book which had a character by the name of Golliwogg who looked scary but was a positive character. Inspired by blackface minstrels he had black skin, red lips and frizzy hair and was dressed in traditional minstrel cloth. Golliwogg proved very popular and the book was sold very well in England along with its sequels. Similar dolls and images started carrying name gollywog because of that popularity and because Florence did not patent the name. This made the doll a popular children’s toy during a large part of 20th century. It's fame was so wide that it spread to advertising and other selling items like children's china and toys, ladies' perfume, and jewelry. James Robertson & Sons, British jam factory, used Gollywog as a mascot from 1910 until 2001. “Blackjack” - aniseed candy made in United Kingdom used gollywog’s face from 1920s until 1980s.
One theory of the origin of the name “Golliwogg” says that while British soldiers held Egypt in the second half of the 19th century they had Egyptian laborers that worked for them. Workers wore insignia W.O.G.S. on their armbands which meant “Working on Government Service”. British troops spoke of them as “ghouls” - which is an Arabic word for a desert ghost. Egyptian children played with black dolls which they would sometimes give to British soldiers or they would buy dolls from children. That dolls were later called “Ghuliwogs” and later “Golliwogg”. How much truth is in this theory - it is not known.
“Golliwogg” doll in time became very controversial. While some see it as a part of tradition and part of childhood other see it as racist. That is why they started disappearing from shops and advertisements but they still can be found especially on the Internet. There is a possibility that “golliwogg” evolved into “wog” which is a racial slur applied to dark-skinned people.

Friday, June 24, 2016


The heat we experienced was hard on our plants. The plumeria and succulents are the exception - they loved it! At the Grand Heritage, where we had lunch Tuesday, the succulents were gorgeous.

Inspired, I stopped at Marisol's on the way home and strolled through her thousands of succulents,
picking up a few to replenish my pots and continue on my project to replace all my water thirsty
plants with these beauties. 

Grand Tradition bed

This one looked to me like alien hands emerging from the cactus.

 Firestick forests thriving in one section of the nursery. Most of these are taller than me.

Cool Thoughts

It's hot!! When I stepped in the car this morning (June 21st), the car thermometer read 96 degrees. As I drove to Temecula it got warmer and warmer until it hit 110 when I parked at the mall. When I emerged from the air-conditioned comfort and walked to the car past the rosemary hedges, I couldn't believe the intensity of the aroma. Could the rosemary's essential oil be boiling off?  The bedding plants had completely wilted; leaves on the outsides of the trees were dried and crispy; only the succulents looked like they were enjoying themselves. 

Sitting in the car with the air conditioning on full blast, waiting for the steering wheel and gear shift knob to cool enough to touch, I thought about my mother-in-law who used oven mitts to take out the garbage when she lived in Yuma Arizona. She couldn't touch the top of the garbage can or the door knobs without them. 

Sitting there sweating, my thoughts swept me away from Temecula to this photo of the Coney Island crowds about 76 years ago. On a day like today, the beach would be the place to be enjoying the pleasure of running over the hot, hot sand into the cool water. 
Weegee, July 21,1940.

And in contrast, this photo, one of my favorite images, of my friend Beth's parent, Hub and Betty at Grand Beach in Manitoba, enjoying themselves on a hot summer's day at about the same time as the Coney Island shot. 

And all the mesmerizing Hockney water.......

And us, enjoying the uncrowded cool waters on Angel Island, Indonesia 2014.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

One Man, One Woman, One Kayak

Taken backwards over my head.
The sky was grey and misty; the sea a silvery smooth mirror broken only occasionally by black ripples ruffling across the surface. I didn't want to try rowing anything, bobbly-headed as I am, but peer pressure forced me to succumb and I crawled into the thing, horse-style or whatever they called the ungainly process of sitting on your butt on the edge of the boat and then swinging into the kayak. Once inside and seated, there was a lot of adjusting of foot rests, essentials for pushing against as one paddles; making sure gloves are on tight; hats tied under chins. The patient sports people on the big boat, the second mate and the engineer must have felt like they were getting six year olds ready for school.

I thought we'd make fools of ourselves yelling at each other and blaming each other for mistakes, like most married people experience when trying to put up a tent or make a bed or....teach each other to drive. The Princess Louisa sound was dead quiet and I could just imagine myself or Richard saying WTF? to each other as we rowed in circles or overturned ourselves. And our 15 fellow passengers viewing the scene with pity. But no, it went smoothly - the rowing and the cooperation. At first, I didn't row at all and left it to Richard to have control. After a while, I found I could dip in concert with him, or that he could adjust his rowing pace to mine. We skimmed around like a couple of pros. I wish we'd done it for longer; we should have stayed out to the last moment and taken full advantage of the wonderful situation. Next time!

Friday, June 03, 2016

Sepia Saturday #333:The Squeakiest Wheels

Our Sepia Saturday theme image this week is of an old water mill and the photograph was taken 136 years ago by the Victorian photographer, Francis Bedford. It is part of the Flickr Commons stream on the National Media Museum.

Our family, like many American families, is a delightful riot of race, ethnicity and national origin. The French-Syrian branch has introduced us over the years to Syrian culture. In 2010 we decided to spend three weeks in the country touring and enjoying as many of sights and treasures we could absorb in the brief time we had. We're so grateful we went when we did.

One of our favorite visits was to Hama where we saw the enormous groaning and moaning water wheels.  Here's a video of them - not mine unfortunately, but one that gives you a feel of the enormity of the wheels and the ever present groaning that gives the city it's unique character. 

Distorted by the weight of the water and the endless rotation, the wooden wheels sound like ruminating prehistoric animals, creaking and splashing as they turn. The Norias, as they are known, date back to the 13th century and are thought to be some of the oldest water wheels in the world. There were 17 of these in and around Hama on the Oronte river. They were no longer used for irrigation but played a huge role in the cultural heritage of a Syria that sadly, is no more.

"A constipated Tyrannosaurus" our guide and driver, Abdul, suggested about the noise, laughing heartily. On the day of our visit, we ate ice cream at his favorite shop nearby and enjoyed an hour's rest in the sun, relishing his company.
Sightseeing with Abdul

Abdul, a patient man

In Hama, taking pictures of the wheels

Our wheel photo

Choosing ice cream in Hama

Sadly, we don't know what happened to him. We were in touch for a few years and we know that part of his family, from Aleppo, was able to get to Turkey. The last time we heard, he was in Brazil trying to figure out where to go and what to do. His is the story of displacement, the horrible plight of so many people from Syria. Abdul is smart and flexible, likable and persuasive; he knows how to do a lot of things and I have confidence wherever he has ended up, he'll be okay.

So far, the Noria have fared better than the Syrian people. Despite periodic reports that they've been burned to the ground, my last check with Mr. Google shows that they are still standing.

You can read about the Noria here, then you can roll on over to Sepia Saturday for more stories.