Editing life, sites and blogs. But not this page.
I this, I that.
I lived in Italy, very briefly, between high school and college. In the countryside near Rome. I cleaned stalls for rent, no money, no car, just friends and time. Initially I was with my sister, she fell in love and married in Denmark. I can only say that I dream to return to stay. In Rome you can idly wander through a piazza, say Piazza di San Luigi de’ Francesi, into a church like this one
My sister and I were strolling in Rome, we stopped to visit the church. She knew what was there, I had no idea. That is how I discovered one of my favorite painters, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). He was an interesting character.
“He burst upon the Rome art scene in 1600 with the success of his first public commissions, the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew and Calling of Saint Matthew. Thereafter he never lacked commissions or patrons, yet he handled his success poorly. He was jailed on several occasions, vandalized his own apartment, and ultimately had a death warrant issued for him by the Pope after on 29 May 1606, he killed, possibly unintentionally, a young man.”
Below is a favorite piece, if not my favorite piece. It’s in another church, that is in another nearby Roman piazza, Piazza de Popolo.
I am corny and a life student of art, art history, history, anthropology – culture, belief systems, and archaeology. I also play with languages and a little science. I studied all those topics at university, but not in-depth – no time because I took too many topics. Like German, French, and Korean…human anatomy with dissecting, the history of China and Japan. I went to college for 5 years and only took one summer off. Initially, I officially created my own major – Medical Illustration. Stupidly I ended up with a major in Anthropology, with minors in Studio Arts and Biological Sciences that I did not claim on paper.
Most important, I am a volunteer English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor in an Adult Literacy program. ESL2. My volunteer work is a luxury in which I fully indulge. It is the high point of each week. The international set – people from around the globe, country and city – make for captivating conversation and special friends. That includes the staff, who are super, knowledgeable, supportive and infinitely helpful. Always ready to find solutions. My classroom has eager, attentive, and hard-working students – a teacher’s dream! The facility is bright, spacious, and modern. We have a well stocked computer lab, which opens great opportunities for my classes. I use the lab heavily in class to get students on computers and the internet. Most of them for the very first time. I totally dig immersing people in my world, where things are so awesome and info is free. But really, everyone needs computer skills – especially if they have children. I drag the reluctant ones along too.
Gadgets, computers and the Internet were created by, and for, ADD ADHDD ADDAHDAD. I spend hours, daily, on computers, laptops and gadgets. Occasionally, I do have results to show for my time. This network of 6 sites, each with blogs, that I created for my ESL class is one such result. There is still much to finish. So much more potential. I have other blogs and sites: 2 for ESL teaching tools, one about topics of social relevance – I See. The Things I Should See blog and a personal site on toni-two.com called FieldGrass are where the art, culture, history and visual stuff goes. I am working on a more serious and topically relevant site, based on the I See blog, called It Matters. I created a new blog to record the technical notes and deadly errors I make, WP.org Amateur Hour. Status: currently overwhelmed, like a kid in a candy shop
No, not Yahweh…a smoker. I smoke strong clove cigarettes. Technically cigars now. I call them “high school girl cigarettes”. They taste and smell nice – no, make that delightful. A photographer that cannot take good pics. I was a medical photographer by trade. I have cameras, experience and interest, but the “vision” thing is elusive. A domestic goddess. Okay, I was one, according to then roommate and best friend. I baked bread everyday. I cooked, sewed, knitted, entertained, and rearranged furniture often. Crazy. I like to work on projects, like draw or sew, for 2-3 day and days straight. The only way I know how to “do”. Feels awesome.
Married. So ‘crazy’ and ‘domestic goddess’, are boxed in the closets. Until I figure out the housewife stuff. My home is often a site of bewilderment and the inexplicable, thanks to my amazing husband…like that thing in the pot on my stove in the photo. Something extremely annoying and bizarre. But really funny. Not staged. I always have old pots ready for such “brilliant” ideas. I am not a student, not a trained teacher, and should not smoke, but I totally dig doing them. Me. I vacillate between ‘cool’ and ‘annoying’. Also ‘bizarre’, as I have been told – politely most of the time. I love understated, subtlety, awesome and epic. Not too keen on routines, balance and mediocrity.
And because we NEVER read these About Pages…I confess to some more, that I love NASA, The Ten Commandments, Godzilla, Batman via Christopher Nolan, the Dark Knight soundtracks, opera, Star Trek, epics, Connie Francis, Charlton Heston and the most beautiful ever Sophia Loren. I cry during Ben Hur. I hate Micheal Moore – for disrespecting an elderly Mr. Heston in his own home.
“Godzilla does not feel emotion…Godzilla is emotion”
I imagine that you find this ridiculous. Far from it. This documentary from the BBC begins with the birth of the Godzilla phenomenon as an embodiment of the collective anxiety, helplessness and rage of the Japanese people after WWII. As they fell prey to the American atomic program in Hiroshima, Nagasaki and the subsequent atomic tests in the Pacific rim. Japanese adults and older, speaking with quiet gravitas about Godzilla. It is an important piece of history from a bizarre perspective, and culturally quite significant. You may, like I did, already know all that about Godzilla. It is different, and profound, to hear it from these people.
Inseparable NASA and Trek
The beginning. The intro to Star Trek was inspired by Eisenhower, who was trying to garner support in the US for NASA. It came full circle in 1989, when NASA used the Star Trek version of the quotation in the title of its retrospective of Project Apollo: “Where No Man Has Gone Before: A History of Apollo Lunar Exploration Missions”. If you do not know the quote, you are likely not reading this. But here:
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before.
It has been suggested that the quotation was taken from a White House booklet published in 1958. The Introduction to Outer Space, was produced at the request of President Eisenhower in an effort to garner support for a national space program in the wake of the Russian Sputnik flight, read on its first page:
The first of these factors is the compelling urge of man to explore and to discover, the thrust of curiosity that leads men to try to go where no one has gone before.
NASA inspired the creator of Star Trek, who in turn inspired generations of NASA directors, engineers and astronauts.
NASA Beat Down
Space is not for the weak. Astronauts are brilliant, PhDs, fearless, and totally kick ass – do not be fooled by age. Apollo 11 Astronaut, 2nd man on the moon, Buzz Aldrin shows us how it’s done in this excellent clip:
Wah Ming Chang
A note of Trek tribute
Wah Ming Chang was one of the great unsung heroes of Star Trek. Few fans know his name, but everyone certainly knows his work: the phaser, the communicator, the tricorder, the Gorn, the first Romulan ship, the tribble, and the list goes on and on … via http://www.startrek.com/database_article/wah-ming-chang