Sunday, July 11, 2004

For Matt - Sorry no previous descriptions of the books. Adrienne recommended The Rapture of Canaan. It was a really interesting book. It went into religion and the extremes of doctrine, belief, church law. The narrator was a young girl within the religion who experiences the religion from childhood and begins to question its validity.

Back When We Were Grownups has the greatest first line. This is why I bought it: "Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person." A great tale discussing the past, our decisions, our feelings about those decisions, and in general, people who think too damn much. No, really, it was a great book.

As for the last one, Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, it is told from the viewpoint of an autistic boy. Sounds very Faulkner, but the story is carried in such a way that it comes to term through a consistent narrator.

Enough of that. Today, I woke up still ill and decided to treat myself to a day of rest. Somehow, rest is not very restful. I kept thinking of other things I needed to do and regretting that I did not have the energy to do them. So I watched several movies on TV, cursing the commercials and then watched a Law & Order: Special Victims Unit marathon. It was great fun. Now, I am thoroughly paranoid, glancing behind my back for psychos every few minutes, but I am no nearer sleep. 11:25 p.m. I have to work tomorrow. Not a good situation.

Yesterday, as promised, I went to Houston to check out the Diane Arbus exhibit. If you don't know anything about her, find out more. She is a fascinating character, and once again, I am astounded at how the arts seem to meld into one another. A photographer with a great grasp of the English language, her journals and correspondence were just as enthralling as her bold, staccato photographs. Thanks to a great friend (Keith) for loaning me a book before I went so that I could study her life in detail and really grasp her images. Immediately, upon leaving the gallery, I wished I had my camera. I want to make pictures. I have a desire to find my own eye within that elusive lens, as she would say.

I also attempted some lighter galleries with a friend. There were several openings on Art Row on Lake Street near Rice Village. These galleries were handing out the wine, sparkling water, and expensive, not-so-great art. Although, there were a couple winners among the rubbish. Basically, however, it was a lot of wealthy people with no taste and more interest in who was in attendance than who the artist happened to be. I got a migraine and left before they could nauseate me further.

The rich get richer, and the poor make art....

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Check out these books I read this week:

The Rapture of Canaan - Sheri ?
Back When We Were Grownups - Anne Tyler
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon

(I am horrible at remembering names so look up the titles).

Will blog more later.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Well, let's see. Where were we? Yesterday I had a migraine and slept 12 hours. Today, I am just coughing. Guess we'll take it. But, I am going to enjoy my weekend, sick or not. Tomorrow, I am going to Houston to check out the Diane Arbus photography exhibit and a couple of gallery openings. I am really excited.

I have also come to the conclusion that I am an awful friend. Two of my friends called me today and left messages on my voicemail. I didn't feel up to doing anything tonight because of my summer cold, but instead of having to call and tell anyone no, I just didn't call. I know it's horrible. I know I should behave better than that. It's just that I always feel so guilty telling people no. And it never fails that when one friend calls with plans, two more will call in the subsequent ten minutes. One weekend, no phone calls. The next, I have five different offers. That's when I shut down. No phone calls returned. My voicemail wasn't working, I claim. My phone died, and I couldn't find my charger. Awful, horrible - yes, these are the adjectives to describe my behavior. I just can't help it.

I think part of the problem is that I have a couple friends who never seem to care. You're sick? Ah well, let's talk for an hour even though you are coughing. You're eating? I'll keep you company.

To those friends, I say: Leave me alone. Be courteous. Help end my aversion to the telephone by not calling me. I have good-telephone friends; I have horrific telephone friends. The good ones know better. They keep me on the line for a couple minutes before ending saying, "I don't want to keep you," or "I know you hate being on the phone for a long time." To those friends, thank you.

You will never know how appreciated you are.

Do I bitch too much? I don't want to be a soapbox blogger, a bitchy blogger, who airs her grievances on the internet.

So I will end with a nice, quaint, endearing story. My mother knew I was sick so she made homemade vegetable soup (my favorite). My dad rented my favorite childhood video North Avenue Irregulars. We ate and watched TV, and they both kissed me and sent me back to my apartment with food for the weekend.

See - I tried sweet. Boring. (Although sincere thanks to mom and dad). I promise to be wiser, more intelligent sounding, even thought-provoking tomorrow. The art galleries will do my talking.

Sweet dreams, everyone.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Well, I was supposed to go see a movie tonight: The Terminal. What if that movie had been named The Airport? Ah, the power of words. Anyway, I am sick and am not going. I think I have a summer cold. I am sneezing, and my voice sounds like Dianna Krall. Normally, I would love to sound like her, but it hurts. So no movie.

My day was full of scheduling depositions, cancelling depositions, and talking about depositions (I work for a law firm). The only interesting point of my day was talking to my mom on the phone after work.

"I have something that might interest you," she said. Usually, to my mother, something that may interest me is a tidbit of gossip that doesn't in any way interest me. Or, she is telling me about the newest engagement in my tiny hometown. But this time - Mom, you hit it on the head.

My grandmother gave my parents an old typewriter (I think she said a Rembrandt. Anyway, my parents have no use for it and asked if I wanted it. I am so excited. It has its old, original leather case and is in perfect working order. I feel like a real writer. I can't wait to pick it up and begin making stories. That's the problem with my writing. For months, I have been writing diligently, but I haven't been making anything.

My photography professor says all the time that he makes pictures. I thought it was odd at first, but it really is the only way to look at art. If you are just taking pictures, or writing, for that matter, you aren't creating. So now, with new typewriter in tow, I am going to make stories. I'm excited.

But now, 9:30 p.m. at night, (mark it, I think it's a first), I am going to bed to starve my cold. Or, is it feed a cold? I can never remember. Tonight I will just have to dream the stories.

Monday, July 05, 2004

David Sedaris. Interesting fella. Read his new book of short stories: How to Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. Great stuff. If anyone reads it, please respond. I'd like to know what you think.

This morning, my lovely, lazy Day After Independence Day has been quite busy already at 1:26 p.m. Already I have seen Spiderman 2 (thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed it). However, to parents who allow their children to leave and come back and leave and come back throughout a movie: STOP IT! It's damn annoying and ruins the movie. One of these days...

Once I left the movie, I got in my car expecting tragedy. I was entranced, waiting for Spiderman to appear, lift his mask and kiss me. And then I ran out of gas, which is more tragedy than anything else. (Digression: One of my pet peeves is when people define events as tragedies. A building falling with a baby inside it is not a tragedy. The baby did nothing to aid the building's fall. It is horrible; it's not a tragedy. On the other hand, I allowed my gas tank to get low, aiding in my problem. Tragedy.)

Spiderman appeared in the form of a 50-year old, kindly black man. No mask and no romance, but I am grateful nonetheless. He scolded me for letting my tank get so low and asked if I needed money for gas.

This is the problem with men's thinking: I don't get gas NOT because I don't have money but because I simply hate getting gas. It is a torture beyond tortures. It is a waste of time. It's hot outside. It's smelly. I don't like to. However, after once again running out of gas, I realize that sitting on the side of the road is a waste of time, hot, and now I am smelly. (Well not really smelly, but you get the picture.) No more running out of gas.

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

I forgot:

Run mad as often as you choose, but do not faint.
I am nauseated. I think I lost my floppy disk with my ENTIRE LIFE on it. Well, okay, I am being dramatic. However, this was a newer disk (about six months old) that had all my recent writings on it. My home computer is completely crappy, and I just never got around to saving it anywhere else or emailing it to myself as I am prone to do. I have looked everywhere. I have called home. I went to work, thinking I left it in my drive there. I have yet to find it. This, in turn, caused me to go shopping. I felt a little better, but as soon as I loaded the bags in my car, the aching feeling came back. I need a therapist.

Last night:

I watched Girl With a Pearl Earring with Colin Firth and Charlotte Johanson. I read the book, by Tracy Chevalier this weekend and couldn't put it down. I am also a big Colin Firth fan so I went out and bought the DVD. I even read an article by the author of the book, and she enjoyed the movie. She said that the movie and the book were not identical twins but rather sisters.

Tracy Chevalier: You were being very sweet. The movie, although it had its merits (mainly scenery) did not touch the book in emotion, complexity, and overall, beauty.

I had invited a friend to watch the movie with me. She is one of my few literary friends, and I called her as soon as I finished the book this weekend to tell her she also should read it. By the end of the day, she had picked it up and finished it. [Brava Adrienne!] In the end, it made for a nice evening; however, I am going to stay away from modified-from-book movies for a while.

My annoyance with the movie distracted me from my first and foremost thought. My disk, my writings, ay de mi....

JD - Help with adding links. How to? How to?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

My last day in Italy. I am heading over to Pompeii to check out the ruins. I saved Pompeii for last since it has spurred my dreams of Italy since age 10 when I wanted to be an archaeologist. Appropriate, I think.

My flight leaves at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning. However, the trains do not start running until about 6 a.m. to the airport from the train station so that isn't enough time to be there for two hours check in.

Therefore, I have to leave my luggage at the hotel all day and take the last train of the day at 11:30 p.m. into the airport. So I will be sitting all night in the airport, alone. I am not looking forward to it. However, I finally found a bookstore with some English-language books so I have a Nick Hornby, High Fidelity and a Jonathon Froer, Everything is Illuminated. I have started the former and love it, so hopefully staying awake will not be difficult.

I sat on the Trevi fountain yesterday as the sun was setting, debating on whether I actually wanted to throw coins into the fountain. I love just sitting there. I have been several times, and it is such a great people-watching spot. So I sat there, and I just decided to do it. I looked around (I was afraid I might get arrested for throwing coins in because there didn't seem to be many in the water), and I made my three wishes and tossed. It was such a cliche thing to do, but really, it was great. I felt young, adventurous, confident, and happy.

And then I realized, I am young, adventurous, confident, and happy.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

Well, I have updated twice since my last actual post, but I guess my blog isn't working properly.

I am currently back in Rome after a whirlwind through the Cinque Terre, Florence, Milan, Venice, Florence again, and Cortona.

Cortona was by far the best. The views were astounding. Cortona is a Tuscan hill town, and everything just keeps going up. The town itself doesn't allow cars, and it is charming.

There was definitely a sense of community there, and I stood out as a stranger. I met a girl from South Dakota, Courtney, in Venice, and we continued to Cortona together. She traveled with an enormous backpack, and I had a rolling duffel, two shopping bags, a purse, and my two carry ons. Imagine the image the two of us made, curly hair flying. The two odd strangers in town.

Anyway, the entire community seemed to be in the square, and they were all laughing. They asked if we needed help, which we did, and they were so great.

Charming town, charming wine. It was great.

Now I am on the last leg of my trip, and I have mixed feelings. What a time. I have learned so much, been exposed to so much, and still know so little.

I cannot wait to come back.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

This was my second day in Rome. Rome is big. Rome is dirty. Rome is busy. I have seen most of the sights. I went to the Vatican today in a pair of miserable shoes. Then I came back to my room and took a well-deserved nap. Rome is strange in that there is so much to see. It is amazing, and yet, at the same time, I am ready for the slow-paced Italian life I had prepared myself for. I think tomorrow I will visit Tivoli and then leave Rome behind. If I haven't seen anything I can always see it on my last day here.

Also, there is a really cool international photo exhibit here. I am going to check that out right now.

I was kissed in front of the Colliseum. Just a random Roman who thought I was beautiful. These men are overwhelmingly bold. In this instance, the movies prove true.

I don't have much time so I am going to leave this for now. Ciao!

Monday, May 10, 2004

Great advice from a really great guy:

"Unsolicited advice for your extravaganza...

get up early

take lots of photographs

have a picnic by a river

and on occasion...fuck art and go dance."

I need not say more.