Sunday, April 20, 2014

Shorts and Color


You guys help me more than you know.  Not only do you support me as an audience, you inspire me with your ideas.  When you put together unusual outfits, I feel free to follow your lead.

So when someone as stylish as Larissa wears shorts with colored tights, I believe I can too.  Without role-models, I wouldn't try half the things you inspire me to do.

I'm playing here with bright colors.  I mix several and hope they gel.  (I'm wearing  pink tights; they almost disappear in the photos.) 

What do you think?


 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Stoicism

How tough are you?  How well do you respond to hardship?  Are you strong or weak?

I know the answer about myself.  I'm tough.  I'm stoic.  I endure pain, suffering and mental stress better than most people.  Compared to your average overfed, lazy, middle-aged suburban man, I'm tough.

Let me give you an example.  Six weeks ago, I had a motorcycle accident.  I didn't tell you (or anyone else) the full extent of my injuries.  I fell on my right arm and twisted it badly under the weight of my body.  For a month after the accident, I had excruciating pain every time I touched something or simply put  my hand in my pocket.  Since I'm right-handed, searing pain occurred about every hour.  I couldn't write or type without suffering.

Yet I didn't miss a day of work.  I even conducted a trial a week after the accident.  I can't shake hands without wincing in pain, but showed up for battle regularly. 

My blogging barely slowed down.  I conceived creative, fun posts about a variety of subjects.  I learned to eat with my left hand.  I drove Gina with my left hand reaching across my body to move the stick-shift.

Despite this daily misery, I refrained from complaining online.  I didn't whine about my situation.  I didn't ask for sympathy.  I just pushed forward.

A week or two ago, my right arm started to heal.  I can move my wrist and forearm again.  There's still pain but I'm back to doing things.  Yesterday, I got on my motorcycle and rode for an hour.  It hurts to twist the throttle but I can bear that.  It feels good to be flying in the wind again.

An article in the new issue of The New Yorker describes how the best cave-explorers in the world climb miles underground, in the dark, for up to 14 days.  Without knowing what's in front of them, they squeeze through tiny spaces, fall down tall heights, wrestle with animal-life and bacteria, injure themselves -- and push forward on their mission.  They endure almost-constant suffering to do what they set out to do.  These guys are tough.  Compared to them, I'm a wimp.

How tough are you?  How well do you climb back from adversity?

Friday, April 18, 2014

The Old Days

 
Do you remember back before I became famous?  Before my blog was national news?

In the early days, my labor of love had a few dozen readers, most of whom became close friends.  We used to chat about fashion and life.  Our casual conversations were refreshing and fun.

Then a post of mine unexpectedly went viral; hundreds of thousands of readers flocked to my blog; I started making so much money from advertising that I quit my day-job; journalists interviewed me constantly on national programs; and relatives I barely knew called asking for loans.

Now I hobnob with celebrities; A-list actors try to appear on my blog; and I party all night in fancy hotels.  I don't even write my blog anymore... I have a team of assistants who produce daily posts.  Overnight, everything changed for me...

...oh wait... was that a dream??

Thursday, April 17, 2014

In Search Of Adventure


This picture is from a story in today's news.

A 3-year old boy in Nebraska was reported missing by his mother.   While she was in the bathroom, he scooted out the front door.  He was later found in a bowling alley across the street -- he climbed into the toy claw machine and was playing with the toys.   The police got him out of the machine unharmed.

You know he had fun.  At that age, we're just following our instincts.

Have you ever done anything like this?

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring?


Our seasons are so screwy this year.  Winter was bad and never seemed to end.  Despite a few nice warm days recently, it doesn't really feel like Spring yet.  And last night it snowed!  In New York, not Alaska.  Snow in the middle of April -- that's rare.

I'm not a gardener and know little about plants.  Three years ago, I planted two batches of flowers in my backyard.  They grew nicely that year.  The next year, I was startled to see them come back -- I wasn't aware they are the kind of plant that returns.  I thought they were a one-shot deal.

This year, they popped up again.  What a nice surprise.  I'm sharing them with you here.  If any of you are plant-literate, perhaps you can tell me what they are.

I hope these beauties survive the snow.  Do you have plants?  Are they blooming?


 
 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

"The Past" (2013)


I love good cinema.  And I'm willing to go overseas to find it.

Today, I saw a foreign film that's one of the best I've encountered.  I was drawn to it because the filmmaker (Asghar Farhadi) is a talented artist who made an excellent movie I enjoyed ("A Separation" in 2011).  This current film, made last year, is even better.

"The Past" is skilled filmmaking of the highest order.  Farhadi insisted on spending two months in rehearsals with his actors before breaking out a camera.  That devotion shows in the depth and reality of the acting.  You believe you're watching real life, not a movie.  The subject is family and personal relationships, which have a reality that transcends the usual fare at the multiplex.

Plus, the film stars Bérénice Bejo, who you may remember as the adorable Peppy Miller in "The Artist."  Bejo is a superb actress who shines in this role.

The film won many awards at Cannes and was nominated this year for a Golden Globe.  Nicole Kidman sat as a judge at Cannes and admitted to crying after watching this film.

The film was made in France and is spoken in French with subtitles.  The filmmaker is Iranian, as is the main actor; Bejo is Argentinian.

Not everyone likes foreign films or subtitles, but this movie is exceptional and worth the effort.



Friday, April 11, 2014

1964 World's Fair


Exactly fifty years ago, New York hosted a World's Fair.  Situated in Queens, the Fair ran for two years and showcased cultures and technology from around the world.  Thousands came to see the many exhibitions.

I was six at the time and have an odd, almost-embarrassing memory to tell you.  In addition to visiting the Fair with my family several times, I performed in it.  Really!  In one of two structures built for the Fair which is still standing (New York State Pavilion), I played accordion in a group of accordion-players from the music school where I studied.  We performed for a large crowd of visitors.  I remember dragging my large accordion-case (almost as big as me) to and from the concert.  Weirdly, we played songs written by The Beatles which, on the accordion, sounded truly bizarre.  But they were popular songs at the time.

The second surviving structure is the Unisphere (pictured above).  It has been used since then in several movies, like "Men In Black" and "Iron Man 2".

You can see the Pavilion where I played in the picture below.  It's gutted now and they're contemplating whether to demolish it (cost - $14 Million) or renovate it (cost - $50 Million).  Attached to the Pavilion are three columns which have what looked like spacecraft on top.  They were observation decks you could travel up to look around.

World's Fairs were popular in the last century.  They gave people in an analog world the opportunity to see new sights, new technology and foreign cultures.  I haven't heard of any since then, which is sad.  Have you ever been to one?