Summertime

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I was surprised that Katerine Hepburn could bore me. In Davide Lean’s Summertime (1955) she did. Hepburn plays Jane, an American secretary on her dream vacation in Venice. She’s dreamed of this trip for years and has a lot of energy and high expectations. Soon Jane’s pouting because her trip isn’t as idyllic as she hoped. She doesn’t have any horrible mishaps like getting robbed or sick so to me she just needed to look for some alternatives. Maybe she should go out for a day with the American couple who seemed a bit corny, maybe she should go to a different city or get a tour guide over the age of 10 instead of the urchin who looked about 6, had no shoes, spoke English better than a lot of Italian university students and who spoked cigarettes, which Jane gave him. (That was something you wouldn’t see today. Jane didn’t spoke on screen ever, but had a pack and bargained with this ragamuffin for.)

Jane does bump into an handsome Italian, Renato in the Saint Marco’s Square and the next day happens to go into Renato’s shop. There’s clearly some attraction, but Jane’s awfully standoffish despite her severe loneliness which makes it impossible to enjoy Italy.

About half of the film consists of Jane moping, which made it drag. Eventually, Renato pursues Jane, who soon discovers he’s married. At that revelation, Jane wants to end things, but she’s so lonely.

Ugh!

Jane had built this trip up in her mind so much that it was destined to disappoint. When she talks of home, it’s not as though she hates it. We’re not sure why she never married. She does mention going to a real ball as teen so she’s had opportunities for romance apparently.

Renato continues to pursue her and responds with pat answers to questions about his wife and children. Jane could do better. I hoped she’d end things with Renato.

All in all, I found the film dull despite Hepburn’s ability to be clever and energetic.

Sepia Saturday

Sepia Saturday Theme Image 470 : 18 May 2019

I admit the last two Sepia Saturday prompts stumped me, but this one I’ve got. I had no problems finding photos of glorious ships from the past.

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Library of Congress, circa 1915

I’d love to take a voyage in one of these.

Västra Götaland, Göteborg, Göteborg, Västergötland, Övrigt-Sjöfart

Swedish National Heritage Board, 1933

O Captain! My Captain!

O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done,
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won,
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring;
But O heart! heart! heart!
O the bleeding drops of red,
Where on the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

O Captain! my Captain! rise up and hear the bells;
Rise up—for you the flag is flung—for you the bugle trills,
For you bouquets and ribbon’d wreaths—for you the shores a-crowding,
For you they call, the swaying mass, their eager faces turning;
Here Captain! dear father!
This arm beneath your head!
It is some dream that on the deck,
You’ve fallen cold and dead.

My Captain does not answer, his lips are pale and still,
My father does not feel my arm, he has no pulse nor will,
The ship is anchor’d safe and sound, its voyage closed and done,
From fearful trip the victor ship comes in with object won;
Exult O shores, and ring O bells!
But I with mournful tread,
Walk the deck my Captain lies,
Fallen cold and dead.

Walt Whitman

Photograph

Australian Maritime Museum, 1915

On the Notre Dame Fire

After the horrible fire that’s destroyed much of Notre Dame Cathedral, I’m thankful that I’ve been able to see the cathedral and am noting which cultural sites I’ve put off seeing. I though Notre Dame would always be around. When a building’s been around for centuries, you take their existence for granted. It’s easy to forget that “this too shall pass” applies to everything.

At the top of my list is Chartres Cathedral. I’ve been to Paris and think of visiting Chartres, and wind up postponing it till “next time.”

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I’ve never been to Greece and I would like to see their ancient ruins.

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Monestary, Lisbon

I’ve never been to Portugal, but would to see Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém in Lisbon.

Though I lived rather close I never visited Koyasan, a temple town in western Japan.

 

Tell Me Something Good

monday-morning-inspiration-quotes-e1442491467149Tell Me Something Good is a simple challenge that prompts bloggers to share a nugget of positive news or wisdom and it’s started by the creator of A Momma’s View.

So for all of you who would like to play along and stick to the rules, here they are:

  • I enjoyed the neighborhood Monday cocktail (or wine), appetizers and conversation. I love that the neighbors or a few of them gather regularly in the summer months. Everyone brings their own drink and an appetizer to share.
  • I’m getting excited and planning my short trip to New York in a few weeks. I’ll be going to my sister’s wedding on the 26th and will be there till the 30th.
  • I’ve been enjoying volunteering at two different libraries. In Northbrook, I get to help out in the maker space and at Skokie I’m helping in Readers’ Service and A/V. In both areas I am learning a lot.
  • I savored the elegance of Gilded Age portraits like these at the Drieshaus Museum’s member’s preview of their newly opened exhibit.

It’s easy:

Mention something that you consider being good in the comments

• Or write a post about it on your blog (please don’t forget the pingback if you do so I don’t miss out and also share the link to it in the comments below). Something good that happened to you recently, or something good you will experience in a little while, or something good you know will happen soon. Something that makes you feel good.

• Share this post and invite your followers as well.

 

On the DPRK

On Thursday I attended a lovely dinner as a thank you for my volunteering to interview candidates who wish to teach English in Japan. One of the other guests regaled us with stories of his trip to North Korea last year. He was the only American on his tour as this was right when Otto Warmbier died. Prior to the trip, all tourists were given a chance to get a full refund and cancel, but this young man figured as long as he followed the rules, he’d be safe.

Here are some facts I learned:

  • You must always, even in private conversation call Kim Jong-Un, the “Supreme Leader.”  His father, Kim Jong-Il, whom he succeeded, must be referred to as the “Dear Leader.” The Supreme Leader’s grandfather is referred to as the “Eternal Leader.”
  • Upon arriving at the airport, travelers go through a thorough security check of your bags.
  • Foreign travelers must use either US dollars, Euros or Chinese RMB. It’s illegal for them to have the local currency.
  • If you have a newspaper with a photo of the Supreme Leader on it, you can not fold the paper.
  • When you take a photo of a painting of poster of the Supreme Leader, you must take his full body. You can not leave out an elbow, ear, etc. It has to be 100% of what’s pictured.
  • The tour covered the countryside and there all the farm animals, mainly goats, but a few cows , were emaciated.
  • The best food he had the whole time was scrambled eggs and tomatoes. Most food was tasteless.
  • In the capital city, Pyongyang, the group stayed in a 5 star hotel, that surprisingly he said was the most luxurious hotel he’s ever stayed in. For the Japan Exchange Teaching Programme, upon arrival in Tokyo, teachers stay in a 5 star hotel so it’s not as though this man’s never stayed in a good hotel.

 

WPC: Awakening

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Awaken with Cappuccino, Taipei

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Awaken Pancakes, Jinan

Not many signs of spring here yet, but everyday I like to awaken with some coffee and breakfast.

1. Each week, WordPress will provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts: