Wednesday, March 30, 2011

q is for quirky

Anything that excites me for any reason, I will photograph; not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.

Edward Weston (24 march 1886 - 1958) photographer

wall wednesday continues.

today's wall was made by a local artist scott radke, --scott definitely makes some wonderfully quirky and whimsical work. questions about scott? this site may quell some of your queries!

photo: cleveland (w 42nd and lorain avenue) february 2011.

Monday, March 28, 2011

p is for photograph

If you don't get lost, there's a chance you may never be found.


in january I posted about a brooklyn man, todd bieber, who phound a roll of film in brooklyn's prospect park. he made a wonderful video using the photographs developed from the lost roll of film to appeal to the world to help him locate the mysterious photographer.

can you believe it - the photographer was phound! she lives in paris. as soon as the photographer was located todd and a phriend made an impromptu trip to europe to return the lost photographs and meet the mysterious photographer!

phollowing is one of the videos that todd posted - phor more go here or here phor public radio's story on phinding the photographer.

photo: self-portrait, roussillon, phrance. 2005

Saturday, March 26, 2011

o is for old

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty the youth of old age.

Victor Hugo (1802-1885) writer & human rights activist

it is so odd how relative the notion of old is.

today marks the seventh month anniversary of the death of my beloved dad - he died just a couple weeks past his 88th birthday. despite his rather advanced age and the challenges of multiple chronic health problems, overall, dad had a joie de vive that belied age and physical infirmities. the photo above I took just a month before dad's 88th birthday and death - dad might have been old, but the spark of life (and even mischief) still shone in his eyes.

it is a tragedy how youth obsessed our society is - one of the many casualties of this obsession is the oblivion that our society often creates for many of our old.

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.


I never dared be radical when young For fear it would make me conservative when old.

Robert Frost (26 march 1874 -1963) poet

A test of a people is how it behaves toward the old. It is easy to love children. Even tyrants and dictators make a point of being fond of children. But the affection and care for the old, the incurable, the helpless are the true gold mines of a culture.
Abraham J. Heschel (1907 -1972) rabbi and professor

click here for a terrific article on aging and growing old.

old man, just has to be one of my all time favorite neil young songs -story has it that neil wrote the song for the caretaker of the broken arrow ranch which neil purchased in 1970. the song was released in 1972 both as a single and as a cut on the harvest album.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

n is for nothing

It is hard to interest those who have everything in those who have nothing.

Helen Keller (1880-1968) author and educator

wall wednesday continues.

nothing much to say other than confess to being super busy and neglecting the bloggyhood, not cause I want to be negligent, but simply because there are not enough hours in a day, or days in a week!

I'm trying to stay on task and work on all the projects I have in progress. starting friday nothing much will get done the cleveland international film festival opens tomorrow night and I will be spending much of the next ten days sitting in the dark, traveling around the world via a celluloid wormhole!

nothing compares 2 u - sinead o'conner performs her 1990 breakout hit. the song was originally released in 1985 by the family, a band formed by prince (but not containing prince). incidentally, price wrote the song and does perform it (as you can see here from a 2004 appearance on the ellen show).

photo: wall near the dertoit eastern market, february 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

m is for mantra

May good befall all,
May there be peace for all
May all be fit for perfection,
May all experience that which is auspicious.

Om, May all be happy. May all be healthy.
May we all experience what is good and let no one suffer.

Shanti ,Shanti, Shanti

Universal prayer & mantra

m is such a magical letter.... so many m words migrated into my mind, but mantra made it to the top.

mantras are mostly associated with the eastern philosophical and religious traditions - a mantra is a sound, syllable, word or group of words that are believed to promote transformation. although most of us associate mantras with eastern traditions, for me all major religious traditions (not to mention many schools of transformative psychology) have methods that might be considered mantras - from repetitive prayers and chants to positive self-talk.

m is for music another method of transformation

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.

Victor Hugo(1802-1885) poet, novelist and dramatist

maybe I was merely more mindful of the letter m, but it sure seemed as if my weekend was filled with some marvelous m's

mexican food and margaritas at mi pueblo friday night

monuments during a walk through a local memorial park

a photo gig on saturday for a moot court competition

and an amazing moon

not to mention my mice
patches and daisy enjoying some tasty morsels

the mouse closes with one more mantra, the medicine buddha mantra, may both the mantras help reduce the misery in our world and in ourselves

Thursday, March 17, 2011

l is for lucky libations!

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, and may good luck pursue you each morning and night.
Irish toast

May you live as long as you want, and never want as long as you live.

wishing you a lovely and lucky st. patrick's day!!

the lovely, talented lassies from county donegal ireland, otherwise known as the screaming orphans play finnegan's wake. I learned of the band at last year's cleveland irish festval - looking forward to see them again this year!

the luck of the irish is with me...i looked @ the tt blog and learned that luck is the theme this week! geez, it's been a loooong time since i've played! for the lot of theme thursday players go here.

photos: pints at p.j. mcintyre's cleveland; heinen's cookies, casa mouse, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

k is for kaboom!

None of us knows what the next change is going to be, what unexpected opportunity is just around the corner, waiting a few months or a few years to change all the tenor of our lives.
Kathleen Norris (b. 1947) poet and novelist

wall wednesday kontinues*.

koicidentally I snapped today's wall last summer when we ventured to kollinwood where we attended a fundraiser for feral kats.

sunday f and I went to see the film kill the irishman. the movie opened friday in cleveland, new york and los angeles -- I expect if there is a KABOOM in these box offices, kill the irishman will soon open in theaters everywhere!

both f and I give the film two enthusiastic thumbs up - great kast and kaptivating kinematography and a fascinating story line - based on true events. we had no idea that years before we moved here that cleveland was such a kradle for the mob - okay we kind of knew, but what we didn't know was how cleveland was apparently the kaboom kapital of north america! according to an article in the local paper last summer discussing this film and two kurrent documentaries:
Our ever-striving region actually topped the nation in something in 1976, though it was a dubious distinction: No. 1 in bombings. There were 37 in Cuyahoga County, including 21 in Cleveland. Car bombs were relatively cheap to make, easy to plant, could be detonated from afar, and destroyed lots of evidence.
the story of the film revolves around danny greene, a cleveland mobster, kirca 1960s-1970s, although fictionalized, the film sticks fairly klosely to the real life saga of danny.

danny was the target of multiple attempts on his life, including two bombings. however, the wall featured today kommemorates the first bombing - that bomb kollapsed his house on waterloo avenue in kollingwood and killed two of his kats, but miraculously danny and his girlfriend denise survived the bombing.

enough about bombs and killing.

k is also for kute KIDS

what do you get when you kross a kit kat bar with a kouple of squirrels -- 45 seconds of pure kookiness!

*for today's post be aware that most starting c's have become k's

photo: mural by christopher diehl and associates at 15803 waterloo avenue, cleveland. august 2010; ms t and baby bingo @ casa mouse, 15 march 2011.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

j is for jest

Suppose the world were only one of God's jokes, would you work any the less to make it a good joke instead of a bad one?
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)literary critic, playwright and essayist

j is for jest, jester, joke, joker, and james joyce.

did you know that there is a james joyce pub award!?

I'm not jiving - sunday as we were leaving p.j. mcintyre's, one of our favorite local pubs, we saw a plaque indicating that p.j.'s joined this esteemed group - no joke - see for yourself, just look to the right that's a snap of p.j.'s very plaque.

according to the plaque, p.j.'s
... has been granted the James Joyce Pub Award for being an authentic Dublin Pub. " A good puzzle would be to cross Dublin without passing a pub" Ulysses.

James Joyce identified and described the characteristic ambiance of Dublin pub life so successfully that the characters in Ulysses may be fictional, but they are based on a multitude of living beings, characters who Joyce found in pubs, just like this one.

This Establishment remains an outstanding example of the tradition which Joyce immortalised in his works and is a truly authentic public house which throughout the years has retained its down to earth genuineness of atmosphere, friendliness and presense of good company.
staying with joyce just for a bit - check out the jolly novelty deck below. each card features a juicy little scene from ulysses - joyce's magnum opus. the book is still on my bucket list - who knows maybe I will get it done by bloomsday - at least this year I've actually started it!

in the deck jumping into the role of the jokers are james and nora, joyce's wife.

oh yeah, today is the ides of march the day back in 44 bc, ol' julius was jabbed and killed in a revolt led by brutus (full name marcus junius brutus the younger)

photos: juggling jester @ lakewood public library medieval faire, august 2010; plaque at p.j's., cleveland 2011; mj's cards, cleveland 2011

just the most beautiful song from youssou d'nour's 2000 album joko (the link)

Monday, March 14, 2011

i is for infinity

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe.

Albert Einstein (b. 14 march 1879 - 1955) physicist, philosopher, peace activist

speaking of infinity today is pi day, pi starts out 3.14 and represents the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter. aided by computers mathematicians have calculated up to the 5 trillionth digit of pi, the number itself is irrational, meaning its decimal representation will repeat infinitely.

just to make sure your information is correct remember pi day is not the same as pie day

photo: south-westerly view from high-line park, nyc. february 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

h is for holy

Silk Screen

I see, in my dream
an ancient silk screen:
a budda seated
by a scrub pine,
with a pile of cones.

The inscription:
"For a thousand years
I have sought enlightenment.
All that has resulted
is this little brown cluster of cones.

Even that is getting smaller."

Br. Paul Quenon (b. 1940) monk, poet, photographer

earlier this month I went to hear a talk by a holy man -- I haven't a clue as to whether brother paul would agree with my characterization that he is a holy man - he'd probably say he is just a man and working on something like the holy.

I heard of brother paul's talk from the local npr station, they hawked his talk stating he had studied under thomas merton. just the hook I needed.

I am so happy I happened by; brother paul's talk was healing, hopeful, humorous, and holy.

hail, hail, a holy voice (june tabor) in a harmonic holy house - recorded in may 2008 for bbc 4 - june's songs in this vid come primarily from her 2003 album an echo of hooves.

photo: brother paul, balwin wallace college, 3 march 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

g is for garlic

The air of Provence was particularly perfumed by the refined essence of this mystically attractive bulb.
Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870) playwright and novelist

the inspiration for today's word goes to em, while glancing through alton brown's cookbook I'm just here for the food she came across this garlic tidbit:
Garlic wasn't grown commercially in the United States until World War I, when some farmers in California...(responded) to a government call for garlic to ship to troops overseas for use as an antiseptic. (p.126)
even though garlic has been used throughout history for it's culinary and medicinal purposes, it's took it's use as antiseptic to stimulate wide-scale cultivation here in the u.s.

I grew up in a family which praised garlic's culinary and medicinal properties. although not overwhelming, garlic was a staple in cooking by both sides of my family. both grandmothers made the best dill pickles; although both used different recipes both included whole cloves of garlic - the pickles were great, but as a kid my favorite part was go through the jars and grab the pickled garlic cloves and pop them into my mouth like gumdrops.

grandpap yanoshik claimed that the secret to a long and healthy life was garlic. he learned this from his father, my great grandfather, who started each day with a clove of raw garlic - now that's an interesting take on a one-a-day vitamin!

by 1920 gilroy, california established itself as the nation's garlic capital - according to brown, more than a million pounds are garlic are processed in gilroy each day! since 1979 gilroy has hosted a three day long garlic festival the last weekend of july. it would be great to check the gilroy's festival but if I don't get out there, I have no worries, cleveland now has it's own grassroots garlic festival! 2010 was the first year, the dates have already been chosen for 2011 - september 10 and 11 - I've already marked my calendar - I'm not missing the fun this year!

did you know that the irrational fear of garlic is alliumphobia?

Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good.
Alice May Brock (b. 1941) artist, cook & former restaurateur

les blank's 1980 graphic celluloid ode garlic is as good as ten mothers.

photo: garlic market somewhere in provence, france october 2005

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

f is for five

five daily remembrances
  1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
  2. I am of the nature to have ill-health. There is no way to escape having ill-health.
  3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
  4. All that is dear to me, and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
  5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions.
Thich Nhat Hanh (b. 1926) monk, teacher, poet, activist

wall wednesday continues.

following up on last week's fantastic wall snaps from five pointz, today I'd like to f eature two more from this far-out focal point for street art.

the dave brubeck quartet performing take five (1966)

photos: (hi liz!!) taken 22 february 2010, nyc

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

e is for excitement

I think that one's art is a growth inside one. I do not think one can explain growth. It is silent and subtle. One does not keep digging up a plant to see how it grows.

Emily Carr (1871-1945) artist, writer

early this morning we had some excitement when a pair of raccoons, living in the chimney of the house next door, decided to emigrate to another house.

I managed to capture some of the escapade with my camera!

native americans believe that animals enter our lives to teach us lessons. with the appearance of two raccoons this morning, I thought I'd see what is written about raccoon medicine.
Raccoons like many of the hidden urban wildlife has adapted to living with humans. ... Their cleverness and adaptation is why they're at home in our neighborhoods or mountain campsites. They remind us to try something again and again and again til it works. They also show us the importance in working in groups. Often as one is lifting off the trash can lid they will leave a look out by the back door. They honor their guard by giving him dinner too. This seasoned leader is often the oldest and teaches the others all the tricks he's learned over the years so they too can find food for themselves. Raccoon reminds us the importance of teaching others to do for themselves. Empowerment of others allows each of us to feel needed in a group and valued. Finally the most noticeable mark of the raccoon is their mask which is why they're often given the nick name of ‘little bandit'. Masks are a why for us to try on another persons shoes. ..But when Raccoon has appeared to you take a chose look at what mask or type of person you may be pretending to be. ... Raccoon will help show you when to use your cleverness and when to put the mask away.
rocky raccoon appeared on the beatles white album in 1968.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

d is for dog

The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

d is such a dandy letter - if for nothing else than the fact that d is for dog and d is for dixie. last month I posted about having a bad case of doggie desire.

last week while in metro dc, I went for a walk with my friend donita and her dog, blue (on right)- we encountered a delightful duo of dogs, don't know about you, but I never encounter this breed before - petite bassett griffon vendéen - a long name, for such a short dog; the name says much about the breed - petit– small; basset– low to the ground; griffon– wire coated; and vendéen- the area of france from which the breed originates.

a couple days earlier I met up with matilda who with her human lin now live on staten island; up until last summer, lin and matilda lived on the other half of our double (aka, duplex). my feeling of doggy deficit really emerged once they moved, as up until then, matilda was a daily presence in our lives.

and a few days earlier, I met gary's darling dog nellie, who unfortunately this week departed our mortal coil and crossed over the rainbow bridge. rest in peace, dear nellie.

lots of dogs on recent wanders.....

during my tour of the detroit museum of art, we encountered this delightful pre-columbian dog effigy - traditionally these funerary dogs guarded the tombs of the dead.

in the above detail from diego's detroit mural we see that the dogs for the dead, were so iconic that diego rivera used the image when he designed his engine dog.

old dogs, children and watermelon wine (1972) by tom t. hall - according to the portal the song was a number one country hit for a week and spent 13 weeks on the chart.

Friday, March 4, 2011

c is for compassion

Compassion is not religious business, it is human business, it is not luxury, it is essential for our own peace and mental stability, it is essential for human survival.
Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama (born 1935)

the images above and to the right are from my recent visit to the rubin museum of art in nyc and features a 13th century tibetan statue of avalokiteshvara, the all-seeing lord who is considered the buddha of compassion.

the curator's caption states: "Welcoming us with radiant compassion, the all seeing bodhisatra Avalokiteshvara wears a diadem that is graced by his spiritual master Buddha Amitabha. His body nimbus includes all six auspicious animals of the traditional backrest, here almost hidden within a series of roundels formed by the voluted tail of the bottom-most animal, the goose. From bottom to top those animals are: 1) goose 2) lion 3) elephant 4) leogryph 5)sea monster (makara) 6) snake eating garuda

at home I have a small cardboard altar which sits near my computer it contains an image of avalokiteshvara and the following meditation on compassion:

When one's heart is steeped
in compassion, no dissension
can bring disruption;
if one's heart is strengthened
by compassion, the mind enjoys
sweet coolness, like a clear
pool which no passion
can agitate, no fire
of anger destroy.


c is also for cat. below is a photo I took last weekend of my sister's cat, little cat (aka "lc") - doesn't lc's reflection in the window convey the impression that he too may be a bit all-seeing!

what's now is now from cake's album showcase of compassion (2011)

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

b is for baby

Father asked us what was God's noblest work. Anna said men, but I said babies. Men are often bad, but babies never are.
Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) author

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.

Dr. Seuss (aka Theodor Seuss Geisel) (b. 2 march 1904 - 1991)
brilliant bookman (aka author)

wall wednesday continues. since I missed last week, today the mouse features two bodacious walls!

b is for baby and b is for bingo!

baby bingo is ten weeks old - bingo does have a 'real' name, but he'll always be bingo to me and maybe bingo in the bloggyhood. this week baby bingo's mama returns to work. her loss is my gain, for starting this week I will be blessed with bingo's company for three days each week.

when it comes to babies, I must agree with carl sandberg that "a baby is god's opinion that life should go on."

according to the portal, the children's song bingo, that we all know and love, goes back to the 1780s and early versions of the song were noted as adult drinking songs.

which brings us to another b!

musical revivalist and folk singer john langstaff has recorded an older version of the bingo song - unfortunately I can't snag any of john's renditions of bingo to share, at least not in their entirety - but here's a brief sample.

since I can't find a full version of bingo, today's song comes from brooklyn born birthday boy lou reed who celebrates his 69th birthday today. I don't know about you, but when I hear lou's voice I hear new york! coney island baby (1975) by lou reed (b. 2 march 1942)

photos: top two - detail of wall art from the 5 pointz aerosol arts center on long island city (a neighborhood of queens in nyc) the building's blog boasts that it considered to be "the world’s premiere 'graffiti Mecca,'" 23 february 2011; near bottom - big sister ms t giving bb his bottle, 1 march 2011; bottom bottom - beer taps @ p.j. mcintyre's irish pub, cleveland february 2011

not only are dr. seuss, and lou reed birthday boys today so is roy from the bloggyhood. happy birthday roy!!! may you have the best year ever!!!!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

a is for altar

One can appreciate & celebrate each moment — there’s nothing more sacred. There’s nothing more vast or absolute. In fact, there’s nothing more!
Pema Chödrön (b. 1936) teacher, author, buddhist nun

I was away and now I'm back. I'm afraid in my absence I got out of the blogging routine - both in terms of writing and reading. I can always count on the alphabet as a muse to get back into the blogging habit.

my wander was wonderful - spent a week in the big apple and then headed down to spend oscar weekend with my ma in metro dc. along the way I had the good fortune to have meet ups with gary and reya from the bloggyhood in addition to other friends and family.

while visiting the big apple I alighted upon a little random act of art - an adorable little street altar where passersby could leave an affirmation, an artifact, or perhaps their own little bit of art.

affectionately yours, mouse