Friday, December 26, 2014

Merry Xmas!

Happy Christmas! It's always an unconventional holiday down under... I spent it on Bondi Beach with my fellow surf lifesavers on patrol. 
Hope nobody is drowning in the background.
We got there at 6:30 am to set up decorations and breakfast.Welcome to patrol 13, Bam Bam!
The day started cloudy but it all lifted into a perfect summer day, with Bondi calm as a bathtub.

Which made for easy work.... ended up swimming the bay with a few of our crew. Absolutely stunning. And speaking of gorgeous, look at my godson Yonah!! This is from last weekend...

Young to old were in fine form this silly season. We recently hit up my local Legion Club for their holiday party which included entertainment, dinner and UNLIMITED booze, all for just $25. There was a full house of oldies, full band and full-on dancing... and these characters, let me tell you, they are unforgettable.

One old lady came in on a walker assisted by two nurse aides. The aides told me that "Sandy" was in her 90s and had come directly from the hospital. She had recently suffered a stroke, but she was not missing this party! Sandy may have come in a walker but we never saw it again. She was too busy waving her hands in the air on the dance floor.
Sandy, in purple, at left.
The nurses told me that I should refer to her as "sexy Sandy", so I went and chatted with sexy Sandy and discovered she had two horrible husbands, now deceased. When I said I hoped she had a terrific third husband, she replied, "I'm still waiting for him."

And then when the band took a break... who sat down at the piano and started riffing? Sandy.
Sandy at the keys, nurse aides standing by.
Show off!!
When the hour got late, too late for even the nurses who had by that time left the building? Sandy.

Who do I want to be when I grow up? SANDY.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Hey, That's Swell!

Check out all these swimmers coming out of the water at the end of the annual Bondi to Bronte ocean swim. I chickened out on doing this one because I'd just done a triple ocean swim up in Curl Curl the day before. So instead I went down to the beach to watch the finishers navigate exiting from Bronte's notoriously gnarly surf.

Reminds me of the end of the Last Unicorn, when all those unicorns are released by evil King Harrod and they come spilling out of the sea.

But the unicorns caught a good wave, didn't they? The swimmers kept getting yanked back by the swell, or slammed into the surf, or sometimes both. Imagine swimming way out into the ocean a couple of kms and then, exhausted, contending with this.

Some of those water safety crew had to literally haul people back onto earth. Now I wish I had swum it. I never like to miss a chance to be graceless!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Humanity Held Hostage

Of all places in the world, peaceful and safe Sydney was the site of a saddening, maddening siege this week that left two innocent hostages dead. The people of Sydney have shown their true colors in the aftermath, making #illridewithyou go viral - to show  solidarity with Muslim Australians who feel shunned or bullied wearing their hijabs and burkas.

In addition to sorrow for Tori Johnson and Katrina Dawson and their families, I am sorry for this peaceful, civilized people having to grapple with the fact that some immigrants will never assimilate to their peaceful and open-minded way of life. Liberal, welcoming Sweden is facing tough choices between their values and continuing to import those who will never share their values – for if they don't compromise now they might lose their whole society later. It is an unfortunate conversation, but it is a conversation that absolutely has to happen. 

At the same time, I feel for peace-loving Muslim asylum seekers being held in indefinite off-shore detention by the Australian government. This hostage-taking ISIS wannabe has surely put the last nail in the coffin of their hopes at resettlement in Australia.

 I long for the day that religious fanatacism will be treated for the mental illness that it is. Truly, it is the enemy of our species.

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Paul Richmond Takes Two

Artist Paul Richmond is always up to something imaginative. I was honored to be featured in his male take on female pinups in his Cheesecake Boys series here, and I recently posed again for his War Paint series (take a look at the others on his website). He's already done the base coat of mine and shared these pics of the work in progress. So great. Later I'll be sure to post the originals I sent, and more about his series....