Monday, September 30, 2013


I distinctly remember around this time, when Mabel was about a year old, thinking what a huge and giant child the tiny baby had grown into. Ha ha ha.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Walking into Light

Lately I find myself drawn to, and therefore--in that way of things where because you are drawn to something it starts turning up everywhere--finding, images of parents and children walking away in hazy park-like blurs, all lit up with romantic and dreamy light. No doubt the reasons I like such images are almost entirely sentimental, but that doesn't stop these paintings and photos from being pretty darn cool anyway. Above, one from Philip Barlow.

Uta Barth

Jessilyn Park

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Poem Series About the Winter of 2006 Keeps Right On Going Here Today

February 22, 2006
Today I read

on the blog Chocolate and Zucchini
a list of all the things this girl in France
regularly buys at the grocery store

salted butter
apple and chestnut compote
fromage blanc
flour and sugar
butter cookies
chocolate cereal
fresh soups
crisp bread
fresh cow’s cheese
blackcurrant candies

which fascinated not only as a cultural thing
in terms of thinking about how different
food and shopping are in another country

but even more as a magnifying lens
through which to see how something quotidian
like food shopping is unique to every person

So much so that I’m moved to make my own list although
there’s less poetry in an American supermarket than a French one
But still it feels good to pay attention and to document

tall skinny green carton of one percent milk
short squatty purple thing of half and half
six organic brown eggs in a brown cardboard carton
tubs of cream top yogurt (blueberry, peach)
crème friache with a line drawing of a cow on the lid
tillamook medium cheddar
unsalted butter
italian parsley
sliced bread
green leaf lettuce
baby carrots
tomato juice
string cheese
lunch meat
some kind of cookies

image source is here

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Slapping Franco's Mug on Lit

Following last week's brouhaha about how ridiculous the new movie-tie-in book cover for As I Lay Dying, featuring a very prominent James Fraco, is (above), columnist Minh Le over on Book Riot had a great idea: Let's Book James Franco on All the Book Covers. A few examples of his witty conceit follow. To see the rest (and there are some good ones! Lolita! A Good Man is Hard to Find!) click through. Dunno about you but I find this indubitably hilarious.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Fabulous Men on "Humans of New York"

I don't know if it was because of Fashion Week, or what, but last week the divine Mr. Brandon Stanton kept snapping the most awesome pairs of utterly fabulous men over on Humans of New York. The photos alone would be an inspiration to us all, but it gets even better when you read the captions.

Above: "We go to the same church."

"I'm breaking out of my shell."

“I just got out of a thirteen year marriage, and he’s really helped me gain back my independence.”
“So what have you learned during this transition?”
“I’ve realized that everyone has a certain amount of power. You can give it away, or you can keep it for yourself. For awhile there I’d given it all away, and now I’m learning how to claim it back.”

Monday, September 23, 2013

At the Legion of Honor

Sometimes I have to remind myself: this is what an eight-month-old baby (or a four-week-old baby, or year-and-a-half-old baby, or whatever it is) looks like. Someone will mention in conversation a child of a particular age, and I realize I have virtually no memory or conception of what that age is (or, in the case of my own funny girl, was) like. So I go back and check the photographic record. Ah yes! I say to myself, eight months was lovely. Nor am I surprised.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Three Photo Series

What good luck! This week I cam across not one, not two, but three different series of photos which pleased me inordinately. What unlooked-for bounty!

First up we have George Osodi's intriguing photographs of Nigerian monarchs (as seen on Wolf Eyebrows).

Next, a grouping of images featuring sunlight and plants that particularly pleased me on photographer Brian Ferry's site The Blue Hour:

Last, these dreamy, enigmatic shots from Uta Barth (found on Little Paper Planes):

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Next in the Ongoing Poem Series About the Winter of 2006

February 23, 2006
Oh I forgot to mention

On Monday the tall cloud shapes I saw in the morning
were still there when I left work
but lit up all pale peachy pink
and glowing from within

Last night I bought myself a new bedside water carafe
much heavier and more globular than my last one which broke
The heft in the hand is especially satisfying

Since I turned thirty I seem to be enjoying
more and more old-lady-ish pleasures
the water carafe
the hot water bottle
can lined drawers and flamboyant reading glasses be far behind?
Do I care?

image source is here

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Librarians Sabotage Beastie Boys

This has been making the rounds of the internet lately, so you may have already glimpsed it, but it's such a work of staggering genius that it bears re-posting here. Two librarians have remade the classic Beastie Boys video for "Sabotage," now set in a library. Since the original video was already a 90s pastiche of 70s crime shows, we now after another two decades have a brilliant spoof of a spoof on our hands. Pomo at it's best ladies and gents. Video can be viewed here (and it's worth watching to the end for the moment where the criminal--a book thief, naturally--is taken down by a thrown hardcover). And I include a few shots from the original paired with these fine women's work, so you can see just how dang right they got it.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Things Which Are White and Go Off Into the Distance at an Oblique Angle

The other day I was trying to use the handy dandy reverse Google image search (if you don't know what this is, go to regular Google image search, click on the little camera icon to the right of the search box, and prepare to be amazed), to locate the source of the above photograph. I was posting it as my photo of the day on Silas & Eppie, the found-image pairing project I do with my dad each weekday morning. I'd originally come across this snowy scene so long ago that I couldn't remember where I found it or who took the photo or anything, and I don't like to run things unattributed if I can possibly help it. Usually, the reverse image search does the trick in such cases, but in this instance it came up unsuccessful, no matching versions of this image could be found. Odd, that, and disappointing. But more than making up for that disapointment where the wonders presented to my eyes by the "visually similar" images that the search bots did find and see fit to display for me. Check it out:

image sources are here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sitting Up!

Mabel sits up independently, a new accomplishment, the day before her half-birthday, while wearing some sort of strange Obi Wan Kenobi-ish shirt. Our February sunlight is always so lovely round here, second only to our September/October sunlight.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkely Years

I went and saw the Richard Diebenkorn Berkeley Years show at the de Young museum the other day. I have, over the years, had mixed feeling about Diebenkorn--never, for instance, being as enamored of his figurative work as many folks seem to be. But as in my thirties I have found myself turning and returning more and more to mid-century abstract painting, both my fondness and respect for his abstract work has continued to increase. Of course the pinnacle of this is his Ocean Park series. For wonderfully captured images of some of those paintings, as well as some very apropos commentary, check out this post on Spencer Alley (the lovely blog of my very own father). Indeed, a few lines of what he says there are so apposite to the my current feelings about, specifically, the big room of abstract canvases in the Berkeley Years show that I will just quote them here directly:

"...his paintings continue to get better as they outlive their creator. Every day in every way, they are improving – and soon will have left both their estimable and their delusional origins behind them altogether."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Next Up in the Ongoing Poem Saga About the Winter of 2006

February 21, 2006
Last night when I was walking home

it was super stormy and prematurely dark out
everything dripping and sparkly from the rain

And as I walked under the scaffolding
that’s been over the sidewalk
in front of one certain building
for as long as I’ve been walking home on that street
(which has been a long time)
there were these curtains of sheer black mesh material
streaming out from above like sheets

I don’t think they were supposed to stream out like that
but rather were meant I’d imagine
to be attached at the bottom and had blown loose
and they waved around slowly in the wind like anything
swooping and running with rivulets of rain

It was such a striking sight that
when I got up to the corner
I turned around to look back at it again

And just as I turned around
two street lamps
mounted up side by side on a single poll
which was right in my line of vision
in front of the billowing black sheets
came on
I saw them come on
not with a single click from dark to light like most lamps do
but gradually over a period of maybe a second
coming up like footlights orangey

Made me grin like a fool in the street it was so damn magic looking

image source is here

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Baby-Sitters Club

I was ten years old when the first Baby-Sitters Club book came out. My friends and I had recently started riding our bikes to the local strip-mall alone to buy candy and Love's Baby Soft perfume and little ceramic figurines of animals with our allowances, and we would spend ages browsing the magazine racks and chapter book section (this was before the coinage of the term YA) of Walden Books. I can't remember exactly how I decided that Kristy's Great Idea was something I wanted to slap my precious $3.50 down for, but once I read it I was hooked. I'd obsessively stalk the shelves each week, waiting for the next book to come out, and Ann M. Martin churned them out with satisfying regularity. I think I read the first thirty or so volumes within a few days of their release before loosing interest at some point in junior high.

A few years back, creator of adorable graphic novels Raina Telgemeier started making graphic novel adaptations of books from the series. Set in a sort of timeless vacuum--the girls dress more or less like twenty first century tweens, yet nary a cell phone or computer is to be seen--they are utterly charming and, I'm guessing, would be even to a young person of today who did not have the memory of her first full-fledged literary crush bolstering her love for them as I do. 

Then, the other day, I stumbled upon the below art piece by Cassandra de Alba using the blackout technique to turn a spread of text (clearly narrated by Claudia) into a rather inappropriately raunchy prose poem. Which you might think would disturb me, but in fact I love this too. Basically any time I find a grown woman using this particular 1980s publishing franchise as fodder for her own creative endeavors I get really stoked. Well played, ladies. Arty Claudia would be proud.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

City and Country

Two of the things which catch my imagination most are: The city, as seen in the above photo by Monography (via Design Milk) and the below embroidered art piece by Stephanie Clark (via The Fox is Black);

and: The country, as seen in the impressionistic "weather diary" imagery of Marimekko's new Sääpäiväkirja collection just below (via Poppytalk), and Chinwe Edaeani's dreamy photograph at bottom (via Ms. Jen Bekman).