1. This Happy Baby Penguin – though I disagree with what the person wrote on the post. I don’t believe that a baby penguin can ever be too excited for cuddles!
2. This Impersonator – Mary Elizabeth Kelly’s expertise is as a “mouth impersonator.” When you watch the video you’ll see what she means by that. Visit her Instagram – she has so many videos and each one is more amazing and/or hilarious than the next.
3. This Tweet for Pride Month – Genius!
4. This Little Guy – He is going to be famous someday!
5. This Video on How ‘I Spy’ Books Are Made – I’m too old to have enjoyed ‘I Spy’ books as a kid (obviously) but having been a children’s librarian for 12 years I was able to live a second childhood and appreciate many things that most people my age only know about if they had kids (which I suppose most do.)
I’m sure, like me, those familiar with Walter Wick’s work have never given a single thought as to what goes into making one of his books. I had NO IDEA – just wow!
6. This Beaded Art Installation by Liza Lou titled “Kitchen” – “The 168-square-foot installation, a monument to unrecognized women’s labor, started off as a riff on Pop Art, as seen in the razzle-dazzle brand-name cereal boxes and cleaning products scattered throughout the scene. But over the years of making the work, Lou became increasingly activated around feminism and started to see beads as a metaphor for the female experience: ‘small, pretty, diminutive, decorative — those sorts of things that are kind of pejorative that we have around femininity, around women,’ she said.”
It took her five years to complete it. Absolutely gorgeous!
7. The Statue of Liberty’s “Little Sister” – France is sending us a gift again, a second Statue of Liberty! This one is 1/16th the size of the original, weighs almost half-a-ton, and will stand on Ellis Island opposite her “Big Sister.”
“The statue symbolizes freedom and the light around all the world,” said Olivier Faron, general administrator of the CNAM (Conservatoire national des arts et métiers – In English: National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts). “We want to send a very simple message: Our friendship with the United States is very important, particularly at this moment. We have to conserve and defend our friendship.”
3. This New Movie on Netflix, The Dig – based on true events, this is exactly the kind of movie I love. When I finish watching a film and become obsessed with reading everything I can find about the event, looking up to see what was real and what was put in for dramatic effect, I know it was good.
And that most definitely happened with The Dig. One site I like to start with for historical movies is History vs. Hollywood. Not only do they review a bunch of questions about a film – did this really happen, was this true, etc., but they show photos side-by-side of the actors compared to the real-life people.
For example, here is one of the main characters, Mr. Basil Brown played by Ralph Fiennes. Mr. Brown would have been around 51 at the time the Sutton Hoo artifacts were discovered in 1939. Ralph Fiennes is currently 58 so he was probably 56 or 57 when this movie was filmed. Seems like they did a pretty good job here with the casting and of course Ralph Fiennes is an exemplary actor.
Here is another main character, Edith Pretty played by Carey Mulligan. Edith Pretty would have been around 56 when the Sutton Hoo artifacts were discovered. Carey Mulligan is currently 35 years old. Carey was excellent in the role but perhaps they should have considered an older actress? I don’t know why they always do this.
Another person I really liked (perhaps because I love the actress who played her) was Peggy Piggott played by Lily James. Mrs. Piggott was actually only 27 when she worked on the Sutton Hoo excavation. She went on to become a renowned archaeologist and prehistorian under the name Margaret Guido (her second husband’s last name.) She had quite the life. I think I’ll be reading more about her. Unfortunately the only photo the website found (below) is clearly not from when she was in her 20s or even her 30s or 40s for that matter. Not ideal for comparison.
Here’s a painting I found of her that is more around the age she would have been in the film:
And here is a photo I managed to dig up that was included in a slide presentation. I had to do a screenshot to get a copy of it. I’m guessing the person who runs the History vs. Hollywood site didn’t want to do that. Plus, she’s not looking at the camera, but I think it would have been a little better for comparison than a photo of a woman who is probably in her 60s or maybe even her 70s.
One last thing, here is some wonderful information from the British Museum on the artifacts, with photos:
4. This Incredible Herman Miller and Michael Ford collaboration – the iconic Charles & Ray Eames lounge chair, always one of my favorites, taken to a whole new level. Part of a new series called “Conversations for Change,” Ford intends on inserting more activism into the design world, something this is much needed.
“In his first piece of furniture, Michael Ford has remixed the popular Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman (ELO) introduced in 1956 by husband and wife, Charles and Ray Eames as a “special refuge from the strains of modern living” with handwritten names of victims of racism in the US as a stark reminder that these Black men, women, and children were not afforded the privilege of refuge – those who died at the hands of racial actions.”
Individuals who wish to have the chair can make donations and those who make donations over $1000 have an opportunity to be awarded the ELO (or Eames Lounge & Ottoman.) There is only one.
Here’s the really cool part – “Donations from the campaign will fund The Boys and Girls Clubs of Dane County and The Hip Hop Architecture Camp both located in The State of Wisconsin. The two organizations will also create a national #TAKEASTAND grant to support organizations taking a stand against social injustices.”
5. This New Version of the Song “Popular”from the Musical “Wicked” – who doesn’t love Kristin Chenoweth? And damn, that woman isn’t aging! [Warning, this song is going to stick in your brain for days.]
6. This Article on the History of Women on Wall Street – the astonishing and frankly appalling efforts by men to keep women from trading on the stock market and the determined and resourceful women who succeeded nevertheless.
7. This Poem called “Earthrise” by Amanda Gorman – from 2018. Because we much protect the earth for future generations like hers.
[BONUS] This Guide to Determine Which GOP Conspiracy You Are…. Mine: Anderson Cooper can shapeshifter into a food stamp on a socialist dare!
1. This Short Film – anyone who knows me will tell you I have two obsessions: the UK/Ireland and all things India. This manages to combine both, it’s a short film about an Indian guy who lives in the UK. I’m pretty sure it’s London but it’s possible it could be someplace like Manchester or Leeds. The man works as a tech guy. He’s finally asked out this blonde, English girl in his office who his workmates clearly think is out of his league. He’s taking her out to an Indian restaurant in the hopes that he can impress her. Let’s just say, it doesn’t go as planned.
This a so well done. Very clever, funny, and for me, there were even a few “I’ve been there” (sort of) moments.
2. This 3-D Artist – I’m envious and completely in awe of artists. They must be able to visualize what they are going to draw, in every detail, before they actually draw it. Watching this guy’s process, you can see how that must be case.
3. This Dancer – he is marvelous. You should visit his Instagram and watch other videos. Truly talented.
4. This Seven-Year-Old Balalaika Player – Doesn’t this just tug at your heart strings? And how does balalaika music not make you think of Dr. Zhivago? Absolutely amazing! And she’s adorable!!! I could watch Anastasia Tiurina play all day! (By the way, she’s 9 years-old now and has her own YouTube channel.)
5. This Video of a Hummingbird Feeding her Chicks – what is most astonishing is the man whose hand is showing has obviously spend a long time working to earn her trust and she even allows him to touch her! Pet hummingbirds? Impossible!
6. This Gorgeous Coat Worn by the New First Lady on Inaugural Night – I had serious coat envy on Inauguration day. This one may have been my favorite. (I’m an embroidery junky.)
[Side note: though I must say Emma Emhoff’s embellished Miu Miu coat was a thing of beauty and there is a black version which is much better for my coloring! Course how many of us can afford the $5000 price tag? Living vicariously.]
If you would like to see more photos you can go to the Gabriela Hearst’s Instagram. She designed the entire outfit worn by the First Lady on inauguration night. There are fifty embroidered flowers all representing the flowers of the fifty states. And embroidered on the lining of the coat is a Benjamin Franklin quote. (Thanks KK for this info!) I wish we could find a photo of that. I put the quote in the “Quote of the Day” below.
I meant to post this last night but I wanted to proof-read it and it got too late. You see, yesterday I had to straighten up my house because I have my cleaning person coming back after being away for almost eight months. I’m so excited!
It’s kind of a long story but when I moved four years ago into my “Golden Girls Dream House” I knew that this was going to be the last house I lived in until I died (or went into a home). I figured I needed to make it exactly what I wanted it to be and that meant it had to be big enough for my family and friends to visit and to have parties. That also meant that I had a fairly large house for one person and cleaning it by myself wasn’t an option.
Enter my amazing cleaning people. Course when the pandemic hit they could no longer come so I’ve been doing everything myself. I asked them, back in June, to restart cleaning but unfortunately they are short a person. I’ve been waiting until they could get me in. Last week we worked it out that they could come less frequently and only clean the kitchen and the bathroom. Originally I was told Friday but then yesterday I got a text and was asked if it was okay if they could come this morning instead. Heck yes! Knowing their situation I have to be flexible.
I remember when I was a kid my Mom would always spend nearly a day straightening up before our cleaning person came over. I used to think she was nuts. But now that I have a cleaning person myself I totally get it. You don’t want them wasting their time straightening up, you want them to be able to focus on the cleaning part. Sadly, after months of isolation there was a bit more straightening to do than usual.
And so my friends, that is why my “Seven Things I Love” post is a day late.
This Meme Comparing Generations – Eerily accurate. I fall on the cusp of GenX and Boomer. Though I most definitely identify as GenX, lately my Boomer side has been starting to show. Maybe I need more gin. Nah, fewer attacks on democracy would be better.
2. The Dole Fr*it B*wls Commercials – I’m not sure if these ads will become as popular as the Geiko ones but some of them are pretty clever. I really love this one in particular – with the two Moms showing what real-life families are like and then asking, was it your idea to have kids or mine? The expressions on their faces is what really makes it so wonderful, it captures so much – love for one another, resignation, and exasperation. (Side note, this commercial aired over and over again a week ago Sunday on the Hallmark Channel during a Jane Doe Mysteries marathon. Hallmark seems to be on board with the LBGTQ thing. They aren’t stupid.)
3. This biopic about Harriet, Tubman of course – this biographical film is amazing. What I liked most – though it spends a good amount of time showing the atrocities inflicted upon the people kept as slaves, it spends an equal amount of time showing Harriet’s success with emancipating others after she herself has escaped slavery. It’s tremendous. So many films like this would spend the entire thing on just her journey to freedom and then would go to a black screen with a message that would say something like,
Harriet Tubman made 13 total trips to Maryland, saving 70 people on her missions. She continued to be known as the “Moses of her people.” She served as a scout, spy, guerrilla soldier, and nurse for the Union Army during the Civil War. She died at the age of 93 surrounded by her family and friends and was buried with military honors at Fort Hill Cemetery.
But we wouldn’t get to experience the joy of seeing the rescues – that is the gift of this movie. I know that a lot of our heroes suffered and even shed blood for causes that meant so much to the world today but we need to see more films that show both the good and the bad.
(I will say this though, with what has been going on this past week, these past several months, when you do watch this movie, you will find yourself horrified that things haven’t come so much further in 170 years.)
4. This Cartoonist, Jackie Ormes – who was the first female African American cartoonist popular in the 30s, 40s, and 50s
She is being honored in the September 1st Google Doodle and it’s really wonderful. Take a look.
5. This article (which is excerpted from a book) on How to Identify Pebbles on Britain’s Beaches – what drew me to this initially was the drawings (by one of my favorite artists, Eleanor Crow) but the idea that someone would actually try to identify the various types of pebbles was fascinating to me. I would have thought that pebbles were as unique as snowflakes, but apparently not. The original book, The Pebbles on the Beach, was written by Clarence Ellis in 1954. Studying rocks and beaches is something that people, particularly Brits, have done for a very long time. There is a new film coming out called Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, about British Palaeontologist Mary Anning and her romantic relationship with Charlotte Murchison. It looks like a must-see film. Mary Anning definitely knew that there were different types of pebbles on the English beaches.
6. This Last tweet from Chadwick Boseman’s twitter account, posted by his family, announcing his passing. It has become the most-liked tweet in Twitter history. So a propos for a regal man and the King of Wakanda.
7. This Evian Commercial: Baby Reflection – just so damned cute. (I’ve always had a thing for commercials, so you know. I think some of them are like mini-films/works of art and some are so damned funny so don’t be surprised if I include them.)
1. If We Treated Teachers Like Pro Athletes – Key & Peele – this is from a few years ago but SOOOOOO relevant right now.
2. This Ingenious Hummingbird – Paraguayan Conservationist Bianca Caroline Soares snapped this photo back in September of 2019. She had been observing hummingbird nests for over a year but when she saw this one she knew it was something unique and special.
“The hummingbird went on to have two chicks, and Soares was able to capture the trio under one roof—literally. The flexible nest expanded to fit the new additions and the leaf was able to cover them all.”
3. This Tutorial by Telenovela star Kate del Castillo on How to be an Action Star – She is HILAROUS! I had tears in my eyes. I am planning on subscribing to Peacock TV I’m just waiting for my smartTV to get an app.
4. These three incredibly talented beauties – Norah, Yarah & Rosa known as Let it Happen(thanks to my friend Jeta for originally sharing this video). Just wow.
5. Hear Ye, Hear Ye – The Queen has her own Gin. There is pretty much nothing more perfect (and British) than this. Sadly it has already sold out. It is/was only available in the UK but I was hoping to get a bottle when I went over next year. Sigh.
The Queen is famous (infamous?) for having the same four cocktails every day.
And Food and Wineuncovered another detail about the Queen’s daily intake: the 91-year-old reportedly consumes four cocktails a day. And why shouldn’t she!? Let’s run through what they are:
Her first drink, per former royal chef Darren McGrady, enjoyed shortly before lunch, is a gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and a “lot of ice.” Sure, this sounds about right. A classy and posh and powerful concoction.
Then, during lunch, she’ll have a piece of chocolate and a glass of wine at meal’s end. (That we have been eating lunch all these years without closing with a piece of chocolate and glass of wine now makes us feel utterly foolish.)
O.K., then, also at lunch, the Queen drinks a dry gin martini, according to her cousin Margaret Rhodes. So, yes, we are now at three drinks by roughly 1 p.m.
Her final drink of the day? It actually doesn’t come until she’s going to sleep: a glass of Champagne before bed.
6. Quarantine Public Library – this delightful little site currently houses over 40 one-page pdfs that you can download and fold into little “books.” They are really more like works of art. I made a donation of $30 and donated the mega-pack of the entire collection in one zipped file. If you donate $10 you can print out your own library card and there is also a general $5 donation level. Funds collected from the Quarantine Library are being directed to EveryoneON, which is a non-profit that connects low-income families to affordable internet service and computers. That is a non-profit I can absolutely support!
7. Urzila (pronounced Ursila like ….) Carlson – this South African comedian who does “not identify as fat” is my new favorite funny person. Her show on Netflix called ‘Overqualified Loser‘ is a hoot. Some might say she overshares, but then, isn’t oversharing really a subjective thing? For myself, I’ve always felt that society needs to stop being so freaking uptight and talk more about stuff. If we didn’t try to hide things that are part of life like menopause and mensuration and puberty and various stages of aging we’d all be more informed, less ashamed, and people that needed might need help would get it.
Anyhoo, back to Urzila, come on, how could a menopausal broad not adore a female comedian who is a lesbian, has a South African accent, and who does not identify as fat? Pinch me!
8. This video of Billy Joel playing a discarded piano – no words necessary.
9. Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Hand Cream – I have been using this for years. In fact, a while back one of my staff told me that my office smelled like this cream and it always reminded her of me. Which made me happy. It’s a nice scent. When I went to look for a link for this I started to panic because as I typed “Crabtree & Evelyn” into Google up popped “Crabtree & Evelyn closing down” – EEK! It appears that the retailer hasn’t survived the online sales surge so it did shut down its brick & mortar stores. So sad. But it relaunched in the middle of last year as online only and so this product is still available. Though sadly it has been repackaged and is not available in the larger size that has a pump. Still, I may need to stock up just in case.
10. Henry Cavill building a Gaming PC – seriously there is nothing hotter than a guy working on electronics. Is anyone else watching ‘The Witcher?’ I’m REALLY looking forward to seeing him in the new ‘Enola Holmes‘ movie!
*This week there was just too many things so I upped it to TEN things but this is not going to be a standing thing (I don’t think.)