|June 30, 2015||No Union Is More Profound||no comments|
|June 25, 2015||GO FOR IT BERNIE!||no comments|
|June 23, 2015||It’s A Meat Factory, It’s A Cruise Ship, It’s The New And Improved Whitney||no comments|
|June 17, 2015||Summer Solstice||no comments|
|June 16, 2015||The Social Animal||no comments|
|June 11, 2015||Advice From A Master||no comments|
|June 09, 2015||What’s In A Name||1 comments|
|June 03, 2015||I Am My Mummy||no comments|
|June 01, 2015||In The Process Of Seeing||no comments|
|May 28, 2015||The Hard Drive||no comments|
I have many memories of going to the Biennials held at The Whitney Museum in NYC. There I was introduced to many of my mentors, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella, Elizabeth Murray, Chuck Close to name just a few. Seeing them on a regular basis helped me forge an artistic life that made me eager to make the trip to revisit them in their new home.
Situated at the lower extension of the High Line, The New Whitney is a treasure. Everything from the seating to the windows to the outdoor space to the kitchen breathes contemporary art and design; not to mention the art. I particularly loved seeing Calder’s Circus, previously cramped, now prominently front and center to engage our younger generation in the excitement of process. The museum also offers a family guide that does a terrific job of focusing children on various aspects of the art and I was thrilled (as was my granddaughter) at how welcoming everyone was to having her with us on our exploration.
I was disappointed in the lack of video and large scale photography- mainly because that’s where I think contemporary art is headed- but maybe The Whitney is ahead of me on this one- art as environment trumps looking at moving images while stuck in a dark box.
Our summer solstice arrives this Sunday, June 21, 2015 at 12:38 p.m. bringing us to a place in space where the entire Northern Hemisphere has its longest day and shortest night along with the highest sun seen in the sky.
The term solstice is derived from the Latin words sol-sun and sistere to stand still, because the sun’s relative position in the sky at noon does not appear to change much during the solstice and its surrounding days.
To many cultures, Solstice represents a turning of the year. The people of Alesund, Norway, set a world record for the tallest, celebratory bonfire. Thousands of people gather at Stonehenge, England to celebrate an ancient druid solstice celebration as the sun lines up with the stones. In Alaska, the Goldpanners of Fairbanks celebrate their status as the most northerly baseball team on the planet with the Midnight Sun Game starting at 10:30 and stretching well into the following morning, without the need of artificial light.
Judaism does have festivals for three of the four major sun-earth events of the year: Chanukah near the winter solstice, Pesach around the vernal equinox, and Rosh Hashanah around the autumnal equinox but not for the summer solstice fearing the idolatry of sun worship. Enter this new age of Judaism with Tel Shemesh, attempting to integrate Jewish faith and practice with earth-based beliefs and ways of living, by offering: Havdalah for the Summer Solstice.
I don’t like David Brooks. When I watch PBS and someone turns to him with a question, I cringe. Knowing he is an orthodox Jew doesn’t help at all- His conservative critical view informs my gut that this is not the guy I would chose to represent the tribe. With that caveat, I was intrigued and decided to listen to his 2011 book The Social Animal when it showed up as one of my suggested books on my phone. As surprises go, I thoroughly enjoyed the listen.
Brooks follows an imaginary couple, Harold and Erica, from childhood to retirement. In the process he weaves in everything. For example: from IQ to the unconscious, toddler development to school discipline, and management fads to modern political campaigning.
Brooks sets out to prove that success and happiness depend on the inner unconscious realm of emotions, intuitions, biases, longings, genetic predispositions, character traits and social norms. He supplies section after section of evidence that our lives and conduct are not in our control and that morality, politics and all life goals will only improve by bringing these unrecognized influences into conscious thought.
I read some reviews of the book that are critical of Brooks- apparently there are lots of studies falsely quoted- but I wouldn’t let that be a reason to stay away from the book. There is much to ponder about our socialness that doesn’t depend on studies and statistics.
Brooks has a new book: The Road To Character that takes us one-step further with a look at real people and a means to make some of the changes for ourselves he simple comments on in The Social Animal. I must admit, although I don’t like him any more, I was glad to see that he recognizes his personal character flaws in his introduction: “I wrote this book to save my own soul.” Get them both.
The purpose of yoga is to facilitate the profound inner relaxation that accompanies fearlessness. The release from fear is what finally precipitates the full flowering of love. In this state you will love what you see in others, and others will love you for having been seen. This is the softened perception of the world that yoga promotes.
Therefore, the apparently simple benefits that accrue from the regular practice of yoga can change your life in very profound ways. Do not underestimate the value of being balanced, centered, and coordinated, of being strong and light, of being more flexible, without pain, experiencing the subsequent feelings of invisibility or transparency, and of being more sensitive.
Yoga will make you more sensitive to the stillness, the presence, the hush, the peace of ONENESS. This deep inner stillness is at the core of your being. It is the ground, the joy of your being. The radiant peace you’ll experience is what happens naturally when the creative energy of ONENESS is allowed to flow through you unobstructed.
If my Dad were alive today, he would be 96. One of the many things he protected me from was the bureaucracy of established processes, complicated rules, and strict orders- until yesterday.
I was born with the name: Louise Gail Shapiro. I never liked Gail and chose to drop it when I got married in 1971 to Louise Silk. When I got a divorce in 1998, I kept Louise Silk. When I remarried in 2007 I kept Louise Silk and was told that I would have to take my marriage certificate to Social Security which I didn’t do- until yesterday.
I was very upset to get my Medicare card and see Louise G. Silk. I went online to correct it but discovered that name changes can only be made in person at the social security office. I called to make an appointment (and waited 25 minutes to talk to a person) but there are no appointments for name changes- I would have to go to my local office and wait in line.
Armed with my birth certificate, my marriage license, my passport, my driver’s license, my notice of award from the social security administration, my Medicare card and a book I landed at the East Liberty SS Office at 9:10 on Monday morning. Having a full parking lot the guard directed me to an old garage pad at the end of the alley. My number (there are five sets of numbers running at one time) was R36 and the number that related to that on the screen was R31.
At 10:14 I spoke to the social security representative from behind a sheet of glass. After lots of haggling- I can’t even begin to relate- I learned that I am listed as Louise Gia Silk and the only way to change that is to go down to the county records and initiate a legal name change. At one point in the conversation, I asked the interviewer if my records show I was married in 2007 and she shot back: Social Security knows everything there is to know about you. It made me laugh (and she even chucked)- didn’t they know I dropped my middle name in 1971? To be continued………
Here are some tips I didn’t know that might help you through the social security bureaucracy:
Start with the SSA.gov website. Know what you want before you before reaching for the phone.
Call after Tuesday. Wait times are longer on Monday and Tuesday and the first week of each month. Avoid them.
Make an appointment. A face-to-face meeting at a local Social Security office is the best way to get information. Be prepared to wait a long time unless you are able to make a reservation.
Shop offices. If you find the help at one office is lacking, try another.
Ask to speak to a technical expert. These folks are higher up on the SSA chain of command.
a photograph is not an opinion. Or is it? Susan Sontag
It’s useful to remember that things are happening right in front of you… you don’t have to complicate the situation. You can take what is given to you. You just need your mind and your eye. Annie Leibovitz
Leibovitz has been the eye of my generation helping to change our view of the importance of human endeavor since she started at Rolling Stone in 1970.
Her list is impressive – the photo of John Lennon curled naked next to a clothed Yoko taken five hours before his murder; Demi Moore pregnant on the cover of Vanity; Whoopi Goldberg bathed in milk; and Queen Elizabeth’s formal portrait to name just a few.
I recently ran into a copy of the book Women by Annie Leibovitz and sifted through each page mesmerized by what I saw. There are women- in groups- in action- in portrait- at work- at play- so many different diverse women all connected by the astounding visual perspective.
For the past year or so, my computer has been crashing. I’ll be right in the middle of something and these white and gray lines take over the screen and there is nothing to do but to lose whatever was in process as I turn off the computer and then restart it. I have figured out some tricks to regroup while being frustrated, sickened and scared. Is it possible to actually lose all of my hard-earned files, photos, blogs, powerpoints?
I found out that there were two things I could do to remediate the situation. One was to put more RAM, random access memory, into my computer memory. RAM is the place in a computer where the operating system, application programs, and data in current use are kept so that they can be quickly reached. If RAM fills up, the processor goes to the hard disk to overlay old data in RAM with new. This significantly slows down the computer's operation. Unlike the hard disk that can become completely full of data and won't accept any more, RAM never runs out of memory. It keeps operating, but much more slowly. With help, I got and installed more RAM.
The second step was to invest in an external hard drive. Every computer needs at least one hard drive to store its operating system, programs and user information. This drive usually is internally built into the computer. External hard drives are used in addition to internal hard drives in order to store more data. With help, I now am the proud owner of an external hard drive.
Let the fun begin. I set about cleaning and sorting my pictures, files, documents, and notes. I love, love, love this kind of organizing. It is satisfying, gratifying and fascinating. I found all kinds of great things I had totally forgotten I had stored away like a squirrel. I removed all of the older files, power points, and photos to the external drive. I eliminated everything on my hard drive that was not currently being used. I organized the remains on my computer into much more accessible, understandable files. I have purged, discovered great hidden ideas, made room for future growth and found new love. Nice!