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?
Hi all, sorry I missed last week – a very dear family member, my Uncle, passed away and there was a lot going on.
My Uncle Bobby was a devout Catholic and a HUGE lover of history and this week’s blog reflects those things as well as being sort of a tribute to him.
1. This Woman Who Was the First to Circumnavigate the Globe Alone – Everyone is familiar with Amelia Earhart and we all think of her as being the first woman to aviate, well, pretty much everything. But Amelia wasn’t alone when she made her infamous (and tragic) flight around the world.
“Looking back, Geraldine ‘Jerrie’ Mock might have said these were the things she preferred: a double shot of scotch over a bouquet of orchids. Pants instead of a skirt. And a trip around the world where she could’ve taken her own sweet time taking in the sights, instead of staring at the ceiling of a hotel, trying to sleep in preparation for her next flight.
Mock is the first female pilot to circumnavigate the world alone. During and after her ground-breaking 22,860-mile flight in 1964, the barely five-foot-tall pilot set 21 world records. ‘Just nobody else had the sense—or shall I say, the stupidity—to try it,’ Mock toldAir & Space magazine just before she died at the age of 88 in 2014. ‘There were women who told me that they flew because of me. I’m glad I did what I did, because I had a wonderful time.’”
2. This Historic Photo – In 1906, Gabriel Lippman was the first person to create a color photograph. Although he won a Nobel Prize for his invention, his process was too time consuming and costly to be used commercially. The following year the Lumière brothers introduced the Lumière Autochrome which allowed people to take color photographs.
Here’s how Autochromes work:
“Autochrome plates are covered in microscopic red, green and blue coloured potato starch grains (about four million per square inch). When the photograph is taken, light passes through these colour filters to the photographic emulsion. The plate is processed to produce a positive transparency. Light, passing through the coloured starch grains, combines to recreate a full colour image of the original subject.”
This process really made it much more accessible for general photographers to take color photos because they could use their existing cameras and simply purchase autochrome plates.
Kodachrome came out in 1935 and the following year a German company invented Agfacolor (but because of WWII it wasn’t released until 1949.)
The reason I’ve given a brief history lesson on color photography is because I wanted to show why it’s so unusual to have a “colour (not colorised)” photograph in 1928!
[Found by my friend Jeanne – thanks Jeanne!]
3. This Technique for Securing Letters – Before modern envelopes were invented, people used something called “letter-locking” to make sure that only the intended recipients read their missives.
Two of the most well-known individuals who used letter-locking were Queen Elizabeth I and Mary, Queen of Scots. On the eve of her execution, Mary wrote her last letter which was purported to be her last will & testament and a bid for martyrdom. She carefully made a slit to create a needle-like piece of the paper sticking out, folded the letter over and over, cut a slit through the letter, and threaded the needle through the slot until it was fastened tightly.
There are other letter-locking videos on this YouTube channel, from all through history and all over the world. They are fascinating! If makes me want to write real letters so I can try it.
There is one thing I noticed though – on some of the letter-locking videos the process ruins a small part of the letter. It made me think – what if someone was sending a love letter and they rip it open and they’re reading it and it says – I’ve waited so long to tell you this. I …. and then there’s a big splotch of sealing wax or the words were poked through by a spiral lock. AHHHH!
4. These Photographs – Photographer Richard Silver has taken these breathtaking photos of the interior ceilings of churches from around the world and published them as a collection called Vertical Churches.
You can find out more about Silver’s podcast at the My Modern Met article. I’d also suggest checking out his website and his Instagram for more vertical churches photos and just more photos in general (he’s fantastic!)
5. This Juicer – Passed down from my Grandma Celeste to my Mom to me. Sometimes no amount of innovation can improve something. I mean, if you want to have a big ole’ electric juicer that might be better but there is no manual juicer better than this one, especially when you have to juice a bunch of citrus.
6. These (Not Surprisingly) Overlooked Medieval Women – In 13th century Europe, though things were prosperous or perhaps because of the prosperity, there was a lot of wars being waged. This led to many men being killed and women and children being left without a provider.
Enter the Béguines, were most likely the first feminists. They were a group of women who created female-only (and children) communes to provide refuge, support, and outreach.
“From the early 13th century, a loose movement of concerned women, the Béguines (origin and meaning of the name unknown) had started to spring up in towns and villages, not as formal institutions, but as local refuges, for mutual support and outreach. These discreet communities of like-minded charitable women were determined to respond to the suffering of the disadvantaged, beaten, abandoned, and even the rescue of children from the clutches of prostitution. Béguine women were never nuns, they had no religious affiliations, they were solely motivated by a mutual desire to provide service, support and welfare to the less fortunate in society.”
7. These 3,300 Year-Old Shoes – Of course I can’t hear the words “King Tut” and not think of Steve Martin singing his song but once the song plays out in my head I am able to focus on how remarkable these sandals are. The first photo is a little misleading. It doesn’t show the wear and I thought to myself – these aren’t really over 3,000 years old.
2. This Service Offered by NASA – A few days ago the International Space Station (ISS) few over my hometown. Unfortunately I didn’t hear about it until after it had happened, as I read all my neighbors commenting about how cool it was on Next Door. Bummer!
That’s when I discovered that you can sign up to be notified whenever the ISS flies over your zip code. It’s called “Spot the Station” and it’s simple to do. Choose whether you want to be notified via email or text and enter your zip code (be sure to select the actual community you live in on the map) Once you sign up they will send you a confirmation code. Enter that and you’re good to go.
This is what one of the text notifications look like (I got my first one already!)
3. This Collaboration Between Kellogg’s and Penguin Random House – I’m not a big fan of sugary cereals (well, truthfully I am a big fan, but everyone knows they’re unhealthy, especially for us menopausal broads.) I am, however, an ENORMOUS fan of promoting summer reading and I love that Kellogg’s is healing kids (and adults) get free books just for eating cereal. I mean, the kids can read these books for the Summer Reading programs that they’ve signed up for at the LOCAL PUBLIC LIBRARIES.
5. This Bold Kindergarten Teacher – On November 9, 1938 Mrs. Helen (Hurlick) Beebe was called to testify in court as a witness to a burglary. Judge Arthur S. Guerin, noticing that Mrs. Beebe was wearing trousers, reprimanded her for wearing something that was so distracting. To everyone’s amazement, Judge Guerin rescheduled the proceeding so that Mrs. Beebe could return in what he deemed a more “acceptable outfit.” In other words, he wanted her to put on a dress.
Well, Helen wasn’t going to have any of this jerk’s misogynistic bullshit. And she showed up at the rescheduled hearing once again wearing slacks. The judge rescheduled the hearing again, this time warning Helen that if she showed up in slacks she would be held in Contempt of Court.
After the second postponed hearing, Helen was interviewed and quoted as saying”
“Listen, I’ve worn slacks since I was 15,” She said, “I don’t own a dress except a formal. If he wants me to appear in a formal gown that’s okay with me. I’ll come back in slacks and if he puts me in jail I hope it will help to free women forever of anti-slackism.”
Helen Hurlick Beebe
Anti-slackism – I LOVE IT!
Sure enough, when she showed up in slacks a third time, the judge threw her in jail for contempt. Her sentence was five days. And just to add salt to the wound, the judge made her wear a denim dress while she was incarcerated.
Helen was released early and her case went to the Appellate Court. They overturned Judge Guerlin’s ridiculous ruling, giving her carte blanche to wear whatever she wanted to the next hearing. She chose to wear a formal evening gown. Sassy.
6. This Sunday Morning Story on Refrigerators – now I want one. And I want to remodel my kitchen…. Mostly though I love that this is a long-time Fitchburg, Wisconsin company that is still going strong AND manufacturing here.
7. This Upcoming Hallmark Movie – Hallmark has really been upping its game on diversity. They’ve aired several LGBTQ+ movies (not just ones with peripheral characters who are LGBTQ+ but actual movies ABOUT LBGTQ+ love stories); they have a line of Mahogany cards & ornaments targeted for African-American customers and now they’re adding a series of Mahogany movies; and just a few days ago I saw a trailer for this movie…
Romance in Style is all about BODY POSITIVITY! Yippee. You can see the trailer HERE.
1. This Country Music Group on America’s Got Talent – I’m not a regular AGTT watcher. I tend to watch the truly amazing performers who go viral via YouTube weeks or even months after they’ve been on the show. But I managed to catch this performance just a few days after they were on. Most likely you’ve already seen it or at least heard about it.
Chapel Hart is a KICKASS trio from Poplarville, Mississippi. Their performance was so sensational that the judges (Howie Mandel, Heidi Klum, Sofia Vergara, Simon Cowell and host Terry Crews) made an exception to the rules and gave a “Golden Buzzer” to the group even though there were no more Golden Buzzers left to give.
Chapel Hart (sisters Danica Hart and Devynn Hart, and their cousin Trea Swindle) performed an original song called “You Can Have Him Jolene” which is a tribute to their idol (and America’s idol) Dolly Parton.
You can watch the video (again and again) below and also read the lovely tweet from Dolly herself!
(Side note: a little history behind Dolly’s Jolene. One day Dolly met a little girl named Jolene and she said to the girl – such a lovely name, I should write a song. And she did! But she decided to use a little bit of her own life for the story. Going all the way back to just a year after she was married to her husband Carl – 1996. It seems there was a bodacious redhead making goo-goo eyes at Dolly’s hubby and that was the inspiration for the song. Needless to say, Dolly ain’t gonna let Jolene have him.)
In addition to getting this fabulous recognition from Dolly, Chapel Hart also has been invited to debut on the Grand Ole Opry. It’s been quite a week for these three young women.
If you’d like to watch the video directly on YouTube here’s the link.
[Shared with me by my friend Meta]
2. This Emu named Emmanuel Todd Lopez, and his adorable caretaker, Taylor Blake of Knuckle Bump Farms –
Taylor had been making education videos when Emmanuel made an unplanned cameo and since then Taylor and Emmanuel’s videos have gone viral. People are scrambling to get a hold of some of the “Emmanuel, don’t do it!” merchandise! Taylor says – it’s coming!
3. This Editorial About Why It Matters That J Lo Took Ben Affleck’s Last Name – Honestly, I don’t know why a 50+ year old (especially one who’s been married like four times) would want to take their husband’s name.
Here’s the thing – I get that it’s easier four couples to share the same last name, especially if there are kids involved. In this day and age I feel like at the very minimum that couples should hyphenate their names and both take each other’s names. There are also couples who figure out how to merge their names into a single name.
And I get it – from a family legacy thing and ancestry and all that (carry on the family name) that doesn’t work but really, the whole family legacy thing is bullshit. It’s just men and their egos.
Anyway, this article explains very thoroughly why it is problematic for Jenny from the Block to take Ben’s name.
You’re a feminist Jennifer!
4. These Coffee Pods – I have one cup of decaf coffee every morning which is why I don’t really like to make a pot or futz with a lot of different appliances.
Recently I have been using a small pour-over and it’s fine but it still takes a bit of time and effort, sometimes more than I want to put in first thing in the morning.
But I stopped using k-cups for a couple reasons, the main one being that they are bad for the environment. The second reason being that drinking a hot beverage that has been poured through plastic is not healthy. After all, we avoid putting items in plastic now in the microwave. Why would we think it’s okay to run hot water through k-cups to make coffee?
Enter Cometeer. These are “pods” in that they are pod-shaped but that is the only similarity. The contents are high-quality beans that are ground and brewed and then flash-frozen into a small sphere. The spheres are put into the pods. Cometeer sends your package in dry ice so it arrives frozen (you receive notification so you can watch for it as soon as it’s delivered and can get it into your own freezer.)
All you need to do is drop one of the spheres into a cup of hot water and you have a perfect cup of coffee. I have to say, I don’t think I’ve ever had such a smooth cup of coffee.
I signed up for a subscription (every four weeks) for the decaf package and have only tried two of the types included so far. It comes with four different varieties.
Seriously, this is life changing. Also, it makes fabulous iced coffee drinks!
5. This Milwaukee-Themed Collage – Only Milwaukeeans will understand how wonderful this is.
Can you identify all of them?
Starting at top going clockwise: The Purple House, Brother Ron and his Religious Car, superfan Mike “Freeway” McCarter, the late year-round sunbather and nudist Dick Bacon, John Hamann aka “The Milverine”, the late Frank “Pepperoni Cannoli” Pecoraro, and in the center, TV attorney David Gruber.
6. These Vintage Home Gadgets – Why can’t they figure out a way to make things that we use everyday that look pretty, like they used to. Okay, maybe not the mixer, but the other things are wonderful! I love those Bosch coffee grinders.
3. These Photos of the Stars – You’ve probably already seen these photos someplace but I’m including them nevertheless. The first photos were released from the James Webb Space Telescope and they are freaking amazing!
To really see how incredible these photos are you can visit this interactive webpage that NBC created where they have side-by-side comparisons of photos taken by Hubble vs. Webb.
This is the most spectacular of the photos…
And these are pretty damned impressive (especially when you look at the NBC interactive site.)
One last thing, as usual the twitter-verse has had some fun with something that went viral. Here’s an article from Hyperallergic that has compiled some of the best memes about the James Webb Space Telescope but here’s one just to lure you in…
4. This Drink Tip – I saw this video on the Milwaukee Journal Facebook Page about summer mocktail drink tips (I LOVE Kristopher!) One of his suggestions was to use frozen fruit to keep drinks cold. Genius! Who likes a watered down drink and as Kristopher mentions, you get a healthy snack to boot.
The only draw back is that there may be a limitation on which fruits you can use based on size.
Somehow I ended up finding these and I think they are an equally good solution if there are any fruits that you like that may not work as well frozen by themselves.
Sorry I missed you all last week but I was down for about 10 days with some sort of (non-COVID) bug. Let me tell you guys, keep washing your hands and wearing your masks because you DO NOT want to get this, and apparently it’s going around.
1. This Oatmeal Cartoon – I don’t actually “love” this but it’s an excellent cartoon.
The Oatmeal explains in their usual indubitable way, why religious extremists SUCK…
2. This Target Commercial – Yay for body positivity! If only the body positivity movement had started 50 years ago.
3. This Podcast – Only the first episode is about the current residents of Windsor Palace (Prince Andrew and his shady association with Jeffrey Epstein), the other episodes are about Elizabeth I, “Mad” King George III, and Victoria (who was not the prim and proper monarch we thought she was…)
4. This Recycling Idea – My biggest gripe about weddings is the cost. My second biggest gripe is the waste. This young bride found a solution that addresses both issues.
Gwendolyn Stulgis found her dream wedding gown but it cost waaaay more than she had budgeted. She decided to buy it and then after her wedding give it to another bride who couldn’t afford a wedding gown.
She set up a contest on Facebook asking brides to submit their requests. She also laid out the following requirements:
The recipient of the dress should have a wedding date within a few months of the post, and after it is worn, the bride must dry-clean it and pass it on to another bride, creating an ongoing chain.
She found a very grateful woman who was overjoyed to win the dress and the contest went on to inspire other brides to do the same thing.
Now Stulgis has started a Facebook group called “Shared Dream Dresses” where women can share their wedding gowns and bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.
7. This New Marvel Series – Ms. Marvel is the first Muslim, Southeast Asian, female superhero and she ROCKS! I also love that they have brought some real history into the storyline, pulling in the India-Pakistan partition as part of the plot. I highly recommend you check this out on Disney+.
(For some of us, things have been difficult for a while – in Wisconsin it’s been particularly difficult for those of us who are/were public employees for example.)
But last week was, by far the most audacious example of complete disregard of the Constitution, Precedent, Freedom of Religion (which is literally why our country exists), Respect for Women, and Democracy.
Of course I am talking about the Dodd Decision which resulted in the overturning of Roe vs. Wade. But, the decision on abortion wasn’t the only major decision SCOTUS made last week that will impact millions of Americans and that went against wishes of the majority of Americans.
On Tuesday SCOTUS ruled that Marietta Memorial Hospital could reimburse their employees requiring dialysis at low rates in the hopes that the employees would switch to Medicare (so they’d be completely off the hook.). DaVita (a dialysis provider, frankly not necessarily the hero in this – they’re just trying to get more business) sued the hospital claiming that the hospital was discriminating against their employees by offering the low reimbursements. SCOTUS said that because the hospital offered the same reimbursement amount to all renal disease patients, whether they had end-stage renal disease or not, it wasn’t discrimination. (End stage costs a lot more.) I think it’s appalling that insurers, especially a hospital, can pick and choose what diseases to cover. (FYI, shockingly Sonia Sotomayor voted with the conservative justices. I wonder if it was her effort to “regain the public’s confidence“. Think she feels differently now? And/or after hearing this?)
Also on Tuesday, SCOTUS ruled that Maine could not prevent religious schools from receiving public funds through the statue tuition program. Separation of Church and State is gasping for air and about to take its last breath.
On Thursday three rulings came down. The first SCOTUS ruling was not only an attack on States’ Rights but was an outrageous interpretation of the 2nd amendment. The timing was also deplorable considering the Uvalde, Brooklyn, and other recent mass shootings. In this ruling, the conservative majority struck down a New York State law that set limitations on carrying guns outside of the home.
To me, the Second Amendment seems fairly clear: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.“
It’s that second comma that is the problem. It basically says – because a WELL-REGULATED Militia is necessary for a “State” (or government) to remain free and secure, the government shall not infringe the rights of individuals to keep and bear “Arms.” Setting aside that it SAYS “well-regulated” right in the amendment, my feeling is as long as people are able to have access to some “arms” (it doesn’t define arms, could that be pitchforks, pinking shears, a rolling pin?), I would think the government would be within its right to regulate guns that it felt were a threat to public safety. After all, that is one of the government’s main jobs. But what do I know. I’m no lawyer. Clearly.
I read this article today and I think the question is not just specific to California. Are Americans prepared for black and brown people to be carrying guns in public? This is not going to end well.
Another ruling was an attack on every American’s right to Miranda. A man named Mr. Tekoh wasn’t read his Miranda rights and was questioned “at length” by a sheriff. He ended up signing a confession.
The judge ALLOWED the confession (which is hugely problematic for so many reasons,) Still, the jury acquitted the man. Mr. Tekoh filed a civil lawsuit against the sheriff for violating his constitutional rights.
These conservatives (@#$%^(#*) Justices have ruled that Miranda isn’t actually a constitutional right. Alito had the balls to say that although Miranda has constitutional roots, “a violation of Miranda does not necessarily constitute a violation of the Constitution.”
Justice Kagan wrote in dissent:
“Today,” she wrote, “the court strips individuals of the ability to seek a remedy for violations of the right recognized in Miranda. The majority observes that defendants may still seek ‘the suppression at trial of statements obtained’ in violation of Miranda’s procedures.”
“But sometimes,” Justice Kagan continued, “such a statement will not be suppressed. And sometimes, as a result, a defendant will be wrongly convicted and spend years in prison. He may succeed, on appeal or in habeas, in getting the conviction reversed. But then, what remedy does he have for all the harm he has suffered?”
The third ruling on Thursday had to do with an individual on death row. A man was asking that his death sentence be carried out by firing squad instead of lethal injection because his veins were compromised, which means a lethal injection death would be cruel and unusual.
There are only four states in the country that use firing squad as an approved method of execution. Georgia, where this prisoner resided, is not one of those four states.
Coney Barrett, Thomas, Alito, and Gorsuch were in dissent. They claimed that the man was trying to get out of his punishment because death by firing squad may never be approved in Georgia. It’s telling that these four put execution before the 8th Amendment. But then they are all Federalists.
AND TODAY (Monday) SCOTUS issued three more decisions: a. The first was interesting – it will allow some prison inmates to ask for reduced sentences. The reason for this – Trump’s First Step Act, signed into law in 2018. And it was the three liberal justices, Gorsuch, and THOMAS who said Yea! The intent is of the law is to reduce racial disparity. Shame on the other four. b. The second – And the wall came tumbling down. No surprise the praying coach won. Prayer is soon coming to a public school near you. c. The third – Doctors are pretty much off the hook (or getting a second chance) on the opioid thing.
There is one more big decision come down the road. That is WEST VIRGINIA v. the EPA. If SCOTUS rules against the EPA, the US will have no way to limit greenhouse gases, power plant emissions or any pollution that is creating climate change. The likelihood that this Supreme Court would rule in favor of WV is fairly high.
I will say though, there are a few things that ensued from this shitstorm of anti-democratic decisions that made me feel better, gave me hope, but also made me recognize that this country is most likely going to become more divided before we return to any semblance of normalcy.
These tweets would be two of them…
ANYWAY, on to my SEVEN THINGS!
1. This Font – Honestly, this is genius and if I could read everything in this font I would not only be a happier person but a more educated one as well. If you click HERE it’ll take you to the Bionic Reading website where there is a Chrome extension you can add to convert pages into the font (I haven’t tried that since I don’t use Chrome) and there is a general convertor where you can either enter a URL (which is great for those really long Atlantic and New Yorker articles) or you can upload a file (unfortunately it only accepts TXT, RTF, RTFD, EPUB or DOCX – NO PDFs.)
Maybe someday everything will have Bionic Reading as an option and we can just turn it on!
2. This Seventeenth-Century Woman Artist – Artemisia Gentileschi – “Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes” (c. 1624-27), oil on canvas, 73 11/16″ x 55 7/8″. Detroit Institute of Arts
3. This News about Mandy Patinkin and Kathryn Grody – O…..M…..G I don’t know how many of you made it through the pandemic watching videos of Mandy and Kathryn (like I and millions of others did) but I could watch the two of them ALL DAY! Sadly, this show will only be a 30 minute sitcom on Showtime, it’s called Seasoned. Just like with their home videos, their son Gideon is involved. I cannot wait!!!
To get an idea of what it’s gonna be like…
[Sent to me by Ann L. – Thanks Ann!]
4. This Clever Pride Flag – Kitsch + Pride Month = Perfection.
5. This Chihuly Museum – How have I never heard about this??? It’s located in Seattle.
Photos by Mellanie Mercier
[Found by my friend Mellanie]
6. This Sparkling Water – Finally something I can drink that isn’t caffeinated, has no sugar or artificial sweeteners, and isn’t overly carbonated. I picked up an 8 pack of this from Imperfect Foods and gave it a try. Was I delighted! Found out it’s at my local grocery and I promptly picked up a second 8 pack. I really like the raspberry-lime flavor. The only other one I’ve tried is the “Arnold Palmer” (half lemon/half tea).
They have cocktail recipes on their website. These would be genius in cocktails or mocktails!
7. These Magazine Covers – I think all of them except for the Blondie cover are from the best decade of the 20th century, the 1980s (the Blondie one is from the 70s.) Richard Bernstein created the covers of Warhol’s Interview Magazine from 1972 through 1989. Iconic.
1. This Grrrl – It’s no surprise that Lizzo the goddess would handle a mistake like an adult.
After the release of the track Grrrls from her upcoming album ‘Special,’ there was a bit of a social media uproar because the lyrics contained some words considered derogatory to the disabled community.
Instead of making excuses and getting defensive or apologizing and then doing nothing about it, Lizzo apologized andchanged the lyrics. She actually listened. Shocking!
2. This Performance Artist / Dada “Dynamo” – She was one of those people who lived many lives in a lifetime. Elsa Hildegard Plötz was born in 1874 in Swinemünde in Pomerania, Germany (now Świnoujście, Poland.) ,
In her younger years she did vaudeville in Berlin and then traveled around Europe leaving a string of lovers behind her. She eventually landed up in NYC where she worked as an artist’s model and she also created her own art, mostly with found objects – sculpture, fashion, performance art, she didn’t limit herself in the mediums she worked with.. She also wrote poetry and it was considered “perhaps the best of any woman’s of our time” by TheLittle Review.
She made sculptures and costumes from found objects (her wedding ring was a rusted metal hoop picked off the pavement) and wrote experimental poetry, which she also performed. Memorable ensembles included a bra constructed from tomato soup cans and a caged canary; hats tinkling with stolen teaspoons; postage stamps worn instead of rouge. Modesty, whether in the studio or on the street, was for squares. She collaborated with fellow surrealists Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray on the film The Baroness Shaves Her Pubic Hair. Alas only a few stills survived the editing process.
From ‘Sleep with everyone! Be embarrassing!’ – the dada baroness who shocked society by Hettie Judah; The Guardian; 31 May, 2022
It was in NY that Plötz acquired her Baroness title, after a brief marriage at age 39.
She was considered a pioneer in dadaism, she is credited with having invented “Readymade” (though like so many woman in art, she isn’t really given any sort of honors for the achievement – case in point, an article about Readymade that doesn’t even mention her and which is linked to from the article about the Baroness where it saying she invented “Readymade”!)
She was a contemporary of Marcel Duchamp and Man Ray and other , were members New York’s literary and art scene, especially those in the Arensberg Circle of Artists. In fact she collaborated with Duchamp and Man Ray on a film called “The Baroness Shaves Her Pubic Hair” (there are only a few stills remaining.)
Still, despite all these accomplishments, her male counterparts, who actually, in some cases, were working on concepts thought up by the Baroness, are the ones people know of, whose names people recognize, who are in the museums, who received the credit. Will the historical sexism ever be rectified?
3. These Crocs – These are wonderful sandals – They have great support and cushiness which are the two things most important to me nowadays. They don’t run particularly wide or narrow, which is good because the straps aren’t adjustable (and they don’t come in a “wide” size). I also like that they give me a little height. For decades I tried to hide my height but now that I’ve started shrinking I am actually happy to have a little lift back.
Having said all that, there are a couple things I wish were different…
Ass I mentioned, the straps aren’t adjustable. That’s actually not a good thing. My left foot is slightly bigger because I broke it years ago. The sandals fit me great but when my feet swell, as they are bound to do, especially if I’ve been on them all day, or if it’s hot, or if I’ve had too much sodium, the left shoe gets uncomfortable tight.
I REALLY wish they would have made these flat. To clarify, as I said, I like the height, I just wish the heels were even with the toes. I just don’t think it’s good for anyone’s foot to have all the pressure on the ball of your foot. They certainly don’t do this for men’s shoes.
One last thing, they don’t really “breathe” so your feel will may get hot sometimes.
4. This Sheep – JUST TOO CUTE!
5. This Teacher – Mr. Daniel Gill has kept an empty chair in his classroom for FIFTY years. He’s done this to teach his students the importance of making people feel welcome.
Let me explain. When Gill was a kid he had a best friends named Archie. Archie was black. Gill was white. Neither boy thought anything of this until one day when the two of the went to a birthday party together. They showed up and the mother of the child who the party was for, answered the door. She looked at both of the boys and proceeded to tell them she didn’t have enough chairs. Gill told her that was okay, they didn’t both need a chair, they could either share or could even sit on the floor. She repeated that there wasn’t enough chairs and that is when the boys realized it had nothing to do with chairs, it had to do with the color of Archie’s skin.
So, in the 1980s, when Daniel Gill started teaching, he put an empty chair in his classroom s that there would always be an extra seat available for anyone who stop by – there would never not be enough chairs.
He has taught five decades worth of students lessons of tolerance and anti-racism.
After completing her studies, Aldridge worked as a concert singer, piano accompanist, and voice teacher. A throat condition ended her concert appearances, and she turned to teaching and published about thirty songs between the years 1907 and 1925 in a romantic parlour style, as well as instrumental music in other styles. Among her pupils were the children of London’s politically-active Black middle-classes, including Amy Barbour-James, daughter of John Barbour-James, Frank Alcindor son of Dr John Alcindor, and composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’ssister Alice Evans. Her notable students included African-American performers Roland Hayes, Lawrence Benjamin Brown, Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson, and Bermudian-British actor Earl Cameron. In 1930, when Robeson performed as Othello in the West End, Aldridge was in attendance, and gave Robeson the gold earrings that her father Ira Aldridge had worn as Othello. Aldridge also took the singer Ida Shepley under her wing and converted her from a singer to a stage actor. In 1951, African-American weekly magazine Jet reported that she was still giving piano and voice lessons aged 86.
1. This Photo – It was taken as a 50th Anniversary photo for CBS. Apparently if you can name five or more of the people in this picture you are old. I can name 69. I’m torn between feeling proud and thinking maybe I should be putting a deposit down on a room at an assisted living facility. How about you, how many can you identify? (Hint, there are a bunch of Waltons – I never watched that show or knew any of their names except for the Mom, Dad, Grandpa, and John Boy.)
If you go to this person’s page you can find a version of the photo that you can enlarge plus a full list of who’s who (the one below is relatively illegible.)
2. These Kohlrabi Noodles – I can’t say these work as a substitution for pasta (don’t think of them that way) but they are delicious! I sautéed some mushrooms and then added the pasta and sautéed that until it was cooked “al dente.” Then I added some chicken that I had poached earlier (cut up of course), some tomato sauce, some cooked English peas (not overcooked), salt and pepper, and the final key ingredient was Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset, which is one of my favorite go-to spice mixes. It was delicious!
[Found at Trader Joe’s]
3. This Combination of Two Dance Styles – Bharatanatyam (a dance of Tamil Nadu in southern India) and hip-hop!
[Posted by my friend Ami on Facebook]
4. This Article on What To Do If You See a Pride Display in Your Library – I’m sure, like me, you’ve been reading more and more about the awful, AWFUL people who have been campaigning to ban LGBTQ+ materials from public schools and public libraries* or politicians who have tried (and in many cases successfully) passed legislation that targets the LGBTQ+ community. They call themselves “Christian” and claim they are doing it to “protect” children but ultimately they believe they can decide what is morally right or wrong for everyone (disregarding the fact that when it comes to public entities, it’s the law that matters, not their religious moral higher ground.)
ANYWAY – simply put, the article says when you are at your local public library and you see a pride display be sure to tell the librarians “thank you.” I’m going to write a letter to my local library board.
* A group called CatholicVote is currently pushing a campaign called “Hide the Pride” where they are encouraging people to go to public libraries and checkout all the books in the Pride displays at their local libraries.
“The group says ‘recent polls’ show ‘American moms and dads do not want their children exposed to sexual and “trans” content as part of their education.’ The group says parents can inconspicuously check out materials and place them away from children at home.”
(Even worse – “Moms for Liberty” has a publishing branch of their organization and they are trying to push
5. This Story on Random Acts of Kindness – I read this right after I had seen a similar story about two women who surprised a young man that worked at a drive through with a gift of $1500 for a new car. The thing is, as much as it was wonderful to see the young man’s astonishment turn to joy, the 10 minute or so video was obviously done to get the two women hits on their social media/YouTube channel. The more I watch the more it nauseated me – so manipulative.
These stories, on the other hand, are OG people doing things just because it’s the right thing to do. And yes, Nicole Cliffe may have found a way to get more activity on her Twitter by doing this but honestly, I’m okay with it. Click here or on the image below to go to the article to read all the posts.
6. This Photo – Could you get any more 1980s? Cyndi Lauper and Pee Wee Herman playing miniature golf, 1984.
7. This News – Just found out that Starstruck has been renewed for a THIRD SEASON! I’m so happy! I mean, honestly, I thought it finished after the second season. And actually, I would have been okay with that because unlike so many other (shitty) shows, Starstruck does the wise and polite thing and wraps up its seasons in the finale.
None of these guys know if they’re going to be renewed until months after the show is aired. Cliffhangers are just plain rude. If a huge number of people are watching a show for 8 or 10 or 12 weeks, why is a freaking cliffhanger even necessary? If the show is good enough, people will come back to watch it. If it isn’t good enough, well, the writers are being lazy IMHO.
Getting back to Rose Matafeo (who plays Jessie, the lead role in Starstruck) and Nikesh Patel (who plays Tom, her love interest) – I want to be their BFF.
If you have HBOMax you must watch this show. If you don’t have HBOMax I strongly suggest you get it. At the minimum subscribe for a month or two or at least get the 7 day trial (you can always cancel.) There is SO MUCH to watch on here – Starstruck (obviously), Julia, Our Flag Means Death, Minx, Not So Pretty, George Carlin’s American Dream, The Janes, Studio Ghiblio films, Harry Potter movies, Criterion Collection films …. I could go on and on.)
1. This Overlooked Female Artist – Hilma af Klint. Have you heard of her? I’d never heard of her. But last week I was visiting with friends and we watched a fantastic documentary called Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint (you absolutely need to watch it) and whoa.
And in fact, some of the “firsts” that have been attributed to white males were not actually done first by these men.
One person whose story fits into this category is Hilma af Klint.
Miss af Klint was born in Sweden in 1862. She exhibited artistic talent from an early age and even studied art at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Though she chose not to live the “traditional” life that was expected of her – to get married and have children – she did take a more traditional route with her professional art career while she was alive.
But privately she was painting magnificent abstract art, some pieces being enormous and in large series.
Another mark against af Klint was that she was a spiritualist, which led to her being called a “crazy witch”. It gave people, particularly men, an excuse to dismiss her work as being frivolous.
In 1908 af Klint met Rudolf Steiner, who was a noted occultist and clairvoyant. She asked him to visit her studio so she could share some of her private work. It did not go well. He told her he was unimpressed with the work and that it wasn’t appropriate for a theosophist. Fortunately for the world this didn’t stop af Klint from continuing her painting but it is mostly responsible for why no one saw any of her works until decades after her death.
(Side note: Wassily Kandinsky has been dubbed the “Father of Abstract Art.” Kandinsky claims to have created the first abstract painting in 1911. As noted above, af Klint was showing her abstract pieces to Steiner in 1908. Also, Kandinsky was a follower of Rudolf Steiner. Coincidence? Of course not.)
As a result of Steiner’s dismissal of her art, af Klint continued to hide her abstract paintings. When she passed away in 1944 she left all her art to her nephew – all 1200 pieces of them! She requested he keep them for at least twenty years before doing anything with them. Her nephew barely was able to store them and frankly, it’s a miracle they survived.
After that he tried donating them to the Moderna Museet but they declined (I bet they could kick themselves now.) Finally a foundation int he artist’s name was created an accepted the paintings in the 1970s. It took nearly four more decades before the world finally appreciated Hilma af Klint’s work and even today the art world has not given her the status she deserves.
One last thing – this artist paints pictures of people looking at other people’s art.
I love this….
2. This John Oliver Piece on School Safety Officers – There are many reasons why we need to get police out of schools. We have the data. Use your vote wisely in November.
3. This Cheeky Actor – Ian McKellen, age 83.
4. This Video of the Queen Having Tea with Paddington Bear – There is so much to love about this video. I know that people have opinions about the monarchy and historically, the rulers of England have done some horrifying things, but Lilibet has always tried to do the right thing for her people. She may have been more willing to remain within the formal confines of tradition than Diana, but in a lot of ways they were more alike than people are willing to recognize.
[Thanks for the link Meta!]
5. This Glass Artist – I mentioned I was visiting with friends last week. One of them, the place where we were all staying, my one friend Dawn has an art studio and makes beautiful things there.
Don’t worry, I didn’t buy all of them, but I did buy the necklace showing below.
In fact I bought most of these pieces, which is why I chose them to show you.
6. These Cookies – I think we can all agree that pretty much everything at Trader Joe’s is wonderful but some items are simply supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. These madeleines fall into that category.
7. These Pastry and Confectionery – Jules Gouffé, a renowned chef during the middle of the 19th century, was nicknamed l’apôtre de la cuisine décorative (or, The apostle of decorative cuisine.) Chef Gouffé had a huge influence on French gastronomy and published four books that were even translated into English by his brother Alphonse, who was the head pastry chef to Queen Victoria.
Clearly this man did not believe that less is more.
1. This Unburnable Book – You’d have to have your head buried in the sand not to have heard about all the book banning going on around the U.S. It’s scary stuff and very reminiscent of what went on in Germany prior to and during WWII.
Margaret Atwood is bad ass in this video created to show-off the new FIREPROOF limited edition Handmaid’s Tale being auction off at Sotheby’s. It was aired at the PEN America Literary Gala and all proceeds from the sale will go to support PEN America’s work defending freedom of expression.
2. This History Today Article Written about Biographies of Tudor Women – In short, the author of the article discusses how distorted the life stories of women in the Tudor Period are because historians “see them chiefly through the eyes of men”.
Frankly, this could be said about more than just the women of the Tudor times. (She says specifically “early modern history” but I’d say pretty much all history.)
3. These Instructions Left for Airbnb Guests – A friend of mine has been doing some road tripping with her husband and they’ve stayed at a few quaint airbnbs. She sent this to me – I love people who don’t take themselves too seriously.
4. This Artist’s Work – Lainey Molnar’s Instagram is definitely worth following. Her cartoons cover what women (ALL women) deal with on a daily basis.
5. This Restaurant Owner in Texas – no words needed.
6. This History & Explanation of Menopause by Samantha Bee – I love Samantha Bee’s show but unfortunately none of the services I subscribe to have TBS. If you google “where can I stream Full Frontal with Samantha Bee” it says you can watch it on HBOMax. When I read this I was thrilled because I have HBOMax, but for some bizarre reason they only have the first three seasons even though there are SEVEN seasons. I don’t understand streaming services with their single seasons or partial libraries of a show or their getting rid of classic movies from their collection.
But I digress. This was excellent, not surprisingly.
And here is a second part, and interview with Dr. Jen Gunter, author of The Menopause Manifesto (highly recommend.)
7. This New Bird Watching Show on National Geographic – Remember Chris Cooper, the black bird-watcher who was the victim of a white woman who called the police on him because he told her to put the leash on her dog? (The woman compounded the horrifying situation by pretending she was being attacked and also treated her dog horribly.)
Any, Christian (he’s going by that on the show) Cooper got a new gig as the host for a bird-watching show on the National Geographic Channel. And for once karma actually works. (It doesn’t hurt that he’s clearly super intelligent AND good looking.)
This is for the kids who die, Black and white, For kids will die certainly. The old and rich will live on awhile, As always, Eating blood and gold, Letting kids die.
Kids will die in the swamps of Mississippi Organizing sharecroppers Kids will die in the streets of Chicago Organizing workers Kids will die in the orange groves of California Telling others to get together Whites and Filipinos, Negroes and Mexicans, All kinds of kids will die Who don’t believe in lies, and bribes, and contentment And a lousy peace.
Of course, the wise and the learned Who pen editorials in the papers, And the gentlemen with Dr. in front of their names White and black, Who make surveys and write books Will live on weaving words to smother the kids who die, And the sleazy courts, And the bribe-reaching police, And the blood-loving generals, And the money-loving preachers Will all raise their hands against the kids who die, Beating them with laws and clubs and bayonets and bullets To frighten the people— For the kids who die are like iron in the blood of the people— And the old and rich don’t want the people To taste the iron of the kids who die, Don’t want the people to get wise to their own power, To believe an Angelo Herndon, or even get together
Listen, kids who die— Maybe, now, there will be no monument for you Except in our hearts Maybe your bodies’ll be lost in a swamp Or a prison grave, or the potter’s field, Or the rivers where you’re drowned like Leibknecht
But the day will come— You are sure yourselves that it is coming— When the marching feet of the masses Will raise for you a living monument of love, And joy, and laughter, And black hands and white hands clasped as one, And a song that reaches the sky— The song of the life triumphant Through the kids who die.
Song of the Week
I love this entire album. Can we still say that? Album?