Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Will You Sign My Yearbook?

The boyfriend's daughter Emmi recently graduated from middle school (junior high? -- whatever it is called nowadays). I was looking at her yearbook [trying to see which kids looked like they might end up in prison] and cracking up at what her friends wrote:


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After reading over Emmi's yearbook, I pulled out a couple of my junior high yearbooks and read the dedications. They made me laugh, and I bet yours would make you laugh if you looked at them again. Here are some of mine:

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I hardly remember ANY of the people that signed my yearbooks. I haven't kept in touch with ANY of them. Sad? Meh. Maybe not. Time marches on and some friendships fade.

By the way, I think STUPID FUCKING FACEBOOK (sorry -- I am still ranting against social media lately, and I hate FECESBOOK with a passion) is the modern day version of yearbook signing for adults -- lots of tripe and crap and blather, with a few gems sprinkled throughout (if you're lucky).


P.S. I was looking at my little sister's high school senior yearbook, and BOY did she and her best friend leave nasty comments all over MANY pictures. Cruel and mean AND HILARIOUS. My favorite part -- they referred to cheerleaders as FLUFFS. A HAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA!




Friday, June 20, 2014

Portraits by Jacques Sonck

Sometimes it is nice to get away from the self-congratulatory, self-promoting, like me/love me/approve of me* "selfie" (I HATE THAT WORD) pictures of this era, and look at beautiful, unapologetic portraits created by someone as talented as Jacques Sonck.  Below you will find some of his portraits that I adore (found here).


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Jacques Sonck (b. 1949, Belgium)

Sonck studied photography at the Narafi in Brussels, Belgium.

Sonck makes penetrating street and studio portraits of figures from all walks of life. In his pictures he goes in search of archetypes, creating classical portraits somewhat reminiscent of photographs taken by Diane Arbus. Without judging, Sonck confronts the viewer with various types of individuals: loners, eccentrics, drop-outs and outcasts. Sonck's refined black and white images contain a surprising, often anachronistic aesthetics with remarkable documentary character. Human diversity is depicted in an understated way, without melancholy, compassion, or the intent to ridicule.



text above edited from this source


*Note: I participate in the like me/love me/approve of me movement (instagram, facebook, twitter + increasingly infrequent attempts at blogging) that is so pervasive in our society.  So I am as annoying as the the people/movement that annoy me.  How annoying.  

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Mistakes and Consequences

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Did you read the Vanity Fair article written by Monica Lewinsky?  I finally read it over the weekend, and I found it interesting.  Very, very interesting.  Her words make me think.  They made me feel shame (for cruelly judging her and dismissing her all because of a mistake she made when she was in her twenties), and sympathy/empathy for her situation.   

Way back when the Lewinsky scandal struck, I thought it was a rather crude affair (pardon the expression), but I didn't worry about it too much.  I thought Bill Clinton was a moron for getting caught cheating on his wife with a young intern.  I thought Hillary should have dumped Bill (I have a dominant punisher gene -- forgiveness isn't always my strong suit, and I need to work on that) but that wasn't for ME to decide. 

To be honest, I didn't give much thought to the role Monica Lewinsky played in the matter. She was just the punchline to a lot of bad jokes.  I really didn't wonder why she did what she did, or what would happen to her.  I didn't think much of her -- she made a stupid mistake, she got popped, and the whole world was privy to her dirty business.  Meh.  Dumb mistake.  Not my problem. Next.

After reading the article my perspective changed.  Yes, she made a dreadful mistake by having an affair with an older, powerful and charming man that pursued her.  She and Bill BOTH made a regrettable mistake.  But should she pay for that mistake for the rest of her life?  Should she be scorned, ridiculed, humiliated, harassed and denied opportunities FOREVER because of that mistake?  That seems like a harsh penalty to pay.  

A while back I had some smug thoughts -- just thinking about people that had made absolutely catastrophic mistakes (the Exxon Valdez disaster, the Costa Concordia disaster, GEORGE W. BUSH's many debacles, etc.) and I pretty much patted myself on the back for not having made such horrendous mistakes in life.  UHHHHHHH, those were stupid thoughts.  Awful things can happen at any point, pretty much to any person.

A few months back I was driving home after spending the day with my boyfriend.  I wasn't speeding.  I was being pretty careful, but not careful enough.  I was stopped at an intersection.  I waited my turn, and then I took a right turn into a driveway.  The next thing I knew I had struck a bicyclist.  With my car.  I hit him.  I didn't see him.  He and his bike went down and I could not believe what I had done.  It all happened within a split second.  I think it was the worst mistake I have ever made (well the worst one I have made so far).  Every time I think about it close my eyes and hang my head.  AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL mistake.  I could go on and on about what happened, how he THANKED me when I told him I would pay to get his bike repaired.  How he THANKED me when I said I would take him to a doctor.  How he THANKED me when I insisted on giving him a ride home.  How he was worried about getting my seats dirty with his bike.  How he assured me that he would be ok and that I shouldn't worry, saying "it's okay -- it was an accident."  Months later, the whole thing still sickens me every time I think about it.  

The only consolation that I really had -- which wasn't much consolation AT ALL -- was that I had not intended to hit this poor guy.  It was an honest mistake.  An accident.  But regardless, it was terrible.  Absolutely terrible.  I try not to obsess on it.  I drive with more caution.  I want to make sure that I never make that mistake again. 

Speaking of horrendous mistakes/tragedies/regrets, I found this recent news story incredibly disturbing:

A substance-abuse counselor who struck a pedestrian with her car and drove through a Los Angeles suburb with the dying man on her windshield was sentenced Thursday to 55 years to life in prison. 

A jury earlier this year convicted Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 53, of second-degree murder, driving under the influence and hit-and-run.

Prosecutors said Wilkins' blood-alcohol level was nearly twice the legal limit when she struck 31-year-old Phillip Moreno in November 2012 as she was leaving a counseling center. 

She drove 2 miles through the city of Torrance before other motorists swarmed her car at a traffic light and kept her there until police arrived. Moreno was taken to a hospital, where he died. 

Superior Court Judge Henry Hall said, "Ms. Wilkins demonstrated an extraordinary callousness in fleeing the scene and trying to shake Mr. Moreno's body off her car. This is a callous murder, not an unfortunate act." 
 
Hall rejected a plea from the defense and sentenced Wilkins under California's three strikes law, citing her long history of drug-related crimes. That tripled the minimum 15 years to life she could have received otherwise before being eligible for parole. 

Wilkins, who was a drug addict before she became a drug and alcohol counselor, contended she wasn't drunk that night. She claimed she was "self-medicating" while waiting for knee-replacement surgery and had consumed three single-serving bottles of vodka and a can of Budweiser beer and Clamato before starting to drive. 

In her first apology since that night, Wilkins turned toward 16 Moreno family members and friends in the courtroom Thursday and said what happened was a "tragedy." 

"I am sorry for the pain I caused you," she said. "It hurt so many people." 

The judge said he carefully considered the three strikes element. 
 
"Ms. Wilkins is not what we normally see," Hall said. "She's not a classic violent criminal. But you have to evaluate her history. She had an insatiable desire to become intoxicated."

She also had a "relatively unbroken crime history" dating back 34 years, he said.

Wilkins' attorney, Deputy Public Defender Nan Whitfield, said she would appeal. 


What this woman did is appalling.  Absolutely awful.  And she gets to spend the rest of her life thinking about it, possibly paying for it, and perhaps attempting to atone for it.   

I don't really know how to end this blog post.  Obviously we all make mistakes.  My favorite mistakes are ones that are minor (AND NOBODY IS HURT BY THEM), that I catch, that nobody else finds out about, that I can just fix and/or bury.  Sadly that isn't always the case.  Some of us get caught up in disastrous mistakes.  I have no wise words except to say proceed with caution in life.  :[




Monday, June 16, 2014

An Interview with Stephen Hawking

Talk of space and science usually bores me (it's a good thing I am not responsible for accomplishing anything of note in life), but this interview with John Oliver and Stephen Hawking is hilarious!





Monday, June 2, 2014

Celebrity Turtlenecks

The recent pics of Prince at the French Open made me laugh out loud.  And, of course, they inspired this post.


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Brad Pitt turtleneck

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keanu reeves turtleneck

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joey turtleneck Die Another Day, Pierce Brosnan

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bob dylan turtleneck fantasia-third-costume turtleneck

the shining jack nicholson turtleneck james garner turtleneck

steve jobs Turtleneck-2 Sprockets Mike Myers turtleneck

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jeremy irons turtleneck Actress Diane Keaton arrives at the Annual SeaChange Summer Part

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kevin spacey turtleneck leonoard nimoy turtleneck

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gisele bundchen turtleneck tom cruise turtleneck

justin bieber turtleneck

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david-hasselhoff-turtleneck nicole richie turtleneck

paul-walker-turtleneck-sweater george clooney turtleneck

paul newman turtleneck

prince turtleneck audrey hepburn turtleneck

don draper turtleneck episode 386 chuck norris turtleneck

mary tyler moore turtleneck

Billy+Ocean turtleneck marlon brando turtleneck

christian bale turtleneck

michael caine turtleneck clint eastwood turtleneck

Bill-Cosby-turtleneck a flock of seagulls turtleneck

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Thoughts on turtlenecks?  Classic?  Cliche?  Iconic?  Idiotic?