Monthly Archives: March 2010

Mi Vieja


If you have a taste for the absurd and speak Spanish, I recommend you check out the truly original and ingenious MIVIEJA created by two truly original and ingenious friends of mine in Spain. They really crack me up!


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Filed under Friends / Family, Living la vida española

Pictures at an Exhibition with Philippe Raskin


Last Saturday, I had the great honor of participating in a concert held at the Lijsterbes Kraainem in Brussels that combined music, painting, and literature. The idea came from my good friend and favorite contemporary classical pianist, Philippe Raskin. The story goes something like this:

In 1874, Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky composed Pictures at an Exhibition, a ten movement piano suite in honor of his recently deceased friend, Viktor Hartmann. Each movement is inspired by one of Hartmann’s paintings. Of the original ten Hartmann paintings, only five are believed to still exist today (though there are some doubts as to the authenticity of these remaining works). Listening to the piece, you have the sensation of walking through an exhibition at a museum – hence the name of the title.

With this in mind, Raskin hoped to recreate the spirit of the Mussorgsky composition through the joint collaboration of music, painting, and literature.  To do this, he first asked the artist, Magda Calleeuw, to paint the five missing Hartmann works. Next, he asked me to write ten vignettes inspired by the corresponding movements and paintings. Continue reading

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What Will it Be, Mr. President?


This excellent ad from the ACLU, reading

What will it be, Mr. President?

Change or more of the same?

Candidate Barack Obama vowed to change the Bush-Cheney policies and restore America’s values of justice and due process. Many of us are shocked and concerned that right now, President Obama is considering reversing his attorney general’s decision to try 9/11 defendants in criminal court. Our criminal justice system has successfully handled over 300 terrorism cases compared to only 3 in the military commissions. Our criminal justice system will resolve these cases more quickly and more credibly than the military commissions.

President Obama can vigorously prosecute terrorists and keep us safe without violating our Constitution.

As president, Barack Obama must decide whether he will keep his solemn promise to restore our Constitution and due process, or ignore his vow and continue the Bush-Cheney policies.

Tell President Obama not to back down on his commitment to our justice system, and to try the 9/11 defendants in criminal court.

Remind the world that America stands for due process, justice, and the rule of law.

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Filed under Obama 44