Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wednesday February 29th ~ 2012

All of the vitriolic rhetoric, all of the hate mongering, all of the pandering to the extreme right wing religious bigots, all of the self serving, self righteous, egotistical, ego maniacal crap that we witnessed over the last two weeks was endured for what? The net gain of this was a split of the 30 delegates, each GOP candidate got 15 out of the required 1144 delegates required for the Republican nomination.

Hundreds of millions of dollars wasted on smack talk and double talk and slandering. Can anyone think of other ways that this money could have been spent in Michigan where the real unemployment rate is still one of the highest in the nation? I sure can!

I am not saying that either party is better or worse at this game. It just seems that the GOP is nastier and that the swing to the extreme right is making it harder and harder for any candidate to come out of this unscathed and able to mount any sort of a credible campaign.

I listen to all of the GOP hate speech and I am so sad and so tired of it. None of it is positive, none of it is spoken with encouragement and hope. All I hear is negative and depression. Then later on this evening I listened to President Obama give a speech to the auto workers and I actually found myself smiling at his positive message and at his optimism.

THAT. my friends,  is what we need to be focusing on. There are things that are going in the right direction if we would only take off the blinders of hate and bigotry and actually see the path that we are all on.

Rachel Maddow had an amazing opinion piece this evening about where and why the GOP is acting the way that has been for the last decade..

I leave for Concord at 4am on Thursday morning and I have a weekend of and classes. I hope to be able to post but if I don't, have a beautiful weekend and always remember:

Teach this simple truth to all: A generous heart, kind speech, and a life of service and compassion are the things that renew humanity. - The Buddha -

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday February 28th ~ 2012

I have spent the last few days slamming getting ready for my trip to California for this weekends show in Concord, The Bead & Boutique Arts Show. If you are in the Concord area over the weekend stop by and say hello. It promises to be a fun weekend and a great show.

I have gotten loads done and still have loads more to do before I take off before the dawn to get to Concord in a days drive. I know to is a long drive but I just have no desire to be away any longer than I have to be. As much as I love teaching and as much as I love my job, I can be such a home body and I love being home with all of my fuzzy creatures and my GF just doing all of those nice home kinda things.

I have also spent my week scratching my head at some of the most amazing quotes from the GOP candidates all leading up to the primary in Michigan and Arizona.

Mr Santorum in his own self righteous arrogance called our President a "Snob" for wanting this nations youth to be better prepared for life with some sort of advanced education.

Mr. Santorum out and out lied to a group of his uninformed listeners about the Netherlands euthanizing it's citizens against their will in an attempt to instill fear in a social health care system that is actually on of the best in the world.

Mr Santorum slammed President Kennedy in his '64 speech about the absolute necessity for the separation of church and state. He actually said on a Sunday talk show that Kennedy's amazing speech made him want to throw up. ••• (I am sorry sir but the separation of church and state is totally the fundamental tenant that this country was based on... REMEMBER?)

••• (I guess it is okay for the church to tell the Government what to do but it is not okay for the Government to tell the church what to do. I am sorry Rick but you cannot have it both ways.)

What I find amazing is that his extreme religious views stand in direct opposition to what the Organization of American Catholic Bishops have stated publicly and believe. Like the needs for unions, and health care for all, care for the elderly. Just to name a few.

Mr. Santorum actually asked in a speech on Tuesday evening: "Do you want smart people, do you want educated people running your country? ••• (My answer the that is.. Hell Yes Please!)
Mr Santorum simply scares me to my core. He wants to dissolve the foundation of this Nation and remake it in his own image. He truly wants to be the Theologian & Chief.

Mr. Romney is just so out of touch with America. I have never seen a person look so out of place in a pair of jeans trying to look like a "regular dude." He just cannot deliver a line to save his political life.

Mr Romney spent a week just looking like a fool. He had a HUGE rally speaking to a crowd of 1200 in a stadium that hold 65,000. He looked so ridiculous and so small in this stadium.

Mr. Romney talked about how much he love Michigan, how he loves the lakes and the streams,  how he loves cars and how the trees in  Michigan are "the right height". ••• (WHAT?)

One of Mr. Romney's campaign commercials showed him driving around Michigan talking about how it was like coming home again driving a car that was made in Canada. ••• (Good job Mr. Let the Auto Industry go bankrupt, if we had listened to you all we would be able to get is a foreign made car.)

Mr Romney tried to connect with the voters in this nation by talking about how his wife has a "couple of Cadillacs" that she drives in his several homes.

Mr Romney took a quick trip to Daytona Beach to glad hand the NASCAR crowd, saying that he was not a truly passionate as some and summed it up by saying up how some of his friends are the owners of the NASCAR Teams.

It just seems like the more he tries to connect the further off the mark his aim seems to be. If this is actually what the majority of this nation want them I am truly afraid for our Liberties  and our Freedoms.

All of this crap has landed in front of of over the last week and I have not even touched on the ongoing battle against a women's right to contraception and basic healthcare as well as her right privacy in regards to her childbearing. We need to keep our eye on Alabama and not let up on Virginia.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday February 24th ~ 2012

Take your seat and be prepared to just be amazed, because I just have no words… you have to watch & listen to pure evil. 

The bold face lies that this "man of deep religious faith" sat there and touted as truth just leaves me wondering how far the right will go to terrorize people into believing the label "liberal" means "death panels."

But other than that… I have no words…

“In the Netherlands, people wear different bracelets if they are elderly. And the bracelet is: ‘Do not euthanize me.’ Because they have voluntary euthanasia in the Netherlands but half of the people who are euthanized — ten percent of all deaths in the Netherlands — half of those people are euthanized involuntarily at hospitals because they are older and sick. And so elderly people in the Netherlands don’t go to the hospital. They go to another country, because they are afraid, because of budget purposes, they will not come out of that hospital if they go in there with sickness.”

The Government of the Netherlands is demanding an official apology for these outright lies about a peaceful and liberal nation. Right..This is the man that I want to be in charge of our foreign policy… NOT!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Thursday February 23rd ~ 2012

The GOP political agenda for the last few years, with the rise of the Tea Party and the GOP agenda to not lose this voting base, has been to set women's rights back 50 years. As a woman, I have never been more scared for my rights in what is supposed to be a free nation.

What I am pleased about, is that in one week, the voices of social media, rose up and seem to have halted the destructive legislation that was to be signed into law in Virginia. The fight is not over but with continued pressure our voices will not be ignored.

The silent protest by thousands, in response to the two pieces of legislation that would have relegate women to the back of the bus where issues concerning their own bodies did its job. It caused the Governor to step back and reevaluate his hard line stand and do an about face. He is caught in a huge lie but at least he has been shamed into recanting.

Silent Protest in Virginia
What disturbs me most is the rise of Mr Santorum in the GOP race as the answer to anything but Romney.

His hate speech, is divisive and pandering to a segment of this nation that I believe is in many ways isolationist and bigoted. The evangelical base that he is bringing to his cause is in no way a representation of the cross section of this nation. It scares me to see this happening. So many have fought so hard and for so long to bring women out of the shadows and to fight for our equality.

I find this conversation about interesting, considering that there is NO mention of vasectomies and that this procedure is covered by faith based insurers.

His medieval stance on a woman's place in society not only relegates a woman to be barefoot and pregnant, it keeps every woman in s subservient role in every regard. He would take away a woman's right to control her own body and let the "male" in society to decide what is best for her. (As if woman are just not smart enough to understand the ramifications of their choices.)

His idiotic belief that mans actions are NOT adding to the issue of global warming is just beyond my ability to understand. When science and real statistics only confirm what we have been warned about for decades is just an individual who is living in a dream world  and clinging to "faith" to deliver us from evil. This is a battle that man must take responsibility for and must win for himself. It is my understanding that this is why man was given self determination.

In a speech to Tea Party conservatives on last Saturday in Columbus, Ohio, Santorum had dismissed Obama's politics as being based in "some phony theology."

Theologian and Chief Wanna Be
"It's not about you. It's not about your quality of life. It's not about your jobs," Santorum said. "It's about some phony ideal, some phony theology. Oh, not a theology based on the Bible. A different theology."

An incredulous Bob Schieffer, Face The Nation, began his interview with Santorum Sunday by asking, "What in the world were you talking about?"

"I was talking about the radical environmentalists," Santorum said, suggesting that they believe man should protect the earth, rather than "steward its resources." "I think that is a phony ideal. I don't believe that's what we're here to do ... We're not here to serve the earth. That is not the objective, man is the objective."

Mr. Santorum is supposed to be a devout Catholic, a Catholic in the extreme. I guess he decided to disregard the Pontiff's speech to the United Nation on January 9th of this year in which His Holiness states the following in closing his remarks to the General Assembly.

"Finally I would stress that education, correctly understood, cannot fail to foster respect for creation. We cannot disregard the grave natural calamities which in 2011 affected various regions of South-East Asia, or ecological disasters like that of the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. Environmental protection and the connection between fighting poverty and fighting climate change are important areas for the promotion of integral human development. For this reason, I hope that, pursuant to the XVII session of the Conference of States Parties to the UN Convention on Climate Change recently concluded in Durban, the international community will prepare for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development ("Rio + 20") as an authentic "family of nations" and thus with a great sense of solidarity and responsibility towards present and future generations."

I guess he did not get this memo.

Here is a link to the entire speech: ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS

If the above link does not take you directly to the English Translation of the speech Click on TRADUZIONE IN LINGUA INGLESE  at the top of the page. This will take you directly to the Pontiff's speech in English.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wednesday February 22nd ~ 2012

Remember to see the beauty that surrounds you!

On January 12th 2007, the Washington Post set up a social experiment. The newspaper placed concert violinist Joshua Bell incognito on a Washington, D.C. subway platform and performed classical music for passersby for 45 minutes to gauge the response of passerby's.

Just to put this in perspective, Joshua Bell is one of the best musicians in the world and he was playing one of the most intricate pieces ever written on a violin worth 3.5 million dollars. Two days prior to this experiment, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100. per person.

How did the populace respond? Mostly, not at all, the ones that really noticed were the children but they were pulled along there way by impatient parents who were too busy to notice what was happening.

Watch and Listen to this beautiful music.

I have found that this is actually an issue for many. When I lived in NYC I loved to stop and listen the tunnel musician's in the subway system. They were usually Julliard students trying to get extra cash playing during rush hour in the Lexington Station.

There is beauty that surrounds us all but the blinders of everyday life that people have harnessed themselves into have limit their field of view. The goal that I have set for myself is to try to see the beauty that is around me.

In my early and mid 20's, I was doing a great deal of traveling in between NYC,  SF & Boston. When traveling, I would take the Red Eye from SF to get into Boston in time for a full day of classes. I would usually end up flying through O'Hare and taking off before sunrise. There is this moment, at 40 thousand feet, before the sun rises and a blood red band stretches across the horizon. It is so amazing and one of my most favorite colors.

Sunrise at 40 thousand feet

Then, in the early 90's, while I was living in the East Bay, I had to drive over the Bay Bridge every morning to work and I would always marvel at the sun rising over the Golden Gate or the fog over the city. I would find myself wondering if anyone else was watching the glorious colors unfolding before them.
Sunrise over the Oakland Bay Bridge

In 2006 I moved to Tucson AZ. Living in a ring of mountains and seeing the AZ colors during the seasonal changes was a time in my live that I would never give up. I loved and lived for the feel and the smell of the summer monsoons. I would search for the winter storms that would grow in the mountains and expand over the Tucson Valley and see them swallow up the day. I hiked the trails taking in the nature of the area, loving every cactus and taking in the wildlife of the high desert.

But more than anything else, during the last 15 years, I have cherished the time that I have spent driving the width and breadth of this country. My travels have given me some of the most amazing images that I always carry with me.

I have actually driven through a rainbow and seen one grace a field with it's touching down to earth. I have seen the fiercest of thunder storms grow on the horizon before me and driven through the windswept blizzards over mountain passes. The sunsets and sunrises have been my companions through there miles and I greet each one with the anticipation of the possible grander.

I have been blessed to see the country unfold before me and watch the changes in the terrain as I drove from the deserts of the southwest, to the mountain ranges of the Colorado Rockies. I have driven the straight long miles of the plains of Nebraska and Iowa east to the metropolis of Chicago. My drive from Tacoma, WA to the mountains of Montana and Glacier National Park last summer was like nothing I have ever experienced. I love the drive through the Appalachian Mountains south towards the Carolinas then on through towards the Everglades of Florida as it reminds me go my childhood travels with my family.

Colorado River Gorge

 I find solace in the solitude of these quiet moments in my car as the miles tick away. It clears my mind and I solve the problems of the world. I will depart on my journeys hours before the sunrise and drive well into the sunset all the while trying to take in all of the majesty that unrolls before me. If I find a view that I must take in, then I stop to soak it all in and hope that I can retain the memory.

As I drive, I search the skies and the trees for the hawks and falcons on the hunt that soar on the thermals and watch patiently as we all pass by and this year I have been blessed with the sightings of two American Bald Eagles soaring in the early mornings.

Red Tail hanging out on thermals

 All I can say to any who reads this post is to take the time to listen to the music of the world around you. See the wonders as you pass by and find time to pause to watch the sunrise, sunset and moonrise. These moments will enrich your soul in ways that you cannot fathom.

Shoe Tree in Utah in my rear view mirror

 P.S. Don't forget to look in the rear view mirror occasionally.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Thursday February 16th ~ 2012

The GOP's War On Woman Rights ..

Highlights from today & yesterday:

The GOP House Oversight and Government Reform Comity, held hearings today on Woman's Contraception and was headed and it's participants were gathered by it's Chairman, Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) There was a panel assembled to discuss and answer questions concerning these women's issues.
Now let's take a look at the panel.
Do you see the same problem with this as I do?
I am asking one simple question..
Where are the women!
Read the entire story here:
House Democrats Walk Out Of One-Sided Hearing On Contraception, Calling It An 'Autocratic Regime'

On The Andrea Mitchell Reports news show:
Mitchell interviewed Rick Santorum's sugar daddy, Foster Friess. This was his response to the question of his candidates opposition to contraception "Back in my days, they [woman] used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives... "In my day, the gals put it between their knees and it wasn't that costly."

Watch in disbelief:

Rick Santorum was campaigning in Idaho:
In Boise, Idaho, on Tuesday, Santorum compared contraception to deodorant and soap when making a point about why he believes birth control should not be covered by health insurers.

"Let's mandate that every insurance policy covers toothpaste. Deodorant. That might be a good idea, right? Have everyone cover deodorant, right? Soap. I mean, where do you stop?"

Virginia Legislation Issue #1:
Virginia lawmakers took a step toward outlawing abortion on Tuesday by approving "personhood" legislation that grants individual rights to an embryo from the moment of conception.

The Republican-controlled House of Delegates voted 66-32 in favor of defining the word person under state law to include unborn children "from the moment of conception until birth at every stage of biological development."

Virginia Legislation Issue #2:
The second measure passed in Virginia requires that women seeking an abortion be forced to undergo an ultrasound, which would mean a more physically invasive transvaginal ultrasound in the cases of early pregnancy. The Virginia Senate passed an ultrasound bill earlier this month, as Reuters noted. Gov. Bob McDonnell has indicated his support for the law, and is expected to sign it.

Virginia's Republican governor Bob McDonnell

invasion of privacy?

I find it amazing that there has been absolutely NO discussion and NO problems with the Insurance Companies covering Viagra or Vasectomies. Don't You?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Wednesday February 15th ~ 2012

"Danger! Danger! Will Robinson. Danger! Danger!

Can someone please explain to me how and why the GOP is moving to so far to the right? Can they not see that the "base" that they are reaching out to is in no way the majority? Can they not see that there is no way that they will win a national election and that their new "hero" only desires to take away many of the freedoms that have been apart of our democracy for over a generation?

Mr. Santorum is probably one of the most dangerous candidates that I have ever seen. In this nations last Presidential election cycle, I thought that Palin was a dangerous idiot, and she is. And I totally blame John McCain for this country having to endure her vitriolic rhetoric. Then in this election cycle, when she announced her candidacy, I thought that Bachman was someone that just desired the limelight and was an egomaniac and I was right about that too. To this day she still says that "SHE. was the perfect candidate."

Well, now in the last few weeks, riding some of the weirdest Primary Elections I have ever seen, Mr. Santorum is sending his message further and further to the right to garner the support of the religious extremists and fundamentalists that see the future of our nation as "Their Way of the Highway." His stump speeches in Iowa had none of this current rantings on the elimination of our social freedoms.

I cannot abide any candidate that has the unmitigated gaul to tell me how to have sexual relations. You have to see this video in order to believe it. He touts a smaller government yet his ideology dictates the implementation of the "Big Brother" that he says he despises.

Watch in horror what could become the GOP candidate for President of the United States of America. I thought that the last election was imperative to win but now I am even more afraid of what would happen to our freedoms and our individual rights. 

I realize that this interview is over 44 minutes long and a great deal of it is rambling but here is the dialog that wants to make me scream.

Rick Santorum:
"One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea... It's not okay because it's a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be. They're supposed to be within marriage, for purposes that are, yes, conjugal... but also procreative.

That's the perfect way that a sexual union should happen. We take any part of that out, we diminish the act. And if you can take one part out that's not for purposes of procreation, that's not one of the reasons, then you diminish this very special bond between men and women, so why can't you take other parts of that out? And all of a sudden, it becomes deconstructed to the point where it's simply pleasure. And that's certainly a part of it--and it's an important part of it, don't get me wrong--but there's a lot of things we do for pleasure, and this is special, and it needs to be seen as special. Again, I know most presidents don't talk about those things, and maybe people don't want us to talk about those things, but I think it's important that you are who you are. I'm not running for preacher.

I'm not running for pastor, but these are important public policy issues."

Read the Editorial in The Atlantic by Conor Friedersdorf

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tuesday February 14th ~ 2012

Happy St. Valentines day to all. May this day bring friends and family together to reaffirm those bonds and may lovers remember to open their hearts to those that they adore. I am blessed with both in my life and on this day and every day I hope that I have done my due diligence with expressing these feelings.

Just some interesting history:
Wikipedia: Saint Valentine's Day, often simply Valentine's Day, is a holiday observed on February 14 honoring one or more early Christian martyrs named Valentinus. It was first established by Pope Gelasius I in 496 AD, and was later deleted from the General Roman Calendar of saints in 1969 by Pope Paul VI. It is celebrated in countries around the world, mostly in the West, although it remains a working day in all of them.

The day first became associated with romantic love in the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the High Middle Ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished. By the 15th century, it had evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery, and sending greeting cards (known as "valentines") 
One of my favorite poems that I wanted to share.
I carry your heart with me


E.E. Cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it
(anywhere i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet)
                                                      i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Monday February 13th ~ 2012

Today was a huge day for Lesbian and Gay rights. On this day, in Olympia Washington, Gov. Chris Gregoire handed gay rights advocates a major victory by signing into law a measure that legalizes same-sex marriage in Washington state, making it the seventh state our the nation to allow gay and lesbian couples to wed.

Gregoire signed the bill surrounded by gay rights supporters. "I'm proud our same-sex couples will no longer be treated as separate but equal," she said.

Maureen Walsh a Republican made an amazing speech on February 8th that came close to making me cry.

I am 48 years old and life for gays in this country was so different when I was growing up. I grew up in the Ohio mid-west and a large portion of my youth was spent hiding who I was from the world. But I had an outlet that gave me support and security that so many in this country have not been lucky enough to experience.

When I was 16, I discovered the Dayton Playhouse, a community theatre group in downtown Dayton and in that group of amazing and wonderful people I was surrounded by a circle of acceptance. In that world I found the ability to experience and express my own personal growth in safety. These people and this place gave me something that I wish every youth in this country and in this world could have.

My time in this place imbued in me with a foundation of self-assurance, self-reliance and inner-strength that no bullying could harm my soul and no hatred could take root in my heart. This acceptance of me let me understand that acceptance of difference was a foundation for inner peace. My time with these people and in that theatre instilled in me a compassion for humanity that has stayed with me to this day and it taught me to truly love who I was ~ inside and out.

So, when I saw this video and I read about the courage of the Governor Gregoire to confront her own personal issues and embrace this movement it gave me hope.

And there is nothing in this would that is more encouraging than hope.

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.” ~ John Lennon ~

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday February 12th ~ 2012

Just a few observations on the turn of the public dialog over the last week.

I am dumbfounded that here in the 21st century we, the public, are entertaining a dialog over contraception and making it available for everyone at low cost or free. This should be a total "NO BRAINER" for the conservative right.

• ~ Hey GOP, you want fewer abortions? ~ Then let's not create more unwanted babies! This should be the biggest reason for the use of contraception in this nation where 1 out of every 4 children has an issue with hunger and borders on the brink or is on poverty.

• ~ Hey GOP, you want to get people off of welfare? - Then let's not force woman to have more babies that will actually trap these welfare recipients into the welfare system causal loop with no way out. Planned Parenthood's name is well stated here. Let's PLAN our pregnancies and not have people trapped with children that they have no way of supporting or truly caring for.

• ~ Hey GOP, you claim to desire smaller government! ~ Then get the hell out of my womb and my bedroom. This question was answered in 1965 with the supreme court decision of Griswold v. Connecticut in which the use of contraception was established as a "right to privacy" guaranteed in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 9th & 14th Amendments. John Boehner can drop his feigned indignation, stop bashing the President and actually try to do his job for once.

• ~ Hey GOP, you claim that this is an attack on religious freedom! Then, I am sorry, the Catholic Church uses the pulpit to incite uninformed outrage. With the church using the pulpit in that manner the church relinquishes their tax free status granted to them by our government to guarantee its freedom. I have a news flash for all of you… If I am reading the outline properly, the only institutions that were to be required to provide contraception were the ones that were receiving public funds. At that point they relinquish their ability to refuse to follow the mandated laws of our nation.

• ~ Hey Catholic Church, you claim that this infringes on your doctrine. ~ I am not religious but I am spiritual in the deepest sense. The Catholic Church could not be more out of touch with its flock on this one. 98% of women in the Catholic Church use contraception to control when they start or add to their family. The notion that a bunch of celibate men have the right to say how their parishioners manage there families just boggles my mind.
    I do not see the Catholic Church pouring millions of dollars into the poverty stricken nation of Jamaica after the Pope went there 1993 and told them to stop using the governments assistance with low cost contraception. The ensuing surge in babies went through the roof and has caused tremendous issues with more severe poverty and illness.

 • ~ Hey GOP Candidates, each of you has expressed your desire to lessen the role of government in our daily lives. YET, so much of what you have been touting only allows the government to control us even further.  i.e. Drug testing for those who receive government funds, even if they are not suspected of drug use. That is an invasion of privacy and wastes millions if not billions of tax payer dollars. How about we test all of Congress, they receive federal funds in the way of a paycheck and health insurance.

I just have one final thought especially for Newt and for Rick. I truly hope that you are never engaging in sexual intercourse in any way other than to procreate. Procreation is only reason for sexual relations in the true doctrine of your Catholic Faith. If you are sexually active and not trying for children and you are NOT using contraception, are you timing your interpersonal relations with your wives biological clock? If that is the case, then you are in direct conflict with your faiths religious doctrine. Better cut that out boys.

These politicians claim to love this country, yet they hate those who do not share the same ideals. This was a nation founded on the basis of these differences and they they would be our strength and we would engage on a common discourse to allowed for a coming together for a stronger Union.

I wish I could find the reset button.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Saturday February 11th ~ 2012

The hurts just keep coming. There are just some things that should not be changed.

When I moved to NYC in 1986 to go to NYU for graduate school I knew that there was one place that I had to see. One of my first destinations upon arriving in the Big Apple was going to be The Algonquin Hotel on 44th St between 5th and 6th Ave. I had to go there to see The Algonquin Round Table of Dorothy Parker fame. How could you not? It held a fascination for me that, to this day, still has a hold on me.
 The Original Members of "The Vicious Circle" - all part of my theatre past.

    Franklin Pierce Adams, columnist,
    Robert Benchley, humorist and actor,
    Heywood Broun, columnist and sportswriter (married to Ruth Hale)
    Marc Connelly, playwright
    Ruth Hale, freelance writer who worked for women's rights
    George S. Kaufman, playwright and director
    Dorothy Parker, critic, poet, short-story writer, and screenwriter
    Harold Ross, The New Yorker editor
    Robert E. Sherwood, author and playwright
    John Peter Toohey, publicist
    Alexander Woollcott, critic and journalist[4]

What I discovered at The Algonquin was music. I discovered its treasure, The Oak Room. What I fell in love with was Jazz and Cabaret. I would spend many afternoons, studying in the front lounge, drinking coffee and laughing that a cat always had the run of the hotel. The Algonquin has had a stray cat as a mascot since the 30's I think. The males are always named Hamlet and the females are always named Matilda.

As often as I could afford, on a graduate students expense account, I would go listen to music on the weekends. No matter who was playing, I was never disappointed by my experiences and I felt a deep connection to the room, it's mood and it's ambiance held my in it's spell.

Well, I moved to San Francisco in '91 and I was desperate to find a replacement for my beloved Oak Room. And what did I find? One evening, after searching the Pink Section of the Chronicle for music, I came across "The Clift Hotel" and The Redwood Room. It was a smokey, wonderful Art Deco bar whose walls were covered in the veneer of a single Redwood tree.
Not much had changed in the Redwood Room from this view in the 60's
 I would love to listen to the piano music of Richard Scales or who ever was playing. I spent may wonderful evenings there drinking, smoking and laughing with co-workers, friends or dates. (P.S. I gave up smoking over 10 years ago!)

Then to my horror in 2000 Ian Schrager of Studio 54 fame and Phillipe Starck bought and decided to "redecorate" the Redwood Room. Gone was the music, gone was the quiet, gone was the intimate nature of a landmark. It was replaced by a large, noisy and trendy nightspot that played loud mixed taped music and catered to the young affluent Dot-Com crowd.

I was heartbroken but I still had my Algonquin. I would go back to NYC whenever my work would take me there of I would take a vacation to NYC for the museums and no matter what I would make time to go listen to music at the Oak Room

Then one amazing evening I discovered the voice and talent of Andrea Marcovicci. That evening was almost 15 years ago. I listened to her sing for the first time and I was actually smitten. I have to admit that even to this day I have a HUGE crush on her. I enjoyed her music so much so that I would make sure that I would go and see her perform in San Francisco whenever she came to town.
Andrea Marcovicci at the Oak Room
Well, I moved away from SF almost 7 ago and I have not had the chance to see Andrea singing since that time. I always looked for her concert dates and it just never worked out for me. But I always knew that she had a month long stand over the holidays at the Oak Room. Her yearly engagement there lasted 25 years, so I knew that I would get to hear her live again in my beloved Oak Room.

Then to my dismay, it has recently been  announced that The Oak Room was to be closed and renovated into part of the hotels "Blue Bar."

There are just some things that should not change and The Redwood Room and The Oak Room were two of those iconic places that are dwindling away to never be apart of our culture again. Sometimes, change is not such a good thing!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Feburary 10th ~ 2012

So let's get caught up shall we? I wish you the following…..

October 10th - Happy Columbus Day
October 30th - Happy Halloween

November 11th - Happy Veterans Day
November 24th - Happy Thanksgiving

December 22nd - Happy Winter Solstice
December 25th - Happy Christmas  
(I just thought that sould stick with the English style to stay with the "Happy" thing I got going on here)
December 31st - Happy New Years Eve

January 1st - Happy New Year
January 16th - Happy Martin Luther King Day

February 2nd - Happy Groundhog Day

Well, that covers the major holidays and social happenings since October 2011. I have been very well and as usual I have been traveling way to much and which means that I have been working hard to try to stay out of trouble. (Never and easy task for me.)

The last days of December and all the cold days of January were spent in my studio getting ready for the Tucson Gem Show that took place for me this year at a new venue. This year I decided to move over to the To Bead True Blue Show at the Double Tree Hotel. It was like moving up to the grown-ups table at the holidays. The venue was wonderful, the organization was professional and courteous, the layout was easy to follow and the entire experience was great.

I got to share an island with Gail Crosman Moore, Eleanore Macnish, Paula Best and Terri Caspary-Schmidt. All I can say is that there is never a dull moment with Ellie's laugh close at hand. There is not much in this world that beats an entire week of great friends, good food and endless laughter.

I am getting to know these promoters of the To Bead True Blue Show and get my show schedule more entangled with them. So much so, I have added a last minute show in Concord, CA the beginning of March. It is going to be weird going back to a town that I lived in so long ago to teach and to exhibit my work.

When I lived in Concord I was a lighting designer that worked for the Diablo Light Opera Co, Center Repertory Theatre and Contra Cost Musical Theatre. That was a time in my life that I have some amazing and fond memories. The people I knew that worked at the Lesher Center for the Arts and for the other production companies were a great group of people that I called friends for a number of years. The passage of time is an amazing thing, NO?

Well, enough reminiscing of decades past.

If any of you are in the Concord, CA area March 2nd - 4th please come over to the Concord Hilton and stop by to say hello and check out some of my new work. I am also teaching 2 evening fusing classes that also promise to be a great deal of fun. Check them out as well and pass on the word.

Hilton Concord, 1970 Diamond Blvd, Concord, CA 94520

Heart Fusion Class - March 2nd.
Loop-n-Ball Tab Bracelet March 3rd.