Saturday, June 11, 2011


this is my first photo collage effort- which I just figured out how to do this morning- these are four photos from our 2003 trip to Chile.  I have been admiring Peter's Paris blog photos for six months and now have figured out the basics of how to accomplish this kind of composite photo.

and here is another I made from our trip to Japan in June 2004- hard to believe it has been that long but we went right after we moved into the house where we now live... and that has been 7 years- OMG!

so don't expect these collages every day but - I feel a small sense of accomplishment having finally taken the time to figure out how to make them...

Friday, June 10, 2011


Went last night to see The Violence of My Affection at the Red Orchid on Wells Street.  I found it a fabulous exploration of the opposing forces of intellect and emotion.   The bare bones plot – an academically inclined young man, Steven, meets a passionate young actress,  Sofania, while studying in Italy, their relationship from courtship through divorce is charted in a marvelously structured narrative that relies fairly heavily upon the audience’s capacity to follow along intellectually.  (The title of the play comes from Jane Austen.)
The young woman who plays Sofania more than met the challenge of the emotion laden role, demonstrating delight in new love through the madness of love scorned.  And while she was clearly the “star” she had a “co-star” in the script by Gaetano Marangelli.  The dialogue of the characters both internal and external  folds back upon itself repeatedly in an elegant structure that allows Shakespeare to be quoted frequently and references the “A”s and the "V"s of the dictionary that plays a central role in the story of the couple’s unfolding love, and then its demise. 
My comment after the play ended was “that poor woman” and Phil’s was “I hated her.  I would have run as far away from her as possible.  What did he do to her to deserve that?”  And I suppose therein lies the crux of the matter.  I felt her passion and understood her inability to fathom the lack of the same from her “betrothed.”   I was drawn to the references and structure of the play and Phil found them confusing. 
Perhaps the most valuable lesson I learned in graduate school while studying psychology was the owning and acceptance of projections.  Fritz Perls could have helped Sofania understand that her relationship to Steven was not the relationship Steven had/has with her and never was, but alas that is the subject for another exploration of life’s issues.
For an intellectually stimulating 90 minutes- go to the play.  If you want spoon-fed Hollywood simplicity then stop into the movie theaters around the corner at Piper’s Alley. But if you want to experience participating with poets and dreamers and passion then this is the play for you.
here is the blurb from the promotional materials:

The Violence of My Affection tells the story of the shared passion for art, language, and each other that unites an Italian actress and an American scholar. She adopts his country and raises their son, but after twenty-five years, he wants a divorce, and her love turns to vengeance.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

last night

I got a call from Heidi Perez, my long time travel impresario at Nature Expeditions.  I "met" her in 2002 when Phil and I planned a trip to Chile that she helped me arrange.  this woman is not just a travel agent - she is more like a travel consultant and advisor.  Heidi helped us plan the Chile trip and then the next year helped Jennifer and me plan our trip to Cambodia and Vietnam - still a trip I look back upon with great memories (and which I have mentioned in prior blog entries as it was the best time ever to be at Angkor Wat etc. due to SARS)

the other person we have used in a similar fashion for very personalized trips to the former soviet countries is Joanna Millick at MIR Corp out of Seattle.  and at some point I will regale you with tales from those trips as I have dozens of pages of journal entries and plenty of photos to go with the narrative - but back to Heidi...

we were discussing places we might want to visit in the future and afterward she sent me some information on southern India - which along with Sri Lanka is very high on my list right now and it may be that I get there in 2012 very late... as the weather is tropical and always hot I would be looking at December....

I wrote a rather lengthy reply to her and in it I was recalling the trip she planned for Phil and me to Laos and Vietnam in early 2009.  we made a stop in Hong Kong on the way over for a couple of days.  Hong Kong is a place we always love to spend time - western luxury and British history and Chinese exoticism in a perfect mix.  but I digress as I often do-

I specifically recalled to Heidi a day we spent in Hanoi - in the morning we visited the "Hanoi Hilton" POW prison where john McCain was held for years and very late that evening we watched the inauguration of President Obama.  it was an amazing juxtaposition of events that have framed our world view as boomers.  the war - which we watched on TV - and which we referred to as The War because it was the one we lived through- that our peers were sacrificed in - that we hated and ranted and protested and fought with our parents about.  and all the while we were in the middle of the civil rights movement which through a long and slow process led us to that day in January 2009 when President Obama was sworn in.

I know that if you are even a sporadic reader of this blog you understand that travel is my passion but sometimes I feel like I don't express how amazing travel is in creating new perspectives on the world around us, how it creates and promotes new relationships with people we wouldn't otherwise get to know, what gifts there are in such experiences.

anyway - since Heidi called I though today I would post some photos from the fabulous trip she helped us create in Vietnam that January two years ago...

let's start with two of my favorite images that have always paired up in my mind-

souvenir ceramic ladies in traditional dress from a stand along the Perfume River in Hue

and the latest fashion available for individual tailoring in Hoi An

Next some temple photos from Hue (top) Hoi An (middle) and Saigon (bottom)

I loved these doors opening on to the terrace from inside the temple
 the beauty of the red lacquer and gold trim really caught my eye

The incense coils hang in temples throughout Asia and always make for an interesting picture
(loud speaker included at no extra cost- the old and the new)

here worshippers light incense to honor the dead or to pray for the future
this temple is dedicated to those who make their living on the water

in Dalat we visited a temple complex where monks lived and prayed and they were at their morning prayers when we walked by - the dog (god spelled backward as we learned as kids) seemed less interested in the chanting then the fresh air.

and below the symbol of the Cao Dai sect at their Holy See - located north of Saigon in the countryside and featured in a segment of The Quiet American a famous novel from my childhood.

and finally a few strays I like and decided to include today- the amazing color of the water in Halong Bay
 and the wonderful rainbow of silk lanterns in a Hoi An vendors shop

have to get back to packing.... take a trip- call Heidi at Nature Expeditions Incorporated in Florida - she can help you plan a journey that will create just such magical moments for you!

and no- LOL- I don't get a commission - seriously - GO SOMEWHERE  treasure the time we have... next week will be the one year anniversary of my sister's death at 54 years of age... we all have so little time- even if we live to 100- it is the blink of an eye- don't wait... "just do it"

Monday, June 6, 2011

down time

so I guess it was inevitable that since Phil got sick last week so would I - virus especially the short lived kind are usually - LOL- virulent so when it hit me on Sunday very early AM it wasn't too surprising.  and of course I did what we are all told to do- push fluids and rest... but that really screwed up my Sunday stuff- things I had on my list to do to get ready for Africa. 

oh well about something like 20 hours of sleep later I am feeling much better (again no surprise) and am only a day behind... maybe this is why I learned at some point to stop procrastinating (which I do not do at all these days) because you never know when something will come up- good or bad... literally or figuratively.

so here it is Monday morning (still barely) and I am back making lists and getting through emails and doing stuff like paying upcoming bills for when I am gone etc... and feeling so happy to be feeling better.  when I am knocked down like yesterday I so appreciate feeling good and having good health.  I remember how much my mom said it was a struggle many days just to get up and dressed as she neared the end of her life.  When I get sick I understand that in a visceral way rather than an intellectual.

anyway- good news - back on track and after juggling some of the packing last weekend we will be with computer so I hope to post along the way when we find connections - and when we don't I will be journaling for blog posts (in order) when we do.

as for photos for today I have some new ones from the yard as we finally have decent weather and I planted my pots for the memorial day get together of are a few.

and one of sweet faced Penny who was watching me do my blog entry on NEXT