Alphonse Mucha

Alphonse (Alfons) Mucha (1860-1939) was a prolific Moravian painter of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries and a key figure in the Art Nouveau movement. His style of painting influenced an entire generation of painters, graphic artists, draughtsmen and designers and in the minds of many, his work epitomizes the Art Nouveau. He himself came to resent his fame as an artist of the utilitarian, believing that true art should be elevated and epic.

The Slav Epic
Mucha spent many years working on what he considered his life’s fine art masterpiece, The Slav Epic (Slovanská epopej), a series of twenty huge paintings depicting the history of the Czech and the Slavic people in general, bestowed to the city of Prague during 1928. He had wanted to complete a series such as this, a celebration of Slavic history, since he was young. Since 1963 the series has been on display in the chateau in Moravský Krumlov the South Moravian Region in the Czech Republic.

The rising tide of fascism during the late 1930s resulted in Mucha’s works, as well as his Slavic nationalism, being denounced in the press as ‘reactionary’. When German troops moved into Czechoslovakia during the spring of 1939, Mucha was among the first persons to be arrested by the Gestapo. During his interrogation, the aging artist became ill with pneumonia. Though released eventually, he may have been weakened by this event. He died in Prague on 14 July 1939, of a lung infection, and was interred there in the Vyšehrad cemetery

Works by Mucha

1894. Oil on canvas. 66 x 41 cm. Private collection.

Cassan Fils.
1895. Color lithograph. 203.7 x 76 cm.

Salon des Cent
1896. Color lithograph.

1896. Color lithograph. 65.7 x 48.2 cm.

Sarah Bernhardt
1896. Color lithograph.

Monaco Monte Carlo
1897. Color lithograph. 108 x 74.5 cm.

Salon des Cent
1897. Color lithograph.

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van Gogh Self-Portrait 1887

Vincent van Gogh. Self-Portrait. 1887. Oil on canvas. Vincent van Gogh Foundation, Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

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Picasso – Jacqueline

Jacqueline. 1960. Oil on canvas.

Picasso (Ticktock Essential Artists)

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Mary Moorman photo

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The Jeopardy Online Test

jeopardy testTonight is the online Jeopardy tryouts. 8 pm if you live in the central time zone. I registered for it the other day. This will be my 5th time taking the test online. Will I pass? Well, I’m not holding my breath.

The first time that I took the Jeopardy audition test it was live. It was the Jeopardy Brain Bus thing. I stood in line for 4 hours at some car dealership. That’s where the bus was parked. I passed the 10 question fill-in-the-blank test and got to go to the big 50 question live test the next day. It was hard. The questions came up on a big blue screen, just like they do on tv. You had 8 seconds to write the answer down. When they called the names of the people who passed, I wasn’t one of them. Whatevs. I did, however, get a Jeopardy shirt for passing the first test. I don’t wear it because people ask you, “Hey, were you on Jeopardy?”, and then I have to say, “No, I’m a big fat loser who bombed out on the IMPORTANT test”. They’re like, “Oh”. So, I don’t wear the damn thing. I guess I should just use it as a dustcloth or something.

Every year that I take the test, I try to get friends or family to take it too. They’re like, “Oh no, I’m not that smart. I won’t pass”.
I tell them, “Take it anyway. Just for fun.”
“Oh no,” they say. “They’ll think I’m stupid”.
They? Who’s they? ‘They’ don’t even know who you are. You’re just some generic person on the internet. It’s not like they’re going to make you walk around the city with a ‘I’m a dumbhead who flunked the Jeopardy test’ sandwich board sign. They never made ME do it anyway.

Anyway, I’m hoping that the fact that today is Elvis’ birthday brings me luck. Right. Like that happens. Just in case, I’m going to have Burning Love playing in the background while I take the test.

The thing is, even if you DO pass the test, then you have to go take the test live in whatever designated city you picked when you signed up to take the test. I picked San Antonio. Only because I know people who live there and it’s only one state over.

I haven’t really prepared as much as I should have. I suppose that I could make up a cheat sheet of current governors and senators and blah, blah, blah… but I am just so not in the mood to do that. Besides, you only get 15 seconds to read the question and type out the answer. That means you better know how to type. I only learned touchtype 2 years ago. It sure makes it a lot easier. Having to look at a list of junk would just be too much trouble.

On my way to work today, I DID go through the list of Academy Award winning movies by year. I memorized them about 15 years ago. Every year I just have to add one more. I did pretty good. I only missed 3. I suppose that I could have the Periodic Table of Elements next to me when I take the test. I used to know them all, but if you don’t go over the list every so often, you kind of forget some. That’s the thing. You can only not know one of something, and that’s the one they’re going to ask you.

Anyway, the test is 5 1/2 hours away. I hope they ask a lot of literature, geography and presidential questions. That’s what I’m best at.



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Swanson TV Dinner Commercial

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How stupid can one family be (or 21 specific things that annoy me about The Brady Bunch)

Have you ever seen that tv show called The Brady Bunch? You haven’t? Then you must be from Mars. Anyway, it’s about a blended family. There’s Mike and Carol (the parents), 6 kids, a housekeeper, a dog and a cat that mysteriously vanishes after the pilot episode. I think that Tiger, the dog, ate it or something. The cat’s name was Fluffy. How typical.

Seriously, get a frickin’ calculator!

I was actually alive when The Brady Bunch premiered. It was September of 1969 and I was 12. I think that’s how old Marcia was when the show started. She’s my least favorite Brady, so THAT figures. At least I think she was 12. Those kid’s age differences didn’t really make any sense to me. Especially Marcia and Jan. In the last episode Greg graduates from high school. So, I’m assuming he was 18. The show was on for 5 years, so that makes him 13 when the show started. Marcia was a year younger, because Carol said so in the episode where they run for student council. So, Marcia is 12. In one of Jan’s neurotic episodes – I think it’s the one where Marcia has all of the trophies and Jan doesn’t have squat, so she throws all of Marcia’s trophies in the closet, and then goes on to win the essay contest (but not really, because some bonehead added the scores incorrectly) Carol states that Marcia is 3 years older than Jan. That would make Jan 9 when the show started. But one season later when Jan buys the wig –  Let’s face it Jan, you’re in the middle and therefore invisible. Go buy a wig or something –  from that saleslady who does the voice of Mrs. Krabbapel on The Simpsons and moonlights as Marcia’s teacher in the Davy Jones episode, she says she’s 12. She goes from 9 to 12 in one year. So, either she lied, or the person who wrote that episode is the same person who scored the essay contest.

The very first time that I watched The Brady Bunch, I was sitting on an ugly gold couch that my parents had just bought a few hours earlier. We weren’t allowed to put our feet on it. So, I had to watch the BB sitting up straight with my feet planted flat on the floor. How uncomfortable. My dad was in a pissy mood because I think he wanted to watch something else. Either that, or he was still fuming over the infamous ‘Heidi’ game that had happened less than a year before. Or maybe he was just grumpy from having to move the couch. Who knows.

Aside from the anachronistic age differences, there are some other things about the show that just bug the crap out of me. I try to let them go, but I just cant.

1. Seeing the string that pulls the shelf down in the episode where Peter is the hero and saves that annoying girl in the toy store. I just can’t unsee that.
2. That kid, Warren, who plays the accordian in the episode where Peter is the magician in the school’s vaudeville show. (When he grew up he ran for congress in Nevada. He’s a republican)
3. In one episode, Marcia just can’t stand Kathy Lawrence. But, in the very next episode – the one where Peter keeps changing his personality (Pork chops and applesauce) – they’re like best friends.
4. Bebe Gallini and her stupid ass pink powderpuff factory.

On the Good Ship Shut-the-Hell-Up, Cindy

5. Cindy dressing up like Shirley Temple and singing On the Good Ship Lollipop for Mrs. Howell.
6. That We Can Make the World a Whole Lot Brighter song.
7, Deacon Jones pants in the episode where Bobby can’t sing so he starts playing the drums (If he can’t sing, then how did he make it into the Brady kids singing group?).
8. Peter’s portrayal of Benedict Arnold.
9. Carol gives used books to the Friend in Need Society (dumb ass Cindy sticks Marcia’s diary in with them). The Friend in Need Society gives them to used book stores. The used book stores sell them. Why not just sell the books in a yard sale? Why let local businesses profit? I mean, I can see if it was Goodwill or the Salvation Army. But a used book store? Why?
10. Jan doesn’t have any talent. She can’t even dance. She’s so bad that she can’t even make it into the dance recital. So why in the episode where Bobby goes onto the Kartoon King Show – hosted by the same guy who plays Otis, the town drunk on the Andy Griffith Show – and eats all of that chocolate ice cream, does Jan have a dancing trophy in her bedroom?
11. Tank Gates. How obnoxious is he?!
12. Cousin Emma. Gag. The obnoxiously tilted camera angles in parts of that episode make my nauseous.
13. The emcee on the Question the Kids show. You know, where Cindy has televisionitis (whatever the hell that is).
14. The fact that Peter runs into someone that looks and sounds so much like him that it even fools his family. That’s WAY too much suspension of disbelief. Even for me.
15. The fact that something as light as a frisbee could travel quite a distance, ricochet off of two walls and still knock over a heavy lamp.
16. Just about any time that Cindy talks.
17. The fact that Greg wore the same shirt in 4 consecutive episodes.
18. In season one, they can build a house of cards a gazillion stories high, but in season 5, Bobby and Oliver can’t even make it to the 3rd story before it falls.
19. Carol is so idiotic that she doesn’t even know if they know Joe Namath, or not. Seriously.
20. The fact that you never actually get to see Mrs. Denton. Does she really look like a hippopotamus or not?
21. The whole King’s Island Amusement Park Mr. Brady’s plans/Yogi Bear poster debacle. How stupid can one family be?

There are tons more, but I’m seriously sick of thinking about what they are.

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What a song on Quaaludes sounds like

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A Whiter Shade of Pale – Procol Harum

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Snow Pictures.

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We got stuck in the middle of that big ass storm. The power went off on Christmas day. It just came back on about 2 hours ago. It frinkin sucked.  Most of the roads are clear now. There were trees down all over the place. The governor declared a state of emergency and we got reinforcements from other states. At one point over 200,000 customers had no power. Some people won’t get their power for another 4 or 5 days.  This storm sucked big time.

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