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September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 Sep

SEPTEMBER’S FRESH START

1.EECummings.Sept2018.mudpies

“The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful.”
e.e. cummings

Such fun splashing in the rain, especially when it’s in the best season to relish it! Celebrate fall’s arrival with these Mini Mud Puddle Pies: Take frozen whole wheat pie crust, roll it out, and cut 3″ diameter circles with a tartlet cutter and place pie shells in a mini-muffin pan. Prick them with a fork and bake at 325 degrees for about 14 minutes. Make the Fudgy Filling: In a double boiler, melt 1 bag (12 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla until smooth. When the pie shells have cooled, fill each mini crust with 2 spoonfuls of the chocolatey mud mixture!

 

“NO MUD, NO LOTUS”

2.Lotus-flower.Sept2018.pink-USE

“I have a love for the Lotus, while growing in mud it still remains unstained” (Confucius) … The lotus flower takes root in muddy, murky river beds, yet is untouched by the mud’s impurity. And the deeper and thicker the mud the more beautiful the lotus blooms. This sacred Buddhist symbol embodies the purity of heart and mind; and represents long life, health, honor, and good luck. It is said that Siddhartha Gautama, whose teaching Buddhism is founded upon, left a trail of lotus flowers in his wake with every step that he took. How incredible to think that something so beautiful begins life in such a dirty and dark place. Maybe the lotus is there to remind us that we can create happiness in our lives, no matter our roots.

 

JOHN LENNON STAMP

JohnLennonStamp.sept2018.fourstrip-use

The brand new Forever® John Lennon Stamp is here. The photo by the great Bob Gruen was taken in August 1974 on the roof of the Dakota while recording his Walls and Bridges album. In 1976 his long sought application was approved for permanent residency in the US. There’s a sense of satisfaction at his being thusly honored by this venerable American institution. It’s the latest addition to the USPS Music Icons stamp series … I thought this was a very cool and timely comment made by his son, Sean, at the first-day-of-issue ceremony in Central Park: “My father and mother came to New York as immigrants. My father fought very hard to get his green card, famously. He wanted to live in America and loved this beautiful country and beautiful city.”

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HARRY

4.HarryPotter.sept2018.ALL

An epic fantasy with a sense of magic. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was published on Sept. 1, 1998, which means celebrating his 20th anniversary. To commemorate the occasion, illustrator Brian Selznick designed new covers for the series’ birthday. He reimagined all the book covers in the spirit of J.K. Rowling’s original creation. In black and white, all seven covers line up to form a single image that tells Harry Potter’s entire story. His first sketches looked like the snake Nagini, so he utilized that image to convey the battle between good and evil.

 

IT’S FANTASTICAL!

5.Fantastical.sept2018.mattgraser-USE

Fan·tas·ti·cal adj., late 15c., from fantastic + -al

Definitions: 1) Conceived or appearing as if conceived by an unrestrained imagination; odd and remarkable; bizarre. 2) Fanciful or capricious, as persons or their ideas or actions: We never know what that fantastic creature will say next. 3) imaginary or groundless in not being based on reality; foolish or irrational: fantastic fears. A trivial sense of “wonderful, marvelous” recorded by 1938.

Origin and history: Fantastic adj., late 14c. (1350-1400), “existing only in imagination,” from Middle French fantastique (14c.), from Medieval Latin fantasticus, from Late Latin phantasticus “imaginary,” from Greek phantastikos “able to imagine,” from phantazein “make visible”; see phantasm.

 

DOG NEWS

6.DogNews.BlakeShelton.sept2018.Betty-use

“I’ll hang the pictures, you hang the stars, You pick the paint, I’ll pick a guitar, Sing you a song out there with the crickets and the frogs, You name the babies and I’ll name the dogs. Yeah, I’ll name the dogs.”

Blake Shelton’s I’ll Name the Dogs gives dogs equal billing with kids in the lyrics of this love song. But it’s the dogs who beat out the kids for the song’s title! To keep peace in a marriage, the lyrics suggest a practical approach. A division of labor in everything including naming the couple’s dogs and their babies. A metaphor for thriving as a team. A sweet sentiment that each has their own talents and together they are stronger.

 

ENDNOTE: TONI MORRISON

7.EndNote.ToniMorrison.sept2018.wordspic

In 1993, Morrison was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, becoming the first black woman of any nationality to win the prize. Those are the words she wrote in her acceptance speech. Given to honor her 1987 novel Beloved, inspired by the true story of a woman’s escape from slavery and what she paid for that freedom. Also in that speech:

“Language alone protects us from the scariness of things with no names. Language alone is meditation.” … “Its force, its felicity is in its reach toward the ineffable.”

 

WE CAN HELP

8.WeCanHelp.ASPCACar.sept2018

Did you know that one of the ways to help animals in need is by donating your old car, van, boat, or truck? The ASPCA’s Vehicle Donation Program can take it off your hands at no cost to you and in any condition. They’ll pick it up anywhere in the US. Summer’s over, your car may have seen its last road trip but it can still help animals across the country! Donate your vehicle today. It will go towards rescuing, protecting, and finding loving homes for animals in need nationwide.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

9.Soundtrack.Linda.WeRan.sept2018

Linda Ronstadt
If I Should Fall Behind

Linda’s version of Bruce Springsteen’s love song. His pure lyrics. Her pure voice. A perfect pairing. Take a listen, it’ll catch you in its warm sublime glow. It’s on Linda’s album, We Ran (Elektra Records 1998). But wait a minute. Bruce sings it with Dion DiMucci, you know, the King of New York. And it’s beautiful.

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

We said we’d walk together baby come what may
That come the twilight should we lose our way
If as we’re walking a hand should slip free
I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

We swore we’d travel darlin’ side by side
And we’d help each other stay in stride
But each lover’s steps fall so differently
So I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me 

Now everyone dreams of love lasting and true
But you and I know what this world can do
Let’s make our steps clear that the other may see
And I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

Now there’s a beautiful river in the valley ahead
There ‘neath the oak’s bough soon we’ll be wed
Should we lose each other in the shadow of the evening trees
I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me
Darlin’ I’ll wait for you
Should I fall behind
Wait for me

Who rescued whom?

10.KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

12.KEEP-Buddha
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Mud-Luscious pic and recipe: ©2015 Jama Rattigan of Jama’s Alphabet Soup
No Mud, No Lotus quote: Thich Nhat Hanh
Harry Potter pic: Brian Selznick ©2018 Scholastic
Fantastical pic: Fantastical: The Art of Matt Gaser, Cameron Books (January 27, 2015)
Fantastical definition/origin: Online Etymology Dictionary ©2010 Douglas Harper
Dog News pic: Blake and Betty, Twitter @blakeshelton, September 5, 2017
I’ll Name the Dogs lyrics: Ben Hayslip/Josh Thompson/Matthew Peters Dragstrem ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Round Hill Music Big Loud Songs
Soundtrack If I Should Fall Behind lyrics: Bruce Springsteen ©Downtown Music Publishing

September 28, 2018
All Rights Reserved

 

August Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Aug

AUGUST’S SORROW

1.Aretha.aug2018.1

Aretha Franklin
(March 25, 1942-August 16, 2018)

WITH RESPECT

The marquee on the Fox Theater shows the word "Respect' in memory of singer Aretha Franklin in downtown Detroit

It started out as a soul song and ended up a national anthem of empowerment. Aretha Franklin turned Otis Redding’s soulful Respect into a statement, a mountain of meaning, a powerful mandate for all of humanity. Some say that it is the best cover of any song of all time. It was Aretha’s first No. 1 hit. The time was 1967. In that song, she was singing about the civil rights movement, women’s liberation, and any and every abuse put upon the downtrodden. She brought dignity into the equation. Otis Redding’s song, from the man’s point of view, was about domestic discord. Aretha made it a hymn of sexual liberation and political engagement. She made it a powerful enduring statement for freedom and equality, a statement that underscored the need for respect and dignity for all.

 

TAKE A SEAT

3.PizzaPatioChairsBox.2.aug2018-use

Eating pizza on the patio? What could be nicer? You know those little plastic pizza tables that keep your fresh steaming hot pie from sticking to the lid of the delivery box? It does look like a patio table, doesn’t it? So a Canadian pizza company, Boston Pizza, and their ad agency, John St., made tiny patio seats to go with them as a funny summertime surprise! And a very cool marketing campaign was born.

 

A POTENT PARTNERSHIP

4.JeffBuckleyBook.aug2018

Dave Lory is a good friend and colleague, an artist manager, and all-around music industry maven. His book, Jeff Buckley: From Hallelujah to the Last Goodbye, is about Dave, Jeff, the music business, and life. It belongs right alongside the other essential music books on your shelf. Told in first person, we learn about the “day-to-day reality of managing a genius.” Here’s all you need to know, starting with the Introduction … Dave’s own introduction to this new artist (it is 1993) was getting off to a bad start. It was a Sunday, Jeff was late, and the lawyer acting as his manager wasn’t exactly obliging. This first meeting was going south until Dave speaks directly to Jeff: “I have a pet peeve.” Jeff says, “Oh yeah?” Dave’s answer, “Lateness.” Then he adds, “If you want to work with me, I’ll put together a plan for you … and then we’ll follow that plan together. Piss-poor planning equals piss-poor results … Anyway, I’ve got somewhere else I’d rather be right now. The football ain’t gonna watch itself.” Dave starts to walk out when Jeff catches up with him, “You’re the first person that hasn’t kissed my ass.” … Dave Lory was Buckley’s manager from the beginning of his career until his tragic death in 1996. Dave’s no-nonsense management approach serves him well in his writing. You’ll be hooked. I sure was. Get it on Amazon.

 

OOEY GOOEY PERFECTION

5.Smores.aug2018

What is most everybody’s favorite summertime campfire treat? Did you just say, S’Mores? Of course! Who could resist that mound of warm gooey deliciousness? … The oldest ingredient is the marshmallow, from the plant marsh mallow, used for thousands of years to cure sore throats and also a treat. Today’s marshmallows contain no marsh mallow sap at all. The Industrial Revolution made possible the production of chocolate less costly, making it available to the masses. And graham crackers were invented by a Presbyterian minister, Sylvester Graham, who felt that a vegetarian diet would curb carnal desires and was a healthier diet … S’Mores may have started as a homemade version of Mallomars or moon pies, two snacks introduced in the 1910s. Some more S’Mores, anyone?

The first documented S’Mores Recipe is from the 1927 publication, Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts. “Toast two marshmallows over the coals to a crisp gooey state and then put them inside a graham cracker and chocolate bar sandwich. The heat of the marshmallow between the halves of chocolate bar will melt the chocolate a bit.” So get yourself 1 graham cracker broken in half, 3 rectangles of milk chocolate, and 2 large marshmallows. You know what to do. And since practice makes perfect, you may need to try and try again!

 

DOG NEWS

6.DogNews.EBWhite+Westie.aug2018

E.B. White wrote many of the books and poems we have enjoyed reading as children and as adults, including Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. But did you know he loved, really, really, really loved, dogs? He’s written about them and he also wrote about his black Scottie dog, Daisy. On December 22, 1931, she was hit by a New York City taxi while smelling the flowers at the florist shop on University Place. E.B. White wrote Daisy’s obituary that was published in The New Yorker (March 12, 1932). He described her life, from her birth to her untimely death at 3 years old: “Her life was full of incident but not of accomplishment … Once she slipped her leash and chased a horse for three blocks through heavy traffic, in the carking belief that she was an effective agent against horses … She died sniffing life, and enjoying it.” The entire obituary is in the book, E.B. White On Dogs … In the pic above, that is E.B. White with Susy, a West Highland White Terrier, in his study in North Brooklin, Maine. Yes! Oh yes! He had a Westie!

 

ENDNOTE: ARETHA FRANKLIN

7.EndNote.ArethaSoulQueen.aug2018

In 1973, The New York Times wrote, “she knows more than we do about so many, many sectors of human experience.”

“Being the Queen is not all about singing, and being a diva is not all about singing. It has much to do with your service to people, and your social contributions to your community and your civic contributions as well.” (Aretha Franklin)

 

WE CAN HELP

8.WeCanHelp.Aretha.aug2018

The Queen of Soul supported the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, which specializes in diabetes research. She lived with diabetes throughout her life and wanted to make sure other people would have the health care access that they needed. The Center provides care to children and adults with Type 1 diabetes and teaches patients how to prevent or delay complications. The Center is part of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Aurora, CO. Donations can be made to the Children’s Diabetes Foundation in memory of Aretha Franklin by filling out the form or by calling 303.863.1200.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

9.Soundtrack.Aretha.ASongForYou.aug2018

Aretha’s A Song for You

Hearing of Aretha’s passing, this is the song that came immediately to mind, my favorite Aretha song. I have always loved it. I have listened to Leon Russell’s deeply heartfelt rendition so, so, so many times. Those words and the way the music informs those feelings. And then along comes Aretha who makes it her own, without diminishing or taking away from the writer’s own intent. What she does with it is tell us who she is, her story, and what’s in her heart. Herself a songwriter, she bestows appreciation, honor, and respect on every one of her covers.

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

I’ve been so many places in my life and time
I’ve sung a lot of songs
I’ve made some bad rhymes
I’ve acted out my life in stages

With ten thousand people watching
But we’re alone now
And I’m singing this song to you 

I know your image of me is what I hoped to be
I treated you unkindly
But darling can’t you see
There’s no one more important to me
Baby can’t you see through me?
‘Cause we’re alone now and I’m singing this song to you 

… And if my words don’t come together
Listen to the melody
‘Cause my love is in there hiding 

I love you in a place
Where there’s no space or time
I love you for my life
You’re a friend of mine
And when my life is over
Remember when we were together
We were alone
And I was singing this song to you

Who rescued whom?11.KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l12.KEEP-Buddha“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Respect pic: Pic of the marquee on the Fox Theater in Detroit, Aretha’s hometown
Pizza pic: John St.
Jeff Buckley: From Hallelujah to the Last Goodbye quotes: Post Hill Press (May 29, 2018)
E.B. White and Westie pic: photo by Jill Krementz, from New York Social Diary (February 9, 2009), Jill Krementz Photo Journal-Top Dogs (more awesome photos of writers with their dogs!)
We Can Help pic of Aretha: International Women’s Day March 18, 2018/One Drop.Today highlighting Women With Diabetes
Soundtrack A Song for You lyrics: Leon Russell ©Universal Music Publishing Group

August 27, 2018
All Rights Reserved

 

June Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Jun

JUNE AND SUMMER’S IN THE AIR

1.MauriceSendak.june2018

 

RADIO, ROBOTS, AND REMOTE CONTROL

2.Tesla.june2018

“Invention is the most important product of man’s creative brain.
The ultimate purpose is … the harnessing of human nature to human needs.”

Elon Musk named his company for Nikola Tesla, Elon’s forerunner genius super nerd. In Richard Munson’s illustrated biography, Tesla: Inventor of the Modern, we learn that engineer and physicist Tesla was born in Croatia in 1856, stood at 6’2″, weighed 140 pounds, was a germaphobe, dressed to the nines, spoke eight languages, slept three hours a day, memorized and wrote poetry, filed 300 patents, was a superstitious numerologist, and wowed Wall Street investors with Jedi light tubes arcing between eight-foot electrically charged plates. The Tesla coil laid the foundation for wireless technologies! … Tesla’s inventions transformed our world and they continue to inspire great science and technological inventions today. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, David Bowie played him in the movie The Prestige (20016). Pretty cool, Mr. Tesla.

 

BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

3.RobinFreund.june2018

A flirtation, a courtship, a complex marriage, a productive working relationship, parenthood. Hmm, sounds like a modern day romance … In Robert and Clara (Master Performers), Robin Freund Epstein reveals the Schumanns’s remarkable music-making, despite a life together filled with secrets, sacrifice, loss, love, and illness. In Robin’s dynamic piano playing and enthusiasm for her subject, we are caught up in a world of romance and joy. Get the CD or stream it at Amazon and iTunes.

 

CAN YOU SAY CARAMEL?

4.Caramel.june2018

“Mr. Willy Wonka can make marshmallows that taste of violets, and rich caramels that change colour every ten seconds as you suck them, and little feathery sweets that melt away deliciously the moment you put them between your lips.” (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl)

Did you know that June is National Candy Month? A caramel is that delicious, sweet, soft, sticky, chewy, light-brown candy made from butter, sugar, and milk or cream. Bite into a Milky Way, it’s the gooey stuff at the center. So how do you pronounce caramel? Some people pronounce it car-mel, others say care-a-mel, and some claim it is pronounced car-muhl ... The word caramel is derived from the Latin word cannamellis. Canna means cane and mellis means honey. In the 18th century, the Spanish changed that to caramelo. Then in 1725, the French changed that to caramel, pronounced care-a-mel, as in English … The different pronunciations of caramel are based on your accent, putting different emphasis on different vowels. So there is no correct or incorrect way to pronounce the word caramel.

CARAMEL CANDY RECIPE

Ingredients: 2 cups white sugar, 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, 1 cup evaporated milk, 1 pint heavy whipping cream, 1 cup butter, 1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract … Directions: 1) Grease a 12×15 inch pan. 2) In a medium pot combine sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, evaporated milk, whipping cream, and butter and stir. Using a candy thermometer, at 250 degrees, remove the pot from the heat. 3) Stir in vanilla. 4) After 30 minutes, dust the candy with salt flakes. (You don’t want the salt to melt completely into the candy.) Transfer mixture to the pan and let it cool completely. Then cut the caramel into small squares and wrap them in wax paper for storage.

 

O’KEEFFE’S MUSICAL ART

5.GeorgiaOKeefe.june2018

Early in her career, Georgia O’Keeffe (1887-1986) painted a series of abstract paintings using, as she put it, “the idea that music could be translated into something for the eye.” The title alone of her 1918 painting, Music, Pink and Blue No. 2 (1918), hanging in NYC’s Whitney Museum of Art, references her belief that visual art, like music, could convey powerful emotions. The rounded, rolling forms suggest lyrical textures and the lush colors and shaded contours create a harmonic effect. Precisely the rhythms and harmonies that O’Keeffe perceived in nature … One teacher had played music in his class, directing the students to “draw what they hear.” Perhaps it was the abstract quality of music that seemed pure, and freed from the superficiality of representational art. Whether we are realizing it or not, as we listen to music we are making our own pictures in our heads. O’Keeffe’s flowing shapes and rich colors, both smooth and austere, express passionate emotions, exactly like the sumptuous and expressive classical sonatas, symphonies, and operas that she listened to.

 

SAY WHA!??!?!?!

6.Bagel.june2018

You are looking at a $16.50 bagel. Really. The restaurant Eleven Madison Park’s chef Daniel Humm made it. A celery seed bagel with black truffle cream cheese, smoked sturgeon, pickled celery root, pickled shallots, and sliced celery. So fancy schmancy! At $16.50, where’s the novie?

 

DOG NEWS

7.DogNews.avocado.june2018

June is World Avocado Month and the World Avocado Association is promoting avocados in venues and menus around the world. And there is a link to dogs … “Agri-dogs” are saving Florida avocado groves. A dog has a highly sensitive olfactory system, capable of detecting extremely minute odors. A beetle transplanted from Asia is spreading laurel wilt, a disease that is destroying avocado groves in Florida. Florida International University researchers studied three dogs, a Belgian Malinois and two Dutch Shepherds, which were trained to detect the onset of this disease and to alert by sitting in front of the infected tree. Their findings suggest that with proper training, these dogs could use their natural talents to help the ailing avocado industry. In fact, it’s noted that this “technology” is the best way so far to detect a diseased tree before external symptoms are visible. Good news for guacamole lovers!

 

ENDNOTE: MAYA ANGELOU’S TRUTH

8.EndNote.MayaAngelou.june2018.cr-use

Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928–May 28, 2014) composed A Brave and Startling Truth for the 50th anniversary of the United Nations in 1995. President Clinton chose her to speak at his first inauguration. And she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama.

We, this people …
We must confess that we are the possible
We are the miraculous, the true wonder of this world
That is when, and only when
We come to it.

 

WE CAN HELP

9.WeCanHelp.ACLU.june2018

June is also a good time to remind ourselves about the beauty of the arts, the privilege of creativity and freedom, and the power of our voices to stand up for those things we cherish. The American Civil Liberties Union has worked for almost 100 years to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and its laws. That includes freedom of speech and religion, a woman’s right to choose, the right to due process, and citizens’ rights to privacy. A champion for people of color, women, LGBTQ people, prisoners, immigrants, and those with disabilities, the ACLU operates within the court system to enact change and protect our basic human rights as American citizens. By making a donation, we help them to continue fighting for our freedom and the protection of our constitutional rights now and for the next generations.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue10.Soundtrack.FourTops+Me.june2018The Four Tops’
I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch) 

Yep, that’s me. I was their music-marketing agent. They were the greatest guys, joyous and funny. These four original members were together for 41 years (1956-1997). Berry Gordy of Motown Records called them, “the epitome of loyalty, integrity, class.” They sure were. And this song? You’re smiling already, right? 

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can’t help myself
I love you and nobody else 

In and out my life
You come and you go
Leaving just your picture behind
And I kissed it a thousand times 

When you snap your finger or wink your eye
I come a-running to you
I’m tied to your apron strings
And there’s nothing that I can do
I can’t help myself
No, I can’t help myself 

Sugar pie, honey bunch …
Sugar pie, honey bunch
You know that I love you
I can’t help myself
I love you and nobody else

Who rescued whom?
10.KEEP-YP+Barkley
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
12.KEEP-Buddha
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
By a stream pic: From Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss with illustration by Maurice Sendak
Black Seed bagel pic: Alex Ostroff via Black Seed
Dog News pic: A dog pinpoints an avocado tree infected with laurel wilt disease in a Miami-Dade County grove. (Courtesy Florida International University)
Soundtrack lyrics: Brian Holland, Edward Holland, Lamont Dozier ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

June 27, 2018
All Rights Reserved

 

May Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 May

FOR THE LOVE OF MAY

1.IndianaLOVE.may2018

The beloved artist of LOVE, Robert Indiana (who changed his name from Robert Clark in honor of his home state), died this month on May 19. Originally a Christmas card that was commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art in 1965, his LOVE painting became the embodiment of peace and love of the ‘60s. He turned it into the famous sculpture that is erected in cities all over the world. It even became a U.S. postage stamp issued for Valentine’s Day 1973 … The design was his interpretation of the phrase “God is love” that he heard as a young boy raised as a Christian Scientist. The red and green of his first LOVE version were the colors from the Philips 66 gas sign, in memory of the company where his father worked. In the early 1960s, as a reminder of his mother, he created works with HUG, her word for affection.

 

THE FIFTH OF MAY

2.Margarita.LineEmUp.may2018

Line ’em up! Here’s to the merry month of May, a personal favorite. And of course the perfect toast is a Margarita to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! The holiday recognizes the victory of the Mexican army over the French army on May 5, 1862, at the Battle of Puebla.

 

STYLE AND SUBSTANCE

3.Jackie.may2018

Jacqueline Bouvier always got right back on her horse after she fell. Figuratively and literally, as a child she toppled from her horse on her first day at riding camp. She was bookish and aimed for a career after college. In fact, she ranked being a journalist over landing a man. Until, of course, she met John F. Kennedy. When he became president, Jackie brought progressive ideas about art and culture to the White House. Intelligent and charming, she won over foreign dignitaries … After JFK’s assassination, she displayed unforgettable dignity and the “steel under all that beauty and style,” the steel that was always there. And oh yes, Jackie got right back on that horse, moved her children to NYC, helped save Grand Central Terminal from demolition, and became a revered book editor … Just Being Jackie, a Young Adult book by Margaret Cardillo with illustrations by Julia Denos, is great for anyone at any age as a reminder of this icon’s cool strength and backbone.

 

TRUTH

4.RobertFrost.may2018.c-USE

“If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth…[in a] democratic society, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself…In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation.” (President John F. Kennedy)

It was at JFK’s inauguration in 1961 that Robert Frost became the first inaugural poet, delivering an ode to the dream of including the arts in government which touched JFK deeply. Frost died two years later in January 1963. That fall, JFK spoke at an event honoring the poet at Amherst College. His speech mirrored Frost’s about the arts and celebrating the role of the artist in society.

 

THE DARCY DEFENSE

5.JaneAusten.Quotation.may2018-USE

Would you be surprised to learn that many judges cite Jane Austen quotes in court? It is as an authority on relationships that her influence prevails in the courtroom. Although Harper Lee and Mary Shelley also show up in legal decisions, each is quoted from one work (Mockingbird and Frankenstein). On the other hand, quotes and references are taken from all of Austen’s many books such as Emma, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, and, of course, Pride and Prejudice. As well as from Jane Austen herself … In a fraud case involving friends who formed a partnership that went really bad, the judge cited Emma: “business…may bring money, but friendship hardly ever does,” and concluded that had the litigant “been mindful of the words of Jane Austen,” he would not have gotten himself involved in the lawsuit … In a gender discrimination case where a female plaintiff alleged her managers “did not tolerate intelligent and articulate female subordinates,” the judge quoted Northanger Abbey: “A woman especially, if she has the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.” Doing so, the judge used Austen’s satire to shine a spotlight on what the civil rights law at stake aimed to end … And to emphasize that “looks can be deceiving,” the judge wrote in a legal malpractice case: “…one must get the whole story in order to have an accurate picture of events. The seemingly haughty and prideful Fitzwilliam Darcy turned out to be a pretty nice guy by the end of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.”

 

AND THEY’RE OFF!

6.HorseRacing.may2018

In May there’s also the Kentucky Derby. So here are some common phrases you might not know come from horse racing! … Hands down: To win something hands down means to win it easily. It comes from the practice of horse racing jockeys loosening the reins when it seemed certain that they would win … Give-and-take: The art of compromise or a lively exchange of ideas originally referred to horse races in which bigger horses were given more weight to carry, lighter ones less … Dark horse: In addition to meaning lacking light, dark also means concealed, secret, or mysterious. So a dark horse is a horse about whose racing powers little is known. And in politics, a dark horse candidate is one who unexpectedly comes up from behind … Front runner: The leading candidate in a contest or election and comes from the horse racing term referring to a horse that runs best while in the lead … Running mate: Another political term that we get from horse racing refers to a candidate for the lesser of two associated political offices such as a vice-presidential candidate is the running mate of a potential president. In horse racing, a running mate is a horse that sets the pace for another.

 

MEMORIAL DAY

7.MemorialDay.may2018.courtesy.cr-use

“On Memorial Day, I don’t want to only remember the combatants. There were also those who came out of the trenches as writers and poets, who started preaching peace, men and women who have made this world a kinder place to live.” (Eric Burdon, musician)

 

DOG NEWS

8.DogNews.may2018.c-westie.3-USE

Alexandra Horowitz, the author of Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell, explains how dogs perceive the world through their extraordinary organ. What every dog knows about the world comes mostly through his nose. Every breath of air a dog takes is loaded with information.

How can we tap into our dogs’ world of smell and enrich their lives? “Let them smell. If you live with a dog, start thinking about what the world is like from an olfactory point of view. Let them smell you (you are your scent, to your dog), let them smell each other (that’s how they find out who it is), and let them smell the world. Take walks for smelling (not just for peeing, or for exercise). The pleasure that comes from watching a dog snuffling down a path, nose to the ground and nose in the air, guided by nothing more than the filaments of odors that come his way, is to me unmatched.”

 

ENDNOTE: PHILIP ROTH
(March 19, 1933-May 22, 2018)

9.EndNote.PhilipRoth.may2018

“The only obsession everyone wants: ‘love.’ People think that in falling in love they make themselves whole? The Platonic union of souls? I think otherwise. I think you’re whole before you begin. And the love fractures you. You’re whole, and then you’re cracked open.” (The Dying Animal by Philip Roth)

 

WE CAN HELP

10.WeCanHelp.AliCenter.may2018

Muhammad Ali, The Greatest, used his greatness as a catalyst to do great things for the world and, in turn, inspire us to do the same. The Muhammad Ali Center promotes respect, hope, understanding, and love, encouraging everyone everywhere to be as great as they can be. Your donation will help them continue to preserve and share Ali’s legacy and values.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

11.Soundtrack.AllYouNeedIsLove.may2018

The Beatles
All You Need Is Love 

Love fills May’s fair spring air. At Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding, people all over the world saw the blossoming of love. Robert Indiana’s sculptures and paintings remind us of the endurance of love … John Lennon’s All You Need is Love was written for Our World, the world’s first ever worldwide televised satellite link-up broadcast to 25 countries. Its optimistic message captured the mood of the Summer of Love (1967), and its simple lyrics and disarming chorus perfect for a global audience. 

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love
There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say, but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy
Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do, but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy
All you need is love, all you need is love
All you need is love, love, love is all you need

 

 

Who rescued whom?
10.KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l12.KEEP-Buddha“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Jane Austen pic quote: Emma: A Novel, Jane Austen (1867)
Jane Austen references: Matthew H. Birkhold, Electric Literature
Dog News quote: Being a Dog: Following the Dog Into a World of Smell by Alexandra Horowitz (Scribner October 2016)
Philip Roth pic: Philip Roth
Soundtrack lyrics: John Lennon/Paul McCartney ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC 

May 28, 2018
All Rights Reserved

April Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

29 Apr

BONNIE APRIL

1.Scotland.apr2018

“My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here,
My heart’s in the Highlands, a-chasing the deer;
A-chasing the wild deer, and following the roe,
My heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.”
Robert Burns
(My Heart’s in the Highlands)

Tartan Day is a U.S. observance celebrating Scotland on April 6 each year. It commemorates the Declaration of Arbroath signed on April 6 in 1320, the Scottish Declaration of Independence, from which the U.S. Declaration of Independence was modelled on … “It is in truth not for glory, nor riches, nor honours that we are fighting, but for freedom, for that alone, which no honest man gives up but with life itself” (from the Declaration of Arbroath).

 

CECI N’EST PAS UN DRAPEAU

106.1973

Is Flag a painting or a flag, or both? Interested in the relationship between an artwork and its subject matter, prior to painting Flag Johns visited an exhibition of René Magritte’s work and saw a painting that directly addressed this question. It was the 1950s when Johns painted Flag, inspired by a dream in which he saw himself painting an American flag. In a time that cherished abstraction, Johns chose recognizable, commonplace subject matter. Flag is made up of dense drips and fleshy tactile brushstrokes, with pigment mixed with hot wax and strips of newspaper and fabric. In fact, Flag was a turning point for Johns. For in the paintings that followed his dramatic debut, he challenged every aspect of mid-century painting and established his reputation as an artist … From an interview in 1990: “In Savannah, Georgia, in a park, there is a statue of Sergeant William Jasper. Once I was walking through this park with my father, and he said that we were named for him. Whether or not that is in fact true or not, I don’t know. Sergeant Jasper lost his life raising the American flag over a fort.” … Jasper Johns created figurative works out of instantly recognizable symbols, and then rejected the idea that they had any defined meaning.

 

MY PET

3.Pet.westie.apr2018

Pet (noun) \ ˈpet \
a) a pampered and usually spoiled child
b) someone treated with unusual kindness or consideration

April 11 was National Pet Day to celebrate pets and encourage adoption. A pet is an animal kept primarily for a person’s company, protection, or entertainment. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, pet is found in 16th-century Scottish, northern English, and northern Irish dialects as a word for a “lamb.” By 1710 it was used for a “tame or domestic animal kept for pleasure or companionship” and in 1720 it applied to “a spoiled or favored person.”  … The origin of pet might be a connection to petty, as in “little” and petty lamb becomes shortened to a pet lamb. Back to the 1300s, petty might have come from the French petit or from Celtic roots related to piece … The OED traces pet to the Scottish Gaelic peata, “a tame animal” and suggests that peata is related to Latin’s suescere, “to become used to” … So our takeaway is: A pet is an animal that’s gotten used to us.

 

SPRING RECIPE: AVOCADO EGG SALAD

4.Recipe.AvoEgg.apr2018

Finally it’s officially spring! Try this light Avocado Egg Salad that uses mashed avocado in place of mayo … Ingredients: 8 hard-boiled eggs, 1 avocado, ¼ cup chopped green onion (optional), 1 teaspoon mustard (yellow or Dijon), ¼ teaspoon paprika, salt and pepper … Chop the eggs and put them in a salad bowl, mash the avocado with a fork, then mix mashed avocado, mustard, onion, and paprika into eggs until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and black pepper and enjoy on crackers or in a sandwich.

 

DOG NEWS

5.ScottishDogs.apr2018

A West Highland White Terrier lives in my house. A very stubborn proud Scot he is. So let’s not tell him that there are other Scottish dog breeds. Of the 13 breeds that originate in Scotland, six of them are terriers: Skye, Cairn, Dandie Dinmont, Border Terrier, the aforementioned West Highland White Terrier, and the Scottish Terrier. The others are Golden Retriever, Border Collie, Rough Collie, Shetland Sheepdog, Bearded Collie, Scottish Deerhound, and Gordon Setter …. Sidebar: Westies are described as intelligent independent thinkers who have plenty of attitude for a dog their size. Tell me about it.

6.DogNews2.MozartMusic.apr2018.peterbudogonpiano

Mozart helps dogs handle stress and calm down. The Madrid Police Force has 22 detection dogs who find explosives and narcotics and participate in rescue missions. These dogs have demanding jobs that require intense focus and a high level of alertness, so they experience a lot of stress on the job. To lower their anxiety and stress levels, a specialized sound system to provide music therapy to the dogs was installed in their quarters. Research on dogs in shelters found that classical music caused dogs to sleep more and to vocalize less. Mozart is a particular favorite, found to play a comforting role on task performance and mood. Do you play classical music for your dog? (I admit that Barkley listens to Meat Loaf and Tom Petty. Maybe I ought to add a dash of calming Mozart.)

 

ENDNOTE: MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS

7.EndNote.Mary.apr2018

“To be kind to all, to like many and love a few,
to be needed and wanted by those we love,
is certainly the nearest we can come to happiness.”
Mary, Queen of Scots (1542–1587) 

Mary Stuart reigned over Scotland from 1542 to 1567. She was six days old when her father, King James V, died and she acceded to the throne.

 

WE CAN HELP

8.WeCanHelp.dogfighting

This is Ray, one of the 51 dogs rescued out of Michael Vick’s dogfighting operation in 2007. How timely that April is Prevention of Cruelty to Animals month. Thanks to Senator Harris (D-CA) and Senator Collins (R-ME), the Help Extract Animals from Red Tape (HEART) Act was just introduced in the U.S. Senate, shining a light on the illegal world of dogfighting. Too many dogs rescued from fighting are held by the federal government for months, even years, while court cases drag on, stressing them out even more. The HEART Act will help these dogs get rehabilitated and rehomed faster and will make their owners responsible for the cost of their care, taking the burden off the local shelters who take these animals in and show them love for the first time. Contact your U.S. representative and senators in Washington, DC to urge them to support and cosponsor the HEART Act.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

9.Soundtrack.PaulMcCartney+paulmartha.apr2018.b

The Beatles
Martha, My Dear

“When you find yourself in the thick of it, Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you, Silly girl” … Martha, My Dear, by the Beatles, might seem to be about a woman but was actually written for Paul McCartney’s dog. He wrote Martha, My Dear as a piano exercise, but then later included it on the White Album. The song was inspired by McCartney’s love for his Old English Sheepdog which he adopted in 1966. Although there was speculation that the song was about girlfriend Jane Asher, in 1977 he revealed that his dog Martha was the song’s true inspiration. “Whereas it would appear to anybody else to be a song to a girl called Martha, it’s actually a dog, and our relationship was platonic, believe me,” he said. Martha died in 1981 at the age of 15 at McCartney’s farm house in Mull of Kintyre, Scotland. 

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Martha, my dear
Though I spend my days in conversation, please
Remember me
Martha, my love
Don’t forget me
Martha, my dear 

Hold your head up, you silly girl
Look what you’ve done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
Silly girl 

Take a good look around you
Take a good look you’re bound to see
That you and me were meant to be
With each other
Silly girl 

Hold your hand out, you silly girl
See what you’ve done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
Silly girl 

Martha, my dear
You have always been my inspiration
Please, be good to me
Martha, my love
Don’t forget me
Martha, my dear.

 

Who rescued whom?

10.KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

12.KEEP-Buddha
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Declaration of Arbroath extract: National Records of Scotland
Flag pic: Flag (1955) by Jasper Johns
Dog on Piano pic: photo by Peter Bu/Flickr
We Can Help dog pic of Ray: Jacqueline Johnson
Martha, My Dear lyrics: John Lennon/John Winston Lennon/Paul McCartney/Paul James McCartney ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

April 29, 2018
All Rights Reserved

March Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

28 Mar

MARCH’S MOONLIGHT + MADNESS

1.Irish.Shamrock.mar2018

“We can make our minds so like still water
that beings gather about us that they may see,
it may be, their own images,
and so live for a moment
with a clearer, perhaps even with a fiercer life
because of our quiet.”
(William Butler Yeats)

 

MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN

2.Frankenstein.maryshelley.mar2018.fearless.b USE

Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is 200 years old. Mary was born in London in 1797, the daughter of pioneering feminist Mary Wollstonecraft, and was married to the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley when she was 16. Without a formal education, but for her father’s extensive library, she found an outlet in writing stories. Spending the summer at a country house on Lake Geneva in 1816, she and her husband were joined by poet Lord Byron and Dr. John Polidori. Stormy weather forcing them indoors, they held a competition to see who could invent the best ghost story. Conceived from a feverish dream, Mary’s story became the iconic tale of Dr. Frankenstein’s monster created from the spare parts of corpses. In 1818 it was published as Frankenstein: A Modern Prometheus. Barely a teenager, Mary Shelley has influenced our imaginations with her enduring creation. Frankenstein is very much alive. “It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!”

 

THE DOORS

3.Doors.mar2018

Would you like to take a piece of the Hotel Chelsea home? The doors of some of the hotel’s famous residents are being put up for auction. Opened in 1885, the hotel has been closed since 2011 for renovations. It was home to actors, writers, artists, and musicians, lots of musicians. Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Janis Joplin, and Bob Dylan. Jack Kerouac, Thomas Wolfe, Tennessee Williams, and Mark Twain. Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. Liam Neeson and Humphrey Bogart. There are 55 original white-washed wooden doors of their rooms which were salvaged during the hotel’s refurbishment … The auction, managed by Guernsey’s auction house, is on April 12 at the Ricco/Maresca Gallery, 529 West 20th St. and on display starting April 5. If you would like one, bids begin at $5,000. Part of the proceeds from the auction will go to City Harvest, which delivers food to New York’s hungry.

4.ChelseaHotel.Balcony.mar2018.c-USE

In 1966 the Hotel Chelsea was declared a NYC landmark, “one of the few remaining of the great Victorian Gothic apartment houses which once adorned the City.” The 12-story hotel is particularly notable for its ornate iron balconies. Sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke wrote the screenplay for 2001: A Space Odyssey in his room at the Hotel Chelsea in the 1960s. It is also here that Bob Zimmerman changed his name to Bob Dylan after hotel guest Dylan Thomas; and where he wrote the album Blonde on Blonde.

 

BEATLES PARK

5.BeatlesPark.mar2018-USE

Here’s a little known Beatles story. Catching a glimpse of the Beatles as they walked out of an airport was the single most exciting event in the history of a small town in Arkansas. And Walnut Ridge is determined to keep the memory alive. In September of 1964 the Beatles landed at the Walnut Ridge airport for a quick stopover. Word leaked out and the entire town turned up at the airport to see them. In remembrance of that event, Walnut Ridge created Beatles Park, with cutouts, sculptures, and murals of the band including a yellow submarine. The town celebrates by gathering in the park every September for a Beatles Fest, featuring a concert from their own town’s band, the “Liverpool Legends.”

 

ADA’S ALGORITHM

6.AdaLovelace.mar2018.quote-USE

The world’s first computer programmer lived in the first half of the 19th century and was a woman. Ada Lovelace was born in London in 1815, the daughter of Lord Byron. Lady Byron left her husband, taking the newborn. From the age of 4, Ada was tutored in math and science, rare for a woman in Victorian England. And at 12 she thought up the design for a flying machine! As a teenager, she was the protégé of Charles Babbage who created a mathematical calculating machine. Ada took it a step further, programming a code that was the first algorithm by a machine: it gave it instructions in a language it could understand, the first computer program … Ada foresaw that music, words, pictures, and sounds could be made digital by a machine. Wow, right? Her ideas of computing were far ahead of their time, technology catching up a century later. In the 1970s, the U.S. Department of Defense named a sophisticated computer programming language “Ada” in her honor. It’s still being used today in aviation, health care, transportation, finance, and space … October 15 is Ada Lovelace Day, dedicated to promoting women in STEM: science, technology, engineering, and math.

 

DOG NEWS

7.DogNews.mar2018

Dog bites man makes the front page of the New York Times March 15, 1939: A legal battle over a dog’s right to be “entitled to at least one bite before his master is held liable for damages.” And the New York State Senate upheld it 25-18, declaring it a time honored tradition that came down to us from the Middle Ages.

 

ENDNOTE: NEIL deGRASSE TYSON

8.EndNote.TysonHawking.mar2018

On Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

“His passing has left an intellectual vacuum in his wake. But it’s not empty.
Think of it as a kind of vacuum energy permeating
the fabric of spacetime that defies measure.”

 

WE CAN HELP

9.WeCanHelp.Rhino.mar2018.b-USE

The northern white rhino is the most endangered animal on Earth. Their population was largely wiped out during the poaching crisis of the 1970s and 1980s. Sudan, the world’s last male, died after months of poor health. His death leaves only two females, his daughter and granddaughter, alive in the world. Hope for preserving the northern white rhino lies in developing in vitro fertilization (IVF) techniques. So Sudan’s genetic material was collected to be used for this radically new procedure which can cost $10m! Our donation helps San Diego Zoo Global fund new reproductive research at the Nikita Kahn Rhino Rescue Center, relocate rhinos into safer habitats, and provide anti-poaching patrols.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

10.Soundtrack.Animals.mar2018

The Animals
Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

 Eric Burdon says he fell in love with this song because that’s how he always felt. “I’ve really been misunderstood. By my mom, my dad, school teachers, a couple of the women that I married. I’ve been misunderstood all of my life.” Wow, think about how Frankenstein’s Monster must’ve felt. 

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Baby, do you understand me now?
Sometimes I feel a little mad
But don’t you know that no one alive can always be an angel
When things go wrong I feel real bad.
I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood 

Baby, sometimes I’m so carefree
With a joy that’s hard to hide
And sometimes it seems that, all I have to do is worry
And then you’re bound to see my other side
I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood 

 If I seem edgy, I want you to know,
That I never mean to take it out on you
Life has its problems, and I get my share,
And that’s one thing I never mean to do
Cause I love you, Oh, 

Oh, oh, oh, baby – don’t you know I’m human
I have thoughts like any other one
Sometimes I find myself, Lord, regretting
Some foolish thing, some little simple thing I’ve done
I’m just a soul whose intentions are good
Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood

Who rescued whom?
11.KEEP-YP+Barkley
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
12.KEEP-Buddha
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
W.B. Yeats poem: from “Earth, Fire and Water” (1893)
Frankenstein quote: Frankenstein, Universal Pictures (1931)
Chelsea Hotel quote: New York City Landmark Commission
Ada Lovelace pic: Portrait of Ada Lovelace by Alfred Chalon, 1838
Soundtrack lyrics: Bennie Benjamin, Gloria Caldwell, Sol Marcus ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Chris-N-Jen Music
Eric Burdon quote: Dan MacIntosh interview, September 13, 2010

March 28, 2018
All Rights Reserved

 

January Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

30 Jan

JANUARY, HOPE’S PATHWAY

1.jan2018.skyheart

“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering,
‘It will be happier.’”
Alfred Lord Tennyson

LOST AND FOUND

2.Monet.jan2018-USE

A Monet painting that had been missing since 1895 has been found through a Google search! The Effet de Brouillard, painted in 1872, was tracked down by art historian Richard Thomson. Missing for years, he discovered the painting had recently been sold in New Orleans and through the power of the internet he tracked it down! It has only been exhibited three times before: London in 1874 and in Boston and New York in 1895. The original owner of the painting was Galerie Durand-Ruel who bought the painting directly from Monet in Paris in 1873. Effet depicts a scene of the Argenteuil near Paris, where Monet lived for seven years and will go on display at the National Gallery this year.

3.Raphael.jan2018-USE

A 500-year-old mystery at the Vatican has just been solved. Two paintings by Renaissance master Raphael were discovered during the cleaning and restoration of a room inside the Vatican Museums. The two female figures, Justice and Friendship, were painted by Raphael around 1519, a year before his death at 37 in 1520. The oil paint, the brushwork, and the unusual shades of color were all clues confirming they were Raphaels. The job of restoring them along with the rest of the room will take until 2022 and cost over three million dollars!

DEEP PURPLE

4.PantonePurple2018.jan2018.lights-USE

Colors have the ability to convey deep messages and meanings, to inspire and influence. Pantone’s color of 2018 is Ultra Violet, a beautiful blue-based purple that conveys artistic expression, creative inspiration, and spiritual reflection. Reigning supreme in this new year, this mystical, dramatic, and provocative purple shade is inspired by music legends Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, and Prince (who received his own official Pantone hue in 2017). According to the company, it embodies individuality and spirituality, and alludes to the mysteries of the cosmos and the unknown. Oh, and it’s my favorite color.

WALK THIS WAY

5.WalkThisWay.withdog.jan2018.c.cr-USE

It’s said that taking a walk in the woods, in the city, in the fields, or on a beach, sets the mind free and aligns one’s self to Nature. In true solitude is when we hear our inner voices and we let our minds wander, creating a fertile ground for our imagination. In fact, walking is powerful, providing a way for us to get in touch with our intellect, judgement, awareness, and creativity … “When I go out for a walk, there is so much I see that makes me happy to be alive. Breathing. Not thinking. Observing. I am grateful beyond measure to be part of it all.” Artist Maira Kalman loves to walk. She has this in common with many great minds all of whom got their inspiration from long walks. Dickens and Hugo walked; Twain was a pacer; and Mozart preferred it to a carriage … Taking a long walk with my dog in the park makes me happy. And it’s especially peaceful to walk as the snow gently falls and quietly lands. There’s no real destination, no set time. Letting my mind wander. Listening to the world around me. Then getting so lost in my thoughts that I don’t hear anything else but my inner voice. And my dog’s cheerful bark. Just enjoying the journey.

DO YOU SPEAK DROOG?

6.ClockworkOrange.vancekelly.jan2018.e-USE

“Our pockets were full of deng, so there was no real need from the point of view of crasting any more pretty polly to tolchock some old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood e old veck in an alley and viddy him swim in his blood…There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim.” … Alex speaks Nadsat, the language created by Anthony Burgess in his novel A Clockwork Orange. A mix of Russian (Nadsat is Russian for teen), gypsy, Cockney rhyming slang, criminal-speak, and Shakespeare’s English. Burgess wrote his dystopian tale in 1962 at the height of the Cold War and then Stanley Kubrick made the iconic brilliant film ten years later. Instead of creating a glossary, Burgess wanted us to figure out the meanings of the words just from the setting … Droog means friend and is the most famous Nadsat word, everyone who has ever seen the movie remembers it. It gains potency as we follow Alex’s brutal pranks with his wretched friends Pete, Georgie, and Dim … “I read this with care, my brothers, slurping away at the old chai, cup after tass after chasha, crunching my lomticks of black toast dipped in jammiwam and eggiweg” … At the end, Alex talks to his imagined son, wondering if he would heed any fatherly advice Alex might pass on: “And nor would he be able to stop his own son, brothers. And so it would itty on to like the end of the world, round and round and round, like some bolshy gigantic like chelloveck, like old Bog Himself turning and turning and turning a vonny grahzny orange in his gigantic rookers.” Got it?

DOG NEWS

7.DogNews.BelovedDogBookKalman.jan2018.d-USE

“[Dogs] are constant reminders that life reveals the best of itself when we…extend our unconditional love…the most tender uncomplicated, most generous part of our being blossoms…when it comes to the love of a dog.” … Whimsical, funny, philosophical, moving, and witty. In her book, Beloved Dog (Penguin Press, 2015), author and illustrator Maira Kalman shares with us her affection for the dogs she has known and loved. Through her heart-warming anecdotes, stories and delightful artwork, we see how dogs can be the most loyalest friends we could ever have, happy to see us, always eager to play, and a great fresh-air companion. If you’ve ever loved a dog and lost a dog, you’ll definitely be moved, not in a maudlin way but in a weird quirky uplifting way. You’ll laugh and probably cry, too, but I think you’ll cherish your own dog just a little more.

ENDNOTE: ABRAHAM LINCOLN

8.Endnote.AbrahamLincoln.jan2018

“My dream is of a place and a time where America
will once again be seen as the last best hope of earth.”

Abraham Lincoln’s pronouncement was a reflection of his time, as it is also a reflection of ours. To gain any perspective on the anomaly of our cultural moment, it wouldn’t hurt to begin this new year filled with hope. Together, let’s have hope. Because really, what’ve we got to lose?

WE CAN HELP

9.WeCanHelp.Adopt.HomeMat.jan2018-USE

Big smiles. Cozy naps. A wagging tail every time we walk in the door. (Unless you have a Westie who stays on the couch and clearly conveys, “So you’re home, what’s for dinner?”) When we adopt a pet, so many things change for the better, for everyone. We can help change an animal’s life! Consider welcoming the love of a pet into your life. Putting our love into action is what adopting is about. Let’s spread the word that adoption is a cool thing to do. Each of us can play a role in creating a better world for animals. Adopting a pet who needs a loving home will make a difference in their lives, and ours.

Soundtrack to this Issue

10.Soundtrack.DreamOn.steventyler.jan2018-USE

Aerosmith’s Dream On

 Okay, okay, I know. You thought it would be Walk This Way. But it’s the beginning of a new year. We’re dreamin’ about new things and good things and hoping for the best. And y’know, it’s really hard not to smile when Steven Tyler’s doing his thing. What’s that expression? It never gets old. “There’s so many days where I dunno if I’m coming or going. Y’know sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” Inspiring. Gotta love him. Enjoy!

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way

Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay

I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win 

Half my life is books, written pages
Live and learn from fools and from sages
You know it’s true, oh
All these feelings come back to you 

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away 

Dream on
Dream on
Dream on
Dream until your dreams come true

Who rescued whom?

11.KEEP-YP+Barkley

So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

12.KEEP-Buddha

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Maira Kalman quote #1: The Principles of Uncertainty by Maira Kalman (Penguin Press 2007)
Dog News pic: Beloved Dog (Penguin Press 2015)
Maira Kalman quote #2: Beloved Dog (Penguin Press 2015)
Dream On lyrics: Steven Tyler ©BMG Rights Management US, LLC

January 30, 2018
All Rights Reserved

November Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

27 Nov

NOVEMBER MEDLEY

CoverPic.nov2017

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again…

THE MYSTERIOUS ORIENT EXPRESS

OrientExpress.nov2017.train

Hercule Poirot solved his most famous case on it, Alfred Hitchcock’s lady vanished from it, and James Bond rode it from Istanbul to London … The original Orient Express, opulent and glamorous, ran between Paris and Istanbul, its first departure on October 4, 1883 from Paris’ Gare de l’Est … Not only tales of fiction, but real artists and spies traveled by the Orient Express earning it the nickname, “Spies’ Express.” An English spy named Robert Baden-Powell posed as a lepidopterist holding intricate sketches of butterfly wings that actually contained codes of fortifications along the Dalmatian Coast, helping the British and Italian navies in WWI … And there were actual murders on it, too. In 1935 a wealthy woman on her way to her husband, the Romanian military attaché in Paris, was robbed and pushed through the open window. Her body was discovered along the railway in Austria. When her belongings were found, missing was a silver-fox scarf. A Swiss policeman spotted a woman wearing that scarf. She told him she got it from a 23-year-old student. He was later sentenced to death but was eventually imprisoned for life. In 1950 Captain Eugene Simon, the U.S. naval attaché in Bucharest, was traveling with sensitive papers about spy networks in Eastern Europe. He fell off the train under suspicious circumstances in a tunnel near Salzburg. His murder was never solved. Too bad that Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian detective, wasn’t brought in to solve it!

… THE GENESIS OF POIROT

HerculePoirot.nov2017.StylesBookcover-USE

“Poirot was an extraordinary-looking little man. He was hardly more than five feet four inches, but carried himself with great dignity. His head was exactly the shape of an egg, and he always perched it a little on one side. His moustache was very stiff and military. The neatness of his attire was almost incredible, I believe a speck of dust would have caused him more pain than a bullet wound” … And so we are introduced to Hercule Poirot by Captain Hastings in The Mysterious Affair at Styles.

While growing up, Agatha Christie enjoyed reading Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and thought about writing her own detective story. During WWI, Agatha Christie was a nurse at a Red Cross Hospital where her lifelong interest in poisons began. Surrounded by them, it was natural that death by poisoning was her preferred method to kill off her victims … For her first novel’s detective, she was inspired by the Belgian refugees in her hometown. So she created a Belgian refugee retired police officer. Of the utmost importance, he must be extremely intelligent, using his “little grey cells” to solve the crime. And of course he deserved a grand name – such as Hercules! Hercule Poirot was born and introduced to the world in The Mysterious Affair at Styles in 1920, four years after it was written, famous as much for his magnificent moustache as his little grey cells … He is the only fictional character to have received an obituary on the front of The New York Times in 1975, following the publication of Curtain: Poirot’s Last Case ... “My name is Hercule Poirot and I am probably the greatest detective in the world.” (The Mystery of the Blue Train). And very modest, too.

 

IS IT REAL OR IS IT SCI-FI?

Tablet.2001.nov2017

“(Floyd) would hold the front page while he searched the headlines…a postage-sized rectangle would expand till it neatly filled the screen and he could read it with comfort … Floyd sometimes wondered if the Newspad and the fantastic technology behind it was the last word in man’s quest for perfect communications. Here he was, far out in space, speeding away from Earth at thousands of miles an hour, yet in a few milliseconds he could see the headlines of any newspaper he pleased.”

Before there was Apple’s iPad (released in 2010), Arthur C. Clarke envisioned the tablet of the future. In his 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), he dreamed up a portable computer that would be used by everyone on earth – and in space! – that he called the Newspad. In Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), we see the astronauts use the tablets to conduct spaceship diagnostic checks, to read the news (see pic), or when they need a line of communication to Earth. Arthur C. Clarke, who died in 2008, would be happy to know that it’s just not sci-fi anymore – today’s NASA astronauts use tablets.

 

HOW SPLENDENT IT IS!

Splendent.radientcolor.3-USE

splendent: [splen-duh nt] adj. 1. Shining or radiant as the sun. 2. Gleaming or lustrous as a gem. 3. Brilliant in appearance, color. 4. Admired by many; illustrious. 5. gorgeous; magnificent; splendid. 1425-75; late Middle English, from Old French esplendent, from Latin splendēns, splendent-, present participle of splendēre, to shine.

Now say these words aloud: bright, brilliant, radiant, incandescent, lustrous, shiny, glistening, sparkling, resplendent, and luminous. How seductive are they? Feel better? Doesn’t each one just make you smile and make your eyes light up? One word does all that. C’mon, say it with me: splendent!

 

DIGITAL BURGER WARS

EmojiBurgerWars.nov2017.2-USE.CR

There is a Burger Emoji Wars. Really. It started with a tweet about the difference between the Google and Apple cheeseburger emoji. Cheese on the top or on the bottom? You see, Apple’s emoji design places the cheese on top, while Google’s has it on the bottom. What is the correct way to layer the buns, meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese in a classic American cheeseburger, anyway? Call in the chefs. One says Google got it right. The cheese on the bottom is closer to the tongue and also seals in juices to prevent the bottom bun from getting soggy. Another countered that when the cheese is melted on the burger, the bun gets toasted and crunchy. But when the cheese is melted on the bun, the bun is a soggy doughy mess. One tweet seemed to sum it up best: it’s called a cheeseburger, not a burgercheese. Fries with that, anyone?

 

DOG NEWS: THE HARRY POTTER WAY

DogNews.HarryPotterShelter.nov2017.2-USE
An Orlando, FL pet shelter is using Harry Potter’s magical sorting hat from Hogwarts to sort their animals into Pawgwarts Houses to find them loving forever homes. They help potential pet parents match their lifestyles to a pet based on its behavior and personality, instead of breed labels. Staff and volunteers assess each dog’s qualities and personality traits from a series of activities, and then match it to a Pawgwarts House. A quick learner has the knowledge of a Ravenpaw. A small dog with determination has the ambition of Slobberin House. An affectionate jovial dog embodies the friendliness of a Hufflefluff. And a dog who embraces change and new things has the bravery of a Gryffindog … All you muggles and wizards can sort your dog into its appropriate Pawgwarts House by taking the Pawgwarts Sorting Quiz on the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando’s website.

 

ENDNOTE: GRATITUDE

Thanksgiving.marctetro.cr

Dear Friends, that we support one another through life’s joys and challenges, that we lighten each other’s loads, that we learn from each other, that we swear by truth, trust, and loyalty – that’s a lot to be grateful for. Thank you, Yvette.

“I thank you…for this most amazing day…
and for everything that is natural, infinite, which is yes.”
(e.e. cummings)

 

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.creativets.7.album-USE

“The song gave me a chance to tell my daughter something I never could quite figure out how to do,” says a vet in the Songwriting Program … CreatiVets helps disabled veterans cope with service-related trauma by fostering their self-expression through free music and art programs. It’s a way they can transform their struggles into an art form that helps them heal. The group flies veterans to Nashville to collaborate with accomplished songwriters for three days, or to study at either Chicago’s School of the Art Institute or Virginia’s Commonwealth University for three weeks … “It wasn’t until after I began to tell my story to people that I felt a sense of relief from some of the grief I held inside,” says a vet in the Art Program … Unsung Heroes is an inspirational tribute from nine brave veterans with nine different stories that honor and support our military heroes. Pick up the album to hear their songs and learn about the composers and veterans who collaborated on this project.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Ripple.nov2017.garcia
Grateful Dead’s Ripple

Are we all just ripples in still water? Mystical and soulful, the primary source for Ripple comes from the 23rd Psalm, with its references to still water, a cup that may be full or empty, and paths of righteousness. Robert Hunter’s lyrics provide comfort and wisdom, while Jerry Garcia’s melody is graceful and pure. When asked to name a lyric of which he was particularly proud, Hunter answered, “Let it be known there is a fountain, that was not made by the hands of men,” a line from Ripple. “That’s pretty much my favorite line I ever wrote, that’s ever popped into my head. And I believe it, you know?” Echoing the 23rd Psalm, each of us is the shepherd of each other, with the hope and optimism for a global brotherhood. “If I knew the way, I would take you home.”

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung,
Would you hear my voice come through the music?
Would you hold it near as it were your own? 

It’s a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken,
Perhaps they’re better left unsung.
I don’t know, don’t really care
Let there be songs to fill the air. 

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow. 

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty,
If your cup is full may it be again,
Let it be known there is a fountain,
That was not made by the hands of men. 

There is a road, no simple highway,
Between the dawn and the dark of night,
And if you go no one may follow,
That path is for your steps alone. 

Ripple in still water,
When there is no pebble tossed,
Nor wind to blow. 

You, who choose to lead, must follow
But if you fall you fall alone.
If you should stand then who’s to guide you?
If I knew the way I would take you home. 

La dee da da da …

 

 

Who rescued whom?
KEEP-YP+Barkley
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
KEEP-Buddha
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Orient Express pic: a postcard for the Orient Express, c. 1900 (photo: Arjan den Boer)
2001: A Space Odyssey pic: Stanley Kubrick (1968)
Arthur C. Clark’s 2001: A Space Odyssey: Chapter 9
Dog News pic: Courtesy of Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando
Endnote pic: Marc Tetro
Robert Hunter quote: Rolling Stone 2015
Ripple lyrics: Jerome J. Garcia, Robert C. Hunter ©Universal Music Publishing Group

November 27, 2017
All Rights Reserved

October Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

29 Oct

OCTOBER’S FREEFALL
 TomPetty.Getty

“Gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for a while
And I’m free, free fallin’…” 

Tom Petty was MusiCares Person of The Year and celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary with a high-profile tour. What a great year he was having – then our hearts were broken ... “Well I know what’s right, I got just one life, In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around, But I’ll stand my ground, And I won’t back down” … TP once said of I Won’t Back Down, his anthem of iron will and moral conviction, “It’s so bare, without any ambiguity. There was nothing there but truth.” He could have been talking about any one of his songs. In fact those words could have been said about him, too.

 

DRACULA’S PRELUDE

Stoker.churchyard.oct2017

What would Halloween’s month be without a scary tale? How about a story of how that scary tale came to be? In 1890 Bram Stoker was the overworked manager of London’s Lyceum Theatre. Exhausted – perhaps he felt the energy had been sucked out of him? – he went on vacation to Whitby, a remote seaside village in North Yorkshire. Starting out as a peaceful vacation, he ended up creating Dracula. Planning to write, the seashore fueled his imagination. Medieval cottages, a church with a graveyard full of weathered headstones, and the ruins of Whitby Abbey. Seeing this 13th century pile of Gothic arches built on the remains of a 7th century monastery, a light went off for Stoker. Along with a full view of the harbor, he could visualize that this lovely setting was perfect for a Gothic horror story. Walking in the churchyard, Stoker noted many names and dates off the gravestones that he would use. He learned that in 1855 the ship Dmitry left a Russian port and encountered a fierce storm. It found its way into the Whitby harbor and gave Stoker the idea for Count Dracula’s arrival in England. It was Whitby’s museum library where he found a book on Eastern European culture and folklore, William Wilkinson’s An Account of the Principalities of Wallachia and Moldovia, helping him flesh out the origins of his vampire. He read that DRACULA in Wallachian language means DEVIL, a person with courage, cruel actions, and cunning. So he had the geographical origin, nationality, and now a sinister name. Stoker’s visit to Whitby, a peaceful and pleasant English village, was the catalyst for what became the most famous vampire novel.

 

I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND

Elizabeth-barrett-browning AndRobertBrowningHands.oct.2017

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of being and ideal grace

That’s the beautiful first stanza of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43. Here is a plaster cast of Robert Browning holding Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s hand. It is by Harriet Hosmer (1830-1908), considered the most distinguished female sculptor in America during the 19th century and is known as the first female professional sculptor. These hands evoke the romance and strong union shared by the Brownings. You can tell which hand is which by the size of the hands and the clearly masculine and feminine wrist cuffs. Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote that it symbolizes “the individuality and heroic union of two highly poetic lives.” And it is clear to see it personifies Elizabeth’s famous sonnet.

 

CELEBRATING JOHN’S BIRTHDAY (OCTOBER 8)

Book.Imagine.oct2017.jpg

John Lennon believed that music, art, and peace have the power to change the world. French graphic artist Jean Jullien has illustrated Imagine, the first picture book set to John’s original lyrics. With a foreword by Yoko, it was created in collaboration with Amnesty Internationalto inspire a new generation to imagine a world at peace.” … The book tells the story of a pigeon who sets out on a journey to spread a message of peace and friendship among birds from around the world Imagine’s enduring message for humanity sure is a clarion call for our times. With its simple illustrations, this beautiful book is a reminder that it is the simple things we do every day that can make a difference. Since ultimately we have the power to help heal the world. And the world will live as one.

 

FROM A SOUP CAN TO MARS

RayBradbury.F451.oct2017

In the 1940’s Ray Bradbury was an aspiring writer. As such, he had a scant budget. So when he cooked for his new bride it was classic newlywed style—he opened a can of Campbell’s tomato soup. Even as his fame and bank account grew, he stayed loyal to his favorite meal, ordering cans of the soup by the case. The author of such great sci-fi classics as Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles (my fave), The Illustrated Man, and Dandelion Wine told Playboy in 1996, “…At one time, I had planned to have my ashes put into a Campbell’s tomato soup can and then have it planted on Mars.” But then he thought it should be a place his fans could visit. His plain headstone at Westwood Memorial Park bears his name and “Author of Fahrenheit 451.” But it was NASA that gave him the ultimate tribute when they landed a rover on Mars a few months after Bradbury’s death in 2012. They named the site where the Mars Curiosity touched down, “Bradbury Landing.” Ray Bradbury had the most amazing imagination and left us with stories that inspire us to dream.

 

TO TOO

MeToo.oct2017

Too is widespread and significant as of late. A little word, but a mighty one … Adverb 1. in addition, also, furthermore, moreover 2. to an excessive extent or degree: you’re too kind. 3. more than should be: too near the fire. 4. an affirmative to contradict a negative statement: I am too! 5. extremely; very … We’re using it, saying it, what does it really mean? Too is only a stressed form of the preposition to. Too started out as to. In 900, Old English to basically expressed “in the direction of.” When it was stressed, to went on to mean “furthermore,” “also,” and “excessively.” By the 16th century to, used at the end of a phrase indicating stress, its spelling became too. By the early 20th century, its use as emphasis became universally accepted. And now in the 21st century, its use is powerful and empowering.

 

DO YOU BELIEVE?!

Cher.Shoes.oct2017

What the…?!?! I saw this in my Twitter feed and thought – it’s gotta be Cher. Who else? With just these boots, Cher revealed in several tweets that she has been cast in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. All she would say about her character is that “her look is amazing, not like anything I’ve done & she’s a pistol.” Of course …. But wait! There’s more! A musical based on her life and career is coming to Broadway. The Cher Show, paying homage to her 1970’s show The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour, will cover her six-decade career and feature her best known songs. “My life as a musical on Broadway. It seems crazy, exciting, and bizarre – but that’s probably how my life seems to most people,” says Cher.

 

ENDNOTE FROM GENE SIMMONS

EndNote.GeneSimmons.oct2017

What’s the best advice you ever received? “The wisest person I ever met continues to be my mother. She survived a Nazi concentration camp at fourteen when her whole family was killed. Her perspective on life is, ‘Every day above ground is a good day, so reach for the stars. As long as there’s nobody trying to kill you, what have you got to lose? You cannot fail.’ And she’s right.”

 

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.ASPCA

The ASPCA needs our help to care for the thousands of beloved pets and shelter animals displaced by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. They deployed animal search-and-rescue teams, provided critical supplies, and established an emergency animal shelter. They are also sending supplies to partner shelters affected by Northern California’s wildfires. So far they have come to the aid of 18,000 animals impacted by the recent back-to-back disasters. 100% of our donations goes to the ASPCA Field Investigation and Response Fund, which supports all of the ASPCA’s life-saving efforts for animals in disaster and cruelty situations.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.TP-FreeFallin.oct2017

Tom Petty’s Free Fallin’

 “Good songs stay written. Good records stay made…Tom made a lot of great music, enough to carry people forward.” (Bruce Springsteen) 

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

She’s a good girl, loves her mama
Loves Jesus and America too
She’s a good girl, crazy ’bout Elvis
Loves horses and her boyfriend too

It’s a long day living in Reseda
There’s a freeway runnin’ through the yard
And I’m a bad boy ’cause I don’t even miss her
I’m a bad boy for breakin’ her heart 

And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah I’m free, free fallin’ 

All the vampires walkin’ through the valley
Move west down Ventura boulevard
And all the bad boys are standing in the shadows
All the good girls are home with broken hearts 

And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah I’m free, free fallin’
Free fallin’, now I’m free fallin’, now I’m
Free fallin’, now I’m free fallin’, now I’m 

I want to glide down over Mulholland
I want to write her name in the sky
Gonna free fall out into nothin’
Gonna leave this world for a while 

And I’m free, free fallin’
Yeah I’m free, free fallin’

 

Who rescued whom?
So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
KEEP-YP+BarkleyThanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
KEEP-Buddha“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Tom Petty pic: Michael Putland/Getty Images
I Won’t Back Down lyrics: Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Tom Petty quote: Rolling Stone interview (2009)
Bram Stoker pic of St. Mary’s churchyard: iStock
About Whitby: bramstokerestate.com
Hands pic: Metropolitan Museum of Art
Nathaniel Hawthorne quote: From his novel, The Marble Faun
Cher pic and quotes: Twitter @cher
Endnote quote by Gene Simmons: Rolling Stone (September 25, 2017)
We Can Help pic: ASPCA rescue/Hurricane Irma
Soundtrack quote by Bruce: David Fricke interview (October 2017)
Free Fallin’ lyrics: Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Music video of Tom Petty performing Free Fallin’ ©1989 UMG Recordings, Inc.

June Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

26 Jun

JUNE’S SUPER TRIBUTES

PAReunion-use.top.june2017

PAReunion-use.bottom.june2017.cr-use

A tribute to love and the arts, my Performing Arts high school reunion was described by one of my classmates as “a roomful of love.” There was a lot of love, all of us happy to be together, some classmates coming from afar. All these years we have never lost touch with each other. There is a sense of ease when you are with the people you were always most comfortable with. We all knew that we hit the jackpot – none of us cut out for a standard high school experience. We were dancers, actors, and musicians. We were outsiders and we found each other. And we never lost that bond.

HAIL WONDER WOMAN

Wonder_Woman.june2017.cartoon-use

Have you seen the new Wonder Woman movie? It is the updated version of the classic comic book character from DC Comics (1941) and the TV series (1970s). The most popular female comic-book superhero of all time, the series is celebrated for its depiction of strong women. In her book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Deckle Edge, 2014), Jill Lepore reveals our hero’s origins, essentially based on feminism. Influenced by early suffragists and feminists, Dr. William Moulton Marston created her in 1941. In his first script, he explained her Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. Strengthened by supporting themselves, they developed huge physical and mental power. Dr. Marston’s comic was meant to chronicle “a great movement now under way – the growth in the power of women.” … He goes on to say, “Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who, I believe, should rule the world.”

… AND FAREWELL BATMAN

Batman.june2017.top-USE

Adam West was Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 1960s TV series. In tribute to West’s iconic portrayal of the Caped Crusader, the Bat-signal was projected onto the tower of Los Angeles City Hall. As I’m sure you remember, the Gotham City Police Department used the Bat-signal to summon the superhero to help them … West’s deadpan delivery of his lines and his genuine yet self-mocking portrayal was what made the show a phenomenon. That and the way he danced the Batusi, of course. And don’t forget that famous earworm of a theme song: dada dada dada dada. Sure the plots were absurd and his adversaries were totally nuts – the Penguin? the Joker? the Riddler? really!??! – but he made all the ridiculousness perfectly sincere and sublime.

THE MUSIC OF ART

Chagall.triump+sourceofmusicCOLLAGE.june2017-use

Marc Chagall’s Triumph of Music (left) and Source of Music (right). Aptly, these huge murals are in the windows of the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center for all to see and enjoy. Growing up in a Russian shtetl, Chagall was surrounded by musicians, many were violin players. Music became his inspiration throughout his life and his deep love of it informed his artistic style. He listened above all to Mozart while he painted. He died at 97, having lived through the 20th century’s best and worst times (Russian pogroms, WWI, and Nazi persecution in WWII) … His musically inspired works include murals for opera houses and theaters, as well as backdrops, scenery, and costumes for operas. His distinctive use of bold colors and dazzling brush strokes brought to life fanciful dreamlike animals and even a fiddler on the roof! “Color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.”

“…FIND MAGIC WHEREVER YOU LOOK”

Dr.Seuss.CatInHat.june2017-use

A whimsical tribute to Dr. Seuss and his menagerie of unforgettable characters is at The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, MA. On display are our unforgettable “childhood friends” including Yertle the Turtle, Thing One and Thing Two, the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, and Horton the Elephant who heard a Who … Aimed at children of ALL ages, the museum’s cheerful displays convey the positive message of his final book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!Congratulations! Today is your day. you’re off to great places! You’re off and away!” … And just like his books that address life’s obstacles and fears, the museum offers an environment filled with hope, encouragement, and inclusion. A welcoming message that is underscored by Dr. Seuss’s famous line from Horton Hears a Who: “Don’t give up, I believe in you all, A person’s a person no matter how small.”

FEELIN’ GROOVY

Groovy.june2017.cr-use

groov·y / ɡroovē adj.
Slang. Exciting, attractive; excellent; enjoyable:

Groovy music; Groovy car; Groovy shag haircut
“Man, those are some groovy guitar riffs.”

Hey man, so you think you know what the word groovy means? In 1932, groovy was a jazz slang term, used in a phrase meaning first-rate, performing well, or excellent such as in the groove … Teens circa 1941 started using it for wonderful. Then in the happy hippie times of the 1960s, it was used as a synonym for cool, excellent, fashionable, or awesome … However, in late Victorian England, it had the completely opposite meaning. In that time, it applied to someone stuck in a groove or a rut – a square. As defined in Farmer and Henley’s Slang and Its Analogues (1890): “GROOVY, Adj. – Settled in habit; limited in mind” … Whoa, that is definitely not groovy.

WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE DOG?

Dog.COLLAGE.pizap.june2017.BLUE-use

What makes a movie even better? A really cute dog as the star or in a supporting role, of course. They steal our hearts … Rin Tin Tin was a real German Shepherd who became a movie star in the 1920s. Rin Tin Tin the Fourth starred in the TV series (1954) about an orphan boy and his dog who help the Cavalry soldiers bring law and order to the Old West … Toto in The Wizard of Oz was played by a Cairn named Terry, whose film credit used her character name, Toto, rather than her real name. There never was a real Toto … Lassie, who starred in Lassie Come Home (1943), is also fictional. A boy in Yorkshire, England owns Lassie until his father sells her to a duke in Scotland. But brave Lassie is determined to find her way back home, encountering adventures that are the basis of the TV series (1954). Although Lassie was a female, she was played by a Rough Collie male named Pal … And my fave: Asta, the Wire Fox Terrier from The Thin Man movies. Owned by famous sleuths, Nick and Nora Charles, he helped them solve crimes by finding dead bodies and sniffing out and retrieving hidden guns. A veteran actor, he fittingly received star billing as “Asta,” his professional name.

WE CAN HELP

ACLU.june2017-use

As a tribute to Adam West/Batman, Wonder Woman, talented dogs, the power of reuniting, and the arts and creativity and freedom, donate to the American Civil Liberties Union. For almost 100 years, the ACLU works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and its laws. That includes freedom of speech and religion, a woman’s right to choose, the right to due process, and citizens’ rights to privacy. A champion for people of color, women, LGBTQ people, prisoners, immigrants, and those with disabilities, the ACLU operates within the court system to enact change and protect our basic human rights as American citizens. We can help them continue to fight for our freedom and the protection of our constitutional rights now and for the next generations.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.NBA.june2017.cr-use

Elvis Costello’s Alison

Their aim was true! 129 points true! Here’s a nod to 2017 NBA Champions the Golden State Warriors – Alison from Costello’s 1977 debut album, My Aim Is True. Go Warriors!

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Oh it’s so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl.
And with the way you look I understand
That you are not impressed.
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
Take off your party dress.

I’m not going to get too sentimental
Like those other sticky valentines,
Cause I don’t know if you’ve been loving somebody.
I only know it isn’t mine. 

Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.

Who rescued whom?KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lKEEP-Buddha“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
PA pic top: Richard Goldfinch
PA pic bottom: Richard Goldfinch
Wonder Woman pic: Wonder Woman’s revised look on the cover of Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 (2016). Art by Stanley Lau
The Cat in the Hat sculpture inside The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum: Mark Murray/Springfield Museums
Alison: Words and Music by Elvis Costello ©Universal Music Publishing Group

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