January Quiet Settles In

It has been a quiet week at Lake Wobegon… uh, I mean in the world of The Culture Maven.  I have been focusing on work and preparing for my first cross country skiing experience coming up in mid-February so the outside activities have been leveled to a minimum.  What I have been doing is building up my cardio ability and strength in the gym via weight training and the elliptical machine.  Though it is super cliche to hit the gym in January, and indeed it is my least favorite time to go due to the crowds of New Years Resolutionists combined with all the cyclists and runners who are usually outside doing stuff in better weather- it is just a crowd and as a rule I dislike crowds.  Anyway, I use the cute little gym in my apartment complex which has a steady stream of patrons but is never crowded making it a much more pleasant experience.  Where was I going with all this?  Oh right, Why am I in the gym in January….so I have signed up to attend a four day weekend of yoga and cross country ski lessons at Kripalu in February in celebration of my birthday and to check off a bucket list item (learning to cross country ski).  Since I was sick or recovering from illness in December, and I have really slacked on the aerobic exercise thing for quite some time, I thought it would be a good idea to build up some cardio capability before attempting to basically run on skis up and down hills through the snow.  Is that a cultural thing worthy of mention in an Arts and Culture blog?  Well,  in our culture, yes.  So there.

Anyway,  I also went to Bachata night at club M&M which is great exercise in winter as Latin dancing will warm up a body pretty gosh darned quickly – and it it FUN!

On Saturday night, following a day of writing, I was a happy guest at the WNRN Winter Party held at The Blue Moon Diner on Main Street in Charlottesville.  It was the first time I met several of the volunteer “Jocks” and the food was fantastic.  I highly recommend the chicken curry which I wish I had demanded buckets of to take home to eat for the week it was sooooo good.

Have a great week and maybe I will have more interesting things to report next Monday.


The Culture Maven

Here is a picture of me eating an olive off of a wonderful creation by The Blue Moon Diner.

Photo by the talented  Rich Tarbell

Photo by the talented
Rich Tarbell

A New Year of Art and Culture

2014 is upon us!  And a happy new year for me already as a dream has already come true.  2013 was a year for planting seeds, for preparing.  I brought in the year with a silent retreat at Yogaville, all introspective and transformational and rung it out with a fine dinner at a friend’s then a play at Live Arts.  Yes, I went to see THE PHILADELPHIA STORY on New Year’s Eve and though the play turned out to be a confusing scriptural muddle, I enjoyed the company and the party afterwards where we brought in 2014 with a traditional champagne toast and a little dancing.

The following days had me putting the finishing touches on my first radio show, a 3o minute broadcast I am co-producing with Matthew Slaats from The Bridge here in Charlottesville, examining how Virginia artists are influenced and influence the world at large.  The show aired on WNRN on Sunday at 11:00am as part of an extended Culture Connection in conjunction with 30 Minute Throwdown, a radio show produced by students from the Tandem Friends School in collaboration with the Music Resource Center and WNRN. This is a dream come true for me and I am really proud of our premier effort which I listened to today.

Other than that, I road tripped up to DC to see THE ART OF TRANSFORMATION an exhibit of art related to yoga at the Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian on Friday.  If you are a yogi/yogini it is a must see but hurry because it leaves in two weeks.  Tip:  Use the magnifying glasses provided to get a better look at the minute details in the drawings and paintings.

On the television front, I finished BREAKING BAD this weekend and honestly was happy for it to end.  I had grown weary of Jessie’s whimpering, Todd’s effortless evil and if I had to see Schyler’s deer-in-the-headlights look one more time… Agggghhh!  But loose ends were wrapped up nicely and I enjoyed seeing Badger and Skinny Pete one last time.  At this writing, I await the season premier of DOWNTON ABBEY with tingles of excited anticipation.

ART NOTE:  If you like museums but dislike crowds January and February are THE best months to hit the galleries.  DC and New York are practically empty and you can get great deals on hotel rooms too.

Have a great week and get out there and get cultured.

The Culture Maven

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