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Monday, May 28, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 5 --...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 5 --...: imagecourtesyhousebeautiful Peeps, Before we step out of this beautiful entry and into summer, I'd like to remember all the fallen s...

The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 5 -- MEMORIAL DAY 2012

imagecourtesyhousebeautiful



Peeps,


Before we step out of this beautiful entry and into summer, I'd like to remember all the fallen soldiers who fought to ensure our freedom, as well as to pay tribute to our armed forces who are bravely serving in foreign lands.  Whether or not we agree with the decisions for having American troops engaged in warfare overseas, or the purposes, or the desired results, we applaud their efforts and commitment, as well as the families who patiently await their return.  On this Memorial Day, I'd also like to remember the hundreds of thousands of persons who remain behind bars without access to legal counsel or the opportunity to redress past alleged violations;  many are denied the possibility of parole for transgressions which are at best morally, ethically, or legally questionable.  It's no secret that individuals from 'minority' groups account for a disproportionate percentage of the convicted; what's less known is that they receive limited counseling or rehabilitative services (or none!!), are housed under inhumane conditions, and are viewed by those who trade in the correctional facility services as little more than a 'cash crop' to enrich the coffers of private corporations.  While confinement -facilities in some states swell daily with the influx of new arrivals, white-collar crime continues unabated and frequently unaddressed, but for the demands of a few, the courageous testimony of whistle-blowers, and the actions of socially-conscious individuals who've understood the potentials offered by new technology, media-sites, and the power of public-petitions.  Cheers to them!! 


Hope you enjoy the rest of Memorial Day 2012, as well as today's visual treat by interior designer Christopher Drake, courtesy of House Beautiful.


Thanks,
Shane
  

PS:  Today's soundtrack:  GOLDFRAPP's Pilot (Felt Mountain)

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 4 ...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 4 ...: imagecourtesycoloroutsidethelinesblog Peeps, The cool of the past weeks has been replaced with hot days and in the garden-beds unwa...

The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 4 --

imagecourtesycoloroutsidethelinesblog

Peeps,

The cool of the past weeks has been replaced with hot days and in the garden-beds unwanted vagrants have proliferated with a vengeance.  Pity the lazy gardener who avoids digging out every last bit of quack-grass and crab-grass; seemingly overnight snake-like joints burrow through every inch of soil in search of new residence.  Fortitude, sun-hats and tall glasses of lemonade are required, as is the wisdom to sensibly retreat once the clock's hands hit noon.  Back to back DVR'ed episodes of The Killing or Throne of Crowns will prove more enjoyable in the cool of the den.

Michael S. Smith, designer to the Obamas and countless other celebrities, aptly demonstrates why Elle Decor named him 2003 Designer of the Year, and Architectural Digest included him in the 'AD 100 ' roster.  He describes his style as 'updated traditional,' and and excels at blending vintage, classicism and contemporary elements for a look of understated and relaxed elegance.  Mr. Smith favors 18th Chinese wallpaper, Georgian antiques, tribal carpets, and bold paintings; he is quite fond of integrating more reasonable priced pieces from Anthropologie and Pottery Barn into his interiors.  Love this living room (pictured above) probably located somewhere in heavenly Malibu, even if I am somewhat surprised by his odd placement of the blue-and-white jar next to the sofa.  But today, who wants to quibble??

Thanks,
Shane


PS:  Today's soundtrack:  PNFA's Miles and Miles (Slowly)

Friday, May 25, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 3 ...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 3 ...: imagecourtesybijouxandbohemeblog Peeps, While my preference in a place of repose runs to dark and moody in the style of Caravaggio ...

The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 3 --

imagecourtesybijouxandbohemeblog





Peeps,


While my preference in a place of repose runs to dark and moody in the style of Caravaggio or Bacon (less Basic Instinct, more Blade Runner), today's interior is quite sweet and certainly captures the spirt of the season.  Who among us can resist a four-poster bed piled high with pillows; a cozy chair perfect for the morning paper, and a center-table painted the color of a Caribbean boat-hull and suggestive of Bermuda (or Belize).  Truth be told, the vase of flowers probably clinched my selection of this particular image, as I find hydrangeas irresistible and can't wait for my bushes to burst forth in all their glory.  After a good night's sleep, I'll head out in the morning to the garden for an hour of two of solace, undisturbed but for the early birds who lately have been having a feast on the fruit of the serviceberry trees, just beyond the reach of Lady Emblom's over-sized kitty named Sausage, who regretfully does not have a bell on his collar and is much feared in these parts.  Who knows what I'll find tomorrow, but whatever happens--I'll keep calm and carry on!!


Hope you all enjoy today's visual treat.


Thanks,
Shane




PS:  Today's soundtrack:  HOOVERPHONIC's Inhaler (A New Stereophonic Sound Spectacular)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOw presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 2

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 2: imagecourtesyvintageandchicblog Peeps, How often do we have the opportunity to splurge, and then splash contentedly afterwards?  An ...

The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 2

imagecourtesyvintageandchicblog


Peeps,


How often do we have the opportunity to splurge, and then splash contentedly afterwards?  An outdoor shower at the edge of the garden for rinsing au natural during the summer months comes close, as does today's visual treat which I've envied and wished were mine.  I'm going to paste this photo in my inspiration folder and integrate into my dream home--you know the one that involves an old stone-house surrounded by 25 acres of lush plantings which I'll barricade from roving deer and prying eyes through tall fences and dense hedges of pyracantha and holly and barberry.  And with little persuasion, a gurgling fountain to be placed in the center of boxwood parteres where I can listen to its melodic song all through the day and night.


Today during the brief rain-storm I had the opportunity to sneak away from the usual requirements of a working day, and so drove over to visit The Banana Tree Imports pop-up shop.  This temporary location gives old customers the opportunity to peruse the treasures of Asia brought back by the proprietors, who until recently had maintained a wonderful shop in Old Towne, Alexandria (VA).  The current inventory was just as alluring as the old days, yet with a sale in progress, even more accessible.  Tribal baskets, Burmese lacquerware, Chinese ceramics, Japanese art-prints, tables and chests from India, fabrics and other woven treasures were plentiful, as were carved wooden elephants and Thai Buddhas.  I won't reveal what I bought, but will admit that it was worth the trip across town, and the wait since rumors first surfaced about the pop-up shop back in January.  I'm not sure how long Monique plans to be here this time, however full details about shop hours are available on the website at www.banantreeimports.com


Please enjoy today's visual treat, and remember this is the perfect time of the season to get the veggies and herbs planted.


Thanks,
Shane


PS:  Today's soundtrack:  LEMONGRASS's La Mer (Voyage Au Centre De La Terre)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 1

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 1: imagecourtesypinkwallpaperblog Peeps, Oh, oh!! Who could have imagined that brass handles could still look so 'just right' and fly i...

The PEEPSHOW presents EYE CANDY PART 8 / Day 1

imagecourtesypinkwallpaperblog



Peeps,


Oh, oh!! Who could have imagined that brass handles could still look so 'just right' and fly in the face of popularity which deems brushed nickel, rubbed bronze, and stainless steel almost mandatory for any design project currently under consideration or construction.  Like fashion, home furnishings and decorative accessories transmute through cycles of desire and disdain, and pity the man (or woman) who is caught late jumping on the party-wagon, or unaware of the end of one trend and the emergence of its successor.  Smart interior-designers suggest that before leaping into the pool of conformity, spend an afternoon or two at the library reading up on the history of design where it becomes easily apparent that irrespective of any epoch's 'look', the tenets of warmth, comfort, and appropriateness should guide the decorative process of one's home.  While conducting 'research' (best undertaken in an easy-chair, and with a tall latte) you'll discover what thrills your heart, and allow yourself to revel in its particular beauty and attraction, in spite of the smirks from the meddlesome design-snobs who live up the street and still long to be oh-so-hip.


Best,
Shane




PS:  Today's soundtrack:  DJ Orion & J. Shore's Your Highness (Eskadet Remix)

The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX (FINALE)

photoelizabetaporodina

Peeps,

How do we satisfactorily close this week's series entitled ' CELEBRATING THE 2ND SEX, ' devoted to the all the wonderful women in our lives?  Hopefully on a high note, that's all I can wish for from the blog readers who life in such faraway places like India, Singapore, Russia, and that enthusiastic group who hails from our backyard, Canada.  Fiercely charismatic Hilary Clinton receives kudos for bringing back a certain gravitas to the post of Secretary of State (bare-faced and all); my days would not be as challenged or enriched without the broadcasts of NPR host Diane Rehm, who continues to deliver the best of talk radio from 10 to 12--bar none.  And, besides unsung heroes (or heroines) such as nurses, nannies, and teachers who are expected to give unselfishly and without reserve, folks such as the cleaning-crews who head out after normal business hours to mop/vacuum/sweep/wipe-down the offices until clock-out at 1 or 2 am; the bakers and salad-makers whose early hours in the kitchen at the wee-hours result in the full trays of delights awaiting the breakfast and lunch crowds; produce pickers and other workers on the lines at processing and packing plants in the beef/poultry/sea-food/fruit/vegetable industry.  How ironic that they're barely acknowledged yet so integral to our daily existence, and instead we shower minor actresses/reality starlets/talent-less crooners with perks/freebies/designer give-aways/magazine covers/goodwill ambassadorships/lucrative contracts to hawk goods which no-one really needs/VIP comps, and so forth.  

Peeps, regardless of what's happening out there, here at The PEEPSHOW we want to salute and thank all the wonderful women in our lives.

Sincerely,
Shane

PS:  Today's soundtrack:  LAMB's Wise Enough

Monday, May 21, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 6 -- A...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 6 : imagecourtesyandreaguitterez.com Peeps, Anyone who has the courage to jump ship from: working for the Man/getting by/sitting it out/ ...

The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES ANDREA GUTIERREZ L.A.

imagecourtesyandreaguitterez.com

Peeps,


Anyone who has the courage to jump ship from: working for the Man/getting by/sitting it out/ whatever, I need a paycheck/just doing what I have to do/putting in my time until retirement, and so forth, should be commended; and the entrepreneur-inclined among us should be twice saluted and given seconds of bubbly for having the sheer audacity to forge their own path in spite of innumerable obstacles which loom even larger in this time of a sluggish market, greater competition, and tighter credit access.  In exchange for full autonomy, one gets to play all roles of a business company without the satisfaction of an assured income, or the periodic pep-talks from a 'concerned' supervisor whose interests may differ markedly from yours--or the employer's bottom line which can run contrary to your ethics or sense of purpose (in life).


Thirds of bubbly and heaped spoonfuls of caviar for women who bravely charge against the walls of sexism and racism to actualize their dreams of owning their own business(es) whether it is knitting booties in the basement craft-room, running an accounting and tax service from the extra bedroom, or creating apparel or jewelry.  It takes guts to do it alone, and my friend, Andrea Gutierrez of Andrea Gutierrez L.A., wins my admiration hands down.  Besides being environmentally sensitive and small-business oriented through supporting other small, independent merchants, Andrea creates beautiful and unusual pieces of jewelry which are simply amazing (and a steal when compared with other offerings on the market).   She states that, 'my love for design and creating beauty started early in life, as my mother instilled in me her passion for fine, hand-embroidered linens and luxury textiles, and a keen interest in the history of the decorative arts and jewelry.  I vividly remember our weekly outings to the open-air markets in Geneva, Switzerland -- we would spend hours scouring the purveyors' stalls looking for hidden treasures, finding exquisite laces, embroidered textiles, antique beads,  jewelry and the fascinating stories that came with each piece.'


A virtual tour of her site (www.andreagutierrezjewelry.com) is a visual feast of splendid cuffs, earrings and necklaces.  The pieces are made by hand using antique cut metal and seed beads, gemstones, Swavorski crystals, vintage ornaments, gold, silver and found objects, which are embroidered layer by layer on a silk base (or a leather-band).  The results are luxurious and unique, and perfect for those who admire craftsmanship, artistry, and originality. Beautiful offerings by a beautiful individual who deserves yet another toast (and more bubbly)!!


If you're in the mood to treat yourself (or a loved one) to something fabulous, please visit her site (and prepare yourself to be amazed).


Hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend, and thanks for your continued readership.


Best,
Shane




PS:  Today's soundtrack:  SCUBA's Before (After) (Triangulation Interpretations)



Thursday, May 17, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: THE PEEPSHOW REMEMBERS DONNA SUMMER

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: THE PEEPSHOW REMEMBERS DONNA SUMMER: imagecourtesytheprophetblog Peeps, I've been more forgiving of my tendency to disengage than perhaps I've been of others who do ...

THE PEEPSHOW REMEMBERS DONNA SUMMER


imagecourtesytheprophetblog

Peeps,


I've been more forgiving of my tendency to disengage than perhaps I've been of others who do the same.  Yet, in other ways I demand more of myself than is perhaps necessary, or healthy; but this probably true of all of us.  Over the years I've flirted with the notion of attending a concert of my favorite music performer (and diva), namely Donna Summer, and upon hearing the news of her passing today, the matter is now closed, yet not entirely satisfactorily.  For reasons many of us can understand, re-experiencing the music of one's teen years brings us to the place where the past and present collide, or at least hustle across a frenzied dance-floor.  Perhaps, in once again listening to the melodies that accompanied the passage of one's formative years, the unchecked and unfiltered memories that rise from the depths of history can be disconcerting.  For in the place between lyric and melody when one is unguarded and vulnerable, all the markers of an individual's life are clearly evident.  When I reflect upon that span of time between first hearing McArthur Park in 1978 and now, I imagine an aural landscape in which stand two figures, a reckless sophomore eager to experience life's adventures, and a cautious adult questioning the movements of the stars, and the torn and tattered scrolls of ancient scribes. 


Rising clearly above the din and clamor of the 70's were the sultry vocals and a driving disco beat that perfectly captured the changing aesthetic and mood of America.  Bridging R+B/soul and trance/pop, Donna Summer crooned and all of my generation swooned to hit after hit, without completely grasping that sooner or later it--this, would soon end; that it was so so wonderful for some (and not others); and that none of us would live forever.  With today's announcement of the passing of Ms Summer, any illusions have been laid to rest, and the world seems a little emptier.  In time this feeling will pass, as does everything. 


Sincerely,
Shane


PS:  Today's soundtrack is McArthur Park.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 3

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 3: imagecourtesyindigenousdialogues Peeps, Perhaps because of a heavy demand, or a shortage of that particular DVD, I waited quite a lon...

The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 3

imagecourtesyindigenousdialogues

Peeps,


Perhaps because of a heavy demand, or a shortage of that particular DVD, I waited quite a long time for it to arrive, and if at risk of sounding almost cliched, it was worth the wait.  The Stoning of Soraya M., director Cyrus Nowrasteh's drama based on a true story about the stoning of an innocent woman/wife/cousin/niece/neighbor/friend in the rural village of Kuhpayeh, is shocking for its realistic portrayal of a marriage where a husband plots with the local mullah to have his wife falsely accused of adultery in order to divorce her and marry a young girl.   Rather than have to bear the financial burden of maintaining two households, Ali (the husband) fabricates an alleged affair.  Soraya, her aunt, (and I believe that most of the Western world) are surprised (and shocked) once it is explained that in this particular system of law, if a man is accused of infidelity by his wife, she must prove his guilt, but if a woman is accused, she must prove her innocence. Under Sharia law, imposed in Iran by the Khomeni regime, adultery is punishable by death, and preferably by public execution such as stoning by the men (and boys) of one's community.  Suffice to say, the scenes that follow of the execution are almost painful to watch.  Ali (the husband) examines Soraya's body, and to his surprise, she is still alive after withstanding repeated strikes to the face and head; he summons the rest of the villagers for the final onslaught with the cry: "The bitch still lives.  Grab a stone!!" 


After screening the movie (just prior to its public release in 2009), Carl Cannon of Politics Daily, Huffington Post, wrote:  ' Soraya M's brutal execution occurred more than two decades ago, but it was only last October that a girl barely into her teens was stoned to death in a stadium in the Somalian port city of Kismayo. Initially, her "crime" was said to be adultery, and her age given as 23. Actually, according to Amnesty International, she was 13 years old, and she came into the custody of an Islamic militia when she had the temerity to report to authorities that she had been gang-raped. Her three attackers were not charged. The girl was publicly murdered before 1,000 cheering spectators. Her name was Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow. '


Today, NOW President Terry O'Neill condemned GOP-controlled House for passage of H.R. 4970; she wrote:  


The National Organization for Women condemns today's passage of H.R. 4970, the House Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization bill. Sponsored by Representative Sandy Adams (R-Fla.), H.R. 4970 not only strips important provisions that were passed by a bipartisan Senate vote of 68-31, but also changes and weakens many initiatives and preventive provisions that have been included in VAWA by both Republicans and Democrats over the past 18 years . . .  Proponents of the Adams bill seemed more interested in railing against Washington bureaucrats and claiming (without evidence) rampant fraud by immigrant women who have been battered and raped, than they were about the plight of victims in desperate need of services and legal protections.

Their bill most assuredly is not about victims. The bill fundamentally undermines VAWA's 18-year history of victim-centered legislation by shielding perpetrators from accountability for their violent crimes, raising new hurdles to women escaping violent relationships, removing important college campus and housing improvements, rolling back provisions for culturally specific services currently in VAWA and turning its back on immigrant women and Native American and LGBT communities. Small wonder its proponents were not able to produce experts or professionals who support this bad bill.
NOW has "scored" this vote, meaning the organization considers a vote for H.R. 4970 a vote against VAWA. The 222 representatives in the House who voted for this bill abandoned victims of violence and enabled abusers, and they will be judged in the public arena and at the polls in November.

At this time, I'd like to take the opportunity to say that I am encouraged that you--the readers-- are all as interested as I am in the challenges faced by the 2nd Sex (women), the focus of this week's blog articles.  Please keep sending me your emails and comments.

Sincerely,
Shane




PS:  Today's soundtrack:  Ali Khan's Samlado (3rd Stage Remix)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 2

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 2: photokacperkasprzyk fordazedandconfusedmag courtesyarch/dez/art Peeps, In response to numerous inquiries today, this week's blog se...

The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 2

photokacperkasprzyk
fordazedandconfusedmag
courtesyarch/dez/art

Peeps,


In response to numerous inquiries today, this week's blog series is inspired by the book entitled The Second Sex written by French existentialist Simone de Beauvoir, and released to critical acclaim in 1949.  It is a work in two volumes (the first entitled Facts and Myths, and the second, Lived Experience) about the treatment of women throughout history, and is regarded as a major treatise on feminist philosophy, and considered by many as the starting point of 2nd-wave feminism.  Having studied this particular book under the guidance of Dr Debra Bergoffen, I've kept my copy, and frequently turn to individual passages when I try to understand the justifications given by some politicians regarding their attempts to limit the autonomy of women, especially in the area of reproductive rights, and wage equality.  In part two of the first volume, "History," Beauvoir states that two factors which explains the evolution of women's condition are:  being able to participate in production, and by this she refers to the ability to generate an income; and freedom from reproductive slavery, the latter, a condition much opposed by some conservative members of society and certain religious groups who vehemently oppose any attempts to expand the accessibility of birth-control. 


Today's visual treat is by photographer Kacper Kasprzyk for Dazed and Confused magazine.  He was inspired by artist Richard Prince's 'Nurse Paintings,' based on the covers of 1950/60's pulp novels about naughty nurses, which when first displayed at the Barbara Gladstone Gallery in 2003 were greeted with skepticism, disbelief, and disgust; various critics called them gory, repulsive, and misogynous.  Even outside the small, tightly-controlled 'art-world,' some questioned the artist's intent, and searched for 'meaning.'  Sandy Summers (RN, MSN, and MPH of The Truth About Nursing, a non-profit organization that seeks to increase public understanding of the central role nursers play in health care, as well as promoting accurate and balanced medial portrayals of nurses) wrote, ' Interesting is the fact that the white-clad nurses in these paintings are effectively gagged . . . Trapped in their oppressive clothes and our oppressive attitudes, the pulp nurses may reflect the continuing plight of nurses, and women generally . . . The blood spots on their bodies are stigmatas of caring . . . Though it's unlikely Prince intended it, it's possible to see this exhibition as a harsh but constructive critique of nursing's invisibility and a call to action.'  Now regarded as contemporary masterpieces and pivotal within Prince's oeuvre, many collectors and art-lovers are simultaneously delighted and disgusted by their so-called fetish quality. 


The Nurse Paintings and other artworks by Richard Prince can be viewed online at www.richardprinceart.com, and at www.gagoshian.com.


Thanks,
Shane

PS:  Today's soundtrack is Fila Brazillia's Leggy (Maim That Tune)

Monday, May 14, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPS SHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 1

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 1: illustrationceciliacarlstadt viabijouxandbohemeblog Peeps, Even after the bouquets of vibrant roses have faded, and the carefully f...

The PEEPSHOW CELEBRATES THE 2ND SEX / Day 1

illustrationceciliacarlstadt
viabijouxandbohemeblog


Peeps,


Even after the bouquets of vibrant roses have faded, and the carefully folded stacks of greeting cards have begun to yellow, moms (and sisters and sisters-in-law and nieces and girl cousins and grandmothers and stepmothers and indeed all that belong to the fairer sex) still should be celebrated and honored for their contributions, of which perhaps foremost is the ability to bear offspring, although not limited to this, foremost and singularly.  While the numbers of women who enter the workplace has significantly increased at this time, sadly, a significant pay gap still exists between female workers and their male counterparts, even if performing the same tasks.  Jobs performed largely by women, such as child-rearing, house-keeping, teaching and nursing, secretarial and lower-to-mid level white collar jobs, rarely command the respect and salaries attributed to more male-dominated arenas such as banking and accounting, corporate leadership, constructions and engineering, high-tech, sports media and news reporting, and lastly, politics.


Once prevailing notions that women were not suited for jobs (such as those listed above) that required them to be strong, decisive, analytical, and so forth have proven to be incorrect, and some archaic stereotypes have largely been debunked.  Yet a female applicant is much more apt to be passed-over in favor of a male applicant, and old-boy (or new-boy) networks persist within a system that resists redress or overhaul.  What cannot be disputed is that there is still only a small number of females who choose to enter the fields of science, math, and engineering, and the reasons for this are numerous and complex, ranging from indifference to a general avoidance of the more cerebral professions; as well as the lack of funding for grade and middle school educational programs designed for girls, where an early interest in the sciences can be identified and nurtured.  The entertainment and toy industries must be taken to task for pushing tweens and adolescents through savvy marketing into spheres solely devoted to fashion, gossip, and beauty.  TV shows (either network or cable) with an emphasis on the sciences, produced primarily for girls, are virtually non-existent (an exception is PBS's SciGirls), in contrast to numerous offerings for boys.  Many sociologists agree that at an early age, girls quickly get the message that in order to be loved, valued, successful, they must act pretty/talk pretty/look pretty!!  An incorrect and inaccurate message that hampers self-esteem, self-image, and one's expectation of society (and life).  Methods to foster intellectual curiosity and critical thinking (where a child explores, thinks about, and discovers more about the world about them) are varied and innumerable, and many educators posit that turning off the boob-tube at least during school nights would be a very good start.  As well as spending some quality one-on-one time with your budding little Einstein.  Apparently it's also a good learning experience for Mom and Dad, and fun too . . . 


Hope you enjoy today's visual treat.


Thanks,
Shane






PS:  Today's soundtrack:  Charles Webster's The Gift of Freedom (High Skies Mix)

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW celebrates MOTHER' DAY 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW celebrates MOTHER' DAY 2012: imagecourtesybijouxandbohemeblog Peeps, It would be fair to say that those of us fortunate to have our mothers still in our lives, a...

The PEEPSHOW celebrates MOTHER' DAY 2012

imagecourtesybijouxandbohemeblog



Peeps,


It would be fair to say that those of us fortunate to have our mothers still in our lives, are infinitely blessed.  Others, perhaps not so fortunate, live with memories.  On reflecting upon my vocation of creating interiors and gardens, full credit must be given to my mother for fostering a deep appreciation for the aesthetic, even if at times during my teenage years it all seemed like a tiresome burden.  While other kids seemed to have the entire length of summer vacations for innumerable games of soccer or bike-rides that stretched endlessly, my all too-brief break from the monotony of high-school invariably involved a summer-redux of our home in which walls were dusted and cleaned in preparation for painting (perhaps done every 2nd year to coincide with some ancient ritual I've yet to discover).  All the furniture had to be polished, window-treatments carefully washed and repaired, mattresses aired, and rugs beaten with brooms and special metal contraptions almost medieval in appearance.  Paint colors seemed to follow a particular order:  boys' bedrooms in blue or green, girls' bedroom in pink or lavender, kitchen in sunny yellow, living room in shades of white or bisque, and I can't seem to remember the color of the dining room, except it was my favorite room for reading cause it seemed away from the general flow of activity or my parents' watchful eyes, and thus I got the chance to look through forbidden material intended for older siblings.  At the time, all the pages in the home-magazines and the thick catalogues from Sears, Roebuck or JC Penney's showed nuclear families happily sitting on sectionals in the den playing board games or watching TV with big bowls of popcorn; bathrooms always seemed sparkling and luxurious with plush towels and big jars of scented soap; lawns were lush, green, and bordered by beds of abundant flowing shrubs.  In looking back now at past issues of the sale catalogues and adverts, if everything seems a little hokey or contrived or idealistic, I'll chalk it up to experience or little patience with 'nostalgia.'  But the real-life lessons of cleanliness and person responsibility forever remain relevant and invaluable, so thanks to all the mothers (as well as fathers) of the world for being good parents and insisting that chores be done, rules be obeyed, and limits be respected.




Hope everyone had a great day, and remembered to fix Mom or Grandma's favorite breakfast in bed.


Thanks,
Shane




Thursday, May 10, 2012

The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII / Day 5


imagecourtesyweheartit
viadelectable-collectibles/indigenousdialogues




Peeps,

It seems that less-enlightened voters in North Carolina have won the battle, but may have lost the war for marriage equality, and inherently full civil rights for certain individuals (and groups) who have yet to be accorded all the rights and privileges guaranteed by our Constitution.  I admit that last night I felt quite discouraged and disappointed upon learning that Amendment One had passed by a 69-31% margin.  It was disturbing to read that over four million registered voters choose not participate in the civic process, and 1,303,876 persons voted for Amendment One.  

While I acknowledge that exit-polls reveal that many folks did not fully understand the ramifications of amending the state's constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman, being informed is not terribly difficult in this, the information age.  Sadly in many areas, slick politicians practicing divisive tactics, and fundamentalist pastors had a field-day while preaching of Sodom and Gomorrah, the end of civilization, or a further fall from God's grace--if marriage equality was guaranteed for all citizens irrespective of sexual orientation, meaning same-sex couples, who are now eager to adhere to the societal-condoned tradition of marriage.  Friends of mine who live in Charlotte proudly pointed out that their city (located in Mecklenburg County), as well as six other counties had the majority support for same-sex marriage.  An analysis of the voter turnout showed that voters who lived in the cities or university towns (approx 11 counties, accounted for 42% of votes cast) supported same-sex marriage at 56%.  The other 89 counties (58% of all votes cast) overwhelmingly voted 73% against same-sex marriage.  The city of Charlotte which planned to strut its stuff at the Democratic Convention scheduled for later this summer, for a brief period seemed to have lost some of its allure and charm as some called for rescheduling the convention out of North Carolina.  Angrily, some blogs and editorials spoke of canceling business dealings or vacation travel in response to yesterday's vote.  

Yet, the struggle for marriage equality (and equal civil rights) seemed to have touched the hearts of many, and galvanized others into action.  Either in response to earlier statements of support by his administration, or having reached a point of 'evolvement,' today President Obama pledged his full support for marriage equality, stating, I've always believed that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally. I was reluctant to use the term marriage because of the very powerful traditions it evokes. And I thought civil union laws that conferred legal rights upon gay and lesbian couples were a solution.

But over the course of several years I've talked to friends and family about this. I've thought about members of my staff in long-term, committed, same-sex relationships who are raising kids together. Through our efforts to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, I've gotten to know some of the gay and lesbian troops who are serving our country with honor and distinction.

What I've come to realize is that for loving, same-sex couples, the denial of marriage equality means that, in their eyes and the eyes of their children, they are still considered less than full citizens . . .
In the end the values that I care most deeply about and [Michelle] cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president."


Upon hearing this announcement from our president, it seemed like golden light had been glimpsed through tall windows previously shuttered.  And our shared audacity to hope has been strengthened beyond measure, at least for this lifetime. 

Sincerely,
Shane


PS:  Today's celebratory soundtrack is MOBY:  My Beautiful Blue Sky (The New Alternative)





Tuesday, May 8, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII ...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII ...: imagecourtesyathoughtfuleye Peeps, We all wait anxiously for the results of North Carolina's vote on Amendment One.  Today, the nati...

The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII / Day 4

imagecourtesyathoughtfuleye


Peeps,


We all wait anxiously for the results of North Carolina's vote on Amendment One.  Today, the nation and the rest of the world gets the opportunity to see how 'admirably' the democratic system works; perhaps future generations will look quizzically, or disbelievingly, upon this occasion where the rights of some individuals can be upheld or dismissed by popular vote, sort of like a contest for the most popular movie, or a surreal version of The Hunger Games, or a Shirley Jackson novella best left unspoken.


On Wednesday, North Carolina, or more specifically Charlotte, steps forth into the national spotlight again.  The BofA (Bank of America) shareholders' meeting is scheduled for 10am in the BofA Center Auditorium, and protest groups comprised of community, labor and religious activists plan to demonstrate their dissatisfaction at this prominent bank, considered responsible by many for the unprecedented rate of foreclosures, the housing market crash, and of late, robo-signing.  Some of the groups who plan to demonstrate are:  N.C. Coalition Against Corporate Power which advocates for bank accountability, housing rights, and worker and immigrant rights.  This group wants an end to BofA's financing of coal-fired power plants.  Another group who call themselves the 99%, which includes several labor unions, the National People's Action, and MoveOn.org, wants a moratorium on all foreclosures, reduced rates on the current principal levied on struggling homeowners, and an end to questionable corporate tax practices.  The Rainforest Action Network, which promotes environmental issues, is using this protest to bring attention to BofA's financing of the coal industry.  Lastly, Occupy Charlotte, hopes to highlight the pervasive influence of private corporations on politics.  


Quite a lot for the good folks in Charlotte to experience within a matter of days, yet I know that they will rise to the occasion and allow truth and love to triumph (over fear, greed, and apathy).


Thanks,
Shane


NOTE:  According to the Charlotte Business Journal, BofA is the nation's second-largest bank with nearly $2 trillion in assets.  It is based in Charlotte, where it employs 15,000 of its 278,000 workers.




Monday, May 7, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII ...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII ...: imagecourtesyjjjjound Peeps, I had the pleasure of visiting Charlotte (NC) this past weekend, and in the true spirit of South...

The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII / Day 3

imagecourtesyjjjjound




Peeps,

I had the pleasure of visiting Charlotte (NC) this past weekend, and in the true spirit of Southern hospitality, the Queen City did not disappoint this weary traveler.  Having the good fortune of mild temperatures, long walks through lovely gardens abundant with ferns, roses, azaleas, magnolias and irises were made even more memorable under the gaze of the fullest moon this side of the hemisphere.  Not unlike Williamsburg (VA) and our local regions, boxwood shrubs were quite plentiful, as were colorful placards on almost every front-yard, either in support or in opposition to Amendment One, scheduled for a public vote tomorrow.  My hostess proudly pointed out the nays outweighed ayes, at least in the more civilized and enlightened parts of the state -- with the exception being counties to be found in that particular intersection of bible belt and gun belt, allegedly located down in the 'south-eastern bit.' And irrespective of wherever that place is located on the map (easily evidenced by tomorrow's poll results), the general consensus of Charlotte seemed to be that marriage equality should be respected and guaranteed for all citizens, irrespective of one's religious beliefs, or, the urgings of particular parish clergy who favor the fire and brimstone interpretations of religious text.

In the latest issue of Creative Loafing (Charlotte's other newspaper), editor Mark Kemp, wrote that ' When we say Amendment One is the single most important civil rights issue of our times, that in no way diminishes other important civil rights issues, from the continued racial profiling of African-Americans and Latinos to the hate-filled targeting of religious minorities.  And the passage of Amendment One would impact those things, too, in that it would officially write bigotry into our state's constitution.  This is a radical measure put forth by radical right-wing conservative politicians who have decided that their own fears and personal religious beliefs are more important than liberty and justice for all.  They've decided that an entire population should be treated as less than human.  And that is unacceptable.'  This opinion is hared by many including the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics who have all passed resolutions supporting 'full, legal marriage equality.' On April 5, the North Carolina Pediatric Society, Psychiatric Association, Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Worker (North Carolina branch) voiced their opposition to the proposed amendment, citing '{its} potential for producing a devastating effect on the health of North Carolina families.'

Tomorrow, North Carolina will decide whether equal rights for all citizens will be upheld, or that dark period of bigotry, xenophobia, and hate once believed to be a thing of the past, will be revisited and revived.  I am somewhat optimistic that the good people of North Carolina will do the right thing, yet I'm well aware that in this time of uncertainty, a call to 'tradition(s),' however skewered, holds much attraction to some.

If you have a friend or family member in North Carolina, please consider making a call or dropping them a line, asking their support in saying NO to Amendment One.

Thanks,
Shane


PS:  My heartfelt thanks to Pam Spaulding (of Pam's House Blend blog, and NC AIDS Action Network) for her tireless efforts on behalf of defeating Amendment One and ensuring marriage equality for all NC citizens!!


Thursday, May 3, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII ...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII ...: imagecourtesycoloroutsidethelinesblog Peeps, Nothing comes quite close to the delight and joy one experiences upon entering a truly b...

The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII / Day 2

imagecourtesycoloroutsidethelinesblog

Peeps,

Nothing comes quite close to the delight and joy one experiences upon entering a truly beautiful residence.  Comfortable furnishings, wonderful art, and innumerable objects of varied interests:  these are the hallmarks of a well-furbished home where both heart and soul is satisfied; and undoubtedly the mind is too stimulated, as evidenced by those wonderful little things that we call books, here fetchingly abundant.  The debate still continues as to whether the printed book is obsolete, a casualty of modern technology.  Yet bookshop owners report brisk sales, although now to a highly-select clientele who value the stimulation of all senses offered by those wonderful little things we call books.  I confess to a passing interest in the apparent ease, and attraction, of the various electronic reading-devices currently on the market; still, I savor the anticipation of peering into limitless universes, found tucked between front cover and -THE END-.  As well as countless nights where after turning down the bed, and the page, I prepare for sleep, and without notice, I drift towards endless dreams fueled by imagination. 

I hope that you all enjoy today's visual treat, and continue pursuing (or living) your individual dreams.  And if you too feel the magic when glancing in the direction of a stack of books, please keep supporting authors, printers, publishers, literary agents, and your local/independent bookstore by buying a book(s).

Sincerely,
Shane







Wednesday, May 2, 2012

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII ...

(VISUAL TREATS) For All of My Design-Obsessed Peeps: The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII ...: imagecourtesyelementsofstyle viamynottinghillblog Peeps, My quick trip to visit family in Florida was wonderful, and made even more e...

The PEEPSHOW presents VISIONS OF BEAUTY, PART VII / Day 1

imagecourtesyelementsofstyle
viamynottinghillblog

Peeps,


My quick trip to visit family in Florida was wonderful, and made even more enjoyable by the cool rains that swept through day after day.   It seems that tropical plants can reach fence-height overnight, and breath-taking nests of brilliantly-colored orchids literally crowned every tree within sight.  Body-surfing down at South Point was out of the question, yet watching back-to-back episodes of Mad Men and Spartacus while sipping colorful concoctions of imported spirits kept the adrenaline pumping, as did late night dancing at Gaby's Lounge (on Pines Blvd in Pembrooke Pines).  As usual the house-band tore it up as the enthusiastic crowd screamed for more!!


Glad to be back home, and the daily routine of work, the garden, and reading all the posts from the wonderful folks on social media sites.  I've planned lots of articles for next week on some of the many inspiring individuals I've met on FB, so please stay abreast of the upcoming visual treats.


Thanks,
Shane