Saturday Snapshot June 13: Birdspeak

Note: Click on the photo to enlarge for a better view.


Evening. Outside the home of the Starlings.

Home of the Starlings

Junior doesn’t look very happy. I’m hungryyyy!

Junior not happy

Now where is she? What’s taking her so long?

What's taking her so long?

Here you are… fresh worms:

Here you are, fresh worms

Now eat up, chomp, chomp, chomp:

Eat up

What? You want more?! This is my third trip already.

What? More?

After some time, Mom Starling finally comes back with more.

Ok, here you are, fresh worms! Now where did the monkey go?

Ok here you are, more worms

You want me to bring it to your room?!

Now where did he go?

Get off the computer!

Get off the computer!


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.




Austen Inspired Acceptance Speech

2011 is the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s Sense And Sensibility, her first published novel.  And since we are in the midst of Awards Season, inundated (or soon to be) with speeches, I’d like to join these two occasions and celebrate both Austen and fine speeches.

The 1995 film adaptation of Sense and Sensibility had received numerous awards, most notably accolades for Emma Thompson’s screenplay, which had garnered the Golden Globe, BAFTA, and ultimately, the Oscar. I have posted this before a few years ago, but think it is high time we read or reread Austen’s wonderful novel and be entertained again by the very talented Emma Thompson.

Also, I’m sure you would love to read a transcript of it, one of the most unique awards acceptance speeches of some time. Since the event occurred some fifteen years ago, I have taken the liberty to annotate (in parentheses) and format it in a way to enhance your reading pleasure.

Here it is, Emma Thompson’s Acceptance Speech at the 53rd Golden Globe, 1996, for Best Adapted Screenplay, Sense And Sensibility:

“I can’t thank you enough, Hollywood Foreign Press, for honouring me in this capacity.  I don’t wish to burden you with my debts, which are heavy and numerous, but I think that everybody involved in the making of this film knows that we owe all our pride and all our joy to the genius of Jane Austen.  And, it occurred to me to wonder how she would react to an evening like this.  This is what I came up with:

Four A.M.   Having just returned from an evening at the Golden Spheres, which despite the inconveniences of heat, noise and overcrowding, was not without its pleasures.  Thankfully, there were no dogs and no children.  The gowns were middling.  There was a good deal of shouting and behaviour verging on the profligate, however, people were very free with their compliments and I made several new acquaintances.

  • Miss Lindsay Doran (producer), of Mirage, wherever that might be, who is largely responsible for my presence here, an enchanting companion about whom too much good cannot be said.
  • Mr. Ang Lee (director), of foreign extraction, who most unexpectedly appeared to understand me better than I understand myself.
  • Mr. James Schamus (co-produceer), a copiously erudite gentleman, and
  • Miss Kate Winslet (role of Marianne Dashwood) , beautiful in both countenance and spirit.
  • Mr. Pat Doyle, a composer and a Scot, who displayed the kind of wild behaviour one has learnt to expect from that race.
  • Mr. Mark Canton, an energetic person with a ready smile who, as I understand it, owes me a vast deal of money.
  • Miss Lisa Henson — a lovely girl, and
  • Mr. Gareth Wigan — a lovely boy.

I attempted to converse with Mr. Sydney Pollack (executive producer), but his charms and wisdom are so generally pleasing that it proved impossible to get within ten feet of him.  The room was full of interesting activity until eleven P.M. when it emptied rather suddenly.  The lateness of the hour is due therefore not to the dance, but to the waiting, in a long line for a horseless carriage of unconscionable size. The modern world has clearly done nothing for transport.

P.S. Managed to avoid the hoyden Emily Tomkins who has purloined my creation and added things of her own.  Nefarious creature.

With gratitude and apologies to Miss Austen, thank you.”


Transcript of Emma Thompson’s speech taken from the book The Sense And Sensibility Screenplay & Diaries by Emma Thompson, published by Newmarket, 2007.

Note here on the back of the cover page these words:


“I should like to acknowledge the profoundest debt for my having developed any sense of humour to Jane Austen, Monty Python and The Magic Roundabout


If I Must Tweet

Don’t look for me on Facebook, I’m not there.  No Twitter account either.  But don’t mistake me for a Luddite, I have my iPhone as my defence… and the Apps for all the social networking sites ready to install.

Truth is, I have no need to lure a million followers.  If there isn’t such a phrase, let me coin it now: ‘Cyber Crowd Phobia’.  I think I have that… or ‘Cyber Agoraphobia’ will work too.  Why would I want to announce to the world what I have for breakfast?  No, I will not fall into the trap of offering free advertising for cereal companies.  Really, who’d care that I’m still having indigestion from last night’s chow mein?

Further, with the limit of just 140 characters to tweet, the message I send must be of prime importance, no verbiage whatsoever.  I can’t think of any such occasions where I need to reveal my predicament publicly except maybe in emergency situations like:

“Having a heart attack! Safeway check-out 5. Call 911!”

or this:

“AAAAARH! Chased by #zombie chickens! @oh dear, oh! Thanks!!”

Less than 60 characters, so I can call out twice.

Ok, seriously,  if I must tweet, I’d probably be tweeting quotes.

Quotes are one-liners, pearls of wisdom.  I know, I know… not all are pearls, but, gems can still be found.  And they fit right in the endurance level of Twitter.  Dense, sharp and swift, ideal for people on-the-go.

Thanks to Shoreacres, I’ve been thinking about quotable quotes after she left an ingenious one in her comment on my last post.  It speaks to those who fondly reminisce the good old days every time they watch the News on TV.  Here’s the line to ponder:

“Nostalgia is like a grammar lesson: you find the present tense, but the past perfect.”

Now, that gets me thinking about the future… simple quotes to tweet for all my followers.  A good quote for every hour of the day.

Let’s say, you’re struggling to get up in the morning, almost losing the battle.  Still lying in bed, you grab your iPhone and check your feeds. I have the best tweet for you, thanks to our modern sage, Woody Allen:

“80% of success is showing up.”

Hey, not bad for just 28 characters.  Showing up needs getting up… that’ll start your day.

Now you’re at the office, you just have a heated argument with your colleague.  As always, he’s wrong, and you’re  gravely mistreated.  But just at that moment, you stop and check your stream of tweets.  How timely,  there’s this piece of sound advice, yes, urging you in earnest from none other than Oscar Wilde himself:

“Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much.”

Ha… you win again.

Suddenly you hear your boss calling you.  Shucks!  You forgot all about the performance evaluation he wanted to discuss with you.  You start to panic, cold sweat, shortness of breath.  You instinctively get out your phone and check your tweets… Voila!  You’re in luck.  Here’s one just for you, from G.K. Chesterton, … no matter if you haven’t heard of him, just read this instant message:

“I believe in getting into hot water, it keeps you clean.”

Wonderful!  You’re all sweaty anyway.  Quotes on Twitter saves the day… again.

You get my idea… a timely tweet for every moment of your life.

I know how people love quotes.  The most viewed post on Ripple Effects is “Memorable Movie Love Quotes“.  That was for Valentine’s Day last year, now gathering more than 20,000 hits.  I still receive new ones every now and then from readers contributing to the list.

So this is my appeal to you all.  Send me your quotable quotes, 140 characters or less, so I can send them out should I open a Twitter account in the future.  Believe me, this could well be the most meaningful thing you do today, passing on words of wisdom.  And the world will thank you… some day.