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Showing posts from April, 2015

Flying A Kite Over The Beach

Glorious fun flying a beautiful kite that a complete stranger gave to Hudson, Paradise and their best friends. He also gave them an intricate kite shaped like a ship with sails. Hopefully pictures of that to follow in future - it's more difficult to fly!

Nina Simone - Baltimore (music video)

One of my all-time favorite songs from Nina Simone, written by Randy Newman: Baltimore.

This video features great photographs of the city from 1969 by Ty Waller, who says:

"Baltimore through my lens around 1969. The photos of the police on E. Chase Street were taken the day after MLK's assassination. They were sent to protect us from us. Of course this was long before the riverfront revitilization. That is why you see a few pictures of drunks and beggars. don't think that exists..."

Respect to everyone in Baltimore today working toward peace!

Baltimore and the LA Riots

Sad that today is the 23rd anniversary of the beginning of the LA riots. Earlier, I watched video of the Rodney King beating, and what was truly alarming was that, terrible as it was, it didn't look as aggressive as some recent footage of police beatings that I have seen.
The situation in Baltimore following the death of Freddie Gray in a police van, and police violence and racism across America in general, suggest that little has improved since 1991, when King's beating occurred, or 1992, when his police assailants were unexpectedly cleared by a jury, and the LA riots began in response.
It’s by no means one-sided. I have driven with police officers in the most dangerous parts of Miami, and witnessed the aftermath of a man shot in the head on a Friday night - a civilian shot by another civilian. My main memory was that a young female police officer on the scene felt nauseous because she had never seen a man dying before. But the seemingly endless incidents of violence by police a…

Charlie Chaplin - Peter Ackroyd's remarkable book

I was sad to finish Peter Ackroyd's brief biography of Charlie Chaplin, for a whole variety of reasons, some quite personal, others simply that the book left me even more intrigued about one of the world's - and certainly cinema's - most famous men than when I started reading it. 
I could not, in the end, decide whether Ackroyd actually liked Chaplin or not, and neither perhaps could he. 
Chaplin's origins in south London were so harsh that it is hard not to feel sympathy, indeed empathy, for him and to forgive, to a large (though decreasing, as his life progressed) degree the way he responded to the world. 
He was entirely his own man - Ackroyd says at one point that he never liked to wear a watch or know what time it was (neither do I), nor even what day of the week it was (I suspect that might be a slight exaggeration, but I share that wish, too).

He created, over a period of years, the best known and most universal figure the world has ever known: The Tramp, or The Lit…

new media

Please follow me on Instagram - Keith Haring chair

Please follow me @tranquilbuddha on Instagram:
This is my latest photo, of a Keith Haring chair we love and have had since the original Pop Shop in SoHo sadly closed in 2005. It has a matching blue partner! 
The chairs always make me smile - except when we catch our feet on the unusually wide chair "feet" at the bottom!

I've just found out that there is now an online Keith Haring Pop Shop store - and they still sell the chair in different colors at:

The 100 Acre Wood

Paradise and Hudson today in our own beloved 100 Acre Wood. 
Time to play Pooh sticks!

Happy Earth Day! Let's Protect The Planet Together!

Today is Earth Day. Let's all work together to protect this beautiful planet, of which we are guardians not owners, for the astonishing multitude of species it supports - and for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.
We are at a tipping point, at which the Earth's own protective systems break down - melting polar ice and permafrost will reflect less solar energy (heat) back into space.
Please read more detail in this article from The Guardian:
Earth Day: Scientists say 75% of known fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground
And please watch this beautiful five-minute documentary about the vital interconnectedness of all species: 
How Wolves Change Rivers

I hope you enjoy and respect Earth Day - and reflect on our impact on this planet not just today but every day of the year.

Wong Kar-Wai Compares In The Mood For Love to Hitchcock's Vertigo

Wong Kar-Wai's In The Mood For Love is an incomparable film, beautiful in the way music is beautiful. You can enjoy it for its narrative or you can enjoy favorite passages, over and over again. It is one of my go-to films, for reflection, meditation and sheer pleasure.

The quote below, provided by youmightfindyourself on Tumblr, is a fascinating allusion from Wong Kar-Wai, comparing In The Mood For Love to Vertigo. They are both unforgettable films.

Wong Kar-Wai states he was very influenced by Hitchcock’s Vertigo while making this film, and compares Tony Leung’s film character to James Stewart’s:

“The role of Tony in the film reminds me of Jimmy Stewart’s in Vertigo. There is a dark side to this character. I think it’s very interesting that most of the audience prefers to think that this is a very innocent relationship. These are the good guys, because their spouses are the first ones to be unfaithful and they refuse to be. Nobody sees any darkness in these characters – a…

The Common Core Tests - Is Pearson Engaged In PSYOPS?

There is a growing and well justified rebellion around the nation at the oh so mellifluously named Common Core standardized tests inflicted on children either last week or this.

The Washington Post just ran an excellent article by Valerie Strauss, titled Educators alarmed by some questions on N.Y. Common Core tests.

It details, quite eloquently, the despair - I think that is the appropriate word - of many educators tasked with preparing children for the tests, and just as importantly, consoling them afterwards - not because of the results necessarily, but simply the vastly unpleasant, confusing, often age-inappropriate and ridiculously epic nature of the tests themselves.

Valerie quotes the principal of "a well regarded elementary school in an affluent 'gold-coast' district" as writing, with regard to the tests:

"These three days of ELA [English Language Arts] have been torture – I had only 23 students opt out and I had at least 3 times that number in tears. If we w…

Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky - Always On My Mind

I have written several times about the influence on me of Paul Bowles' remarkable novel, The Sheltering Sky. This post perhaps explains best my fascination with the book.

Tonight I am thinking of two of my favorite passages, which I have quoted before. The first is this, which upon reading the first time, literally changed the way I thought about life:

"Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don't know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It's that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don't know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the f…

Opera San Jose - The Magic Flute

Our whole family hugely enjoyed the dress rehearsal today of Opera San Jose’s production of Mozart’s sublime The Magic Flute, opening this Saturday.

Hudson and Paradise had never seen an opera before, and this homeschool-only full dress rehearsal was a wonderful opportunity for them to enjoy their introduction both to the drama and magic of The Magic Flute (read this fascinating entry at Wikipedia about its history), and to the beauty of its music and voices. 

The production was a great mix of classical and contemporary, totally engaging, and attracting prolonged applause and whistles from its young audience at its conclusion. It was definitely less radical than the Peter Sellars Magic Flute, set in LA with skateboards, that I saw (and enjoyed) at Glyndebourne some years back.

We also loved the historic California Theater, which originally opened in 1927 as a music hall and movie theater, but closed its doors 30 years ago and only recently reopened after five years of restoration and rec…

Happiness On The Beach

Paradise's Story About Whitey The Mouse

Our six year old daughter Paradise had a big day this week. On Tuesday morning, she wrote (or dictated) four stories in a row, each one quite magical. In the afternoon, she learned to balance on her bike - and rode for two or three miles with us a couple of days later.

Of her stories, my favorite was this one, about Whitey, her pet mouse, who sadly died recently...but who lives on in this beautiful tale of her ocean adventure in a coconut and her friendship with Whistle the Dolphin.

Paradise and I actually found a coconut washed up on the beach last year, and imagined that it might have sailed across the great Pacific from Hawaii or some South Seas island. Perhaps it's the very one that Whitey the Mouse traveled here in!

Bowie and Albarn - Fashion

Truly fabulous YouTube video of David Bowie and Damon Albarn performing Bowie’s timeless Fashion.
Bowie looks as if he's time traveled. I want his lighting and makeup ⚡️⚡️⚡️