Not Ready to Make Nice…

My Warholesque Tribute to the Guerilla Girls

If ever there was a time to make protest art wouldn’t it be now?  In 10 short months we’ve gone from ‘normal crazy’ to outright mayhem, chaos and anarchy with little street art questioning any of it.  Have you seen anything in your town? Anything that suddenly appears on a street, wall or empty storefront which makes you pause to look and maybe say WTF or better yet think and question?  

While most street artists work anonymously there are a few, like BanksyPussy RiotThe Faction and Lushsux who have achieved notoriety, fame and fortune.  That said, with the exception of The Faction, none seem to hail from or regularly create art in the US.  Can that be right?  Is no one making challenging art in America today? Continue reading “Not Ready to Make Nice…”

Number 9, Number 9…

I am going on Day 55 of self-isolation, am very much Covid free, and anxiously looking to the heavens for any sign I can get back to my ‘old normal’ soon.  That’s why it was quite serendipitous I was offered a chance to review Dawne Kovan’s newly published Secrets of Numerology.  I’ve always been fascinated with astrology, tarot, astral charts and the like but it’s been a long time since I’ve done anything more than check my weekly horoscope. Having a chance to take my time exploring Secrets of Numerology gave me insights into myself and a few of my loved ones and provided me with hours of escapism at a time when I really wish I could see into the future (or at least see ahead to the next few weeks).

I’d summarize Secrets of Numerology as a very well-written, easy to understand beginners guide to exploring the role numbers play in our lives.  The history and theory of numbers is explained in a very methodical manner, moving from an overview to the specifics of universal, personality, destiny, karmic, soul, secret self, and maturity numbers. The author delves into numbers as they relate to relationships and explores in some depth how numbers can predict important times in our lives (including pinnacle periods, challenging periods, and the personal year). Finally, the book explores the relationship between numbers, the Tarot and astrology. All in all, Secrets of Numerology is a very thorough, very easy to follow exploration of numerology perfectly suited for any beginning enthusiast.

So what did I learn about my own numbers?  As a designer who has always been influenced by multiples of 3 I was somewhat surprised to learn my universal number is 9, my soul number is 6, my destiny is 9, my pinnacles are 6, challenges are 3, and my personal year yet another  6.  Pretty weird, right?  Universal 9’s embrace experiences and like to learn about life. They are practical and realistic. They like to tear down the old to make the new but don’t hang around afterward as they are on to the next thing. 9’s are uniquely prepared for what life throws their way.  I won’t go into all the details of the 9 that is me, but suffice it to say after I researched all of those 3’s, 6’s, and 9’s I really am, without any doubt, a true Number 9.

Curious about what your universal number might be? Take your birth month + birth date + birth year (4 digits) and add them all together, then break down the 4 digit total by adding the 1st numeral to the 2nd, that sum to the 3rd, that sum to the 4th, and oof that gives you a double digit sum add the two numbers again, until you finally reduce the number to a single digit (although straggly enough, 11 or 12 are the exceptions to this rule).  Easy, right?  Of course, now you need to know what your number translates to, which means you’ll need to get your own copy of Secrets of Numerology and figure it out for yourself.  I can’t think of a better way to while away the hours until we are free again.  Until then, stay safe and be kind…

*Number 9 – The Beatles

 

In tradition with the family plan…

It’s better to give…

Lately I’ve been thinking about traditions, especially those relating to families.  How they get started, how they become embedded, how we create new ones while maintaining the old, even after those we’ve shared the tradition with move on.  

I dearly miss the rituals I shared with my parents, and if I listen closely enough can still hear them calling me by the nickname only they used. I cherish the silly but touching things my parents did for and with me, which I have instituted with my children, and which we now share with each other (I’m looking at you, birthday song!) And I am so thankful for the new traditions created with family and friends, which continually strengthen our bonds of friendship and love over distance and time.

I am not sure it counts as a tradition but one enduring passion my parents gave me is my love for music. I remember my sister and I used to give them our record wants for Christmas. They would head to Sam Goody and hand the clerk our ‘wish list’, who would ask which they wanted to buy. Their answer was always ‘all of them’.  Over time, my music wants have been replaced by another parent-instilled passion for reading and books. I’ve posted before about the annual ‘gift of 9’ (here and here), which my mom and dad traditionally gave me each Christmas…

…until this year. To my great sadness the tradition is in hiatus and won’t be happening again until someone else I love adopts the gift of ‘9’ going forward.  Until then I am maintaining the practice myself, albeit a little later than normal, with my next nine reads pictured above. 

How about you? What are your favorite traditions? What traditions for you miss the most? Drop me a note…I’d love to know.

*Levon – Elton John

Judge a book by looking at its cover….

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The Fall Nine

The Memory Police – Yoko Ogawa | Three Women – Lisa Taddeo | Those Who Knew – Idra Novey | Fleishman Is In Trouble – Taffy Brodesser-Akner | On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous – Ocean Vuong | Delayed Rays of A Star – Amanda Lee Koe | Bunny – Mona Awad | Opioid, Indiana – Brian Allen Carr | The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna – Juliet Grames


In honor of Banned Books Week 2019 (September 22-28) I’m ordering my next batch of 9 reads which have been on my 2 B or NOT 2 B Reads list for some time.   I’ve really been wanting to read ‘Three Women’ and ‘Fleishman Is In Trouble’ so maybe I’ll chose one of those to begin.  And while none of these books has been placed on a banned list YET, give it time – one or two have the potential to end up on someone’s ‘do not read’  list before long.

I find it amazing that someone could be threatened by an idea in a book, since reading is knowledge and it’s the lack of knowledge which is truly dangerous, but what do I know.  My philosophy is pretty simple – read and let read. If the book offends close the cover and move on but don’t  prevent me from reading the story if I choose to do so.  I’ve written about banned books before (here) and encourage everyone to send the proverbial bird to the book censors among us by reading a few ‘banned’ books because you – still  – can.

*Can’t Judge a Book By the Cover – Bo Diddley

If a 6 turned out to be 9…

For the second year in a row I am taking part in our library’s Summer Reading Program (see last year’s progress here), which runs from May 6th thru August 21st. Last year I was a Rock Star and this year I’m a Rocketeer!  To date, participants have clocked 11,314,826 minutes of reading and counting. I am proud to say I’ve contributed 4460 minutes of that total (or .0004% for you matheteers) and am thinking I can log another 2,500 – minutes not books – before the program ends… Continue reading “If a 6 turned out to be 9…”

Walks beside me…modern love

It isn’t often I read a work of fiction and want to learn more about some of the characters but that is exactly what happened after I finished reading ‘The Museum of Modern Love’ (aka: MoML) by Australian author Heather Rose.  Ms. Rose’s story uses performance artist Marina Abramovic’s 2010 MoMA retrospective “The Artist is Present” as the background against which her characters experience fear, sadness, doubt, loneliness, wonder, happiness, creativity, and love… Continue reading “Walks beside me…modern love”

Oh I talk too loose…..

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I thought I’d be able to settle into 2019 focused on a year-long daily art project I am undertaking with any leftover time devoted to more frequent blogging.  Ha!  Turns out I’ve been spending most of my free time helping one of my children secure their very first ‘grown up’ job.  That said, no matter how busy I am I always find time to read every day… Continue reading “Oh I talk too loose…..”

Back into bed started reading my books…

9 Gifts that will keep on giving

Do you have a gift you receive every year? Some item which if not received taints the occasion just a bit? For me, that gift is a book, or even better, books. Each Christmas my momma gifts me with a selection from my ‘2b or not 2b read’ list (past gift selections can be found here and here). My mom was a little under the weather over the holidays and so her 2018 gift was delayed, but no less appreciated when I finally opened my box of books this weekend. Thanks Mom.

*Off the Hook – The Rolling Stones

Before they’re forever banned…

diaperbaby
One of the Funniest AND Most Banned Contender’s

Have you been celebrating Banned Books Week?  I’ve never understood how censorship could be viewed as a positive thing.  If we prohibit the ideas which offend how can we ever have a discourse which leads to common ground?

Are you curious what the most-banned books are?  Since 1990, these books have consistently made it into the top 25 according to the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom:

  1. Daddy’s Roommate – Michael Willhoite (published 1991)
  2. And Tango Makes Three Peter Parnell & Justin Richardson (published 2005)
  3. The Chocolate War – Robert Cormier (published 1974)
  4. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark – Alvin Schwartz (published 1981-1991)
  5. His Dark Materials  – Philip Pullman (published 1995-2000)
  6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou (published 1969)
  7. Heather Has Two Mommies Leslea Newman (published 1989)
  8. Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck (published 1937)
  9. Captain Underpants  – Dav Pilkney (published 1997-2015)
  10. Alice – Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (published 1985-2012)
  11. Sex Madonna (published 1992)
  12. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain (published 1884)
  13. Earth’s Children  – Jean M. Auel (published 1980-2011)
  14. King & King – Linda De Haas & Stern Njiland (published 2002)
  15. The Witches – Ronald Dahl (published 1983)
  16. Gossip Girl  – Cecily von Ziegesar (published 2002-2011)
  17. Forever… – Judy Blume (published 1975)
  18. The New Joy of Gay Sex Charles Silverstein, Edmund White & Felice Picano (published 1993)
  19. The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger (published 1951)
  20. Final Exit – Derek Humphrey (published 1991)
  21. Arming America – Michael A. Bellesiles (published 2000)
  22. The Goats – Brock Cole (published 1987)
  23. Annie on My Mind – nancy garden (published 1982)
  24. What My Mother Doesn’t Know – Sonya Sones (published 2001)
  25. Halloween ABC Eve Merriam (published 1987)

Some of the reasons for banning these books include racial stereotypes, violence, nudity, assisted suicide, drugs, religious or political viewpoints, sexism, misogyny, and disobedience – all topics as relevant now as when these books were first published.  I am proud of the banned books I’ve read and will continue to seek out anything deemed offensive simply so I can judge for myself. Just saying…

*Blowing in the Wind – Joan Baez & Bob Dylan

 

 

How great thou art…

tonybrownchair
“Icons aren’t manufactured on an assembly line. They are carved out of time.” Rick Caballo©

I will occasionally review books when the subject speaks to me in some way (past reviews here and here).  Typically, these books are heavy on pictures and light on words since I am ‘old school’, refusing to own a Kindle or iPad and not a fan of reading books on my laptop.  This stance severely limits my review opportunities so when I was given the chance to weigh in on Tony Brown’s “Elvis, Strait to Jesus: An Iconic Producer’s Journey with Legends of Rock n Roll, Country and Gospel Music”  I immediately said yes.

I had three very personal reasons for wanting to review Mr. Brown’s book; 1) I love all types of music, especially rock and roll and anything Elvis; 2) I’ve been involved in the Nashville music scene for many years; and 3) Tony Brown played a rather sizable role in my life in the 90’s. Truth be told, I was also hoping to see a face or two I knew within the book’s pages.

In ‘Elvis, Strait to Jesus’ Tony talks about his musical upbringing and features 40 people who have impacted his life. He describes his life journey as serendipitous, and the way he has laid out his story shows how one thing led to another but everything, always, revolved around his love for music.  I really enjoyed learning about Brown’s playing days as a youth in his family’s The Brown Family Singers, and then as a young man tickling the ivories with J.D. Sumner and his Stamps Quartet,  Elvis’s TCB Band, Emmylou Harris’s Hot Band, and Rodney Crowell’s The Cherry Bombs.  Tony eventually moved on from playing to producing, and enjoyed tremendous success in the 80’s and 90’s with artists like George Strait, Reba McEntyre, and Jimmy Buffet, all of whom take a seat in the book’s ‘chair’ to reminisce about their relationship with Tony.

As they say in the South, Tony’s momma ‘done raised him right’.  Here is a man who has seen it all and then some but any salacious tales he knows don’t appear in this book. Instead, what comes through in the stunning black and white photos and the words of his friends is his genuine love for each of them and the music they made, along with wonder at the path his life has taken.  Tony Brown’s journey is a testament to honing your skills, doing what you love, and always always always following the twists and turns of your own life soundtrack.

*How Great Thou Art – Elvis and his TCB Band