S.P.A. v45.0 Launch is Live

Today is the 45th birthday of me. As the numbers grow they mean less and less and I understand them to be less and less important. Am i where I thought I would be 25 years ago or 20 years ago or even five years ago? I guess it depends on how I am measuring I guess it depends on the measurements. If I’m counting up all the outside material things that I thought I should have by this time, probably not. If I measure by type of person I wanted to become I know I’m on the right path do.

I guess the real accomplishment, the one that eclipses all others, is that I am still here. If the negative thoughts of my 20’s could have manifested physical results, I would be dead ten thousand times over. But they can’t and I’m not and I think about all the friends and family that I have that have died too early.

My cousin Erik killing himself saved my life. It took me out of my head, put life in perspective and made me understand that maybe I wasn’t where I wanted to be or who I wanted to be right then, but I was smart and capable enough to become anything I want. My path swerved sharply that day.

The next year, my boss David died in his mid 40s. We spent long days talking about what was important, who was important when you know the end is just around the bend. Love, family, beauty, art. I still have his copy of “The Razor’s Edge” on my book shelf and think about him often.

Everyone’s friend Jared had a seizure in his sleep and died in his early 30s. I could spend the rest of my life trying to influence as many people he did and never be able to balance the score. I think I will try…

I stand on the shoulders of my grandparents and great grandparents before them.  Their bravery and sacrifices have allowed me to be in the position I am in today and for that, I must honor them with being the best person I can be, to continue their work and do what I can to make the world a better place.

I’m not always perfect. I’m never perfect. But through that consistent imperfection I continue to strive to make myself a better person. To be in possession of more compassion and understanding and empathy. I hope I will never stop trying to improve.

I think I don’t spend enough time experiencing the journey because I am too focused on the destination. I will try to recognize my incremental improvements. They are really thousands of little destinations and accomplishments along my path that deserve celebrating.

Have a happy my birthday today. As you know, I dust off my old list of things that are important to me, make changes, and repost them every birthday. Here is the new improved spa V45.0:

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One of my goals today was to get a new profile pic, I have all day to do it, so a new one should pop up sometime today…

“What I Have Learned So Far”

I’ve learned that it’s taking me a long time to become the person I want to be. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I want to continue to grow and change and progress until I die.  I do not ever want to rest on my laurels, get set in my ways, do something a specific way for no other reason that I have always done it that way.  I want to be routinely evaluating my choices to see if they still match with the person I am and the person I am on my way to becoming.  We can all do that, think about what is important to you and then reflect at the end of the day, as you drift off to sleep, to see if you accomplished it.  It is really less of a score card and more of a reminder for the next day.  Did you possess compassion whenever possible and applicable?  Did you express gratitude to your friends and family for being able to share each other’s life?

I’ve learned that our background and circumstances may have influenced who we are, but we are responsible for who we become.  The past is nothing we can control and it can color who we are, but we can make the decision to be anything we set our minds to.  Create your identity, do not let it be assigned to you.  The traumas of our childhoods can easily make us into “victims” or “survivors” and we can hide behind that identity for the rest of our lives if we desire.  That trauma happened a long time ago and is over, to continue the trauma is your choice, but it does not give you a free pass to poor behavior.  It is a long struggle to be able to recognize you are worth good things happening to you, once you allow that thought to enter your consciousness, you start to let go of the past.

I’ve learned that we don’t have to change friends if we understand that friends change. Sometimes, our paths run right along each other at the same speed, seeing the same sights.  Then our paths may separate, but that does not erase our history and the reasons why we first became friends.  We all understand that we change, so thinking that our friends shouldn’t is unreasonable.

I’ve learned that money is a horrible way of keeping score.  Money does not make you better or worse than anyone, it is an instrument.  Like any other instrument, it can be used in a million different ways.  The most beautiful concerto can be played on an old piano just as easily as the keys of a Steinway can be smashed with a mallet.  Find something you are passionate about and devote your extra money to it’s promotion.  Make your money work for you as hard as you worked for it.  Keep the circle of energy flowing.

I’ve learned that two people can look at the exact same thing and see something totally different. “I say tomato, you say tomato. Let’s call the whole thing off. But oh! If we call the whole thing off, then we must part. And oh! If we ever part, then that might break my heart!”  The Gershwins were on to something.  Learning to not be so arrogant that your way is the right and only way will take you far in love and life.  The ability to see things from different perspectives, even if you disagree with those perspectives is a valuable skill.

I’ve learned that you can get by on charm and looks for only so long.  After that, you’d better know something.  This does not always seem true and maybe the length can stretch out for years, but in the end the boys and girls will stop turning their heads when you pass, so you better at least have some good stories of your youth to retell.  There is nothing wrong with physical charm, but giving it any weight and worth as a way to judge yourself or others is a mistake.  It is just a roll of the DNA dice. It does not matter how attractive a person is if they are ugly on the inside.  Everyone has a unique talent or gift in life.  Personally, I have always been drawn to people that have an ability to tell a story, that have a talent of finding humor everywhere, and people that know that life is an ongoing journey of exploration.  It is a physical attraction, an attraction to a glow or fire or something that people possess inside.  Have you ever tried having a conversation with nice biceps and teeth? Exactly.

I’ve learned that you shouldn’t compare yourself to the best others can do. We all have our talents, we all have our accomplishments, and for the most part, they are unique to us. Comparing yourself to the best parts of others will of course cause you to feel inferior.  The exercise in being proud of and happy for your friend’s success is a hard one.  It is hard to remove your jealousy or envy.  When you are able to do it, however, you become a better friend and a better person.  If you still cannot remove yourself from the equation, think about how awesome you are for choosing such talented and successful friends.  We can be happy when our friend’s are successful, no matter what Morrissey says.

I’ve learned that you can keep going long after you can’t.  It applies to running, it applies to life.  It is always darkest before the dawn for a reason, so you appreciate the dawn all the more.  Heartbreak and disappointment are horrible and painful, they can tear you into pieces from which you think you can never reassemble.  You can, and in time, you will.  That ability is one of the most exciting and unique parts of being human: resilience.  Knowing that life right now is hard, but having the memory and perspective that none of it is permanent and situations will change.  “Don’t give up, I know you can make it good.”

I’ve learned that either you control your attitude or it controls you.  Every second of every day, we have the choice on how we are going to behave.  We can fly off the handle at the slightest things or we can choose to not let them ruin our day.  How we react and behave to every day situations is completely in our control.  Our past experiences may point us in a knee-jerk direction, but they have no actual power over us today.  Choose an attitude that would make you proud of the person you are.  If it does not feel natural to behave that way, fake it, eventually, it will become part of you.  I am a strong believer in the school of “Fake it ’till you make it.” I am a result of that philosophy.  I didn’t like something about me or recognized something about me that didn’t work, thought about how I could do it differently, and consciously did it that way going forward.  It did not immediately feel natural, but eventually, it became a part of me.  It is like diet and exercise for your character, it is hard and strenuous, but eventually, it becomes who you are.  Anger is ego, we all know this.  That person that cut you off in traffic did not do it to you because of who you are, they just did it.  It didn’t happen to you, it just happened, don’t take it so personally that it changes your mood.  Don’t hold onto it, that energy is undirected and wasted.

I’ve learned that heroes are the people who do what has to be done when it needs to be done, regardless of the consequences. The title of “Hero” has been been attributed to so many people in so many ways that it’s meaning has been diluted.  For this, I mean a person whose courage and strength I admire.  Heroes are quite often not popular or even liked at the time, usually because their actions cause discomfort and disruption.  Heroes see how the world can be a better place and do their best to change it.  For the most part, actors, athletes, popular musicians, and politicians are bad choices as personal heroes, there are plenty of examples why.

I’ve learned that it’s not what you have in your life but who you have in your life that counts. Everyone knows this.  Your job and your stuff you love will never give you a ride to the airport or love you back. Your things you have will not bring you love.  That BMW will get you attention that at first may seem a lot like love, but it is probably more like envy. The people you touch in your life may not sit impressively on your mantle or fill up your checking account, but they will hold your hand when you cry and bring you soup when you are sick. In life, the immeasurable out-values all. There are no price tickets attached to love, devotion, friendship, and loyalty.

I’ve learned that no matter how much I care, some people just don’t care back. None of this changes how I should feel.  Zelda Fitzgerald is quoted as saying, “I don’t want to live — I want to love first, and live incidentally.”  I find myself thinking of this quote often and understanding it to mean that we need love to live, that we should approach life as a series of opportunities to love.  Everyone has been on both sides of this coin at one point in life: the lover and the loved.  It sucks and I hate it, but at the same time, there is a real rawness to heartbreak that is the purest of emotions.  That emotion has no ulterior motives, no hidden agendas that it hopes by creating one, another will follow.  It is pure loss, pure ache, and purely human. No matter how horrible it is, you feel so alive and wonderful knowing that you possess such capacity for feeling.

I’ve learned that you should always leave loved ones with loving words.  It may be the last time you see them.  Bring everyone you meet a gift.  This obviously does not mean a physical item wrapped with a bow, it could be a compliment, a touch, a smile.  Do not leave things unsaid for fear of over exposing your heart.  Your heart functions best when exposed raw to the air, it expands and produces more than ever imaginable.  This applies too even if you were thinking about someone during the day, send them a text or email to tell them.  Keep communications open, don’t let too much time pass.

Move.  Motivate.  Moisturize.  Do your best to create and maintain healthy habits.  I know that when I am not physically active (running, lifting weights) I feel depressed.  My body feels depressed and out of sorts when I miss more than a couple days at the gym.  It’s because it’s my body’s habit to be active, to experience an elevated heart rate, to stretch and push the boundaries of my musculature.  I feel so much better having gone to the gym.  That does not mean that I am always super-excited about going to the gym.  My motivation for keeping a regular gym habit is elevated energy/mood, stress management, strength as I age, and vanity.  Do not underestimate the power of vanity, when harnessed for good, it can accomplish a lot.  Moisturizing falls under the Gym/Motivate/Vanity tab and plays a part in taking care of yourself.  I hope that I can live at least another 50 years (who knows what science will have done by then?) and I want those 50 years to be healthy active ones.  It is my job to keep myself in the best shape I can.

**New for SPA v45.0**

Stop Worrying.  Stop Caring.  The bottom line is you need to live your life.  All those judge-y haters don’t pay your bills and in five years you probably won’t even remember their names.  Keep moving in the right direction.
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I chronicle what inspires me at Waldina.com

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I store my selfies at instagram.com/therealspa#
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I tweet at twitter.com/TheRealSPA

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Happy Birthday Rip Taylor

Today is the 80th birthday of outrageous comedian and prolific confetti thrower Rip Taylor. He was the host of the $198 Beauty Show. The show was crazy and I have no idea the point of this show, but it is hilarious and the 1970’s.

NAME: Rip Taylor
OCCUPATION: Film Actor, Theater Actor, Comedian, Television Personality
BIRTH DATE: January 13, 1934
PLACE OF BIRTH: Washington, D.C.
ORIGINALLY: Charles Elmer Taylor, Jr.

BEST KNOWN FOR: Comedian Rip Taylor is best known for his tacky costumes, handlebar mustache, wacky wigs and manic confetti tossing in his stage and film appearances.

Actor, comedian. Born Charles Elmer Taylor, Jr. on January 13, 1934 in Washington, D.C. Rip Taylor was a page in the U.S. Senate before being conscripted into the Army to serve in the Korean War. After he returned home, he got his start in entertainment as a stand-up comic. What began as a gimmick/tacky costumes, ridiculous props, a handlebar mustache, wacky wigs and manic confetti tossing would become his calling card.

During the 1960s and ??70s, Rip Taylor made regular guest appearances on variety shows for such comedic stars as Jackie Gleason, Phyllis Diller and Bobby Darin. The silly, befuddled comedian then found his ideal audience in children and was soon lending his voice for such cartoons as Popeye and The Addams Family. He also became known as the host for The $1.98 Beauty Show, a beauty pageant parody.

Rip Taylor has also appeared in films, and is probably best remembered for his appearance as a celebrity funeral guest in the cult comedy classic Amazon Women on the Moon. Other films include Wayne’s World 2, Jackass: The Movie and Jackass: Number Two.

FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
Jackass 3D (13-Oct-2010) · Himself
Jackass: Number Two (22-Sep-2006) · Himself
The Dukes of Hazzard (24-Jun-2005) · Himself
The Aristocrats (Jan-2005) · Himself
Alex and Emma (16-Jun-2003) · Polina’s Father
Jackass: The Movie (21-Oct-2002) · Himself
The Silence of the Hams (13-Jul-1994)
Wayne’s World 2 (10-Dec-1993) · Himself
Indecent Proposal (7-Apr-1993) · Mr. Langford
Tom and Jerry: The Movie (2-Dec-1992) [VOICE]
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (20-Nov-1992) · Celeb #1
DuckTales: The Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (3-Aug-1990) [VOICE]
Amazon Women on the Moon (18-Sep-1987) · Himself
Things Are Tough All Over (9-Apr-1982) · Himself
The Gong Show Movie (9-May-1980) · Restaurant Maitre D’
The Happy Hooker Goes to Washington (7-Sep-1977) · Photographer
Chatterbox (Feb-1977)
I’d Rather Be Rich (26-Aug-1964)

2014: Rear View Mirror. Year In Review.

waldina collage 2014

2014 was another great year.  I broke it down by social media entity below and would like to thank everyone that helped along the way.  I hope you enjoyed the content.  I do it for myself, for me to remember and find inspiration in the lives of those that have lived brave, powerful, artistic, unapologetic, creative, big lives.  If along the way, one of them inspires you too, then all the better.  We owe it to all of them to not be small, to be big and go out there and drain every last ounce of life out of it.  We are the stars in our lives, not the supporting actors.  Go out there and be a star.
catch 22

The Waldina Annual Report has been released.  You can view the fancy version at HERE  (there are fireworks).  This year, on Waldina, I focused mostly on celebrating the birthdays of the people that inspire me.  I really tried to focus on the positive life lessons that can be learned from them and chronicling their life stories.  I am sure that it is no surprise that from time to time, I am crippled with nostalgia and fear that we will forget who people were and what their contributions to the world have done for us.  When I think about people not knowing who Edith Head, Paul Klee, Francis Farmer, and the countless others I keep close in my mind, it freaks me out.  That is why I keep remembering for myself.  I can only control if I remember, but maybe by making a blog about it, others can remember and learn from them too.

Total visits in 2014: 50,103
Total All time visits: 149,766
Total Comments: 2,936
Most Popular Post of 2014 with 1,139 views: Banned Books That Shaped America: Catch-22
Total Posts: 1,390
Most Popular All Time Post: Irving Paul “Swifty” Lazar – Style Icon
Total Subscribers: 375

fireworks

The RicardoDuque.com stats are also in. I started the blog in August of this year and it has been growing and growing. The key is to streamline a lot of the cross-promotion from the blog to his Twitter/Facebook/Tumblr/Instagram.  Go to the homepage and click on the plus symbol to be added to the mailing list.  Every time I post a new painting by Rick, you will be the first to see it.  You will automatically know of the dates and locations of all the latest gallery shows.  What’s not to like?

Total Visits: 1,517
Total Posts: 48
Total Subscribers: 24

west side story

On Wasp & Pear on Tumblr, I post and repost anything and everything that I find interesting. I have no format as to what I can post and what I can’t like I do on Waldina. I post a lot of art that inspires me, I post photographs that I like, I post videos that I find interesting.

Total Subscribers: 272
Total Posts: 3,538

tweet

I have mixed feelings about Twitter. I feel like it is nothing more than an opt-in agreement for a lot of marketing that I do not want. I am not selling anything, so why bother? But at the same time, it is really not doing any harm and it is still better than Facebook. Here are the stats for @TheRealSPA on Twitter:

Total Followers: 357
Total Following: 364
Total Tweets (I still have them automatically deleted when they reach 31 days old, to protect freshness and I fear a huge archive of bullshit tweets): 170

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On @TheRealSPA on Instagram, I have figured out a way to post photos of the people whose birthdays I am celebrating on Waldina and include a short bio about them. I am really liking it more and more because of that. Prior to this addition, it was getting a bit heavy of photos of my dog Scraps. While he is totally adorable and worthy of his very own Instagram (if I had that sort of free time), I like more of a freshness and variety.

Total Posts: 290
Total Followers: 159
Total Following: 188

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come find me, I’m @:

I chronicle what inspires me at Waldina.com
I store my selfies at instagram.com/therealspa#
I tumblr at waspandpear.tumblr.com/
I tweet at twitter.com/TheRealSPA

Happy Birthday Madame de Pompadour

Today is the 293rd birthday of Madame de Pompador, arguably one of the first fashion icons and one of the most influential women of the 18th century.  The world is a better place because she was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

NAME: Madame de Pompadour
OCCUPATION: Singer, Theater Actress
BIRTH DATE: c. December 29, 1721
DEATH DATE: April 15, 1764
EDUCATION: Convent of the Ursuline Order, Club de l’Entresol
PLACE OF BIRTH: Paris, France
PLACE OF DEATH: Versailles, France
AKA: Madame de Pompadour, Jeanne-Antoinette Le Normant d’Etiolles, Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson
FULL NAME: Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour

BEST KNOWN FOR: Madame de Pompadour became the mistress of French King Louis XV in the mid-1700s. She greatly influenced French culture during this time, including decorative arts, architecture and statecraft.

Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, better known as Madame de Pompadour, was born sometime at the end of December in 1721 (the date is often fixed at December 29 because she was baptized in the church of Saint-Eustache on December 30 of that year). Her mother, Madeleine de La Motte, was known as a beauty; her father, François Poisson, a financier, fled the country a few years after her birth to avoid being put to death for fraud. François Poisson later returned, but during his absence, tax collector Charles Le Normant de Tournehem, who paid for Jeanne-Antoinette’s education, was frequently assumed to be her real father.

Jeanne-Antoinette was well-educated, first in an Ursuline convent, then with excellent private tutors in voice and elocution from the Parisian opera and theatre (she memorized entire plays). She was later educated at the Club de l’Entresol, an exclusively male political and economic think-tank.

At age 19, Tournehem married Jeanne-Antoinette off to his nephew, furnishing them with an opulent estate at Etoiles. She bore him two children, a son who died in infancy, and a daughter nicknamed “Fanfan.” Jeanne-Antoinette’s beauty, intelligence and passion for the arts led her to instigate “salons” that attracted a varied circle of painters, sculptors, philosophers and writers, including Voltaire.

Jeanne-Antoinette entered the glittering life of the court at the Clipped Yew Tree Ball in 1745. She dressed as a shepherdess, and was determined to meet the magnetic King Louis XV, adorned as the tree. When their paths crossed, their fates were sealed—her carriage was reportedly seen outside of his apartment the next morning.

Louis XV was moody, sometimes languishing in the shadow of his great-grandfather, Louis XIV, the “Sun King.” He was fond of his Polish queen (with whom he would have 10 children); he had been through several mistresses by this time, but “Madame de Pompadour”—a title that Jeanne-Antoinette was soon given, along with an estate—became his chief mistress within a year. Her “office” came with castle apartments beneath the king’s own, as well as an annual income.

A talented seductress, actress and singer, Madame de Pompadour dazzled Louis XV with lively theater productions that she organized and performed in. She also adored the king, so even after their sexual liaison had run its course, she continued to be his loyal companion, and was accorded unprecedented political influence.

So devoted was the king to Madame de Pompadour, he became the stepfather of Fanfan, rushing doctors to her side when she fell ill. Sadly, the little girl died before turning 10; Fanfan’s grandfather, who adored the child, died shortly afterward. Madame de Pompadour is said to have never recovered from the dual loss.

Louis XV and Madame de Pompadour shared an appreciation for architecture and other decorative arts, and of animals, amassing a menagerie that included monkeys, birds and more domestic constant companions: her little dog and his white angora cat. Madame de Pompadour’s romantic ardor waned first, and her maid reported that she lived on a diet of “vanilla, truffles and celery” to stimulate passions for the king.

Madame de Pompadour eventually provided substitutes for herself in the boudoir while engaging Louis XV’s passions in other areas; she had her brother appointed director of buildings and, together, the trio planned and built chateaux, pavilions and palaces, including the Petit Trianon in Versailles. Each construction included extravagant detail and decoration by France’s premier artists, such as painter Francois Boucher. Madame de Pompadour also kick-started the Sèvres porcelain factory, and employed the Rococo style copiously in art and decor; a deep pink popular in this décor became known as “Pompadour Pink.”

Additionally, Madame de Pompadour became a patron to men of science and letters, encouraging the king to hire Voltaire as the court historiographer, and championing the first French encyclopedia. Her personal library held more than 3,500 volumes.

Eventually, Madame de Pompadour was involved in everything from designing the Place de la Concorde in Paris, to court affairs and foreign policy. Careers rose and fell with her favor and she maintained her lofty position, despite many enemies at court, until her death in 1764.

Madame de Pompadour’s weakened health, from several miscarriages and a painful struggle with tuberculosis, brought about her death on Easter Day in 1764 (April 15, 1764), at the Palace of Versailles. She was buried two days later, beside her daughter at the Chapel of the Capuchin Friars in Place Vendome.

Considered one of the three most powerful women of the 18th century, along with Catherine the Great of Russia (Catherine II) and Maria Theresa of Austria, Madame de Pompadour certainly went through fortunes in her zeal for unique and beautiful surroundings. Her enemies blamed her for France’s failure in the Seven Years’ War and its subsequent economic shoals.

However, respect for her vibrant wit, varied interests and keen intelligence has given Madame de Pompadour a better reputation over the years. A British regiment became known as “The Pompadours” for using a shade of purple that is said to have been her favorite. Also named after her are flowers, kitten heels, the hairstyle known as “the Pompadour” and the starship SS Madame de Pompadour—a vessel in the British Dr. Who series; Madame de Pompadour is even portrayed in one episode of Dr. Who, “Girl in the Fireplace.”

Happy Birthday Jane Austen

Today is Jane Austen’s 239th birthday.  Some time ago, my mom set forth to read all of her novels and completed it quite easily.  I have not read any, but have seen “Lost in Austen” and it did spark my interest in her writing.  I am not the only one that is late to the party, the popularity of her writing didn’t hit it’s stride until over on hundred years after her death.  The world is a better place because Jane was in it and still feels the loss that she has left.

jane-austen

NAME: Jane Austen
OCCUPATION: Writer
BIRTH DATE: December 16, 1775
DEATH DATE: July 18, 1817
PLACE OF BIRTH: Steventon, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
PLACE OF DEATH: Winchester, Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
FULL NAME: Jane Austen

BEST KNOWN FOR:  Jane Austen was a Georgian era author, best known for her social commentary in novels including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, and Emma.

The seventh child and second daughter of Cassandra and George Austen, Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775, in Steventon, Hampshire, England. Jane’s parents were well-respected community members. Her father served as the Oxford-educated rector for a nearby Anglican parish. The family was close and the children grew up in an environment that stressed learning and creative thinking. When Jane was young, she and her siblings were encouraged to read from their father’s extensive library. The children also authored and put on plays and charades.

Over the span of her life, Jane would become especially close to her father and older sister, Cassandra. Indeed, she and Cassandra would one day collaborate on a published work.

In order to acquire a more formal education, Jane and Cassandra were sent to boarding schools during Jane’s pre-adolescence. During this time, Jane and her sister caught typhus, with Jane nearly succumbing to the illness. After a short period of formal education cut short by financial constraints, they returned home and lived with the family from that time forward.

Ever fascinated by the world of stories, Jane began to write in bound notebooks. In the 1790s, during her adolescence, she started to craft her own novels and wrote Love and Friendship, a parody of romantic fiction organized as a series of love letters. Using that framework, she unveiled her wit and dislike of sensibility, or romantic hysteria, a distinct perspective that would eventually characterize much of her later writing. The next year she wrote The History of England…, a 34-page parody of historical writing that included illustrations drawn by Cassandra. These notebooks, encompassing the novels as well as short stories, poems and plays, are now referred to as Jane’s Juvenilia.

Jane spent much of her early adulthood helping run the family home, playing piano, attending church, and socializing with neighbors. Her nights and weekends often involved cotillions, and as a result, she became an accomplished dancer. On other evenings, she would choose a novel from the shelf and read it aloud to her family, occasionally one she had written herself. She continued to write, developing her style in more ambitious works such as Lady Susan, another epistolary story about a manipulative woman who uses her sexuality, intelligence and charm to have her way with others. Jane also started to write some of her future major works, the first called Elinor and Marianne, another story told as a series of letters, which would eventually be published as Sense and Sensibility.

She began drafts of First Impressions, which would later be published as Pride and Prejudice, and Susan, later published as Northanger Abbey by Jane’s brother, Henry, following Jane’s death.

In 1801, Jane moved to Bath with her father, mother and Cassandra. Then, in 1805, her father died after a short illness. As a result, the family was thrust into financial straits; the three women moved from place to place, skipping between the homes of various family members to rented flats. It was not until 1809 that they were able to settle into a stable living situation at Jane’s brother Edward’s cottage in Chawton.

Now in her 30s, Jane started to anonymously publish her works. In the period spanning 1811-16, she pseudonymously published Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice (a work she referred to as her “darling child,” which also received critical acclaim), Mansfield Park and Emma.

In 1816, at the age of 41, Jane started to become ill with what some say might have been Addison’s disease. She made impressive efforts to continue working at a normal pace, editing older works as well as starting a new novel called The Brothers, which would be published after her death as Sandition. At some point, Jane’s condition deteriorated to such a degree that she ceased writing. She died on July 18, 1817, in Winchester, Hampshire, England.

While Austen received some accolades for her works while still alive, with her first three novels garnering critical attention and increasing financial reward, it was not until after her death that her brother Henry revealed to the public that she was an author.

Today, Austen is considered one of the greatest writers in English history, both by academics and the general public. In 2002, as part of a BBC poll, the British public voted her No. 70 on a list of “100 Most Famous Britons of All Time.” Austen’s transformation from little-known to internationally renowned author began in the 1920s, when scholars began to recognize her works as masterpieces, thus increasing her general popularity. The Janeites, a Jane Austen fan club, eventually began to take on wider significance, similar to the Trekkie phenomenon that characterizes fans of the Star Trek franchise. The popularity of her work is also evident in the many film and TV adaptations of Emma, Mansfield Park, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility, as well as the TV series and film Clueless, which was based on Emma.

Austen was in the worldwide news in 2007, when author David Lassman submitted to several publishing houses a few of her manuscripts with slight revisions under a different name, and they were routinely rejected. He chronicled the experience in an article titled “Rejecting Jane,” a fitting tribute to an author who could appreciate humor and wit.

Holstee Manifesto – Words To Live By

 

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This is your life.  Do what you love, and do it often.  If you don’t like something, change it.  If you don’t like your job, quit.  If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV.  If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing the things you love.  Stop over analyzing, all emotions are beautiful.  Life is simple.  When you eat, appreciate every last bite.  Open your mind, arms, and heart to new things and people, we are united in our differences.  Ask the next person you see what their passion is, and share your inspiring dream with them.  Travel often; getting lost will help you find yourself.  Some opportunities only come once, seize them.  Life is about the people you meet, and the things you create with them so go out and start creating.  Life is short.  Life your dream and share your passion.

 

**My mother gave me this manifesto in a black frame this past Christmas.  I hung it in the upstairs bathroom and see it every morning.  I try my hardest to remember it, to remind myself of it’s message.  I want to live it.  I need to live it.  We all do.  Copy/re-post/tweet/print this as a reminder to yourself and maybe an inspiration to others.**

Buy your own copy of the Holstee Manifesto here:  Manifesto – HOLSTEE.

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To Catch a Preditor: Easter Bunny Edition

Tomorrow is Easter, the day I celebrate horrible Easter Bunny photos and tell myself that this year, I will not eat another jelly bean until Halloween.  So let’s fire this up.  The Easter Bunny or Easter Rabbit is a character depicted as a rabbit bringing Easter eggs. The Easter Bunny is sometimes depicted with clothes. In legend, the creature carries colored eggs in his basket, candy and sometimes also toys to the homes of children, and as such shows similarities to Santa Claus, as they both bring gifts to children on the night before their respective holiday. It was first mentioned in Georg Franck von Frankenau‘s De ovis paschalibus (About Easter Eggs) in 1682 referring to an Alsace tradition of an Easter Hare bringing Easter Eggs.

These Easter Bunnies are not that kind.  The Easter Bunnies pictured below are of the half-assed shopping mall or pastor’s son in a rented costume variety.  Some are frighteningly sinister, some do not even appear to be any sort of rabbit, and some are so pathetically bad, they get and F for effort because there was none.

bunny 1

It is quite possible that this Easter Bunny was out late the night before, if those circles around his eyes are any indication.

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Granny Easter Bunny is killing it with this empire waist apron.

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I do wish parents would stop doing that to their children’s hair.  Have we learned nothing from our own bowl-cut photographs?

bunny 16

That’s a pink chipmunk.

bunny 15

What the hell?  Is that a cat in a bunny costume?

bunny 14

Are they all screaming?  Are the bunnies laughing that the girl is crying?  It looks like they are on a roller coaster.

bunny 13

That bunny is so high.

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I love how the little girl is pleading with the photographer “Save yourself, tell our story!”

bunny 11

The black background is a brave choice.  It lets the viewer imagine the setting for himself:  middle of a shopping mall or kidnappers secret dungeon?

bunny 9

This is a suppressed memory I hope that little girl never recovers.  I am not even sure that is a bunny, it looks like a fucked up melted clown candle.

bunny 7

What?  I am uncomfortable just looking at this “bunny.”  I think it is a woman in a pink union suit with a pair of long underwear bottoms on her head.  Or a man.   I don’t know.

bunny 6

Little kids eat the heads off chocolate bunnies first, why would we think any different if the roles were reversed?

bunny 5

Easter Bunny says “HEEEEYYYYYY!”

bunny 4

It is true, a picture does say a thousand words, but in this case, most of them have a question mark after them.  What?  Why?  Huh?  Did I just witness something?

bunny 3

Again, not a bunny.

bunny 2

The latest casualty from the “Stand Your Ground” legislation.

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That is a healthy suspicion, little lady.  Extra points for the protection and skates (for a fast get away) if that sloppy-eyed creep tries anything.

bunny 21

You know that thing where people kinda look like their pets?

bunny 22

Gesundheit!

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How is it that most Easter Bunny mask parts have the same sort of open-mouthed expressions and it can sometimes look like they are laughing, sometimes screaming, sometimes sneezing, and sometimes really enjoying some Easter-Bunny-on-Greyhound love.  Unfortunately, from now on, I will probably only ever see the “Easter Bunny Sex Face,” if you don’t believe me, scroll back up and take another look at the photos.  Ya, sorry about that.

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