Thelonious Monk & Franks'n'beans

That's what we had for dinner. Apparently an inspired combination, since I find myself with (weee!!!) enough time to post a quickie.

" you can come out now"... © F. Barrage, 2008

I've been hiding behind the daisies in my new garden, but some kids found me the other day. Oh, well...

Almost finished unpacking (I've moved house, in case you haven't heard). Found my laptop too. Yay me. Just in the nick of time too, now I need to pack a couple of suitcases and go check on what Ms. Cut'n'Paste has been up to in the Land of the Neverendum Conundrum.


If Mothers Ruled The World...

( digitized from Dover - will acknowledge properly later)

... instead of the mother....s who dominate this mad hatter's universe, we would put our children first - not hatred, greed and big-dog rules.

Happy Mother's Day for all the moms in Lebanon, Burma, Zimbabwe and everywhere else...
I think


Isabella's Syndrome

Botticelli's Ghost, Digital Something - © R. Koleilat, 2008
Do you know the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston? It’s one of the many pleasurable finds in that amazing city. Gardner was an avid art collector, and she bequeathed her vast treasure of works by the Old Masters for all of Boston (and the world) to enjoy – with strings attached: The precious collection was to be housed in her mansion, also part of the legacy, and no object in the collection or the mansion could ever be moved or removed; or else the whole kit and caboodle would be sold and the proceeds would go to Harvard University.

I recently came across dear Isabella again in a book that had nothing to do with art but everything to do with transition and change. The authors*, both eager de-clutterers, use what they delightfully term the “The Isabella Gardner Syndrome” as a parable for (the sometimes irrational but still perfectly understandable) fear of change. In a cheeky aside to a chapter about "finding a good home" for no-longer-relevant belongings, they talk about Isabella’s obsession thusly: “Needless to say, everything in the [museum] has remained unchanged, even to the blank space on the wall where a Vermeer painting hung before it was stolen. In her final years, she would sometimes rear up in her bed and cry out, “You there! Don’t touch!” to imaginary strangers. Her ghost is said to return to the museum once a month to make sure everything is exactly as she left it.”

Don’t we all have a little bit of Isabella in us? When faced with the unfamiliar, when a new path has to be taken, we often wish we could be as imperious as her and decree that nothing shall ever change. Luckily for me, I’ve learned that change is almost always for the better – or at the very least, I can will it to be so.
And now, a profound profundity to end this post: if things never changed, all we'd have would be caterpillars and not even one butterfly. So there.

*Culbertson, J. and Decker, M. – “Scaling Down”


My Feelings Exactly

See? I'm not the only one who thinks he's the cat's meow - check this blog, then go and visit Zan the Man here and here


Random Thoughts, As Gilda Gets a Pink Martini

I love Rita Hayworth. She embodies the ineluctable allure, fragility and tragedy of mythical figures. Behind the indelible, flaming-haired beauty, there was the customary compromise of Old Hollywood, a complex life and enormous sadness. That's not her singing above, btw - it's China Forbes of Pink Martini, who performed in Massey Hall last week.

Rita Hayworth is the mother of Princess Yasmine Aly Agha Khan, President of the Alzheimer's Disease International foundation, and a board member of the
Aga Khan Foundation.

On a dreary, wet afternoon in Ras-Beirut - the spiritual Manhattan of Lebanon - I found a small exhibit of one (European? American?) artist's hommage to Hayworth. This was more decorative art than anything else, a series of huge paintings of her stunning face, à la Warhol. I tend to forget a lot of things, but I remember how shy and anxious I was that afternoon, when all I wanted was to sit there and look, and how both the elegant, pretty-blonde of a gallery owner and the smiling moustached artist thought it was all too cute - an awkward kid in love with the idea of art. Haha. What I was in love with then was Old Hollywood and chimerical creatures. I was a teenager who spoke and thought mostly in French and Arabic, and was imbibing the French's love affair with all things mythically American - jazz, musicals, diners and Edward Hopper.

I still love myths. More precisely, I love the exploration of myths - the various myths that provide the self-delusion that drives our lives. Self-delusion is pervasive, individual and collective. Sometimes, it's a good thing (a spoonful of Nutella eaten directly from the jar has zero calories), sometimes not so much (war equals liberty, and the "greed -for lack of a better word- is good" school of ethics).

One myth I never want to see dissipate is this one, which blends (a little) fantasy with reality. Blogging has brought out some of my self-delusions to the surface as well as a lot of self-actualization. Wait, don't go yet, I'm not diving into (a shallow pool of) psychobabble with this. Be patient, this is entitled Random Thoughts after all. Blogging as a path to self-discovery - a tired exposé that we've read and written about ad nauseum. But it's true. I like to pretend I can do this blogging thing with impunity, but I can't. There's a price to pay - can't hide from my own self-created myths.

Ms. High-Falutin' Intellectual once told me, "If you write it, they will come. If you don't ramble on, they will come back (or stay - I forget which)". So I will stop right here, and get back to intransingent realities like peanut butter sandwiches that need to be whipped up and tears of frustration that need to be kissed away.


Nepotistic Announcement

Publicity Shot for Nadine's Exhibition

Was I complaining about the snow in Ontario? It's much worse in Québec. I know because I'm spending the week in Montréal, and this city, usually able to weather (hah!) winter storms without batting an eye, is now impossible to navigate - on foot (normally a great pleasure), by bus (always running and on time) or on four wheels (a nightmare at any given time). It's aggravating, really. I was so looking forward to walk-abouts in my beloved downtown streets, but it's too much of a hassle with the kids and, strangely, shopping underground is not their idea of fun. Darn. Now we just have to luxuriate indoors until we head out to the museum to catch the sizzling hot exhibition there. More on that tomorrow.

I've received this email from my friend Nadine who now lives and takes pretty pictures in the UAE:
"Dear Friend,
B21 Gallery is pleased to announce its participation in the second Creek Art Fair at Bastakiya from the 15th to the 31st of March. B21’s house will feature photography, video and an installation by Lebanese artist Nadine Kanso, and the work of Belgian sculptor Arnaud Rivieren.
In her exhibition, ‘Fi al Qalb’ (In the Heart), Kanso seeks to expose the troubled character of her cherished Beirut - often masked today by the cosmopolitan buzz of the city - through a presentation of her own black and white photography, accompanied by the lyrical musings of poet Nizar Qabbani*.
Rivieren’s three giant stainless steel pears on display in the courtyard of XVA reflect the artists unique approach to the rough medium of steel, which he recovers from the scrap heaps and steelyards of the UAE and transforms into elegant interpretations of the everyday objects.
Please join us for the Creek Art Fair vernissage on Saturday, the 15th, from 7pm. E-Flyers containing additional information can be found below.
B21 Team"

* celebrated poet and my mother's cousin


Hug An International Woman Today

Women's Day 2008, Mixed Media - © R. Koleilat

(photo source: WetCanvas)

The Canadian motto for Internation Women's Day this year is "Strong Women, Strong World".

Ya think?


Mama's got a brand new bag?

Baggy Tag, Digital Drawing - © R. Koleilat, 2008

A handbag meme from Andi's new blog where I have to list the contents of my handbag (this is what happens when you're felled by a bum knee, you dream up more blogs and memes).

Since Andi was a good sport on the book meme, I will be one too - even though I really should be working instead.

Be grateful that I am sparing you details on lint and cookie crumbs, and list only objects larger that a chocolate chip:
  • A bottle of Tylenol Quick Release
  • A pair of tiny scissors
  • An empty gum wrapper (not mine)
  • A toy from an unidentified fast food joint
  • A tube of lipstick (a tube of lipstick? when did I buy this one? what a weird colour...)
  • A pen, a pencil, 2 permanent markers, half a silver ballpoint pen with a logo on it
  • A $5-off coupon for a Cranium game (ah, goodie - activity idea for tonight)
  • The other part of the toy from the unidentified etc..
  • An empty zippered pencil bag
  • A tiny sewing kit (almost intact)
  • A button (mine)
  • 2 silver rings (from before I had to wear gloves to step outside)
  • An American penny
  • My huge and ugly black wallet (hint to hubby: let the kids choose my mother's day present this year)
  • An empty bottle of hand sanitizer
  • A receipt from the chiropractor (first session last Friday - apparently, I have a very unstable spine. Now that would explain the excruciating pain between the back of my head and my knees)
  • My dead cell phone
  • A green "green" zippered bag ( I usually forget to put it back and end up going home with plastic bags anyway)

I feel like tagging .... you! If you want me to, that is.




On the way there, I had to stop and show you* this

because Julie does it much better than anyone else.
*you is SuperHarry mostly (aka Apothecarian of Thorts)


Gone Fishing

Fishing, Digital Collage - © R. Koleilat, 2008

Every once & again, I feel obligated to take a break from blogging/blurfing to do some serious housekeeping (both figuratively and in the alternate universe we know as real life). Be back soon.