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Beached

I just came in from an idyllic beachcombing on the beach at the end of the old Queen’s Highway. Went with my dear friend Sandra who just happens to be a marine biologist (cough) and there could not be a better surfside companion.

Every time I’m alongside an ocean with her I learn something intriguing. Today is no exception: I found out that dolphins are toothed whales. Who knew?

And how do you distinguish a dolphin fin from a shark fin? (Ya never know when that might come in handy.) Easy! Dolphins roll at the surface so you see more than just the fin. If you see the fin and nothing more, head for the mattresses.

We were both hunting for sea glass so I was all ears on the subject. It takes about 20 years for a piece of glass to evolve into the much sought after “beach glass,” used in pendants, earrings, bracelets, etc. Twenty years, that is, of buffeting by course sand and salt and sea spray. And the glass must be exposed to all these elements during that time. Buried in the sand it will remain protected and intact, well, pretty much forever.

We happened upon a tiny jellyfish, a fascinating creature, not often seen as they are the size of a baby’s pinkie. This jellyfish, nicknamed “By the Sea Sailor” and I am not sure of the Latin name but will find out, looks like a perfect miniature sailboat. Picture a tiny keel boat with one mainsail erect. The mainsail in this case is the fish’s protective barnacle made of a fingernail like substance.

Yes, they are small but they are amazingly resilient. Like Sammy Davis Jr. (RIP) Or that scary midget in Twin Peaks. When these jellyfish die their hardy mainsail remains… their weathered windblown legacy.

More beaches – and discoveries await.

Of Swans, Stuttering Kings, Fearsome Fighters, and Facebook.

I watched the Critic’s Choice Awards last night, including the Red Carpet lead-in.  My first reaction was that the people assembled – both before and during the ceremony – had a level of enthusiasm akin to a group of patients awaiting root canal.

It was quite deadly. And normally I am all over these shows: I have watched them forever- and always unapologetically – ever since I curled up at my mother’s feet and watched with her on our little black and white set as the impossibly glamorous Susan Hayward accepted her Oscar in 1958 for “I Want to Live.”

It didn’t help that one of the pre-show interviewers last night was pouring forth pure valley-speak, pronouncing “didn’t” as “dih-unt,” and seemed to be not quite sure of where she was. I am not kidding. Kind of blunts the patina, eh what?

Arnold Schwarzenegger (sp) who opened the show, acquitted himself quite well actually (will wonders ne’er cease?). “Any movie about ballerinas that can get me to sit through it three times has my vote.“ He also said that with his governorship behind him he is looking for acting jobs and that HE should have been the selection to play someone who couldn’t speak properly, NOT Colin Firth as the stuttering king.

Ba da bing! Oh, Arnold, no you dih-unt!

The gowns – and cleavage – were stunning, nevertheless, the Botox and Cartier brazenly on display, and no shortage of Moet Chandon being quaffed at the tables.

Here’s a rundown of who got what: Natalie Portman won Best Actress as expected for Black Swan. Colin Firth won Best Actor for the K-k-k-k-ing’s Speech(my bad). He had the most gracious and entertaining acceptance speech of them all, talking about the gloves being off for the evening, at least until tomorrow when Hollywood retrenches for the next awards go-round. He also said he hoped to have another 20 years with his wife but it would not be nearly enough. Pure class. Christian Bale and Melissa Leo got Best Supporting nods for the Fighter. (Can’t wait to see that! Love Marky Mark.) And finally, the Big Kahuna: The Social Network walked away with Best Picture, predicted by many pundits.

Funniest bit of the night was by Jimmy Kimmel, and as I said, the crowd gave him no props at ALL. He did a good cop-bad cop thing with Emily Blunt, presenting a humanitarian award to Matt Damon for his work in bringing fresh water to the third world through water.org.

Emily B waxed rhapsodic about Damon’s selflessness and worthiness while Jimmy volleyed back derisively.

“I see you’ve got some Evian on the table there, Matt. No shortage of water there, eh?’’

And, “Matt Damon: Star of the Bourne Identity, the Bourne Ultimatum, and the Boring Supremacy.”

“Sean Penn? Listen, Damon, he is in Haiti right now, carrying heavy things!”

Jimmy, I, for one, laughed out loud.

Writer and Poet

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Tricia McCallum

Always be a poet. Even in prose.
Charles Baudelaire.

In essence I am a storyteller who writes poems. Put simply, I write the poems I want to read.[…]

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