isabel and i found this row of tulips on our walk this afternoon. i'm both drawn to the image and annoyed by it. i know it's not tulips' fault, but they are the epitome of a spring cliché. i'm drawn to clean, domestic images but i need them a little more complicated.
i took this one to offset it:
the rust around the letters comforts me like a custard.
i feel an affinity with these today:
milksnake's egg tooth
the swagger and bluster of a fire eater
punk and tinder
for friday's flickr fix i choose these:
and "catbird seat"
just go here if you want to meet the photographers.
Mouse Wanted for Short Film
Reply to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2007-03-27, 12:03PM
Does anyone have a mouse we could use for a short film? We'd only need him/her for an hour at the most. You and your mouse will get credit in the film and our eternal gratitude. No harm will come to your pet and we'll take good care of him/her. This is a great chance to support the arts!
We'll pick up and drop off anywhere in the bay area.
MOUSE - FOUND
Reply to: email@example.com
Date: 2007-03-27, 6:04PM
Found mouse. If it's yours, email describing what it looks like and where you lost it.
mousey craig'slist treasures courtesy of kay.
image by google images.
so i made a little friday diptych from two of my favorites of the pictures i took of sophie last evening.
and below are two pairs i made from favorites i found on flickr:
and "making the rounds"
go to the friday flickr fix pool to see more, and to my
favorites page to learn more about the individual photographers.
and to finish, a poem, by jacques prevert:
i put my cap in my cage
and went out with the bird on my head
one no longer salutes
asked the commanding officer
one no longer salutes
replied the bird
excuse me i thought one saluted
said the commanding officer
you are fully excused everybody makes mistakes
said the bird.
i especially like this is a wake up call's polaroid pairs, like this one, "girl with a cello",
and this, "firefly catcher":
and he has so many other lovely ones, some simply titled like this one called "kimberly":
and others with wonderfully quirky and imaginative titles such as this one, "thinking of a giraffe".
it's got me thinking of giraffes.
andrea and chris posted a recording of their cat's voice today. when i played it, abby snapped out of his habitual slumber and came over to see where the mysterious and seductive sounds were coming from. he meowed plaintively back at her and tried to find her in the armoire where the computer is housed. i haven't seen him this responsive in all the years he's been with us. i thought she might like to know the effect she is having on total strangers.
karen's dog, lu, succumbed to cancer in the night.
creepy party of nine last night with a grossly overrated sense of themselves conversing in grossly elevated tones. stayed three hours and no one else wanted to sit in the room near them. my station empty half the night thanks to them. relentlessly raising their glasses and toasting "here here!", "here here!". me seething under my calm exterior.
no access to our driveway for two weeks to come. jackhammers at 7 a.m for ten working days.
for medicine, i will dig in the dirt. see you tomorrow when i'm not so out of sorts.
p.s. plutarch believed that truffles were mud cooked by lightning. this is the kind of trivia that helps to lighten one's mood.
"can't come to the phone right now"
i've had some strong coffee and i'm in the spring cleaning mood, so i can't dawdle today. . .
go to ez's friday's flickr fix blog to see "can't come to the phone" in the weekly mix.
and see my favorites in the flickr room if you want to know more about the individual photographers.
"if, on a clean canvas, i put at intervals patches of blue, green and red, with every touch that i put on, each of those previously laid on loses in importance. say i have to paint an interior; i see before me a wardrobe. it gives me a vivid sensation of red; i put on the canvas the particular red that satisfies me. a relation is now established between this red and the paleness of the canvas. when i put on besides a a green, and also a yellow to represent the floor, between this green and the yellow and the color of the canvas there will still be further relations. but these different tones diminish one another. it is necessary that the different tones i use be balanced in such a way that they do not destroy one another. to secure that, i have to put my ideas in order; the relationships between tones must be instituted in such a way that they are built up instead of knocked down."
it's been five months since our visit to paris, and i've been wanting to write about this for a long time.
when we first returned from paris we couldn't imagine how we could live without it. i told everyone who would listen of my plans to take sophie and move there for a year, though it was never clear to me how i would manage to finance such an expedition. kay suggested that we go to the french countryside next summer and work as grape harvesters; i thought we could work as living mannequins in montmartre, coming to life whenever someone dropped us a euro. for paris seemed to be a place we belonged even more so after we left it; back in the safety of our familiar world, the difficulties we experienced acclimating to the foreign city of paris had taken on the magical quality of all things told in retrospect. something that was, at the time, the most nerve-wracking and upsetting interaction could make for the best story once we were home. when we were desperately seeking the restrooms at the saint-ouen flea market after only half- comprehending the directions given to us three separate times (even the woman at the office of tourism gave us confusing directions), paris was to us as a mad labyrinth. another afternoon, we were deliriously hungry and ducked into the famed le mariage freres before realizing that lunch there would cost us a small fortune, and then we couldn't remember how to say we had changed our minds in french. the parisians had a way of squinting disapprovingly at us whenever we struggled to express ourselves in their language. the waiters at le mariage freres peered at us this way from behind their starched white shirts and bowties, and even though kay said "nous sommes trés trés trés desolés," they spat an insult or two our way as we beat a shameful retreat.
especially during our first few days in paris, the city seemed a wearying series of obstacles. as much as we loved paris, paris did not seem to love us back. i had a difficult time accepting this. I'd imagined us fitting in much more seamlessly, with our plans going as planned. on day 1, we would do a. b. and c. and so on. confirm our reservation at dans le noir? (the restaurant where you dine in total darkness), walk across the seine to the bird and flower market, visit ste. chapelle, then take the metro out to the 12th arrondissement to visit the carnival museum. i thought it would be as simple as following a series of steps. what we didn't figure in, in our meticulously planned itinerary, were things like hunger, exhaustion, getting lost, parisians who didn't like americans, impossibly long lines to get into cathedrals, and museums that were closed on days our guidebooks said they were open. even our attempt to see the centre pompidou was thwarted due to an unforeseen strike, which left all three of us grumpy and unsure of what to do with the rest of our day. it was the museum we had most looked forward to seeing. i took a picture of one of the signs posted out in front, over which someone had written in large scrawl "mechants" (meanies).
and though we only spent one utterly vulnerable evening in the absolute dark at dans le noir?, our week in the city of light was beset by moments in which we felt just as vulnerable. the uncertainty and newness of our surroundings kept us simultaneously receptive and on guard. my senses were continually working overtime to interpret the overload of information, smells, sights, and unfamiliar language. when we were led into the dining room at dans le noir?, the sensual overload was similar, if only in its lack of information. what you are not sure of, you have to guess at. the concept behind dans le noir? is that when you are deprived of one sense, your others take over and try to make up for its absence. though some think this notion is nothing but a gimmick, we were wildly impressed by it and anticipated going there as much as we looked forward to seeing the eiffel tower or the picasso museum. our reservation was for the evening of our second day in paris. we walked there from our apartment, the streets all shiny from the street cleaners and light reflecting off them crazily. we had refreshed ourselves after a rigorous day in saint ouen and were too giddy to know we were still jet-lagged. the october weather was mild and felt celebratory; we would soon be enveloped in a french darkness, une obscurité, a somehow more mysterious and enticing darkness than anything we could get back in california.
when we arrived, however, the restaurant host quickly helped us out of our reverie. we were sent downstairs to wait in a dingy lounge. its only other occupants were some american students chain-smoking in one of the high-backed white leather booths. the air was thick with stale smoke. no one came down to see if we wanted a drink, and we were too nervous to go upstairs to the bar. we sat there huddled like three little rabbits and waited. finally a woman came down and explained to us how everything would work. she asked us if we wanted the surprise menu and we said yes we did. did we want the surprise wine and the surprise cocktails and we said yes indeed we did. she led us upstairs where we put our personal things in lockers. then someone handed us our cocktails, blended pink-brown daquiris of some sort. then we were introduced to our waiter/guide, a blind man who took my free hand in his and instructed kay to put her hand on my shoulder, and for sean to put his on hers. in this manner we entered the dining room, through a series of thick heavy curtains.
i clung to my daquiri and to the stranger's hand. it was much darker than i had imagined it ever could be. it was suffocatingly dark. i couldn't tell how big the room was, or how many people were in it. after some maneuvering through the restaurant, we were seated. our guide moved our hands over our utensils and glassware, showing us where everything was, then told us in english to "put our napkin on our knees." i held on to my daquiri, for fear i'd never find it again if i let go of it. i kept my knee against kay's knee; it helped me feel less like i was floating in a restaurant of nothingness. we were brought a bottle of water and a bottle of wine. at one point i accidentally mixed up my glasses and diluted my wine with water. "like the italians do it," kay said.
i've read other people's reviews of the food at dans le noir?, some of it disparaging, some of it complimentary. but when the food came for us, we couldn't really critique it. the main thing was identifying it, and getting it into our mouths. aside from that, i think we were too distracted by the intensity of the completely unfamiliar environment to be able to find fault with anything they'd given us. it would be like astronauts complaining about their space food being undercooked or not fresh enough. mostly i think we just felt grateful. it seemed like an eternity between courses. i felt alternately excited, bored, impatient, and tired during the three hour span that was our dinner. it exhausted us physically and emotionally. but once outside of the confines of that dark dining room, the story of our experience there is one of the most compelling of all our paris stories. i've told it to friends and to strangers. i have labored over its significance in the context of myself as an american who has only been out of the country once, who went to paris and saw only a fraction of what i would have hoped to see. and this only one city in the world, one site of many sights.
the day after dans le noir?, we had a picnic facing the eiffel tower: roasted chicken, fat grapes, and slices of quiche from the rue cler market, and a bottle of mourvedre rosé. the woman in the wine shop liked us, appreciated our earnest attempts at french. she went downstairs and gave us three wine glasses for our picnic. with these we toasted to kay's excellent toast:
"to the bigger than expected and the smaller than expected," and then to sean's addition: "and the darker than expected."
thanks to ez at creature comforts there exists a wonderful new flickr pool called friday's flickr fix. it embodies what i love best about flickr, and has captured the idea of magic in the juxtaposition of photos taken by people independently.
you can join too if you just send her a little note. go to her blog to get more information...
these are my three pairs for today. go to my favorites to get the scoop on everybody.
tonight is my reading as the opening poet for kay ryan and deborah garrison. if you're reading this and you're within a reasonable distance, you might want to come to copperfield's books in montgomery village at seven 'o clock.
but since i know some must miss it, i thought i'd post a little poem here, today, just because.
as i'm leaving
the seaside market of clocks
amid the confusion of hands,
round edges, guesses, and the salt-worn
timekeepers dickering in the sun
i see a shorebird near
a worn spot in the sky
in the threadbare space above me absorbing
the timely vernacular
and turning back i glimpse my freckled shoulder
the celery color of my sundress strap.
yesterday morning. isabel and i headed out to spend the day in sausalito with kay and sean, alisa and her expanding belly, and the pooches (sadly minus daisy).
before we got in the car i noticed these flowers out front had started blooming.
when we arrived, sean pointed out a photo opportunity in the water.
we sat on the deck for a while and marvelled at the day.
when alisa arrived we marvelled at her belly.
the dogs played on the little beach.
isabel and amelia played "do what i do".
then we went to the dog park, to the society of sniffing and rolling in curious perfumes.
the trash receptacles were clearly marked.
there were also many different water choices.
i was wondering how kay and sean were feeling, so surrounded by dogs but without their own; it must seem very unfair. but i didn't know if or how quite, and if it would be a good idea to talk of it right then.
they are fostering this puppy, pico. he is officially a "piggle" (pitbull/ beagle cross). he is as sweet as pie and would make a very good boat dog.
would you or anyone you know would like to adopt him?
isabel would make a good boat dog too; she has already adopted kay and sean's bed as her own and left me to sleep alone last night below deck while she snuggled deep and without guilt upstairs.
here's alisa again with her magnificent moon belly.
here it is shining and inside is eleanor gearing up to appear.
on my way home this morning i found myself behind this truck, and sped up some so i could take a close enough picture.
it was so fitting it almost seemed like a plant.