December 2007


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Oh it is that time of the year, when our culture of consumerism is in full swing. It is not about the birth of Jesus but about what brand name are you going to get for whom. Hmm….well, shopping…I am guilty of it…but there is something to be said about this. Despite your views on consumerism, this is the time to make the people you care about feel special. Special to you!!! So if you care about someone or you might think of them highly even a Holiday Card goes along way.

There is nothing more disappointing than realizing that a person who you thought cared about you…really doesn’t. And it is not that you only care about the people that give you gifts, is the meaning behind that. The fact that you took time out of your busy schedule to think about that one person to get them something or make them something so they feel special. That in it by itself…its priceless…

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My street during the first strom

Well, Rhode Island has gotten slammed this past week with two storms and one on its way. Given that I am a Miami girl, it has been an interesting experience to say the least. Let’s just say I have never been this cold in my entire life. I have concluded I not only like but really loveeeeeeee hot weather. And I will take any hot humid super sticky Miami day over any cold freezing RI day.

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My Neighbor’s house

So 10 Things I have learned and done this past week are:

1. Snow Angels…there is a whole technique to it…and they are lots of fun
2. Shoveling snow…not fun…and my back is sore
3. When snow falls is called “dumping”…
4. If it snows, and then it rains and then the temperature drops again…everything will freeze. So make sure you dig your car out and take all the snow off before it freezes or you will be stuck.
5. Driving on ice is like skating in ice but in your car
6. If it snows leave your wipers up, so they don’t freeze
7. Shoveling ice is not fun…at all…except when you are picking at it with your roommate…I couldn’t stop laughing the whole time
8. If you are going to make Christmas cookies make sure you get enough ingredients for 3 batches just in case you mess them up. That way you don’t have to run to the supermarket again…cause you might not be able to leave the house and also don’t forget to have enough milk in the fridge.
9. Pick and shovel the ice off the driveway, if not your car will get damaged
10. Do not wear heels on the ice…cause you WILL fall.

So my winter discoveries are continuing. I tell ya, it is funny just to even get dressed in the morning. But hopefully, (I am praying) this Sunday I will be able to leave New England and head south to beautiful and really warm Miami…because I far as I am concerned, I like Santa in a bathing suit better…

PS. Playing soccer in the snow is fun and also drinking is highly encouraged during winter storms…. 🙂

When I went to Los Angeles this past November my dear friend J and I took the big city by surprise. We decided to visit the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) and the Ghetty Museum—all in one weekend.

First off—MOCA (Grand Avenue)

I am not a big fan of contemporary art. I will admit that. So this probably is not a fair review of this museum. The museum is just a few blocks away from the Walt Disney Concert Hall. As we walked in, we veered to the right and began our experience.

Given that J is also a cynic about modern art, we made a lot of jokes. The first exhibit we saw was by Cosima Von Bonin. Quoting MOCA, they describe Von Bonin as:

“One of the most influential and compelling artists working in Germany today, Cologne-based artist Cosima von Bonin (b. 1962, Mombasa, Kenya) has, over the last 15 years, worked in a wide range of media—including sculpture, photography, textile “paintings,” installation, performance, film, video, and music—often combined together in large-scale installations. Drawing freely from a broad range of sources—such as the work of other artists, popular and vernacular culture, television, fashion, and Hip-Hop and Techno music—her art explores these different forms of cultural expression in an open, fluid approach that embraces both relationships and contradictions.”

We also saw the works of Gordon Matta-Clark. MOCA describes him as “Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure is a full-scale retrospective of one of the key figures to emerge in the generation of artists that followed minimalism. During the brief but highly productive ten years that he worked as an artist, and even more so since his death at the age of 35, Gordon Matta-Clark (1943–78) has exerted a powerful fascination on artists and architects who know his work.”

Honestly, the one piece J and I liked the most were these photos taken of the electric plug at the museum. Let me describe it to you—there was this hallway with nothing on the walls. The floor was made of this plastic resembling a Lego. And in one of the walls there was an electric plug. So they took a picture of that, and then they took another picture of the same thing and they made an effect like you were looking into one of those mirrors were the image was shown repeatedly over and over, but here they only did it twice. Anyways, it was interesting to look at.

Like I said, I am not a big fan of modern art, but the one thing that I realized at MOCA is that beauty is everywhere. Even in the things that we don’t think are beautiful, there is a mysterious beauty in that. So it is up to us to really discover that beauty in our surroundings.

MOCA Museum
250 South Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
http://www.moca.org

Second stop: The Getty…

Now, the Getty Museum is located up on a hill next to the 405 highway that overlooks pretty much the whole city. On a clear day, the views are spectacular. On foggy day, like the day that we went, well, I was lucky to see J next to me. The fog was so thick…but I loved it regardless. The outside of the museum is just stunning to look at. Parking is at the bottom of the hill and you take a train that takes you to the entrance. Surrounding all the different buildings of the museum are a gorgeous array of gardens. This place is truly romantic. Perfect date place…

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A view of the gardens and the Pacific Ocean covered by the thick Marine Layer fog

We saw two travelling exhibits at the Getty. The first one was “Medieval Treasures from the Cleveland Museum of Art”. The first thing that surprised me was that the Cleveland Museum of Art had such an extensive medieval collection, the second thing that surprised me was how comprehensive the collection actually was. This collection is actually renowned for its early Christian, Byzantine and medieval European art. It includes rare examples of decorative works of gold and silver, armor carved ivories, enamels, sculpture, paintings, and illuminated manuscripts from the third through the sixteenth centuries. The collection is organized by time periods and it is well explained. So even if you don’t purchase the audio tour headphones, you can still follow it. J and I were truly surprised and taken aback by this collection. It was impressive!!!

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The second exhibit was a photography exhibit. I have this love for photography that it is all bottled up inside of me, and I’m sure one day it will come out. For now, I like to go see photo exhibits. Two photographers were showing their work. Edward Weston and Luc Delahaye.

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Pretty pond at the Getty

Edward Weston was born in outside of Chicago in 1886. He lived a significant portion of his life Glendale (outside of LA). He embarked on an independent career in photography and became a very influential photographer to some of the greats like Ansel Adams. Many of his pictures were exhibited and he had a unique approach to angles.

The other photographer (and the one J and I really wanted to see) was Luc Delahaye. He is a photojournalist working for magazines such as Newsweek. Delahaye has photographed some of the most important events in recent history. I must say his exhibit was too small, but still delightful. All the prints were large and just told the story without even having to know the situation. My favorite piece was the “Registration of Internally Displaced People in Eastern Chad”. The image was taken in 2007 and it is 281.9 x 137 cm. The contrast between the dresses of the ladies and their skins and the facial expressions of pain in their faces it is just mind bottling. You can see their story without them talking to you. Truly inspirational. Loved it completely!!!

For a look at the exhibit please follow this link.

The Getty
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, California 90049
http://www.getty.edu

And so, in a city of Angels that so many like to judge as superficial in nature, there are many non superficial things to do. That is the thing about LA, in all its grandeur and monstrosity, there is something for everyone. And I mean everyone.

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Bogotá at sunset

So in the past few days I have been sort of uninspired to write anything meaningful. I mean I could have written about plenty of negative things, but I want to write about positive ones instead.

So today, while drinking my morning coffee I stumbled upon an article from the New York Times appropriately titled “The 53 Places to Go in 2008.”

Oh, how I like to dream about the places where I will go next year. The experiences, the good times, just the mere discovery of a new place excites me.

I included just the names below. A surprise was my own native city of Bogotá (#21).

Some places that I am interested in going to next year, Tunisia (#3), Maldives (#7), Puerto Vallarta (#12), Prague (#14), Quito (#15), Tuscany (#19) and Mozambique (#31) among others…

Who knows what this New Year will bring…but at least some interesting prospects are panning out…

The 53 Places to Go in 2008

1 LAOS
2 LISBON
3 TUNISIA
4. MAURITIUS
5. MID-BEACH, MIAMI
6. SOUTH BEACH, MIAMI
7. MALDIVES
8. DEATH VALLEY
9. COURCHEVEL
10. LIBYA
11. HVAR
12. PUERTO VALLARTA
13. SYLT
14. PRAGUE
15. QUITO
16. LIVERPOOL
17. MUNICH
18. IRAN
19. TUSCANY
20. ANGUILLA
21. BOGOTÁ
22. PLAYA BLANCA, PANAMA
23. ALEXANDRIA
24. MAZATLÁN
25. ST. LUCIA
26. OSLO
27. BUENOS AIRES
28. RIMINI, ITALY
29. MALAWI
30. ROATÁN
31. MOZAMBIQUE
32. KUWAIT CITY
33. VERBIER
34. LOMBOK
35. NORTHWEST PASSAGE
36. EASTER ISLAND
37. VIRGIN GORDA
38. NAMIBIA
39. SAN FRANCISCO
40. DETROIT
41. ITACARÉ, BRAZIL
42. KILIMANJARO
43. ALGERIA
44. SAN DIEGO
45. MÁLAGA
46. PUERTO PLATA
47. LONDON
48. VIETNAM
49. ESSAOUIRA
50. LAS VEGAS
51. BAROSSA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA
52. TOKAJ, HUNGARY
53. NEW YORK

Busy times, busy times, I tell you. Vacation was great, but since I have been back to work it has been non-stop. This past week I have been dealing with a lot of legal issues at work. Not pertaining to me, but to the company in general. Specifically, we have been dealing with definitions. And that got me thinking about how important definitions in our lives are.

So how important is to have your life defined? Some people thrive in ambiguity while others are quite the opposite. As far as I am concerned, I like things mostly defined. I like to know what my paycheck will be, I like to know where I am living and working, I like to know who my friends are, and I like to know if I have a boyfriend or not. I like to talk about things and just know where I stand. Some though, I have noticed, like things UN-DE-FI-NED…do we really need to define our relationship??? Ahhh…how frustrating…

So in my eternal research for definitions in the United States legal code, I find myself asking, is all this work worth it? Is it worth putting this much energy and thought into knowing where you stand? Hmmm…I still think so…

Well, I have been MIA from my blog for almost a week. It has been a busy time to say the least. Soon I will post something more meaningful, but for now I saw this quote today and I liked it…

“Nothing happens unless first we dream.”

-Carl Sandburg