Thursday, March 29, 2012


At least one way of measuring the freedom of any society is the amount of comedy that is permitted, and clearly a healthy society permits more satirical comment than a repressive, so that if comedy is to function in some way as a safety release then it must obviously deal with these taboo areas. This is part of the responsibility we accord our licensed jesters, that nothing be excused the searching light of comedy. If anything can survive the probe of humour it is clearly of value, and conversely all groups who claim immunity from laughter are claiming special privileges which should not be granted.

Eric Idle (b. 29 march 1943) comedian, actor, singer, composer, author

today is day 7 of my film-cation - i haven't tallied up the number of countries i've visited or broken the films down by genre and type, however, my overall, number already has me reeling. to date - i've seen 28 films and there are still 4 days left of the festival. definitely this year will break all previous records in terms of number of films watched. so far i can honestly say, i've enjoyed every film - even those that had me a total emotional wreck after it was over (more on those in the final accounting!)

well, no time for more prattle, even though today will be a light day (relatively speaking - compared to yesterday when i started at 9:20 in the morning and saw a total of 6 films - i got home around 11:30!) i do have to get a move on it!

as today is eric idle's birthday, i thought we could celebrate with one of my favorite idle songs - the galaxy song from the 1983 film monty python's the meaning of life

photo: terminal tower in bright sun. cleveland, 26 march 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

be carried away

....the best way out is always through.
And I agree to that, or in so far
As that I can see no way out but through.

Robert Frost (26 march 1874-1963) poet
from a servant to servants

last thursday night the 36th cleveland international film festival began, and starting the next day i began my annual stay-cation.

however, calling this a stay-cation is a misnomer, i might not be going anywhere, but i am hardly staying around. in fact i am traveling the world!

so i've coined a new term - a film-cation - which is a vacation where you sit in the dark and travel to far off lands.

going to the film festival is a bit like taking a trip - each day i decide my itinerary and choose what countries to visit, what type of emotional terrain would i like to traverse, and what food and drink should i pack in to provide sustenance for the day's journey.

well, speaking of which gotta run - got lots of places to visit today!

be carried away is the theme for this year's festival. hope you enjoy the infectious and happy theme song and the video provides a sweet animated view of our beautiful city!

photos: top - tower city in the mist - where the films are shown, 25 march; insert - a fellow film fanatic dennis displaying his ciff button collection

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

hungry woman blues

Ink to paper is thoughtful
Ink to flesh, hard-core.
If Shakespeare were a tattooist
We'd appreciate body art more.

Terri Guillemets (b. 1973) quotation anthologist

a few days ago while posting about my recent trip to nyc, i indicated that along with visiting museums and friends i also ate some good food - make that some great food.

today's featured body art happen to adorn some of the people who were instrumental in providing me with truly wonderful food.

the top photo is of the counterman at a salt and battery; truly no trip to new york is complete unless i go to a salt and battery for some of their incredible fish and chips. even though i asked for the fellow's name and he graciously provided it (along with permission to take a couple pictures of his artful arm and share them on the mouse) - i forgot his name! that will teach me - write names down! even when i think i will remember. it was too busy to learn the stories behind these devotional pieces of body art - but i assume the top one is most likely a tattoo of remembrance for above the figure are the words in the arms of an angel.

the second photo is of chase, a server at untitled, danny meyers relatively new restaurant at the whitney museum. my friend ken and i went for lunch at untitled after we visited the met, not too far away. our lunch was delicious - i had the croque madam.

as anyone who is a regular visitor to the mouse knows, i am very fond of quotations. when i encounter one as a piece of body art, my interested is really piqued! on chase's arm is a quotation by jean-paul sartre - translated into english it says freedom is what you do with what has been done to you.

i asked chase about the quote and he chuckled and said he got it when he was 18 - and indicated that at that age he was in a all things sartre phase which has now passed - well he has a nice souvenir from that stage!

this last group of three photos adorn ashton's arms. ashton is the pastry chef at restaurant marc forgione where my friends p&k treated me to the most amazing dinner the last night i was in new york.

the dinner was topped off with the beautiful and delicious desserts created by ashton.

i can't remember how the topic of tattoos came up with our server but somehow she mentioned that i really should see the body art on the restaurant's pastry chef - i asked if she was working and if she thought she might be willing to have me capture them. yes and yes.

unfortunately the photos aren't the best - the light was low, i thought it would be too disturbing to the other diners to use flash - so we get what we get. the restaurant is wonderfully atmospheric and cozy - aglow with the light of scores of candles scattered throughout the dining area on tables and by hanging candle lanterns.

we didn't have too much time to chat about her body art. the restaurant was very busy - but i hope you can get a good sense of the various works. there is one piece which is a delightful ode to ashton's profession - a woman holding and sensing a cupcake. on the same arm, below it, are a series of coordinates. curious mouse that i am asked and i learned that they are the coordinates to ashton's grandparents home - the center of her loving family and is always within arm's reach.

one last photo and one last tat - although this picture i didn't take but comes courtesy of tom - a bartender at reade street pub.
the story of how i came to see the photo i think is as good as the tat! imagine here i am quietly sitting at the bar, sipping a glass of wine - i have a half hour to kill before heading across the street to meet p&k for dinner. out of the blue the bartender tom comes up to me and says 'you have to see this cool tattoo one of my co-workers just got.' - he whips out his phone and shows it to me. i agree and state it is pretty cool. then i laugh tell him how funny it is that he shared the image of the tattoo with me. i tell him of my interest in tattoos and how i share some of the interesting ones i come across on my blog. of course i ask if his friend is working. he isn't, but he said he'd send me the photo - well, viola! truly an example of a tat by an enthusiastic employee about his workplace!

gaye adegbalola live in jamacia performing hungry woman blues

Monday, March 19, 2012

god is in

If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?

Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) poet

winter was particularly mild and spring arrived very early - the temperatures for the last week have been almost summerlike - it seems as though we have gone through some sort of seasonal wormhole and somehow missed out on winter and spring.

no, i exaggerate - a bit - true we are entering our second week of 70+ days (which is definitely not march but rather may temperatures) but it is spring that is here - not summer. but as far as things blooming, we are a couple or three weeks ahead of schedule - by the way, officially spring (the vernal equinox) arrives tomorrow at 1:14 a.m.

northeast ohio or as i like to call it the north coast, is far from being alone in experiencing an early spring. in washington dc, i've heard that the cherry blossoms are hitting their peak more than two weeks early! i'm sure that will mess up some of the official planned activities - but hey, there's no arguing with mother nature.

one of my favorite rites of spring is taking a trip to the lake metropark's farmpark to see and play with the baby animals. this year there were plenty of babies - lambs, kids, and piglets.

i was particularly smitten by the little lamb above with her white head patch.

i felt a bit like mary had a little lamb, there one one little lamb who kept escaping from the pen. i swear he was following me - perhaps he felt a kindred spirit; although i was tempted to take him home, instead i repeatedly picked him up and put him back in the pen with the other lambs and mama sheep.

later one of the volunteers came around and i asked her about the escaping lamb - turns out he is just a most curious lamb and she said since he was just a few days old has made a habit of squeezing through the fence in order to wander about. she said he would eventually make his way back to him mama with no harm done. of course i knew he would - but i liked making up an reason to pick up a baby lamb and carry it about.

for those who are as ga-ga about baby animals as i, here's a little slide show of some of this year's cuties

today's featured song is one i heard for the first time on saturday - a friend sent me a text right after she heard it on the radio (in new york and also for the first time) she was completely taken by the sentiment of the song. needless to say i was most curious - it must be some song to prompt such a head's up!

fortunately, we live in the age of key words and search engines; it didn't take me long to find the song and give it a listen.

i don't think i've every encountered a song which so delightfully captures my view about the sacred. i just love it!

as with my friend alice, i have to share the joy - i hope you enjoy it as much as we do. the song is entitled god is in and is written by singer-songwriter billy jonas and performed by the billy jonas band.

the band's tag line is 'funky folk music for the whole family' - gotta love that too!

photos: march 18, 2012, kirkland, ohio

Saturday, March 17, 2012

funky céilí

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.
Irish blessing, anonymouse

one of nyc great irish bands black 47 performing their classic funky céilí . the band name commemorates the summer of 1847 the worst year of the great irish famine. we've been big fans of black 47 since we first saw them in concert in new haven in the early 1990s - they are an incredible band to see live - fortunately they are still going strong and touring throughout the u.s.

photo: irish hunger memorial, new york city. march 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

the art teacher

The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.

Lewis Carroll (1832-1898) writer and photographer

since returning home tuesday morning, i've been busy trying to catch-up - i feel like the embodiment of today's quote from alice in wonderland!

i had a wonderful time in new york city - my days were filled with visiting museums, spending time with friends and of course eating good food - some eat to live, but i live to eat! it is a good thing that i also live to walk otherwise i fear i would be quite the roly-poly mouse!

as mentioned in my last post i had as a goal to visit the rubin museum and to catch the steins collect exhibit at the met. at the rubin, i especially adored the exhibit featuring the exquisite sculptures from the nyingjei lam collection.

these exhibits were wonderful, however, perhaps the highlight of my exhibit going was the photographic exhibit at the jewish museum entitled the radical camera - the images and story of the photo league quite simply blew me away. powerful!

the weather was beautiful, although it was a little chilly on saturday, the cooler temperatures did not deter the throngs of runners and walkers. my wander through central park was quite delightful.

it is funny when i go to new york, there are a couple places i always have to make a pilgrimage to - one place is the new york public library - even if i just walk by to say hello to patience and fortitude, the lions who hold court in front of the library.

this visit i ventured inside. i noticed a banner advertising the current special exhibition entitled shelley's ghost - what an interesting, moving, and tragic story told.

entering the library one encounters a lion constructed with over 60,000 legos. crazy cool!

other exhibits i saw worth noting, include the cindy sherman show at moma - what a creative character - talk about a woman of a thousand faces! while at moma, i also caught the exhibits on diego rivera and sanja iveković. the iveković is the first u.s. exhibition of this amazing artist from zagreb, it includes this monumental piece entitled lady rosa of luxembourg.

in addition to visiting the new york public library, no visit to new york is complete unless i visit the international center for photography - and the special exhibit weegee: murder is my business, did not disappoint.

although it is still under construction, i did wander down to visit the 9-11 memorial - the monuments in the footprint of the towers are finished, however only half of the trees have been planted and the museum is still in the process. if one plans to visit the memorial, tickets are required.

i traveled to and from new york on the train - next to walking, perhaps my favorite mode of travel.

goodbye new york, until i see you again!

rufus wainwright performing the art teacher

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

back to manhattan

Manhattan. Sometimes from beyond the skyscrapers, across of thousands of high walls, the cry of a tugboat finds you in your insomnia in the middle of the night, and you remember that this desert of iron and cement is an island.
Albert Camus (1913-1960) writer & philosopher

the mouse will soon be heading off on a wander to manhattan - and if i'm lucky one or two other boroughs .....there are a couple exhibits that are a must to see at the rubin and of course i'll be checking out the stein family collection now at the met.

gotta pack - the train leaves early!

norah jones performing back to manhattan in 2010

photo: nyc mouse, june 2010

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

one voice in the crowd

Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.

Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

i took the photo of today's featured tattoo quite a few months ago, I can't recall the name of the woman whose arm it is on - i her met at a community festival in town - i was walking and she was on a bike, so i assume she lives nearby. i recognized the script as sanskrit and said as much, this recognition pleased her much. along with the sanskrit script, i was drawn toward the rendering of the heron (egret) - they are such mighty great birds and if we consider animal spirit guides, herons remind us to work toward achieving balance and to live in both the physical and spiritual world.

the script spells ahimsa - a term which means to do no harm - literally the avoidance of violence. ahimsa is a basic tenet of hinduism, jainism and buddhism and in essence means practicing kindness and non-violence to all sentient beings.

a good lesson and something to strive toward.

australian singer-songwriter and folk icon judy small singing one voice in the crowd. geez, it has been a long time since i thought of or listened to judy small, although back in the day (of cassettes) i listened to her lots - all i can say is thank goodness for youtube and the internet - they can make old songs new again!

One brick in the wall you may be, one voice in the crowd
But without you we are weaker and our song may not be heard
One drop in the ocean, but each drop will swell the tide
So be your one brick in the wall, be one voice in the crowd.
from one voice in the crowd (1985)

Friday, March 2, 2012

rhyming time

If you want to catch beasts you don't see every day,
You have to go places quite out of the way,
You have to go places no others can get to.
You have to get cold and you have too get wet, too.
Theodor Seuss Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss (2 march 1904 - 1991) writer & cartoonist

the epic rap battle of history #12: dr. seuss vs shakespeare
. epic rap battles of history is a series of youtube vids made by nice peter and lloyd ahlquist currently there are 18 in the series....they are toooooo much!! the first in the series is john lennon vs bill o'reilly

photo: sculpture outside hirshhorn museum, washington, dc february 2012