Foolish Things

  • As a result of dropping by the Robert Frank exhibit at the Cantor Art Center on the Stanford Campus yesterday, self got it into her head that she would very much like to own a Leica.
  • After leaving the Robert Frank exhibit, self fully intended to go to Aquarius in Palo Alto and watch Rory Kennedy’s “Last Days in Vietnam.” But she did not.  Instead, after filling up with gas, she went home.  And today — alas! — that film is no longer showing.
  • Self hasn’t looked at her story “The Peacock.”  Not once.  Not since it was workshopped at Squaw. She has no idea what to do with that story. It just sits there, like a lump on a log. Taking up space in her computer. In her store of unfulfilled projects. She wanted it to be a memoir about her and Dear Departed Sister-in-Law Ying. She wanted it to be desperate and lonely, the voice of a soul lost in the Cambodian wilderness after failing to connect with the splendor that is Angkor Wat (Dear blog readers, do you know that there’s a RAFFLES HOTEL IN SIEM REAP???)
  • Self has wanted to replace the desert of the front lawn with trees — perhaps olive trees — to screen her house from the busy street. But she’s remained staring at that patch of bare, weed-choked dirt for 10 years. It sounds really lame to keep bringing up the drought.

Ugh, ugh, girl. Why can’t you just do? Why must you always be re-hashing the old, or rehearsing for the future? To what end?

How quickly you forget: just yesterday, you got word from Witness that a piece you sent them eight months ago is going to be in their Translation issue.

As for somehow missing “Last Days in Vietnam,” “Gone, Girl” is showing in the Redwood City Century 20 and she heard from a friend who read the book that it’s actually pretty good. Self is not a Ben Affleck fan — seems he is pretty much a control freak with his wife, and no doubt he took care to present himself in the best possible light in this new role — but what the heck? Maybe she just wasn’t in the mood for another hard-hitting documentary yesterday, maybe she should just try and ignite a new respect for Ben Affleck? She did like “Argo” a lot. He’s not a bad director.

And if she’d managed to watch “Last Days in Vietnam” yesterday, she would have missed seeing the San Francisco Giants’ nail-biting victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. She would have missed seeing the way the two teams went head to head all the way to the 9th inning. She would have missed that sweet, game-ending homer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Today, in the Huntington Library

The moment you step into the Huntington Gardens, you are surrounded by the heady scent of roses. The path from the parking lot to the visitors entrance is lined with rose bushes.

Here is a list of things self saw in The Huntington Library (San Marino, CA) today:

  • The Ellesmere manuscript of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, opened to the monk’s tale, with eight red wax seals lining the bottom of the page
  • An early edition of one of Shakespeare’s Folios.  On the wall, directly above it, a quote which ended with “Doubt truth to be a liar, but never doubt I love.”
  • A copy of Missions in the New World by Francesco Severio Clavigero, published in Venice, 1789
  • the “elephant edition” of John James Audubon’s Birds of America (This book was almost as tall as herself; she’s not kidding)
  • Henry David Thoreau’s journal, which became the basis for Walden. The quote above it:  “I wished to live deliberately.”
  • Jack London’s manuscript for White Fang, 1905. The quote above it:  “He was a silent fury.”

Can self tell you how moved she was to see handwritten letters by Charles Dickens, displayed in the same room as Thoreau’s journal and Jack London’s handwritten manuscripts? She imagines the writers’ hands moving across the paper in methodical fashion.  Knowing that these keepsakes survived makes her feel very worship-ful. Also, the fact that she’s seeing them on 9/11, and most of the paper that got blown about that day (retrieved from as far away as Long Island — how they made it across the water is a mystery) were office memos, scrawled-over office calendars, graphs, worksheets — ordinary, human things.

Paper is fragile; thoughts aren’t.

Where is she going with this?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

Texture 2: The Exuberance

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge asks us to capture “rich visual textures.” Which had self perusing more of the pictures she took two years ago, Spring 2012, at the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit in the de Young in Golden Gate Park. (The exhibit finally got to New York — well, Brooklyn actually — two years later)

Apologies for the blur, dear blog readers.  No flash photography was allowed, and self has rather shaky fingers.

A Woman's Evening Stole: Gaultier makes grey eveningwear look positively radical.

A Woman’s Evening Stole: Gaultier makes grey eveningwear look positively radical.

The intricacy of Gaultier's metallic bustier is beyond belief. Jaw-dropping.

The intricacy of Gaultier’s metallic bustier is beyond belief. Jaw-dropping.

Gown with Fish-Scale Motif: Sheer Extravagance

Gown with Fish-Scale Motif: Sheer Extravagance

Relic 2: Car Show, Fourth of July, Redwood City

Fourth of July is celebrated in a BIG — and self does mean big — way in Redwood City, California.

Aside from the parade (“the oldest on the Peninsula”), there is a car show.  FUN!

Annual Car Show, Redwood City, Fourth of July

Annual Car Show, Redwood City, Fourth of July

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is RELIC.

“Share a photo of what ‘relic’ means to you:  it could be a photograph of your still-running Honda Accord Hatchback, an historic building in your town, or an old, rusted farm implement poking up through the long grass in a field.”

Which had self thumbing back through the photos she took on the Fourth of July:

The Car Show is held in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade, in downtown Redwood City.  A VERY fun tradition!

The Car Show is held in conjunction with the annual Fourth of July Parade, in downtown Redwood City. A VERY fun tradition!

DSCN6394

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Contrasts 5: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Examples of CONTRASTS from artwork currently on exhibit at the Cantor Art Center, Stanford University campus.

ALL artists succeed by working off contrasts:  contrasts of color, contrasts of shapes, contrasts of mediums (mixed media, collages, and so forth), contrasts of texture.

Here are three of self’s favorites:  Julian Schnabel.  Wayne Thiebaud.  Frank Stella.

Julian Schnabel, USA, b. 1951:  "Portrait of Hope Makler, 1989" at Cantor Art Center, Stanford campus

Julian Schnabel, USA, b. 1951: “Portrait of Hope Makler, 1989″ at Cantor Art Center, Stanford campus

Wayne Thiebaud, USA, b. 1920:  "Lunch Table, 1964" at Cantor Art Center, Stanford campus

Wayne Thiebaud, USA, b. 1920: “Lunch Table, 1964″ at Cantor Art Center, Stanford campus

Frank Stella, USA, b. 1936:  "Nightgown 1990" (On wall)

Frank Stella, USA, b. 1936: “Nightgown 1990″ (On wall)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Extra Extra 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

On the train back to Dublin from Sligo, self’s last full day in Ireland:

The sky, of course:  the sky makes this picture.

The sky, of course: the sky makes this picture.

A painting by Janet Pierce, who self met at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig.  Janet’s paintings are currently on exhibit at the Hamilton Gallery in Sligo, through Aug. 9.

The window, of course: The window is the "something extra."

The window, of course: The window is the “something extra.”

The artist herself:

The "Something Extra":  The hand, the smile, the armful of yellow roses

The “Something Extra”: The hand, the smile, the armful of yellow roses

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Seeing a Bird (After Leaving the Chester Beatty Museum)

DSCN5908

The Chester Beatty turns out to be right next to Dublin Castle (Dame Street, Stop # 9 on the Hop On/Hop Off red tour bus), and there is no admission fee.

Self loved the museum.  It’s possibly the most interesting museum she’s seen (yet) in Ireland.

It turns out to be highly focused on the book as a work of art.

There are many, many examples of Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic writing (calligraphy), some thousands of years old.

And there’s also one section on Moghul (Indian) art that seems to be highly focused on animals and all kinds of fabulous creatures.  And that’s why she spent much time photographing birds in a park afterwards.

Which led self to wonder if it was worth exploring the Dublin Zoo.  So just now she googled the Dublin Zoo and found that it is “Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction.”

Which is amazing, because self thought the Book of Kells would have been “Ireland’s most popular tourist attraction.”

The zoo has just welcomed its first “Rothschild giraffe calf.”  Which is amazing.  Not the part about welcoming the giraffe calf, but that the giraffe is actually called the “Rothschild giraffe.”

She wonders if, one day, she’ll see something about a “Wells Fargo elephant” in San Francisco Zoo.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Work of Art 3: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Crossing the new San Francisco Bay Bridge:  Twilight, Spring 2014

Crossing the new San Francisco Bay Bridge: Twilight, Spring 2014.  Though the bridge has ALREADY been plagued with structural problems, self thinks it is a thing of singular beauty.

The signature of Dale Chihuly, Renowned Glass Sculptor, was on every print in self's Seattle hotel room:  February 2014

The signature of Dale Chihuly, Renowned Glass Sculptor, was on every print in self’s hotel in Seattle: AWP Conference, February 2014

The Charles Parsons Gallery in the San Mateo County Museum in Redwood City is full of the model ships Parsons made himself.  Self knows virtually nothing about the man.

The Charles Parsons Gallery in the San Mateo County Museum in Redwood City has 24 model ships by local resident Charles Parsons.  They are a marvel.  Self knows virtually nothing about the man.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Inside 4: WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Self had no idea that this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge — INSIDE — would turn out to be so much fun to interpret.  Here it’s only Sunday, two days after the theme was posted, and this is already self’s fourth post on the subject.

A long time ago, self bought this wooden painted angel from Roger Reynolds Nursery in Menlo Park (which has now gone out of business). Why she decided to frame it with something she pulled from the garage is a mystery.

In the Backyard, an Angel

In the Backyard, an Angel

Here’s something from Dear Departed Dad’s home island, Negros, in the central Philippines:  the old Gaston House in the town of Manapla has a stone fountain set in the middle of a circular driveway leading up to the main house:

The Gaston House, Manapla, Negros Occidental, Philippines

The Gaston House, Manapla, Negros Occidental, Philippines

And, can you believe it dear blog readers? — after an hour of most painstaking sifting, self found a picture that is quite literally of something INSIDE something else:  in this case, it’s a live lizard inside a glass case in the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

California Academy of Sciences, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

EATING CULTURES Call for Submissions/Bellingham Review’s Annual Contest

The EATING CULTURES submission deadline is coming up very soon (this Sunday, Mar. 9!); self only found out about it today, via an e-mail from Karen Llagas. Thanks much, Karen!

The Asian American Women Writers Association (aawaa.net) is accepting submissions for a multidisciplinary arts exhibition exploring Asian Pacific American (APA) food and foodways (See deadline above)

Artists are invited to submit works that examine the idea, literally and metaphorically, of food and feeding (or the lack thereof) in creating and negotiating personal, gender and cultural representations in both the APA community and U.S. mainstream culture.

Eligibility:  Artists working in literary and visual arts, film & video, sculpture, installation and multimedia arts of Asian Pacific American descent

Venue:  SOMArts Cultural Center, Main Gallery, San Francisco

Juror:  Dr. Margo L. Machida, Professor of Art History and Asian American Studies at University of Connecticut

For more information, e-mail:  exhibitions.aawaa@gmail.com or call:  (212) 433-0229

The deadline for Bellingham Review’s Annual Literary Contest is approaching:  BEFORE Mar. 15, 2014.  Here’s some additional information:

Three $1,000 prizes and publication in Bellingham Review are awarded for works of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction.  Finalists will be considered for publication.  The 49th Parallel Poetry Award is given for poetry; Kathleen Flenniken will judge.  The Tobias Wolff Award for Fiction is given for a short story; Shawn Wong will judge.  The Annie Dillard Award for Creative Nonfiction is given for an essay; Joy Castro will judge.  Before Mar. 15, 2014, submit prose up to 6,000 words or up to three poems with a $20 entry fee ($10 for each additional entry); this includes a subscription.  Visit the website for complete guidelines.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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