Saturday, November 8, 2008

Gnome In a Book: Another literary life changing book. Aimee Bender's The Girl in the Flammable Skirt....a collection of witty and quirky short stories. I wish I wrote these beautiful gems of simple prose. My sanity has been saved this week by this very endearing book.
From the short story Loser:
He went home to his tiny room and thought about the word lonely and how it sounded and looked so lonely, with the two l's in it, each standing tall by itself.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Walt Kuhn

Harrison Fisher

Malvina Hoffman

The Smithsonian has a lovely flickr site featuring arresting and alluring portraits of artists. I adore their beautiful handsome faces and their snazzy sense of style....and of course Malvina's beret...

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Look! It's me when I was a little inspiring wee nerd. This precious illustration warmed my bookish heart.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Yesterday made me believe that all the change I need in my life might actually be possible.
I can find a better job.
I can be an artist.
I can relax.
I can be...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Yes we can.
Yes we did.
Yes we will.


We were up at the crack of dawn this morning in order to get to the VFW early and VOTE! It was such a great sense of community. We saw some of our friends and their family members as we stood in line to perform our civic duty.
So serious I am about this election---as you can see by the expression on my face...actually it is really just a lack of sleep...

And then it was on to the election breakfast with our dear old friend S at the local Bob Evans. Hot tea, politics, and friends----such a great morning.

And 29 years ago the husband was born....what a day. Now we are off to my kindred sister M's house to join in a small election party get together....we are bringing the patriotic cup cakes!

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Passion

I just finished my end of the 75 question swap. The answers will be in the mail tomorrow morning after we Vote. The question I loved to answer concerned my inner nerd. What is my favorite book and favorite author. Since I spent a little time in the library room of our place I dug out my well loved...well read...well lined copy of The Passion by Jeanette Winterson. This was the first book of fiction I read after I graduated high school and was dwelling in college. It opened a door that has stayed open since. Until this book I had always been a "reader". It was an easy form of escape. Yet everything I read until that point was suggested by peers or the high school English teacher. (IE: Interview With a Vampire, Stephen King books....Lord of the Flies). This type of fiction carried me away. I have read most of J.W. books and adore her writing....her language melts me. I just added her website over there on the Gnome Watch for those who get into literature. She is my book crush. What is The Passion about? It takes place in France and Venice during the reign of Napoleon. The characters serve chicken, gamble, and search for what love is. The following is one of my favorite passages:

Bonaparte, the Corsican. Born in 1769, a Leo.

Short, pale moody, with an eye to the future and a singular ability to concentrate. In 1789 revolution opened a closed world and for a time the meanest street boy had more on his side than any aristocrat. For a young Lieutenant skilled in artillery, the chances were kind and in a few years General Bonaparte was turning Italy into the fields of France.

"What is luck," he said, "but the ability to exploit accidents?"

He believed he was the center of the world and for a long time there was nothing to change him from this belief. Not even John Bull. He was in love with himself and France joined in. It was a romance. Perhaps all romance is like that: not a contrast between equal parties but an explosion of dreams and desires that can find no outlet in everyday life. Only a drama will do and while the fireworks last the sky is a different colour. He became an Emperor. He called the Pope from the Holy City to crown him but at the last second took the crown in his own hands and placed it on his own head. He divorced the only person that understood him, the only person he ever really loved, because she couldn't give him a child. That was the only part of the romance he couldn't control himself.

He is repulsive and fascinating by turns.

What would you do if you were an Emperor? Would soldiers become numbers? Would battles become diagrams? Would intellectuals become a threat? Would you end your days on an island where the food is salty and the company bland?

He was the most powerful man in the world and he couldn't beat Josephine at billiards.

I am telling you stories. Trust me.

To Do

On my days off I always have a "to do" that I love to make and love to ignore. For example: Today:
  1. Take car in for e-check
  2. Get renewal sticker for car
  3. Dishes
  4. Laundry
  5. Clean the Bathroom
  6. Vacuum
  7. Dust
  8. Mail Swaps
  9. B-day card for the husband
  10. Wax eyebrows
  11. Clean work desk---again!
  12. Clean out fridge.
  13. Work out at Gym

This is all trumped of course for this incredible itch to get in my library and make sense of the book order chaos that has taken over since the room changed four months ago. I mean-- Chuck Klosterman and Peter Beagle are living next door to each other in my library neighborhood at this very moment! The ideal organization in my library is roughly by genre and then alphabetical by author. Right now it is a free for all...and I long to bring my wobbly order back to the literacy anarchy I have ignored for too long. Just that pesky list to ignore....

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I love my the person who gave me life...and as the great human being that she is everyday. During a recent visit home I mentioned a random thing to my dear mother: I wanted acorns...little real ones for a project. The yards in my neighborhood contain plenty of maples and horse chestnut trees...acorns are scarce. As I slept the day away after my return to work after vacation...I awoke to a string of messages on the answering machine. My mom. She came all the way up here to drop off the husband's b-day present on the front porch...and to leave these two precious acorns for me on the porch railing. She makes me feel so loved...and listened to...