Everything But Books
Fun and more fun, but none of it relating to books (because I have another page for that)

January 30, 2013

The Santiago Blues

I have been a huge fan of Jennifer Niven ever since Velva Jean Learns To Drive came out and I instantly fell in love with it. Being a musician, one of the reasons I love the Velva Jean series is because of the music. I have found Velva Jean very musically inspiring, and I now know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

I am deeply honored and proud to share with you a new song, entitled “The Santiago Blues,” inspired by Becoming Clementine, and written by one of my very best friends Shelby Padgett.

This is the first official song Shelby has written and I am tremendously proud of her! It is a beautiful song that makes you want to cry, whether you have read Becoming Clementine or not. (but it you haven’t read it yet, you should really go do that right now, because it’s amazing.)

Here is Shelby’s wonderful song:

The Santiago Blues – Shelby Padgett


A Very Proud Friend, Musician and Kindred Spirit. <3


Briana Harley, currently a music composition major in Southern California, plans to pursue a career in anything and everything under the vast umbrella of music, which includes indie/folk singer, symphony conductor/composer, rock stardom and film scoring. You can’t ask her what her favorite genre of music is because she doesn’t have one. She adores all music from Beethoven to The Beatles. When she’s not composing or performing she is a “textbook” nerd-fighter, anglophile, & fangirl of all things science fiction, comic books, fantasy, supernatural, history and literature. For a play-by-play of her crazy random happenstances you can follow her on twitter @BrianaHarley

November 11, 2012

Happy Veteran’s Day!

Today as I was going down Contra Costa Blvd (the main street in my old hometown of Pleasant Hill), American flags were out. Veteran’s Day again.  Near my house is a tribute to all the soldiers who died in Iraq.  So much divsion has happened the past ten years. However, one must remember the sacrifices the people in our Armed Forces have made, even if we disagreed about what they were fighting for.


Here are some thoughts/videos for this Veteran’s Day, 2012:


Flanders Fields

Honoring Those Who Serve

World War Two

Tender Commrade: This is one of my all time favorite movies staring Ginger Rogers as  Jo Jones, who’s waiting to hear about her husband while he’s fighting in Germany.  Jo lives with several other women whose husbands are also serving overseas. While the film leans toward American propaganda, there’s not a dry eye in the house when Rogers talks to her infant son towards the ending.

Ryan’s Daughter: I’ve written about this movie before , and while the seaside Irish village is miles away from a battlefield, World War I shadows the story of Rosy Ryan (Sarah Miles), a girl trying to figure out her place in the world. There is love, betrayal, and much heartache when Rosy has an affair with an English soldier, who is considered an enemy. One striking image is Rosy primping to impress her crush (Robert Mitchum) admist wreckage from a bombed ship.

Coming Home: Jane Fonda received much criticism when, in 1972, she posed for pictures in a Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun. (Fonda explains it in a blog post here)  One of the ways she tried to make amends is making the film Coming Home. Fonda plays Sally Hyde, whose husband,  Bob (Bruce Dern), is shipped to Vietnam. She volunteers at a local VA hospital and becomes reacquainted with Luke Martin (Jon Voight) who lost the use of his legs while doing a tour of duty in the war.  Luke and Sally fall in love, but things become complicated when Sally’s husband comes home a different man. This scene when Bob confronts Sally and Luke is a master class in acting:

And we cannot forget The Andrews Sisters, saluting that Boogie Woogie Bugle Bugle Boy of Company B: