Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Very Far Away from Anywhere Else


And I needed a rock. 
Something to hold onto, 
to stand on. 
Something solid. 
Because everything was going soft, 
turning into mush, 
into marsh, 
 into fog. 
Fog closing in on all sides. 
I didn't know where I was at all...

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Silent Spring


Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award, recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.
 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Journey to the End of the Night


The worst part is wondering how you’ll find the strength tomorrow, 
to go on doing what you did today and have been doing for much too long, 
where you’ll find the strength for all that stupid running around, 
those projects that come to nothing, 
those attempts to escape from crushing necessity, 
which always founder and serve only to convince you one more time that destiny is implacable, 
that every night will find you down and out, 
crushed by the dread of more and more sordid and insecure tomorrows.

― Louis-Ferdinand Céline, Journey to the End of the Night 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World


Once, when I was younger, I thought I could be someone else. 
I'd move to Casablanca, open a bar, and I'd meet Ingrid Bergman. 
Or more realistically - whether actually more realistic or not - I'd tune in on a better life, something more suited to my true self. 
Toward that end, I had to undergo training. 
I read The Greening of America, and I saw Easy Rider three times. 
But like a boat with a twisted rudder, I kept coming back to the same place. 
I wasn't anywhere. 
I was myself, waiting on the shore for me to return.

― Haruki Murakami, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry Tribute


Chuck Berry, who with his indelible guitar licks, brash self-confidence and memorable songs about cars, girls and wild dance parties did as much as anyone to define rock ’n’ roll’s potential and attitude in its early years, died on Saturday. He was 90.

While Elvis Presley was rock’s first pop star and teenage heartthrob, Mr. Berry was its master theorist and conceptual genius, the songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they knew themselves. With songs like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” he gave his listeners more than they knew they were getting from jukebox entertainment.
His guitar lines wired the lean twang of country and the bite of the blues into phrases with both a streamlined trajectory and a long memory. And tucked into the lighthearted, telegraphic narratives that he sang with such clear enunciation was a sly defiance, upending convention to claim the pleasures of the moment.
more





Saturday, March 18, 2017

What To Say When You Talk To Your Self


After examining the philosophies, the theories, and the practiced methods of influencing human behavior, I was shocked to learn the simplicity of that one small fact: You will become what you think about most; your success or failure in anything, large or small, will depend on your programming - what you accept from others, and what you say when you talk to yourself.
It is no longer a success theory; it is a simple but powerful fact. Neither luck nor desire has the slightest thing to do with it. It makes no difference whether we believe it or not. The brain simply believes what you tell it most. And what you tell it about you, it will create. It has no choice.

I can do anything I believe I can do!
 I’ve got it, and every day I get more of it. 
I have talent, skills, and ability. I set goals and I reach them.
 I know what I want out of life. 
I go after it and I get it.
 People like me, and I feel good about myself. 
I have a sense of pride in who I am, and I believe in myself. 
Nothing seems to stop me. 
I have a lot of determination. 
I turn problems into advantages. 
I find possibilities in things that other people never give a chance. 
I have a lot of energy—I am very alive! 
I enjoy life and I can tell it and so can others. 
I keep myself up, looking ahead, and liking it. 
I know that I can accomplish anything I choose, and I refuse to let anything negative hold me back or stand in my way. 
I am not afraid of anything or anyone. 
I have strength, power, conviction, and confidence! 
I like challenges and I meet them head on, face to face—today especially! 
I am on top of the world and I’m going for it. 
I have a clear picture in my mind of what I want. 
I can see it in front of me. 
I know what I want and I know how to get it. 
I know that it’s all up to me and I know I can do it. 
Roadblocks don’t bother me. 
They just mean that I am alive and running, and I’m not going to stand still for anything. 
I trust myself I’ve got what it takes—plenty of it—and I know how to use it. 
Today, more than ever. 
Today I am unstoppable! 
I’ve got myself together and I’m getting more together every day. 
And today—look out world, here I come!
 Limitations? 
I don’t even recognize them as limitations. 
There is no challenge I can’t conquer; there is no wall I can’t climb over. 
There is no problem I can’t defeat, or turn around and make it work for me. 
I stand tall! 
I am honest and sincere. 
I like to deal with people and they like me.
 I think well; I think clearly.
I am organized; I am in control of myself, and everything about me. 
I call my shots, and no one has to call them for me. 
I never blame anyone else for the circumstances of my life. 
I accept my failings and move past them as easily as I accept the rewards for my victories. 
I never demand perfection of myself, but I expect the very best of what I have to give—and that’s what I get! 
I never give myself excuses. 
I get things done on time and in the right way. 
Today I have the inner strength to do more than ever. 
I am an exceptional human being. 
My goals and my incredible belief in myself turn my goals into reality. 
I have the power to live my dreams. 
I believe in them like I believe in myself. 
And that belief is so strong that there is nothing that diminishes my undefeatable spirit.
hmmmm.......

― Shad Helmstetter, What To Say When You Talk To Your Self 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Museum of Innocence


“In fact no one recognizes the happiest moment of their lives as they are living it. 
It may well be that, in a moment of joy, 
one might sincerely believe that they are living that golden instant "now," 
even having lived such a moment before, but whatever they say, 
in one part of their hearts 
they still believe in the certainty of a happier moment to come. 
Because how could anyone, 
and particularly anyone who is still young, 
carry on with the belief that everything could only get worse: 
If a person is happy enough to think he has reached the happiest moment of his life, 
he will be hopeful enough 
to believe his future 
will be just as beautiful, more so.” 

― Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence


Monday, March 13, 2017

Almost Transparent Blue


“When I went on anyway, my body began to grow cold, and I thought I
was dead. Face pale, my dead self sat down on a bench and began to turn
toward my real self, who was watching this hallucination on the screen of the
night. My dead self came nearer, just as if it might want to shake hands with my
real self. That's when I panicked and tried to run. But my dead self pursued me
and finally caught me, entered me and controlled me. I'd felt then just the way I
felt now. I felt as if a hole had opened in my head from which consciousness
and memory leaked out and in their place the rash crowded in, and a cold like
spoiled roast chicken. But that time before, shaking and clinging to the damp
bench, I'd told myself, Hey, take a good look, isn't the world still under your
feet? I'm on this ground, and on this same ground are trees and grass and ants
carrying sand to their nests, little girls chasing rolling balls, and puppies running.”

― Ryū Murakami, Almost Transparent Blue 


This is a story about a bunch of disaffected Japanese youths who waste their time with gratuitous sex, drugs and violence. ‘Almost Transparent Blue’ is the other Murakami’s debut novel which was received to critical acclaim and won the coveted Akutagawa prize. It is also one of the must read books on the 1001 list. This is not an easy book to read and I’m sorry to say that it’s not as good as ‘In the Miso Soup’, although it has its moments. Favourite bits include the opening chapter and the bit where they are at the American air base during the thunder and lightning sequence.
The strongest aspect of the book is its gross imagery and the unfathomable sadness of lost youth. The characters (of which the narrator shares the same name as the author) are all stuck in their own desolate vacuum of apathy, moving from one moment to the next in a haze of indifference. Murakami’s image of post-war Japan drags the reader down the dark alleyways of an insular and unyielding culture. His characters allow us to penetrate the stereotypical lacquerwork of strong Japanese moral values and gaze at the ‘other japan’, the one that lives side-by-side with Western ideals. This drug-like cocktail is at once fascinating and repulsive.
Maybe it’s just me, but there were times when this novel didn’t make any sense, but then again this is a ‘mood heavy’ book, and there is not a pronounced plotline, so the narrative sort of echoes the tumultuous lives of decadent Japanese youths. This book reminds me of ‘Exit A‘ by Anthony Swofford which had a better storyline and is also set around an American airbase in Japan. Both novels contain a central theme of degeneration and crime, but ‘Almost Transparent Blue’ is decidedly more corrosive and far more bold than Swofford’s offering. ( source )

Sunday, March 12, 2017

THEODOR AMAN MUSEUM


















Theodor Aman s-a născut pe 20 martie 1831 la Câmpulung-Muscel. După lecţii de desen cu pictorul Constantin Lecca, la Şcoala Centrală din Craiova studiază la Colegiu Sfântul Sava din Bucureşti de unde pleacă în 1850 la Paris. Aprofundează pictura cu Michel Martin Drolling, apoi, din 1851, cu Francois Edouard Picot. 
Se dedică picturii influenţat de maeştrii Renaşterii italiene. Revenit pe meleagurile natale s-a inspirat din viaţa muscelenilor lăsând mai multe pânze cu peisaje din Câmpulung şi împrejurimi. Numele său a rămas în istoria artei româneşti nu doar prin valoarea operelor semnate, ci şi prin contribuţia avută la întemeierea primelor şcoli de Arte frumoase, la Bucureşti şi Iaşi. Prestigiul de care s-a bucurat Aman a fost sporit şi de funcţia sa de director al Şcolii naţionale de arte frumoase, încă de la înfiinţarea acestei instituţii (5 octombrie 1864). În pictura sa de o rigoare academistă, simbolurile evocărilor istorice aduc o anume prospeţime, în sensul situării artistului în actualitate. Noutatea pânzelor sale ţine astfel mai mult de răspunsurile tematice la preocupări sociale şi politice din perioada fondării statului naţional român. Nu lipsesc însă şi unele încercări de luminare a paletei, de surprindere a instantaneului, ce ne vorbeşte despre ecoul, fie şi palid, al experienţelor unor artişti francezi care pictau în aer liber, la Barbizon, în împrejurimile Parisului, unde în deceniul al şaptelea şi al optulea, se pun bazele impresionismului Începe să picteze încă de pe atunci o serie de compoziţii istorice, unul din genurile sale preferate în care va excela. Trece la cele veșnice pe 19 august 1891 .

Muzeul Theodor Aman este una dintre cele mai frumoase reşedinţe particulare din Bucureşti, construită în anul 1868 după proiectele proprietarului, care a fost pictorul Theodor Aman. De asemenea este una dintre puţinele reşedinţe care nu au suferit modificări în decursul timpului, fiind prima casă-atelier de artist din România.

De la planurile casei şi decoraţia exterioară (realizată în colaborare cu sculptorul Karl Storck) la decoraţia interioară: pictura murală, vitraliile, decoraţia pictată pe tâmplărie, stucatura tavanelor, lambriurile atelierului şi mobilierul casei, toate sunt reflectarea viziunii lui Theodor Aman.

Muzeul Theodor Aman a fost deschis în anul 1908 şi este unul dintre cele mai vechi muzee memoriale din România. El păstrează atmosfera vieţii private din perioada Belle Epoque alături de cea mai mare parte a lucrărilor pictorului Theodor Aman.

The Theodor Aman Museum is one of the most beautiful private residences in Bucharest, built in the year 1868 following Theodor Aman’s own designs. It is also one of the few buildings which has remained unchanged during its existence, and is the first workshop-residence in Romania.
From the architectural plans of the house and exterior decorations (done in colaboration with sculptor Karl Storck) to the interior design (mural paintings, stained glass, stucco ceilings, wooden panelling in the workshop, and the house’s furniture), the house reflects Theodor Aman’s vision.
The Theodor Aman Museum was opened in 1908 and is one of the oldest memorial museums in Romania. The house maintains its intimate atmosphere, gained during the Belle Époque period, and holds a large part of painter Theodor Aman’s works.
Theodor Aman was one of the most important Romanian painters of the XIXth century. His works blend Romanticism and Academicism, as well as bearing characteristics of early/Pre-Impressionism. He took drawing lessons with the painter Constantin Lecca, at Central School in Craiova, and in 1850 he leaves for Paris. Here, he studies painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, under the supervision of Michel Martin Drolling and François Edouard Picot. He returns to Romania in 1857, already established as a painter. His workshop becomes one of the most popular meeting places of high society, „the only artistic center of Bucharest's elite of that time“. His contribution to Romanian art transcends his work, by his important contribution to the establishment of the first Fine Arts School in Bucharest (1864), where he was both the first teacher and the director.

The thematics approached by Theodor Aman in his works - historical painting, gender and Oriental scenes, scenery, still nature - are distinctly represented in the exhibition, through works of important heritage value. The techniques employed by Theodor Aman range from easel painting, engraving and drawing. Moreover, his works range from large scale painting (particularly heroic representations of the past and historical portraits) and small scale works (contemporary or daily life projects). 


Saturday, March 4, 2017

The Invention of Everything Else


“Wait," I say. 
"I think you're mistaken. Saying there is no dream is the same as saying everything is a dream. Isn't it? Everyone's a dreamer? 
Extraordinary things happen all the time even when we're awake. 
What I meant to suggest to you, if indeed that was me in your dream doing the suggesting, 
is that there is only one world. 
This one. 
The dream is real. 
The ordinary is the wonderful. 
The wonderful is the ordinary.” 

― Samantha Hunt, The Invention of Everything Else

Friday, March 3, 2017

Aleph



“A man sets out to draw the world.
 As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, 
kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. 
A short time before he dies, 
he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines 
traces 
the lineaments of his own face.”

― Jorge Luis Borges, The Aleph and Other Stories

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Love Is a Dog from Hell


“there is a loneliness in this world so great
that you can see it in the slow movement of
the hands of a clock.

people so tired
mutilated
either by love or no love.

people just are not good to each other
one on one.

the rich are not good to the rich
the poor are not good to the poor.

we are afraid.

our educational system tells us
that we can all be
big-ass winners.

it hasn't told us
about the gutters
or the suicides.

or the terror of one person
aching in one place
alone

untouched
unspoken to

watering a plant.” 


― Charles Bukowski,
Love Is a Dog from Hell
 
 
 
 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The National Village Museum „Dimitrie Gusti”








Muzeul Naţional al Satului „Dimitrie Gusti” organizează în perioada 27 februarie – 8 martie 2017 târgul      „De Mărţişor. Târg cu tâlc...” care își propune promovarea vechiului obicei al dăruirii, la început de primavară, a micilor obiecte artizanale cu rol protector precum și a meșteșugului stimulând creativitatea, originalitatea și inspirația ce dau naștere unor mărțișoare deosebite.

Mărțișor is an old tradition celebrated all over Romania every year, on March 1st.
The name Mărțișor is a diminutive of March (Martie in Romanian).
It is believed that the person who wears the red and white string would enjoy a prosperous and healthy year.
In modern times, and especially in urban areas, the Mărțișor lost most of its talisman properties and became more a symbol of friendship, love, appreciation and respect. The black threads were replaced by red, but the delicate wool string is still a ‘cottage industry’ among people in the countryside, who comb out the wool, dye the floss, and twist it into thousands of tassels. In some areas, the amulets are still made with black and white string, to ward off evil.Related to Martisor and also symbol for spring in Romania is the snowdrop flower.