Art Heist

October 17th, 2012 → 5:33 am

“Flat burglary as ever was committed.” – Much Ado About Nothing

7 valuable paintings were stolen from a museum in Rotterdam yesterday, including a Gauguin, a Matisse, and a Picasso.  The way it was executed sounds like an Ocean’s 11 high-professional job.  I thought those sorts of perfectly executed heists only happened in the movies?!?

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


September 29th, 2012 → 8:24 am

“He must observe their mood on whom he jests,
The quality of persons, and the time;
And, like the haggard, check at every feather
That comes before his eye.  This is a practice
As full of labor as a wise man’s art.”  – Twelfth Night

I went with my friend Karen to a performance of The Improvised Shakespeare Company last night.  I was very curious to see what it was about – a Shakespearean improv comedy troupe??  I have to hand it to them, they were funny.  And it has got to be hard to do improvised rhyming in Shakespearean English like that.  I know I could never do it.  So here’s to the art of comedy, which Shakespeare as well appreciated in the quote above.

(Note ‘haggard’ is an untrained hawk.  And ‘check at’ means follow after.)

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

Which Shakespeare Heroine Are you?

September 27th, 2012 → 5:54 am

I was alerted yesterday to this silly quiz which purports to tell you which Shakespeare heroine you are most like.  My score put me between Titania and Viola which, after rounding up, makes me most like Viola.  Yeah, I am sort of “boyish, mischevious, and inventive,” I’ll go with that.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life


September 25th, 2012 → 6:31 am

“A kind
Of excellent dumb discourse.”  – Tempest

Shakespeare said this about the dancing creatures that bring a banquet to the shipwrecked king in the Tempest.  It reminds me of the one, precious hour of TV I get at night after my son goes to bed and before I fall off into helpless sleep myself.  In the last few weeks I’ve caught up on Homeland and Dexter and am looking forward to the new seasons beginning at the end of the month.  Here’s to relaxing with excellent dumb TV at the end of the day…

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life

Guest Post – Nazi Wedding

September 21st, 2012 → 6:38 am

“Was ever woman in this humor wooed?” – Richard III

In July, 1942 the Germans announced that all the Jews in Warsaw would be “resettled” to Treblinka.  There were, however, a few categories of exception and if you fit into one of them you, your wife, and you kids were all exempted.  Marcel Reich-Ranicki fell into one of those categories.  He was not married at the time but he had a girlfriend, whom he immediately (like that day) married.  As he faced the rabbi during the shotgun wedding, the Nazis just down the street, the words of Shakespeare rang in his ears:  “Was ever woman in this humor wooed?”

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

David Rakoff

September 8th, 2012 → 8:50 am

“I can suck melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs.” – As You Like It

Author and performer David Rakoff died last month, and after listening to all the tributes to him on radio and in the news I bought his last book, Half Empty.  I was familiar with David from his This American Life contributions, but I’d never read one of his books before.  Half Empty is a paean to negativity and melancholy, which is a perspective that is often right up my alley.  While the book is more raunchy than I expected (and at times liked), so far it has been a fun read.  And I wholeheartedly sympathize with the joy of being a pessimistic cynic, especially in the face of some people’s candied optimism.

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art

The British Museum-Shakespeare Exhibition

September 1st, 2012 → 9:23 am

The quote today is not from Shakespeare, but about Shakespeare.  The British Museum in London is staging a major exhibition of Shakespeare and his world right now – if I were wealthy, the trips I’d take!  As I am not independently wealthy, however, and can’t just hop on over to London for a random weekend of fun, I did the next best thing and ordered the books published in conjunction with the exhibition.  One of which is called Angels & Ducats: Shakespeare’s Money & Medals.  It is from there that the following quote is taken.  It claims that Shakespeare wrote his plays for the reward of gold.  I never really thought of that as Shakespeare’s motivation before, which I guess is ironic since I am an economist after all.
(Note when reading below that Will Summers was Henry VIII’s jester.)

“Did not Will Summers break his wind for thee?
And Shakespeare therefore write his comedy?
All things acknowledge thy vast power divine
(Great God of Money) whose most powerful shine
Gives motion, life.”  – Thomas Randolph, Hey for Honesty, 1627

Filed under: Blog & Economics/Money & Literature/Theatre/Art

2012 Olympics

July 28th, 2012 → 6:02 am

“Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That, if I then had waked after long sleep
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.”  – The Tempest

The above quote is the excerpt Kenneth Branagh gave at the opening ceremonies of the Olympics last night.  It seemed a good quote to use this morning, for two reasons.  One, it introduces the pageantry of the upcoming games well, and two, it ends by wishing a return to one’s dreams.  I stayed up too late last night watching the opening ceremonies after the kid went to bed, thus, I could sooo use a return to sleep and my dreams right now…

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art


July 12th, 2012 → 6:55 am

“Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
Where most it promises.”  – All’s Well That Ends Well

After more than a year of trying, it appears that my dream of finding a killer agent to sell my novel is nearly dead.  The industry is changing.  Agents are being squeezed out.  But more than that, I am told that my Shakespeare-Virginia Woolf audience is too selective a niche.  Well, I knew it never had Hunger Games mass appeal or anything, but still.


This is life, right?  You do what gives you pleasure.  You work your hardest.  You don’t give up.  And on a day to day level?  …you admire your snoozing baby’s curled-up toes while savoring exquisitely hot coffee in the morning…

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art & Self/My Life


June 21st, 2012 → 8:01 am

“All the world’s a stage,
And all the men and women merely players.”  – As You Like It

I’m leaving for New York City (yeah!) to see some shows and celebrate a friend’s 40th birthday.  So I won’t be around this next week.  But before I go let me note that this week is also the 1-year anniversary of this blog.  Wow!  It feels like I’ve barely even scratched the surface of all the cool Shakespeare quotes I hope to use…

Filed under: Blog & Literature/Theatre/Art