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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Debtocracy (2011)

Are there other ways to solve the financial crisis in Greece? We all know the IMF solution. This is a movie about alternate solutions. Are they viable? It's up to each of us to make her or his own judgment.

Debtocracy, a Greek documentary made in 2011, while people in Athens are taking on the streets.



NY Times: Leaderless in Europe

The survival of the common European Union currency, free movement across national borders and trans-Atlantic collective security are all in serious doubt. That is the opinion expressed in a NY Times editorial today. More than a year into their debt crisis, major European leaders are still unable to make the necessary tough decisions. The constructive way out would be to restructure excessive debt, recapitalize affected banks and relax austerity enough to let debtor countries — Greece, Ireland and Portugal are most at risk — grow their way back to solvency. No one country could afford to finance such a solution, but Europe as a whole could.

Read more at:

(Zoon Politikon)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Simon Norwalk Has a New Toy

Simon with Embraer in Houston training, June 28

My friend Jay shared with us this image: his son Simon (who is a pilot at Express Jets Airlines) has now a new toy!


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Bian Lian - The Old Art of Face Changing

变脸 (Bian Lian), the Sichuan art of face changing.

The performer rapidly goes though a series of masks in the routine, which may last for as long as 30 minutes or even more. The performer may be dancing or even displaying his wushu skills throughout the act, and the main source of wonderment stems from his hands never coming anywhere close to his face prior to the changes. This skill is not taught to non-Chinese (too bad- my note)

Marcia Bujold brought this to my attention. Thanks Marcia!

Marcia mentioned also The King of Masks, a Chinese movie from 1997. It is on Netflix.

Nearing the end of his life, Wang -- a locally renowned street performer and wizard of the venerable art of mask magic -- yearns to pass on his technique. But custom decrees that he can only hand down his craft to a male successor. Anxious to preserve his unique art, the heirless Wang buys an impoverished 8-year-old on the black market. But when the child divulges a dreaded secret, Wang faces a choice between filial love and societal tradition.

Because the 8 year kid is actually a girl!

(Chinese Cinema)

(Marcia Bujold)


Sunday, June 26, 2011

My Memories of Old Beijing (1983)

The Beijing of the 1920's seen through the eyes of a little girl. The neighborhood is in the Southern part of the city, inhabited by the poor; among them some middle class people. The girl has the innocence and curiosity of each kid of that age and her eyes chronicle what's unfolding in the family, at school, on the street, in the life of the neighbors. A young woman got mad; the girl wants to see what the matter is, the mother stops her. The girl insists, and witnesses the crises of the mad woman; her husband had been executed for revolutionary activities, her little daughter had disappeared, the woman has lost her minds. Another neighbor, a young girl, is abused by her parents. A young thief is hiding in the junk behind the girl's house, they become friends. He will be caught by the police. A new brother is born and all attention at home is directed to him. The father gets sick and dies. Beyond all these dramas, there is the magic of the old city, crossed sometimes by carts pulled by donkeys, sometimes by caravans with camels, sometimes by police escorting political prisoners or thieves; and the joy of life of the little daughter. A superb blend of innocence and nostalgia: the innocence of the kid, the nostalgia of the grown up who once upon a time was a little girl. The grown up who knows that times don't come back and the old city will never be again as it was once upon a time.

My Memories of Old Beijing (城南舊事 - Cheng nan jiu shi), an 88 minutes movie made in 1982 and released in 1983. The Chinese title literally means Old Stories of the Southern Part of the City. It's based on an autobiographical novel written by Lin Haiyin: born in Osaka in 1918, she came with her family to Beijing at the age of five and spent there the following 25 years. In 1948 she moved to Taiwan and became a well known author. Lin Haiyin died in 2001.

A good characterization for the movie is given by zzmale: what gives this post-revolution era film a high score is that it is one of the earliest of the films shot in China that describes the pre-revolution era without any political bias and propaganda.

The copy I am giving you here has no subtitles. If you know Mandarin Chinese then fine. If you don't know Chinese but still are a Chinese film buff (like me) then it's up to you. I watched it and it's worth. If you don't know Chinese and are not interested in their films, then definitely this is the wrong place. And don't shoot the pianist :)

I wish to thank here Zdzisia Skowronska who brought this movie to my attention.

(Chinese Cinema)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Taishogun Market in Kyoto Is Known as Yōkai Street

Yōkai range from the evil ogre to the mischievous fox, including the famous Yuki-onna, the snow woman sometimes dressed in a transparent kimono, many times nude, beautiful yet dangerous, a rusalka of the Nippon universe. So these yōkai are little demons liking to play with us humans, sometimes innocently, many times leading toward uncharted waters, as they are capricious and very jealous.

Well, it is in our hard-code this gene, to be very curious and ignore perils, and Yoko is certainly a courageous girl. No wonder she chose from the whole city of Kyoto exactly the Taishogun Market for her wanderings: that place is known as Yōkai Street! Let's join her, it's risky yet it's worth!

(The Thousand faces of HANAFUBUKI)


Friday, June 24, 2011

Writer E.M.Broner Passed Away

E.M.Broner, center, leading a womens seder, which she recast from a feminist vantage point

Lilly Rivlin announced right now the death of E.M.Broner, a Jewish feminist who explored in her books (both fiction and non-fiction) the double marginalization of being Jewish and female. Ms. Broner was intensely concerned with Jewish spirituality, and with carving out a place for women in a faith tradition that had long seemed not to want them. Her most influential book was The Women's Haggadah, in which the Passover seder was recast from a feminist vantage point.

Ms. Broner died in Manhattan. She was 83.

There is an article in NY Times devoted to the personality of E. M. Broner:

(Lilly Rivlin)


Peter Falk Passed Away

The great creator of Columbo passed away. He was 83 years old. May God rest him in eternal peace!


Have You Ever Gone To Colorado?

Alma Har'el sent this image on Facebook: a mobile upload from the desert of Colorado. Alma has just visited The Red at Slab City: mythological & kicking, whiskey drinking & ice-cream eating.

Well, it's Colorado, but the state. It's California's Colorado Desert. Slab City (The Slabs) is there. Well, it's Slab City, but a city. It used to be a military camp in WWII. The barracks are now inhabited by squatters, along with all kind of wandering campers: no electricity, no running water, no charge for parking. And there is the Riot, the Slab City Riot: a flat dirt field, punk rock, party time in the bowels of hell, weird and just a little dangerous. If you are freaking cool, that's the place. Here are In The Read at the Riot in 2010.

(Alma Har'el)


Apollinaire: Il Pleut

Il pleut des voix de femmes comme si elles étaient mortes même dans le souvenir.
c’est vous aussi qu’il pleut, merveilleuses rencontres de ma vie. ô gouttelettes !
et ces nuages cabrés se prennent à hennir tout un univers de villes auriculaires
écoute s’il pleut tandis que le regret et le dédain pleurent une ancienne musique
écoute tomber les liens qui te retiennent en haut et en bas

there is a rich ambiguity of feeling in this poem that goes beyond a simple Verlainean melancholy. Whereas the first line associates the rain with a vanished happiness, the second and third lines associate it with the wide encounters—the opening outward—of the modern world

It’s raining women’s voices as if they had died even in memory
And it’s raining you as well marvellous encounters of my life O little drops
Those rearing clouds begin to neigh a whole universe of auricular cities
Listen if it rains while regret and disdain weep to an ancient music
Listen to the bonds fall off which hold you above and below



Apollinaire: La Cravate et La Montre

la cravate douloureuse que tu portes et qui t’orne, o civilisé, Ote-la si tu veux respirer.

Comme l’on s’amuse bien !

Tircis, la beauté de la vie

Passe la peur de mourir.

Mon coeur, les yeux, l’enfant, Agla, la main,

l’infini redressé par un fou philosophe

les Muses aux portes de ton corps

le bel inconnu

et le vers dantesque luisant et cadavérique.

les heures, semaine.

Il est moins 5 enfin.

Et tout sera fini.

We have here a calligramme (the typographical disposition of the text resembles the subject). The term was coined by Apollinaire (who coined also the surrealism).

First of all, read the uppercase letter of the tie, and going down, follow the words to the bottom left, then go back to tu veux bien. The clock is read in four parts, whatever the order. The themes are closely related, however. The rewinding dial in uppercase is one, the hands another, the twelve phrases immediately around the hands, and the arc around the right half of the clock. Voilà!

Here is an English version:

The tie and the watch.
The painful tie you are wearing oh civilised one,
take it off if you wish to breathe well
What fun we are having
my heart
the child
the hand
the infinite propped by a mad philosopher
the Muses at the doors of your body
the stately stranger
and the shiny and cadaverous worm Background



Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Touch of Spice (2003)

Politiki Kouzina: if you are in love with Greek cuisine this is the book for you. There are only a few copies still available, the publisher is no longer operating. And of course, you need to know Dimotiki, otherwise you'll enjoy the images of various dishes, without being able to follow the recipes.

I love Greek cuisine, I love it enormously and I remember the great brunches I used to have at a Greek restaurant in Clarendon, one of the towns from Arlington County. The tables were full of all kind of good stuff, dolmades, eggplant salad (baba ghanoush, if you know the term, though the Greek name is different) and backed eggplant, stuffed peppers, taramosalata and tzatziki, fasolatha and gigandes plaki, souvlaki and keftedakia, and moussaka, cheese of all ways, and salami, black and green olives, fish prepared in many ways, and many, many other dishes. That restaurant is no more, but there are other nice Greek restaurants in the greater DC area (one of them, that I highly recommend, is the PanAm Family Restaurant on Nutley Street, in Fairfax) .

All this stuff is also in the Turkish cuisine, both are very similar (and they have a strong resemblance with the cuisine of all other Balkan countries, Romania included, and also with all countries in Mid Orient). I used to go on any given Saturday night in a Turkish restaurant in Bethesda (also the DC area), they were making there a great seafood chowder, and I was adding a glass of Mukuzani. But they were having also musakka and pilaf, and salads, and chopped meat, and minced meat and lots of other dishes, and sauces, and spices, and above all their coffee, their wonderful Türk kahvesi (I knew it with their Romanian names, either cafea gingirlie, or cafea cu caimac, or cafea la ibric). That's a restaurant that also ran out of business, I miss it.

Which is the best of them? There is only one answer: you'll find it in Istanbul. It's Politiki Kouzina, the term has double meaning. Politiki Kouzina is the Cuisine of the Polis, because the Great City of Constantine, Constantinopolis, is unique: it is THE City, THE Polis. Politiki Kouzina means also political cuisine (or politics through cuisine), as the relations between Greeks and Turks have always been so complicated that everything there cannot exist without a heavy political dimension.

I watched yesterday a Greek movie from 2003, Politiki Kouzina (the English title is A Touch of Spice): a movie about politics and about cuisine. It's about Greeks who used to live in Istanbul and have been forced to leave for Greece, due to the complicated political contentious between the two countries. They moved to Greece and remained nostalgic for their lost Polis, and a way to keep their distinct identity was Politiki Kouzina: the dishes they went on preparing exactly like in Istanbul. The same spices, in the same proportions, giving the same flavors. Their touch of spice, their Constantinopolitan touch.

A movie calling in mind Cinema Paradiso, full of nostalgia. I have read the reviews to this movie. Most of them were enthusiastic. I'm sorry to say I did not appreciate very much the realization. When you tell its story it sounds great, while the movie itself seemed to me artistically flawed. Maybe too one-sided politically (though very decent), maybe somehow irresolute, like not knowing what turn to take in the unfolding of the plot, maybe some solutions in the plot suffer from lack of consistency.

I am sorry to say that because I am fascinated by Istanbul: I haven't had the occasion to go there so far, it's one of my dearest dreams. And where A Touch of Spice definitely succeeds is in communicating a superb love for the Great City, for the Polis, and I will give you here just a scene which is, I think, the greatest in this movie. It's one of those scenes that will remain in my memory for ever! This movie, for all its flaws, deserve to be watched for this scene. The three personages are gathered at the table (where else?) in their apartment in Athens. And the father is suddenly telling his love for the most beautiful city in the world. They have been forced to leave Istanbul many years ago, their souls still belong there.



Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Polanski: Nóz w Wodzie (1962)

I firstly saw Nóz w Wodzie sometime in the sixties. Throughout the years I forgot some details of the plot, while I kept the essential. I remained with the impression of one of the greatest movies ever. I watched many other of Polanski's works, none of them has succeeded to replace this one in my soul. Many of his movies are great, this one is unique. By the purity of his minimalism? Maybe. You see, his other works started from very generous stories, offering full potential to create great movies. This one has practically no story. A couple is driving their car toward a lake for two days of sailing, a hitch-hiker appears as of nowhere, they invite him to join, their stay on the boat is tensioned by obscure conflicting impulses, a fight takes place, the unknown guy leaves toward nowhere. Drowned (as the male believes)? Alive (as the female knows)? Or is it just the woman imagination?

After many years I encountered the movies of Kim Ki-Duk. 3-Iron made Nóz w Wodzie come to my mind. It seemed to me that both movies were sailing on the same waters. I related 3-Iron to Nóz w Wodzie, and then I related all Kim Ki-Duk films to 3-Iron. They are exploring two universes: ours, where what matters is a good job, a good car, a good house, a good marriage (to be read a spectacular wife), and the other universe, where everything is just absurd (by our standards). The hitch-hiker in the movie of Polanski, the drifter in the movie of Kim Ki-Duk, are just visitors: our reaction is of open hostility (if we are the subjects in our world), sometimes of obscure attraction (if we are rather the objects, dreaming escapes). Hostile or attracted to them, it happens the same: they remain just visitors, we'll never know anything about them.



Arvid: Work, Work, Work, Work

Work, Work, Work, Work

I would suggest adding a white dry: Zghihara de Husi. It's worth.

(P&C Art)


Monday, June 20, 2011

Polanski: Ssaki (1962)

Ssaki (Mammals), made in 1962, the last short of Polanski. Opinions totally diverge. For Johan Jansens, this is the genius of Polanski (the minimal set: two colors, two men, no speech, just music). For Nora Nettlerash, there is presumably some kind of metaphor going on, but there is no point in looking for it. I wouldn't look here for a metaphor, though. The word should be: minimal. That's it: minimal here means even no idea. Is it genial or it sucks? Who cares? It's just visual poetry, playing on the white.



Polanski: Gruby i Chudy (1961)

Gruby i Chudy (The Fat and the Lean), from 1961, made in France by Polanski. He plays the lean guy. The city at hand, however impossible to reach, is Paris. After his success with Nóż w Wodzie, the lean guy will reach Paris for good.

Gruby i Chudy - Part 1
(video by zmeul clandestin)

Gruby i Chudy - Part 2
(video by zmeul clandestin)



Sunday, June 19, 2011

NY in a Snit - an Image from Marcia Bujold

Looking at Brooklyn from Staten Island
(image from Marcia Bujold)

(New York, New York)

(Marcia Bujold)


Back to Polanski: Where Angels Fall (1959)

Zdzisława Skowrońska recommended me this movie made by Polanski in 1959: Gdy Spadaja Anioly (Where Angels Fall). It was his diploma production. The old woman is played by Polanski himself.

Some reviewers considered this very distinct among the other movies of Polanski, either earlier or made after. I dare to relate it to Nóż w Wodzie though (as I did with the other earlier films). Again there are the two worlds. Ours, remembered in twenty minutes, when you are too old and too aware that no hopes fulfill, no dreams come true, life is nothing but shit. And theirs, the ones that live in another universe and come sometimes to visit us. And their visit makes sense to us only when no hopes, no dreams can support us anymore. Angels come only when you are too aware about the shit of your life. And they come exactly there, in the shit of your life.

Paul Tillich was right: you find God only after you have lost all.

Gdy Spadaja Anioly
(video by slowphoto)



Dave Tarras, the King of Klezmer

A new book by Yale Strom, Dave Tarras, the King of Klezmer.

Hailed as The Benny Goodman of klezmer, Dave Tarras is considered the most influential klezmer musician of the Twentieth Century. Scion of a musical family in Ternovke, Ukraine, Tarras played at weddings for Jews and non-Jews – even playing in the Czarist army – up to World War One. He immigrated to America and after a brief stint as a furrier, began to make a living with his clarinet. From 1925 until his death in 1989, Dave Tarras set the standard for klezmer musicianship and virtuosity. Even the great be-bop artists Charlie Parker and Miles Davis traveled to the Catskills to study the technique of this complex and compelling virtuoso.

Dave Tarras: Chusen Kala Mazel Tov
(video by Lindy Hoppers)

Dave Tarras: Zefki, Ikh Bin Dayner Sher
(video by naneo)

Dave Tarras: Romanian Melody
(video by Bronisliva)

Dave Tarras: Galatas
(video by Protoslave)

(Yale Strom)


Yale Strom: A World To Rediscover

Somewhere in Central Europe, walking narrow streets, rediscovering a world that has been lost.

(Yale Strom)


Yale Strom: Rroma Dance from the Balkans

Yale Strom published this on his Facebook wall: an evening of Eastern European Rroma and Klezmer dance music.

And so through the years Yale's been getting more and more interested in all aspects of Rroma Weltanschaung, befriending and visiting them often, playing together Klezmer music. Gradually he became passionate for all aspects of South Eastern European popular culture: from music to poetry, to all expression of performing arts, to myths, to cuisine! Was it only about Yiddish? Oh, no! It was now the Balkan world.

(Yale Strom)


Yale Strom: Just Klezmer

Yale is the guy with the guitar.

(Yale Strom)


Yale Strom: Visiting Old Friends in Iasi

Together with Cili and Cara, in their house in Iasi, Romania.

Yale published this photo on his Facebook wall just yesterday and an animated discussion followed. I can still hear the Bosnian Waltz and smell the burnt gebeks... was one of the remarks, and then came the explanation, technically, gebek is Yiddish for cracker - but Cili called her cookies, gebeks (cookies would be kikhlekh) -- she gave me a lesson and then we got so caught up in our four-language conversation we forgot about them... until we smelled the char...

Yale Strom will be in Romania some time in August this year.

(Yale Strom)


Yale Strom: The Hasidim from Brooklytn (a Photo Essay)

Yale Strom published yesterday a bunch of great images on Facebook. It's about the Hasidim from Brooklyn, their past and present. Looking at these images it somes to my mind a neighborhood in Brooklyn that I visited in 2009, inhabited by Szatmar Hasidim, a very conservative community with roots in Transilvania. Past and present: today there are among them more and more Latin-American immigrants: children are playing together.

Let me add here another image published by Yale, and a youTube video. You'll recognize Yale among the guys there: he's wearing a red shirt, has kind of yarmulke on his head and seems to be the happiest one.

Restored Eldridge Street Synagogue
(photo taken by Yale on oct. 12, 2007)

(New York, New York)

(Yale Strom)

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Polanski: Rozbijemy Zabawe (1957)

Rozbijemy Zabawe (Break Up The Dance) made by Polanski in 1957: the party was real and the thugs were real, hired by the young director for this movie. So the partiers were really beaten. Polanski was about to be expelled from the film school. The splendid iconoclasm of the New Wave everywhere it emerged: think Skolimowski, think Godard, think Oshima. Their disdain for old conventions, for any conventions, for old masters, for any masters, for old art, for any art. The movie that's anti-movie.

Decades earlier Bunuel foresaw the New Wave with his Chien Andalou. Decades later Van Sant would demonstrate New Wave was over, with Gerry. While the tension between reality and artistic rendering of reality remained a constant in the great cinema. Think at today's Kiarostami or Panahi, for instance.



Friday, June 17, 2011

Heidi Latsky Dance at La MaMa Moves, June 16-18

Eve is part of this splendid performance: this weekend Heidi Latsky presents the latest iteration of IF at the La MaMa Moves! Dance Festival.

IF features artists with varied limbs in a work that transcends physical difference. Heidi Latsky's fascination with different body types and distinctive ways of moving captures each performer's unique personality and emotions, creating a tangible sensuality, a touch of voyeurism, and a new frame of reference.

(Eve Packer)


Polanski: Lampa (1959)

Well, this short calls in mind rather Rosemary's Baby and similar. Polanski was not particularly proud of his Lampa, however it greatly catches a pervert, claustrophobic atmosphere: it's the craziness of Baroque played down to a small doll shop, it's a superb horror movie placed in a universe of toys.



Polanski: Usmiech Zebiczny (1957)

Another short of Polanski from 1957. May I say something? Related to the universe of Knife in the Water, of course. Is here a window to another world? A world of promising naked women who suddenly change into men with nasty smiles? And our world, pervert, voyeuristic world.

Uśmiech zębiczny
(video by thprfssnl1)



Polanski: Morderstwo (1957)

No spare moments in this short made by young Polanski (he was 24 in 1957). Each moment is rigorously motivated in the logic of the movie. No spare space, either: each bit of space that comes on the screen is rigorously motivated. Effective, matter of fact, that's what comes in mind. No country for useless moments. No country for useless space.

I'm tempted to think at all short movies made by young Polanski as related to his Knife in the Water. Two worlds completely distinct: ours, and theirs. Where does this murderer come from, where is he going? Why is he killing? The same questions could be put for the young from Knife in the Water, all his actions seem totally unmotivated for the other male, obviously belonging to our world. Kim Ki-Duk is also describing such strange encounters with guys who seem to just be visiting our world.



Polanski: Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958)

I remember the Roadside Picnic of Strugatzky brothers: what happens if some visitors come here? Nothing much, from our perspective, they are too small sized, or too weird, or too annoying. They carry a wardrobe, or they come to clean our homes without our knowledge (like in the movie of Kim Ki-Duk), oh, and they are smiling like freaks. And they go back, toward nowhere, because for us anything that's not our universe is nowhere.

My friend Danu brought to my attention this short made by Polanski in 1958. It's a small miracle, this movie, and its universe is so close to Nóż w Wodzie: two people come from nowhere with an absurd (?) wardrobe, nobody accepts them, they will eventually go back to nowhere. They are like visitors from another planet, it's the collision of two worlds: ours, ignoring them at best, hostile at worst, theirs, the pure imperium of the sea (or maybe from that border where sea meets heaven). Thanks Danu!

Dwaj ludzie z szafą
(video by superyiyi)

By the way, Polanski has here a cameo.




Polanski has made great movies. I think his first feature film, Nóż w Wodzie (Knife in the Water), is THE masterpiece. Some others would consider other of his creations more powerful. Maybe. Matter of taste. In Nóż w Wodzie he shortly touched divinity. That's it. Kirkegaard famously said that a priest should preach only once and then be put in mental asylum, otherwise he's not a true priest.



Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tune for Two (2011)

My Facebook friend Dan Logigan brought it to my attention. It's damned cool.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Saturday June 25th: Eve Paker & Stephanie Stone at Barbès in Brooklyn

Saturday June 25th, between 6-7:30 pm an Eve Packer & Stephanie Stone event at Barbès in Brooklyn (376 9th St. -corner of 6th Ave. - Park Slope). It will be a book party: Eve is presenting her new volume of poetry New Nails (I've already given you a glimpse from this new book here in the blog). Together with Eve will be Stephanie Stone, jazz pianist and vocalist since the 40's! A true NY icon!

(Eve Packer)


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Eating Pasta Carbonara with Yoko


They say Italian Pizza actually comes from Greece, and Italian Pasta from China. They say the Turkish coffee is Greek and the Greek coffee is Syrian. They say the finest German is spoken in Prague and the finest Czech in Vienna. They say the Sibiu Salami is made in Sinaia (I will explain you one day what that means, for now take my word). Anyway, if you want to have your dish of Pasta Carbonara follow the instructions (http://www.allpastarecipes.com/pasta-recipes/pasta-carbonara-26.html):

• 1 Pound spaghetti
• 6 Strips bacon, diced
• 1/4 tsp Black pepper
• 1/2 Cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
• 4 Egg yolks
• 1 Cup grated Parmesan
• 1/2 tsp Kosher salt

How to make Pasta Carbonara:

• Cook the spaghetti as per the package instructions.
• Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat.
• Put the fried bacon on a paper towel. Reserve the drippings.
• Beat the egg yolks in a large bowl.
• Add 2 tbsp of the drippings while whisking the egg constantly.
• Add the Parmesan and drained pasta to the egg yolk mixture.
• Toss to mix.
• Add parsley, bacon, pepper and salt.
• Serve immediately.

That's fine, but if you are in Japan? You'll be lost in translation, so my advice is to watch the video of Yoko and to do what she's doing. She's hot!

(The Thousand faces of HANAFUBUKI)


Learn French in One Word

Any language can be boiled down to one simple word. You know it for sure in English. Do you know it in French?

(Le Parnasse des Lettres)

Eve Packer: NY Woman

This poem is the signature piece of Eve Packer, and it usually finishes her jazz poetry performances. It is a manifesto of NY woman protest.

do not tell me what I cannot & can do

do not tell me to wear long black baggy pants
when i wanna wear a short sheer orange
see-thru mini on subway, bus, tram, train,
trolley or any vehicle/of choice
(thats in moving violation of my volition/do not tell me what
I cannot & can do)

do not tell me not to bite my nails,
color my hair, ride my bike
w/o helmet, stop giving taxi drivers
a hard time piece of my mind,
cross against the light, (why
else is it red), sit on someone elses
stoop, swim twice in one day,
eat so much fruit
do not tell me what i cannot & can do

do not tell me not to talk to
strangers, flirt, network my cleavage, keep my legs
crossed & mouth shut while you are
orbiting saturn
do not tell me what I cannot & can do

I pay my rent, con ed, phone, get to work on time,
health club, yoga, dance class (sure need my r & r after
this urban guerrilla warfare), i light a fire
under my own stove, or use my phone-finger
for take-out, ticketron, 1-800, do not tell me
what I cannot & can do

& do not say you’ll e-mail if you won’t,
call when you don’t, appear late, make or
change plans w/o consulting, promise then cop, say you love
me & get misplaced, love & 1.50, 2 bucks, 2.10, 2.50?,
will get me on the 1,2, 3, 5, 6, 7, A,C,E, F,D, N, R
or shuttle 24/7 this is ny if you love me baby
show up

& do not tell me I cannot start my song
w/cannot i’m a ny woman I do what I want,
do not tell me not to go to the deli
at 4 a.m. startk naked even if there is no deli


(Eve Packer)


Saturday, June 11, 2011

When Harry Met Sally

When Harry Met Sally, a nice movie that I have always watched with pleasure. It was aired right now on a TV channel and I enjoyed it again.

I remember a story I read a couple of years ago in a magazine. A woman was remembering her grandmother, only as an old impossible person, too absurd, too insistent, too out of touch. Many years after the grandmother had passed away the woman found a bunch of old letters: love letters sent by her grandfather Harry to grandmother Ollie. The tone was so passionate, grandfather's desire was so impetuous, and the woman realized that her grandmother (known by her as old and impossible) had actually been a great lady who had inspired a great love. The story in the magazine had the title When Harry Met Ollie.

Here is the best known scene from the movie. When Harry Met Sally has a lot of memorable scenes, but this one is a classic.


Buddha's Relics in Romania

June 10, 11, 12 - Relics of Buddha and of other venerable masters can be seen in Pitesti, Romania, at Dinicu Golescu Library. The next Romanian city where the relics will be on display is Arad (June 24, 25, 26). Read more at:


East Tennessee, the Switzerland of America

Aaron Astor, who teaches history at Maryville College in Tennessee, has an interesting article in NY Times, in which he addresses the way East Tennessee responded to secession during the Civil War:



Using Your Cards Outside US

Problems in using US credit cards issued while traveling outside? First of all, you should notify your bank about your travel plans. Then you should know that there are countries where using a credit card can be restricted to some merchants only, while using debit cards is always possible. In order to protect yourself when using the debit card, a good practice is to have a separate checking account to use when outside US. I found in today's NY Times an article on this topic.