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    June 22, 2008

    George Carlin Dies at Age 71

    George Carlin passed at Saint John's Hospital at age 71. He had heart problems. I will remember him as the risqué comedian with a raspy voice and criticism towards nearly everyone. And everything. Click and enjoy his wit.

    June 15, 2008

    Today Is Father's Day, Sooo...

    Maybe you weren't raised with a father or a grandpa. Today is the official Father's Day in the USA. I would like to thank Nicolas F. Rouquette, my husband and devoted father to our child, Gabriel Francis Harris-Rouquette. He has been very present in Gabriel's school life ever since I became handicapped nearly nine years ago. We are not disgruntled parents. We happen to have been  raised abroad, I in Rio de Janeiro, he in France, where schools are far superior to SMMUSD's, when one studies hard to get into the crème de la crème schools, in Rio or in France.

    Gn_9162006_samoband


    If SMMUSD were a "District of Excellence," the incidents  regarding Tim Walker's cavalier attitude affecting special education students' needs and the dismissive administrative attitude regarding a child molester, known to be so since 2006, would not have happened at all. Especially at a so-called Blue Ribbon School, Lincoln M.S.

    Hugo Pedroza lied and so did Terry  Sakow, C.E.O. of SAMOHI and marching band director, resppectivey. We have phone call records and e-mail, tons of them, to prove we got in touch with Pedroza and Sakow. Sakow even addressed this story of the re-hazing of my  son at a meeting. For Pete's sake, nobody will raise a hand here?

    Just send us a card with your best wishes. That is the best you could do. Happy Father's Day to all. Click to see the Boston Pops play "Stars and Stripes Forever."

    Narciso_21107_2

    June 01, 2008

    Yves St.Laurent, the Top 60s Fashion Designer

    We had just finished watching "The Devil Wears Prada" and moving on to dessert, a grapefruit for me, when I went to my mail and was shocked. Yves St. Laurent, the most famous and hippest clothes designer in the 60s is dead at 71.

    I'll leave you with a Canadian link since there's nothing yet in the USA press.
    You can look at all the varied clothes he designed for us beasts of fashion to wear.

    https://multimedia.cyberpresse.ca/ysl/index.html

    Inside the package there's a eulogy by Catherine Deneuve.

    See you later!

    April 29, 2008

    Zefa, Jo Harris, My Mommy

    Some say it's unnatural for a mother to lose a child. A child is lost in so many ways, into the world, drugs, radical politics, clubbing, religious sects, whoring. What is hard for me to cope with is the have to embedded in dying. There is no choice, no coming backs. It's an obligation external to our will.

    Right now I am in distress for other reasons. The stuff we need to do. Emily Dickinson tells you about it better than I can. Please no flowers or phone calls.
    Mommy hated cut flowers. I'll post when the mass will be, here in Santa Monica. Maybe I'll go to Twitter later on. Now I have to rest a little.

    1078

    The Bustle in a House                                   O Ir-e-Vir em uma Casa
    The Morning after Death                               A Manhã após a Morte
    Is solemnest of industries                              É atividade a mais solene
    Enacted upon Earth --                                  Executada na Terra --

    The Sweeping up the Heart                          Varrer o Coração
    And putting Love away                                 Armazenar o Amor
    We shall not want to use again                     Que voltaremos a usar
    Until Eternity.                                            Só na Eternidade".
       
    Emily Dickinson
     


    Mommy, in her best allumeuse smile, at 81 years of age.
    Mommy_2

    April 11, 2008

    Uschi Drolc - Sunshine in the Rain

    In the fall of 1981, I met the first and only Chicano I would meet in Brazil, Jorge. In the summer, on a rainy evening, I got a phone call from the interstate bus station. It was a German woman asking for shelter. She was 19 and her name was Uschi Drolc. Jorge had given her my number. I felt sorry for her and that is how she entered my life.

    Uschi was weird for Brazlian women patterns.  Her short hair, lack of make-up, clothes, one silk dress which belonged to her grandmother and a pair of battered jeans and polo shirt. She may have arrived in the rain, but she became literally the sunshine at a very difficult time.

    Uschi cooked and purchased food  from the small shop on the corner,
    sliced  pineapple, which is an expression for a big problema. At night, when I arrived from work, summer school, there she was waiting for me, and we would go out into the Carioca night.

    She was quiet. She observed what was going on and kept to herself. A friend of mine didn't understand her when he gave her a fruit and she kept it in her dress pocket. Uschi lived with me for a few months. Then she left, but we wrote each other often. She decided to study linguistics impressed by my passion for the subject. I feel flattered. She went into theoretical linguistics, especializing in African languages. You can feel wowed as I do, like Christopher Walken likes to say it on SNL, "Wow!"

    She came see me in 1991. I was expecting my son. It was summer, her favorite time of the year. She would sit in my little apartment garden and her toddler daughter would freak me out with all her activity.

    We met twice. In 1999, the year I fell sick forever, it seems, I went to see her in Germany. She had had cancer and a boy, a beautiful boy, who strangely resembled my son. Now it was her husband who spoiled her, cooking and shopping daily. I got to know all of the surrounding areas: the tomb of Wagner and his dog's; Ludwig's palaces, which were a dream of mine to see live. When I saw Neuschwanstein, a scream of joy came out, "Oh! Disneyland's castle!"
    Uschi sternly corrected me, "Ludwig's castle Disney copied."  Oopsie! Ludwig was criticized for what now is the pride and largest source of income for Bavaria: his sumptuous castles.

    We had a beautiful dinner in an opera house built facing the castle. The opera stage was great, and the story was the Sensucht of Ludwig. This short visit to Germany was one of the best in tourism in my life, although Uschi's illness scared me a bit.

    In 2003 we met in NYC, where I saw her one last time. I found her different. I didn't know back then she had had a remission. She was pampered and a bit more aloof than usual. She dragged me to the DIA-Beacon, an installation museum I wouldn't have known about. Uschi had a clip from a German newspaper.  It was beautiful. That visit and the show we saw starring Nina Hagen are etched forever in my mind.

    I got to know through her family she was fighting bravely a metastasis of the original cancer. I knew no candles I lit would save her, but I lit them, anyway.

    My friend passed away shortly after her January 3 birthday, at 47. We all miss her quiet wit and contributions to African linguistics.Ud By Tina OIticica Harris.

    April 04, 2008

    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech on Vietnam

    "And this is all I have to say about that." (Forrest Gump)

    November 04, 2007

    Bye Bye Brasil - A Tribute to Anisio Medeiros

    Anisio Medeiros was my professor at Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, FAU-UFRJ.  He taught at the Escola de Belas Artes, too. A set designer, costume designer, art director and architect from Piauí, a state ridiculed before Acre took its place as motif of scorn, Anisio was a genius ahead of his time. And because I loved all films in which he worked, and heard viva voce his stories on how the set was designed (or improvised) or how the costumes were created from scratch, I dedicate this gathering of souvenirs to him.
    Bye Bye Brasil has been released here, with subtitles, not bad of a subtitling job, on DVD. Read the NY Times review by Vincent Canby at a click on Bye Bye Brasil above. The film is by Cacá Diegues, who belonged to Cinema Novo and made a cool transition to a Tropicalist æsthetic code in Bye Bye Brasil. Caravana Rolidei is a poor circus on wheels trio, then a quintet. The Rolidei is a phonetic version of Holiday. They seek towns where TV (Globo) hasn't arrived yet, the hypnotic power of a TV set worshiped up in the main square of little towns.

    The æsthetic motif of the costumes is great. A hairdo that twinkles with Xmas lights, the clothes of the poor, of the Native-Brazilians, all of it is political in a subtle way, sending us to the days when the Redeemer(coup d'état 64-85) built pharaonic roads, gold was found in the Amazon, but I am moving to the set design. Oh, well. The choices of places in Brazil is perfect: the riverbank town, the palm trees by the ocean, the burned and had Amazon (in 1980!) and Brasília, the destination of poor migrants straight into favelas.

    I don't want to spoil the film for you. All I want you to know is this is genius if you are interested in Brazil or Brasil.  Cacá Diegues bittersweet good-bye to a Brasil that becomes a Brazil and a Caravana Rolidei that becomes a Caravana Rolidey, with a y, letter inexistent in Portuguese, sum up the Tropicalist message: we devour the foreign products but spit out something different, the message of cultural cannibalism that knows no boundaries. Click here for a great article on this film.

    None of what you see in this film and in so many other ones would have been possible without Anisio Medeiros. I was a poor draftsperson with a pencil. He made me the model for our B&W classes. Scorning the Oiticica which follows anyone in the Oiticica family, he would announce to all,

    "We can't start the class without Tina Harris."

    I remembered him due to my cybertroubles with passwords and nicknames. He would tap the floor with one foot, impatiently, while I finally arrived, late as usual, holding a cigarette, ready for my modeling time. The best souvenirs I have of Anisio Medeiros are of his sharing with us how he designed scenes improvising, as in Macunaíma, where foam was modeled to look like meats in a gigantic black bean casserole. Others are catty gossip which dies with him and us, his fave students. Finally, I did learn a lot of tricks in color techniques, from the precise names of colors to how to obtain them. Watercolor is about transparency, pastels are about several layers over each one of them. It is impossible to replicate our color sessions. I cannot fathom students sitting under a freeway in a dangerous area of downtown in order to capture how luminous a poor area can look. Or on the streets of downtown Rio anywhere nowadays.

    I take my hat off to Anisio Medeiros, thank my schoolmate who refreshed some memories of him this morning and encourage you to watch this and all other films he participated in. A fine art director, genius in improvising, with peculiarities that make him a star in an era of constellation of architects teaching at FAU-UFRJ, Anisio Medeiros, wherever he is, for my friend remembered him today, too, will be tapping his shoe for a long wait, I hope,
    waiting for Tina Harris, some day, some time. Just a taste of Bye Bye Brazil for you.

    October 09, 2007

    John Lennon - He'd Be a Mature 67 year-old today

    My friend kept reminding me:  October 9, John Lennon's birthday. He'd be 67 today.

    Click on John Lennon here.  Thanks.

    September 07, 2007

    Braziiiiiilllllllll! To Samba

    Vai passar is a traditional samba in the format of those in Carnaval parades. This samba-enredo tells of Brazilian history (it tells a plot over and over, the enredo, albeit in slight musical variations.) My favorite instrument is the tambourin and its sharp t-t-t-t--t--t.
    Chico Buarque de Hollanda was persecuted by the generals till the very end of their rule, in 1985.

    Vai passar can be construed as

    • it's temporary or
    • it's about to parade, aka, passar.

    I chose this video exactly because it's lipped-synched. Chacrinha, in his tropicalista delirium, was able to insert a whole mini-set of a samba club, including baianas, percussion... Let's see why the French love Brazil. And why women love Chico.

    Lyrics to sing along, sway along to Chico Buarque's Vai Passar.© Educational purposes only.
    Toureiffel2

    September 06, 2007

    Click to Gold and Green Tour Eiffel

    After   Brazil lost twice to la France, they can be nice.Click to see the images.  Awesome.  It'll be lit or off after midnight. Then it'll be the 7 de setembro: -Lit till 12a.m. FR

    "Independence or death!"

     

    https://www.paris-live.com/paris_webcam/