Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Dance in the Snow


Well we danced in the snow, my love and I
On a windswept night when we were still young
And we whirled and we twirled beneath the sky
And we did not stop till our song was sung
Huffing and puffing, we fell to the snow,
Our eyes full of wonder, our faces aglow
And we laughed while our breath rose in the air
And specks of white crystal dotted our hair
Hearty of spirit and ruddy of face,
We huddled warmly in winter’s embrace
The world was our sanctum, a place for two
And life was so cozy hidden from view
Revelling in our fancy, we paid no heed of time
It came upon us slowly and grabbed us from behind
Then suddenly we shivered in chills of northern clime
For now the spell was broken, to this we were resigned
Hand in hand, we trudged along, on homeward with a sigh
Snowflakes tingled on my tongue, a teardrop in my eye
Then I marvelled how moments and snowflakes slip away
Like wispy little visitors, never meant to stay 
Wondrously woven bit of lace, fragile and pristine
Truly they are works of art upon the earthly scene
For as each tiny snowflake must bear its own design
So it is with moments, the ones of yours and mine

- Joanne Madden


Today marks the Winter Solstice. We will have the shortest day and the longest night of the year. After tonight, the evenings will become brighter. That, dear readers, makes me very happy.  To celebrate the first official day of winter, I have presented the above poem, “A Dance in the Snow.” I wrote it several years ago.

It is noteworthy that this year, the Winter Solstice coincides with a full lunar eclipse.


There are some notable birthdays today.  Actress, writer, political activist and fitness guru Jane Fonda turns 73 years old.  She was born Lady Jayne Seymour Fonda in New York City on December 21, 1937.  Jane is the daughter of iconic film and stage actor Henry Fonda and his second wife, Frances Ford Seymour.  Frances Ford Seymour was a Canadian-born socialite (She was born in Brockville, Ontario).  On April 14, 1950, when Jane was only 12 years old, her mother, suffering from mental illness, committed suicide on her 42nd birthday.

To view Jane Fonda's blog, click on the link below.


Former talk show host, writeer and media personality Phil Donahue turns 75 years old today.  He was born Phillip John Donahue in Cleveland, Ohio on December 21, 1935.  Happy 75th, Phil!

Rocker Frank Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 21, 1940.  If were alive, he would be celebrating his 70th birthday today.  Frank died on December 4, 1993 of prostate cancer at the age of 52.  Zappa and his wife, Gail, had four children whom they named Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen.  All I can say is that the Zappas sure didn't have an affinity for conventional names.


There is a James L. Brooks film playing at theatres called How Do You Know. There is no question mark at the end of the title. Punctuation is brazenly disregarded. It shouldn’t be. I’m not just nitpicking. There is a valid reason for all those little question marks and commas in the written word. A comma in the wrong place, or the omission of a comma, can alter the meaning of a sentence completely. The following sentence is a perfect example.

Let’s eat, Grandma.

It’s an innocuous sentence. The speaker is merely imploring his or her grandmother to have something to eat. However, remove that little comma and the sentence takes on an entirely different meaning, one that is extremely sinister. It becomes Let’s eat grandma. When you take away the comma, you take away a brief pause. That brief pause can change the message you are conveying.

In the case of a question, we put an inflection in our voice when we see a question mark at the end of a sentence. It alters the way we read the sentence. It affects our verbal and written communication. That is why I am disappointed that there is no question mark at the end of the James L. Brooks film title. It should be How Do You Know? and those responsible for the film should know it!


What did the large chimney say to the small chimney?


You’re too young to be smoking.



The Toronto Blue Jays lost out in their bid to acquire Zack Greinke. Greinke went to the Milwaukee Brewers. The Jays recently dealt their ace pitcher, Shaun Marcum, to the Brewers. Now the Brewers have both Marcum and Greinke. Well, at least the Yankees didn’t get Greinke! The Brewers are in the National League so the Jays don’t have to worry about them too much.

How bad can it get for the Toronto Maple Leafs? How low can they sink? They lost to the Atlanta Flames last night at the Air Canada Centre by a score of 6-3. Leaf Nation is getting extremely restless. Chants of “Fire Wilson” began during the first period.

I don’t know that firing Ron Wilson will change much. The Leafs have a horrible team and that’s all there is to it. Worst of all, they have traded away important draft picks. There doesn’t seem to be too much brightness in their future. It’s really sad.

Nevertheless, something will have to be done soon if the Leafs continue to lose. Wilson seems to be the most likely candidate to shoulder the blame.

- Joanne

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