Monday, July 28, 2014
Wednesday, July 23, 2014
|@2014 Dreamworks and Harpo|
There aren't too many movies without violence, profanity or gratuitous nudity. There are even fewer movies that tell a story with crisp dialogue. Shot in France and India with diverse languages without subtitles, this is the pure art of telling a story. Through Le Cordon Bleu, I had the honor of an advance screening of The 100 Foot Journey, starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri. The goal of art is to touch you, from a place you can draw off of your own experiences. For those who haven't read the book, you might have fresh eyes looking at this movie, where there are few surprises, and you have a story arc of tragedy and triumph. It IS a "feel good" movie, with another illustration about following your dreams, but also defining your own success and following your heart.
For those of you who read the book, I don't think you will be disappointed as this work translated well to the screen. The rhythm of the dialogue was completely natural, the silent reactions involved the audience. The audience got what they wanted to see, transformation of characters, the clash of cultures as one family emigrates from one nation to another as we grow more culturally diverse wherever we are.
Personally, I loved how it reminded me of my travels abroad, so my nostalgia was sweetened. This movie opens on 8 August, so foodies will love seeing the displays of technique and plating. If you are in the culinary world, perhaps it might remind you that the kitchen is a real place of magic. I am very fortunate to be in school, learning from some incredibly talented chefs that do speak to me about the heart and soul of the kitchen. The very act of creation is something I never get tired of.
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Today I had a random conversation with an anonymous stranger who said, "I left Facebook for 6 months and I felt so much freedom. It was like I got my life back." I didn't ask why she went back on, but considered a key remark, "I was so happy." We are in an age of self promotion, tweeting, texting, posting and to a lesser extent, even blogging all about the me, myself, and I...the importance of self and obsess over
what seems to be 'important'. Eleanor Roosevelt is often cited for this quote, "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." Lately, I have been wondering about our world getting so focused on the 'self'. This 'self-importance' that seems to be all about what we can get, what we can do and who we can have in our lives. So lately, I have just tuned out the drama of social media of all types and put my ear to the ground.
Sitting out on the street, drinking a libation or two and minding my own business, sort of, with intrusions of conversations that would wander past. Was Eleanor Roosevelt right or would I hear street philosophers cut through the white noise or garbled thought?
Uptown Minneapolis is a road show of avatars. You see the flash of fashion plates, the indie goth, the 1980 Yuppies, Sid and Nancy punkers, Illustrated men and women, your transitional people, trangenders, fettish people, bikers, desperate housewives, afraid of dying mid-life crisis guy with daughter/girlfriend, visiting UK tourists and then there's me. The native who returns home to see that Uptown Minneapolis is still the same, stuck in the 1980s and somehow is viewed as 'cutting edge'. This is why we are the inspiration for "Portlandia'.
Uptown is uptight when it comes to being Politically Correct and incredibly sensitive about offending anyone. You can find the uptight conservative Harley guy with leather and chains that hugs his M-16 at night sitting next to a guy named "Sue" who used to be a gal with black light tattoos and gages and piercings to ward off personal contact from anyone. The strange and bizarre is glorified with a latte and a vegan lettuce wrap from a sustainable farm to table food truck that is powered by solar energy.
Politics are discussed in hush tones, though it's really no secret that the city is Democratic and the state is Republican. It's kind of dysfunctional, because there is a kind of 'us vs. them' mentality though no one really knows who is 'us' and who is 'them'. Like I said, I am invisible here. I wasn't abroad, or at least when I was in Asia, I tried to be invisible, but was forced to accept the fact that I was going to stick out no matter where I went. It was a good exercise in self acceptance. Here, it's too easy to get comfortable with not being 'anything special'.
When I went abroad, one thing that amazed me was that due to our television industry, I became aware that I shattered the minds of many because of the image of America that is blasted all over the world. "You're not fat, lazy, uneducated, chasing money or (insert favorite stereo-type here of a white middle-aged former military woman, who is divorced with hispanic last name and graying hair)." When we bust up an image that is assigned due to our lack of time (we aren't going to know everyone in the world). We profile people each and every day and we often rely on the views of others to give us a snapshot of how it is.
So, in my small minded way, I have discussed people, events, ideas and myself, because the world is composed of all of it. I am not justifying anything. I am not defending our condition. I am not even saying that Eleanor Roosevelt is wrong or right. We are human and we discuss what we see, what we don't see and what we would like to see. We are still little children that are learning the difference between our wants and needs. We die and a new generation goes through it all again and so on it continues until one day we get it. Hopefully the stuff we don't need doesn't get passed on to future generations and the ideas we do need makes it into the future. Perhaps that is what Eleanor Roosevelt meant for us to glean from this remark, however, she never said this quote. It's one of our great myths. The earliest citation is quoted as an unknown sage. Whenever there is an 'unknown sage' or street philosopher, it's a reminder that wisdom or common sense doesn't need an author, it just needs to be practiced.
So whatever is written about, places, ideas, people, good food or art...it's all related.
Saturday, June 14, 2014
|"I Don't Love You"|
|My mother hated flowers|
For those of you who have been through war, it's kind of a form of survivor's guilt. It's hard to explain, but, the reality is, it's like reliving a living hell all over again. After I wrote, "An Appearance of Glass", I had self published it because I had no desire to promote it and I wanted to use my pain in a positive way. It was a release. I shared it with my brother and he wrote the introduction and with his permission, I included it in the work. From a safe distance, we view each other and really only know only the faintest outline of each other's lives. My brother has come out with his own book and had hoped that our sister would write the third part, which she has no desire to complete that work, quite possibly for the same reason I can't see my brother again. Our pain thresholds are all different. I don't hate him, but my wounds are very deep and it would be inappropriate to open them again.
Regarding his work, I am not going to say that this is a work of art. I am not also going to say it's horrible. It's a rendering, that reminds me of medicine. The kind of medicine that is part of an individual's healing process to let others know that it's possible to go forward. It's a survivor's account that gave a person permission to go forward with his life, but I have to be honest, it angers me. I cannot say why. I feel there has been no resolution and parts that lack personal ownership until much later on. I do hope, sincerely hope, that this man does take ownership for his life at long last, and begins to thrive in ways that he only dreamed of.
This may appear to be too personal to post. The response is a mirror reflection of the work rendered. The work was very personal. The response, proportional in manner since my name was cited. My recommendation for the public to read it or not carries no weight. People will do as they will and wonder what the hell this was all about for a micro-second of their lives and move on.
Friday, June 13, 2014
|Walk with me...|
|Pork Egg Rolls with scallions and cilantro|
|A Taste of Southeast Asia|