Awards Time

Marilyn Armstrong:

I won’t have time to properly thank Tyson for this very special award for next couple of days, but it seemed like letting him speak in his own words would be a good temporary fix :-) Lately, I feel almost embarrassed at the number of awards and accolades coming my way … to such an extent that I have spent a whole lot more time than anyone should trying to figure out why … ultimately concluding that (a) I must be doing something right, and (b) people have run out of other candidates.
But of course, that’s not really true, because no matter how many awards you get, or I get, I never give them to anyone that I don’t genuinely feel deserves recognition.

There’s another issue involved: In our daily lives, most of us don’t get recognition. We work, we do what we are supposed to do, what we have to do, what we are expected to do by others and ourselves. In my 40 years of work, I’ve gotten very little recognition beyond the occasional “Good job, Marilyn.” No statuettes (Garry has a lot of them!) plaques, etc. I just didn’t work in that kind of industry. No annual awards. Having a job IS the reward. Now, with blogging, I feel like I’m making up for lost time. I will pass this (and another couple of awards) to others. I hope I can make a few other folks feel that their efforts are not going for naught.

Meanwhile, to my faithful audience, please feel free to express your admiration with large cash donations :-)

Thank you all for finding my stuff interesting enough to read, look at, comment on … and even send me the occasional piece of hate mail. In this society, without hate mail, you hardly count in this world.

Originally posted on Head In A Vice:


Over the past few weeks I have been lucky enough to receive a few of these online awards that are doing the rounds. I always take them in the way I think they are intended, and that way being from one blogger to another who likes or appreciates your work. I know some people dismiss them, and that’s cool, to each their own, but I feel that the person choosing me and my site at the very least deserves a public thankyou!

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Night In The City

Boston, Massachusetts: the evening of December 2012.

Boston Commons and Statehouse-HP-1

Overlooking the Commons

There has been just enough rain to make the streets shiny, but it’s just a drizzle really. The city always strings lights on the Commons and all around the Statehouse right after Thanksgiving, so they’ve been up for a couple of weeks already.

Not a white Christmas this year, at least not yet.  We’ve had a couple of little snows since then, they were dustings and melted off in a few hours.

Old South Church from Boston Commons

Tonight, it was cold, but not bitterly. This is the middle of Boston — old Boston, the Boston of Paul Revere and Sam Adams — in soft focus. No hard edges in the dark. And here’s a little music to go with the pictures … a song I loved long ago.

The Commons, lit for the holidays

Boston at night ... by the Statehouse, across from the Common.

Boston at night … by the Statehouse, across from the Common.

My unrequited love affair with ballet

BaryshnikovWhen I was a girl, my mother took me to the ballet. Not the classic Nutcracker Suite that mommies take their little girls to see, but the New York City Ballet Company, with Balanchine still at the helm. I left the theater  feeling light as a snowflake, sure that I’d found my future … that all I needed were a few lessons, a pair of those cool ballet slippers and I could leap and twirl on my tippy toes just like the stars at the ballet.

I had not accounted for the klutz factor. I was very young and sure that wanting it badly enough would make it happen.

bolshoiAlas, but it did not happen. I had absolutely no talent for dance. None. In the course of years, I tried everything from ballet, through tap, to jazz and everything in between with essentially the same results.  I wasn’t even good enough to make me feel comfortable dancing at parties.

But I coped.

I could play the piano and was enough of a musician to be included in a circle of people who cared about music, some of whom shared my love of dance. I translated dreams of dancing in the ballet to going to the ballet whenever I could, collecting movies about dance,  and had the pleasure of introducing my granddaughter to the ballet.

For anyone who likes dance … even if you don’t … please enjoy one of my favorite “ballet movies” ever … the  delicious parody of classical ballet from the “Fantasia.” No matter how many times I see it, it always makes me laugh. You just have to love hippos in tutus.

If this doesn’t make you laugh, maybe you were replaced by a pod while you slept.

Cover of "Fantasia (Special 60th Annivers...

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The Beauty of Balanchine: New York City Ballet (
Let the Month of Sugar Plums Begin! (
Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker! Win A Pair of tickets! (
Gorgeous, Behind-The-Scenes Photos From The New York City Ballet (
The genius of Balanchine: A visual breakdown (
Dance: Moscow Ballet’s daddy of all “Nutcrackers” returns (