Break the rules

June 29, 2014 § Leave a comment

..
Gracie left her grand daughter, Alex a lighter, accompanied by this letter…

“This is a lighter. It belonged to my favorite actor, Paul Newman. One day, he came into the restaurant where I was waitressing and accidentally left it behind. For the first time in my life, I did something I wasn’t supposed to, and slipped it into my pocket. One of the customers saw and said, ‘Don’t worry. Your secret’s safe with me.’ That customer turned out to be the love of my life, your grandfather. So, my Alex, who I love so dearly, who’s probably too much like me for her own good, every once in a while, don’t be afraid to break the rules. You never know what can happen.”

Modern Family  s4e24

Endangered Animals

April 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

Come on don’t you have a heart?
You don’t want these animals to depart?

Forget the x factor and the top ten singing chart,
What about the endangered animals and the poison dart

The arnour leopard, the Siberian tiger and polar bear,
They are so gorgeous, it is just not fair.

If I say their Latin name, will you listen more?
Oh Louis please do nt say this is a bore.

Varanus komodenis, komodo dragon by the way.
Why does man have to take them all away?

Man you are such a fool.
Snakes killed alive for handbags that is just not cool.

Please listen to my passion,
although it may not be in fashion.
I can not sing it, you might laugh,

I can not dance, you would say I was daft.
But I am seven
And I want these animals to last!!

- Olivia Binfield

 

 

Cultured People

April 21, 2014 § Leave a comment

Anton Chekhov on the 8 Qualities of Cultured People

“In order to feel comfortable among educated people, to be at home and happy with them, one must be cultured to a certain extent.”

What does it mean to be “cultured”? Is it aboutbeing a good reader, or knowing how to talk about books you haven’t read, or having a general disposition of intellectual elegance? That’s precisely the question beloved Russian author Anton Chekhov (1860-1904) considers in a letter to his older brother Nikolai, an artist. The missive, written when Anton was 26 and Nikolai 28 and found in Letters of Anton Chekhov to his Family and Friends (public domainpublic library), dispenses a hearty dose of tough love and outlines the eight qualities of cultured people — including honestyaltruism, and good habits:

MOSCOW, 1886.

… You have often complained to me that people “don’t understand you”! Goethe and Newton did not complain of that…. Only Christ complained of it, but He was speaking of His doctrine and not of Himself…. People understand you perfectly well. And if you do not understand yourself, it is not their fault.

I assure you as a brother and as a friend I understand you and feel for you with all my heart. I know your good qualities as I know my five fingers; I value and deeply respect them. If you like, to prove that I understand you, I can enumerate those qualities. I think you are kind to the point of softness, magnanimous, unselfish, ready to share your last farthing; you have no envy nor hatred; you are simple-hearted, you pity men and beasts; you are trustful, without spite or guile, and do not remember evil…. You have a gift from above such as other people have not: you have talent. This talent places you above millions of men, for on earth only one out of two millions is an artist. Your talent sets you apart: if you were a toad or a tarantula, even then, people would respect you, for to talent all things are forgiven.

You have only one failing, and the falseness of your position, and your unhappiness and your catarrh of the bowels are all due to it. That is your utter lack of culture. Forgive me, please, but veritas magis amicitiae…. You see, life has its conditions. In order to feel comfortable among educated people, to be at home and happy with them, one must be cultured to a certain extent. Talent has brought you into such a circle, you belong to it, but … you are drawn away from it, and you vacillate between cultured people and the lodgers vis-a-vis.

Cultured people must, in my opinion, satisfy the following conditions:

  1. They respect human personality, and therefore they are always kind, gentle, polite, and ready to give in to others. They do not make a row because of a hammer or a lost piece of india-rubber; if they live with anyone they do not regard it as a favour and, going away, they do not say “nobody can live with you.” They forgive noise and cold and dried-up meat and witticisms and the presence of strangers in their homes.
  2. They have sympathy not for beggars and cats alone. Their heart aches for what the eye does not see…. They sit up at night in order to help P…., to pay for brothers at the University, and to buy clothes for their mother.
  3. They respect the property of others, and therefor pay their debts.
  4. They are sincere, and dread lying like fire. They don’t lie even in small things. A lie is insulting to the listener and puts him in a lower position in the eyes of the speaker. They do not pose, they behave in the street as they do at home, they do not show off before their humbler comrades. They are not given to babbling and forcing their uninvited confidences on others. Out of respect for other people’s ears they more often keep silent than talk.
  5. They do not disparage themselves to rouse compassion. They do not play on the strings of other people’s hearts so that they may sigh and make much of them. They do not say “I am misunderstood,” or “I have become second-rate,” because all this is striving after cheap effect, is vulgar, stale, false….
  6. They have no shallow vanity. They do not care for such false diamonds as knowing celebrities, shaking hands with the drunken P., [Translator's Note: Probably Palmin, a minor poet.] listening to the raptures of a stray spectator in a picture show, being renowned in the taverns…. If they do a pennyworth they do not strut about as though they had done a hundred roubles’ worth, and do not brag of having the entry where others are not admitted…. The truly talented always keep in obscurity among the crowd, as far as possible from advertisement…. Even Krylov has said that an empty barrel echoes more loudly than a full one.
  7. If they have a talent they respect it. They sacrifice to it rest, women, wine, vanity…. They are proud of their talent…. Besides, they are fastidious.
  8. They develop the aesthetic feeling in themselves. They cannot go to sleep in their clothes, see cracks full of bugs on the walls, breathe bad air, walk on a floor that has been spat upon, cook their meals over an oil stove. They seek as far as possible to restrain and ennoble the sexual instinct…. What they want in a woman is not a bed-fellow … They do not ask for the cleverness which shows itself in continual lying. They want especially, if they are artists, freshness, elegance, humanity, the capacity for motherhood…. They do not swill vodka at all hours of the day and night, do not sniff at cupboards, for they are not pigs and know they are not. They drink only when they are free, on occasion…. For they wantmens sana in corpore sano [a healthy mind in a healthy body].

And so on. This is what cultured people are like. In order to be cultured and not to stand below the level of your surroundings it is not enough to have read “The Pickwick Papers” and learnt a monologue from “Faust.” …

What is needed is constant work, day and night, constant reading, study, will…. Every hour is precious for it…. Come to us, smash the vodka bottle, lie down and read…. Turgenev, if you like, whom you have not read.

You must drop your vanity, you are not a child … you will soon be thirty.
It is time!
I expect you…. We all expect you.

Our Universe

April 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

miltonglaser1

The world is an astonishing place!

April 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

Milton Glaser offers some invaluable advice on the progression of the creative life into old age, wrapped in a broader meditation on the universal power of art:

If you can sustain your interest in what you’re doing, you’re an extremely fortunate person. What you see very frequently in people’s professional lives, and perhaps in their emotional life as well, is that they lose interest in the third act. You sort of get tired, and indifferent, and, sometimes, defensive. And you kind of lose your capacity for astonishment — and that’s a great loss, because the world is a very astonishing place.

What I feel fortunate about is that I’m still astonished, that things still amaze me. And I think that that’s the great benefit of being in the arts, where the possibility for learning never disappears, where you basically have to admit you never learn it.

 

With a smile…

March 26, 2014 § Leave a comment

..

‘Tis easy enough to be pleasant, When life flows along like a song; But the man worth while is the one who will smile when everything goes dead wrong.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

The Middle

February 12, 2014 § Leave a comment

..
Hey, don’t write yourself off yet
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just try your best, try everything you can.
And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away.

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.

Hey, you know they’re all the same.
You know you’re doing better on your own, so don’t buy in.
Live right now.
Yeah, just be yourself.
It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else.

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.
It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.

Hey, don’t write yourself off yet.
It’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.
Just do your best, do everything you can.
And don’t you worry what the bitter hearts are gonna say.

It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.
It just takes some time, little girl you’re in the middle of the ride.
Everything will be just fine, everything will be alright.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

February 7, 2014 § Leave a comment

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

-Robert Frost

My philosophy for a happy life: Sam Berns

February 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

..
“And sometimes I had to be brave. It wasn’t always easy. Sometimes I faltered, I had bad days. But I realized that being brave isn’t supposed to be easy. And for me, I feel its the key way to keep moving forward”- Sam BernsScreen Shot 2014-02-04 at 3.38.58 PM

Keep Moving Forward…

February 4, 2014 § Leave a comment

..
Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

- Walt Disney (Meet the Robinsons)

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