Art and the philosophy of life

Archive for the ‘2015’ Category

The Detective…

The flock of flamingos in my yard were absolutely bursting with excitement.  It’s not everyday The Detective passes by.  She gets the job done, solves every case,  but no one has ever seen seen her…all thy ever see is her shadow, followed by the sound of flapping wings.


.is her shadow.

On the THIRD day of Chickmas…my TRUE LOVE gave to me…THREE TAILS WAGGING


Eat, Pray and Love, Under the Tuscan Sun…

Okay, I admit it, I have watched Eat, Pray & Love, a couple of times. I also admit that as soon as the movie starts, I skip to where Roberts is in Italy, so I can look at the buildings and watch the actors flip off the bad drivers and annoying people.   I’m half Italian and it took years for me to stop talking with my hands, so it’s fun to see people do it and not get yelled at.  After she leaves Italy, I skip to a couple of the parts with Javier Bardem because…well, just because.  After I watch a few minutes of him, I turn off the movie.   All in all, I probably watch about fifteen or twenty minutes of the entire film and this is why: every single thing Roberts does in the film would seem ordinary,  if there wasn’t a camera on her, taking CLOSE UPS.  If we weren’t watching her slurp up her pasta, she would just be a person sitting alone, at an outdoor cafe, eating pasta (like everyone else).  We sit and eat pasta too, although I don’t look around, while I’m eating, waiting for the carb police to attack, but hey, that’s her problem. The thing is, if someone took close ups of us eating pasta, and then we watched the pictures of ourselves eating pasta, it would be weird, sure, but it would make a difference in how we felt, about ourselves eating pasta.

The weirdest part is when she buys the purple nightie and then makes her egg, puts everything on the floor and sits, in the most uncomfortable position imaginable, to eat and read the paper,  Notice, that when she picks up the paper (another close up),  the sound it makes is magnified and captures the viewer’s imagination.  Anyway, I’ve see that part twice and I laughed both times.  Maybe I’m just not a romantic, but then I wouldn’t ride on a motorcycle, in winter, wearing only lingerie, while holding on to a guy fully clothed and wearing a jacket and gloves, (yes, I have seen that in ads,  and yes I do wonder about the mental stability of the woman).   The point is, shots of a person dropping an egg in water is not truly noteworthy.  As a matter of fact, I made made lunch for my cousin today and nothing I did seemed to grab her attention at all.  I loving took rolls out of the oven…nothing…I made a  beautiful salad, she didn’t even flinch.  The chocolate cake, with Ben & Jerry ice-cream, covered in dark chocolate sauce was good, but she never once asked if she could take a soft focus, close up picture of it…instead, she just ate it.  I admit, I didn’t have background music on, and the lighting may not have been perfect, but I don’t think that would have mattered in the least, because we were in the real world and that kind of takes the close up’s out of the picture (I think the pun was intended).

People fall in love with things they see on the screen, even though they know it’s a fantasy.  Think about it,  Julia Roberts has an egg and asparagus while sitting on the floor in an apartment where the ceiling is held up by scaffolding, the walls are peeling (chic), and she has to fill the bathtub with a tea kettle, oh, and she can’t have boys in her room. But there she is, reading the paper in her nightgown, while sitting in a truly uncomfortable position, alone.  Show of hands…how many of you would rent a place like that?  A TEA KETTLE?  No BOYS?  If we did any of that stuff at home…LOLOL…never mind.  It’s only interesting because we are watching her, close up in shadowed lighting. And yes, I do know that the film is based on a book and I do know that the character is finding herself and doing things for herself.  In spite of that, um, I don’t think so.  I’m just sayin’.

Okay, Bardem is reason enough to watch the movie, but if anyone of us went to Italy, or India, I doubt we would find lifelong friends, fall in love, garner enough birthday money to help someone build a house, or learn fluent Italian from an amazing teacher in a couple of weeks, but again,  I could be wrong.

And then there’s Under the Tuscan Sun.  I love Under the Tuscan Sun. I do. The photography is fabulous and the house fabulous.  The actors are perfect.  It’s a movie.  They eat together, fall in love and it’s all caught on camera.  How many people go to Tuscany, stop the tour bus, buy a house and never come back to their homeland, wherever that might be?  Even if people did do those things, how many of them would meet the perfect person to help them hire people to remodel their house,  save them, time and time again,  and watch over them until they were settled?  Maybe I’m just jaded and that kind of thing happens all the time, I’m not sure.  I haven’t done any research on the subject.

Having said that…my cousin and I are going to Italy:)  And Paris (again for me).  I’m not going to buy a house or eat alone on the floor, at least I don’t think I’m going to do those things, unless I meet up with Bardem and he thinks it’s a good idea.  That’s probably a long shot though, something that only happens in the movies.  Although, last time I was in Paris, a waiter kept telling he loved me.  He drew a lovely heart on my receipt, every time I ate there, and when I walked by the restaurant (it was on the corner by the hotel)  he blew kisses at me and told me he loved me again and again. I guess that’s something.  He didn’t look anything like Bardem, but I don’t look anything like Julia Roberts.  Every single male I saw in Paris was GQ material, so he was still adorable.  Anyway, it was fun and non threatening.  Okay, moving on….

When I go to Italy, I’m going to start talking with my hands again and that’s okay,  because all the people who used to yell at me for doing it are dead, so I don’t think they care any longer.   I’m hoping it’s like riding a bicycle and the movements will suddenly be there, when I need them.   If I use my hands, I think people will know what I’m saying, even if I don’t speak Italian.  I have the head movements and facial expressions down to a science, so that’s not a problem.  I’m Sicilian, and I have an attitude, granted it’s a Chicago attitude, but it’s an attitude all the same.  I’m half Swedish, and I guess that a should count for something, but in reality, the Swedish part of me just sits quietly and doesn’t bother anyone.  She thinks about Lingonberries, delicately cut out paper goods and lovely desserts with power sugar on top.

We were  originally going to go to Palermo, to find our long lost relatives, since that’s where our grandparents are from,  but there’s not much to do there, at least for me, and I’m not good at doing nothing.  You can climb a live volcano or take a cooking class but, uh, NO.  I’ve seen fabulous PBS shows on volcanos and I usually eat off of a napkin, or out of a potato chip bag so, that won’t work for me.  Besides, I want someone to cook FOR me, so I can eat something besides  pb & j sandwiches all the time.

I’m excited to go to the Vatican.   My cousin and I are both anxious to see if it explodes, or just falls down, when I get close to the buildings.  I’m thinking the stained glass windows will implode and that will be it.  I don’t think I’m bad enough to bring down the buildings, but only time will tell.  The truth is, I just want to see the pigeons, but I’m going to let my cousin sweat it out until the last minute, because that’s what cousins are for.  She’s reserved and orderly.  She can tell me what the money means and read the maps.  I, on the other hand, will get her to loosen up and have some fun.  We both have our areas of expertise and they rarely overlap, so that’s a good thing.  This is the first time we will be going anywhere together in our entire lives, and I’m not sure how things will turn out, but she’s quiet and unlikely to kill me.  She cannot say the same for me.  Our parents are dead and only our kids will know if one of us doesn’t come home.  I think I’ll be the survivor, if things go bad,  but there is that old saying, “Watch out for the quiet ones.”


It’s a brand new year so…


BE GOOD TO YOURSELF.  Everyone, and everything, tries to eat away at our happiness every single day.  The media is like a huge MONSTER that tells us that we DON’T look like super models, we don’t have enough money, or stuff, or the right car, or job, or family or living space.  The media wants us to COMPETE AGAINST EACH OTHER.  It’s the media’s job is to make us feel bad ALL THE TIME, so that we are willing to give them our money,  so they can make us feel better, about all the things they told us we should feel bad about in the first place.  And there are constant upgrades, so it never ends, because they keep telling us that we still don’t look like supermodels, have enough money, or stuff, or the right car, or job, or family or living space.  And the “right” things change constantly, so that people are forced to run faster to keep up.  The media tells us that everyone else is better looking and better off than we are.  That’s so funny, like a daily horoscope, one size fits all.  WE ARE ALL GETTING THE SAME MESSAGES, no matter who we are, no matter what we have.  It’s a marketing scheme that people have bought into and it seems real and important, but it’s NOT.  Unfortunately, a lot of people do buy into what the media is selling.

The thing is, we actually do have everything we need to be happy, and it’s okay to be who we want to be, instead of trying to be like someone the media would like us to want to be.  And, when you think about it, isn’t it important to be wanted, loved and appreciated for who we truly are, rather than someone the media wants us to pretend to be?

If we surround ourselves with the things we LOVE, rather than the things that are “in” or advertised, we can be happy.  If we are honest, with ourselves, and with others, the people we know will appreciate us for who we are.  If we are satisfied with the life we have made for ourselves,  we won’t watch, or hear,  the MEDIA MONSTERS, who are trying to get inside our heads, because we will be far too busy living our lives and having fun.  We will no longer want to waste our time chasing someone else’s idea of who or what we should be, for 52 payments of $100 each.

Imagine what life would be like if no one listened to the MONSTERS anymore.  If we turned off our television sets, if we refused to be ensnared by what the MONSTERS were selling, if we REFUSED TO FEEL BAD ABOUT OURSELVES.  What a different world this would be.  When I think about everyone shutting down the MONSTERS, and feeling good about themselves, all I see are fields of wildflowers swaying in the sunlight.


Happy New Year…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt’s time to continue, to let go, or start over.  Georgia wanted to be Father Time and Jimi, lost a bet, and was forced to be the New Year chicklet.  He’s not at all happy with his costume but a bet is a bet.   So chirps and peeps to all from the chicklets and everyone at The Coop.

It’s New Year’s Eve…

and my  wishes for you are…passion, health, wealth, in all its forms, joy, laughter, understanding, peace, love, creativity, books, art, clear vision, shelter, things you enjoy, time to waste, time to play, sunny days and rain to give you roots to grow.  I wish you music and beauty and people who care, animal companions and an appreciation for all of  nature.   But most of all…I hope that all your dreams come true in 2015.



Alphonse Sing

IMG_1147Alphonse Sing was standing in front of a clock store, when the police drove by and decided that he was casing the place.  The officers jumped out of their patrol car and wrestled Mr. Sing to the ground, although he offered no resistance at any time, and never said a word, other than  “ow,” when his face hit the pavement.

Mr. Sing was handcuffed, taken to the station, and charged with thinking about robbing a watch store.  He said that he had no intention of robbing anyone or anything and was merely looking at the artistry of the clocks and watches in the window.  It was the holiday season, after all, and timepieces were still in fashion.  Naturally, no one believed him because he was a ‘shifty looking character,’ and it didn’t appear as if he had enough money to buy anything at all.  So Mr. Sing was led to a cell and locked up.  He protested, but he wasn’t a loud or violent man, so he just sat down on the cot in his cell and waited.  He wasn’t in a hurry, he had no place to be, and no one to miss him, but he knew that the New Year was fast approaching and  he would like to do his job before it was too late.

Thwo days later a little man in a suit that was far too large, and a hat that was far too small, looked into the cell where Mr. Sing sat.  “I’m your lawyer and my name is Mr. Cannington Dipp.”

“A pleasure,” said Mr. Sing politely,

“Why were you going to rob the clock sore?” asked Mr. Dipp, straightening his horrifically ugly tie.

“I was simply looking in the window,” replied Mr. Sting.  “I didn’t know that was frowned upon.”

“The police report said that you resisted arrest.”

“I did no such thing,” said Mr. Sing softly.”

“Do you have anyone to post bail?”

“I do not.”

“No family, no friends?”

“There is no one.  I have done nothing wrong,” said Mr. Sing.  “I am a peaceful man.”

“You have no address?”

“I am visiting.”

“I’ll see what I can do,” said the poorly dressed Mr. Dipp.  “Sit tight.”

Two more days passed and still Mr. Sing sat on his cot. He ate little and spoke to no one.  He had one job and he was not going to be able to do it.  In a way, Mr. Sing was rather interested to see what would happen if he was unable to complete his appointed task.  He smiled, felt a new and exciting sense of freedom, then he leaned back and fell asleep.

It was one minute to midnight, on New Year’s Eve, and Mr. Sing was sitting on his cot, humming to himself.  He heard a bit of a commotion in the room behind the door that separated the cells from the office, but he paid no attention to the ruckus and instead busied himself by brushing the lint, from the cheap blanket on which he was sitting, off of his coat sleeves.

The door opened and he heard the officers talking about ‘stalled time.’  It seemed that none of the clocks or watches would move to midnight, but simply stopped at one minute to twelve.   It was quite clear, to all concerned, that the New Year, had somehow, been postponed.

Mr. Sing chuckled and noticed that his feet were becoming a bit transparent.  It always started at his feet, so he wasn’t in the least bit surprised.  As he continued to fade, he started laughing.  These suspicious and prejudiced people had stopped Time, he thought, still smiling.   And Mr. Sing should know, since he was Time itself.   You see, it was Mr. Sing’s job to move the earthlings into the New Year.  This world, he laughed to himself, will be stuck at one minute to midnight, no daylight, no moving clocks, no Time.  Mr. Sing looked down, and saw that he had disappeared up to his waist and was fading fast.

The officer who came charging up to his cell stood speechless, when he saw Mr. Sing’s head floating above the cot.  “What the….”  said the officer.

Mr. Sing smiled and said, “Didn’t anyone ever tell you that you should never mess round with Time.”  And then he was gone.



It’s almost here…2015


Get ready, cuz it’s on its way and there’s no stopping it.  Just think, a whole new year to play in.

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