This is a good video of Olivia Wilde speaking and participating in a panel on “The State of Female Justice 2014: What Makes You Rise?” “The State of Female Justice” panels bring women from diverse movements together for a shared public conversation about justice and equity. In this short video (4 minutes, 2 seconds), Olivia talks about why women aren’t being empowered by the media and shares a story about an acting exercise she participated in that’s very interesting. Enjoy.
More about “The State of a Female Justice” here.
I’m not sure but I think I’m excited about the film adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild. The official trailer was released today. I read Wild when it first came out two years ago, when my mother was very ill in ICU and finished it shortly before her death. In spite of all the turmoil that was going on in my life at the time (or maybe because of it), I couldn’t put this book down. It wasn’t as much the story of her grueling hike along the Pacific Crest Trail that held me spellbound as it was the sharing of her life experiences, the exploration of the issues that led her to hike the trail in the first place. It was the memories and stories of her relationship with her mother who died of cancer and how her illness and death devastated her. Just like the illness and death of my mother was devastating me. I’d never before read a book that I identified with so strongly at exactly the right time in my life that I needed it. This book was so special to me at the time that I wanted to keep it secret. I didn’t want to share it with anyone because it held meaning and words and feelings that I felt deep inside and that I didn’t want to share with anyone. It was like Cheryl was talking through my mouth and I wanted this book to be mine alone. Have you ever felt like that? At the same time, I wanted everyone I loved to read it and see it for the exceptionally insightful collection of writing that meant so much to me. This book and Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking helped me through a dark time and both will always be special to me.
But, the book flew into the world and was discovered and read by thousands of people who love it as much as I do. People who found mutual experiences and feelings with the writer, just like I did. On December 2 the film will be released and I’m not sure I’ll be able to watch it. I have my translation of what this book means to me, the memories of how this book helped me. I don’t think I want my experience of this book to be influenced by someone’s movie interpretation. I’m not ruling it out completely – I plan to research how much input Cheryl had in the making of the movie, then I’ll decide. The story is a powerful and cleansing one, a story that has the potential to change the course of people’s mind-set. I hope the movie lives up to the book.
I first became aware of Becky Fos’s art on Twitter when she followed our page and her avatar caught my eye. I clicked on through to her website and was blown away by her vibrant, colorful paintings.(She’s also on FaceBook.) I had to know more and she was gracious enough to consent to an interview. Enjoy!
First, tell us a little about yourself.
I am Texan born, a former Austinitte! So, to some that would explain my sometimes “weird” clothes. The city’s motto has been, “Keep Austin weird” for as long as I’ve known it. I moved to New Orleans in 2002 and never once regretted it. New Orleans, with it’s heritage, history and culture have completely molded me into the person I am today. I could never imagine myself being anywhere else. One of my favorite songs growing up was by Fats Domino, “Walking to New Orleans” and now it all makes perfect sense.
I have been painting my whole life, for as long as I can possibly remember. I painted on the walls of my room growing up, doodled on notebook paper in school, and now canvas. My favorite times painting are when my son, Jude (age 6) and I set up shop in the kitchen and go to town!!!
I like to paint on canvas with pallet knives. I like to use a lot of paint to create texture and I love color. SOmetimes I’ve been told that I use too much color, but that’s just me. And I wouldn’t change a thing.
beginning, middle and ending in mind or does it evolve as you go?
I begin with a thought or a dream. Or sometimes a person. I’ve been inspired by going to concerts around the city and seeing the musician up close deeply inspires me and I must create. I see the passion on their face while creating their art, and this inspires me. I love to capture the magic that I’ve witnessed first-hand and that’s how it starts. So, I have a jumping off point and then it actually evolves. I paint backwards actually because I paint the focal point first and not the background. I know everybody is different, but that’s how I start. SOmetimes I change the background several times.
Yes, my art is a full-time gig for me. I also do some of the chalk art at Chef, John Besh’s Restaurant, Borgne along with the amazing, Lance Romano.
I’ve always loved art. I was always drawn to things sparkly and colorful. My mom use to call me her “crow” because a crow will always seem to find that burry treasure of sparkleness. My passion only grows.
Who are some of your favorite artists?
I feel so bad about saying who my favorite artists are because I have so many friends who are artists. But just to name a few, Keith Eccles and Terrance Osborne since they have both guided me on this path. Bansky, Bruni and Van Gogh of course.
If you find yourself losing interest in a project do you push yourself to finish or set it aside for later? Do you have any tips you can share regarding motivation and/or discipline in completing a project?
Not all projects that we start do we stay 100% motivated throughout. There are actually a few pieces that I’ll be working on at a time. Sometimes I just have to put one down and walk away, especially when I’m feeling not motivated. Then I start to feel defeated so it actually motivates me to go back and finish. It’s these pieces that actually come out the absolute best and I never want to get rid of them and hold on to them.
Lozano & Barbuti Gallery at 313 Royal St in New Orleans carries my original artwork and I actually have a website that I sell my reproductions from: www.beckyfos.com
I have big goals that I’ve set for myself. I like to aim high. I plan on having my own art gallery in the french quarter right next to all the big dogs lol. I’m aiming for the moon! :-)
Tomorrow is the first day of summer, so the calendar says, but it’s been summer in New Orleans for a couple of weeks already. Admittedly, we enjoyed a longer-than-usual period of cool Spring weather but Ms Summer has arrived in all her blazing glory abuzz with the drone of cicadas during the day and the croaky choir of frogs at night. These early summer days are still somewhat benign. We can walk the streets pretty much comfortably with a light breeze cooling our skin, passing under shade trees and store-front awnings. We can eat outdoors in the courtyards of our exceptional restaurants. We can walk to the snowball stand for nectar cream snowballs with condensed milk, slurping our way back home again. (Later, we’ll drive.) We can work in the garden in the middle of the day without worrying about needing a hat or a jug of water nearby. We still feel fresh, still feel the ghost of winter’s bitter cold that makes us luxuriate in early summer’s warm air. But the high summer days of humid, hot, weary bedragglement are just waiting around the corner.
For now, it’s still nice to sit out on the patio in the afternoons with a good book and a slice of something creamy and cool to eat like strawberry pie. Back in April I was up in Mississippi visiting my dad and sisters and my sister Vicki made a fresh strawberry pie that she promised tasted just like Shoney’s. That’s all I had to hear. When I was a kid, a trip to Shoney’s was a treat and the strawberry pie (or fudge cake) was to die for. Her pie didn’t disappoint and the first bite made my mouth pop and my eyes close in ecstasy! I’ve been craving it ever since so when I saw some juicy red strawberries at the grocery, I bought two pints and made the pie. Trust me, you won’t find an easier recipe or a more delicious one.
Fresh Strawberry Pie
1 cup sugar
3 heaping tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons strawberry gelatin mix
1 cup water
1 pint strawberries, halved
1 pie crust
In a medium saucepan, combine sugar, cornstarch, and dry gelatin and stir well. Add water and cook on medium-high heat until thick and clear, stirring constantly. (Clear as in no longer a cloudy red, not no-color clear.) Set aside and let cool.
Arrange strawberries over the pie crust. After the filling cools, pour over the strawberries and chill.
Serve with whipped cream. Do not spray whipped cream directly into mouth before topping the pie.
Nevermind. Do it.
A few years back on a hot August morning I was feeling particularly prickly with the never-ending summer heat and wrote this little piece. It was subsequently published in The Dead Mule School of Southern Literature. I expect I’ll be in the same old moody mess come this August.
But not yet.
(A Wild and Unrealistic Dream or Notion)
All I want on a Sunday morning is to luxuriate
in my laziness. I want to watch old movies
with the volume turned up loud,
the newspaper crackling as I shift
my supine body on the couch, the words
of duplicitous politicians and photos
of narcissistic socialites mashed under my ass.
I want to gaze out my window where heat rises
on the street like steam from a gumbo pot
while I lie, cool as a nectar cream snowball,
in my Maggie The Cat slip, painting my toenails
a color called Bad Influence.
I would sip Southern Wedding Cake coffee
from the chipped china cup I knocked off
the bedside table in a moment of passion
and savor a fresh chocolate croissant,
tender flakiness that melts on the tongue
like vampires melt in the sunlight.
As the sun climbs the sky, I’d meander into the afternoon
with the expectation of an early summer storm when
we would go upstairs and slip between our cool,
white sheets and not be heard from again
until Monday morning.