Tag Archives: books

molten brain puddles

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My Christmas tree is still up.
I kid you not.

I’ve been working a job and a half, thereby eliminating any sort of “day off”, and when I have a free night, or part of a day, I can’t help myself – I chill.

Tonight the thing that sounded best, after reheating pasta from last week for dinner, was a spot of reading and a nice little split of Cabernet Sauvignon.

The book is pretty light reading and not anywhere as engaging as Eat Pray Love (as one of the many review snippets at the front of it alluded to), but it’s still fodder for my imagination that feeds my own aspirations of a visit to the grande dame of cities, and eventually perhaps the rest of the country.

The weather has been behaving these last few days. Sundown was spectacular this evening, and we’ve been graced with light since Saturday. It certainly makes the length of my work days more bearable when I at least get to see some sunlight (even if it’s interrupted by a bus ride nap).

The winter has felt long. We’ve had lots of rain even though the rainfall has (supposedly) been below “normal”. I think that sounds funny, especially when rivers of rain flow down the street more briskly than the Santa Ana flows most of the time.

Those are the days that I wish I was back in Orange County.

The air is always fresh here, though, and the layer of moss on everything that remains in place for any length of time is even (mostly) charming.

It’s a matter of negotiating the less appealing aspects with some finely tuned biochemical assistance. Like sublingual vitamin d drops, for instance.

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Last week I viewed from the top of our tower some local film crews setting and shooting scenes. My guess is it’s Once Upon A Time, still shooting their NYC scenes.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more filming since I’ve been in Vancouver than I ever did while I was in California.

Well… that’s all she wrote (at least for tonight).

Bonne nuit, mes chouettes.

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I thought I’d begin the weekend, on this eve of the 21st anniversary of my father’s passing, with sharing an excerpt from a book I have been waiting to see and finally got to download a preview of on my iPad:

“Because, you see, when something bad happens that’s big enough to make you question your entire life, all the other hurts that are hanging around, all the wounds you’ve collected during your lifetime, will come out of the shadows and ask to be healed too.

It’s entirely possible to squash your pain down and carry on with your life, but one day it will catch up with you. One day a little tear will appear in the blanket and then, with an almighty rip, all your crap comes tumbling out. This is a good thing in the long run.”

excerpt from
this i know: notes on unraveling the heart
by Susannah Conway

Wishing you all moments of healing and epiphany and thanksgiving.

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My life is filled with simple pleasures these days. Knitting has become a fixture, and alternately is used as a relaxation/meditation (replacement) process and a source of visibly productive creativity. I enjoy the fact that I’m making things but not having to ponder the process itself – the pattern and the related elements are already figured out and all I need to do is show up. Hence my Gryffindor scarf in the making (tucked into the beautiful Lantern Moon project bag pictured here).

Another source of joy has been reading, and this evening I had the pleasure of attending a CBC broadcast of a book club radio show. Tonight’s featured author was Annabel Lyon who read from and went on to discuss her latest novel, The Sweet Girl, at some length. I haven’t read any of her work but look forward to doing so soon. As with most of these types of events, I always leave inspired and amped to stretch my own creative muscles, only to feel sadly inadequate at the results. I enjoyed hearing Annabel’s response to a question from an audience member on a how-to point (taking the time to scoff at the notion that creative writing is not a teachable skill): in order to produce good writing one must learn the tools that, combined with taking the time to write in whatever increments are available, will bring about the desired results. That, along with John Cleese’s video on creativity that is making the rounds on Facebook lately, there is no substitute for time in the seat.

I sometimes get this feeling of a pesky niggling just beyond my periphery with such little to go on that I’m not even sure what it is that I’m taking note of or why, but enough to know that I must do something with it. Kind of like (in Annabel’s case) Hellenic sippy cups and spiny “bubble wrap” plants (read The Sweet Girl to see what that means). So the Writers’ Festival happening next month seems like a good, short, foray into picking up some skills for someone (like me, lately) with a short attention span.

On being directionally challenged and time impaired…

It’s a mystery to me, this time-space thing. While I can organize my workspace (rather compulsively, I might add) into a masterful example of feng-shui-ness, no matter how much stuff there is to organize, and I can spatially organize the flow of an art piece by tapping into some inherent sixth sense, I can’t seem to find my way around the neighborhood without getting ‘lost’ and the concept of time has never quite sunk in.

You know… like when I wake up in the morning and say that I’ll make breakfast but it’s about two hours later before everyone is munching on their eggs and potatoes, simply because it took me so long to stow the clean dishes from the dishwasher and reload the dirty ones from the sink… wash the pans I need to cook with… clean the coffee filter and rinse out the carafe, pour fresh water into the machine, grind coffee and put it into the rinsed filter and turn the coffee machine on so it can brew a new pot… take out the eggs, potatoes, onion, shallots, parsley, spices and ghee and crack, chop, slice, peel, dice, beat, stir, sauté and fold a meal into submission.

I’ve been uploading book titles onto Shelfari over the last couple of days… Steve remarked that I must really be bored to be wasting my time on such trivialities… you know, it’s just another one of those compulsive urges, see? I have lots of books. So many, in fact, that I’ve lost track of which ones I have and by virtue of this seemingly meaningless exercise have discovered that I have quite a few duplicates (and I’m not even done with the whole lot of them). So far I have 879 books on my virtual bookshelf.

My only wish is that I live long enough to read every single one. Soooo many books, soooo little time. More time now, that I am currently unemployed, and I have certainly been using this time to catch up on my reading. And being terrible with the space-time thing, but quite capable of reading multiple books at the same time, I am currently reading the following books:

Extreme Self-Care

The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time

Odd and the Frost Giants

Odd and the Frost Giants

Tales of a Female Nomad

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World

Essential Rumi

The Essential Rumi

Wraeththu Storm Constantine

Wraeththu

And so that leaves… over 870 (and then some) more to go… I’ve also discovered, by virtue of this uploading and cataloguing on Shelfari, that not only is my taste pretty consistent, it is so much so that I have not once but sometimes twice purchased the same books. I have a few duplicates, which I am thinking of offering up for postage costs… as you may have witnessed from my book shelf, my tastes are rather –er– eclectic. 🙂 Will post the titles later.

Oh the things I find on the ‘web…

I found this way cool blog called CulturePulp: Writings and Comics by Mike Russell while surfing the ‘web. This link takes you to a very cool interview with Richard Linklater, the director of A Scanner Darkly. The interview is in comic strip format, so not only do you get to enjoy the banter, you get to see it visually.

Linklater makes an interesting point about Dick’s vision of the future: government and corporate control used to condition you and to alienate you from others and yourself. Sure, it sounds a tad bit paranoid, but when you really consider what is happening in our world presently, and who is controlling it, it makes perfect sense.

I purchased a book a while ago called In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement is Challenging the Cult of Speed written by Carl Honoré. It’s in my ‘to read’ pile, which quite frankly is enormous at present time, because my book acquisitions occur at a much faster rate than my book consumption, yet it has great promise. I’ve half a mind to buy several of them and anonymously interoffice them to our key corporate people. Change happens one person at a time… at least that’s what most of the self-help books promise.

Another book in my reading queue is A Reasonable Life-Toward a Simpler, Secure, More Humane Existence by Ferenc Maté. That sounds good to me. This book touches on the same stuff… one of the chapters is entitled A Government of the $ by the $ for the $: The Business State.

I am always shocked at how much vacation time is allotted in Europe, and how much more the arts are appreciated. It must make for much healthier and productive individuals. I think I just might be living on the wrong continent. Merde!

A bit of obsessive reading: Coldheart Canyon

I’ve read quite a few of Clive Barker’s novels, and like many of the others, this one grabbed me and took me on a ride I couldn’t get off of until I’d read the last page and snapped the book shut. I started reading the book in earnest on Friday afternoon, and if my eyelids wouldn’t have betrayed me I would have continued reading straight through. I picked it back up yesterday morning and finally finished it last night.

I’d recommend this book to my friend Bonnie if it wasn’t for the sexual content (I told her Weaveworld was a great read and I’m not sure she ever finished it—it was just too much for her). I find it fascinating how he can weave humanity’s most base and elemental urges with its purest and highest form of virtue into a story that reveals a sense of understanding of the human condition that only he seems to be able to fully (and shamelessly) express.