Saturday, February 28, 2009

Dydd Gwyl Dewi hapus!

St. David's Day snuck up on us, it's tomorrow (March 1). Must run out to buy daffodils, braise some leeks, & watch out for red dragons on the loose. As a child/teenager, GG's editor put in hours of choir rehearsal relearning songs in Welsh for an annual appearance at a Pittsburgh Welsh "old people's home." We cringe to think that's how the senior homes were described back then. The older folks were so pleased to see us every year & one or two people always asked, wistfully, if any of us grew up speaking Welsh, or even knew it? Maybe? We had to say no...but they were very complimentary about the performance & asked lots of questions about our lives as "you young people." Lovely people, lovely dinner, loads of daffodils on all the tables. (Lovely photograph by Jan/brynmeillion)

cariad!

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's Me, I'm Not Home* - Week's End

*The title of a poem from Reetika Vazirani's last book (there might be one more). We used to recite it faster & faster in a race against the second-hand; she wrote it, she usually won. (Photo by wonderful Grant Hutchinson, more of his work here.)

Good weekend...
ciao-meow/GGCM

Thursday, February 26, 2009

This was the plan all along...

We're not buying it either but one must allow people (& cats) their dignity. It's that sort of day here, too. (photo by miki** from southern Italy)

ciao-rush-meow,
GG & editor

Marrakesh morning

Wake up! (Celeste by only alice.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Venetian afterglow

The streets are quiet, the beautiful lamps in the streets of Venice give off their rosy glow. Bella. (photograph by Alice Lucchin of Venice).

ciao-meow,

GG & her tired editor

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Carnevale di Venezia 2009


Carnevale, Fasching, Mardi Gras over very soon (especially in Europe. You know who you are, mad Twitterers. Wrap it up!) Photographs by wax0r, still uploading from Venice. GG's running around with Mardi Gras bead necklaces in her mouth. Seriously. Buona sera, buona notte, bambini...

baci from DC,
GG & her editor

Carnevale Garden Party

What the devil is going on here? Well, it has flowers & it's not as scary as some of the traditional masks (they scare GG). Without the mask part, one could imagine someone wearing it to the Queen's garden party. (Yes, we can imagine it.) Must have been fun to make it. We do have a mask from Venice (of a cat, what else?)...but no one will be wearing it today. Be good (well, not too....) (photograph by the mysterious waxOr who is in Venezia as we type.)

baci, baci, baci
GG Carnevale Central

Monday, February 23, 2009

Darfur awaits ICC decision - March 4th

Today. From Enough Project blog, Enough Said:

"This morning, the International Criminal Court announced the date when the Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber will issue its decision concerning Chief Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s application for an arrest warrant against Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. The decision will be announced by a press release and publication on the ICC website on March 4."

photo © Claire Mc Evoy/IRIN]- courtesy IRIN

A Home in Rome

GG's eye view of where she'd like to live. We'll take it. Under threat again of high wind gusts & so we hope to see you later. Meanwhile, check out Giampaolo's Rome flickrstream, here.

ciao-meow,
GG's windblown editor

Sunday, February 22, 2009

And the Oscar goes to...

...this photograph of Audrey Hepburn & Grace Kelly backstage in 1956. The Awards are tonight & don't tell us you aren't watching. When this was written (early February), we'd not yet seen most films we'd planned on--shrinking bank account, you know. Meanwhile, we can't help saying once again that we're sorry we don't have an Audrey & Grace around today. Oh, there are great actors & stars. But like them? Nope. Why do you think there are so many blogs, books, & so forth with references to Audrey? Our oldest cousin was named for a Hepburn film & if she weren't such a lovely person, we would have been insufferable in our jealousy.

an elegant ciao-meow, darlings!
GG & her manager


(photograph by Alan Grant/LIFE Photographers via artnet.com)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Cat Carnevale - Week's End

Our friend Maria Caterina di Perugia went to the Festa del Gatto in 2004 (in Perugia, of course!) when she was attending the language school there. These images are from the brochure/schedule that always makes us smile. Maria di P. brought us a lovely original watercolor of a family of gatti rossi (red cats) from an art gallery, the name of which escapes us at the moment. The painting still requires a frame; we'll wait until it can be done properly at our favorite framing shop.

Here is a fun link to the Gatto-Web site (it's amusing even if you don't read Italian). Here's Perugia's official site; we can't find a mention of this year's festa (there are gatto festivals in other Italian cities, particularly Florence & Rome), but perhaps you can. Our head hurts from too much Googling with dial-up. This is a tie-in to Carnevale, ongoing. (Also called Fasching in German-speaking countries.) Can you imagine how wild Venice is right now? Yikes. Michelle Fabio of Bleeding Espresso has a Carnevale in Venice article in Italy Magazine (UK), here.

The "Cubista" kitty painting above does not have a title (on the brochure, anyway); the other painting is Il gatto, la luna, le stelle ("Cat, moon, stars"); both paintings are by Valentina Trona. Bella! The photograph of the person in the maschera is uncredited, however the brochure was created by Umberto Frascione & Rita Persichini for Il Comitato della Festa del Gatto di Perugia. That's some committee name, huh?

Tina Daunt, columnist of the L.A. Times' Cause Celebre has a pre-Awards column on the documentaries, here. Typical of a Washingtonian, Giulia's editor has seen all but one. Hey, free screenings:) In Tina's other life, today her charming The English Muse blog features a gorgeous rose dress photograph about which we are fantasizing. More about Tina & her blog in the future. As everyone knows, GG looks fabulous every day in her version of the LBD (only it's red/orange & white, accessorized by a rose-pink nose.)

ciao-festa-meow!
GG's stylist

Don't get carried away, part 2


Uh oh. We were warned. Well, it's not permanent, after all. Right? Part one, here. See you later today for week's end. (Vogue Italia via scan, Giugno 2007, Pure Wonder series, Ellen von Unwerth)

ciao-good-morning-meow...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Help Resolve Uganda...in DR Congo

Yes. That's right. As if things aren't bad enough, Congolese have been attacked for a few months by the hideous LRA (Lord's Resistance Army), led by war criminal Ugandan Joseph Kony. It's complicated & others have good articles for you to read. Here is the accompanying text to the IRIN photo above from last Saturday, 7 February 2009. And here, "Fighting Back Against the LRA" by Enough Project. Armed With Little but Resolve, and Defending a Hollowed Village in yesterday's New York Times.

Just rang off a conference call in which folks from Resolve Uganda & Genocide Intervention Network (connected to Enough) gave updates on the attacks, particularly those in the recent holiday season. Merry Christmas, indeed. Attacks are ongoing. Apparently, there are some civilian aid groups that are doing good work. We have to check them out & will post further. (Some groups have turned into mini-militias so we need to track this down.) The bleeding of unique conflicts into one big border stew continues: Sudan, Central African Republic, northern Uganda, DR Congo. People shrieked in the U.S. & elsewhere on & after September 11, 2001: "Why didn't someone tell us? We didn't know." When the Horn & Central Africa blows back (watch Somalia, too, of course), we don't want to hear the same. You're not sure why you should care about these conflicts? Well, if it isn't for moral reasons, believe us, you'd be wise to be very interested in what the fallout could be; it won't remain in Africa.

ciao-subdued-meow,
GG's editor

(photo: Under-Secretary General, UN, John Holmes (center right), Kibati camp, Nord-Kivu/7 February 2009Eddy Isango/courtesy of IRIN]

Contemplation in Venice

Oh the Carnevale photos are coming, we assure you. But meditate on Alice Lucchin's beautiful photo The Whole to clear your mind. Alice lives in Venice & we don't know how she handles the sensory overload at Carnevale. Which is odd to say because we handle crazy Rome just fine. (We think.) This is from Alice's series called Without Soul. It's a lovely study.

ciao-meow,
GG's exhausted editor

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

La Dolce Vita, in blue

La fontana di Trevi is hiliarous in its own way. If you've not been yet...you hear it before you see it. That's saying something for noisy Rome. GG's editor has been many times, usually pulled there by someone intent on ticking off their "I've been to Rome" list. Yes, you imagine Fellini & company shooting the famous dawn La Dolce Vita scene. (How could you not?) But the amusing thing is how out of place it is in a tiny square--completely ridiculous. You wind through the streets, hear the water (especially at night), & turn into the the piazza (which is a piazzetta as far as we're concerned). And then you will yourself to ignore how corny it is & toss the damn coin in the fountain, just a little embarrassed. Just in case. We leave you in Rome this afternoon, awake in Venice with a photo in the morning. (Carnevale has begun!)

Must prepare for conference call on Congo tomorrow, so...

Meanwhile, buona sera, buona notte & thank you to Giampaolo Macorig for his fabulous shot.

ciao-roar-meow (that's the full extent of GG's contribution today)
GGCM

Pinks...


...not the flowers. Rose, glowy pinks, dusty pinks. North African pink that goes well with oranges, greens, blues--actually anything. They're geniuses with color. From only alice's Marrakesh sets. She's added more colors for which we are grateful. The window/door/wall & color fixation continues. (And so does the laundry.)

ciao-meow,
GG's editor

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

La lavanderìa


Nope. Using the Italian word isn't making this any less painful. Off we go with bags o' laundry. It's simply not fair: GG gets by with one always-clean, always-chic outfit. And we don't have a wonderful nonna to help. This southern Italian grandma is described by the photographer as charming & we agree. That's some clean laundry, believe us! (photographs by miki**)

ciao-whining-meow,
GG's editor

Monday, February 16, 2009

When in doubt, make pasta...

...or if it's too early, put on the kettle. And for good measure, put in a picture of AH. And if you possibly can, buy some white tuliips (or look at a few bunches). Goodness, we've so much to do, especially reading. Doesn't matter if it's a holiday here in the U.S. Here's the fastest pasta recipe we make. Very Roman, very Audrey, especially in her personal Roman period. (photo Bob Willoughby/MPTV via scan from audreystyle by Pamela Clarke Keogh)

ciao-busy-meow,
GG's editor

PS: Catapalooza Valentine's Day was stellar. Report forthcoming.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Vermont Valentine

From Paul Moody's Vermont set.

"Slightly enhanced (shot intentionally dark, I lightened the heart shape to isolate, and I enhanced the top of the heart's notch) but this rock already looked so much like a heart naturally. Its in my western rock wall - I do love this place."

We're off to Catapalooza to visit with cute, adoptable cats & kittens for a few hours!

ciao-♥-meow
,
GG
' s valentine

Friday, February 13, 2009

Don't get carried away! - Week's End


Happy Valentine's tomorrow Have fun whatever your plans & relationship status. Bisou, baci.

(photographs via scan of Vogue Italia, Giugno 2007,Pure Wonder series, Ellen von Unwerth)


ciao-♥-meow,
GG & her editor

Moroccan shoe love

Take off your shoes (or slippers) & relax for a bit. It's Friday. Love Morrocan (& other North African) traditional shoes & babouches Those colors, wow. GG, of course, would need two custom-made pair for paw pads. She might not wear them but they're art, no? Now for the color decisions....Another photo by only alice. We're so happy she went to Morocco!

ciao-meow,
GG's personal shopper

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Buona sera, buona notte

Yes, just an excuse to run a Rome photograph. We admit it. Giampaolo's February sunset along the Tevere. Bella. Sigh.

ciao-meow,
GG Central

Mr. Lincoln in our neighborhood...

Laboring under fear of power outage, this is necessarily short & scattered. Happy 200th birthday to our beloved 16th President. Yesterday, we picked up the special combined February Obama Inauguration celebration edition of the Voice (Takoma Park & Silver Spring, MD). (For those who live outside the DC-area, we should explain that for a gazillion years, snarky people who think themselves clever, have referred to this area as "the Berkeley of the East" (which isn't bothersome) but really bad, The People's Republic of Takoma Park. They include Silver Spring, particularly GG's neighborhood. As human rights workers, egad, the People's Republic? As in China? Boooooo.)

Anyway, in the Voice issue, there is wonderful article [a pdf file] by Jerry McCoy, tireless head of the Silver Spring Historical Society. Jerry has some wonderful SSHS information about Lincoln in GG's neighborhood. After all, we're only about 6 miles from the White House. There are some terrific illustrations & photos courtesy of SSHS & others. Meanwhile, today we intend to purchase our new Lincoln stamps. We figure the new Lincoln penny will make its way into our change purse eventually.

Reading anything by Walt Whitman would be a nice poetry tribute today--he loved Lincoln & after all, lived in DC & worked as a nurse here during the Civil War.

Also today is the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin--fascinating man. We cannot do him justice, but Adam Gopnik, New Yorker contributor & author pays tribute to both men in his new slim volume Angels & Ages: How Darwin & Lincoln Ushered in the Modern World. Here is a February Smithsonian magazine article adapted from the book.

ciao-meow,
GG's wind-blown editor


(GG photo collage from new USPS Lincoln postage stamps)

Marrakesh Tea Time, part 2

It reminds us of only alice's photo, that's all, & we liked the coincidence.

ciao-good-morning-meow,
GG Central

(AH photo/Cecil Beaton/Sotheby Collection via scan, audreystyle by Pamela Clarke Keogh)


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wings of Desire, Rome

Ah, more orange. But we're the original blue lover, but....

Photographer Giampaolo Macorig used a sepia filter to achieve the look. Here is his flickr set, ominously titled The Apocalypse is Coming? Well, we're not sure (& he isn't either) but it feels like it lately. We really ought not recite Yeats when in such a mood. Here's The Second Coming, if you've not read it lately. Somehow this leads to Dante & his tomb in Ravenna...& that means Venice. And then we are back to the crossroads of Byzantium (Yeats, again), & the Moroccan patterns/colors from earlier this week. And the film, no we won't go into it because then there's Rilke... Basta!


ciao-angst-meow,
GG's poetry & travel editor

Catapalooza! Valentine's Day Cat Appreciation Day



The progressive Washington Animal Rescue League (WARL) is having a special adoption/open house event on Saturday, 14 February 2009 (Valentine's Day for the forgetful!). Catapalooza Day is dedicated to all things feline. Herewith essential info. (And for those unattached, ahem, there's a wine & cheese social hour.)

Ever since WARL opened their new open shelter a few years ago, adoption rates are up for both cats & dogs; the length of time until adoption is shorter, too. There are special rates & available health care for the Silver Whiskers Club for Cats program; a similar program, Hope For Dogs, helps those who adopt older dogs, those with manageable disabilities, & chronic health problems. There's a special place in heaven for people who are willing to adopt these little ones. Please try to help even if you cannot adopt. WARL is very active in animal rescue & became well-known nationally during Hurricane Katrina's aftermath Whenever there is a disaster, anywhere, WARL shows up. Always.

On GG's Adoption Day (4 February 2006!), we were surrounded by "Katrina dogs." So.many ended up here in the DC-area. This was one of the first events in which those pups unable to be reunited with their families were available for adoption. It was simultaenously heartbreaking & uplifting. We saw a few pups & people that we'd met while volunteering at the Washington Armory directly after Katrina. What horrible days those were (& for many have not ended, BTW).

On GGAD, we sat amidst what can only be called a circus. Hundreds of people poured in to the adoption event (which was not at WARL but many animals had been medically treated -- or initially rescued -- by WARL) ready for the challenge of adopting traumatized animals. GG (aka Julie) watched all of this with an openness & equanimity that was impressive, not only to us but to professionals & would-be adoptee families, too. "What a calm, funny little cat" was pretty much what we heard over & over for the next few hours. She had been worth the wait. During this terrible time of economic meltdown, there are many people who need help with their animals; they shouldn't have to give up their dogs & cats (& bunnies, & other lil creatures), too. GG's editor is not ashamed to say that her friends are helping her. Not everyone is so blessed. Please help those who are not so fortunate in your area.

So, we're thinking that this Catapalooza thingy looks like a lot of fun. Even if you have big plans on Saturday, the event is from 11am until 5pm, so drop by! You never know who will be there. (And of course, you can check out the cute dogs, too!)

ciao-woof-meow!
GG's editor

PS: And why post one ridiculously cute photo, when you can post several? It's Catapalooza, people! Also, go to Small Expectations for drawings to squeal over, no matter how cool & hip you (think) you are. No one has the nerve to tell you what we will: you aren't that cool.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tuesday Tulip Bouquet

Every Tuesday? For the apartment, sure why not? For the blog? Who knows. But here's a pretty pink bunch to start the day. When we think of tulips, we think of Audrey--that's always a welcome thought. GG has a bad case of tulipmania. By the week's end, we hope to indulge her.

ciao-meow,
GG's floral consultant

(AH with her mother, 1953/audreystyle by Pamela Clarke Keogh/original photograph-Corbis/Bettman-UPI/our scan)
; (pink tulips by shelovesstars via we heart it)

Monday, February 9, 2009

Into the Orange




Orange. We love it but have little time to put in clever quotes, think of a poem, or anything else. For some wonderful images & a drawing, read Sunday's Small Expectations post "Because I love carrot cake." If you don't laugh out loud, you must need some chocolate (& a slice of carrot cake). Also, we've had some fun this weekend looking at How About Orange.

As for the orange (& its wide spectrum) fixation...it collides here with our window & door fascination, both open & closed. One in Roma, two in Marrakesh, & we can't resist including the beautiful Marrakesh mosaic with orange flower details. GG shares our fixation & lounges about in available sunbeams to enhance her golden-orange-red fur. Of course, on an oriental prayer rug from Persia. What else would do?

ciao-salaam-meow,
GG's editor


Marrakech photos by only alice; Rome photo (Into the Orange) by Giampaolo Macorig

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Out of Exile

An important event notice for Tuesday, 10 February, in Washington, DC. If you're here or will be here, there might still be room for you; give a call or send an email (see below). Putting Darfur together with Southern Sudan, & other areas of the country that are in turmoil or on the verge, is essential to address the problem of the murderous regime in Khartoum. The various states of Sudan do not want to secede...some see it as their only chance to actually survive.

Every single person we've ever met from different states, always, always refer to themselves as "Sudanese." Below is the press release from Enough Project's website. Again, we are sorry for the slapdash nature of this post but it's the fastest way & they've already written it. Many of you admire (for good reason) Dave Eggers & he will be there, too.

We adore singer & musician Emmanual Jal; he wrote the afterword for the book Out of Exile: Narratives From the Abducted and Displaced People of Sudan. Much more on all of these folks & their art in coming weeks. (Emmanuel will be in NYC for a special performance on Thursday, 12 February & we think it's at Faison Firehouse Theatre but the website is a bit confusing between the first page & the schedule. See his website & assorted great videos, here.)

OK, here's the press release below (or go to Enough Project)

***************
Out of Exile: Narratives from the Abducted and Displaced People of Sudan

Featured Contributor:

Dave Eggers, author of the novels A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and What is the What

Featured Author:

Craig Walzer, editor, Out of Exile

With Special Guests:

Abuk Bak Macham, refugee from Southern Sudan and featured subject in Out of Exile.
Franco Majok, one of Sudan's "lost boys" who recently returned to Sudan to build a school in his native village with donated funds.

Moderated by:

John Prendergast, co-chair of the Enough Project, the Center for American Progress's initiative to end genocide and crimes against humanity

Out of Exile brings the crisis in Darfur and other parts of Sudan out of the policy realm and into the lives of people who never meant to carry the label "refugees." Decades of conflicts and persecution have driven millions from their homes in all parts of Sudan. Many thousands more have been enslaved as human spoils of war. In their own words, the narrators of Out of Exile recount their lives before their displacement, the reasons for their flight, and their hopes of someday returning home.

Out of Exile includes the personal stories of 17 Sudanese people, as told to Craig Walzer, a former legal services adviser to Darfuri and other Sudanese refugees in Cairo. They describe life in the major stations on the "refugee railroads": in the desert camps of Khartoum, the underground communities of Cairo, the humanitarian metropolis of Kakuma refugee camp, and the still-growing internally displaced persons camps in Darfur.

Copies of Out of Exile: Narratives From the Abducted and Displaced People of Sudan will be available for purchase. The editor will be available to sign books following the discussion.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Program: 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Admission is free.

Light snacks will be served at 6:00 p.m.

Center for American Progress
1333 H St. NW, 10th Floor
Washington, DC 20005

Nearest Metro: Blue/Orange Line to McPherson Square or Red Line to Metro Center

RSVP for this Event

***************
We hope to see some of GG & her editor's readers (including the poems) there. If so, please do come up & introduce yourself; we tend to be a bit shy at these functions. GG can't make it but will be there in spirit. (Even though she works hard on behalf of humanitarian causes, GG is too distracting & she tends to want things done her way...after all, her occupation is "an opinionated cat.")

bisou, xo GG Central Mgmt.


(book image via Enough Project website)

Friday, February 6, 2009

Moroccan meows - Week's End

We're indulging GG here. (here? always!) She alleges a shortage of kitties on this week's page. These two cuties from only alice's Marrakesh portfolio. Her title? allow me this one cute leetle kittin picture. Absolutely!

ciao-meow until this afternoon,
GG Central
*****************

Update: we're too under the weather to do a real week's end post. Drat! We actually had some good ideas & photographs this week. Meanwhile, visit Small Expectations & read a wonderful interview artists Jamie Shelman & Tom Meyer gave to Design for Mankind. About artistic couples sharing the same space. It's enlightening, inspiring, & they're funny, too. GG wants to visit them now; she doesn't think her editor is cool anymore after hearing about them. We imagine her arriving at their snowy island home carrying her little valise, her jaunty beret & scarf worn just so. GG is a good traveller, she loves everyone, & is excellent & witty company. Sometimes, though, we wonder if she doesn't have secret, retractable opposable thumbs because--full disclosure to any future guests, or those offering her hospitality--GG has an unfortunate habit of rifling through purses & pinching things she fancies. We work daily on her rehabilitation; however, we cannot pretend to be hopeful.

Have a great & healthy weekend, all. bisou!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Marrakesh Tea Time

All credit to Lori Langille of automatism for the discovery of gorgeous shots from Marrakesh (or Marrakech, if you prefer) by only alice, an Edinburgh-based photographer. Here is Lori's post The Colours of Marrakesh. Alice has lovely shots, more of which we will publish soon. But we're not feeling quite well & this lovely photograph sums up social life in Morocco (& Tunisia with which we are quite familiar, too) & also makes us feel better. Mint tea, anyone? Yes, please. Visit Alice's online portfolio, here. And of course, Lori, a collage artist, here.

ciao-cough-meow,
GG's editor

PS: Happy World Nutella Day! (visit Bleeding Espresso to see what's up over there today)

Can You Hear Me Now?


Look at your cell phone (or mobile, if you prefer). Your iPod, your laptop or PC, on & on. All of these wonders (sometimes irritants), need valuable minerals to work. These minerals are mined in Congo (DRC) &, yes, you guessed it--there's a crisis related to this fact. You recall "conflict" diamonds? (GG's editor prefers "blood diamonds" because it's less sanitized. & much more truthful.) Well, the folks at the Enough Project are right to label coltan, among other ores, as "conflict minerals."

All of us who buy, or use, these products have a responsibility to know how they are produced. Considering that GG Central is blogging with oncoming illness, we quote from an Enough press release below about John Prendergast's appearance last evening at American University with Joel & Benji Madden. We decided to stay home & keep our germs out of circulation. We know we go on & on, week after week, about the Enough Project but they really are organized, smart, & effective.


The good folks at Enough have done all the difficult work. We just have to click a few links & do a few small things. There's no way all the nice people who read this blog & email such lovely messages want to unwittingly contribute to the war in Congo by their use of electronic devices. And no one is asking you to do without them. Below is the press release referring to last night's event.

"The Enough Project at the Center for American Progress and American University’s School of International Service will sponsor a discussion on the crisis in central Africa and the multimillion dollar trade in ‘conflict minerals’ that fuels the conflict with Joel and Benji Madden of the rock group Good Charlotte, along with John Prendergast, co-chair of Enough, on Wednesday, February 4, at 7pm.

The free event, in Room One of American’s Ward Building at 4400 Massachusetts Ave. NW, will focus on how ‘conflict minerals’ - mined in Congo and used universally in small electronic devices like cell phones – are fueling a deadly war in central Africa, and how students and activists can become advocates for this issue.

Joel Madden, a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and his brother and fellow band member, Benji Madden, traveled to Central African Republic with UNICEF last fall to witness the devastating impact that conflict and poverty has had on the region. The Madden brothers have been involved as ‘Enough Envoys’ for the RAISE Hope for Congo campaign since last fall, raising awareness about the crisis at their concerts, creating public-service announcements, and educating lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Enough, a project to end genocide and crimes against humanity at the Center for American Progress, launched the RAISE Hope for Congo: Protect and Empower Congo’s Women campaign last fall to build a movement of activists who can advocate for an end to the widespread sexual violence against women and girls plaguing the war-torn Democratic Republic of the Congo, located in central Africa, and raise awareness about the role that mining for natural mineral resources plays in fueling the crisis. The conflict has been marked by cycles of escalation, and the international response has been wholly inadequate."

So there you have it. You will be hearing a lot more about Congo & minerals in the coming weeks & months. So you might just want to pre-emptively shut us up & visit the Enough Project link (or their Raise Hope for Congo)! It's a plan.

Mille grazie, baci!

GG the good-hearted cat & her editor

(1-photograph Where are You Now? by drburtoni)
(2-photograph from In Search of Congo's Coltan by Mvemba Phezo Dizolele/Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bella Roma

This picture postcard perfection is by Giampaolo Macorig. Herewith his great flickrstream. Roma, Roma, Roma. Ah. We feel better already. Along the Tevere (Tiber). And yes, for those who've not been yet...it really does look like this & it's even better sitting on the bank with an open jar of Nutella & a spoon. We know no shame. (Don't forget World Nutella Day is Thursday.)

ciao-complaining-meow,
GG's under-the-weather editor

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Steeler Nation!

Very much under the weather but we can't let the great victory go by without a mention. These photos are by Post-Gazette photog Darrell Sapp for the PG's funny Blog 'N Gold parade rundown (by Chuck Finder) titled "Dahntahn Victory Parade." (The first photo was taken at dawn, these guys weren't taking any chances.) Last night we were so sad our grandpa wasn't alive to see this...he was a huge Steeler fan & stuck by them, in good times & bad. Yay for the newly-named "Six-Burgh." Finding some cool shots of the great buildings & funky streets hasn't been so easy. Guess next year GG & her editor will have to go & take some. GG is game. So to speak. Memories of Pirates World Series victory parades bubbling up...is it too much to hope for? Really?

ciao-cough-groan-meow
GG Sports Center

Are you ready for World Nutella Day 2009?

What with the wreath & the ornaments & ... oh wait. No, you don't have to do any of that. The day in question is this Thursday, 5 February 2009. Visit Bleeding Espresso (also Sara at Ms. Adventures in Italy) & follow the very easy instructions. Or you can click the Nutella World Day icon in the right sidebar on this site. It's as easy as eating Nutella with a spoon. We thank Jamie at the adorable Small Expectations for her post, too. You haven't seen charming until you've seen her etsy shop. So here you go...ta da.

a merry-ciao-Nutella-Day-meow (two days early so you can prepare!)
GG Central

[photo from Paolo Vasta's great flickrstream]