Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Both Donatello’s conception of David’s encounter with the Philistine champion, Goliath, and the version wrought by Michelangelo some seventy years later arose from specific political challenges. In the mid-fifteenth century, Florence faced the Milanese Sforza menace. As the century progressed, the Medici family, long ascendant in the city, confronted a republican insurgency which finally expelled them in 1494. By the time Michelangelo had finished work on his David, the resurgent Medici, themselves, were the chief threat to the city’s inhabitants. However, the particular circumstances in each case have resulted in very divergent figures.
Donatello’s statue reflects a triumphalist view of his patrons’ social position in Italy. He depicts the moment of victory. The severed head of the giant lies beneath the boot of a soft, barely adolescent boy with long, flowing tresses. Donatello's choice emphasizes the power of a family at the height of its fortunes.The statue was intended for display in the courtyard of a Medici palace and would impress both guest and passers-by as a symbol, not only of the family’s political potency, but also of its wealth and refinement. To this end, Donatello depicts the victor as an idealized object of desire whose slight military equipage radically offsets his delicate, alluring nudity. Instead of a hardened soldier’s rugged form, we behold an ethereal figure, symbolically defeating a brutish colossus. This is how the Medici preferred to see themselves – not debased by the rough and tumble of Italian politics, but transcending it. Though victorious, they are almost impervious to its coarseness.
Michelangelo’s composition, on the other hand, was finished in circumstances of looming menace from the Medici exiles. He takes as his subject a moment of defiance before the battle ensues. David's sling is readied over his left shoulder as he gazes intently at his foe. Unlike the relaxed contrapposto posture adopted by Donatello, every muscle is tensed and ready to spring into action in defense of the city. Michelangelo’s warrior is bold, mature and committed. Though beautiful, he is no mere love object. The statue was intended for placement on the Duomo, turned toward Rome, the direction from which the invading army was likely to come. It makes a statement. “We are ready to meet your challenge. We will defend our hard-won republic to the last man.”

Monday, December 16, 2013

Drink Up

Raspberry Cranberry Martini

Hosting it up is much easier when you aren't trapped behind the bar! This is a simple recipe that once mixed you and your guests can enjoy!

1 bottle Cranberry-Raspberry Cocktail
1 Bottle ABSOLUT Raspberri Vodka
1/2 Bottle of Chambord (or another Cassis Liquor)
2 oz of Frangelico
1 carton frozen raspberries (to keep the concoction cold)

I usually double this to fill the punchbowl for a drink by drink basis the breakdown would be:

5 oz Raspberry Vodka,
1 oz Chambord
Splash Frangelico
Fill to brim with Cranberry Raspberry Cocktail
Shake with ice, strain, and garnish with raspberry.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I like to think of myself as a creative individual, but I have to admit that quite a few behaviors and activities that I engage in are more ritualistic than would be imagined. With the warming of the weather, I begin opening the windows as much for the sunlight as for the fresh air. During the short spring break from classes this semester I have awoken early to put my house in order if you will. Not normally an early riser, for those of you who know me, early is anytime before noon or possibly 2 pm depending on when I went to bed the night before. On this rare occasion I awoke naturally at 6 am and immediately began stripping the bed and curtains for the master bedroom and bath. Something within me loves to have a hard day of work rewarded by crisp clean cool sheets. As is usual in these intermediary months between winter and spring equinox the amount of static is palpable. Something I revel in each and every time my husband winces as I shock him. Much like the delight I get when I reduce him to a gaggle of giggles while tickling him.. Delight in the mild pain of someone else - yes please! But I digress, the static cling also does a number on my hair, after removing the many layers of my winter hibernation habitat, I look akin to a mad scientist all before 9 am. With the bedding out of the way I take this time to vacuum underneath the bed, by removing the mattress and bedsprings. I happen to notice that the baseboards are starting to slightly separate so in my energetic pep I take courage, knowledge, and the pep talk provided by Robin Williams and "Carpe Diem" caulk in hand. The caulk gun is the easy part, I cart a bucket of sudsy water in order to clean the baseboards in preparation, but if you clean one you have to clean them all, door frames too, but I limit myself to these eight walls for the time being. In this skeletal state I also notice the jimmy rig that my husband has been using since he broke the sideboard of the bed. (Yes and yes, funny story really.) No time like the present, so I get my googles, hacksaw and nailgun, and approximately 45 minutes later Viola. I am the Husband!
The faucet in th bathroom has developed a minor drip in the last week or so, so armed with a massive supply of o-rings, the most probable cause of the leak according to my research. Easy to do yourself according to my research. Three wrenches, an allen wrench and a dismantled stem = equals one massive amount of water pooling above and below the sink. I turn off the water flow to the sink and like any rational person would do at this point I call for assistance and make an appointment for a plumber to arrive Friday at 2pm.
Doorbell ring this is how I answer.

This is who arrives:

Thirty minutes and eighty-nine dollars later, I felt like a happy man, a smorgasborg of services were offered but rather than a complete rebuild at $389.00, a new faucet + installation $500.00, I think I made the right decision. It was the o-ring, some dufus put it back together backwards...
However the previous weeks worth of moisture has loosened the adhesive backing from the laminate of the cabinet. Thanks to my devotion to This Old House, I knew that vinyl laminate flooring will sit flush with prefabricated cabinets so off to Home Depot I went; I also had a running list of items from my honeydew list that I needed as well, granted a shower and hair gel, and another change of laundry loads were required first. At 4:08 traffic to Pineville is within a five minute route, on hour later traffic jams have magically quadrupled the return trip. I am finishing the last cuts of the last tile as Le Husband enters at 8:30 pm. Excited to show my handiwork of the day. Remember the bucket of mop water from the baseboards - me neither! I trip over it sending a cascading waterfall of water down the stairs to greet my better half. Well played Karma, well played.