Tuesday, February 28, 2012

What I'm Reading #45

My second Kingsolver book has me smitten with this prolific and inventive novelist. Her strength is character and in this oddly historical novel she doesn't disappoint.

The reader is treated to events as far ranging as the Cristero War of 1910 in Mexico, the Bonus Army riots in Washington, DC in 1932, the assassination of Lev Davidovich Bronshtein a.k.a. Leon Trotsky in 1940, and a front seat at a hearing of the House Committee on Un-American Activities in 1950.

Two souls adeptly navigate the cavalcade of history with us in their tender care; Harrison W. Shepherd and Mrs. Violet Brown. Through them we meet the likes of not only one of the masterminds behinds the Russian Revolution of 1917, Leon Trotsky; but also Intellectual logician Jean van Heijenoort, painters Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, and a host of little cameos by the likes of General MacArthur to California Representative Richard M. Nixon. To say it is a tour de force twining of Twentieth century personalities and ideas is the least best compliment. I for one will never have the opportunity to meet Freda Kahlo, but she will always speak to me in the voice that Ms. Kingsolver has created for her. This is the degree to which she recreates history both real and imagined.

This is a wonderful novel.

What I'm Watching #290

Just finished the third film in this iteration of the Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawntreader. And of all of the books, this one was always my favorite. The movie doesn't disappoint either, but the book remains better. The use of CGI really allows this tale to be told well, as a film. Actor Will Poulter is a fine edition in the role of cousin Eustace, and both Georgie Henley and Skandar Keynes are exiting just in the nick of time in the roles of Lucy and Edmund Pevensie. Playing adolescences has an expiration date.

So I liked it, but I am given to understand that there will be no more in the series to follow. Just not the cash cow that Harry Potter turned out to be.

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Random Quote 145

"Re-examine all you have been told. Dismiss what insults your soul."

Walt Whitman, 1819 - 1892

Lego Evolution

Must See TV

From the TV series SMASH. Debra Messing's character writes a letter to the mother of her prospective adoptive daughter in China.

RENE WALTERS, MSW: Okay, would anyone else like to share their letter?

JULIA HOUSTON: I guess I can.

To the Birth-mother of my daughter,

Our lives are so far distant from each other. It is as if neither of us exists. I will never know you. Even though you give birth to her, my daughter may never know you, as well.

But I want you to know, I will guard her as a lion. I will raise her with love. I will protect her from the wounds of loneliness. She will be a child of two lands, and she will wear that knowledge with pride. And at night, we will call to you on the wind; and, perhaps, you will hear us and know that she is safe.


When I saw this scene, my heart melted for all of my friends who have adopted children, many from diverse places... What lucky children!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Random Quote 144

"As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light in the darkness of mere being."

~ Carl Jung, 1875 - 1961

Saturday Funny

6 Views Of Heart Healthy Fun!

Random Quote 143

"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change."

~ Charles Darwin, 1809- 1882

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Coming Week ~ February 26th to March 3rd!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

RIP Whitney Houston

A remembrance: Whitney Houston, (1963 - 2012)

I have largely avoided this topic. Avoided the tumultuous media hype surrounding it. Ignored the haters and racists who've jumped on the nasty bandwagon of self-righteousness regarding it. And I've been just privately sad.

I have one stellar memory of Whitney, and it's certainly an improbable one. On April 20, 1991, I had mid-section seats with friends in section 32 of Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky for the 3rd date of her "I'm Your Baby Tonight" World Concert tour. The opening act was nothing worth remembering, but her performance was amazing. Before she began, it was announced that she "wasn't feeling well, but insisted on performing anyway" and throughout she never missed a beat.

Isn't that the best part of memory? We so easily discover in it that time sands off the rough edges and leaves us with only a smooth, silky impression.

Whitney left us abruptly with too many jagged questions. Speculations that disturb me and disservice her great vulnerable gift to us all. Perhaps we can even describe her entire career as one of a person who didn't feel well, but went on stage to dazzle her fans anyway.

I hope that grace becomes her portion in perpetuity. I hope that we learn to forgive one another our weaknesses even as we come to deal with the demons of our own hearts, so that all that remains in our esteem of others is the gift: the goodness, the generosity, and the glitter!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Saturday Funny

Shar Donné'a Wine Shop!

My newest lego creation: the Shar Donné's Wine Shop! I have built it to fit into my new Lego City in my reinvented basement/Lego hobby space.

The full façade.

Ground floor shop.

Interior shop layout.

Second floor layout: Kitchen, Dinning area, raised Living area.

Kitchenette space with coffee maker on top of the fridge.

Third floor layout: Bathroom and Bedroom.

Mystery solved, lego people have toilets!

Bedroom interior.

Back of building.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Coming Week ~ February 19th to 25th!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

More Amazing Lego Art

By Nathan Sawaya--a personal idol.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Today's Sermon

This Kind of Thing Doesn't Happen Often and When it Does You Should Pay Attention

i thank heaven somebody's crazy
enough to send me a daisy
—E.E. Cummings

On Piedmont Road, going north,
before my car there floated forth

a soapy bubble in the traffic,
glistening and holographic.

It drifted down into my path,
this ghostly sphere from someone's bath.

I watched it bob and almost tickle
A Harley-Davidson motorcycle

then rise (as it got quite exhausted)
That's where I left it, fair and frosted.

For this unexpected act
I thank heaven (I think), in fact,

that someone went to all the trouble
to blow me a bubble.

~ John Stone, 1936 - 2008

Saturday, February 04, 2012

My New Basement Floor in 5 Views

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Coming Week ~ February 5th to 11th!

Random Quote 142

"Don’t speak to me about your religion; first show it to me in how you treat other people. Don't tell me how much you love your God; show me in how much you love all His children. Don't preach to me your passion for your faith; teach me through your compassion for your neighbors. In the end, I'm not as interested in what you have to tell or sell or preach or teach, as I am in how you choose to live and give."

~ Cory Booker, 1969 -

Friday, February 03, 2012

Earth Postage Stamps--Peacemaker Series #'s 35 through 37

The next three honorees in my 100 Earth Peacemakers.