Tag: History (Page 1 of 4)

Seven Things I Love (9-20-2021)

  1. 1. This Painting by Katsushika Hokusai, circa 1832 – I was fascinated by this piece of art when I first saw it. I must admit, I haven’t seen a lot of paintings of waterfalls so I don’t have much for comparison, but what I found most wonderful was the way the artist showed movement, both at the bottom of the waterfall and in the waves.

It may not be easy to see in the image below but if you go to this page there is a copy of the piece where you can enlarge different sections of the painting. You can double click on the image to enlarge it and then use the cursor to move the view.

P.S. I decided to look up to see what paintings there were of waterfalls and there are quite a few but I am unfamiliar with all of the artists. Which could explain how I haven’t seen any previous to this one. You should take a look, some of them are equally impressive.

2. This Micro-Documentary about the Liverbirds, One of the First Female Rock Bands – I’ve never heard of the Liverbirds, have you? (And it’s pronounced LYE-VER BIRDS.)

It’s infuriating that generations of women have had to make the choice between a career or a family. Wait, scratch that. Looking at history as a whole, the majority of women did not even have the option of a career. But in the past, oh, maybe 100 years or so, they sort of did. But of course women who chose careers were expected, unless they were in a lower income bracket, to stop working if they got married. Can you imagine what things would have been accomplished if women had been allowed to work?

3. This HUGE ASS Log Cabin – Sad that it burned down.

4. These Firefighters Working to Protect ‘General Sherman‘ – With all the floods on the east coast, news of the fires in California and the Pacific Northwest have fallen off the “front page.” But it doesn’t mean they have burned out. One wildfire hotspot has sadly turned out to be the Sequoia National Park. Sequoias are among the longest living trees in the world, most of them live hundreds of years. “General Sherman” is the oldest single trunk tree on the planet. It is believed to be between 2,200 to 2,700 years old. There have been a combined total of over 43,000 acres of Sequoias burned so far.

Firefighters, like so many of our public employees that get little notice, are real heroes.

Here’s a bigger view:

5. This New Book on Miniature Eye Portraits – Believe it or not, I’ve been obsessed with eye miniatures for years. I can’t believe they are publishing a book! Now, before you go “ewww” this is weird, the idea behind them was that lovers would send portraits of their eyes to one another so that they could have keepsakes and reminders but only they would know the person so well that they could identify them by their eye. It was to keep the relationship private or secret. Read this article to find out more.

6. This Astronomical Clock in Prague – it’s over 600 years old! I’ve been fortunate enough to have been to Prague twice, but both trips were well before smartphones. I’m sure I took plenty of photos but I have no idea where they’d be now. We’re talking mid-1990s. But two things I remember vividly are the Charles Bridge and this clock.

7. This Baroness von Sketch Show Sketch – LMFAO every time I watch it. SPOT ON!

P.S. And here’s a little follow up from last week. And I’m weeping all over again!

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

This week I’m going with a poem rather than a quote – it was so good I had to share it. Of course traveling right now is not easy but once this damned pandemic is over we should all get back to traveling the world!

Try to travel, otherwise
you may become racist,
and you may end up believing
that your skin is the only one
to be right, that your language
is the most romantic
and that you were the first
to be the first.
Travel, because if you don’t travel then
your thoughts won’t be strengthened,
won’t get filled with ideas.
Your dreams will be born with fragile legs
and then you end up believing in tv-shows,
and in those who invent enemies
that fit perfectly with your nightmares
to make you live in terror.
Travel, because travel teaches
to say good morning to everyone
regardless of which sun we come from.
Travel, because travel teaches us
to say goodnight to everyone
regardless of the darkness
that we carry inside.
Travel, because traveling teaches us to resist,
not to depend, to accept others, not just for who they are
but also for what they can never be.
To know what we are capable of,
to feel part of a family beyond borders,
beyond traditions and culture.
Traveling teaches us to be beyond.
Travel, otherwise you end up believing
that you are made only for a panorama
when instead inside you there are wonderful landscapes still to visit.
– Gio Evan, poet and songwriter. Translated from Italian.

Seven Things I Love (7-20-2021)

  1. 1. This Reaction to a Young Fan’s Gift – If you’re not a fan of the Milwaukee Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo already (or if you haven’t heard of him), you will be after watching this. THIS is the kind of athlete we want kids to have posters of on their bedroom walls and who they should hope to be like someday and try to emulate.

Here’s more… when asked by a reporter, who taught him about keeping his ego in check, this was Antetokounmpo’s answer:

“When you focus on the past, that’s your ego: ‘I did this. We were able to beat this team 4-0. I did this in the past. I won that in the past.’ When I focus on the future, it’s my pride: ‘Yeah, next game, Game 5, I do this and this and this. I’m going to dominate.’ That’s your pride talking. It doesn’t happen. You’re right here.

“I kind of try to focus on the moment, in the present. That’s humility. That’s being humble. That’s not setting no expectation. That’s going out there, enjoying the game, competing at a high level. I think I’ve had people throughout my life that helped me with that. But that is a skill that I’ve tried to, like, kind of — how do you say it, perfect it, master it. And it’s been working so far. So I’m not going to stop.”

‘NBA Finals: Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo backs up viral ‘humility’ speech with unselfish Game 5 performance’ by Colin Ward-Henninger; July 18, 2021; CBSSports.com

You can watch the exchange below…

By the way, I love Giannis full name – it’s Giannis Sina Ugo Antetokounmpo. How gorgeous is that?!?!

[Found the second tweet via CBSSports.com – you should read the full story, the guy who wrote it is very good]

2. This Auction of Sylvia Plath’s Recipe Cards and Rolling Pin at Sotheby’s – Sadly, when someone’s life ends so tragically, one tends to make assumptions about what their life must have been like or how they lived. Myself, being someone who lives with depression (albeit moderate depression), I think that if a person is so depressed that they are driven to take their own life they must be miserable all the time. I don’t know why I think that. It’s certainly not that way for me. But then, I’m not suicidal.

When I get depressed all I want to do is build a cocoon around myself and not let anyone in. I don’t want to talk to people, I don’t want to go anywhere, I don’t want to do much of anything. I just want to pass the time with things that will distract and take very little mental effort. For me that generally means watching mystery television series from the 80s, 90s or 2000s and doing puzzles.

But I know other people who have depression and their way of dealing with it is much different. Some like to throw themselves into their work. Some like to surround themselves with friends and family. Some like to clean their house or do gardening or repairs they’ve put off. No one deals with depression exactly the same way. Everyone is unique.

My point is, there is a lot more to Sylvia Plath’s life than her being depressed and having committed suicide but unfortunately, that is mostly what people learn about and remember. But it’s really lovely to see these recipe cards with Plath’s handwritten notes and the names/ nicknames included in the recipes titles, which for me always is indicative of affection and sentimentality.

[Found on MessyNessyChic]

3. This Movie (This Beautiful Fantastic), Which is Currently Available to Stream FOR FREE on YouTube – A friend of mine suggested this movie to me a while back and I was lucky enough to catch it while it was streaming (can’t remember where) but shortly after I watched it, it was removed. For months it hasn’t been available anywhere. Now it looks like in addition to being available on YouTube it’s available on Amazon Prime. But I’m never sure when I see something that says it’s available on Prime (for free) whether it’s because I have the Masterpiece & PBS memberships or if it just is generally free.

Either way, whether you try watching it at the link below or watch it via Prime, I highly recommend this movie. It stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Lady Sybil in Downton Abbey, Charlotte Wells in Harlots and Elizabeth McKenna in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society) as Bella, Andrew Scott (John Parry in His Dark Materials, The Priest in Fleabag, and Moriarty in Sherlock) as Vernon, and Tom Wilkinson (Author in Grand Budapest Hotel, Graham Dashwood in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and Gerard in The Full Monty) as Alfie Stephenson.

The premise of the story is that Bella lives alone in a small house which she rents. She’s a unique person, a bit compulsive, who likes to keep to herself. Now I’ll tell you, she works in a library, but that is only one of several reasons why I love this film so much. Many reviews call it a modern fairytale and it truly is.

Bella has a small garden behind her house and part of the rental agreement was that she needed to tend to the garden but she has let it go. She meets her neighbor, who is an ornery SOB, and not long after that happens, a representative for the owner of the house comes by for an inspection an discovers she has not kept her side of the deal. He tells her he’s going to have to evict her but she persuades him to let her have a month to fix the garden up.

I don’t want to tell you anything more but the characters are wonderful, the film is visually beautiful, and it has a magical quality to it.

4. This HISTORIC News from Chile – I mean, it’s actually rather pathetic that the first time a constitution is being written by an equal number of men and women is in 2021 but, well, it’s still commendable. (And there are negative nellies out there.)

5. These New Emojis – Turns out it was “World Emoji Day” on Saturday. I am excited about the disco ball! Though does it seem like these are a little male-heavy to anyone else? It could just be my mental state right now. These are awaiting approving and will become available in September.

6. This Airship of the Future – The airline industry is responsible for about 5% of global warming and these ships will “operate with 75% fewer emissions than a conventional airplane.” It may take longer (but look at how comfortable it will be.) Yes please!

[Found on MyModernMet]

7. This Incredible Pencil Shop in Tehran – There are a lot of bazaars in Tehran. I don’t think that this is in the Grand Bazaar. The video below says it is in the “Traditional Market” which I believe is also called Tajrish Bazaar. One person describes it as being “located in a corner of the bazaar between the two mosques in Tehran.” I can hear the call to prayer.

And here’s a video (pre-pandemic). You don’t need to speak arabic to be impressed or to find the owner, Mr. Rafieh, completely darling. Anyone so passionate and knowledgeable, how can you not love them?

[Found on the Present & Correct blog]

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (7-12-2021)

  1. 1. These Japanese Pastries – Nobody makes more delicious looking pastries than the Japanese. These are from a patisserie in Iwakura, Japan. Aren’t they incredible? For more photos visit this Instagram.

2. This New Book by Architectural Writer John Ota – A friend of mine recommended this book and I must say, it wasn’t what I expected. It far exceeded my expectations!

Ota and his wife wanted to create the perfect kitchen so he decided to travel across North America visiting kitchens from various eras found in a baker’s dozen of renowned homes, several belonging to some rather famous people including Thomas Jefferson, Georgia O’Keefe, Frank Lloyd Wright, Julia Child and Louis Armstrong.

Each chapter begins with a simple, hand-drawn sketch of a kitchen as well as a floor plan. Not surprisingly, Ota discusses the aesthetics, features, and functionality of the kitchens but he also covers the history and culture of the person, place and/or time associated with the room. He ends the chapters with a short letter to his wife Fanny, sharing with her what he learned and what he felt they could incorporate into their own space.

Link to WorldCat.org (to see if your local public library has a copy)
Link to the book at Bookshop.org

3. This Video of Alan Rickman Making Tea – as the title says, it’s epic. (It’s been around for a while but Alan was trending a week or so ago and whenever I think of him I think of this, among the dozens of other fantastic roles he’s done.)

4. These Bulldog Puppies – If you don’t want to rub those little bellies you aren’t human. (And those piggies!)

5. This Art Jeweler, Sarella Suarez – I bought the piece below (in silver) at an art festival this weekend. I LOVE IT so much! It’s about 30 inches long so it can be doubled and worn as two necklaces or worn as one long necklace. During festival season many artists have few pieces listed on their websites so at the moment Sarella only has a couple things in her online shop – you may want to check back again around October.

6. This Hydrangea Bush – I love hydrangeas but I had never seen this color, isn’t it gorgeous??? A friend of mine and I went to the Whitefish Bay Art Fest on Saturday and we parked on one of the side streets. As we were making our way toward the main road we saw these. It wowed us.

7. This Trailer for Season Two of Ted Lasso – There are a lot of shows I’m watching but this one brings me the greatest joy. Ted Lasso is Mr. Rogers for adults. If you haven’t watched it yet, you don’t know what you’re missing. (Season two begins streaming on July 23rd!)

Word of the Week


Quote of the Week

Seven Things I Love (5-24-2021): History Edition

  1. 1. This Patent Drawing – Which finally puts to rest the question over or under. I don’t mean to gloat but I KNEW IT and my Mamma never lead me astray.

From My Modern Met:

Over or under? This is the question that has plagued the Western world since the invention of modern toilet paper. It was in 1857 that New York-based inventor Joseph C. Gayetty developed the first packaged variety to be made widely available in the U.S. However, it wasn’t until 1871 that perforated rolls of toilet paper were invented. Seth Wheeler filed a patent for his innovative design for the first time that year, and he filed another for a refined version of his invention again in 1891.

The illustrated diagram from Wheeler’s 1891 patent sheds some light on how the toilet paper roll was originally intended to be used. According to the image, it appears that the dangling end was designed to hang over—rather than under—the roll. This may be a crippling blow to those who are of the persuasion that under is the way to go. Even so, if hanging your toilet paper roll under is wrong, they probably don’t want to be right.

Original Patent Drawing Puts an End to the Great “Over or Under” Toilet Paper Debate” by Arnesia Young; May 13, 2021; My Modern Met

2. These Videos about Women’s Clothing in History – They are all just too good. The first talks about how women’s clothing may actually have been created to help protect. The second gives the history of how standard sizes came to be and the motivations behind doing so (hint, it’s always money.) The third video is a fascinating history of why men traditionally wear pants and women traditionally wear skirts (or did they….)

And last but not least (and this is a a wee bit of a stretch but I’m including it) a video about the clothing in the show ‘The Nevers‘ – my current favorite television show, which can be seen on HBO Max. They’ve already aired the first half of season one (8 episodes) and will be airing the second half sometime in the fall I believe (another 8 episodes.) As the vlogger mentions, the show is extremely historically accurate with their costumes (and she should know, it is her area of expertise.) She takes the opportunity to bust the myth that clothing from that era was extremely restrictive. There have been anti-corset campaigns for some time. Certainly the extremely boned corsets that reshape the body are not/were not good, but for women of this era most weren’t wearing the tightly drawn or heavily boned corsets (like Scartlett O’Hara). Unless a woman was from a wealthy family she would have been quite active and probably wouldn’t have had the luxury of having a ladies maid.

3. This Article about the New Version of the Game ‘Oregon Trail’ – A fascinating essay where the author, who is a black historian, is in a battle between his longing for childhood nostalgia and truth-telling in history. Is there really any correct way to make a game about colonialization?

John Gast, “American Progress” (1872), oil on canvas, 12 3/4 inch x 16 3/4 inch
(image courtesy Wikimedia Commons, painting in possession of Autry Museum of the American West)

4. This Article on Book Curses – In medieval times, because books were handmade, written by scribes, and took a long time to make, they were rare and had great physical value. Most scribes and book owners did not have the financial means to protect their libraries with armed guards so instead they used words to fend off would-be thieves. Fortunately for them, most people believed in curses so it worked fairly well.

What I want to know is why don’t we use book curses today? They would look so nice on a bookplate. Even if most people don’t believe in curses anymore, at least it would remind them to keep their paws off of things that aren’t theirs.

I looked up some more and found one [here] that I am going to make into stickers so I can put it inside all my books:

Whoever steals this book
Will hang on a gallows in Paris,
And, if he isn’t hung, he’ll drown,
And, if he doesn’t drown, he’ll roast,
And, if he doesn’t roast, a worse end will befall him.

From a 15th century manuscript owned by Count Jean d’Orleans.
12th century Hell. Herrad von Landsberg/Public Domain.

5. These Articles about Coco Chanel and Her Nazi Connections – I’ve always been a huge fan of Coco Chanel so when I first read about this it made me extremely sad. The first article was from nearly a decade ago and appeared on MessyNessyChic. It was written about eight months after the book Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War by Hal Vaughan was released. This was the first book to really include details about her involvement with the Nazis (not just that she was dating one) such as her code name, agent number, that she was included in nazi missions and worst of all, that she had taken advantage of her “Aryan rights” (meaning the seizing of Jewish-owned property and businesses.)

The second article was equally interesting. This one appeared on Forbes last year. The author is trying to determine if we can justify overlooking such a horrifying past in someone like Coco Chanel, whose left such a legacy. It’s an interesting question. I think this might be a good analogy – what if there was a building built by the nazis and after the war, all that remained was the foundation. So the French come and build a ground floor and the English build a 1st floor and the Norwegians build a 2nd floor (I’m doing the european counting of floors) and the Danish build a 3rd floor and so forth. And each floor is filled with beautiful things. But ultimately that base was built by nazis – should the entire thing be torn down and rebuilt? Should it be moved? I don’t think so.

BUT what I do think is that Chanel should stop avoiding Coco Chanel’s horrific history. I know that they think it can’t be good for PR but what they need to do is use it to help and get ahead of it. Just admit – we realize that our founder was a nazi sympathizer, possibly a nazi collaborator and our response is that we are appalled by the information as much as you are. Our founder was a talented woman and we cannot deny that Chanel wouldn’t exist without her genius but the nazi atrocities were unforgivable and that she was involved is a huge black stain on the origin of our company. They could put their money where their mouth is and contribute to a Holocaust organization.

My believe is that we should not be completely erasing bad history but instead we should be making it accurate and using it as a teaching opportunity.

6. This Article about How Women in the UK/Ireland Were Duped into Believing it was Bad to Drink Tea – Though it’s me who is saying that the women were actually duped. The article implies it but doesn’t come right out and say it. Neither does this one.

Here’s the situation – first and foremost, tea was considered expensive back then. So was sugar if you wanted to sweeten it (because milk and honey in tea just doesn’t work.) Right away men (husbands and fathers) were going to say that women shouldn’t be drinking something as expensive as tea.

Then there were the wealthy, who liked to feel that drinking tea was something the gentrified did, certainly not the poor.

And of course, there was concern that women who sat around drinking tea would have time to talk to one another and that could lead to anarchy.

Even without social media, the “powers that be” managed to get messages out that women shouldn’t be drinking tea – said it was “unhealthy”, it made you lazy, etc. And the worse part is that the poor, uneducated women were the ones that bought into the lies and helped spread it. Hmmmm, that sounds vaguely familiar.

c. 1900 The Glencar Tea House in County Leitrim

7. This ‘Self Portrait’ by Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston – I was thrilled when I finally found out who this photo was of and what it was about. I’ve loved it for years! Taken around 1896 by the photographer herself, it is supposed to represent the “new woman.”

Here’s a great article about the photo and the photographer from Smithsonian.

Frances Benjamin Johnston could be both ladylike and bohemian, which abetted her career as a photographer. (Library of Congress)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Seven Things That I Love (5-17-2021)

  1. 1. These New Quarters – Can you believe that these are the first U.S. coins with women on them? Now I know what you’re going to say, you’re going to say, but wait, there was the Susan B. Anthony silver dollar but come on, that wasn’t really a serious coin. How many people use silver dollars? They just did that to placate us.
Coins celebrating the writer and poet Maya Angelou, left, and the astronaut Sally Ride will be issued next year as part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program. Credit: United States Mint

2. This Documentary about Rita Moreno – I’ve always loved Rita Moreno. She reminds me a lot of my Mom’s best friends but I also think her time on The Electric Company, well, she’s one of those celebrities who you feel like is part of your family, do you know what I mean?

I watched this as part of the Milwaukee Film Festival (you could still buy a ticket, it’s virtual and goes until May 20th). There will be several options for you to see it in the future:

  1. On June 19th the film is going to be shown in theaters nationally
  2. PBS is going to be airing it as part of its current (35th) season of American Masters (probably in the fall or early next year)
  3. And it will be available to stream on the PBS app once it airs (the PBS app is free)

So, depending upon how badly you want to see it (and whether you are already vaccinated) you can seen it next month or you will have to wait a little bit but either way I highly recommend seeing it.

3. This Rental Property – It’s the home of The Royal Tenenbaums! One of the best of Wes Anderson’s films. $20,000/month is a lot of money but there are six bedrooms so if you got five of your friends to join in, $3333/month for a place like this in NYC would actually be kind of a bargain.

As found on Curbed:

Set on the fictional Archer Avenue (real address: 339 Convent Avenue in Hamilton Heights), the 1899-built Flemish-meets-Romanesque-Revival house was built by Jacob D. Butler (who’s also behind the Neo-Romanesque Lincoln Building in Union Square). It’s roughly 100 feet wide (on the side facing West 144th Street), with large bay windows on one end and a turret on the other. Inside: 6,000 square feet cover five levels (the bottom three of which have elevator access), with six bedrooms, six gas fireplaces, and over 50 windows. Plus an inordinate amount of original character: antechambers, stained-glass transoms, closets with skylights, and ornate mantelpieces carved with urns and flowers. It’s renting furnished for $20,000 a month.

4. This Video for the Song ‘Pretty’ by Ingrid Michaelson – Michaelson is a big fan of the show ‘Stranger Things’ and each of the songs on her album ‘Stranger Songs’ is inspired by something from the show. I think this is (IMHO) the best song and I love the video – so empowering.

5. This Anti-Smoking Sign from 100 years ago – Sadly it shows how difficult it is to fight against major companies who have access to politicians. Think about the fact that there actually were people 100 years ago who knew that tobacco was bad for us (not that you needed a rocket scientist to figure it out) and the tobacco industry and even members of the medical profession would promote smoking as being safe. The first warning labels didn’t show up on cigarettes until 1965 with the “The Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act of 1965.”

6. This Instagram – Illustrator Mauro Gatti believes that positive attitudes are the key to reducing anxiety and good mental health. After the year that we all want to forget he started “The Happy Broadcast.” In addition to his Instagram he has a website and a podcast. Check it out for a daily dose of positivity!

[Found via The Modern Met]

7. This AMAZING Video of a Gorilla Mama Watching a Human Mama Holding Her Baby – I LOVE THIS!!! (The ongoing commentary is both entertaining and annoying… LOL.)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day


Seven Things I Love (5-10-2010)

  1. 1. This Little Girl Who Got To Meet Her Hero, Rey from Star Wars – This shows how important it is that we have more strong, female lead characters in films. I LOVE Rey. I wish we had role models like her when I was a kid. “Younger” Leia was okay but nothing like some of the women girls have today, even “older” Leia. Still, it’s only a start.

2. This Essay by George Orwell on How to Make a “Nice Cup of Tea” – Originally published in The London Evening Standard on January 12, 1946, the essay includes eleven rules that Orwells says you need to be follow to make a good cuppa. The text below is rather small so if you click on the graphic it will take you to the Orwell Foundation website and the full text (which is owned by the Orwell Estate and Penguin Books and why I’m not reprinting it here.)

3. This Swedish Street Food: Tunnbrödsrulle – Tunnbrödsrulle is mashed potatoes, sausage or hot dogs, lettuce, shrimp salad, mayonnaise dressing, onions, ketchup and mustard all wrapped up in a thin piece of flatbread. Anthony Bourdain once said that one particular Swedish street food was, “…the most disgusting thing ever…and I love it.” I know that I want to try it! I May give it a go this summer if a few other people are game to try it with me…

(By the way, I found out about Tunnbrödsrulle from Beryl Shereshewsky who is one of my most recent obsessions. She did a video on how people [around the world] eat hot dogs. Here it is.)

4. This Image that Shows How the Athenian acropolis may have looked with its original paintwork back in the 5th century BCE – I LOVE these sort of then and now images. I wish there were more of them.

5. This NYC Ballerina with Alzheimer’s Listening to Swan Lake – no explanation necessary.

6. These Virtual Origami Classes through the Japanese Culture Center in Chicago – Lasting only 30 minutes, they are held every Wednesday and Saturday. It’s just the right amount of time to do one project. Loads of fun and by doing it every week you can improve your skills.

The classes on Wednesday and Saturday are the same so choose which day works better for you; the class is at 1 pm on both days. The cost is a donation – recommended amount is between $5-10 per class. You can sign up for a free trial class here.

I made this on Saturday (my first class.) In case you can’t tell, it’s a table and chair. The thing I think is great about these items is the first several folds for these are used for many other origami pieces.

7. This Photo of LeVar Burton and Patrick Stewart – Two of my most favorite people on the planet. (By the way, Levar did a new ad for Ryan Reynold’s Aviation Gin and not surprisingly it was a hoot!)

Word of the Day


Quote of the Day

Three good friends went for a swim.
The one who was fat wished she was thin.
The one who was curvy wished she was clever.
The one who was clever wished she swam better.
The really great swimmer wished she was witty.
The one who was witty wished she was pretty.
All three friends thought the other two were just fine.
If only they could let their own bright light shine.
So throw on your swimsuit if you’re fat or you’re thin.
Enjoy fun and friendship …. love the skin that you’re in!


Seven Things I Love (5-3-2021)

  1. 1. This New Rollin’ Wild Video – The first new ‘Rollin’ wild’ film short in THREE years. And was it worth the wait? I think so…. I laughed my buttootie off! Have watched it about a dozen times so far, laugh just as hard every time.

2. This Perfect Man – He really does exist! The White House decided to rebrand Doug Emhoff as “Douglas Emhoff. Apparently they believe the formality is more suited to his position and sounds more “grown-up.” I’m going to guess that all the adult men who go by the name Doug disagree with this assessment. As one late night comedian pointed out, Bernie goes by Bernie and not Bernard and no-one dares to not see him as grown-up and serious. Let’s just hope and pray that the White House doesn’t tell “Douglas” he has to cut back on the PDA! (The Vice President is SO lucky!)

[Thanks to Ann for this one.]

3. These Breathtaking Still Life Photographs – it’s hard to believe they aren’t paintings. If you click on the photos it will take you to each photographer’s website. Or click on the link below to see the original story where I first ran across these works of art.

[Found on ChristieRealEstate.com]

Italian Plums After G.G. 2015 by Paulette Tavormina of New York
Pronkstillife With Pheasant by Jeroen Luijt, who is inspired by the Dutch Old Masters found in his home town of Amsterdam
The hyper-natural yet accessible Reviviscere, part of the Azahar series by Julija Levkova

4. This Podcast about Florence Nightingale – It checks all my boxes: a woman fighting against the patriarchy, British history (particularly the Victorian era), nerds, how information is power – check, check, check and check.

Recently I’ve read about several people/historical events where I thought, why isn’t there a movie or best-selling book about this?!? Then I’d think, wait, maybe there is and I just don’t know about it. And I’d look up the person or event and find out that yes, there was a movie but it was filmed 40 to 50 years ago or it was a made-for-tv special or there was a book but it’s for children or by some author I’ve never heard of.

That’s what happened when I looked up Florence Nightingale. There actually are a ton of books but none that are by well-known historians (there are loads of kids books about her). There is an autobiography called Notes on Nursing.” I’m sure is interesting but doubt it’s all that readable (after all, she could do many these exceedingly well but writing wasn’t one of her talents.)

There was a tv movie with Jaclyn Smith playing Nightingale. I’m sure THAT was historically accurate. There’s a 1915 British Silent film about Florence. And there was a British film made in 2008 with not a single name in the cast I recognize (which never happens) and the one review it got on IMDB gave it one star and wrote, “One of the worst costume dramas I’ve seen in years! The acting was terrible. the script was terrible, the screenplay was dull and the characters seem like they had been plucked out of the 21st century and thrown back in time! Laura Fraser was useless, good looking, but useless. She plays the strong modern woman type which is totally out of context for the time, and all the male characters are weak.” (By the way, the review ends with “Americans will love it!” I’m not joking!)

I came across which is that Elizabeth Moss is supposedly working on a new film about Florence Nightingale. I hope this isn’t one of those projects that gets announced but never happens but the article I linked is from 2018 and I couldn’t find anything past late 2019. Well, we’ll see what happens. Maybe they’ll be a resurgence of Nightingale-mania!

[Thanks to my friend Kathy for sharing this with me!]

5. This Book about the Classic Restaurants of Milwaukee – This is a bit niche for a general blog, but I think the majority of my followers will appreciate it. Talk about a trip down memory lane! My only complaint is that it wasn’t physically bigger (it’s only 6″ x 9″) because I wish that the photos were larger and frankly I’d like to have seen more restaurants included. But it’s an Arcadia Publishing book and this is the standard size for the majority of their titles. But I suspect it’s the only way to get a book like this published anymore. Sigh. Anyway, I enjoyed reading it immensely.

6. This Reboot of Leverage with the Original Cast (minus one) – I know that people who didn’t watch Leverage won’t be as excited about this as I am (in fact, you probably won’t give a hoot) but I’m over the moon about this news. I was super bummed when they ended the show in 2012. They did tie everything up, but in the four years it aired it built up quite a following and I know we would have been happy for the show to continue for several more years.

But it’s back with the entire cast, except for Timothy Hutton. (I had no idea there had been accusations made against him too.) I’m a bit surprised, although thrilled and relieved, that Aldis Hodge is returning as Alec Hardison. I mean, he’s hit the big time with ‘One Night in Miami’ and he’s also been on ‘City on a Hill.’ The addition of Noah Wyle to the cast must also mean that a return of ‘The Librarians’ is not in our future. Oh well. You can’t have everything.

7. This Miniature Round Bookcase – If you love miniature things you’ll enjoy perusing the entire Instagram for the Daily Mini.

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Seven Things I Love (4-5-2021)

  1. 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.”

From Wikipedia

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.

De Gournay || The World’s Most Beautiful Hand-Painted Wallpapers; Pendulum Magazine; April 30, 2018

Swoon.

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.)

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“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.

~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


It’s….

Do you have a library card?

Seven Things I Love (3-1-2021)

Happy Women’s History Month!

  1. 1. This Video on the Accents of All Fifty States – Myself, I know I don’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.
  2. 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.

IN THE NORTHLAND, WINTER (1915-1916) by Tom Thomson

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!)


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Have a LOVELY Week!

Seven Things I Love (2-15-2021)

  1. 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.)


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