21st Century Teens Meet Fashions of the 1980s

This made me smile.  The 1980s was a great decade for music.  As for 80s fashion…well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Fashion moves in cycles.  What’s trendy becomes unfashionable, then silly, then retro, then fashionable again.  From the reactions in the video, we may be about to see the return of parachute pants and Members Only jackets.

The Manchurian Baritone?


This could be interesting.

Minnesota Opera, which has an enviable history of staging both new works and operas outside the usual repertoire, will present a new opera based on Richard Condon’s novel, The Manchurian Candidate.  The opera will be composed by Kevin Puts, w/a libretto by Mark Campbell.  This is the same team that won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize in Music, for Silent Night, which Minnesota Opera also commissioned and produced.

I’m not an opera aficionado—no attention span, among other things—but I loved the hilarious Condon book, and the original 1962 film version of The Manchurian Candidate is on my Top Ten Movies Ever list.  I might just head for Minneapolis when the show opens in March.

Here’s a long (20 minute) Behind the Scenes video from the people involved in presenting The Manchurian Candidate:

Sunday Morning — Victoriana of the Week

Flaming June 2

“Flaming June”, by Sir Frederic Leighton

I posted a note last Spring about the history of Sir Frederic Leighton’s “Flaming June”, and my visit to Lord Leighton’s Holland Park house.   Now comes word that the masterpiece will be visiting the US next summer.

The Museo de Arte de Ponce in Ponce, Puerto Rico has agreed to lend “Flaming June” to the Frick Collection, in New York City, where it will be on display from 9 June 2015 to 8 September 2015.

“Flaming June” was last seen in the US in 1997, as part of an exhibition at the National Gallery of Art entitled “The Victorians:  British Painting in the Reign of Queen Victoria, 1837-1901″.  For me, the show was quite literally life-changing.  I visited it more than half a dozen times, and it completely changed the way I thought about art.  It was then that I fell in love w/the Pre-Raphaelites.

Wok n Roll — Lunch on 16 October 2014

I had such a good plan for the day.

Optometry appointment at 11 near Union Station, which meant I could get to Gallery Place for lunch by a little after noon, then on to a nearby screening of either The Skeleton Twins at 1:15 or Pride at 1:30, depending on how long my meal took.  I complimented myself on my efficient scheduling, thinking about what a clever animal I am, but I had overlooked one small detail:  That appointment w/the optometrist had included a routine pupil dilation, which left me looking like one of those Margaret Keane big-eyed-children paintings.

Dilated pupils and movies are not a good combination, unless the movie is 2001: A Space Odyssey, in which case dilated pupils are de rigueur, at least for the final 20 minutes.  Since neither of the films on my agenda included intense psychedelic light shows, I decided to just have lunch and go home,

I went to Wok n Roll, in Washington’s tiny Chinatown.  As the restaurant’s name suggests, it offers both Chinese and Japanese dishes.  I stuck w/the Chinese part of the menu.  It was a good meal, at an excellent price.

Wok n Roll

Wok n Roll

Hot and Sour Soup

Hot and Sour Soup

I’ll admit that starting w/hot and sour soup and spring rolls was about as unadventurous as you can get.


Crispy Chicken Spring Rolls

Shrimp and Scallops

Shrimp and Scallops in Hot Garlic Sauce

This was excellent, but I had to have most of this boxed to go, because the serving size was so huge.  I do have the excuse that, thanks to Dr Lakhani, at that point my eyes were bigger than my stomach.

A Message from Sir Ian McKellen

National Treasure Sir Ian McKellen—make that International Treasure Sir Ian McKellen—visited Chew Valley School, a performing arts college outside of Bristol, on Friday, and “caused an absolute sensation for star-struck students and teachers alike”, according to the school’s website.   And they have the video to prove it.

For anyone who doesn’t get the reference, here’s a scene from The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring:

“The visit was a celebration of the tremendous work the Equalities Team have been doing for more than a year now in promoting human rights, opposing bullying and in particular challenging homophobic language and behaviour in school.  The Equalities Team have achieved national recognition for their campaigning work, addressing a Stonewall Conference in London and being made Stonewall Champions. 

“Sir Ian McKellen was a founder member of Stonewall and has devoted much of his private time to supporting the organisation and promoting equal rights…. 

“In a series of mesmerising addresses and question and answer sessions he talked movingly about his own personal history in the context of changing attitudes and legislation in relation to gay rights.  Whilst celebrating the undoubted progress he has witnessed in his own life-time he urged Chew Valley students to continue to be a beacon for civilised attitudes and behaviour against the cruelties that can exist on these shores as well as intolerant societies abroad.”
–from Chew Valley School’s press release

The Queen Visits “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red”


Image from Historic Royal Palaces.

Last August, I posted an entry about the opening of “Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red”, the art installation at the Tower of London that commemorates the centennial of the British Empire’s entry into World War I.  I added another note when Prince Harry and the Duke And Duchess Of Cambridge visited the site a few days later.

Yesterday, Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip viewed the poppy installation and attended a service in the Tower’s Chapel Royal of St Peter ad Vincula.


Photo by Chris Jackson.

Prince Philip is 93 years old, born only seven years after the war began.

There are 888,246 poppies in the display, one for each of the British and colonial fatalities of World War I.

prince-philip_queen-elizabeth-ii_art_exhibitions--h=500aLost in a sea of red.