Sunday, July 29, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #9

Dido - Thank You
Album - No Angel (1999)

My tea's gone cold, I'm wondering why
I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
And I can't see at all

And even if I could it'd all be gray
But your picture on my wall
It reminds me that it's not so bad
It's not so bad

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay
My head just feels in pain
I missed the bus and there'll be hell today
I'm late for work again

And even if I'm there, they'll all imply
That I might not last the day
And then you call me and it's not so bad
It's not so bad

And I want to thank you
For giving me the best day of my life
And, oh, just to be with you
Is having the best day of my life

Push the door, I'm home at last
And I'm soaking through and through
And then you handed me a towel
And all I see is you

And even if my house falls down now
I wouldn't have a clue
Because you're near me

And I want to thank you
For giving me the best day of my life
And, oh, just to be with you
Is having the best day of my life

And I want to thank you
For giving me the best day of my life
And, oh, just to be with you
Is having the best day of my life

Sunday, July 22, 2012

History of The Coach

Kocs Coat-Of-Arms
Kocs is a village in Hungary from which the word "coach" is derived, and are pronounced the same. The village is the birthplace of the horse-drawn vehicle called a coach in the 15th century. To be more precise, the name is kocsi szekér and means 'wagon from Kocs'. It was built with one main thing in mind--speed. That, and it needed to carry several people and their supplies, in comfort for both the passengers and the horses. Built entirely of wood, no iron wheels or parts with the exception of fasteners, chains, and springs, the vehicle was light and easy for the team of horses that pulled it, usually two with a third on the side for when extra speed or strength was needed.

Kocs, with its meaning of "ram", has a population of about 2700 people, lies about 40 miles (65 km) west of Budapest and is located in NW Hungary in the county of Komárom-Esztergom. The coat-of-arms above depicts the ram on a green field representing the first settlement and name of the town, the bottom left the Árpád stripes, and on the right on a gold field the first kocsi szekér. For centuries the town had been renowned for its wagon building, and in the mid-late 15th century, during the later years of King Mátyás's reign, the design of the light wagon, the kocsi szekér, the coach, had been constructed, and soon the Hungarian light wagon was in demand. It is credited with being the first horse-drawn vehicle to use steel-spring suspension, though these may not have come into use until the 16th century. When the kingdom of Hungary was at its zenith in size and power by 1485 when the king had captured Vienna and moved his capitol there, he needed wagons that could move swiftly and comfortably upon harsh roads. With the king's health deteriorating during the final years of his life and unable to ride a horse as he had due to gout, comfort during travel must have also played a role in the design in the kocsi szekér, as it is said that it was so comfortable passengers could even sleep in it while moving.

A reconstruction of a kocsi szekér. Source
This blog article goes into greater depth of the coach than what I'm willing to write here, though I have to mention the brilliant third horse hitch that attaches to the back wheel. As the blog mentions, the wagon is pulled by two horses while a third tags along beside them on its own hitch attached to the back wheel, and when it is needed, the third horse can act as auxiliary horsepower, for use as "over-drive", "4-wheel drive", or "turbo-charge".

As shown in this little diagram, from the blog linked above.
 Another piece of Eastern European history brought to you by yours truly.

Random Song Of The Week #8

I Will Fight No More -- Peter Kater & R. Carlos Nakai
Album -- How The West Was Lost Soundtrack (1993)

Lyrics unavailable.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Oh, Summer!

I have to say, summer is the least productive time for me when it comes to writing. This year I have been doing better than previous years--I've actually been writing a little something here and there. Generally, my interests turn to tending to my gardens during the spring through much of autumn, and the better half of autumn through winter I go into writing mode when I get the most inspired to write.

One of my favorite lovelies, Sweeping Shadows.

This year I haven't had the desire to be outside and do any sort of gardening. I've pulled a few weeds and lately due to the extreme heat and the drought we are progressing into, I've been outside watering almost everyday. The weeds are taking over in several of my beds, I've missed much of the bloom season of my beloved daylilies. I've even missed out on seeing the very first blooms of some of my daylily seedlings. I also haven't been outside with the camera taking pictures of every plant and flower I own like I have before. I've taken a few, but not many. I haven't hardly bought any new plants this year.

This is not like me.

Perhaps I am burned out from all of the gardening, the tending and trying to get uninterested people to come see my pretties. Maybe next year I'll be back in the game. My personal life has had its ups and downs these past several months, that may have something to do with it. It certainly has caused my depression, which seems to be lifting, thankfully. I should be taking advantage of this time of not being obsessed with my gardens and get this novel written, but I have been lazy. Oh so lazy. I need a swift kick in the rear to get me back to writing and not frolicking around on the internet!

Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will work on my novel. So I will tell myself!

Another favorite of mine, Creature Of The Night.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #7

Mychael Danna - Deirdre Of The Sorrows
Album -- Sirens (1991)


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #6

George Strait -- Amarillo By Morning
Album -- Strait From The Heart (1982)

Amarillo By Mornin'
Up from San Antone
Everything that I got
Is just what I've got on.
When that sun is high in that Texas sky,
I'll be buckin' at the county fair.
Amarillo By Mornin'
Amarillo I'll be there.

They took my saddle in Houston,
Broke my leg in Santa Fe.
Lost my wife and a girlfriend,
Somewhere along the way.
I'll be lookin' for eight
When they pull that gate
And I hope that judge ain't blind.
Amarillo By Mornin'
Amarillo's on my mind.

Amarillo By Mornin'
Up from San Antone
Everything that I got
Is just what I've got on.
I ain't got a dime,
But what I got is mine.
I ain't rich, but Lord I'm free.

Amarillo By Mornin'
Amarillo's Where I'll Be.
Amarillo By Mornin'
Amarillo's Where I'll Be.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Reminiscing--Old Drawings and Writings

For the past few days I have been spending part of my vacation time at my parent's house visiting (we live in separate states, three hours apart) not only them but some friends of mine I haven't seen in a while, and one friend for a very long while. This morning I've been vegetating in my old bedroom used now as storage for all of my mom's junk (sorry mom, some of it really is!), and feeling nostalgic I decided to go through some boxes and folders containing old drawings and writings of mine.

And I laughed, and laughed, and laughed!

Usually when I come to visit I look through my old drawings, reminiscing the 'good ol' days' of my youth. I had always been an artist before a writer, but I loved to make up stories, too. I especially liked making comic books because they were the best of both worlds for me. I remember spending hours on those crappy comics I wrote and drew, and at the time (thirteen, fourteen years of age) I thought they were pretty awesome. They were what helped me to better learn to draw people, even if they were cartoonish. Several years later, I'm embarrassed to even admit I made those. The story lines don't make any sense, and the art is horrible--it's a toss-up as to which is worse! I was a kid when I made them, and even as craptastic as they are, I had fun creating them, and that was all that mattered. And no, I won't be posting any samples to embarrass myself on the internet. Sorry!

I noticed a progression, however, from the earliest ones I created to the later ones on how my drawing had improved. The faces didn't look so deformed, the hands and feet, still my nemesis, were being drawn in more correct positions; in other words, they started to take on a less double-jointed or broken finger/wrist/ankle look to them. Heh heh! Into my high school years I graduated from the cartoonish into actual comic book characters, my favorites being the X-Men, and had written some fan fiction. The X-Men drawings aren't as embarrassing and laughable because they were pretty darn good. I had even created my own characters to go along those already in the Marvel Universe, which, by the way, has crossed my mind to create their own stories in their own worlds.

It was those early comics that led to my writing my novel, in particular one character I had made into my own. I have mentioned in an earlier blog post how the character Alucard had become transformed into my main character, Vlad of Draculești. He's a character that has been with me for a very long time and will be with me for years to come. He's transformed a lot--oh an awful lot! Not just from the crappy comics of my youth to the first draft (equally as crappy) of my novel, which I had begun writing in 1996 and finished five years later along with the beginnings of the sequels, but he's changed with the rewrites of said novel I'm slowly progressing with. And who knows, in another fifteen to twenty years, I'll look back at what I have written and drawn now and say, what was I thinking? I'm so much better now than I was in 2012. That's the thing with art, and anything really. One is always improving with age and time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #5

Guns N Roses -- Patience
Album -- G N' R  Lies (1989)

One, two, one, two, three, four
Shed a tear 'cause I'm missin' you
I'm still alright to smile
Girl, I think bout you every day now
Was a time when I wasn't sure
But you set my mind at ease
There is no doubt you're in my heart now

Said woman take it slow, and it'll work itself out fine
All we need is just a little patience
Said sugar take it slow and we'll come together fine
All we need is just a little patience
Mmmm, yeah

I sit here on the stairs
'Cause I'd rather be alone
If I can't have you right now I'll wait dear
Sometimes I get so tense but I can't speed up the time
But you know love there's one more thing to consider

Said woman take it slow and it'll work itself out fine
You and I'll just use a little patience
Said sugar take the time cause the lights are shining bright
You and I've got what it takes to make it
We won't fake it, I'll never break it
'Cause I can't take it

Little patience, mmm yeah, mm yeah
Need a little patience, yeah
Just a little patience, yeah
Some more patience, yeah
Could use some patience, yeah
Gotta have some patience, yeah
All it takes is patience
Just a little patience
Is all you need (background vocals)

I've been walking the streets at night
Just trying to get it right
Its hard to see with so many around
You know I don't like being stuck in the crowd
And the streets don't change
But maybe the names
I ain't got time for the game cause I need you
Yeah, yeah, yeah, 'cause I need you
Ooo I need you, whoa I need you
Ooooh, all this time