Friday Food for Thought: June 3, 2022

Hello Friends, welcome to Friday Food for Thought. Every Friday I’ll help start your weekend by sharing four people, thoughts, or things that are on my mind this week. These may be books or movies, podcast suggestions, interesting people I follow on social media, music, products, or, well, anything. You may find interesting creativity boosts here, some conversation starters, or just a small dose of entertainment. Click here for my previous post. Feel free to share this with friends, or offer suggestions via the comments. Let’s begin!

1) The Gruff Stuff:

I returned from two weeks of limited news access to learn that actor Fred Ward passed away on May 8. My first memory of a Fred Ward performance was his outstanding work in one of my favorite movies, The Right Stuff (1983). Even when saddled with disappointing productions, Ward’s acting was almost universally praised. He tended to be typecast as grizzled tough guys, but he also had great comic timing. His range can be easily witnessed in diverse roles in Tremors (1990), The Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult (1994), and Henry and June (1990).

2) He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Van Gogh:

I’ve been revisiting the Penguin Classics edition of The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh. I’m very moved by Van Gogh’s letters, but what really strikes me at the moment is how much we owe Vincent’s brother Theo. Despite a sometimes turbulent relationship, Theo consistently offered his brother financial support so he could live as an artist the world wasn’t ready to appreciate. As a prominent art dealer, we may wonder, as Vincent did, why Theo wasn’t more aggressive in promoting his brother’s work. But Theo’s love of Vincent is beyond question, and today we treasure Sunflowers, The Red Vineyard, and a long list of other work as a result. Theo’s official cause of death was dementia paralytica, but occurring less than six months after Vincent’s, it’s easy to believe he was the victim of a broken heart.

3) Get Off Your Lawn:

There are people in my neighborhood who run lawn sprinklers every day. They run lawn sprinklers when it’s raining. I’ve touched on the value of native landscaping before, so consider this a well-intentioned reminder that if you have a lawn of turfgrass, it doesn’t need to be watered every day. Better yet, replace that resource-devouring grass with trees, shrubs, and groundcovers native to your area. A little up-front investment will save you money – and save precious resources we will need in the future – in the long run.

4) Speaking of Penguins:

One of my favorite podcasts these days is the Penguin Podcast. Yes, it’s sponsored by Penguin Books with the underlying intent of selling books, but the hosts – usually either Isy Suttie, Nihal Arthanayake, or Derek Owusu in recent months – interview a diverse array of fascinating writers. The premise is that each guest describes five objects that inspire or influence their work – soft of a “listen and tell.” The Penguin Podcast conversations go a lot deeper than just selling books, delving into the the details of authors’ creative process. Recent guests include Hanif Abdurraqib, Bonnie Garmus, and Michael Rosen.

That’s all for this week. Have a good weekend!

This post contains NO affiliate links. All suggestions are based on my own personal experience, your experience may vary. Nothing herein is intended to serve as medical, legal, financial, or any other advice for which you should consult professionals and not some random guy on the Internet.

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