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September 11 | StoryCorps
I know I’m late with the 9/11 stuff but so what. I’ve mentioned StoryCorps before but I recently found out that they are working in partnership with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, the Families of September 11 and 9/11 Forward, in Baldwin, NY to record stories from the families and friends of 9/11 victims. This is what memorials should be about: the individuals involved not the flags and speeches. If you can, listen to a few of the stories and remember. Have tissues handy – trust me.

If you can, give a little to StoryCorps – it’s a great organization.

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Gallery installs Eunice Kennedy Shriver portrait – BostonHerald.com

It’s a good painting – meticulousiy rendered but not overwrought. I love the fact that this is a portrait of a woman who doesn’t need to be flattered. Her face shows all the pain and joy of living 87 years. It’s wonderful to see a portrait reveal something about a person’s interests and achievements instead of just their appearance.

It’s now on view at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC (hence the shameless plug).

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How Now, Wench? Talking Like Shakespeare : NPR

Chicago Mayor Richard Daley declared Thursday “Talk Like Shakespeare” day in honor of the 445th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth.

And folks in the Windy City, from fans at Wrigley Field to the aldermen on the City Council, are picking up the Shakespearean lingo.

Great idea! Listen to the podcast to hear Chicagoans brave the bard’s style.

At Wrigley Field, home of the storied baseball team the Chicago Cubs — and to many a Shakespearean-like tragedy, too — beer vender Vince Pavalonis tried a Shakespearean sales pitch.

“To drink or not to drink: That is the question,” yelled Pavalonis, as he sold the local favorite, Ye Olde Style beer.

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Legendary Classic Rock DJ Cerphe Signs Off as WTGB Switches Formats – washingtonpost.com

No more Zeppelin. No more Skynyrd or Tom Petty or Rolling Stones. And not a whole lot more Don Cerphe Colwell, either.

Classic rock and the DJ who brought that music to local radio audiences long before the rock was considered “classic” are both fading from the airwaves. Beginning Monday, Colwell’s station, WTGB (94.7 FM, “The Globe”), will switch to playing contemporary pop tunes. With the demise of the region’s only classic rock outlet, the music that helped transform FM radio into a cultural force in the 1970s will become just another baby boomer memory.

Just 2 years ago I blogged about the new format for 94.7 to “The Globe” featuring classic rock. Lots of goals for a greener more community based station. As I suspected, it didn’t last.

Radio in DC sucks.

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Outlaws at the Art Museum (and Not for a Heist) – NYTimes.com

I should have mentioned this one last week but I just forgot.

See the photograph above: The three gentlemen work for the registrar’s department at the National Portrait Gallery (left to right – Dale, Mark and Todd). Normally they don’t dress this well to install art but it was a special occasion. Besides, it’s nice to know they scrub up so well and are still able to lift large art with style. The title above the portrait and the hidden label to the left of the portrait were created and installed by me.

The portrait was recently given to the museum and installed the Saturday before the inaugural. It was a pain to do at the last minute but I really love this piece. It really outshines the Bush portraits.

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Bong! Big Ben still rings out 150 years on – Times Online
As we ring out the old year and ring in the new year here in DC, I remembered that it’s already next year somewhere else. I can’t imagine a better place to do that than in London to the chimes of Big Ben. I had no idea that the clock is still hand wound — take that digital technology! So it’s not the most precise instrument (head to Greenwich for truly precise time keeping). I’m chronically 5 minutes late in my life so I can forgive a clock a few minutes here or there.

2009 seems likely to be a strange year for me personally (I’ll be 50 in August) but I truly hope it will be better for everyone. Looking forward to a new (better?) president, some kind of better economic upturn, and a little more peace anywhere.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. Real life caught up with me and took over. “What happened to November?” I said myself last week.

I wanted to write something about the fact there are no acorns in our area this year (really weird and worrisome) but it’s December 1 and that means World AIDS Day. please visit Light to Unite 2008 to light a candle — Bristol-Meyers Squibb will donate $1 to The National AIDS Fund for each lit candle (it’s free).

It ain’t subtle but that’s OK. I like Pete Yorn. Check out his music at http://www.peteyorn.com.

Remember to vote.

Lots of young Brit folk in Alexandria VA last night – unfortunately the venue was barely a 1/3 full. The bill was a three act stunner. Starting out with Mumford & Sons for a jolly 30 minute set — a very fun foursome. They are an engaging group of lively young guys who seem to get a big kick out of singing their songs as we got from listening to them.

The second act was Johnny Flynn. An amazingly talented musician with a great band in support – Johnny played no fewer than 4 instruments including his wonderful vocal abilities. I suspect he has soul of elderly bluesman from a previous life. Had to pick up his CD A Larum after and love it already.

Finally, Laura Marling (subject of my July 25 entry) played a gorgeous set. I knew about her lovely voice but for some reason, I didn’t really focus on her talent as a guitarist (probably because I’ve seen little video of her in performance). I was alternately mesmerized by her fingers as well as her face. I get the feeling she is a rather shy person so I hope performing isn’t too much of a struggle for her. Her backing band was excellent (including Marcus Mumford on drums, other instruments and vocals) and the rapport was fun including a giggle fit at the beginning of the last song Alas I Cannot Swim. I would have loved to hear Typical and New Romantic but that’s just my personal preference.

My one picky note about the whole evening had to do with the sound levels at the Birchmere. It was a little loud for me. I had hoped not to need earplugs but since my ears are quite sensitive I found it to be just a bit wince making. It’s unfortunate that I suffer from tinnitus and loud sound levels really aggravate it. I was lucky in that I thought to bring my iPod with in-the-ear headphones and I could use them as an impromptu earplugs – just took the edge off the sound and I could enjoy everything without wincing or worrying. I hope I didn’t look rude wearing headphones to a concert – I really was listening!! ( I guess that’s just TMI on me or what!)

I wish I had thought to take my camera but I completely missed that one. Here is are videos from YouTube from all the acts so you can a feeling for the experience.

Mumford & Sons

Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit

Laura Marling

Birth Of Rice-A-Roni: The Armenian-Italian Treat : NPR

I’m a child of the 1960s and I remember Rice-A-Roni TV ads so well. Although very salty (as most packaged products are) I love this stuff – more than Kraft Mac-n-Cheese.

The podcast/article talks about the origins of the product from an Armenian grandmother and how it came to be a packaged product.

Definitely worth the read if you are into pop culture or are a foodie.

Oh yes – what I didn’t know was the connection between the theme song and Barney Google.

Read on.

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