Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dream On...

Water isn't a peril
unless you're drowning in it.
You imagined you could start
your own way of breathing
while riding the waves.
Now you want me to save you.
I can say yes,
I can.
I know how to put my mouth to wounds
to kiss the damage away.
I myself write notes to saints
but every bleeding gash I show
proves less worthy
than the stigmata.
Alright, I'll save you.
First time for me too.
Step one,
stop nailing smoke to the wall,
send flowers to your memories,
and bury them
as if they were a dead princess.
c copyright/ all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


NORTHEASTERN ADIRONDACKS IN UPSTATE NEW YORK, home to about 5,000 other bears. She is named for the 2 yellow ear tags that help wildlife officials keep track of her. This extremely shy, rather small, middle-aged black bear has managed to figure out how to break into a complex locking system that allows her, and apparently no other bear in the country, to open a BearVault500, a popular canister designed to keep camper's and hiker's food tamper free. In all the break-ins, it is indicated that Yellow-Yellow was in the vicinity, her radio collar giving her away. She is simply able to open the canister as quickly as a camper does.
The manufacturers and Dept. of Environmental Conservation believe that they are dealing with a genius bear, who has made short shrift of the complex lid, and is able to get to the food with a twist and a snap. She doesn't much care for humans, isn't threatening, just likes our food. The manufacturers believe that it may not be too long before other bears get to figure out how to tear into this canister, and are at this moment working on a really foolproof canister. But "bear" in mind, she has outsmarted thousand pound grizzlies across the country who have only met with frustration in trying to unearth the secret of the BearVault 500. She seems to be one of a kind.
There's a rumor going round that Yellow-Yellow is forming classes to instruct moderately gifted bears on how to make humans look as foolish as she's been able to do.

The BearVault500/canister...easily opened by Yellow-Yellow.
Based on information from an article in the NYT.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Good Career..

JUDITH LEYSTER/ self portrait/ circa 1632-1633
A WOMAN NAMED JUDITH LEYSTER, 1609-1660, HAD A CAREER IN ART 400 YEARS AGO IN HOLLAND. One might say that Leyster was ahead of her time, but the expanding culture of art in the Netherlands in the 17th Century was an open door to creativity. It was said that everyone was a collector, that even farmhouses were decorated with paintings.
In her self portrait, above, she turns to us, greets us with warmth and a smile, and invites us to view what she does best...paint. She wasn't amongst the greatest, such as Rembrandt, but she was considered to be very good, and the 400th Anniversary of her birth is being celebrated. After training with such as Frans Hals, she earned membership in the prestigious guild of St. Luke in Haarlem.

A Game of Tric Trac/ circa 1631
She had her own workshop, her own students and her own style, one that combined the brushwork of Hals, and the chiaroscuro of Caravaggio. But her story took a familiar turn. She married a painter, Jan Miense Molenaer, had three children and painted less and less frequently. As her husband's art grew in popularity, hers diminished. Perhaps the demands of domesticity replaced her artistic talent, as has often been the case.

Young Flute Player/ circa 1635
Many of her paintings were attributed to other artists and weren't properly identified until the 1890's. Her art reflects a humor and engagement that surely emphasizes her personality. She is being honored now with an exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC., through November 29, 2009.
xMerry Company/ circa 1630-1631
The National Gallery show includes just 10 of her paintings featuring her self portrait. The exhibition was organized by the curator of Northern Baroque painting, Arthur J. Wheelock, Jr.
Then as now it may have been difficult for a woman to have everything, but not impossible to try. This woman found a way to be creative, to be dedicated. To be an artist. And quite special enough to be saluted 400 years later.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


THE DANISH FILM MAKER, SUSANNE BIER'S psychological drama, "BRODRE",(BROTHERS) 2005, examines a contemporary tragedy. Imaginative and engrossing screenwriting incorporates violence in Afghanistan with an intimate study of domestic relationships. Fine performances of power and ferocity portray emotional truths both at home and at war.
Jannik, played by the peerless Nicolaj Lie Kaas is the aimless younger brother of Michael, (Ulrich Thomsen). He has just been released from prison for having committed a petty crime. Michael, the"good" brother, loving husband and father, and a doctor, is sent temporarily to Afghanistan with his reserve military unit. His helicopter is shot down, and his wife Sarah, ( Connie Nielsen), is notified that he has been killed.
The movie is basically about consequences. Michael is rescued, but his life is shattered because of a fateful event, an atrocity. When he returns to his wife and family, he is a broken man, full of rage. His jealousy and suspicion of Jannik and Sarah become increasingly irrational. The brother roles are exchanged; the good and the troublesome personas switch.
The movie was the winner in 2005 of the Sundance Film Festival's Audience Award for Drama. There is great narrative drive, and as in other Dogme films, locations are real and actors are given the freedom of movement and improvisation.
Dogme/Dogma is an avant-garde film movement started in 1995 by Danish directors, Thomas Vinterberg and Lars von Trier, who wanted to make films not dependent on huge budgets. The goal was to cause a stir, to rethink the essence of film making. Dogme has roots in the '60's New Wave.
A Hollywood movie, "Brothers", was made in 2009 and is being released on DVD. I hope that they don't miss the point of "Brodre", that we don't necessarily know who we are, will be, in terms of right and wrong, when our lives are turned upside down.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baby Blues.

ACCORDING TO A DANISH RESEARCHER, DR. HANS EIBERG, of the University of Copenhagen, if you have blue eyes, you're related to a common ancestor. Every blue eyed person is descended from one person whose genes mutated some 6000 to 10,000 years ago.
A genetic mutation affecting the OCA2 gene, affected the production of melanin, which controls the color of hair, eyes, and skin. The mutation turned off the ability of this ancestor to produce brown eyes. The turned down switch diluted brown eyes to blue. All blue eyes have the same gene changes linked to the mutation that makes blue eyes.
Dr Eiberg concludes that all blue eyed individuals are linked to the same distant ancestor. So, my far flung blue eyed relatives, I greet you in the name of our common inheritance. We have all been given the same switch at the exact same spot in our DNA. Eyes wide open, let's go forth with clear vision! And old brown eyes out there, you are the majority, after all.
Based on an article by Jeanne Bryner/ Live Science

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Just Imagine..

to be a sudden flash of enlightenment. No, I call this a revelation of sorts. It needs to be shared, and I want to tell it simply.
My mother passed away on July 18, 2008. On the anniversary of her death, yesterday, my thoughts and feelings were focused on her from the moment I awakened. I slightly entertained the thought that it would be "nice" if I received some sort of sign from her. I am big on signs, clues, emanations, from whoever is tossing off comfort and joy.
It was an early breakfast that I was preparing in the kitchen. I switched on the radio as usual and had to strain to hear the classical station I listen to in the morning. I heard the hushed beginning of Ravel's Bolero. It took me a couple of seconds to realize, and I then felt as if I were being splashed with cold water. Because from the time I was a babe, my Mom practically fell into a swoon whenever she heard the Bolero. I stood transfixed as the music rose to its crescendo. I felt as if we were listening to it together, didn't dare move too far from this "sign". It was an answer to prayers. And I started to laugh at this incredible cosmic "coincidence"! Who sent it? Mom? An angel? God? In an instant I felt that I was being reassured of our connectedness. Why me? Maybe because I'm such a nag for enlightenment. Maybe I have enough points for a miracle.
But let's not stop there. I happened to be watching a local TV program in the late afternoon, of that very day; an interview with the new conductor of the New York Philharmonic, when Mr. Gilbert mentioned that he wanted to take the audience further away from their comfort zone. Not that there was anything wrong with the great favorite,"Bolero", he proclaimed, as I grabbed hold of a chair. No, I wasn't going to faint. Just trying to be graceful as I accept this experiment in miraculous coincidence. Here we go again...thank you to whoever. Thank you for this special gift.
Not so fast. Things do come in three's, don't they? Am I giving it away? Last year my ex passed away on July 19, 2008, one day after my Mom died. We were overwhelmed, of course. I had a thought today, his anniversary, that it would sort of round things off if there could be a sign from him. Yet, why me, the ex? I seemed to be in the mood to collect signs. Last night I felt that music would be a "logical" contact. Not so far fetched, he was a superb clarinetist, classical and otherwise. Yes, clarinet music would be suitable. Well, there I was in the kitchen again, today, preparing some lunch, switching on the radio...
My ex,"CS", always favored Von Weber's Concerto for Clarinet and Piano, and that's what I was rewarded with. This time I didn't laugh, I just sniffled a bit. Something very different has happened. Really.
I know what amazing grace is now. You never know when signs and revelations will be heaped on you. Actually, it's quite wonderful!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

One Year

bits of your own disbelief keep shocking you. But knowledge strikes minute after minute, hour after hour. This new time is unlike any you have ever known before.
On July 18, 2008, I received a call from the retirement home where my Mom resided. A nurse/caretaker informed me that Mom had been ill that week, and just passed away. I wanted to say,"Don't be silly", because my Mom can't die. I became twelve years old again and knew that my Mom would live forever. I asked for a moment, put the phone down, and caught a trickle of tears beginning.
My Mom lived an incredibly long life. I wonder if I have that DNA. Somehow I want to give it back, because her last few years were wrapped in the fog of old age. Where are we when we fall down that well? I like to think she was packing all her wit and talent and humor to take to the other side. She was hell on wheels sometimes, but I don't think she wound up there!
A day later, I received a call from my son telling me that his father, my ex, had passed away on July 19, 2008. This was quite unexpected. He'd been ill on and off, his condition had worsened, he was rushed to the hospital, seemed to delay dying till my son arrived, and after he told my son that now everything was alright, he died.
First year anniversary. I still shake my head in wonder at this coincidence. It is confusing to apportion grief. One minute I was mourning Mom, the next I was thinking of my ex. I can't figure it out, this seemingly rushed need for departure. But I do know one thing. My Mom and C. really liked each other. Maybe they were on the same cloud.."what, you here too?"
Mom is with me every day. She's so important. I didn't think it would be this way. It doesn't bother me at all that I call her name, before I even ask God for a favor. Maybe because she always tried to help, and I can't forget that. My ex? As my son says can his Dad not be on earth?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


x xphoto/ Andrew Scrivani for the New York Times

I SURE LIKE MY VEGGIES. I USUALLY MAKE A MEAL out of what you might call a side dish. I don't starve, I add a bit of something here and there to give the meal shape and heft. Take this wonderful dish, Middle Eastern Spinach with Spices and Yogurt. The color alone is a feast. And the taste will make you forget about the omission of meat. Maybe.
So , here's the recipe, adapted from The New York Times. Their recipe calls for leaf spinach. I like frozen because you need a ton of leaf spinach to make it count. To make a meal, I like to add some sort of potato dish, maybe steamed, olive oil drizzled on top, with a sprinkling of salt, pepper and chives or dill. Couscous is good too. Also, always a chunka munka of crusty French bread. And of course an all inclusive salad, you know, the kind you like. Fill a glass with wine half way to start with. You will be happy.
1 tsp. curry powder or to taste
1/8 tsp. gr. cinnamon
1 clove garlic
salt to taste/ black pepper
1 cup drained yogurt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 pkg. frozen chopped spinach
Defrost and drain frozen spinach in a colander, squeeze out moisture. Heat a skillet over medium heat, add curry and cinnamon. Add pine nuts, stir for 2 or 3 minutes. When oil is sizzling, add spinach, salt and pepper to taste. Saute and stir for 2-3 minutes, until spinach is heated through and coated with oil and spices. Mash garlic and add to yogurt. Transfer to serving dish, and spoon yogurt over the top. Sprinkle with chopped green onions, or dill. Serves 2.
This can be served as a side dish for meat, fish, or poultry. But not by me!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bad Movies!

IT'S BEEN SAID THAT NONE OF THESE MOVIES really exist. Because who would go out of their way to produce, direct, or star in a movie that was headed straight for oblivion., financial failure, or universal disdain, (sounds like the b- branch of a well known studio). The answer is simple: the big guys can't tell. Since no one has really ever seen any of these films, let this be a warning not to be the first. Critics excluded. They get paid to do it.

Lets make an exception of "Plan 9 From Outer Space",(1959) and "Glen or Glenda",(1953), both directed by and starring Ed Wood. We know that they've been seen because they top the list of every worst film anthology around. "Glen/Glenda" is a quasi-documentary about a sort of identity crisis and angora sweaters. This is viewed by some to be even worse than "Plan 9", which among other things, stars Bela Lugosi in his final role. (Is he still dead?) Yet, it is safe to say that this movie survives beyond criticism. This kind of bad exists in a stratosphere that is better than good.

" The Postman", (1997), starring Kevin Costner. Illogical post-apocalyptic saga, sentimental, soppy dialog. Probably the way everyone will speak after the "big" one is dropped. Yada yada. One critic called it, "Dancing With Myself"...not "With Wolves". ...Received the highest amount of Razzies(5) ever handed out to one movie. That's what critics do when they're being tortured.


" Gigli ", (2003). Big Bomb starring Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck. Re-writes were going on all through the making of the film. In fact re-writes were going on after the film was done. Then the producers jumped into the Pacific. Hurray for Hollywood. No one went to see this movie. They couldn't stand the Lopez/Affleck real life romance, would never pay the price of a ticket to see them on screen, when they'd already seen them in People Mag.

"Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot", (1992). starring Sylvester Stallone, with Estelle Getty as "Mom". Stallone himself has said, " One of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions we've never seen." Maybe he should have done comedy. Why can't stars tell what's going on?
"ZYZZYX Road", (2003). NO PIC....Doesn't matter who was in this. Made an amount of money never seen before. $30. at the box office. Yes, I will repeat it..$30. Limited release. Six days in one single theater in Dallas, Texas. According to Leo Grillo, director, it sold 6 tickets; 2 to cast members. Well, OK, starring Katherine Heigl and Tom Sizemore. Guys, why?
"Battlefield Earth", (2000), starring John Travolta, Forest Whitaker. Poor script, foolish inconsistencies, blah blah dialog. A cute critic called the film "Travolting". Golden Raspberry Award, (shameful indeed), for Worst Screen Couple: John Travolta and anyone on the screen with him. I hear they shipped this one out to Mars!

And, Ta Da!!! "The Hottie and the Nottie", (2008). Starring Paris Hilton. Nah, you know that isn't possible.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


What if a day was a product
that I could tie up with a ribbon
and put on a shelf?
What if my anger was called Pandora
with the caution not to disturb?
What if the end of days
lets me finally open that box,
to unpack a memento of you?
What if I found that the package is empty,
and I don't get those days back again?
I seem to recall the poison you brewed,
a toxin without a vaccine.
I thought I'd find an explanation
with a note left by you.
You didn't apologize
for the lava bubbling
where your blood was supposed to flow.
I remember your voice
as the sound of the wolf
baying at the moon.
I bite my lip as the truth bleeds through.
I'm the one who was fooled.
I chose to be the singer,
and I named the song after you.
c copyright/ all rights reserved

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Last Lines

THIS IS A RATHER SHORT LISTof famous last lines from even more famous movies. Just in case you've forgotten, I'll prompt you a bit.
Who can forget Vivien Leigh's final words as Scarlett O'Hara in "Gone With the Wind", 1939.
"I'll go home and I'll think of some way to get him back! After all, tomorrow is another day!"

Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in "The Wizard of Oz", 1939. "And oh, Auntie Em, there's no place like home."
Bette Davis as Charlotte Vale in "Now Voyager", 1942. To Paul Henreid: "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars."

Joe E. Brown as Osgood Fielding III, "Some Like It Hot", 1959, to Jack Lemmon: "Well, nobody's perfect!"

Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, "The Silence of the Lambs", 1991, into the phone: "I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner. Bye."

Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in "Casablanca", 1943, to Claude Rains: "Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."

And I hope not last.. So happy to have received this Kreativ Blogger award from the talented and original Marty at Dark Star Discovery. I am one of those creatures who likes to collect stuff. Can't help myself! Will gratefully display this honor! Will blog for food!

Monday, July 6, 2009


xxxxxxxSculpture: LauraJane Zimmer-Reed
Eleven years old
and the light in his eyes
dims to black points.
The roundness of his chin
takes on a shimmer
that looks like whiskers.
Little ancient boy will never smile,
he's slipped out
the back door of childhood.
A Buddhist teacher
at his side whispers,
" You have 84,000 different emotions,
and the three poisons.
Just thoughts.
Don't be distracted."
The boy shrugs,
no stranger
to the study of virtue.
Break free. Be empty. Go away. Come back.
But first
he wants
to run outside
and play in the snow.
Simply a thought.

from: TWO GHOSTS/ poems

BORN ON THE 4TH OF JULY! LUCKY MILO, my Yankee Doodle Dandy, celebrates his 5th HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

High Line Park

in New York that extends from Gansevoort
Street north to West 34th St. At one time
a locomotive passed a couple of times a
week, until that became obsolete.
Now it has become a park, known as the High Line.
It's been planted and
paved, as far north as 20th Street, the rest
to be completed soon. A gate stops people
from walking any farther now.

There is lighting along the path meant to glow on the walkway. But the lights on top of the stairway exit shine a very bright light into some apartments. One such belongs to Patty Heffley, a former punk-rock photographer. She found that her fourth floor living room was flooded with light, and her fire escape, more or less, became a stage. Being handed a lemon, she made lemonade.

So on June 17th, Ms. Heffley invited a friend, a jazz singer, Elizabeth Soychak, to perform on the fire escape. Colored lanterns were strung and a mike was handed to Ms. Soychak, who wore a flowing chiffon dress. She was introduced and sang an a cappella version of Johnny Mercer's "Early Autumn ." She performed several sets, to a very receptive audience, who called out to encourage her. Strollers stopped and listened from the park benches. One man sang along.
So was born the High Line Park Renegade Cabaret. The Cabaret now has a Facebook page. Soon its own Webpage. In New York, everything is location, location, location.
Ms. Heffley says, "If you see the patio lights lit, you'll know something is going to go on when it gets dark."
I for one, can hardly wait! It seems "the show will... go on!"
Fire escape: Jessica Dimmock for The NYTimes

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Steppin' Out!

Why not kick up my heels, do the can-can,
turn fate on its ear? Or, I should say,
turn it to my eye.
One more time I'm heading to
the hospital for some rapid surgery.
Seems my left eyelid didn'tbehave
itself as nicely as my right eyelid
did after my last operation. Lazy
muscle, what good is that to me?
So far three surgeries in a
more to go. Here's the story... two
cataracts, fabulous success.
20/20 eyesight, no glasses anymore!
But, lids are lazy, not as uplifting
as they used to be, really interfered
with my great vision...soooo, a bit
of ratcheting up was recommended.
Well, here's where I came in. Back
to the lab to try to get that naughty
left lid to behave. I do hope this will
be the successful end to my eye saga.
Now where are my dark glasses?


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