Music i can’t find…

The group is Blue Rondo A La Turk, an '80's jazz-pop band from England.  Other spin-offs include Matt Bianco (w/singer Basia).  Also, a group called Animal Nightlife – same genre.

Found this item on YouTube, and this other video by Working Week featuring Tracey Thorn of Everything But the Girl.  Now if I could just find the version of The Paris Match sung by her, that would be great also.

 

 

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Los Angeles

 

More fun with Julie in LA, although I gave up taking photos after awhile.  One day we went on a tour of Paramount Studios and then followed it with a trip to the Getty Center.  I was basically crippled after that day. 

 

Abbot-Kinney Blvd. is a cute, trendy little shopping neighborhood. 

Lots of floral/interior design type shops, along with the usual suspects – jewelry, clothing, trendy home stuff – type

 shops.  If one didn't actually live in their homes, or if they had giant gallery-type spaces, this stuff would be great.  Mostly I think it all looks good IN the shops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Paris

The trip was in 2005 and I just don’t get around to organizing photos much.  The old excuse was waiting for a new computer.  Not sure that’s the truth but here’s a few.

Cheeeeese, Gromit!Paris produce storeEpicerieRueCler1

I wish I’d taken more, but it seems to get in the way of the actual experience, sometimes.  The public loo’s are pretty interesting, though I don’t think I’d use one.

I hope to return someday.  We were thinking of going to London and taking a car on the ferry so we could drive around around Normandy and the South more.

I lost 11 lbs. on this trip, probably due to the walking.  We ate loads, but it was no match for the daybreak to midnight walking.  We went in November.  I’d like to go in April or May next time, even though it’ll be twice as crowded.  I probably won’t revisit the usual tourist attractions, but we didn’t go to Sacre Coeur so that will be a must see.

I love Paree!

Parisian delightsBooksellers in front of L'HotelFromOurWindow

SeineNightNotre Dame at nightBouquinistes - Paris streetsImg1008

RScooter on Paris street

ead and post comments M-n-J@TheLouvre

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Magritte at LACMA

 

 

Magritte Exhibition 2007 LACMAVelvetMagritte

"Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images" is the title of the show, which runs until March 4th at the LA County Museum of Art.  "This is not a pipe." The Treachery Of Images (La trahison des images) (1928–1929)

Well worth at least a couple of visits and a flight to LA.  Well-conceived, although I wasn't particularly taken with some of the other artists' works incorporated into the show as having been influenced by Magritte.  A fine retrospective nonetheless, featuring many works I've never seen, even in books, including those from Magritte's "ugly" period (1954-ish).  Having worked in advertising design, the painterly skill of his work belies the wit, humor, and intellectual depth of his ideas.

Best bud, art compatriot, and wine connossieur Jules played museum docent and general LA activities director.  Great to have an "industry" person and celeb spotter as a tour guide.  She quickly pointed out Cybil Sheperd (very tall) and John Baldessari (designer of the show) among the throngs.  Cybil actually tried to get into one of my pictures, though I pretended not to notice her.  But I digress.  I'm disappointed at not having a photo of the specially commissioned carpet, which was sky blue with clouds, like walking on a Magritte painting.

There have been at least two seminal Dada and Surrealist shows here in the Bay Area—1991 (?) at BAM and 2002 at the Legion of Honor ("Dreaming with Open Eyes").  I've had the great fortune of seeing many landmark works at the Art Institute of Chicago, Louvre, Georges Pompidou Center. 

Les valeurs personnelles Framed Art Print by Rene Magritte

Many of Magritte's works contain an emotional and intellectual power beyond explanation.  The show drained and overstimulated me at the same time.  He paints dream states, altered realities, fears made flesh…the usual suspects of the surrealist palette.

 L'Empire des Lumieres Art Print by Rene Magritte

Known as the Belgian gentleman painter, Magritte moved to Paris after critics panned his first solo exhibition.  In Paris, he became friends with Andre Breton and began his involvement with the Surrealists.  His wife Georgette was the model for many of the women in his paintings. His mother's suicide is also a recurring motif in his work. 

He died of pancreatic cancer in 1967. 

Pop culture homages to Magritte are plentiful, if rarely noticed or even understood.

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I like this

(do not stand at my grave and weep)

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

—Mary Frye, 1932 (version published on a postcard, according to this site.)  There are other versions but this one seems the simplest one.

I originally saw this poem as a newspaper clipping on my friend Tara's refrigerator.  Maybe it had something to do with the recent death of her aunt, whose house she now lives in.  I guess it hit home and I want to remember it…for later reference…

Not meant to sadden anyone or anything like that.

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Slow and steady wins the race

That’s what the hubby says and it’s kept him on track all these years (even though he doesn’t do anything slow at all).

I had my usual doc visit + chemo on Valentine’s Day, with my oncologist running so late that I only got a 7- minute visit before being dragged off to infusion before closing time.  This was also my latest CT scan review.

He said he was “concerned—not apprehensive and not fearful, but concerned”.  Something about my body being made up kind of weird, not quite right, but he can’t figure it out.  I started the study (clinical trial) on Thanksgiving, and patience isn’t his strong point—things are receding, but for my age and health, we should be seeing larger results, faster.  He thinks I’m receiving the placebo instead of the study drug, due to my lack of side effects.  He’s ancy and will unblind the study the minute anything starts happening.  But we have to squeeze every drop out of this treatment right now.  That was his 7-minute assessment.

Ok.

During the infusion, the clinical trial nurse came over and gave me another perspective.  She explained that the large tumor (lung) had decreased by .4 cm and the bone lesions were more sclerotic (healing, scar tissue).  The way the radiology report was written indicated a greater number, which prompted her to call.  The radiologist said there were no new lesions, but that more of the lesions were sclerotic.

That said, she remarked that statistically I was doing far and away much better than any expectations (especially if I was receiving the placebo rather than the study drug), and the key seemed to be having fun.

So, I’m supposed to have more fun…hang out with friends, laugh, go to museums and concerts, get massages, sleep in, and not worry about the thousand and one things I worry about, like work, money, my aging parents.  I’m thankful for every bit of fun I’ve managed since my diagnosis, but it’s definitely on borrowed time.

I am relieved, buoyed by yet another “stable” scan.  I’m trying to be more diligent about exercise and guided imagery, meditation and diet (I’ve gained 14 pounds in 2 months—that can’t be normal).  I have something like a rash on my scalp, so I’m not entirely convinced I’ve been taking sugar pills since Thanksgiving.  But even so, I want to believe in the mind’s power to heal.  It’s the final frontier, and I’ve read many accounts of incurable patients going into remission.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but if my tumor shrank by .4 cm/6 weeks, I may be well in a year and a half.  I’ll take even more modest progress, if it means I’ll live that much longer…heck, I want to grow old!

Of course it’s not that simple, but simple goals are best: shrinkage of main tumor and good quality of life.  I would be content with success in those two areas.  To that end, I’ve been encouraged to join a gym and push my exercise limits (the physical therapist says it’ll take care of the pain/insomnia/weight gain issues).  Now if I could just address the thinning hair (ironic that I, previously of the big-hair contingent, should say that) and the vanity issues, which I can’t believe are plaguing me at this juncture.  It’s a media disease, I’m certain.

*******

I received jewelry for Valentine’s Day, for the first time ever.  Even though it’s a “Hallmark Holiday”, it’s nice to exchange vows of love in a formal way.  In years past we paid it no mind, and Mike absolutely loathes cards, so we don’t use that gesture.  We are exactly opposite—I’m relatively unmaterialistic and love a written sentiment, and he likes stuff—Swedish fish and good candy, small expensive gadgets, large expensive boats, expensive hobbies, expensive…Hmm.  Well, he might have to “settle” for his wife living longer for some holidays to come 😉

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