Tuesday, June 26, 2012

what's new pussycat?

I guess all songs is folk songs. I never heard no horse sing 'em.

 Big Bill Broonzy (26 june 1903 - 1958) blues singer, songwriter, guitarist 

the first two tat photos  were taken at the art fur animals benefit and auction i attended this weekend.   it was the first time i attended this annual fundraiser, it was so much fun, i'm going try and make it an annual rite.  based on the attendance and seeing what the silent and live auctions brought in, i expect it was a tremendous success.  my impression is spot on; according to this article, this year's benefit brought in a record amount!  (coincidentally, the lead picture in the article is none other that of mandi and her dog!)

there was a lot of ink at the event, but i was there to support the cause, not take tat snaps, but i couldn't resist the capturing the tat of the cats on mandi's arm - and isn't her dog too cute - the dog reminded me of a little star wars ewok.  mandi adopted her a few years ago from the cleveland kennel.

carla's pitbull tattoo, along with being aesthetically lovely also commemorates the controversay surrounding the public hearings the city of lakewood had in 2008 concerning pit bulls;  unfortunately despite strong support for the breed, the city council passed an ordinance which essentially  became a "pit bull ban."    however, i understand that the city is now rethinking the ordinance in light of a newly passed and signed state-level bill which states that pits are not "dangerous animals."

anyone who knows pits knows that their basic nature is to be affectionate, caring,  and very human-centered. any breed of dog can be conditioned and trained into becoming an aggressive  animal. unfortunately pit bulls because of their innate strength, intelligence, and loyalty are often targeted by unscrupulous people to turn into fighting dogs.  this is incredibly ironic considering that in the history of the breed, pit bulls were once known as "the nanny dog."
For generations if you had children and wanted to keep them safe you wanted a pit bull, the dog that was the most reliable of any breed with children or adults. The Nanny Dog is now vilified by a media that always wants a demon dog breed to frighten people and LHASA-APSO BITES MAN just doesn’t sell papers. Before pit bulls it was Rottweilers, before Rottweilers it was Dobermans, and before them German Shepherds. Each breed in it’s order were deemed too vicious and unpredictable to be around people. Each time people wanted laws to ban them. It is breathtakingly ironic that the spotlight has turned on the breed once the symbol of our country and our national babysitter.

..In temperance tests (the equivalent of how many times your kid can poke your dog in the eye before it bites him) of all breeds the most tolerant was the Golden Retriever. The second most tolerant was the pit bull..

the excerpt above is from  yonah ward grossman article which sets the record straight about this very misunderstood breed.  check it out  especially if you would like to see some marvelous old photos of pitbulls living up to their reputation as "the nanny dog."

one more tat photo which fits in perfectly with today's dog and cat theme.

while on the train a couple weeks ago, i noticed the intriguing tattoo above, i spent most of the ride trying to figure out what it represented.  lucky for me, the fellow got off the train at the my station and of course i ran up to him to satisfy my basic cat-like curiosity.- as soon as he turned i was able to see that the tattoo was based on the logo for the cleveland police k-9 unit which happened to be on the t-shirt he was wearing.

the fellow's name is doug and he was most gracious, first he said i could take his portrait and then provided the back story on his tat.   long story short, doug was a cleveland police officer.  his dream was to be a k-9 officer;  in time he realized that dream - the tattoo commemorates that part of his career and is a reminder that sometimes dreams come true.  by the way,  the image for the logo is based on  the dental x-rays of german shepards, one of the most popular breeds to be used as canine officers.

okay here's about what may be the craziest cover ever, bob marley and the wailers reworking of burt bacharach's song, made popular by british pop star tom jones, what's new pussycat?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

sweet dancer

A line will take us hours maybe; Yet if it does not seem a moment's thought, our stitching and unstitching has been naught.
W. B. Yeats (13 june 1865 - 1939)

today wall wednesday shines a spotlight on anna arnold's mural 'the storyteller' - the work was created as part of the cleveland museum of art (cma) community mural project.   anna's work celebrates the sense of place by metaphorically stitching together the thoughts of the importance of connections and of the importance of past, present and future.  the mural is a vibrant and welcoming image which graces the front of the thurgood marshall recreation center located in cleveland's hough neighborhood.  

i took the photo above on saturday - i can't believe my good fortune to have the group walk in front of the mural right at the time i was present to take a photograph  - it may be magical thinking but it was as if the group was a physical manifestation of the mural's message.

the second photo is an image of the mural when it was not on a wall but on a walkway!  this photo was taken in september 2010, when anna shared the concept and design at the cma chalk festival.

during the chalk festival was a sign on which anna describes and explains the work.

A wise old woman is telling the neighborhood children about her past in the neighborhood and her hopes for a peaceful and prosperous future, represented by the young couple cradling the child.  In the first part of the mural the old woman is a little girl with her parents and you see the church looming prominently behind her.  The church is the foundation in the neighborhood and a place of redemption and hope.  The patchwork quilt, representing the wise woman's stories and dreams,  is a theme that weaves throughout the work and is a symbol of unity and connection with one's past and heritage.

powerful.   thanks anna!

sweet dancer, words by w.b. yeats, music by the waterboys. this song appears on the waterboys 2011 album entitled an appointment with mr. yeats.  the album consists of 14 tunes which all are musical arrangements of yeats poems.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

can't find my way home

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.

Maya Angelou (b. 1928)  writer, poet, activist

i enjoy running across body art which celebrates someone's hometown or their love of a place.

today's tattoos fit within that category of tats. in the top photo katie, a bartender at the magnificent crop bistro, sports an image of the logo for her hometown, the city of cleveland heights.   ironically she had the tattoo done hundreds of miles from home while on vacation; she explained what she wanted to the tattoo artist, pulled out an envelop she was carrying to show him what the design looked like and voilĂ !

the next two snaps are of brian, a proud clevelander living in cleveland's west park neighborhood- brian's right leg features some intricate iconic images of downtown cleveland - including terminal tower along with a portion of the detroit-superior bridge.  i didn't really probe brian about some of the other images on his leg - hey, sometimes it is better not risking alienating someone by asking "hey what's with the hand grenade and brass knuckles?"  despite the tough guy imagery, brian seemed to me to be a sweetheart.  by the way,  brian's work was done locally by chico one of the tattoo artists at classic tattoo.

this weekend was full of the sort of things that make me the proud (albeit transplanted) clevelander that i am. i couldn't attend all the super events happening this weekend (i especially regret missing  the relatively new event  weapons of mass creation - i heard it totally rocked!), however, i did make it to a few other things.

i started the weekend festivities at the annual parade the circle extravaganza sponsored by the cleveland museum of art.  for over twenty years parade the circle has been bringing color, art, music and whimsy to the community.  it is an incredible sensory experience; in the ten  plus years i've been a regular it just keeps getting bigger and better!   below, i offer a mini slide show (29 photos) from the day for your enjoyment!  (if you want to slog through a more expansive slide show  - with almost five times the number of photos, click here)

saturday after parade the circle we wandered over to the gordon square arts district to check out their day long community party.  .*¨*•♫♪ east side, west side all around the town, cleveland's happening with lots of fun going down.....♪♫•*¨*.•*¨*•♫♪

sunday's highlight was attending chef jam 2012 held at the rock and roll hall of fame and museum.  this is the fourth year for the event  in addition to bringing together some of cleveland's super chefs, the event helps raise money for the rock hall's education programs and ohio city farm. considering how much i love food, music and good causes, i can't believe this was the first year i attended; but then this is the first year i've been blessed with a foodie fairy godfather!

not surprisingly chef jam was a great place for tattoo sightings, but alas i was preoccupied by the food and the music, i passed on asking anyone one if i could take photos of their tats (save for one person and unfortunately the pics of her tats didn't pass muster).  I did surreptitiously snap a couple interesting tats  while taking photos of cream of the crop -  a group assembled by chef and drummer steve schimolor of crop bistro.  steve gathered together a bunch of talented local musicians who dish up fabulous fare and also know how to kick out the jams!  cream of the crop opened for ivan neville and his band dumpstaphunk  who took the party to the next stratosphere.

can't find my way home (1969) by the supergroup blind faith - the group consisted of the incredibly talented quartet of ginger baker, eric clapton, ric grech, and steve winwood.  -- blind faith existed for only a year,  a year in which the band toured widely and produced a single mega album, blind faith, which immediately became the #1 album in the US, the UK, and in Canada - and within the first month of release the album sold more than half a million copies!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

singing for our lives

Learn to be quiet enough to hear the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others.

 Marian Wright Edelman (b. 6 june 1939)  attorney & activist

later this year cleveland's historical west side market will celebrate its 100th birthday!  the centennial  celebration kicked off on saturday with a  party for the opening of the recently renovated market square park .  today's wall features the new mural that adorns the building on the western edge of the park   (click here for my slide show of some of saturday's festivities).

speaking of birthdays, today is  the birthday of my darling daughter -  happy birthday emma!!

in addition to emma and marian wright edelman, who as you probably  know is the founder of the children's defense fund and one of the leading activists for the world's children ,  another wonderful woman was born on this date - singer-songwriter and activist holly near.

today's song by holly is one of my favorite holly near songs.  i consider it one of the all time great anthems for the movement towards achieving social justice,  singing for our lives the song is also known as we are a gentle, angry people.

holly wrote the song on the night in 1978 that harvey milk and george moscone and were killed in san francisco. on writing the song holly said:

“The rage we felt after the assassinations was so powerful…and we had a choice at that moment, to fall prey to grief and rage, or to turn those emotions into a movement… Along with the sadness and the grief and the missing comes the excitement that we as human beings have the potential to change the world — again and again and again. And as I was riding to one of the demonstrations and vigils I began to write this very simple song. And you sang it, and sang it, and sang it.”