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Amy F. Quincy Author/Freelance Writer

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On Art and Artists

Leave of Absence

Yesterday, I wanted to be a professional fisherman. Or not even a professional. Just a half-ass, novice, part-timer fishing for my dinner. I’ve been known to fall victim to “grass-is-always-greener” type thinking and these past months have been no different. I think it’s safe to say, that with my book finished and almost all subsequent marketing efforts put to bed, I’ve been a little depressed.

I’ve been warned about this. I remember my writing coach talking about it. It’s a real thing! Look it up. A kind of postpartum depression happens. It’s even listed in Urban Dictionary as Post-Series Depression for readers. But if readers can feel sad about an ending and miss the characters, then just imagine how the writers who gave birth to them feel! Granted, I didn’t create my mom, Frankie or myself, but the kind of self-examination required for memoir writing can leave you with a little self-doubt at the end of the process. And, much the same as anyone prone to even remotely deep thinking, I’ve been going through a “what’s-it-all-for-and-what-the-hell-is my-purpose” thing.

Yes, even me. Who, on most good days, feels my reason for being put on this earth is to impart my innermost neuroses and embarrassing foul-ups through the written word so that my readers (whoever remains anyway) can feel not so alone. Trouble is lately, there haven’t been all that many good days. Hence, my record-breaking hiatus from writing and daydreams of becoming a fisherman. Err … fisherwoman.

In the beginning of this unpaid leave of absence, say around May, I simply decided I needed another project. I dwelled on an idea for a children’s book starring a particular Pekingese pup, but that never got any traction. Then, I wondered if it was a relationship I was missing. And while my foray into the world of online dating provides lots of humorous inspiration, I’ve decided most of those mishaps are unpublishable under my real name, even for a self-deprecating writer like myself.

Then, in July, my mother took a tumble, hit her head and temporarily lost her mind. I mean for real lost her mind. At one point, she couldn’t have told you her name or how many kids she had. Long story short, it was a urinary tract infection. Turns out they can make older women crazy. I had no idea. Google it. Drink your cranberry juice, people.

Needless to say, my depression lifted. I now became consumed with hospitals, rehabs, medications and moving. The tables had turned. Or to borrow another cliche’, we had come full circle since my own debilitating ordeal. Now, my mother and I share a three-bedroom apartment. This is the important thing to remember about depression. It’s pointless. It’s futile to worry about the current state of affairs because things can always get worse.

I’m hopeful we’ve gotten through the worst of it. My mother has gotten most of her marbles back, but as many of you know, she wasn’t exactly playing with a full set anyway. And before any of you start feeling outraged on her behalf, just know I have her complete consent to write what I want. Which is good because there are some funny stories from rehab – where my mother, cooly and above it all, remarked from her wheelchair, looking at all the other old people in wheelchairs, “this is not my crowd.” She knows she is my greatest muse, just as I know and am grateful that she’s my biggest fan.

But as her fog lifts, mine begins to return. Truth is that aside from handling her finances, managing medications and removing the occasional dirty dish from the pantry, there isn’t all that much to do. I like the way my friend Matt theorized about it. My smart mind needs stimulation!

And as I gazed at the fishermen and took in the whole scene, I realized I was trying to come up with phrases to describe the way the sections of tattered seawall served as cutting blocks to their bait. Or to explain the impossible way the sun glints and sparkles off restless water using an analogy other than stars or diamonds. And so it came to me. I don’t really want to fish. I want to sit here and take it all in. Frankie relaxing on the park bench, snapping at unseen bugs, sniffing the coffee-filled breeze that rustles through the trees, the occassional train whistle or ambulance siren piercing the air.

So, I’m writing again. For now. And maybe it’ll help.

Still Speaking

In honor of this past weekend’s People’s Climate March, I’m re-running an old post. Or maybe I should say I’m re-re-running it.  It appears it’s such a personal favorite that this will be a third time viewing for long time readers. Nevertheless, now more than ever, it bears repeating…

Speaking for the Trees

I come from a long line of tree huggers.

Both my father and aunt were officers in local chapters of The Audubon Society. You know — the bird-watchers? Or, as I’ve been corrected — the birders? My grandmother is an avid birder. She has over 3,000 different birds on her master “Birds of the World” life checklist. This should impress you if you know anything about birding. I don’t. I was disappointed to find out that number is well below half of the 9,000 some odd total. Then she informed me it would raise a birder’s eyebrows. I guess I thought she’d have more. I mean, she is 94. And she’s been all over the world. Literally. She’s even looked for birds in Madagascar. The real place, not the movie!

The point is, my family likes birds. I’ve been in the car any number of times when my grandmother (or any family member, really) has hollered for whoever was driving to pull over so everyone could pile out and count the number of winged things flitting about in some ditch.

But it’s not just birds. It’s also bobcats, timberwolves, gopher tortoises, sea turtles, manatees or any other creature of the wild, particularly if it’s endangered. We like to save things. My father saved manatees attracted by the warm waters into power plants and relocated hawks or eagles off power lines when he headed up the environmental department of Florida Power & Light years ago. My stepmother is the director of a local nature center. She educates children at her nature camp and leads sea turtle walks on the beach so the public can see nesting females. She and my father have an owl cage in their backyard and frozen mice to feed it in the freezer. They were married in a swamp (nature preserve).

So with roots like these, it’s no wonder this past week’s DVD rental, The Lorax, had me in tears. A girlfriend called partway through it. “Are you watching a cartoon again?” For the record, it’s not a cartoon. It’s an animation.

And, in truth, as far as animations go — it’s no Pixar. The techniques weren’t new or unique, the writing wasn’t particularly clever and there were no catchy musical numbers. But, the message got me. I was boo-hooing by the time the last truffela tree was chopped down and the sad bears, hacking birds and oily fish were sent away by the Lorax (voice of Danny DeVito.)

I’m passionate about the environment, yes. But, unlike most of my family, I don’t feel it’s what I’m here to do. So, I’ll do the next best thing: write about it. The power of the pen.

The reason your children or grandchildren (or you yourself) should see this environmentally themed film is so we’re not raising a bunch of uncaring, money-hungry citizens of Thneedville. I see it coming in the recent Play 60 campaign done by the NFL. Children are so busy playing with Game Boys and Wii dancing that they have to be reminded to go outside! We had to be told repeatedly it was time to come in! I remember entire imaginary rooms where I played for hours in the giant ficus trees that surrounded my childhood home. How many trees are there in your neighborhood that are even climbable?

I promised myself when I started this blog that I wouldn’t get too political. But, since Superstorm Sandy, most sane people have accepted global warming as fact now, right? Even the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek reported, “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”

So, I’ll end this post with a call to action. Get on the “going green” bandwagon. I’m not the Lorax, but I do what I can. Educate your children, change your ways. Volunteer your time or give your money. There are some great organizations like The Nature Conservancy or Environmental Defense Fund that are dedicated to protecting our natural places and its creatures. And remember the wise words of the good doctor…

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

~Dr. Seuss

Loving Lobster

lobsterThere’s nothing like a good movie to get the ol’ creative juices flowing. I think art inspires art. Creativity inspires creativity. And a good movie inspires a good review.

Maybe I’m growing fond of the indie, art house type films that I’m increasingly exposed to in my new neighborhood. (We may not get mainstream blockbusters like The Secret Life of Pets, but The Lobster topped the Sun-Ray marquis for weeks.) Maybe I favor the setting – a futuristic, dystopian world. Or maybe I love that this social satire’s message seems to be –  society’s pressure to couple off leaves single people with some pretty bleak options.

The surreal tale begins as David (Colin Farrell) is left by his wife for another short sighted man. Usually devastating news anywhere, in the world writer/director Yorgos Lanthimos has created, it’s akin to a death sentence. David must now move from the couples-only city to a countryside resort where he has 45 days to secure a suitable partner or be turned into the animal of his choosing (a lobster, hence the title). Doomed guests can avoid this fate by either capturing “Loners” (an escaped band of rebels) during organized hunts, thereby extending their stay as humans or by escaping to the woods to become one of the hunted loners themselves. Aside from all the hunting, other drawbacks to the life of the loner include the complete denial of all romance, even activities as innocuous as flirting, and a chaste existence for all eternity. These are the options for a single person. (That’s all.)

Personalities of the lovelorn singles are comically summed up, with a nod to today’s online dating profiles, by a succinct “defining characteristic.” After befriending “Lisping Man” (John C. Reilly), David attempts to hide his true nature and partner up with “Heartless Woman” (Angeliki Papoulia) which ends as badly as you might expect. He then flees to the woods and soon falls in real love with a partner for which he is truly suited, “Short Sighted Woman,” (Rachel Weisz). Only now, as Loners, their love is tragically forbidden and they must plot to escape back to the city where they can live happily ever after as a matched couple.

The film is dark and disturbing, right down to its ambiguous “did he or didn’t he” ending. In bizarre, out-of-character twists, I chose to believe the bleakest outcome, based on the fact that the entire movie is a little depressing, while my mother went for the happy ending. Either way, this film can be a little much for some and is not for everyone. Personally, I loved it. Especially after a second viewing cemented the story line for me and I picked up on more of its clever concepts. It’s billed as a black comedy and I’ve even read it described as hilarious. I think only the seriously deranged could find it that funny. The best joke comes at the resort as the hotel manager explains that any new couple unable to resolve their differences will be assigned children because that usually helps. That is pretty funny, but, in my opinion, the movie is just too surreal and haunting to be hilarious. And you’re more likely to love it if you take your black comedy heavy on the black, light on the ha-has. Mom may be rubbing off on me yet. Or more likely, I just really appreciate the joke. As I said in my book, it’s a sad commentary on society when disability is a welcome reprieve from being unmarried and over the age of forty. Now that would be a really dark comedy. A society in which you must marry by forty or become crippled. Hey, maybe screenwriting’s in my future.

 

 

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May be too much for some. Depends on how dark you like your comedy. I found it heavy on the dark, light on the comedy, one of the best jokes being. Thanks to Mom, incr tolerance. And as someone known to joke that disability saved me from the social stigma of being unmarried by 40 (gasp!) I found the message not to be missed.

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Lonely Planet

the-martian-movie-posterI guess I’m the only one. At least I’m definite in my opinions, right? I mean, you wouldn’t want me to be one of those people who said it was great just because everybody said it was great, right? No one would care what she thought. Maybe I like going against the grain. Maybe negative reviews are just a whole lot easier (and more fun) to write. But, as one critic hinted at to a more positive effect, the only thing worse than being a man stuck alone on a planet is being a woman stuck alone in a movie theater watching a man stuck alone on a planet.

If you’ll pardon the double negative, I did not not like The Martian. I can’t think of any Matt Damon movie not worth at least checking out. I just got really, really bored. At two hours, twenty-one minutes, it felt a lot longer. Like watching potatoes grow. Literally.

There were the ever present shades of movies like Cast Away and Apollo 13 (much more successful movies to my mind). Like Cast Away, it was often just one man and the camera, though Tom Hanks pulled it off for much more of the movie while The Martian kept cutting back to Earth to see what the good folks at NASA were doing – usually mucking things up by playing politics. Hey, you can’t blame director Ridley Scott for trying to drum up some tension.

And who wasn’t reminded of Apollo 13 as we watched scientists tackle problem after problem while the whole world roots for everyone to make it back safe and sound? Somehow though, it was more fun watching Bill Paxton build a carbon dioxide reducing diffuser out of cardboard and some duct tape. And I know I can’t be the only person who rolled my eyes at the live broadcasts to thousands in Times Square and similar locations the world over. I’m not suggesting we wouldn’t care. It’s high drama. We certainly would care. Here. I take issue more with the sheer number and their locale. Are thousands of Chinese or Europeans really going to be glued to the action?

And no offense to the nerds out there, but I think this is kind of a geek-lovers movie. In this world, science is king and NASA execs are superheroes. I can see my dad really enjoying watching Damon make water by burning hydrogen (sorry, Dad). Or a certain friend’s father who used to help me with my chemistry homework (sorry, Mr. Barnhill). And not that I associate bad music and corny jokes with nerds, but I kinda do – and this movie has tons of both. It was somebody’s bright idea to take the running joke of the bad musical tastes of Commander Lewis (Jessica Chastain) and make those songs the soundtrack. Now, normally I like some disco music, but the only song I can stand is Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and that plays along with the end credits! Fitting. A celebration of surviving the movie. But I’m getting carried away. It wasn’t that bad.

In the end, I don’t know why some movies work and some don’t. Why Tom Hanks is funny pounding on his chest like a caveman when he makes fire but Damon is kind of corny when he poses for a satellite picture as The Fonz from Happy Days. I think Damon is a great actor. Maybe it has something to do with trying too hard. Or that it’s all been done before. You’ll have to decide for yourself. So don’t let me keep you away from the movie or the movie keep you away from the book. The book is always better.

 

 

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My Nickel’s Worth

thOkay, now that that’s over with (Valentine’s Day), we can get on to what the rest of February is all about, for me anyway. The Oscars. Next Sunday marks the 87th annual Academy Awards, and as you may have noticed, I’ve increased my value over last year’s two cent’s worth post.

That’s both because I’ve seen more of the movies and performances nominated (all the Best Picture nominees except for Selma, and many films that contain nominations in other categories) and because I value my own opinion on the subject more (thanks, Mom). As for Selma, I opted not to see it. What can I say? I’m kind of a baby. I never saw 12 Years a Slave either. I can tolerate fictional violence if it has a point, but have a harder time with true portrayals, particularly of shameful periods in history. So, without further ado — my nickel’s worth.

indexMy favorite movie of the nominees and personal pick for Best Picture is Whiplash. I’m not saying it’ll win, but I absolutely loved it. Perhaps it resonated with me so much because it appealed to my artistic side. This inspiring film carries the message that what is necessary to become one of the greats in any creative endeavor (in this case Andrew Neyman, played brilliantly by Miles Teller, aspires to be a legendary jazz musician) is a drive that eclipses all else and leaves the rest of the world questioning your sanity. I’ve had this very conversation with writer friends and personally determined that I probably don’t have what it takes to make it big. Not for lack of talent, though unbeknownst to me that may be an issue too, but because I desire to have a long, sane and balanced life!

J.K. Simmons, formally known as “that guy,” plays whip-cracking professor/conductor Terence Fletcher, who takes the concept of tough love to new heights and rattles off offensive insults with rapid, drill instructor precision. Simmons has my vote for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, though I liked Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher (is Channing Tatum too much of a hunk to even be considered?) and Edward Norton’s performance is one of the few things I actually liked about Birdman.

indexI had planned a whole separate review of Birdman called “Snobby Bird,” but as usual, time got away from me. I know, I know. A lot of people liked it. I thought it was a pretentious, artsy, load of poo. Okay, maybe calling it poo is a bit much. After all, it’ll probably win. But I’d even prefer to sit through American Sniper again! (Read my earlier review of it here.) Well, wait. I’m not sure that’s true. As a writer and wannabe film critic, I’d probably read up on Birdman and suffer through it again just to try to figure out what all the fuss is about. Am I missing something here?

What bothered me about it is that it took me back to my college days as an English major or even further back to high school drama geek days when I was surrounded by hoardes of goth-styled, eyebrow-pierced young adults all trying to prove how unique and smart they were. At first, it’s intimidating. Like being stuck wearing penny loafers in some dark, artsy dive bar on open mic night listening to spoken word poetry. But then you really listen. And realize no one’s saying anything that profound or that you yourself can’t say anyway.

So, this is how Birdman struck me. Like a rebellious teenager desperately trying to prove how clever he is, director Alejandro Inarritu dazzled us with stylistic camera shots, an annoying, almost continuous drum soundtrack and heady, superfluous dialogue that had most of the audience nodding in approval while I bet they secretly scratched their heads, particularly at Keaton’s surreal alter-ego’s antics, and wondered but what’s it all mean? I understand the dig it took at today’s audience for needing superhero fueled action and explosions versus thoughtful Raymond Carver adaptations, but I still left feeling like I needed the CliffsNotes. Or Award Nominees for Dummies. Or maybe that’s all me and I just didn’t get it. I ‘d like to think I’m fairly smart, but I guess it’s possible. That’s probably why I prefer straightforward, simple writers like Hemingway.

indeximagesFor other nominations, I like Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game or Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything for Best Actor. (In Redmayne’s case, he deserves to win for the sheer physicality it took to transform into Stephen Hawking alone.) Speaking of amazing transformations, Meryl Streep would be my pick for her bajillionth award, this time for Best Supporting Actress in Into the Woods, if it wasn’t for Patricia Arquette in Boyhood. Into the Woods, by the way, is my favorite film not nominated for Best Picture. It’ll be a shame if it doesn’t at least take home an Oscar for Costume Design. I pick Julianne Moore in Still Alice for Best Actress. No, I haven’t actually seen the movie yet so I guess I can’t say, but I just bet she’s fantastic. I won’t be unhappy if Rosamund Pike wins either. She was truly twisted in Gone Girl, while Reese Witherspoon and Felicity Jones played parts that really didn’t do much for me.

So, there you have it — my nickel’s worth. I guess you know what I’ll be watching next Sunday. It’s the only thing that could tear me away from Downton Abbey. Well, that or a movie.

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So-so ‘Sniper’

sn1I could have called this post Shoddy ‘Sniper’ but didn’t out of respect for the fact that this Clint Eastwood film is about a real person, Navy SEAL Chris Kyle’s, life and death. I’m going to go out on a limb here and risk being in the minority (particularly in the South) and say it. I absolutely did not care for American Sniper. And that’s politics aside. Really.

The way I see it, this movie breaks too many rules of writing (i.e. storytelling, which is what film is). First, the characters (and here I’m referring largely to the main character played by Bradley Cooper) fail to change, grow or otherwise learn squat. There is virtually no character arc. What little depth of character we get is infused by Cooper’s inarguably fine performance. I have no idea if the real-life Kyle was this simplistic. I didn’t know him or read the book. I might point out that the villain of the story and arch nemesis of Kyle is a Syrian sniper who is wholly sinister and similarly one-dimensional right down to his black scarf.

Second, and this is a big one to me, the audience should feel something. Now I consider myself a compassionate, sensitive person. I avoid most news programing because I’ll just get too upset. I cried in Toy Story 3 for God’s sake when all the toys joined hands in the incinerator, prepared to meet their death. And yet, I couldn’t have cared less when this movie reached its tragic (and rather abrupt) ending.

Also, I like it when literature or filmmaking manages to impart some message. But what is American Sniper about? Post-traumatic stress disorder? The horrors of war? Patriotism? The celebrating of a war hero? I, for one, have no idea. The movie manages to bring up all these topics while never quite saying … well, anything. It’s like Clint invited the girl to the prom and then refused to dance with her.

And finally, there’s the problem I struggle with in my own writing. How to tell the story without the audience in mind. I read (in Vanity Fair’s January 2015 edition) that Chris Kyle’s father said to Eastwood and Cooper, “disrespect my son and I’ll unleash hell on you.” Now, how true a character portrayal are we supposed to get after a threat like that? But that’s assuming ‘Sniper’ set out to give us one anyway, which it clearly did not. That’s why it’s safer to invent fiction than to tell a story based on true events. Do I worry about familial reaction to my book? Sure I do. But my writing coach insists I should tell my truth. As I see it. This is the artist’s challenge. Eastwood obviously didn’t choose to accept it.

I’m not saying you should skip ‘Sniper’, although I toyed with that title, too. The storyteller and movie buff in me thinks any Best Picture nominee is at least worth checking out. If you do see it, make sure to look for the laughable fake robotic baby scene. You can’t miss it. Besides, two and a quarter hours (even if it does feel more like three) spent watching Bradley Cooper – how bad can that be?

 

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His Verse

Robin Williams 7/21/1951 - 8/11/2014
Robin Williams
7/21/1951 – 8/11/2014

Everyone I know is sad today. Robin Williams’ passing is so shocking, so unexpected. But, not really. Not when you consider that he battled for years with addiction and depression. I heard a mental health professional on the news give advice that bears repeating. She said (and I’m paraphrasing,) “Mental illness is so widespread. You never know what someone else is dealing with. So, be kind to one another.”

Robin Williams left behind so many roles we will cherish. My favorite of his movies, as you may know, is Dead Poets Society, (read my previous blog) followed closely by Mrs. Doubtfire. And of the many wonderful quotes, consider this one from Dead Poets Society (or watch in on You Tube). “We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race, and the human race is filled with passion. Medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman: ‘Oh me! Oh life! of the questions of these recurring, Of the endless trains of the faithless, of cities fill’d with the foolish … — What good amid these, O me, O life? Answer: That you are here — that life exists and identity, That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.’ That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?”

His verse was enormous. And wonderful.

 

 

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Summertime Series

The LoraxOne of my favorite movies of all time, The Lorax, is playing Friday night, August 1st, as part of Community First’s Night Owl Cinema Series at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre (www.staugamphitheatre.com). It’s FREE family fun and everyone should see this Dr. Seuss classic at least once.

 Check out my original post:

Speaking for the Trees

I come from a long line of tree huggers.

Both my father and aunt were officers in local chapters of The Audubon Society. You know — the bird-watchers? Or, as I’ve been corrected — the birders? My grandmother is an avid birder. She has over 3,000 different birds on her master “Birds of the World” life checklist. This should impress you if you know anything about birding. I don’t. I was disappointed to find out that number is well below half of the 9,000 some odd total. Then she informed me it would raise a birder’s eyebrows. I guess I thought she’d have more. I mean, she is 94. And she’s been all over the world. Literally. She’s even looked for birds in Madagascar. The real place, not the movie!

The point is, my family likes birds. I’ve been in the car any number of times when my grandmother (or any family member, really) has hollered for whoever was driving to pull over so everyone could pile out and count the number of winged things flitting about in some ditch.

But it’s not just birds. It’s also bobcats, timberwolves, gopher tortoises, sea turtles, manatees or any other creature of the wild, particularly if it’s endangered. We like to save things. My father saved manatees attracted by the warm waters into power plants and relocated hawks or eagles off power lines when he headed up the environmental department of Florida Power & Light years ago. My stepmother is the director of a local nature center. She educates children at her nature camp and leads sea turtle walks on the beach so the public can see nesting females. She and my father have an owl cage in their backyard and frozen mice to feed it in the freezer. They were married in a swamp (nature preserve.)

So with roots like these, it’s no wonder this past week’s DVD rental, The Lorax, had me in tears. A girlfriend called partway through it. “Are you watching a cartoon again?” For the record, it’s not a cartoon. It’s an animation.

And, in truth, as far as animations go — it’s no Pixar. The techniques weren’t new or unique, the writing wasn’t paticularly clever and there were no catchy musical numbers. But, the message got me. I was boo-hooing by the time the last truffela tree was chopped down and the sad bears, hacking birds and oily fish were sent away by the Lorax (voice of Danny DeVito.)

I’m passionate about the environment, yes. But, unlike most of my family, I don’t feel it’s what I’m here to do. So, I’ll do the next best thing: write about it. The power of the pen.

The reason your children or grandchildren (or you yourself) should see this environmentally themed film is so we’re not raising a bunch of uncaring, money-hungry citizens of Thneedville. I see it coming in the recent Play 60 campaign done by the NFL. Children are so busy playing with Game Boys and Wii dancing that they have to be reminded to go outside! We had to be told repeatedly it was time to come in! I remember entire imaginary rooms where I played for hours in the giant ficus trees that surrounded my childhood home. How many trees are there in your neighborhood that are even climbable?

I promised myself when I started this blog that I wouldn’t get too political. But, since Superstorm Sandy, most sane people have accepted global warming as fact now, right? Even the cover of Bloomberg Businessweek reported “It’s Global Warming, Stupid.”

So, I’ll end this post with a call to action. Get on the “going green” bandwagon. I’m not the Lorax, but I do what I can. Educate your children, change your ways. Volunteer your time or give your money. There are some great organizations like The Nature Conservancy or Environmental Defense Fund that are dedicated to protecting our natural places and its creatures. And remember the wise words of the good doctor…

“UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

~Dr. Seuss

 

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Maya Angelou 1928-2014

maya

“Find a beautiful piece of art. If you fall in love with Van Gogh or Matisse or John Oliver Killens, or if you fall love with the music of Coltrane, the music of Aretha Franklin, or the music of Chopin – find some beautiful art and admire it, and realize that that was created by human beings just like you, no more human, no less.”

~ Maya Angelou

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