The Arts, and Art

Morning all even though outside it’s sitting at 44-degrees! And alongside the ‘and Art’ (referencing my brother), it’s Marcia too – read further on down.

This week it got to a point where I had to head for Costco. The reason is there was a great sale on Peet’s Coffee along with a tire issue, a fuel fill up, a new hair dryer, and a must buy rotisserie chicken. I have no idea how it was that at the register it took two persons to unpack my shopping cart.

Now study the reality of this comic while I take a sip of coffee.

A trope – this trope regarding the current (ongoing) Hamas vs. Israel fracas sums it up pretty well. Hamas launches a skirmish against Israel. Israel retaliates. The most vocal world voices quickly toss all blame onto Israel – which is then run up the flagpole by the world’s willing media. At least that’s the trend as we’re currently seeing it. Here’s the trope as written by a very clever Canadian, Mark Steyn:

“One day the U.N. Secretary General proposes that, in the interest of global peace and harmony, the world’s soccer players should come together and form one United Nations global soccer team.

“Great idea,” says his deputy. “Er, but who would we play?”

“Israel, of course.”

A Dr. Visit – Marcia; “Dr. did you just label me a pulchritudinous, pneumatic, somewhat minimally callipygous, but overall Junoesque patient?”

Dr. J.; “Mrs. P., my apologies, I was just dictating my findings regarding your median nerve and your serious case of carpal tunnel syndrome.”

And thus, it was how Marcia discovered she has a serious problem. Or a “sensory cutaneous innervation to the medial forearm, medial wrist, and medial one and one-half digits” aka Carpal Tunnel Syndrome to be more specific.

Sitting in on her medical happenings, I now feel ready to pass an exam on the subject! By the way, during the EMG electrical test portion I could have sworn Marcia was sitting on a whoopie cushion.

More matters: Marcia & Mangoes – One of the secrets Marcia shared with me after we started dating seriously was that she was allergic to Mangoes. During her Peace Corps stint in Venezuela, she noted that Mango trees grew everywhere, i.e., “fruit for the picking”. After eating a Mango from the tree (almost Genesis-like don’t you think) her face ballooned and turned red. Fast forward, decade after decade as time went by. Not until this week did I learn the reason.

Seems like the Mango (and Cashews) are all from the same plant family as Poison Ivy – Anacardiaceae. And, that Poison Ivy isn’t poisonous but its leaves contain an organic irritant compound – Urushiol. That same compound is also on Mango skin, and Cashew shells.

Problem solved. Buy and eat all the Mangoes she (or you) want, just skin them; the fruit is wonderfully delicious.

Artists – For someone who appreciates art, but produces little, I am amazed by the insight, interpretation, and execution of their vision. Artists truly are a step above. Have a look at these two short videos – totally different, both stunning.

And finally, all art is interpretive. I saw this sculpture and feel as if this piece is a reaction to what seems like sanity, throughout the world, has ‘sailed’ away. ‘Crazy’, in all its forms, is so rampant that ‘normalcy’ is unable to cope with it all – we’re unable to wrap our collective heads around it. That’s how I see this sculpture by Belgian artist Thomas Lerooy:

Boys in the Boat – When granddaughter Dinah started rowing, I had zero knowledge of her sport. Since I always have difficulty operating in a vacuum one of my first moves was to pick up and read a striking true story on the subject. This excerpt from the Amazon book site on Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown:

“In 1936 nine working-class American boys burst from their small towns into the international limelight, unexpectedly wiping the smile off Adolph Hitlers face by beating his vaunted German team to capture the Olympic gold medal.”

That book gave me insight into the determination, comradery, strength, and teamwork that sport requires.

Now we’re on the cusp of George Clooney’s release of a movie based on that book, to be released Christmas Day. Click below for the Boys in the Boat movie Trailer.


Numbers – usually tell a story quickly and succinctly. Here is a numbers graph which shows the salary requirement to own a home in cities across the nation:

Dia De Los Muertos – “Day of the Dead” is celebrated at All Saints Day in many Latin countries (this year on Oct 31, or Nov. 1, 2, 6). Years ago, in Guatemala, Marcia and I happened to be there during that time. People were decorating cemeteries and having family picnics by gravesites. A blend of Aztec, Mayan, and Christian, it’s a really major, colorful, and happy festive time.

Meeting Folk – I’ve heard way too often that I can’t step anywhere without either just chatting with someone or making a new friend. Tanking up at Costco I met this fellow and his ‘toy’. We were happily ‘jawing away when one of us noticed that the line behind us was growing.

Anyhow, here is a photo of my latest ‘victim’, my new friend, and his answer to improving plant growth through carbon.

Monday, brother Art will become the newest family recipient to receive a hip replacement. Keep him in your thoughts. I believe that the regular exercises over these past two years will do him well when it comes to a speedy recovery.

Make it a great week. Do your best to stay healthy, stay happy, stay grateful, and continue to learn and grow.

May Peace prevail! Love to all. Dirk

BONUS POINTS: any concept of what these short forms mean on Social Media?
1. LOL
5. TL;DR

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