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Giselle Minoli
Works at Christie's New York
Attended St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Lives in New York City
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Giselle Minoli

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Last Friday I posted a link to an Op-Ed piece written by Dr. Oliver Sacks, an esteemed neurologist who has done a lot of work about the impact of music on the brain and the useful benefits of music therapy and therapeutic music listening in the daily care of men and women living with dementia, as one example.

I wish there were a way for me to write about something as important as Music Therapy and Therapeutic Music Listening on G+ and to include photographs, links to relevant articles, as well as to helpful and informative videos, all in one post.

But there isn't...yet...and so today I'm sharing with you a video of a documentary titled Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory, which can be seen in its entirety (for free) on YouTube. Directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett, the doc follows the work of Dan Cohen, a social worker, whose non-prof, Music and Memory champions the use of music as a daily technology in the care of Alzheimer's.

If you do not know about this meaningful intervention, please take the time to watch. The stories and footage are compelling. Sadly, there are some 36 million people in the world who have some form of dementia.

Sadly, most of us know someone - a parent, a grandparent, aunt, uncle, friend, next door neighbor...a colleague - whose destiny is to entertain this most unwelcome guest for many of the later years of their lives.

If you know someone who has Alzheimer's or a related dementia, if you know that at some point in their life they were positively and profoundly impacted by a love or passion for music of a particular preference, then there is every chance that music therapy or therapeutic music listening can impact them in a positive way.

It's worth asking the question...if you know someone with dementia.

Here's to remaining alive inside...

Alive Inside:
http://www.aliveinside.us/

Music and Memory:
http://musicandmemory.org/

The American Music Therapy Association:
http://www.musictherapy.org/

Institute for Music and Neurologic Function:
http://musictherapy.imnf.org/
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+Giselle Minoli  Excellent. Music is the only Art. All the rest are ancillary, mere crafts.
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It was from Dr. Oliver Sacks that I learned about The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat, although rumor has it that there are myriad cases of The Women Who Mistook Their Husbands for Baseball Caps Worn Backwards being reported all over the world, but I digress...

It was from Dr. Oliver Sacks that I learned about the Awakenings of some men and women with sleeping-sickness to whom Dr. Sacks gave the drug L-DOPA. First came the awakenings themselves, then Dr. Sacks' book about them followed by the movie, which you might remember starred Robert deNiro and Robin Williams.

It was from Dr. Sacks that I first learned about the magical, powerful, emotional and complex impact that music can have on our brains - that music is pre-lingual, that it can reach and stimulate areas of feeling and communication in people with all sorts of physical and psychological conditions, all of this chronicled in his book Musicophilia:Tales of Music and the Brain.

And it was Dr. Sacks who inspired me, because of the way in which music can reach into the inner sanctum of our souls, our spirits, our memories, to become involved in the effort to educate home caregivers about the uses of Therapeutic Music Listening in the care of men and women with Alzheimer's and related dementias.

Once upon a time Dr. Sacks was considered more than a little bit of an outlier, scientifically snooping around on the edges of music therapy, knowing instinctually, but also observationally and from personal experience, the impact music can have on people who are particularly connected to its sounds, rhythms and lyrics, all of which inspired him to co-found, with Music Therapist Concetta Tomaino, The Institute for Music and Neurological Function at Beth Abraham Health Services Center in the Bronx, where music therapists help people in stages of recovery from illnesses as varied as traumatic brain injuries to strokes...to dementia.

Throughout it all the thing that has struck me about Sacks' work as a physician and scientist is his enormous empathy with, and love for, his patients, basically his respect for any person in the position of being a patient. This empathy is at the core of his writing and I personally believe it underscores his many discoveries - about healing, about the human brain, about our neurological and psychological systems...about our essential humanity. Once an outlier but no longer, now an esteemed physician and scientist.

But now Dr. Sacks is (once again) a patient himself, having been diagnosed with terminal liver cancer, and he writes, in the attached essay, of his experiences - as a man, a physician, a patient...a human being - and how they have changed, impacted, altered and blessed him.

It is a short, moving and thought-provoking read, with which to end the week and begin a weekend:

I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers. Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

To Dr. Sacks, who has given so much to others, I send blessings through the Universe for all that you are, for all you have done, and for the enormous legacy you have created.

For those of you who are interested in this brilliant man's life, work and many books, you can find more at:

http://www.oliversacks.com/

You won't regret spending some time on his website.

Giselle

#OliverSacks   #TheManWhoMistookHisWifeForAHat   #Musicophilia   #Awakenings   #Alzheimers   #Dementia   #MusicTherapy   #TherapeuticMusicListening   #InstituteForMusicandNeurologicalFunction  
I am now face to face with dying. But I am not finished with living.
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Indeed +Susanne Ramharter. I can't imagine the numbers of people this man has helped, either directly as a neurologist, or indirectly (but still directly), as a writer and sharer of incredible stories, or as the founder of a place that "tunes people up" through the use of music. He has taken sorrow, pain, illness - and all sorts of ailments - and breathed a kind of tenderness into them. Yes...may the rest of his days be good ones...
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WHY do we need so many studies to convince us of what we have long known to be one of the key obstacles women face in the workplace - the expectation that they will do their jobs well...but in a self-effacing, sacrificial manner while dialing back their expectations about advancement?

WHY do we need studies to tell us that? It is what the women's movement was essentially based upon - not that women couldn't work, but that when they do work, wherever they are working - whether as wives and mothers or outside of the home in the work force - there is a tendency for them to slip into the role of housekeeper, tidy-upper, Den Mother, Soccer Mom, Step and Fetch it Wonder Woman, and Executive all rolled into one tidy package, without any expectation of promotion, appropriate remuneration or acknowledgement for their work.

We know this. We have always known this. But now it is actually being studied, by some pretty powerful and well-known people, which has the potential, hopefully, to change the state of work for women in the workplace.

I am glad that Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant are stepping up to the plate with a series of articles about women in the workforce. But I am concerned that the focus is on How To Change the Way Women Approach Working in the first place (and, to be fair, Yes, there is also focus on How Men Can Change the Way they Interact with and Support Women at Work), rather than on, perhaps, the force underlying these issues that bolster them up to begin with.

This is not news. What is news, perhaps, is that it is so easily denied. Like climate change. We need studies to prove that is a reality too, when, if you are a farmer, or if you are deeply tied to the land and nature, you have been intimately familiar with the changes our climate and Mother Earth have been going through for decades. No need for a study to prove that it exits, but, Yes, perhaps a need for studies to show the extreme damage that is being done to our health, our economy...and our futures.

So, too, with these niggling issues that affect women and work. The question, it seems to me, that we should all be asking ourselves is why we are not taking this issue on as a spiritual one? And an ethical and moral one? As a psychological one? As an economical one?

If every mother and father were to raise their girl and boy children to do equal "work" at home, to promote and support one another's efforts and life goals, to learn to do for others, to strive for parity and fairness - not sameness or identical situations and circumstances - but to strive for parity and fairness in whatever circumstances...and to bring those sensibilities with them - to school, to extracurricular events, to their relationships and ultimately into the workplace - wherever they go, then we just might be able to see this shift into the future.

Because what is the alternative? Does any father really want to see his daughter work hard at school, get good grades, enter the workforce only to end up fetching coffee for someone who is capable of fetching it without any help? Does any husband really want to see his wife work as hard as the men without as much opportunity for advancement?

Does any mother really want to raise her daughter to believe that she is somehow less than others at work? That she will never really get rewarded because women are not worth as much to employers?

In the end it really is a spiritual issue. It is about how we treat other people. It is about speaking up when we know something isn't right. It is about setting an example.

But why is it that we tend not to take action until the studies come out? And even then, as with the climate, we are often loathe to believe it starts with us, at home, each day. What we do there is what we take out into the world with us.

Just a few of the worthwhile quotes from this article by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant:

IN AN ANALYSIS of 183 different studies spanning 15 countries and dozens of occupations, women were significantly more likely to feel emotionally exhausted.

IN A STUDY led by the New York University psychologist Madeline Heilman, participants evaluated the performance of a male or female employee who did or did not stay late to help colleagues prepare for an important meeting.

STUDIES DEMONSTRATE that men are more likely to contribute with visible behaviors — like showing up at optional meetings...

RESEARCH SHOWS that teams with greater helping behavior attain greater profits, sales, quality, effectiveness, revenue and customer satisfaction.

One of us, Adam, has conducted and reviewed numerous studies showing that women (and men) achieve the highest performance and experience the lowest burnout when they prioritize their own needs along with the needs of others. 

The other two previously published articles in this four-part series on women and work by Sandberg and Grant are:

Discrimination at work, December 7, 2014
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/07/opinion/sunday/adam-grant-and-sheryl-sandberg-on-discrimination-at-work.html

Speaking While Female, January 11, 2015:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/11/opinion/sunday/speaking-while-female.html

#sherylsandberg   #AdamGrant   #WomenatWork   #GenderDiscrimination   #SpeakingWhileFemale   #WomenDoingOfficeHousework  
The sad reality in workplaces: Women help more but benefit less from it.
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THANK YOU FOR THIS POST!! You are spot on - we have studies. More studies just procrastinate the doing something about it. Grrrrrr...
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Giselle Minoli

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This is the definition of cynicism. Two brothers forming a coalition to fund (translation: to buy) the next election. 

This is the reason I will never agree with cynics who claim that their vote doesn't matter, encourage other people to believe that their votes don't matter, and don't show up at the polls to register their voices, as if a silent vote for cynicism is somehow an action of authenticity, an act of Patriotism, an act of bravery.

As a member of the gender that had to fight for the right to vote, for the right to have a voice, for the right to speak up, I will never concede to cynics that voting doesn't matter. Voting does matter.

If it didn't matter, the Koch Brothers wouldn't be making every effort to buy the election. If it didn't matter, countries around the world wouldn't be trying so hard to prevent fair elections. If it didn't matter, in our own country there wouldn't be pocketed and not at all thinly veiled efforts to make it impossible for disenfranchised people to have a say in their Democracy.

Some Americans are so distanced - philosophically, intellectually, psychologically and emotionally - from the privileges they have as a result of being Americans that they would actually prefer to create chaos and harm, rather than to participate in the system that gives them those privileges.

The anti-voting stance of many American citizens is on a par with the position of parents who don't believe in vaccinating their children, despite the harm that may come not only to their children, but to other children. 

Never mind the long list of diseases brought under control by vaccines (Diptheria, Hepatitis A & B, Measles, Mumps, Polio, Rubella, Smallpox, Tetanus...). Never mind the efforts the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is making around the world to vaccinate children who do not have access to them - whose parents are lining up for this gift from America. 

No, here, where we are privileged...let's not vaccinate. After all, we haven't seen these diseases in such a long time we've forgotten the toll they take, right? So...we don't need to vaccinate our children. Argggghhhhhhh. (Oops...am I being cynical? Sorry...)

So, too, with voting. In Saudi Arabia women can't vote. Or drive. In Vatican City, women can't vote. In Yemen, women can't leave the house without their husbands' permission. 

But, hey, here in America, where we don't have to fight for our freedoms, let's just give them up. Let's not vote. Let's give away our elections, our voices...and then let's be cynical and convince ourselves that voting doesn't matter anyway. Arggghhhhhh! (Oops...sarcasm...sorry...again...)

I'm sorry to tell the Koch Brothers that they will not be able to win the next election by buying it. Because women, who have had to fight for the right to vote, are going to turn out in record numbers to cast their votes. To speak up. To register their choices. To exercise their freedom.

And I will be among them...proudly...in spite of what the cynics say...or want to believe.

Those people who believe that voting doesn't matter might want to take a close look at what underlies that belief system...which is that they believe they don't matter. That is sad.

Because what we believe always starts with how we feel about ourselves.
The goal, announced at the billionaire brothers’ annual winter retreat, is an unparalleled effort by outside groups to shape a presidential election.
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I agree with you: my mother in the 60's needed my father's aprouval to have a bank account, to leave the country...
But she was more competent than my father: she went to Univerity on her 40's. Got a degree on Pharmacy, and before she retired, she, after having cancer, was leader of a Department .

She knew how to do everything a women of her generation was supposed to know - as Jane Austen would say-she was most accomplished ( although she couldn't sing or play the piano) she could cook, she did knitting, embroidery, was generous, and with integrity( she used the public phone to do private phone calls), she liked Piaff, Brassens, Léo Ferré, Camus, poetry, Chopin, but she didn't like narcisist intelectuals...
When I feel down or depressed, I remember how brave my mother was ( also worked and wrote articles for FAO, the United Nations Food Organisation) and she didn't want her heritage...
As I was saying, when I remember her, I feel ful of corage and happy because I am alive, and she is a source of inspiration
Amazing! I miss her a lot...

A spanish writer was here in Portugal, because she wrote a book , a romance about Madame Curie.
I am going to read it, because it shows a women point of view, about her greatness, and as a women , mother, wife ...

And a kind of craziness, as well ( I think the author, uses craziness as a synonym of courage).
Please, excuse me: I shall search for the author's name!

How do you feel? Are you allright, now? Walking? By the way: there is a portuguese dancer called Olga Roriz, that made a Dance with retired dancers.

Have a nice week!
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Last night we saw American Sniper. There was a long snake line to get into the theatre. As I write, we are sitting at the same theatre waiting for Selma to start. So far there are only 57 people here, 26 of them Caucasian.

Hmmm. Is it that folks aren't interested in movies about black history, events and culture, and important American black leaders?

Or that folks don't care for movies about peace-makers?

Discuss.

The movie is starting...and there's a trailor featured for an upcoming Kevin Costner film called black or white.

#Selma #AmericanSniper  
Official movie site for Selma. Watch the trailer here! Now Playing Everywhere
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For what it's worth, Bradley Cooper's take on what American Sniper is about - family...certainly not cinematic "action:" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/02/bradley-cooper-chris-kyle_n_6599988.html
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My husband +Brian Altman has many rituals I love, one of which is sitting at the counter and, impromptu, listening to music he loves on his iPhone, turning the sound up as high as it will go so I can hear. This morning he started with Bob Dylan's With God on Our Side, which I had not heard in such a long time I had forgotten the lyrics. I asked him to play it for me again, and it struck me how appropriate it is for New Year's Day...because it really is a wish for world peace.

The version my husband played this morning was a recorded one, but we also listened to this live version (some of the lyrics are switched up, as is Dylan's wont, in this case because the original pre-dated the Viet Nam war), in which the tempo is a little bit faster than the longer recorded take.

I share the lyrics with you below, and wish you all, wherever you are in the world, the possibility of Peace in the New Year.

Happy New Year, everyone. May good Health, Happiness and Peace be with you.

Giselle

With God on Our Side, Bob Dylan

Oh my name it is nothin’
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I’s taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that the land that I live in
Has God on its side

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
l’s made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don’t count the dead
When God’s on your side

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side

I’ve learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It’s them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we’re forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God’s on your side

Through many dark hour
I’ve been thinkin’ about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can’t think for you
You’ll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side

So now as I’m leavin’
I’m weary as Hell
The confusion I’m feelin’
Ain’t no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God’s on our side
He’ll stop the next war

Copyright © 1963 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991 by Special Rider Music

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us/songs/god-our-side#ixzz3NanBubdr

#BobDylan   #WithGodonOurSide
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it airs tonight? Sunday?
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I have been publicly predicting for well over 2 years now that if The Hill runs for President, she will win. This has made for animated, interesting, often heated and passionate conversation on those threads (which I have copied below for fun). But my personal interest in this particular subject matter, while appearing to be a political one, is in fact social, cultural and psychological rather than having to do with politics.

And while my interest may appear to have something to do with Democrats vs. Republicans (or any other party), or Liberals vs. Conservatives, or Big Money and election influence, or American political dynasties, either perceived or real...my interest emanates from having voted since I was 18, and from watching, analyzing, deconstructing and otherwise attempting to figure out why we vote the way we vote, why the pendulum swings the way the pendulum swings, and what issues, agendas and events are swept up in the Political Jet Stream that determines who becomes POTUS every four years (or eight, as seems to be the case in our recent past).

So let me make it clear at the outset that my interest is not about affection or disaffection for The Hill, it's about assessing where I think the train that is running down the track is going to end up and determining (Yes, IMHO) that it is going to end up at Hillary Clinton Union Station.

My reasoning is entirely unscientific. It has nothing to do with polls, or statistics or constituencies or political advisors. It has to do with something that no one wants to come out and say because it raises people's hackles - I think that Hillary Clinton is going to win because she's a woman.

Because, after 43 Presidents, since April 30, 1789 when George Washington took office at the age of 57 years old, 226 years of American Presidential History have gone by with a man at the helm and the time has come for a woman to take that helm.

While the average age of American Presidents on taking office is around 55, people love to say thatThe Hill is over the hill. Yet Ronald Reagan was 69, William Harrison was 68, James Buchanan 65, and George Bush Sr. 64. While there are those of us who think Clinton's age is entirely irrelevant (I am one of them), the real point is that I think American women singularly and collectively do not like being told they have a shelf life when it comes to their productivity and what they are capable of accomplishing. A woman's biological re-productivity may have a number attached to its shelf life, but her brain does not.

That said, I think it's important to note that the work force is quickly closing in on a 50/50 women/men mix. And we all know that there are more women getting higher degrees at the moment then men. And the number of women who are the main breadwinners for their families is increasing.

All of this is not to suggest that Hillary's gender matters more than her resume. But the particular blend, in this one woman's case, of her gender with a stunning resume is why I think she'll win. She's an indomitable survivor, like RBG (a/k/a Ruth Bader Ginsburgy), another person considered Way to Over the Hill to be sitting on SCOTUS. But I digress. A tad.

Representationally, when all of this is addd up, in spite of whether one loves her or hates her, whether one agrees with her politics or does not, whether one thinks she's still a Democrat or some new-fangled party as yet to be described, defined, deconstructed...the fact remains that her resume, entering the running, is unparalleled in American politics.

It's the sort of resume that a woman has to have to get anywhere. It's the reason that she would be running again when she's older, after she has survived every attack that has been hurled against her - because a woman's resume has to be ten times as good, ten times as long in order to put her name on a ballot in the first place. We do not live in a country where having a female counterpart of young and swaggering Jack Kennedy is even remotely possible. His resume, as a candidate, paled compared to Hillary's.

And I'll wager that The Hill's resume is the kind that many American women wish they could amass without the fight that she had to put up with to get it: wife, mother, lawyer, 8 years as First Lady, 8 years as NY State Senator, 4 years as Secretary of State...author.

Presidential campaigns are normally run on foreign policy, on domestic policy, on tax policy (and a host of other sticky money-related issues, like whether the Social Security system will be done away with).  But when I look around and talk to women at work, and to mothers, and daughters, and grandmothers, and women who are single or starting their own business, or divorced and going it alone with their kids...what I feel, see, and sense is a palpable shift in the voice that they want to represent them this time around. And after 226 years it just be might the voice of a woman. 

No, it isn't a political assessment I'm making. And it most certainly isn't feminist. It's something far deeper and more complex than that.

It's a social assessment. A cultural, psychological and philosophical one. Call it a poetic assessment if you will.

Do I agree with Nate Cohn's inevitability assessment? Yes..but I've been saying it for a long, long time, and I didn't need graphs or statistic or pie charts or telephone polls to get there.

P.S. There are a lot of Hillary Clinton haters out there looking for a place to act out. Conversation is welcome, disagreement with me is welcome. But attacking me for posting this is not and I will not hesitate to delete hate comments. Just think of it as one of the many things that women hope will change in this country. Thank you.

Since it's the last day of 2012, December 31, 2012:
https://plus.google.com/+GiselleMinoli/posts/2EUbtyrhyAm

What an amusing gaggle of geezers, June 30, 2013:
https://plus.google.com/+GiselleMinoli/posts/KwahhxCjfjC

If Hillary Runs, January 27, 2013:
https://plus.google.com/+GiselleMinoli/posts/a2s3seYF7if

What a bunch of hooey, December 16, 2014
https://plus.google.com/+GiselleMinoli/posts/LCL35uvH3VL

#HillaryClinton   #POTUS   #PresidentialElection2015     #GenderPolitics   #GlassCeiling   #GenderEquality  
Her standing among Democrats was far weaker eight years ago than it is today, based on polls and on the actions of other potential candidates.
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For those of you who thought my post about the possibility of Mrs. Clinton being elected President and having her gender be a primary factor, today, after I had made my own post, the below article appeared in the New York Times, 

To Break Highest Glass Ceiling, Clinton Gives Nod to Gender:
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/25/us/politics/to-break-highest-glass-ceiling-clinton-gives-nod-to-gender.html
 
Dance with yourself
When the wind howls
When the snow falls
When it rains
When it's quiet.

When you wake
When you sleep
When you dream
In the daylight
In the darkness.

Dance with yourself
And let someone watch
Or not.

Dance with yourself
As the sun does
As the moon does
As the stars do
Every day.

Dance with yourself
And wait not
for anyone to partner you.

www.tangoberlin.com
Dance: Isabelle Rune
Choreography: Santiago Hernandez
Music: O. Pugliese - Pata Ancha

#Tango   #Dance   #TangoBerlin   #IsabelleRune   #SantiagoHernandez     #vimeo  
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+Giselle Minoli - as a former ballet dancer, I had to unlearn the stiff-like posturing of ballet. I had to turn into a ragdoll cat, relax, forget exaggerated positions, etc and become an instrument of the dance. In ballroom, and in Argentine Tango especially, it clicked. I had senior citizen partners work with me with patience of kings and I learned the connection and balance and ebb and flow and wave and romance and being one with your partner, one body moving with many emotions. It's my favorite dance. Honestly, there's no looking back at ballet now! But... Sadly, I'm in nowhere, USA, so no opportunities to dance, especially homeless. So I listen to music and mark and muscle memory it through vivid wide-awake yet dreamlike imaginary states. It's as close as I can come to dancing it right now.

I think when I finally sell the books I'm writing and the medical designs I'm working on... I'll meet you in Argentina for an intensive study fun dance, food, language, culture vacation! ;-)
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It turns out that Doris Day, Bob Dylan and Emmy Rossum have something in common, which is an apparent appreciation for popular song standards. While any single person's list of favorite standards isn't going to match anyone else's, I would bet that most music lovers can recall a standard that was a favorite of their parents, or grandparents.

And I would bet that, even though it's a tad passé (and downright embarrassing) to admit to being romantic ourselves, more than a handful of us would proudly acknowledge having an inherent sentimental streak, the sort of streak that leads us to listen to every version of songs like A Sentimental Journey, The Autumn Leaves, or These Foolish Things (Remind Me of You) late at night when no one else is around. Or driving, which is my personal favorite time to indulge.

Ah, but I have been told that the critical mind is meant to suppress any overt expression of self-indulgent schmaltz. At the very least, if our emotional selves are not willing to be drummed out of existence entirely, they could at least have the manners to sit quietly at the back of the room and not disturb the intellects, Yes?

Sorry. What can I say? I have a thing for standards...and sentimental journeys. And Doris Day and Bob Dylan and Emmy Rossum. Besides, I'm not the sort to sit quietly. And I don't do that back of the room thing. Ever.

And hand-written letters and framed photographs and A Room of My Own in My Father's New York...

#EmmyRossum   #BobDylan   #DorisDay   #LesBrown     #SentimentalJourney   #SongStandards   #ARoomofOnesOwn  
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+R. Harlan Smith - exactly! You articulated what I was trying to say. :-) I often have students watch scenes from the westerns you listed for improv theater to understand how subtle acts show strength or evil or any emotion without an over-the-top overacting display. Silence and pause speaks incredible volumes when done well.

And I love your list of favorite westerns - all great!
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Giselle Minoli

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Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory. Tara Parker-Pope, NY Times, Writing Your Way to Happiness

I'm happy that Tara Parker-Pope wrote Writing Your Way to Happiness. And while I'm also glad/relieved/intrigued that psychologists and scientists are finally studying the positive impact journaling and writing can have on emotional health, I'm also surprised that this is news.

We need studies to validate a communication form that has been around, in various forms, for thousands of years? Seriously?

Communicating with one another - storytelling - is an ancient form of expression that is manifested in a variety of ways. Petroglyphs are a form of storytelling and hardly a modern one. So, too, hieroglyphs. Art, sculpture, painting, music, dance, theatre...these are all forms of storytelling and are part of how we share our individual experiences of life with other people. And they've each been around for a very, very long time.

Consider the flute. One of which, made out of vulture bone, was found a few years ago in a cave in Southern Germany. It is quite possibly 40,000 years old.

The ancient flutes are evidence for an early musical tradition that likely helped modern humans communicate and form tighter social bonds, the researchers argue. James Owen - National Geographic News (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/06/090624-bone-flute-oldest-instrument.html)

Consider dance. There are rock paintings that suggest the earliest forms of "dance" expression go back 9,000 years. And virtually every culture has some form of dance that defines it, whether it be belly dancing, ballet or voguing.

And consider art in all it's forms. We are used to young children making "art," like their cave living ancestors did so long ago, that their parents can proudly display on the refrigerator, or turn into holiday cards, or frame permanently for the walls of their homes. Although there might be children who do not create art, I personally don't know any. But I digress...

We are used to parents wanting their children to learn a musical instrument or to sing, or dance, or take art classes - because they want them to be well-rounded, educated, cultured, interesting.

But there is an unfortunate tendency to dismiss the value of any kind of artistic expression if it isn't turned into a career or one's profession beyond a certain age. We seem to have forgotten that it is natural - and human - to want to express oneself artistically, to want to share stories, and that teaching children to write...to make art, to play music, to dance, to perform...has a value beyond making a living off of any artistic talent that child may have.

Every artist that I know says writing, painting, playing music, dancing...makes them, well, happy, makes them, well, feel better, makes them, well, better able to get through life.

Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness. Tara Parker-Pope, the NY Times

Last year there was a wonderful series narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson called Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. One episode featured a story about Enheduanna, a Sumerian Princess and high priestess of Nanna, who was the daughter of King Sargon the Great.

Enheduanna lived and wrote around 2300 B.C.E. She is important because historians know her to be the first writer/poet/wordsmith that history knows by name. She is actually known by her name because Enheduanna actually thought to  _sign_ her name to her hymns and poems. It mattered to her that others would know who the author was.

If that isn't a desire to communicate, in words, like paintings etched on rocks, beyond the span of one's lifetime, then I don't know what is. I would love to talk to Enheduanna and ask her if writing made her happy. I would think, being a high priestess, that her answer would be "Yes! Of course!"

But it doesn't really matter. Because I'm happy just knowing she was alive. And that the first "author" was a woman? Well, that makes me particularly happy.

(http://www.space.com/24504-cosmos-a-spacetime-odyssey-with-neil-degrasse-tyson-new-trailer-revealed.html)

(http://womenshistory.about.com/od/womenwritersancientworld/p/enheduanna.htm)
Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.
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Yes. You are right. Cioran was speaking of writing as a therapy, in a more technical way. The contempt is not important here. To write gave him a monologue that was a conection to existence itself. 
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Giselle Minoli

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Is anyone else tuned into this? Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson free-scaling El Capitan. Years in the planning. Weeks in the actual doing. It's about planning. Precision. And power. It's not about fast. It's about exact.

It's not about hurry up. It's about waiting until the moment is right. The grip, the footstep...each perfect.

Everything aligned - one's energy, one's mindset, one's body, the wind, the weather, the timing...

It's a kind of Zen practice of goal, planning, pursuit, implementation and readiness that few, I think, get to experience on this level.

The mental strength, physical agility, determination, skill and expertise required to master this famous mountain is mind boggling.

But then, human being are capable of extraordinary things.

Try as I might here, I don't have words to describe it...because I'm not up there!

But I can watch them summit. And applaud their success.
Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson make final push to the top of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. Please note: The camera is running on camera battery so shot will occasionally go to black to change batteries.
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🌞🌹❤️ Thank you very much, dear Giselle! I hope that you are ok, now, and moving ( even dancing!!! ).

Happy New Year! 💃 🍴🍰🎨🎻📚
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Giselle Minoli

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To everyone who celebrates this holiday around the World.
Thank you for another year of conversation,
Of pictures...
Of shared stories, memories and experiences...

Thank you for our agreements and disagreements.
For myriad hilarious moments...
For thought-provoking posts...
For updates, controversies, shared interests and concerns.

For putting yourselves out there,
For your vast and endless array of interests,
For participating in whatever way is most authentic to you,
For chiming in, plus one-ing, or simply observing.

Thank you for expanding my experience of life,
For introducing me to so many things that are new to me,
Thank you for your videos, your photographs,
Your poems, your prose, your rants, raves, and reveries.

And thank you most particularly for your support and kindness these past six months.

For those of you who do not know what this particular Christmas wreath is...it is a Christmas wreath made of semi-dried red chiles, which is traditional in New Mexico where I was raised. More than anything, aside from luminarias, it signifies Christmas in the United States to me.

Merry, Merry, and a pre Happy Happy New Year.

Cheers,
Giselle
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Well, not awesome +Rumiana Nikolova. But you are very kind to think so!
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Education
  • St. John's College, Santa Fe, New Mexico
    Philosophy
  • L'Universita per Stranieri, Siena, Italy
    Italian
  • Parliamo Italiano, New York City
    Italian
  • The New York State Writer's Institute
    Literary NonFiction
  • Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism
    Social Media Course
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Female
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I write literary nonfiction.
Introduction
New York City has been my home for over 30 years. I'm a writer, but I've had several careers, each of them related to the arts. Dance, music, theatre and art have been in my life for as long as I can remember, and the signs were everywhere that these interests would turn out to be lifelong ones. 

I studied the Classics at St. John's College, where, strangely, my need to to be involved in the creative arts only intensified, so after I graduated I headed to San Francisco, where there was a thriving experimental cultural scene.

But I longed to move to New York, where I had dreamed of living since I was fourteen, and a job with CBS Records was the ticket I needed to get there. The magical Manhattan, where I have never spent a boring day.

Music lead to acting, which led to directing for a fledging theatre company, which, strangely, led to designing fine jewelry, which led to becoming an executive in the art world, which lead to becoming a writer, the entire combined history and mystery of which led to my current life, rooted in the arts of storytelling, conversation, communication and performance.

Along the way I became a pilot, saddened by the slow disappearance of general aviation in the US, the low number of women pilots, and the almost complete lack of wonder anymore at what is still the magic of flight. With our focus on cell phones (I have one), iPads (I have one) and TVs (I have one) the appearance of a small plane against a blue sky is barely shrug-worthy.

But flying is an art - dancing in the skies, painting invisible pictures in the ether, making music with the wind. Air architecture. Wind poetry. Bird imitation. Magic.

I love to travel hopefully to Italy, because I can never get enough of that landscape, the cobblestone streets, the art, the music, the food, the wine, and that melodious language, and watching the Italians strolling through their piazzas and streets after dinner, arm-in-arm, always kissing one another, and talking, talking, talking. 

American children are taught at a very young age to focus their energies on just one thing primarily and for years I apologized about having so many interests. But life is too short and too interesting to focus on just one thing, so I no longer apologize.

My interests converge on the pages of www.giselleminoli.com, the website I'm grateful to the talented Ron Louie of Opto Design for creating for me.

From time-to-time I write for StepMom Magazine about my experiences as a stepmother: Climbing the Steps: Conversations With My Stepson About Life, Love and Loss and On Birthdays and Black Nail Polish.

Bragging rights
I'm humbled to be one of approximately 16,500 female private pilots in the US, out of more than 200,000 total (including men).
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Writer...
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Cultural, political and social essayist. Fine jewelry designer. Private pilot.
Employment
  • Christie's New York
    Senior Writer/Chairman's Office, present
  • Synaptiq+ Journal for Social Era Knowledge
    Editor-at-Large, present
  • Giselle Minoli
    Writer, present
  • Giselle Minoli
    Fine Jewelry Designer
  • Christie's New York
    VP, Senior Business Development Liaison/Writer, 1990 - 2012
  • Actor/Theatre Director
    New York City
  • CBS Records, New York
    National Director, Customer Merchandising
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Currently
New York City
Previously
San Francisco, California - Santa Fe, New Mexico - Albuquerque, New Mexico
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My own background as a dancer started when I was six...in Modern Dance. From there it was Ballet and then Modern Jazz...all of which was ensemble dancing. I did not have any experience with partner dancing until a friend gave me the present of a dance lesson with Jani Szukk, who I didn't know at the time was a champion ballroom dancer with his wife, Victoria. It opened up a whole new world to me of movement, something I had never done before. But what was so special about it was that I had never danced with someone at that level...partnered by an expert who never made me feel like I was a beginner. Go get a pair of ballroom dancing shoes...and start dancing at All That Dance if you live anywhere near Louisville, Kentucky.
• • •
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
I was visiting a friend in Louisville, who gave me a ballroom dance lesson as a birthday present to All That Dance. I didn't know that the owners, Jani and Viki Szukk, were champion ballroom dancers but I soon found out. I had my lesson with Jani, who treated me as though I were a dancer. Toward the end of the lesson, Viki joined us and gave me a few pointers from "the woman's point of view." They talked to me about the different styles of ballroom dancing, told me about the difference between the European and American styles, talked to me about the music, asked me what I was interested in...basically they wanted to know everything about my interest in dance, and wanted me to know about their background, their studio and how they teach. All I could think when the lesson was over was...Why I hadn't started ballroom dancing years ago and why didn't they live in New York where I live so I can continue to dance with them! Anyone who is fortunate enough to live in Louisville, Kentucky and wants to learn to ballroom dance...look no further, because this studio is the best. And these two people - from Budapest - are some of the sweetest dancers I have ever met...
• • •
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
2 reviews
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