The Sound of Confidence

I have finally figured out why I can’t fall in love with Captain von Trapp as he is depicted in the movie version of The Sound of Music. To wit, I never wanted to be Maria (also as portrayed in the movie)! Even though she got most of the best songs, the only one I ever really took to heart was this one.

Did anyone know that it is really hard to find a full-length video of this song with Julie Andrews singing it?

Anyway, Maria was the epitome of what every good girl (sarcasm font, please) could be and what every… decent man wanted, right? Well, I wasn’t buying it then, and I remain uninterested now. A captain with seven children… Actually, I am quite fond of children, especially other people’s children, but I have no desire to become their mother. I’m certainly not going to marry a rich man so I can stop getting paid for the job I’m already doing, even if the kids are cute and can sing and operate puppets.

As for dressing in brown burlap and old curtains, you can forget it!

Image result for scarlett o'hara costume

Now, which shoes shall I wear?

Even Miss Scarlett got busted for trying that wardrobe trick! What hope did a soon-to-be-former nun have?

I saw these in the window, and I just have to have them!

And as for evening wear, what kind of employer tells the governess to bring the children to a formal gathering in his own home, but doesn’t at least provide a dress with the appropriate hemline (if only to hide the inappropriate shoes) ?

And in the center ring, ladies and gentlemen…

Or can he be forgiven for not thinking of such things because he had more important things on his mind? As men do.

I will not tolerate evil. I must find someone who will take care of me and my children… as we all flee to a better place.

The Baroness had her own status- and money- and knew how to use both to her own advantage,  unlike Maria who had to flit and float about trying to figure out if she was good enough for the Captain who was, after all, willing to settle for little ole her. Elsa, Baronness von Schraeder knew what she wanted out of life. She wanted the Captain.

Image result for baroness sound of music movie

Oh! How I adore listening to other people’s children sing!

A new governess would also be needed- at least until all the children were old enough to send to boarding school. The Captain was never going to be home anyway. I’m guessing that the Baroness and Liesl would have gotten along just fine after a few initial fireworks. Either that, or Miss 16-Going-On-30 would have been the one in the convent.

Image result for baroness, captain, sound of music

That girl has got to go- after the kids though.

Perhaps if Maria had really gotten to wear the outfit- complete with coordinating Barbie luggage- from the various products that accompanied the movie, she would have had more confidence.

Then again, those pink pumps would have put an end to her Alpine romps.

The Captain’s procrastination and… etc. caused his whole family to make sacrifices from which even Rogers and Hammerstein could not compose a decent recovery. Meanwhile, we are supposed to dislike the Baroness?

For crying out loud! There were seven children! Why would they have wanted to play with a grown-up anyway? Except maybe Liesl. I still think she and the Baroness could have been the toast of Austrian society and probably taken out quite a few Nazis as well.

Let us not forget who makes the grandest gesture in this movie. Yep, it’s Elsa, Baroness von Schraeder. She puts her own desires aside, as one does, so that her Captain, his children, and his soon-to-be-wife-ex-nun/governess can all hike off into an uncertain yet decidedly mountainous future. If one must break an engagement, one must look good while doing so- especially if saving face for both parties in the soon-to-be-over relationship.

Image result for baroness, captain, sound of music

Grab a clue, Cap’n.

 Like another of my favorite movie heroines, Auntie Mame, the Baroness knew how to live, live, live- and let live. She had the confidence and generosity of spirit to step aside- quietly, without singing- and live to fight another day. She knew exactly how to solve a problem like Maria, and that such a problem wasn’t worth wrinkles in her brow or her couture.

What I Did Last Year: Understanding the Noise, 2014

    In 1992, while still recovering from illness, Queen Elizabeth II gave the following speech:

She didn’t go into a lot of detail. She didn’t have to. The paparazzi had taken care of that for her. The sometimes unfortunate perspective of hindsight shows us that things got even worse for her and her family. Yet, one would never know it just to look at- or listen to- her. The only hint of anything amiss is her still-weak voice. She carried on because one does. With deference to my friend who never shoulds on others,  you might oughtta give Her Majesty another listen before continuing.

<pause to (re)play video>

For several weeks Facebook(FB) has been  showing me a montage of  pictures that I posted throughout 2014 and offering me the opportunity to share it with my FB friends. They have even provided me with a header: “It’s been a great year! Thanks for being a part of it.” As an aside, I think that the gratitude statement to friends should also receive an exclamation mark. Here  ya go: !

Among the items I would like to borrow from Her Majesty is the phrase annus horribilis to sum up 2014.

The “undiluted joy” in the pictures FB chose to include in this collection scarcely even begins to resemble my recollection of 2014. Not blaming FB here- with few exceptions, who posts “bad” pictures of themselves? I mean the really, genuinely ugly ones? I don’t. Once upon a time I shared a video of my young horse’s first dressage test. It was real, and parts of it were “real ugly.” For every person who laughed with me, there was another who laughed at me (and poor Başka).

Photos from May 17, 2012

There were also some FANTASTIC moments in that dressage test (I thought I had put the video here on this site, but I can’t find it now.) The point here is that I focused on the fantastic moments, including the fact that the judge gave us a do-over because she knew as well as I did that  we  could do better!

Flops are a part of life's menu, and I've never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses. - Rosalind Russell

Flops are a part of life’s menu, and I’ve never been a girl to miss out on any of the courses.
– Rosalind Russell, photo from Auntie Mame

(There hasn’t been any Noise from me since May. WARNING: If you haven’t already done so, you may wish to adjust the volume on your device. Things may get a bit loud!)

Since last summer, I’ve carried on, but not quite with the Queen’s dignity, humor, or modulated tones. If explanation of my actions is required, I will provide one that has “some precedent in truth.”¹ If I catch on in time, I will also apologize for negative consequences that my choices may cause. Otherwise, just take my word for it that I really haven’t been doing much that is worth rehashing in the blogosphere. You may also rest assured that I will rehash those things which merit closer scrutiny.

Never apologize. Never explain.

Never apologize. Never explain.

I lost my voice for a while- in the figurative sense.  I just didn’t feel like saying anything. Then I started to think about my silence. I thought about it for several months. I also tried, and failed, to ignore the silence. During that time, people started to wonder what I was up to. Lots of people had ideas about what I should or should not be doing. Very few had any idea of how or how not to do what they thought I should or should not do.

...or something like that.

Aut inveniam viam aut faciam. … or something like that.



Some people (the ones who receive my eternal gratitude plus the exclamation mark) began to worry a bit. You see, I generally make a lot of noise, much of it joyful. I love to talk. I love to sing. When irritated or even slightly upset, noise- spoken or sung-  is also how I get over the irritant and myself. When I’m quiet… well, I think you see where this is going. The Good Idea Fairy and I get together a lot. I also love to share my ideas with others, and I’m willing take the credit for brilliant successes as well as flaming failures. Sometimes there is only a match stick separating the two!

<pause to watch and listen to Queen Elizabeth again>

 Auntie Mame, as portrayed by Rosalind Russell, had more fun that I would think possible losing husbands, lovers, and money. She also had a enviable knack for putting things right for those whom she loved as well as herself. Queen Elizabeth bowed to her subjects and now pays taxes on her income. She bowed her head as her daughter-in-law’s casket passed in front of her. She has lost her mother and a daughter.Precedents of truth and (or?) fiction not withstanding, both women withstood scrutiny while offering observations to others with a “touch of gentleness, good humor, and understanding” in order to guide the “engine of change”³ toward their preferred form of resolution and justice.

Issues of volume aside, the public voices of Queen Elizabeth II and Russell’s Auntie Mame are two of my favorite noises, although I would prefer the latter’s wardrobe.

"Life is a banquet," and I can't eat any of it if I want to wear this outfit!  -(phrase in quotation and photo from Auntie Mame)

“Life is a banquet,” and I can’t eat any of it if I want to wear this outfit!
-(phrase in quotation and photo from Auntie Mame)

That is all. For now.

Carry on. You never know who may be listening!


¹Ian Fleming.

²Two irritants that I am unable to overcome: the absence of any means to indent my paragraphs on this web site as well as the failure to provide any instructions that make sense to me. I know it is possible because I’ve seen it done.

³Pay attention when the Queen speaks!