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Minet’s Beasts of Burden Roam USC’s Gyre: The Plastic Ocean through 10/10/15

October 5, 2015

Cynthia Minet, “Predator: Falcon”, 2014, post-consumer plastic, fasteners, LEDs.

While some people think that contemporary art is garbage, the current show at USC is made of garbage–literally. Read more…

53 Interesting Facts About The Number 53: poem 53 by e.e. cummings (for Larry Levine)

October 4, 2015


This year I am doing a weekly writing experiment about the number 53. This week’s interesting fact about the number 53 is the poem “53′ by e.e. cummings from his 1954 collection,  100 Selected Poems. 

I decided I wanted to find a poem to honor the life and work of Lawrence Levine who was shot by one of his students on October 1, 2015. This post is dedicated to Larry Levine, and to my colleagues at community colleges across the country who keep their hearts open in the wake of this tragedy.

Like Lawrence Levine, I am a community college teacher of writing who is a poet and loves the outdoors. Unlike Lawrence Levine, today I am alive while Larry is dead —killed by a student who shot his professor in their classroom as well as a number of his classmates before dying of a self-inflicted gun shot.

I chose this poem after looking at verses and poems numbered or titled 53 including ones from Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman before selecting this one by e.e. cummings:

may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
for even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile

“53” by E.E. Cummings, from 100 Selected Poems. © Grove Press, 1954 as posted on The Writer’s Almanac.

Read more…

Sotomayer: Value of Dreams to Aspire, Measure of Success What We Do Today

September 30, 2015


In her book My Beloved World, Sonia Sotomayer says that,

“Experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of the their becoming true.

Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.

That will, wherever it finally leads, does at least move you forward. And after a time you may recognize that the proper measure of success is not how much you’ve closed the distance to some far-off goal but the quality of what you’ve done today.”


Today my students and I will take to the field again — this time, to Ventura’s Color Garden located near City Hall on Poli Street near Chestnut and Fir, then we will walk up behind City Hall to the Botanical Garden.

In both places, they will learn about dreams, old and recent, and they will discuss dreams: dreams of a world without naturimages-1e deficit disorder, of Nowtopias full of community gardens and bicycle kitchens —

and you are invited.

Read more…

Here’s How to #StandwithPP for #PinkOut Today 9/29 for Planned Parenthood

September 29, 2015


Did you hear THAT? The #PinkOutThunderclap? It happened today, Tuesday 9/29–at noon EDT and at 9am PDT– on social media? Did you feel it?

Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards testified before Congress this morning — and she is the only witness in a politically-motivated hearing meant to attack Planned Parenthood. And while she’s taking the fight to Capitol Hill, millions of women’s health champions just like you will be rallying across the country in support.


5 Ways you can #PinkOut
1 Post a #PinkOut selfie. (Wear something pink!)
2 Pink Out your profile picture on Facebook.
3 Donate (today only, your gift will be MATCHED up to $50,000!)
4 Wear something pink.
5 Share your own Planned Parenthood story with the world.

6. Blog about #PinkOut and share your blog post on social media.

Why should YOU join ME to #PinkOut? Planned Parenthood is threatened with defunding because of lies, misinformation, and a bogus, misleading video and various other campaigns12019933_1893190557573004_5080777632181220489_n.

Here are some facts about what Planned Parenthood is and what it does: Read more…

53 Interesting Facts About The Number 53: 53′ Ganesha and the Lunar Eclipse

September 27, 2015


In my hunt for 53 interesting facts about the number 53 to share on 53 Sundays this year, I have traveled to many surprising and unexpected places uncovering historic facts, trivia, songs, and books. With today both a supermoon blood moon lunar eclipse and Lord Ganesha’s birthday, I wondered what I would find about the number 53.

This lunar eclipse will last over 5 hours from start to finish; on the west coast, the eclipse begins even before the moon rises!

Pacific Daylight Time on Sunday September 27, 2015
Partial umbral eclipse begins: 6:07 p.m.
Moonrise 6:39pm
Sunset 6:43pm
Total eclipse begins: 7:11 p.m. PDT
Dark 7:37pm
Greatest eclipse: 7:47 p.m. PDT
Total eclipse ends: 8:23 p.m. PDT
Partial eclipse ends: 9:27 p.m. PDT

As the Moon becomes engulfed in Earth’s shadow, the faint red color results from blue sunlight being more strongly scattered away by the Earth’s atmosphere. Because this is the full moon closest to the fall equinox, it is also a Harvest Moon.

APOD says that “Total eclipses of supermoons are relatively rare — the last supermoon lunar eclipse was in 1982, and the next will be in 2033. Tonight’s supermoon total eclipse will last over an hour and be best visible from eastern North America after sunset, South America in the middle of the night, and Western Europe before sunrise.”

Read more…

California Wine Month and Sunset Savor

September 26, 2015

Gwendolyn Alley aka Art Predator:

Art Predator is on the PROWL for California Wine Month at Sunset Savor on the central coast!! Will you be there too?

Originally posted on wine predator:


What better way to celebrate the final weekend of California Wine Month than to attend Sunset Savor in the heart of California’s central coast wine region to taste local food and wine?

Today I am driving up to Santa Margarita to attend  The Main Event where I will experience an “epicurean and adventure playground”! Sounds perfect for a Wine Predator like me

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Introducing Darlene Love: LA 9/20/15

September 25, 2015
Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, we headed south to LA to see Darlene Love at the Whiskey A Go Go. She is no longer 20 Feet from Stardom (see review of the documentary here  and last Sunday night I was less than 20 feet from the STAR Darlene Love!  Many celebrities came out for the show, and I even got a photo of me with Blondie drummer Clem Burke. My friend and frequent guest blogger Ron Wells also attended the show and here’s his review:
Phil Spector may be locked up in prison, but Darlene Love has been set free from near anonymity by Steve Van Zandt to sing and glory in all that her God-filled soul can muster.
Sunday night at the world famous Whiskey A Go Go in Hollywood, CA., Ms. Love and Mr. Van Zandt put on a passionate show of new and old songs celebrating the release of her new album, “Introducing Darlene Love,” which was produced by Steve.
The night got off to a somewhat frustrating start with the doors opening at 8:00 PM, but with the opening act canceling, Darlene and her band did not come on stage until 10:15 PM due to contract obligations. Thus, there was a lot of standing around and waiting.
But then the magic began as Steve, Darlene and the 19 other musicians took to the stage.

Read more…



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