Thursday, April 29, 2010

Retro Roses

Tomorrow has to be better. Or else. [Polaroid, anton via we heart it]

Friday update: That sounds very SNLish. Anyway, it's 'or else' shall try to do something more fun & amusing for week's end tomorrow. Since I'm no longer meeting deadlines for a living (for now), I shall extend one for myself. What a nerve, huh?

Dorothy Height - RIP

An elegant celebration of an extraordinary life at the Cathedral this morning (in a sea of hats, no doubt, thank goodness). You can watch a live webstream from the Cathedral's site. We recommend it. We love you, Miss D. [photograph via civil rights flickr]

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


The Clever Pup beat me fair & square to a shared thought/quote, here's another one (well, a word anyway). See? No rants, no drama. It's early in the day, though. [photographs from here & here, via we heart it]

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Serenity Now

Why Susan! Are you coming to us via the magic of blogger-schedule-draft or have you cancelled plans (again) because of whatever this ennui-angsty thing you are so not rocking? (Do I drop the 'n'?) I'm supposed to be lunching-as-verb with friend & at my beloved Phillips Collection. So I'm here, there's always tomorrow & that is The New Plan. My crazy-neighbor-with-the-secret-meth-lab & shrieking Toto-dog just called me "The Duderina" - hey, my gray robe is a cashmere-wool-cotton blend! (Truthfully, it alerted me to dress-dress because my favorite UPS guy, Roland, should be here today; he worries, Roland does, about me. He does. Minds out of gutter--not that way!)

The only happy camper here is Julie (of course). I have some funny & cool pix to share, but they must be organized. And I thought, wow you should put in a pretty photograph* that isn't ennui-angsty because...finally subtitling the blog (thanks to Diane at Things We Love 2) with a Leonard Cohen line (I can hear the rolling eyeballs), & posting dark photographs of Jerusalem & depressing people about human rights abuses, etc. is so not fair. If you wanted that, you would go over to Julie's blog.

Mille grazie to Michelle Fabio at Bleeding Espresso for being so supportive. I won a book on her Facebook site, go quickly to her page...trying to get 1,000 peeps by the end of the month & she gets more free books. Everyone wins (which, is rather socialist, isn't it?;) Also, lovely & kind Angie Muresan is having a book giveaway for French By Heart. Now, to those photographs & Roland & that shrieking freak (both of them) next door. Come here, my pretty.**

*Trine Thorsen mosaic on Sebastian, via we heart it
**I would never ever hurt a dog! I love (most of) them.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Week's End - Streets of Jerusalem

Some of the best (& most surreal, disturbing, intriguing) walks were here. You want material? For writing, for thinking? It's here. Tramping up & down hills, through villages (where I should not have been), everywhere. My scanner is broken* (of course, it is)...& so just this evocative Streets of Jerusalem photograph by Julian Kaseler via we heart it] That's a little girl walking down an inexplicably (to me) empty street. But it happens, that bit of quiet there, yes, sometimes. I wonder where she is now. OK, that's enough from me because I just found a pix of Leonard Cohen in concert in Israel. Oh, too tempting, too tired. It'll be fun just to think of it. Have a peaceful weekend. And feel fortunate for it....(that goes for me, too, yes).

[*Though most of my photographs were destroyed there, I have friends who have wonderful ones & I'm sure they'll lend them to me if I would just ask. So I will. Tomorrow, said Scarlett]

Monday update: resting for today at least. Hope to be back tomorrow. I see many tempting posts just on this site...Cheers all.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Blue Room, Gold Fish

Two more rooms I like...& one sleepy cat. Julie's meowing for her night-time CD to be played. I'm utterly serious. And yes, Happy Earth Day. I felt no need to post on it as there were so many. But the Clever Pup's post* reminded me of my first Earth Day. I saved a goldfish from an untimely & unnecessary death. Some mad scientist older boys were going to plop it into river water, thereby proving to junior high kids that their water supply was endangered. (Duh.) It might have been my first solo demonstration outside the family home. Can't remember. That was some philosophical/theological "discussion" - I cut it short by grabbing the fish bowl & running with it to the manse (of my church) across the street. We were given safe haven, of course. The fish lived in our aquarium several years. I wish someone had told me earlier: Senior boys - don't believe the hype.

*to be clear, Pup's reference to her brother was a nice one--it only reminded me of senior high school boys & Earth Day.

[blue room here; the second is an IKEA bed (yep) via a pretty blog called Trouvais (both via we heart it]

Worlds Collide (Always)

"There is within these peoples' souls a tremendous amount of beauty and [conviction] that they can actually make a difference.." - Tom Block, artist & activist

This event is more detailed on Giulia Geranium; also here on the festival site. My entire life as a writer & poet (& let's face it, as a bon vivant:) has a tension that I wish I could work out as Tom has. (I've spent my life trying.) We're fellow members of a local Amnesty International group; he's founder/producer of a humongous Human Rights Art Festival in our neighborhood. The list of executive producers, sponsors, & other helpers is quite impressive. Last year, about 4 of us sitting around a table in a now-defunct café, talking with Tom about the festival seems a million years ago. Many local (& beyond) bloggers are having great fun with this, of course. Like the answer nothing? Well, I guess I won't be kissing them at the booth.

I really am thinking of taking Julie to a few events but concerned about her asthma. Will try to borrow decent camera. I'm not officially volunteering as I didn't know how I'd feel on any given day...but I'll be hanging out at various come up & talk to me, already. Two fun words to tempt you: Flash Mob. (I know, I know...technically not if people know...simmer down, people.)

The YouTube video is worth watching...just a few moments with Tom. I tried to embed it but it's not cooperating.)You should be there when he meets someone he's painted. (You want/enjoy surreal? I can't even begin to describe it at this moment.) The funny thing about the video though...I forgot that Tom wore a suit that day...I barely recognize him. (Don't tell him. Puhleeze.)

[image by Tom Block/all rights reserved/used with permission of artist]

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flower Bracelets

Michael Ondaatje's The Time Around Scars (If I ever find a link that doesn't have tons of weird pop-ups, I'll include it) is open on a table nearby & for buried reasons, I thought of this photograph already in my cache. But I love gloves, flowers, the facial expression of the woman as she looks at/past the photographer (Nina Leen, via LIFE archives). Lovers of The English Patient should read Ondaatje's extraordinary poems.There are some YouTube links to a few of his readings if you're interested. Marvellous voice. Good night.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Corner Window

It reminds me of a flat I borrowed along the way. The books (none in English) were like that, the corner window, too. I read Bellow in French, Camus in Italian & I thought I was a genius. (Wine was involved). [photograph from pearls and tea (live journal which is not live!, via we heart it]

Monday, April 19, 2010

Face the World

No, not now. (I have 5 days of unread WPosts & NYTimes...that is unheard of.) I'm down for the count; along with Julie. (Yes, again, I"m sorrier & more disappointed than I can say without a whine-fest.) Back to bed with books, newspapers, & of course My Cinnamon Bun. Because later, being one person, marketing must be done. If it comes to it, then delivery order. And if possible, holding a pad & pen in hand...or reporter's micro-recorder. That would be a small but essential victory.

Have a whatever kind of day you wish for, mes amies. Go for it. Then come tell me all about it. (Don't forget about The Plum Plum, it's so worth it. That's what I'm using for short bits/planning lately. It helps. Beauty always does--the real kind, not the artificial/fake.)

Tuesday a.m. update: I hope to be back here tonight or tomorrow morning. Trying to update Giulia G. blog as there's an important event this weekend in DC/Silver Spring. Shall try to drag self to meeting up the street this evening. Here's the link to The Human Rights Festival (up the street...this weekend. Why, it seemed only yesterday that this was a twinkle in a local Amnesty member's eye...). Please pass the word if you are in or near or know people in the area. There's also a Facebook Fan page, here. Thanks, so much!

[photograph by motley photos via we heart it]

Friday, April 16, 2010

Week's End - Café Stories

People have suffered enough this week with my unedited goofball antics. But I have a little café story. As I was gathering my things to leave, I fell/draped over a small table (see above) when I espied a man on whom I had a severe, disabling crush walk in. It was my secret (until then). The two friends who'd shared my wine (one white wine glass!) shared my mortification--hey, the whole outdoor audience, shared in it. Oh, it got better. I abruptly raised up from the waist (think cobra position), turned around (to run away, of course, wouldn't YOU?), & fell right into/over the chair in which I'd been sitting for 2 hours. Skinned my knees, broke a sandal strap, my sunglasses. The psychic damage would have been awful...but he asked me out after he pulled me up off the sidewalk.

Here's to a lovely weekend, whatever you have planned. (Watch your step.) A big thank you to Kristin Espinasse of French-Word-A-Day fame (well-earned) for the use of her photograph. If you've not been to visit Kristin, you must. I insist. I'll fall right onto your desk if you don't.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cutting Up in Black & White, Part One

"Well then, we went and had tea with Henry James today ... and Henry James fixed me with his staring blank eye — it is like a child's marble — and said 'My dear Virginia, they tell me — they tell me — they tell me — that you — as indeed being your fathers daughter nay your grandfathers grandchild — the descendant I may say of a century — of a century — of quill pens and ink — ink — ink pots, yes, yes, yes, they tell me — ahm m m — that you, that you, that you write in short.' This went on in the public street, while we all waited, as farmers wait for the hen to lay an egg — do they? — nervous, polite, and now on this foot now on that." --Virginia Woolf

From today's Writer's Almanac site. (Thank you, dear Garrison.) As solemn as I am today (& lately), this made me laugh out loud. It's the natal day of Henry James. I will elaborate, in the summer, on the big huge embarrassing booboo gaffe scene I made /committed/created in an academic department one fine spring day. Briefly, then...I was caught mocking James, his plots, sentences, & the stentorian-voiced (female) professor who taught his oeuvre--ahem. (Let me be clear: she was a literary luminousa & scary. Grown men quaked in her presence.) My impromptu comedy skit, including different voices--when I go for it, I go big, people--was a hoot; everyone laughed until they cried (or peed their pants.).Then all went suddenly silent. The sickening realization that, holy cow-wow, she's right behind me. Right? Where is everyone going? You're leaving me alone? Cowards!

I mother (of course I do). Yes, and all relatives & family friends who encouraged me to perform, to mug for their cameras, & generally to entertain them. It had a weird effect of making me even more shy--except when performing. (And now, they want me to pull a Tina Fey. Too late, people. Besides, do you realize that you will be in this stuff? Huh?)

It cannot be overstated how often my mother was stopped & asked: do you know who you & your little girl remind me of? Also what cannot be overstated is how much my second sister looks like the young Shirley. [Photographs by Allan Grant in 1957/LIFE archives]

PS: Mom, et al: you asked for it. What can I say? You have a few months to procure hush money.

Benjamin L. Hooks - 1925 -2010

Today's loss is to be reminded that we are losing the direct connections to the brave men & women, famous & not famous, of the civil rights movement. These are the people who helped form the conscience of a little white girl in Ohio & Pennsylvania (among millions of others). If you don't know who he was, or even if you did, here is quick link to Washington Post. [family photographs via Commercial Appeal, Memphis, Tennessee; they also have a good timeline slideshow]

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I'm so disappointed that I'm too unwell to go to a reading & party for an old friend tonight (who lives out of town now). You know I don't feel well if I cancel a hair appointment. And Julie still hates me for stuffing teensy quartered pills down her throat. It's a twice-a-day struggle & I yelled this morning. I feel terrible; it caused her to have an asthma attack. And, and, and. Back to bed with books...a new Inspector Montalbano by Andrea Camillieri. Oh if you've not read them, do. Here's a link to a Sicily Travel site that creates tours based on the books (& accompanying TV series)!

So, behind the old ironwork lets in light & air, though. Many good links on this page & on Giulia's blog. Please visit them & be well. Also, see the little rant below; it might concern you.*


[photograph by always terrific & talented
only alice]

*I stumbled onto hundreds & hundreds of images taken from both blogs with none of the attributions I give to the artists...much less to this humble mish-mosh (yes, I had plans a year ago for something better, didn't turn out that way, yet) & the GG blog. And super-annoying "Oh we don't know where we found them or who the photographers are..." Really? So you see--anyone who reads this--when people ask me why I don't publish-publish online, this is why. Amongst other reasons. But I will absolutely let you know if I see any of your work or work you've discovered/manipulated into mosaics, whatever, & published without the attribution for which you have asked. I've already let two Spanish photographers know. I realize there's not much they can do but they can at least pay the little sh*t a visit.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Being Ruby - Tanti Auguri!

A most excellent friend, Julie of Being Ruby, is celebrating her one-year blogging anniversary. I've meant to do post (that would do her justice) for months. That can't happen today for various reasons...but I want to make sure that she knows how important she is to so many people. I'm thinking an ode is the suitable form & I'll work on it while trying to get 'round town, the next two days, mostly stuck in Nuclear Summit security traffic.

You will love love love her work, if you don't know it. Go & be dazzled. And urge her, as I have, to sell some of it. Please, Julie! (She lives in Sydney but has travelled widely & well.) When I won a giveaway on her site, I was shocked, shocked. Now I can't say "I never win anything." I carry this bag every single day. Look at what she generously gave away. Let me tell you, it is not inexpensive to mail a beautiful leather bag from Sydney to Washington, DC. And then she included one of her sepia photographs of a kitty-at-the-Colosseum as a birthday gift, too. When I opened the box, everything was festooned with gauzy ribbons & bows. This woman knows how to make everyone feel special.

Ciao bella from rainy DC to Sydney,

Susan & Giulia (Julie the Cat)

[photograph by Robert W. Kelley/LIFE archives]

Monday, April 12, 2010

In Ombra - Monday Blues

In ombra is (in the shade) in Italian. Two more beautiful shots by Olga. Now, I'm going to go lie down & see if the world is a little better after that. As ever, I ask to be allowed my delusions. If you are part of the Twitterati, please go to juliethecat & follow or tell me to follow you. I'm pretty easy that way. I need to build a bit of a following so that I can harangue people in 140 characters about upcoming events. I'll try to be entertaining.

Other matter at hand, yesterday was Holocaust Memorial Day (& there was a lovely PBS production of Anne Frank's Diary on last night; it shall be repeated, don't miss it. This production--no offense to others--is when I finally thought: That's Anne, the writer). April 11-18 are the Days of Remembrance. Here's the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum with activities & online virtual stuff if you're not here in DC. This year's theme is an elaboration on last year's (What You Do Matters). This year: Stories of Freedom: What You Do Matters. Here's last year's Giulia Geranium post on what would have been Anne's 80th birthday in June. Darling photograph of Anne & Margot at the beach.

With gratitude to Olga for her generosity.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Week's End - Time to Go Home

Listen, things are just so awful in the news (everywhere) that my silly self--even with gallows humor--can't quite get it together tonight. (And I'm still trying to hypnotize Julie into downing pills.) So here's a stunning textured shot of via Roma (in Cambiago, Lombardy) by Olga.*

The reminds me of an hour, probably golden, when it's getting on time to go home. Before you make
la passeggiata in the evening. Or it's really, really sad. Or both. Song in mind, same title by the great Chris Smither. If that elicits a big 'huh'? Oh lord, click the link.

Sunday update: Worlds Collide Dept. Sudanese elections beginning Monday--though boycott growing. Those of you who check in at Giulia Geranium looking for updates - it's on spring break. Please check the usual suspect sites, Julie's Twitter account (juliethecat or under my name), & follow the string. Reuters Africa is a good place to start.

buona notte

[*The Benevolent Postcard Society blog had an Olga shot posted by Lori, our fearless leader. Hey, I try to include everyone. Some of the work is Creative Commons; this one is not. Via flickr mail, Olga & I had a bit of a chat & she gave me permission to use it. Mille grazie, Olga.]

Friday, April 9, 2010

Here Kitty, Kitty - Two Drama Queens

Sometimes I act like a cat to get my way. (Yeah, I know.) Julie, Julie please let me give you your medicines. If looks could kill, I would've been a dead mouse last night. Oh woe. Friday Update on previous post, here.

[photograph by Roger Ballen, via Cup of Jo]

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Nereid of the Seashore

That would be AKTAIE in ancient Greek. This is where I'd like to be this morning. Alas, I will be out in 90+ degree heat attending to other, non-marine, matters. [image from liquid sunny day/deviantART via we heart it]

Friday Update: I'll be back with some pix before midnight. Have received emails asking about Julie. The asthma is pretty bad; the meds are worse; the cost for everything is..well, I'm gonna have to write a disgusting (true) memoir about my family or something. You know, sell out to make money for the bills. I'm serious. J. now hates me & is fighting the medications. She was uncharacteristically freaked out by the trip there & back. Usually, she's like a dog, eager to take a ride, especially with her pal Maria Caterina who took us there (no taxi necessary, it turns out thank goodness). Thanks to MCat for putting up with huge drama yesterday.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Black Night

Photographs by Gjon Mili, 1945/LIFE Archives

White Room

Too darn hot. It was 90 degrees today; hotter tomorrow. I'm offended. With everything else happening in the world, I'll be quiet about personal discomfort & go toss myself onto white sheets. I was going to do a Beirut/Middle East, let's party post. Nah. The news from West Virginia is just too awful. I covered the coal industry when starting out. Also, I'm originally from western PA. Never make excuses for coal mining companies around me. I'm fuming. Which I just remembered I'm not supposed to do (fume) for health reasons. Om.

[image by likes tumblr/via we heart it]

Monday, April 5, 2010

My Cinnamon Girl

This is so I can post a rare photograph of Signorina Julie (Giulia). Every time a camera is pointed in her direction, she suddenly turns her head. I still lack a camera but the cheapo video-cam thingy to document her asthma has a camera function. I think her vet will be impressed on Thursday with my neo-realism/Italian directing style. (Open City, Rossellini) Uh huh.

The Vietri pitcher with hyacinth has a film grain imposed on it. I can't remember why. That was yesterday. I did buy the piece (& matching/contrasting pieces) in Vietri, though. The decaying dining room with terracotta-colored walls is via we heart it & now I can't find the attribution. If anyone knows, let me know. I'm leaving it in.

So much going on that my head might pop off, also allergies. GG's site is on spring break. I'll finally clean up this site, visit everyone, respond to comments & email, & figure out why ants are walking around a perfectly clean kitchen counter. For days, where there is nothing for them to eat. It's like Burning Man in there--not that I've been. They're not eating, they just seem drugged. And they're called--by some people--cinnamon ants. Oh happy day.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Week's End - Easter Coiffure

I'll be back over the weekend, if you're not lucky. Meanwhile, enjoy the 1930s photograph by Sam Hood. (Check out those jodhpurs & whole off-hand outfit. This reminds me of Mapplethorpe's iconic photographs of Patti Smith.) Our Aussie friends at the NSW State Library archives are surprised by the amount of outside interest in the collection. I'm not surprised. Here's the photograph link; follow it to the ever-expanding flickr archive.

The home front: a Julie-chase with newly-purchased (crummy) cheapo video-cam-camera thingy to capture scenes of what might be asthma attacks. For the vet. I thought she'd be a ham, but she's Garbo. Picked up 27 seconds in the middle of the night. Poor girl. It's very upsetting.
At least I have Hazel Smith's lovely Marie notebook to ink in observations. (Don't forget her shop, The Plum Plum.)

Other people's Easter plans (or what you did for Passover--any wild seders?) are most welcome. I need entertainment & you can make me quite envious with your tales of well- or ill-behaved friends & family, etc. I've hard-cooked the eggs; the dye will be cast as I watch NCAA Final Four (yes, I do watch). Beautiful weather in DC, but the other whether is will a sister show up, as I hope.

I had blog & other site recommendations but that will have to be on weekend/early next week. I don't want to leave anyone out. But check the comments because there have been some good ones, especially under Gregory in Black & White. Follow those bloggers. ciao!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Water Cure

Why the mini-surge of people following (Julie) on Twitter? What has someone tweeted in my name, oh man. Can she have her own account & I can bow out? I rarely go there, peeps. I'm a great re-tweeter, though. [Medicine bath by Nina Leen, LIFE archives]

Life is a Merry-Go-Round

You have many chances to break free (& hop back on if it was a better deal than you first thought). Now back to bed, cough, cough, groan. Happy April 1st. [photograph: Freedom/Impress on Me, via we heart it]