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Great post from a great Blogger friend and a good follow up (or more accurately prequel) to this week’s Tunes Tuesday!

musingsofanoldfart

My wife and I have long been fans of the musical Les Miserables, so yesterday we took two of our children to see the recently released movie with Hugh Jackman as the lead character of Jean Valjean. We were not disappointed and enjoyed the movie immensely. Of course, a few people have noted some of its imperfections, yet on the whole, it is a very moving experience and fills in a few details that the play could not.

As an aside, I also enjoyed the dramatic movie made a few years ago with Liam Neeson in the role of Valjean. As for the recent musical version, I would encourage you to see it , whether you have seen the play, early dramatic movie or not. If you have seen the play, you will be even more moved by Anne Hathaway’s Fantine singing how life has killed her dreams. The music is so wonderful, sometimes the everyday tragedy  of…

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Tunes Tuesday: Let it Be

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Copyright JC Politi Photography

Happy New Year! I realize I am a little late with New Year’s greetings, but I just got back from my holiday vacation. Today’s Tunes Tuesday pick may not have the most poetic lyrics, but after having listened to this song hundreds of times, for some reason, I really heard the lyrics for the first time this past week.

Every year, like everyone else, I make New Year’s resolutions. They are rarely of the “I want to lose 10 pounds” variety – not because I couldn’t stand to lose ten pounds, but because I prefer to think more about what would help feed my soul in the upcoming year.

Past resolutions have included going to see more live music, spending more time with friends and family and spending more time on my own doing things that increase my contentment and joy.

As I look at this list of resolutions, I realize that they all speak to my desire to live more fully and appreciate people and things that are most important to me. This year’s resolution is no different.

I am a worrier – always have been, may always be. I come from a long line of accomplished worriers, especially on my Dad’s side of the family. If there were awards for worrying, we would have a cabinet full of trophies. But the truth is, worrying does not help anything. I know this to be the case, but nonetheless, I worry.

So, this year’s New Years resolution comes to me from the Beatles. There will be an answer – let it be. For this Tunes Tuesday, I present the Beatles’ Let It Be.

Let It Be
The Beatles

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

What do you think? Do you make new years resolutions? What are your resolutions for 2013? Are there any songs whose lyrics speak to how you would like to live?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading and happy new year!!

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Tunes Tuesday: Same Auld Lang Syne

Image Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Happy New Year from Buenos Aires! (Note: newsofthetimes.org will be taking a break for two weeks while I am off backpacking in Patagonia and taking LOTS of pictures!!!)

This song is the song that inspired my holiday Tunes Tuesdays – it has been a favorite tune for a long time. Can’t you just feel the awkwardness and the snow turn into rain?

Same Auld Lang Syne

Dan Fogelberg

Met my old lover in the
grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I stole behind her in the
frozen foods
And I touched her on the sleeve
She didn’t recognize the
face at first
But then her eyes flew
open wide
She went to hug me and she
spilled her purse
And we laughed until we cried.
We took her groceries to the
checkout stand
The food was totalled up and
bagged
We stood there lost in our
embarrassment
As the conversation dragged.
We went to have ourselves
a drink or two
But couldn’t find an open bar
We bought a six-pack at
the liquor store
And we drank it in her car.
We drank a toast to
innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond
the emptiness
But neither one knew how.
She said she’d married her
an architect
Who kept her warm and safe
and dry
She would have liked to say she
loved the man
But she didn’t like to lie.
I said the years had been a
friend to her
And that her eyes were still
as blue
But in those eyes I wasn’t
sure if I saw
Doubt or gratitude.
She said she saw me in the
record stores
And that I must be doing well
I said the audience was
heavenly
But the traveling was hell.
We drank a toast to
innocence
We drank a toast to now
And tried to reach beyond
the emptiness
But neither one knew how.
We drank a toast to innocence
We drank a toast to time
Reliving in our eloquence
Another ‘auld lang syne’…
The beer was empty and our
tongues were tired
And running out of things to say
She gave a kiss to me as I got out
And I watched her drive away.
Just for a moment I was
back at school
And felt that old familiar pain
And as I turned to make
my way back home
The snow turned into rain —

The video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sYu12PdqVI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

What do you think? What is your favorite wistful song about old times? How do you celebrate the new year?

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Margarita is always on point, but no more so than today, so I had to share. And she is right – elections matter, but so does the day after. Get involved, stay involved and take your responsibility to engage in the political process seriously. Vamenos!

Inner Whispers

The election is over.  What now?

Now the relationship begins.  The communication.  The e-mails.  The phone calls. The snail mail.  The Tweets and FB updates.

“We The People” means just that:  it is the people of this country who have the power, the duty, the priviledge to guide those whom they elect to bring about a nation that embraces and reflects the diversity of its population.  That guidance cannot take place just once every two, four, or six years behind the privacy screens of the voting booths.  That guidance must be ongoing and can take place from the privacy and comfort of your own home.  Here’s what we can all do, everyone who lives in this great nation, regardless of nationality, citizenship, voter registration status.  You live in this country, you have “skin in the game,” in the well-being and success of how this country is governed.  It’s as simple…

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Photo Friday: Berlin

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Border between East and West Berlin, where the Berlin Wall used to stand. Most of it is torn down now.

After leaving the quaint, but bustling Amsterdam, we took an overnight train to Berlin. We stayed in East Berlin, just down the street from Alexanderplatz, which was really the heart of East Berlin.

After all of the beauty of France, Spain and Holland, East Berlin was striking for its lack of decoration. It was a fascinating place to visit for its history, but the sadness and anger were palpable.

From what we observed, the division between East and West Berlin still exists to this day. We spent the vast majority of our time in East Berlin, going to what we were told was the trendiest neighborhood for dinner and visiting the historic sites.

But it is striking to stand where the wall used to stand and to look to the East and to the West. The East is full of cranes and development, but I couldn’t help feeling that the West kept moving forward while the East was stuck in time.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
Construction in East Berlin

East Berlin feels like a savagely damaged city, just now showing signs of rebirth. The evidence is everywhere, showing a city devastated by war, and then severely restricted and terrorized during the Communist occupation. It is simply tragic.

There is a solemn beauty to the city, however, even in the midst of the melancholy. I share some of my favorite photos here.

For those who would like to read more of the history of Berlin, this 1963 speech by President John F. Kennedy is a powerful denunciation of the communist occupation. When you visit Berlin, you understand this speech much more.

What do you think? Have you been to Berlin? What was your impression? Do you think that East and West Berlin will ever truly integrate? What kind of impact do you think a history like this would have on a culture?

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thank you for reading!

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This has to be one of my favorite photos from the whole trip! I snapped this shot at a metro stop.

Copyright JC Politi Photography
A watchtower over Checkpoint Charlie

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The view from our hotel. You can see the Soviet TV Tower in East Berlin and the tall hotel in West Berlin. The hotel staff told us this was done intentionally by West Berlin to show their strength and contrast.

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An old car in East Berlin

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A powerful holocaust memorial

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A pretzel seller

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Berlin Cathedral

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Chairs in an historic East Berlin Cafe

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You can see the bullet holes in the old buildings

 

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Checkpoint Charlie now

 

 

 

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A fantastic and thoughtful post to begin the week. I couldn’t help but share.

Gen Y Girl

My senior year of high school, I had the genius idea of taking AP Physics, AP Calculus, and AP Statistics, all at the same time.

I pushed myself so hard that year all because I wanted to earn college credits and therefore graduate from college in less than four years.

I did that.

I started working a full-time job at the age of 19 and earned my bachelor’s degree in two and a half years.

I figured that if I got my degree early and had some experience under my belt, I’d be ahead of the game career-wise and would be taking steps towards my journey up the quote-on-quote career ladder. If I did this, I would be a few steps closer to becoming the VP of some great company where my work would consume all of my energy every day.

That’s what success looked like most of my life.

I was…

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Tunes Tuesday and Canon in the National Parks: Kodachrome

A fellow student
Copyright JC Politi Photography

I wrote a few weeks ago about the Canon in the National Parks free classes. I went to one of the classes yesterday and am still glowing from the experience. I learned enough to take my camera off the automatic mode and that is saying a lot!

I learned how to focus on an object and blur the background and how to capture things in motion or to show the motion and how to adjust the exposure of a picture.

Background not blurred
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Background blurred – you have no idea how exciting this is for a newby photographer!
Copyright JC Politi Photography

I should mention that I invested in a new camera, which I could not be more excited about. It is a new technology called mirrorless SLR and it has all the functionality of a digital SLR, but for a fraction of the weight. I got a Sony nex7, but most of the major camera manufacturers make these cameras now. I understand Canon is coming out with one in the Fall.

This new type of camera has gotten some great write-ups in photography magazines and blogs and it is really worth checking out if you are in the market for a new camera.

But back to the class. We met at the visitor’s center outside Rocky Mountain National Park so we didn’t even have to pay an entry fee to the park. People borrowed Canon equipment, although I was too excited about my new camera to use their equipment. They divided us into beginners and intermediate/advanced.

I took the beginner class, but think I will try to get back next weekend for the intermediate course.

What a wonderful opportunity for people just getting into photography or even for those who have a better grasp of the technological aspects of the art.

I really encourage anyone who can make it to one of these sessions, to do so. It is a priceless two hours and is absolutely free.

This leads me to a Tunes Tuesday pick that always has me singing along. Today’s Tunes Tuesday pick is Kodachrome by Paul Simon.

My favorite photo of the day
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What do you think? Are there any things that you would like to take a class to learn? Do you know of any affordable options for people to expand their skills in a particular area? If you are a photographer, do you have an opinion on mirrorless cameras versus DSLRs? And do you have any other ideas for affordable ways to build photography skills?

Kodachrome    

When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It’s a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn’t hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall

Kodachrome
You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they’d never match
My sweet imagination
And everything looks worse in black and white

Kodachrome
You give us those nice bright colors
You give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, oh yeah!
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away

Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome away
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome (away)
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome (away)
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome
(Leave your boy so far from home)
Mama, don’t take my Kodachrome (away)

I would love to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much for reading!

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