Alan Alda, an American actor, presenter, producer, director and one of my all time favourite people is someone I have greatly admired since I watched the television series M*A*S*H. So it wasn’t unusual for me to look him up in my local library once many years ago and see what I could find out about him… back then I did not own a computer, so no internet, I had a word processor and even that was pretty cool with its computer like screen and how I never had to worry about using Tippex again… Tippex… hmmm does anyone still make that stuff? Do you all know what I mean when I mention that word? Hahaha!! 😀 Please tell me if you don’t or better still tell me if you do 🙂
But back to Alan. Here was this man who lives halfway around the world and here I was, a young women who wanted to learn about someone that has often had me in stitches and someone who could make me laugh at all his jokes, pranks and just about any other thing that made me like the guy. Of course I knew that he was only acting but the actor himself seemed well.. normal, thoughtful, sensible, even smart. He grabbed my attention and seemed like the Mr Nice Guy that I appreciate in a person and even to this very day, I think it would be a privilege to bring him here to my country- New Zealand.
Alan has written several books and one day a friend of mine happened to drop in with a small gift that he had found at a bookfair that I had not been to. Terry handed me what looked like a music CD collection of something and as I reached out to take it, I saw Alan’s wonderful smile against a backdrop of red. I thanked my friend as he was fully aware Alan Alda was a favourite of mine and so after my friend left, I took it upon myself to listen to the CD of Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself. As luck would have it, Alan also narrated this CD, I was thrilled as it was almost as if he were in the living room with me telling me his story. I loved it, in fact I loved it that much that I found myself writing a letter to my favourite child at work, telling him how proud I was of him and how I happy I was when he received the school’s asset award. Alan touches on many elements, he talks about his life, his children’s lives, his speeches that he makes on their graduations, his wife, his work.. his world. I was so blown over by this audio recording that I knew that in time I would get a copy of the book, not just because its Alan but its what Alan says. His words here are pure, honest and filled with lots of great things that have helped me when I feel down or when I have had writer’s block or some other thing on my mind. Naturally I cannot take the CD’s to bed with me at night, but a book can come.
Tonight I was thinking about the CD’s and Alan Alda, I guess because I have a bit of downtime before I start my Research Paper. Instead of putting on the CD’s I decided to see what else was out there that Alan has talked about and then I thought of this, my blog, my words that I have written on here and that blogger I wrote about earlier and how somehow, my bloggers have reached fifty. Its a personal achievement in itself. It gives me hope that someone out there is not put off by what I write. Like Alan, I set myself goals, targets that I work towards and as I looked up information on him. I found a BBC site about famous people and the interviews that they had by pretending that they were going to a desert island and what six songs would they take, one luxury item and one book. It had me thinking as I listened to Alan’s interview and it was pleasing to hear that he too loves the Clarinet concerto in A which was made famous on M*A*S*H. That tune haunted me for several years after I watched the character Winchester (played by David Ogden Stiers) teach the Chinese refugees how to play that very piece with their very own classical instruments. I never forgot it and it seems it impressed Alan too. See this here… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vr9NGT8fE8M
Here is a link to the BBC’s Desert Island Discs and with that special interview with Alan. If you having trouble playing it, click on Download to Keep.
“So that’s it. I’ve told you everything I know. Think clearly and think for yourself. Learn to use language to express those thoughts. Love somebody with all your heart. And with everyone, whether you love them or not, find out if you can be helpful. But really, it’s even simpler than that. After all this time, and all these talks in public and in private, I think I get it now. If I were taking my friend Arnold’s suggestion and spoke from my deathbed, I think I know what I’d say. I see now that I had my meaning all along, I just had to notice it. The meaning of life… is life. Not noticing life is what’s meaningless, even down to the last second.”
Things I Overheard While Talking to Myself
So what are your favourite six musical pieces, your book and your one luxury item you would take with you?
I have decided to name my choices (and believe me when I tell you it was not the easiest thing for me to do)
1. Clair de Lune – Claude Debussy
2. Clarinet concerto in A – Wolfgang Mozart
3. Canon in D – Johann Patchabel
4. These are the Days of our Lives – Queen
5. Sailing- Christopher Cross
6. How Great thou Art – Sir Howard Morrison/ Have I told you lately – Van Morrison/Rod Stewart
Enough paper and pens to last me a lifetime
Things I overheard while talking to myself- Alan Alda and quite possibly so much more… do not forget I am a bookaholic! But this is a fantastic read and audio book to listen to.
OK so there are seven pieces of music..but I could not decide on the last two hence why I have put them together.
Here is a link to the Clarinet concerto:
and a little something else that you may enjoy if you are a M*A*S*H fan like me.
UPDATE: I just found this snippet from YouTube from the audiobook that was given to me. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nO__X5P2r18