Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Poet Ilya Kaminsky Reads to a Rapt Audience, La Mesa - by Patty Mooney

Last week I went to a poetry reading that featured the Russian-American poet, Ilya Kaminsky who teaches poetry-writing at San Diego State University.

As I learned in Wikipedia:
Ilya Kaminsky was born in Odessa, former Soviet Union in 1977, and arrived to the United States in 1993, when his family was granted asylum by the American government. Ilya is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press, 2004) which won the American Academy of Arts and Letters' Metcalf Award, the Dorset Prize, and the Ruth Lilly Fellowship given annually by Poetry magazine. Dancing In Odessa was also named Best Poetry Book of the Year 2005 by ForeWord Magazine. Ilya has served as a Writer In Residence at Phillips Exeter Academy and worked as a Law Clerk at Bay Area Legal Aid, and National Immigration Law Center. He lives in San Diego, California, where he teaches at San Diego State University.

He truly has a performance style all his own. It's a power-packed minute and a half.

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Monday, February 21, 2011

I Had the Craziest Dream - by Patty Kay Mooney

Tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of t...Image via Wikipedia I had the craziest dream the other night. My best friend, Mary Lynn, was visiting my husband, Mark and me in our cottage that was located about a block from the ocean. (Not in real life.) Mary Lynn was holding her newborn infant on her lap. When I looked at the infant, I had the same reaction as Elaine in the Seinfeld episode about the ugly baby when a guy called it "breath-taking." Mary Lynn's baby was bald with an earring and tattoes and he looked like a little old man. So I, diplomat that I am, said, "He's an old soul in a baby's body." And then I said, "What an interesting time for him to be born."

Mary Lynn replied that it was a very dangerous time and that the world was going to end due to an electrical event, and that many people would suffer greatly.

I woke up shortly after that vivid vignette. And that's when things got weirder. When I related my dream to Mark, he mentioned that he had been reading an article while I was sleeping, about a super collider in Geneva, Switzerland. UCSD scientists are involved (UCSD is located a block from the ocean, by the way) and they are trying to replicate the Big Bang via particle collision. According to an entry in Wikipedia, "The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator." I would think that it runs on electricity.... ??

Sometimes the membrane between reality and dreamscapes seems so permeable. Have you ever had a prescient dream? Are we living our dreams? Or are we dreaming our lives?
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Friday, February 11, 2011

Hot Child in the City - A Youtube Video

Hazel McCallion is the Mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. The unique thing about her is that she has served 31 years and is now 88 years old, with no signs of slowing down. In fact, she outpaces the reporter on a stationary bicycle and on the hockey rink.

According to Wikipedia: Hazel McCallion, CM (born February 14, 1921) is the mayor of Mississauga, Ontario, the sixth-largest city in Canada. McCallion has been Mississauga's mayor for 32 years, holding office since 1978. She is affectionately called "Hurricane Hazel" by supporters as well as the media at large for her vibrant outspoken style of no-nonsense politics.

She is one of Canada's best known and longest-serving mayors. Now aged 89, she was easily reelected in October 2010 for her 12th consecutive term, holding a 76% majority of the votes, and has often been reelected without even needing to conduct an actual campaign.

Mayor McCallion has worked with a variety of federal and provincial governments, and has not expressed a consistent party preference, preferring to work with each elected official.

Her principles are grounded in the belief that a city should be run like a business; thus, she encourages the business model of governance. Her family's business background, her education and prior career in a corporation prepared her to approach government with a business model. Mississauga is one of the few cities in Canada that is debt-free; it has not had to borrow money since 1978. However, Mississauga may have to borrow money to build new capital projects in 2012. She has been described as a "small-c" conservative.

Out and about with Mayor Hazel McCallion... By the way, Happy 90th Birthday and Valentine's Day to Mayor McCallion.

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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pink Saris Trailer

Something I came across today and wanted to share. Very compelling, called "Pink Saris Trailer."

Internationally acclaimed director Kim Longinotto's PINK SARIS is an unflinching and often amusing look at the all-woman vigilante Gulabi Gang in Northern India and their charismatic leader, Sampat Pal, who acts as judge and jury for girls and women who are being abused by outlawed patriarchal traditions and the caste system.

"A girl's life is cruel...A woman's life is very cruel," notes Sampat Pal, the complex protagonist at the center of PINK SARIS, internationally acclaimed director Kim Longinotto's latest foray into the lives of extraordinary women (SISTERS IN LAW, DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE, ROUGH AUNTIES). Sampat should know -- like many others she was married as a young girl into a family which made her work hard and beat her often. But unusually, she fought back, leaving her in-laws and eventually becoming famous as a champion for beleaguered women throughout Uttar Pradesh, many of whom find their way to her doorstep.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Full Moon in Tahiti

This story appeared in "First For Women" Magazine in their "First Blush" column about a year and a half ago. The staff slightly re-edited it for comic effect, and this story infers that it was the most embarrassing moment of my life. (Hardly.)

“Mooney’s Mooning Mishap”

I was in Tahiti shooting a mountain-biking documentary, and the last day of filming was long and grueling. So after a difficult eight hours of riding on Mt. Orohena, one of the other riders, Steve, and I came up with a plan to lighten the mood; We were going to moon the production team as they returned to our hotel – a perfect plan since we usually get back before they do.

Around dusk we headed out to the parking lot to prepare. After a few minutes, I observed a pair of headlights coming toward us. “They’re coming,” I shouted. “Get in position!” When they were close enough to see us, Steve and I dropped our bike shorts and bent over. Then, hysterically laughing, we pulled up our pants and quickly turned around to see our victims’ faces, only to discover the vehicle (which was the same make and model as the one our crew was traveling in) contained five complete strangers! They were cracking up, and I even heard one of them yell, “Nice butt!” The most embarrassing part? Production was right behind them and saw the plan go awry. I guess the joke was on us. Luckily, we never ran into our flash prey again. But I think it’s safe to say that was my first – and last – mooning attempt!

- Patty Mooney, 54, San Diego

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A Valentine Found Poem - by Eileen Dillon (Murphy)

This is a blog post that I first published two years ago. I still love it and refuse to allow it to languish. So in honor of Valentine's Day, I am sharing it again, with you, my friends.

Aunt Eileen Dillon-Murphy in 1971

It's amazing what your file cabinet can yield. In a file marked "Historical," I found two pieces of crumbling yellow notebook paper folded in half and when I gingerly opened them, I found the following poem, written by my Aunt Eileen as a young woman. I thought to myself, well, this totally deserves an entry in my blog. There were some missing chunks which I tried to fill in the best I could, including the title:

A Valentine Found Poem

Mary and John dwelt as friends on an old dairy,
Fell deep in love and became engaged to be wed,
Until one day, up went the nose of sweet Mary
Angry with John, at what some other girl said.

John simply smiled, he was so fond of teasing
And some old song quickly quartetted to sing.
Mary with rage every moment grew warmer
And at his feet she threw the engagement ring.

"I won't be your wife," said Mary.
"Thank Goodness for that," said John.
"I hate such a brute," said Mary.
"But other girls don't," said John.

"I'm going back to the dairy."
"T'would be just as well," said he,
"I hope you'll attend the wedding
Of Molly Malone and me."

Mary turned around taking a step or two from him
Then stopped again waiting patiently near,
She was so sure that he was already repenting
But all that he said was don't wait for me, my dear!

Out with his pipe, soon the smoke he was puffing
Into the air, stretched out full length on the green.
Mary stood by, somehow her heart was nigh breaking;
Had John become tired of his village queen?

"Well, am I to go," said Mary.
"I don't care a rap," said John.
"To spite you I won't," said Mary.
"Then maybe you won't," said John.

"Why are you so contrary
I'll drown myself, sir," said she
"Stop on your way, dear Mary
Send Molly Malone to me."

Tears filled her eyes as with her apron she covered
her pretty face heaving a heart-broken sigh.
Then turned away why should she wait any longer
As she walked away, she quietly said "Good-bye."

He kissed all the tears away from the face of sweet Mary,
And told her the tale fond lovers always try
And oh! how he hugged his Mary
As Mary crept close to John.

He vowed that as fair a fairy
He never had gazed upon
So now they are quite contented
As she has her head on his breast
So with that I'll conclude the story
No doubt you can guess the rest.

E. Dillon, Dec. 29, 1918

My my how the tug of war between men and women has not changed much over the last century, has it?

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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Peter Case Performs at Adams Avenue Street Fair - A Music Video by Patty Mooney

I love running around street fests with my camera and capturing stellar talent. This is someone I had never heard of before, a guy named Peter Case.

An entry on Wikipedia says this: Case was born in Buffalo, New York and lived in nearby Hamburg. A veteran of several rock bands and the local bar scene as a teenager, Case dropped out of high school when he was fifteen (he would later earn a GED), and after several years of traveling arrived in 1973 in San Francisco, where he performed as a street musician. During this period a documentary about the local music scene, Nightshift, directed by Bert Deivert, captured the young Case on film. In 1976, he teamed up with Jack Lee and Paul Collins in to form the early new wave band The Nerves in San Francisco. The group's 1976 single, "Hanging on the Telephone", was later recorded by Blondie.

When the Nerves disbanded, Case moved to Los Angeles and formed the pop-rock band The Plimsouls in 1980. The Plimsouls found a measure of success when their songs "A Million Miles Away," "The Oldest Story in the World," and "Play the Breaks" were featured in the movie Valley Girl, but by that time the group had already broken up. Case briefly toured with Gurf Morlix, Victoria Williams (Case's first wife), and Warren Tornado Klein as the Incredibly Strung Out Band, but their collaboration never resulted in a record.

To find out more about this talented musician, check out the Wikipedia entry on Peter Case.

In the meantime, listen to his music. I took the opportunity to insert some of my Lamp Hat Collection photos. So live and laugh!

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