Saturday, February 28, 2009

Me So Happy!

The Dawgs won BOTH games, against ASU and Arizona. Both were close and full of drama: last minute lead changes, an overtime, crunch-time free throws, gut-it-out defense and rebounding. It was so exciting, I had to turn the channel and look away several times (I am such a girl).

Now, if UW can just beat arch-nemesis WSU next week, at home, we are home-free, Pac 10 champs. First time since 1985, in the Detlef Schrempf days, with Madonna singing "Like a Virgin," and Reagan in the white house. Amazing.


Dean and I had the solar panel guys out today to do a bid. We were impressed. This may be very do-able. And we can be the first on our block to go solar. Which only makes sense, we have the oldest house in the neighborhood: originally built in 1904.


On our way to my niece Stacey's wedding this evening at Blessed Sacrament. I have 19 nieces and nephews, most of them in their teens and twenties now, and I have a feeling that there are going to be quite a number of family weddings in near future (this is the third in the past 18 mos). Fun fun fun.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

About three inches of snow fell early this morning. I could tell by how quiet it was outside, and how there seemed to be a glow coming in through the closed blinds. It's gorgeous, but I have had enough of winter. When will it end!


UW and ASU duke it out tonight at Hec Ed at 8pm (I'll be watching on FSN). Gawd I hope the Dawgs can win. We'd be a shoe-in for the Pac 10 title, and a high seed for the NCAA tourney. I hope I hope I hope.


Are you voting on Andrew Shield's Poetry Idol?


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Just finished watching the Oscars. I am so happy for Slumdog Millionaire! The musical performances were wonderful, and it was so touching to see all the cast and crew coming onstage when it won Best Picture. A real feel good moment.

I loved Sean Penn's plug for gay marriage, and how the anti-folks will live in shame in their grand kid's eyes. He is so fearless.

But the BEST acceptance speech is this one by Mickey Rourke, at the Spirit Awards Saturday night. Caution: Contains Profanity.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Garden & Cosmos

Went to see the "Garden and Cosmos" exhibit at SAAM this afternoon. Gorgeous lush highly detailed esoteric paintings from 17th and 18th century India. I love their whole concept of the oneness of matter and consciousness. That the body is a manifestation of the world, the garden a manifestation of the cosmos. My head and my heart were swimming. I would love to go to India someday.
From today's World Wide Words. I found this fascinating, particularly the part where the exhibit is described as "drowned in its curator's own critical theory jargon" and how "The Times complained that even reading the catalogue was "ball-crushingly dispiriting"" Hehehehe.

This has appeared, like a dusty fly speck dotted across the review pages of the more upmarket British newspapers this month, because "Altermodern" is the name given to Tate Britain's Triennial 2009 exhibition. The term was coined by the exhibition's curator, the French cultural theorist Nicolas Bourriaud.

Explanations of it are varied and more than a little difficult to get one's mind around if one hasn't already had a firm grounding in Barthes, Derrida and their successors. The exhibition catalogue says it refers to "the in-progress redefinition of modernity in the era of globalisation, stressing the experience of wandering in
time, space and medium." More simply, the curator argues that, just as modernism was succeeded by post-modernism, the latter's era is ending and a new one is being born, which will be expressed in the language of a global culture and will be an alternative style to both its predecessors. Hence "Altermodern" nd "Altermodernism".

The trouble with the idea is that the critics dislike the result. The Observer called the Triennial dull and came close to saying it was a waste of space; the Financial Times said it was "confused, aimless and hideous" and that it was drowned in its curator's own critical theory jargon; The Times complained that even reading the catalogue was "ball-crushingly dispiriting". The Telegraph's critic noted that "too many artists were allowed to bang on and on without taking us anywhere in particular or giving us anything of interest to look at."

The general feeling is that, rather than being the next big thing in the art world, Altermodernism isn't going anywhere and isn't a term likely to be included in dictionaries any time soon.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

From early hours of sky:

Apparently the BBC reckons most people will have only read 6 of the 100 books here.

1) Look at the list and put an 'x' after those you have read.
2) Add a '+' to the ones you LOVE.
3) Star (*) those you plan on reading.
4) Tally your total at the bottom.

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien x
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee x
6 The Bible- x
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell x
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens x
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy x
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller x
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare x
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien x
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger x
19 The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot x
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald x
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy x
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh x
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky x
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck x
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll x
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis x
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini x
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne x
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell x
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown x
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez x++
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley x
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez x+
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck x
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov x+
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy x
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville x
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens x
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce x+
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath x
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens x
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker x
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro x
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert x+
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White x
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Alborn
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery x
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole x
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare x
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Looks like I've read about 40 of the 100. Is that good or bad? I dunno. Most of 'em I read years ago, in college. Does that matter now? And the only two I think I might want to read some day are Anna Karenina, and On the Road.


Monday, February 16, 2009

If you are looking for a workshop, check out this one in Olympia:

Thursday, February 26 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Olympia Timberland Regional Library, 313 8th Ave. SE, Olympia WA

Paul Gillie Memorial Poetry Workshop Series with Jill Johnson and Michael Schmeltzer. Free and open to all skill levels. Contact Casey Fuller at


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Dean and I saw Milk last night at Columbia City Cinema. Sean Penn was pitch perfect in the role. He portrays Harvey Milk not as merely a martyr/saint, but as a three-dimensional character with flaws like any of us (married to his work, a bit of a megalomaniac). I also loved the blending-in of actual archival footage. Very well done. And poor Josh Brolin: first he plays the idiot George W Bush, and now he has to play the goat Dan White. He deserves hazard pay.

It was heartening to see that a largely straight and multi-ethnic and multi-generational audience was drawn to see the movie (rather than just a bunch of old queens like us). Really: it was a mix of everybody from the neighborhood, including kids and grandparents. I think the story of Milk's fight against injustice and prejudice is universal now, and not just a gay story.

The mural above is from the apartment above Castro Camera in SF where Milk lived, and activists would meet. Apparently it is a kind of gay shrine/museum now. I love the quote that is shooting out from the gun: zoom in to read it.


This afternoon a large gray hawk landed on the birch tree right outside our kitchen window. Dean and I watched it for several minutes before it fanned open its beautiful wings and wheeled away. It was amazing: like a visitation.


We went to the Seattle Home show this weekend. Had a great chair massage, scouted out more bathroom tile, and looked at some solar panel companies. We may actually do it: install an array on our roof (the cost is $15-20K, and seems to be going down each year), especially if we can actually get paid by the power company for the excess we'll be producing.


Donald Hall is reading for Seattle Arts and Lectures this coming week. Unfortunately I have to be working late that night. I would like to hear him.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Got this from Kelli's blog today. What a great little video! It had me practically in tears watching it.

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... from Courage Campaign on Vimeo.

Ken Starr really needs to find something better to do than being a "gaycist."
Fun poem from yesterday's Poetry Daily:

No War

Amidst the rush at Lincoln-Center, I settled
in, checking my shoes, then untying one
as I lifted up its hot mouth to my face,
trying to locate whatever odor was about
if not from me then perhaps my chair
refusing to give up its former occupant,
the others beside me oblivious to what began
derailing the afternoon, the dis-smell
I could not put out of mind until I noticed
the double-handled Duane Read bag
bulging out with all its owner seemingly
owned—crosswords torn from the Times,
scavenged gloves, scarves—his body
glazed with whatever might attach itself
to the sides of a city dumpster—nose
dripping down to mud-encrusted shoes
sopped with soiled sleeves—no choice now
but to move, the way a rush-hour subway car
is sometimes vacant but for two slumped
faceless forms who get to keep the car
all to themselves, not asking, just being
who they are even as we lounge on a chaise
in the Belmont Room at the Opera House,
having flashed our membership card to gain
admission into that chandeliered salon
held spellbound in a cloud of perfume
just off the Grand Tier, the two of us
huddled in jeans, hardly ever in jacket or tie,
you having come straight from work
in a sweat, shouldering your backpack
with "No War" stickers plastered over it,
both of us willing to stare down anyone
who wonders what right we have to be here.

Timothy Liu

from Bending the Mind Around the Dream's Blown Fuse
After a two year loan to the United States , Michelangelo's David is being returned to Italy . . .

Special thanks to:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

From Copper Canyon: a free downloadable e-broadside! What a great idea. Check it out below:


Dear Poetry Lovers,

For a free e-broadside on the theme of love, visit: Valentine's Day Broadside.

To ensure delivery of gift books by Valentine's Day, please place your orders by February 10.

We wish you good reading,

Copper Canyon Press
toll-free order phone: 877-501-1393

Friday, February 06, 2009

Project Runway for poets = Project Verse
Check it out here.

Make it work!


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Yay Rafa!

Rafael Nadal 7 3 7 3 6
Roger Federer 5 6 6 6 2


I went out with a friend to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button last night. It was a bit plodding at first, but eventually the story hit its stride and it was a really fascinating, original movie. Was that Brad Pitt playing all those versions of BB? If so, it was some incredible makeup. The whole notion of a person aging, physically, in reverse, but chronologically in the mind, was fascinating. In BB's case, he grew to have this young gorgeous Brad Pitt body at a time when he has the most life experience and sense of how to live his life (like a sixty year old with the body of a twenty-something). This is in contrast to his wife, who feels like a has-been after her brief career as a dancer is through, and who hates that she is getting old. Wasn't it George Bernard Shaw who said "Youth is wasted on the young?" As one who is not age-phobic, particularly, and who actually finds maturity attractive, I'm not sure that message always rings true.