Wednesday, July 15, 2015

W. Somerset Maugham

A little history first. William Somerset Maugham, born in 1874 and died in 1965, was a British playwright, novelist and short story writer.He lost both parents by the age of 10 and was raise by a paternal uncle who was emotionally cold. Not wanting to become a lawyer like other men in his family, he eventually trained and qualified as a doctor. The first run of his first novel, Liza of Lambeth, sold out so quickly that he gave up medicine to write full time.

During WWI he served with the Red Cross and in the ambulance corps before being recruited in 1916 into the British Secret Intelligence Service. During and after the war, he travelled in India and Southeast Asia. All of these experiences were reflected in later short stories and novels.

First of all, wow! I had no idea he led such a crazy and cool life. This fell out of a book of his, I assume it was pasted in the back of the book. Many older books do the paste in the author thing. Kind of odd, right? I mean, it's not like the author of this book will change. It will always be his novel. You'd think he'd get a permanent place in the book. Anyway, I read The Painted Veil and fell instantly in love with Maugham. I then rented the movie with Edward Norton and fell instantly in love with the movie. But now, whenever I see or hear Somerset Maugham's name, I see Edward Norton. And oddly enough, not his character in The Painted Veil, it's totally his character from The Illusionist. Oh, I can't not think of him in that long coat, sporting the goatee, my goodness. My goodness, indeed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Mystery Woman in Furs

Usually when someone cuts out a picture from a newspaper they keep the description of what we are seeing intact. This one leaves us to our own imagination to figure things out.

 It must be fairly old. Look at the door of the vehicle she is exiting from. Tall windows, plush leather seating. It could almost be a Cinderella type horse drawn carriage, but I imagine it has an engine.

Is she really that cold? And what's with the guy helping her out? Turkish hat, long beard, and robes. She can see the photographer, looking straight at him. Possibly resignation. Her picture might get taken often. But who is she? This sounds like the opening of a book. A mystery. And we'll make sure to write into our story the cute boy in the cap in the background. I like it. Solid start.

Sex Object?

So here's the translation;

"you get so into the room, you see her lying there naked on the bed, you are then angry with yourself that you perceive her as a sex object" 

Yup, my thoughts exactly. No year on this piece of newspaper, but I would guess it's from the 80's based on a car ad on the flip side. Possibly the 70's. 

I'm guessing the guy felt bad for thinking of the woman on the bed as a sex object and then the other dude pointed out that, given the circumstances, probably not really his fault. In a kind of sarcastic way. Maybe? 

Eh, these types of cartoons making a statement don't really do it for me. It's not really the kind of cartoon I would have kept, my style runs much closer to Calvin and Hobbes types. Still makes a point, but also makes us smile.

Infant Care Magazine from 1943

This is a pretty cool find. Right smack dab in the middle of WWII, well towards the end I suppose. Here is this little magazine on how to take care of your aged 0-1 years old. What a nice piece of normalcy during a time I cannot even fathom living through.

The magazine is 16 pages, front and back, with tons of pictures. It starts right in at breast feeding and give you all of the appropriate milestones a baby should hit throughout it's first year of life.

It's been a while since I had my babies, but it doesn't seem like a lot has changed. We have more options as far as formula goes, and parenting style certainly goes through fads, but the basics remain the same. A few things have definitely changed. The cribs I see in this magazine would not meet code anymore. The bars are begging for little people body parts to go through them, and I'm sure they did.

I must point out the hats here. The nurses on the back cover page are wearing those typical nurses hats that only now seem to make an appearance around Halloween, heaven help us all. Sexy nurse costumes? Really? As a nurse myself, I can tell you with some authority that having multiple persons bodily fluids all over you is not sexy. 12 hour shifts? Nope, not even close to sexy. Hard, long, physically and emotionally draining days those were. I do miss some of the patient care, getting to know people. The world is full of amazing people, just have to listen to them for a few minutes. I learned so much during my time in the hospital.

These days I spend my time selling my books, playing with the  kids, and watching life flash before my eyes at a million miles an hour. Still getting a little patient care though. Laser tattoo removal, also not sexy. But meet the coolest people and hear some pretty amazing stories.

Bluethroat Bird

This little beauty is about 5 inches by 5 inches and has the word Bluethroat written on it in Danish. This is pretty remarkable. If you look closely you can see the scratches of a pencil or two on the top of the wings creating texture. I wish I knew how old our artist was, at what point do kids start thinking about adding texture to a drawing? I used to doodle quite a bit in my youth, that's when I discovered I have exactly zero artistic skill. Hence, why I excel at being an admiring audience member for others. Whether it be drawing, music, acting or writing, I am the one giving you all loads of applause, my money, and compliments. You're welcome.