Sunday, June 29, 2008

beautiful dreamer

It challenges the imagination to contemplate what lives we could transform if we were to cease killing.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) minister, civil rights leader, Nobel Peace Prize recipient

stephen foster's (1826-1864) "beautiful dreamer" as interpreted by jason waldron

photo: rosie & tsuki dreaming of lives outside, june 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

I am woman

even though I'm on the road right now and don't usually post while away, I still want to play tugboat dave's weekly photo challenge (the theme is women!). now that ched showed me how I can actually schedule posts I can play even if I'm not at home and near my computer (and all my photos)! the picture above was taken during 1989 at a massive march for women's equality and women's lives.

speaking of women's equality don't you find it distressing that the united states has never passed an equal rights amendment. during most of the twentieth century the equal rights amendment was a rallying cry for much organizing and women's mobilization. the language of the equal rights amendment is very simple:
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall take effect two years after the date of ratification.
I guess guaranteeing women equal rights is way too threatening a concept in these united states....

have you seen this incredible celebration of womanhood, as seen by artists over the centuries?



helen reddy singing her classic 'I am woman' (1972)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

peace train

transportation is our thursday theme this week.

it is summer - and here in the northern hemisphere this is the season in which many of us like to be elsewhere. to be elsewhere means using some form of transportation to get from here to there! however, nowadays being elsewhere isn't as carefree and fancy free as it once was. now we have global warming, carbon footprints, and the high cost of gasoline to consider - not to mention the overall destruction of our planet and the extinction of all sentient life forms!! shit, it's almost enough to make a person want to stay at home -- or say f**k it and just carry on as usual!

as someone who both likes to be elsewhere but also would like our species (not to mention all others) be around to usher in the next millennium, I actually try to be mindful of my transportation choices. in april I celebrated my 2 year anniversary of being carfree - as a middle class individual who lives in the united states, in a city that is not new york, boston, chicago, or san francisco* being carfree is a unique status and is considered by others as something definitely 'beyond the pale.' -- yes, it is sometimes a challenge, however, I am fortunate to live in a city seems devoted to providing public transportation and I'm very satisfied with my carfree status. in fact, I'm even hopeful that because of the rise of gasoline prices, etc, there will be more folks embracing a carfree lifestyle and that we will see an expansion of public transportation offerings.

in the two plus years that I have been relying on the bus and train as my main method of transportation (outside of walking) I have seen a noticeable increase in ridership. I'm also seeing more folks who are combining various means of transportation - they are carrying their bikes on to the bus or the train.

one new addition to the personal vehicle scene locally is the smart car - these vehicles are a recent arrival to the united states. the first time I saw a smart car was several years ago when I was traveling in europe - I thought they were a perfect urban vehicle (for their maneuverability, fuel efficiency, and overall cuteness) - I'm quite pleased to see that they finally have made it to this side of the pond!

another new concept in many cities, like cleveland, are services like 'city wheels' - city wheels is a car sharing organization. since it hasn't hit the west side of town yet, I haven't done much research into its services or what it can offer me. however, I understand interested folks pay a monthly membership fee and they have access to a fleet of vehicles in which to use on an hourly or daily basis.

along with an increase in bus and train ridership, the other big change I've noticed is an increase in people riding motorcycles and motor scooters. the picture above I snapped wednesday while I was out and about. I talked with the gentleman riding the scooter as he asked me for directions - I told him he had a fine looking bike and asked how long he's been riding the scooter. he said he loved his scooter, has had it for a few months now, and that it gets 65 miles to a gallon.

when I worked at the public hospital here in cleveland I had heard tales about how in 'the old days' there was a train that used to bring folks right into the hospital from various parts of the city. this got me thinking about how up until the mid twentieth century trains and streetcars were once a ubiquitous feature of city life. I find it very interesting (and telling) to look at the history of the demise of streetcars. from all the things I've read I must say I do tend to side with those conspiracy theorists who see the fall of the railroad and the urban streetcar is a result of the collusion and greed of the oil companies and 'the big three.'



*these are all u.s. cities that are recognized as having superlative and extensive mass transit systems

peace train by yusuf islam (the artist formerly known as cat stevens)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

don't worry, be happy

ms t and I took lil' b to the "librainium" at local library and I'm happy to say, if he wasn't already a library lover, this trip did the trick! just look at this face -- absolute glee!


bobby mcferrin singing a tune that always help my face get to where lil' b's was yesterday! (recognize anyone else in the vid? just another couple guys who can always evoke a smile or two! one I'm sure everyone will recognize, but the other probably looks a little different than mr. noodle, the character he often plays on ms t's favorite show!)

photo: top- detail from lakewood public library; bottom - lil' b @ said establishment june 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

one misty moisty morning

it's a beautiful summer morning, a little moist, but certainly not misty. I have a couple busy days ahead and then thursday f and I are heading south for a quick visit with family and friends in metro dc. today little b is joining ms t and me so I we'll be enjoying this fine day - making the rounds to a couple of our favorite playgrounds and singing 'how do you do, how do you do, how do you do' to all the passersby!

no time to write this morning, but I thought folks might enjoy another detail from thomason's wonderful mural at the library. I believe this panel features mephistopheles in the foreground and merlin in the background. mmmmm......

steeleye span playing one misty moisty morning (1987) this song is a traditional tune and I can always count on it to lift my spirits and put a little jig into my step!


photo: detail from lakewood public library mural

Monday, June 23, 2008

you can fly!

All it takes is faith and trust
But the thing that's a positive must
Is a little bit of pixie dust
The dust is a positive must
You can fly! You can fly!
You can fly! You can fly!
you can fly! you can fly! you can fly!

it was a fairly laid back weekend, overall we kept pretty close to home. however, saturday I did get out for a few little adventures. after running errands I took lunch over to e's, then I met up with s&p and we checked out the annual clifton art and musicfest . it was a good time - the weather was perfect - at least while we were there.

after the the art fest, f (who had skipped the art fest to be a diligent worker bee) and I headed over to michael's bookshop to check out how things were going. the place was bustling and it seemed books were flying off the shelves. of course mike o'malley's article on the plain dealer's front page that morning helped bring in the people. michael jokingly remarked 'if only the plain dealer had featured the store on the front page for the last six months....' yesterday there was an auction at the bookstore for other book sellers. the store remains open until june 30th so there's still time to drop in and fill up some bags with some reading material!

we had some periods of really wild weather saturday evening and sunday, of course nothing like the havoc that parts of the midwest have been experiencing. I'm grateful for the rain, saves me from having to water. with all the rain the grass and flowers are looking most colorful and beautiful!



peter pan's "you can fly!" (disney, 1953)

photo: detail from lakewood public library mural. slide show from clifton art and musicfest

Sunday, June 22, 2008

waist deep in the big muddy

Nations are not thugs. They are bodies of intelligent people. Their claims and causes and charges are either just or unjust. They would practically never push their claims, causes and charges to extreme issue if they were met with kindness, intelligence and wisdom by the nation with whom they are in dispute. In any case, fighting will not settle whether the claims were just or unjust. It will only settle which nation can mobilize and handle its fighting forces and its economic forces the better. When the war ends, it will be found that there was an equal amount of "thuggery" practiced on both sides, that terrible things were done to force the final victory. Multitudes of innocent persons will have suffered. The little children of the two countries will be the main victims. Lands will be made desolate. Social progress will be arrested. The poor will be swamped with taxes for an entire generation. The mutilated men will drag out a broken life to the end of their days. A large part of the "facts" used to arouse patriotism and to stir the fervour and the fierceness of the fighting spirit will be discovered to have been "propaganda". And yet not one single thing will have been done to determine where right or justice or truth lay in the issues involved.

Rufus Jones (1863-1948) from 'Faith and Practice of the Quakers' 1927

pete singing waist deep in the big muddy this song was written to be symbolic of u.s. experience in vietnam, however, it is just as relevant and fitting as a song symbolic of the iraq occupation.


photo: parking lot on hampshire road, cleveland heights 2008

Saturday, June 21, 2008

no love is sorrow

yesterday was the summer solstice, instead of it being the longest night, for me it was the longest day. I spent the day in the midst of an unexpected health 'event' of someone near and dear - there's nothing like a health emergency of someone you love to remind you about how fragile we all are, how there is so much we don't know about the body and how it works, and how despite being basically strong there are times when concern can make one weak. but I'm hopeful that the health emergency which consumed yesterday is on it's way to being 'resolved' and what my loved one experienced was just one of those weird blips that happen every now and there. I'm sure we will discover some silver cloud inside yesterday's storm of pain and suffering.

despite yesterday's drama and trauma, the week was one unexpectedly full, sweet and busy - and productive. I reconnected with working in the studio and finished piecing a baby quilt - which I plan to post a picture of it on the studio blog sometime soon. turns out I finished none too soon the baby arrived yesterday (a month early! she's a little bit - weighing in at only 4 pounds. I expect it might be a bit before she goes home to join her family. happily reports indicate that mother and baby are doing well - thank goodness, again with the reminders!). I do have time to do finish the finishing work; my friend who is giving the quilt to her friend as a gift is out of town until after the first of july.

on wednesday the library programs that ms t and I attend resumed - to ms t's utter delight! the children's programs have returned to the main library and the new space is spectacular. because ms t loves the library so much I signed us up for two different summer story programs. the first program takes place in the 'toddler room' which is now home to the spectacular mural by reed alan thomason. the mural was removed before we moved to (this side) of town, so wednesday was the first time I have seen it.

well that's it for today...there's much to do! hope everyone has a wonderful and healthy weekend for this official first weekend of summer!

pentangle's beautiful soulful tune 'no love is sorrow'. this vid appears to have been made around the time the song was released on their 1972 album solomon's seal, the last album before the original group (terry cox, bert jansch, jacqui mcShee, john renbourn and danny thompson)split up...


photos: detail of mural by reed alan thomason at lakewood public library.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

amused to death

one animal's amusement is another's trepidation as the picture of dixie and tsuki so clearly illustrates. to be perfectly honest tsuki was fine (even purring) up until dixie decided she wanted to lick him. I guess a big dog tongue isn't quite the same as being groomed by a dainty cat tongue!

amusement is our theme this week because it's summertime and amusement is the keyword for the season! it doesn't take much to amuse me and my amusements are simple - reading a book, going off on a wander, reveling in the beauty of nature, spending time in the studio, working on a new culinary creation, and enjoying the company of family and friends - just to name a few things.

I thought it would be amusing to see what others have written as they muse on amusement:
"To find recreation in amusement is not happiness." Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

"Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world." Voltaire (1694-1778)

"Composition is, for the most part, an effort of slow diligence and steady perseverance, to which the mind is dragged by necessity or resolution, and from which the attention is every moment starting to more delightful amusements." Samuel Johnson (1709-1784)

"Amusement to an observing mind is study." Benjamin Disraeli (1804-1881)

"A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind." Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862)

"A marriage is no amusement but a solemn act, and generally a sad one." Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

"ENTERTAINMENT, n. Any kind of amusement whose inroads stop short of death by injection." Ambrose Bierce (1842-1914)

"Life would be tolerable but for its amusements." George Bernard Shaw
(1856-1950)

"Prayer is not an old woman's idle amusement. Properly understood and applied, it is the most potent instrument of action." Mahatma Gandhi
(1869-1948)

"Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement." Will Rogers (1879-1935)

"The right to marry whoever one wishes is an elementary human right compared to which "the right to attend an integrated school, the right to sit where one pleases on a bus, the right to go into any hotel or recreation area or place of amusement, regardless of one's skin or color or race" are minor indeed. Even political rights, like the right to vote, and nearly all other rights enumerated in the Constitution, are secondary to the inalienable human rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" proclaimed in the Declaration of Independence; and to this category the right to home and marriage unquestionably belongs." Hannah Arendt.(1906-1975)

"Storytelling and copulation are the two chief forms of amusement in the South. They're inexpensive and easy to procure." Robert Penn Warren (1905-1989)

"I look just like the girls next door... if you happen to live next door to an amusement park." Dolly Parton (b.1946)

roger waters' prescient, brilliant and sobering song amused to death


photos: amusements around avenue c the last couple days.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

when you're gone

Force, hatred, history, all that. That's not life for men and women, insult and hatred. And everybody knows that it's the very opposite of that that is really life.
What? says Alf.
Love, says Bloom. I mean the opposite of hatred.
from Ulysses by James Joyce

to see a few snaps of the bloomsday celebration held on monday at visible voice books in tremont check out my flickr set here.

the cranberries perform when you're gone(1996)

photo: patio at visible voice books in tremont, 16 june 2008.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

groaning the blues

yesterday's reading of chapter twelve from ulysses was a treat. so as I was walking to the bookstore from the 25th street rapid station I felt a bit like leopold bloom myself - head filled with random thoughts, walking around my city, encountering characters along the way and stopping for a chat or two.

after the reading I started making my way back to the rta, my cell rang, it was e wondering where I was. I told her my coordinates - w.14th and kenilworth. turns out she was a minute away. she proposed picking me up and having a drink and a bite on our way home. never one to pass up such an invite, e and I were soon on our way to bar centro, one of her favorite spots. bar centro is on w. 25th street close to a few of my favorite haunts. we parked in front of michael's bookshop, the door was open, we stepped in to say hi to michael and luna the cat. I asked michael how he was doing, his response floored me as he informed me a financial miracle (eg partner with deep pockets, winning lottery ticket, etc.) hasn't happened and so the bookstore will be closing on june 30th.

later michael sent me the following:
kim, here's the dope:

the bookstore on west 25th (ne: six steps down bookstore) will close on june 30th.

this week until the 6 pm saturday, the 21st, will be the last day for buying from our full stock.

sunday the 22nd, will be an auction to dealers interested in whole sections of books.

all left will be subject to a progressive discount (starting at 25%off down to free after 6 pm on the last day) from june 23rd to june 30th.

purchases will have to be removed by closing june 30th.

call or email for more information.

mike o'brien
six steps down bookstore
1921 west 25th street
cleveland, ohio 44113


[half a block north of the west side market]

216 566 8897 store, noon to 6

any and all booklovers reading this - if you are in cleveland, stop by michael's bookshop. bring some tote bags - buy some books and help clear out the inventory. I guarantee you'll find something you didn't know you needed or wanted! and before you leave the store, make sure you thank michael for all the years of serving the community as a booklover's treasure trove and gathering spot. even if you don't know him, thank him anyway.....

so, I'm still sad this morning, perhaps this will help.

eric clapton performing otis rush classic blues piece groaning the blues

photo: luna sleeping; bumpersticker. cleveland, june 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

past the point of rescue

it's bloomsday! this mouse has ireland on her mind this morning, hence the pictures and today's musical selection. later this afternoon I'm heading over to visible voice books to listen to mj and ten of her buddies read from ulysses. mj is a friend I met almost ten years ago when I joined the the bookgroup which is so near and dear to me. mj also just happens to be a james joyce scholar. although she is has been retired for quite a while from teaching young people, she is still very active teaching continuing education courses for adults. I expect when she 'retired' she became busier than ever as she embraces the notion of 'use it or lose it,' I concept I wholeheartedly subscribe to! one of these days I'm hoping to sign up for mj's course on ulysses, however, so far it's never been offered on a day that works for me. but I'm crossing my fingers that next time...

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a wonderful one, the weather was perfect (read not too hot!) and it was filled with friends, good food and some good movies. I want to specially mention the movies as they are well worth watching. friday night f and I watched the great debaters. I had heard it was a great movie, but until watching it I didn't realize how great. denzel washington directs and stars in the movie, so for this reason alone it should be on everyone's 'to see' list. the movie is loosely based on the true story of melvin tolson, a professor at a small black college in east texas who coaches a debate team. set in the 1930s it is a powerful and inspiring tale. on saturday we had a few friends over for dinner. after dinner we moved inside for dessert. I asked if the group if everyone was up for a watching a movie. I had the documentary war made easy from the library. we settled into the living room with our angel food cake, strawberries and ice cream and got serious. the film is based on a book by norman solomon and explores how presidential administrations (of both parties) have successfully colluded with the media to sell wars to the american people. from the box is this summary:
"An invaluable introduction to war propoganda and public relations that transcends partisan politics as it raises serious questions about the role of journalism and political communication in democratic societies."

mary black & friends singing 'past the point of rescue' written by mick hanly
(if you are unfamiliar with this tune, give it a whirl. just don't hold mary's outfit against her, hey it was the era of big shoulders)


photos: top- this picture of the bridge was literally the first picture I took when we arrived in dublin for a holiday. I've always loved it not because it's necessary a very good picture but probably it has a bridge in it, some water, and an advert for guinness; bottom - the garden of remembrance a couple blocks from the james joyce center.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

song for my father


If there was ever a man
Who was generous, gracious and good
That was my dad
The man
A human being so true
He could live like a king
'Cause he knew
The real pleasure in life

To be devoted to
And always stand by me
So I’d be unafraid and free

If there was ever a man
Who was generous, gracious and good
That was my dad
The man
A human being so true
He could live like a king
'Cause he knew
The real pleasure in life

To be devoted to
And always stand by me
So I’d be unafraid and free

If there was ever a man
Who was generous, gracious and good
That was my dad
The man, The man
Song for my father written in 1964
by Horace Silver (b. 1928) , jazz pianist and composer


dad this tune is for you. happy father's day today and always. thanks for all that you are and all that you have done. I love you.



to read a few reflections check out last year's father's day post. I am still blessed, both my father and mother are alive and living in the same home they've been in for the last 40 plus years. god bless them both, smile on them, and give them strength -- getting old 'ain't for sissies' and some times it even sucks, but heck, as my wise old grandpap used to say, "what's the alternative?"

life may have slowed down for my dad, but he still possesses that irrepressible positive spirit he's always had, an undying love for family, and a belief that no matter what hand life deals you, if you have faith, all will work out.

photos: top ~my dad and mom enjoying a round of golf, a shared passion; sadly now they only have sweet memories of hitting the links, june, 1966, guam; middle ~ hiking with dad, california, 1960; bottom ~ dad tinkering in his workshop, virginia, february 2008.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I'm voting....

this just in: "I'm Voting Republican: You'll Get What You Deserve"

the video is 3:28 long. take a few, sit back, enjoy, and learn why I'm voting republican. NOT!

the movie was written and directed by charlie steak and produced by SyntheticHuman Pictures. everyone worked on the film for free. contributions from individuals paid for most of the expenses.



from the I'm voting republican website:

A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE SEGMENTS OF THE MOVIE:

"We just love cheap plastic crap from China"

Wal-Mart is the largest retailer in the United States. It is the largest retailer in the world.

Its revenue in 2007 was $351.1 billion dollars. That exceeds the GDP (gross domestic product) of at least 155 of the world’s countries. 70% of Wal-Mart’s sales are of items manufactured in China.

Wal-Mart has resisted providing adequate and meaningful health care coverage for its workers and has prevented its U.S. employees from forming unions. Wal-Mart pays most of its workers less than the amount needed to live on. (Starting pay for a cashier is less than $8 per hour. That’s less than $16,000.00 a year. The federal poverty level for a family of four in 2006 was $20,444.)

From the Democratic Party Agenda

Democrats believe that the most effective way to increase opportunity for our families is a high quality, good paying job. The Democratic Party supports fair trade agreements that raise standards for all workers here and abroad, while making American businesses more competitive, and we don’t believe in tax giveaways that reward companies for moving American jobs overseas.

We will create jobs that stay in America and restore opportunity for all Americans, starting with raising the minimum wage, expanding Pell grants and making college tuition tax deductible.
thanks mj for sending me the link to this absolutely brilliant video.

rum tum tugger

Beware of people who dislike cats. --Irish proverb
The cat is a lion to the mouse. --Albanian proverb

If you want to know what a tiger is like, look at a cat. --Hindu proverb

The cat's a saint when there are no mice about. --Japanese proverb

In a cat's eyes all things belong to cats. --English saying

this cat painting is on the side wall of the doubting thomas gallery (856 jefferson avenue) in tremont. the front of the building is exhibiting the outside mirror collage which the mouse featured tuesday. the art on the outside of the building changes - who knows what will be on display next month!

a tawdry* tune from cats rum tum tugger

*tawdry is the theme of tugboat dave's weekly photo challenge.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

under the bridge

I played around with the idea of using today's theme 'bridge' in a metaphorical sense, but then I started thinking about all our incredibly colorful bridges here in cleveland. turns out that I'm quite a bridge freak and my photo archives contains quite a few pictures of these marvelous cleveland bridges. cleveland's bridges have been impressing folks for a long time. according to the society for industrial archeology (sia) website:
"There are the greatest lot of bridges here you ever saw," a visitor to Cleveland scrawled on a postcard in 1905.
if you are an inquiring mind and want to read a bunch of interesting stuff about cleveland's bridges click here.

did you notice in the top picture the red bridge is in an unusual position? this bridge, built in 1901 is the last remaining swing bridge in cleveland and still swings to accomodate boats and barges that are coming down the windy cuyahoga river.
view from the east side of the flats looking west.

there's an active crewing community in cleveland - I'm not part of it, but I do enjoy watching these graceful boats skim along the water.
a bit further south one encounters bridges that span cleveland's industrial areas.
since I ride the train frequently, I had to include a picture of the red line train bridge.
a post of cleveland's bridge's wouldn't be complete unless it included the famous hope memorial bridge. I posted a detail of one of the magnificent figureslast month.

red hot chili peppers "under the bridge" released in 1992 - I just love this infectious tune!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

you can't win if you don't play

just a reminder: tomorrow is theme thursday - it's all about bridges!

ice cream

My advice to you is not to inquire why or whither, but just enjoy your ice cream while it's on your plate - that's my philosophy.
Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), American playwright & novelist

if you find yourself in the cleveland area undoubtedly the best ice cream around is cleveland's own mitchell's ice cream. it's local and lovingly made by good folks and only the finest of ingredients! you can find mitchell's ice cream of course at their shops in rocky river, westlake, solon and beachwood, at heinen's grocery stores, and at several fine area restaurants.

the mitchell brothers are committed to helping in the fight against breast cancer and have developed an exclusive flavor of pink ribbon peppermint chip ice cream. with the sale of each pint of pink ribbon peppermint chip, pete and mike donate fifty cents to the susan g. komen breast cancer foundation northeast ohio race for the cure® to help reduce the prevalence and effects of breast cancer in the united states. you can find this flavor everywhere mitchell's ice cream is available!

sarah mclachlan's ice cream (live)



photo: top - the colors of glace, roussilon in the luberon, france, october 2005; mitchell's ice cream truck at their rocky river shop.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

in the color

When you have awoken from all the dreams broken
Come and dance with me, dance with me into the colors of the dusk
Dance with me in the colors of the dusk.

Ben Harper (b. 1969) singer-songwriter, from In the Color


this just in: today is maurice sendak's 80th birthday! sendak is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children - the best known is perhaps where the wild things are. a few years ago cleveland's western reserve historical society had an exhibit highlighting some of sendak's work; I had the good fortune to stumble upon it.



I've been a sendak fan since e was a wee lass. one of the highlights of our home library is a coffee table book entitled the art of maurice sendak by selma g. lanes (1980) - over twenty years ago, our friend hank the bookseller donated this book to an auction for a new haven school our daughters attended. funny how some things live forever. I understand tony kushner has edited another collection of sendak's art from 1980 to the present, I'll have to scour the local used bookshops and see if I can get my hands on a copy. do you have a favorite sendak book - probably my all time favorite is 'in the night kitchen' (1970) and recently I've grown quite fond of chicken soup with rice (1962) probably because ms t has been requesting it almost every time she's over!

happy birthday mr. sendak and thank you!

photo: tremont self portrait, cleveland , may 2008; bottom pics taken in may 2005 at western reserve historical society, cleveland

Monday, June 9, 2008

white rabbit

I am full of doubts, I even doubt all ideas and values in general. The only thing I do not doubt is life, because I am alive and kicking. Life has a meaning that transcends ethics and if I still have some value, then it lies only in this existence.
Gao Xingjian, "Without Isms" (1993), playwright, novelist, painter

despite sweltering heat it was a wonderful weekend. I feel like a college kid for my weekend fun began thursday night (although I've heard that nowadays college kids start the weekend on wednesday night). thursday f & I met s&p at cleveland public theater to check out the two one act plays by gao xingjian, a french chinese émigré artist. although I had been looking forward to the plays, I was worried as I was really tired, I was afraid that once the house lights went off I'd nod off. no chance of that, the plays - between life and death and the other shore were riveting. the second play, the other shore mixed dance, song and a powerful allegorical journey - we were all moved and spellbound. unless the play is extended the run ends friday so hurry and get your tickets!

friday's work took me to the university circle area, which was most fortuitous. I had read in the paper a few days earlier that the rat sculptures designed by local artists to celebrate the year of the rat were going to be installed in their temporary homes on friday. I discovered on the web that one was going to be located at the cleveland museum of natural history and another was going to be in front of severance hall. after I wrapped up my work for the day, I walked over to the natural history museum. as I approached the museum, I noticed a flat bed trailer with a dozen or more of the rat sculptures. I raced over, I'm sure the installation crew thought I was a complete nut. I showered them with questions and was snapping away at all the wonderful rats; but they were most kind and good natured, they answered all my questions and didn't even seem to mind that my presence and questioning probably set their schedule back a bit.

kudos to the st. clair superior development organization for sponsoring this annual public art project. last year I made it to at least half of the pig locations, even though I have seen well over half of the rats, I still plan on seeing them in situ. for more info and the locations of all 25 rats, click here.

saturday had us firmly entrenched in the middle of a heat wave. however, as the sun started getting low, the worst of the heat was over and soon the backyard was the location of an impromptu neighbor gathering. a bit of scrabble and a whole lot of conversation and silliness (and a fair amount of hoppy nectar). the topic of marmite came up; randeep mentioned that she loves marmite but hasn't had any in a while. a and lin never had marmite and couldn't understand what we were going on about. I went inside sliced up a bagel and brought out the marmite. yes, yes, turns out a and lin thought it was quite nasty. final score - three marmite lovers (randeep, e, and me) and three marmite haters (f, a, and lin). gosh a split down the middle - seems like marmite is a bit like american politics!

sunday was another sizzling, sweltering day. at five the thermometer on the back porch registered 98 degrees. a couple hours later, right when it was time to sit down outside in the shade and enjoy a little birthday bbq for e an incredible front moved in and it spelled relief. unfortunately the front also moved the party inside, for along with some cooler temperatures rain, thunder, and lightening moved in. it's quite pleasant this morning, but today is expected to top 90 again. but, at least according to the forecasters, this should be it. they said the week will return to normal springtime weather. thank goodness. I really do hate complaining about the weather and I really hate hot weather.

jefferson airplane performing white rabbit at woodstock (1969)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

colour my world

Sit in reverie, and watch the changing color of the waves that break upon the idle seashore of the mind.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), poet


chicago's classic 1970 tune "colour by world" preformed in dortmund germany in 1982

photo: shop where colored ochre from the quarries is sold, roussilon in the luberon, france, october 2005

Saturday, June 7, 2008

brown sugar

yummy brown goodness! everlasting thanks to lettuce from bringing this brown paradise for morning nibbles at avenue c!!



from richard box 'colour and design for embroidery' :
Brown is the color of the earth and can appear rich, fertile and comforting. Conversely can be seen as color of dirt, filth....as with all colors it depends on how it is juxtaposed. When we look about our environment - browns - dark, dull reds, yellows, oranges and greens can be seen in abundance - they are foils to all the brighter, purer clors. Bright colors may sit on thrownes but browns are the colors behind them.

for something trippy check out this vid of bob covering the rolling stones' brown sugar.

have a great weekend!

Friday, June 6, 2008

little green

Born with the moon in cancer
Choose her a name she will answer to
Call her green and the winters cannot fade her
Call her green for the children who've made her
Little green, be a gypsy dancer

lyrics from joni mitchell's little green

29 years ago a beautiful light entered the world. the light was my daughter e, who was born twenty-nine years ago on this date. happy birth-day e!! ironically she choose to come on june 6, often commemorated as 'd-day' -- in historical parlance 'd-day' refers to a day upon which some significant event will take place. the sixth of june 1944 is often considered the most famous of all 'd-days' - the day western europe was liberated from nazi occupation.

twenty-nine years ago f & I were liberated from life without the joy of a having a child. d-day 1979 is significant in the lives of at least three - e, f, and me! for f and I this day remains as the happiest and most beautiful day of our lives.

this morning is a carbon copy of that morning twenty-nine years ago - a beautiful late spring morning filled with light, fresh air, and birdsong.

a newspaper clipping from 1981 taped into e's 'birthbook' states:

"If June 6 is your birthday you are charming, possess a sense of drama, your voice is compelling and you can talk almost anyone into doing what you desire. You are sensitive, creative, artistic and have a love of luxury. Diet and nutrition are very important for you since you do have a "sweet tooth." Taurus, Libra, Scorpio persons play significant roles in your life...."

wow - what can I say, this blurb on the horoscope page in 1981 is most accurate for at least one person born on june 6!

today's paper for friday june 6, 2008 states: "If today is your birthday. This year, you could be amazed by just how much you can accomplish when you're focused. You have a strong sense of direction and easily could become frustrated if stopped. You have the support of others, though they might be erratic at times. Leo understand you."

today's tune joni's 'little green' celebrates e's favorite color green and highlights the artist who provided the soundtrack for e's childhood.

happy birthday e! I love you. remember, no matter how old you get, you will always be my little (green) bean!

photos: me & e in parc guell, barcelona march 2007; me & e 6 june 1979 - I believe she was about 1 hour old in this picture --golly, we were both so young!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

orange crush

it's all about orange! as tut-tut so astutely pointed out the other day, orange goes without rhyme...but orange never goes without reason!

I've had an unusual relationship with orange over the years. currently, I'm quite taken with orange - alright I admit, it isn't at the top of my personal (favorite) color chart - that exalted honor goes to green, purple and 'frida' blue; but, none-the-less, I am quite drawn to orange. I remember a time back when I was in high school when orange did rate as one of my top three favorite colors. I was so fond of orange I went created a 'shrine' to orange in my closet with paint and some crazy mod flower wallpaper (my closet was the only area of my room where I had a free reign to decorate as I pleased - what can I say, my mom wanted 'control' over her house!)

orange....what do you think of when you think of orange?

me, I think of:

1) orange cats. I have a weakness for orange cats. right now I feel quite blue as my menagerie is currently lacking an orange cat. two of my all time best cat friends, jean-paul and bubba, were 'orange cats.' jean-paul, named in honor of sartre, was actually a white cat who had orange ears and an orange tail - but his lovable personality was pure orange cat-ness. jean-paul and his sister gertrude entered my life in the spring of 1976. jean-paul moved to connecticut with us in 1981, unfortunately gertrude stayed behind in fort worth. unfortunate for us, for gertrude life was anything but unfortunate; she became the grand dame cat at the home of friends and lived until she was almost twenty years old! jean-paul didn't live quite as long as his sister, but he did have a good and long life. jean-paul loved the move to connecticut, and coincidentally the first flat we lived in when we moved to new haven was on orange street. jean-paul was the king of orange street and each day paraded the street and greeted each person walking by with a loud purr and sometimes a head butt.

bubba was my second orange cat - he was 'the child' of lily, a calico cat of ours; in my younger days, my cats were indoor-outdoor cats and we often allowed the female cats to have a litter of kittens before that necessary operation. what can I say, I was a sucker for kittens! now the cats are all indoor only cats and I we get them to the vet before they discover the joy of sex.

bubba had a good life and I was incredibly sad when he crossed the rainbow bridge. it's been two years since bubba passed away at age 15

I have volumes of wonderful jean-paul and bubba stories, suffice to say these two cats have sold me on the idea that orange boy cats are among the best creatures on the planet.

2) knock knock jokes. even if you aren't particularly taken with this genre of joke, 4 and 5 year olds love knock-knock jokes. in my opinion and that of many of my 4 and 5 year old friends, one of the best of the genre is this:
knock, knock

who's there?

banana?

banana who?

banana, banana, knock, knock

who's there?

banana?

banana who?

banana, banana, knock, knock

who's there?

banana?

banana who?

banana, banana, knock, knock

who's there?

banana?

banana who?

banana, banana, knock, knock

who's there?

orange.

orange who?

orange you glad I didn't say banana again.
3) monks - one of the main colors that tibetan monks wear is saffron orange. in buddhism and hinduism orange is a very sacred color.

a lovely arrangement of orange I visited in february 2005:

musing about monk's robes and christo's gates has me wondering more about how orange is considered.this is what I found:

Orange : warmth, energy, balance, enthusiasm, vibrancy, vitality, expansiveness, flamboyance, excitement, business goals, property deals, ambition, career, goals, general success, justice, legal matters, selling, action, attention-grabbing, the sun, friendly, inviting, intense, joy, strength, endurance, steadfastness, tropics, quick movement, wealth of the mind and knowledge, charity, growing things, fascination, friendliness, happiness, beginnings, heat, creativity, autumn, determination, attraction, success, encouragement, courage, earth, mental and appetite stimulant, emotional lift, assurance, social force, health, warmth, attractiveness, cheerfulness, mood-lightening, uninhibited, independence, amiability, constructiveness, self-assuredness, cheap, low-budget, fun kids colour, youth

In restaurants, as orange is an appetite stimulant, orange decor encourages sales. Less passionate than red, orange still increases oxygen supply to the brain, stimulating mental activity. Popular amongst youth.

Hinduism : Saffron (peachy orange) is a sacred color

European : Autumn, creativity, harvest

Netherlands : Favourite colour (House of Orange)

Ireland : Protestants

USA : Halloween, cheap goods

Hinduism : Saffron (peachy orange) is a sacred color

Feng Shui : Yang, Earth, strengthens concentration, purpose, organization

Orange backgrounds help images seem closer and larger, but avoid over-use. Useful for highlighting important elements, promoting food products and toys.

"As we turned our sights to orange, substantial research (including the data gathered at The Global Color Survey at www.colormatters.com and the Pantone Consumer Color Preference Study® dated June 1996) documented that orange is one of Americans' least favorite colors. ... In 1991, Forbes called attention to orange's mundane associations in its December 23 article, 'Does orange mean cheap?' Yes, it does."

Dark orange : autumn, deceit, distrust

Red orange : desire, sexuality, pleasure, domination, aggression, thirst for action

Bright orange : tangy citrus, health

Pale orange : apricot, coral, peach and melon are sophisticated




photos: bubba chilling (2005); jean-paul (1979); bubba as kitten (1990); monks from namgyal monastery in cleveland during final ritual for kalachakra mandala (2005); the gates by christo, nyc february 2005.