Monday, March 28, 2011

Elizabeth, Wine and Double Pronouns

Things have been a bit crazy once again. (Thus my being m.i.a. lately on my blog- and yours!)

One reason? I am feeling behind in school because my auditions keep landing on class days. Just call me Murphy. I am not kidding, I was planning to go early to study group tomorrow to finally figure out these crazy double pronouns in Italian class. Of course, I got yet another audition, right in the middle of the study group and 45 minutes before class. (Which is nowhere near my audition, by the way.)

Tonight I gave up. (At least temporarily!) I had a couple of glasses of wine and a big bowl of pasta with my neighbor Drew and enjoyed two solid hours of Dancing With the Stars. Sometimes you just need to decompress and laugh a little!

So, if you are in need of a laugh ... check this out! My sister sent it to me and I could not stop laughing! Just make sure you get to the part with Elizabeth. It's the best part. :)

When somebody tells you nothing is impossible,
ask him to dribble a football.

~Author Unknown

Back to double pronouns!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Place in the Sun

"I call upon you to draw from the depths of your being
to prove that we are a human race
to prove that our love outweighs our need to hate...
that our compassion is more compelling than our need to blame."

~Elizabeth Taylor
from her speech at the 1993 Oscars accepting the Humanitarian Award

In an interview a few years ago she told a story about having an out of body experience when she was on an operating table. It was way back when she was married to Eddie Fisher. She said that Mike Todd came to her and told her that it wasn't her time ... that she had more to do.

She was the first famous person to come out strongly as an advocate for people fighting HIV/AIDS and was the founding chairman of amFar and later founded the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation in 1991. She was funny, gorgeous and an amazing friend to those around her and I think that says so much.

I like to think she's having a grand reunion somewhere, with her great wit and big heart, laughing with Monty, Rock, Roddy, Michael, Mike and Richard ... and having a grand old time!

E l i z a b e t h T a y l o r

1 9 3 2 - 2 0 1 1

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Walk for Women

I can't believe it's been two years since they took that big old pomegranate out of me! It's because of my wonderful appendix deciding to rupture when it did, that I had a CT Scan and was one of the lucky ones! So, I figure it's about time I do something and give back!!

I am doing the EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women for women's cancers on May 7, in Los Angeles.

CLICK HERE for my PERSONAL PAGE and hit "give a gift" to donate.

With one in three women predicted to develop cancer in her lifetime,

we've all felt the effect of women's cancers.

Your donation can help support cutting-edge research into the cause and cure for women's cancers and advanced early detection at The Gilda Radner Hereditary Cancer Detection Program at Cedars-Sinai Women's Cancer Institute at the Samuel Oschin Center, Providence St. Joseph Medical Center, and the Revlon/UCLA Women's Cancer Research Program. Money is also provided for much needed psycho-social support services to women with cancer, and their families.

I know there are so many worthy causes out there but even the smallest amount can make a difference. Please sponsor whatever amount you can in honor of your wives, your aunts, your sisters, daughters and friends! Even 5 or 10 would be great! Anything.

Thank you so much.

"Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations.
I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty,
believe in them, and try to follow where they lead."

—Louisa May Alcott

"Many persons have a wrong idea of what constitutes true happiness.
It is not attained through self-gratification
but through fidelity to a worthy purpose."

—Helen Keller

The Facts About Women’s Cancers

It is estimated that in 2010:

  • More than 273,000 new cases of women’s cancers will be diagnosed this year in the U.S.
  • Approximately 40,000 women will die from breast cancer in the United States
  • Breast cancer will account for 27% of all cancers diagnosed in women in the United States
  • Approximately 22,000 new cases of ovarian cancer are expected this year
  • About 15,000 women will die of ovarian cancer

Source: American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 2009 Women’s cancers include: breast, uterine, ovary, vulva, vagina

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

—Margaret Mead

Blessings and light to you friends!
Happy St. Patrick's Day and Italian Unification Day!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


fill your mind with compassion

The Buddha

After the Rain, Ojai Calfornia 3/11
pastel on La Carte
donated to silent auction for NCL

Whether one believes in a religion or not,
and whether one believes in rebirth or not,
there isn't anyone who doesn't appreciate
kindness and compassion.

~Dalai Lama

Teach this triple truth to all: A generous heart,
kind speech, and a life of service and compassion
are things which renew humanity.


I guess it's natural that we should all have great compassion when we see suffering right in front of us on the television. I hope that place inside of us that is so touched by what we have seen, will help us all go forward in love and kindness.

I got an email last night from my friend Amanda who passed this on to me. I don't know who originated it, but it's a wonderful idea, so I thought I'd pass it on to you.

"I am asking that on Tuesday, March 15th between 7 and 7:30pm Pacific
Standard Time, you stop what you are doing and hold the hand of the person
next to you, known or stranger and pray. Pray for light, love, safety and a
settled earth. We must gather together with intention of love. If you don't
know how to pray or meditate, just stop what you are doing and think of
something that makes you happy and feel peaceful and hold the idea of
helping people in Japan."

If you aren't on the west coast of the U.S. I guess you will have to work out the time change!

Hope you are all safe and well and I will back soon!

Blessings and light

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Giotto, Passion & Art History

Basilica of Saint Francis
10" x 7" Pastel on LaCarte 2010

I have been having a long distance relationship. If you have been reading my blog for any length of time you have, more than likely, picked up on the fact that this passionate love affair I am having, is with a country. Yes, I am in love with a country and I know I am not alone. Frankly, I am just another Bunny at The Mansion.

On top of it, we don't see each other very often so I have been finding ways to stay connected. -- Italian 101, Italian 102, Art History ... reading histories and biographies, watching Fellini movies, blogging my Italy photos, and doing pastels from my trip (see above.)

Art History class isn't just Italian art but since we started in the 13th and 14th centuries, it's heavy on the Italian which I, of course, am thrilled about. Our first in class assignment was to write a paper comparing two slides projected on a screen. The slides were artworks from the 13th and 14th centuries. We had to say where they were from, when they were painted and compare and contrast the difference in styles. Two pages, handwritten.

The Allegory of Poverty by Giotto c 1330
detail of fresco from the lower Basilica of San Francesco, Assisi

All of the sudden I was half way down the second page and I'd only written about the Giotto fresco from Padua. (below) I had gotten completely carried away with the Italian art (suprise, surprise) and I hadn't written a thing about the little Dutch painting on the right. Just then the professor said "five minutes!" at which point I scribble down a few lines about Northern European painting of the 14th century and handed it in. Oh well, at least it's not like I am trying to transfer to Harvard or anything.

After turning in our papers I sat for the next two hours listening to the professor speak passionately about the early Italian Renaissance while looking at slides of the work of Donatello, Brunelleschi and Ghiberti. It was heaven.

Lamentation by Giotto
Arena Chapel, Padua 1305-1306

For those of you who are also in love and can't get enough (and I know you are many) ... I found this on YouTube ... enjoy!

Our passions can help us to continue to grow and learn
They can make life more fulfilling and certainly more enjoyable!
What are your passions?

I hope you are all finding ways to explore your favorite passions this weekend!
Blessings and light!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pins and needles ... and John Barry

I love soundtracks. When I want to wake up in the English countryside and imagine for a moment I am Marianne Dashwood, I pop "Sense and Sensibility" into my CD alarm clock. When I am having a glass of red wine and getting ready to go out? A little Nino Rota please. For fantasizing that I am in a riding a train across the Italian countryside? Ennio Morricone.

But it all started with John Barry. It was high school and I would burn candles in my bedroom, pining away for some surfer boy, listening to my 33 of Somewhere in Time on my stereo. (For the youngins, a 33 was a big round black thing with a hole in the middle that we used to use to play music.) I was a hopeless (key word) romantic and I loved it.

College was all about the soundtrack to Out of Africa and part of that was that in 1989 I had gotten to go to Kenya with my family. It was one of the great experiences in my life and that soundtrack reminded me of being in Africa. (And Robert Redford.)

So, last Friday I am lying on a table in the acupuncturist's office, in a little white paper gown listening to "Classical KUSC" on Dr. Yu's boombox. Actually, it sounds more like an old transistor radio since it gets fuzzy every time Dr. Yu walks by. Anyhow, the announcer came on and said, "With the Oscars Sunday we are going to pay tribute to John Barry who passed in January, by playing a medley of his music." Whaaaa? John Barry? Where was I? I had no idea.

Lying there, the music started to play and my eyes welled up, spilling tears into my ears ... the sense memory was overwhelming. Music will do that. There I was, lying on my back, half naked, in my little white paper gown, acupuncture needles quivering, trying not to go into full blown sobs and freak out my sweet and very reserved acupuncturist.

I took deep breaths and let the music (and the memories) wash over me.

Music is an outburst of the soul.

~Frederick Delius

Thank you John Barry!

More Out of Africa

Somewhere in Time

Other Favorite Mostly Instrumental Soundtracks

The Mission Ennio Morricone

Cinema Paradiso Ennio Morricone (all time fave!)

Schindler's List John William's with Itzak Perlman playing

Breakfast at Tiffany's Henry Mancini (fab-u-lous!)

Braveheart James Horner

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon Tan Dun with Yo Yo Ma playing

Seven Years in Tibet John Williams

Powaqqatsi Philip Glass

The Ultimate Best of Fellini & Rota Nino Rota (Any of his scores!)

Il Postino Luis Bacalov

Frida Elliot Goldenthal

Big Night (OK there are vocals on a few, but this is a great one!)

Smile from Modern Times by Itzhk Perlman (iTunes)

Obviously there are other amazing film scores like Gone With the Wind but they are so attached to the visuals for me that they just make me want to sit down and watch the movie. Like Star Wars, for instance. :)

Do you have any favorite film scores?

Take a music bath
once or twice a week for a few seasons.
You will find it is to the soul
what water bath is to the body.

~Oliver Wendell Holmes