Wednesday, January 28, 2015

365 Daily Lessons - Week 4 Day 3 - Venus de Milo

The Venus de Milo was discovered by a peasant on the Aegean island of Melos in 1820.  This sculpture is in the likeness of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty, and to the Romans she is known as Venus.  Thus the title Venus de Milo.  She is made of out of Parian marble and stands six and a half feet tall.  (This was a woman not to mess with!)

photo from

While the artist is not truly known it has been discovered that this statue was created during the Hellenistic period, 323 B.C. to 31 B.C.  The term "Hellenistic" comes from the word Hellazein, which means "to speak Greek or identify with the Greeks".

The Venus de Milo stands in the Louvre Museum in Paris, a donation which was given by Louis XVIII.  Have you seen it in person?  I haven't, yet ;->  It's on my list!

Here's a funny story;  there is a tale of a man who ordered a plaster copy of the statue and then sued the railroad company when it arrived from Paris without arms.  But that's not the oddest part - he won his case.  Wha'?!?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Dear Pop Music Creators

Dear Pop Music Creators,

My 14 year old daughter has informed me that she is tired of being embarrassed by your lyrics.  She loves the tunes, she loves the beat but she is done with hearing lyrics that paint images that she doesn't want in her mind.  She's hopeful that 2015 will have songwriters that understand there's more important, and pleasant, things to write about other than big booties, drinking and sex.

What she would like more of are songs that inspire you to be a better person, help you know that you have support and are not alone or something just plain fun!  There are a few of you out there with smart, clever writing skills and your songs are appreciated.  Then there are those of you that are just nasty, vile, low-class.  (My words not her's.  She would call you "just plain gross").

The song "Try" by Colbie Caillat is a current favorite.   If you're not familiar with these lyrics Colbie Caillat shares that you don't have to try to be something you're not, by wearing too much make-up, buying expensive clothes, behaving in a way that's not really comfortable to you, to fit in.  Great message - although her over use of the word "try" does get on my nerves, but I'll let it slide.  It's a great song for my teen daughters to hear and feel.  

Dear Pop Music Creators -

With the beginning of the next song on the radio by Tove Lo we're blasted into a totally different world with the intro "I eat my dinner in the bath tub then I go to strip clubs watching freaky people getting it on."  Later the singer says she throws up in the bath tub so her life is pretty much a mess.  And why?  Because someone left her.  Her chorus "I've gotta stay high all the time to get you off my mind"  gets a fun rewrite by my daughter.  She prefers "I've gotta wave 'Hi' all the time to people that I meet.  Gotta wave 'Hi' all the time to people on the street."  I giggle every time because it's a completely different vibe from the original lyrics.  Love it.

And don't get us started on Ariana Grande!  Get this song writing gem she sings "I only want to die alive never by the hands of a broken heart.  Don't wanna hear you lie tonight now that I've become who I really are."  Who I really 'are'?!?  Seriously?!!?  And the song that put my daughter over the edge was "Love Me Harder".  It's a duet and you think it's going to be ok then the guy chimes in and it's, well, it's just a shame.  There's a LOT to be said for subtlety and romance - just sayin'.

photo courtesy of

So, dear pop music lyricists, do you think it's possible to use your brain to create something clever?  Words that don't embarrass or degrade?  I'm sure my teenage daughters aren't the only ones hoping for better quality words to go along with your catchy tunes.

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Monday, January 26, 2015

Finding The Sunshine

For those that are in the midst of a blizzard, here's a little break from the snow.

Rob and Lily

A family walk through the "resting" International Rose Test Gardens in Washington Park - Portland, OR.

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Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How Old Is Too Old To Have An Imaginary Friend?

Thoughts are always streaming about something I saw on Facebook, or a news story I saw online.  I'm thinking of how I would have handled a situation or the 'What I should have said...' dialogue that goes round and round in my brain.

Did I say that out loud?

There are many, many occasions where I have a conversation swirling in my head and then I hear someone in the next room and I wonder if I had been having this imaginary conversation out loud.  I have supported some really good arguments while vacuuming or making the bed.  And wow!  Did I ever get my point across while I was curling my hair! That'll show them, oh those people that aren't in the room. Try to intimidate me will ya'!

I really admire those that can meditate and clear their minds.  Just be.  How do they do it?  I've tried many times to follow the instructor and "Focus on the breath.  In two-three-four.  Out two-three - hey, what about that ridiculous request today?  What I should have said..."  And *boom*  I'm talking to my imaginary friend again.

But wait!  I have a dog.  I'll just say I was talking to him.

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