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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Some Artsy Stuff

Alrighty, some of you know my wordy side, some of you know my artsy side, a few of you know my professional side, and please -- no jokes about my back side.  These are a few art journaling responses I've done recently.  The topic for the journal poem below is Pets. If you visit my blog regularly, you've already seen the nose (how could you MISS it)...but the poem is new.

I belong to a group called Blissfully Art Journaling. They have a new prompt each day, usually a single word or idea paired with a quote for inspiration. It's fun, and I often come up with something visual to go along with the quote and word.
The prompt below was about shame.

In the response below, we were asked to create a work of art in the style of one of our favorite artists. After I got over the itchy feeling of being an incredibly presumptuous imposter, I really did enjoy pretending I was Joan Miro, standing in Central Park and painting the picture of an artist.
And finally, I started a group on ning to explore the book Taking Flight by Kelly Rae Roberts. This is my response to her Chapter 2 discussion, "Facing Your Fears."

Friday, February 20, 2009

First Crush

The prompt for my art group was to journal about our first crush.  This is about mine.  And now I wonder about yours...do you remember your first love?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Will you be my valentine?

Every year on Valentine's Day I imagine a quintessential couple sitting in a quiet corner of an elegant yet cozy restaurant, sipping champagne with strawberries, eating foie gras, a piano quietly tinkling in the background. She in her basic black sheath and simple gold or pearl necklace and he debonair in his cashmere sweater and slacks, both are having what appears (to the casual outsider) to be a fascinating conversation punctuated by clever repartee and playful banter. I suppose there may be more to this Valentine's evening after they leave the restaurant, but this is as far as my imagination needs to go for the romance to be complete.  Nothing big going on here - no grand gestures, no jetting off to Europe or whisking out a diamond bracelet from the breast pocket -- yet the perfect romantic moment.

It's hard to get this combination just right on February 14th.  Romance is just so darned hard to "arrange" to begin with, and on this holiday the restaurants are oh-so-crowded.    You get to the restaurant and find out they gave away your reservation five minutes before. The tinkling piano turns into a honky tonk Joplin rag. They run out of foie gras just before you give your order.  

So this year, I propose that we each plan for ourselves the ultimate romantic evening at home-whether on the 14th or some day close to it. Whether it is with a partner, or with a friend, with our pets, or with a bowl of popcorn, I've found one way to have the PERFECT date. In fact, (thanks to Better Homes and Gardens online) I found 29 of them. Allow me to be your Valentine's Day date planner...choose a movie to order from netflix, blockbuster or to take out from your stash, add the wine or beer or soda or mineral water, maybe some pizza or chinese food or a delightful wheel of brie wrapped in pillsbury croissant dough and baked lightly.  And plan a Valentine's Day you are sure to enjoy!  Oh and please, let me know what you would suggest for number 30.  

1-When Harry Met Sally 1989
2-Pride and Prejudice 2005
3-Pretty Woman 1990
4-While you Were Sleeping 1995
5-Sleepless in Seattle 1993
6-An Officer and a Gentleman, 1982
7-The Notebook 2004
8-Bridget Jones’s Diary 2001
9-Bull Durham, 1988
10-Casablanca 1942
11-The Sound of Music 1965
12-Shakespeare in Love 1998
13-Sense and Sensibility 1995
14-Overboard 1987
15-Dirty Dancing 1987
16-Say Anything 1989
17-Rebecca 1940
18-Breakfast at Tiffany’s 1961
19-Ghost 1990
20-Love Actually 2003
21-Notting Hill 1999
22-Moonstruck 1987
23-Somewhere in Time 1980
24-Emma 1996
25-Room with a View 1985
26-The Fabulous Baker Boys 1989
27-Love Story 1970
28-Dr. Zhivago 1965
29-Always 1989
30-What's your favorite romance movie?

**  I have to add a p.s. here--Annie Hall!!  Take a look at this video movie review if you aren't already sold: http://video.nytimes.com/video/2009/02/09/movies/1231547284077/critics-picks-annie-hall.html?th&emc=th 

Monday, February 2, 2009

Dragon Parade Chinatown New York



Gung Hay Fat Choy!

I've been living here in Manhattan for nearly five years and I'm still discovering many of the sights and sounds on this schisty island. (I like to say that word.) This year for the first time I went to the Dragon Parade in Chinatown, and I took a few pictures that I thought you might like to see. 2009 is the year of the Ox. It was crowded, noisy, and so much fun!

I did a little research on the traditions of Chinese New Year. The celebration, which begins on New Year's Eve, features lavish dishes with symbolic meanings. A whole fish suggests abundance. Other seafood typically includes shrimp, signifying happiness, oysters for good business, and clams for the opening of new horizons.

Red and gold are the favorite colors for the Chinese New Year, symbolizing happiness and wealth. On New Year's Day, red is the preferred color of clothing as it is believed that it will bring the wearer a bright and sunny future. Red envelopes containing money (or chocolate coins wrapped in gold paper) are given for good luck.

I enjoyed watching the happy faces of the people at the parade and the people in the parade. It's clearly a joyous time for everyone involved, and I was thrilled to be a part of this ancient tradition. It was a potpourri of sensory stimuli: the snapping of firecrackers, colorful confetti flying into the air. happy people yelling Gung Hay Fat Choy! and Happy New Year!! and parade marchers handing dancing and tossing candy to children lining the streets.

I'd like to go back again next year if we're lucky enough to get another gloriously warm day like this year. Next time I'll go like an expert and bring a stepstool, though, so I can get even BETTER pictures for you!