Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
Meander and Meet....designed by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Airworks For more information contact Susan at

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Saturday Morning Walkers - October 5, 2008

Hi everyone!

Just got back from Los Angeles. I arrived on Thursday and my first stop was lunch at The Little Flower Candy Shop and Cafe. I was warmly greeted by owner and Jexy's friend Christine Moore. Check out this review from Jonathan Gold from LA Weekly - I had a wonderful turkey sandwich and took home a few chocolate chip cookies. On Friday, after dropping Jacob and Tyler off at school, I headed back over for a fabulous almond croissant. Feeling quite satisfied after that, I was "forced" to sample a taste of a new creation that Christine had just taken out of the oven - it was a mini - Christmas Brioche with cranberries and pistachios - I left there quite full and with a sugar high but it was worth it. I then headed into Old Town Pasadena to pick up a few things at the new Whole Foods for our dinners on Friday and Saturday night - more about that later. Saturday, Joe, Jacob and I met Grandma Barbara and Grandpa Morry at the Skirball Cultural Center to hang out at the Noah's Ark exhibit. This was my second visit and it is still just as amazing to visit there.

I haven't finished a book this week but am enjoying Pearl S. Buck's book, Peony. I'll report on that next week.

Barbara Rowland has two recommendations - a book and a movie:

The book is a fictionalized memoir, What is the What by Dave Eggers

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Valentino Achak Deng, real-life hero of this engrossing epic, was a refugee from the Sudanese civil war-the bloodbath before the current Darfur bloodbath-of the 1980s and 90s. In this fictionalized memoir, Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) makes him an icon of globalization. Separated from his family when Arab militia destroy his village, Valentino joins thousands of other "Lost Boys," beset by starvation, thirst and man-eating lions on their march to squalid refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya, where Valentino pieces together a new life. He eventually reaches America, but finds his quest for safety, community and fulfillment in many ways even more difficult there than in the camps: he recalls, for instance, being robbed, beaten and held captive in his Atlanta apartment. Eggers's limpid prose gives Valentino an unaffected, compelling voice and makes his narrative by turns harrowing, funny, bleak and lyrical. The result is a horrific account of the Sudanese tragedy, but also an emblematic saga of modernity-of the search for home and self in a world of unending upheaval.

The movie is Live and Become directed and written by Ra-du Mihaileanu
LIVE AND BECOME **** Starring Yael Abecassis, Roschdy Zem, Moshe Agazai, Mosche Abebe and Sirak M. Sabahat. Directed and written by Ra-du Mihaileanu. Produced by Denis Carol, Marie Masmonteil and Radii Mihaileanu. A Menemsha release. Drama. Aramaic-, Hebrew- and French-language; subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time: 144 min. "Live and Become" received a rare standing ovation at the Telluride Film Festival, evidence of the emotional power of a remarkable journey of discovery. The film centers on the plight of Ethiopian Jews, called Falashas, forced to flee to Sudanese refugee camps for relief from persecution and famine. In 1984, "Oper­ation Moses" begins the airlift of Falashas to Israel. A Christian woman in a refugee camp wants a better life for her nine-year-old son (Moshe Agazai). She orders him to pretend to be Jewish so he can be air­lifted out. After a poignant silent glance with the boy's mother, a Falasha woman whose son has recently died takes the boy's hand as she boards the plane to Israel. She names him Schlomo and pass­es him off as her own son. But in Israel, the adopted mother dies. Agazai gives Schlomo a face full of sadness as he yearns for his mother back in Africa. Schlomo is mystified by life in Israel, which is radically different from anything he had ever known. He is adopt­ed by a liberal Israeli couple, Yael (Yael Abecassis) and Yoram (Roschdy Zem), with two children. Yael becomes a fiery defender of Schlomo against the preju­dices he faces as he begins a new life. Schlomo must create a new identity while facing hostility as a black immigrant and always fearing discovery as a non-Jew. His struggles are extremely affecting. In the distinctive cast, non-professionals seam­lessly mix with accomplished actors while "Live and Become" builds to an unforget­table final image. --Ed Scheid, Box Office Magazine

Amanda Aaron posted a book that she liked on Facebook - Identical Strangers: A Memoir of wins Separated and Reunited by Elyse Schein and Paula Bernsein- I think I saw them interviewed last year when the hardback was released - it is a remarkable story.

From Publishers Weekly
In this transfixing memoir, Bernstein, a freelance writer, and Schein, a filmmaker, take turns recounting the story of how each woman, at age 35, discovered she had an identical twin sister, and the reunion that followed. Despite disparate upbringings, education and work experiences, the twins share matching wild hand gestures, allergies, speech patterns and a penchant for the same art movies. Louise Wise Services, the adoption agency, will reveal only that their biological mother was schizophrenic and unaware of who their father was. Records of the study the agency conducted about them are sealed, so the authors spearhead their own research project by poring over birth records, tracking down their birth mother's brother and interviewing researchers, who claim that twins raised apart are more similar than those raised together. Much of the book is devoted to fascinating stories of other twins and triplets who, when reunited as adults, are shocked by how much they have in common with one another. Bernstein and Schein's relationship becomes extremely close and also fraught with expectation. Once you find someone, Bernstein writes, you can't unfind her.

Website of the Week - Rae forwarded an email about this site - - this is a site focused on Dr. Susan Love's work to eliminate breast cancer entirely. Please do check it out and get involved!

Podcast of the Week - The Loh Life by Sandra Loh I found this one on Joe's list of podcasts that he listens to regularly - I haven't heard it yet myself - let's check it out this week

Vocaulary Word of the Week - suggested by Joe Rowland - taciturn

From French taciturne or Latin taciturnus, from tacitus (“secret, tacit”).
(RP) IPA: /ˈtæsɪtɜːn/
(US) IPA: /ˈtæsətɝːn/
taciturn (comparative more taciturn, superlative most taciturn)
Silent; temperamentally untalkative; disinclined to speak.
The two sisters could hardly have been more different, one so boisterous and expressive, the other so taciturn and calm.
(silent): reticent, untalkative
(silent): garrulous, loquacious
Derived terms
[show ▼]untalkative, silent

Cooking and Dining Report:

Last night's dinner was Ina Garten's Parmesan Chicken Sticks (I left out the actual sticks) -\

Saturday night's dinner was Giada de Laurentiis' Lamb Stew with Cippoline Onions - 9936 31642.00html?rsrc=search

Joe and I both love lamb; Jexy and Jack do not, so this was a perfect opportunity to make this dish.

Quote of the Week - It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.

To all my friends, have a wonderful week....


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