Wednesday, March 31, 2010

it's a wrap

A story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end... but not necessarily in that order.

Jean-Luc Godard (b. 1930) filmmaker

many mouse readers are film buffs so perhaps many of you will be interested in the contents of an email I received this morning from the cleveland international film festival. who knows, maybe I can plant the seed and inspire some some mouse readers to schedule a film holiday and make a trip to cleveland next year for the 35th cleveland international film festival!

March 18-28, 2010
at Tower City Cinemas in Tower City Center

* Attendance of 71,554 (a 7% increase over the 33rd CIFF and more than a 100% increase since 2003)
* 153 feature films
* 152 short subjects
* 84 countries of origin
* Over 100 visiting filmmakers and other guests from around the world
* 151 sponsors and funders
* 85 community partners
* 73 media sponsors
* 44 college and university outreach partner campuses
* 200 college ambassadors
* Approximately 5,000 FilmSlam high school student attendees
* 115 staff members
* Over 400 volunteers
* $34,000 Challenge Match raised more than $52,000


(sponsored by Cleveland Magazine)
Directed by Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs (USA)

(endowed by The George Gund Foundation with a $5,000 cash prize)
Directed by Jon Siskel and Greg Jacobs (USA)

(with a $2,500 cash prize)
Directed by Marc Meyers (USA)

(sponsored by George Gund and Iara Lee with each winner receiving a $5,000 cash prize)
Directed by Valery Todorovsky (Russia)
Directed by Goran Paskaljevic (Serbia/Albania)
The three jurors this year were: Russ Collins, Peter Knegt, and Harun Mehmedinovic

(sponsored by Nesnadny + Schwartz with a $5,000 cash prize)
Directed by Jeff Malmberg (USA)
The three jurors were: Aron Gaudet, Ryan Harrington, and Debra Zimmerman


Cleveland State University Audience Award for Best Short Film
Directed by Giulio Ricciarelli (Germany)

The Rice Hershey Memorial Award for Originality
(sponsored by Bill Markstrom)
Directed by Mark Nickelsburg (USA)

The Clover and Maggie Award: In Celebration of Life
(sponsored by Barbara Hawley and David Goodman)
Directed by Benjamin Dewhurst (USA)

The Jesse Epstein Humanitarian Award
(sponsored by Kodak Motion Picture Film)
Directed by Mian Adnan Ahmad (Pakistan/USA)

The Spalding and Jackson Award: In Celebration of Joy
(sponsored by Marcie Goodman and John C. Williams)
Directed by Jadrien Steele (USA)

The Best Animated Short Film Award*
(sponsored by Reminger Co., L.P.A.)
Directed by Philip Hunt (United Kingdom)

The Best Documentary Short Film Award
(sponsored by Jules and Fran Belkin)
Matt Faust (USA)

The Best Live Action Short Film Award*
(sponsored by Anne Bloomberg and Alan Gordon Lipson & Judy Harris)
Directed by Eric D. Howell (USA)

The Best Student Short Film Award
(sponsored by Mike and Nicki Cancelliere)
Directed by Lauren Wolkstein (USA)

The Best Student Short Film Award - Honorable Mention
Directed by Ivan Silvestrini (Italy)

The Kodak Best Ohio Short Film Award
(sponsored by Kodak Motion Picture Film)
Directed by Thomas Ball (USA)

The Best Women’s Short Film Award
(sponsored by Jinny and John Johnson)
Directed by Lars Arendt (Denmark)

The Best LGBT Short Film Award: Given in Celebration of the Life of Nikki Babbit
(sponsored by Jamie and Harold Babbit)
Directed by Jonathan Joiner and Robert Martin (USA)

The Best International Short Film Award
(sponsored by Mike and Nicki Cancelliere)
Directed by Dan Cadan (United Kingdom)

The Programmers' Award
Directed by Mark Payne (USA)

The three jurors this year were: Jennifer Coleman, John Corlett, and Charles Lawrence

* now eligible for Academy Award® nomination consideration


For more information on the Cleveland International Film Festival visit

mariah carey performing it's a wrap

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


There may be a great fire in our soul, yet no one ever comes to warm himself at it, and the passers-by see only a wisp of smoke.
Vincent van Gogh (30 march 1853 - 1890) painter

the photo above is a snap I took when I visited the asylum in saint-rémy where van gogh lived for a year. those days at saint-rémy may have very well been among the most difficult of vincent's life, but they were also perhaps his most productive as evidenced by the 142 paintings which he created while he was there. these paintings, which includes one of his bedroom, are among the most known and loved of his works.

while wandering the grounds of saint-rémy my heart was filled with both great joy and a terrible sadness. this grove of olive trees may look familiar - vincent was very taken by the olive grove perhaps the twisted yet enduring nature of the olive tree appealed to him.

photos: taken in october 2005

joni's twisted

Monday, March 29, 2010

all things must pass

what has passed has been an absolutely wonderful event - the 34th cleveland international film festival. this year I put normal life on hold, and spent many hours sitting in the dark traveling the world. I was far from alone - I met many others who took days off work or worked abbreviated schedules in order to attend. word is getting around that the cleveland international film festival is a happening and it turns out that 2010 was another record breaking year; at last night's closing night festivities, it was announced that over 70,000 people attended the film festival; if memory serves me correctly I believe they said attendance increased 100% in the last five years and 500% in the last fifteen years. yowser!!

last tuesday I posted a list of the first six films that I saw at the ciff; today I will list the rest of the films I saw and follow this list with a short list of the films I wish I had caught.

continuing the list of films I saw at the 34th ciff, in order seen:
  1. ward no. 6, a narrative film from russian. my attraction to the film was reading that it was based on a 1892 short story by chekhov. while the concept of the film was unique and the setting was intriguing - the filmmakers morphed a classic chekhov short story into a fake documentary and set the story in a real life mental institution that also was once a monastery. while worth seeing, I believe my expectations for the film were too high and I was a bit disappointed and I wouldn't list this film in my top ten.
  2. cultures of resistance, a documentary film which definitely would be in my top ten - in fact, it is in my personal top 3. the filmmakers devoted two years touring the world capturing footage (both live and recent archival) in order to document the creative methods that people adopt in their quest for peace and social justice. if this has piqued your interest, check out the cultures of resistance website to learn more.
  3. mrs. moscowitz and the cats, a narrative film from israel and france. this mouse couldn't resist a film with such a delightful title. an entertaining and poignant story about friendship, loss, love, and personal transformation. rita zohar is absolutely brilliant in the role of mrs. moscowitz.
  4. the girl on the train, a narrative film from france. like the us tv show law and order the story behind this film was "ripped from the headlines" - the result is a tense quasi-psychological thriller / love story of girl meets (wrong?) boy with the added bonus of seeing the divine catherine deneuve in the role of the girl's supportive mother. sure to be available via netflix if not at your local cinema.
  5. short program #10 -which featured 7 shorts from the us, germany, australia, france, and spain. one of the three shorts in this set which had the audience rolling in the aisles can actually be seen in it's entirety on youtube: pigeon impossible
  6. best of times, narrative film from thailand. a thoughtful and creative exploration of friendship, love, and memory which uses a pair of 'love-stories' that feature couples at two very different spots along life's journey. this may be the first thai film I've ever seen. here's the official trailer (no subtitles with the trailer, but you get a good flavor for the film)
  7. small crimes, narrative film collaboration between cyprus, greece and germany. an absolutely delightful, madcap romance set on a small beautiful, very sparsely populated island somewhere in the aegean. if you don't laugh out LOUD watching this quirky and sweet film you need to get your funny bone adjusted.
  8. villon's wife, narrative film from japan. a powerful and complex drama which captures the tension between the genders and the gradual changes of social and community life in post war japan. superb acting and I got lost in the film's portrayal of japan circa 1946.
  9. short program #11 - a collection of nine short films from the us, ireland, spain, pakistan, and australia. three of the films in this collection rightly went on to win various awards for this year's film festival. they are heal, matt faust's home, and the animated the mouse that soared.
  10. paper man, narrative indy film from the us written and directed by kieran and michele mulroney. utterly odd, wonderful, and unforgettable. the film features a handful of well known talent including jeff daniels, kieran culkin, and lisa kudrow. this was my first exposure to emma stone, who I expect is a young actor with a promising future given her graceful portrayal of abby. this film furthers my appreciation for jeff daniels when he accepts these challenging indy-film roles and reminds me not to write him off (afterall, he was in the movie dumb and dumber? which okay I confess I didn't actually see because it sounds so dumb!). I doubt this film will make to the the local multiplex, but if you are fond of stories that touch your heart and your brain, then seek this film out - I'm sure it will be on netflix and who knows maybe even get to your local art house theater.
  11. a room and a half, or a sentimental journey to the homeland, a russian narrative film and an imagined memoir of the russian poet, artist, philosopher, and nobel laureate in literature joseph brodsky. I'm ashamed that until I read the blurb about this film I only knew the name, but not brodsky's work, but this will change after seeing this beautifully crafted film with mixes live action and animation. after the first third of the film passed, I lost complete track of time, which was a good thing since this is a fairly long film, and I was totally carried away by this gorgeously rendered film and was sad when it ended. the title of the film is based on an essay brodsky wrote entitled "in a room and a half" a meditation on growing up in a converted apartment shared by several families - under the laws of the soviet-era state each person could be provided a half a room to live in.
  12. mid-august lunch, an italian narrative film. a beautiful, touching, and subtle comedy which celebrates friendship, family, food, and respecting one's elders.
  13. selections from the 34th ciff jury awarded shorts - unfortunately time did not permit us to view all of the shorts that were awarded awards by this year's short judges, but the seven or so films shown were all top notch. the ciff is a qualifying festival for shorts that will go on for oscar consideration - the two shorts that will be advanced for consideration are: ana's playground (a powerful and provocative anti-war narrative film) and the animated lost and found (which was not shown during this program, because of time constraints, but I did find this trailer, it looks marvelous)
  14. protektor, narrative film from the czech republic directed by marek najbrt. a multi-layered complex drama set in czechoslovakia during the late 1930s and early 1940s. a taunt, well acted, artistically crafted film. the film ingeniously shows not everything or everyone is what it is...
  15. looking for eric, a narrative dark comedy from the uk by director ken loach. once I got past the simple fact that I was watching a different film than the one I intended to go to (whoops!) I relaxed and enjoyed this oddly affecting and memorable film. there are two erics in the film; eric bishop a somewhat sad sack of a fellow whose life has gotten away from him and eric cantona a superstar all-star soccer player. through the power of friends - both real and imagined, finally working on making right past wrongs, eric bishop mends a broken and tattered life and he (and we) discover that there may be an eric cantona in all of us.
so all totalled I watch a total of 18 feature length films and probably as many short films. wow, that is sitting in the dark!

for a variety of reasons I didn't see everything I wanted to, so I left this year's festival with another list of films, rather than listing all of the films on this list, here are the top 5:
  1. hipsters (russian) the co-winner of the central and eastern european film competition
  2. honeymooners (serbian, albania) the other winner
  3. louder than a bomb (usa, documentary) winner of two prestigious festival awards.
  4. inside hana's suitcase (canada, czech republic) a documentary which was my friend pat's favorite film of the festival.
  5. journey from zanskar (usa, china) this documentary aired twice, unfortunately both times when I had non-festival things planned. but as soon as this film comes out as a dvd, I'll be ordering it and having a house party!
okay, the film festival has passed, now it's time to get back to reality (whatever that is)

oh, I did do things other than watch films over this last week-plus. along with movie madness in march, march also brings college hoops, and baby animals. saturday, f and I took our annual trek out to lake farmpark to see the baby lambs, piglets, and calves. this year we took ms t who even tried her hand at milking a cow.

photos: top - closing night party, cleveland; bottom - a few of the babies at lake farm park, kirtland, march 2010

george harrison's song all things must pass

Saturday, March 27, 2010

sepia saturday: unforgettable

sepia saturday for the last two weeks have featured photos of my parents, rita and shan, before they met, leading up to today post which celebrates their upcoming 59th wedding anniversary.

my parents wedding ceremony took place in harwood's st. michael's catholic church on march 31, 1951. it was a small wedding party, in addition to the bride and groom, there was jean, my mother's best friend as the maid of honor and my father's brother carl, as the best man. the church they married in was a charming old wooden building which was located on harwood's main drag. I don't know why, at some time the church moved down the road into a (new) boxy brick building. it was this brick church I remember most going to when I visited my grandmother. however, over the years even this church closed. the brick building is now the home of some small pentecostal protestant community.

my parent's first dance as a married couple - wouldn't you love to know what song they chose? wouldn't it be wild if it turned out to be the song I chose for today's song!

nice kiss. one thing I have long thought of as a gift is how my parents have always been at ease and natural when it comes to displays of affection with each other. unlike some of my generation, who never saw their parents kiss, in public or private, my parents, have been wonderful role models when it comes public displays of affection; so, I guess I come by my huggy-kissy behavior naturally!

just a few more of my favorite pics of my parents:

date unknown

my parents posing on board one of the aircraft carriers that my father served on. looking at this reminds me somewhere I have that felix the cat badge that is on my dad's flight jacket. photo taken sometime in the late 1950s

my parents were avid golfers - and according to anyone who played with them they were also skilled golfers. perhaps one of the cruelest effects of aging for both my parents is that they are no longer able to golf. however both of them did play up until they were in their early eighties.

since I have never asked my parents if they have 'a song', I chose today's theme song based on two criteria: 1) it was a hit song for the year they got married (1951) and, 2) the love of my parents share and have expressed for these past 59 years is unforgettable.

happy anniversary mom and dad!!

click for more sepia saturday posts.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

WhoHoo - sign, signs and more signs!

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.
Charles Dickens

At any street corner the feeling of absurdity can strike any man in the face.

Albert Camus (1913-1960) novelist, essayist and playwright

To receive everything, one must open one's hands and give.

Taisen Deshimaru (1914-1982) zen buddhist teacher

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, everyday, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity.
Christopher Morley (1890-1957) writer and editor

Smiling is infectious,
You can catch it like the flu.
Someone smiled at me today,
And I started smiling too.


Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh (1906-2001) writer and aviation pioneer

Why indeed must 'God' be a noun? Why not a verb - the most active and dynamic of all.

Mary Daly (1928-2010) radical feminist philosopher & theologian

Each truth you learn will be, for you, as new as if it had never been written.

Life, misfortunes, isolation, abandonment, poverty, are battlefields which have their heroes; obscure heroes, sometimes greater than the illustrious heroes.
Victor Hugo (1802-1885) romantic poet, novelist and dramatist

notes on photos:
  1. crocuses are truly one of the sweetest signs of spring. lakewood, march 2010.
  2. apparently combining bars or hotels with undertaking isn't unheard of in ireland, but to someone from the other side of the pond, encountering such an establishment was a bit of a jolt. but truth be told, it does come in handy, no need to go elsewhere for the wake. unknown town probably in county kilkenny. transferred from film, may 2001
  3. the word wall in gary's (follow your bliss) classroom. new york, april 2008
  4. amusing bit of street art on the side of a building in mars, pennsylvania, june 2008
  5. church sign, lakewood, june 2008
  6. eavesdropping on gary and laura's sign language conversation - but given the fact that I only know a handful of signs I really didn't know what they were talking about. new york, april 2008
  7. billboard, cleveland, march 2010
  8. detail of ancient egyptian ruin inside the metropolitan museum of art. april 2008
  9. all that was left was the sign - and now that too is gone. cleveland summer 2009
did you know that youtube has a sign language channel? it is WhoHoo cool!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

because of

greetings! thought I'd do a quick post. up to now, my attendance at the cleveland international film festival has been sporadic; but that will be changing tomorrow as I ratchet up my presence and my time in the dark. as of now I've only seen six films - but the films I've seen have all been excellent. in case you are curious here's what I've seen, you can't go wrong if you are able to catch any (or all) of them, order presented is in order seen:
  1. a brand new life, narrative film from south korea and france based on the filmmaker's own story; this film, set in the mid-1970s, is about a young girl who is given over to an orphanage by her father. a tender tale of friendship and reinvention, the acting is superb, beautifully filmed.
  2. ingredients, u.s. documentary about the local foods movement - unlike food inc. (which by the way I thought was great) this film makes a case to embrace a sustainable food system not by scaring us but by enticing us - a very intelligent film with cinematography that is absolutely gorgeous. visit the film's website for a trailer and for more information.
  3. harvest, us indy film - powerful family drama, the most striking thing about this film was the authenticity of its characters - and how the film realistically captures the dynamics of family life, warts and all - but in the end it is an uplifting and inspiring story and film. want more, check out the film's blog raising harvest.
  4. beauty in trouble, narrative film from the czech republic. a smart, sensual, oddly affecting film with a great cast. seeing this film makes me want to find all the other films that jan hrebejk directed.
  5. dear lemon lima, narrative u.s. indy film. love love love this movie. quirky, brilliant and absolutely magical. I want everyone I know to see this film!
  6. warrior champions, u.s. documentary - inspiring film by veteran documentary filmmakers craig and brent renaud about iraq veterans who have suffered tremendous losses who came back and rather than giving in went on to become paralympians. and yes, there is a website.
although the two films I saw yesterday late afternoon/evening were great, yesterday's big treat was a visit with john of robert frost banjo. john is currently working his way back home after a whirlwind trip east visiting family, friends and meeting a few of us in the bloggyhood. this was the first time I met john, but as so often happens when meeting someone whose blog one has read for a while, it felt like I've known john for years. the weather was chilly and wet, so my plans to take a wander with john and show him some of my favorite spots were abandoned in favor of just hanging out, swapping stories and having a simple lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato-basil soup before he had to hit the road for his next stop.

with one week left of women's history month, I thought it fitting to post the trailer for this year's cleveland international film festival which is entitled grrrl power (I understand ciff created at least 7 different trailers - so far I've seen 3 different ones, maybe by the end of the festival I'll have seen all of them - they are quite fun, and what's real fun is recognizing some of the people in the trailers)

photo: cleveland skyline taken from edgewater park. 21 march 2010

Saturday, March 20, 2010

sepia saturday: danger zone

picking up where I left off last week I'd like to introduce my father, francis ("shan") yanoshik. my dad was born in 1922, the third of seven children. he may have been stephen and mary's third child, but he was the first (and only) for a number of things that made him unique among the kids in his family. for instance, he was the first (and only) to head off to university after he graduated from high school, he was the first and only to break tradition and instead of pursuing a career path involving ground travel (trains or automobiles) he took to the air, and when it was time to settle down he did that at the same time he listened to the call of being a career navy man - so he developed into a person who could show that we could have both roots and wings.

all of the photos I have of my dad were taken from about 1940 on - I'm on the hunt for photographs of my father and his siblings when they were children. I hoping the cousins may possess some of these as surely grandpap took snaps of the kids. as far as I can tell, my folks only have one photo of my dad when he was a lad and I have yet to make a copy of it.

as with my mother it appears that my father was also quite fond of the beach. I know my father has always been keen on various modes of transportation, but really now! it's a good thing he finally met up with my mom, so he could start hanging out on the beach with humans instead of machines!

the photo above is of my dad taken at muhlenberg college. my father entered muhlenberg in 1940. as with many men of his generation, his studies at college were interrupted by ww2. in october 1942, my father joined the navy and chose the path of a navy career - in the navy he was trained as an officer and aviator.

the caption on the back of this photo reads: "Hot Stuff Posing by Governor Martin's Car at Harrisburg" - to my eye it appears that this was written by my grandfather's hand rather than my dad. there is no date on the photo, since martin didn't become the governor until 1943, I'd say it was taken after 1943! I'll have to ask my dad if he remembers why he was strutting his stuff by the governor's car.

I have a few photos of my dad dressed up in his flight gear, this one is actually dated "1943" - the photo was snapped on lofty road, near the house where my father grew up (the house is not in this photo). what I really love about this photo is the wee boy and wee dog in the background.

my father and mother met in 1950, then married in 1951 - next week, for sepia saturday, in honor of their 59th anniversary which takes place march 31st, I will be posting a few snaps of the still happily married couple!

as a navy aviator, my father's career was varied. in addition to being trained as a pilot, my father also received photographic training. during the first fifteen years, of his twenty-eight years in service, he was stationed aboard a few different aircraft carriers. my dad was a passionate and skilled aviator - he had to be to survive so many take-offs and landings on aircraft carriers. when I was young my dad was stationed at miramar (san diego) naval air station, at the time the base was used as a "navy master jet station." while there my dad was a test pilot, however, these were years before the navy fighter weapons school, so unlike tom cruise and his buddies in the movie top gun, the only things my father shot when he was a 'top gun' were photographs. but piloting a jet traveling at speeds that break the sound barrier definitely had one in the danger zone.

click for more sepia saturday posts.

today's song, danger zone, is from the soundtrack of the 1986 movie top gun and is performed by kenny loggins.

Friday, March 19, 2010

it's starting

just a head's up - I probably will be a bit scarce from the blogosphere for the next week or so. today is the first full day of the cleveland international film festival and I'm planning on spending quite a bit of my waking hours sitting in the dark.

this is the 34th year for the cleveland international film festival and each year it keeps getting bigger and better! last year I volunteered during the festival which was a very rewarding experience as I met so many interesting people and was a part of this incredible community art event - but in working the festival, the number of films I watched was somewhat limited - although I did see quite a few. it is totally uncool to watch a film while one is actually working the festival.

last summer I was approached and asked if I would be willing to be part of a group of volunteers who work ahead of time and make up the ciff's film selection committee. as an incurable film buff, I jumped at the opportunity; and from september until the end of december I watched films - some good, some bad, and some ugly. actually, some of the films were great as was the experience of being on the screening committee. however, it wasn't all fun and games, participating on the selection committee entailed a good amount of work (one had to write a brief review of each film seen) but overall it was an incredible experience. and now because of those hours I have an all access pass - yowser!

the festival officially opened last night with a big film and a big gala afterward. I didn't attend last night, but am looking forward to hearing how it went.

youtube has a vid of last year's ciff developed and produced 'opener' it's starting - the film was shown at the start of each film. " it's starting' was the catchphrase for last year's film festival. this year the phrase is let's go..... and speaking of which, it's time to go! perhaps, I'll see you at the movies!

photo: stack of films, ciff office, cleveland. march 2010

Thursday, March 18, 2010

good morning, good morning

Beer: So much more than just a breakfast drink.

Hope is a good breakfast, but it is a bad supper.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) philosopher

One of life's best coping mechanisms is to know the difference between an inconvenience and a problem. If you break your neck, if you have nothing to eat, if your house is on fire, then you've got a problem. Everything else is an inconvenience. Life is inconvenient. Life is lumpy. A lump in the oatmeal, a lump in the throat and a lump in the breast are not the same kind of lump. One needs to learn the difference.
Robert Fulghum (b. 1937)writer, minister, artist

You may choose your words like a connoisseur, And polish it up with art, But the word that sways, and stirs, and stays, Is the word that comes from the heart.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)poet and writer

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.
C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) scholar and writer

Physically there is nothing to distinguish human society from the farm-yard except that children are more troublesome and costly than chickens and calves and that men and women are not so completely enslaved as farm stock.
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) literary critic, playwright and essayist

The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed.
Martina Navratilova (b.1956) Czech born American tennis player

notes on photos:
  1. there might be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is free breakfast at a local neighborhood bar on st. patrick's day (well as long as one purchases a drink! so, I guess there's no such thing as a free breakfast either) march 2010
  2. a scrumptious breakfast spread at cousin suzi's - complete with homemade scrapple,
    pennsylvania may 2008
  3. breakfast grains at a local market, march 2010
  4. since I often find it difficult to eat early in the morning, brunch is a perfect combination of breakfast and lunch. if you find yourself in nyc and have a yen for a fancy brunch, check out the ouest restaurant - although everything I've sampled on their menu is tasty, the house smoked sturgeon with frisee, lardons and poached eggs truly sends me!
  5. if you want a breakfast or brunch treat and can't make it to nyc, consider having breakfast al fresco - our friend and neighbor lin goes so far as to use the backyard grill to prepare a special treat for the household. august 2009
  6. chickens, new braunfels, april 2009
  7. mama pig and babies, lakefarm park, march 2008 (oh baby farm animals, that reminds me it's time to head over to lakefarm park and check out this year's babies and the annual quilt show!)

good morning, good morning - classic beatles, composed by john lennon and reputably inspired by a commercial for kellogg's corn flakes; the tune was recording in 1967 and appears on the beatles' sgt. pepper's lonely hearts club band album - beware the tune is infectious!

Monday, March 15, 2010

one misty moisty morning

One misty moisty morning,
When cloudy was the weather,
I chanced to meet an old man,
Clothed all in leather.
He began to compliment
And I began to grin.
How do you do? And how do you do?
And how do you do again?

'tis a misty, moisty morning today on the north coast. weather like this always makes me think of that old nursery rhyme that I loved to sing to em when she was a little girl. this morning I am also thinking of a gentleman I met last week. last thursday afternoon I had the good fortune to meet c.p. kelley - c.p. isn't an old man, he wasn't quite clothed all in leather, but he did have the most marvelous leather hat, a leather jacket, and it turns out he's a leather artist!

not only did c.p. make his marvelous hat, he also makes art made out of leather. he described what he does as 'painting with leather' - I could identify with how he put that as I often consider quilting as 'painting with fabrics.' c.p. mentioned where his work has been displayed and named some famous folks that own some of his work; I can only remember nancy wilson, the other names I forgot, but nancy that is waaaay cool! since I just finished spending the afternoon at the art museum, I had art on the brain; we started chatting about art, in particular the meaning of art in our daily lives. I asked c.p. if he had a website, he said not yet, but that one day he hopes to get one up. however, I'm happy to report that although c.p. doesn't yet have his own website, through the wonders of google I did find some snaps of a few of his pieces, and this wonderful quote where he shares some of his views on art:
One thing that I love about art, no matter how extreme, wild, experimental and crazy it may be, there will always be someone out there that understands the message. I want to express the pride of all races, by showing God's beauty, through the images of my mind. I believe every artist is a messenger. We express how we feel and someone will understand. We bring our gifts. We are the dreamers. We are the conscious of the world.
isn't that just beautiful? you can check out some of c.p.'s work by going here. unfortunately, right now c.p. is on a hiatus from creating any new work. turns out, he is tremendously busy these days helping take care of his elderly mom who has been having more than her share of health problems. his mom has a few serious chronic health problems and her status is fragile enough to where she qualifies to be in a nursing home, however, the family doesn't want to put mom in a home. recently, they had a family meeting and developed a schedule with the local kids and grandkids and worked up a system where mom's got car 24/7. I love hearing stories like this, they feed my soul.

oh, in case you were curious, along with meeting up with a friend I hadn't seen in way too long, what prompted my trip last week to the museum was this:

the exhibit is amazing and I heartily recommend it....if you don't have the good fortune of living here, the exhibition is well worth the trip to our fair city.

steeleye span performing misty moisty morning at the 1987 philadelphia folk festival. I don't know about you, but this tune always makes me happy and want to do a wee little jig! I (heart) maddy prior!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

sepia saturday: lovely rita

last week I missed sepia saturday but it was on much on my mind as I mined the family photos at my parents house. the photos today are all images that I brought home with me from that mining expedition.

later this month my parents will be celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary. in honor of this event, I thought I would take the next couple weeks and share some photos of my parents before they met. the focus of today's sepia saturday is my mother rita who was born on may 1st 1925.

not only do I think my mom was, and still is, a beauty, but she also has brains. she graduated near the top of her class - hazel township high school class of 1943. you don't have to take my word, this fact is documented! coincidentally, while I was visiting last weekend one of my mother's high school friends emailed her a copy of a newspaper article which features them both - rita (#4) and helen (#8). (if interested, you can click on the image of the clipping to enlarge and read the fine print)

although my mother had the brains for the university, rita grew up in a culture where it was the norm to go to work right after high school, especially for girls. in fact, it was not until my generation that girls in my family began attending university - although I am not the oldest of the girl cousins, I was the first to matriculate and graduate from university. a few of my younger female cousins followed suit, but attending university didn't become normative until the we get to the children of my generation of cousins - nowadays, I'm happy to report both boys and girls attend university after graduating from high school.

right after graduating, my mother started working for geissler knitting mills. however, unlike most of her contemporaries, rita didn't work on the floor of the mills, but rather worked as an assistant to the owner of the mills, mr. geissler. she worked for the company until she married my father in 1951 - but that is another story.

since every photo tells a story, I'll just finish up today's post with a few of photos of rita from those years before she met my dad.

in high school my mother loved ice skating. underneath this photo in my mom's album is the caption guess ???? sonja - hazel park.

a very popular summertime activity for rita and her friends was to head to atlantic city where they frolicked in the sun and sand.

my mother had an impressive collection of swimsuits - however, she stated that this one with the giraffes was by far her favorite. given the do on my mom in this photo, I bet she recently finished up a gig - for some extra cash, my mother was a hair model - you can read about that activity in a post that appeared on the mouse a while ago.

the photo above was taken outside geissler knitting mills - mr. geissler, the owner of the company and my mother's boss, is hamming it up on the hood of his car positioning himself between the bodies of two dead deer. on the left is mrs. geissler, and yes, that is my mother on the right. I wonder if there was some sort of subliminal message to the workers of the mill by coming to work with the bodies of deer splayed on the hood of the boss' car?

the beatles classic lovely rita - though my ma wasn't a meter maid she is quite lovely!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

the man in the hat

Ritual is necessary for us to know anything. You’ve got to get out and pray to the sky to appreciate the sunshine otherwise you’re just a lizard standing there with the sun shining on you.
Ken Kesey (1935-2001) author

Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.
Mark Twain (1835-1910) humorist, writer and lecturer

The word death is not pronounced in New York, in Paris, in London, because it burns the lips. The Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death, jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it; it is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love... death is not hidden away ... The ancient, original source is the grave, not a womb.
Octavio Paz (1914-1998) writer, poet, diplomat

Believe in yourself. You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you stop to look fear in the face… You must do that which you think you cannot do. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) diplomat, humanitarian and first lady

We cannot create observers by saying "observe," but by giving them the power and the means for this observation and these means are procured through education of the senses.
Maria Montessori (1870-1952), educator & philosopher

While you have a thing it can be taken from you... but when you give it, you have given it. No robber can take it from you. It is yours then for ever when you have given it. It will be yours always. That is to give.
James Joyce (1882-1941) writer

Live in the sunshine, swim the sea,
Drink the wild air's salubrity...

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) poet, lecturer and essayist

My old man
He's a singer in the park
He's a walker in the rain
He's a dancer in the dark
We don't need no piece of paper
From the city hall
Keeping us tied and true
My old man
Keeping away my blues

Joni Mitchell (b. 1943) singer, songwriter, painter
from My Old Man

They fought the dogs and killed the cats,
And bit the babies in the cradles,
And ate the cheeses out of the vats,
And licked the soup from the cooks' own ladles,
Split open the kegs of salted sprats,
Made nests inside men's Sunday hats,
And even spoiled the women's chats
By drowning their speaking
With shrieking and squeaking
In fifty different sharps and flats

Robert Browning (1812-1889) poet
except from The Pied Piper of Hamelin

notes on photos:
  1. monks from namgyal monastery in cleveland during final ritual for kalachakra mandala, 2005
  2. historical reenactment, paris october 2005
  3. hat at a day of the dead celebration, cleveland, november 2008
  4. obama hats on metro riders, inauguration day, washington, dc january 2009
  5. ms t in rainbow knit hat, december 2009
  6. fancy hats at bloomsday celebration, cleveland, june 2008
  7. smiling alice in austin, april 2009
  8. my man in one of his many hats - and perhaps my favorite of his many hats. on the paris metro, october 2005
  9. leader of the rat pack, created by billy nainiger, in celebration of the year of the rat. june 2008
let me add that my much loved uconn women basketball team just won the big east championship, given this fact, I feel compelled to post this very silly picture of me - I have the hat but not the head! if geno's team wins the next six games they will take the whole enchilada! go huskies!!

tom burlinson singing his song the man in the hat - a love song and tribute to his idol, frank sinatra. burlinson is an australian actor and singer. in 1998 he created a frank - a life in song