Monthly Archives: February 2011

Is it art? Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares, it’s fun!

Is it art? Maybe. Maybe not. Who cares, it’s fun!.

Was thrilled when Lynn Colwell included me in this recent blog post on her Celebrate Green blog.

And since I just discovered another Up With People alum who also makes similar kinds of creations, it seemed cosmically karmic to pass it on!

This is the first time I’ve “pressed” another blog into mine — but won’t the last!


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Is Cupid cool?

  I’ll admit it, I’m a romantic. I cry over mushy movies, go misty-eyed when I see octogenarians holding hands, and my heart melts when my husband of nearly thirty years presents me with something completely unexpected (even if the gift might seem cheerfully cheesy to any outside observer).

That said, I’m not a big fan of the fuss and folderol of Valentine’s Day, for some reason… although in honor of the day, I did come up with eight alternative ways to celebrate, posted on my other blogging gig.

Maybe it’s personal, because February already has too much for us to celebrate (i.e., both our birthdays). Maybe it’s because it’s too commercial for my taste, and all the focus seems just a little forced. Or maybe it’s because some of the truly loving people I know remain single by choice (and they are, by traditional omission, left out of the festivities, like those unasked to dance – or not brave enough to risk doing the asking — at a junior high dance).

Of course it’s not that simple. Relationships are a tricky business, and what’s called “rising to the occasion” is usually appreciated.

I would never argue that one shouldn’t remind loved ones that you care – but NOT just today. Not just with flowers or chocolates or jewelry (though all of those are nice!)

I think there are bigger and better ways to show love: how about by overlooking some flaw in your partner… or perhaps refraining from “sharing” a critical comment? (You all know what I mean!) 

Or the next time something comes up that neither of you want to do, jumping in to do that mutually disliked task. Who can’t think of something that fits THAT bill (cleaning toilets and washing windows easily come to mind.)

How about staying healthy for each other – don’t you think the simple but unrelenting act of working out is a sign you care and want your years together to be unmarked by as much dis-ease as possible?

Such expressions for each other go a long LONG way, no matter what date’s on the calendar.

One thing I know: I prefer sincere to cynical. I think most people do.

Might not be a bad thing to remember, however you celebrate your love, today or any day.

A favorite photo from our recent trip; the reflection of the flash in the window could
be our lucky star, you think?

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Filed under Matters of the heart

2 C — Art Changes Lives

The film created by the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, “Art Changes Lives” (as discussed in my last blog post) is available on-line here! In our lives, when distractions are rampant (and my own attention span seems painfully short sometimes) I encourage you to invest the 20 or so minutes you’ll need to watch it, straight through, without any interruption.

I know you will be as moved as I was by the eloquence of Sara, Colin, Anne, Micah and Beth — I just rewatched it and again, and was brought to tears (over and over!)

Lori Regan, ISF grants manager, sent the link and asked me (and anyone who sees this post) to share the video further. Plus she had this helpful advice, which goes for just about any video coming across cyberspace:  

“As you know, viewing video online has its drawbacks. This piece was shot in high definition and is a longer piece – all of which adds up to a rather large video file for to process. In high traffic times (evenings, weekends), it’s not uncommon for video playback to be jittery or halting. The best I can recommend in that situation is to put it on pause and let the video buffer all the way through before hitting play again. It works most of the time.”

Yahoo! Anyone who wants to view the film CAN. And for me, just now, early Sunday morning, it worked flawlessly and without any buffering issues.

Enjoy! And spread the word!!!

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Filed under Cool causes, Matters of the heart, On Being Human

Art changes lives

These three simple words are the title of a 20-minute film I saw tonight, produced by the Idaho Shakespeare Festival and shown to support ISF’s educational programs as part of a Tour Launch Party (and clever fundraiser) in Boise.  

The film tells three “stories” to show that art gives direction, gives strength, and gives joy.

If I needed some inspiration before going to the State Capitol tomorrow with staff and other commissioners of the Idaho Commission on the Arts, to plead the case for funding before the Joint Financing and Appropriations Committee — well, I got it.

The first “character” in the film was a teenaged drama geek (as she called herself) who saw ISF’s “Shakespearience” at Burley High School in 1995; today she directs the educational programs that go out to schools all over the state, including rural places (like Burley and yes, Driggs) and shares the ISF stage with the woman who initially inspired her as a student.

The second story was of a young man (his mom was also interviewed on-film); this plain-spoken fellow, a former ISF “apprentice,” shared how he credits his knowledge of Shakespeare (and experience with drama classes starting as a boy) with making him a better Army medic. He earned the chuckle-worthy monikor of “PFC Shakespeare,” but seriously credits the discipline of memorizing soliliquoys with helping him learn his duties AND keep him calm while in Iraq, better able to handle the stress of military life.

The third story was told by a 13-year-old deaf boy, in sign, and his mother, who explained how important it is for him and other deaf children, to participate in Shakespeare (all ISF performances — like the event tonight — are signed.)

This outline does meager justice to the power of the film, or the whole night for that matter. For the sake of simplicity I’ve left out all the names and of course way too many details.

Every lawmaker and person who wonders at the impact of the arts on people’s lives should see this film. Art does change lives, and these three stories illuminate and articulate that power.

A true Idaho treasure: my friend Mark Hofflund, managing director of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival, chair of the Idaho Commission on the Arts, board member of the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, and recipient of the Chairman's Award from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Filed under Cool causes, Journeys..., Matters of the heart, On Being Human