Monthly Archives: October 2012

If you believe

Melanie Amaro

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I will believe one day again soon…

It’s funny when your a dreamer?  It’s peculiar when you are an artist perhaps?  It’s mysterious when you are a writer, you spend so many seasons within your own mind, excavating your own heart for fruits of lifes labor, sometimes simply to run away from life and invent a new invention.  Dreamer, artist, writer?  I just want to be special.  I want to find something deeply.  Sometimes too often to be the first to fly into unknown hitherto worlds and bring back golden fruits, shiny pearls and seeds from new plants which will blossom.

Yet truth be told I am not unlike anyone else at all, in fact my puppy to me is the most original of all.  He and I used to go on the subway together and what a crowd he could assemble with his smooth prestiditation. Sometimes biting me just to make sure everyone knew I am simply putty in his furry paws.  He later learn how to work the crowds on a leash and especially Japanese young girls.  If he was wearing a jacket he would rip it off as if to say you cannot own me, I’m not like any other girl, shaking, knawing, chewing and strutting with such swagger as he held up his leash and jacket to me his tormentor.  As if to proclaim he was the champion of the world like a prize fighter.  I must say that when Cascius Clay was in the ring there truly was nobody like him and being a sort of surrogate mother?  I must admit that I encourage this silly show and swagger as it gives me so much joy.  He has a much greater bandwidth for being creative and original because whom does he have to please?  He will not get a ticket nor a bad review from the X factor crowds.

That means I am really am not terribly special but I know that matters less than having something to believe.  I believe too much and am far too gullible.  I’d rather be this way than a cunning winner.  Now, if I can somehow veil the pain that I am in and put it under some sort of strobe lights pink and lilac.  If I could hide my tears and rage that feels like the storm about to hit this rock of Manhattan.  Hurricane Sandy.  I can’t help but feel that evil had clothed me like the emperors new clothes.  I may appear naked but this is actually in reverse.  I am wearing bloody clothes that no one can percieve.  I am wearing heartbreak which claws at my eyes and my throat.  I am wearing tears that stain my eyes with purple acid.  Yet, I keep my mouth sewn up and buttoned up tight.  I fear most of all that no one will listen anyway and no one will care and this hurts more than the emperors new clothes made of sins.

I cannot say what has happened to us but it has broken my heart and yet insidious as it is and how it has broken my trust in my fellow man.  It has made me not want to trust another smile nor open my door to strangers anymore.  We trusted purely on the basis of simple rules.  Someone says it’s mandatory and you listen.  Then you find you have been violated so intrinsically deeply.  Someone has used to for pure senseless fodder for their debased entertainment.  Profits will be made while you innocently allowed strangers into your home.  We cooked for them, we got the greatest pizza we could find. We embarked on hospitality in the Napoli and Sicily style.  We offered sodas, homemade teas, meatballs and raviolis, pirogies, fresh fruits, candy bars galore.  One by one we let strangers in as we opened our doors.  My beloved had just survived two near death experiences with horrific ICU traumatic medical alerts.  We were so lonely in seeing only hospital workers that we were so glad to have people over to fix things.  Yet it was still touch and go everyday for his health.  He could not yet barely walk.  I was nursing him back to health sleeping only 2 hours at time in between treatments.  I used to pray that he would survive.  I used to pray that he would not die like my invisible friend Giorgio suddenly.  After such a horrific ordeal of trying to help Jorg survive his cancer and he died to come home to this?  How fast your life can change.

We have been violated in a way that is so unimaginably senseless and cruel.  No I can not say what or how only that we were told when our doors were darkened that it was mandatory or else.  Would we lose our home?  Now we have lost our privacy and our dignity before whom what and where we do not ever know to very wealthy people who just laugh in your face and even plot and scheme further.  I wish it were merely paranoia or simple fear.  Yet, how am I not any different than anyone riding the bus or the subway?  Hoping life will be good. Hoping that we will be loved and that our dreams will all one day come true.  No one is really invulnerable to hope, to hoping for a miracle. If it is not our dream?  We cry when we watch the X factor and see the beautiful children audition, with their whole future in front of them.  We cry for them to win even if we are not sure we can succeed.  I watch their families praying for the singers to win and it so touches my heart.  Why because I want to dare to dream too that this night of bloody glass will pass and we can have our dignity back.   That there is a bird that will take my prayers before the throne of God and he will move his velvet glove and iron fist and mountains will restore us back to golden rays of love and joy.

Sometimes everyman is more special than the most exotic.  Sometimes out of the clear blue a powerful seeming angel sings and all the sadness falls away and you can say, I know that this too shall pass and no one will be hurt further.  That someone will step up and do the right things and protect innocent people always from harms way.  In order to survive so many medical traumas I turn to God and it’s a type of military life.  Yes, it is like a warrior for miracles.   The ammunition is prayer and transcending consciousness of doom into bloom.  Raising the frequency of our lives back up to love.  Just like the love that puppies exude.  How pathetic I must sound. If there is love, I never thought to ask where does it come from?  Yes there is a place where love was invented and I have no desire to be original anymore but to have love and so much love that I can survive the indignities of shrewish business men and women presume to usurp your privacy.  Use your vital life force to survive and live against you.  I pray and I do believe there is a better world which we are welcome to and this too shall pass.  So, I heard this every-woman simple seeming child sing and it reminds me that I am not special at all, I simply want to dream big enough to forget and have all our sorrows turn to hope and joy again.  That this shall pass and we can have our health and our talents put to the tasks of serving mankind with creative pursuits.  I heart the joy in this young womans song and how we cherish her.

It’s never fair

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Paul Outerbridge’s compositions

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A photograph, Outerbridge wrote, “should do something to its beholder; either give a more complete appreciation of beauty, or, if nothing else, even a good mental kick in the pants.”1 Following through on both counts, Outerbridge produced some of the 20th century’s more sublime and outrageous pictures. His exquisite modernist images from the 1920s were featured in glamorous magazines, including Vanity Fairand Vogue. Shifting gears, Outerbridge spent the next decade mastering color photography, producing vivid commercial pictures for corporate clients, as well as, for more rarefied audiences, unsettling nudes that edged toward Surrealism and still seem otherworldly today.

Changing taste shaped responses to Outerbridge’s work, during and after his lifetime. He was a darling of the avant-garde in the ’20s and the highest paid photographer in New York in the ’30s, but a telling 1951 self-portrait that shows Outerbridge in a folding chair, awaiting customers in front of a modest rented booth at a local art fair in Laguna Beach, suggests his changing fortunes. Marcel Duchamp was so taken with Outerbridge’s emblematically modern Ide Collar ad in the November 1922 issue of Vanity Fair that he tore the page out and pinned it up on his studio wall in Paris. Half a century later, in the 1973 book Looking at Photographs, John Szarkowski dismissed Outerbridge’s equally iconic color works as little more than “commercial illustrations.” What is it that makes this work beguiling for some and problematic for others—particularly for curators charged with distilling neat art historical narratives from complex and contradictory material?

One reason—perhaps it’s the reason—we remain fascinated with Outerbridge’s photographs is that he was both an artist and a salesman. Boldly and without apology, he explored photography’s exalted and base natures. The work veers from black-and-white to color, cerebral to carnal, a photographic equivalent of Freud’s Madonna/whore complex. Outerbridge made pictures for art and for commerce. Some are subtle, others shameless. Many were reproduced widely; more than a few were censored and some, including the work in the library’s exhibition, had never even previously been printed. Any single photograph is just as likely to pay homage to classical ideals as it is to celebrate the eclectic. The power and pull of Outerbridge’s ouevre, the reason it grabs

Français : Paris 13e arrondissement - rue Marc...

Français : Paris 13e arrondissement – rue Marcel-Duchamp – plaque de rue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

and holds our attention, is that it swings both ways.

It’s easy to love Outerbridge’s early and elegant black-and-white works, and to understand why the best of them fetch such extraordinary prices at auction. (Marmon Crankshaft, from 1923, brought $374,400 at Sotheby’s in 2006, well over its high estimate of $150,000.) At New York’s Clarence H. White School of Photography, where he enrolled in 1921, Outerbridge studied with Max Weber, who encouraged students to experiment with lighting, framing and odd vantage points, and to invest their images with the syncopated visual rhythms and brisk look of modernity. Planned out and even carefully diagrammed, images like Top Hat and Mufflers (1924) and H-O Box (1922) combine luxury and everyday objects alike with jazzy riffs on light and shadow. Consumerist longing and erotic desire bounce around within the borders of Outerbridge’s small and velvety platinum prints like water molecules in a pot that’s reached a boil. The physical production of these prints was just as thoughtfully calculated to seduce. Even when platinum and palladium emulsion materials became scarce in the years after World War I, Outerbridge insisted on using them to craft prints whose tonal depth and warmth trump the more meager materiality of conventional processes.

When I was young by Eric Burdon and the Animals

I thought Eric Burdon was the coolest when I was 7 years old.  I still do.

Another tribute to my life growing up in a military family.  The main component which rubbed off on me based on military training was my Father’s obsession with how he ran the kitchen.  You would be in the proverbial woodshed if you did not wash the dishes as you went a long.  Pretty much most of my Father’s wisdom which rubbed off on me has to do with his philosophy of cooking.  For example if you cook two pies and one  taste better than the other?  Then you probably should have only cooked one!  Meaning don’t expand your enterprises in business or relationships if it makes you compromise on quality.  His main motto was “Stop trying to be a big shot, just be a little shot and get the job done”  It’s terribly wise, why defend this huge ego when you can have a smaller one and have a lot more free time.  he he…  Eric Burdon personified being cool and having this psychedelic country thang.  To prepare for peace, prepare for war…  To prepare for war?  Prepare for peace?  Maybe Spill the Wine is my favorite song by them?  Yes, definitely.

I aint got no home in this world anymore by Amy Helm

talent, she’s got talent!

Easy Rider and Levon Helm in the “The Band”

Amy’s Dad, Levon Helm.  We all have a little country in us…  Easy Rider.

My Dad was not a biker but I grew up in sitting in front of him on his Harley.  WEll, that doesnt really matter too much but I can never thank my parents enough for great food and wonderful music.  How fortunate Amy Levon Helm Fagen is!

Amy Helm and The Soul of a Man

I remember my older sister used to love “The Band” and “Steely Dan”  Now you wonder what happens if Donald Fagen marries Levon Helm’s wife?  Look’s like Little Amy has a giant voice. She grows up in this amazing Pagoda of FUNN with lot’s of jazz and blues?  I must say once again, I do believe in love, especially when it comes to musical beauty.  What a wonderful world she must have grown up in and with a magical talent for singing what with Libby Titus as you Mama and Levon and Donald Fagen as your Dad?  I have a feeling this women is unstoppable and we are all so glad.  Hurray for the Country Pagoda of Funn.  Here she is the very beautiful Amy Levon Helm Fagen.  This is what life is all about to me, passing on recipes of music, good food and love.

Pierre Marcolini Chocolates (reprint from AniceCuppa by moi)

Spring est’ arrive! Spring Glorious Spring!

There are so many occasions of divinity in life which may require petite’ celebration. A milestone achieved is perfectly adorned when enrobed in chocolate varnish. A secret admirer gives you chocolate to speak words only cocoa can achieve. Valentines of course, chocolate is hallmarked by red foiled moulin rouge. What about Spring?

Sarah Vaughn and all of nature sings! She paints the earth with her epic palette of pastels of fluttering pinks, lemony daffodils and baby blue Robin eggs and cottony cumulus skies. The rebirth, after snowy blankets cover the sleeping earth . March madness ensues like a wanton stand up comedian who drank oodles of absinthe spiked Wu Yi tea. The earth is waking up and planning just how to make us laugh with little pranks on April 1st! Spring arrived a bit early it seems? We can all get a little decadent with the great torch singers of spring. Vivaldi’s delicate peppered notes, melodies mirror flower buds blossoming, rabbits perking their ears up. Multi colored eggs hatch and the glorious pantheon of spring begins. I will just say? Spring is my favorite time of the year. Sipping sweet camellia enlivening tea leaves all year but in Spring?

 

Nature doles out the chocolate cigars.Baby birth of every petal, leaf, flush, bumble bee,red winged bird in an array of intoxicating violet lavender scents and magnolia sweet bucolic laughter of mother natures bounty. The earth shakes and shimmies like a great gum ball machine rolling the dice and everybody is in the win win plethora of her fragrant graces.

If ever there were a symphony of the cocoa beans? Pierre Marcolini is the maestro of such a sonata it makes your heart weep with bittersweet addiction. Undisputed King of all chocolatiers. If Chocolate is love then why do they say men are from mars and woman are from Venus? I beg to differ when it comes to Pierre Marcolini. Welcome to a journey of pure indulgence Tea Love letters of cocoa.

.Marcolini has chocolate boutiques in Brussels, Tokyo, Nagoya, London and New York. He is Belgian by Nationality and Italian by origin. He manufactures his own grand cru chocolates. Here is a quote from his biographer. “Pure Origin Products, Pierre Marcolini is uncompromising when it comes to choosing the raw materials for his products.
Every year, this tireless chocolate “gringo” travels the world (Latin America, Mexico, Madagascar, Trinity Island, etc.) in search of cocoa beans, the fruit that he uses as his
logo.”

 

Good news is Pierre Marcolini speaks java, tea and chocolate which promise to bring you a grande tribute to a spring cuppa in a cocoa enrobed ganache of tea. You can also sip some of his somewhat Marriage Freres style tea blends. Marcolini liberates cocoa from any hitherto known lesser quality which may transform even the cocoa or tea purist at heart. Botanical fragrant essences, noble spice and fruits of rhubarb, mango or limoncello so many will never have dreamed to elix.. Such as thyme with bergamot orange,citron Ceylon tea with notes of lime leaves, and lemon into bittersweet chocolate ganache. The result is a delicate tea infused nature, with a shockingly smooth finish. Try the Violette dark chocolate sprinkled with dried sugar encrusted violet petals. A third of their
chocolates are these unique infused ganaches.

His tea blends are stylish blends which range from classic Pussimbing Darjeeling of biodynamic gardens whose leaves are tended by cycles of the moon which increase the fluidity during their harvest moments to ensure a perfect dreamy Darjeeling. In my next life? I pray to the cocoa heavens to live in the Marcolini Willy Wonka Tonka bean Land!

The’ Des Moines- or Oriental- melange is what I am going to call his Iron Tea chef cup! Des Moines- is of delicate white Jasmine blossoms, Madagascar vanille with a dappling of pepper. Oriental- Passion fruits, rose blossoms,jasmine with bright spring yellow sunflowers. Those days on a mini diet were made for a spot of tea!
Visit this extraordinary gallery of sumptuous sweets online, or N.Y.C.- The chocolate covered Big Apple,Manhattan. Tiffany style store with delicate cases where he is known for his 44 ganache assortment of edible jewels which are works of art

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