Thursday, December 27, 2007
What's going to happen to Pakistan, what's going to happen to that part of the world, what does it mean for our world?
On Christmas day we saw the movie Charlie Wilson's War, with the always amazing Tom Hanks in the title role.
As the story (film script) goes, socialite Joanne Herring asked her some time lover East-Texas CongressmanCharlie Wilson to help the Pakistani get the communists out of Afghanistan, and stop the Soviet attacks on the villagers.
At some point in the movie eye-lash-curling and batting, but oh so influential Joanne Herring, portrayed by Julia Roberts, introduces the Pakistani president General Zia ul-Haq (who asked for America's help with the refugees from Afghanistan who flooded the borders of his country —the Soviets had to be stopped bombing the villages) to a room filled with Houstonian upper crust saying: "President Zia did not kill Bhutto."
This introduction too blunt to even Charlie's taste, for a moment made me think: What Bhutto, what happened? Realizing the moment on the screen showed historical fiction, Herring meant Benezir Bhutto's father, the executed premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.
We left the movie theater in silence, overcome by the effect of war scenes plucked from actual footage, from the news, and even the so-so scenes recreated for the movie. We were moved by the images we saw of Afghan villages torpedoed by Soviet pilots, but most of all by Charley Wilson's powerlessness when he asked the Government for money to rebuild in Afghanistan what the Soviets had ruined.
"Half the population is under fourteen," he said. They need schools, they need…"
What those fourteen-year-olds were left with however, were the arms, brought into Afghanistan on the backs of mules, by way of Pakistan… What happened with the arms in the hands of youth lead by an influential leader, is known by now.
In real life Ex-Premier Benazir Bhutto was killed today.
I can't help but think that with Charlie Wilson's war, Hollywood for once brought real life a little closer to home, even before the fact. Scary.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
But, the times have changed, and The New York Times is not the only publication that covered Funeria.
Meanwhile the Funeria gallery no longer exists as virtual gallery only, but has an In Real Life location.
Funeria's listing of artists working on funeral pieces is impressive.
Art Honors Life® | The Gallery at FUNERIA
2860 Bowen Street | No. 1
Graton, California 95444
Toll Free (US) 888 829 1966 or 707 829 1966
The announcement on the poster reads: Open due to circumstances…
Starting on Thursday the 19th of December, you can add another place to visit on the long list of museums in Amsterdam.
Tot Zover - To Here and No Further, is the long awaited home of Dutch funeral history, where artifacts, customs and rituals will be on display and explained.
And no, this won't be a morbid destination.
Visitors of the museum may expect all facets of funeral history as well as present day approaches to be presented in an exiting, modern manner. Four themes: Rituals, the body, mourning and remembrance are presented in such a way, that even school children can enjoy a trip to this exceptional funeral home.
At the moment the text on the web site is only in Dutch, that will undoubtedly change in the future.
That a † is used instead of a -t- to spell the name of the museum †o† Dusver on its web site, does seem to suggest Christian exclusivity, although this may not be the case.
Tuesdays - Sundays 11:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. (starting December 20, 2007).
The museum is closed Januari 1, April 30, and December 25.
On December 26 the museum is open from 1:00 - 5:00 p.m.
Café Roosenburgh is open every day from 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Adults € 5.50
Children - 12 free
Children 13-18 €2.00
65+/CJP/Stadspas (City Pass) €4.50
Groups (12 and up) €4.50 p/p
Schools/ student groups (incl. leader) €2.00 p/p
With Museumkaart (Museum Card) free
The Dutch Funeral Museum Tot Zover is located at the Cemetery, Crematorium and Memorial Park De Nieuwe Ooster.
Nederlands Uitvaart Museum Tot Zover
1097 GA Amsterdam
How to get there (check the route, you may not need to go to the station, same is true for the bus lines below):
From Centraal Station:
Tram #9; get off at Kruislaan stop.
Bus #40 (directions Muiderpoort Station), Bus #136 (Direction Diemen), Bus #152 (directions Almere ), or Bus #157 (direction Almere); get off at Kruislaan stop.
From Muiderpoort Station:
Bus #41 (direction Gaasperplas); get off at Kruislaan stop.
By car - Take Ring (Beltway) Amsterdam A10, exit S113, direction Watergraafsmeer, after ± 1 km., turn left at stoplights (Kruislaan), after 100 meters the entrance to De Nieuwe Ooster will be on your left.
Parking -Pay lot across the street from De Nieuwe Ooster.
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, November 30, 2007
The Farestart restaurant is an excellent place to celebrate our own, and other people's accomplishments.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
Five years ago I received an email from a lady in Belgium: "No, you don't know me, but I'm working on my husband' Carel's family tree, and I'm wondering whether you and he are related?" She said she'd found my name and contact info online.
At first I thought, and replied to her,"Sorry, but no, my grandparents' names are different from your husband's.."
Guess what? The lady and her hubby visited the archives in their county, in Flanders, looked up the names of my grandparents I had given her, and… Turned out the guy's mother had giving him the names of his great-grandparents, not his grands'. When they checked the names of my father's parents, it turned out the husband of the genealogist was my first cousin, son of my father's younger brother who was killed in 1942.
I already knew my dad was a foodie, and enjoying the art of cooking and "lekker eten" must run in the family, for guess what, this cousin Carel from Belgium had been a chef, in his time catering to the Shah of Persia and the likes. And yes, his wife organized a dinner party when Loveboat and I were in Europe, and invited a nephew of her husband, who's my cousin once removed, and his wife… Can you still follow me?
Some weeks ago I Googled my mother's name, and right away (or Right On!), I found another cousin, one with three sibs, two sisters and one brother. This time all of them Dutch. Of course I Googled their names, and low and behold, my Dutch cousin Carel's a foodie as well! (That's right I've got cousins named Carel on both sides of the family.)
Although he's not a caterer, Dutch Carel sure knows how to treat his clients, friends and family members to possibly one of the best eel and oysters parties in the Lowlands. I couldn't possibly have touched either delicacy, but it sure would've been fun to have been there!
Apparently there are some more relatives in Belgium, and who knows in the Netherlands, that I have never met. But they're not online, and so far the Internet has proven to be The Way to connect. We'll see, perhaps I get another e-mail one of these days.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
Click on poster for larger image
NextStep, youth group of Een Ander Joods Geluid and the Leiden chapter of Amnesty International organize: "Bedouienen van de Negev" - Beduins of the Negev.
When: Monday October 22
Doors open at 7:20 p.m. - coffee + music, introduction 7:50 p.m, presentation 8:00 p.m.
Where : Student Center PLEXUS, Kaiserstraat 25, 2311 GN, Leiden
7:20 p.m. Doors, coffee + music
7:20 p.m. Musical Intermezzo
7:50 p.m. Introduction by Mr. I. Wieselman (faculty)
8:00 p.m. Lecture by Ms. S. Kisch (antropology)
8:50 p.m. Presentation by Ms. De Wijs (Amnesty, Leiden)
9:00 p.m. Open discussion with panel members
9:30 p.m. Coffee + Tea Klatsch
Friday, September 21, 2007
Monday, September 10, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Started, French Lessons, by Alice Kaplan and that's just what's in front of me.
Have been filling summer days with reading, writing and gardening.
Ate fresh figs, new potatoes, broccoli blossoms, chard, red beets, leaving cherry tomatoes to others (they give me hives).
Suffered information overload and guilt over piles of paper. Cancelled local paper, only read N.Y. Times, digital NRC, NextBook newsletter and whatever other e-mail that comes my way.
This is the time to smell and pick sweet pea blossoms, bake cakes with fresh peaches, grill chicken and salmon.
Drink tea and read in the late afternoon, under the parasol in the back yard.
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Bald is beautiful and I've never seen a reason why a man would want to don a rug or have hair sewn onto his scalp or paste vertilizer between his ears. But all this has changed now that I've seen what lusty locks have done to Ed Harris. The actor is one of my faves, hair or little hair, little hair, or none.
Yet, as Beethoven he's sold me on wigs. Yes. Wigs. Bring out the wigs. Wear a wig to work. Have a wig and wear it too! Wigs are cool (I hope the latest creations are at least).
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
However, a second visit to the same resulted in a virtual experience which could be likened to being a by alcolhol intoxicated guest on a fishing boat. I could, for the life of me, not keep that darn cursor from swaying from starboard to port, larboard, bow and stern. Don't know if this added quality of my visit was meant to be, but I've got to say, they did it again, those Brits.
Friday, June 15, 2007
Yes, Spamguard Plus is ON
Friday, June 08, 2007
Friendly by nature we soon got to meet the neighbors, in our complex, that is. For some very strange reason the surrounding home owners did not return our hellos. That is, until the three-year-old daughter of the people who lived behind our building, across the alley, ran from her parents' lot, speeding toward me to fling herself at me for a quick hug. The booby prize for two years of saying hello, and getting nothing but a begrudged response. The child's action opened the parents' eyes. It was as though they had never seen me, or us before. Apartment dwellers didn't exist.
Not long after that we organized a garage sale, and neighbors from adjacent houses joined us for a cup of Joe from my thermos. Finally we heard about the source of animosity between home owners and tenants.
In Seattle of 1959 a man with a vision built an apartment complex with 20 units on a lot which before had held just one single family home, built in 1910 or so. This was a home the size of a city villa (folks didn't think or built small on Queen Anne Hill at the beginning of the 20th Century).
The grudge the home owners held against this visionary (he foresaw a need for rental space, what with the World Fair of 1962 coming up), was transferred onto the tenants, for decades to come. A grudge which was passed on from parents to their children, from neighbor to neighbor.
Forty years after the apartment complex arose between two one-family villas, offspring of the people who had lived in the surrounding homes since they were built, told me about their parents anger with the developer for pushing his plans through the day before the zoning law forbade the building of aparrment complexes. Their anger was married to the fear that renters were nothing but transients, untrustworthy people on the move.
Not long after our coffee klatsch, one of the tenants of our complex died. Eve, aka "The Angel of Queen Anne", named so for her unfailing dedication to helping those in need, had lived in our complex for 20 years.
Today locals complain about town homes that arise where once a single family house stood. Four to six new homes adding to the parking problems in the street. Seattleites call it Californication, making a state name into a curse.
This while across the Nation far more damaging tarmacadamnification takes place; covering of precious land with asphalt, creating problems for the environment, for life on earth.
Meanwhile, proud Seattleites continue their opposition against high rise building, the place sighs under the effects of the metamorphises from provincial town to metropolitan city. It's obiously hard to accept the ramifications of growth.
What is wisdom? A sensible and timely approach to what's at hand, but more so, to what's to come.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Every Sunday of the month you can see another art presentation or exhibit at the Kunsthal in Weert.
The weekend of June 3rd, some paintings by Maarten Ploeg will be on view.
Still in Art School in Amsterdam, Maarten Ploeg and Peter Klashorst founded the new wave band Soviet Sex. In the art world they and fellow students became known as De Nieuwe Wilden (The New Wild Ones). After the release of their first album Happy End, Klashorst went his own way and Ploeg and his brother Rogier, continued performing with a new pop band Blue Murder.
An accomplished painter, musician, teacher and television program maker, Maarten Ploeg died of cancer in February of 2004.
At YouTube.com you can check out a few short flicks featuring off-beat performances, clearly created by artistic minds such as Maarten Ploeg's wife, the audio visual artist Ryu Tajiri
Maarten Ploeg lives on in his work.
Blue Murder keeps on going strong if only online.
Friday, May 18, 2007
So, I don't need to be won over for Hugh Chou's ideas about making coffee yourself, but he's got some calculators on his site I'm going to check out after I fix myself another cup a Joe.
Ms. Parker offers Simple American Classics (her own words) for less than $20
That's what women need, and that's what they can get (as said on Oprah).
Now the waiting is for another star who will offer a cup of Joe for a decent price.
Because that's what people need, and that's what they can get.
Because even those of us who budget and buy their beans in a Grocery Store, now and then like to have a coffee out, without having to blow off having their sushi and eat it too.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
My favorite local empowering charitable organization Farestart is throwing a party on the waterfront.
What can be better?
On July 11 get your behinds in gear and head for Pier 66 and Bell Harbor Elliott Hall, cause that's where the action will be.
50 top restaurants and breweries for 50 bucks a person
click on image to enlarge and be able to read
after June 15 prices go up $10
Come and party during theGuest Chef On the Waterfront feast!
Saturday, May 12, 2007
The everlasting cycle of renewal as witnessed in nature is a healing force by itself.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Want to see more? Check out the Motherhood Manifesto documentary created by MoveOn
Monday, May 07, 2007
It was 3:33 a.m. when I woke up. No household chores (too noisy), no prep for yard sale (same reason) and after reading Saturday's newspaper (how come I missed the funnies? What Did I Do on Saturday?) and Monday's as well, the urge to blog surfaces again.
In the summer of 2001 my right hand and arm went on strike. My Physical Therapist said: "Between writing, painting, cooking, cleaning, gardening, pruning and stretching canvasses you've basically worn out your number one tool."
For a while I typed and painted with my left hand only. Interesting results on canvas. I learned to economize. In search for better syntax, less deletion of words, more cut, paste and copying to other places. The fewer keys to hit, the better.
No more taking notes by hand. Emailing friends took the place of writing in my journals. Time measured by key words in my calendars. Printing out email messages I decide to do way too late. So much printing to catch up with…
Monday, April 16, 2007
You can find art work by Alan Lau the International Examiner's Arts Editor on pages 26, 44, 145, 176, 247, 328.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Closing lines of the poem Requiem in Mr. Vonnegut's last book "A Man Without a Country":
When the last living thing
has died on account of us,
how poetical it would be
if Earth could say,
in a voice floating up
from the floor
of the Grand Canyon,
“It is done.”
People did not like it here.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Excuse me, since when is palm oil good for your heart?
Sure, crude palm oil has more carotenoids (think orange) than your trusted carrots (but then again looses that good orange when heated) it is high in antioxidants, Vitamind A and E (which by the way doesn't seem to do a thing for your health according to the latest studies), AND comparisons by researchers of palm, soybean, peanut oils and lard show that palm oil increases levels of good cholesterol and reduces levels of bad blood cholesterol.
BUT there's convincing evidence that palm oil with its high saturated fat content may risk development of cardiovascular diseases.
No biggy to me, I don't eat Doughnuts anyway. Too many calories for too short a high. What with that refined flour, refined sugar, deep fried fatty stuff. You eat, you absorb (no digestion necessary), and then, brother you experience a drop in blood sugar level that sends you straight up the nervous breakdown elevator (funny contradiction, no?). And when you hit the ceiling, the cables break and you go down, with a speed you didn't hold possible.
Nah, donuts are not for me. Gimme some slow burning, long lasting thrill, something to chew on, something with a flavor that makes me want to savor the aftertaste, not that bitter on the back of your tongue memory of frying oil. If I have to have my cake and eat it too, do me some good old fashioned pound cake. Refined everything, yes, but also a lingering memory of butter and eggs, and a hint of lemon, Yeah!
Monday, February 12, 2007
From the Bible, Matthew 24:6-8 (King James Version)
And then what?
Are we to close our ears and eyes
Are we to sit back, on our hands
Are we to cover our mouths and bite our tongues
Man to monkey
For it was said: All things must pass?
This explains a lot.
Monday, January 15, 2007
The pharmacy is an initiative of SMCN (Stichting Medicinale Cannabis Nederland) —a foundation dedicated to helping the chronically ill, who often live on a fixed budget, buy "mediwiet" (medicinal weed) for 6 € per gram.
Medicinal cannabis has been proven to affectively diminish nausea in cancer patients, affects tics suffered by patients of Gille de la Tourette syndrom and on complaints suffered by patients with M.S. (multiple sclerosis). For background information in English, check out SIMM
Sunday, January 14, 2007
In Seattle you'll find a good number of fine eateries that will make you forget you're on a restricted diet —while the memory lapse won't get you into trouble.
Check out Bamboo Garden in the lower Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, a couple of blocks north of the Space Needle. Just tell your server restrictions regarding preparation of the dishes you wish to order.
The Bonefish Grill on west side of Lake Union, provides a menu with with clearly marked GF dishes.
At Cafe Flora in Madison Valley, know for the vegetarian dishes, you'll also discover non-dairy and gluten free options on the menu.
Up the hill from Cafe Flora, in the same hood, you'll find the Impromptu Wine Cafe Bar where chef Dan promises to create a great meal for people: "…who have felt tentative about eating in restaurants".
Visit The Flying Apron Bakeryin the UW (University of Washington) District for organic, gluten free and wheat free products, often sweetened with alternatives for sugar.
Three times hurray for Lombardi's Neighborhood Italian in Ballard, where you may request a GF menu.
On Sundays Restaurant Zoe waves corkage fees, so feel free to bring your own bottle to enjoy with a meal especially created with your sensitivities in mind.
A great choice on lower Queen Anne Hill for dinner and drinks before or after the theatre is Ten Mercer. Best is if you notify them ahead of time, so they can accomodate your dietary needs. For spur of the moment visits, ask for the GF menu they have on file.
Wild Ginger, a popular Pan Asian Restaurant across the street from the Seattle Symphony on Third Avenue can accomodate most dietary needs. Their kitchen caters to Triple Door a music venue with eclectic gigs.
National chain restaurants such as The Old Spaghetti Factory, the Outback Steak House (same owners in Seattle as Bonefish Grill), PF Changs and Red Robin offer gluten free options upon request.