Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cornwall Halloween House Not to be Missed

This is Old West Point Road…

A forsaken, forgotten dead end road near Kendridge Farm.

No one ever trick or treats here…so no one ever sees.

HEY! Is that a witch in the trees?

Let’s get a little closer…

Yep, that's a witch, all right.

I wonder if Charlie Brown will be here later, waiting for the Great Pumpkin?

As darkness falls, the pumpkins glow, sparking to life.

The skeleton bones chatter in the trees...

Chris Kelly, take a bow!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Autumn in the Garden

Today is a chilly, grey day - it finally feels like Fall! I had expected to be writing this morning, but instead spent the entire morning poking around, raking and preparing the garden for the winter. While I was at it, I clipped armloads of dried hydrangeas to bring into the house. LOVE this time of year!

Friday, October 26, 2007

My Neopet's halloween costume

Yes, I actually spent $10 on PayPal to buy Halloween clothes and accessories for my NeoPet. I have one of the best Halloween collections in Neopia (I've been working on it for five years - takes time to earn the neopoints to buy those rare items!). And, since I hope people will come to see Halloween Gallery, I decided that Harper Lee (my neopet) simply had to be dressed for the occasion.

Click on this link to have a look. Cute, right?
Harper Lee's Halloween Costume

And by the way, if you want to see my Halloween Gallery on neopets (username is booradley2121), be sure to log in through Internet Explorer and have the sound UP, to get the full effect.

Happy Halloween, everybody!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Role for Al Gore in Obama White House?

I have to say, this is a very intriguing thought. I can't really get behind Gore as President, but wouldn't he be a fabulous vest pocket advisor? Or a senior cabinet role.....

Role for Al Gore in Obama White House? MSNBC.com

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lord & Taylor's Lily White World

Posted from my mobile phone

Every train station in New York is currently plastered with billboards for Lord & Taylor's fall campaign. The scenes are very Ralph Lauren - shot on the lawn of an elegant, imposing country estate, selling a nostalgic, British-accented, invitation-only world. Though this kind of tailored clothing is not my thing, I can appreciate the powerful art direction of the campaign. They are effectively marketing a lifestyle, not just selling another tweed jacket with a velvet collar.

What is shocking, however, is that there is not a single non-white person in any of the ads. In fact, not only is everybody white, they're all Northern European and fair-skinned. I've just walked the length of the platform, scrutinizing all 8 scenes, certain that I'd eventually come across a suitably snooty, long-necked, stunningly beautiful equestrienne of African-American descent...or a Latino rugby player handsome enough to rival Reynaldo...but no. Nada.

Who exactly do the geniuses at Lord & Taylor think lives in New York? Have they paid any attention to the list of young, affluent, minority professionals who contributed the initial cash that jump-started Barack Obama's campaign and vaulted him into the position of being a credible, national contender? For goodness sake - look at the cover of Oprah's "O" magazine. She's living the landed gentry lifestyle that they're simulating in their ads.

These billboards reek of nostalgia for the days when the "club" was exclusively White. They are an insult to everyone who lives in our rich, diverse city. I'm disgusted.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Toddlers Demand The Upside Down Show!

I have programmed a "Google Alert," so that I'm notified when items about The Upside Down Show appear on the Internet. I receive an average of two to three alerts daily, and almost always they are parents blogging about their toddler's connection to the show.

I thought this one was worth sharing. A Toddler Obsessed

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My mediabistro Seminar is coming up

On November 6 I'll be teaching a 3-hour seminar on The Art of Executive Producing at mediabistro in New York. I really enjoyed the process of putting together this seminar, which I hope will function a bit like a toolbox for people at various stages of their careers. For those starting out, I'll address the kind of skills and experience one needs to accumulate in order to prepare for a career as an E.P. For those already moving down that road, I will be sharing tips and techniques for being most effective in the job.

Check it out (and refer your friends!) at How to Become an Executive Producer - mediabistro.com Courses and Seminars

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Blogging from Havana

Interesting story about Cubans (less than 2% of whom have Internet access) who are finding ways around the system and managing to blog. Going to Unusual Lengths - MSNBC

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Tough Day to be in Beantown

I have a business meeting this morning in Boston, and I just passed a car on the Mass Pike with a license plate reading "Beat NY." Ugh. Not a good day to be a Yankees fan heading north.....

Posted from my mobile phone

Sunday, October 07, 2007

An Artist Encounters Censorship

I have been working on improving my photography skills during this "creative sabbatical" year, and have been toying with the idea of exhibiting some of my photographs. The opportunity arose when I saw a call for entries for the annual Cornwall Photography Show, held annually at Town Hall. My daughter, Jules Kelly, is a also a good photographer, and we decided that it would be fun to enter the exhibit together. So on Monday morning I took four of my photographs and three of hers into town.

The organizer took one look at Julia's photograph entitled "Bush Poster," and declared that it could not be hung, as "this is a government building." I asked her to check with the Town Supervisor Richard Randazzo, since Freedom of Speech is a fundamental right in our consitution. She did, and he also refused.

Granted, Julia's photograph is quite edgy, and it does represent her political point of view. On the other hand, art has long had an important function in our national discourse. The earliest recorded American political cartoon ran in Ben Franklin's newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette on May 9, 1754, accompanying an editorial by Franklin urging the colonies to unite against the British.

I was with Julia in Amsterdam when she took the Bush photograph, and I know that one of the things that struck her was how surprising it is to see the deterioration of the United States' relationship with the Netherlands. They have always been a staunch U.S. ally, and from our many visits to Amsterdam, we know that the Dutch people typically embrace Americans. To Jules, this photograph represents not only her own feelings about Bush, but also how far we have fallen in our relationships with our European allies.

To me, the knee jerk conservative reaction of Randazzo's Town Hall is simply an extension of the national atmosphere created by the Bush administration, which is filled with political appointees who, qualified for their jobs or not, were hired because they are in lockstep with the administration's positions. We observed the consequences in New Orleans, with FEMA headed by people who didn't know how to coordinate an emergency response, and in post-war Iraq, with the reconstruction staffed with Bush loyalists who neither spoke Arabic nor had any experience with restoring a country's infrastructure. It's been well documented that people were asked about political loyalty as a condition for receiving those jobs. Somehow, in our post 9/11 world, the only way to show patriotism is to stifle dissent. This is a condition we accept at our peril, for in fact, this is contrary to how democracy is meant to work. A healthy democracy is populated by engaged citizens who have a point of view, who challenge authority when they don't agree, and who vote. If we are lucky, we will find our way back to that place, where people don't define themselves as Democrats or Republicans, but as American citizens, with all the privileges and responsibilities that it entails.

Despite this disappointment, the photography exhibit was a success. At opening reception on Friday Jules got very positive feedback from many people on her photograph entitled BREAK CONFORMITY BREAK STEEL.

Break Conformity Break Steel by Jules Kelly

She was one of two teens exhibiting there. The other, a SUNY New Paltz freshman and photography major named Emily Waterfield, also had a striking series of photographs of Adirondack chairs, photographed at the Mohonk Mountain House. The organizer is considering mounting a show next year featuring just the two of them, which was a very exciting development.

And, Jules' Bush photograph will soon be hung at the 2 Alices Coffee Lounge, so her voice has not been silenced after all.

Building Leaders of the Future

My 16-year-old daughter is packing for a week in Washington, DC, where she will participate in the National Youth Leadership Forum on National Security. They've been given a significant amount of background reading as preparation for a simulation exercise in which they will role play and debate the United States' response to a hypothetical situation in the Eastern Congo.

The rape epidemic plaguing this region is on the front page of today's New York Times.

Rape Epidemic Raises Trauma of Congo War - New York Times

The whole story is horrifying, but for me, it was a tiny detail down near the end of the article that brought tears to my eyes. The U.N. peacekeepers have devised a new strategy to try to stop to the nocturnal raids on the villages. They go to a village and park their vehicles in the bush, headlights on all night, to signal that the peacekeepers are present. According to the article, sometimes in the morning they find 3,000 villagers curled up on the ground around them.

I emailed the story to Jules with this note. Honey, since your case study is about the Congo you should read this story. I am sorry to say it is very disturbing. but we need to know these things because we need to be part of figuring out a solution.

I'm proud that Jules is thinking about a career where she can make a difference in foreign affairs and human rights. Juxtaposed with this tragic story today is an Op Ed piece by Thomas Friedman Charge It to My Kids - New York Times. He puts an historical perspective on the Bush administration's free-spending approach to the war on terrorism, which is pushing the entire cost of the war onto future generations, with no sacrifice required of us today. As I urge my daughter to be a leader and make a difference, our commander in chief sends an entirely different message about turning a blind eye to consequences and accountability. It's an outrage.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Meez: Your 3D I.D.

You have to check out meez.com, Meez: Home
where you can quickly and easily create a 3D avatar. Jules turned me onto it (of course) and we've been sitting here all evening creating "ourselves."

I have to say I'm quite pleased with my avatar, Lisabet1212.