Thursday, September 25, 2008

Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, Rafael, and ......Masaccio

If you only learn one thing about art history, know this: Masaccio should have been a ninja turtle.

After my monumental trip to Europe when I was 16, I took an art history class from my local community college. It was an excellent class, I have to give credit to Mr. Bannon, my teacher. He made everything relevant; especially Masaccio's turtle power.

Who is Masaccio and why is he worthy, you might ask. Well, I took the class, so I am informed, allow me.

What you are looking at here is THE FIRST (known) perspective painting. It doesn't seem like much to us now, because we've been through Dadaism (bleh). But back then this blew people away.

Let's learn a little about our fifth turtle.

1. He was born in a small village in Italy in 1401.

2. To further support his turtle-worthiness, we should note that his younger brother was nicknamed "Scheggia" meaning "splinter."

3. He was an incredible artist, but no one knew where he got his training (Samurai master rat.)

4. He was good friends will Donatello.

5. Michelangelo looked up to him.

6. Masaccio was so lethal he only had one name like Prince. This makes him a Star. And for that his weapon should be the Throwing Stars.


Friday, September 19, 2008

полуостров Камчатка Here we come!

Destination: Kamchatka полуостров Камчатка
Location: Eastern Russia
Why? It might be the most beautiful place on earth.

Everything about this peninsula looks mystical and hauntingly hostile. The color of the water alone is something to dip your paintbrush into.

The peninsula is sparcely populated, largest city is Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky with roughly 200,000 people. The majority of the population is Russian but, Koryaks, the indigenous people still inhabit the area.

Sunday, September 14, 2008


I've started this tradition of putting together some of my favorite songs once a year.

This is 2008....

1. Dr. Dog - Heart it Races  (…heard  on NPR station remake of #19)

2. The Glands - You've Got Me All Wrong (…a tune a friend put on a mix CD he gave me in San Fran as I was traveling out to CA)

3. Electrelane - The Valleys (…found it on Angie's computer)

4. Wax Tailor - Que Sera (…randomly uncovered online)

5. Koop - Koop Island Blues(….heard on NPR during a road trip. Weird band, great song)

6. Bats for Lashes - What's a Girl to Do (…..found by my Mr.)

7. Kings of Convenience - Gold for the Price of Silver (…. I found out about KofC from a promo CD with their song Failure - didn't like that song, but a friend in NYC with good taste introduced me to some of the other songs. This one became my anthem - living way up in that apartment building and looking out over the city.)

8. Sufjan Stevens - Romulus (…found randomly online)

9. Feist - When I was a Young Girl (….found online after hearing her on Morning Becomes Eclectic way back. Have you seen an interview with her? She's amazingly smart, but still kind and gracious).

10. Devendra Banhart - Quedate Luna (….2nd favorite track from the CD, mi hermano got me for xmas)

11. Devendra Banhart - Heard Somebody Say (….favorite track from previous CD.)

12. Circulatory System - Inside Blast (….found years ago when I was trying to go see a show, any show at Southpaw in Brooklyn with Andy. I was trying to cash in on my free-status. Somehow I managed to get into shows free after calling and chatting with the owner. This turned out to be a good one. I was a fan of Olivia Tremor Control and read about the re-situation of members into Circulatory System. The cello is still one of my favorite melodies.)

13. Microphones - I Hold Nothing (…. found on after trying to listen to my favorite microphones songs at work. Phil E. painted my entire solo trip through CA and then by chance I got to see him at UCLA live when I finally arrived in LA. How lucky am I? I even chatted with him for a few; he was definitely more comfortable singing than talking, but what an incredible artist!)

14. Weepies - Gotta Have You (…I could do without the synthetic beat, but I’m a fan of simple guitar, drum and voice. Found them randomly online)

15. Weepies - World Spins Madly On

16. Lou Reed - Perfect Day (…this was from college and still takes me back to those first enigmatic days in Brooklyn.)

17. Esthero - Everyday is a Holiday (…a lovely find by my Mr.)

18. Kinks - Waterloo Sunset (….came on the stereo at home thanks to my music-minded miles. It flavored my year. I tried to translate it to banjo, but...yeah, that didn't work. I like at 2:30 in the video where Dave D. gets a laugh at something. Apparently he was the heart of the band.)

Bonus 19. Architecture in Helsinki - Heart It Races (….found online after hearing a remake. Different. Equally awesome.)

Thanks for tuning in to this year's wrap up. You are wondering why this occurs in September and not December like all of the other year-end lists. The real answer is because most of my good friends have birthdays in the fall. I like to share music so I try to send CDs with gifts. However, we procrastinate. These CDs don’t usually set sail until December anyway, so whether I like it or not, this is a year-end wrap-up. : )

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On Friendship thoughts from Cicero

For my birthday I will give some quotes from Cicero's treatise on friendship up to 98, get it 9-08. Because I spend birthdays enjoying fine food and company of friends.

Cicero hanging with friends... not much to do when you are a bust.

20 True friendship is rare. A definition of friendship: complete sympathy in all matters of importance, plus goodwill and affection. Without virtue friendship cannot exist.

30 Scipio and Laelius became friends not because of perceived advantages but because of their admiration of each other’s virtues.

35 - 51 Friendships also end when a friend asks for something immoral. A law of friendship: Never ask a wrongful thing of a friend. Friendships made for ulterior motives sacrifice the joy of friendships made out of pure affection.

52 Those weakened by luxurious living are not good models for friendship.

53 - 54 We cannot be friends with people we fear, like tyrants. Tarquin the last king of Rome could not have real friends. (poor guy)

55 Friendship cannot be bought.

62 Scipio always complained how careless men were in choosing friends.

63 Friendships should be made carefully, cautiously and slowly.

64 Politics is not a good area for friendship.

65 Trust as the foundation of lasting friendship.

69 - 71 Friends should never feel superior to friends. Friends should never be jealous of the success and status of friends.

72 It is important to keep people from thinking they are inferior.

73 How far should we go in aiding friends? Only so much that is within our powers and only so much as the friend can bear.

81 Love of another is what distinguishes humans from animals.

83 Friendship should aid virtue, not vice.

84 Unvirtuous men do not really have friends.

91 Friends need to accept criticism from friends.

93–94 One cannot change to please a friend.

97 If truth can be seen even in politics, true friends can also be recognized.

98 Virtute enim ipsa non tam multi praediti esse quam videri volunt.
Few are those who wish to be endowed with virtue rather than to seem so