Circus Maximii

Rome, Italy – Long ago, there was a huge stadium called Circus Maximus which was used for chariot-racing. According to the Wiki, it held 250,000 spectators. Today it holds a park.

And is the plural of multiple maximus’, maximii? Pronounced: MAX-im-eye? Well, why not? I like it.


Milwaukee, WI – Mr. Viva informed me this morning that the naming rights for the baseball stadium the Milwaukee Brewers call home were purchased by American Family Insurance. And I wonder insurance? But what will we drink?


As I reflect on the genesis of this blog — “I am a people watcher reporting from the bleacher seats” — this renaming news is a healthy reminder that the physical bleacher seats I fondly remember and occupied at Milwaukee County Stadium are gone. They were dozed and replaced by a newer, bigger, better stadium with a retractable roof to accommodate Wisconsin weather.

Bleacher seats move on. Stadiums are replaced. Stadiums are renamed. Change happens.



Rome, Italy – Romans were such big fans of spectacle, they staged full-scale naval battles. For reals.

While standing on Palatine Hill in Rome in 2007, Andrew, our tour guide pointed out the Campus Martius area. Imagine attending the spectator sport of a full-size reenactment of a naval battle on a man-made lake. What to wear? What to wear?

Well, Italians are good at water diversion because they’ve been at it a.long.time. First piece of evidence: ancient staged naval battles.


Milwaukee, WI – I had the great good fortune to be at the new Fiserv Forum on Monday to watch the Milwaukee Bucks play basketball against the Dallas Cowboys  Mavericks. Just across the street from this new beautiful stadium was the location for the BMO Harris Bradley Center, aka Bradley Center.

It was only 30 or so years ago when I sat in seats where the air was thin at the Bradley Center. In addition to a couple of basketball games, there was a circus. For the record, aerial acrobats do not seem so daring when you’re looking down on them from the bleacher nosebleed seats.

But those seats are gone too.

Maybe the former Bradley Center site will be a city park. That would be nice.

BMO Harris Bradley Center in decline.
BMO Bradley Center falling apart. Photo taken from the second floor of the Fiserv Forum.

I have terrific video footage from the game, but WordPress hasn’t recognized my Premium upgrade yet. Heh, heh. WordPress can charge my credit card like a Tesla supercharger but still no video upload, which trust me, it’s terrific, it’s the best, it’s the most beautiful video.

So, in the meantime, enjoy a couple of photos of the Fiserv venue:

The Fiserv Forum capacity is only 17,500 people proving that we’re mere amateurs. Ancient Rome’s Circus Maximus could hold 14 Fiserv Forums although to be fair, the Romans likely weren’t restrained by any consumer protection regulations.


Insert diatribe about the government shutdown going 33 days or into its second month and the Trump non-Administration circus pulling our government apart, risking our security, corrupting international relationships, putting a nuclear football in the hands of a usurper. Super fail for, or of, democracy.

“Bread and circuses” – Roman poet Juvenal. Circus’ maximii, the all of it.

Are we doomed like the Romans? Too much lead in our water?


I just can’t today.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday was Monday. I celebrate that for 39 years, Wisconsin has held an annual ceremony in observance of Dr. King.

I celebrate that if the best revenge is a life well lived, the Fiserv Forum was filled with lives full of it on Monday.

May we give our best when we live our best.

Be kind. Carry on.


Ann! Thank you for the great experience, food, and Bucks-Mavericks game Monday! (Along with not being able to upload videos, WordPress has also hidden superscript from me. Normally this would be a footnote. Oh well.)

Buh bye JB Sessions! & PSA: Rapid response in the event Mueller is fired (MoveOn.org).

Well, Keebler Elf Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III was fired let-go resigned yesterday at the request of tRump. Rumor has it Mueller is ready to indict Junior which would be bad for the brand and AG Sessions has been at odds with tRump for a long time. About 12 dog years give or take.

Enter acting Attorney General Matthew G. Whitaker — a tRump loyalist, Mueller investigation critic, and bureaucrat thrown in to gum up the works should need be.

In response and this is not much notice, but today at five (5) PM (Thursday, 11.08.2018), MoveOn.org has organized a protest to protect Mueller. Participate and find a site near you here.

In my opinion, this protest pre-emptively shows the current administration that we the people are watching. We are concerned for the rule of law. We are concerned that no.one is above the law.

Future protests by MoveOn.org will happen on an as-needed basis and will be scheduled as necessary if or when these identified red lines are crossed (MoveOn.org):


For those of you who followed along with White Lies I & White Lies II, Mr. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, III was US Attorney General for 636 days.

Or 1.742 years.

Or 12.194 dog years.

Give or take.

A Sundry Assortment of New York Whatknots

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Delta flight. Seat over the wing.

NY, NY.

First time. The overwhelm is real. This post is heavy on photos.

Enjoy! Or knot. The pun is real.

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From the Bodys Isek Kingelez exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art.

Celebrate NY! So many people, so much diversity. The throughput of large numbers of individuals moving through the sidewalks and streets is amaze! Macro movements of micro individuals and Viva is in love! But it IS just.so.much!

And kindness and kindnesses abound! So many people looking out for each other.

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The Guardians: Hero sculpture by Antonio Pio Saracino.

Next time I’ll bring some wireless earbuds so I can walk down the street and talk to myself like all the other crazy Bluetooth enabled yakkers. If you think about it, it’s only a couple little earbuds that separate the sane from the alternate reality denizens.

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Pret A Manger morning intake — Pret’s Acai Bowl with Black Coffee. Mmmm …

On Tuesday, the barista at Pret a Manger treated me to coffee! Why? I might have looked liked I needed it, but why is still a mystery …

The MoMA had a free-with-admission printmaking workshop in conjunction with the Charles White exhibition. Here’s a slice of my art.

In love with, and yet lost – SOS! – in New York.

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Printmaking workshop. #2 in series with Nike Jordan 1 Jester XX Off Whites.

Outside the Trump Tower, Paul Rosa and friend maintain their 1+ year and counting protest vigil. We chatted. Kindnesses abound.

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Consistent and present protesters at Trump Tower. Paul Rosa on left spends weekdays here. “A snowflake starts an avalanche.” – Paul Rosa

So much fashion and just for looking! And a trip to Mood because we have been in one. Floors and floors of rolls of fabrics and we wonder how the designers on Project Runway ever shopped in only 1/2 an hour.

Overwhelm.

But! Costume designer Julie O. Saltman let me photograph this amazing beadwork she designed and created on a dress bound for Italy.

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Julie O. Saltman beaded dress with New York skyline, Chrysler Building center.

And above all, November 6, 2018 …

VOTE!!

Time-lapse: Happy Mother’s Day!

Well, I am a people watcher reporting from the bleacher seats! And last weekend I watched a crowd of graduates which included Frood,¹ process their way into an auditorium, receive their diplomas, and process their way back out.

I recorded time-lapse videos of the event — the crowd is in place, the chairs fill; the chairs empty, the crowd pours out. The view from the bleacher seats. Parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, the all of us smooshed into a ceremony in celebration of a major milestone and achievement!

Enjoy! Or not …

I was interrupted during the filming of the procession out, but smacks! Look at that crowd in the bleachers on the other side of the auditorium MOVING on OUT, that yellow of the empty seats pops!


¹ Frood is still not her real name.

The screen between us.

Given to reflection today, I think back on the days of my youth when personal wireless communication devices were a chimerical badge on a Star Trek uniform. And to show you pictures, I found this wonderful to-get-lost-in history of cell phone technology development: 1938 to 2010.

The pictures are a story! Batteries the size of backpacks, Maxwell Smart shoe-size phones, a communication range of a few miles, flip phones; a walk down memory lane with Blackberries, Palm Pilots, and Smartphones, oh no! Just look at all the memory contained in our pockets and our connectivity. We can reach out to our screens and touch almost anyone and everyone anywhere.

Mesmerized as we are by all this sci-fi techno-magic development, that is not the point to consider.

Today, if we see a stranger in anything which looks like distress, we assume they have at their disposal a cell phone and a connection to a lifeline. They can phone a friend. They do not need us. And nine-one-one (‘911’) is always a last resort. We need not pay much attention or take action. Strangers we remain.

We can all carry on about our day connected, just not connected here, to each other in any way other than for observation.

Contrast this to the telecommunication of my youth. One needed pocket change, a dime or a quarter, to use a pay phone in a booth or on a wall. Or you needed access to someone who had a phone plugged into a wall to call and talk to your lifeline — a friend, a parent, a relative.

And texting? Pssht. Texting was not even on my imagination’s radar as anything I’d ever want or need.

And so I wonder at what is subtracted from our public discourse by the assumption that everyone is teleconnected¹ to their lifeline? How much chillier is a society to real and present danger as a result of the desirability and the ability to disconnect from each other, from strangers, from events in real-time? I mean, let’s face it, it is comfortable for me to be out and about and not have to look out for … you.

And then on the flip side of the teledisconnection¹ coin,  I marvel and wonder at the happenings we chose to record with all our pocket memory! Funny videos, tragedies puny and large, misbehaviors, law-enforcement, law-breakers, forbidden sneakily recorded events  … oh, it’s a long list.

And we humans love to watch. We love to watch each other. Just not so much without the benefit of a screen …

Between you and me.


¹ Word mash-up: teleconnected (verb)

telecommunications (tele): “communication over a distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, or broadcasting.”

connected (connected): “bring together or into contact so that a real or notional link is established.”

And so I can’t believe that no one has put these two words together, and prove me wrong, but, teleconnected: connected by telecommunication devices.  

Example: The Prescedense is teleconnected to Twitter through a personal hand-held device.

² Word mash-up: teledisconnection (verb)

telecommunications (tele): “communication over a distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, or broadcasting.”

disconnection (disconnection): “the act of detaching one thing from another.”

Teledisconnection: detached from telecommunications.

Example: Teledisconnection of the Prescedense from his Twitter account could restore some normalcy to the communications expected from the office of POTUS.

 

The paradox of a tattoo.

The definition of a paradox (noun): “a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.”

And so we are mesmerized considering the paradox inherent in a skin tattoo.

Although you should love a tattoo design and consider its placement carefully before you get inked — it is part of you for the rest of your life, don’t worry too much.  We don’t live forever.

Tattoo: “permanent artwork on a temporary canvas.”

– Viva E.

News peak cacophonous writer’s block.

I love the name ‘Viva Escritora.’ A live writer. A lively scribbler.

And then things get tricky.  While writing looks like banging out letters at a keyboard or picking up a pen and scribbling away on paper, it is the thinking behind the typing, behind the scribbles which is where the word ‘writer’ gains gravitas.

Everyday there is a new peak in events every where all over and we must have an opinion and we must word our opinions strongly and we should type and push ‘publish’ but then there is so much to opinionize on and we can’t figure out what is most important because there is so much choice between injustices to be angry at or developments to be thoughtful about or intriguing trivia and on and on and so we step away from the keyboard because we are confused. We are blocked. We set the pen down.

And this post — ‘How Information Overload Turns Into Writer’s Block‘ — nailed writer’s block for me with the description — “hallways of the mind.”¹ Each hallway is littered with doors and behind the doors? Well, more hallways. And more doors, but! if you don’t just give up, you might find that golden nugget to blog about. Or a nugget might somehow find you.

And so, yeah! Today’s golden nugget comes in the form of sound — not exactly musical, but music. As I read the morning news, I was reminded of The Most Unwanted Song.² Although the song was written in 1997 for the purpose of annoying people, today it provides a cacophonous mirror to current events — the ambiance and atmosphere for the news interpreted in Muzak.³

Enjoy!

Or not.


¹Jackson, Panama. Verysmartbrothas.com. Aside: I read VSB to “seek out marginalized voices and perspectives“.  And smokes.  The VSB contributors can WRITE. And by WRITE, I mean THINK.

²If you take a listen Ann, I encourage you to at least give it until 1:35 when the operatic rap starts. Really.

³My apologies to Muzak.