Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Another Danish Movie...

"RECONSTRUCTION", is a Danish film that came out in 2004, and that I recently rented. I've yet to meet a Danish film that I don't love. This is a movie that plays with "reality", but certainly, an exploration of love. Before the action starts the music played is, "Night and Day", Fred Astaire's version. I'm hooked already. Also there is lots of atmosphere created by people intensely smoking. It's possible that the world got hooked on smoking because of sexy movies. The photography throughout is compelling, a real feast for the eyes, as they say.
A man, Alex, a photographer, (Nikolaj Lie Kaas, quickly becoming my favorite actor), sees a woman on a subway. He decides to change his life, by leaving his present girlfriend, Simone, and pursuing under extremely cinematic conditions, the woman, Aimee. The same actress, Maria Bonnevie, ravishing and true, plays both roles. Aha. Aimee's husband, a writer who narrates the film, is seen to be actually writing the story of the other characters. Do the characters exist? Are we seeing his imagination at work? I'm reminded of John Fowles' , " The French Lieutenant's Woman", in which there is a movie being filmed within the movie, and the actors playing the roles just keep overlapping. He dares us to care, keeps telling us he's creating fiction. And we wind up caring. The actors in front of my eyes are so real..I'm falling in love. How come?
This is the first film by the Danish director, Christoffer Boe, who brings a startling control over this very enigmatic story set in Copenhagen. The story keeps shifting, and one tries to dig into a reality, to find the heart of the movie.
"Reconstruction", is most definitely a love story that keeps pulling the rug out from under us, and the characters. And having Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings", as a theme, worked very well to take me along into this wonderfully elusive film. This movie definitely is a shape shifter, not to be missed.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Fine Art

Why do I look skyward
as if an accumulation of deities
await my prayers?
A cherub here, an archangel there,
when I catch sight of them
they are tucked into a Sistine heaven.
It's the art of the Renaissance
that forms my point of view.
God pointing his finger at a burly Adam
catches my breath.
Useless to me are tattered bibles
tucked away in drawers,
or progressions of thou shalt not,
etched in stone.
Parade before me sumptuous seraphs,
garments edged in gold,
saints pierced by poetry,
to hold my hand
as I walk through paradise.
copyright/ all rights reserved

Friday, September 25, 2009


THIS MORNING THE LEAVES IN CENTRAL PARK DECIDED TO LET LOOSE. THE GLUE THAT HOLDS THEM TO SUMMERTIME has finally dissolved. A signal, shouted by a barely visible wood nymph, rang through the park. Let 'er rip!! And before my eyes, trees gave up the ghost, boughs began to shake. A tremble gained in power, as colorful leaves took part in an airlift, refusing to hit the ground. Further down the path that stretched before me, a bushel of leaves finally landed, not content to just rest in peace. A whirlwind swept through them. Dust devils swirled in a manic dance. And before my eyes, every trace of green was swept away, to live in dreams of tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


City sparrows don't care.
There I sit
in the early autumn park,
on a bench,
shaking a handful of keys
at the birds walking round my ankles.
As if they'll really hop on my hand.
Trust me, I have good intentions!
Two, almost touching my shoe,
look through me,
not knowing that I'm channeling
St. Francis of Assisi,
"My brothers, Birds, you should praise your Creator".
I'm ignored.
Feathers not even twitching,
they fly,
carried on the wind.
They know a saint when they see one.
copyright/ all rights reserved

Sunday, September 20, 2009


CRYSTAL LEE SUTTON, DECEMBER 31, 1940- SEPTEMBER 11, 2009, was a union organizer who's real life was the inspiration for the 1979 movie, "Norma Rae", starring Sally Field, for which she won an Academy Award.
Ms. Sutton worked at a textile factory in North Carolina. Poor conditions and low wages led her to take a leading role in organizing the plant. She was eventually fired, and upon leaving she defied the authorities by writing the word,"Union", on a piece of cardboard. She got up on her worktable and turned around to show her sign to her co-workers, who cut their machines off. The factory just stopped working. Within the year, the union won the right to represent the employees.
A court ordered Ms Sutton to be rehired and receive her back wages. She quit and went to work as a union organizer. She has been recognized as a woman who led a struggle of thousands, and inspired a whole generation. Including me.
It was a very hot August in 1979, and I was working in the recently renovated cosmetics department of Bloomingdale's. Lights bounced off surrounding mirrors, marble floors also seemed too reflective. This was the million dollar remake, the B'way, that put Bloomies on the map, that attracted shoppers and tourists and gawkers alike. I was the makeup artist for Revlon, and as the days wore on, the temperature in this particular department rose to the unbearable. I found that I was applying makeup to customers who's sweat needed to be mopped up as I rouged here, mascaraed there. It was cruel and disrespectful to the women who'd scheduled this treat, and it was awful for us to keep trying to do a professional job. And where was the air conditioning, we were asking? None to be found in our department. Some lame-brained excuse was given to us, day after day.. "the air conditioning is being fixed".
There was a trick. Air conditioning was turned on high at all the entrances to the store. Once you entered and were enticed into spending a cool hour or so, heading to cosmetics perhaps, a rude surprise was in store. A feverish heat clutched at the customer, who immediately became as delirious as we were. Instead of running out screaming for a respite, they swarmed over us as if hypnotized to enter an early hell. But not really buying, who would buy makeup that was flowing off their face?
I made a sign. I held it up. I turned around. The sign know what...I went from counter to counter. I got signatures. It was a petition. I said that I was taking one rep from each counter with me to the president's office at 1:00. That he would see us. That we would demand that the air conditioning be turned on immediately. OR..we would all leave the store and go on strike, that we would picket. That we would call the media, ( I had friends). That this million dollar showcase could indeed become the jewel in the crown of Bloomingdale's.
Thank you, Norma Rae. Thank you, Crystal Lee Sutton. It worked. Of course...Union, union!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


SOMETIMES the tone of things these days leads one to believe that
we, the upright walking creatures, mean to do ourselves irreparable harm.
And take the rest of this amazing planet with us.
I came across this poem by Robert Frost. Clever fellow.
Some say the world will end in fire;
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if I had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Robert Frost

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxAyles Ice Shelf
Mary Travers
November 6, 1936- September 16, 2009
"Blowin' in the Wind"
Rest In Peace

Monday, September 14, 2009


THIS LOOKS PRETTY GOOD TO ME. I'LL GET AROUND TO THE VERY SIMPLE recipe in a sec. See, every morning,(practically) after I open my computer, and check the mail...delete...I go see what's for dinner tonight!

It's pass or print.. if I print it, I jot down the ingredients on my shopping list, because with my Aries nature, I've got to have this tonight! Clutching the list, I take it with me on my daily walk through the park, tasting it over and over in my mind, making adjustments so I can claim it as my own. I always add or subtract a couple of ingredients. Then, exercise done, I stride up and down the aisles of the market till I've got dinner in my hands. Can't wait for tonight.


8 oz. Udon or Soba noodles/ 1/4 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar/ 2 tbls. sesame oil / 2 tbls. soy sauce (low sodium)/ 1 tbls. honey/ 1/2 tsp. chopped ginger/ 2 tsps. chili paste/ 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken/ 2 cloves chopped garlic/ 1 medium cucumber, halved and thinly sliced/ 1 grated carrot/ 6 tbls. thinly sliced scallions/ 3 tbls. chopped peanuts/ 1 tbls. toasted sesame seeds/

Cook noodles, drain and rinse under cold water, drain. Combine vinegar and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Add noodles, chicken, cucumbers, and carrots. Toss to coat. Top with scallions, peanuts, and sesame seeds. Serves about 5/6. A light floral white wine goes very well with this.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Walk In The Park

THIS IS THE VIEW OF THE CITY THAT I SEE ALMOST EVERY DAY. The body of water is the Reservoir, and the view is towards the West Side of Central Park. I am standing at an East Side point, having just climbed a few steps to the path, which circles the reservoir. Runners and walkers take over the path all day long, around and around. I hesitate to take this route. Usually do some stretches and stare at the incredible early morning view. I'm inspired by all the effort, and calmed by the harmony of it all.

Today there was a battle between the trees and the wind. Leaves were persistent, held fast to the branches, too early in the approaching season to let go just yet. What compares to the sound of shaking, rustling leaves? I can't quite find that music anywhere else.
Cool at 63 degrees this morning. An early fall? We sometimes reach that temperature on a special day in the winter, and say,"My, it's hot today"! But today's 63 seems to be an entry to fall.
I'm holding on to my pink New York Yankees cap, feels as if it will be swept off my head, become airborne. Dozens of sparrows skitter on the ground, and in the air. A fat breasted pigeon walks close to my steps, spotting a crumb. Many folks eat in the park, drop food intentionally, or by accident. The birds know that there's a never ending supply, have the nerve to walk closely to those of us who share their space. I talk to them, they don't mind. The original tweeters.
I sit on a park bench, close to the 90th Street/ Fifth Ave. entrance. A plaque is fixed to the back of the bench, this one paying respect to the beloved Iris. Anyone can have a plaque placed on a park bench to honor a loved one, or a moment in time. I thought that I would like that sort of memorial to be placed on a bench someday for me. I could even slip some money to my friends and family to tack one up when the time comes. Then I found out how much it would be. $7500. Not so fast. Guess I'll have to count on good memories alone. I told a friend to write my name in the sand. Remember, no energy is ever lost.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thieves Oil

THERE ARE MANY SOAPS AND SANITIZERS FOR SALE, TO HELP US GET RID OF THE GERMS ON OUR HANDS AND BODY. Unfortunately these seem to be getting less resistant to bacteria.
Researchers have concluded that the dispensing of cinnamon oil, which has antiseptic properties, would serve as a natural anti-microbial. The combination of cinnamon bark, lemon oil, and eucalyptus, is a recipe that goes back to the Middle Ages, where it was used by thieves who stole jewelry from dead bodies. They didn't get sick. The mixture came to be known as Thieves Oil.
As the Bubonic Plague decimated Europe in the year 1413, the thieves who were captured robbing the dead and dying, were offered leniency if they revealed how they resisted infection. As perfumers and spice traders, they used a special concoction that they rubbed on themselves. This wasn't the first time in history that herbal mixtures were medicinally used. In the Old Testament, Moses used aromatic substances to protect the Israelites from the plagues that decimated ancient Egypt.
And here we are, facing another flu epidemic, waiting for the next bulletin to save ourselves. But, keep in mind, most bacteria can't live in many essential oils. I'm not suggesting to anyone to substitute herbal remedies for flu vaccine. It's just interesting to me that a bunch of thieves in the Dark Ages survived the Black Plague with a rub of oil, a dusting of spices. By the way, there are companies that market Thieves Oil. I think I may order a dab!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Going Home.

This film was originally shown on HBO (cable). It's available on DVD. The story is based on a journal kept by Marine Lt.Col. Michael Strobl, a Desert Storm veteran, with 17 years of military service. The film and journal chronicle Strobl, played by an excellent Kevin Bacon, who volunteers to escort the body of the 19 year old slain Marine, Lance Corporal Chance Phelps, killed by hostile fire in Al Anbar Province, Iraq, to his final resting place.
Strobl was so moved by the outpouring of respect for the fallen Marine, that he decided to capture the experience in his journal, which became an Internet sensation before it was made into a movie. The journey from Iraq, taking Chance Phelps home, was made in 2004. The sad voyage is shown in the simplest terms. There isn't a false or embellished note, verbally or visually.
Truly one of the best films I've ever seen dealing with the consequences of war. There is a great lesson about true selflessness and courage, and a very strong look at military rituals for honoring their war dead.
At the end of the film, pictures and videos of the real Chance Phelps and his family are shown. Pure and honest film making of the highest order. The movie was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundown Film Festival for Best Drama.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Let's Eat!

I THINK THAT EVERYONE WHO COOKS HAS A VERSION OF CHICKEN PARMESAN. Mine is very easy, very delicious. It cuts down on fat content, on calories. Instead of the usual heavy breading of the chicken breasts, I coat just once. Also the cheeses, (parm, mozzarella) are low fat. Taste isn't lost because of the variety of the ingredients. I use a favorite brand of pasta sauce, one that has chunks of tomato, a rough chop that feels homemade. Of course, you can make your own from scratch...I do sometimes. I love this with long, crispy green beans, or very green asparagus, or, to be sure..pasta! And crunchy bread. Actually I love to dip it into the sauce, probably more than even eating the meal!
Preheat oven to 375 deg.
2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (increase amount to what is needed). Pound between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper till about 1/3 in. thin. Salt and pepper.
Spread seasoned bread crumbs(or make your own), on a plate. Press chicken halves into crumbs till they adhere.
Heat about 1 tbls. olive oil in oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Add coated breasts, cook about 2 minutes on each side. Remove to platter.
Spread 1/2 cup tomato sauce on bottom of skillet, add chicken, place 2 tbls. sauce on each piece. Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves over each, 2 tbls. Parmigiano-Reggiano on each, 3/4 cup of shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese over all.
Bake for about 15 min. till cheese is melted and chicken is cooked through. Remove and sprinkle with parsley.
I like to drink a medium bodied Pinot Grigio, rich and fruity, perfect for this meal. Enjoy!


Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin