Friday, July 30, 2010

Week's End - Blue & Yellow & Orange

There is no blue without yellow and without orange.--Van Gogh

I've hit a metaphorical wall so I'd like to stare at this for a day or two. I'll return with last week's Sunday Shopping over the weekend. In the midst of uploading photographs from the wonderful BibBon etsy shop, I was rudely interrupted by our electric (f)utility company. Have a great Friday (or Saturday for Aussies & Kiwis). Cheers.

From the photographer Robin Scott:
We came across this colourful grandly named little gem while getting lost in Kinsale (sometimes it's better not to have a GPS). Looks like the window box might have been fitted after a night out. In a street of similar buildings, the one next door is named The Giant's Cottage. The giant would need to bend to get in the door.-- Robin Scott (via here)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Storm Warnings

I draw the curtains as the sky goes black
And set a match to candles sheathed in glass
Against the keyhole draught, the insistent whine
Of weather through the unsealed aperture.
This is our sole defense against the season;
These are the things we have learned to do

Who live in troubled regions. -Adrienne Rich

Not Again. Yes. Again.

(lovely photograph by Virginia Gálvez)

NB--Power didn't go out during a storm; oh no. It went out at 12.03am when all was as quiet as a mouse. I intend to mount a public campaign to force Potomac Electric Power Company to reduce bills, issue reimbursement vouchers for perishables, especially for those of us on fixed incomes. Also to reimburse diabetics, & others who must use refrigerated medicines. I shall think of my opening gambit tomorrow afternoon. I shall spend all of August on it, if need be.

Fifteen+ years of unreliable service is enough. Hurricanes, etc. yes. I understand; but if the basic integrity of the structure is not maintained, this is what we get. Unacceptable. This is war. Power companies should not make profits; they cannot be responsible to shareholders & public safety simultaneously. I have finally convinced a few former colleagues of this FACT. The fact that I live in liberal Maryland might help. Watch out PEPCO--you finally snapped my last nerve. Just now.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Prowling for Flowers

It grew late. Through the open door, stealthily, came the scent of madonna lilies, almost as if it were prowling abroad.
--D.H. Lawrence

Well, close enough, though these aren't madonnas. They are Casablanca lilies on sale at White Flower Farm. I recently purchased a White Flower Farm 100-daffodil naturalizing kit for a friend & her husband's first anniversary. The bulbs will be shipped when planting time arrives. Meanwhile, today's White Flower Farm email highlighted these scented lilies & I can't resist showing them. I hope to resist buying any.

As a child, I was inordinately proud that my name means 'lily' in every language in which it appears. I was flower-mad from birth. My mother received a phone call from a neighbor at early dusk in late summer. Do you know where she is? She's naked in Mrs. N's rose garden. Uh oh. They split up & cornered me (I was a fast runner, even for 4 years old). I remember a thorn in my little paw--I blamed them (I must have been drunk on scent, to be so cheeky). As they rudely interrupted my communion with flowers, I'd clamped my fist around the (very few!) roses I'd pinched. My neighbor apologized for frightening me. My mother was annoyed, as one did not apologize to a child for anything. In her world, anyway. She said I was a bee in a former life. Or a dolphin. I wish she'd make up her mind.

If you have any room in your garden - you're lucky & here's the link to White Flower Farm. I've never had a thing go wrong with anything I've purchased from them. (I used to have a garden.) Many people shriek & say, the prices. Yes, well, you get what you pay for in these matters. (E.g., perfume)

[flower images via White Flower Farm]

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Leave the Light On, Please

Well, I'm going to keep the light on if I have to plug myself in. Haven't worked out just how yet.

The power went out (again!) on Sunday early afternoon & returned today at 4am EDT. If not for 18-20 unexplained outages in 40 hours the previous week, I might have been sanguine about the wretched business. I checked--when I was a kid, the power rarely went out. In fact, I don't remember it ever going out. I have an excellent memory. Even with wind gales off Lake Erie (or later in Pittsburgh, with similar hideous weather--hot or cold). That's because the infrastructure was maintained. [photograph by great Tim Walker]

Off to collapse. Until the next outage.

PS: Here's the great Chris Smither singing his "Leave the Light On."

Friday, July 23, 2010

Week's End - Paul, Scene Stealer

Here's a link to Top 10 Paul Newman Movies on Scene-Stealers. How cool was Paul? Paul Newman & legendary newsman Daniel Schorr, who passed away this morning, were both proud to be on Nixon's enemies list. That's the spirit!

(Beautiful J
oanne Woodward deserves a post to herself. 'Cause of the scene hog, above. He couldn't help it. He was born that way.)

Tuesday, 27 July update: I've been without power since Sunday, it returned about an hour ago (4am EDT). While I recover & assess the damage to finances & everything else, not to mention my one last delicate nerve, thanks to everyone who stopped by with comments & to queries in my email about 'are you OK?' Til later today, xo

[photograph via, where else? Paul Newman tumblr]

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Beautiful photo shoot of Christina Hendricks (aka Joan Holloway Harris), here, via LA Times Magazine blog. The amusing-to-me Mad Men Blog: Basket of Kisses. Normally, I do not care about being nearly a year behind in programs, but I'll watch this season via iTunes. Leaving out details about how familiar this is from childhood. It was a mess but we had some great clothes, some great parties (well, my mother did--we watched from the top of staircase, except for ritual pass-through-in-adorable-pajamas-time. Not complaining.).

Update--the Madness just doesn't end. Here's The Definitive Mad Men Summer Reading List from Flavorwire (first seen on the Poetry Foundation's blog, Harriet). I've been waiting for this, actually. As in, "why doesn't someone make a list about what these people were reading?"

Saturday update--iTunes download/Season pass ready. For people new to watching online (I am), here's the link to AMC Mad Men site. To get ready for Season 4, you can watch Season 3 finale, Shut the Door.Have a Seat for free. Here are all the ways to watch...

Friday update /end of an era - RIP Daniel Schorr.

Green Relief

Bad Hair Day for the Pulsatilla; Shy Ferns; Hosta: Greens by generous Olga.

The first shot reminds me of the little Danish trolls many of us had as children. Yes, I made clothes for them & there were dances, weddings (yikes), & so forth. I didn't like any shots in a 5-minute search for the little guys (& girls), but here's a site that includes the original Danish manufacturer of the
real trolls, DAM at Trollhouse DK (in English & Danish). I wish I had a set of trolls right now.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Good Evening, Bedazzler

Stanley Moon: Apart from the way He moves, what's God really like? I mean, what colour is He?

George Spiggott (Devil): He's all colours of the rainbow, many-hued.
Stanley Moon: But He is English, isn't He?
George Spiggott (Devil): Oh yes. Very upper class.

Peter Cook as the Devil (of course), Dudley Moore as poor little Stanley. There are so many funny scenes, but the quote above because I was a religion major undergraduate, descended from, um, people who are (still) annoyed with the English upper class, etc. Here he is, up to "routine mischief"(it's his job, remember) & his explanation re: Fall from Grace.

Here's a link to the hilarious b&w sequence with Cook as Drimble Wedge, top pop star, filling girls with squeals of delight as he drones on with cold, mean, & dismissive statements. To the utter bewilderment of Dudley Moore's Stanley-as-singer.

Good evening.

[Peter Cook wearing very cool specs via 24media tumblr]

Update-If the blog looks weirder than usual, I'm trying to reinsert Googley Analytics properly. I know that this blog isn't up there with the big dudes, but it is surprisingly well visited. Since changing the template, I have been informed by a computer analysis that no one has visited. Not even the people who have commented. Ahem.

Darling, It's Not Me, It's You (by The Paris Review)

I usually refrain from spreading gossip unless it's of my own concoction. Still, this is what I call news. I have warned writers, especially poets, to be careful with their CV/bio. Do not, I repeat, do not, (are you listening?) tell the entire world that you have a poem, a story, an interview, etc. "forthcoming." Until it happens/just before it happens. You will seem tasteful, elegant, & suitably modest. Oh, what a delightful surprise, there is your work, your quote, an interview with your charming self in [insert title of periodical]. But really, I'm trying to save you from possible public humiliation. Now, if others need to be contacted, of course, you tell them that a reporter will be calling, etc. Use your commonsense, if you have it. If not, borrow some.

Articles & columns are spiked routinely. But "unacceptances" such as being reported? No. What's worse, writers are turning on writers, poets on poets, editors on editors (well, OK this is not news), telling others to get over it. So rafts of accepted poems have been unaccepted at a major literary journal, so what? Oh, it happens all the time, etc. No it does not. Rinse, repeat, with adverb. No, actually, it does not.

Here are pertinent links. Behind the Scenes, We Who are About To Die, The Great Paris Review Poetry Purge, Part I, here. Part 2, here. The Poetry Foundation Harriet blog, here. Follow the threads. I don't particularly like to wallow in this ugliness, but people need to look out for themselves. I don't blame anyone for telling about acceptances (it is exciting, yes). It can help one's lot. Just don't FB/Twitter/Blog/YouTube to the moon & back, if it's not out/imminent. (Books are a different matter.) But now...hmmm. Back to fussing with templates, annoying phone calls, the cat's hurt feelings, & so on.

For those who don't give a damn (who could blame you?), there are worthy links on this blog & on Giulia Geranium about other matters. It's all a mash-up, anyway.

[lovely photograph by Dottie via her Dream Camera tumblr. Now I have to bookmark her Let's Go Ride a Bike blog & flickr account. She turns out to be very interesting, damn her.]

Monday, July 19, 2010

Poppies in July

(Photograph by Olga via flickr)

Update - and now I can't OK comments. It just won't work, so thanks. I'm sorry. Let's see how long Blogger takes to fix it. If ever.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday Shoe Styles

The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that fits all cases.--Carl Jung

Please bear with me; I'm trying out this new-fangled blogger template. Of course, I began doing so too late & while too tired. I'll just chalk it up to 'bricolage' - playing around, moving things here & there. Maybe I'll go back to the old one. Don't know. 'Night.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Week's End - What a Dream I Had

...that tulle-clad, I rushed across the street & fixed the power grid myself. This is also to acknowledge a lovely man-child (at the time) who made this his song for me (& sang it) when he walked me around the chilly forests of Alsace, often late at night. Also rambles on the grounds of a château, close to the Rhine. Yes, we even heard the Cathedral bells, though not the Lorelei. It's the anniversary of a very difficult day & so I thank him. (Yes, too sentimental. Oh well.) Update: better quality video, here.

Continuing unexplained power outages. No one is telling us/answering our questions.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ghost of Electricity

That's all that remains in this apartment, as I walked in arms full of flowers & perishables from the farmer's market. Storms you ask? Why, no, that would be understandable. One outlet & I'm supposed to be happy for it? I actually know how this stuff works (or doesn't). Yeah, that stuns me too.

I'm deducting the cost of all perishables from the damn PEPCO bill. Apologies to nice people who arrive here for the first time. I am rather excitable, yes, but this is the limit. I have lived/travelled in places where this is to be expected. Archaeological digs, countries at war, etc. But. The whole country (& connected Canada) will go this way if people continue to snooze at the mention of the power grid. Really. I've jokingly told friends I will in the future consider only dating men who have generators (or the ability to rig something up that won't kill me). Not survivalist types. Egad. We'd fight to the death in 10 minutes, politically speaking. I'd win, too.

I'm now looking at typewriters online. I suppose the old pedal sewing machine is next.There goes the rest of the power.

Friday update, 1.15pm: off again; on a bit; bound to go off again completely soon (the electricity)

[second photograph by Eugenio Recuenco]

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Circus in Three Rings

Circus-y things. Pignouf's lovely Vintage Poster site (in French but you'll get it, really you will). Also Vintage Circus tumblr, is here. An intriguing post at The Clever Pup (August 2009) about Carnivàle Lune Bleue. Highly recommended reading. Note new film starring Jane Birkin & Sergio Castellito, Around a Small Moutain...opening soon near you.

Now, to creep across town to hair rescue center...wearing frizzy Heidi braids. As always, I'll run into someone I know on the way. On the way back? Are you kidding? Nope. Here's hoping I can commune with the Itinerant Poetry Librarian, here; or somehow celebrate Bastille Day with a sister who is celebrating (or not?) her natal day. Or...I have no idea. It is a circus here now.

Update - Thursday afternoon. The circus continues & I actually have things to report, photographs to post. Alas. So if you see photographs/posts later & think, no way. I was over here & these weren't here then. You will be correct, not mad. (Well...) Anyway, I'm going to post-date some things...playing with & for time. It makes one feel free & powerful (though it be a false notion).

[circus images in Freiburg by Thomas Totz; Solveig Dommartin in Wings of Desire, via tumblr]

Monday, July 12, 2010

Drunk With Pines

Happy birthday to sexy devil Pablo Neruda. He didn't look like one of the Spanish World Cup team; he's at a disadvantage, being dead & all. Still...

Drunk with Pines is from Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair*, beloved by sensitive young men everywhere as a go-to seduction aid. Well, it's true, I'm not criticizing. Worked on me. (*Translated by W.S. Merwin, newly-appointed Poet Laureate in the U.S. )

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Spanish Sunday

May this photograph of Maria Albaicin (for sale, here) becalm a friend who is shouting, what why is there nothing on Giulia's site yet? Must be kidding, but still. Here is José Andrés Made In Spain website. He's tweeting his great big heart out from South Africa. Also, one of my favorite sites, Flamenco World.

Ow. I think I'm being sworn at now. I really must learn Spanish & Catalan. Olé!

Update, 9:02pm EDT-Have just been informed that I did not say, "Congratulations to Spain." That's what this post is, fer Pete's sake. I know some very bossy people. It's karma.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Week's End - Blast from the Cold Past

A desperate-looking man at a bus stop, "They're after me." I sighed inwardly, oh no. Poor man. Then travel memories behind the Iron Curtain (still firmly drawn) flooded in. Observing weird comings & goings in Vienna, among other places. Going through Checkpoint Charlie. And ongoing amongst us innocents in the DC neighborhood (& more so in N. VA)? Crazy traitor Robert Hanssen not 5 minutes away, oh-so-busy honing his spy-craft (& perversions). (Have you seen Breach? Or read Eric O'Neill's book?)

Read/re-watch Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Smiley's People, but especially Richard Burton in The Spy Who Came in From the Cold. Now, that, as a professor (& friend) said to me when I was rather young, that is the whole bloody dirty nasty business right there. Hey, he knew nutty Ezra Pound. Who was I to question him on these tangled matters?

So that man, in the beautiful Burberry trench* right near the Phillips Collection? You never know. They could be after him. I gave him a quarter for the phone.

Here's John le
Carré's website.

Off to scary dental doings. (Shades of last summer.)

*I know. A cliche. Life is like that sometimes. It was a Burberry. Speaking of clothes, the above shot is via myvintagevogue.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Itinerant Poetry Librarian

From Politics & Prose a.m. email. Intriguing.

Modern Times Coffeehouse is delighted to welcome the Itinerant Poetry Library and Librarian on WEDNESDAY JULY 14th 2010, where from 7-10pm, she’ll be installed in our coffeehouse with her library OPEN. Come and visit her, discover her ever-expanding poetry collection – and add to it yourself if you've an appropriate title to donate – or even join the growing community worldwide who are members of TIPL.

The Itinerant Poetry Library is a free travelling poetry library, which for the past 4 years has circumnavigated the globe providing a free public poetry library service to the good citizens of 12 countries, 29 cities, in 150+ different locations, and with over 1000+ members undergoing joining procedures during the 1000+ hours of public library service it has provided. Come Join Before She Travels On!

For further information see The Itinerant Poetry Library website:

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Jersualem Windows - Marc Chagall

I was fortunate to see the twelve windows from the perspective of a visitor & then, not so fortunate, as a patient. I've seen all of his stained glass work (I think). Here's a link to the hospital's site & to a rare book site. Here's a link to a post last year on a blog, Echostains & it has very nice images, as well.

Perched precariously on a dining room chair, stretching a blue open-weave summer blanket over the very large nekkid bedroom window, I listened to the Writer's Almanac very early today. Ah, it's Chagall's birthday. The light streams through the loose weave, casting a welcome chill & I thought, that's rather Chagall-ish. (Well, one must reach at times, you know.)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Faiblesses (Part I)

She had all of philosophy, save its moroseness, and all of nature, save its defects and general 'faiblesse'; or if some portion of 'faiblesse' attached to her, it only served to render her more forbearing to the errors of others. Lord Byron

It is too hot for serious industry & so I shall cheer on the Uruguayan World Cup team without worrying about a to-do list that would have 'heatstroke' as the finale. Attention to my switch of affections, Mary-Laure at AUREA, before re-alerting all of South America (via Twitter) of my idiocy & possibly sending a Uruguayan mob my way.

(However. If they look like the team, send them here immediately. I am not the only person to have noticed. "Hey, the Uruguayan World Cup there an additional requirement of hotness, as well as athletic prowess, to make that team?!", said a friend who doesn't give a fig for the game. Hey, I do not know. Hey, I'd like to find out. Listening to a radio program in which a gentlemen precedes nearly every sentence with 'hey.' Why not a random 'olé!' for fun? He'd never be invited again but... Yes, I am easily amused & that can be a good thing when you take the Metro as much as I do.)

These (random) images are more manageable faiblesses (both blogs, of course, indicate my faiblesse-ness over & again.). Provenance is attached to the photograph if available; if you hover over it or click to enlarge, there it is, along with faiblesse title. I will put in more links in direct proportion to the error reports received for this post. (All the links are fine as far as McAfee is concerned; it's my Feedburner account that is a mess. Google Overlords are adamant that we advertise for them. (If that's too geeky for you, do not worry. I barely understand it.)

Hey! Olé!