Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bizet's "Carmen" at Masada

Yes it is cliched that those of us who know very little about opera happen to love Bizet's Carmen. Mais,  c'est la vie....

Apparently the Israeli opera company gave a performance of Carmen at the foot of Masada in 2012.





































Go HERE for a virtual tour of Masada.

Elise

Friday, April 25, 2014

Happy World Penguin Day

How could these beautiful creatures not make you happy?






The unpolitically correct penguins from Madigascar.



And no World Penguin Day would be complete without a scene from Happy Feet.




From Greenpeace:  

It’s World Penguin Day today, and a fine excuse to celebrate the majesty and silliness of fine-flippered friends. In that spirit, I thought it would be good to pull together some fun facts about penguins. Some are fun, some are facts, and some are both at once.  And don’t miss the how you can help bit at the end.

All wild penguins live in the Southern Hemisphere, and although they are synonymous with the ice,  only two species live on the continent of Antarctica. The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin that ever naturally ventures into the Northern Hemisphere on especially long feeding trips

The first bird actually called a ‘penguin’ was the now-extinct Great Auk found in the North Atlantic. Tragically, early explorers and their contemporaries found Great Auks a little too tasty, and the birds were all killed off.

Fossil evidence shows that penguins evolved before the Dinosaurs died out, and there are remains of giant, people-sized, prehistoric penguins. 

Learn more about penguins HERE.










Elise


World Penguin Day happens on April 25th annually. This is the time when millions of penguins drift to north. Unlike other birds that drift each year.  Penguins cannot fly instead of this; they stroll, or toddle to their new home and breeding grounds. It is a very long journey across the ice. Perhaps you saw an example of the journey in the movie ‘Happy Feet’. Penguins are very special. - See more at: http://techjost.com/2012/04/25/world-penguin-day/#sthash.UseGeard.dpuf





Elise






Timberrrrrrrr..........

Pitbull and Kesha.....do like it when he joins up with women with great pipes.....




Yes, some of the words are a little questionable.....but its also a fun song. Just do what my mother does, and don't pay attention to the words. Afterall we are grownups and can dance to the uplifting beat, too.

FYI- I sometimes think with videos like this, those that are the most offended are the women who could never, in their wildest dreams, be able to rock bikinis and daisy dukes the way these ladies can.



Elise

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Birthday Mr. Shakespeare

Shakespeare has survived for over 400 years simply because his works speak to the human soul.

Balcony Scene Romeo and Juliet from David Paul Kirkpatrick on Vimeo.



And the scene below from the Merchant of Venice...today seen as a controversial play for its portrayal of a stereotypical (read antisemitic caricature) Jewish villain. But in this play Shakespeare authored one of the most lyrical tracts against antisemitism and actually calls out the Christian world for their Jew-hatred. At a time when Jews, by law, were forbidden to live in England and antisemitism was part and parcel of all Christian teachings, Shakespeare wrote this:





Sonnet 18

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature's changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow'st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow'st,
   So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
   So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.


Sadly too many colleges and high schools no longer teach Shakespeare. In fact teaching about western civilization is under attack across the board. When you don't study the greatest writer in human history, how could it be possible to really learn to read and write? Sadly most students do not graduate highschool with the ability to compose a research paper, never mind read, write and analyze any written material. In fact, most high school graduates are not college ready in the least. And this inability to express themselves using the written word doesn't change much for most college graduates either.

Elise

Sunday, April 20, 2014

MMM Yeah Yeah

New teenybopper sensation Austin Mahone joins with Pitbull for a little bit of old fashioned PG rated music. Now I never heard of the kid. But of course, not having teenage girls and being rather curmudgeonly myself, it's not surprising. But apparently this 17 year old won the MTV's "Artists to Watch" award....The music industry is trying to get the girls who love his music (aka think he's really cute) to label themselves "Mahomies"....not kidding. People in the business think he's the new Justin Beiber apparently (if your teenager can be a "Belieber" then they think she will be a "Mahomie"), or else international singing star Pitbull would not be taking time in this video.






Notice too, Pitbull is not in his usual white-suit and tie. He looks like he is trying to channel James Dean. Wonder if he is looking for a new image as well.



James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause




Elise

Monday, April 14, 2014

More Raw Ability from a TV Talent Show

From Britain's Got Talent.....yes even Simon Cowell was impressed. Collabro sings "Stars" from Les Miserables.



When these talent shows began, critics poo-poohed them, but the average person loved the equal playing field. Meanwhile, "X-country Got Talent" has become an international sensation, giving opportunity to greatly talented individuals worldwide who would otherwise never get a shot at fame, fortune and recognition. It is hope springs eternal for many and a chance for the human-on-the-street to celebrate his neighbor.


h/t to the hubby for the video. He knows I am a huge Les Miz fan.



Elise

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Happy Passover

A new interactive video from the Fountainheads for Passover. Play, its really  alot of fun.





PASSOVER





Chag Pesach Sameach (Happy Rassover)






Passover is not just the holiday of freedom. It is also, Chag Aviv Sameach (Happy Holiday of Spring)



Elise

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

What's so bad about being wrong? Maybe nothing at all.

 TED


Most of us will do anything to avoid being wrong. But what if we're wrong about that? "Wrongologist" Kathryn Schulz makes a compelling case for not just admitting but embracing our fallibility.


Why you should listen

Kathryn Schulz is a journalist, author, and public speaker with a credible (if not necessarily enviable) claim to being the world's leading wrongologist.  Her freelance writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, TIME Magazine, the Boston Globe, the "Freakonomics" blog of The New York Times, The Nation, Foreign Policy, and the New York Times Book Review, among other publications. She is the former editor of the online environmental magazine Grist, and a former reporter and editor for The Santiago Times, of Santiago, Chile, where she covered environmental, labor, and human rights issues. She was a 2004 recipient of the Pew Fellowship in International Journalism (now the International Reporting Project), and has reported from throughout Central and South America, Japan, and, most recently, the Middle East. A graduate of Brown University and a former Ohioan, Oregonian and Brooklynite, she currently lives in New York's Hudson Valley.





Elise

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Linea Pelle Bags

Found this Italian brand today. It is fun, durable and very very very affordable.


Sybil tote in red. It comes in 6 colors too.







Elise

Don't Buy #Gucci They Really Don't Stand Behind Their Product

If you have been a reader of my blog for awhile you know that I have some rather distinct lower back issues. When they flare up I have trouble even carrying a purse. So during my last flare up in February, I decided to treat myself and purchase a very light weight Gucci tote. Yes I know, expensive, but I was feeling rather horrid and having just sold my entire handbag collection, put together over a thirty year period,  on TheRealReal I decided to gift myself. They call it retail therapy.

The salesperson, a rather charming youngman, convinced me that the all leather version of the tote was better than the cloth with pebbled leather corners because it would hold up a lot a better for everyday use. He mentioned that the cloth is not really coated well and he thought it might stain easily. This of course did make sense to me at the time. Well needlesstosay the handbag didn't hold up to my satisfaction. The color and leather at the corners have begun to wear away already.

I used the tote for about a week until my back felt better and then I put in my closet inside the dustbag. I treated the purse very well. When I took it out this morning to use it again, I noticed that the coloring on the corners had worn away worse than I remembered. Note: it had not been touched since I put the bag in my closet a month ago.

I called the local store where I purchased the product and asked to return it. That having bought it so recently (only 5 weeks ago)  it should not wear away at the corners. When they called back the manager told me that they would repair it but their return policy was ten days. I mentioned to him that you can't see if something is going to not wear well within ten days. I also mentioned to him that repairing the corners  would also not solve the issue. How would repairing it keep the leather from wearing away again so quickly?  His response was that it was my choice what to do. He said that this was the policy of the company and that he didn't want to risk his job by taking my handbag back.

Now I don't blame him one bit for not wanting to lose his job. I told him I don't want him to risk his job either, but that I think the company's policy is terrible. That I have dealt with other companies over the years and this was not my first designer bag. I had always gotten satisfaction from other handbag designers, including replacements and returns. He actually said to me that they know the other stores in the mall and their policy is equivalent. In other words, he called me a liar. (As if the only place, when you are 30 minutes from New York City, is to shop at the local mall.) Which I happened to call him out on. I also told him that they have lost a customer for certain.

The moral of this story:  if you ever have extra money and want to treat yourself to a very fine and overpriced handbag, make certain that you don't buy Gucci. They don't stand behind their product not one iota.


Elise