Friday, May 29, 2009

Malèna & Sicily - Week's End

Most viewers of Malèna don't seem to understand the melancholy & the real menace faced by Sicilian women. Worlds collide in Sicily...then & now. Though there is no denying the beauty of Monica Bellucci & the Sicilian land & seascapes, be careful what you romanticize. Our theory is that you can't really love a place if you willfully ignore the tragedies. Have a great weekend & once again....if you can find it in your heart to check out Darfur, Congo, Burma links on this site...well, that would be a gracious gift from you to the real Malènas of this world.

ciao-meow, GG Central

Theocritus - A Villanelle

O singer of Persephone!
In the dim meadows desolate
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Still through the ivy flits the bee
Where Amaryllis lies in state;
O Singer of Persephone!

Simaetha calls on Hecate
And hears the wild dogs at the gate;
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Still by the light and laughing sea
Poor Polypheme bemoans his fate;
O Singer of Persephone!

And still in boyish rivalry
Young Daphnis challenges his mate;
Dost thou remember Sicily?

Slim Lacon keeps a goat for thee,
For thee the jocund shepherds wait;
O Singer of Persephone!
Dost thou remember Sicily?

by Oscar Wilde

Malèna credits; At sea alone & Alone in the Sea by Giampaolo Macorig; LIFE archive, uncredited Sicilian scene]

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Flamenco chic, repeat

[repeat from 17 September 2008... but with additional photo & new collage. Still love these earrings & boots & still read Flamenco World. The power struggle with the cat is mostly over; we give up. We won't give up on the causes on this site, though. But we do need to more repeats this week. Apologies.]

GG & her editor love these accessories from Flamenco World. We've read the online magazine for years & still can only daydream about a flamenco class. GG likes to stomp around on her pink paw-pads, & has done so for several hours. GG covets a pair of Spanish earrings. Honestly, can you see how she would be able to wear them? No? Didn't think so. The GG vs. editor power struggle continues...

GG Central Mgmt.

[Additional photograph to original post: Portrait of flamenco dancer Maria Albaicin by Dean Loomis, Madrid, 1960. Go here to view full-size print. Wow.]

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do you Twitter? (repeat tweet)

(original post from 19 September 2008; Update: still find it slightly alarming.) On the other hand, some field workers & reporters in dangerous places in the world (& others who do not go on about eating ham sandwiches) have found it very helpful. As with Facebook, no one said you have to update your every thought. In fact, we beg you to stop it. The 'what are you thinking/doing' is merely a prompt, a suggestion; not a command. Something to keep in mind. You can contact juliethecat if you like; she has a restricted account. (Update - it's unrestricted. C'mon over!) Since this post, a Twitter Tips site has sprung (along with widgets). Have fun.]

Giulia & her editor find this Twitter business amusing & slightly terrifying. We signed up because friends around the world kept sending us messages that they wanted to 'follow' us. Yikes. We still aren't sure how we feel but we love, love, love this logo detail & want this adorable bird on GG's site.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

When the day is over... have an Italian sunset from lovely Giampaolo Macorig. So it was worth it then, yes? [taken in Terracina, Italy]

"How unpleasant, must we talk about Darfur?"

Yes, we agree; how terribly unpleasant it all is: Darfur, Congo, Burma, etc. How very seven years ago (in the case of Darfur).

But you know what strikes us as really bad manners? Allowing people to starve, be brutalized, raped & remaining silent. The fact remains that these things are happening & as we've said before, it's in your self-interest to do something about it. No one is asking you to give your entire life over to a cause; what's 15 minutes? We waste that x 2 nearly every day watching a Seinfeld repeat. (Not all activists are humorless wretches--truly.) There are links all over this page for anyone to visit. We hope you will....

We continue this week with some repeats from last year because we are still unwell & there are some lovely photos that most people haven't seen. We'll check email every day. Thanks so much.

[school children at Ain Sero & women collecting firewood near Kutum by Susan Burgess-Lent/DPDO/all rights reserved. Taken in May 2008; things are much worse now.]

Monday, May 25, 2009

Thank You

Thank you especially to the fallen & veterans (including all women) of World War II. Their numbers fall by approximately 1,000 a day. It's not too late to thank all Allied veterans & those who worked to save the world. For those who scoff at the 'save the world': study some Nazi history. There are other wars that are more controversial; but we've learned (we hope) to hate the war, not the warrior.

If you would like to locate a loved one or perform historical research about the all-too-often under-studied Italian campaign, go here. Many more books & films are being produced or are in production about this important WWII chapter, including the integration of the American Army.

Memorial Day is an American holiday but we cannot exclude the Allies. We know they have their remembrance days & we neglected to run an ANZAC photo. That will be rectified this summer during the remembrances in France & the Pacific. We apologize for the omission. Especially, since one of our very favorite people is a Kiwi survivor of a Japanese internment camp (after a march). If you know anything about that, you know that not many POWs survived. Here's to ya, Les & thank you -- from DC to Welly.

If you are in the DC-area, or will be visiting this summer, please consider visiting Walter Reed Army Medical Center. It is easily reachable by public transportation. Go here for information.

a very subdued ciao-meow to all & to those in Iraq & Afghanistan right now.

[photographs/image credits: 1-3 Montecassino & Anzio WWII tour; 4) Library of Congress]

Friday, May 22, 2009

Felinity on la Côte d'Azur - Week's End

[altered post from 24 August 2008; stripped of some extraneous html & 5,000 all rights reserved notices; it is all rights reserved but obviously we didn't know what we were doing last year. Thanks again to Jilly, who is so very generous & has given the go-ahead again for these 2 great pix. Please do visit her Menton, Riviera Daily, & Postcards from Milou photography blogs. We do, every single day. Lovely sites with excellent prose as a welcome bonus. More information about her life is in the post below. We hope you have a wonderful weekend & we hope to be back next week.]


A breath of fresh Mediterranean air from
GG Central.

Earlier this month, we had heaps of basil bestowed upon us by the munificent Maria Caterina di Perugia, Hermione the Cool Cat’s human-maman). GG’s editor dragged out an old recipe for Soup menton. Then, choses Menton (and all things southern French—from west to east) began to pop up.

A few days ago, one link led to another, to the Menton Daily Photo, & we just had to go. A beyond-adorable cat was the Thursday, 21 August 2008 Daily Photo. GG was entranced, as was her editor. The tabby-tiger resembles our late, dear Teddy & Oliver in their mischievous-but-sweet, pink-nosed splendor. Beyond the cuteness factor, note the elegant shot & the colors in both photos; anyone with thumbs can take a photo of a cute cat. This is different….and all due to the skill & empathy of photographer/hotelier/writer Jilly Bennett.

Also in the MDP, meet Woolite the Swimming Sheep (yes!) & Manon, the baby donkey at the Fête Patronale de la Saint Barthélémy.

Jilly’s main website is Pension Milou, “…PM... is a 5-star 'pension familiale' for dogs on the Côte d'Azur. The dogs who come to stay, live in the house with me - no kennels or cages. Here you'll read stories of their lives and mine on the French Riviera."

To round out her empire, Jilly publishes Riviera Dogs & Monte Carlo Daily Photo. They are lovely--a mini-holiday. It is well worth a drop-in for a smile, a recommendation to friends, & a thought about our friends–human & animal–across the sea. Read here about Jilly's life & work with animals in the South of France in Real Life Stories from Provence. She's an inspiration.

We plan to visit
Menton Daily Photo every day to maintain our sanity in a world gone mad.

Cheers & ciao-meow to all!

© 2007 - 2009 · Jilly Bennett · Menton Daily Photo · All Rights Reserved/photos used by permission of photographer

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ah, the geraniums of Strasbourg, part 2

[original post 3 September 2009; somewhat altered though we've no time to search for better geranium images; we've learned a lot in a year but we cannot use that knowledge today. See here for The Clever Pup's gift geranium for GG's first-year birthday, it's so pretty & inventive. Also The Clever Pup has many images of her paintings on her site. Do visit, you won't be disappointed.]

Many posts coming up about automne en Alsace, le vendange, la Route du Vin, the museums, the université, & food, food, food (and drink!), flowers, le vélo de GG's editor....we are homesick for France!

bisou, baci, xoxo
GG Central

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You can help Aung San Suu Kyi--will you?

We interrupt our illness to plead for a little online advocacy on behalf of Aung San Suu Kyi . Since 1988 we've had a poster of the great Nobel Laureate on our wall at home & at our office. She is an inspiration every single day.

A great injustice is happening again (still); we need not recount it. What you do matters. Please go to the online sites & sign the petitions. Go to Amnesty International & sign whatever is there. To the U.S. Campaign for Burma. Canadians have a stake in this, too, of course as she is an honorary citizen of that wonderful country. There were protests in Canada this week but we've not been able to keep up. In case you've not signed those petitions, here is the link to Canadian Friends of Burma .

We are very tired but felt that with the trial going forward in Rangoon & the outrageous last few weeks, we have to say something. Thank you.

photo via scan of personal copy of Letters from Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi

Wednesday at the Phillips with GG, reprise

[originally posted--with more links than necessary--on 22 October 2008]

GG longs to see the real The Boating Party. She'll have to sneak in because her editor is way too busy to take her. GG is taken with the story of her editor's Boating Party costume party many years ago. And with that, we must take our leave. Do visit the Phillips Collection web site in the right side-bar, it's lovely.

GG is organizing a weekly salon as threatened this past summer...details forthcoming on her foray into café society.(She's already redecorating the apartment in her little feline mind. Great idea--now she can get a job.)

Ciao-meow, nos amis! GG Central Mgmt.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Un balcone in Trastevere

[original post from 19 November 2008. Check out Really Rome's two-year archives, it's really funny & all things Roman.

From Really Rome, now archived. It's the author's favorite balcony & it's easy to see why. In the Piazza San Calisto in the Trastevere section of Rome (a favorite place of GG's editor, too). Bella. Here's the What's Cooking Wednesday? recipe section from Bleeding Espresso, a wonderful blog from Italy. There's something here for everyone. Happy cooking & laughing!

GG Central

Monday, May 18, 2009

Strolling in Strasbourg, redux

[original post 31 July 2008]

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--maybe not as glamorous in reputation as Provence or Paris...but people just don't know what they're missing. So a new project: Strasbourg, Alsace-Lorraine, the River Ill , mirabelle plums, la petite France, the Vosges...much more to come. 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, a curious cat (of course!) is beginning an investigation. She fancies herself a feline Harriet the Spy.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Intervallo (intermission)

GG Central is a more than under-the-weather & downhearted (a bad combination). So this lovely photograph by the oh-so-generous Roman Giampaolo Macorig is most welcome. It's from his Intervalli (minimal or relaxing) set & it is just what we need. If only. This photo was taken in San Giovanni, near Rome. Would that we were there.

We hope you will visit Darfur Peace & Development Organization & Enough Project for updates. Things are seriously grim & there is only worsening news to report. We aren't convinced that many people care, really. We still care but it is taking a toll for which we were not prepared. Scheduled posts from last summer & autumn to run during the week. We will check our email when possible. Thanks so much.

PS: Also, please check in with our blog links; they are group of highly talented & lovely people...

Saturday, May 16, 2009

GG Congratulates Rachel Alexandra!

Runs like a girl, huh? Yay! From here in Maryland to fillies everywhere, aspiring to take flight.: you go girls! And to loyal Calvin for not deserting his girl. Piles of black-eyed Susans to you (as soon as they bloom). [photo credit]

ciao-cheeky-meow/GG Central

Friday, May 15, 2009

GG Celebrates la Tour Eiffel - Week's End

GG Central bids an official happy birthday to La Tour Eiffel. (Yes, we know people have been celebrating since March 31st...calm down, there's no such thing as celebrating what was called 'an odious column of metal' (!) too many days. )

The exhibit Tales for the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, begins tomorrow (we're preparing this quick post early) & runs through 31 December 2009. The Tower's official site is here in English (it has several languages, just click). It's a lot of fun to virtually visit if you can't be there. The Tower's live webcam is in our right sidebar (we first saw it on The Clever Pup's site, she is so very clever & tasteful). You can click & download it for yourself. It's cheerful to watch the sky & lights change throughout the day & night.

The photographs for today are from the Brooklyn Museum; explication from their site below in italics. Salut to our dear French friends, here
& there. un grand bisou.

a rushed ciao-meow/GG's editor

William Henry Goodyear (1846–1923), whose image collections are presented here, was the Brooklyn Museum's first curator of fine arts (1899–1923) and a renowned art and architectural historian. In addition to being a vital force in the early years of the Museum's fine arts department, Goodyear did extensive research in art history and architectural theory. In 1900, Goodyear traveled to the Paris Exposition with photographer Joseph Hawkes. They brought back numerous images from the exposition including street life, vistas, pavilions, statues, and other structures and decorative details. The entire Goodyear Archival Collection can also be found on the Brooklyn Museum Web site.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Cute 'roo

We're having a tough & busy week here, so another photograph from the State Library of NSW/Australia [pet & animal set] is in order to keep things light. These darling girls feeding a little 'roo at a petting zoo was hard to resist. [Kangaroo & girls, ca. 1925-ca. 1945 / by Sam Hood] We hope to be back later today.


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Soldier's Good-bye & Bobbie the Cat

Two of GG's favorite photographs from the wonderful, still-growing State Library of New South Wales Archives. These are, again, by our favorite Sam Hood. (Bobbie looks a bit annoyed, no?)

If you know anyone who needs help & support due to the loss of a family member or a friend (they do not have to be a relative) who served in Iraq or Afghanistan, please go to Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). They do a great job & one of our best friends is on staff there. TAPS has a 24-hour hotline: 1-800-959-TAPS (8277). Do not hesitate to call on someone's behalf if they are unable to take the first step; TAPS will give you good advice on how to proceed.

Have a safe day.


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Moroccan desert rose

Not technically, no. But the glow of these carvings is sometimes rosy, sometimes more terracotta/sepia, depending on the incoming light & time of day. No matter when, they are so beautiful. Photograph by only alice who is so talented & generous.

Please be generous with your time & check in with one or two humanitarian organizations on this page. It would be particularly supportive of GG's visitors to check in for the latest news on the Darfur Fast for Life action, if the site is working again by the time this publishes. (It is to the right side-bar near the top of the page, under GG's clock.)

At this writing, something has gone wrong with the server. Many organizations have been attacked by hackers from certain countries, certain locations. If you read Italian, or want to try (!), please go to Italian Bloggers for Darfur; some sites are translated into English; you might like to visit to see Italian style other than purely decorative; they are a spirited bunch.)

Thank you so much.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bird in Jerusalem

A bird in a mosaic (detail) in Jerusalem, but we can't remember exactly where. We thought of Yehuda Amichai's poem Lying in Wait for Happiness but it's not available online (as far as we can tell). We'll ask for permission to post it. Meanwhile, a bird for GG. At a safe distance.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Darfur Fast for Life

Outside of Darfur fasting is an option, even a health choice (a pretty dodgy one, actually). It's quite the opposite for those trapped inside Darfur who are out of options. This is it: out of options. We are not messing around now; we're angry.

Here is the Darfur Fast for Life website with links to information. Please also check with Enough Project. Raise holy hell--especially on what is Mother's Day. Can you imagine how these mothers are feeling right now?

A Darfur peace conference in Ethiopia has been cancelled because on Friday night Darfuri leaders were told they would not be allowed to attend. We are almost used to this by now; you may not be. But let's just tell you why this should matter to you...though we can hardly believe we'd have to. Look at a map, locate Sudan, locate where in the world this is, the countries to which it is adjacent. No one wanted to hear about Somalia either, until pirates took an American ship. Don't come to us, we told you a year ago, when the Horn blows back on North America, Europe, elsewhere. A little (enlightened) self-interest is a good thing. Think about it.

[photo courtesy of IRIN: Women recently displaced by fighting in North Darfur have settled in a camp for displaced people in Zamzam, south of El-Fasher/© Heba Aly/IRIN]

a fuming ciao-meow/GG Central

Friday, May 8, 2009

Sicily by Land & Sea - Week's End

We bid you a wonderful weekend, whether it be calm or stormy. While the generous Giampaolo Macorig obviously uses colors, filters, & tints to achieve his dramatic, painterly photographs, let us assure you that Sicilia looks like this, out of another time or a dream--often. It can be quite harsh, too, & Giampaolo captures the intersection (& clash) of the past & present, the land & the sea, beautifully.

For the best (non-sentimental hoo-hah) books about Sicily, read one of the Inspector Montalbano series by the magnificent Andrea Camilleri. His translator, Stephen Sartarelli, is the best we've read from Italian into English. Truly, he is an artist, as well. You will not be disappointed. And the Inspector Montalbano? Salvo loves food & the descriptions of his enjoyment of even the most simple of snacks is a marvel of prose.

Camilleri's immensely popular (& often controversial-to-some-Italians) mystery-novels are increasingly popular in English-speaking countries. Like all series, you can begin anywhere, but particular favorites are The Terra Cotta Dog, The Snack Thief, The Shape of Water, and Rounding the Mark. If you read any two of these, you will understand a lot about Italy, Sicily, organized crime, culture, politics, food, wine, & what is really happening. It's not all Tuscany & la dolce vita, you know. It's so much more & much more do yourself a favor & read at least one. If nothing else, your mouth will water & inspire some excellent meals. (Or give a go at making the Inspector's favorite salty snack, calia e simenza. Are you intrigued?)

mille grazie e ciao-meow

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Les marguerites de Marrakesh

For Anna at Mit Herz und Hand, who would like to go to Morocco. GG's editor is called elsewhere today. Enjoy. Visit some of our favorite sites on the page, especially Darfur Peace & Development Organization (DPDO). Visit Anna, too, & encourage her Moroccan musings.... Would you like to go? Have you? Either way, what are some of your favorite things about Morocco (& Moroccans)? We love to hear about everyone's experiences...even if we don't get to your comment right away, we will. (photographs by the charming & generous only alice)

ciao-meow, amici,
GG Central

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Moroccan mosaic meditation

Listen to the rain (it is here anyway), work, read, rest, meditate, & think of the calm Musée de Marrakesh. These lovely photographs are only alice's. Most we've used are fabulous-with-color; these are the cool, blue-gray, serene flip-side. Wouldn't you just love to spend the day here? (Here's a link to their website, it's quite nice.) We would...for GG would surely be allowed in, so sophisticated & charming is she. We'll be back every day this week with photographs & to take the odd comment or two, but already the week is, well, cluttered. Is it too much to hope that someone will show up with a tagine full of goodies? Probably. So we'll be cooking, too. Perhaps some of our friends will come up with variations on recipes that we've not tried, or not made in a long while....hint.

ciao-salaam-meow/GG's editor

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Zoe the Australian Police Dog, on the scene

While GG Central calms down from a technicolor anniversary celebration (& while her editor works on Darfur issues; nurses an infected cracked tooth until scary repairs commence (I know!); & responds to a funny tag by the Talented Tina Tarnoff), Zoe the Police Dog will gently oversee activities. That's a radio in her backpack, isn't she darling? GG is yawning & floopy because it's a damp, cloudy, sleepy day, here in Washington, DC. She's happy for Zoe to take over (for now).Worlds collide more than usual, this week. And it's only Tuesday... [Zoe by Sam Hood, 1939, State Library of NSW Archives]

ciao-meow/the Management

Monday, May 4, 2009

Get your tootsie-frootsie ice cream here! (& a geranium from the Cleverest of Pups)

A huge thank you to The Clever Pup for not only a congratulations on our one-year achievement but original art! She has lifted our seriously sagging spirits after a long slog home. More on Mme Pup soon--when we can do her justice. But go, just go to her site. A fascinating (& of course, clever) experience awaits you. Merci, mille grazie, Pup!

For the uninitiated "
tootsie-frootsie ice cream" is a famous line in A Day at the Races. It never fails to crack up GG's editor, even in these tough times. The sprinkled ice cream cone image is another gift, available to all bloggers, musicians, indies, non-profits, etc. Go here for professional D. Sharon Pruitt's flickr set for people like GG's editor! Here is her professional website, Pink Sherbet Photography.

un grand bisou! xo/GG Central

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Giulia Geranium Turns One!

Well... officially created on 4 May 2008, a Sunday afternoon (In Defense of Hello Kitty); daily posts began in mid-July leading up to the Beijing Olympics (see all the Darfur postings). However, we did begin on 4 May '08, & posted in June, & July. GG's editor is, after all, a trained historian, reporter, (& other things, think nine lives) & nit-picky about (too much ). Due to some circumstances way beyond our control, we're not prepared with a great photo of GG, cakes, or anything close. A year ago, we thought for sure that we'd have a camera, full-time work, & a good Internet connection. What a year. (You can interpret that any which way you like!) [LIFE archival photograph credit]

GG's editor is away most of tomorrow (Monday) to have a stress-induced cracked tooth (I know!) tended to. GG will be pulling azalea blooms out of a pottery jug & watching a DVD. As usual, we ask you to visit Darfur Peace & Development Organization or any of the sites on this page. GG really loves Enough Project, too, because of the orange logos. But really, many wonderful people visit Giulia's site & a lot of them linked to us, so talk amongst yourselves.

We thank the many photographers & artists who have allowed us to use their original work here. You are wonderful & generous.

Have a great Monday & thanks for stopping by. Oh, & that defense of HK? Still forthcoming....masterpieces, they cannot be rushed.

a sheepish ciao-meow, GG's editor

Friday, May 1, 2009

Incandescence - Week's End

We hope you have a lovely weekend. (First photo credit, click on photo. Second photograph, Kutum, Darfur, Sudan by Susan Burgess-Lent/DPDO/all rights reserved.) The GG blog turns one-year old on Monday. Hope to see you then. Happy May Day.