August Cafe

Here are some links to get the ideas swirling in your brain. Perhaps one of these will give you a great idea for a dance or a painting...or maybe it will just be a diversion with a few interesting links.

August birthstone- peridot

August Flower- Gladiolas

August 1- National Mustard Day
Did you know that the Napa Valley Mustard Festival sponsors an annual art contest? They give monetary prizes and also display artwork and photography for sale. Unfortunately for many Work B.e.n.c.h. members, artists have to live in Northern California. Still, it’s a good collection of marketable art that is made by contemporary artists. To view the 2009 and past winners, or to find out more about entering, click here:

And, before leaving the subject of mustard, here is a local company that makes some really good mustard. You can order it over the internet. They’re out of Grand Terrace, and they do free local delivery (within reason).

August 2 International Forgiveness Day
Forgiveness is an integral part of the Gospel message. One Buddhist I know who killed a man during the Vietnam War was quite intrigued by Jesus’ claims to wash away sin. For some other takes on Forgiveness, click here: At this site, you will find quotes and quips on forgiveness, including this Emily Dickenson poem:

All but Death, can be Adjusted—
Dynasties repaired—
Systems—settled in their Sockets—

Wastes of Lives—resown with Colors
By Succeeding Springs—
Death—unto itself—Exception—
Is exempt from Change—

August 3- National Watermelon Day
What does a watermelon have to do with art? Check out this website with many intricate and amazingly difficult carvings. Click here

August 5 Work Like a Dog Day
Maybe work like a dog day seems like it’s every day. Today, why don’t you find out about actual dogs who work. Did you know that Perris has an organization called Canine Support Teams, where they train and match service dogs to people who have disabilities other than blindness? Click here to see their website:

August 7- National Lighthouse Day
Want to see a lighthouse up close? Pigeon Point Lighthouse, which is just north of Santa Cruz, has a hostel connected to it. You can stay in a dorm room for $23, or reserve a private room for you and your family for around $100. Click here for information

August 9 Book Lover's Day
Tom Bendtsen, a Canadian artist, has made some pretty amazing large-scale sculptures out of books. Check it out at:

August 10 National S'mores Day
Check out this link for creative ways to get that s’mores taste, such as a s’mores sundae, or s’mores fudge.

August 11 Presidential Joke Day
On August 11, 1984, just before his regular Saturday radio address, President Ronald Reagan was doing a voice test with the microphone. He thought the microphone and the feed was not live. He joked into the microphone: "My fellow Americans, I am pleased to tell you I just signed legislation which outlaws Russia forever. The bombing begins in five minutes." To his surprise, he was speaking to a live feed!

August 13 Left Hander's Day
Below is a video of Romanian Luthier Gliga’s mastery of making left handed violins, cellos, and other stringed instruments. If you are interested in finding out how to purchase one of these beautiful instruments, which start at only $538 click here

August- 14/15 V-J Day –
On August 14, Hirohito, Emperor of Japan during World War II surrendered. News spread throughout the United States and the world. Today, the date passes mostly without significance, except the occasional reference at the end of the nightly news, but it’s significance lives on in history. You probably know someone, a grandfather perhaps, who fought in World War II. Why don’t you call this person up and talk to him/her about the war experience. For more information on VJ Day and World War II in general, click here

August 17 National Thriftshop Day
Who can resist listening to a song with lyrics like this:
Everyday when I go to school people say I look like a fool
They don’t like the way I dress
Hey! I don’t wear pants made by Guess.
Plaid pants aren’t too funny, I bought these with yesterday’s lunch money.
They only cost $1.92.

I don’t care, I’ll be back there tomorrow, I won’t drown in your sorrow.
Maybe I’ll have enough for two, maybe I’ll buy a pair for you!
Go ahead and laugh, I won’t get mad. This shirt used to be your dad’s.

The ska-punk band Voodoo Glow Skulls out of Riverside, CA recorded this song. Listen to it here:

August 18 Bad Poetry Day
Here’s your chance to get back at your high school English teacher. Relish bad poetry and recite it until your heart’s content! Put a short bad poem in your kids’ lunch boxes so they can read it at school and horrify their teachers. Send an e-mail to all of your friends with a bad poem in it. Go to a restaurant and tip a waiter an extra amount to have him read a bad poem to your significant other. If you can’t write bad poetry of your own, click here and borrow one of these:

To read last month’s master class about how to write better poetry, click here (not today, though, because today is Bad Poetry Day).

August 20- Qi Xi- Chinese Valentine's Day.

This day is arranged by the Lunar calendar, so it falls on a different day in the summer each year. Click here to learn about traditions, stories, and ideas for how to celebrate this day. Below is how to write, "I Love You" in Mandarine (Chinese).

August 23- Ride the Wind Day

How do you ride the wind? Take a motorcycle ride, fly in an airplane or glider, fly a kite, ride in a sailboat, drive a convertible with the top down, or just take a walk in the cooler evening breeze. Celebrate the waning days of summer by just enjoying the weather. For artistic inspiration, you will find 30 works of art that pertain to the sky, wind, or air. Click here:

August 24- Vesuvius Day

On August 24 in the year 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted and destroyed two Roman cities: Pompeii and Herculaneum. Click here for an excellent website that shows some of the excavation and finds, as well as the history these two cities.

August 30- Toasted Marshmallow Day

The following video is a Dave Tremko claymation of a bear wood carving toasting a marshmallow. Confused? Just watch the video. It's short. Then, you try to describe it.

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