Sunday, December 25, 2011

Twas the night before Christmas an' all t'ru de house...

James Rice, illustrator of A Cajun Night Before Christmas,prepared this for a Maison Blanche Christmas catalog cover. (c. 1988)

Cajun Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas an' all t'ru de house,
Dey don't a ting pass Not even a mouse.
De chirren been nezzle good snug on de flo',
An' Mama pass de pepper t'ru de crack on de do'.

De Mama in de fireplace done roas' up de ham,
Sit up de gumbo an' make de bake yam.
Den out on de by-you dey got such a clatter,
Make soun' like old Boudreau done fall off his ladder.

I run like a rabbit to got to de do',
Trip over de dorg an' fall on de flo'.
As I look out de do'in de light o' de moon,
I t'ink, "Mahn, you crazy or got ol' too soon."

Cux dere on de by-you w'en I stretch ma'neck stiff,
Dere's eight alligator a pullin' de skiff.
An' a little fat drover wit' a long pole-ing stick,
I know r'at away got to be ole St.Nick.

Mo' fas'er an' fas'er de' gator dey came
He whistle an' holler an' call dem by name:
"Ha, Gaston! Ha, Tiboy! Ha, Pierre an' Alcee'!
Gee, Ninette! Gee, Suzette! Celeste an'Renee'!

To de top o' de porch to de top o' de wall,
Make crawl, alligator, an' be sho' you don' fall."
Like Tante Flo's cat t'ru de treetop he fly,
W'en de big ole houn' dorg come a run hisse's by.

Like dat up de porch dem ole 'gator clim!
Wit' de skiff full o' toy an' St. Nicklus behin'.
Den on top de porch roof it soun' like de hail,
W'en all dem big gator, done sot down dey tail.

Den down de chimney I yell wit' a bam,
An' St.Nicklus fall an' sit on de yam.
"Sacre!" he axclaim, "Ma pant got a hole
I done sot ma'se'f on dem red hot coal."

He got on his foots an' jump like de cat
Out to de flo' where he lan' wit' a SPLAT!
He was dress in musk-rat from his head to his foot,
An' his clothes is all dirty wit' ashes an' soot.

A sack full o' playt'ing he t'row on his back,
He look like a burglar an' dass fo' a fack.
His eyes how dey shine his dimple, how merry!
Maybe he been drink de wine from de blackberry.

His cheek was like a rose his nose a cherry,
On secon' t'ought maybe he lap up de sherry.
Wit' snow-white chin whisker an' quiverin' belly,
He shook w'en he laugh like de stromberry jelly!

But a wink in his eye an' a shook o' his head,
Make my confi-dence dat I don't got to be scared.
He don' do no talkin' gone strit to hi work,
Put a playt'ing in sock an' den turn wit' a jerk.

He put bot' his han' dere on top o' his head,
Cas' an eye on de chimney an' den he done said:
"Wit' all o' dat fire an' dem burnin' hot flame,
Me I ain' goin' back by de way dat I came."

So he run out de do' an, he clim' to de roof,
He ain' no fool, him for to make one more goof.
He jump in his skiff an' crack his big whip,
De' gator move down, An don' make one slip.

An' I hear him shout loud as a splashin' he go,
"Merry Christmas to all 'til I saw you some mo'!"

Link to buy it on

Link to 2 video's where they read 2 versions of this book...

Cajun Night Before Christmas

Howard Jacobs - editor,  Trosclair - author, James Rice - illustrator
Pelican Pub Co Inc, 1992 - 48 pages
"Forget Dancer, Prancer, Comet, and Vixen. . . . Good Clement, wherever he is, will not be gnashing his teeth." New York Times Book Review "Set in a Louisiana bayou and told in Cajun dialect-e chirren been nezzle/Good snug on de flo'-the poem has lively illustrations that perfectly suit the unique text." Horn Book More than twenty-five years after its first appearance, Cajun Night Before Christmas has become a modern classic that has sold more than 490,000 copies and has served as the model for Pelican's ongoing, best-selling Night Before Christmas series. The formula that started this success story is surprisingly simple: take the classic story of jolly old St. Nicholas, place it in a Louisiana bayou, dress Santa Claus in muskrat "from his head to his toes," pile his skiff high with toys, and hitch it to eight friendly alligators. The result is a delightful twist on an old and familiar tale. It is Christmas on the bayou. James Rice, in his long, distinguished career as an author and illustrator, has produced fifty-plus children's books, among them an addition to the Night Before Christmas series, Gullah Night Before Christmas. With more than a million and a half copies of his books in print, he ranks among the nation's best-selling creators of children's books."

Link to another reading, another accent--someone mentions it's a New Orleans one...
Link to publisher...(this book & the Cajun Nutcracker are on the Books of the Week list)
Link to one more version in Christmas lights w/Justin Wilson reading...
Link to more about the illustrator - James Rice...
Quick Bio of Illustrator...
James Rice was a children's book illustrator who lived in the South. He was also a painter and sculptor with advanced degrees in art, music and English. He was a former art professor in several Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas colleges and universities, and has published more than 60 titles through Pelican Publishing of Gretna, La. He was born February 10, 1934, and died May 30, 2004.
Link to Wiki - about the original, A Visit from St. Nicholas...
(note: also where you can read the entire poem, as it was writtin--in regular English, rather than Cajun)
Bio of Trosclair?? None--this is a mystery, maybe he's also the illustrator...will need more research - any Cajuns know who this is? My boys grew up with this book at Christmas time while we were living our years in Lafayette, LA--but never really heard much about the author or illustrator...
(now I've bought the same book for my Grandbaby Girls for Christmas, should I find out before they're old enough to ask their Mooma--am thinking Yes I should?! After we get past 'What's a Cajun' or 'What's an Alligator'...)
More fun...
Link to a Gingerbread House of the Cajun Night Before Christmas...

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Childishness at A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens

A new stage adaptation
Created by members of The Compound

Directed by Alicia Chaisson

Dec 10 - 23
at Theatre 810
Downtown Lafayette
next door to Carpe Diem Gelato/Espresso
or The Juliet Hotel

Cast of Characters...
Ebenezer Scrooge -- Duncan Thistlethwaite
Bob Crachit -- Steven Cooper
Jacob Marley -- Aren Chaisson
Ghost of Christmas Past -- Sarah Gauthier
Present -- Martha Diaz
Yet to Come -- Gina Baronne
Boy -- Alicia Chaisson
Narrator -- Cody Daigle

et al -- has been added to a number of these characters, because they do play other characters in other scenes...for ex: Aren Chaisson also plays Scrooge's Nephew & Tiny Tim, or did in the evening I attended the play...

Links to connect with The Compound - Theatre 810...


cloth first edition 1843
you can read it...or you can read a Free Kindle version...
Link to Free Kindle Edition...
(note: you can upload a free kindle app on your PC or your smart phone - you don't have to own a Kindle...I know it's true, because I've done both - thank you universe, as I don't know who else to properly thank/credit for either of those free apps?!)



photo credit:
red bird brand soft peppermint puffs

Childishness at A Christmas Carol

I went in wondering how in the world would they perform the whole play in an hour 5 min's?!
But they did it & in a very inventive fashion I thought...

narrator - that moved the story along, as well as for fun--the narrator was also in the play & the characters would at times acknowledge him/the narrator...

a very active stage, w/a lot of movement from rolling partion walls/windows or benches or in just taking chairs from here to there or from people walking around as if flying for instance in the ghostly visit scenes...

dancing - there was the Nephews party scene with dancing & kids were pulled up from the audience to join in...of course being kids, they did & they did dance too - what great fun for them, to do more than just sit & listen (no matter how short this adaption was made...)

peppermints - there was candy at the end that the characters came up into the audience to hand out...
I do as well like how they set up the seating for this play, instead of the long row of chairs on the long wall, there were 3 or 4 shorter rows set up like a tiny auditorium seating arrangement...

make believe - the actors had to play make believe many a time, with nothing in front of them but their for the meal on the table, where they had to pass food & pretend to eat food as well - which I didn't focus on because I was following the story...

All in all it was, as I had been told by Alicia standing outside the theatre after Opening Night I think which I had found out I'd just missed, it was made for the children to enjoy & at the end of actually getting to watch it another night I realized that I had enjoyed it just as much as any child--I had been smiling from ear to ear for I think probably most of the play... it was great fun to enjoy a very long play or TV show usually that's a dated play from Dicken's time to begin with being done in this shorter/energetic fashion...

A Charlie Brown Christmas, Peanuts Classic, Charles Schultz
Do you see Charlie Brown's smile? that's how I felt after watching this play...
(now I have to watch this movie again...)

And with my peppermint in mouth walking out of the theatre to the lobby (with the super cushy couch I'd sat on while waiting to get my ticket) I just had to hug someone too (Cody - aka the narrator - being the closest huggable one, got my childlike release of being happy & I said something about them on the stage having fun, which is what it looked like too...though I know there are rehearsals & costumes & lines to memorize & a lot of movements in this adaptation--so it wasn't as easy as play playing I'm sure, it still looked like fun to me?!)

Thank you Theatre 810/The Compound...
now it feels a lot more like Christmastime for me & those peppermints help put you into the mood?!


(note: opera man bowing - only animation could find of bowing right off, but free & it's a thank you bow... so thank you too for the tiny bowing opera man... you're probably asking yourself why does she have to explain everything - my answer would be: don't know, just do, can't stop...?!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

by candlelight, but thankfully didn't burst into flames

pilgrims at Lourdes, credit:
now this is what I'm talking about?!
the kind of candlelight procession I had in mind to begin with going in...

Candlelight Service
The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist
(*what happened to ...the Baptist--nevermind it's a Catholic Cathedral here...)

3rd Sunday of Advent - aka 12/11/11


ex: of a processional candle -
that I did 'not' get to hold,
nor did the choir...
A service of 9 lessons & carols...

Now I was thinking in a different direction when I read 'candlelight' & 'carols' - was imagining an old European church full of candles all over, including from above on the chandeliers & perhaps everyone walking in receiving a candle as well to hold during the singing of the traditional carols of Christmastimes that I've grown up hearing/singing in homes or on TV or on rare occasion the streets (or I should say trying to sing, because no choir will ever be asking me to join them...)

There were candles, totally safe large round ones on the side window ledges or alcoves with perhaps glass open tops to them - didn't walk up to one so am not at all sure & also up before the altar on the inclined live greenery wreath were some taller candles lit again with what looked like smaller glass open tops around the flames...

I also found it interesting to see a wreath inside the church up at the altar, when I may have mistakeningly thought it was a Druid type idea of bringing the natural greens into the house (must read up on all this another time...)

And when the choir entered--again, no one was carrying not one candle...sigh...but their voices could be considered light of a different kind, especially inside the space of St. John's - which I'd never been inside, had only admired the classic form of the bricks on the outside...for years, perhaps more especially the most ancient oak tree right next to the church I've looked at driving by - which didn't use to be supported or surrounded by an iron fence, but it is now...

For once I arrived early, found a seat in a pew to the back - as all the front ones were taken...skimmed thru the program of the evening to find there would be singing from the Hymn Book, so took it out from it's behind the pews holder in front of me to find the pages listed so I wouldn't be flipping pages during the service...I liked seeing that there would be carols that I'd heard before & indeed those of my childhood that were sung, still not talking about Rocking Around the Christmas Tree either?!

Since I could remember at least the last time I'd been caroling, that was something I was looking forward to--being able to sing them with a group & not just inside my car driving around town...but the being in a church & for a Christmas service & a Catholic one, not just any one but a cathedral
was something I couldn't remember as well...also went alone so nobody to tell me what to do, I had to watch what everyone else was doing & thanks be to whomever put all the instructions down on the Order of Service stand/sit/sing?!

><> ><> ><>


another ex: of a processional candle...
this one a flower shape, so much more lovely
than a circle or a cup/Cup (I have never held one tho...)
Order of Service

(please silence all electronic devices) *just like at the movies

Prelude - Noel Huron

Advent Responsory (all standing) *this is the kind of instruction I appreciated the most

Cantor   Come & save us, O Lord God of hosts
Choir        "      "     "     "   "     "       "    "    "
    "         Show the light of your countenance & we shall be saved
              O Lord God of hosts
              Glory to the Father & to the Son & to the Holy Spirit
                                                                                          *opps thought it was Holy Ghost
              Come & save us, O Lord God of hosts
              Show us your mercy, O Lord
              And grant us your salvation

*if anyone were to ask me right off I would of said they were singing in Latin because I would of never gotten those words out of the choir's voices as the entered the church from the front foyer (do they call it a foyer like a regular house? am not sure...) In front of them came the incense, lovely to smell this - carried by...are they altar boys (don't get me going, why boys? are there altar girls now too?)

Processional Hymn - Veni Emmanuel
(sung by the choir in Latin) *so I wasn't imagining the Latin words being sung & no singing for us all just yet...


ex: of what I thought the choir would look like...
& also what the candlelight service would look like -
this btw is a cup/Cup processional candle holder...
(note: photo credit from Christ Church Ottawa -
found under Google Images...)

The Bidding & The Lord's Prayer
*took note that they did not include the Lord's Prayer & it's not something I say everyday, but must of heard it enough to follow along with the crowd...or if all else fails, move your lips...

First Lesson
(all my sit) *thank you

Adam & Eve rebel against God & are cast out of the Garden of Eden (Genesis iii) *there was a reader, I won't name names--but I realized after a few of them they must be regular folks asked to read, because they were in regular clothes & not in any robes...they also all did very well to stand up in this huge space & read scriptures into a microphone at the altar, no one flubbed their lines that I could tell--but then they had notes or the bible in front of them to follow right...

Carol *Yeah, finally some singing--but alas, not us, it was the choir again...
Jesus Christ the Apple Tree *a totally new one on me, never heard of this one--nor that comparison the end there was written whose words/music it was & since it said New Hampshire I figured it was from modern times & not a regular ancient carol as we know them usually...

Second Lesson
The scribe Baruch urges the people to look East because salvation is at hand (Baruch v) *another new one on me, should I admit I didn't know Baruch before...

Hymn 183 - People, Look East
(sung by all, standing...found in the gray Collegeville Hymnal in the pew racks) *again wonderful instructions & I for one needed them...but again didn't know this Hymn anymore than the previous Carol or the scribe there are perhaps for me, more than Nine Lessons going on tonight?!

Third Lesson
(all may sit)
Christ's birth & kingdom are foretold (Isaiah ix)

Carol - Noel Noubelet *written in an old text so am not positive about the spelling, could be 'Nouvelet' but at the end it helps they reference "Traditional French & Huron Carols" - so am going out on a limb here but am guessing they were then singing in French & not so much the Latin...we are afterall in Southern Louisiana & Cajun Country, where there is a Gumbo of French spoken so am not surprised something would be sung in French in the Cathedral...but was a bit taken with the line about the "ox & ass" - which made me think about the "ox & lamb" keeping time in another Carol...(if you don't know that one, it's in 'Little Drummer Boy'...)

Fourth Lesson
The prophet Micah foretells the glory of little Bethlehem. (Micah v) *oh my, more lessons, Micah? a prophet? Well, my excuse--I was never very good with remembering names...

Hymn 198 - O Little Town of Bethlehem
(sung by all, standing) *finally a Carol I know - at least the first verse & could sing it on my own, then read the hymn book diligently for the other 2 or 3 verses (which was something we never did when singing carols growing up--ever go past the 1st verse of anything?!)

O little town of Bethlehem
how still we see thee lie
Above thy deep & dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by

Yet in the darkness shineth
the everlasting light
The hopes & fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight...

And that's about it for me--there are folks I think who sing that line "hopes & dreams" of all the years instead...I know I flip flop between the two words, especially while singing in my car to the radio during the month of December - am missing that all Christmas song station on the radio too, can't seem to find one here so I've had to break out the old Christmas CD's (as I can't play the old Christmas cassettes anylonger--what to do with them? keep them until I buy another old car with a cassette player in it, maybe...nevermind, not the point--back to singing carols, flawlessly in my wait, back to singing well enough in a cathedral...)

It may also have been about this time that I found out in the next pew, one back, across the aisle, there was a man's voice that most definitely must have been asked to sing in a choir before--because he sang beautifully & without his hymn book too, from the few glances I took to see who this odd angelic singer about 'not' judging a book by it's cover, here was this large man--in of all the things a hunter's green & tan cammo angels on earth do wear all sorts of clothes, I'm here to tell you--hmmm...

Fifth Lesson
(all may sit) *oh were we standing
The peace that Christ will bring is foreshown (Isaiah xi)

A Spotless Rose *another one, haven't a clue...after following along reading I had the strangest connection of Bette Midler singing "The Rose" - curious, but there is a rose & if not snow then a winter's cold being mentioned...oh my, looking up the YouTube of Bette's only to find out Janis Joplin sang the song too or was in a movie of the same name - enough a googling I will go tonight the end of this Carol '...words, 14th century origin...'

Sixth Lesson
Announcement of the Birth of Jesus (St. Luke i)

Joys Seven *again w/the fancy script, if I count all the 'first good joy' & 'the next good joy' in the lines then I come up with 7 joys, so a good guess on the title...& it's an English Traditional Carol...

Seventh Lesson
The whole world waits for Mary's answer (Homily iv, St. Bernard)

Motet * why this is not a Carol or a Prayer, I don't know-or I don't know the word 'motet' (are we back to Latin again, why confuse me--there's English, there's French, there's Latin...all in a night at the Cathedral...fa lah lah lah lah lah lah lah...) Wiki to the rescue: a polyphonic composition based on a sacred text and usually sung without accompaniment. [Middle English, from Old French...]

Ave Maria
Hail, Mary, full of grace...
words, St. Luke, 1:28, 42

*here I always think of Schubert's Ave many renditions of this song... Pavarotti... Callas... Carpenter... Dion... Celtic Woman...Beyonce...Bocelli...Bono (?) - YouTube away...& why I get Oh Holy Night confused with this title sometimes, which has my most fav line/phrase/words of all time in a Christmas Carol/Song prob & that's "fall on your knees" (by that time in the song, it usually raises the hair on my arms kind of tingling feeling going on all over to the top of my head...sigh...)

O Holy Night
Christmas Carol Lyrics

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Link to find this & all the carols...

*This Carol was not on the program, but why not? so many, so little time I'm guessing...

Eighth Lesson
God has revealed his love through his Son. (Epistle to Diognetus iii)

Hymn 224 - God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen *Yeah, another Carol - hymn? & I know this one too...but I've always sung it with a 'Ye'...
(sung by all, standing)

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from satan's powers when we've gone astray
Oh Oh Tidings of Comfort & Joy, Comfort & Joy
Oh Oh Tidings of Comfort & Joy...

*noting again, 1 verse wonder--that's me, for the longest time growing up I had no idea there was even more than 1 verse to any Christmas Carol?!

Ninth Lesson
(all remain standing)
St. Matthew tells of the coming birth of Jesus. (St. Matthew i)

Carol - I Saw Three Ships *so surprised, found myself asking why now, why this song & did I remember this was a fav version of this song, so far, may be when Sting sang it on a Christmas album - A Very Special Christmas 3 - 1997...

photo credit: borrowed from
from article by Steve Spears, about Name the most obscure Christmas songs of the 80's
& I Saw Three Ships by Sting is on his list...

Link to YouTube of the "I Saw Three Ships" song - sung by Sting...

or an even better another Cathedral...with a fiddle... bagpipe... cello... harp... guitar... drum... mandelin... more violins... & I can't name all the instruments right now... or all the backup singers, except that's Sting again leading the song...

(all may sit)

I saw three ships come sailing in,
   On Christmas Day, on Christmas Day,
I saw three ships coming sailing in,
   On Christmas Day in the morning.

And what was in those ships all three?
(*repeat chorus...On Christmas Day...after each line--I think...)

Our Savior Christ & His lady.

Pray, whither sailed those ships all three?

O, they sailed into Bethlehem.

And all the bells on earth shall ring.

And all the angels in heaven shall sing.

And all the souls on earth shall sing.

Then let us all rejoice amain! *OK, so I didn't know that it ended in that word 'amain'

English Traditional Carol

Closing Prayer & Blessing
(all standing)

Recessional Hymn 173 - O Come, Divine Messiah
(sung by all) *it's a good thing we had a hymn book, especially me, especially for these hymns I don't remember ever hearing before...

Postlude *a what? nevermind...
Toccata on "Il est ne', le divin enfant" *OK, now am thinking this is more French--they end in French...of course?!

Traditional French Christmas Carol...

Il est né le divin enfant,
Jouez hautbois, résonnez musette.
Il est né le divin enfant,
Chantons tous son avènement.
Depuis plus de quatre mille ans
Nous le promettaient les prophètes,
Depuis plus de quatre mille ans
Nous attendions cet heureux temps.
Une étable est son logement,
Un peu de paille est sa couchette,
Une étable est son logement,
Pour un dieu quel abaissement.
O Jésus, ô roi tout puissant,
Tout petit enfant que vous êtes,
O Jésus, ô roi tout puissant,
Régnez sur nous entièrement.

He is born the divine child,
Play oboe, resonate musette.
He is born the divine child,
Let's all sing his accession.
For more than four thousand years
We've promised by the prophets,
For more than four thousand years
We've been waiting for this happy time.
A stable is his lodging,
A bit of hay is his little bed,
A stable is his lodging,
For a god such a humble thing.
O Jesus, o all powerful king,
Such a little child you are,
O Jesus, o all powerful god,
Rule completely over us.

via link...

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About this Service *printed on the back of the program/order of service

"The Service of Nine Lessons & Carols" was first held on Christmas Eve 1918 at the Chapel of Kings College in Cambridge, England. Since it's first radio broadcast in 1928 the service has been adopted by nearly every Christian denomination & is a favorite ecumenical service during the holiday season. The service is modeled after the ancient monastic office of Matins in which nine readings from Scripture are followed by nine musical responses. Through story and song the service recounts salvation history from the first moment of our disobedience until the birth of the Messiah.  The pattern of the service reflects the season's growing anticipation, both of the first coming of Christ and of that day when the prayer 'thy kingdom come' is finally and fully answered. Since the church does not celebrate the birth of Christ until Christmas Eve, the mood of this service is one of hopeful expectation rather than joyful exuberance."

*and I've lost count on how many lessons I've had for the evening service - if nothing else I still love Love LOVE Christmas Carols, 1st Verses the most, & I still want more candlelight...maybe a trip to Europe next Christmas season & a visit to another - more ancient - Cathedral...Notre Dame? hmmm...I've been inside to visit, but I think the actual oldest church in Paris (if you don't ask too many questions to nail that oldest - when started/finished/reconstructed - or church idea down) is not the famous named one but another & I've been inside that one to visit it as well, St-Germain-des-Prés (where once again I'd lit a candle for my military sons...having other moments of being thankful am in a cathedral lighting candles whilst not being Catholic & especially not instantly combusting whilst doing so - it must of been OK'd by my goodly motherly intentions right?!)

*please Please PLEASE no one take any offense what so ever from my comments on my evening experience of lessons & carols... that just happened to have been in a cathedral...I was in it for the love of Christmastime, Candlelight & for the singing of Christmas Carols, thank you & goodnight...

Peace be upon you

...came to mind to sign off with this--which is what they say in Doha, Qatar - as an ExPat you get to hear this in English & in Arabic...taking French lessons there for 7 weeks (No, don't ask me anything in French) I found out there are a lot of words - a long list of words - of Arabic words taken from the French (or was that vice versa...) some student I was...I still am--a student/a learner...just not of French/nor Arabic either...nor any other language, tho I tried really/Really hard at learning Spanish in PLC, Venezuela...(again--No, don't ask me anything in Spanish either...unless it sounds like 'baby talk' - then maybe I can answer you back...maybe...if you give me a minute--or two...)

Thursday, December 15, 2011 under wraps...

Art Under Wraps

Americas Coffee House 403-B S. Buchanan St. Lafayette, LA 70501


Saturday, December 10, 2011 at 5:00 PM    *during Art Walk

Saturday, December 17, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Camp Bon Coeur is a summer camp for children with heart conditions.
It is our mission to provide a safe summer camp environment in which children with heart defects can grow physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially while learning lifelong coping skills.

What is Art Under Wraps?
With over 60 pieces of art to be donated from many amazing artists, you won’t want to miss this exciting, fundraising event. You will get to see the art, but you won’t know the artist until after you purchase your favorite piece. All of the art will be displayed at The Showing and can be picked up at The Sale. Tickets will be $50 and the art will be sold on a First Come, First Serve basis, meaning that if you are first in line at The Sale you will have the first pick of all the Art available. So be sure and get to The Sale early!

Charlie Farrar, Rachel Smith, Tina Trahan, Kelly Guidry, Lorena Angulo, Erin Lafleur, Sara Parker, Jean Kreamer, Lynne Pisto, Scott Bailey, Darlene Marr, Jerome Mills, Christine Ledoux, Denise Gallagher, AnnElla Joubert, Cathy Bader Mills, Elain Wead Austin, Arthur McViccar, Michelle Fontenot, Autumn L. de la Houssaye, Coco Marie Brown, John B. Bienvenu, Lue Svendson, Linda Grost, Kaye Landry, Ashley Poche, Tracy Ralsten, Ruth Barbee, Ted Bertrand, Anna Rita Miller, Connie Harris Smith, Amanda Hopkins, Alex Williams, Pat Bourque, Sidney Creaghan, Michele Hudelot, Cliff Broussard, Steve Saucier, Graydon Zanyk, Alice Blakewood, Carol Ann Richard, Robyn Randol Braun, Susan Randol, Beth Glass, Tom Ladousa, Zach Gonsoulin, Virginia Fuselier, Kristie Cornell, Gwen Aucoin, Hope Hebert, Adrian Fulton, Jo Ellen Breakfield, Gigie Arcilla Fulton, Jamie Menard, Buffy Perez (List will be updated as we receive pieces)

*note: link is here on webpage (see link below) to go 'View the Art'...
I recognize 3 of the artist's names above & was guessing today which 3 pieces they
did on the art wall, among the 60 or is it 75 pieces (didn't count them, but was printed
in 2 different places these 2 different numbers-maybe some last min enteries...)

OK, so how many folks would 'not' guess this is Kelly Guidry's art...
I would so wait in a long line from an early hour in order to have a chance to get this tiny formed iconic (can we call it that yet, maybe signature--at least that...) flying heart, he's entitled: "pray & have faith"
Link to artist Kelly Guidry webpage...
The Reveal:
Over 60 Art Pieces will be on display during ArtWalk, Saturday, December 10th from 6-8 PM at Americas Coffee House, 403-B S. Buchanan St., Lafayette, LA.

I should know this artist, but the name just won't jump out at me...
was having troubles today picking a Top Three, let alone a Top One...
off the Art Wall for Art Under Wraps at Americas Coffeehouse...
so I asked then snapped a few photos - sadly one didn't come out,
I think it was Denise Gallagher's illustrated bird/s piece...

Link to Denise Gallagher's webpage...

The Steal:
Be first in line on December 17th at Americas Coffee House, sale begins at 10 AM and ends at 2 PM!

If this is a photograph & if the only photographer on the list of artist's is Gwen Aucoin--then I guess this could be her work...or the 'other' photo of the fountain at night stitched around in a tangle of blue threads...or she could surprise & have gone in a totally different direction (paint or beads or sculpture or metal work for all I know?! sneaky artists--but generous big hearted artists...)
Link to Gwen Aucoin webpage...

Link to her Facebook page...

$50. Tickets will be limited to the number of Art Pieces we collect. Tickets will go on sale November 28th and will remain on sale until the end of The Sale, December 17th at 2 PM. For more information please call (337) 233-8437. Limit 4 per person.

All money raised will benefit Camp Bon Coeur.

top right/bottom left art wall pieces - both of these are texturally me...again couldn't pick a Top Three, if I had the chance at the Top One & got to run in First Come/First Serve on Saturday I think before that in line even I would change my mind a bunch of times (but for $50 value - of art worth prob lots more - you have to be more focused than that right?!)

Link to EventBrite for Art Under Wraps...

Link to ZVents...didn't know about this Events webpage...again for Art Under Wraps...

Link to Art Under Wraps Facebook page...

Link to KATC mention...

Link to Camp Bon Coeur webpage...

Link to Camp Bon Coeur Facebook page...

Link to Americas Coffeehouse Facebook page...

Link to Downtown Lafayette - 2nd Saturday Art Walk...

Monday, December 12, 2011

Puzzle of a Match then Portrait of an Artist as Santa Claus

Hub City Theatre & Storytelling Festival
Cite' des Arts - AcA
1st ever such festival in Lafayette, LA

I found out about it all late in the game, like during the Friday evening Panel talk at AcA about Writing - from Writers of Original Works (it says that last part on the schedule I picked up later...) all I knew was that Cody Daigle was leading the Writing Workshop before it...or knowing a bit more that I wasn't quite good enough for that discussion but I could listen in on a panel about writing after it...held my breath too during it when someone mentioned finding hidden writers & getting them to come out with their stories kind of thing, saying surely we knew someone who was like that or someone who would write & then only shared it with family or close friends...hmmm...must ponder that idea a bit longer--until then, on to the Friday evening play at Cite des Arts which I was lucky enough to find out about at the end of the Writing Panel (where sadly I couldn't say who was who, but I well know from them talking around the circle that they are indeed the Who's Who of Acadiana Theatre...)

Puzzle of a 'Match'
a play by marc chun
directed by elsa dimitriadis
a wanderlust theatre company regional premiere...

Friday 12/09/11 - 7:00 pm Cite' des Arts theatre

plus along with the puzzle of what/whom was the Match in the play there was the sideline puzzle of who was that man in the chair on the far left - read the name on the program & knew I knew it from somewhere so I went to lookle it up & sure enough on the Staff at the AcA was his name & of all things I've talked to him many times behind the counter at the information desk at Aca...but in a hat, in a chair, playing this character I just didn't know him as him (later I would get the chance to tell him so when I volunteered at the AcA for the next event...)

what gave it away as a puzzle, at first, was looking down at the cover of the program & seeing an outline of a puzzle piece, so I knew there was some puzzling to be played...with the single word title, Match, you just know there is a 1 to 1 match of some sorts along the way...only there are 5 chairs, with 5 characters in it so that not being an even number you also know that it's not necessarily couples being matched up either...

so there was the puzzle idea going on in my head at first, until the lights were out & you could tell the actors/characters were seated & they began to speak, one after another in different sequences--not necessarily right to left or left to right or even gender wise male to female was in essence spoken poetry...and I like it, a first I didn't pay attention to the words, but just the sounds of them going back & forth thru the room in the dark - then the lights came up, only they continued...

after the poetic/musical almost beginning came the back & forth, little snippets of conversations, one person then another, each seated in chairs & talking into the air, not to each other, not getting up to address anyone directly, but they were in the end or as you started to figure it out being directed at a certain other someone in the lineup...

bascially there is a day of blue sky, 'that' blue sky, that begins it all...slowly you start to learn the rest of their stories & how they connect like puzzle pieces, until toward the end when you can about guess whose path crossed another on this blue day...a lot rang true on this day, in their conversations & I liked that, it made my mind work a bit harder or differently than usual at the theatre, so that was a nice surprise...

should I tell the rest of the puzzling/matching story? am not sure I should--in case you get to see a performance & then you can puzzle it all out for yourselves...I enjoy puzzles, not too much the over the top without edges or extra pieces kind of ones but your basic say 1,000 piece puzzle...

Actors listed in the program...

1) Bobby Bender
2) Elizabeth Satterly
3) M. Brady McKellar
4) Jarin Schexnider
5) David Huynh

and perhaps this is how they sat in their chairs, taking note, that #3 chair was higher than all the rest on either side of him...

A note from the director...

Match is a play that we have wanted to produce for several years.
When we decided that it was finally time, I had trouble finding information to secure the rights.
I googled everything that I could think of and finally took the chance that the only Marc Chun that came up was the same as my mysterious playwright.
I e-mailed a total stranger and got lucky--it was Marc Chun, Dr. Marc Chun, to be more specific, a scientist whose research specializes in sociology and education.
And he was warm and lovely.
His accessibility to us has been without measure and for that, I am grateful.

An important part of Wanderlust's mission is to explore dramatic and performance theories through our projects.
I was initially attracted to Match because it seemed to me to be a chamber music piece - where a small group of instruments, Goethe said, were 'conversing.'
Perhaps more importantly and as applied to drama, it is a brilliant intersection of parallel and panoramic storytelling.
Parallel storytelling allows multiple characters to develop their stories simultaneously and the panoramic form ultimately creates a master narrative from seemingly unrelated characters.
This piece does both.

Throughout our process, the cast and I have kept a T.S. Eliot quote at the forefront:

"We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started an know the place for the first time."

It seemed to apply to the play and our journey both.
My hope is that this evening you will leave the theatre realizing that you too arrived where you began, seeing it with fresh eyes.

-Elsa Dimitriadis

my note: Match is his 1st play - a 1 Act play - & he's from the San Francisco Bay area, the play was first produced in here in 2011 it shows up at the First Hub City Theatre/Storytelling Festival at Cite' des Arts in little ole' Lafayette, LA?!

Link to a review of the play in 2007 (possible 'spoiler alert' if you read it...)

Another note on the program was about the music played pre/post play...

Explosions in the Sky - band
The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place - album

Link to band's webpage...

Link to Wanderlust Theatre...
"wander with us"

Link to AcA...

Link to Cite' des Arts...

Link to Cite' des Arts - Hub City Festival - of Theatre & Storytelling...

Link to Acadiana Theatre blog...
Marie received 1 of 2 only awards from the organizers of this year's First Hub City Theatre/ Storytelling Festival, but she was not at the Cite' des Arts to receive her service award in person...
(note: now of all the days I find the blog, she's written on it that she's taking a break from blogging for a long while...what timing?!)

Link to article in The Ind by Anna Purdy...

Link to interview on KATC TV - Christy Leichty, Cite' des Arts Program Director...


Portrait of an Artist as Santa Claus
by Ken Waldman

Saturday 12/10/11 - 7:30 pm AcA theatre...

tonight--Santa Claus

out of Santa's bag I received these gifts...

To Live on this Earth - book

A Week in Eek - CD

As the World Burns - book
same name - CD

All Originals, All Traditionals - double CD

Fiddling Poets on Parade - for kids - CD
(given I think mostly because I have 2 G-Baby girls to share it with...also love the doodle art guy & that Ken's doodle drawn face is on the whole family/class/parade, especially the pet/doggie!)

bought guiltily after Santa's bag was empty--this gift...

D is for Dog Team - book
same name - CD

note: to be given to my now grown kid's old Elem School library
so they can enjoy not just Alaska or poetry or fiddling--but to enjoy reading/hearing 'Acrostics'
after I found out what they were I realized I knew what they were but just not what they were officially called?!

Link to Wiki about Acrostic (if you're curious too...)

Link to an organization that I guess likes to play with Acrostics Puzzles...

Another gift Santa Waldman gave us, was the first Acrostic printed on a yellow stock card from his Book: D is for Dog Team...

A is for Alaska

A state so much
larger than any other.
A state that makes you dream.
Short summers, but long days
keep going and going
and going past midnight

note: so you can see the puzzle/the poem of an Acrostic is that the first letter (in this case) from the poem spells what you are writing could - & I didn't know this - also be the first word or first syllable...but read the Wiki, it does a better 'what it is' than I do...

End of the gifts lists...until I actually have time to read them/listen to them...

Keep an eye out/ear open--he may yet return to Louisiana, if not to Lafayette then he has a fondness for Breaux Bridge too (as he lived there for 3 months, at least - if I heard him right - & there is a lot of that time spent in his CD's & his books & in his artist friends that join him along the way too...) He also has a fondness for Austin, TX - so that's not far off, if you want to see him/hear him there too...

Link to Ken Waldman's webpage...

Links to YouTubes to listen to him/his fiddle or his mandelin...

NEW! YouTube Performance Videos (borrowed from his webpage)

note: one of my new fav's--Burnt Down House, is not on this list of YouTube links...but I will listen to it again on 1 of these CD's I'm guessing, there's a story behind that title too (of course) - you'll have to hear it/read it another time...

All I've left to say is Thank You Santa Artist--aka Ken Waldman, Thank You Hub City Theatre/Storytelling Festival organizers for bringing him here, Thank You AcA for allowing them/him your theatre & to top that off Thank You Shana for taking me as a Volunteer to tear tickets & usher...or I would of never met 'an Artist as Santa Claus' & gotten all my lovely, interesting, yet to be read/listened to or given away gifts?! What a great holiday season this has been & it's not even Christmas Day yet?! 'Tis the season for giving?! Jingle, jingle...

Last Note/Call to Action/Free Gifts to be Had:
...if you'd like one of these books or CD's too--I'm happy to share...
Just comment below & I'll answer with a gift--so I can be Portrait of an (a wanna be) Artist as Santa's Elf...Jingle, jingle... :o)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oogie Doggie, Do Good, December

character credit: Classics Collection
Nightmare Before Christmas - Oogie Boogie character
(note: taking special note of the stitches...)

Oogie Doggie...

ChiChi bad dog encounter--walking neighborhood to street corner, bad timing, big dog, medium dog, out their back door, thru the garage--not into the car, but into the street...crossing old ChiChi that apparently looked like a new rag dog early Christmas toy--so that's when medium dog decided it was his, called it, picked it up by the rear end & shook it, right?!

People mom screaming from her inner girl place, before Oh Yeah I'm the Mom, kicked in & swat big dog, pick up old now wounded ChiChi with her rescue sister spinning like a top loose from the zippy leash--wind her in & away we the 2 blocks home a fast pace - ignoring bad dog owner on the run, next to me, I think talking to me, but all People mom can do is focus--must make it to the car to get to the doggie hospital ASAP--call ahead when home, take gross photo of ripped up rear end, wrap in towel, take off at a controled safe on arrival in record time, the enthusiastic Vet starts telling old war stories about working at a Vet clinic next door to a Bark Park--seems at least 2 ripped up doggies a day was the norm, so this little old lady ChiChi is a piece of cake/walk in the park?!

People mom leaves room, can't sit still, gives them her cell phone number & calling ahead takes off to a luckily nearby dearest friend's house to calm down with a cup of hot green tea - is there enough anti-oxin in one cup to counteract all this stress, hmmm...(sadly too this is what you do when you can't down a shot or mix a cocktail or grab a beer or even have a classy glass of wine...because there will be migraines following...sigh...) 

OK, fortified & after pouring out guts of hurt - back to Vet to find out can't take Franken-butt home just yet...she'll have to spend the night...they have her tongue clipped out of her mouth on the operating table, waiting to come to, so she's still got a tube down her throat & an IV taped under cute pink tape on her foreleg (Oh, the stupid things you notice when you're trying not to look at drain tube & big stitches & red/black skin/fur...)

No, I am 'not' a wanna be Vet's Assistant thank you very much...but I am a practiced 2 son's Mom with a boy child who has been at death's door before (in the hospital with a different sort of drain in his side...) & sadly have previously also had another, much bigger dog, be attacked & end up with drains & even worse looking ripped off hide we had to hide before re-attachment under a T-shirt--done by the pack of domestic dogs gone wild up in the mountains of Colorado where we were living at the time...basically--I can take it, but I surely don't like it one bit...

Well, I tell myself--she will live & she's already ugly so there's no worries there (No, she is 'not' a showdog rescue...) they'll take care of her, then tomorrow & for the next 2 weeks it will not be a good day for this in the butt from tail to leg until Monday, this being Friday, that's a long ow-y weekend...Ah, but pain med's & antibiotics on the one hand will help & cleaning solution for gauze to play doogie nurse on the other sad shakey hand will help too but for her not so much as the previous--later we'll find the poor old ChiChi will scream like her inner hurt puppy to even touch her rear end let alone swab it down with cold wet blue stuff?!

Merry Christmas Angel (that's her name, not a heavenly angel--tho I do wonder where her doggie angel was when we crossed that street...) you now have a large upside down L-shaped stitched up to be scar down your right leg to match the quarter size burn on the same side that no fur will grow on, which you came with from being rescued from doggie shelter in Belle Chasse...feeling guilty rescue people Mom is not happy with not being able to keep you safe from any further hurt or pain?!

But to take the pain of paying away, there is the $350 first Vet bill (Oh, yeah, there could be more--if the skin will hold maybe not, if not then there will be more bills to come...) to be delivered to the 'bad dog' owner--& a reminder from the show-all Vet that there is indeed a 'leash law' here in town?! Feeling the hurt of an extra bill during Christmas is not something you ask Santa for huh?! The price of a bad dog leash woulda been sooo much cheaper - hind sight - but back to wearing a new hat at my house--doggie nurse care giver & a 2 week wait before stitches come out & back to normal again (or Yes I'm an ugly dog on 2 counts & may well put myself up for 'the' Ugliest Dog after the stitches come out & before the butt fur grows back?!)

We can hope for an up dog in the New Year looking a lot less like a live version of say a 'Nightmare Before Christmas' puppy dog (emphasis on big sewed stitches up the backside--only it's real fur/skin & not just animated or was that stop action? for a movie character?!)

Photos? Oh there are--but should I thinking not...if you have a strong stomach, let me know--can send a few along directly...especially if you're one of the graphic artists in town & you'd like a subject for something along the lines of 'rag dog' or Tim Burton/Henry Selick stand-in street dog/oogie doggie?!

...<>< ...<>< ...<>< ...<>< ...<>< ...<><

text credit--borrowed from Facebook page of same name, thank you Aileen Bennett?!

Do Good...

Tuesday Night 5:45pm at Carpe Diem Gelato Espresso, downtown Lafayette, LA
Aileen Bennett (aka Be You/Using People author) along with helpers/friends/folks serving coffee or gelato...& Creative types, 18 - 20 or 22 or them (depending on who's counting--how did they ever narrow that long/growing list down, I don't know...there are a lot of creative types in this town?!) - who will now be let loose to become Do Gooders ...+Sponsors - since money does 'not' grow on trees...

All received a "Do Good" black & white button pin...
Do Gooders - as their names were called - received a red Home Bank bag & instructions (I think they were) printed out to go with their $50 check, to take & creatively "Do Good" - a Give/Give project...

"I Did Good" button...jingle, jingle...

Find them on Facebook, Watch what they do...
I will be, can't wait to find out--it will be like unwrapping a surprise Christmas gift?!

Link to KATC article - The Do Good Project...

Link to Aileen Bennett webpage...
(forgive if there's maint. going on)

or find her on Twitter...  @AileenBe

photo credit: Aileen Bennett...her idea table was on (IKEA)
just one of her multitudinous creative ideas (to be cont'd ad infin....)

Link to her Blog - Creating Clever...

Link to the Do-Gooders Facebook page...
(let the creative fun/do-gooding begin?!)

Aileen's 2 Rules for the Do-Gooders...
1) Do Good
2) Document
3) Have Fun
(Yes, she can count--but there are 3 Rules--she likes to slip in a lil' something in Louisiana we'd call that lagniappe?!)

Link to The Advertiser article - Writer takes her own advice--not holding back...

Link to Sponsor--Home Bank Facebook Page...
(I'm a liking what they do?! & they like what they call the paying it forward program...)

Note: now to track down these 20-22 creative people out doing good - for their links too, or if nothing else we'll be following them on the Do Gooder Facebook page or maybe over on Aileen's Creating Clever Blog too...

"Abi Augello, Krista Richmond, Doug Meaux, Tracy Wirtz, Flo Meadows, Jan Risher, Brian Holmes, Geoff Daily, Cherie Hebert, Sharon Moss, Blake Lagneaux, Floyd Willis, Susannah Craig, Seth Falvo, Tony Bonomolo, Lauren Auverset, Killian Williams, Madelene Boudreaux, Chris Segura, Marcus Mire"

Wait--I only count 20, there must be 2 more last minutes that didn't get included in the newspaper articles...And--Wow?! I know some of these people too...OK, so I 'know' them on Twitter & I have met them too, some of them...but look forward to meeting more to all of 'em, especially once they've Done Did Good with Do Gooder Do Gooding....YeeHah?!

Found them on 'the dogooders' handout from last night's event...
Add these 2 to the list: Brian Bille & Zachary Barker, so there--that makes the full 22 on the list of the First DoGooders?!

Great time to be Creative - and - Living in Lafayette, LA?!
I think something just got started...there will be more...Happy Do Gooder New Year?!

Note: an aside & a link...but it's still a Do's the Do Good Bus?!
Get on the Community Bus & Do Good...I like this, must share--Oh, I just did?!
For Dec 17th I can't be in Orange County to get on the bus with Trading Buckets...
"...doing good holiday style" (I like that too?!)

Check out what the Do Good Bus & Foster the People did...

image credit: do good bus/foster the people
check out the link above for more about this Do Good/Great Idea?!
(maybe we could have a Do Good Trolley here...hmmm...)