#currentlyreading: SHACKLETON’S JOURNEY by William Grill (Flying Eye Books, 2014)

DSCN0867

After bravely battling “through over 700 miles of pack ice, Endurance was overcome.” The entire crew had spent “over 48 hours” attacking “the ice furiously with ice-chisels, picks, and saws. The little ship moved, although it was beset again — 400 yards of heavy ice lay between her and open water.”

DSCN0868

Hemmed in by “tough, solid ice up to 3 feet thick, with pieces up to a mile long,” they were stuck. The ship itself would become their winter base. The crew built dog igloos “out on the ice, made from wood and snow” and hunted “penguins to increase their food stocks.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

PROLIFIC: The Daily Post Photo Challenge, 18 April 2018

This week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is PROLIFIC.

Self will interpret that to mean MANY.

Mary-Ellen Campbell’s home in Casper, California is bursting with collages, paintings, books — all of her own making.

She made this collage after one of her travels:

DSCN0808

Art by Mary-Ellen Campbell of Casper, California

Here’s a shot of Mary-Ellen’s work table, where she’s assembling the pieces for a new collage:

DSCN0799

Work-In-Progress, Mary-Ellen Campbell

The current exhibit at the Mendocino Art Gallery features work by current artists-in-residence. If you put your nose close to one of these dispensers, the smell of each spice is heavenly.

DSCN0746

Ceramic Spice Dispensers by Layne Rotman (On Exhibit This Month at the Mendocino Art Center Gallery)

Other PROLIFIC:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Sentence of the Day: THE SUBTLE KNIFE, p. 2

So here it is, 2018, the year self decided to barrel through all of Philip Pullman.

Working in strict chronological order (if not in book publication order), she started with La Belle Sauvage, Vol. One of The Book of Dust, the prequel trilogy to His Dark Materials.

Five Stars!

She just finished The Golden Compass.

Four Stars!

She just began The Subtle Knife.

p. 2, Will Parry talking about his mother to his former piano teacher:

  • “She just needs someone to be kind to her, and I think you could do that quite easily, probably.”

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Golden Compass, p. 376 (Spoilers, Naturally)

After spending almost the entire book struggling to bring an alethiometer to her father, who’s being kept in an ice-bound prison in Svalbard by her evil mother’s henchmen, and after surmounting a host of obstacles — which include evil bears, the Oblation Board, trepanned Tartars and their malevolent daemons — in the process, Lyra meets Lord Asriel for the first time since she learned she was his daughter:

  • Her father was lying back in his chair, lazy and powerful, his eyes as fierce as a daemon’s. She didn’t love him, she couldn’t trust him, but she had to admire him . . .

So real! Philip Pullman, what have you done to self? Turns out Lyra was never meant to bring Lord Asriel an alethiometer. The alethiometer was for her. She didn’t realize it at the time the Master gave it to her because she didn’t think anyone could be as important as her father. So she’s come all this way for, basically, nothing. Not to mention, she realizes her father will be her last opponent. Because he is mad.

GAAAH! Can’t you cut this kid a break, Philip Pullman? So much angst, self can’t even.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Golden Compass, p. 283

Self understands how Philip Pullman works his magic: he writes about evil in the most blank, affectless way. His main character, Lyra Belacqua, has grown up an orphan, but she has NO ANGST WHATSOEVER, or has none she cares to share with us anyway. So her thoughts are not muddled.

And his villains! His villains are people who used to be good, like Mrs. Coulter, and who remember how to act like they are good. So they are extremely convincing, to everyone but the main character.

Self understands how hard this would all be to translate to film. So she doesn’t think she’ll ever see a movie based on His Dark Materials or The Book of Dust. The books will always be better. In this case, anyway.

Here’s a scene between Lyra and Mrs. Coulter:

“Darling,” she said, “some of what’s good has to hurt us a little, and naturally it’s upsetting to others if you’re upset . . .  But it doesn’t mean your daemon is taken away from you. He’s still there! Goodness me, a lot of the grownups here have had the operation. The nurses seem happy enough, don’t they?”

Lyra blinked. Suddenly she understood their strange blank incuriosity, the way their little trotting daemons seemed to be sleepwalking.

Say nothing, she thought, and shut her mouth hard.

What’s so great about Lyra is, she’s so quick to recognize a lie.

She truly is her father’s daughter.

Stay tuned.

More Awakenings: Second Saturday in Mendocino

Second Saturdays of the month, the galleries in Mendocino have wine and snacks, artists come in to talk to people who wander in from the street. It’s fun.

There aren’t any street lights near the Mendocino Art Center, but self remembered to take along a flashlight.

She stopped by the water tower to take a picture:

DSCN0825

Water Tower, Ukiah Street, Mendocino

Galleries put little welcome balloons by the entrance:

DSCN0822

Self went from gallery to gallery. She had sushi and crackers and cheese and a glass of Chardonnay.

She decided to walk back to the Center before it got dark because she wasn’t wearing a jacket and it was starting to get chilly.

DSCN0820

A few other Awakenings:

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Poetry Saturday: Hilary Tham

One of self’s purchases from the most recent AWP Bookfair, in Tampa, Florida, was a poetry collection called Bad Names for Women, by Hilary Tham. The author’s bio says that she was born in Kenang, Malaysia, lived in Arlington, Virginia, and had three daughters.

An excerpt from Mrs. Wei Goes Home to Shensi, from the collection Bad Names for Women (Washington DC: The Word Works, 1989)

Aiiyah . . . they told me, they told me true,
See Shanghai, Peking, SiAn first, but I
would not listen, Ancestral Village, then

the tours, I never dreamt a family
so extended, so devoted.
They trudge for miles, hitch rides

on two horse-power tractors, pony carts,
arrive begrimed with coal-dust
just to see my face. My traveler’s checks

vanish like dew on late-morning grass,
exchanged for yuan, sacks of rice,
“You must stay to dinner

(and breakfast) before your trip home,”
My uncle’s wife’s brother-in-law
says he rises at five to work the commune farm,

at dark returns to hoe his ginger patch.
It brings in fen for bread and cloth

The Guardian’s 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time

There is very little overlap been self’s reading list and the 100 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time by The Guardian.

Below, books on The Guardian’s list that self has read:

2. The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion

5. Dreams From My Father, by Barack Obama

9. Dispatches, by Michael Herr

15. The Double Helix, by James D. Watson

20. Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson

23. The Elements of Style, by William Strunk and EB White

33. The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child-care, by Dr. Benjamin Spock

42. Testament of Youth, by Vera Brittain (for a course on the Literature of World War I, taught by Prof. Albert Guerard at Stanford)

44. Goodbye to All That, by Robert Graves (for a course on the Literature of World War I, taught by Prof. Albert Guerard at Stanford)

65. Roget’s Thesaurus

83. A History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, by Edward Gibbon

92. The Diary of Samuel Pepys by Samuel Pepys, via Claire Tomalin’s excellent biography of Pepys’ life

On the Writing Desk Today: AMAZING RARE THINGS by David Attenborough

The only hardcover self allowed herself to bring home from London last year: David Attenborough’s Amazing Rare Things: The Art of Natural History in the Age of Discovery.

She bought it from the London Review Bookshop in June 2017 and only now, almost a year later, in Mendocino, is she able to give it a focused reading.

Figure 22: The American Flamingo by John James Audubon

DSCN0782

Fig. 22 in the book AMAZING RARE THINGS, by David Attenborough

This is an amazing work by Audubon. Attenborough writes:

Audubon, who from the age of eighteen lived in Pennsylvania where he looked after family property, was obsessed by birds. His quest for them led him to travel ever westwards in search of new species. He hunted them with an unquenchable passion and he drew them with equal enthusiasm.

His biggest inspiration was to draw birds in motion. The next part is a little gross but anyhoo, Leonardo da Vinci did similar things to study animal anatomy. Da Vinci of course did not SHOOT animals, but he dissected as many as he could lay his hands on.

Audubon would shoot (shoot as in: kill) his subjects, then take the freshly killed bird back home, where he’d fix them on a board with a pre-drawn square grid. Then he’d manipulate “the bird’s wings and neck into what he considered life-like attitudes” and fix “them in position with skewers. The process must have been a fairly blood-spattered one . . . ”

Several years ago, self had occasion to visit Pasadena, and she dropped by the Huntington Library, where on exhibit were Audubon’s magnificent double elephant folio. Jaw-dropping. Amazing. An American National Treasure. Self knew Audubon was a painter of birds, but until she saw the elephant folio, she had no idea of the magnitude of his vision.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Poetry Friday: Irene Suico Soriano

Excerpt from Balitaan

Maricris Sioson died on September 19, 1991, allegedly of hepatitis. Her body bore head injuries and stab wounds . . . She worked as an entertainer in Japan.

Could it be in 40 floors of windows, rooms
beds and kitchen sinks is where
you once laughed saying this arm will pay for
Dodoy’s next semester at school
this leg for Christena’s girl scout uniform.
Arms scrubbing bathrooms all day
legs walking endless streets in the afternoon
to find Ama’s particular herb
ANGAT SA BUHAY, ANGAT SA BUHAY
Life will get better, you would say.
It will all happen . . .
I would add at once, Once we return!
and we would both laugh.

Irene Suico Soriano was born in Zamboanga del Sur, Philippines. At eleven years of age, she and her mother immigrated to Los Angeles, California. Her childhood was spent soaking in the neighborhoods of pre-gentrified Downtown LA, East Hollywood, Rampart/Temple, Melrose, and the Wiltshire/Vermont corridor.

Balitaan is from the collection Primates from an Archipelago (Rabbits Fool Press, 2017)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

« Older entries

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photography

Learning and teaching the art of composition.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

“Stories make us more alive, more human, more courageous, more loving.”― Madeleine L'Engle

Rants Of A Gypsy

Amuse Thyself Reader!

FashionPoetry by Val

A blog. My blog

Kanlaon

Just another Wordpress.com weblog

Jean Lee's World

Finder of Fantasy & Adventure in Her Own Backyard