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Showing posts from September, 2011

A Cat, a Dog, and Shakespeare: The Perfect Sunday Afternoon

One reason I keep paying a cable bill is to be able to watch Turner Classic Movies. I had just finished a batch of Sunday chores and was resting a moment on the couch, wedged between Chatterly the cat and Gypsy the dog (an Australian Kelpie), and saw that TCM was about to air Julius Caesar, directed by Joseph Mankiewicz, and produced in 1953. 

I read Julius Caesar for the first time when I was in sixth grade. It was a great time to read it, because it seemed fresh and real to me, even though some of the centuries-old English was challenging. 

The movie made me wish that Joseph Mankiewicz had directed more of Shakespeare's works for cinema. The balance the movie strikes is oh, so totally just right. It does not go so far into cinematic territory that we lose the work's theatricality, but travels far enough by camera that it provides a sense of seamless reality only a movie can create.  The casting was brilliant.  James Mason was at his best as Brutus, and he carries the film on h…

Friday Fun

I almost never do anything like this ... but that little tease copy on Firefox finally "got" me.  I went to Webify, took the quiz, and the wizard tucked away in virtual land created this collage based on my answers. I don't begin to understand it (which is part of its charm).

I used to travel to Chicago a lot on business and go to Europa Books there. They have a magnificent selection of books and periodicals in German, French, Italian, and Spanish. I took a colleague there with me one day. She stayed in the store just a few minutes. When I was done browsing, I found her outside, standing on the sidewalk, smoking a cigarette. And she said, "I don't understand anything that's in there!"  And I said, "I know. Isn't it wonderful?"

So, this is one of those things I don't understand, but it's a little wonder-ful.

A message from the Wildfire Relief Fund

This is the note I received after making my donation (See post below). Note the updated statistics:

Since January of this year, 3.5 million acres in Texas has been destroyed by wildfires, which includes 2,897 structures and more than 700 homes. Whole towns are being consumed. Not only is land destroyed, but lives are lost—both those of firefighters and Texans.
Volunteer firefighterscontribute the majority of the work in battling these wildfires. Grossly underfunded, these brave men and women often work without protective gear and 86 percent use personal funds to meet the day-to-day equipment and supply needs of their fire departments.
Your donation will directly benefit Texas volunteer firefighters by providing equipment, food, water, and fuel.

Wildfire Relief, How to Help

What a summer in Texas. 3.5 million acres burned, at last count, with fires still burning in central and north Texas. In millions of those acres, the men and women who fight the fires are VOLUNTEERS. Repeatedly this summer, they have risked their lives to keep these fires from doing even greater damage. Volunteer firefighters have no funding from any government. We, the people, are their only source of funds. Given the record-breaking heat, drought and increase in wildfires to be fought, those funds are now dangerously low.

Lack of funding means that volunteer firefighters have to fight fires with less-than-optimal equipment, making a life-threatening situation even more deadly. When you're not next door to one of these fires, it's easy not to worry. We have so much trust and faith in our firefighters, both employed and volunteer. I think of them as a staple of my community and my country, a continual resource. I walked out of my house one day and smelled nothing but smoke in…

Summer Day / Día de verano

Summer Day / Día de verano, a photo by Ysabel de la Rosa on Flickr. In celebration of the end of summer, or at least of hearing the news that this Saturday should be the last of our 98 100+ days (For those of you in Celsius Land, our temperature has been at 42 for way too long.), I've been reviewing images from summer and uploading some to my Flickr stream. This photo reminds me that summer can be beautiful.