Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday

Here I am on this lovely morning, Tuesday, September 27, 2005 on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.

All of us locals here at the beach know that the best time to actually come to the beach is post-season. The weather is usually lovely without all of the chaos and overcrowding that occurs during high Summer season.

The morning today is glorious, so George and I jumped in the bug, dropped the top and took the 5 minute drive to the beach to stroll the mile long boardwalk. I had him take my photo at the shore for Self-Portrait Tuesday.

Here are some other photos that I took this morning. Some of these are of a very cool sand and shell sculpture work of a human face that I came across on the beach. I have no idea who the artist or artists is/are.

Monday, September 26, 2005

In memoriam....

When I was a kid, we absolutely would not miss "Get Smart". Anyone 35 and older will know Don Adams as Maxwell Smart, AKA, Agent 86.

Anyone under 35 will know him as the voice of Inspector Gadget who, of course, was based on Don Adams' portrayal of Maxwell Smart, AKA Agent 86

Don Adams
April 13, 1923 - September 25, 2005

She's so good-looking but she looks like a man

This is just a quick post to state that it was on this day 36 years ago that the Beatles released "Abbey Road", which happens to be one of my favorite albums of all time.

I have great memories of this album from when I was a child and my older cousin (I would have been around 5 and she was about 16 then) would play it for myself and my other siblings. She lived with us for a while then and she would play her albums for us constantly, making sure that we were the hippest (or more close to reality - the hippiest) kids on the block.

I grew up with this album and it's wonderful songs. It's been very interesting, now at the age of 40, to look back on how I have changed and how my interpretation of the meaning of the music and the lyrics have changed as I have grown older. Though, no matter what my latest incarnation of meaning form this album may be now or prove to be 30 years form now, I will always treasure the memories of that early Autumn of 1969 and dancing around the room as a carefree long-haired child to the sound of "She Came In Through The Bathroom Window".

Sunday, September 25, 2005

The thrill of it all...

On Friday evening, I went to a party with some friends of mine.

(here's a pic taken shortly after arriving at the gathering)

Afterwards, we went out dancing afterwards. By that point however, I had probably had too much vodka.

By the time we had left the dance club and I was somehow unlocking my front door, I had definitely had too much. Thank God for designated drivers. Of course, I spent all of Saturday recuperating. George (who didn't go out that evening) and I ordered Chinese food and watched movies which was perfect for my muddled head.

While flipping through the channels looking for something to watch, we landed on the Turner Classic Movies station ( one of my favorites) just in time to catch a Doris Day/James Garner flick entitled "The Thrill Of It All".

This was the typical Doris Day light romantic comedy of the early 60's. Though the storyline is very dated, she really looks phenomenal throughout the film (great costumes) and there are some funny moments that still work 40 plus years later. There are also, however, some far fetched moments as well which may have been more believable in 1963 to less sophisticated audiences. This includes the character played by Arlene Francis. In the film, she is supposed to be pregnant for the first time. Though her age is never revealed in the film, there is an implication that she is older than most first time mothers and James Garner's (her doctor in the film) states that "she has been trying for 20 years" to get pregnant. In reality however, Alrene Francis was 56 when she made this film and well, she looks like she's in her 50's. I just didn't find her in that role as believable at all.

There is also a scene where a swimming pool in Day's backyard gets filled with detergent and the suds that form overnight fill the entire backyard - over the roof of her house. They actually call in professional movers to remove the suds with shovels. They then fill in the back of dump trucks with the suds. Again - very unbelievable and they play on the gag way too long. The chemistry between Day and Garner is very natural however.

This was one of Doris Day's three top-grossing films and lines formed around the block to see it when it was released in 1963. This film was directed by Norman Jewison who also directed "Moonstruck", one of my personal favorites.

It was very interesting to see ZaZu Pitts

in her small role as the maid in this film. Zazu was a star of silent film making her first film in 1917. She was renown for her expressive eyes and hands. Famed silent film director Erich von Stroheim called her "the greatest tragedienne of the screen." "The Thrill Of It All" was to be her second to last film as she died the year it was released.

If you have any interest in this film at all, click here to find an in-depth page on the flick including a MPEG of the film's theme song which is actually not song by Doris Day.

The other brilliant film that we watched was "Kinsey" starring Liam Neeson, Laura Linney and Peter Sarsgaard.

This was an amazing film indeed, poignant, dramatic and humorous on many occasions. This film deals with the life of Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey

and his famous studies of sexuality. Laura Linney was nominated for an Academy Award for her portrayal of Clara McMillen, Kinsey's wife. Neeson should have been nominated and I don't understand why he wasn't. This film is currently available on most pay per views throughout the country if you have digital cable. I highly recommend this film. By the way, the funniest line from this film in my opinion involves a heavy accent and the word horse. You'll know it when you hear it. Also, watch for an incredible and heart touching cameo by Lynn Redgrave at the end of the film.

By the way, I just took an online "Politics" test and here were my results...
You are a

Social Liberal
(76% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(20% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

Friday, September 23, 2005

Louise Nevelson

It was on this day September 23 in the year 1899 that acclaimed sculptor Louise Nevelson was born.

Louise Nevelson is known as of the most important American sculptors of the twentieth century. An artist friend who was in NYC in the 60's has told me fascinating stories about seeing this wild eyed woman digging through dumpster on the street in the village. One day he asked an acquaintance about her. He was informed that it was Louise Nevleson looking for fodder for her work.

I think that that would be a very cool memory to have indeed.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

It's the time of the season....

Guess what today is folks? Why it's the first day of autumn! And as I've stated before - I love this season. I love the colors of the leaves, the crispness of the air, the golden amber hued light, faded sweaters that you know like a best friend, incredible sunsets, mums apples and pumpkins, Halloween and Thanksgiving… I could go on and on.

So, on that note - here are two wonderful sites that I have found online that specialize in Autumn courtesy of the USDA Forest service. The first one is the Fall Color Page for 2005.


This will show you the progress of Fall Colors by region and there is even a Fall Color Hotline!

The next is an informative page also by the USDA Forest Service that explains everything that you would like to know about these colors entitled "WHY LEAVES CHANGE COLORS"


Now onto something different yet equally beautiful…

It seems that experts are close to proving that the above painting entitled "Mary Magdalene" and painted in 1515, may have been actually painted by the master Leonardo da Vinci. As an artist, I find this fascinating. You can read more about the story by clicking here. And while you’re at it, make sure and read this highly interesting article from UK’s The Guardian entitled "Art detective exposes hidden images to fuel Da Vinci Code conspiracies". Be sure to view the PDF document attached to that article to actually see the amazing sketches previously hidden for the last 500 or so years! Amazing!

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Those autumn leaves drift by my window….

Well folks, in case you were unaware of it, today is the last official day of Summer 2005.

The above image is one that I took last week at what my partner and I call the "Bay House". We call it that because the lovely Rehoboth Bay is about 7 feet from the edge of our back deck. This photo was taken at sunset.

I won’t say that this has been one of my more enjoyable summers as it has not. I spent the majority of this summer in my studio furiously painting in preparation for my shows. My partner George and I both also spent most of the summer dealing with all of the leaping through hoops that has to occur while attempting to sale this house while at the same time juggling the delicate china of attempting to purchase two other homes (we sold this one, and put the proceeds into a smaller place here and a second home in Philadelphia).

Now the process of moving from one house into two that are two hours apart from each other begins. But this is alright because I have this to look forward to…

And I must admit that I do indeed love autumn.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Self-Portrait Tuesday

It's Tuesday. Here's my pic.

This was taken with my cellphone but I had to tweak it in Photoshop. I'm standing in front of my one my paintings entitled "Ingenue"

Today also happens to be the 71st birthday of one of my favorite actresses...Sophia Loren

So unto her I say...Happy Birthday!!

Monday, September 19, 2005

"I was crazy about her. She had incredibly kissable lips" Sid Luft on Judy Garland

This will probably be of interest only to those Judy Garland fans ( hello Jeff!), but I just read today about the death of Sid Luft on Thursday, September 15, 2005 at the age of 89.

This burly street-wise man was married to Judy Garland for 13 years and produced the much acclaimed Oscar-nominated 1954 film "A Star Is Born"

Here is a photo of them from the 1950's.

They were married during some of her craziest, prescription pill popping and alcohol addicted times.

I can only image the stories that this man could have told...

Saturday, September 17, 2005

"I can't Manny. I'm stuck in the spokes."

When I was just a little tyke, this was THE movie that all of the kids were talking about. I was only in 2nd grade then and too young to go see it myself, but news about the film would trickle down via the television or from other kids who’s parents or older siblings had seen it, or from - most impressive of all on the playground - other kids who had actually been to see it with their parents themselves, which, to my knowledge was still somewhat of a taboo thing to do 33 years ago.

I think that this was the first in a long line of disaster movies that glutted the film industry in the 70’s. There were earthquakes, raging fires, unmanned airplanes, runaway super trains and more. But, I believe that this was the granfather of them all.

The only reason that I bring this up in the blog today, is because I ran across these brilliant little dolls while surfing this AM...

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw them! I said to myself, “Is that Shelly Winters in the role of Belle Rosen from the Poseidon Adventure?!” And to my delight - it was.

There are 9 dolls in total and they can be found online by clicking here.

Shelly Winters has received a lot of flack over the last 35 years or so starting with her role in the P.A., ( she gained 35 punds for the role) but she actually is an amazing actress (she has won two Best Actress Oscars and was nominated for two others including for her role in the Poseidon Adventure). At one time was known as a blonde bombshell in Hollywood and even taught Marilyn Monroe a trick or two...

On a different note, I also ran across this online today

In my opinion, this digitally altered image would be humorous if it weren't for the fact that it is so sadly symbolically true. I may catch a lot of grief for this, but I can barely stomach what our country has become and is becoming under the so-called “leadership” of this patrician idiot.

I would also like to ask this to all of those folks who voted for this buffoon - are you still complaining about the high cost of gasoline when you fill your gas guzzling SUVs which you only purchased as some sort of artifical status, keeping up with the Jones’s, symbol of “prosperity”. I know that you know deep down inside that you can only blame yourself at the pump.

Unless you either actually haul more than 3 kids and a dog around more than several days a week, or use your SUV to transport large items on a regular basis, or work on a ranch or some equivalent thereof, then YOU DON’T NEED A FREAKIN’ SUV!!!

Does anyone over the age of 25 actually have clear memories of being driven around in SUV’s when they were kids? No? Why?

BECAUSE NO ONE HAD THEM except those who used them for work.


Why do you think that so many autos on the road now are SUVs? How many times do you see those filled with kids or materials or covered with dust from working out on the farm?

If you own one, tell me, when was the last time you went “off roading”?
How many times in the last month did you drive it somewhere with every seat occupied with someone?
When was the last time you had it fully loaded with big things that you had to transport somewhere?

I thought so.


Friday, September 16, 2005

La Ciociara

Last night I watched an amazing film entitled "Two Women" ("La Ciociara") starring Sophia Loren. I have always wanted to see this film and when I saw it offered as a choice on Netflix I immediately placed it into my queue.

The film was directed by one of my favorite directors Vittorio De Sica. He also directed “The Bicycle Thief” ("Ladri di biciclette") which is another one of my all time favorite films and has been considered by some to be the best film of all time.

"Two Women" was released in 1960 and even after 45 years there are scenes in this film that really shook me. Loren's performance is one of the best on screen performances I have ever seen.


She deservedly won the Best Actress Academy Award in 1962 for her performance and in doing so became the first recipient of an Oscar ever given for a performance in a "foreign-language" film.

This is an extremely uncompromising film and it deals with some very serious issues of survival and political party loyalty taking place during Word War II in Italy. The scene in which Loren and her 13 year old daughter are brutally gang raped in an abandoned church is particularly hard-hitting

and may prove to be rather upsetting to some viewers.

Also, the quality of the DVD that I received from Netflix was visually inferior to say the least - though not so much that I didn’t comprehend the amazing nuances of this film.

I would suggest trying to find one with English subtitles (like the one I watched) as I have read the English dubbed version is inferior (though Loren dubbed the English in herself).

Also, look for famous French New Wave cinema heart-throb Jean-Paul Belmondo in the pivotal role of Michele.

I would consider this film to be without a doubt a "must see before you die" film - however, do your homework and try to find the best version on DVD that you can.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

The computer will be easy to use...

I found the above image online this morning and I just had to post it. In case some of you are unable to make out the words, it reads:
Scientists from the RAND corporation have created this model to illustrate how a “home computer” could look in the year 2004. However the needed technology will not be economically feasible for the average home. Also the scientists readily admit that the computer will require not yet invented technology to actually work, but 50 years from now scientific progress is expected to solve these problems. With teletype interface and the Fortran language, the computer will be easy to use.

Amazing no? My favorite part is that giant monitor hanging on the wall. Also, I really want to know what the hell the giant double steering wheel is for.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Oh say can you...

For some reason, I found it of interest that it was on this day, 191 years ago that Francis Scott Key wrote his poem "The Star-Spangled Banner" after watching a battle at Ft. McHenry during the War of 1812.

Here he is on a postage stamp with a rather serene look upon his face. Perhaps this is the look that all poets must possess whilst writing their works.

Here's a photo of Beyonce singing the impossibly difficult National Anthem at the Super Bowl last year.

She certainly doesn’t look like she’s singing the National Anthem does she? I never thought of that particular song as something sexy. Perhaps this version of the image will cast a more appropriate light upon the performance.

In this version, we can see the very Patriotic (though not as sexy) backup band behind Beyonce.

I personally think that "America The Beautiful" would make a much better National Anthem than the musical version of Key's poem.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

"It matters more what's in a woman's face than what's on it" : Claudette Colbert

This is for (and this is my first time officially doing this here) Self-Portrait Tuesday...

(taken with my cell phone)

Today would have been the 102 birthday of Claudette Colbert. For those of you who don't know, she was a 2 time Academy Award winning super star of film during the Golden Age of Hollywood. She was greatly respected in the industry and she was working well into her 80's (she won an Emmy at the age of 84).

Here she is in one of her more famous films, "It Happened One Night", with Clark Gable for which she won her first Academy Award for Best Actress in 1935.

Here is another image from the same film where Clark Gable has removed his shirt. This was very controversial at the time...

And here is a great image I found of her from 1924 which I have digitally enhanced

Here's another great photo of her

And here

And here she is in 1986 at the age of 83 with actor Stephen Collins in "The Two Mrs. Greenvilles" for which she won an Emmy Award.

To learn more about the live of this important actress, click here