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The Day Daddy Went to War

    On a strangely sunny December day, I rode on Daddy's shoulders as he walked along the sand, heading for the sea. He had strong, gentle hands and wavy hair that shone with a blue iridescence when the sun hit it as only black hair can. He had olive skin, chalk-blue eyes in which a light of hope always shone, and a basso musical voice that made words sound like songs. "You have such a handsome face, you ought to be in pictures," his friends would say.
    He called me his little Monk because I was so agile-the world was my gymnasium-before the rheumatic fever turned me into a falling-down girl.
Soon we would be skimming the waves, or he would pretend to be a whale by lying on his back and spitting water out of his mouth, straight up. Mom searched for a place to spread our picnic blanket, stopping to pick up pink shells the size of thumbnails and an occasional sand dollar or star fish.
    "Major Ribbel."
    Daddy turned around. A man in uniform was standing by our house on its cliff overlooking the water, and he continued speaking, "The Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor. We are at war. Report for duty immediately."
    To me the cliff rose immensely high, and the uniformed man seemed to tower up to the sky, looking down like a god in the corner of a world map, determining destinies as was his pleasure. Actually the cliff was quite small, and he might have been, too, but I had the perspective of a two year old.
    Daddy hugged me tight, and he hugged Mom, saying,"Don't worry, darling Mary-Helen, everything will be all right."
    He meant it; there were elements of a warm, uncomplicated boy is his reassuring tone.
Strong and loose, he darted up the path with his athlete's grace, stopped to exchange salutes with the officer, and disappeared into the house, while we trailed behind, Mom squeezing my hand so hard it hurt.
    He dressed in his uniform, and Mom changed into a white dress with ribbons of color plus her black sling-back patten leather pumps. As always, she was careful to make sure the seams of her stockings were perfectly straight. She liked to compose outfits and change clothes, as does Jennifer; I don't.
"You look beautiful, Kiddoo," Daddy said, in his sociable, easy way, and he tickled her to make her laugh.
He kissed us good-bye, stroked my hair, and reported for duty.
   Mom began to cry.  I climbed onto her lap, and she put her arms around me, told me to go lie down and take a nap.          Oh, Daddy, Mom. I can still see their faces before he went overseas: innocent, brave, unknowing, see the way they leaned toward each other when they walked along, in step to music only they could hear.

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Strange Good Luck

It's amazing. In July, my husband had a stroke, and I had to babysit him, so I finished the story of how Pearl Harbor hurled our family into the Pacific War. Had done extensive research, as the 1995 Freedom of Information act released previously classified information. The Pacific War players = fabulous. Hirohito, who believed the 20C would be known as the "Age of Hirohito," wrote in his diary every day. He was torn between his hawk wife and dove mother who constantly sent angry haikus back and forth. He often burst into tears of frustration. If his commanders brought him bad news, he rose above their discourtesy and changed the subject to botany. My story goes back and forth between California and the Pacific. For Christmas, I had Kinko print copies for the family, had them bound. One of my grandsons posted the first chapter on facebook, and a writer (v. successful) who I know slightly, liked it and sent it to her publisher. He asked me to send him the rest of the mss! In this day and age when the agents can't make deals! He wrote back (these words will be in my heart forever) "this mss is a valid story of singular quality." He wanted me to expand a few of the home scenes, but I said, "Don't you thing my family's a little boring compared to these other people?" He replied, "Your family's eccentric in a peculiarly California way." I'm not sure if that was a compliment, but no problem. Next: contract. My lawyer said it = a good one, and now, on June 19, the publisher's coming out and we'll discuss release date, title, cover, and promotion

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Just read ROGUES GALLERY by Michael Gross

Accurate, witty, informed, it's as much of a page turner as any suspense story that comes to mind. Loved it. - Ann Seymour

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Just read ROGUES GALLERY by Michael Gross

Accurate, witty, informed, it's as much of a page turner as any suspense story that comes to mind. Loved it. - Ann Seymour

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Just read ROGUES GALLERY by Michael Gross

Accurate, witty, informed, it's as much of a page turner as any suspense story that comes to mind. Loved it. - Ann Seymour

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Picasso Needed Supervision around Women

When Pablo Picasso's Garçon à la pipe sold at Sothebys for $105 million, I was reminded of the not shy and blushing Arianna Stassinopolis's Conclusion about the artist in her poorly researched biography: he was misogynistic, and, as a bad man, he is ergo a bad artist. The book was basically a clip and paste job by a woman who, to put it mildly, lacked expertise in art criticism. Once she finished the less than original biography, she decided to put her personal stamp on it by calling him a jerk and a second-rate artist, so I assume she was not among the bidders at the auction. How she found the bravado to attack the twentieth century's greatest is a mystery to many, but I think maybe she simply took her clue from a quote of his, "Everything you can imagine is real."

Although I never met Picasso, I did know two people quite well who were close to him. The first, museum director Gerald Nordland, who recently curated a Picasso show in Houston, Texas, spent a good deal of time with the artist and was the first person to exhibit his erotic etchings in the United States. I also knew Francoise Gilot, mother of Paloma Picasso, and the only woman who ever left him. I met her as Mrs. Jonas Salk and spent several summers enjoying her company in La Jolla, and that of her husband, the Nobel laureate inventor of the polio vaccine.

Gerry Nordland believed Picasso loved women, but obsessively so, a condition which does not imply longevity. Obsessions cool, and once Picasso developed a new one, his existing partner stood in his way, and he quite simply wanted to remove the obstacle. He could not control his passionate nature any more than he could control his talent. "Falling in love inspires my art," he once said. Gerry was fond of quoting the artist, his favorite being, "When I was a child my mother said to me, 'If you become a soldier, you'll be a general; if you become a monk, you'll end up as the pope. Instead I became a painter and wound up as Picasso."

"You can't imagine a talent like Picasso being modest," Gerry said, and added, "he took what he wanted because he could. However, he gave his art one hundred percent. He once said, 'give me a museum, and I'll fill it.' He always tried to push forward. 'Success in dangerous,' he once said. One begins to copy oneself, and to copy oneself is more dangerous than to copy others. It leads to sterility' "

This dread of repetition and lassitude, loss of creative power haunted him and made it impossible for him to stay with one woman indefinitely, as his erotic inspiration and his artistic output were so interconnected. Picasso is not the only man who got rid of one woman because he fell for another. Guess what? Sometimes girls do it too. Let's face it: the reactions are always the same with serial lovers: initial euphoria and idolization followed by an insidious disillusionment, a feeling of claustrophobia, a perception of loving gestures from the partner as assaults.

strong>Francoise Gilot wrote a fascinating book, "My Life with Picasso," which is still in print and a marvelous read, although it was originally published in 1964. A brilliant woman and excellent artist herself, she had to free herself from his influence to find her own creative center.

Picasso found her book insulting, in fact was deeply pained by it, as he felt she portrayed him as a man who seduced a young girl and then manipulated and betrayed her. Apart from his belief that she portrayed him as a sadist, the artist was outraged by her revelation that she left him for an artist her own age.

At the age of 23, she was a beautiful, self-possessed art student living in Paris. One night she met Picasso, and he invited her to his studio, after which she became, for ten years, his love and his muse. Associating with the creative giant brought passion and excitement, but anguish and frustration soon began to emerge, though she does not entirely blame him for these feelings. For ten years, she struggled to survive as an individual while at the same time dealing with a man she loved but found demanding, domineering, mercurial, and unfaithful, though, like British princes, he did not expect her to take lovers.

Francoise was actually the artist's fifth major mistress. The first important one, historians agree, was Fernande Olivier. His mistress throughout his early, impoverished years during the Rose Period and early Cubism, he called her "the first of my muses”. In her memoir, "Loving Picasso: The Private Journal of Fernande Olivier," she describes him as a workaholic, an impulsive buyer, and a "jealous lover who often kept me locked up when he went out."

But she wrote all this after he ditched her for Eva Gouel, a woman he adored, though sadly she died of tuberculosis.

While designing the set and costumes for the ballet "Parade" in 1914, Picasso first met dancer Olga Koklova. He fell madly, truly, and deeply in love, married her, and abandoned his former bohemian friends to join the bourgeois mainstream with his wife. He produced many dedication pieces to her and their son, Paul, but after a while, Picasso's attentions began to wander. As the marriage slowly disintegrated, he began to paint tormented images whose color and configurations screamed anxiety. For instance, "Three Dancers," 1925, expresses a sense of Crucifixion and the dancers, presumably Olga, reflect his despair over his marriage.

Though I for one do not blame Picasso, Olga began showing "signs of madness," and divorce became inevitable. She had a complete mental breakdown after the divorce, and continuously stalked him and his mistresses in a manner reminiscent of the movie "Fatal Attraction."

Next came Marie-Therese Walther, who presumably lured him away from Olga, though scholars agree that Olga's disturbed nature had driven him away from her. A great deal of speculation surrounds this relationship, as Marie-Therese was as reticent as his other women were verbose. She never said a word against him, and often quoted his words, "Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."

Thought quiet, she must have been a woman of deep feelings. Eventually, in fact decades after her relationship with Picasso ended, she hanged herself later in the garage of her home.

Picasso agreed with Freud that there are no accidents. "Accidents -- try to change them," the artist said; "it's impossible. The accidental reveals the man." One day, quite by accident, or not, depending on how you choose to view it, he saw photographer Dora Maar walking down the street, introduced himself, and told her they would have an adventure. Indeed, she became his mistress and his muse for seven years, all the while photographing him at work or relaxing, alone or with friends. In 1937, she captured the agonizing process of painting "Guernica," his powerful protest against the Spanish Civil War. Dora's own features appear in the painting, as well as in many others of Picasso's during those years.

However, he eventually tired of her and said, "I still think she's beautiful, but her little habits are driving me crazy."

She outlived him by a quarter of a century, spending much of her life as a religious recluse, painting, writing poetry, and guarding her privacy. She owned dozens of Picasso paintings and drawings, sometimes realistic portraits, others, cubist works. She's often seen weeping, which brings to mind one of the artist's most unendearing quotes, "Women are suffering machines."

I think it was that quote that set off Stassinopolis. The truth probably lies in the fact that he was drawn to passionate, vulnerable women. Intensity has its down side, both in women and in men. Dora and Picasso split, and she spent a couple of years in an institution that dealt with depression. Then she went on with her life, though she gave creative types a wide berth.

Jacqueline Roque was his last mistress, living with him until he died in 1973. She dominated his last 20 years of work, and also devoted herself to every aspect of his life, cooking his favorite meals, keeping his finances straight, driving, and finally nursing him. She turned her creative self over to him.

Considering that he lived to be over ninety, Picasso had a fairly reasonable number of women in his life. He wasn't a Lothario who whirled from bed to bed with dozens of women every year. He and Jacqueline isolated themselves in the south of France, and he obsessively painted images of women, which reflected his artist-muse relationship with her.

Picasso was everything to Jacqueline, and after he died, she shot herself.

Picasso: genius, artist, angel, devil. How could an ordinary man paint the masterpieces he did? And women? Perhaps if he were attracted to jolly little cheerleaders, he wouldn't be considered so misogynistic by some people. The little cheerleaders would have put in their time, and after the inevitable split, sold his paintings and gone shopping.

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Newspapers as nonprofits

The idea of converting newspapers to nonprofits is gaining momentum around the country, and I think it could work. First the publishers have to retool - I'm talking sell the real estate. Most of them have huge offices for staff, presses, etc. when all they need now is small spaces and good computers. Staff can e-mail reports, and the wire services are all Internet. Lower the overhead, and go!

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"Life and Death in Shanghai" by Nien Cheng

"Life and Death in Shanghai" was written by a woman who looks as delicate as a sparrow, has a voice like a distant, tinkling bell, and moves with the light grace of a ballerina. Everything about her is cultured, and spending time with her reminds you of how much the Chinese value "li," politeness. Yet the masters of torture in the Red Guard imprisoned this widow and her teenaged daughter, Mei Peng, for seven years, as Nien was considered "tao feng," the enemy. Why? Because she came from a Mandarin family. When Chairman Mao instigated the Cultural Revolution, he not only bored people to death quoting his quotations, he massacred everyone he didn't consider peasants. Jade carvers, for example, had their hands cut off, as they worked for the upper classes. Nien was in solitary confinement except for a tiny spider. However, one day the spider died, and, in a deeply touching scene, she mourned her only companion. One idea sustained her through an ordeal that killed most or drove them insane: her daughter, Mei Peng. Nien had to stay alive for the day she and Mei Peng would be free again. One day Nien was released, but I won't continue. All I will say is this story is one of the world's great classics, beautifully written in prose as clear as her bell-like voice. The vastness of her intelligence comes through in every sentence, and the huge breadth of her humanity. All people should read this book. - Ann Seymour, author of "I've Always Loved You," a true story of ww2 in the Pacific

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My Favorite quotes re ww2 (most of them)

Favorite quotes directly or inderectly related to my WW II story, "I've Always Loved You."

My true story of ww2 in the Pacific is now on Barnes & Noble. Here's the link: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=i%27ve+alway...
I'd like to share the quotes that inspired me. Most relate directly to the war; others are more universal. Thanks for indulging me. The quotes:
To recollect is to reenter and be riven. - Harold Brodky **
I will pray for the emperor's long life and his prosperity forever.- General Yamashita’s last words before execution **
Ah! You are beginning to understand, beginning to see in darkness. My child, it is this simple: love will kill us all.- Thomas Sanchez, Mile Zero**
When I think of leaving my little family alone, I fear death for the first time. It is love on earth that makes us unwilling to give up this life.- Frank Ribbel diary**
`War is sweet to those who have not experienced it.- Erasmus**
Think of the Philippines as bright islands where yellow frangipani grows and the nights are navy blue.Frank Ribbel letter to Mary-HelenAfter it, follow it, follow the gleam- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Crossing the Bar**
The Sun Goddess Amaterasu’s descendants gave birth to earth, sea, heat, and light. The copper mirror had been used by a god to tempt Amaterasu out of her cave so the world would have light; the sword was plucked from a dragon’s tail, and the necklace belonged to the Sun Goddess. - Japanese myth**
Across the sea
Corpses in the water,
Across the mountain,Corpses heaped upon the field,
I shall die only for the EmperorI shall never look back.-
Umi Yakaba, Japanese battle song**
To call Hirohito’s reign ‘Showa’ is a dour irony unmatched in the Nation’s history from the time of our original Ainu inhabitants- Editorial in Mainichi, a Tokyo newspaper**
This, then, was the life I knew, where death sought me- William Manchester, Goodbye Darkness**
(The army’s) nobility and dignity comes from the way men live unselfishly and risk their lives to help each other. - Bill Maudlin, Up Front**
My dearest mother,
I am an empty dream
Like snow left on the mountain in summer.
I feel my warm blood moving inside of meAnd I am reminded that I am living.
My soul will have its home in the rising of the sun. If you feel sad, look at the dawn with all of its beauty.You will find me there. -A sixteen-year-old kamikaze’s farewell poem to his mother**
(Few of us) questioned the duty of boys to cross the seas and fight while girls wrote them cheerful letters from home, girls you knew were still pure because they had let you touch them here but not there, explaining that they were saving themselves for marriage . . all this and the certitude of victory ... led you into battle, and sustained you as you fought, and comforted you if you fell . . - William Manchester, Goodbye Darkness**
Here lie three Americans. What shall we say of them? Shall we say this is a fine thing, that they should give their lives for their country? Or shall we say this is too horrible to look at?- LIFE magazine**
I should say sincerity, a deep, great, genuine sincerity, is the characteristic of all men in any way heroic.- Thomas Carlyle**
So many are dead.I cannot face the emperor.
No words for the families.
But I will drive deepInto the enemy camp.
Wait, young, dead soldiers,I will fight farewell
And follow you soon.- Admiral Yamamoto, last poem **
The painted veil that those who live call life- - W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil**
Hirohito . . and his brothers grew up enacting in play the Russo-Japanese war. As emperor-to-be, Hirohito - “little Michinomiya” - had to be respected in play and could never be the recipient of anger or ill treatment.- Herbert P. Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan**
Finally, we killed them all. There was not much jubilation. We just sat and stared at the sand, and most of us thought of those who were gone - those whom I shall remember as always young, smiling, and graceful, and I shall try to forget how they looked at the end, beyond all recognition. - Lt. Cord Meyer USMCR describing the Battle of Parry Island, the Marshalls, in the Atlantic Monthly**
Only one piece of jewelry ever surpassed rubies for (Hirohito), and that was a Mickey Mouse watch he brought home from a visit to Disneyland thirty years later. He wore it every day and, when he died, lay in his coffin with it still on his wrist.- Sterling and Peggy Seagrave,- The Yamato Dynasty**
Those who can stand - 30 days. Those who can sit up - three weeks.Those who can not sit up - one week. Those who have stopped speaking - two days. Those who have stopped blinking – tomorrow.-Japanese commander’s formula for predicting the non-combat mortality of his troops on Guadalcanal. **
Wisdom comes to us when we look the other way - Chief Smohall of the Perce Nez**
Each good-bye is a drama complete in itself.- LIFE magazine **
Hey, GI Joe, what are you doing out here? You should be home at the farm walking with your girl and getting your chores done, then sitting down to supper. - Tokyo Rose **
Sonno-foi: revere the emperor, drive out the Barbarians.- Yamato slogan**
We, by grace of heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the throne of a line unbroken for ages eternal- Emperor Hirohito**
How many times will you remember a certain afternoon, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it?- Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky **
Courage is rightly esteemed as the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.- - Winston Churchill**
When man is fighting in a war, and his wife wants him to come back to her, hold her in his arms, she knows he has to be part of a grand story, one to tell again and again to fill the emptiness. ** no attribution
Posted by annseymour-sausalito at 4:18 PM 0 comments
Labels: churchill, death, Emperor Hirohito, heroism, love, manchester, peace, war, ww2
Monday, September 28, 2009
Notes on Art Stars

A portrait of supermodel Kate Moss painted by artist Lucien Freud fetched over $6.65 million at auction. Freud shot from the top tier to superstardom when he painted the official Jubilee portrait of QE II. Freud is a British subject but not a sycophant. Witness the dark, complex, rather threatening portrait he painted of his sovereign. She looked like someone you would not want to meet in a dark alley -- or tunnel. Moss, who learned that Freud wanted to paint her by reading it in a magazine, sat for the work in 2002 while she was pregnant with Lila Grace, her first child. A friend and I were discussing this over a lunch of grilled prawns and saffron rice, and she asked, "How do contemporary artists make it into the big money? And are the prices worth it?" Good questions. She then mentioned three other heavy-hitting artists who pull in the megabucks: Cy Twombly, Brice Marden, and Richard Serra.

Lucien Freud is the son of Sigmund, the father of psychoanalysis, which, as much as anything else, defined the twentieth century. He put new words like subconscious and superego into our vocabulary, and was a recognizable world figure. Naturally, Lucien had all the connections, but also the talent. He inherited his father's fascination with the human psyche, but rather than talking to prone patients on couches, he paints portraits. Once he labored six months to get his wife's eyes right in a sketch. You meet one of his portraits and you don't forget it.

What about aspiring artists whose fathers, unlike Sigmund Freud, were butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers? If these artists keep working, will someone discover them sipping a soda like the movie star Lana Turner? Not likely. Today one has an art career played like a game of chess. The kingmakers, of course, are the dealers and the museum directors, but it doesn't hurt to have a MacArthur Foundation "genius" grant or a Guggenheim to join the faculty of a prominent art school or university with an exceptional department. Having a curator at a significant museum or art center like Detroit's DIA (www.dia.org) give you a show helps, too.

Not to say that breakaways don't exist. Jean-Michel Basquiat, the spectacularly talented African American who became famous through his lyrical and powerful graffiti, literally turned into an art star by roaming around Harlem with cans of spray paint, to say nothing of talent. Robert Rauschenberg, probably the dean of American artists, lived on the streets of New York for awhile, creating montages of found objects. One of Rauschenberg's first and most famous works, "Monogram" (1959), consisted of a stuffed angora goat, a tire, a police barrier, the heel of a shoe, a tennis ball, and paint. I remember talking to the abstract expressionist pioneer Clyfford Still, an admirer of Rauschenberg, who said, "He does it, he makes art, even with that bottle of Jack Daniels by his side, but most artists today are careerists and whores who chew the shoestrings of the downtown dealers. Money is their God, and that goes double for (the late) Mark Rothko. Great art ultimately comes from who you are. The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection."

At another party I chatted with the white-clad, soft spoken Tom Wolfe. A Southern gentleman with an almost shy manner, he seemed the opposite of his words. He said, "Today drugs and sex are so plentiful they don't work as tools to get ahead. You have to express the moment." I brought up Jung, who said great art expressed the collective unconscious of a civilization, and Wolfe agreed, adding that he didn't get into "because." "If you start to say 'because,' you get into art jargon," he added. Wolfe likes Cy Twombly, a particularly handsome painter and my favorite among the Twombly-Marden-Serra trio. Twombly could sketch brilliantly as a child, but he credits his life choice to a horror of having to work as a stockbroker or an accountant in an office. He wanted a free and creative life and calls the defining moment in his career as the day he met Robert Rauschenberg in New York. Robert said Cy had the talent and urged him to study at Black Mountain College near Ashville, North Carolina, the fertile crescent of artists at the time. Twombly's style began when he worked as an army cryptologist, which reinforced his love of linear pattern. After his military stint, he painted in New York, sculpted in Rome, moved toward a more literal use of text and numbers, and then developed a vocabulary of strokes and carvings inspired by mythology, poetry, and classic history. He plays out the contradictions he feels, the anxieties and dilemmas, in images that are often sexually charged, always beautiful, combining grace and intelligence. He made it to the big-time: solo exhibitions at New York's Museum of Modern Art and the Musee d'Arte Moderne, Paris, a prize at the Venice Biennale -- you get the idea. His prices zoomed. A great artist affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. Do I think Twombly is one of these? Yes, though his prices have little to do with it. They don't buy eternity. Take novelists. Two of them, Mary Higgins Clark and Margaret Atwood both make the big money, but only Atwood is likely to survive. It's the same with artists. The modern art world's getting a good shakeout at midlevel while prices of "masters" like Picasso soar.

Brice Marden's work has a specific vocabulary with its often joyful imagery, like a cat playing with a string. He paints feelings, forms, does not feel the job of an artist is to see things as they really are; if he did, he would cease to be an artist. He studied art at Boston University and then got a degree in architecture from Yale that influenced his painting, primarily his use of muted tones and preoccupation with geometric format. He had his first show at Bykart Gallery in New York, then became an assistant to -- guess who? Robert Rauschenberg. The great artist influenced the aspiring one, as he had so many others before. Rauschenberg had a unique track record of international stature, generous mentorship of the young, reaching out to help other artists better their situation. I don't know of any artist who's done that as much as he did. In time Marden exhibited at Documenta in Kassel, Germany, which shot him to international stardom. Since then, his work has evolved without losing touch with its roots. He feels he can't always reach the image in his mind, so even if the abstract rendition of it is not quite there, a work gets to the point where he can leave it.
Richard Serra was born in San Francisco, and one can immediately see he's legit as an artist and a person. His constructivist sculptures have great power and are madly in demand right now. However, whether he's considered a top tier artist in future generations is, in my opinion, problematic, because he lives in the shadow of David Smith, the giant of constructivist sculpture. But despite the overpowering presence of Smith, Serra's gotten more than his share of attention, especially when he created the perhaps overly massive outdoor steel sculpture for Manhattan titled Tilted Arc in 1981. After its installation, people hated it so much and launched such protests that it was removed, and in doing so, destroyed. However, Serra had his defenders, and the controversy, his prices quadrupled. He deserved his success, having trained at the highest levels-- literature graduate of the University of California at Berkeley, art at Yale, then in Paris and Florence on a Fulbright grant. As a young man, Richard Serra worked in steel mills to support himself, and much of the raw intensity of his work derives from that experience combined with his magnetic masculinity. While he works on a piece, he can feel when he begins to love it, and experiences a slow comprehension. What counts most to him is finding new ways to recreate ideas in sculpture on his own terms. He can say things with sculpture that he can't say any other way, things he has no words for. It is this direct emotional truth in his work that I believe accounts for his huge success.
All of the artists I've discussed are the real thing, but who am I to say? Andre Malraux described art critics this way: "The dogs bark but the caravan moves along." True, but in the twentieth century, the artists who made it had the full backing of the critics, people who had learned from their mistake at the Salon d'Autumne where they called Matisse and friends "fauves," wild beasts. Still, even the best "barking dogs" can't tell you for sure who will still be hot in 2099.

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Posted by annseymour-sausalito at 2:24 PM 0 comments
Labels: andre Malraux, artists, auctions, caravans, Clyfford Still, collectors, critics, dogs, Kate Moss, Lucien Freud, money, Richard Serra, Robert Rauschenberg
I've Always Loved You, a True Story of ww2 in the Pacifix

Here are excerpts from my true ww2 story coming out in November:
I didn’t understand. I was only four.
Unaware that my life was reversing, like the tide before me, I played on the beach. The sun brightened the cloudless sky, turning it a silvered winter blue, perfect for Sunday, Daddy’s day off. As he and Mom raced to the sea, the foam slapped against the shore. One strap of her bathing suit slipped. In the water, she wrapped her arms around him, her neck pliant, her back limber. Despite the water’s chill, they rode the waves together.
Dripping and sleek, Daddy waded out of the water. His black hair shone with a blue iridescence. He dropped a few steps behind Mom, and watched her hips sway as she walked. Slowly they crossed across the sand, their white stucco house perched on the succulent-covered bluff ahead of them.
Relaxing on our picnic blanket, Mom examined her red fingernails for chips in the polish, and then turned over, the seawater glistening on her shoulders. With combs and hairpins, she tried in vain to tame her wild auburn hair. Untamed, her hair excited Daddy; it reminded him of women dancing in Old West cafes while patrons drank their whiskey. Her eyes were gray, pure gray - no little leopard spots of brown or hazel.
I sat next to the blanket and began digging. Deliberate as a fern unfurling, Daddy smoothed oil on Mom’s slim back and khaki-freckled shoulders.
“More on the right,” she said in her indolent voice. “That’s it . . . Up a little. To the left . . . Yes. I’ve got you pretty well trained.”
“That’s because you reward me.” The tones of a warm youth flowed through his voice, and, moving his hand to the small of her back, he began to sing, “Mary—Helen, Mary—Helen, my own Mary—Helen,” to the tune of the UC Berkeley fight song.
Daddy kneaded Mom’s shoulders, and then rolled over on his back. He winked at me. I knew what that wink meant: he loved me best.
“Nap time,” Mom said, so I ran away from her, heading toward the sea.
“Ann, come here this minute.” She caught up with me and grabbed my wrist. I had almost made it to the water. As we turned, an army officer appeared on the bluff. To me then that bluff rose immensely high, and the uniformed man seemed to tower up to the sky, looking down like a god in the corner of an old map, one who determined destinies at his pleasure. Actually, the bluff was quite small, but I had the perspective of the very young.
“Captain Ribbel, the Japanese have attacked Pearl Harbor. Report for duty immediately!”
Daddy quickly got to his feet, stood at attention in his bathing suit, and saluted the officer.
* * *
Mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law sometimes don’t get along. Such was the case in the emperor’s family, where his hawk wife pitted herself against his dove mother. Though Japan allegedly teems with ten thousand kami spirits who reside in the rocks, fields, and trees, their holy presence could not save the emperor from the struggles of these two strong women.
He feared his mother, adored his wife, Nagako, whose patriotic haikus stiffened his resolve to fight with greater ferocity. However, his mother, Teimei Kogo, Dowager Empress Sadako, took a resolute antiwar stand. She dreaded the Americans and believed they would crush Dai Nippon. When she wasn’t lecturing him, her thin, dry lips trembling, she sent him haikus around themes of the traveler who seeks the seed of the green tree of peace or a moment of peace being a bar of gold. Worse, she called everything he did a “stupid mistake.”
He would point out that the pride of conquest united the Empire of Japan, and added that Westerners did not learn the customs of others, befriending only each other. Now Shinto priests migrate through the empire teaching Dai Nippon’s ancient ways. Asia for Asians. Instead of agreeing, she’d stare at him with hostile black smudge eyes that unnerved him.
He called her the world’s “most ungrateful mother,” while she referred to him as “delusional.” They scowled at each other, he with his thick eyebrows, she with her delicate arches.
Today Emperor Hirohito stood near a golden screen painted with a field of iris and summoned one of his most trusted kuramakus. He preferred kuramakus to ministers and commanders, because they could think. Today’s visitor recommended the emperor organize an asset-stripping plan for occupied countries, rather than letting the commanders continue to randomly loot and pocket the spoils. The Japanese had financial needs _ didn’t all conquerors?
The emperor smiled for the first time in too long. At last a superior concept. He would call his glamorous brother, Chichibu. The emperor trusted his Chichibu-san, unlike his other brothers.
This particular Yamato already realized the vanquished countries teemed with gold and treasure, so he delighted in taking charge of an operation codenamed Golden Lily. He pretended to need medical leave from the army owing to tuberculosis, and claimed he’d gone to a sanitarium near Mt. Fuji. His people prayed for his recovery, bowing before flickering candles and bowls of billowing incense.
Instead, in the dust of ancient roads, he walked through occupied China and Southeast Asia, his piglet hands clutching at goodies. His men took a dozen solid gold Buddhas, each weighing over a ton. He collected fine Asian art and appreciated jewelry, though not as much as his brother the emperor.
Once Chichibu gathered up a country’s bounty, he sent it off on fake hospital ships to various locations. With his cultivated taste and love of souvenirs, he did save some pretty jewels for his wife and daughters, not to mention a few objects to freshen up his palace.
His belief in the sacred also motivated him to collect religious artifacts for the emperor. Hirohito responded to esthetics, especially objects fabricated from gold or jade and encrusted with precious gems. He favored Shakyamunis, (Buddha, the lion of the Shakya tribe), Padmapanis, (queens of heaven), Tao-tieh (tiger-god) masks, and dragons.
In time Chichibu seized so much treasure, it became physically impossible to move it to Japan, so he conscientiously stashed it in the Philippines, hiding it in over two hundred church vaults, bunkers, and underground tunnels. The hills came to life with the sound of coins clinking. In Ipoh, Malaysia, he melted gold and created bars of bullion bearing the stamp of the Golden Lily logo he helped design.
The bounty still lurks in caves, and every so often, someone discovers a bit of it. A recently unearthed solid gold Philippine Buddha weighing close to a ton reportedly resides in a Zurich vault.
* * *
Daddy was to ship out to the bloody Pacific again. He and Mom acted uneasy, as if fear contaminated the air they breathed, the water they drank. His orders came: report for departure in forty-eight hours. I felt a thump of terror inside. Smiling, he tickled my cheek. Then he put on his army hat at an angle, speared a package of cigarettes with a knife, and thrust the knife in his mouth. “My corncob pipe,” he said, “just like MacArthur’s.” Then he shouted, his arms flailing, "I shall return!"
The next day, the morning sky shone pearl gray, turning the neighborhood walls creamy. Mom went downstairs and cooked bacon and eggs for us, unable to control her weeping. I started crying, too. “Please, Daddy, I don’t want you to leave me. When will you come home?”
“I don’t know, sweetheart, but everything will be OK.” His usual appetite for life’s richness had waned, and a sadness shone in his summer blue eyes.
Mom got a pair of scissors and snipped off a lock of his hair that she put in a pink porcelain box. Then we caught the ferry to Ft. Mason as seagulls wheeled overhead.
“Flying goats,” Daddy said. “They’ll eat anything.”
Mom tried to smile. My chilling dread deepened.
At Fort Mason, Daddy hugged us and turned toward the troopship, moving with his usual grace. Even among all the other men, he looked incandescent. I squinted to see him better. He paused at the gangplank, and, outlined in a soft light, raised his hand in farewell. Then he boarded.
Panicked, I screamed, “No!” But the ship glided slowly away. Puffs of smoke rose from its stack while it headed through the Golden Gate into the hell that lay thousands of miles away. The ship became a speck, and the speck disappeared.
* * ** * *
Daddy’s troopship moved through the South China Sea and Central Philippine Islands, but this time he experienced time as racing by, unlike before; it raced with increasing speed, never halting or allowing for a glance behind. He wrote in his diary:

I sit for hours, while the nights become mornings and the miles fall away. Water, oblivion, sky, and water. Time seems more abstract now, the past more distant when I look back. Luzon. How much will blind me? Evade me? I’ve fought in combat patrols, but training’s not a promise.
The sea, the sky enlarge with time, and I shrink. My buddies and I are passengers on the same ferry, bracing for a ride, knowing we will fall off at different points. I see Mary-Helen hovering near me. Her image looks bright to me as a desert noon, and I want to reach for it.

A kamikaze hit a ship right next to Daddy’s, and flames seared the night with bright red and gold. The scene assumed a monster configuration as men tried to survive, their bodies specks of black against the maddening glow. The smell of smoke and metal filled his nostrils, and the odd idea came to him that even Mom’s perfume would never rid him of it.
He kept silent, feeling a sudden oppression; death could touch him soon. He would try to elude it, to fight, to fulfill whatever promise he had, but he could never have imagined anything like the sight of Luzon when it appeared on the horizon.
The island lay at the northernmost tip of the Philippine archipelago, and the island stretched about 450 miles north to south. Birds wheeled and hung above its hamlets, inlets, and deep green rivers, or called out from trees. The flowers, the leaves, and the sparkling waters caught the full light of the sun, as natives guided boats through gorges hacked out of the forests or tended rice paddies. At least half of the men stood ready to join the Allied troops.
“Strike Day,” January 9, 1945, dawned with a light but broken overcast sky and regular, gentle swells whose great beds of foam broke against the white sands of Luzon’s coastline. The guns of Allied naval fire support vessels bombarded the landing beaches, and then the lead troops waded through the swirling waters to the shores _ among them, Daddy.
They seized the Lingayan Airfield, and General Krueger descended the gangplank of the flagship USS Wasatch to take command of the Sixth Army ashore. Immediately reporters infested the region, but Krueger brushed their questions aside, “I would much prefer you drop the matter.”
At sundown, Daddy, a euphoric man, wrote Mom:

Well, my pet, it’s the end of the first day. Strike Day began with the thunder of naval bombardment - harrowing and beautiful to watch. I saw the whole show from the bridge of our ship.
I waded ashore about noon. Since then, the battle has been like a map plan at Leavenworth, but with sound effects and real ammunition. The Japanese apparently decided to withdraw and live to fight another day. Wonder what happened to their ‘invincible spirit?’
The Filipinos acted overjoyed to see us, and very hungry. Guerillas come out of the hills and fight with a strength and fury born of living under Japanese domination. They’re a ragged band, some arriving unarmed and barefoot, their teeth stained with betel nut. Among them are well-trained soldiers with names like ‘shooting squid’ or ‘blood angel.’
All of them help and will dig a foxhole for a GI in return for a cigarette; the GI just sits and enjoys it.
MacArthur smuggled arms to the guerillas right along, but the Nips purloined half of them. No matter. It won’t do them any good. They’re beat, and they know it.
Never saw so many kids in all my life, cute and happy little tykes. It’s been interesting to watch the natives returning to their simple homes. They fled to the hills when the battle started, taking the few possessions they could carry on their backs. The large families return, loaded in the carts. It’s a pitiful sight; in most cases, their simple thatched houses have been reduced to ashes.
Late in the afternoon, during an air raid, a shell fragment fell about ten feet from my hole. My friend Jim Williams worried a lot more than I did over that.
Well, my precious, I’m happy and busy. Writing will be spotty for some time, but I’ll do the best I can. Working about eighteen hours a day, but it’s fun.

* * *
On the “bright island where the frangipani grows,” Daddy crossed over into another experience. After the unopposed landing, the Americans faced devastating bombardment, as Yamashita’s troops opened fire. Mortar shells blew the tops off palm trees, ruined roads, filled the air with steam and dust. The deafening sounds of weapons enlarged the grand and terrible events.
The screams of the wounded combined with the “banzais” the Japanese shrieked at the top of their considerable lungs, and sometimes they shouted taunts: “Hello, hello. Where are your machine guns?” or “Surrender, surrender. Everything is resistless.”
Daddy said, “Give me a moment, and I’ll think of a swift, incisive reply.”
He tried to keep his friends alive with humor, joked that MacArthur appeared at battlefields riding in a jeep, Eleanor Roosevelt by his side. In his diary he wrote:

Ammunition’s running low. Strikes in the ports hamper transportation and unloading. Oxen-drawn carts loaded with pigs or chickens help move weapons, and water buffalo tote signal equipment for us field artillery units. A flu epidemic rages, but I won’t catch it. I never get sick. Guns, blood, noise, and heat. Will I ever again be able to experience a day without dread? In battle, men learn who they are and what they can do. The chaos and exhaustion deranges some of them. Their teeth chatter, they scamper around aimlessly. One burrowed into a cave and got blown up. You figure they’ve gone beyond little lectures on the dream of peace.

Night fell, and he climbed into his foxhole with Jim. Feeling the warmth of a good man next to him made it better. They rotated eating, sleeping, and watch in four-hour shifts, saying nothing. One word, and a Japanese might hear and toss a grenade or satchel charges, incinerating them. Fires were forbidden, so they lit cigarettes with special black lighters and ate cold K-rations: cheese, crackers, lemonade powder.
After breakfast, Daddy gave the men a pep talk to muster enthusiasm. “Strength under siege,” he would say, “it’s important, and you men have it.”
His words energized them but could not offset the sight of the crosses that sprang up every day.
A week after landing, they moved west under heavy artillery and mortar fire, crawling along, staying clear of each other as if contact represented danger. Daddy prayed. He kept moving.
One morning the firing subsided for a few minutes, and he wrote home:

Thank you for saying the shower will be all mine at home. I’m sick of not being able to sing in it, and when I return, I’m going to sing until the hot water runs out, wait for it to reheat, and sing again. I plan to shower and sing for a year. And hold you, my precious. How long it has been.
We’re rolling right along. It’s amazing. There’s hardly a Nip standing around here.
Today the gulf kicked up, and one LST (landing ship tank) broached; we lost some pontoon bridge materials, and the rough surf made unloading impossible. Do you think that slowed us down? Never.
We secured the Manila railroad and the strategic Route 3 from Bambam to Mabalcat, sealed off Bataan. Ready to slow down and take a rest? Not us. We seized Calumpit, crossed the Pampanaga River twenty-eight miles from Manila, and, to the west, secured Subic Bay. I don’t mean my battalion did all these things at once. The Sixth Army has others, but we’re the toughest.
As the Seventh Fleet glided into Subic Bay, Filipinos planted Old Glory on the shoreline, and a brass band played the Philippine and American national anthems. Filipinos gave the GIs cowrie shells as tokens of esteem. Remember when Montezuma gave them to Cortez, along with some feathers? Cortez was so disappointed he arrested Montezuma and kept him incarcerated until he came up with some gold. Sounds like something Hirohito would do.
You’re probably wondering if our K-rations have improved. No! Tonight’s arrived in rain—drenched cartons that turned the ‘food’ into soggy mush. Whoever devised them preferred a life of making mistakes to a life of idleness. Maybe he was a spy. Some day I’ll die of overeating, but not here.
Speaking of, Jim Williams told me the food planners ‘noodle around with ideas.’ Ideas? How to prevent weight gain ranks first. When I get home, I’m going to eat like a starved elephant on a peanut farm.
We’re winning, but revenge is not as sweet as advertised. It’s more enemies wronging each other, leaving behind hatred. I keep my humanity by holding my memories of home: the small beige owl in our garden, poppies dancing on spring green hills, the pale color and fine texture of your skin.
The sky turns from blue to lavender to pink in the sunset. This time of day always makes me homesick.

The next day Daddy rode the Bambam River boat, a ride from hell with Japanese bullets whizzing by the entire time, killing men right and left, knocking them overboard until they turned the water red.
* * *
Aboard the Nashville, MacArthur waved his corncob pipe at General Krueger and famously hollered, “Go around the Nips, bounce off the Nips, but go to Manila!”
Krueger told him that Yamashita wanted a mad dash to Manila. It was premature and could unnecessarily cost lives. He explained the logistical problems: the need for support troops, improvement of communication facilities, railroad and bridge construction, supplies, and reinforcements.
“Nonsense,” MacArthur replied. He demanded Krueger divide his artillery battalions between Clark Field and Manila with no further argument. Most, of course, would head for Manila for MacArthur’s birthday celebration. Krueger insisted the insufficient Clark Field troops would outrun their supplies, since the enemy destroyed all the relevant bridges. Outnumbered and surrounded, they would die from pulverizing enemy artillery fire.
Later, in “From Down Under to Dai Nippon,” Krueger wrote that MacArthur "did not seem very impressed by my arguments . . . He did not take seriously the danger of our troops’ overextension."
MacArthur pulled rank and commanded Krueger to obey him. With sadness and foreboding, Krueger sent a large group in two “flying columns” on the road to Manila, and, on January 24, he ordered a few battalions, including Daddy’s 143rd, to change the axis of their attack ninety degrees and advance toward Clark Field.
Here the wide, patterned farmland fell away; mountains, inflexible in their demands, continued for miles. Their rocky crags remained constant and yet never the same, and their jagged peaks surrounded Clark Field. The dangers Krueger feared proved all too real. Imperial General Tsukada, a devious tactician with an onion-shaped head, arranged the Kenbu defense along the ridges, some a thousand feet high. His machine guns, mortars, and heavy artillery lurked in caves on the high ground. The pillboxes, some three stories high, contained within their concrete walls 150-millimeter mortars, 20-millimeter, 40-millimeter, and 90-millimeter cannon. The Japanese could look down at the Americans struggling along and open fire.
Stranded, outnumbered, our men fought against overwhelming odds. From above, the Kenbu group pinned down Daddy’s battalion. Heavy artillery fire from the far side of the Zambales Mountains slaughtered our men in the rear lines. Roaring masses hit them, and they felt agonizing bolts of pain run through them, saw blood, their blood _ everywhere _ their bodies ripped like pieces of cloth, and they writhed, begging God to stop the pain. Some kept feeling it as they cried out, kept feeling their pain and their heartbeat and their breath, and the metal and the fire, and then nothing.
Our men on the front lines took more blasts from interlocking fields of fire anchored in pillboxes and connected by trenches to well-placed machine gun nests. The barrage raged twenty-four hours a day. Heavy Kenbu artillery blazed over the terrain, shredding men with shrapnel. Tracers blazed arcs of flame that illuminated the mud and blood of the mountains, and their fire bound itself to soldiers, consuming them. Glitters from flamethrowers burst against the blue sky of day or the black of night, gold arcs streaking and blossoming into more yellows and vermilions.
General Rapp Brush called frequent staff meetings to debrief and revise tactics. He, Daddy, and the others met in a secured headquarters area behind Allied lines. On February 12, Rapp said, “We’ve got to find the artillery positions on the reverse side of Sacobia Ridge; the heavy, concentrated fire there’s raising hell with our troops, but you know that first hand. Chewing up our armored vehicles. We need to send Jim Williams up on a reconnaissance flight with a spotter.”

He paused, studying faces, then nodded at Daddy. “Assign the job to someone in your unit.”

“I’ll go, myself,” Daddy said. “I think I know where the heavy artillery is.”

“No. Send one of your men.”

Daddy stood up. “It’s not a kamikaze mission. Jim can really maneuver planes; they dance with him.”

“I want you to delegate this. There’s a lot of anti-aircraft fire in the target area.”
“Is that an order, sir?”
Rapp hesitated.
“Then Jim and I will go.” The decision made, Daddy wrote in his notebook: “Feb. 14, 5:30 p.m., Hangar K.”
Posted by annseymour-sausalito at 2:15 PM 0 comments
Labels: attack, daughter, disaster, Emperor Hirohito, father, fear, General MacArthur, love, mother, Pearl Harbor, the sea
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
AT;+T

AT+T home phone service has been overcharging us for 5 years. I complained - fine, if you like talking to mechanical devices. Then I contacted the Calif. PUC, and finally a human "customer service" rep from AT+T celled me to say that since we'd been paying for 5 years, that meant they weren't overcharging. Back to the PUC, and they're demanding AT+T's reconrd. Anyone interested in updates as they come in? Ann Seymour"
Posted by annseymour-sausalito at 12:43 PM 1 comments
Labels: phone
Monday, April 6, 2009
cartel

diamond cartel ideas. For ages it reigned as the world’s last true empire, she reflected, though now it shatters more every day. Still, despite the publicity “blood diamonds” have received, de Beers provides some control over the market. It may well be easier to find a "clean" diamond than it is to find a "clean" colored stone. Of course, the control’s slipped bigtime.
She thought of a story Fiona’s uncle told her that showed how much international clout the cartel once had and decided to include it. She began to write:

In the heyday of the De Beers diamond cartel, around four dozen top jewelry dealers would meet at headquarters in London - 17 Charterhouse St. They would receive boxes of uncut diamonds, each of which cost eight million dollars, and the dealers had to take whatever cookies they were passed. Young Harry Winston decided he could go around the cartel, refused his box, and set up a partnership in Angloa when the Portuguese had it. Next thing he knew, the Portuguese government advised his partners that the British government would regard conducting business with Harry Winston as ‘an unfriendly act.’ From then on, he politely accepted the packages the cartel sold him.
Posted by annseymour-sausalito at 4:45 PM 0 comments
Labels: cartel
dyslexia

If you Google Cinthia Haan, you learn that she helped launch Sprint, oversaw various mergers and acquisitions in telecommunications, created and sold more than one company of her own. Next you learn she's now dedicating herself to helping children with dyslexia and has formed, for this purpose, the Haan Foundation for Children. She's also President of power4KIDS reading initiative, a clinical trial of innovative teaching methods. Lots of lobbying Congress involved here. This information hardly prepares one for meeting her. She's a gorgeous, very feminine blue-eyed blonde with creamy skin and a radiant smile that make her look twenty-something. When she smiles, you think, this girl would make a wonderful friend; she's so empathetic and real. When asked why she switched from business to education, she says she sold her last company and went on a celebration vacation with her then husband. "We left our two grammar school children at home," she says, "and when we returned, I got the shock of my life: a message from Stuart Hall. 'Your son cannot read,' it said." As she remembers, she shakes the long wavy hair that she trims herself during teleconferences. "Horrible visions of an adolescence filled with depression, drugs, despair rushed at me, so I asked where to go for help. At the end of a year, it became apparent that the existing facilities didn't help, at least not enough. She's a big supporter of the New Three R's, a program of social, psychological, and cognitive intervention that can help nonreaders. "The brains of true dyslexics have been studied." She mentions a local Fortune Five genius whose eponymous company is a national brand. He's dyslexic, and he joined a group of subjects (all with dyslexia and IQs over 140), who solved problems while MRIs, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, recorded their brain activity. "The studies showed that these people are in fact wired differently, and their cortical function is entirely different from the general population's," she says. Now her son is off to college after nine acceptances, and her daughter, also a dyslexic, has graduated from college and is on a fast career track. She explains the new approach to teaching these people: combine phoneme awareness with phonetics and then put symbols and sounds together. Learn to deconstruct and then build a scaffold by visualizing and verbalizing. Comprehension and fluency follow once the pattern is set. "Our primary mission is to unite scientific research, education practice and technology toward the goal of improving education for all children," she says. "We will mobilize practices and programs that prove to be highly effective into schools, after-school programs and the homes of students . . . Through 'gold standard' research, we will analyze, design and disseminate winning practices and programs that target instruction to many different learning profiles, improving both the strengths and weaknesses that are inherent in all learners . . . Our ultimate goal is establishing a research institute that will unite scientists from varying disciplines (brain sciences, biological sciences, environmental sciences, behavioral sciences, education sciences, and genetic sciences) to study and develop a comprehensive understanding of how the mind works best, environmental factors that may impair neurological functions, various biological issues, genetic traits effecting cognitive abilities; and the behavioral and emotional dynamics of learning aptitude."
Posted by annseymour-sausalito at 1:29 PM 0 comments
Labels: dyxlexia
Love

I'm wondering if she's only deeply moved by the sight of a departing train. Does she discuss the future at all? Does she pick up on your likes and dislikes? She may be enjoying every magical moment with you as a stop gap until Mr. Right comes along, or she may just have been startled by your proposal and feeling the timing was off. When translated into the Zeirgeist, or collective unconscious, one would wonder if she's a feminist who regards marriage as too twentieth century. Talk to her about her reasons rather than waiting and trying again.
Dear Ann,My lover is the most attentive, affectionate woman on earth; she can hardly stand to be separated from me, in fact she will call in tears just from missing me if we're apart a couple of days. However, when I proposed marriage to her, she acted shocked and basically refused. Should I ask her why or wait and propose again later?- StumpedDear Stumped,Dostoyevskian torment over separations aside, in what manner does she show her love? I'm wondering if she's only deeply moved by the sight of a departing train. Does she discuss the future at all? Does she pick up on your likes and dislikes? She may be enjoying every magical moment with you as a stop gap until Mr. Right comes along, or she may just have been startled by your proposal and feeling the timing was off. When translated into the Zeirgeist, or collective unconscious, one would wonder if she's a feminist who regards marriage as too twentieth century. Talk to her about her reasons rather than waiting and trying again.* * * Dear Ann,I'm rather interested in a man I'll call Toby, but there's something odd about him: he scours everything with his nose like a pig digging for truffles, often commenting on the "marvelous aroma," "magnificent scents," etc. It's a bit over the top. Is sniffing some kind of fetish?.WonderingDear Wondering:The lines between enthusiasm, obsession, and fetishism sometimes blur; in fact most abnormal behavior is an exaggeration of the normal. As you are writing me, you are annoyed by this sniffer, and you will soon be driven crazy. In time irritating habits are magnified in the mind of the beholder rather than diminished. I am a widower trying to advise my daughter, a beautiful young woman. She became involved with a Frenchman, and the relationship soon fizzled. That is, he left. She blames the fact that he had an affair with his mother's best friend when he was eighteen. Would this warp him permanently? Is there any point in her trying to get him back? She still cares.Thanks for help,DadDear Dad:The affair with mama's friend isn't the reason, unless he's like Colette's Cherie. The affair with the older woman is a rite de passage for a French adolescent, and what are Maman's friends for? He is making excuses. If the lover were l'oncle, I might be more impressed. To answer your question: no, this man is not a keeper.* * *Dear Ann,I read an earlier column of yours where you described aphrodisiac foods and cooked my lover the ideal meal. Now all he talks about is what a great chef I am and when are we going to eat more?Yours,LouiseDear Louise,Uh-oh, maybe you inadvertently tapped into his addiction. If he talks more about food than he does about you, be cautious. I'm not coming down hard against him, just curious about his priorities and passions.* * *Dear Ann,I am twenty-two, and this Christmas there will be some good parties where I might meet someone. My grandmother always said, "You never know when a door will open and your fate will walk in." My question for you: what make-up do you recommend?Sincerely,ErinDear Erin,Men like a natural look, and this translates to carefully applied makeup. It takes longer and requires more skill to look natural than it does to look like Bette Davis. A girl your age doesn't need a coat of makeup on her face. If your skin is a pasty color, you can add a little color tint like Agnes B. apricot or tinted Neutrogena. Use a concealer for serious flaws; make sure it's a good match and blend it carefully. Avoid thickener mascaras and go for one that separates the lashes and just adds color. Better, dye your lashes. Shape your brows intelligently. The brow line is important to the look of your face. Check magazines and see how the brows are shaped, especially on faces that resemble yours. Lip-gloss should add shine but not look greasy or sticky. This is not easy, and it has to do largely with amount. Apply the blush, smile, blot off excess; you want to avoid globs or streaks. Blush is dangerous to those who would look natural and should be applied with a minimalist hand if at all. Smile when applying to find the apples in your cheeks where the blush belongs. Remove excess with a clean, dry tissue instead of fingers.The oil on fingers may cause blotchiness.* * *Dear AnnI'm a man, and I want to marry once only, for life. I've seen good marriages, bad, and divorces. I asked my father how you know if you're happily married, and he looked bemused, said he didn't know. Ann, what do you think?Signed,BarnabyDear Barnaby,Somebody once asked writer Dawn Powell about her 42 year long marriage, and she replied that her husband "is the only person in the world I find it always a kick to run into on the street." * * *Dear Ann,I am considering Lasik surgery. Is it safe?JustinDear Justin,You may or may not have asked the right person. My husband is a neurosurgeon, and like most surgery families, we go under the knife only in extremis. All surgery is risky, and that includes laser. Substituting a laser beam for a knife doesn't mean you're not cutting flesh. Lasik correction is touted as a fast, painless and permanent way for nearsighted and farsighted people to restore their vision. A doctor cuts a flap in the cornea and then reshapes the exposed area with a laser. It costs over $2000 per eye. Since 1996, over two million people including Cindy Crawford and Courtney Cox have had this procedure, and in five percent of the cases complications develop: infection, blurred vision, or halos of light marring the sight. No pregnant woman or person on cumaden should try it. Be wary of doctors who advertise a lot or give a hard sell. We would speak of board certification, and we do as a first step, but it's not a panacea. "People" magazine just ran a scary article about people who died from liposuction and other procedures done by board certified plastic surgeons. Another consideration: glasses are cool and trendy now. So why not check out some of the great frames Armani and others are making and pop in some prescription lenses? You'll probably go ahead with your Lasik surgery; most people do, even though they ask. Good luck.* * *Dear Ann,I think I may be falling in love, and I wonder if it's reciprocated. I met a man, we spent some magical time together; he's beautiful, sensitive, talented, deep. Maybe I'm just wacko, but a couple of little things bother me. Could you give me perspective? You will probably say I'm a ridiculous baby, and I wouldn't blame you, but here are my issues: 1. He kept staring at photos of Cindy Crawford in a magazine in front of me. Couldn't he have tactfully waited and stared in private? 2. We had lunch with an older friend of mine, a woman who is like a sister to me and nice looking for her age, but - well, you know what I'm saying. He said she looks just like "XX", a movie star. I am writing under an alias and don't want anything to give away who I am, therefore I'll just call the star "XX." Ann, why didn't he say I remind him of a movie star? It's not that I am conceited, but if she reminds him of a star, I would think I would, too.Sign me,Silly girlDear Silly,You know what? "Smart girl" is the better name for you. Yes, these are extremely worrisome signs. In the beginning stage of a romantic relationship, a lover should show emotional tact, have eyes only for you, and compliments as well. So where does that leave us? As too sadly often in this column and life there is more than one possible answer: 1. He could be slightly sadistic, manipulative, and a poseur, a man more interested in games than real connection. 2. He may be an OK guy who just wants to communicate that your liaison is not to be taken seriously. I don't know. Keep me posted. The situation, it must be said, looks murky at best.* * *Dear Ann,Charles and I have started dating; he is a promoter who books concerts for a number of classical musicians. We both love music, and I do what I can to help him. He said, "I often become friendly with people who share my ideals." What does this mean?DelphineDear Delphine,He could be another Spinoza, or he could be telling you he sleeps around a lot and you need to know.* * *Dear Ann,Do you know anything about modern art? I am a faithful reader of Fashionlines, LOVE IT, and notice you often write about art. I am considering buying an abstract painting, though I don't really understand it. How do I know if it's good or not? The gallery owner says the artist is one of the top in Europe.X0,Wish I could afford Van GoghDear Wish,Don't we all. OK, dealers hang onto their artists by selling their work. Period. Well, selling and generating publicity. Any successful dealer is good at persuading buyers and manipulating the press. They are believable and charming in one way or another; they have to be. Some have the patronizing-expert sort of charm, others the warm-enthusiastic. It's a difference in style, not substance. To answer your question, call the curatorial departments of three major modern museums and ask if anyone has heard of your artist. Call the major auction houses and see if they accept his work on consignment. Ask around about the gallery's standing. New York dominates the modern art world with London running a distant second. There's strength in Barcelona and Milan. If you are buying from one of the most powerful dealers in New York, you're fine. They know how to make it all happen whether the artist deserves it or not.* * *Dear Ann,My lover told me his wife was always mad at him, so I thought he was in splitsville. Now he has ended our relationship saying he loves his wife. What do you make of this?Thank you,BergittaDear Bergitta,A married man ending an affair always hides behind his wife, just as one beginning an affair says his wife doesn't understand him. Why did he really bail? Here I am saying I'm not sure again. It's embarrassing, but I'm not. Maybe he met someone else, a teenager, a boy - who knows? Maybe his wife found out about the affair and gave him a good beating. Maybe he is just a serial hitter with an established repertoire. If he seems sincere and caring to you, it may well be his M.O. Anyway, forget him.* * *Dear Ann,I produce Indie films, love it, but am exhausted. Should I quit and become a script writer of something else easy? If not, why not?Best,MonaDear Mona,It's cool and glamorous to be a producer. Not cool and glamorous to be a scriptwriter. Let me, for the sake of other readers, give a list of what is cool and glamorous and what is not: Cool and glamorous: being a publisher, a famous chef, a rock star, supermodel, photographer, NFL player, pilot (plane must be your own), a so-famous person you need to be escorted through cities in black limos with sirens screaming and headlights glaring, a novelist, a confidante of the US President (usually), a friend of Jim Clark or Bill Gates, a reader of e-magazines, the only reporter on Everest, a racer of Lamborghinis, creator of art videos, pilgrim (rich) who visits Burmese monks who are personal friends.Not cool and glamorous: being a staff writer, wielding a mean bar-b-que poker, criticizing countries you might be visiting, being a lingerie model, a lounge lizard, a member of United's frequent flyer program, a jay walker, a confidante of a Congressman in your district, a friend of a friend of a cast member of "Friends" (the show isn't delivering this fall)); a reader of print magazines only, reporter whose beat is tea parties, driver of an RV without needing the room for your soccer team (if you do, it's OK), fan of prepackaged "vacations in paradise."* * *Dear Ann,Maurice is in his early thirties, I in my forties, and he has taken me on as a confident. He is tall, handsome, charming, well-situated in life. His problem is that the girls his own age don't appreciate him. He suffers so many rejections. For the life of me, I can't comprehend why; is it because he is an old world gentleman and the girls today become so decadent they don't appreciate good manners? Can you help me help him?Caringly,ConnieDear Connie,Exactly how many times has he struck out? Have there been any successes, or is he still a virgin? Trust me, girls always adore good manners and flattering attention; the new generation is no exception. He either secretly wants you and is trying to do a tea and sympathy number on you, or he unconsciously wants you or someone like you and therefore sends insincere signals to the girls his own age. Or maybe he's just whining over a couple of rejections; after all, none of us can attract EVERY target, desirable as that would be. The other possibility is he has a sexual orientation confusion which is obvious to the babes. Give them credit; like their elders, they have antenna.* * *Dear Ann,I am 15, Justin is 17, and we're hooked up. He wants to do the whole number, but I am a virgin and not ready. I am getting the idea he will break up with me if I go on saying no. What are your thoughts?Lovingly,MarileeDear Marilee,The guy who will break up with you for not doing it is the one who will talk if you do. trust me on this.* * *Dear Ann,I bought a good outfit because it was on sale, but it doesn't look good on me. Nobody even compliments it much. Should I go on wearing it?Signed,CecileDear Cecile,There is no such thing as a good outfit that doesn't look good on you. It's a bad outfit if it doesn't work for you. Don't go there again. Meanwhile, find a talented seamstress and plead with her to do a redesign. Changing shoulders, neckline, waistline (lowering or raising) can help. Good luck.* * *Dear Ann,Every time I pop a pimple my mother the meddler tells me to stop. What is it with her? I'm sick of it, sick of her.So sincerely,SusieDear Susie,She's afraid you'll be known as scarface some day. Meanwhile you don't want these snow-capped Mt. Everest eruptions on your face. Treat them as surgeon would a delicate operation. Cleanse face, hands, apply alcohol (rubbing, not tequila), dip a sharp needle you haven't used before in alcohol. Pop and remove ugly stuff, but do not squeeze too hard or you'll end up looking worse than you did before. Finish with more alcohol, medicinal peroxide. The peroxide is the most potent drying agent. We're talking pimples here. A person with severe acne should go to a dermatologist for treatment. There are powerful meds today that can deal with even the most severe cases. * * *Dear Ann,A handsome European has captured my heart, and just thinking about him brings a smile to my lips. One tiny thing: he often says my comments are "so American" with a bored sneer. Should I ignore them?Your friend,CindiDear Cindi,He has no manners. A person of breeding never slights another's race, religion, or country of origin. Usually these insults are derived from a warranted feeling of insecurity. For example, in "The Robber Bride" Margaret Atwood wrote, re moving from Canada to California, "(it was) a lapse of taste...Why go to California where the bread is even arier, the accent ever flatter, the grammar even more spurious than it is here?" That's funny. In the Bay Area alone we have Pulitzer Prize fiction writers, Booker Prize finalists, and a Nobel Laureate poet. All Atwood has won is little known Canadian prizes like the Trillium Award. See what we mean? under an alias and don't want anything to give away who I am, therefore I'll just call the star "XX." Ann, why didn't he say I remind him of a movie star? It's not that I am conceited, but if she reminds him of a star, I would think I would, too.Sign me,Silly girlDear Silly,You know what? "Smart girl" is the better name for you. Yes, these are extremely worrisome signs. In the beginning stage of a romantic relationship, a lover should show emotional tact, have eyes only for you, and compliments as well. So where does that leave us? As too sadly often in this column and life there is more than one possible answer: 1. He could be slightly sadistic, manipulative, and a poseur, a man more interested in games than real connection. 2. He may be an OK guy who just wants to communicate that your liaison is not to be taken seriously. I don't know. Keep me posted. The situation, it must be said, looks murky at best.* * *Dear Ann,Charles and I have started dating; he is a promoter who books concerts for a number of classical musicians. We both love music, and I do what I can to help him. He said, "I often become friendly with people who share my ideals." What does this mean?DelphineDear Delphine,He could be another Spinoza, or he could be telling you he sleeps around a lot and you need to know.
Dear Ann,My lover is the most attentive, affectionate woman on earth; she can hardly stand to be separated from me, in fact she will call in tears just from missing me if we're apart a couple of days. However, when I proposed marriage to her, she acted shocked and basically refused. Should I ask her why or wait and propose again later?- StumpedDear Stumped,Dostoyevskian torment over separations aside, in what manner does she show her love? I'm wondering if she's only deeply moved by the sight of a departing train. Does she discuss the future at all? Does she pick up on your likes and dislikes? She may be enjoying every magical moment with you as a stop gap until Mr. Right comes along, or she may just have been startled by your proposal and feeling the timing was off. When translated into the Zeirgeist, or collective unconscious, one would wonder if she's a feminist who regards marriage as too twentieth century. Talk to her about her reasons rather than waiting and trying again.* * * Dear Ann,I'm rather interested in a man I'll call Toby, but there's something odd about him: he scours everything with his nose like a pig digging for truffles, often commenting on the "marvelous aroma," "magnificent scents," etc. It's a bit over the top. Is sniffing some kind of fetish?.WonderingDear Wondering:The lines between enthusiasm, obsession, and fetishism sometimes blur; in fact most abnormal behavior is an exaggeration of the normal. As you are writing me, you are annoyed by this sniffer, and you will soon be driven crazy. In time irritating habits are magnified in the mind of the beholder rather than diminished.* * *Dear Ann,In the past month I lost my job and my boyfriend; I will soon lose my apartment, as he paid half the rent. I am frantic and feel totally confused. Help!Sincerely,DesperateDear Desperate:The Chinese character for "crisis" combines "danger" and "opportunity." You've lost the major elements of your present life. Instead of immediately trying to replace them, why not consider new options? Think about your work first and the rest (guys) will follow. You can find many career counseling websites and job opportunities on the Internet, as well as part time work to tide you over. Talk to your landlord; tell him you're having problems and ask for a period of grace with the promise of reimbursement later. Worst case, you may be able to camp out with friends for a while.* * *Dear Ann:I am a widower trying to advise my daughter, a beautiful young woman. She became involved with a Frenchman, and the relationship soon fizzled. That is, he left. She blames the fact that he had an affair with his mother's best friend when he was eighteen. Would this warp him permanently? Is there any point in her trying to get him back? She still cares.Thanks for help,DadDear Dad:The affair with mama's friend isn't the reason, unless he's like Colette's Cherie. The affair with the older woman is a rite de passage for a French adolescent, and what are Maman's friends for? He is making excuses. If the lover were l'oncle, I might be more impressed. To answer your question: no, this man is not a keeper.* * *Dear Ann,I read an earlier column of yours where you described aphrodisiac foods and cooked my lover the ideal meal. Now all he talks about is what a great chef I am and when are we going to eat more?Yours,LouiseDear Louise,Uh-oh, maybe you inadvertently tapped into his addiction. If he talks more about food than he does about you, be cautious. I'm not coming down hard against him, just curious about his priorities and passions.* * *Dear Ann,I am twenty-two, and this Christmas there will be some good parties where I might meet someone. My grandmother always said, "You never know when a door will open and your fate will walk in." My question for you: what make-up do you recommend?Sincerely,ErinDear Erin,Men like a natural look, and to us at Fashionlines this translates to carefully applied makeup. It takes longer and requires more skill to look natural than it does to look like Bette Davis. A girl your age doesn't need a coat of makeup on her face. If your skin is a pasty color, you can add a little color tint like Agnes B. apricot or tinted Neutrogena. Use a concealer for serious flaws; make sure it's a good match and blend it carefully. Avoid thickener mascaras and go for one that separates the lashes and just adds color. Better, dye your lashes. Shape your brows intelligently. The brow line is important to the look of your face. Check magazines and see how the brows are shaped, especially on faces that resemble yours. Lip-gloss should add shine but not look greasy or sticky. This is not easy, and it has to do largely with amount. Apply the blush, smile, blot off excess; you want to avoid globs or streaks. Blush is dangerous to those who would look natural and should be applied with a minimalist hand if at all. Smile when applying to find the apples in your cheeks where the blush belongs. Remove excess with a clean, dry tissue instead of fingers.The oil on fingers may cause blotchiness.* * *Dear AnnI'm a man, and I want to marry once only, for life. I've seen good marriages, bad, and divorces. I asked my father how you know if you're happily married, and he looked bemused, said he didn't know. Ann, what do you think?Signed,BarnabyDear Barnaby,Somebody once asked writer Dawn Powell about her 42 year long marriage, and she replied that her husband "is the only person in the world I find it always a kick to run into on the street." * * *Dear Ann,I am considering Lasik surgery. Is it safe?JustinDear Justin,You may or may not have asked the right person. My husband is a neurosurgeon, and like most surgery families, we go under the knife only in extremis. All surgery is risky, and that includes laser. Substituting a laser beam for a knife doesn't mean you're not cutting flesh. Lasik correction is touted as a fast, painless and permanent way for nearsighted and farsighted people to restore their vision. A doctor cuts a flap in the cornea and then reshapes the exposed area with a laser. It costs over $2000 per eye. Since 1996, over two million people including Cindy Crawford and Courtney Cox have had this procedure, and in five percent of the cases complications develop: infection, blurred vision, or halos of light marring the sight. No pregnant woman or person on cumaden should try it. Be wary of doctors who advertise a lot or give a hard sell. We would speak of board certification, and we do as a first step, but it's not a panacea. "People" magazine just ran a scary article about people who died from liposuction and other procedures done by board certified plastic surgeons. Another consideration: glasses are cool and trendy now. So why not check out some of the great frames Armani and others are making and pop in some prescription lenses? You'll probably go ahead with your Lasik surgery; most people do, even though they ask. Good luck.* * *Dear Ann,I think I may be falling in love, and I wonder if it's reciprocated. I met a man, we spent some magical time together; he's beautiful, sensitive, talented, deep. Maybe I'm just wacko, but a couple of little things bother me. Could you give me perspective? You will probably say I'm a ridiculous baby, and I wouldn't blame you, but here are my issues: 1. He kept staring at photos of Cindy Crawford in a magazine in front of me. Couldn't he have tactfully waited and stared in private? 2. We had lunch with an older friend of mine, a woman who is like a sister to me and nice looking for her age, but - well, you know what I'm saying. He said she looks just like "XX", a movie star. I am writing under an alias and don't want anything to give away who I am, therefore I'll just call the star "XX." Ann, why didn't he say I remind him of a movie star? It's not that I am conceited, but if she reminds him of a star, I would think I would, too.Sign me,Silly girlDear Silly,You know what? "Smart girl" is the better name for you. Yes, these are extremely worrisome signs. In the beginning stage of a romantic relationship, a lover should show emotional tact, have eyes only for you, and compliments as well. So where does that leave us? As too sadly often in this column and life there is more than one possible answer: 1. He could be slightly sadistic, manipulative, and a poseur, a man more interested in games than real connection. 2. He may be an OK guy who just wants to communicate that your liaison is not to be taken seriously. I don't know. Keep me posted. The situation, it must be said, looks murky at best.* * *Dear Ann,Charles and I have started dating; he is a promoter who books concerts for a number of classical musicians. We both love music, and I do what I can to help him. He said, "I often become friendly with people who share my ideals." What does this mean?DelphineDear Delphine,He could be another Spinoza, or he could be telling you he sleeps around a lot and you need to know.* * *Dear Ann,Do you know anything about modern art? I am a faithful reader of Fashionlines, LOVE IT, and notice you often write about art. I am considering buying an abstract painting, though I don't really understand it. How do I know if it's good or not? The gallery owner says the artist is one of the top in Europe.X0,Wish I could afford Van GoghDear Wish,Don't we all. OK, dealers hang onto their artists by selling their work. Period. Well, selling and generating publicity. Any successful dealer is good at persuading buyers and manipulating the press. They are believable and charming in one way or another; they have to be. Some have the patronizing-expert sort of charm, others the warm-enthusiastic. It's a difference in style, not substance. To answer your question, call the curatorial departments of three major modern museums and ask if anyone has heard of your artist. Call the major auction houses and see if they accept his work on consignment. Ask around about the gallery's standing. New York dominates the modern art world with London running a distant second. There's strength in Barcelona and Milan. If you are buying from one of the most powerful dealers in New York, you're fine. They know how to make it all happen whether the artist deserves it or not.* * *Dear Ann,My lover told me his wife was always mad at him, so I thought he was in splitsville. Now he has ended our relationship saying he loves his wife. What do you make of this?Thank you,BergittaDear Bergitta,A married man ending an affair always hides behind his wife, just as one beginning an affair says his wife doesn't understand him. Why did he really bail? Here I am saying I'm not sure again. It's embarrassing, but I'm not. Maybe he met someone else, a teenager, a boy - who knows? Maybe his wife found out about the affair and gave him a good beating. Maybe he is just a serial hitter with an established repertoire. If he seems sincere and caring to you, it may well be his M.O. Anyway, forget him.
Dear Ann,My lover is the most attentive, affectionate woman on earth; she can hardly stand to be separated from me, in fact she will call in tears just from missing me if we're apart a couple of days. However, when I proposed marriage to her, she acted shocked and basically refused. Should I ask her why or wait and propose again later?- StumpedDear Stumped,Dostoyevskian torment over separations aside, in what manner does she show her love? I'm wondering if she's only deeply moved by the sight of a departing train. Does she discuss the future at all? Does she pick up on your likes and dislikes? She may be enjoying every magical moment with you as a stop gap until Mr. Right comes along, or she may just have been startled by your proposal and feeling the timing was off. When translated into the Zeirgeist, or collective unconscious, one would wonder if she's a feminist who regards marriage as too twentieth century. Talk to her about her reasons rather than waiting and trying again.* * * Dear Ann,I'm rather interested in a man I'll call Toby, but there's something odd about him: he scours everything with his nose like a pig digging for truffles, often commenting on the "marvelous aroma," "magnificent scents," etc. It's a bit over the top. Is sniffing some kind of fetish?.WonderingDear Wondering:The lines between enthusiasm, obsession, and fetishism sometimes blur; in fact most abnormal behavior is an exaggeration of the normal. As you are writing me, you are annoyed by this sniffer, and you will soon be driven crazy. In time irritating habits are magnified in the mind of the beholder rather than diminished.* * *Dear Ann,In the past month I lost my job and my boyfriend; I will soon lose my apartment, as he paid half the rent. I am frantic and feel totally confused. Help!Sincerely,DesperateDear Desperate:The Chinese character for "crisis" combines "danger" and "opportunity." You've lost the major elements of your present life. Instead of immediately trying to replace them, why not consider new options? Think about your work first and the rest (guys) will follow. You can find many career counseling websites and job opportunities on the Internet, as well as part time work to tide you over. Talk to your landlord; tell him you're having problems and ask for a period of grace with the promise of reimbursement later. Worst case, you may be able to camp out with friends for a while.* * *Dear Ann:I am a widower trying to advise my daughter, a beautiful young woman. She became involved with a Frenchman, and the relationship soon fizzled. That is, he left. She blames the fact that he had an affair with his mother's best friend when he was eighteen. Would this warp him permanently? Is there any point in her trying to get him back? She still cares.Thanks for help,DadDear Dad:The affair with mama's friend isn't the reason, unless he's like Colette's Cherie. The affair with the older woman is a rite de passage for a French adolescent, and what are Maman's friends for? He is making excuses. If the lover were l'oncle, I might be more impressed. To answer your question: no, this man is not a keeper.* * *Dear Ann,I read an earlier column of yours where you described aphrodisiac foods and cooked my lover the ideal meal. Now all he talks about is what a great chef I am and when are we going to eat more?Yours,LouiseDear Louise,Uh-oh, maybe you inadvertently tapped into his addiction. If he talks more about food than he does about you, be cautious. I'm not coming down hard against him, just curious about his priorities and passions.* * *Dear Ann,I am twenty-two, and this Christmas there will be some good parties where I might meet someone. My grandmother always said, "You never know when a door will open and your fate will walk in." My question for you: what make-up do you recommend?Sincerely,ErinDear Erin,Men like a natural look, and to us at Fashionlines this translates to carefully applied makeup. It takes longer and requires more skill to look natural than it does to look like Bette Davis. A girl your age doesn't need a coat of makeup on her face. If your skin is a pasty color, you can add a little color tint like Agnes B. apricot or tinted Neutrogena. Use a concealer for serious flaws; make sure it's a good match and blend it carefully. Avoid thickener mascaras and go for one that separates the lashes and just adds color. Better, dye your lashes. Shape your brows intelligently. The brow line is important to the look of your face. Check magazines and see how the brows are shaped, especially on faces that resemble yours. Lip-gloss should add shine but not look greasy or sticky. This is not easy, and it has to do largely with amount. Apply the blush, smile, blot off excess; you want to avoid globs or streaks. Blush is dangerous to those who would look natural and should be applied with a minimalist hand if at all. Smile when applying to find the apples in your cheeks where the blush belongs. Remove excess with a clean, dry tissue instead of fingers.The oil on fingers may cause blotchiness.* * *Dear AnnI'm a man, and I want to marry once only, for life. I've seen good marriages, bad, and divorces. I asked my father how you know if you're happily married, and he looked bemused, said he didn't know. Ann, what do you think?Signed,BarnabyDear Barnaby,Somebody once asked writer Dawn Powell about her 42 year long marriage, and she replied that her husband "is the only person in the world I find it always a kick to run into on the street." * * *Dear Ann,I am considering Lasik surgery. Is it safe?JustinDear Justin,You may or may not have asked the right person. My husband is a neurosurgeon, and like most surgery families, we go under the knife only in extremis. All surgery is risky, and that includes laser. Substituting a laser beam for a knife doesn't mean you're not cutting flesh. Lasik correction is touted as a fast, painless and permanent way for nearsighted and farsighted people to restore their vision. A doctor cuts a flap in the cornea and then reshapes the exposed area with a laser. It costs over $2000 per eye. Since 1996, over two million people including Cindy Crawford and Courtney Cox have had this procedure, and in five percent of the cases complications develop: infection, blurred vision, or halos of light marring the sight. No pregnant woman or person on cumaden should try it. Be wary of doctors who advertise a lot or give a hard sell. We would speak of board certification, and we do as a first step, but it's not a panacea. "People" magazine just ran a scary article about people who died from liposuction and other procedures done by board certified plastic surgeons. Another consideration: glasses are cool and trendy now. So why not check out some of the great frames Armani and others are making and pop in some prescription lenses? You'll probably go ahead with your Lasik surgery; most people do, even though they ask. Good luck.* * *Dear Ann,I think I may be falling in love, and I wonder if it's reciprocated. I met a man, we spent some magical time together; he's beautiful, sensitive, talented, deep. Maybe I'm just wacko, but a couple of little things bother me. Could you give me perspective? You will probably say I'm a ridiculous baby, and I wouldn't blame you, but here are my issues: 1. He kept staring at photos of Cindy Crawford in a magazine in front of me. Couldn't he have tactfully waited and stared in private? 2. We had lunch with an older friend of mine, a woman who is like a sister to me and nice looking for her age, but - well, you know what I'm saying. He said she looks just like "XX", a movie star. I am writing under an alias and don't want anything to give away who I am, therefore I'll just call the star "XX." Ann, why didn't he say I remind him of a movie star? It's not that I am conceited, but if she reminds him of a star, I would think I would, too.Sign me,Silly girlDear Silly,You know what? "Smart girl" is the better name for you. Yes, these are extremely worrisome signs. In the beginning stage of a romantic relationship, a lover should show emotional tact, have eyes only for you, and compliments as well. So where does that leave us? As too sadly often in this column and life there is more than one possible answer: 1. He could be slightly sadistic, manipulative, and a poseur, a man more interested in games than real connection. 2. He may be an OK guy who just wants to communicate that your liaison is not to be taken seriously. I don't know. Keep me posted. The situation, it must be said, looks murky at best.* * *Dear Ann,Charles and I have started dating; he is a promoter who books concerts for a number of classical musicians. We both love music, and I do what I can to help him. He said, "I often become friendly with people who share my ideals." What does this mean?DelphineDear Delphine,He could be another Spinoza, or he could be telling you he sleeps around a lot and you need to know.* * *Dear Ann,Do you know anything about modern art? I am a faithful reader of Fashionlines, LOVE IT, and notice you often write about art. I am considering buying an abstract painting, though I don't really understand it. How do I know if it's good or not? The gallery owner says the artist is one of the top in Europe.X0,Wish I could afford Van GoghDear Wish,Don't we all. OK, dealers hang onto their artists by selling their work. Period. Well, selling and generating publicity. Any successful dealer is good at persuading buyers and manipulating the press. They are believable and charming in one way or another; they have to be. Some have the patronizing-expert sort of charm, others the warm-enthusiastic. It's a difference in style, not substance. To answer your question, call the curatorial departments of three major modern museums and ask if anyone has heard of your artist. Call the major auction houses and see if they accept his work on consignment. Ask around about the gallery's standing. New York dominates the modern art world with London running a distant second. There's strength in Barcelona and Milan. If you are buying from one of the most powerful dealers in New York, you're fine. They know how to make it all happen whether the artist deserves it or not.* * *Dear Ann,My lover told me his wife was always mad at him, so I thought he was in splitsville. Now he has ended our relationship saying he loves his wife. What do you make of this?Thank you,BergittaDear Bergitta,A married man ending an affair always hides behind his wife, just as one beginning an affair says his wife doesn't understand him. Why did he really bail? Here I am saying I'm not sure again. It's embarrassing, but I'm not. Maybe he met someone else, a teenager, a boy - who knows? Maybe his wife found out about the affair and gave him a good beating. Maybe he is just a serial hitter with an established repertoire. If he seems sincere and caring to you, it may well be his M.O. Anyway, forget him.* * *Dear Ann,I produce Indie films, love it, but am exhausted. Should I quit and become a script writer of something else easy? If not, why not?Best,MonaDear Mona,It's cool and glamorous to be a producer. Not cool and glamorous to be a scriptwriter. Let me, for the sake of other readers, give a list of what is cool and glamorous and what is not: Cool and glamorous: being a publisher, a famous chef, a rock star, supermodel, photographer, NFL player, pilot (plane must be your own), a so-famous person you need to be escorted through cities in black limos with sirens screaming and headlights glaring, a novelist, a confidante of the US President (usually), a friend of Jim Clark or Bill Gates, a reader of e-magazines, the only reporter on Everest, a racer of Lamborghinis, creator of art videos, pilgrim (rich) who visits Burmese monks who are personal friends.Not cool and glamorous: being a staff writer, wielding a mean bar-b-que poker, criticizing countries you might be visiting, being a lingerie model, a lounge lizard, a member of United's frequent flyer program, a jay walker, a confidante of a Congressman in your district, a friend of a friend of a cast member of "Friends" (the show isn't delivering this fall)); a reader of print magazines only, reporter whose beat is tea parties, driver of an RV without needing the room for your soccer team (if you do, it's OK), fan of prepackaged "vacations in paradise."* * *Dear Ann,Maurice is in his early thirties, I in my forties, and he has taken me on as a confident. He is tall, handsome, charming, well-situated in life. His problem is that the girls his own age don't appreciate him. He suffers so many rejections. For the life of me, I can't comprehend why; is it because he is an old world gentleman and the girls today become so decadent they don't appreciate good manners? Can you help me help him?Caringly,ConnieDear Connie,Exactly how many times has he struck out? Have there been any successes, or is he still a virgin? Trust me, girls always adore good manners and flattering attention; the new generation is no exception. He either secretly wants you and is trying to do a tea and sympathy number on you, or he unconsciously wants you or someone like you and therefore sends insincere signals to the girls his own age. Or maybe he's just whining over a couple of rejections; after all, none of us can attract EVERY target, desirable as that would be. The other possibility is he has a sexual orientation confusion which is obvious to the babes. Give them credit; like their elders, they have antenna.* * *
met a man in another city, and the chemistry between us was immediate and very intense. Soon we became close - you know what I mean - and since then I can't figure him out. He makes plans and dates, breaks them (always with plausible excuses), he communicates, withdraws, back and forth, and yet when I'm with him, the chemistry is huge for both of us. Ann, what shall I do? Sign,Looking for answers
Dear Looking,You've come to the right place, because the answer to this one is simple: buy yourself a see-saw. That way you can accustom yourself to the up and down rhythms that are sure to persist in this relationship. You are probably hoping I am wrong and at some distant point an epiphany of communication will occur between the two of you that will elevate the relationship to a higher plane of serenity, a state where you will be able to look back on the ups and downs and laugh. No, Honey. It won't happen. Guys put their best foot forward for the openers; trust me on that. Training and conditioning are helpful in any given situation. To find a see-saw that works with your interior decor or your lovely garden, use your Internet search engines: playground equipment is one possible keyword. There are others. And you know what? There are other guys as well.

I have a beloved boy friend who is handsome, cultured, sensitive, perfect in every way except for one fault: if I say something that hurts his feelings, he will be silent for days. Is this a sign of depth and profundity?Maisie
Dear Maisie,It is a sign he is spoiled. It's a big mistake to confuse passive-aggressive behavior with sensitivity. The silent treatment is the most devastating (to the recipient) form of this type of hostile power manipulation. Why don't you try giving him the silent treatment and see how he reacts?

Dear Ann,Some years ago I had an affair with a man in my office and fell madly in love with him. I was always doing my work and his, too, extending endless favors. Sometimes I stayed up all night doing projects that were essentially his job. We split painfully and did not see one another for years. Then circumstances brought us together again as friends. We both had other romantic involvements and were delighted to rekindle the intellectual and professional aspects of our former relationship. However, I soon discovered he was once again expecting me to do endless favors for him (give him information, sources, etc.) but when I asked one favor of him, he waffled around, making it clear he may or may not deliver. Ann, what do you think about this? Maria
Dear Maria,I think you should bail. The man cannot tell the difference between a friend and an esclave d'amour. He probably thinks you are an ever-flowing fountain of generosity whose joy in reconnecting will quite naturally take the form of endlessly helping him. He does not appear to grasp the quid pro quo of friendship, at least not with you.

* * *
I fell madly in love with a man practically at first sight. Now I'm trying to get over him, and when I do, it will be a devastating blow to him because he will feel it like poisonous fish in a cold arctic sea. I vacillate, but each time I swing against him, I swing a little further away, and the catch up towards adoration gets harder. Why does falling out of love take so much longer than falling into it? Ms. RomanceDear Romance,It's exactly like gaining and losing weight. A weekend with friends in the country can pack on five pounds. It takes months to get them off. Maybe years.
I fell madly in love with a man practically at first sight. Now I'm trying to get over him, and when I do, it will be a devastating blow to him because he will feel it like poisonous fish in a cold arctic sea. I vacillate, but each time I swing against him, I swing a little further away, and the catch up towards adoration gets harder. Why does falling out of love take so much longer than falling into it? Ms. RomanceDear Romance,It's exactly like gaining and losing weight. A weekend with friends in the country can pack on five pounds. It takes months to get them off. Maybe years.* * *Dear Ann,I am 16 and doing well in school, but one thing is really stressing me out: guys keep telling me my girl friend is making out with my best friend behind my back. I don't know if it's true, but what do say when I'm told these things? Jerked AroundDear Around,Say sex is nobody's business except the three people involved.* * *Dear Ann,I just read about Prince Charles's illegitimate son in Canada, and a columnist, Rob Morse, described the British royal family as "the scum of the earth." I agree except for Wills and Harry. Only Wills could save the royals, but why should he? What should he do? Fan of WillsDear Fan,I would crown Wills King of the United States, thereby avoiding another Florida and providing myself with someone handsome to watch on TV newscasts.* * *Dear Ann,What do you think are the three most common mistakes people make? Friends and I were trying to decide for a list we're doing for the school paper. Thanks. X0,CuriousDear Curious,1. Overwatering potted plants; 2. Overfeeding goldfish; 3. Overwriting.* * *Dear Ann,I am married to a wonderful man, but his mother constantly criticizes and belittles me. I complain to him about her, but he just looks depressed and does nothing. Ann, I have about had it with this situation. What remedies would you suggest?FuriousDear Furious,How many times we have received the exact same letter! There are a lot of women out there who feel a man may have many wives but only one mother. If the first doesn't suit, why not make it clear so sonny can move along? No point staying trapped in a situation not to Mama's satisfaction. To avoid this, industrialist Andrew Carnegie declined to wed as long as his mother lived. After she died, he finally wed at age 52. Leave your husband out of the fray; you will only estrange him by criticizing her. He can't discipline her as if she were an unruly toddler anyway, so what's the point?We always urge people to deal with mothers-in-law on a one-to-one basis, and we're talking mano a mano combat. If you were raised to be courteous and respectful of elders, you must wrap your punches in a snug blanket of respectful courtesies. For example, Mother-in-law, "I saw you talking to another man at church this morning, obviously two-timing your husband." Ethyl, "Most estimable mother-in-law, I fear you project, as you were listening to the pastor's sermon a bit a bit too closely for my comfort. I speak only with the most respectful concern." But do give it back, never let anything go. Mama will get the idea and tone herself down. Most bullies do when confronted. * * *Dear Ann,I was living in a beautiful, sophisticated city but near an ex-husband who treated his second wife much better than he ever treated me. After years of this, a man from another town visited and we fell in love. Now I'm married and living in his town, which is a color-me-gray place filled with tedious, narrow-minded people. I wonder if I should stay here and be bored to death or go home and be lonely and resentful. No, my new husband will not move to my old city. What should I do? Appreciating your column, I sign myselfUndecidedDear Undecided,That used to be a tougher question than it is today, thanks to the Internet. Get yourself a laptop, girl, and see the world. You can keep in touch with your old city through its website and newspapers, which will almost certainly be on the web, plus make new friends through chat rooms. Who knows? One of them may live right next door. The Web aside, mutual activities or concerns will draw people out and make them seem more interesting. Join some clubs built around your hobbies and enthusiasms. Do some volunteer work. And remember: a good man is hard to find; be kind to your new husband. This was not your question, but let us ask it: is there any possibility you were masochistically involved with seeing your ex and number two? Some people are more excited by pain and unrequited longing than by security and devotion. * * * Dear Ann,You won't believe this, but my hairdresser and I have fallen in love. He is so empathetic and caring; in ten minutes with him I feel better about myself than I did during 25 years with my late husband. My lover is very old-fashioned: believes love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage. Ann, he is 15 years younger than me. Does this make it impossible?Starry-eyedDear Starry-eyed,Nothing is impossible with the human heart; believe me, I've seen some strange attachments. But two questions: how much money do you have? How much money does he have? I was involved with a man who is a wine connoisseur; for example he's a member of les Chevaliers do Tastevin, an organization based in Burgundy and Paris. Also, he's a gourmet cook. I cannot tell you how many restaurant owners have pleaded with him to go professional; I can only say that his pasta with vegetables would make you weep. By profession he's an art dealer, so talented, and he has dark wavy hair which is a work of art in itself. Now we've split and all my friends are saying they didn't like him in the first place. One even calls his a truffle-sniffing hog and ices it by saying she knows truffle pig is the proper term but she likes the hog imagery. I realize my friend is very loyal to me, but I would like her to stop calling him a truffle-sniffing hog, just on principle. I am not vindictive toward him, as I believe to know all is to forgive all. How can I deal with this friend? ForgivingDear Forgiving,Try christening your ex with a new nickname that satisfies you both, like "vegetable-chopper, " "wine sniffer," or "picture hanger."
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About Me

ann seymour
sausalito, california, United States
Have written a true story of ww2 in the Pacific and California, "I've Always Loved You." Love nature issues-oriented dialogue ( nonpartisan) movies, musics, and books. Also like to discuss relationships, human dilemas, and current events.
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Favorite Quotes Related to "I've Aways Loved You,"

Favorite quotes directly or inderectly related to my WW II story, "I've Always Loved You."

My true story of ww2 in the Pacific is now on Barnes & Noble. Here's the link: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/results.asp?WRD=i%27ve+alway...
I'd like to share the quotes that inspired me. Most relate directly to the war; others are more universal. Thanks for indulging me. The quotes:
To recollect is to reenter and be riven. - Harold Brodky **
I will pray for the emperor's long life and his prosperity forever.- General Yamashita’s last words before execution **
Ah! You are beginning to understand, beginning to see in darkness. My child, it is this simple: love will kill us all.- Thomas Sanchez, Mile Zero**
When I think of leaving my little family alone, I fear death for the first time. It is love on earth that makes us unwilling to give up this life.- Frank Ribbel diary**
`War is sweet to those who have not experienced it.- Erasmus**
Think of the Philippines as bright islands where yellow frangipani grows and the nights are navy blue.Frank Ribbel letter to Mary-HelenAfter it, follow it, follow the gleam- Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Crossing the Bar**
The Sun Goddess Amaterasu’s descendants gave birth to earth, sea, heat, and light. The copper mirror had been used by a god to tempt Amaterasu out of her cave so the world would have light; the sword was plucked from a dragon’s tail, and the necklace belonged to the Sun Goddess. - Japanese myth**
Across the sea
Corpses in the water,
Across the mountain,Corpses heaped upon the field,
I shall die only for the EmperorI shall never look back.-
Umi Yakaba, Japanese battle song**
To call Hirohito’s reign ‘Showa’ is a dour irony unmatched in the Nation’s history from the time of our original Ainu inhabitants- Editorial in Mainichi, a Tokyo newspaper**
This, then, was the life I knew, where death sought me- William Manchester, Goodbye Darkness**
(The army’s) nobility and dignity comes from the way men live unselfishly and risk their lives to help each other. - Bill Maudlin, Up Front**
My dearest mother,
I am an empty dream
Like snow left on the mountain in summer.
I feel my warm blood moving inside of meAnd I am reminded that I am living.
My soul will have its home in the rising of the sun. If you feel sad, look at the dawn with all of its beauty.You will find me there. -A sixteen-year-old kamikaze’s farewell poem to his mother**
(Few of us) questioned the duty of boys to cross the seas and fight while girls wrote them cheerful letters from home, girls you knew were still pure because they had let you touch them here but not there, explaining that they were saving themselves for marriage . . all this and the certitude of victory ... led you into battle, and sustained you as you fought, and comforted you if you fell . . - William Manchester, Goodbye Darkness**
Here lie three Americans. What shall we say of them? Shall we say this is a fine thing, that they should give their lives for their country? Or shall we say this is too horrible to look at?- LIFE magazine**
I should say sincerity, a deep, great, genuine sincerity, is the characteristic of all men in any way heroic.- Thomas Carlyle**
So many are dead.I cannot face the emperor.
No words for the families.
But I will drive deepInto the enemy camp.
Wait, young, dead soldiers,I will fight farewell
And follow you soon.- Admiral Yamamoto, last poem **
The painted veil that those who live call life- - W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil**
Hirohito . . and his brothers grew up enacting in play the Russo-Japanese war. As emperor-to-be, Hirohito - “little Michinomiya” - had to be respected in play and could never be the recipient of anger or ill treatment.- Herbert P. Bix, Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan**
Finally, we killed them all. There was not much jubilation. We just sat and stared at the sand, and most of us thought of those who were gone - those whom I shall remember as always young, smiling, and graceful, and I shall try to forget how they looked at the end, beyond all recognition. - Lt. Cord Meyer USMCR describing the Battle of Parry Island, the Marshalls, in the Atlantic Monthly**
Only one piece of jewelry ever surpassed rubies for (Hirohito), and that was a Mickey Mouse watch he brought home from a visit to Disneyland thirty years later. He wore it every day and, when he died, lay in his coffin with it still on his wrist.- Sterling and Peggy Seagrave,- The Yamato Dynasty**
Those who can stand - 30 days. Those who can sit up - three weeks.Those who can not sit up - one week. Those who have stopped speaking - two days. Those who have stopped blinking – tomorrow.-Japanese commander’s formula for predicting the non-combat mortality of his troops on Guadalcanal. **
Wisdom comes to us when we look the other way - Chief Smohall of the Perce Nez**
Each good-bye is a drama complete in itself.- LIFE magazine **
Hey, GI Joe, what are you doing out here? You should be home at the farm walking with your girl and getting your chores done, then sitting down to supper. - Tokyo Rose **
Sonno-foi: revere the emperor, drive out the Barbarians.- Yamato slogan**
We, by grace of heaven, Emperor of Japan, seated on the throne of a line unbroken for ages eternal- Emperor Hirohito**
How many times will you remember a certain afternoon, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it?- Paul Bowles, The Sheltering Sky **
Courage is rightly esteemed as the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others.- - Winston Churchill**
When man is fighting in a war, and his wife wants him to come back to her, hold her in his arms, she knows he has to be part of a grand story, one to tell again and again to fill the emptiness. ** no attribution
Posted by annseymour-sausalito at 4:18 PM 0 comments
Labels: churchill, death, Emperor Hirohito, heroism, love, manchester, peace, war, ww2