Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in DC

We drove around town early this morning and passed out vodka and newports to the homeless. Just like Eric says, we ain't trying to save anyone; we just want to make a few guys feel a little bit better on Christmas Day. This is in Dupont Circle (technically not Adams Morgan as the tag suggests, but close enough). We also went to the New York Ave Shelter and over to Franklin Square. Happy Christmas from us to you!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Like Water For Chocolate (1989)

Like Water for Chocolate is Laura Esquivel's highly-acclaimed novel about two lovers who are unable to acknowledge their relationship in public. The title refers to Tita's boiling point, both in terms of anger and sexual tension.

Tita, the main character, is free only in the kitchen, a place where she can express herself through the preparation and serving of food. Esquivel's narrative goes into very little descriptive detail and is driven primarily by a wide range of emotion: love, desire, jealousy, hatred, and fear. Culturally, the story explores the Mexican tradition where the youngest daughter is expected to stay unmarried in order to take care of her mother into old age. In the end, while I appreciated Esquivel's dose of magic realism, I couldn't get past the strained family relations.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Marie Antoinette

Although criticized by many as being a superficial film lacking in historical reference and plot, Sofia Coppola's interpretation of the Marie Antoinette story is pure delight. I found the two-hour experience mesmerizing and much more satisfying than those other fashion film attempts out there. And, yes, while "Marie Antoinette" is a bit light, it can be instructional if you take a closer look.

For example, take Coppola's use of Versailles. She gives us wide camera shots of the palace's exterior and close up views of well-proportioned rooms filled with architectural detail, beautiful flowers, sparkling chandeliers, and amazing furniture.

She shows us 18th-century excess complete with the ridiculous dressing ceremony, the royal lack of privacy, and the preponderance of gossip and intrigue. We are entertained with masquerade balls, home-made theater productions, and gambling parties. Coppola even makes reference to the menagerie of zoo animals kept on palace grounds.

The best part, of course, are the award-winning dresses designed by Milena Canonero. According to Jenn, a blogger with a well-organized site dedicated to costume design, the film is highly stylized "in regards to the [brighter] palette ... but the overall silhouette is spot-on and the basic cut of the costumes (if not the trim and accessories) is very period." "Marie Antoinette," in other words, is both exquisite and educational with short little insights into architecture, social history, and fashion design. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

November 9, 1931

Dearest Kat,

Rave on darling! I often follow any train of thought when writing to you, but you know I'm crazy so I don't even bother to apologize.

I'm writing you instead of grading my kids and fixing report cards as I should.

Don't guess I'll get to Tenn. Thanksgiving. I'd sell my soul for the money to get there but nobody wants my soul at that price. Seems to be a very bad one - cause $60 or $75 ain't much money for a soul in good shape. Guess I'll petrify around here, Thanksgiving.

Keep right on writing the things we use to say. I miss spilling my wild ideas, blues, downheartedness and what have you that I usually burdened you with. I spill some of 'em to Lyman cause he's got more wild ideas that I have and isn't the least shocked and tries to talk me out of half of 'em. But he can't understand as you do. Nobody could.

Yes, Lyman is quite the Earle Parsons build, tho' I'd never have thought of the comparison. He isn't my big moment, tho I have to keep yanking myself up to be sure. I like him lots - but you see with him I'm a gesture of defiance aimed at the girl he's in love with desperately, and she goes with him but isn't in love. She's full of ambition and he's a stepping stone and a good thing to use in the up-climb. The first part I deduced (old detective!) and the last someone told me. I don't know whether all of it's exactly true but at least part of it is. I don't know her very well but well enough for that, so using anyone to make him jealous would be wasted energy. I'm merely the best-looking and newest woman in the vicinity to amuse himself with during the week. (no conceit, just facts. 'cause the rest of 'em are 40!) There's another male that I date occassionally but we hold wrestling matches, his idea of what a woman is good for is a hot petting party and I have strong views in the opposite direction. Presto - a fight! Haven't heard from Bull again. Hope so cause it made me very happy to know he still thought of me after a long time.

I want Santa to bring me things useful, hose, pants, or just most anything. What do you crave - personal gift or gift for the house? Let me know and I may be able to buy somethin' providin' they pay us. Our checks were three days late last time because State aid was lacking and I don't know what will happen the rest of the year.

I repeat with emphasis and a few added frills all I said about teaching. I don't like it. And already I'm looking forward to May 27, 1932. That's Friday the day report cards are given out for the last time. Reckon I can live until then? I've lost 10 lbs the first 2 months - at that rate I'll be skinny some day - O, yeah!

Well, I'll quit and pass out some bad grades to the brats.

Love, 'Cile

Blog note: Lucile is writing from Citronelle, Alabama.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

September 12, 1931

Dearest Kat,

Well, my deah, I'm certainly glad you are enjoying life. I'm parked here doing nothing and losing my weak mind. Talked to Mr. Vigor yesterday and I may possibly teach the 5th grade in Citronelle, Ala. It's not a promise, but we even discussed salary. Hope he calls me this afternoon or tomorrow to go. I'd even prefer that to petrifying here - and twiddling my thumbs seven days a week - 4 wks per mo. for nine months.

If I get a job I'm extravagantly planning on coming to Tennessee Thanksgiving. Some more castles in Spain - but I'm inviting myself to your house for a day and night if I do. Have planned me a hectic time if I come - have promised Evelyn to be in Nashville for a big time. That will take up the other day and night I have there.

Nell is rushing around packing, and sewing and hunting clothes - it seems funny for me not to be doing it. I'm kinder glad I don't have to return to Peabody, tho' my disposition would be ruined for life if I had to live thru another year of that.

You know, old top, I've always promised to let you know when I got ready to take the fatal leap - and if it's possible you're to be present - oh, I'll talk to you before 'cause I don't expect to stay here indefinitely or not ever to visit there and heavens knows when I'll ever fall in love and get married - if ever.

You camly demand that I make out menus for you - I've not near as much time as you think. I've run around interviewing people every since I got here and going down town everyday is a life-sized job but here is a recipe for you of something that is good to eat.

12 pears, 3 oranges, 3 lemons
grind in food chopper
measure and add 1-1/2 less cups of sugar than mixture measures - cook until tender.

It's so good. I'm gaining pounds eating the junk between meals. Mrs. Burgitt, next door, calls it pear relish but Nell and I inelegantly call it "goo."

I thought the wedding was beautiful. I could see J. shaking too, and I got the giggles and wanted to cry too. Happy and I took off at 10:30 and got back to school at 12 - stopping to eat lunch and get some cider. I evidently passed the history exam cause I graduated Monday - no fault of mine. I haven't cracked the text for six wks. and didn't study for the exam. But I slung words around until I didn't know what I was talking about. Wonder if Mr. Driver knew?

Really I'm gripped about rushing down here - unless I get employed. Mr. Grigg won't employ anyone he can't talk to so I came - but when I think of what fun I could have had in Gainesboro, Ashland City, C. & Mt. "Misery" & Tupelo, Miss. and if I get the job I'll go anyhow - so I guess I did right to come. My salary will be $960 and I don't think that will be half bad, with a raise next year and a chance to teach in Murphy Hi. Hope they aren't all castles in Spain.

I'll hush now - and if I find any good recipes I'll rush them of P.D.Q.

Heaps of love,

P.S. Found the enclosed menu in the morning paper and thought they might give you an idea. Mother says she's mailing the cook book.

Blog note: Katherine is now living in Ashland City with her husband, and Lucile has finished school in Nashville and is writing from Mobile, Alabama.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Stars & Bucks Cafe

According to this article, a man named Ashraf, after having worked for a NY Starbucks, approached the company for a franchise agreement but could not make good on the $10 million USD required to get started. As an alternative, he opened Stars & Bucks in Palestine and has successful cafes in both Ramallah and Bethlehem. Photos by Louise.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sock Dreams

In anticipation of my new rain boots, I spent a good hour online today looking for socks and finally came across Sock Dreams, a small personable company operating out of Portland, Oregon.

My buy was conservative but they have a great selection of polka dots, stripes, and interesting styles if you want to step outside in something a little more playful. I expect I'll be placing another order some time soon.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Rain Boots

Due to tropical storm Ida, I am stuck indoors shopping. Here are my new British wellies by Hunter. Ordered in black, of course. Photo from Toast but boots available through Nordstrom.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Office Kitty

Robyn's kitty Whiskers is spending the day in Graphics. Photo by Kevin.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Halloween 1943

My mom, Polly (left) and her sister, Janice.

Monday, October 26, 2009


Katherine met her future husband, J.B. Akin, on August 20, 1929 and they were married exactly two years later in 1931. Ten years married, she is shown here with her two daughters, Janice and Polly. The photo is marked Thanksgiving 1941; Katherine is 31 years old, a young woman still, but at this point in her life she had already experienced a great deal of personal loss.

My grandmother's older sister, Mattie Grace, died when Katherine was only four years old and then when she was six, her mother gave birth to a baby that did not survive more than a few days. At age 15, Katherine's father Samuel Nathan Thomas Beckett died, most likely leaving the family with limited funds and hardship. I wonder now how these events might have affected her outlook on life.

Katherine's most painful loss, however, might have been the death of her cousin Lucile when they were only 28 years old. Born in the same year, and raised together, the two girls were close friends. I have Lucile's letters to my grandmother but since I don't have the replies, I learn very little about Katherine as a young woman. We often think about our grandparents in an abstract way, as caretakers, supporters, and gift givers, but never do we really know who they are as people.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

James Boyd (Akin)

Jay or J.B. to his friends. Moredaddy to us, the Atticus Finch of our family.

Jay was a college educated man who found it necessary to give up his job as a science teacher when his father died of heart trouble in 1934. This photo was taken in 1938. My grandfather's family owned 35 acres of land in Burwood, Tennessee where they farmed tobacco. Jay would get up at 4am to milk the cows and then go into town to help his Uncle Vance with the Akin Brothers General Merchandise Store.*

Times were tough as the depression continued and the store did not do well for them. My grandmother tells me they had to mend their shoes with scrap and had a hard time eating. Circumstances improved though. They sold the farm in 1943 and Jay returned to teaching, eventually becoming headmaster for the well-known Battle Ground Academy.

Photo: Jay with his daughter Janice (my aunt) and a horse-drawn plow.

*The General Merchandise Store was opened by M.F. Akin in 1883 who then took on his brother Vance as a partner in 1888. They outgrew their original store and constructed a larger building in 1911. They owned and operated the store for 53 years. It was subsequently owned and operated by Robert Huff and his son Kenneth. In 1988, it was added to National Register of Historic Places.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

To Kill a Mockingbird

Considered by many to be America's greatest novel, To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 at the height of the Civil Rights Movement. The corresponding movie was released a year later, winning several academy awards to include one for Gregory Peck's performance as Atticus Finch. I've read the book and seen the movie several times and have a lot to say about the story but this blog entry is about one small part of the movie, one scene in particular.

When Atticus Finch leaves the court room after losing Tom Robinson's case, everyone in the balcony section stands up in a show of respect as he walks out. Atticus Finch lives by a code of humanity, not by a code of law even though he's a lawyer. He doesn't accept the racist sentiment of his small town even when his legal support of a black man causes potential harm against his family. This story is about standing up, not with fists, but with heart, and doing what's right.

For an in-depth critical analysis, go here. And to all of my graphic designer friends out there, what do you think about the Hollywood poster? Does it work for you?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of America

Beautiful, controversial, and blog worthy because it's different. Two vikings, presumed dead, are left behind after a bloody massacre. With no hope of a rescue, they are faced with the basic need to survive in the North American wilderness during the year 1007. Volnard and Orn (played by the director himself) come into contact with Celtic monks, Abenaki Indians, and wild animals. One of the men experiences a Christian conversion and begins to develop a conscious while the other goes deeper into his primal nature.

Tony Stone gives us a highly visual film and tells his story with a minimum of dialogue (translated humorously into our modern vernacular via subtitles). The action is gritty and the use of black metal as the musical score is appropriate and surprisingly never abrasive. This is in effect a silent film.

On the negative side, the responsible treatment of animals is questionable and one of the scenes, described as raw at best, was completely unnecessary. But, all in all, this is a true Indie film, not simply something lower budget marketed as such. Severed Ways is definitely worth watching and thinking about.

See the New York Times review here; read an interview with the director here (scroll down to the October 12 entry); and learn more about discovery here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


The best part of the performance today was the earth-tone costumes by Mireille Vachon. Primarily red and and brown with some neutrals and white, they were a little Mad Max and a lot Spanish Arabia.

Easy access to the show via the Pentagon City Metro. Photos from the Chicago Tribune and the Northern Virginia Magazine.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Looking Forward

from the verona daily photo site and marking my recent short hair cut.

Monday, September 14, 2009

August 20, 1931 (newspaper clipping)

Miss Katherine Beckett and J.B. Akin Wed Today

The marriage of Miss Katherine Beckett, daughter of Mrs. Maye N. Beckett, to James B. Akin, of Franklin, Tenn., which took place this morning at 9:30 o'clock at the home on West Sixth Street, will be of unusual interest to a wide circle of friends. Rev. C.E. Crafton, pastor of the Garden Street Presbyterian Church, officiated in the presence of the immediate families.

The ceremony was said before an improvised altar of flowers and ferns in front of the window in the living room. Large baskets filled with bridal veil were used on either side of the altar.

The couple entered to the strains of Mendelssohn's Wedding March played by Miss Christine Beckett, sister of the bride. During the ceremony she played softly "Ah, Sweet Mystery of Life." The impressive ring ceremony was used.

Miss Lucile Nowlin of Nashville, cousin of the bride, served as maid of honor, and Mr. Akin was attended by his brother, Robert N. Akin of Franklin. Miss Nowlin wore a becoming model of green crepe.

The bride and groom entered together. She wore a beautiful poudre blue crepe costume with the harmonizing appointments.

Miss Beckett is a graduate of the Central High School and for the past few months has been connected with the Liberty Range Company. She has many friends who regret that her marriage will take her to another city to live.

Mr. Akin is the son of Mr. and Mrs. M.F. Akin of Franklin and is director of athletics and teacher in the high school at Ashland City, Tenn. He is a graduate of Battle Ground Academy, Franklin, and of the University of Tennessee, where he was a member of the Chi Sigma Delta, the Phi Delta Kappa and the Phi Kappa Phi fraternities.

Immediately after the ceremony Mr. and Mrs. Akin left for a short motor trip, going later to Ashland City, where they will make their home.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

April 7, 1931

Dearest Katherine,

I'm all time writing you astounding news. You'd never guess who called me up and asked for a date Friday night. Ned Lentz in person. Needless to say I'm mad with joy. Don't know whether I'll survive until then or not. Can't help but wonder what brought this on cause I'm just not Ned's type. He likes 'em wilder and woolier and full of fleas. However I shall improve my opportunity. Hope he asks me out again.

Nothin' else to say. Just wanted to tell you the astounding good news.

Double dated with the roommate tonight. My date had the best looking auburn coupe and carried us out to the most adorable camp I've ever seen. Would love to see the place in the summer time.

Well, good bye -

Love, 'Cile

Friday, September 4, 2009

Orange Line: Ballston (Home Base)

A year ago tomorrow, I went to closing and shortly thereafter moved from my Washington, DC studio apartment into a small one-bedroom condo in Arlington, Virginia. I made the decision to buy in Ballston for a number of reasons with cost and proximity to public transportation being the most important considerations, and only then did I look around to see what the area might have to offer me.

After living in Adams Morgan, a true urban neighborhood with gunshots and everything, Ballston seemed a little slow and uneventful. I was bored out of my mind, quite frankly. I had plans to visit the Washington Capitals Ice Rink directly across the street from me, both to skate and watch the players practice, but have yet to do anything more than pick up a schedule. And the Ellipse Arts Center, just around the corner, suddenly closed right when I set out to see their Crossing Glances photo exhibit.

While I miss the vibrancy of Adams Morgan, I have adjusted to my new life all the same. I’ve been sailing and camping, and will go kayaking for the first time this holiday weekend. I have a great boyfriend, a relationship that might not have worked out as easily had I continued to live in the city (no parking, you understand), and just this week, for the first time, I went to Ballston’s big 12-screen movie theatre at the Mall. I’ve even found a nail salon I like. While I don’t see myself living in Ballston forever, for now, I’m doing just fine. See links for recommendations.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer's LAST Days

Blog note dated December 18, 2009: My blog is a like a diary of sorts. Many of my posts have meaning not necessarily apparent to my readers. This one, for example, is about my smoking habit. I am like an alcoholic when it comes to cigarettes. I cannot have just one.

I started smoking cigarettes in high school, although my habit probably started earlier when I was an infant since my mother was a smoker. I quit in my early 20s and then again after a few years of smoking, in my early 30s. For the last two years, on New Year's Eve, I have smoked just one cigarette, in the holiday spirit, and loved it.

In August, when I posted this photo of Brigitte Bardot, I was smoking again, full-steam ahead, and while it looks fashionable, it clearly is not. How quickly I was jonesing for cigarettes and counting the time until I was home and away from the office. It was delicious at first, as all addictions are. Eric and I woke up early, and had cigarettes and coffee on the balcony just before dawn. I would sit on the steps in the sunshine, smoking slowly, while my thoughts ran free, but within a short period of time I was smoking again in excess and struggling to stop. It's been 35 days now since my last cigarette and I am stopped again ... but for how long?

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I like the composition in this photo. The kiss is the focal point. The man's arm brings your eye down and around to the dog. The dog looks up and the girl's arched back completes the circle.

Is this an "I love you kiss," the kind that happens when one person says something and the other leans in to emphasize affection? Or is it a farewell kiss?

They have both finished eating. The plates are empty and the napkins have been used. He looks as though he's sitting down rather than standing up. Maybe he got up to leave and then sat back down to say goodbye. What do you think?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Polly and Jim

My mom and dad. Today, married for 5o years. How awesome is that?
Starting left: Fred, Jim, Polly, Jan (my aunt)

Friday, August 14, 2009


a bigger dream begins on the Potomac River.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Will Be Back ....

photo by Nancy ... taken in NYC a few summers ago at one of the Friends Schools in the Lower East side.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Thursday, July 16, 2009


Kimberly was born and raised in Buffalo, N.Y., home of the Sabres, Goo Goo Dolls, and chicken wings. Growing up an only child, her passion for music and television intensified during the long snow-covered Buffalo winters. Fast-forward to Kimberly's college years when these two passions collided. Years of watching ‘WKRP in Cincinnati’ finally paid off for her when she became a disc jockey and news director for WBNY, an alternative rock station.

A self-proclaimed guidette, Kimberly also loves everything Italian. Her dream is to travel to Italy in 2011. In the meantime, Kimberly is working hard saving her pennies for the trip. Literally. She’ll search cars, couches, and parking lots, leaving no orphaned coins unnoticed. If you’re walking along and you drop some change fuhgeddaboudit, she was probably behind you and already picked it up.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Documentary film-maker and bassist Shawn Sharifi, reknowned for his monumentally successful film Why Hollywood Sucks, is in the final editing stages of his newest offering, a sequel entitled Why Hollywood Still Sucks. "The working title was Who'd I Forget? More Hollywood People I Can't Stand," says Sharifi, "but nobody in Tinseltown returned my calls." "Ahh," he said "what do you expect. They suck!"

When not griping about over paid, useless celebrities, Shawn can be found playing his bass for Hot Buttered Elvis, enjoying snorts of whiskey, curing plants of what ails them, and lurking late into the night. He's also been seen around town on occasion with the band groupie Mina who happens to be his wife.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Robyn is a hardworking 25-year old. She leads a busy life as a graphic designer for a college and a receptionist for an animal hospital. She works seven days a week without rest while she dreams of traveling the world like a vagabond. She comes from an insane family that spawned from the back wood mountains of West Virginia. Inbred you ask? Well who knows, but it’s suspected that cross breeding may have caused an onset of lunacy in her family. But in spite of all this, Robyn is a cool city chick who lives in a high-rise apartment building with her filmmaker boyfriend C.J. She hopes one day they'll move to London to escape the drama and at the same time rekindle her passion for traveling.

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Summer Picnic

... to introduce our two families.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Objectified, the second in Gary Hustwit's design trilogy, isn't as passionate as Helvetica but that conclusion may be about me. I left the film wanting more. More objects. More designers. More insight.

Instead I was left with questions. Are product designers more methodical and less emotional than graphic designers? For some reason, I had them classified as the same group of people in my mind. Not the case. Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec were the exception, though. I enjoyed watching them interact and they seemed intensely involved in their work. Are product designers different and what are their particular concerns?

And why do objects look the way they do? Take the camera for example; this item is based on a form that was required when film was used. Why does it continue to look the same and what else is left over from our past?

And there's still lots more to consider. While Helvetica may have inspired passion and controversy, Objectified provokes, asking questions about our culture and future. I'm looking forward to part three of the series. My question now is what do you think IT will be about? Gary Hustwit isn't saying.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

American Independence

Pic by Kevin who has a new blog you can find here. And, by the way, I've been blogging for a year now. My first post was last July 3, 2008.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Welcome Mr. President

That's me in white at the top just before I shook hands with President Barack Obama this afternoon. And then me again in the lower left at the conclusion of today's town hall meeting. The discussion was about health care reform in America.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Freyja, a mythological Princess of Sweden, is the Norse goddess of love, beauty, and fertility. She is the patron of crops and birth, a symbol of sensuality, and is called upon in matters of the heart.

Freyja is also associated with war, battle, death, magic, prophecy, and wealth. She lives in a beautiful palace called Folkvangr, a place where love songs are always played, and her hall is Sessrumnir. It is here she receives one half of the dead lost in battle while Odin receives the other half at Valhalla.

Freyja marries Od (a version of Odin) and like the Egyptian goddess Isis and Greek goddess Aphrodite, travels the world seeking her lost husband and weeping tears of gold. Her attributes are the necklace of the Brisings, a cloak of bird feathers, which allows its wearer to change into a falcon, and a chariot pulled by two cats.

photo source unknown.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


While online looking for information about Swedish mythology, I came across this small controversy. Back in 2006, a Korean coffee shop was taken to court by Starbucks for copyright infringement. In response, Starpreya said their name was taken from the Norse goddess Freya with the F changed to a P for pronunciation reasons. They claimed their logo had nothing to do with Starbucks.

According to ipkitten, the court threw the case out because 1) the words looked different; 2) Star is commonly used in trade marks and so wasn’t distinctive; 3) neither ‘preya’ nor ‘bucks’ had any special meaning, and so consumers would be unlikely to separate the trade marks into their constituent elements, referring to both sometimes as Star; and 4) there was no evidence that Elpreya (the parent company) had plagiarised Starbuck’s logo.

What do you think? Should Starbucks have won the case?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Best Friends Forever

1965 Baltimore, MD. Me on the left and Susan on the right. We were best friends that year and then my family moved to Panama. Susan and I kept in touch through letters but lost track during the 1970s when high school parties and drama took over. I have been telling all of my friends that my facebook page wouldn't be complete until Susan and I were back in touch. She sent me a friend request a few days ago. There's nothing better than finding your first-grade BFF after so many years ... and nothing better than still thinking she's great.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Full Circle

and back to somewhere.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Love Nest

From A great place to see colors, patterns, and potential palettes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mixed Martial Arts

A logo I like from a local gym called the Fifty/50 Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

November 26, 1930

Dearest Katherine,

No apologies for the paper. Its all I have.

I wish I was down there. I’m tired and lonesome, (yes in a dorm.) I feel blue and want to weep on someone’s shoulders. In fact I miss Marjorie somethin’ awful tonight. And I want to be babied. But enough of my troubles.

I don’t get to go to Knoxville. Made the hockey team as a sub. Tell Mother for me and I’ll write as soon as I find time. Or you can read extracts from this.

We’ve started working real hard on the vauderville. Tumbling is going to be real cute. The leader has more cute new things that we haven’t done up here. And we are spending more time practicing. Even some Thurs. night.

Hope we win Volley Ball and hockey. I crave going to Bowling Green Dec. 6.

I wish you a real good time Thurs. Guess I’ll sleep late then catch up on back work. And Reflector reports have to be in Friday. I’ve about a million to get in cause the Phys. Ed. Dept. can have as much space as we want. I’ll tear hair long over those. Guess maybe it will be a good time to do a lot of things that I’ve just let slide.

Frances is coming Thurs. I can’t wait to see her. Hope the old crazy stays with me some. If she doesn’t I’ll certainly be disappointed, whole heaps. I didn’t know I was so anxious to see her.

I can’t stand this cold weather. It snowed last night and everybody had a couple of duck fits. Not me, I curled up in a knot and got cold.

Went to the Belmont tonight to see “Common Clay.” It’s real good. Everyone raved so I couldn’t resist the temptation. It had a moral and all but at that it was enjoyable and almost reformed me in a person positively sprouting wings. Not that I was ever bad. Am I? Anyhow it was as good as all I had heard about it.

Well, changed my mind. You needn’t read to Mother. I’ll write while I finish playing marbles.

Lots of love,

P.S. Am going to Knapp Sat. night. A couple of the summer school foks will be here. Wonder if we will freeze.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

October 16, 1930

Dearest Katherine,

I’ve had good intentions for a week. Believe it or not. But life is so complicated – for various reasons (most ten good reasons)

1. “Pee Wee” doesn’t love me.
2. I’m in disgrace with Marjorie – don’t know why and I’m too stubborn to ask.
3. I’ve got too much studying to do.
4. I’m sleepy and tired.

Why go on? All I ever do when I write you is gripe. But I feel as if I could unburden my soul of all my numerous worries to you.

Had heap much large time out at Knapp last week-end but haven’t recuperated yet – slept about 3 hrs. and indulged generally. Then had to come in the next morning and put on a Field Day for the city and country schools. The kids must know we are dissipated – and the most crabbed bunch on earth. We all had circles half way down our faces.

Thanks just lots for the funny pieces – I laughed over ‘em just lots and got a huge kick out of them.

“Psi Kaps” went out last night and fried steak over a camp fire and held our meeting around it. More fun. And good food. But it degenerated into a regular camp meeting and open confessions that should be good for our souls. Some of ‘em were certainly startling enough – just knocked more people off the X-mas tree.

Any excitement there – none here, I’m running too hard.

Oh, I have to teach Swimming Friday with the instructor sitting on the side lines criticizing – (groans). Besides I had to conduct Formal gym class and I marched the class up in the wall. It was awful - besides giving a command that they couldn’t execute!!!

I’m just gotta quit and retire to my little bed on the roof.

Lots of love,

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Grocer's Son

There’s nothing profound about “The Grocer’s Son” but the Provencal country side is a treat and the pace of the story enhances the pleasure of the cinematography. I was able to take in the visual details while still reading subtitles.

The lead characters (Antoine and Claire) are highly watchable but not always likeable. It's the old folks on the grocer's route that make the story interesting. The scene I like best is when Antoine fixes the old egg provider's chicken coop and then pretends to have brought in the sheep when he realizes the old man's a bit senile. Of the four movies reviewed this week, this one's my fav.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sunshine Cleaning

Definitely a feel-good movie. We walked out of “The Wrestler” because it was too gruesome and into "Sunshine Cleaning," a story about a single mom who starts a business cleaning up crime scenes. Rose gains self esteem and finds a way to deal with her own mother’s suicide through the new enterprise …

This movie is about family, about doing the best you can, and about helping the ones you love. Maybe in the end, you'll consider getting a l'il bastard devil tattoo. I know I did.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Reader

I first heard about “The Reader” on Charlie Rose and as is the case with all Holocaust movies had mixed emotions about whether or not I would take the time to watch it. But as you know, I’m a Kate Winslet fan and having become interested in her acting career, I rented the DVD last week.

Hanna's crime is horrific but an evaluation of her responsibility or guilt is up to you. I was more interested in whether or not she loved Michael in his youth or only came to love him later in life when he sends her books on tape. Either way, throughout the long course of their relationship, it’s Hanna’s needs that are of primary importance. Kate, in the interview, says they meant to portray the love affair as genuine but I’m not convinced. Hanna was capable of great emotion as is evidenced by her reaction to music and literature but she did not extend this depth of feeling to humans. For the complete interview with Kate Winslet and David Kross go here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Soloist

Worthy of an Oscar. I was blown away by Robert Downey, Jr's, performance in this movie. Rather than summarize the plot, I will point out one aspect of the presentation I found interesting (and will do the same with all movie reviews to follow).

The relationship between Steve Lopez and his wife is ambiguous. The two were married, have separated, live apart, have a grown child, continue to work together, and even share their most profound moments together in loving comfort. It's real. You don't know if the two will reconcile completely in the traditional sense, and the director doesn't tell you, but there's depth in the relationship, as there is in the film, and in the connection between the newspaper reporter and the violin soloist. Well worth your hard-earned dollars.

Monday, June 1, 2009


My most favorite flowers ... because they're lush and full and decadent ... and because the water in the vase stays clean and fresh the entire time (pic found here). In honor of my recent home improvement and those Swedish decorating blogs I like: made in persbo and purple area.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Who'd Have Known

The first eight songs of "It's Not Me, It's You" are filled with shallow lyrics and biting sarcasm made humorous and entertaining through Lily Allen's adorable British vocals. And then suddenly she gives us "Who'd Have Known," a sweet little song about two people beginning a love relationship.

Placement is everything. Throughout the entire song, I held onto every word saying to myself, "keep it going, don't let it become a joke ... keep it lovely." And she let it happen ... giving the song "just the right amount of awkward" through my pause and uncertainty ... partial lyrics follow:

Are you mine?
Are you mine?
Cause I stay here all the time
Watching telly, drinking wine
Who'da known, who'da known
When you flash up on my phone
I'd no longer feel alone
No longer feel alone

I haven't left here for days now
And I'm becoming amazed how
You're quite affectionate in public
In fact, your friend said it made her feel sick
And even though it's moving forward
There's just the right amount of awkward
And today you accidentally
Called me baby

Are you mine?
Are you mine?
Cause I stay here all the time
Watching telly, drinking wine
Who'da known, who'da known
When you flash up on my phone
I'd no longer feel alone

Let's just stay
Let's just stay
I wanna lie in bed all day
We'll be laughing all the way
Told your friends
They all know
We exist but we're taking it slow
Now let's just see how we go
Now let's see how we go

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Somewhere Else