May 31, 2012


I enjoyed a movie recently that perhaps could have been a mini comeback for its director Woody Allen.  It also seems to be a re-insurgency of Ernest Hemingway, if his popularity has ever left.  The movie I saw was Midnight in Paris, and the hero of the film through some quirk of science or sci-fi is transported back in time to spend time with Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and others of the time.  I thought it was an enjoyable movie.  If you get a chance take a look.

There is a new HBO movie out now about the love affair of Hemingway and who would end up being his third wife Martha Gellhorn, and here are some scenes from that show.

May 29, 2012

Oh if all our problems were so easy

Why is it that every so often I run into the mother lode of books I want to read, which in itself is not bad. It is bad when I find them at the library, all at the same time. I find myself in that dilemma now. I ran into two new books by old favorite writer's that always write a book guaranteeing readability. Stuart Wood's has a new one out titled Unnatural Acts, and (here's a trick) a dead man has a new one out. Robert B. Parker deceased now about two years I think. The estate has hired a writer who seems to be able to grind out novels in the Parker mold, at least to my satisfaction. His latest is called Lullaby, a Spenser mystery, and pretty good. Oh well I love to fall into these problems now and then.

May 28, 2012

Hazel's new flower boxes big debut on memorial day weekend. I like them.

May 25, 2012

Cleveland Rocks

Perhaps it is a little early to celebrate, but we are the Cleveland Indians fans and we will take any opportunity to jump up and down. In about four months if good fortunes prevail we will display a picture of real people jumping up and down. Until then plaster people will have to do. Go Tribe!!!

May 24, 2012

Is that all there is?

It seems that most of my deeper thinking these days centers around time, or lack of it as I grow older. This popular song by Peggy Lee questions, Is that all there is as time and events tumble by. Yes events may seem like an anti-climax and play out as less than you think they should be, but there is time for everything and every experience if you have a little luck. Important above all is to start out right, grit your teeth and gobble up as much education as you can, anyway you can. I bet even Peggy Lee would have agreed with that.

May 22, 2012

Pat Metheny-First Circle

I prefer to think the title implies that I have made one big circle and I have another to go.  150 years might be pushing it just a tad, but I can dream can't I.

Water for elephants, book or movie?

This is one of those times when I read the book and then watched the movie.  The book is much better.  I will leave it to Amazon to tell you about it.  It took me into a world where I had no interest in going, but am very happy that I picked up the book and took a chance.  I would read it again which I don't do a lot of. Review

Jacob Jankowski says: "I am ninety. Or ninety-three. One or the other." At the beginning of Water for Elephants, he is living out his days in a nursing home, hating every second of it. His life wasn't always like this, however, because Jacob ran away and joined the circus when he was twenty-one. It wasn't a romantic, carefree decision, to be sure. His parents were killed in an auto accident one week before he was to sit for his veterinary medicine exams at Cornell. He buried his parents, learned that they left him nothing because they had mortgaged everything to pay his tuition, returned to school, went to the exams, and didn't write a single word. He walked out without completing the test and wound up on a circus train. The circus he joins, in Depression-era America, is second-rate at best. With Ringling Brothers as the standard, Benzini Brothers is far down the scale and pale by comparison.Water for Elephants is the story of Jacob's life with this circus. Sara Gruen spares no detail in chronicling the squalid, filthy, brutish circumstances in which he finds himself. The animals are mangy, underfed or fed rotten food, and abused. Jacob, once it becomes known that he has veterinary skills, is put in charge of the "menagerie" and all its ills. Uncle Al, the circus impresario, is a self-serving, venal creep who slaps people around because he can. August, the animal trainer, is a certified paranoid schizophrenic whose occasional flights into madness and brutality often have Jacob as their object. Jacob is the only person in the book who has a handle on a moral compass and as his reward he spends most of the novel beaten, broken, concussed, bleeding, swollen and hungover. He is the self-appointed Protector of the Downtrodden, and... he falls in love with Marlena, crazy August's wife. Not his best idea.
The most interesting aspect of the book is all the circus lore that Gruen has so carefully researched. She has all the right vocabulary: grifters, roustabouts, workers, cooch tent, rubes, First of May, what the band plays when there's trouble, Jamaican ginger paralysis, life on a circus train, set-up and take-down, being run out of town by the "revenooers" or the cops, and losing all your hooch. There is one glorious passage about Marlena and Rosie, the bull elephant, that truly evokes the magic a circus can create. It is easy to see Marlena's and Rosie's pink sequins under the Big Top and to imagine their perfect choreography as they perform unbelievable stunts. The crowd loves it--and so will the reader. The ending is absolutely ludicrous and really quite lovely. --Valerie Ryan

May 21, 2012

Charles Sheeler

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Born July 16, 1883 - Died May 7, 1965

Charles Sheeler (July 16, 1883 - May 7, 1965) is recognized as one of the founders of American modernism and one of the master photographers of the 20th century.
Born in Philadelphia, he first studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. In 1909 he went to Paris, just when the popularity of Cubism was skyrocketing. Returning to the United States, he realized that he would not be able to make a living with Modernist painting. Instead, he took up commercial photography, focusing particularly on architectural subjects. He was a self-taught photographer, learning his trade on a $5 Brownie.
Sheeler rented a farmhouse in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, about 39 miles outside of Philadelphia. He shared it with artist Morton Schamberg. He was so fond of the home's 19th century stove that he called it his "companion" and made it a subject of his photographs. The farmhouse serves a prominent role in many of his photographs, including shots of the bedroom and kitchen. At one point he was quoted as calling it "my cloister."
Sheeler painted using a technique that complemented his photography. He was a self-proclaimed Precisionist, a term that emphasized the linear precision he employed in his depictions. As in his photographic works, his subjects were generally material things such as machinery and structures. He was hired by the Ford Motor Co. to photograph and make paintings of their factories.

May 18, 2012

The LeftyBosco Picture Show by Keith DuQuette, very inventive.

The money game

Facebook made it's debut in the stockmarket today. It opened at 38 bucks a share. It closed at 38 bucks a share. Should I feel sorry for someone? Naw.

May 17, 2012

In an oriental shop

I liked this description of Joseph Kleitsch by Arthur Miller and his use of color: Arthur Millier of the Los Angeles Times in 1922 was quoted saying of Kleitsch "he was a born colorist; he seemed to play on canvas with the abandon of a gypsy violinist". Joseph Kleitsch died at the age of forty-nine in Santa Ana, California on November 16, 1931.

May 10, 2012

4 HR'S and a double for good measure.

For you baseball fans there is a guy who plays for Texas who was batting 3 fifty something who happened to hit four home runs a day or two ago, 4 home runs and a double in one ball game.

He now says it won't be a distraction if the ball club wants to talk contract, he'd be glad to talk now.  SHAZAM, I would guess so.  I wonder how many ATM's it would take to cash one of his checks?

No distraction at all, just start counting.

Grandma and the pea

Kids and grandma's share likes and dislikes.
One like is presents, under the tree, surprise or no surprise,
big or little.

Today the grandma who hangs around with me received a surprise in the mail from a granddaughter she has lovingly
christened sweet pea.  Why?  Maybe grandma's and granddaughters know.

But excited the gma was.  You'd of thought it was Christmas all over again.  She liked the present well enough, but when she discovered it contained a surprise buried deep within the gift, she became bubbly and excited all over again.

She is still excited and in an afterglow state.  I am sure she will thank 'sweet pea' using some form of our today's technology, but I want the pea to know she has made gma very happy, which makes me very happy.  I hope your day turns out to be bubbly and exciting also.

May 9, 2012

Aloha means hello and/or goodbye. Hello.

I was thinking about cranking up the Reader, and one of the first things I was going to brag on was the Cleveland Indians.  But yesterday and today seems like not a good time to bring up that subject.

Perhaps I could mention the Ohio State Buckeyes, and Urban Meyer.  With OSU's money and Meyer's abilities to recruit and win he may create something unbelievable.