Friday, September 29, 2006

Caliope, Chairman of the Board, Asphodel
Ron and I were watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and this guy came who was supposed to Bajorian (you know with the wrinkly noses and one big earring) and he looked EXACTLY like Harmid Karzai, the President of Afghanastain. EXACTLY!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I finished the Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama and Dr. Cutler. I'm passing it on to Robin and then Ron. Now I'm started reading The Tree Bride which is follow up to Desirable Daughters by Bharti Mukherjee. I'm really excited about it. The next few weeks are crazy busy with work so I might not post a lot.

I hope that Lisa found her way here.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday, September 25, 2006

I have a horrible cold. So Sunday I stayed in and read a trashy book -- For Matrimonial Purposes by Kavita Daswani -- Indian Chick Lit. I should have known when quotes on the back cover compare it to Sex in the City, Bridget Jones’ Diary and My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was that easy to read kind of thing you want when you are sick.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I'm still reading the Dalai Lama book. It's really good.

I was overcome this week by the Andy Warhol documentary on PBS. Really inspiring and well done. Although sometimes I think they read a little tooo much into the work. I saw the filmaker, Ric Burns, on Charlie Rose. I really like when he said that his film was subjective and he didn't interview people that didn't like the work.

This was the first time that I really understood the Warhol films. Seeing them as photography or painting with the element of time. They are very zen if you think about it. Just watching a man sleeping and taking it all in. The portrait film series is super brillant. Made me think about film.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The reason that I’m writing these 9th grade book reports is… well there are several reasons.

Reading fiction is a huge part of my life and a huge priority in my life. But I read so fast that I often feel that I don’t retain anything. I don’t remember book titles or authors’ names. I think (hope) that blogging my reading progress will help me to think about what I’m reading and why. I am also hoping to improve my writing skills. Did I just use blogging as a verb? Yikes.

I seem to be able verbalize what the books are about and what I’m taking from it to Ron better than here. I’ll work on it.

There is a connection between my photography and the reading. Much of the photographs, to me, are film stills. I have a constant search for, not necessarily narrative, but tableau and scene.

I think there is a librarian gene in me that is driven to document and categorize. I bought a notebook and started writing down the date, Title and Author of the books that I read. Some of you know that when we were kids, Peter and I cataloged our personal book collections with index cards. We thought this was normal. Our Dad is a librarian, that’s what you do. When I was an intern at Art Com when I was about 22 they thought this was hilarious. I never heard the end of it. Of course, they didn’t mind when I cataloged their video library.

Hee hee, spellcheck doesn’t recognize blogging.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Now, I am reading parts of The Art of Happiness by the Dalai Lama that Ken was selling at the Liberty Block Garage Sale. Love the DL! He manages to be so profound, wise, curious and funny all at the same time. I’m not sure if I’ll read the entire thing, my hunger for fiction might overtake.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

This weekend I read Hotel World by Ali Smith. Really extraordinary writing! She really gets into her character’s heads. I love the way she writes. The book really came alive for me. I look forward to reading more from her.

This is my downstairs neighbor and BFF Miss Ruby Ramona after eating some yogurt.

Ruby reigned over the Liberty Street Garage sale yesterday managing to entertain us and put every item in her mouth.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I finished reading Desirable Daughters by Bharati Mukherjee. I’m going to give it to Ellen who is here visiting. It was pretty wonderful. It is the story of an Indian woman, a little younger than myself, who is raised traditionally. Her arranged marriage brings her to Stanford and her husband becomes a tech tycoon. She is bored, gets a divorce and starts a less traditional life in San Francisco with her 16 year-old son. There is some weird intrigue and mystery, which interweaves with her relationships with her two sisters. Lots of fun ‘comparing Indian life to American stuff.’ I find the mystery to be the weak part. I loved the scenes where she visits her older sister in suburban New Jersey and they go to Jackson Heights. Ellen has taken me there to the Indian shops and restaurants.

The author, Bharati Mukherjee, is a professor at UC Berkeley. Yay! And she has written several other books so I have more to look forward to. Now I’m going off the Indian track and I’m going to read Hotel World by Ali Smith because I loved her book last year, The Accidental.

I haven’t posted a new photo because I love the last one so much. I will soon

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I just finished Karma Cola by Gita Mehta. It was recommended to me by my therapist, when we were discussing my current Indian fiction fetish. Written in the late seventies it is a collection of essays or musings on American and European hippies in India. Some of it quite funny and some quite sad – people being sucked in by corrupt Gurus and drugs. She can be quite condescending. It’s a quick read. I think that Gita Mehta is a very well respected writer but I tried reading her famous novel A River Sutra and I hated it. Something about the way it was written. It really bothered me but then I usually like art that is a bit rough around the edges.

We went to the Haight and Golden Gate Park today. The SF Opera was playing in Sharon Meadows. It's a great San Francisco event -- people of all ages and colors come out. It's really lovely. On the edges of the park and the Haight there are still burned out hippies. Made me think of Karma Cola. Are hippies eternal? They even kind of have them in Star Trek (I know you've been dying for me to make a Star Trek reference.)

Thursday, September 07, 2006

I finished The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe. I have that horrible let down after finishing a great novel. It was so funny and sad. Many more characters developed more and intrigued me. I wish I could write like him. The book is very conversational and very complex with many different storylines. It’s personal, political, current, sad, hilarious, gothic and intellectual with a little murder mystery thrown in. I can’t wait for his next book.
Ok, I'm going to say it again. I'M SOOO COLD!

Cut and paste the url below to see a short film I made, Stuffy Nose
When are we going to have another heat wave? I'm cold already.

This is a close up of Diane's salt house. More soon or walk by Vertical Clearance on Valencia near 19th.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

God, I feel like I’m writing ninth grade book reports here. I’m soooo loving this book. I can’t stop reading it and don’t want it to end. I can’t actually remember writing book reports, expect maybe in grammar school. I had a great English class in 10th grade with Mr. Rodriquez. I remember he had us write stories in a certain writer’s style and I wrote one like Hemingway. It was really a very exciting project. I also liked a Saul Bellow book that we had to read for the class so he gave me a handful of Bellow. Mr. Rodriguez was sooo cool. Kind of a hippy, he drove an old Alfa Romeo and brewed his own beer. I had him for Creative Writing in 11th grade. That was a great class. My best friend Lisa Packwood was in it and my boyfriend Paul Donahoe. Mr. Rodriguez had us over to his house -- it was a small class. He also gave me a reading list for the summer between 10th and 11th. It included The Electric Kool - Aid Acid Test, Pride and Prejudice and some Dostoevsky. He was sooo fucking cool!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Maybe I was a little hard on the characters of The Closed Circle. I really like Claire. Of course, she is with whom I identify the most – being traveled and independent and seeing thru the other characters. The entire group reminds me of Vivian’s family, the intelligence and talkativeness and the way that everyone’s friends and family are so interweaved.
I'm halfway thru with The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe. It's fun and some of the characters really come to life but I think I could relate to them more when they were younger (in the first book). Some of them are a little boring. I like the Benjamin character a lot, he's very dramatic. Not that I have to relate to the characters in a book. Nevertheless, I can't stop reading it.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Gwen Stefani was in my dream last night. She was FABULOUS!
I just finished reading Heat and Dust by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala. She is pretty well known as a screenwriter for Merchant/Ivory films and this book won the Booker Prize in 1975. Heat and Dust is about a young British woman who goes to India to follow the path of her Grandfather’s first wife who left him for an Indian ‘Prince.’ The book shuffles back and forth between present day and the 1920s. I found it to be very well written and well crafted but none of the characters were particularly arresting, nor where the environs.

Before this I read Anita and Me by Meera Syal, about a young 10 year-old Indian girl in Midlands England. Although this was a rough, first novel by a young woman I was much more involved with the characters. They really grabbed me and when the little girl felt pain, I felt pain. This book was much more daring than Heat and Dust, writing from the 10 year olds' point of view and using regional dialect.

Next I am going to move away from India but stay with England. Vivian just lent me The Closed Circle by Jonathan Coe. I loved his book, The Rotters’ Club

Saturday, September 02, 2006