It was important for me to launch my blog on the first day of autumn (if you continue to follow my blog in the future you will find out why.)
I have been thinking about starting a blog for sometime. People are often telling me I should write a book, but I’m not sure I actually have enough of a “story” to do that (or frankly, the discipline.) I have several social media accounts and I use them to discuss a variety of topics, but all of them seem too limiting. Because, the truth is, I’m a talker. If I had a nickel for the number of people who have told me to “try to be succinct” or “keep it brief” or “don’t be so wordy”, well, I’d be a super rich person.
To be honest, it was James Corden’s response to Bill Maher’s fat shaming segment that finally motivated me to get my rear in gear. I was incredibly frustrated that I didn’t have a real platform to discuss that specific issue. I also recently stumbled across a massive amount of information related to menopause and/or weight and I feel the need to share all of it as much as possible.
It was for these reasons that I knew it was time to finally create something where maybe, just maybe I could not only help other women who are going through menopause or starting menopause or wondering about menopause or are scared shitless about the prospect of menopause, but that perhaps I could also help people in general understand about women’s health, weight loss/gain, body issues, fat shaming and the mental health concerns that go along with all of these things.
I am not a medical professional, I am going to say that straight out, but I do hope to get opinions in the future from individuals in that industry. I also will be citing articles, studies, and books that contain legitimate scientific research.
So, there’s my first post. It’s not much, just an introduction really, but I think it might be one of the more difficult posts I will have to make. Because it was tough figuring out exactly why I wanted to do this and what I wanted to accomplish. Let’s see what happens. Are you with me?
1. This Gilded Age Gown – I love the art, the architecture, the decor, the jewelry and especially the dresses of the Gilded Age. Of course one can’t overlook that there was so much wrong with the era. But like so many times and places where there is tremendous inequity and obnoxious wealth, breathtaking beauty often is born. One has to wonder, would such beauty have been possible if not for the inequity? For example, the Taj Mahal; it is extremely unlikely that it would have been built if the emperor Shah Jahan hadn’t been an emperor and didn’t have all the wealth of his kingdom.
Anyway, as usual, I’ve gotten off topic. Let’s get back to this dress. There are several clothing designers of that era that I like but my absolute favorite is Charles Frederick Worth. His House of Worth spanned over a few eras and his designs were exquisite.
I’m not sure who designed the dress below, it could be a House of Worth, but the garment appeared in a painting by one of my favorite painters, John Singer Sargent. Everything about it is perfect – the color, the design, the fabric. C’est magnifique.
And here is the John Singer Sargent painting (sadly it’s not a full-length portrait):
And while we are on the subject of the Gilded Age, Julian Fellows, the creator of ‘Downton Abbey,’ has a new series coming out called ‘The Gilded Age’ and they’ve started filming!
It stars Christine Baranski, Cynthia Nixon and many other top actors. The show follows “young Marian Brook, the orphaned daughter of a Union general, who moves into the New York City home of her thoroughly old money aunts Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook. Accompanied by Peggy Scott, an accomplished African-American woman, Marian inadvertently becomes enmeshed in a social war between one of her aunts, a scion of the old money set, and her stupendously rich neighbors, a ruthless railroad tycoon and his ambitious wife, George and Bertha Russell.”
Here are several photos from last week (click on the image to go to Instagram so you can scroll them all)…
And here is a video…
The show will be aired on HBOMax and there is an official page though there isn’t a lot up yet. It’s clearly a work in progress.
Someone posted screenshots of the first posts on the “Gilded Age Society” Facebook group that I belong to and you aren’t going to believe how many fruit loops made comments about how they “shouldn’t be wearing masks” because it isn’t historically accurate or they could have at least worn historically accurate masks. And then people (for the most part) would politely reply back – they aren’t actually filming in these photos, this is while they are on break, but they are still in costume. (Are people really this stupid or are they just looking for things to be pissed about?)
2. This Youtuber – this young man makes me happy. I want to be his friend.
3. This Cover of the Beatles’ Song ‘Blackbird’ Sung in the Indiginous Mi’kmaq Language – this is beyond beautiful and I prefer it to the English language version, by far! Her voice is so lovely and soothing. I would love to listen to an entire album of songs by her!
To raise awareness of her native language, 16-year-old Emma Stevens sang a version of The Beatles’ 1968 classic “Blackbird” in the Mi’kmaq language, an Eastern Algonquian language spoken by nearly 11,000 in Canada and the United States. A member of the Eskasoni First Nation, the Nova Scotia student sang lyrics that were painstakingly translated by Katani Julian, a teacher who works in language revitalization. Julian told WBUR. “My language is very different from other ones.” “There’s a lot of syllables in ours. And there’s a lot of long words that translate into something really easy in English.”
[discovered on Open Culture by way of Kevin Bacon’s facebook page.]
4. This Muse of Gustav Klimt – I’ve been a fan of Klimt’s artwork for decades but it turns out I may actually have been a fan of Emilie Louise Flöge all these years, or at the very least the combined effort of their work.
Flöge was a friend of Klimt’s for decades. There are rumors that they were lovers but there is no real evidence, though apparently he was a womanizer. I suspect that they weren’t lovers and that is why they stayed friends for so long.
The clothing and fabric designs of Emilie Flöge were extremely unique for the time. Unlike the traditional, more fitted clothing, she preferred dresses that were looser, more smock or caftan-esque, with big flowing sleeves. Her designs sometimes would have a bit of an Asian influence and often she incorporated her own native Austro-Hungarian decorative design. I would LOVE to have some of her dresses to wear now.
Klimt used Flöge in her own dresses as a model for many of his paintings. So the question is, was it Klimt’s painting that I was drawn to, or was it Flöge’s designs within the portraits?
5. This Article/Blog Post on Maximalism – This is probably my favorite art movement. I’m never been one for the minimal thing. In fact, a friend of mine used to describe me as a Victorian-era woman living in the late 20th century.
Click on the image below to go to the blog post and you’ll see many more maximalism paintings. I find them all so interesting and inviting.
6. This New Series on HBOMax, The Nevers– It premiered yesterday, April 11th and they will be releasing a new episode every Sunday through May 16th (at least that it what it says on the IMDB.) I’ve only seen the first episode but I’m completely absorbed!
7. This Cornucopia of Art in the Form of Portuguese Sardine Labels – I suppose 50 years from now people will look at packages of things like ziplock bags or Keebler cookies (if any survive that long) and think they are quaint. Naaaaaaaaah.
1. This Comedian’s Solution to Gun Control – So simple. I’ve only recently discovered Steve Hofstetter and he’s hilarious. I start watching his videos on YouTube and end up watching for hours.
By the way, I bought a small portable (annotated) version of the constitution which I carry with me. I’ve been surprised at how often I refer to it. Originally I got it because I wanted to be like RBG – but I never thought I’d actually use it. Turns out there’s a very practical reason for carrying one around and it’s no surprise that Justice Ginsburg would know that.
2. This Roundabout Mural in My Hometown of Dubuque – I’ve never seen this myself but then I’ve not been “home” for a few years because, well, you know why. I was curious to see if this was a thing, if maybe artists were doing this around the US or even around the world but I couldn’t find any others (admittedly I only did one search.) I did, however, find that public traffic sculptures are a thing.
3. This Video Clip from Sesame Street – most of you who grew up on Sesame Street will remember John John. Be sure to watch all the way through and see if you don’t have a big smile on your face when this is over.
4. This Video from 1949 about a “Step-Saving” Kitchen, from the Department of Agriculture – Created for farming families, the video is pure vintage delight. Set aside for the moment the whole housewives (only) do all the cooking thing, and focus on the design aspect. There are actually many things I wish were standard components in today’s kitchens. The cookbook holder on the inside of the cabinet and the garbage hatch were two things I was most impressed by.
I also loved the counter height analysis. I wonder if they still make “pull-out boards”. As a taller person I find most counters are usually too low for me.
A few last thoughts… the video made me miss the “olden” days, just a little bit. Things like having a landline in the kitchen and the little desk you’d sit at while taking a call. I also thought it was interesting that they chose to have a woman narrating the video even though it was about architectural design. It’s a little bit of a relief to know that in 1949 they didn’t feel it would be necessary to have a man present the plans. I realize it was for something considered a “woman’s world” but it would have been the man making the decisions and paying for it.
5. These Hand-Painted Wallpapers – Anyone who knows me knows that I’m wallpaper junkie. And chinoiserie wallpaper, especially hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper, well, it makes my heart go pitter-patter. When I bought my current house (it’s my Golden Girls’ Dream House,) I knew I absolutely had to have wallpaper put up in a few of the rooms. And so I did and in my opinion, the wallpaper I chose is magnificent. But admittedly, none of it can compare to these.
Chinoiserie (or China Style) “is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and other East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music.”
The story of how de Gournay began could possibly be movie-worthy:
Started in 1986, founder Claud Cecil Gurney started de Gournay following an unsuccessful search for experts to restore the antique Chinoiserie wallpaper in his family home. His passion for art and Chinese history brought him to China where he investigated the possibility of working with local artists to replicate the pieces he longs for in his home.
Once in China, he quickly discovered the government’s preference for mass design, making traditional hand painting of wallpaper a dying art. In an effort to save the vanishing tradition, he widened his search and eventually located artists whose parents, grandparents and ancestors had been trained in these specific techniques and who shared his wish to continue the traditions.
6. These Peeps Sandals – My friend Leann made these for Easter. I think they are adorable! Full disclosure, she said that it’s a bugger to work with marshmallow (even marshmallow that you’ve allowed to harden) and a glue gun.
7. This Training Video for Wendy’s Employees – Only in the 80s. It was a simpler time. MUCH simpler. (Still, this brought me much happines.)
Word of the Day
Quote of the Day
“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.
1. This Incredible Photo of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II – Honestly, when I first saw this I thought it must be photoshopped by the person who posted it sent me to this link on the NASA website.
The photo was taken on February 12, 1984. Are you surprised, I was! I actually thought it would have been more recent. According to the website, it was the first ever untethered space walk. “Astronaut Bruce McCandless, ventured further away from the confines and safety of his ship than any previous astronaut had ever been. This space first was made possible by a nitrogen jet propelled backpack, previously known at NASA as the Manned Manuevering Unit or MMU.”
The photo below, which I discovered on social media, is a little more photographic/dramatic than the one found on NASA. I’m not sure if that is because there was more than one camera taking photos and this took them at a higher resolution or if someone has tweaked the “original” version, either way, the photo is amazing.
Here’s a few more photos…
2. This Door that Converts into a Ping Pong Table – Genius, no? There’s only one eensy weensy problem. It costs nearly $15,000!!!
3. This AWESOME Tweet that Includes a Video of the Celebration that Ensued After the Ship Stuck in the Suez Canal Finally Started Moving – EPIC! It brings tears to my eyes.
4. THIS Seven-year-old Boy Who Dressed Up as Amanda Gorman for “Dress as Your Idol Day” – well done!
5. This SNL Video from this Past Weekend – People who actually think of themselves as the “greatest generation” are NOT the greatest generation. Just sayin’.
Man, Boomers suck! Please God, don’t let us turn into them! Too late, it’s already happening…
6. This Gorgeous Apartment in Covent Garden that you Can RENT – it’s about $900 per night but if you shared it with two other people it would be completely worth it!
1. This VACCINATED Menopausal Broad – pardon my hair, I forgot to fix it before the photo. You can’t see it but I’m both a little teary-eyed and overjoyed.
Not surprisingly, I’ve been reading everything I can on the vaccines and post-vaccine life and I found this excellent article in the Washington Post. WashPo has a paywall, so you may not be able to read it but here’s my favorite part, where the authors, Emily Heil and Tim Carman, talk about keeping a coronavirus budget. I think it’s a brilliant idea:
“There’s no such thing as zero risk, and nothing is 100 percent risky,” says Leana Wen, a visiting professor of health policy and management at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health and contributing columnist at The Washington Post. “It’s a spectrum.” She has long urged people to think about their risks as expenditures from a “coronavirus budget,” and says the budgets of those who have been vaccinated just went way up. “You still have to think about how to spend it, and if your priority is seeing grandchildren and going to church, then maybe you’re not going to restaurants all that often.”
With encouraging headlines, springlike temperatures and our collective covid fatigue at an all-time high, it might be tempting to throw caution — and another round of takeout — to the wind. But experts agree that now is not the time to lower your guard, but instead to maintain your vigilance so we can return to something like normal by the fall.
2. This Photograph of the Crystal Palace Dinosaurs – I became obsessed with the Crystal Palace dinosaurs after reading the children’s book ‘The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins‘ by Barbara Kerley (illustrated by Brian Selznick). The book won a Caldecott Honor Medal in 2002 . I was still a Children’s Librarian at that time. It has everything I loved – London, the Victorian Era, paleontology/innovation/science and the illustrations are fantastic. Here’s a video of a reading of the book that is charming.
I thought – it would have been amazing to be there then and see the dinosaurs in person. Honestly, I didn’t realize they still existed until a couple years ago. I learned many moons ago the Crystal Palace had burned down, twice I believe, so I assumed that nothing had survived. But the dinosaurs did and I got to see them in May of 2019! Here are a few of my photos… (the guy in the photo is my London pal Rob.)
2. This Story about the Golden Tickets in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory – Charlie & the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl was my all-time favorite book as a kid. I’m not sure if I’ve already told this story but one year, I think around when I was in second or third grade, I got a hold of a copy of the book. I read it and loved it so much that I re-read it over and over and over again. Around the twelve time my Mom started getting a little concerned that I was so obsessed with just one book so she bribed me with my first Nancy Drew book. That wasn’t such a bad thing, it led to a whole new world of my favorite teenage sleuth, but I always loved Charlie and his family and Mr. Willy Wonka.
I also loved the movie with Gene Wilder. To me he will always be the one and only Willy Wonka. I was actually excited when I first heard that Tim Burton was going to give the book a try and that Johnny Depp was slated to play Wonka, but I think I’ve spent to many years visualizing the candy maker as Gene Wilder.
I stumbled across this story while searching for something else and thought it was very interesting. For fans of the story, it’s not a major thing but curious nonetheless.
For some reason the book originally had it say on the golden ticket that the visit was to in February but in the first movie they changed it to October. Here is a brief post on Roald Dahl Fans.com where the person who runs the blog received an email with a question about this difference.
Here is what it says in the book:
“And now, here are your instructions: The day I have chosen for the visit is the first day in the month of February…”
“The first day of February!” cried Mrs. Bucket. “But that’s tomorrow! Today is the last day of January, I know it is!”
The person who runs the Roald Dahl Fans blog has one theory that I think is most likely/logical and that is that the filming schedule was from August to November and so it simply didn’t look like February outdoors (and it would have been too expensive to make it look like February back then.) I think that this is the most likely explanation but one has to wonder if there might be some other reason like, is October 1st someone’s birthday or anniversary?
3. This Instagram Post by 99 year-old Betty White – how is it that I have only just thought to follow Betty White now???? So many shows like this that I would love to watch – thank goodness they aren’t available to stream because I don’t have enough time in the day! (If you haven’t watched the Betty White documentary on Netflix yet I highly recommend it. I‘ll be posting my ‘Menopausal Broad’s Guide to Netflix’ soon, hopefully within the next week.)
4. This Number from the 1957 Movie, Funny Face – Pink has always been my favorite color. I’d like to think it would have been even if I wasn’t born a girl, but in the 60s in Iowa there were only two options – girl or boy – and it wasn’t kosher for boys to like pink. Having said that, you just know that at least half of the guys in those white painter jumpsuits wish their suits were pink too. But they still look like they’re having fun! Aren’t the clothes fabulous?
5. This 360 Degree Van Gogh Painting – you may want to actually visit it on Facebook to so you can make it bigger.
6. This Website that Lets You Create Your Own Bayeux Tapestry – The Bayeux Tapestry is made up of seventy-five scenes depicting events leading up to the Norman Conquest in 1066. It has a very distinct style and has been studied in depth (in fact they even know that there are 93 penises, not all belonging to men, included in the art piece.)
Here’s my first attempt…
And here is an artist named Andrew Swainson’s clever version of the Bayeux Tapestry in a tribute to Monty Python…
7. These “Personless Protests” in Myanmar – human ingenuity knows no bounds.
1. This Modification to ‘Fearless Girl’ Showing her Breaking the Glass Ceiling – In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8th State Street Global Advisors installed a broken glass ceiling around the now iconic statue. ‘Fearless Girl’ was installed on March 7, 2017 and was originally placed at the northern tip of Bowling Green on Broadway, facing down the Wall Street Bull. But the artist of the ‘Charging Bull’ (Arturo Di Modica) complained so the statue was moved to its current location across from the New York Stock Exchange Building.
Not everyone, however, thinks the alteration was done well. What do you think?
2. These EXTREMELY Lucky People Who Got an Impromptu Concert from Yo Yo Ma at this COVID Vaccine Center in Massachusetts – I wouldn’t mind waiting at all under these conditions.
3. This Instagram Post Showing How Oranges are Collected in Valencia, Spain – ingenuity at its finest!
4. This Piece of Art by Bharti Kher called ‘Squaring the Circle’ – created in 2007, Indian artist Bharti Kher used thousands of bindis (Hindi: बिंदी, from Sanskrit बिन्दु bindú, meaning “point, drop, dot or small particle”; is a coloured dot worn on the center of the forehead, originally by Hindus and Jains from the Indian subcontinent) to create this colorful mandala. Mandalas are found in many of the southeastern religions. They are sometimes used as a map representing deities or as an aid during meditation.
To create a mandala out of bindis is extremely significant, not only because it is empowering to women but because it represents a strong community of women.
(Thanks Ann for find this for me!)
5. This FABULOUS Website Called ‘Window Swap‘ That Lets You See Out of People’s Windows Around the World – and it isn’t just that you get to see a photo, it’s an ongoing video so you can hear birds or traffic or whatever sound is found outside the window.
7. The Group That Should Have Won Record of the Year at the Grammys – mind you, I like Billie Eilish but Black Pumas appeals to a far broader audience on many levels and the message in their music is so important.
FYI – I loved the dress (it’s Oscar de la Renta) that Taylor Swift wore to the Grammys…
FYI – if you have Disney+ and haven’t watched WandaVision, YOU MUST! (I am obsessed!) I will admit, I’m a HUGE Marvel Universe fan but I think even those who aren’t would enjoy how they recreated television sitcoms of the 50s, 60s, 70s, and 80s. Admittedly, it would be very helpful to know a bit about the Avengers movies, especially the last two. Also, Captain Marvel’s storyline is quite relevant. There is a lot more but those two things I felt are the most significant. Wandavision is definitely not your typical MCU production. It has the usual easter eggs, humor and villains but it is also about love, loss, and grief. Since we all have or will experience the loss of a loved one it makes it incredibly relatable.
Word of the Day
This is an AWESOME Inuit word. I haven’t done this much lately but I look forward to doing it again as soon as I finally get vaccinated!
1. This Couple, Annie Kampfe and Cliff Donnelly, Who Built a Miniature Mid-Century House Based on the Homes They Grew Up In – who doesn’t love miniatures and someone who put this much into the details of a Mid-Century home – I mean, it really would be every kids dream house, right?
2. This DoorDash Commercial – I don’t know about you but there is something quite comforting about the idea of being roomies with Cookie Monster. Yeah, he’d make a mess when he ate, yeah, you’d have to hide the cookies, but how cute is he sitting there on the sofa, reading next to Daveed Diggs?!?!
3. This New(ish) Television Series, Resident Alien – based on a comic book series, Resident Alien takes a fairly common premise – alien invasion – and turns it upside down. In the SyFy series (which stars Alan Tudyk, most famous for his role as Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne in Firefly, though I also love his ‘Steve the Pirate’ in Dodgeball: a True Underdog Story, one of my all-time favorite movies) is an alien who crash lands in Colorado while on a mission to actually destroy planet Earth. In the crash he loses some of the equipment he needs to destroy earth because it’s winter and it gets buried in the snow, somewhere on a rather large mountain.
Without alien equipment he has to go old school and look for it by walking around and digging, which he knows could take weeks. He decides he will need food and shelter and luckily finds a remote home on the lake. Not so lucky for the homeowner, it isn’t abandoned. The alien kills the man and disposes of his body in the lake but also takes the human’s form in case he’s noticed while searching for his lost equipment.
Soon after though a murder occurs in the nearby town and the victim is the town’s only doctor. The people in the town need someone to help them with the autopsy and guess who is the nearest doctor, yep, the guy the alien killed and transformed himself into.
What is most hilarious I think is that there are a couple kids in town who can see through the facade. I can’t remember what the explanation was – I just took it as being something like in the Polar Express and why kids could still hear the jingle bell. At first there was only one boy who could see him and the alien decided he was going to have to murder the kid. But the kid was a bit more of a challenge than he anticipated.
Anyway, it’s an excellent show! The first episode was a little slow but it has only gotten better and better.
You can watch the trailer here. OR if you really want to get drawn in, here are the first 7 minutes.
4. This COMPLETELY FABRICATED Series Called Tiny Secret Whispers‘ that Seth Meyers Has Been Gushing Over on His Show for the Past Three Weeks – Sorry Stephen, but Seth has officially become my favorite late night host. His impressions, his banter with his staff, long running jokes like the Thorn birds, the Sea Captain and now this. It’s sheer brilliance and it keeps his audience tuned in every night.
5. These Waterproof Notepads, Aquanotes – I’ve found that I think most clearly in the shower. I suspect it is because there is no distractrations. I’ve tried for several years to find the best way to keep track of my thoughts and ideas. I moved in an Alexa. I bought a waterproof recorder, a few different ones actually. But nothing worked because everything that I bought required me to then take transcribe what I dictated and that was a pain. I finally found these and they have been the best solution. They keep me from rambling (as we know, that is my tendency) and then I can rip off the page, take it to my desk and get it all taken care of without having to listen to a recording first. They are a little pricey but after you buy the first pencil/pad set for $9.75 you can get refills, 3 pads for $26, so it’s a little over a dollar less per pad.
6. This Response from LeVar Burton on the Decision by Seuss Enterprises to Discontinue Publication of Six of Their Titles – Who is better qualified to speak on this topic than Mr. Reading Rainbow himself (and of course ST:TNG’s Geordi La Forge)? You should watch the entire interview and listen to his full reply. It’s exceptional.
“Actually, I think that, in the general sense, once you know better, it is incumbent upon you to do better, and that’s exactly what Seuss Enterprises is doing here. They are being a responsible steward of the brand and they looked at these six titles and determined that in the light of today, they really don’t fit with the values that we’ve all come to know Dr Seuss for. Look, all of our heroes are human; they are all flawed. It’s one of the things I learned from Gene Roddenberry, one of my storytelling mentors. Gene was a guy who had this great vision, but he also wanted all the women in short skirts, so our heroes are flawed.”
7. This Website that Drives You Around Most Major Cities of the World – called Drive and Listen, the website will make you feel like you are sitting in a taxi in one of over 50 cities in the world. You can choose whether you want to include street noise (why wouldn’t you?!?) and a local radio station. Unfortunately you don’t get to choose the radio station but that only makes the ride more realistic.
Word of the Day
I came across a great list of female related words (most of which I will be using in the future so I’m not going to include the link.) I’m starting with this one. The root of the word, vir-, is Latin for man, such as in the word virile. Don’t you find it interesting how one definition is a nagging shrew and the other is strong, heroic woman?
1. This Video on the Accents of All Fifty States – Myself, I knowIdon’t have an accent. Well, at least I didn’t think I did (except that one time I had a bunch of people stare at me when I ordered a pop instead of a soda but that was more dialect than accent.) But then a few years ago I went to this conference in California. The first day I was there, before I had been introduced to anyone else, before I had even checked in, I was waiting in the lounge with some of the other conference attendees while they slowly checked us in one by one. I was chatting away with several of the people, most of whom were from California.
After about five minutes the woman across from me said, “It’s so to be with someone from Iowa again!” I looked at her and said, “Wait, how did you know I was born in Iowa?” And she replied, “You accent! It’s great hearing that Iowa accent again.” I couldn’t believe it. Not just because I thought I had some sort of universal (and semi-classy) accent but because I had been living in Wisconsin twice as long as I had been living in Iowa. Though I moved to Wisconsin when I was 18 so I guess the accent was already pretty much permanent. You know what they say, people don’t lose an accent unless they move by 16 years of age, at the latest.
2. This Dance Compilation – I’ve seen a lot of compilations like this but when Kevin Bacon, THE Kevin Bacon, posted it on his Facebook page and wrote, “What a compilation! This might be the best of all dance numbers. Feeling inspired to watch one of the greats tonight. Are you with me?” I thought – I need to watch. And he wasn’t kidding. It’s FABULOUS!!!
3. This Nature Photographer, Tim Flach – this guy is a genius.
4. This Interview of Jason Mantzoukas by Seth Meyers – Been watching a lot of the talk shows – Seth Meyers (probably the most religiously), Colbert, Trevor, Drew Barrymore, the two Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel) and James Corbin (the last three not as regularly as the rest). During the pandemic I’ve seen scads of interviews and I must say I don’t think I’ve seen one as entertaining as this.
5. This Canadian Artist, Tom Thomson – I recently discovered this artist because of a show called the ‘Murdoch Mysteries‘ (which I obsessed with) and now I’m looking for everything I can, not just about his art but about his life too. It turns out there was quite a bit of mystery surrounding his death and that just makes this all the more alluring.
6. These InStyle Virtual Elevator “Entrances” for the Golden Globe Awards – you can see more of them here but my favorite was Nicola Coughlan’s (and not only because she was wearing a fairy princess dress):
7. This Photographer, Kristina Makeeva – her work is truly magical. (Trying to only choose a few to highlight was incredibly difficult, you’ll want to look at more of her photos here, trust me!)
1. This “Personal Library” – housed in his home, WOW! I wonder what his house looks (looked) like. Right after college I landed a job at a wonderful bookshop called Webster’s. It was originally like something out of a movie. (I say originally because it kept expanding and became less and less charming.)
Anyway, one of our regular customers was a professor. And he so looked the part – bearded and tweedy, patches on the elbows of his suit coats. He came in pretty much every week for most of the time I was there. I heard a story that because he had so many books he had to have the floors reinforced in his house to support his the weight of them all. When I saw this photo I immediately thought of him. I imagine his library could have looked like this.
2. This Bible, Known as ‘The Wicked Bible’ – In 1631 the English printers Robert Barker and Martin Lucas printed 1000 copies of a bible with two errors. Unfortunately a word was omitted in Exodus 20:14 and instead of it saying “Thou shalt not commit adultery” it read “Thou shalt commit adultery.”
There was also a second error in Deuteronomy 5. In a sentence that should have read ‘Behold, the Lord our God hath shewed us his glory and his greatness’ the word ‘greatness’ had been replaced with ‘great-asse.’ Of course implying that the Lord God has a great arse did not go over well with the King, nor the promotion of adultery.
Charles I fined the printers £300, which is equivalent to over $50,000 today. He ordered all copies be burned and he also took away their printing license. At the time they were the only printers licensed to print bibles, which was, of course, a lucrative business. Somehow 11 copies managed to survive and they have gone to auction and sold for hundred of thousands of dollars.
A theory has bounced around that possibly a competitor to Barker & Lucas set them up and had those errors inserted as sabotage so that they would lose their printing license. Course we’ll never know if that is true but the second mistake ‘great-asse’ seems a bit more than something that could have been accidental.
3. This Article by Writer and Therapist-in-Training Shrestha Singh – this essay resonated with me for a variety of reasons – the Wisconsin connection, the India connection (that’s a long story,) but mostly it was the part about having family members (and/or friends) who were supporting people who were bigoted.
For Ms. Singh it was having in-laws who were huge Trump supporters despite the fact that he’s overtly racist, especially when she is East Indian. It’s mind boggling to me how anyone who has family members who are (or worse who IS) Mexican, East Indian, Middle Eastern, Asian (especially Chinese) or basically anyone from any foreign country or any person of color can still be a Trump supporter based on what he has said and done regarding immigrants. But there are plenty.
I have a family member who is a staunch Trump supporter who has grandchildren who are half-Chinese and whom he adores. Despite the fact that there is a clear correlation been a surge in anti-asian hate-crimes across the country and Trump’s use of discriminatory language like the term “China Virus,” his support has not waned.
The most frustrating thing about Trump supporters and their racism problem is that when you point it out to them, when you call them out on it, they will deny it is racism.
4. This Website that Lets You Draw Your Own Iceberg – A friend of mine sent this to me (thanks KK!) Megan Thompson-Munson is a Glaciologist and climate scientist and a PhD student. She has been bothered of late by the portrayal of icebergs, especially in stock photography. As pointed out in her tweets, the way they are pictured is impossible according to physics. So she created this fun site called Iceberger where you can draw whatever shaped iceberg you want to see how it would float in the ocean.
Here was my first attempt and I thought, hey, I got it to stand up – it looks like it does in the stock photos! BUT it turns out that some of the icebergs need a bit of time to turn on their side.
So I tried again and let it sit for a while and sure enough….
I tried over and over and over again and had the same thing happen, no matter what I did it ended up on its side. It’s a really cool site!
5. This Family in Kent Who Do Pandemic Version of Songs – The Marsh Family went viral about nine months ago with their version of “One Day More” from Les Miserable. They are REALLY talented!
A few other parodies I loved: Bonnie Tyler’s ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart‘:
6. These Photographs that Norman Rockwell Used as Inspiration for His Paintings – I’m sure all of you have at least seen a Norman Rockwell painting, even if you didn’t know who the artist was. Rockwell is most known for his Saturday Evening Post covers. His career with the Post spanned for decades, from 1916 to 1963 and when he retired he had drawn a total of 321 cover paintings. (Click on the photo/painting below to see more original photos and their companion Rockwell paintings.)
The paintings ended up appearing in the Saturday Evening Post and each one was accompanied by an essay. I have linked each title above to the original essay. You will absolutely want to read the Freedom of Speech essay, trust me!
1. These Magnifying Monocles by LUKA– am I advertising that I’m getting old? Yep. Am I doing it in an incredibly cool and stylish way, damn straight. There are many more styles. They are a tad expensive but I can’t tell you the number of times I had to go find my magnifying glass before I got this. Now I always have one with me. And when I actually start leaving the house I bet it’ll come in even more handy.
2. This Short Film, Mobile – no words necessary really, just as cute and funny as can be.
3. This New Series on CNN ‘Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy’– this show will make you want to hang out with Stanley Tucci, long for delicious Italian food, and kick your wanderlust into high gear. It’s a three-fer.
4. This Game from the Creator of The Oatmeal – it’s crazy addictive, mostly because the guy who created The Oatmeal, Matthew Inman, is so damned funny so you’ll keep wanting to play just so you can see more of his hilarious cartoons in between the game play. What a riot!
5. This New Version of ‘Biko’ by Peter Gabriel – this one makes me even more emotional than the original.
In honor of Black History Month, we are proud to bring the message of Peter Gabriel’s “Biko” back to the forefront, 40 years after its initial release. Inspired by the death of anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko while in police custody, this song’s relevance still holds true with the unfortunate police brutality that continues to take place in the USA, Nigeria and many places around the world. More than 25 musicians from seven countries join Gabriel for this global rendition to share a message of unity, peace, and hope, including Beninese vocalist and activist Angélique Kidjo, Silkroad’s Yo-Yo Ma, and bass legend Meshell Ndegeocello.
6. This Enchanting Mexican Songstress singing Una Vida (here’s the English translation of the lyrics) – not only is her music beautiful but her videos are wonderfully artistic. Frida Kahlo would definitely have approved.
7. This Lawyer’s Technological Snafu – it makes me giggle every time I see it! (At this point everyone has seen this, unfortunately it’s a drawback of only sending out a blog post once a week.)
1. This Stonehenge Made Out of Ice (called “Icehenge”) – okay, so THIS is so AWESOME! And it turns out this was done by a friend of mine’s husband (along with a couple other guys.) How amazing is it! They didn’t do it this year because of COVID and I guess because it’s too cold but I told her to let me know if they do it next year because I want to see it in person. How did I not know about this?!?!
2. This Teacher – I mean, how cool is this? Teachers are way too underappreciated and definitely UNDERPAID.
3. These EXQUISITE William Morris Designs – I love, love, love the octopus. It’s so steampunk! (Steampunk is one of my many obsessions.) I can’t believe Morris created such a design but it’s really his!!! (Thanks Ann.)
5. This TikTok Environmental Science Enthusiast Known as the Black Forager – she’s adorable.
6. This “Cover” of ‘American Pie’ by Home Free Featuring Don McLean – thanks to my brother Michael for bringing it to my attention. So wonderful!!!
7. This Video of Ryan Reynolds Learning about Ice Sculpture – Ice Sculpture is super cool (and rather intimidating!) Every single time I watch a video of him I only love him even more (and when it’s of him and his wife Blake Lively, ❤️ both of them, they’re so cute!) BUT, it’s not surprising, after all, he’s Canadian.
Word of the Day
Quote of the Day
Today’s quote is from a series called ‘Dead Feminists Broadsides’ which have been gathered together in a book titled Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color. I am will post other broadsides in the future but I thought I’d start with Harriet Tubman in honor of Black History Month. You can purchase postcards of all (I think) of the broadsides and there are a few broadsides that you can still actually purchase. Also, there are some lovely mini-broadsides for a few “unofficial” members of the Dead Feminists broadside series. Personally, I would love to have them ALL! Click on the image below to go to the website.