David Bowie Is

David Bowie IsThe Victoria and Albert Museum in London put together an amazing exhibit about the life and talent of David Bowie, “the prettiest star.”  The exhibit is currently on display in Chicago, the only U.S. stop on the tour.  I had the pleasure of going to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago to view it last weekend with family and friends who flew in from both coasts just to see it.  It was the best pop art exhibit, perhaps even the best of any exhibit, I’ve ever seen.

Many of Bowie’s costumes from various tours were displayed, and there was video footage of interviews with some of the designers talking about their experiences of working with Bowie to create the theatrical effects he desired.  Props and memorabilia from his various films and stint on Broadway were displayed, as well as some of her personal belongings.  His artwork included sketches of himself, album cover concepts, and paintings of Iggy Pop.  I was enthralled with the handwritten lyrics that included lines crossed out that never made it into the final product of his songs.  David Bowie is a writer, a musician, an actor, a painter, and a true artist with creative energy pouring forth on so many levels.David Bowie Is 2

It was an awe-inspiring exhibit.  If you have the opportunity to see it, I highly recommend you take the time to do so.  Be sure to spend at least 20 minutes in the final room, “waiting for the gift of sound and vision,” listening to his music while watching the various video and images displayed across each wall.

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Batman Stamps

Batman stampsSince Guam is a U.S. territory, I’ll still be able to stick a regular U.S. stamp on a letter to mail something from the island back to the mainland halfway across the world, after my big move.  I used this as an excuse to stock up on these cool new Batman stamps.

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“Things To Do Before Dying” Revisited, Part 2

When I started this blog, I wrote an early post titled 20 Things To Do Before I Die.  I revisited the progress of the list about a year later in the post Things to Do Before Dying Revisited.  Now, six years later, I realize that I’ve made a little more progress with the list, but I have so many more things to add to my ultimate bucket list.

As for things I’ve accomplished, I’m happy to report that I will soon embark on the adventure of #8, living abroad.  We’ll be moving to the island of Guam in the South Pacific in about a month.  It’s this move that has spurred many more ideas for things I want to add to my bucket list.  Specifically, I’ve been researching cultural festivals that take place in countries throughout Asia and the South Pacific.

I expect the travel writing aspect of this blog will become much more prolific over the next few years.  I hope you will vicariously share my travel adventures with me, via this blog, and please chime in with any travel recommendations of your own!  Any recommendations for places I should travel with my family in the Eastern Hemisphere?  Have you ever celebrated a local holiday in another country or visited a foreign country for the purpose of taking part in a cultural festival?  What are some of your favorite travel memories?

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Book Giveaway: Fourth Realm Trilogy by John Twelve Hawks

SparkTo celebrate the release of his most recent novel, Spark, author John Twelve Hawks is hosting a giveaway for signed copies of his Fourth Realm Trilogy.  You can enter the giveaway contest at John Twelve Hawk’s website or on Facebook.

His new dystopian adventure book, Spark, has received outstanding reviews in The New York Times and Booklist.  It’s based on the unique premise that the main character is an assassin who experiences no fear or remorse because he believes he is already dead.

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The Finest Thing a Person Can Do

Miss MalarkeyA few days ago, my 8-year-old daughter checked out the library book Miss Malarkey Leaves No Reader Behind by Judy Finchler and Kevin O’Malley.  Per our nightly routine, I read to her before bedtime.  There’s a wonderful line in the beginning of the book:

“Reading is about the finest thing a person can do.”

After reading that line, I told my daughter I agreed with that sentiment.  She quipped back, “I think eating is about the finest thing a person can do.”

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Messing with Nature

Spring LakeWe recently returned from spending a couple of weeks at our Spring Lake cabin in the Adirondacks.  All the cabin owners on the lake make a great effort to keep the lake and surrounding land as pure and pristine as possible.  There are no motorized boats. We do everything we can to maintain the health and purity of the lake.  Our kids have grown up spending summers at Spring Lake, and for the most part, they’ve taken this sentiment to heart, so we were surprised one day when our 10-year-old daughter came into the cabin and asked…

Daughter: “Can I have a Sharpie marker?”

Her Dad: “What do you need a Sharpie for?”

Daughter: “To draw on some rocks.”

(We were picturing graffiti on the large boulder-like rocks around the lake.)

Dad: “Don’t draw on things around the lake, Sweetie. We don’t want to mess with nature.”

Our daughter exited the cabin muttering: “You’re messing with my playful nature.”

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Nick Cave at Celebrate Brooklyn

Nick CaveLast weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds at the Celebrate Brooklyn concert series in Prospect Park.  This was the third time I saw him perform, and as always, he poured every ounce of his energy and charismatic presence into his performance.  The playlist was incredible, with a well balanced blend of new songs and old favorites.

The venue at the Prospect Park bandshell was an unexpected gem.  Walking through the scenic park before the show and enjoying a picnic on the lawn with food provided by local vendors was an absolute delight.  The opening acts for Nick Cave were Nicole Atkins and Devendra Banhart.  I enjoyed the company of my brother, cousin, and good friend, which made the night even more special.

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