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#15 Font (or Type). I love this! Can you guess the font?

I have a goal to review 50 art exhibitions, which if you consider that I work in an Art Museum that it would be an easy thing to do. Not really! My job really has nothing to do with exhibitions. I need to be utterly informed about what they are and how many pieces are in the exhibition, as well as 2 or 3 art works that will be in the exhibition. I know this sounds rather lazy and a bit sad, so as part of my 101 challenges, I wanted to review 50 art exhibitions. I don’t mean to make myself sound lazy, I work very hard! So on with the art review, which just so happens to not be at the museum I work for! I  as very excited to learn about exhibition, as it is the first living artist to have their work exhibited at the Nasher Sculpture Center. The Nasher produces amazing exhibitions, don’t get me wrong, but this was a bit out of the norm for the center.  Jaume Plensa is a Spanish sculpture artist, and one I had not previously heard of. 

 Jaume Plensa: Genus and Species
January 30 – May 2, 2010
Nasher Sculpture Center 

To best describe Plensa, I took this from the Nasher website:

For the past 20 years, contemporary Spanish sculptor Jaume Plensa has been investigating the intimate interconnection between nature and culture through large-scale sculptures and installations that incorporate light, sound, and text in transparent, often interactive structures, such as the incredible Crown Fountain at Millennium Park, Chicago. 

As you walk into this exhibition you are immediately aware of the artist work! It’s not hidden away in a gallery, it’s in front of you and you can touch it! As a museum employee, I cringe at the thought of people touching artwork, but this you have to touch! Actually, you walk through the work, if you don’t you can’t see the exhibition! This was a very odd experience for me. 

The cold metal letters were not easy to walk though; you have to pull the letters as if you were pulling back a shower curtain. Once, you let go they plink each other making a very odd noise. You still here the sounds as you are in the lower galleries, it’s almost like a reminder that someone else is above you looking at art. I never really felt alone while looking at the art. With this said, I felt the impact of the solitude of the works. The expressions evoked so many emotions, that I often found myself wondering what the person/piece was thinking about. Which is what the artist wanted, the exhibition brochure states,  “For Plensa, sculpture provides the physical link to a shared, persistent, and ineffable sensation of our humanity.”I fell in love with this exhibition and have since returned many times. This is quite evident on my blog as many of my photo Friday snapshots are from this exhibition. My favorite pieces in this installation are The Heart of Trees, 2007. I immediately recognized the names  of writers and musicians, along the bronzed bodies. The bronze bodies have trees sprouting from the center of the body (the loins so to speak). I did not realize until I read that the 7 pieces had a significant meaning, “ the number of figures, seven, corresponds to the number of major musical notes,” The meaning goes a bit deeper, “symbolizes the growth of ides.”I will hate to see the exhibition close in May, and to see The Heart of Trees be uprooted to move to a new temporary home. I guess the growth of ideas are meant to not only grow but may foster new ideas in other locations.

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n265624It’s the most annoying questions and they just can’t help asking you. It’s the questions that has no good answer It’s the question that when people stop asking it, makes you feel even worse: Why are you single?

While walking through my favorite bookstore, this book cover caught my attention. The title was a bit – self help-ish, and I really didn’t want to read another self help book that basically tells me that I need to learn to love myself.

Well, it turns out that How to Be Single, is not a self help book and the author, Liz Tuccillo, is not a fan of learning how to love her self. Liz Tuccillo is famous for co-authoring He’s Just Not that into You. Tuccillo was a writer on the hit show that we singles love to live by, Sex and the City.

I picked up this fiction and decided to take a chance and see what it was all about! Loved it! 4 out of 5! Julie Jenson quits her job as a publicist and dances around the world finding out what it’s like to be single all over the world! Jenson falls in love during her trip and has her heart broken and in the end finds the one thing she has always wanted.

I would have to say that my favorite single women – were the French! They, don’t go on dates here.” According to the book, the French have a sort of pride they are born with. It’s like our southern mothers who teach us that you have to marry to be complete! The French mothers teach a completely different thing – pride. That’s not to say that we don’t have pride or they don’t ever want t marry – it’s just different. I would like to learn a bit more about this difference! I wish I had stocks that I could cash in so I could travel the world writing all the time. I would need to be a bit of a better writer, but I can dream! 

“‘How to Be Single?’ Like they need to be good at it because they’re going to be single for that long? That’s depressing. Nobody wants to be single.”

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guernseyThe Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows is an interesting tale of life during and after World War II and specifically the German occupation of the Channel Islands. I’m not one that would read about WWII unless it’s about Nazi’s art looting I find reading or watching movies about the war sad and depressing, which most people do. For some odd reason, I am fascinated about the looting, burning and creation of art during WWII.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society was the third book in our newly created book club. Again, this is a book just like the last was not one I could buy on my own.  I should state however, I did pick up this book and read the back while venturing through my local book story. The cover is intriguing. I set the book neatly back on the shelf after reading this on the back:

January 1946: writer Juliet Ashton receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name.

Does that not scream depression! German Occupation! If a society was needed it was to find peace and happiness in the worst of times. Yes, the book is depressing and of course you cry (well maybe, I did). The book is also heart-warming and funny. You quickly fall in love with Juliet! The book is written in letter form. At first, I had a hard time with this book – I was confused about who was who. I made a few notes on a sticky and I was on my way. The tale is gripping and I finished it in a day and a half. The day and half included working, eating and sleeping. It’s a very fast read.

From Juliet to Sidney
18th January, 1946

Dear Sidney,

This isn’t a letter: it’s an apology. Please forgive my moaning about the teas and luncheons you set up for Izzy. Did I call you a tyrant? I take it all back—I love Stephens & Stark for sending me out of London.

Bath is a glorious town: lovely crescents of white, upstanding houses instead of London’s black, gloomy buildings or—worse still—piles of rubble that were once buildings. It is bliss to breathe in clean, fresh air with no coal smoke and no dust. The weather is cold, but it isn’t London’s dank chill. Even the people on the street look different—upstanding, like their houses, not grey and hunched like Londoners.

….

From Sidney to Juliet
10th January, 1946
Dear Juliet:

Congratulations! Susan Scott said you took to the audience at the luncheon like a drunkard to rum—and they to you—so please stop worrying about your tour next week. I haven’t a doubt of your success. Having witnessed your electrifying performance of “The Shepherd Boy Sings in the Valley of Humiliation” eighteen years ago, I know you will have every listener coiled around your little finger within moments. A hint: perhaps in this case, you should refrain from throwing the book at the audience when you finish.

The book is a 4 out of 5, I would recommend it my friends. It’s a nice mix of finding love and friendship with a glimpse of the horrors of the German Occupation.  An odd side note, some parts of the book tie up a little to neatly into bows. My guess is because the author who began the book Mary Ann Shaffer became ill and her niece Annie Barrows completed the rewrites requested by the publisher. The book is not in two voices, you can’t tell where one ends and the other begins which is amazing!

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August Challenges

Ah, it’s August! This means I have 5 new things to do or try (according to my new year’s resolution)! I failed to make one of my July goals/challenges – the losing 5 pounds one. Which doesn’t sound hard to do, but I did nothing to attempt to lose weight. Currently, I’m trying to change my lifestyle ways. I need to work out more, eat better (which I’ve started to do, and take better care of myself. I did manage to write on this blog 2 a week and on my other blog once a week. I have a few ideas for my August challenges:

  1. Start writing “the book” – Everyday in August, I’m going to write at least 300 words. If I don’t write one day, I can make the difference up the following day. Since today is the second, I need to write 600 words! 
  2.  Work out 3 times a week
  3. Read 10 or more books
  4.  Try a new dish or type of food
  5. Cook one new dinner including the main and side dishes, something I’ve never attempted to cook before 
  6. Blog here at least 3 times a week, which the wordpress iphone app will make easier!
  7. Blog there twice a week

Ok, so let’s see how it goes, any suggestions for me to add to my list for September? Oh and I do need to play makeup as I have not done 5 new things each month! I need to list them all out at some point! I have them written in my calendar, shouldn’t be too hard to add here!

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I was so looking forward to the Julie Powell lecture at the Dallas Museum of Art present by Arts & Letters Live. I’m not sure it was what I was expecting. Ms. Powell is not a public speaker and you could tell. She was nervous, not entirely prepared, and said um many many times. Despite these 3 things, I did enjoy listening to her ramble along. She is a very honest, which is refreshing. She has never been media/lecture trained which allowed her to be herself, which intern made me laugh!

Ms. Powell talked about her experiences, the food, showed movie clips and took questions. Apparently, she doesn’t like that Amy Adams played her in the film. Amy Adams is a romantic comedy star and seems as sweet as can be! That’s not the real Julie Powell, the movie wasn’t the real Ms. Powell but it was a funny light-hearted nice Powell.  The crowd misunderstood and thought that Ms. Powell did not like Amy Adams, which was not the case. Julie just doesn’t see herself that nice!

The best line of the night was:

I have a little Julia running around in my head Bon appétiting!

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Julie_and_Julia_wallpaper_04_1024x768_largeJulie & Julia the movie is based on two true stories as the billboard tells us, yet it has the same name as Julie Powell’s memoir. The screenplay was written by Nora Ephron, who is famous for When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Hanging Up and a few others.

There are a few key differences between the movie and the book that share the same title, Julie & Julia. The movie is based on Julie & Julia My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell and My Life in France Julia Child’s autobiography written with her Alex Prud’homme. If you couple this with the fact that Nor Ephron is famous for romantic comedies you get a much different view from that of Julie Powell.

The movie is light hearted and funny, as it should be. The food looks mouthwatering, leaving you very hungry!! Luckily, I had read the book and new the movie was about food and had a delicious meal before the private screening (which I was told not to call it a premiere).

There are many laugh out loud moments, most of them by Meryl Streep playing Julia Child. Streep makes Child much more loveable than I could ever remember. Making me wonder was Julia Child that wonderful and funny? I do believe she was that loving to her husband Paul Child played by Stanley Tucci. The movie could have been just about Julia Child and it would have still be an amazing film. Ephron chose to pick the time in Julia’s life when she first learned to cook after moving to France and then the years of struggling to write Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Amy_Adams_in_Julie_and_Julia_Wallpaper_7_800Amy Adams portrayed Julie Powell who decided to cook all of the 524 recipes from MtAoFC in a single year! Insane and crazy, Adams was a funny mess who you loved and hated all at the same time. The small kitchen, the fits, the dead-end job were spot on!

The movie was showed the power of love with the strong women and their supportive husbands as well as the how doing a single thing – like cooking can change your life. It’s not what I expected after reading Powell’s book – it was much much more and I loved it.

Julie & Julia is one of the best movies you will see all -year! Opening August 7th, against G.I. Joe, it may not be the biggest box office it but it should be. Go see it but it a lovely meal before you go!!

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Only on Mondays

Ok, since I sort of cheated and posted the previous post here and on my audio blog! So, I feel that I really do owe you another post! One just for the redpipes/wendikavanaugh blog! My treat today is one that I’m assuming many will enjoy it’s my book. Yes, the one my friends want me to write, but secretly probably don’t want me to write. Of course, I would love to say that it is all-fictional, but of course my life is better than that. I could write my real life stories and have an amazing soap opera!

I work for a non-profit so I have to change names, details and events. I should also say that some stuff is made up, I mean I do have to move the story along. I can’t afford to be sued!

Working title: Only on Mondays

Welcome to my memoir! Yes, that’s right I’m 32 and I’ve done enough to write a whole book about my 32 years. Okay, so I haven’t actually done an enough to fill a chick lit book, but along with my dysfunctional family, great friends and their stories and my inability to walk without falling has lead to this! A book, all about me! I’ll wait a second while you roll your eyes and ponder if you should continue after this opening paragraph.

My name is Gwendolyn O’Callaghan. Yeah, you tried being saddled with that Irish last name your entire life! I’m expected to be a lush or at the very least to be able to hold my liquor! Let’s be straight up front and honest, my name is Gwendolyn, not Gwen, not Wendi, not Lyn, not Wen or doll or honey or any other southern crap you want to come up with.. It’s long, deal with it.

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