Thursday, July 31, 2008

Strolling in Strasbourg

A summer 'stay-cation' en France...Giulia has only recently learned that her editor lived in France! GG had no idea. So some memories of lovely Strasbourg soon--maybe not as glamorous in reputation as Provence or Paris...but people just don't know what they're missing. Here is a classic travel photo--but it really does look like this...

GG is now wondering what else her editor has kept to herself. GG's a curious cat (of course!) & is beginning an investigation. She fancies herself a feline Harriet the Spy.

Yves St. Laurent, 1962 - Fashion video

Ah well. Nothing to add.

Ciao darlings, GG

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Still in France...Balenciaga, La Coquette, & Département Féminin

Giulia & her editor continue their "staycation," entranced by new & old books & blogs...all things French...a few finds today...a beautiful book on Balenciaga (who after all, influenced the great YSL).

Département Féminin is a way to faux-shop (you can for-real shop, too, but then that means you would be in France & not reading a blog by a cat, uh, une chatte ou la gattina). Another site, Giulia likes is BHV -- where, it is promised, there is 'tout pour trouver son bonheur.' If you can't understand that, it is time to break out the book that Signorina GG received for Christmas last year, Better Reading French by Anne Heminway.

La Coquette is by a French-American woman who lives in far we find her funny & spot-on about many things French and American. Her tagline is: "Don't Hate Me Because I Live In Paris." OK, we'll try. Fume.

Supernanny, s'il vous plaît nous aider !

GG's editor is appealing to Supernanny Jo Frost to come & help her deal with her editorial staff (also her family). There is a repeat on this evening & GG will be glued to the set, taking notes. Ciao! (photograph by Bob D'Amico)

Les Parisiennes

Giulia's editor started her Christmas wish list when she saw this lovely book celebrating French women. Some of our best friends are French!

Send in those submissions now!

No more procrastinating....the July/August issue of Poets & Writers magazine is still on the stands if you don't subscribe. [If you do, Giulia & her editor cannot urge you strongly enough: go through the submission guideline pages & highlight those that pertain to you. Do it!]

Yes, that is Marilyn Monroe...and yes, she did read books. Look it up!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Nous sommes en France aujourd'hui...

Giulia is thinking French thoughts...yes, she is half-French, half-Italian. Our friends Isa & Phoenix are visiting family in France & we miss them. We also miss France. So, here's a little video about tying a signature scarf from Mireille Guiliano of Frenchwomen Don't Get Fat fame. Giulia is looking particularly fetching today. She is sporting a moss green organic cotton collar, a gift from our friend Hermione who visited in May. Giulia considers this a sort of "cat scarf" & is mulling over different pin-on flower possibilities for this evening. She has just announced that it will be a pale pink silk camellia...a Chanel tribute.

We have more to post on France today, but Giulia has decided to nap. Her editor is going to take advantage of pretending to be in small-town midsummer France & do the same.


A little midsummer laugh

From The Funny Cats blog. Look at that adorable pink nose! We love a pinkish-hued nose (apologies to George Costanza...)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Musée des Beaux Arts

A nod to Garrison Keillor for his APR/NPR program The Writer's Almanac. We always seem to miss it on the radio in the early morning. So, we signed up for the email delivery & listen to it later. It's the most peaceful five minutes of the day.

Musée des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking
dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

"Musée des Beaux Arts" by W.H. Auden from W H Auden: The Collected Poems. © Random House, Inc, 1976. Reprinted with permission. (painting via University of Queensland, Australia)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Wings of Desire

Before Sen. Obama's visit to Berlin, Giulia & her editor thought about the many references to Wim Wender's film Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin) in the offing. WOD is one of the few films we own. Many people seem to forget about the Rilke connection to the film; we will post soon on that subject. [For our French friends, see Les ailes du désir]

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama in Berlin

A great speech in Berlin. Giulia is thrilled that friends in Europe were able to see Senator Obama. We are also pleased that he mentioned Darfur two times in the speech. The video is from MSNBC.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We are Much More Than "Just" Basket Weavers

From the online Amber Chand Collection newsletter...

We are Much More Than "Just" Basket Weavers!

darfur womens ctr group

The women in the camp clapped in awe when they heard that they were perceived as "artists"and not just as "weavers of a functional basket."

Susan Burgess Lent, with Darfur Peace and Development Organization, reported this after having just met with the The Womens Center in Kuttum Camp, Western Darfur.

"It was a trans-formative moment," Susan explains, when she told the women that they were considered "artists" by American audiences. In a burst of applause, they clapped and chanted, "We are not just refugees and weavers; we are artists!"
darfur woman
Today, 45 women gather in the special Weavers Tent set up as part of the Women's Center to support women who have been deeply traumatized by the genocide in Darfu

The women arrive, many with babies on their backs, and are served strongly brewed tea as they begin their work weaving these beautiful, colorful, traditional baskets.

Your purchase of these special baskets sends these women not only much needed income to supplement the humanitarian aid they receive, but also these powerful messages: we value your talents and skills -
you are not forgotten!

Journey of the Darfur Basket

The Amber Chand Collection partners with Darfur Peace & Development Organization to develop the widest possible market for baskets made by IDP women. The Darfur Women's Center serves as home for the Kutum Women's Association of skilled basket weavers. Their cooperative venture is designed to produce sustainable income and a viable business enterprise for the benefit of all members.

Our friend Susan Burgess-Lent, Program Director for DPDO, travelled to Darfur in May & June. This short video is from that trip.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Poetry is like bread, poesia es paz

Happy belated birthday [12 July] to Pablo Neruda!


Giulia G.

60 Minutes: Search for Jacob

Giulia's friend Ashis Brahma is in this report from two years ago. Ashis' web site link is at the bottom of this page in our favorite links. John Prendergast of the Enough Project is also in the story. Enough Project link is also on our site. As Scott Pelley hardly seems possible that the genocide is in its sixth year.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Remembering Reetika Vazirani, 1962-2003

Today is the fifth anniversary of Reetika's death. She was a lovely, gracious person, and a marvellous poet, too. Here is a link to a web chapbook of Reetika's poetry.

Everyone who knew her misses her very much. It is difficult to believe that it has been five years. Condolences to her mother & her entire family.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Happy Bastille Day 2008!

Vive la Liberte, l'Egalite, et la Fraternite partout dans le monde!

(photo via La Tour Eiffel)

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Audrey Hepburn & UNICEF

UNICEF has been much on our mind. They are helping Darfur Peace & Development with much-needed school supplies. We are so grateful & it brings to mind one of our very favorite people: Audrey Hepburn. There are many wonderful people who serve as Goodwill Ambassadors, just as Audrey did. Please support UNICEF. It's just plain good manners--and who would know good manners better than Audrey? [photograph via myvintagevogue]

Giulia especially loves this this photo of Audrey in Breakfast at Tiffany's (she has a crush on the handsome orange "Cat.")