Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 30, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 30, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Last November, Major League Baseball announced that New York Mets' pitcher Guillermo Mota had tested positive for steroids and would therefore be suspended for 50 games at the beginning of the new season. A month later, the Mets signed Mota to a new, two-year $5 million contract, despite knowing that his recent accomplishments on the baseball field had almost certainly been inflated by the steroids' boost. I foresee a comparable scenario unfolding in your life, Capricorn. You'll be rewarded in the wake of a penalty or limitation that was imposed on you, and the gain will outstrip the loss. It may even be the case that the good thing coming your way will be related to or aided by the "bad" thing you did.

an act of kindness goes a long way

On the Road
Best Choices to Be Stranded: Syracuse, Albany, Pepperoni

Published: August 28, 2007

IT’S been an awful year for air travel, with delays and cancellations at record levels, with passengers stuck for hours on packed planes waiting to take off.
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Chris Gash

Against this backdrop, sending out for pizza is an act of customer service genius.

But that happened three times recently that I am aware of. Passengers on three flights on Aug. 17 were astonished to see that someone had thought enough to have pizza and sodas sent their way.

One of those passengers was Robynne Reiber, a frequent business traveler who lives in New York and said that every flier she knows has been complaining about “the hassles of air travel and the lack of respect given passengers by airlines.”

That’s why the pizza at the airport in Syracuse was such a shock. “I was astounded,” she told me.

“I couldn’t believe how well I was being treated,” she said.

She was on Delta Flight 424 from Phoenix to Kennedy International Airport. About 90 minutes after takeoff, the pilot made one of those dreaded announcements that typically begin with the words, “Well, folks, ...”

It was a Friday afternoon, and half the flights over the continent seemed to be heading for the East Coast, where thunderstorms were turning most of them away. The Delta flight had been instructed to circle over Colorado.

With Kennedy closed, the flight was ultimately diverted to Syracuse.

There, according to Ms. Reiber, the pilot said: “I’m not going to keep you on the plane. I’m going to pull up to a gate where you can get off, as long as you wait there in case we have to leave. I know you’ve only had cheese and crackers. So I called the Sbarro in the terminal and asked them to keep sending pizzas out until the whole plane gets fed.”

At the gate, tables were set up. “The pilot said it might take a while to get everybody fed because this is probably more pizzas than they’re used to turning out at a time, so please be patient,” Ms. Reiber said.

Flight attendants helped serve while the pilot made regular announcements from the departure desk about the prospects for getting en route again.

“Finally, he said, ‘All right, everybody back on the plane, we have a slot,’ ” Ms. Reiber said.

“On the plane, the flight attendants kept saying, ‘If anybody needs anything, just ask and we’ll do the best we can. We’re all in this together.’ ”

The two pilots on Flight 424 were Gary Hale and Ty Rhame. The flight attendants were David Evans, Nancy Grimshaw and Melisa Walker.

Lynn Casey, a Delta customer service agent, paid for the pizza at the Syracuse airport — and did the same thing for another flight from the West Coast that had been diverted there the same afternoon, a Delta spokeswoman said.

The pizza connection appears to have been a trend on Aug. 17, at least in upstate New York. The same day, a Continental Express flight bound for Newark sat for an hour and a half at Albany International Airport waiting for the weather to break. An account of the Albany pizza delivery first appeared in The Albany Times-Union.

Doug Myers, the airport’s public affairs director, said he was in his office half listening to radio chatter from the tower when, he said, “The Continental Express pilot came on and said, ‘I’ve been out here for 90 minutes. Anybody know if a window is going to open up?’ ”

Mr. Myers and his boss, John O’Donnell, the airport’s chief executive, already had a plan in place after being stranded on a parked plane for five hours not long ago in Philadelphia.

The plan was to send out food for long-delayed flights and to keep airport food vendors open late if it looked as if delays were building in the region. The pizzas were on their way to the plane when the pilot had to return to the gate for refueling.

“We’d already heard all the talk” about stranded passengers on crowded planes for 3, 6 and even 10 hours, often without food or water, Mr. Myers said, adding,

“We decided we can’t let this kind of thing happen in Albany.”

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

strange happenings from my past

i received a phone call from someone who was an exstudent who i hired who wanted advise on a proposal. I was the only person that they thought of to call. I am not sure i am returning the call

I received an email from an exstudent, ex supervisee and ex employee who i hired, who is different than the one above. She is moving jobs and wanted to write. I was disappointed i didnt hear from her sooner. I expected to hear from her as she will need my signature for her LCSW application. I am not sure i am gonna answer her. I may but have to craft my answer carefully...

I ran into an ex employee on the street last night. She spent 7 year working in the job i am working in now and knows all of the people who i work with. I never disclosed that i supervised her or hired her or gave her, her first job.... That was the most unsettling at all..

i ran into another friend in the subway twice..... we traded pleasantries.....

Too many blasts from the past at one time

Sunday, August 26, 2007

jackson sings Fountain of Sorrow

shawn sings Crazy

suzanne vega sings Queen and the Soldier

jackson browne ..... These days

You aint going Nowhere..... Dylan 30th... MCC, SC and RC

Dar at Falcon Ridge singing Iowa 2007

V irtual Suzanne vga singing Toms Diner

Luka Video

thanking Suzanne Vega

Suzanne Vega

Friday, i went to a free show at j&r music world to see the free show... the show started with Javier and then there were screaming girls for JHoliday and after much sound adjustment, i mean way way way too much sound adjustment.... Suzanne Vega took the stage in City Hall Park

Marlena on the Wall
Zephyr & i
Ludlow street
New york is a woman
Pornographer´s dream
Frank & ava
Angel´s doorway

From her newest cd Beauty and Crimes - a classic Suzanne Vega cd

she added

Left of Center
Blood makes noise
in liverpool

ofcourse Suzanne ended the show with LUKA and a dna remix version of Toms Diner

After the show, Suzanne was signing her cd in J&R and there are two things that i wanted to do....Get a Luka single signed but i didnt have it with me and secondly, express to Suzanne that Luka played a role in the life of all of us foster care, child abuse workers who were under appreciated and under valued. When Luka hit the airwave, some of our work was legitmatized or validated by hearing Luka.... we knew someone understood what the life of an abuse child may be like...

So i stood on line, had to explain that I wanted to express gratitude and owned all the Suzanne Vega cds... i would not purchase another and would ask for nothing to be signed... I just wanted to express my thanks..

I stood on line getting nervous.... what would i say or how would i say it...
when my time came...

I said... "suzanne, i am sharon goldberg, i reached out to shake her hand...and i have been a long time fan and I love the new cd" but that is not why i am here..For years i have wanted to thank you for Luka... I am sure that you get lots of feedback about the song but i want to tell you, that Now i train caseworkers in abuse and neglect but i worked for 20 years with abused and neglected children.. Until Luka, we didnt feel very valued. Hearing Luka, allowed us to feel someone understood and that our work was validated. I wanted to thank you for that for many years. I started to tell Suzanne that i teach now and use her lyrics...i kept saying that Luka validated, legitimized the work i have done... then i was told to move on... so mid sentance... i stopped and said... i have to go.. thank you..
the staff told me that my bag was open so i stopped.... Suzanne asked for me to come back to the table and she said... "wait.... i want to shake her hand".... i looked her in the eye and held my hand out... Suzanne had a solid firm hand shake..

I walked out of J&R a little shaken and i wanted to cry....i could feel the tears well up but they would not come.... I crossed the street and walked up to the brooklyn bridge and walked over the bridge and threw downtown brooklyn

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 23, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 23, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
"The harder that we love, the deeper we're gonna feel," sings Keith Greeninger in a rootsy tune from his Glorious Peasant CD. That's good advice for you right now, Capricorn, since what you especially need to guide you during this phase of wandering and exploration is ever-deeper and ever-more-nuanced feeling. I'll add a corollary that may help as well: The softer you love, the smarter your emotions will be. You can love harder and softer at the same time, right?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Four Agreements

The Four Agreements
Everything we do is based on agreements we have made - agreements with ourselves, with other people, with God, with life. But the most important agreements are the ones we make with ourselves. In these agreements we tell ourselves who we are, how to behave, what is possible, what is impossible. One single agreement is not such a problem, but we have many agreements that come from fear, deplete our energy, and diminish our self-worth."

In this powerful book that has remained on The New York Times Bestseller List for over five years, don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. When we are ready to change these agreements, there are four deceptively simple, yet powerful agreements that we can adopt as guiding principles. The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

1. Be Impeccable With Your Word
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don't Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don't Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 16, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 16, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Welcome to the Season of Temporary Insanity, Capricorn. According to my analysis of the omens, your imminent immersion in lunacy, delirium, and freakiness won't hurt a bit -- and may even stir up exotic varieties of pleasure and amusement. For best results, keep the following advice bubbling and frothing in the back of your mind. (1) "Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things." - Edgar Degas. (2) "Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment." – Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks. (3) "All of us are crazy good in one way or another." - Yiddish saying. (4) "You are either losing your mind -- or gaining your soul." - Julia Cameron.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


ve watched the stars fall silent from your eyes
All the sights that I have seen
I cant believe that I believed I wished
That you could see
Theres a new planet in the solar system
Theres nothing up my sleeve

(chorus 1)
Im pushing an elephant up the stairs
Im tossing up punchlines that were never there
Over my shoulder a piano falls
Crashing to the ground

And all this talk of time
Talk is fine
And I dont want to stay around
Why cant we pantomime, just close our eyes
And sleep sweet dreams
Being here with wings on our feet

(repeat chorus 1)

(chorus 2)
Im breaking through
Im bending spoons
Im keeping flowers in full bloom
Im looking for answers from the great beyond

I want the hummingbirds, the dancing bears
Sweetest dreams of you
Look into the stars
Look into the moon

(repeat chorus 1)

(repeat chorus 2 2x)

Im breaking through
Im bending spoons
Im keeping flowers in full bloom
Im looking for answers from the great, answers from the great
Im breaking through
Im bending spoons
Im keeping flowers in full bloom
Im looking for answers from the great, answers from the great, answers

nightswimming REM

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
The photograph on the dashboard, taken years ago,
Turned around backwards so the windshield shows.
Every streetlight reveals the picture in reverse.
Still, its so much clearer.
I forgot my shirt at the waters edge.
The moon is low tonight.

Nightswimming deserves a quiet night.
Im not sure all these people understand.
Its not like years ago,
The fear of getting caught,
Of recklessness and water.
They cannot see me naked.
These things, they go away,
Replaced by everyday.

Nightswimming, remembering that night.
Septembers coming soon.
Im pining for the moon.
And what if there were two
Side by side in orbit
Around the fairest sun?
That bright, tight forever drum
Could not describe nightswimming.

You, I thought I knew you.
You I cannot judge.
You, I thought you knew me,
This one laughing quietly underneath my breath.

The photograph reflects,
Every streetlight a reminder.
Nightswimming deserves a quiet night, deserves a quiet night

Saturday, August 11, 2007

he Simpsons Movie – first review
Our correspondent finds the big-screen debut for Homer and clan both hilarious and horrifyingly poignant
Homer the hero in the big-screen Simpsons

(Matt Groening/20th Century Fox/AP)

Homer the hero in the big-screen Simpsons
James Bone in Springfield, Vermont

[Beware: spoilers]

Homer Simpson, the oafish paterfamilias of America’s favourite dysfunctional family, emerges from his big-screen debut a bona fide Hollywood action hero.

At the start of The Simpsons Movie Homer’s dreams of glory are limited to helping his new pet pig to walk upside down on the ceiling while singing “Spiderpig, Spiderpig” to the Spider-Man theme song.
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But when the adopted swine gets him into bigger trouble than even this celebrated screw-up has ever experienced before, he falls under the influence of a chesty Native American woman he calls “Boob Lady” and undergoes an uncharacteristic epiphany that galvanizes him into action for the good of his by-now estranged clan.

By the time the witty final credits roll, Homer outshines even Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has been elected president and ordered great harm done to Homer’s home town.

The Hollywood action theme helps the hit cartoon series, after 18 seasons on television, to land its death-defying leap to the big screen with panache. The result is a postmodern parable about an environmental scare that is at the same time hilarious and horrifyingly poignant. But thanks to an unexpected glimpse of Bart’s genitalia, this is a postmodern parable with a “pickle shot”.

The film boasts the same sly cultural references and flashes of brilliance that have earned the television series a following that ranges from tots to comparative literature PhDs. Despite its clownishness and childish graphics, it still offers searing insights into the pathetic human condition.

When the residents of Springfield learn that they are confronting catastrophe, for instance, the panicked occupants of the bar and the next-door church pour out into the street and change places — the drinkers taking solace in religion and the religious finding comfort in drink.

But the movie will be equally satisfying to those who just find it funny that Homer wants to kiss his pet pig — or laugh at Marge pondering the (literally) weighty issue of the pig’s “leavings”, or excrement.

Early on The Simpsons team shows their nerve by making Homer wonder out loud why anyone would pay to buy a cinema ticket to watch what they could see on TV free — the underlying question of the whole big-screen adaptation. In Homer’s view, anyone who pays for cinema tickets to watch a TV show is a sucker. Jabbing his finger at the audience, he declares: “Particularly you!”

What you get for your money is the Simpsons on an epic scale. The familiar, if geographically indeterminate, territory of Springfield is suddenly transformed into a cross between The Truman Show and Escape from New York, with a Big Brother government conspiring to keep all its unruly residents in line until it can be bombed into a “new Grand Canyon” tourist attraction.

The middle section, set in Alaska, lags because of the absence of the familiar props of the Simpsons’ home town. I found myself longing for Homer and his tribe to return to wreak more havoc on their neighbours, particularly the long-suffering Flanders.

But the film ends with a tense second-by-second countdown that fully exploits the bathos of that schlump Homer becoming an action star able save the world, or at least his little part of it. The conventions of the “disaster flick” allow The Simpsons’ left-leaning creator, Matt Groening, to indulge his politics with wry warnings of environmental doom without boring us out of our mustard-yellow skin.

Lisa, Homer and Marge’s swotty daughter, has become an ardent environmentalist who makes an Al Gore-style presentation entitled “An Irritating Truth” to the local populace.

In the same spirit, this film could have been subtitled: “An Inconvenient Cartoon”.

Matt Groening answers questions about his first feature film in The Knowledge podcast

Talk to Me (2007)

Talk to Me (2007)

SUPER FREQUENCY Cheadle rocks the mic in Talk To Me as the infectious D.C. disc jockey Petey Greene

Limited Release: Jul 13, 2007; Rated: R; Length: 118 Minutes; Genre: Drama; With: Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor

By Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman is a film critic for EW

You can love Don Cheadle's acting and still feel that there's a pesky reticence to him, that he's too haunted by the ghosts of respectability to let go. In Boogie Nights, he played a guy who was a porn star and a stereo salesman, and he still came off as the one upright person in the movie; in Traffic and Crash, his California lawmen had spines that were sticks of rectitude. Cheadle hasn't really taken a role and walked on the wild side — until Talk to Me, a rowdy, richly offbeat biopic that casts him as a trash-talking, hard-living hustler of a disc jockey who just happens to be fast and nasty enough to make himself into a star.

As Ralph Waldo ''Petey'' Greene Jr., who became a one-man inner-city media explosion in Washington, D.C., starting in the late '60s, Cheadle wears a mustache and an Afro that evoke Richard Pryor in his early heyday, and he's got a shoot your mouth off first and apologize later ferocity that's Pryoresque, too. When Cheadle spits out the word motherf---er, it's with Pryor's percussive flair. Petey doesn't just say that word — he means it. When we first see him, he's behind bars, doing an on-air rap for his fellow inmates, and the prison sets the stakes: Petey can say whatever he wants because he's got nothing to lose. On the street, he dresses in things like red velvet jackets with paisley lapels, and it's a testament to Cheadle's presence that he never looks anything but badass in those mack-daddy clown suits.

Being a DJ, says Petey, is the only thing he's good at that isn't against the law. To land a job at WOL, a local R&B station that has seen better days, he has to win over Dewey Hughes (Chiwetel Ejiofor), the slick, smart program director who, in a terrific pool-hall scene, is revealed to be a lot less of an Oreo than he appears. The first time that Petey goes on the air, he takes a hilarious swipe at Motown's Berry Gordy, and the only thing funnier is his apology. The station owner (Martin Sheen) orders him yanked, until he sees that Petey's candid rant is what the people want. It's the prattle of bars and barbershops — the folk wit of the streets that he turns into a DJ's patter.

Directed by the gifted Kasi Lemmons (Eve's Bayou), Talk to Me could have been Good Morning, Vietnam in the ghetto. Instead, it digs into the relationship between Petey and Dewey, whose love/hate, street/suit tension expresses what the movie presents as the central emotional rift in African-American life. I wish Talk to Me were less episodic, but the two actors are marvelous. The elegant, magnetic Ejiofor makes Dewey a complexly divided man, embodying the vast contradictions of a reformed player who models himself on Johnny Carson. Cheadle plays Petey as an antic hedonist, fueled by booze, rage, and fear: When he appears on The Tonight Show, it's a devastating sequence — a crossover dream turned nightmare — yet Petey's inability to be anyone but himself is the thing that gives him soul. That's the movie's audacity: It makes you see why his failure is essential to his success. A-
Posted Jul 11, 2007

Vanessa Redgrave in "The Year of Magical Thinking

The Sound of One Heart Breaking

Published: March 30, 2007

The substance is in the silences in “The Year of Magical Thinking,” the arresting yet ultimately frustrating new drama starring Vanessa Redgrave that opened last night at the Booth Theater.

Vanessa Redgrave in "The Year of Magical Thinking."

This may seem surprising, given that the author is Joan Didion, who has adapted her extraordinary best-selling memoir about being blindsided by death. As a writer Ms. Didion has a peerless ear for the music of words in motion.

And this theatrical version of her account of losing her husband and her daughter within two years includes classic Didionesque sentences, as hard and translucent as hailstones. But it is in the quiet between the words, as she tastes and digests what she has said, that Ms. Redgrave — playing a character named Joan Didion — comes closest to capturing Ms. Didion’s voice and the delicate layering of harsh feelings that made the book such a stunner.

When I first read “Magical Thinking,” after experiencing the deaths of three people close to me in as many years, I felt I had been given an enchanted mirror, the kind in fairy tales that tells you the truth about yourself. (For the record I have a slight social acquaintance with Ms. Didion.)

Yet at the Booth Theater I never felt the magnetic pull that I experienced in reading the book. Though the script is by Ms. Didion, with many of its sentences lifted directly from the memoir, I never heard Ms. Didion’s voice when Ms. Redgrave was speaking.

That voice of course is one of the most insistently hypnotic in literature. Try reading Ms. Didion’s early novel “Play It As It Lays” in one sitting, and then try not thinking in the spare elliptical patterns of her prose. It’s impossible. The easiest choice in bringing “Year” to the stage would have been to ride the rhythms of that style: a controlled voice that, in keeping chaos and terror at bay, reminds us of their inescapable existence.

The stage version emphasizes the everywoman aspect of Ms. Didion’s personal anatomy of grief. Like the book, the play is shaped by the harrowing stories of the death in late 2003 of her husband, the writer John Gregory Dunne, and of the long, baffling illness of their daughter, Quintana, who died in the summer of 2005. (Her death, at 39, which occurred after Ms. Didion had completed her memoir, forms a new final chapter in the play.)

Ms. Redgrave, in a simple pale skirt and blouse, is an imposing, Cassandra-like creature, a prophetess at a temple of doom where we must all someday arrive.

Bob Crowley’s set (exquisitely accented by Jean Kalman’s lighting) is a series of painted drop curtains, suggesting a view of the desert by someone who has stared at the sun for too long.

Her first words would seem to confirm her oracular status: “This happened on Dec. 30, 2003. That may seem a while ago but it won’t when it happens to you. And it will happen to you.” There is no equivalent to this admonition in the book. That’s because it isn’t necessary.

As Ms. Redgrave continues to slide through the narrator’s past and present — from the gray world of hospitals and funeral arrangements to a sunny shared familial past — she gives sharp life to a variety of moods: fury at medical incompetence and evasiveness, passionate maternal solicitude, conspiratorial feyness as she speaks of her belief that her dead husband will come back to her if only she performs the right actions.

Some moments — yes, silent ones — are remarkable. I have not, for example, been able to erase from my mind Ms. Redgrave’s face from an early scene. It’s after she, as Ms. Didion, has spoken of seeing her husband silent and slumped in a chair in their apartment at the end of a trying day. “I thought he was making a joke,” she says. “Slumping over. Pretending to be dead.”

Ms. Redgrave’s expression conveys two levels of consciousness: She is in the moment she has just described, irritated with what she perceives to be an ill-timed joke. And she is in the present tense — still angry with herself and the grotesque cosmic prank she has participated in — because her husband wasn’t joking at all.

In that small second or two Ms. Redgrave’s magnificent face, wry and wounded, is the reproachful emblem of the guilt and exasperation that the living so often feel toward the dying and the dead. There is also reflected that disorientation that comes from a death’s abrupt way of changing the rules by which you have always lived your life

Such moments erupt often enough throughout this production, which is directed with austere eloquence by the playwright David Hare, to raise the show well above the level of an audiotape. Students of acting are advised to buy tickets as close as possible to the stage to observe the presence and craft that allows one woman to hold an audience’s attention for 90 uninterrupted minutes.
Skip to next paragraph
The Year of Hoping for Stage Magic (March 4, 2007)
Vanessa Redgrave and Joan Didion, Working on a Merger (May 26, 2006)
'Year of Magical Thinking, The,' by Joan Didion: 'The Year of Magical Thinking': Goodbye to All That (October 9, 2005)
Featured Author: Joan Didion

But while my eyes never left Ms. Redgrave, I was also never free of a nagging dissatisfaction. I never felt I knew who this woman was. The big emotions register luminously. But do they connect with the portrait of someone who was described on the night of her husband’s death by a hospital social worker as “a pretty cool customer”? Much of what Ms. Didion depicts in her book is the state of self-preserving numbness that descends in crisis.

Ms. Redgrave doesn’t do numb. She never seems more naturally herself here than when she is quoting, radiantly, from the medieval poem “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.” As an artist she works on a heroic scale. Ms. Didion is a miniaturist, even when her subjects are vast.

And though many of the experiences and feelings described are universal, you cannot separate the impact of the book from Ms. Didion’s identity as a writer.

This is an early passage from the memoir: “As a writer, even as a child, long before what I wrote was to be published, I developed a sense that meaning itself was resident in the rhythms of words and sentences and paragraphs, a technique for withholding what it was I thought or believed behind an increasingly impenetrable polish.”

The dynamic in the book arises from the tension between this impenetrable style and the emotions that war with it, that mock its elegant self-containment. That Ms. Didion never abandons those careful, chiseled sentences paradoxically leads us straight to the feelings beneath them.

When she describes, after a day of trying to keep herself composed and detached, finding to her surprise that she is crying, we know just how she feels. As readers we’ve been ambushed by a sorrow that was always there but that we were trying to deal with as dispassionately as the narrator.

That tension has not been translated to the stage. Ms. Redgrave sounds all the emotional notes in the play clearly and articulately in its first sequences, meaning there’s no further journey for her to take us on.

The consolation is that Vanessa Redgrave is Vanessa Redgrave, and she has her own means of plumbing depths. Watch, for example, the attention she gives to a bracelet on her arm, and how she develops it. It will break your heart.

There is no doubt that she is a great artist. So is Ms. Didion. The problem with “The Year of Magical Thinking” is that their artistry pulls in different directions.


By Joan Didion, based on her memoir; directed by David Hare; sets by Bob Crowley; costumes by Ann Roth; lighting by Jean Kalman; sound by Paul Arditti; production stage manager, Karen Armstrong; associate director, B T McNicholl. Presented by Scott Rudin, Roger Berlind, Debra Black, Daryl Roth and the Shubert Organization, Stuart Thompson and John Barlow, executive producers. At the Booth Theater, 222 West 45th Street, Manhattan; (212) 239-6200. Through Aug. 25. Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes.

WITH: Vanessa Redgrave (Joan Didion).

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 9, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 9, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Certain religions whose names I won't mention have given prayer a bad name. It has come to be associated with sentimentality, desperation, delusion, greed, and wishful thinking. But I prefer to define prayer as an intention to align your emotions and thoughts with the highest possible good. Can you give that definition a whirl? I hope so. It's Big Wild Prayer Week, a time when you will have an extraordinary ability to get in sync with almost unimaginably catalytic currents of cosmic beauty and truth.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Solsbury Hill"


"Solsbury Hill"

Climbing up on Solsbury Hill
I could see the city light
Wind was blowing, time stood still
Eagle flew out of the night
He was something to observe
Came in close, I heard a voice
Standing stretching every nerve
Had to listen had no choice
I did not believe the information
(I) just had to trust imagination
My heart going boom boom boom
"Son," he said "Grab your things,
I've come to take you home."

To keep in silence I resigned
My friends would think I was a nut
Turning water into wine
Open doors would soon be shut
So I went from day to day
Tho' my life was in a rut
"Till I thought of what I'd say
Which connection I should cut
I was feeling part of the scenery
I walked right out of the machinery
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" he said "Grab your things
I've come to take you home."
(Back home.)

When illusion spin her net
I'm never where I want to be
And liberty she pirouette
When I think that I am free
Watched by empty silhouettes
Who close their eyes but still can see
No one taught them etiquette
I will show another me
Today I don't need a replacement
I'll tell them what the smile on my face meant
My heart going boom boom boom
"Hey" I said "You can keep my things,
they've come to take me home."

Monday, August 06, 2007

i dreamed of St Stephen

St. Stephen

One of the first deacons and the first Christian martyr; feast on 26 December. In the Acts of the Apostles the name of St. Stephen occurs for the first time on the occasion of the appointment of the first deacons (Acts 6:5). Dissatisfaction concerning the distribution of alms from the community's fund having arisen in the Church, seven men were selected and specially ordained by the Apostles to take care of the temporal relief of the poorer members. Of these seven, Stephen, is the first mentioned and the best known.

Stephen's life previous to this appointment remains for us almost entirely in the dark. His name is Greek and suggests he was a Hellenist, i.e., one of those Jews who had been born in some foreign land and whose native tongue was Greek; however, according to a fifth century tradition, the name Stephanos was only a Greek equivalent for the Aramaic Kelil (Syr. kelila, crown), which may be the protomartyr's original name and was inscribed on a slab found in his tomb. It seems that Stephen was not a proselyte, for the fact that Nicolas is the only one of the seven designated as such makes it almost certain that the others were Jews by birth. That Stephen was a pupil of Gamaliel is sometimes inferred from his able defence before the Sanhedrin; but this has not been proved. Neither do we know when and in what circumstances he became a Christian; it is doubtful whether the statement of St. Epiphanius (Haer., xx, 4) numbering Stephen among the seventy disciples is deserving of any credence. His ministry as deacon appears to have been mostly among the Hellenist converts with whom the Apostles were at first less familiar; and the fact that the opposition he met with sprang up in the synagogues of the "Libertines" (probably the children of Jews taken captive to Rome by Pompey in 63 B. C. and freed hence the name Libertini), and "of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia" shows that he usually preached among the Hellenist Jews. That he was pre eminently fitted for that work, his abilities and character, which the author of the Acts dwells upon so fervently, are the best indication. The Church had, by selecting him for a deacon, publicly acknowledged him as a man "of good reputation, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). He was "a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost" (vi, 5), "full of grace and fortitude" (vi, 8); his uncommon oratorical powers and unimpeachable logic no one was able to resist, so much so that to his arguments replete with the Divine energy of the Scriptural authorities God added the weight of "great wonders and signs" (vi, 8). Great as was the efficacy of "the wisdom and the spirit that spoke" (vi, 10), still it could not bend the minds of the unwilling; to these the forceful preacher was fatally soon to become an enemy.

The conflict broke out when the cavillers of the synagogues "of the Libertines, and of the Cyreneans, and of the Alexandrians, and of them that were of Cilicia and Asia", who had challenged Stephen to a dispute, came out completely discomfited (vi, 9 10); wounded pride so inflamed their hatred that they suborned false witnesses to testify that "they had heard him speak words of blasphemy against Moses and against God" (vi, 11).

No charge could be more apt to rouse the mob; the anger of the ancients and the scribes had been already kindled from the first reports of the preaching of the Apostles. Stephen was arrested, not without some violence it seems (the Greek word synerpasan implies so much), and dragged before the Sanhedrin, where he was accused of saying that "Jesus of Nazareth shall destroy this place [the temple], and shall change the traditions which Moses delivered unto us" (vi, 12 14). No doubt Stephen had by his language given some grounds for the accusation; his accusers apparently twisted into the offensive utterance attributed to him a declaration that "the most High dwelleth not in houses made by hands" (vii, 48), some mention of Jesus foretelling the destruction of the Temple and some inveighing against the burthensome traditions fencing about the Law, or rather the asseveration so often repeated by the Apostles that "there is no salvation in any other" (cf. iv, 12) the Law not excluded but Jesus. However this may be, the accusation left him unperturbed and "all that sat in the council...saw his face as if it had been the face of an angel" (vi, 15).

Stephen's answer (Acts 7) was a long recital of the mercies of God towards Israel during its long history and of the ungratefulness by which, throughout, Israel repaid these mercies. This discourse contained many things unpleasant to Jewish ears; but the concluding indictment for having betrayed and murdered the Just One whose coming the Prophets had foretold, provoked the rage of an audience made up not of judges, but of foes. When Stephen "looking up steadfastly to heaven, saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God", and said: "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God" (vii, 55), they ran violently upon him (vii, 56) and cast him out of the city to stone him to death. Stephen's stoning does not appear in the narrative of the Acts as a deed of mob violence; it must have been looked upon by those who took part in it as the carrying out of the law. According to law (Leviticus 24:14), or at least its usual interpretation, Stephen had been taken out of the city; custom required that the person to be stoned be placed on an elevation from whence with his hands bound he was to be thrown down. It was most likely while these preparations were going on that, "falling on his knees, he cried with a loud voice, saying: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (vii, 59). Meanwhile the witnesses, whose hands must be first on the person condemned by their testimony (Deuteronomy 17:7), were laying down their garments at the feet of Saul, that they might be more ready for the task devolved upon them (vii, 57). The praying martyr was thrown down; and while the witnesses were thrusting upon him "a stone as much as two men could carry", he was heard to utter this supreme prayer: "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit" (vii, 58). Little did all the people present, casting stones upon him, realize that the blood they shed was the first seed of a harvest that was to cover the world.

The bodies of men stoned to death were to be buried in a place appointed by the Sanhedrin. Whether in this instance the Sanhedrin insisted on its right cannot be affirmed; at any rate, "devout men" -- whether Christians or Jews, we are not told -- "took order for Stephen's funeral, and made great mourning over him" (vii, 2). For centuries the location of St. Stephen's tomb was lost sight of, until (415) a certain priest named Lucian learned by revelation that the sacred body was in Caphar Gamala, some distance to the north of Jerusalem. The relics were then exhumed and carried first to the church of Mount Sion, then, in 460, to the basilica erected by Eudocia outside the Damascus Gate, on the spot where, according to tradition, the stoning had taken place (the opinion that the scene of St. Stephen's martyrdom was east of Jerusalem, near the Gate called since St. Stephen's Gate, is unheard of until the twelfth century). The site of the Eudocian basilica was identified some twenty years ago, and a new edifice has been erected on the old foundations by the Dominican Fathers.

The only first hand source of information on the life and death of St. Stephen is the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-8:2).

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 2, 2007

Capricorn Horoscope for week of August 2, 2007

Verticle Oracle card Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Here are a few of the improvements I expect you to have accomplished by the end of August: a panoramic view of what's beneath the tip of the iceberg; a more useful relationship with obsession; the cutting of a knot that has tied you up for far too long; the resurrection of a seemingly extinct dream; the beginning of the end of what you love to hate; and hot discussions about the Three Things That Have Rarely or Never Been Talked About.