Life Is Too Short

19 08 2007

Yesterday I watched the movie Bobby. I was too young when Bobby Kennedy was assassinated to appreciate the hope he embodied and the void that was felt when he was murdered. It took guts for Bobby Kennedy to reach beyond personal tragedy and family responsibilities and enter the 1968 presidential race. After watching this refresher course, I can’t help but wonder how life in the United States would have been different had he lived.

Bobby Kennedy was a fabulous orator. Many of his most famous words appear here. Read his speech “On the Mindless Menace of Violencefrom which I excerpt this which was featured in the movie:

“Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit [of hatred and revenge] flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a resolution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.”

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Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!

16 08 2007

Fools, NOT! Frances and I trekked to NYC last night to see Shakespeare in the Park. Every summer, the Public Theatre stages productions of the Bard’s plays in Central Park’s open-air venue, the Delacorte Theatre. Performances are free of charge to anyone with enough perseverance to wait in line for tickets.

So we waited, eating our deli sandwiches, people-watching, and catching up after a busy summer. We arrived about half an hour later than I had expected and were a tad anxious about getting in. Luck was on our side, however. We scored tickets in the front row of the center of the theatre!!! Thank you to the people who didn’t show!!

The production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, was fabulously done with the play-within-a-play actors absolutely stealing the show! They put on their comedic tragedy, a mockery of sorts of Romeo and Juliet,  so effectively that the house roared with laughter. Jay O. Sanders plays Nick Bottom, the pompous troupe player whom Puck turns into an ass and with whom Titania, the fairy queen, is magically induced to fall in love as a vengeful trick by Oberon, the fairy king. You’ll probably recognize his face.

Jay O. Sanders

A note to my poet readers, here’s what Shakespeare says about poets in Act V, Scene 1.

The lunatic, the lover and the poet
Are of imagination all compact:
One sees more devils than vast hell can hold,
That is, the madman: the lover, all as frantic,
Sees Helen’s beauty in a brow of Egypt:
The poet’s eye, in fine frenzy rolling,
Doth glance from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven;
And as imagination bodies forth
The forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen
Turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name.

Many thanks to The Bard for giving shape, habitation and names to his timeless imaginings. I was jovially entertained!





This Day in History

15 08 2007

This day in history, some years ago now, although admittedly not as many years ago as I and, therefore, I won’t say exactly which year, my little brother was born. I remember the events clearly. Mom told me the night before that I had to sleep over at my grandparent’s house. And the next morning, Dad was on the phone telling me I had a little brother.

I remember running all over the neighborhood telling people that I had a new little brother named Scott Stanley. I think he weighed in close to 8 pounds…but numbers really aren’t my strong suit. More to the point, he wasn’t exactly the littlest thing to pop out of a mother’s womb. But to me, as tall as he now is,  he is still my little brother.

It was very exciting news for a 9-year old. I remember later in September at my first show-and-tell event for the fourth grade, I brought in Scott’s hospital photo and informed my new classmates of the news as well.

 I also remember debating with my parents prior to this glorious day about his name. I argued exhaustively for Glen, but was ultimatly out-voted or over-ruled. Scott it was. But it was just as well, since Scott soon became “Scooter,” a cute endearment for a white-blonde, energetic boy who wore a helmet while zooming down the driveway on his little plastic red motorcycle. At the very last minute, he’d jam his usually bare foot out and spin off on the grass just short of the roadway. Later, he upgraded to his “Big Wheel” tricycle and repeated the same trick, his own sound effects reverberating across the neighborhood…”Vroom, vroom , vroom — errrrrhhhtttt.”

Since I have many of the family photos, I decided to commemorate this event with a slideshow of Scott as he’s grown through the years. Pay attention Devon and Taylor aka “Scott, Jr.” Do you see yourself in any of those photos?

 





Happy Faces

12 08 2007

Taylor

Just playing a bit of catch up…was supposed to be on a train to Maryland for a business meeting right now, but it was cancelled at the last minute. SO I have a found evening…hoorah!!

Here are more photos of my darling nieces. Ms. Taylor is above in her life vest aboard the Alexis Ann when we were out tubing.  I love that smile!!

Ms. Devon, horse-cat woman extraordinaire, is below. This was taken in May during a sleepover visit. Who knows, maybe a horsepacking trip in the Rockies like Ian’s is in Devon’s future. The Boy Scouts actually do co-ed trips in Philmont. I hadn’t known that until two years ago when Ian’s troop partnered with a Venture Scouting troop that is co-ed to go to Philmont. Sadly, Ian was not old enough to go on that trip. Or, I would definitely have been a chaperone.

Devon Horse Girl





A Horsepacking He Shall Go

11 08 2007

Ian Leaving for Philmont

And he’s off…on a plane as I write. Destination? First they go to Denver where Ian and his fellow Boy Scouts will take a cog-wheel train to Pike’s Peak (check out the Pike’s Peak Cam). Then tomorrow they head down to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for 8 days of horsepacking through the mountains. This high adventure trip concludes with a day of white water rafting on the Colorado River if the water isn’t too high from all this summer rain.

We were up before the sun this morning to rondezvous with the troop. Despite the “ungodly” hour, Ian was bright-eyed as he stood by the loaded “troop-mobile.” What’s not to be happy about when you’re “cutting the umbilical cord” and leaving Mom behind for a fabulous trip?





I Walked My Feet Off in San Francisco

5 08 2007

Yes, indeed, my feet haven’t “hurt so good” in a long time! I was in San Francisco this past week on business but decided to stay an extra night and spelunk the art museums on Friday and Saturday. I visited both fine arts museums, the Legion of Honor and the de Young, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

At the Legion of Honor, I saw many of Auguste Rodin’s famous scuptures including my favorite, The Thinker who I captured with my camera as he sits at the grand, classically themed museum entrance.  The Legion’s Rodin collection is one of the largest in the world and, besides The Thinker,  includes other of the artist’s most famous works like The Kiss and The Three Shades. I also got a personal docent tour of the porcelain collection…v, v, cool!

Rodin’s Thinker

The de Young was rocking! The museum stays open late on Fridays and hosts special events. My luck, they were celebrating the Guardian’s Best of the Bay awards. Live music, drinks, drag queens, women and men in fishnets and feather boas, musicians whose hair resembles that of Nephradora Tonks in the Harry Potter series all made for lively people-watching in addition to the art viewing.

As you can see from my photo below of the de Young’s sculpture garden, it houses decidedly more contemporary art than the Legion. The two coolest things on exhibit right now is Nan Kempner’s haute couture clothing and Hiroshi Sugimoto’s  provacative photos.

de Young sculpture garden

I was impressed with Nan’s taste in clothing and felt a connection with her love of the business suit, but I was blown away, quite unexpectedly, by Hiroshi Sugimoto’s architecture series. In particular, he has a photo of the twin towers taken in 1997. In retrospect, it is a very telling photo. The buildings appear at an odd angle and are somewhat out of focus as if the artist’s eye was foretelling the future and capturing the ghost of the buildings.

His seascapes are likewise brilliant. He plays with natural light, meteorological conditions and focus to compare and contrast photos of seascapes that look like they were taken from the same vantage point but were, in fact, taken all over the world. To me, it demonstrates how sea and sky are common denominators on earth…the same and yet different everywhere. Check it out…it’s v, v, cool!

Lastly, I spent the entire day yesterday at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Note the sculpture in the foreground and the stunning architecture of the occulus above the museum’s lobby…again very telling about its art collection. Here I got back in touch with modern art in its “classical” form…that is no form in many cases.

Currently, SFMOMA is host to a spectacular Matisse exhibit which examines the gap between the 2-dimensional art of painting and the 3-dimensional art of sculpture. Turns out Matisse often composed the same subect in both media and frequently jumped back and forth until he ended up with his final work. Looking at the two together allows a glimpse into the artist’s process and shows how Matisse’s works evolved from the realistic to the abstracted. Fabulous!! If the exhibit comes to a MOMA near you, check it out…or better still, make the trip to SF!!

SFMOMA





On the Delaware

1 08 2007

This weekend, Ian and I visited with my brother Scott and Deb and their twin darlings Devon and Taylor. We had a great time water skiing and tubing on Scott’s boat…actually I should say they had a great time skiing and tubing. I’m not a huge water person, so I provide moral support and do the picture-taking…no guts, I admit it!!

The thunderstorms held off and the water was like glass, a perfect day to be out on the Delaware River. Here are some shots of Ian tubing. In my mind, it takes guts to prostrate yourself on this large tube and have the boat whipping you from side to side although it doesn’t seem to bother him.

Scott has video, too. Hopefully he can upload it somewhere so that I can share it.