Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Such restless weather lately, one frontal system after another. Awakening nearly every other morning to snow (unusual here).

Restless: Fits my state of mind. I’m tired of winter. I’m looking for spring. If I google the phrase "looking for spring", it comes up with over 70,000,000 references. That’s a lot of people searching.

April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom,
Holiday tables under the trees.
April in Paris, this is a feeling
No one can ever reprise.
(Harburg & Duke)

Except that we’re going into March. And no one ever wrote a song called "March in Paris." That could be because the average March temperature is between 45 and 50 degrees F, and "sudden showers, sometimes with hail can occur between January and April – notoriously in March." (DK Paris Guide) A little ice in your cafĂ© as you sit huddled under an awning?

But the restless take it all in stride—and seek out the next adventure…

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People wish to be settled: only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Restlessness and discontent are the first necessities of progress.
– Thomas Alva Edison

The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.
– M Scott Peck

A little exploration...

A few things I've found on the web...

The Williams College Museum of Art is opening a new exhibit of early works of Andy Warhol, including several pieces featuring shoes. One description: "A parade of 14 hand-colored lithographs of shoes – always alone, never in a pair…" (this is before the Campbell’s soup can era)

WCMA is also featuring an exhibit with an intriguing title, "The Moon Is Broken: Photography from Poetry, Poetry from Photography." The work of regional poets, inspired by the photos of such photographers as Eugene Atget, Julia Margaret Cameron, Man Ray, and Walker Evans, are displayed with the photos. "The museum encourages contributions of original poems inspired by these works for inclusion in a reading this spring," says the info on the website.

One of the new exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art features Canadian artist and photographer, Jeff Wall. If you go to the site you can view an online exhibit of his work (useful for those of us who live some distance from NYC).

Another online exhibit available on MoMA features the work and life of Venezuelan artist Armando Reveron. He not only did numerous unusual dream-like paintings, but built the curious "El Castillete" (the little castle), where he lived and worked most of his life.

A different kind of art can be seen on the pages of Space.com, where there are two galleries of fascinating photos of the McNaught comet taken by various people throughout the northern hemisphere.

Enjoy the journey...


My paintings are not about what is seen. They are about what is known forever in the mind.
– Agnes Martin

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Roamings of a nomadic mind

--Watching Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind as D does my hair: Comment from D: "You’d think she’d be exhausted from throwing all those tantrums. Sometimes I just want to slap her!"

--Seeing an ad about using hardware (as in from a hardware store) as napkin rings.

--From the same ad: Wrapping a spiked leather collar around a wine carafe for that "bold, feisty" look.

--A woman in her 50s meeting her father, whom she hasn’t seen since she was 6. Her memories are of him coming home and hugging them as he reeked of whisky. Then he left. Now he’s paying for airline tickets to AZ so he can finally meet his adult children.

--3.4 oz, 100 ml. Need to go to Rite-Aid.

--A story of a grandmother stabbing her 2 year old granddaughter to death upon receiving "instructions" from geese flying over the house.

--Another glamorous celebrity enters (or re-enters) rehab.

--An intelligent, well-educated woman entangled in a violent marriage with a dangerous man wonders how this happened, and how she and her young daughter can safely get free.

--Playing Yahtzee and he’s thinking how dice could be used to write poems.

--So many thoughts stream through my mind, so fast I can’t record them.

--From a song: "If I lie here, if I just lie here, will you lie with me and just forget the world…"

--Is there enough time for a walk before the next rain shower?

--Wish I had tomorrow off.

--The hornet trap on the neighbor’s house holding several dead prisoners rocks back and forth in the wind.

--Did I dream that, or did it really happen?

--Grocery tax refunds should be given on a sliding scale, with those with the lowest incomes receiving the most, and those with the highest, getting no return. One of the few things the governor has proposed with which I agree.

--Rain drips from the roof.

--After doing their time in Iraq, many vets end up homeless (like a number of Vietnam vets). The VA doesn’t have enough resources to give them adequate help.

--Someone walked the neighborhood, pushing flyers under our doors about their lost dog. I wish we could help, but we haven’t seen it.

--A new study finds a steep increase in the number of Americans living in poverty within the last five years; the gap is wider than they thought.

--Someone took the time (and money) to analyze 39 ingredients in a Twinkie.

--The Discovery Channel is airing a new show making the case that a tomb discovered in Jerusalem contains the remains of Jesus and his family. This will keep a lot of people busy for a while…

The power of junk

Air-conditioner for sale: cheap. Comes with unique cooling element design.

Just another "item" we saw while taking a walk. It seems that the neighborhood occasionally sprouts refrigerators, washers, dead cars, boats, hub caps, even a box of books with a sign, "Take one." And it’s not even yard sale season.

At times, when tired or bored, I junk read. How fast can I go through articles on the internet or in Newsweek? How many magazines can I get through? It’s like people who go on speed vacations: how many national parks can we get through on this trip?

Had a junk read binge last night after a busy work week. Three Newsweeks. Yes, I’m caught up. Yeah, there was some news in there. Do I remember much of it? No. Do I need to remember it? Probably not. But who knows? There are times info from a news article will surface when I least expect it. Or when I least need it. How full can we fill our attics? How full can we fill our basements? Our garages? How full can we fill our minds?

Only our neighborhood inventor, the 6th Street Dude, (father of the flying tie machine) knows for sure.
(See January 2, 2007 blog entry)

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To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk.
-- Thomas Alva Edison

Democracy with its semi-civilization sincerely cherishes junk. The artist's power should be spiritual. But the power of the majority is material. When these worlds meet occasionally, it is pure coincidence.
– Paul Klee

Junk is something you throw away three weeks before you need it.
– anonymous

Friday, February 23, 2007


Sometimes I wonder what could have been had different choices been made, or if there had been other circumstances. Why certain people came into our lives when they did. Why we chose what we did at the time. Where we started out, where we are now and the twisting road we have traveled so far.

Philosophers, poets, thinkers have pondered these things through the ages. How much control do we have? Is it fate? Destiny? Or do our choices—conscious and sub-conscious—determine more than we know?

I imagined my grandfather’s life as a young man through a novel, since I never knew him. As a novelist, I could write him several lives following separate branches, just to see where they’d lead. If I were writing sci-fi, I could have obliterated my life by changing the past to where he wouldn’t have met my grandmother, breaking that chain and forging a new one.

But if a soul’s ready to be born, would it come forth anyway? So, would I have emerged as one of the links in the new chain, regardless? And would I be much different from what I am now?

Looks like another branch to follow…

( ( ( ) ) ) ( ( ( ) ) ) ( ( ( ( ) ) ) ( ( ( ( ) )

All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.
-- Albert Einstein

One is sorry one could not have taken both branches of the road. But we were not allotted multiple selves.
-- Gore Vidal

Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it.
-- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two histories of wind chimes

Wind chimes come from many cultures and many times. Bells were invented in prehistoric times, about 3000 B.C. By 2000 B.C., bells had been created along the shores of the Mediterranean and were being cast from bronze by the Egyptians. The Chinese were casting bells by 1100 B.C., and they created a wind bell called feng-ling.

Wind chimes were considered religious objects that were believed to attract kind spirits and drive away evil ones. The Buddhists especially revered wind bells and hung them by the hundreds from the eaves of shrines, pagodas, temples, and in caves. In Japan, China, Tibet, and Bali, people adopted this religious custom, and hung chimes of many different kinds outside their homes.

(information from Answers.com)

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While in junior high art class, we made wind chimes out of clay strips. But they were too fragile for fierce Midwestern storms; couldn’t be hung on a porch. And the house where I lived was not a wind chime type of house.

Used to be married to someone who disliked wind chimes; he complained they were irritating. Even the little ones.

Now, C and I have two sets hanging from our tiny front porch. Magical to hear them sing during the night when the wind gusts.
We’re hoping they’ll bring good luck…

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Guardians of the neighborhood

I found a Feng Shui article on the web, "Guardians of the Gate for your Home."
For choices of guardians, it lists the Virgin Mary, the Archangel Michael, Indian mandalas, Chinese lions, temple guardians, mezuzahs, and, in some cases, gargoyles.

But I didn’t see these two on the list…

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I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons.
~ Will Rogers

Labradors [are] lousy watchdogs. They usually bark when there is a stranger about, but it is an expression of unmitigated joy at the chance to meet somebody new, not a warning.
~ Norman Strung

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.
~ Roger Caras

On hearing from an old friend...

A letter from a friend, we
compare past and present in words,
worlds apart between south and west
yet we lived in the same house
four years or more

It’s the commonality of structure—
walls, ceilings, floor,
rising out of the Midwest soil
we understand,
architecture of memory, of love
that makes this house

[for Susan]

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Though our communication wanes at times of absence, I'm aware of a strength that emanates in the background.
- Claudette Renner

It is a sweet thing, friendship, a dear balm,
A happy and auspicious bird of calm...
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Sunday, February 18, 2007


My best writing comes after
2 a.m. while
preparing for bed
she says

beneath the
streetlamp glowing in the alley
a lone figure walks
slowly, smoking,
gazing at the backs of
houses revealing
their secrets...


Read "Eurydice," a play by Sarah Ruhl, about the lovers Eurydice and Orpheus, told from her point of view. What is it like to suddenly fall into the Underworld? To meet your dead father? What vortex spins us out of this life and into the next? Is it better to "live" with memories for eternity, or dip in the River of Forgetfulness and sleep?

Orpheus, the maestro of music, sings his way to the Underworld to try and bring Eurydice back. Orpheus had already saved Odysseus and his crew by out-singing The Sirens. Will music work this time? How solid, how true is their love?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
We two alone will sing like birds in the cage.
When thou dost ask my blessing, I'll kneel down
And ask of thee forgiveness; so we'll live,
And pray and sing...
--William Shakespeare, from King Lear

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A golden bowl

Exploring our fascination with the Lotus over the centuries...

* The ancient Egyptians worshipped a blue water-lily, Nymphaea caerulea, which was known as the "blue lotus" or "sacred lotus."

* The lotus is one of the Ashtamangala, or Eight Auspicious Symbols in Buddhism. The lotus flower represents "purity of body, speech, and mind, floating above the muddy waters of attachment and desire."

* The lotus effect: Although lotuses usually grow in muddy water, the leaves and flowers remain clean. Why? The microscopic structure and chemistry of the leaves cause water to roll off the leaf's surface, carrying mud, insects, and such with them (Wikipedia).

* In the Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew came upon an island where only source of food for the inhabitants was the fruit of the lotus tree (thus, the Lotus-eaters). But although the fruit tasted sweet, it cast a spell, caused all those who ate it to become continually drowsy and apathetic...

* The Lotus Position is a cross-legged sitting posture for meditation.

* Lotus Land is a common nickname for the city of Vancouver, Canada.

* The practice of foot binding in medieval China was called Lotus Foot.

* Lotus is a techno, funk, and fusion jam-band from Philadelphia, PA [www.lotusvibes.com]

* "Lotus" is a song by R.E.M., and an album by Santana.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Does the Eagle know what is in the pit
Or wilt thou go ask the Mole?
Can Wisdom be put in a silver rod,
Or Love in a golden bowl?
– William Blake

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Talk about Love

Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone--we find it with another.
-- Thomas Merton

I have found that to love and be loved is the most empowering of all human emotions.
-- Jane Goodall

Happy Valentine’s Day…

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Playing with virga

Virga (also called Fallstreifen, fallstreaks, precipitation trails) is precipitation that falls from a cloud but evaporates before reaching the ground.

Virga on Venus: Sulfuric acid rain in the atmosphere of Venus evaporates before reaching the ground due to the immense heat toward the surface.

Virga is a virtual gallery that offers information on Dutch artists.

The De Virga world map was made by Albertinus de Virga between 1411 and 1415.

The Virga Aurea, full title of "The Heavenly Golden Rod of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Seventy-two Praises," is a list of seventy-two alphabets.

Emergency Press: Who were the greatest artistic influences on you during the composition of Virga?
Scott Zieher: Walt Whitman's 1855 Leaves of Grass, Ezra Pound's Cantos, Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project, James Joyce's Finnegans Wake, William Carlos William's Paterson, John Berryman's Dream Songs and Sonnets, Louis Zukofsky's A, Charles Olson's Maximus Poems, and Robert Kelly's Loom.

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The first time she became aware of virga was in Laramie, Wyoming
whereas cumulus and cumulonimbus have been constant beings
no matter where she was.
Seems like a storm’s always lurking somewhere…

Monday, February 12, 2007

Monday's road

A rider goes by, but his dust
of passing hangs in the air.

Look down this road through
the particles into infinity.

– Rumi

When all's said and done, all roads lead to the same end.
So it's not so much which road you take, as how you take it.
– Charles de Lint

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What is and what is not to be

Here it is Sunday night again. Weekends go by too quickly. Today’s weather a mix of rain, clouds, sun, unsettled—I totally understand.

But while walking along the greenbelt: Ongoing drama between sun and clouds. Herons standing stalk still among brush and trees. Ducks dipping and diving, paddling ripples. Geese vee-ing, singing overhead. A curious kestrel watching me, cocking his head as I cocked mine. Faint smells of spring.

Tonight, watched a Yale production of Four Saints in Three Acts with C, my Stein scholar. A delightful play on words, opera, time, and convention. And a good way to end a weekend, since each day does come to an end in the end.

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The Phoenix, known to the Egyptians as the Benu Bird, was one of the primeval forms of the High God. One has to imagine a perch extending out of the waters of the Abyss. On it rests a grey heron, the herald of all things to come. It opens its beak and breaks the silence of the primeval night with the call of life and destiny, which 'determines what is and what is not to be'.
--Rundle Clark, "Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt"

Saturday, February 10, 2007


It began as a sunny day. They take the light and travel.

Ginger and China. People painting, market places, streets, temples, hands and faces and bicycles. Laundry lists, menus, tea, candy. Fish heads rising out of a waxy sea.

As evening comes, music travels to Africa for an Appointment in Ghana.
She maps out New Haven. He follows a thread to Ethiopia.
She sits in the Musee d’Orsay surrounded by five Monets.
He dances with a man with a saxophone wearing a Dogon mask.

Picasso appears, connects the dots between them;
ginger and chocolate flash on their tongues.

They take the light and travel.
Another sunny day.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Live in rooms full of light.
~ Cornelius Celsus

The windows of my soul I throw
wide open to the sun.
~ John Greenleaf Whittier

Friday, February 09, 2007

Contortions and convolutions

Researching a tree with coiling branches on the 'net:

In Jewish and Christian mythology, a tree sits at the center of both the Heavenly and Earthly Edens.

The three superimposed pairs of branches end in volutes. Such curling branches are also encountered in other representations of the cosmic tree.

Cosmic Tree by Rabbinical School Dropouts at eMusic. MP3 album download, Avant-garde, Klezmer.

America's cosmic tree, he said, was the American elm.

The Cosmic Tree by Native American Flute Works

We are the fruits and leaves of the cosmic tree.

Bonsai at its highest level is a fine art. But fine art begins with great craft. Bonsai wiring is one of the most powerful tools to control the shape of the tree.

Need help in identifying dwarf or semi-dwarf Japanese maple?

The Medusa Tree: A Novel

Corkscrew Hazel, Corylus avellana 'Contorta'. This tree is also called "Contorted Filbert," and "Harry Lauder's Walking Stick."

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Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.
– Henry David Thoreau

Improvement makes straight roads; but the crooked roads without improvement are roads of genius.
– William Blake

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Unwrapping words, in the key of E

Phishing ‘E’ in the dictionary:

Epazote = An herb whose leaves are used in some Mexican and Caribbean dishes.

Enucleate = To remove the kernel from, to remove without cutting into, to remove the nucleus from. (Example using this word in the title of a medical article: Cross-modal neuroplasticity in neonatally enucleated hamsters)

Epicycloid = A term used in Geometry which refers to a curve traced by a point on a circle that rolls on the outside of a fixed circle. (Somewhat like tracing the movement of a particular point on a moving bicycle wheel.)

Equipoise = A state of equilibrium, counterbalance. Also a poetic term, or a type of propeller.

Eristic = A type of argument which is done solely to win rather than to work toward an answer to a particular problem. Arguing for the sake of argument.

Entremets = A French word for dishes served in addition to the main course of a meal, such as dessert. Entremets, or mousse cakes, are staples in French patisseries.

Eidetic = Someone who has a "photographic memory", total recall. Having vivid, highly accurate memories of sights, sounds, objects. Composer Camille Saint-Saens was said to have been eidetic. With his remarkable memory he was able to master not only music, but also the subjects of mathematics, archaeology, astronomy, and the natural sciences.

^ + ^ + ^ + ^ + ^ + ^ + ^ +

I'm a woman of very few words, but lots of action.
– Mae West

Words are only postage stamps delivering the object for you to unwrap.
– George Bernard Shaw

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Words, ships, and pastry perfections

For your consideration – a few headlines from today’s news:

House transforms into ship; sails through neighborhood

Study: U.S. Cigarette Pack Warnings Ineffective

North Dakota issues nation's first hemp permits

Texas, Connecticut Battle over Birthplace of Burger

985,000 Easy-Bake Ovens are recalled

My younger sister had an Easy-Bake oven. In those years, the ovens were turquoise blue, and used the heat from a light bulb to bake the tiny desserts. She delighted in trying different flavors and various shades of food coloring in her cakes. So, you could be served a cobalt blue "pastry perfection" tasting very strongly of almond extract, peppermint, and chocolate chips, topped with salmon-colored icing, and decorated with multicolored candy sprinkles.
As the older sister, I helped her with the baking process; we tried not to burn ourselves too often. As I recall, that model was never recalled…

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It is not the ship so much as the skillful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage.
– George William Curtis

A lot of movies are about life, mine are like a slice of cake.
– Alfred Hitchcock

Inspirational equivalents

Clouds rushing, hurried by winds to a new destination. Or perhaps they’re racing to the horizon, bouncing into each other, squashing together to become one giant cloud.

According to cloud charts, these may be altocumulus or perhaps cumulus humilis. (That sounds like a poem—cumulus humilis; there’s also cumulus medocris). Alto (in Latin) means high, cumulus means heap or heaping. Humilis, humble, and medocris, moderate.

Regardless of the awkward-sounding translation, these "humble heaps" inspire. Clouds bring to mind two artists, who were themselves linked; Georgia O’Keeffe and Alfred Stieglitz.

In her later years, O’Keeffe created a series of huge paintings, titled "Sky Above Clouds". The clouds appear to be moving toward a glowing horizon.

And Stieglitz took a series of photographs of clouds which he called "Equivalents" of which he said: "I have a vision of life and I try to find equivalents for it sometimes in the form of photographs."

May we all find such inspirational equivalents.

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There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.
– G.K. Chesterton

Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.
– Rabindranath Tagore

Sunday, February 04, 2007


Here it is Sunday again; the weekend passes too quickly, and tomorrow I’ll need to head back to the office, along with so many others. My mind on Paris and a character; masks and scissors, and presentations, and perhaps a nightcap before bed.

We had a movie, but didn’t watch it. We made our movie, lived it instead. And C was fooling around with words and I was fooling around with photos, crayons, paper, and piano. C finished two pieces; I have "creative stew" which may or may not come to anything.

But today was warm, in the 50s, and sunny and we walked, a long walk through the neighborhoods of waiting houses, as people pulled up to the curbs, bearing chips and dip and beer for various Super Bowl parties.

C and I had our own party, and gathered seeds of ideas through music, conversation, books, the internet—which may or may not come to anything.

But just as a plant waiting for spring, we try, and hope for the best.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
If you can look into the seeds of time,
And say which grain will grow and which will not,
Speak then to me.
– William Shakespeare

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Image-inary solutions?

Is this photo ‘pataphysical? And how can we know for sure?
Perhaps these exhibits can give us some clues…

Portland Art Museum (Oregon)
"Personal Best: Photography by Elliot Erwitt"
Examples: 1) A man with umbrella leaping while a couple embraces. The Eiffel Tower tilts in the background. All in the pouring rain.
2) An intimate moment caught in the side mirror of a car.

National Museum of Women in the Arts
"The Book as Art"
Display of 108 hand-created books by 86 artists. A featured example is "Swiss Army Book," by M.L. Van Nice; ink on paper, linen, wood, pen nib, ribbon.
Because viewers aren’t allowed to actually turn the pages of these books, the museum has provided a computer station where people touch a screen to "turn the pages". (A little like Amazon’s "Look Inside" feature…)

Philadelphia Museum of Art
"Thomas Chimes: Adventures in ‘Pataphysics," a retrospective of Chimes’ paintings and mixed media works. A fragment of info from the PMA website:

Between 1973 and 1978, Chimes created a haunting series of forty-eight portraits of French Symbolist poets, philosophers, and other literary and art historical figures including Alfred Jarry, Antonin Artaud, James Joyce, Edgar Allan Poe, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and Marcel Duchamp. These intimate, sepia-toned panel paintings were inspired by the artist’s profound
interest in the writings of Alfred Jarry. Chimes was especially interested in the French writer’s invention of 'Pataphysics, which Jarry defined as "the science of imaginary solutions," and which he used to create an alternative universe.

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‘Make a remark,' said the Red Queen; 'it's ridiculous to leave all the conversation to the pudding!'
– Lewis Carroll

There is no surer method of evading the world than by following Art, and no surer method of linking oneself to it than by Art.
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Targeting art

Local artwork in the neighborhood combined with abstract sunlight. Vaguely reminiscent of Jasper Johns, whose work is featured in a new exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in DC.

Here’s an excerpt from the Associated Press article about the exhibit:
"When Jasper Johns decided to reinvent himself as an artist in 1954, moving away from abstract expressionism, he destroyed all his work. Perhaps the most notable image he used to start over was the American flag. The target, or bulls-eye, was second. For Johns, the targets are instruments for "seeing across space" and imply that "seeing" is an act of potential violence."

This local art appears more playful than potentially violent, although the lightning bolt may be questionable…

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Here’s a little of what’s playing in other parts of the country:

Museum of Modern Art, NYC
Doug Aitken’s outdoor installation, "Sleepwalkers", which features videos of people from different walks of life displayed on the outside of the museum. It’s only viewable after 5 p.m. Reminds me of old drive-in theaters.
Also on display is a retrospective of Paul Klee’s work.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Featuring Alexander Girard’s designs of furniture, household items, and textiles.
Also, The Art of Design, which focuses on architecture, and industrial and graphic designs, ranging from historic to modern.

Museum of Fine Art, Boston
Fashion photography of the past 100 years, including photos by Edward Steichen and Richard Avedon. Also on view: the 2006 fashion designs from the top Paris designers.

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Nothing can add more power to your life than concentrating all your energies on a limited set of targets.
– Nido Qubein

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Thumbing it

Check out those thumbs, ready to hit the road out of here. That’s where she is today. Her mind on a car or plane, with this place growing smaller in the distance. Yes, must be time soon for a vacation.

Found interesting information about hitchhiking on the net. Particularly entertaining, yet practical hitching site by Jesse (site link below), world traveler and musician.

Wikipedia also has a long entry about hitchhiking. There’s a portal for hitchhikers and rail riders at Digihitch.com. And lots more…

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When I was in my 20s, Francine, Becky, and I hitched a ride from Waterton, Canada back to the lodge in Montana where we were working that summer. A guy in a "Forest Service car" picked us up. He was friendly, just a little older than we were, and was a biologist working on contract for Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. About a mile or so before the border, he pulled over, said he’d be right back, and took a small package with him which he buried near a tree.

At the border, the guards ordered us out of the car. They separated us, searched us, and had us empty the contents of our purses and pockets out on a table. After they looked through all our belongings again and still didn’t find anything, they reluctantly let us go.
So much for my hitchhiking career.

Of course, people don’t hitch like they used to in the days of Kerouac; it’s gotten too dangerous. Except for those who are hitchhiking the galaxy, like Arthur and Ford…
Remember: Don’t Panic.