Saturday, January 28, 2006

And the Award for the Most uses of the word FUCK in a song goes to......

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Steve Earl! My hero. These are the lyrics from one of his songs on his latest album "The Revolution Starts Now." It's the most salient and powerful musical response to our current political crisis that I've heard thus far.

Steve, I'd kiss you full on the lips if I could, just to say thanks! Viva la Revolution! Long live FREEDOM of SPEECH!

What I'm Listening to #10

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Kudus Bruce! You are like a wine of rare vintage, every year you get finer and finer.

This is an amazing album which should forever and always end any debate reguarding Springsteen's pre-eminent place as America's foremost troubadour.

You won't be disappointed by this one.

Only in the "Mira"! -- Surprised with a Chocolate!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
What more can you say? Um...Ricky, did it melt in your mouth?


Thursday, January 26, 2006

Random Quote #40

"When people see things as beautiful,
ugliness is created.
When people see things as good,
evil is created."

~ Tao Te Ching

Monday, January 23, 2006

Something Way Cool

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Check out my friend's son's animation. On view all month at:

And hopefully archived afterwards. It's titled,"She She She's a Bombshell." Funny and very well done, reminiscent of "Dr. Katz" -- a long missed and much appreciated foray into avant garde comedic cartooning.

Congrats Ben!

What I'm Listening To #9

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Bravo Brazil!

This is a two disc set of contemporary Brazilian music, mostly dance oriented and occasionally a little eccentric (Club Des Belugas' "Hip Hip Chin Chin" with the sound sampling of Frank Sinatra's lecture on rhythm!)....BUT still thoroughly Brazilian. The samba is ever present, as are the drums that Paul Simon made so famous in the north in his Brazilian fushion album "The Rhythm of the Saints."

And always the Portuguese. One of my favorite languages. So sensual and lush.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

What I'm Looking Forward to Listening To!

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
I gave myself a little birthday present tonight (complete 45 years of life on the 29th).

So I went to and bought an album for every 9 years that I've been around this place. 3 are by Steve Earl, liberal wonder-boy and host of the radio talk show, "The Revolution Starts NOW," the 4th is the latest work from Bruce Springsteen. When my ex- left me (on that very day), a mutual friend from our church arrived within minutes of his departure and gave me a copy of Springsteen's tribute to 9/11. While the disasters of my little life, don't even compare to that event, this gift was a profound one. And the 5th is an alnum by Daddy Yankees who are a favorite Reggeaton group of mine, very popular in Nicaragua, and just damn fun to listen to.

SO.... life should be about our beliefs (and we MUST put our money where are mouths and hearts are): My 45th birthday will about my beliefs, my present activism, my past angst and my future hope.

Point of Tranquility

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.

Art I'm Seeing #1

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Today, after a colleague asked me last week what was new on the Mall, I spent the afternoon researching the answer. First stop, my beloved National Gallery of Art where they are in eager preparation for their next opening: "Cezanne in Province" on Sunday, January 29th. Presently there is a Homer show that I'd seen months ago and so skipped, a collection of the bird prints of John James Audubon (which was alive with children and parents and bird houses and laughter and shouts of excited discovery -- very UN-NGA, and very delightful!), and a small show of the prints of the French artist Félix Buhot. The images presented here are his from that show. The bottom image actually being a painting, but very sweet and captivating. I spent the bulk of my time here, and kept thinking how limited my college education in printmaking was! My instructor Mrs. N. G.-W. was just not up to the task.... But neither was I, I guess, since it's only taken me 23 years to figure this out!

Afterwards, I walked over to the Hirshhorn which is also in the birth throws of launching a new exhibition of the works of Hiroshi Sugimoto, but continues with a retrospective of objects from its permanent collection. Objects that they are augmenting from time to time. This visit's standout was an amazing little bas-relief by Isamu Noguchi. Approximately 2 feet wide by 3 feet tall, it was a gently formed "landscape" in white that had angled openings (some oblong, some round) through which half a dozen muted shades of light emitted. The mounds were topped with hooks through which twine stretched, and threaded upon which a few cork balls hung and kept taught via the force of gravity. This addition cast shadows across the surface and helped to highlight and isolate the color created by the light. It was so simple and I could tell that most of the people in the gallery thought it inane at best. Why is beauty so hard to see?

To this I would add a painting by Louis Morris called "Point of Tranquility" which I swear could be his 'masterwork'. I will scan and set its image in a post just before this one.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Random Quote #39

"I always said that when I'm old, I want to be sitting there regretting the things that I did and not the things that I didn't do – and now I'm old, and I don't regret anything! I had fun."

~ Michael Caine, 1935 -

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What I'm Listening To #8

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
.....An old friend tonight. And one of the BEST albums ever recorded. I love the poignancy of Adam Duritz's voice. He writes songs that touch the heart with a sense of tender observation.

The album always enters my soul like the presence of dear friend. "When I think of heaven, it's definitely a black winged bird....."

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Greater Corn Island Memoir #1

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
When I visit Nicaragua, I try to plan a side trip. Last year I went to San Juan del Sur on the Pacific Ocean and climbed Volcan Masaya. This year I went to Greater Corn Island in the Caribbean with my friends Guillermo and Jeffery. It's an amazingly beautiful place, and the following snapshots are taken from our stay there.

Greater Corn Island Memoir #2

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
This is the view of Caribbean from the portico of the Hotel Cesar on Greater Corn Island. The portico was also the Hotel's restaurant seating, so we started each day with this view.

Greater Corn Island Memoir #3

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
This is view of the beach on Greater Corn Island from the Hotel Cesar in the morning. Our pattern was to claim a palm frond roof cabana and then spend our time between swimming in the surf and relaxing under the cabana. Cabana time also meant consuming the most amazing cerviche I have ever eaten.

Greater Corn Island Memoire #4

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
While guests at the Hotel Cesar, we took full advantage of it's kitchen. I honestly ate fresh lobster for every meal. Here was a lunch of lobster brochette. The food was wonderful. Guillermo loved the seafood, too; and Jeffrey only ate chicken. Both nights and all meals and beach side apetizers and beers came to $261.00 for the three of us!

Greater Corn Island Memoir #5

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
On the last morning there, I awoke early and went beach combing. At some point much further down the beach, I turned and shot this photo of the fishing pier and peninsula. it was such a beautiful morning.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Random Quote #38

"It is better to conquer yourself
Than to win a thousand battles,
Because the victory is yours."

from the Dhammapada

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Random Quote #37

"A poem is never finished, only abandoned."

~ Paul Valéry (1874-1945)

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Nicaragua Memoir #4

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Of all the wonderful people I have met in Nicaragua -- and believe me, there are tons of wonderful people in Nicaragua! -- Guillermo Bolaños is on the top of my list. Here he is with his beloved daughter, Rosa Guadeloupe. After taking the picture, I showed it to them via my camera's viewer, and she leaned forward gently touching the screen and declaring, "Papicito, Papicito!" Their love is a mutual affair.

Guillermo accompanied me last year on my visit's side journeys. We spent two days at the resort community of San Juan del Sur; we toured the archipelago of luxury homes on islands in Lake Nicaragua off of the shore of the colonial city of Granada, and we climbed to the rim of the active Volcano Masaya. This year he and I spent 3 days on Greater Corn Island (along with Jeffrey) in the Caribbean Sea. More on this to come.

Nicaragua Memoir #3

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
Here are (L-R) Jeffrey, Lucie, and Marco. Jeffrey is a teacher of English at Casa Ave Maria, and Lucie and Marco are two of his students.

During my recent visit they practically adopted me! Lucie offered her home on the Monday and Tuesday of my stay for lunch, which she prepared and was absolutely fabulous! Marco became our chauffeur, transporting us from CAM to Lucie's and other locations around Managua. I find that there are people with who I can hold a decent conversation in Spanish and those who utter baffle me. Marco was someone with who I was able to hold a conversation for an extended period. And totally typical of Nicaraguans, they were all generous and gracious beyond anything that I deserve.

Nicaragua Memoir #2

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
The place I stay in Nicaragua the Casa Ave Maria in the barrio Monseñor Lezcano. It's an amazing place. A place of respite. A place of art and ideas. A simple place by western standards, but a place where tender hearts will clearly be enchanted. It's proprietor is my friend, Father Grant Gallup, or familiarly (affectionately) known as Padre Mauricio.

Besides rooms to let for visitors or groups, the casa also offers classes in various topics from computers to English. On Sunday mornings the little chapel hosts Holy Eucharist. Carlos in the picture is one of the faithful instrumentalists who provide music. And in the afternoon on Sundays the only Gay and Lesbian gathering of Christians meet to worship in the same chapel. The Casa Ave Marie is a place of respite for all.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Nicaragua Memoir #1

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
A joy to add this to my growing list of international memoirs: Costa Rica, Taiwan, Zimbabwe, etc. I have enjoyed the beautiful people and places of this amazing little country for the past two Christmas holidays. And I am in the process of imaging my future there. As a public school teacher in Maryland (the state with the 50th ranked retirement system) it's clear that the "good days" are the ones where I'm working! Once it's my turn to rest out the golden years, to do so here would be simply impossible. But doing it in a "third world country" would at least be plausible. And I can't think of a more placid and congenial place than Nicaragua. More to come soon.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

My Latest Poem

Yes, I write poetry....mostly bad poetry! But you be the judge. My latest composition.


~ Great Corn Island, December 2005

There is this moment.
Three rusting fishing boats float silently
moored to a pier.
The first rays of dawn have yet to strike
this side of the island,
and when they do arrive,
the meager remnants of white paint
on the hulls
will animate the boats with a glow
like hybiscus blossoms.

In the present grayness, they sleep.

No thought for the journeys that await;
No concern for those past.
Only the moment:
the gentle, nearly imperceptible,
roll of the tide,
clear as crystal.

~ R--- W--- A---, 1961 -

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My Nicaraguan Vacation

Originally uploaded by Randuwa.
For the second year in a row, I have spent the Christmas holidays in amazing place. This photo is of Brigs Bay, Great Corn Island in the Caribbean. A remote piece of Nicaragua. More to come.

Monday, January 02, 2006

Random Quote #36

"A saint is a theater where the qualities of God can be seem."

~ Rumi, Jalal-a-Din, 1207 - 1273