Posted by Jackie on June 19, 2012
Bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on, and kids of all ages to Tyler Park this Thursday, June 21, 6-8 p.m. for the first concert of the 2012 Summer Sunset Music Series. Sponsored by the Friends of Tyler Park, the event will include great music by JEN KEARNEY and the Lost Onion, free hot dogs, popcorn and lemonade, face painting, crafters, and lots of fun amid the rolling hills of this sweet park in the Highlands neighborhood of Lowell (700 Westford Street). Jen Kearney’s non-traditional blues band will have you rockin’ right along, so don’t miss it!
Other upcoming concerts for the season include TAKE TWO on Thursday, July 19, and GUMBO DIABLO on Thursday, August 16. This year, which represents the 14th annual concert in the park series, will feature a new addition: MOVIE NIGHT at Tyler Park on Saturday, Sept. 15. A family-friendly movie will be shown at 6:30 with refreshments and popcorn starting at 6. (Rain date: Sept. 22.)
posted in Local Groups, music |
Posted by Jackie on June 6, 2012
According to this source, LinkedIn will be sending emails to those users whose passwords may have been compromised by the recent hacker.
posted in In the News |
Posted by Jackie on June 6, 2012
I have been purging my home office lately, and by that, I mean going through old bank statements, paid bills, insurance statements, and other sorts of paperwork to get rid of the boxes that have accumulated in my life. For instance, last night I went through a box of papers dating from years 2000-2003. Since I’ve been told the IRS only goes back seven years (only as if that isn’t enough), I’m thinking it’s not necessary to hang onto anything prior to 2005.
But in terms of today’s world, discarding that information is not simply throwing it out with the trash or recycling. There is a very real threat of stolen identity, and I have been SHREDDING mounds of papers–so much so that I actually overheated my little shredding machine and it quit cold turkey, refusing to take another bite; perhaps burning is a faster option? Anyway, it feels good to purge, but along with that is the realization that our personal information is not safe, and we are all at risk of having it stolen.
Meanwhile, I just heard that LinkedIn has been hacked into and millions of names have been released. Users are encouraged to change their passwords as soon as possible! As if I don’t have enough trouble remembering passwords, just add it to the list of “things we do differently” because of the internet world we live in.
posted in In the News, Just life |
Posted by Margaret on May 20, 2012
A favorite painting of ours is George Seurat’s A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte (Un dimanche après-midi à l’Île de la Grande Jatte from 1884), a pointillist work which shows all levels of society enjoying a day away from the city and the cares of the workaday world. Today we felt the need to be near the water and headed over to the Esplanade which was certainly getting lots of use. Here’s what we saw: dog walkers, joggers, baby carriages, kids on bikes, trikes, scooters, skateboards and roller blades; there were families, couples, seniors, and solo strollers; sunbathers, shade-seekers, swimmers and sand-castle builders – the beach was crowded! We saw lots of groups settled in for the day with lawn chairs, grills, and a latin beat sounding from car stereo speakers. Some were playing catch, tossing a football, blowing bubbles, flying kites – we even saw some tight-rope walkers! There were people fishing and people boating – many jet skis flew by. People were eating ice cream cones, sipping iced coffee drinks, and having picnics on blankets by the water. The bright sun, sparkling water, light breeze and nearly cloudless skies made the scene like so much like Seurat’s painting! We were happy to be out with fellow Lowellians on this Sunday afternoon.
posted in Art, City Life |
Posted by Margaret on May 11, 2012
Sarah Vowell, author of, among others, Assasination Vacation and The Partly-Cloudy Patriot, both funny and thought-provoking looks at history and politics, once said, “I think about the Civil War every day.” I often think about her thinking about the Civil War when I contemplate my own fascination with the subject, and what better time to have such thoughts than during the sesquicentennial years of those epic events, with next year bringing the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.
I think my favorite book about the Civil War(along with McPherson’s epic “Battle Cry of Freedom“) has to be Confederates in the Attic, by Tony Horwitz. The intrepid author explores the new South in search of the old – and his findings are instructive, amusing, at times horrifying, but always engaging. He marches with Civil War re-enactors, bushwhacks through snake-infested undergrowth in search of forgotten monuments, dares small-town biker bars to interview locals, and attends Sons of Confederate Veteran’s meetings, along with traipsing through battlefields from Manassas to the Wilderness. It is a great read.
Tony Horwitz has written a new book about John Brown, called Midnight Rising, and is actually in Chelmsford tomorrow in a joint appearance with this wife and fellow-author Geraldine Brooks, whose novel March, imagines the story of the Father in Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. This event will be held at Chelmsford High School, tomorrow, May 12th, at 11:00 am.
posted in Books |
Posted by Margaret on May 7, 2012
My long daily commute (55 minutes each way to Concord, NH) has led me to adopt a strategy of “hypermiling.” I don’t have a Prius, and the rising price of gas has made my weekly stops to fill the tank somewhat painful, not to mention the guilt over my carbon footprint. Hypermiling has become a way to mitigate these feelings and add a fun daily challenge. I generally get 21 to 24 miles per gallon when driving around Lowell, but by going 55 mph on the highway, I’ve managed to achieve an average of 29 miles per gallon. No doubt my fellow commuters are annoyed as they barrel past me, but I stay in the right lane and slow down to let others zip ahead of me when merging onto the road. An additional benefit is that I have become a much less aggressive driver. I don’t feel the need to pass or cut off other drivers, and my long drive has actually become a calming ritual, where I drink coffee, listen to audio books or Spanish tapes, and eventually arrive at work in a mellow frame of mind.
posted in Uncategorized |
Posted by Jackie on May 4, 2012
Maybe you’re like me, marveling about the mild winter we had in Lowell or how quickly spring arrived (remember those magnolias flowering in March—unheard of so early in the season). Or even, simply breathing a sigh of relief because at last we’re getting some much-needed rain that hopefully won’t ruin the weekend. Around the world, other people just like us are experiencing their own kinds of climate change, some of it not nearly as benign as we’ve seen in the Merrimack Valley (so far).
Tomorrow, whether or not it’s raining, you like cold snowy winters, or you enjoy weeks of record-breaking heat, please take 10 minutes of your Saturday morning to stand with your neighbors in front of Lowell City Hall at 10:30 for a photo to promote environmental awareness about climate change. Across the globe, others too will stand for this cause, so that we can begin to connect the dots regarding the global impacts of our reliance on fossil fuels. Do it because you can, because it’s important, and because together is the only way we can make a difference.
To put what’s at stake in perspective, watch this excellent short video that truly connects the dots and gives a global perspective on the impact climate change is having. The short piece was written by Bill McKibben of 350.org, and narrated and illustrated by Stephen Thomson of Plomomedia.com. It is well worth watching.
posted in Environment |
Posted by Margaret on May 3, 2012
What do you know about the Lowell Humane Society? I visited their website today and learned a lot, first of all that they are putting technology to good use, with a blog, rotating pictures of featured pets, and tweets about pets and donation needs. Pretty impressive! As a private, non-profit organization (in operation since 1873), they do not receive any public funds and rely on donations to fund their tireless efforts to:
prevent cruelty, provide care for homeless and distressed animals and educate the public about responsible pet ownership.
Their fundraising efforts include monthly fundraisers at local restaurants, where you stop in and get some food (you got to eat anyway, right?) and the restaurant donates some funds to the charity. The next one is two nights in June, Monday and Tuesday, June 4th and 5th at Chili’s in Lowell.
Of course, the reason I know so much about this worthy organization is that my cat is missing! His name is Milo, black and white, very friendly, in case you see him around the Highlands.
posted in City Life, Local Groups |
Posted by Jackie on April 27, 2012
Take 10 minutes next Saturday and meet us in front of Lowell City Hall at 10:30 for a group photo to share around the world as part of 350.org’s Connect the Dots rally. The purpose of the gathering and the photo is to put a human face on the concerns of climate change and to share those images across the globe—so that we get the big picture regarding the impact rising temperatures and sea levels, droughts, heat waves, floods, fires, and severe storms are having on us all.
No matter where you stand in the controversy regarding the causes of climate change, there is no doubt we have seen fiercer storms, historically warm temperatures and milder winters, while other areas are experiencing extreme cold, rain and snowfall that are unprecedented in the history of weather record keeping. The idea of sharing global images is to show how many areas of the world have experienced severe climate change, both devastating and deadly: consider Japan, Australia, as well as the fires and droughts in Texas just to name a few. Put Lowell on the global map as one of the dots of concerned folks. Join us, Saturday, May 5, at 10:30 in front of Lowell City Hall.
Check their website for more information about 350.org, a grassroots movement whose name reflects the number of parts per million of CO2 that is considered safe for humans. The number 350 is the goal and symbol for the movement, which strives to build global support around efforts to reduce CO2 from its current level of 392 ppm. The Connect the Dots event is the most recent in the group’s history of rallies and events spanning continents and hundreds of countries in waves of activism and public gatherings.
Following the photo there will be a movie hosted by The Lowell Film Collaborative and light refreshments served inside at the Mayor’s Reception Room. The plan is to raise awareness for climate action and debunk the perception that we have no power to change the future.
posted in Environment |
Posted by Jackie on April 21, 2012
Michael Hollinger ’s play, Ghost-Writer, a haunting story of love tangled with the agonies of artistic creation, begins this weekend at the Merrimack Repertory Theatre. The production, the last in a season that stands out as one of MRT’s finest in recent memory, runs until May 13 and is well worth the price of admission.
As Picasso famously said, “Art is the lie that reveals the truth,” Hollinger explores fictional truth as the “only truth that matters” and as a way of making things more true. The play lets you inside the writing process and as you watch, it connects two people in an intimate bond that seems to defy the boundary of death. Yet, is that truth or merely the construct of the protagonist? There are hints that support various conclusions, but in the end, Hollinger leaves it up to the viewer to decide.
The play is well written and interesting, with clever dialogue. The three actors are also exceptional: Franklin Woolsey as the statuesque writer, who would “wait for words to appear”; Rebecca Harris as Myra, whose facial expressions and presence convey so much more than mere words; and Maureen Garrett, the lively, jealous wife, whose outsider status and deep love for her husband provide provocative conflict as well as surprising empathy. Although the pace can be slow at times, this subtle, cerebral and nuanced look at reality, writing and relationships proved satisfying. Don’t miss it!
posted in Art, Local Groups, Theater |