Saturday, May 24, 2014

Five on Friday - Memorial Day Edition

What I’m reading…
I finished Rules of Civility, Amor Towles’ first novel and one that I will probably read several times. It's a period piece, set in 1930’s New York City, mostly the East and West Village. I love jazz and that era in particular, and for a little while, reading this book,  I was able to live there. The main character dabbles in the lives of some of the wealthiest Manhattanites; be prepared for martinis and blue, smoky jazz clubs.  Amor Towles created a jazz playlist from the period. Benny Goodman’s Memories of You and I Remember You are iconic. If you want to experience the full effect, here is a link to the Rules of Civility Playlist:

The Virgin Blue – part detective story and part historical fiction, the novel alternates between the story of a women in current time and a female relative who lived 400 years earlier. A common thread emerges, linking the two. The author, Tracy Chevalier, also wrote Girl With a Pearl Earring. She is so talented at description that the well-crafted storyline and characters I cared about seemed like a bonus.

What I’m watching…
Most recent Indie film I’ve seen is Belle, a film inspired by a 1770 painting of Dido Elizabeth Belle and her cousin, Lady Elizabeth Murray. It was commissioned by the first Earl of Mansfield, William Murray. Both women are his nieces, with Dido the illegitimate mixed-race daughter of  his nephew, a Royal navy officer. The plot surrounds social mores of the time, with Dido raised in an aristocratic household alongside her cousin and with the undercurrent of a legal case on slavery during the same time period. I liked everything about it – the story, the costumes, the characters, and the historical implications. And as I have in the past, it got me thinking about what would have happened if we had lost the Revolutionary War? Would slavery, which was abolished in England long before the U.S., have ended here much sooner? And if that was the case, would we still have had the Civil War? Would our government structure be more like Australia or Canada?

What I’m looking forward to:
Two weeks from now we’ll be in Curacao.  For the first time in over 10 years, it will be a true family vacation for me, with both my children, the grandchildren, two grandpas and an honorary auntie  hanging out together in a big house on the water.  We are looking forward to sun, fun, snorkeling, scuba diving, and lazy nights playing cards and listening to music while watching babies crawl…

What I’m "art-ing" about:
Recently a friend suggested I submit samples of my art journals to a book being published by North Light on the topic. I’ve never submitted any of my art anywhere – just no interest – but she was persistent so I did – and one of my journal pages was selected for publishing in the upcoming book, Art Journal Kickstarters.  I think I have shown the page on this blog once before; not sure, but anyway, here it is.

And Finally…

Seven years ago we buried my dad, with a military funeral, a Marine Corps honor guard, taps and a 7-gun salute.  It was beautiful, a fitting tribute to a man who devoted much of his life to both the military and his family. I miss him every day.  On this Memorial Day weekend, I am grateful to every Veteran who answered the call of duty, and especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.  You are not forgotten.