Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day and the Tower of Babel

I don't know how it happened, but I had a whole lot of Memorial Day parties to attend this year. Very fun. Very good people.

An odd coincidence of the Pentecost falling on the same weekend. (Ha ha, Pentecost falling ... only Catholics will get that). All the readings at Mass were done in different languages in honor of Speaking in Tongues and the goal of the reunification of Babel. This is one of my favorite church holidays as I feel it speaks to me as a linguaphile. Part of my job is language and links of language and loving the evolution of language. Nearly every person I spent this weekend with is the same way, so props to all the Babel Uniters out there.

Here's some Memorial Day highlights:
I'm not sure what Kim is trying to unite here, but I dig her accusatory language.

Beth, our uncontested keeper of language and secrets.

Do not ask Ander if that Erasure song is Duran Duran. He will speak in bird language.

Nik, Zoe, and Erik language.

Sort of Natalie's mantra in body language form.

I bop, she bop language.

Must get out of the way for Jo Jo language.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Zoophile Update

In an effort to earn my erstwhile townie status (granted, that was in another town), I will keep my few readers abreast of upcoming literary and artistic events in Kalamazoo.

The RHINO Reading
In celebration of the release of RHINO 2007, nine poets whose work has appeared in the liteary journal RHINO will read their poems on Thursday, May 31, 2007 at the Portage District Library, 300 Library Lane, in the Austin Lake and Sugarloaf Lake rooms. The reading will begin at 7:00 p.m. (refreshments at 6:30), and the public is invited to attend. Readers include the awesomeness of Emma Ramey, who I'm told has all her eyes, and the splendid wit and people's poetness of Jason Olsen. WMU's own Liz Knapp will also read along with several other poets. Come hear it. Pretend you do not own a television and the reading of poetry is all you have to connect with the larger world.

Kalamazoo Art Hop
Beginning at 5pm on Friday, June 1st, Kalamazoo galleries open their doors and illuminate the mind of Kalamazoo creativity. Come join in being a part of the art world just beyond your welcome mat.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Because Northern Michigan is Excruciatingly Beautiful

This is a picture of the Charlevoix Bridge by some kid I do not know. Per Google Images, his name is Ryan and he is age 10. The reason I put this picture up is because pictures of the real Charlevoix in Northern Michigan are too beautiful and they make me hurt a little. I'm at a difficult point in my life. Having just finished school, I am like this little boat under the bridge, waiting to cross and enter into deeper, scarier, unproven waters. (My education prepared me for that simile). I don't know what's next. But I do know that the likelihood of ever making enough money to live in a beautiful area like Charlevoix is minimal at best.

Here's the other reason I would like to live in Charlevoix. It is adjacent to Horton Bay where Hemingway spent many of his summers. His sister, in fact, still lives there on Walloon Lake, which you might know about if you saw that very bad movie with Sandra Bullock and Chris O'Donnell.
Every year on the Fourth of July, Horton Bay has a very small parade. It is generally themed, very short, and put on by the locals. Imagine a parade in Sicily, Alaska run by such colorful characters as Holling Vincoeur and Maurice Minnifield. It's like that. Here's a picture when the theme was to elect a dog named Hobie:

Now come on. Wouldn't you like to live in a place like that? Yeah. Me, too.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

The Nonfiction List!

You should know that I love lists. It's a minor obsession with me. Remember when VH1 had that show called The List? Of course you don't. And that's why it's not on anymore and that's why I cry a lot. In a previous post, I misstated myself and said the Modern Library did not have a nonfiction list, which was so wrong, so wrong. They do in fact have one, but it is sucky. View it for yourself here: http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100bestnonfiction.html

Okay, yes. Some of it is good, such as Notes of a Native Son (Baldwin), The Double Helix (Watson), Aspects of a Novel (Forster), Speak, Memory (Nabokov), and one of my favorites: Out of Africa (Dinesen). However, much of the list is littered with historical biographies, and/or religious and sociopolitical texts. What I want is a LITERARY NONFICTION list. Let's start one. Come on. You and me. Here's ten to grow on:

Refuge (Williams)
Salvation on Sand Mountain (Covington)
Going to Ground (Blackmarr)
Century of the Wind (Galeano)
The Undertaking (Lynch)
About This Life (Lopez)
Works on Paper (Weinberger)
Lost in Place (Salzman)
Under the Banner of Heaven (Krakauer)
Leap (Williams)

There it is. Two for Terry Tempest Williams. No surprise there. She sort of rocks it, Utah/Morman style. What else is good. Let's give the Modern Library a run for its government-sponsored money.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My Bookshelf of Shame vs. Television

Everyone has one. I know you do. Here's a brief, off-the-cuff list of books I should have read by now. (That's a picture of my REAL bookshelf with books I have actually read. Except for Swann's Way. I have not read all of that. See list.):

The Dubliners (James Joyce), Swann's Way (Marcel Proust), An American Tragedy (Theoodre Dreiser), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Carson McCullers), anything by Jane Austen, Absalom, Absalom (William Faulkner), Main Street (Sinclair Lewis)

Also, here is a link to the 100 best American novels, ranked by I don't know who: http://www.randomhouse.com/modernlibrary/100bestnovels.html. I am sad/mildly annoyed there is no such list for nonfiction. Maybe that is my next blog. Probably, yes it is.

Obviously there are more books I would like to read, but the problem is twofold: One, great books continue to be written and I fall further behind, and Two, television is so damn compelling, particularly The Riches, which if you're not watching, you're just crazy. This is actually very much like a Faulknerian family in its sense of insistent loyalty beset by internal meltdown. Watch it. Quentin ain't got nothing on Dahlia for angst.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Viva Cleveland!

Cleveland is a very good town if you are like me and you judge a place based on the coolness of stores located in the vicinity. It is Michael's hometown and I think he's rather lucky in that regard. I always thought Grand Rapids was a cool hometown, but I must concede that Cleveland is a tad cooler.

'Just yesterday I went to H&M, Anthropologie, Trader Joe's, and Wild Oats. It makes me sad for Grand Rapids, which I think deserves so very much more. It makes me weep openly for Kalamazoo which has just about nothing going for it if your aesthetic is the aforementioned coolness of stores. The coolest thing going for Kalamazoo is its closeness to Grand Rapids.

Plus, Michael and I went to a Lake County Captains game on Thursday, which is the minor league baseball around these parts and which I thought was awesome fun. Aye, Aye Captains!

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Dream Map

I am a fan of dreams. I'll sit through friends' retelling of them in the hopes of confronting that moment of spine tingling. It's one of the last fronts of mystery.

Last night I dreamt I married quickly, within weeks of knowing someone it seemed, and it was intoxicating. Then I had to rush away from him, from the suffocation and ill decision-making of it, apparently on skis, like these ones. ------>

He chased me, my new husband. I skied and skied and skied. I think I was in Canada when finally, he tackled me in the snow. I leapt in his arms and wept. I was tired of skiing. He carried me with my legs cocooned around his waist. It was dark and there were haloes around the streetlights and he skied us away from there with a big smile on his face

This site:
http://www.sleeps.com/dictionary/sss.html, has nothing on skis. I think they are an odd choice for a dream symbol. I cannot figure this thing.