Monday, April 30, 2012

Signs of the TIme

I  have recently been seeing KONY 2012 signs posted throughout Polk County.  I also have seen chalk graffiti of KONY 2012.  So I looked up the video and this is what KONY 2012 is about:


Bar-Tending with Writers

   Drink for golfers is aiming fluid, for drivers it's DUI, and for writers its oil of inspired transmission.  As I read more and more I hope to find drinks described by authors.  Enjoy them if you are over 21. 

“That's the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”
Charles Bukowski, Women

A Drink with Anthony Burgess mentioned in "A Clockwork Orange" pg 15


(one shot) rum
(one shot) cherry brandy
mix the two shots together.

A Canadian Veteran

(one shot) rum
(one shot) cherry brandy
 mix the two shots together.
add a dash of lime

Currently reading A ClockOrange by Anthony Burgess for the Modern Library Best Fiction Book Club.

Friday, April 27, 2012

50 States of Reading: North Carolina

Ms. North Carolina is represented by Ava Gardner (1922-1990). She was born on Christmas Eve 1922, in Grabtown North Carolina. She was born under Capricorn; a sign for people that are grounded by truth.  She desired no bull outside of Durham. 
She moved to California from Norfolk Virginia, married Mickey Rooney, and was asked to lose her Carolina accent.  She might have lost the accent but she never lost the Carolina way. 
She was wooed by the reclusive Howard Hughes and proved that Southern  Girls Kick Ass; she knocked out Howard Hughes for slapping her.  She knew how to defend herself.  She  "split his face open from temple to mouth, knocked out two of his teeth, and loosened others."(Gardner 81) She felt no remorse. She was a tough North Carolina girl, and once asked "didn't all virtuous North Carolina girls sleep with a gun under their heads?(ibid 131)
She retained her Reformed Presbyterian principles in the hustle bustle of Hollywoodland. "I came to Hollywood almost pathologically shy, a country girl with a country girl's simple, ordinary values."(ibid 114)  Being simple did not mean that she was a dummy, nor that she was merely effective.
  For instance she could beat men at their own games: Artie Shaw gave Ava chess lessons from a Russian Master Chess Player; Ava then was able to checkmate Shaw in less than an half-hour.  Shaw, a sore loser,  would never play Ms. Gardner again.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

As Mentioned....

The Truth is Out There

“There is a fundamental difference between religion, which is based on authority, [and] science, which is based on observation and reason,” Stephen Hawking tells the ABC anchor, Diane Sawyer “Science will win because it works... I want to know why the universe exists, why there is something greater than nothing,” The interview aired on ABC, June 7, 2010.

Friday, April 20, 2012

As Mentioned...

Levy Solomon was a seller of wares to San Francisco Sailors. He also was a poet:

My name is solomon Levy, And I keep a clothing store Away up on Pacific Street- A hundred and fifty-four. If you want to buy an overcoat, A pair of pants or vest, Step up to Solomon Levy, And he'll sell you all the best.
Asbury, Herbert The Barbury Coast New York (Capicorn Books); 1933. pg 103

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

As mentioned....

Stephen King mentions Richard Eberhart, “The Groundhog,” written in 1936,  in his book and great resource Danse Macabre.   Children look at death as a poet looks at it with experimentation.  
"Horror movies are not sophisticated, and because they are not, they allow us to regain our childish perspective on death - perhaps not such a bad thing...Children see more intensely.   The greens of lawns are, to the child's eye the color of lost emeralds... the blue of the winter sky is as sharp as an icepick, the white of new snow is a dream blast of energy.  And black is much blacker.  Much blacker indeed." (king 194)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Book Reviews: Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Ghost StoryGhost Story by Peter Straub

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Straub shows in Ghost Story that he is a master novelist.The novel is constructed so well; it is a symbol of an artist writing from his experience; based on a fine perception of relationships between characters, in which a town is arrayed against heroes. He builds suspense upon suspense; while heightening our awareness of past lives and their affects on our living days.

You Tube It

My Friend Michael Anderson mentioned the video after I was wearing the All Black Jersey given to my parents from a trip to New Zealand.   I thought the video was cool enough to share:

As Mentioned...

Artists on the Future

People have forgotten that
every line, if it is to be harmonious , must express human joy and sorrow. And in what is called great art, in sculpture  for example, as well as in the making of ordinary things, machinery has put dream to flight.
Rodin to Anatole France

Monday, April 16, 2012

Yamulkas in Berlin 7:30

Ronald Reagan in Bedtime for Bonzo

The mob hysteria over pedophiles has reached epidemic proportions and driven parents to panic. Today's Just Williams, today's Huck Finns, today's Swallows and Amazons are deprived of the freedom to roam that was one of the delights of childhood in earlier times (when the actual, as opposed to the perceived, risk of molestation was probably no less).”
Richard Dawkins,
The God Delusion “”

Falsetto Land by William Finn and James Lapine (1989)

The Plain Facts

  1. Length:74 pages

  2. Genre:Theater Production...
  3. Characters:
    • Marvin - Michael Rupert
    • Trina - Faith Prince
    • Jason - Danny Gerard
    • Whizzer- Stephen Bogardus
    • Mendel- Chip Zien
    • Dr. Charlotte- Heather MacRae
    • Cordelia  - Janet Metz
    • Setting: (Watch a Scene Here)
      • When the audience enters, they see a huge three dimensional "1981" on stage.  Two huge flashlights-the kind used to land planes at airports.  are seen at the back of the stage behind the numbers.  We cannot see who is manipulating them, but the lights are slowly prescribing the dimensions of the stage.  Then the flashlights are turned into the eyes of the audience. 
      • One could do a Berlin Wall type graffiti on the wall.  1980's feel.  Maybe a portrait of Ronald Reagan with Bonzo the Chimp.

    So, what's It About Man?

    Growing up in a family being Jewish, with a dad that is gay, a best friend that is dad's lover, next door neighbors are lesbians, and he asks what is the miracle in being Jewish?

    Sunday, April 15, 2012

    2012 Spring Short Story Festival 62:91

    1. A story has a beginning middle and an end. 
    2. It has a setting.  
    3. It has characters/actors.
    4. It has a conflict.  
    5. The conflict has a  resolution 
    These are the elements that I consider add up to a story.  The story can appear as a poem, or in a regular set of prose.  As long as the story has the five elements than it works and can be called a short story.   Here is a poem that works as a short story:   The Two April Mornings by William Wordsworth.   

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

    Yamulkas in Berlin 6:30

    Vasily Surikov
    1848 - 1916


     “No, I'm just a very naughty boy. I do all sorts of bad things. I kick kittens. I make rude gestures at nuns.”
    Cassandra Clare, City of Ashes




    The Flag by Sholom Aleichem

    The Plain Facts

    1. Length:Twelve Pages 

    2. Genre:Old Country Tales, Memoirs, Sholom Aleichem, Yiddish Literature.

    3. Characters:
      • Kopele Cock-crow (A.K.A. Topele Tottrow)
    4. Setting: A small village in Yidburrough, somewhere between Germany and Poland.

    So, what's It About Man?

    A young boy with a speech impediment learns what it is to grow up as an under-dog, mispoken "Boychik" ("a young lad").

    Family Recipes

    Old Woman Frying Eggs 1618
    National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Painting, Oil on canvas, 101 x 120 cm 
    Diego Rodriguez De Silva y Velázquez
    ca. 1599, Sevilla, Spain - ca. 1660, Madrid, Spain
    School: Spanish
    Movements: Baroque

    Asparagus, Smoked Turkey, and Muenster Skillet


    Wednesday at 10:30.
    (My Kitchen) I joined the ranks of people who fry eggs.  Who was the first one to fry an egg?  Who was the first person to combine turkey, muenster, and asparagus to their eggs?  What fear held them back from combining ingredients right away?   But anyway you break it, when eggs are fried up, it is all good.

    Tuesday, April 10, 2012

    Yamulkas in Berlin 5:30

    “We must have a pie. Stress cannot exist in the presence of a pie.”
    David Mamet, Boston Marriage  


    Goldberg Street by David Mamet(1985)



    The Plain Facts

    1. Length:Three Pages

    2. Genre:Theater Production (first aired in 1985 at WNUR Radio in Chicago on March 4, 1985).

    3. Characters:
      • Man (Originally played by Mike Nussbaum)
      • Daughter (Susan Nussbaum)
    4. Setting:(Mamet is not concrete here, he does not mention any of the setting.) However, from the clues in the script this is what I see: Somewhere around a table where the Daughter and Father can have a conversation that is deep.  I would think it would have to be in a coffee shop or a bar, because it needs to be away from any distractions.

    So, what's It About Man?

    A father's remembrance brings his daughter closer to his lines. 

    Classic Horror Films

    Monday, April 9, 2012

    Yamulkas in Berlin 4:30

    Rain-Droplets Up-Close
    “He spoke to her as if she could understand him, never in high pitch or in monosyllables, and never in nonsense words. This is milk that I am feeding you. It comes from Mordechai the milkman, whom you will meet one day. He gets the milk from a cow, which is a very strange and troubling thing if you think about it, so don't think about it . . . Jonathan Safran Foer, Everything is Illuminated

     Esther by Elizabeth Swados(1988)

    The Plain Facts

    1. Length:82 pages long.
    2. Genre:Theater Production
    3. Characters:
      • King Ahashuerus
      • Mordechai
      • Haman
      • Esther 
      • Narrator-Ethyl
      • Narrator-Lucy 
      • Beggar One  thru Four
      •  Contestants One thru Four
      • French Waiter 
      • Farmer 
    4. Setting: The village in Persia where the King Ahashuerus reigns.  He reigns with an iron will, and desires to be entertained.  The time of year this play takes place is during the festival of Purim.    

    So, what's It About Man?

    This play shares the great joys held in the holiday of Purim, and the art of story telling.

    Family Recipes

    Grandma's Strawberry Passover Ice-Cream

    Wayne Thiebaud
    Movements: Pop-Art

    2 packages (8 oz packages)Frozen Strawberries
    TwoLarge Bananas
    1/2 juice of small lemon
    twoEgg White

    • Mash fruit
    • add 1/2 cup sugar and lemon
    • beat egg white until foamy 
    • graddualy add 1/2 cup of sugar to a stiff peak.
    • fold together.
    • freeze until it thickens

    My grandmother Pearl would make this Strawberry Ice-Cream every year for Passover, as far as I remember.   I looked forward to three things during my grandparents Passover Service, (1)welcoming Elijah, (2) searching for the afikoman under Grandfather's corduroy chair, (3)Eating Grandma's strawberry passover cedar.   I hope you enjoy sharing the ice-cream with your family this spring.   One can also use fresh strawberries instead of the frozen variety.  Shalom Aleichem.

    Saturday, April 7, 2012

    Old Time Radio

    The X Minus One Broadcast was a great radio program that explored fears, society, and the times of 1950-1958.  The tales will chill your bones and leave you thinking, "o vey, my plutz, this story is scary."  

    X Minus One was a half-hour science fiction radio drama series broadcast from April 24, 1955 to January 9, 1958 in various timeslots on NBC.
    Initially a revival of NBC's Dimension X (1950–51), the first 15 episodes of X Minus One were new versions of Dimension X episodes, but the remainder were adaptations by NBC staff writers, including Ernest Kinoy and George Lefferts,[1] of newly published science fiction stories by leading writers in the field, including Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, Philip K. Dick, Robert A. Heinlein, Frederik Pohl and Theodore Sturgeon,[2] along with some original scripts by Kinoy and Lefferts.
    Included in the series were adaptations of Robert Sheckley's "Skulking Permit," Bradbury's "Mars Is Heaven," Heinlein's "Universe" and "The Green Hills of Earth", " Pohl’s "The Tunnel under the World," J. T. McIntosh’s "Hallucination Orbit," Fritz Leiber’s "A Pail of Air" and George Lefferts' "The Parade."[2] from Wikipedia

    One can listen to the PODCAST AS WELL.  Just search for it on your device, it will be there I promise.

    Currently Reading

    I am currently reading Danse Macabre by Stephen King.  The book is a treasure map in locating the origins and influences on the Horror Genre. Stephen King has rarely stepped into the realm of non-fiction essay writing, except for his occasional article for Entertainment Magazine. However rare his nonfiction is, it is treasured. 

    The book could use a technological update.  What about an interactive book, where links bring you to the available media mentioned in the book.     I have found a number of cool things mentioned in the book on the internet archive (including Mars Is Heaven?)

    Wednesday, April 4, 2012

    Yamulkas in Berlin 3:30

    Queen Esther, 2003, Oil on Canvas, 43 x 63 in by Orit Arfa

    “I felt unsteady as I lead Xerxes to his seat. Women in his kingdom were but dressing for a man's bed and a satisfactory way to provide heirs. The king had once banished a queen on the advice of his counsel. Now would he accept the word of his queen and banish the adviser? Dear G-d, I pleaded silently, how can it be that I should change history? I am a prisoner myself – how can I asked for the freedom of a nation?”
    Ginger Garrett, Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther

    Visiting with King Ahasuerus (1909 - 1911)

    The Plain Facts

    1. Length:read the excerpt of 13 pages.
    2. Genre:Yiddish Old Country Tales
    3. Characters:Tevye speaks to Shalom Aleichem.
    4. Setting: a little village where Tevye lives, and the woods and nature that surrounds it. The story takes place during Purim a time of great festivity much like Mardi Gras. The  Jewish people celebrate God's providence in giving victory to the Jewish People over the great Persian Empire.

    So, what's It About Man?

    This story shares the great joys held in the holiday of Purim.

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Yamulkas in Berlin 2:30

    “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song. At the touch of a lover, everyone becomes a poet.”

    Song of Songs by Shalom Alecheim(1909 - 1911)

    The Plain Facts

    1. Length:read the excerpt of 13 pages.
    2. Genre:Yiddish Old Country Tales
    3. Characters:Tevye speaks to Shalom Aleichem.
    4. Setting: a little village where Tevye lives, and the woods and nature that surrounds it.

    So, what's It About Man?

    THis is Sholom Aleichem's meditative story on the book from the Old Testament, The Song of Songs.  

    Monday, April 2, 2012

    Yamulkas in Berlin 1:30

    However disagreeable the phenomenon may seem at moments of sensitivity it is seldom more than trivial. The dislike of Jews was a ready way for WASP literati to identify themselves with the great tradition. Besides, it is something like a hereditary option for non-Jews to exercise at a certain moment when they discover that they have a born right to decide whether they are for the Jews or against them. (Jews have no such right.)-Saul Bellow as quoted from the Jewish Literary Review

      Tevye Reads the Psalms Shalom Alechiem (1914 - 1916)

    The Plain Facts

    1. Length:6 pages 
    2. Genre:Yiddish Old Country Tales
    3. Characters:Tevye speaks to Shalom Aleichem.
    4. Setting: a little village where Tevye lives. 

    So, what's It About Man?

    Tevye reads the psalms and reflects on the state of the Jewish People.  A people still in exile.   Tevye is speaking to Shalom Aleichem, and Shalom Aleichem is writing down the words.   I can envision a little imp like man, with a round belly, speaking in time with Fiddler on the Roof: If I were A Rich Man. This was the last Tevye story written.

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