Happy Green Balls from Paris

Friday, 31 May, 2019
Green Balls from Play | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

Green Balls from Play | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

Respect and help others, even total strangers. This is one of the many lessons my dad taught me by example.

You see. one year our family traveled to Thailand and there were performances (dancing and singing) at lunch. As our tour group finished our meals, people were getting ready to leave. All except our table.

Dad convinced our fellow travellers to stay seated for a few more minutes to allow the singer to finish her song before we left. The singer noticed and appreciated it. She was someone we would never meet again. I guess in some sense even she didn’t mind people leaving en masse mid-song as she must have come to expect and have seen happened many times. But our small gestures made a small difference to her that day.

Dad didn’t intend to teach me any lessons. He was just being himself. Respectful and polite (and be firm with reasons when needed) to everyone including strangers. I in turn got a lesson for life. By example.

So back to my green balls which signify playfulness and happiness to me thanks to the epic ballet Play in Paris (see trailer video below). It just so happened that while watching Play in Paris during an intermission, I was posting stuff on Facebook and saw a friend’s post which I saw as a “cry for help”. Long story short, after getting my hands on a few of the magical green balls at the end of the performance, I snapped a photo and sent it to my friend and promised to arrange a coffee meetup to give the friend one of my treasured green balls. We had a good talk. And the friend felt better.

Today, another Facebook friend from overseas seemed to be having a bad day so I took the above green balls photo and sent it to the friend with a few words of encouragement and care. Giving the friend my balls (photo of them) and keeping them. My version of “having my cake and eat it too“.   ;)

At the end of the day, I believe love and care are like that, the more you give, the more you have. We are all on this earth for the blink of an eye and may be gone tomorrow. Might as well be good and caring to our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers. We may not be able to be good all the time, but try we can. A new thought just came into my mind as I typed this paragraph. You see, if you think about it carefully, we are that “strangers” to others we don’t know. And the world and we ourselves would be better if we are all a bit nicer and kinder to that strangers as our world seem to fall into a darker period in our recent years.

Thanks dad. Thinking of you. OK, here are those balls, lots and lots and lots of balls! Enjoy!

Play trailer | Alexander Ekman & Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris | Palais Garnier 2017

xxx


I. M. Pei – Great minds of our time

Friday, 17 May, 2019

I M Pei - Pix 01.jpg

RIP I. M. Pei 貝聿銘 (2017 – 2019). I picked up my copy of “I.M. Pei: A Profile in American Architecture” in the early 90s as I began my lifelong love of beautiful architectures. So thanks to Mr. Pei for your inspirations.

I like to remember the recently passed with their own words if I can, here he talked about the various challenges and ideas in redoing the Louvre.

I. M. Pei at MIT – Tech Day 1994

American Architecture Now: I.M. Pei, 1980

I. M. Pei: A Centennial Celebration – Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD)

Video description: //The GSD is proud to celebrate the 100th birthday of Ieoh Ming Pei, MArch ’46. Both I. M. and his wife Eileen Pei GSD ’44 studied at the GSD, as did their sons Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, MArch ’72, and Li Chung (Sandi) Pei, MArch ’76. Pei was also an assistant professor of architecture at the GSD. This event, with guests including Harry Cobb AB ’47 MArch ’49, moderated by Mohsen Mostafavi, dean of Harvard GSD and Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design, will focus on the formative years of I. M. Pei’s career as well as some of his special friendships, influences, and projects.//

P.S. There are some archival news footage of the building of Louvre in this clip.

(Hopefully more to be added later.)


Keanu Reeves & Warren Buffett have Love in common

Wednesday, 15 May, 2019

Keanu Reeves left Stephen Colbert speechless

Keanu Reeves left Stephen Colbert speechless on Friday night when the subject of death came up as he promoted two of his upcoming projects (third “John Wick” movie & third instalment of the “Bill and Ted” film series).

“After the late-night host asked him what happens if they aren’t able to write the song, Reeves responded: “Well it’s the end of the universe, it’s the end of the time and space continuum. It’s all over.”

“So you’re facing your own mortality and the mortality of all existence?” Colbert asked.

“Yeah,” Reeves nodded his head.

Colbert quickly followed up by asking Reeves what he thinks happens when we die.

The “John Wick” star thought about it for a moment before giving the profound response: “I know that the ones who love us will miss us.

As the audience said “Awwww,” Colbert appeared stunned. As a smile spread across his face, the late-night host said, “Wow,” before he shook Reeves’ hand for a moment and ended the segment.

Reeves is no stranger to tragedy. According to People, the actor lost his best friend to a drug overdose in 1993 and his girlfriend Jennifer Syme died in a car crash in 2001. Syme and Reeves previously had a child who was born stillborn in 1999.” [source text of this quote: Fox]

Watching Keanu’s insightful answer reminded me of a relevant Warren Buffett quote I read in his biography “The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life” by Alice Schroeder which also comes down to LOVE:

“Basically, when you get to my age, you’ll really measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you.

I know many people who have a lot of money, and they get testimonial dinners and they get hospital wings named after them. But the truth is that nobody in the world loves them.

That’s the ultimate test of how you have lived your life. The trouble with love is that you can’t buy it. You can buy sex. You can buy testimonial dinners. But the only way to get love is to be lovable. It’s very irritating if you have a lot of money. You’d like to think you could write a check: I’ll buy a million dollars’ worth of love. But it doesn’t work that way. The more you give love away, the more you get.

I’ve added Reeves’ quote and an excerpt of Warren’s quote to my long list of Quotes I Love.


Goodbye Agnès Varda (1928–2019)

Friday, 29 March, 2019

Goodbye Agnès Varda (1928–2019). In memory and honour of her passing (France24 video report), I’m watching her “Cléo from 5 to 7″ (Kanopy). Here are some reviews of her last film “Varda by Agnes“.

Cleo from 5 to 7 / Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962) – Trailer

Agnès Varda in her own words at TEDxVeniceBeach. //Inspiration and good mood: THAT’S CINEMA!//

Agnès Varda. Cléo from 5 to 7. 2004 (via European Graduate School Video Lectures) Read the rest of this entry »


Stone Garden of Love and the dot dot dot

Thursday, 28 March, 2019

20190328 - DSC_6318 - ATON & LYVM ... (small) (built in 2017 Sept)

Love written in stones.
Love is hard work in life (and when written in stones & landscaping fabric).
Love creates beauty (and, yes, beauty is everywhere).
Love takes two to foster (and constant tender loving care).
Love is endless (just like the “…”).

It took literally thousands of stones to create this Stone Garden of Love (SGL) in September 2017. The SGL (made with stones & landscaping fabric) serves a functional purpose of stopping weed from growing on those ground. The creative genesis came to me when I realized I could use stones of two colours to write or draw things! And soon the name ATON was decided (a combination of my better half’s and my names). And the LYVM was easily decided as the second half. And then I have always tried to find a use for a bag of tiny coloured decorative stones sitting idle in the garage thus the idea for dot dot dot “…” was born. Because of the tiny size of the coloured stones used in the three dots after LYVM, they themselves numbered in the thousands! (Statistically, 2,000+ at least!) And if you ask me, the “…” are one of the best feature the garden as they are the most fragile and delicate to care for (removing leaves and tree branches, etc). Just like Love. I have my temper and sometimes I can act like a bull in a China shop. Luckily, my better half and I agree on many major issues but our smaller differences (and sometime really trivial stuffs) can lead to fierce arguments. But we have a rule. We don’t let our grievances or anger live pass 12 midnight each day. Anyway, as you have read this far, let me wish you lots of love in your life and give lots of TLC to your own Stone Garden of Love!


Designing the Canadian Flag

Wednesday, 13 March, 2019

I recently watched the documentary “Design Canada – The History of Graphic Design in Canada” via online streaming service Kanopy (free thanks Calgary Public Library) and LOVE it! Especially loving the segment about the design history of the Canadian flag! I love that Canadian flag segment so much that I looked up more online and found some extra cool info produced by CBC News in 2015 to celebrate the 50th birthday of our lovely flag!

CBC News, Feb 16, 2015, “The real story behind the Canadian Flag

Have a read of the lovely historical and insightful four-page document “Dr. George F.G. Stanley’s Flag Memorandum – “the genesis of the Canadian flag”” as shown in the above CBC News report.

Here is a trailer of “Design Canada – The History of Graphic Design in Canada

P.S. I love Canada and the Canadian flag and I’ve requested a Peace Tower flag that has flown on Parliament Hill in Ottawa and hoping to receive it around the year 2060, hopefully I’ll still be alive to receive it!

I like the Greek proverb (?), “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they shall never sit.” In requesting the Peace Tower flag that had a waiting list of 46 years at the time, I made myself a commitment/promise of sort to love, cherish, and to try to make Canada a little bit better than I found her!


2017 November Random

Wednesday, 1 November, 2017

* CBC News, 2017 Nov 7, “Party crasher – Donald Trump delivered Republicans the presidency and both houses of Congress. That gift may prove fatal to the GOP” (very insightful and worth a read)

* Say this often and with love: “DRIVE CAREFULLY ME.” – Joanne Woodward (1930 -) (ref: 2017 Oct WaPo, “Paul Newman’s Rolex — with a telling message from his wife — fetches record $17.8 million“) (Just added this to my long list of Quotes I Love as we need a good dose of love in our crazy world.)

DRIVE CAREFULLY ME.

P.S. No idea Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward would get married later in life when I watched “The Long, Hot Summer” (trailer) but I thought their chemistry in the film were awesome!

The Life and Legacy of Chief Justice Earl Warren (Earl Warren)

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