Birthday blowout!

Birthday blowout!

Birthdays, ah, we love them, but do we? They’re inevitable, some are good, some are weird, and some are long-awaited. We can’t wait to reach thirteen.

WOW, finally—I’m a teenager!

A teenager at thirteen doesn’t seem to make much difference except we begin to feel grown-up, and start to notice our parents are becoming disagreeable.
Then there’s that sweet-sixteen party for the girls, leaving the boys out in the cold unless they get invited. Well, that’s a piece of cake to figure out, we can dance with them. If they don’t know how we can teach them.

But wait, isn’t eighteen grown up? We get to drive. That’s the driving age in Brooklyn and New York City—and vote. Both driving and voting are huge responsibilities. The day my driver’s license arrived in the mail—I couldn’t wait to open the envelope—’PASSED.’

Dad danced with me when I showed him my shiny new license. “Good job, now I want you to pick up your mother at work, she gets off at 5:00 pm.” She worked on 47th and Broadway in New York at a place they make dungarees, Blue Bell. I did it! I took the Belt Parkway to the Gowanus Expressway and over the Manhattan Bridge, and I drove back the same way with my Mom in the car. “Good Job,” she said.

The other biggie, voting. We choose all kinds of governmental people, like the President of the United States. You’ve almost forgotten all the fun you had at your sweet sixteen, dancing with the boys, eating goodies and blowing candles out on your cake–and now you can vote? Have you been following the presidential candidates and the promises to their country, their philosophy, and their skills to make appropriate decisions that will affect the people and you?

Are you busy graduating from high school, and choosing a college, be it virtual or not? I don’t know—the responsibilities of an eighteen-year-olds’ are daunting, aren’t they?

Should I go on? What happens at twenty-one, turning thirty, or even forty, supposedly over-the-hill? I don’t think there’s an over-the-hill anymore. We are healthier than ever. We exercise, make our hearts more robust, and our lungs better to fight off dangerous viruses.

In this house, we’ve seen fifty, sixty, seventy, and even eighty. Life has gotten better and busier, and okeydokey as daddy used to say. We win contests for writing, for dancing, for fashion. We promote healthy products for Beautycounter, the most innovative and forward-thinking company in the USA!

Where will it all end? In heaven, I guess. I’m just too busy. Heaven can wait.

My current books

 

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST

ANGELFor your reading pleasure, the classic story about the Ghost of Christmas Past . . . which reminds me to have joy and peace, to be kind, loving, patient, generous, good and faithful. Remember Scrooge?

Scrooge, the old miser, was a squeezing, scraping, clutching old sinner. He hated Christmas, and said it was nothing but “humbug.” He refused any Christmas dinner invitations, and slammed the door to anyone asking for donations to help feed the poor. He couldn’t stand giving his workers time off for Christmas, but did it because they would quit if he didn’t.

original illustration

Original 1843 illustration by John Leech

The Ghost of Christmas Past is the first of the three spirits to haunt Ebenezer Scrooge. This angelic spirit shows Scrooge scenes from his past that occurred on or around Christmas, in order to demonstrate to him the necessity of changing his ways, and to show him how he came to be a bitter, coldhearted miser.

Ebenezer-Scrooge

Ebenezer-Scrooge

After showing up in Scrooge’s house, the Ghost of Christmas Past takes his hand and flies with him over London. He first shows Scrooge his old boarding school, where he stayed alone but for his books, while his schoolmates returned to their homes for the Christmas holidays.

Scrooge

The spirit also shows Scrooge the Christmas Eve when, as a young man, his beloved fiancee Belle ended their relationship upon realizing that he now cared more for money than he did for her.

What do each of the three spirits in A Christmas Carol represent?

The Ghost of Christmas Past represents memory.  By taking Scrooge through the different stages in his life, the Ghost of Christmas Past is showing Scrooge that he was once able to love and that he once cared about others.  But as he ages, Scrooge is shown how much less compassion he has for people, as well as how much more greedy he has become due to his lust for money.

achristmascaroldickens1225The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come represents death.  It is Scrooge’s fear of death that finally seals his fate and makes him change his ways.  More literally, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come represents the difference between heaven and hell, showing Scrooge how awful his life will be if he continues living the way he is, compared to how his life used to be when he had more compassion for the human spirit.

A_Christmas_Carol_-_Mr._Fezziwig's_BallIn the present, Scrooge is shown people enjoying themselves.  Scrooge never enjoys himself, and he realizes that Christmas Present symbolizes happiness and joy found in togetherness.  All of the people are poor, yet “content to be so” and happy to have each other.  Scrooge is stunned to see that his clerk has a crippled son.

episode_01_534x300“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.” Scrooge does better than his word, and becomes a second father to Tiny Tim and a good friend to the Cratchits.  He also becomes a good Uncle.  Scrooge realizes, seeing the present as he did, that he has a ready-made family.  All he has to do is open his heart to them.

Here are the last two pages from the original book, A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens, pp115-116 (public domain-from the Library of Congress)

But he was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only be there first, and catch Bob Cratchit coming late! That was the thing he had set his heart upon.

And he did it’ yes, he did! The clock struck nine. No Bob. A quarter past. No Bob. He was a full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come into the tank. His hat was off before he opened the door; his comforter too. He was on his stool in a jiffy; driving away with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock.

“Hollo!” growled Scrooge, in his accustomed voice, as near as he could feign it. “What do you mean by comin here at this time of day?”

“I am very sorry, sir,” said Bob. “I am behind my time.”

“You are?” repeated Scrooge. “Yes. I think you are. Step this way, sir if you please.”

“It’s only once a year, sir,” pleaded Bob, appearing from the tank. “It shall not be repeated. I was making rather merry yesterday, sir.”

“Now, I’ll tell you what, my friend,” said Scrooge; “I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,” he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the tank again—“ and therefore I am about to raise your salary!”

Bob trembled, and got a little nearer to the ruler. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it, holding him, and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait waistcoat.

“A Merry Christmas Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back.

“A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year. I’ll raise your salary, and endeavor to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob! Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit!”

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive form. His own heart laughed; and that was quite enough for him.

He had no further intercourse with spirits, but lived upon the total abstinence principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us every one!

The End

If you click this: “The Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens, written 1911, you can read the book and enjoy all the illustrations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST

Angels all around . . .

 

My angel is all caught up in the holiday spirit. No matter what I say, she insists on coming shopping with me to point out all the flickering lights, the toys, the wrappings . . . all this while dancing around the Christmas trees and saying to have joy and peace, and to be kind, loving, patient, generous, good and faithful. She says, “Remember Scrooge?

 

Scrooge, the old miser, was a squeezing, scraping, clutching old sinner.” He hated Christmas, and says it is nothing but “humbug.” He refused any Christmas dinner invitations, and slammed the door to anyone asking for donations to help feed the poor. He can’t stand giving his workers time off for Christmas, but does it because they would quit if he didn’t.

The Ghost of Christmas Past is the first of the three spirits to haunt Ebenezer Scrooge. This angelic spirit shows Scrooge scenes from his past that occurred on or around Christmas, in order to demonstrate to him the necessity of changing his ways, and to show him how he came to be a bitter, coldhearted miser.

After showing up in Scrooge’s house, the Ghost of Christmas Past takes his hand and flies with him over London. He first shows Scrooge his old boarding school, where he stayed alone but for his books, while his schoolmates returned to their homes for the Christmas holidays.

The spirit also shows Scrooge the Christmas Eve when, as a young man, his beloved fiancée Belle ended their relationship upon realizing that he now cared more for money than he did for her.

Thethe three spirits in A Christmas Carol represent?

The ghost of Christmas past represents memory.  By taking Scrooge through the different stages in his life, the ghost of Christmas past is showing Scrooge that he was once able to love and that he once cared about others.  But as he ages, Scrooge is shown how much less compassion he has for people, as well as how much more greedy he becomes due to his lust for money.

The ghost of Christmas yet to come represents death.  It is Scrooge’s fear of death that finally seals his fate and makes him change his ways.  More literally, the ghost of Christmas yet to come represents the difference between heaven and hell, showing Scrooge how awful his life will be if he continues living the way he is, compared to how his life used to be when he had more compassion for the human spirit.

In the present, Scrooge is shown people enjoying themselves.  Scrooge never enjoys himself, and he realizes that Christmas Present symbolizes happiness and joy found in togetherness.  All of the people are poor, yet “content to be so” and happy to have each other.  Scrooge is stunned to see that his clerk has a crippled son.

“I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.” Scrooge does better than his word, and becomes a second father to Tiny Tim and a good friend to the Cratchits.  He also becomes a good Uncle.  Scrooge realizes, seeing the present as he did, that he has a ready-made family.  All he has to do is open his heart to them.

Here are the last two pages in the original book, A CHRISTMAS CAROL by Charles Dickens, pp115-116 (public domain-from the Library of Congress)

A CHRISTMAS CAROL—THE END OF IT

 

But he was early at the office next morning. Oh, he was early there. If he could only be there first, and catch Bob Cratchit coming late! That was the thing he had set his heart upon.

And he did it’ yes, he did! The clock struck nine. No Bob. A quarter past. No Bob. He was a full eighteen minutes and a half behind his time. Scrooge sat with his door wide open, that he might see him come into the tank. His hat was off before he opened the door; his comforter too. He was on his stool in a jiffy; driving away with his pen, as if he were trying to overtake nine o’clock.

“Hollo!” growled Scrooge, in his accustomed voice, as near as he could feign it. “What do you mean by comin here at this time of day?”

“I am very sorry, sir,” said Bob. “I am behind my time.”

“You are?” repeated Scrooge. “Yes. I think you are. Step this way, sir if you please.”

“It’s only once a year, sir,” pleaded Bob, appearing from the tank. “It shall not be repeated. I was making rather merry yesterday, sir.”

“Now, I’ll tell you what, my friend,” said Scrooge; “I am not going to stand this sort of thing any longer. And therefore,” he continued, leaping from his stool, and giving Bob such a dig in the waistcoat that he staggered back into the tank again—“ and therefore I am about to raise your salary!”

Bob trembled, and got a little nearer to the ruler. He had a momentary idea of knocking Scrooge down with it, holding him, and calling to the people in the court for help and a strait waistcoat.

“A Merry Christmas Bob!” said Scrooge, with an earnestness that could not be mistaken, as he clapped him on the back.

“A merrier Christmas, Bob, my good fellow, than I have given you for many a year. I’ll raise your salary, and endeavor to assist your struggling family, and we will discuss your affairs this very afternoon, over a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop, Bob! Make up the fires, and buy another coal-scuttle before you dot another i, Bob Cratchit!”

 

Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more; and to Tiny Tim, who did not die, he was a second father. He became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew, or any other good old city, town, or borough, in the good old world. Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh, and little heeded them; for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset; and knowing that such as these would be blind anyway, he thought it quite as well that they should wrinkle up their eyes in grins, as have the malady in less attractive form. His own heart laughed; and that was quite enough for him.

 

He had no further intercourse with spirits, but lived upon the total abstinence principle, ever afterwards; and it was always said of him, that he knew how to keep Christmas well, if any man alive possessed the knowledge. May that be truly said of us, and all of us! And so, as Tiny Tim observed, God bless us every one!

The end.

 

Original 1843 illustration by John Leech

 

This link below is for the book “The Christmas Carol.” It’s all ok to use, I will use this link in my blog. It’s a sweet book.

http://1.usa.gov/1TjLrkz

SEATING PRETTY

SEATING PRETTY

Sit yourself down my dear, in your favorite chair, do not fret, do not sweat, for all you cherish is beneath your seat.

Kitchen Chair 16x16x32"

The crème de la crème is from the 1988 Harry N. Abrams, Inc “397 Chairs” collection. The “Kitchen Chair” by artist Sylvia Netzer. The chair is made of steel tubes, silicon and  found objects.

The almighty chair we all take for granted is not always what we expect. For the last two weeks we have discussed the talented, think-out-of-the-box, architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. His architecture reached new heights (oops, an unintended pun) of creativity and function. He designed the interior to reflect the exterior in design, use of materials and function. His seating was accommodating, but uncomfortable with its too deep seats and too stiff backs.

Dining Chair Robie House

All seating must have some pitch to the backs to allow for butt space. But not too much then you will see dangling feet. It is important when getting seating to test your best not only for pretty, but also for fitting your purpose.

Frank Lloyd Wright, Architect of Horizontality, designed this dining chair for the FLW Robie House in Hyde Park, Chicago. See what I mean by back pitch in the drawings below.

The Boynton Dining Chairs now being manufactured by Copeland were designed for the E. E. Boynton House in Rochester, New York. Mr. Boynton wanted comfortable seating for his guests, so Wright designed a chair back with a compound curve in it that would support a person’s shoulders and give lumbar support for the lower back. Lacking the technology to actually create the compound curved panel, the design was relegated to Wright’s archives for the last 100 years.


Let’s take a last long look at a really comfortable chair. The good old Club Chair.

Tony Cenicola/The New York Times

With James permission here he is in his fav chair…James Kaston, of Remains Lighting, NYC with his cat, Pinky, in his antiques-filled apartment in Stuyvesant Town. Besides his Pinky, the cat who has gone on to pinky heaven, James loves his Napoleon III chair. Can you see enough to get the idea of comfort for your weary soul, pardon, I mean seat?

Have you experienced seating that you can’t wait to get out of and run away as fast as you can? Like, how many of you sit and relax at White Castle, like our stockbroker friend who couldn’t fit?

Until next week…more U-know…wrapped around another story.

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