Keep on Swimming

I was lucky enough to attend a lecture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art regarding how some of the Disney animators got their ideas for some of the Disney animated movies. The lecture coincided with the Disney exhibit at the Met.

The lecture was amazing, and I was enthralled by listening to how the animators were inspired. Right in front of my eyes I saw how Beast was created. Mind. Blown.

But do you know what impressed me the most?

One of the animators was part of the lecture via Zoom. Unfortunately, because tech is still not actually our friend, the zoom link didn’t work 100% and we could see him, but not hear him. Trying to work out the technical bits was equally frustrating and annoying, but no matter how flubbed things were, the man at the other end of the Zoom link kept his calm, was funny, and just rolled with the punches. To borrow a line from another beloved Disney character, he just kept swimming.

How do we learn to keep cool in situations that require patience and resilience?

Many of you remarked that I was patient when dealing with my Mom buying a new car, and while I tank you all for the compliment, I don’t know how patient I really was. I had to drink at least three cans of diet coke. I had to take a walk outside the lot at least once. I most definitely took a few deep breaths. And I’m pretty positive I spun a fantasy in my head about the Mustang. Can we conclude that the keys to patience and resilience are:

  1. vending machines
  2. caffeine
  3. stepping away
  4. breathing
  5. day dreams

We can break it down…

I guess it’s easy to be patient if you are fortified- hangry won’t get you anywhere. So while diet coke in itself might not be a cure, the thought of being sustained by food or beverage isn’t a bad idea.

I’m not advocating for people to be hopped up on caffeine, However, as anyone who has ever been around a toddler knows, if you’re tired, you are going to be cranky. Well rested is definitely better than sleepy. Sleep and rest are important for fueling body and mind.

Stepping away. No joke: when you are faced with a trying situation, stepping back for a moment really is key. If you can gather your thoughts and emotions, you will react better to a situation.

Just breathe. Always, always, always just breathe. There is no greater mindfulness tool in the tool box than just breathing and being aware of one’s breath.

There is nothing wrong with a little, harmless day dream if it gets you out of the anger and into the happy, or at least neutral. Picture yourself driving down the highway in a Mustang, imagine you’re looking at penguins on a beach, watching a sunset…whatever…Thinking about something that will make you smile will actually make you smile…There’s a reason why people watch kitten videos.

So that’s my fifty cents (inflation you know)

What do you think the keys to patience and resilience when you are placed in a situation that is out of your control?

What Inspired Me: 5/8/22

  • Did a fun run at the Bronx Zoo- it was fun!! We had a beautiful day and the animals were all ready for their close-ups.
  • Food wise- Fun Mexican Iguana! The place turns into a dance club but we were gone way before that !! Enzo’s in the Little Italy in the Bronx- which is a cool little enclave. Elephant and Castle has French Toast Benedict- it’s like my sweet and savory fantasy come to life!!! So good!
  • Did a city walk! Obviously haunted house comes first on my list of “OMG- I didn’t know that.” Otherwise you would have had a picture of Emma Lazurus House…
  • On recommendation of blogger/poet friend R. Douglas I saw Diva at the film forum. I can’t believe I’d never heard of this movie before!! First off- the ending was great! Secondly the editing, cinematography, directing was on point. The movie was gritty, and different from other French films that I have seen. Well done. The only drawback is that it reminded me how unappealing the 80s power suit was…
  • Flowers- courtesy Brooklyn Botanic Garden
  • In America An Anthology of Fashion is about to open at the Met. I loved this exhibit!! First off- it wasn’t really about the clothes- it was about the placement which was in the galleries of The American Wing. Just breathtaking. And yes- the clothes were really cool too! If you are in NYC anytime soon I think this is a GO.
  • Last concert of the season for us! Just so glad we were back!!

What Inspired Me: 5/1/22

  • Food!! We went on a city walk, which means we try different street food type of stuff- McDougal Street (and its neighbors) in the Village is a perfect spot for this. We tried kolache which is an Eastern European- a pastry stuffed with either a sweet or savory middle. We tried a pork one. Crop Circle sells guokoi, a chinese pancake, also filled with things- again we chose pork. We had ice cream at Van Leeuwen- I tried what they refer to as royal wedding cake- which has pieces of lemon cake in it. My husband had a honeycomb shake. Raoul’s in SOHO has one of the best burgers in the city- au poive style and delicious!! My Dad’s birthday is next week, and his favorite restaurant is Peter Luger’s steak house. As we needed to take my parents to their Doctor, and their Doctor is two miles away from the steak house, we went for an early birthday celebration. What’s pictured is the standard homestyle share that my family loves: steak medium rare, creamed spinach and German fried potatoes.
  • FLOWERS!
  • Met South Asia art
  • We did a city walk this weekend (we take a guidebook and look at things like tourists) The blue wall above- For years I thought this was some sort of failed construction project. Just found out that it’s actually an art installation!! Who knew? The Wall by Forrest Myers
  • See that building that looks like a church? Well, it used to be a church but now it’s a private residence. Can you imagine living there? Of course, as we were gawking at the building, someone who lives there pulled up and scoffed at us as we were gawking.

What Inspired Me: 4/17/22

  • The Orchid Show at NYBG was as spectacular as always.
  • Whitney Biennial- as always happens when I go to to the biennial- there are some things that I love, and some things I wonder why they are considered art. There was one piece that I liked very much, but I was not able to capture in on film- All is all, an interesting mix of new American art. The one thing that the biennial does teach me is that art is very much a business- there is very little that is meant to be a backdrop to someone’s décor. These pieces are made to be displayed in gallery settings, unless you happen to have a room where you can set up a projection screen or build a house. Speaking of which- Sutter’s Mill- which sees the artist build and take down a structure is very powerful to see in person. I do wonder if some collector buys the artist when they buy the work. Sort of counterintuitive…
  • Apparently the Statue of Liberty at the Highline is supposed to wear masks- I will try to get there for an update…
  • Lots of awesome comfort food this week! fried chicken, burger and ramen- these are my go to comfort foods-
  • If you like passionate piano- Yuja Wang is for you- She is just so powerful at the keys…
  • The night we went to Carnegie Hall was the night of the subway shooting. We took the bus uptown, but on the way home we took the R train, which runs alongside the N train where the attack occurred. It was a little jarring to see the station closed sign on the interior subway map.
  • Winslow Homer- Crosscurrents at the Met. Ok- I can see that Homer is a good artist deserving of a retrospective. However, I just can’t get that excited over his work. Well organized exhibit though.
  • I can’t tell you how much I love Galleries 217 and 218 at the Met. My pictures do not do justice to the beauty and serenity and loveliness that are these galleries. This has always been one of my favorite spots at the Met.
  • As I continue to seeing the Met in numeric gallery order, I find myself in a weird spot. From galleries 209- 232, these exhibits are technically “special” but they have a lot of new rotations, so I have been through these galleries quite often over the past ten months. However, as I now actually remember a lot of the more static pieces, I am going to go a bit more briskly through these galleries until I get to numbers I haven’t seen much of. It sort of goes against my somewhat literal tendencies, but I am trying…

What Inspired Me: 3/27/22

  • I was in Lancaster PA for a wedding this weekend. We got there early on Friday and got in a little history by visiting Wheatland- the home of President James Buchanan. Was surprised to see that Elton John played Franklin and Marshall College! Can you imagine being a kid at that show?! Those trunks are made by this luggage guy- Louis Vuitton- they belonged to Buchanan’s niece, who incidentally was the first person known as “First Lady”, though the newspapers didn’t use the term till Mary Todd Lincoln… Very interesting and if you appreciate old furniture, as I do, it’s quite well done.
  • Best friends daughters wedding=best wedding ever!!!!
  • While this is probably not the shawarma place that Iron Man referred
  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden is becoming a riot of color!!!
  • The Vietnamese food at Madame Vo is awesome!! The dish above is rice cakes with sausage and egg and all sorts of delicious!
  • Veselka is a Ukranian restaurant and mainstay in the East Village- we didn’t eat there this week but it’s worth going to for many reasons
  • Cherry Blossoms in DC- thanks to my daughter
  • Went to a gallery talk on Jacques Louis David- thought I don’t love the work, I did gain a new appreciation of how and why. Wonderful talk by the curator.- I just love the way that galleries 202 and 203 are situated!! Just beautiful!! I’m not really into swords, but the work on some of these cases was exquisite!!
  • This is my Oscar pool of who I think should win- I picked my fave from each category, but it is not necessarily who I think will win- Full disclosure that I saw every movie except for Writing with Fire (documentary full length)

What Inspired Me: 3/20/22

  • My Tea Society had a matcha tasting Kettl. I admit, I am not a fan of matcha, but this place has a grinder to grind their own. And the most gorgeous ceramic teaware, much of it made on premises. Lovely morning!!
  • Can I just tell you how much I love soufflé…banana with chocolate sauce
  • I went out to help my parents with cleaning out their filing cabinet…Yeah…good times…but they did take us to dinner at Cafe Luna in Old Bridge- seriously- best pork shop I’ve ever had- and FYI- I split with my Husband, and what you see on my plate is a half portion…
  • Was thrilled to hear artist Charles Ray discuss his work and his latest exhibition at the Met. Ray is the gentleman on the farthest right. The exhibit is laid out not quite like the Met sets them out, and I learned that Ray was very integral in the curation of the exhibit.
  • That piece of cake? Four people could not finish…
  • Saw Styx in concert- Hearing Come Sail Away live was pretty epic…and I can’t get Renegade out of my head
  • The Met continues to thwart me by galleries 173 and 174 being closed. However, I gave you the impressive surroundings of galleries 200 and 201. You had to know I would focus in on the teapots… Lightning Testimonies is a video installation piece- while in theory, I understand what the artist was doing, in reality I was underwhelmed.
  • I went to my local Barnes and Noble to ask about removing women’s fiction. I was told that they removed almost all subheadings as regarding fiction- the only ones they are choosing to keep are romance and historical, but have considered doing away with those as well. This particular store feels that it’s clientele don’t really like to be pigeon holed…

What Inspired Me: 3/6/22

  1. My daughter took that photo of the Ukranian Embassy in DC. While we worry about the invasion abroad, also remember that students in DC who are near the Ukranian and Russian embassies were warned to be cautious. And parents of those students get news alerts of secret service arresting people near those embassies.
  2. I went to a fun exhibit at the Grolier Club on Sherlock Holmes. Though the Grolier is a private club, it is open to the public for this show. Lots of awesome editions of Hound of the Baskervilles, as well as other things. What I found most intriguing is how things were marketed in the US vs England…
  3. To only show one item from Gallery 171 at the Met is an injustice, as there are over 3000 objects in this study room. It’s well categorized for a room with so much stuff. I picked a bright and shiny object that caught my eye to photograph. Gallery 172 is just that little piece of ceiling that I have never noticed before. Galleries 210-216 are from Companions in Solitude: Reclusion and Communion in Chinese Art (new rotation) closing August 14.
  4. I was lucky enough to attend the Met’s first live Sunday lecture in two years! The subject was a companion to the Inspiring Walt Disney exhibit at the Met. Just fascinating to hear from some of the people who worked on Beauty and the Beast and where the inspiration came from.
  5. When I went to the gardens this week…spring was in the air!!!
  6. On TV I have been watching Mrs. Maisel and Inventing Anna…I’m sort of obsessed with Anna…and I think I need a caftan…
  7. Musically, I’ve been listening to Tears for Fears “The Tipping Point”, Dashboard Confessional “All the Truth That I Can Tell”, and Eddie Vedder “Earthling

What Inspired Me: 2/13/22

  • Morgan Library has a lovely exhibit – Gwendolyn Brooks: A Poet’s Work in Community. Also peeked at selections from The Kasper Collection and recent acquisitions.
  • Tenho makes an awesome bowl of tonkatsu ramen!!! Just delcious!
  • There will be a blog about the whole making a Martha Stewart recipe- but suffice to say the cake was excellent…
  • Loving touring the Met in gallery number order, however, the Met just announced that some of the galleries will be closed for three years, due to renovation (bet you thought your contractor was slow) so I may do those galleries next!! However, I am enjoying Greco Roman! I also saw special exhibit The Good Life: Collecting Late Antique Art at the Met. The exhibit was good, but the room it’s housed in was even better. Gallery 302 very cool!!
  • For those of you who watch Gilded Age, I took a shot of the corner of 61st & 5th, where the houses were supposed to have been. Not quite gilded age anymore, but the Pierre is pretty.

What Inspired Me: February 6, 2022

  1. On a very snowy Saturday we made our way uptown to Carnegie Hall- luckily we were slated to eat at a place directly across the street from both the venue and the R train. The cake was quite decadent. And we tool at least 12 layers home…
  2. Orpheus Chamber Orchestra has no conductor- they democratically choose the artistic director and someone to kind of nudge the musicians into placed and such. However it works, it’s lovely. We were treated to a premiere of Tuxedo: Plaid x Plaid by Hannah Kendall, who was in the audience for the performance. Lovely piece, and wonderful concert all around.
  3. So I decided to move the exercise bike in front of the TV. This requires me to move the coffee table back. Which of course facilitated Betty jumping on the couch and climbing onto the table because, I guess, she could…
  4. Film Forum is back at their amazing film festivals! Saw Flesh and the Devil, a silent film which was accompanied by a pianist. I love when movies are accompanied by live music. (ask me how bummed I am that I didn’t get tickets to the upcoming screening of Raiders with the Philharmonic backing it up…) The movie also started and ended with a talk by Robert Gottlieb, author of Garbo. Really fun and intersting tidbits about the actress and the movie.
  5. The next festival I partook in is made up of films featuring NYC, and made between 1945 and 1955. I saw Jigsaw, a movie about hate groups and how they try to infiltrate things. While not a great movie, it was worth seeing as part of historical context about what was on the minds of people post WWII. Lots of cameos including Henry Fonda and Marlene Dietrich.
  6. Year of the Tiger. We headed down to Chinatown to help the local economy and celebrate the new year. Our restaurant had duck, so we decided to partake. Great meal all around.
  7. Order is restored as galleries 165 and 166 were finally reopened!! I also saw new exhibit In the Orbit of Jacques Louis David: Selections from the Department of Drawing and Prints. I routinely enjoy prints and drawings, but I wasn’t overly impressed with what was displayed. I did quite like the one thing I photographed.

Ok- this is where I ask you if something is coincidence, or something else. Remember Bloganuary? And remember the “describe yourself as a tree” prompt? Also- remember the next book you’re reading prompt…

So, I’m reading “The Exiles” by Christina Baker Kline, and I come across this section:

“Evangeline nodded. For a moment all of them were quiet. Then she said, “Well, I don’t know if this will help but…” She took a breath. “When you cut down a tree, you can tell how old it is by the rings inside. The more rings, the sturdier the tree. So…I imagine I’m a tree. And every moment that mattered to me, or person I loved, is a ring.”

I would also like to give a shout out to Tater. He was an influence on one of my posts this week, but I neglected to give him his due! http://theycallmetater.com/2022/01/31/tater-mentions-joe-rogan-even-though-he-didnt-want-to/

Don’t forget that on the first Friday of every month there will be Five Word Friday!! Come up with five words to describe your life!!

What Inspired Me: 1/23/22

  1. It’s Restaurant week- Yay!! we went to Almond, a wonderful farm to table style place near my house- my three courses were butternut squash soup, steak au poivre, and sticky toffee date cake. Of course, my cider and pear gin flavored cocktail was an outstanding way to start the meal
  2. So I went to the Met, planning on continuing my numerical way through the galleries. Galleries 164 and 165 were closed. Hmmm. So were galleries 166 and 167. Trying to rebound from my disappointment, I went to a special exhibit, which, of course, was closed. Can you feel my OCD like tendencies bubbling to the surface? I pulled up the Met Website and found two exhibits which are ongoing and that I have never seen before. Crossroads was just wonderful- all about cultural interconnectedness. I was amazed to see a Chinese plate depicting the baptism of Christ. Who knew? The African Origin of Civilization is also a small but incredibly well curated exhibit- I loved how they showed similar imagery from two different parts of the continent. So well thought out. These are both must see’s if you ever get to NYC.
  3. I walked home the other day across town on 27th Street- which is not a route I usually take. I passed Dominique Ansel Workshop and there was no line (there’s rarely a time when there is no line at either of his places) so I went in. Really, it’s decision paralysis because everything looks so good. I settled on the pecan sticky thing- my Husband and I shared it and it was yummy- buttery and light and decadent at the same time.
  4. I had a pampering sort of week- hair cut, color, mani, pedi….I needed to take care of myself a little….
  5. WORDLE is my new obsession…FYI- good thing it’s only one word a day…