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Beautiful professional model, Candice Boucher, photographed by Warwick Saint

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Got this funny story from YA...gave me a good laugh! The orangutang has nothing to do with YA or the story but he gives a good smile too...I have a soft spot for the apes, especially those guys and baby chimps....


Yesterday my daughter e-mailed me again asking why I didn't do
something useful with my time.

Like sitting around the pool and drinking wine is not a good thing.
Talking about my "doing something useful" seems to be her favorite
topic of conversation.

She was "only thinking of me" and suggested I go down to the senior
center and hang out with the guys.

I did this and when I got home last night I decided to teach her a
lesson about staying out of my business.

I e-mailed her and told her that I had joined a parachute club.
She replied, "Are you nuts? You are 73 years old, and now you're going
to start jumping out of airplanes?"

I told her that I even got a membership card and e-mailed a copy to her.
She immediately telephoned me, "Good grief, where are your glasses!

This is a membership to a Prostitute Club, not a Parachute Club."
"Oh man, I'm in trouble... now what do I do? I signed up for five jumps a week."

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Dutch family who fought Nazis and protected their Jewish friends in WWII.

I was so sad to hear the news of Robin Williams' death today. He brought much laughter to so many of us throughout the world, a talented actor and comedian...husband and father...sensitive human being. May he rest in peace and his family find comfort in the passage of time and warmth of their loving memories.

I always got a kick out of this routine about the French even though I'm a French national...I've always found it to be hilarious. He will be missed yet remembered always.

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Marcel Pagnol was a beloved author/playwright from Marseille who captured the Southern temperament, warmth, humor and spirit of this region of France. Being born and raised there, I have always had a deep love and respect for the man and his work.

The remake of this classic work looks to have all the charm and humor of the original which was directed by Pagnol, himself. I look forward to seeing it!

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Photo by Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Recipe at link

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Sculpture by Bruno Catalano, in Marseille, France (my hometown) from his The Immigrants series. Interesting website with more of his work.

April 24,1915

Armenian song of the "Homeless" in Armenian, "Andouni" performed by Isabel Bayrakdarian

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Shifting the Sun

by Diana Der-Hovanessian

When your father dies, say the Irish,
you lose your umbrella against bad weather.
May his sun be your light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Welsh,
you sink a foot deeper into the earth.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Canadians,
you run out of excuses. May you inherit
his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the French,
you become your own father.
May you stand up in his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Indians,
he comes back as the thunder.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Russians,
he takes your childhood with him.
May you inherit his light, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the English,
you join his club you vowed you wouldn't.
May you inherit his sun, say the Armenians.

When your father dies, say the Armenians,
your sun shifts forever.
And you walk in his light.

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March 25, 2014

My precious beloved Father, Megherditch Hatsakortziantz, passed away peacefully last night. God bless him for the good he did for many all his life, he had a good heart and was a generous warm soul...for being an outstanding father to me. Instilling in me a love for people, love of music of all genres, love of travel, love, respect and appreciation for my Armenian roots...keeping my languages alive by forbidding me to speak English at home, sending me to France every year to maintain my love and ties for family, heritage...and making me feel feel like his beloved little Princess even when I was a grown up married woman with my own child and beyond. A beloved grandfather to my son, for whom there was no one in this whole wide world more special. Merci de tout coeur, Papa. My sun has shifted. May I now walk in his light...

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The Chosen Ones - Trailer, 4 min from Bars Media on Vimeo.


Mikhail, in his 80's, has buried himself alive in the tons of garbage that he has gathered during the last 15 years. Mariam is in her 50's, but looks like she is in her 70's, and depends completely on antidepressants. Anahit, in her 60's, lives in an empty apartment with the souls of her 8 children and husband.

The Chosen Ones tells the story of old and lonely people, who at the end of their lives decided to fight against their despair and hopelessness through the dance and through new friendship.
In a country where there is no social life for seniors, these group of people are brave enough to go against the mainstream and even against the inevitable. Every day these people prove through their performance that they still have dreams of love, hopes for the future, and can amaze audience with their spirits. The film shows that even a life spent in hardship is worth living until the last minute!

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The Times We've Known

The times we've known are slipping by
Iike vapour trails across the sky
The best of times, the worst of times
Have come and gone

The years of debt, the years of doubt
the years of 'what's it all about?'
Of holding fast, and holding out
And holding on

When life was hard and chances few
Still I was rich in having you
Though people said we wouldn't go far
We went ahead and here we are

Together still remember me
Together still through everything
The times we've known

Sometimes the years were lush and green
Sometimes we lived on hope alone
A little bit of both have been
The times we've known

Some lucky flings, some rotten breaks
Some funny things, a few mistakes
The dreams that every dreamer takes
And makes his own

The time to laugh, a time to cry
A time to let the world go by
And if there were some tears to pay
No one can take those years away

On fragile wings our days have flown
Still we have things to call our own
The times we've known
The times we've known

Written by Charles Aznavour

Les Bons Moments in French

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Photo of Gayane Aslamazyan, popular model/actress in Armenia. Photographer unknown.

Love is not a thing to understand.
Love is not a thing to feel.
Love is not a thing to give and receive.
Love is a thing only to become
And eternally be.

~ Sri Chinmoy

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Photo of Gayane Aslamazyan, popular model/actress in Armenia. Photographer unknown.

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Isabel Bayrakdarian, Canadian Armenian opera singer gives an introduction to Sayat Nova whose songs are known to all Armenians, with usually at least one member of the family singing at least one of his songs at gatherings. In our family that was my paternal grandfather, raised in his the historical Armenian region of Van (currently Turkey. ) He was a warm, loving, funny (he loved to tell stories and they always brought a good laugh) hard working family man who never learned learned to read or write but farmed the family land and sold what they raised going by boat on Lake Van to various cities and villages in his youth. He loved to sing and dance and this was one of the more poignant songs he sang. This song always brought a tear to my father's eye when he heard it, even in front of others, it moved him so.

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September 7, 2011

Back to Marseille...Pictured here is the Eglise Armenienne, au Prado, where my parents were married long ago, and I was baptized here a couple of years later. It is kind of small but has a lovely layout and courtyard. My father often brought me on Sundays, even on those rare occasions when my mother was home preparing for the family to come after the service. This was usually on visits from the Patriarch when all my grandparents wanted to be in attendance so it made more sense for everyone to come dine at our place which was closer than the country homes of my grandparents where we usually had our Sunday family dinners.

Now my paternal grandfather was very indulgent and would at these occasions slip me a delicious piece of bubble gum when he could sense my stomach was growling during those longer services with the visiting dignitaries. He knew I wouldn't cause any trouble since I never got the hang of how to blow a bubble with it but adored the yummy taste. My grandmother took it all very seriously, and was known to sigh when she heard too much chattering, glancing up to give a deadly disapproving eye to the offender. You see, my grandmother was a strong personality not nearly as indulgent as the priests! Luckily for me, she adored and loved me to pieces and there was no bad side to her for me to get on; she thought I was perfect! Well, that's grandmas, even the tough ones! I was the first grandchild in thirteen years, so she was darn happy to see me and I gratefully reaped the benefits of her warm affection for me....and dearly loved her back.

Armenian churches are a little bit different in that they don't proselytize and most of the clergy (99.9%) have a high tolerance for however the congregants behave and it is not at all unusual at certain times during the service to hear personal conversations, even critiques of the local priest or visiting clergy. They have their antenna and radar out for long winded sermons and you will know about it far in advance should such a rarity present itself. Most Armenian priests are very intelligent, have a "l'argesse d'esprit" and no false illusions that this unruly crowd will sit through the whole sermon, so they spare themselves the grief and keep it short and sweet. Every once in a while, you will get an archbishop close to retirement whose fuse with the frailties of his flock is short, so he may throw in a long one on purpose just to tick somebody off.

All this came to my mind as I was thinking how kind and thoughtful it was of my father to along with my mom raise me in this tradition, with the option to make my own mind up later. In fact, sometimes in the U.S., I would go to church services with various friends in the neighborhood to see what their traditions were. It wasn't until my father was in his 70s that he mentioned he was an atheist but respected the tradition and fellowship that came with our church so wanted me to experience it and as an adult make up my own mind about my beliefs. Just another reason he remains my hero.

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Yes, Thank you to Greece, Lithuania, France, Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, Canada, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Uruguay, Chile, Germany, Sweden, Vatican City, Slovakia to name most of those who have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. There may be some new ones which haven't been listed here yet...moot point I know.

Flashmob dance in Buenos Aires, Argentina dancing Armenian folk dance," kochari" a thank you gesture for Argentina's official recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey in 1915. A catastrophic crime against humanity which has affected every Armenian family that I've ever known on four continents. Turkey refuses to acknowledge it and that is their business but as the descendant of survivors (my grandparents on both sides, I'm one of he lucky ones) it will never go away and we will never forget. Let them never recognize it and it will only make the Armenians hold onto their ancient heritage all the more.

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A deep beautiful soul who expresses it so well on her gorgeous of my favorites here at CAT.

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