Friday, April 29, 2011


A good traveler has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.

Lao Tzu (6th century BCE) philosopher

somewhere else - be back on the north coast monday.

no, not at the wedding, my invitation must have been lost in the mail.

sending up prayers and comforting thoughts to all the people in the southern states whose lives were blown apart by the recent tornadoes.

ah life, it is a song in one ear and a lament in the other

dame julie andrews singing somewhere from west side story - always loved this song!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

life in a glass house

All architecture is shelter, all great architecture is the design of space that contains, cuddles, exalts, or stimulates the persons in that space.
Philip Johnson (1906-2005) architect

the wall for today's wall wednesday post is of a mural at the cuyahoga metropolitian housing authority (cmha) offices on w. 25th street. it appears as though the mural is a commissioned piece of public art. unfortunately and surprisingly, I couldn't find anything on who created it or when it went up - in my cursory examination of the piece I couldn't find a signature and date and I couldn't find anything about the work on the internet (truth be told, I didn't devote hours looking). the offices were closed the sunday I walked by, otherwise I would have popped in to see if I could find out out the skinny on the mural.

the mural is a fun bit of trompe l'oeil, I especially enjoy the shadows cast by the viewers of the "paintings" - incidentally, the paintings showcase various cmha properties - I recognize a few of the buildings. the sign on the wall reads - cmha: the interactive art of public housing

today's quote comes from philip johnson - a very influential american architect who is known for many architectural and design innovations, among which is his use of glass. johnson was born in cleveland ohio - he was trained in europe and at harvard's graduate school of design. in 1930 he founded the department of design at moma in new york - a few years after establishing the department he resigned his position at moma and embarked on a number of other careers - journalist, social critic, and then he eventually returned to harvard to be trained as an architect. the list of his buildings and structures is long - not surprising given the length of his career! however, the crown jewel of his oeuvre is one of his relatively early works - the glass house which he designed and built in 1949 on his estate in new canaan, connecticut. in addition to the glass house, the estate features a number of other structures.

johnson died in his sleep at the age of 98 while living in the glass house. his life partner of 45 years, david whitney, died just a few months later. since the deaths of johnson and whitney, the 47-acre estate in connecticut has become part of the national trust for historic preservation and is open to the public. the glass house is definitely on my bucket list! sounds like a wonderful place for a wander. until I get there, at least I can gaze at some of johnson's works here in cleveland - however, the only building of johnson's in town is the cleveland play house, the other structures of johnson's are a group of sculptures on the case campus.

unfortunately, the long-term fate of the play house is up in the air. in 2009, the parcel of land on which the play house rests was sold to the cleveland clinic - the clinic has a local reputation for purchasing land, demolishing buildings and putting up brand new structures that suit whatever fancy they have the moment! re-purposing and recycling buildings does not seem to be something the clinic embraces very often! but the good new is at least for now the playhouse is still standing and is still the site for theatrical and musical events (it's great space by the way!).

radiohead's life in a glass house - which can be found on the amnesiac album (2000)

photo: w.25th and detroit, cleveland, april 2011

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

long time coming

There is always music amongst the trees, but our hearts must be very quiet to hear it.


our trees are catching up to the calendar and finally budding out with flower or's been a long time a coming but a change is finally here. alleluia!

sam cooke's soulful tune a change is gonna come (1964)

photo note - i swear this squirrel was telling me to take his picturewhen we were out on our walk today!

Friday, April 22, 2011

walking in the rain

Walking takes longer... than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. Walking makes the world much bigger and therefore more interesting. You have time to observe the details.
Edward Abbey (1927 -1989) environmental writer & social critic

earth day. earth first.

last night while watching my guilty pleasure (jeopardy) a commercial came on for a regional electronics company - hh gregg to be specific - advertising a "earth day celebration." how completely wrong is this! once again capitalism, rampant consumerism, and materialism has co-opted yet another meaningful holiday by turning it into a shopping extravaganza.

earth day should not be a day to go out and purchase a giant energy sucking plasma screen television or increase your capacity to hoard food with a giant freezer. hh gregg shame, shame on you!

geez, thinking of this is enough to drive a poor mouse outside for a walk. hey, that sounds like a plan! think i'll button up my lip and go walk in the rain

the iconoclastic grace jones performs walking in the rain i think the song first appeared on her 1981 album nightclubbing. the song was written by harry vanda and george young and was first recorded by flash and the pan, an australian new wave group on their 1979 album entitled flash and the pan.

okay, check out today's lakewood daily snap for an inspirational and non-rant-y earth day post!

photo: walk sign with spirit. cleveland, april 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


A dream is a microscope through which we look at the hidden occurrences in our soul.

Erich Fromm (1900-1980) philosopher, psychologist & writer

wall wednesday continues.

beautiful dreamer.

ella's 1964 version of johnny mercer 1944 pop and jazz standard dream - the song as been covered by an amazing array of artists including: sinatra, etta james, roy orbinson, and even ringo starr! I like them all!

photos: mural on the corner of woodland and e. 70th street, cleveland, april 2011; tsuki and ms t, 19 april 2011

Monday, April 18, 2011

z is for zany

Nobody in life gets exactly what they thought they were going to get, but if you work really hard and you're kind, amazing things will happen.
Conan O'Brien (b. 18 april 1963) comedian

I started to wonder if I was ever going to get to the end of the alphabet - with the exception of x, I don't think there is a more difficult letter than z!

here's zany ray* from townsville, queenland sporting a zoo york shirt - ray was visiting cleveland this weekend with his uncle, aunt, and cousin who are life-long friends of f and I. before cleveland the family stopped in new york - or rather zoo york.

gotta zip along....lots to do today!

*ray had us in stitches with some stand up routines he had perfected - I wouldn't be surprised if in ten years time we'll be seeing ray having his own late night comedy show!

photos: donation bucket for street musician, 14 april; ray 16 april

Friday, April 15, 2011

y is for yellow

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

William Wordsworth (1770-1850) poet

there is so much yellow busting through these days, such a welcome color after all the muted grays and browns of winter.

what a coincidence to read in the writer's almanac this morning that today is the anniversary of the day in 1802 that wordsworth encountered a patch of daffodils which became his inspiration for I wandered lonely as a cloud, which became one of his most beloved poems.

yellow is the color of choice when the sex of an expected baby is unknown. my friends chose to be surprised as to the sex of their baby thus much of little d's layette is in yellow (and green).

the new mama with her bundle of love, swaddled in a yellow receiving blanket.

y is also for yawn - yowser, such a big yawn for such a young 'un!

yesterday, ms t, baby bingo, their mama and I went to a performance of sesame street live at cleveland's state theater. really is there anything as yellow as big bird? I think not!

it is difficult to say who enjoyed last night's show more ms t or bingo - who would think a baby not yet 4 months old could be as captivated as bingo was last night. he was completely enraptured by the antics on the stage, what fun to watch him dancing and wiggling to the music!

photos: around town april 2011

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

x marks the spot

Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor.
Thomas Jefferson (13 april 1743 - 1826) lawyer, statesman, 3rd u.s. president

wall wednesday continues

"x" marks the spot first appeared on the muppet alphabet album, first released in 1971 by gatefold lp (no longer in print) also available on sing the alphabet: sesame street (1996)

in case you wish to sing along with sherlock hemlock:

"X" marks the spot.
"X" marks the crossroads.
Two straight lines crossing
Over in the middle.
That's the letter you must see to
Find the treasure or the clue,
Or the X-ray machine that's
Looking right inside of you.
"X" is the letter without which
One could not do.

"X" marks the spot.

"X" stands for danger.
Two straight lines crossing
Over in the middle
Saying "Here's the railroad crossing"
And sometimes it means there's pirates
Or at worse, it means there's poison
And in case these thoughts of "X"
Are vexing you
"X" stands for "xylophone," too

photo: barcelona, march 2007

Monday, April 11, 2011

w is for waiting

Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.

Carl Sagan (1934 - 1996) astronomer & scientist extraordinaire

May the love hidden deep inside your heart find the love waiting in your dreams. May the laughter that you find in your tomorrow wipe away the pain you find in your yesterdays.


Your heart is full of fertile seeds, waiting to sprout.
Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) founder of aikido

w - what word, what word? oh wait, wouldn't wait would be a wonderful word to celebrate!

no matter how busy we are, we are always busy waiting.

we wait
we wait for a train
we wait for the weekend
we wait for the fish to bite
we wait for the birth of a baby
we wait until we are old enough
we wait for the first buds of spring
we wait for a loved one to return
we wait for suffering to end
we wait for peace
we wait
we do

yesterday my neighbor randeep was sitting on her porch, she looked so serene and beautiful with her wonderful expectant belly.

we talked about when the baby was due - I asked (once again) and she brightly replied "eleven days, maybe ten, but who's counting. whenever, I can wait!"

wanting to get on with my walk, I left and remarked "well, the baby will arrive when he or she is ready and not a moment before."

as I walked away I felt relieved- I thought, "oh goody, maybe I will get the baby's quilt done in time after all - ten days, it might work!"

this morning my friend, who happens to be randeep's midwife, called. she couldn't wait to tell me the wonderful news. I woke to hear "the baby is here" although my friend wouldn't provide details, believing that was the new mama or papa's pleasure. she wanted to let me know the baby arrived safely and mother and baby were doing well.

later I heard from randeep - the baby is a girl and indeed all is well!

although this particular wait for randeep and adam is over; there will be lots of new kinds of waiting ahead as they enter the wondrous world which is called parenthood!

the new baby is going to have to wait for her welcome to the world gift - however, as with most things in life, I expect daphne won't even know she's waiting and as with most of our waiting, the wait will be worth it!

photos: a man waits for the rta (an addition to the reading series) cleveland, april 2011; a house in my neighborhood, the yellow ribbon means some serious waiting; randeep, the last day of her pregnancy - 10 april 2011.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

v is for viaduct

Why a duck? Why-a no chicken?
from The Cocoanuts (1929)

this voyage through the alphabet sure is taking a very, long time! the end is finally becoming visible.

chico and groucho play out the viaduct scene. according to the portal, the cocoanuts was the first feature length marx brothers film - given this variable it is very odd that the film is not on the national film registry.

photo: one of the many viaducts (aka bridges) in the rocky river valley, 9 april 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

u is for unique

What a writer can do, what a fiction writer or a poet or an essay writer can do, is re-engage people with their own humanity. Fiction and essays can create empathy for the theoretical stranger.
Barbara Kingsolver (b. 8 april 1955) novelist, essayist & poet

People are like stained glass windows -- the true beauty can be seen only when there is light from within.

Elisabeth Kübler-Ross (1926-2004) psychiatrist & writer

A smile is the light in the window of your face that tells people you're at home.

After a certain number of years, our faces become our biographies.

Cynthia Ozick (b. 1928) writer
It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities and talents.
Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) social critic & writer

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) writer & cartoonist

each person is unique. each face is unique.

the mouse celebrates theme thursday, the letter u ...and a few of the unique and beautiful faces that grace my world!

  1. after watching the documentary on bill cunningham at the film festival this past weekend, I met these two women - their sense of style struck me and I felt like bill - in cleveland! april, 2011. hi jai (and a!!)
  2. the face of another person I met last week -- not at the film festival, but at the 25th street rta station. hi pokey - you lonesome cowpunk! love your tunes! april, 2011
  3. em and her fairy godchild, november 2010
  4. another stranger who became a friend from the film festival - and the hat an addition to my finding buddha series! march, 2011 by the way, depending on what or who you read, april 7th or april 8th is considered the buddha's birthday. happy birthday buddha!
  5. hi evan!! august 2010
  6. bingo! 6 april 2011 (photo taken by cell)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

t is for tag

Art is the signature of civilizations.

Beverly Sills (1929 - 2007) soprano

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.

Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) writer & cartoonist

wall wednesday continues

each graffiti artist has a unique signature or tag - tags can range from stencil images - to freehand signatures to stickers.
  1. cat - stencil cat a tag one finds all over nyc - the color and number of the cat varies, june 2010
  2. wall in detroit which mixes stencil and freehand - could be more than one person at work, february 2011
  3. popular style of script for graffiti artist tags - this tag comes from cleveland, but the style could just as well scene in munich or l.a. , october 2010
  4. sticker tag by nyc artist tazz, june 2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

s is for story

Stories unite people, theories divide people.

James Billington (b. 1929) academic, current Librarian of Congress
(as quoted from these amazing shadows)

okay, yeah, I've been a bit scarce here in cyberspace -I've been on a staycation attending the 35th cleveland international film festival. for most of the last ten days one could find me sitting in the dark, traveling the world via the silver screen.

I started a tradition last year in which I listed and summarized the films I saw - no sense breaking tradition 'specially given how many serious film lovers seem to drop by the mouse.

my list in order seen:
  1. paradise hotel. documentary (2010, bulgaria). I choose the film primarily because of its subject - the roma (aka gypsies) - I'm smitten by all things gypsy. the film was a sobering, bittersweet, and fascinating portrayal of a subculture on society's margins.
  2. 2030: revolt of the young. narrative (2010, germany). intriguing, stylish film tackling serious social issues plaguing our world. the film shows where we may be heading if we don't start to get a grip on things.
  3. danny green: the rise and fall of the irishman. documentary (2010, usa). a sibling film to the hollywood film kill the irishman - keep an eye out, I wouldn't be surprised to see the film on one of those stations that air stories about the mob.
  4. aardvark. narrative (2010, usa/argentina). seriously strange story that starts as a documentary and gradually evolves into a wild imagined story. set in cleveland the film primarily is a friendship tale of two men who meet in a jiu-jitsu studio it soon takes the viewer on a wild ride with stops in to visit some intriguing, yet disturbing, subcultures.
  5. the pipe. documentary (2010, ireland) - story about a small irish village taking on shell oil company's plans to run a gas pipeline through their lands and livelihoods.
  6. the woman with the 5 elephants. documentary (2009, switzerland/germany) the elephants refer to dostoyevsky's books. gorgeously photographed and sensitively portrayed story of svetlana geier, who is perhaps the world's foremost translator of russian literature into german.
  7. the piano in a factory. narrative (2010, china) zany, charming madcap comedy about the lengths a father will go to try to retain custody of his young daughter. great visuals and wonderful cast of characters.
  8. my kidnapper. documentary (2010, uk/colombia/germany) four former captives come face to face with one of the people who held them hostage. powerful story.
  9. the hedgehog. narrative (2009, france) based on the best-selling and utterly wonderful book the elegance of the hedgehog the film does the book justice. crossing my fingers that this film will make it to theaters everywhere! the three main actors will steal your heart, if they don't, well I won't say what that might mean.
  10. seven days in heaven. narrative (2010,taiwan) quirky comedy about funeral rituals and family.
  11. polka! the movie. documentary (2010, usa/slovenia) this film is about music, sausages, and slovenians in the polka capital of the world - CLEVELAND. a fun and feel good look inside yet another interesting subculture - polka lovers.
  12. !woman art revolution. documentary (2010, usa) great contribution to understanding the feminist art scene and help make visible the invisible when it comes to women and art. okay, my summaries are still too long, seeing I still have over 20 more films to cover, from here on out I'm going to try and give only the bare essentials and link to ciff's summaries when I provide the film title
  13. desert flower. narrative (2009, UK/germany/austria). powerful story based on an autobiographical novel written by a somali born woman who became an international super model and spokesperson against female genital mutilation.
  14. uncle boonmee who can recall his past lives. narrative (2010, thailand). I left after an hour and ten minutes - perhaps it was too late or perhaps just not my cuppa chai; rumor has it the film was a hit at some other international film festivals.
  15. mothers. narrative/documentary (?) (2010, macedonia/france/bulgaria) a triptych of stories. engaging and well crafted.
  16. bibliotheque paschal. narrative (2010, hungary/germany) in my top 5 of this year's narrative films- need I say more! a wild, at times surreal ride; oh and there are gypsies to boot!
  17. hello! how are you? narrative (2010, romania/spain/italy) utterly charming comedy.
  18. 72 days. narrative (2010, 93 minutes, croatia/serbia/montenegro) also in my top 5! if you like coen brother movies you will most likely love this zany film!
  19. kawasaki rose. narrative (2009, czech republic). intelligent and gorgeous cinematography - loved it!
  20. the border. documentary (2009, slovakia) interesting but might not appeal to everyone.
  21. mamma gogo. narrative yet semi-autobiographical (2010, iceland/norway/sweden/ germany/uk) well worth seeing.
  22. an earthly paradise for the eyes. narrative (2009, czech republic) another in my top five narrative films.
  23. autumn gold. documentary (2010, germany) awesome, inspiring! seek it out! among my top 3 documentaries.
  24. there once was an island. documentary (2010, new zealand, usa) who says there is no such thing as global climate change? powerful story of the devastation that effecting one south pacific community.
  25. long way to oblivion. narrative (2011, usa) long way to the end of the movie. okay, I went because it was made by a young, local filmmaker. he's got promise, but he has a long way to go.
  26. I am. documentary (2010, usa) my personal favorite documentary of this year's festival. if you hear that it is coming to a screen near you - GO! a film that may change your life.
  27. small town murder songs narrative (2010, canada) intriguing film featuring a great soundtrack. worth seeing.
  28. bill cunningham new york (2010, usa) super documentary!
  29. vincent wants to sea. narrative (2010, germany) wonderful film. it took the festival's coveted roxanne t. mueller audience choice award!
  30. black death. narrative (2010, uk) along with gypsies anything that deals with the plague of the dark ages intrigues me - with that said, how could I resist! yeah, I'm strange.
  31. with love, from the age of reason narrative (2009, france/belgium) like chocolate from france and belgium utterly irresistible sweet film.
  32. these amazing shadows. documentary (2010, usa) must see for everyone who truly loves movies!
in addition to the above mentioned feature length films I also saw six excellent shorts! happy to report that my personal favorite short (I was on the festival's short screening committee) made it to the top ten of the festival audience favorites - carrier of men

be part of the story - the official trailer for the 35th cleveland international film festival - so what are you? hero, lover, rebel....or maybe a bit of all three!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

r is for reading

Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.
Charles W. Eliot (1834-1926) academic

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life.

W. Somerset Maugham (1874-1965) novelist, playwright, short story writer

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.

Ray Bradbury (b. 1920) novelist, short story writer, essayist

for me one of life's greatest pleasures is reading.

today's post is inspired by an exhibition I recently attended of andre kertész. I didn't want to return home without a remembrance from this remarkable exhibition; thus, I purchased a reprint of his 1971 book on reading as a gift for f.

kertész started taking photographs of people reading early on in his career. the earliest photo included in the book was taken when andre was twenty-one. the book includes sixty-six photographs taken between 1915 and 1970. the estate of kertész has made available all of the books images on the web! one site to learn more about kertész is here.

the book inspired me to begin my own on reading review; or rather, it has inspired me to start organizing my reading snaps and continue on; seems I too am smitten by the sight of people reading (evidenced many times on the mouse). the three photos above are just a few of my own rapidly growing collection of images of people reading. they are not as artful and remarkable as andre's, but like reading they give me pleasure - I hope they bring you some pleasure too.

and lastly, today is the birthday of hans christian anderson (2 april 1805 -1875). in remembrance of hans, master of the fairy tale, I offer one last snap that fits within today's reading review.
If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.

Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) physicist, philosopher, peace activist

photos: woman on stoop in the village, nyc february 2011; man in market, fairfax, va february 2011; rugman at brooklyn flea, february 2011; hans christian anderson statue in central park, nyc, june 2010