Archive for the ‘Popular Culture’ Category

Thank you Karey for noting this on kirtsy {at least I know you are still out there!} because that is how I found Simply Seductive, a gorgeous blog, that posed the question – “Would you go Red?” in a recent post.


We are referring to hair – gorgeous red-hued hair.

This caught my attention you see, because my husband has the most amazing shade of red hair {sigh…our girls inherited fiery personalities instead of locks!}

So – would you go red?

image {Edward Gajdel}

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When I happened upon Domestic Vacations, a photographic series by Julie Blackmon, I was immediately drawn to  the surreal and somewhat chaotic nature present in the work.  I found myself eagerly scrolling through the online gallery, captivated by the subjects and scenes.


Admittedly, I know nothing about contemporary artistic photography, so I was was uncertain if I was viewing something genius or maybe a bit weird.


I chose the former after reading Blackmon’s artist statement for Domestic Vacations.


Excerpts from the statement: The Dutch proverb “a Jan Steen household” originated in the 17th century and is used today to refer to a home in disarray, full of rowdy children and boisterous family gatherings.  The paintings of Steen, along with those of other Dutch and Flemish genre painters, helped inspire this body of work (Blackmon is also the oldest of 9 children, with 3 of her own).


Blackmon writes, “we live in a culture where we are both “child centered” and “self-obsessed…The struggle between living in the moment versus escaping to another reality is intense since these two opposites strive to dominate. The expectations of family life have never been more at odds with each other.”

Blackmon believes there are moments throughout any given day that can bring you “sanctuary.”  This is where Blackmon finds parallels to her work as an artist and life as a mother.

She continues, “as an artist and as a mother, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy and reality:  to see the mythic amidst the chaos.”

Wow – I’m impressed…although I’m surprised not to see a photo with a Mom blogging! enjoy hh

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For the past two weeks , the girls have been singing the chorus to the lovely Beastie Boys tune “Brass Monkey” (mind you they are 6 & 7).  Their version was “grass” monkey, but that is ok because they got “that funky monkey” part correct.  Thankfully, they have yet to memorize the entire song, (although they still have time to perfect it for an interesting Thanksgiving dinner sing-a-long!)

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because the song has been stuck in my head, and now it can be stuck in yours.  enjoy hh

“Felix” Sock Monkey available here.

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Button available here.

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Last month we came across an interesting study by a professor and administrator from  Beloit College, a private school in Wisconsin. For the past eleven years, Tom McBride and Ron Nief have composed a list of observations that reference  “the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college.”

The Mindset List was originally created to aid professors in using references that the current generation of students could identify with as part of their worldview.

Students entering college for the first time this fall were generally born in 1990, so we thought we would add our own touch to this list by posting the cover of Vogue from January 1990.  Wow, that was shot almost 18 years ago and these ladies are still beautiful and in the spotlight.

Here is an excerpt from the list:

The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm… They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.

For these students, Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Krueger have always been dead.

  1. Harry Potter could be a classmate, playing on their Quidditch team.
  2. Since they were in diapers, karaoke machines have been annoying people at parties.
  3. They have always been looking for Carmen Sandiego.
  4. GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
  5. Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
  6. Shampoo and conditioner have always been available in the same bottle.
  7. Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
  8. Their parents may have dropped them in shock when they heard George Bush announce “tax revenue increases.”
  9. Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
  10. Girls in head scarves have always been part of the school fashion scene.
  11. All have had a relative–or known about a friend’s relative–who died comfortably at home with Hospice.
  12. As a precursor to “whatever,” they have recognized that some people “just don’t get it.”
  13. Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.
  14. Grandma has always had wheels on her walker.
  15. Martha Stewart Living has always been setting the style.
  16. Haagen-Dazs ice cream has always come in quarts.
  17. Club Med resorts have always been places to take the whole family.
  18. WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
  19. Films have never been X rated, only NC-17.
  20. The Warsaw Pact is as hazy for them as the League of Nations was for their parents.
  21. Students have always been “Rocking the Vote.”
  22. Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
  23. Schools have always been concerned about multiculturalism.
  24. We have always known that “All I Ever Really Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.”
  25. There have always been gay rabbis.
  26. Wayne Newton has never had a mustache.
  27. College grads have always been able to Teach for America.
  28. IBM has never made typewriters.
  29. Roseanne Barr has never been invited to sing the National Anthem again.
  30. McDonald’s and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.

Click here for the remainder of the list.  What do you think?

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Bon Pure White Rocking Chair – Phillipe Starck 2008

Internationally renowned designer, Philippe Starck, has plans to make his mark on the “Reality-TV” sensation (and perhaps design a new flat screen tv during the process!). The BBC Two and Starck have teamed up to create a new television series – Philippe Starck’s School of Design. 25 aspiring British designers will vie for 10 spots at this newly created school in Paris and the opportunity to learn and work alongside Stark. The ultimate winner will receive a 6 month placement at Starck’s Paris Office.

Starck is quoted as saying “”What excites me about this project is that it’s about the future. We are trying to find the talent of young people. We don’t want the fashion victim or the design victim; we’re seeking the people who do, the people who actually make something.”

“That’s why this show can be a wake-up machine. It will also show that no one needs to be a genius to be creative. Creativity is accessible,” he added. (via Guardian UK)

Now I need to find out if I my cable package carries the BBC Two! Enjoy HH

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Last Sunday evening in New York, we stepped out of our hotel for a quick bite to eat. Our choices were very limited in this midtown area, so we ventured toward Rockefeller Plaza and soon found ourselves at the Rainbow Room Grill enjoying a fabulous dinner and the most outstanding views of the city.

The interior views of 30 Rockefeller Center (former RCA Building) were just as appealing. Although our visit was a quick dash through the lobby – my interest was piqued and I wanted to discover more about this impressive building.

The Art Deco design was largely shaped by the vision of architect Raymond Hood. Interestingly, this massive building project was the only major private construction project in New York during the Depression.

Photographer Charles C. Ebbets captured this shot (Lunch A Top A Skyscraper) during the construction phase of Rockefeller Tower (reportedly over 75,000 laborers were employed during the early 1930’s).

The interior murals in the massive lobby at 30 Rockefeller Center have an interesting story. A list of artisans approved John Rockefeller included, Matisse, Picasso, Frank Brangwyn, Jose Maria Sert and Diego Rivera.

Picasso, however declined to even meet with some of the project’s architects and Matisse disdained the notion of bustling people in an office building lobby being able to be “in a quiet and reflective state of mind to appreciate or even see the qualities” in his art.*

Sert and Brangwyn agreed to do murals for the elevator bank section of the lobby and Rivera was commissioned for the front lobby entrance.

Rivera, a well known Mexican socialist artist (husband to Frida Kahlo) , created an mural entitled “Man at the Crossroads Looking with Uncertainty but with Hope and High Vision to the Choosing of a Course Heading to a New and Better Future.”

It was viewed as decidedly Marxist in content and when someone noticed that a laborer bore a marked resemblance to Lenin a major controversy erupted. Rockefeller was so angered that Diego was dismissed and several months later the mural was destroyed before it was ever shown to the public and replaced by the present mural, “Man’s Conquests,” by Sert.*

* Source (NYC-Architecture.com)

Original Observation Deck (1933)

I look forward to appreciating even more about this building complex in future visits. Enjoy HH

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