Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Their influences are Travis, U2, Keane, Crowded House.
You can listen to the track "Listen to Your Breaking Heart":
They've just come out with this t-shirt, which was a hot commodity at Harper's tonight. I was lucky to get one before the co-eds swarmed the stage.
I'll let you know when the album is out!
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Listening to presidential hopefuls and starting to write short fiction this week have me thinking about perspective, and perception. Oh, and two posts ago hearing your differing opinions about Zaha Hadid's modern aluminum and glass architectural concept in a row of traditional brick university buildings.
Barack Obama is our savior. Barack Obama is no different from any other politician. He could transform the image of America. He will not change anything.
Eckhart Tolle said that if you were born into precisely the same circumstances as another person, you would make the same choices they have made. Well, you could never prove that one, could you?
What creates our perspective? How much of it is conscious choice? How much is default reaction based on how we were raised? How much is based on educating ourselves, being exposed to someone else's perspective?
If I could zoom in on one little piece of the canvas in this evolving life, I'd like to work on taking myself less seriously while being more open to someone else's perspective.
How can I take myself too seriously when yesterday I:
- made coffee - water in, grounds in - without putting the pot in its spot: yeah, coffee overflowing onto the floor
- getting ready to color my own hair last night, instead of mixing the activating cream with the TINT, I mixed it with the CONDITIONER, in other words, a waste of seven bucks and an hour's time
It was a full moon yesterday. Does that change things?
Saturday, January 19, 2008
We were excited to receive a bill for renting the propane tank, because that means we used less than 700 gallons for one year (you have to pay rental for the tank only if you burn less than 700 gallons annually).
The building on the right here is the corncrib, where we store firewood, not corn.
The fire finally blazed. We're hibernating in our warm house this weekend.
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Zaha Hadid (photo from this site)
If you scroll down to the bottom three photos in this post, you'll see the exterior and interior of the building where I work, Morrill Hall. It's one of the oldest buildings on our campus, built around the turn of the 19th century. Students and professors either love it or hate it. It's old, decrepit, plain, and well, I love it. It will be torn down one of these days, because they say it's too decrepit to bear repair.
In about two years, just down the block from Morrill Hall along Grand River Ave., in a row of similarly traditional university halls, a world-class 26,000 square foot art museum shown in these renderings will be completed.
Zaha Hadid, world-renowned Iraqi-British architect and winner of the Pritzker Architectural Prize, created the winning design for the museum that will house modern and contemporary art. Hadid is the only woman architect to win the Pritzker, comparable to the Nobel prize in architectural circles. Her work is known for pushing the boundaries of architectural and urban design.
Thanks to Loring who brought this NYTimes Art & Design piece about this to my attention.
Eli and Edythe Broad donated most of the money ($24 million). $34 million was raised before the winning design was even chosen.
Won't it be interesting to see this sleek, floating aluminum and glass structure in a row with buildings like mine?
I am VERY EXCITED to witness this arrival. It will change the face of our old North Campus, which I love as is. But I think when I walk by the new Broad museum, I will be startled by aesthetic pleasure every time.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
Forgive me, this is a long post. It’s mostly for me, a sort of documentation of some childhood memories, so if you skip around, I won’t feel bad.
Do you see how our life even visually was dominated by church?
This porch was the center of many family memories. I remember the thrill of watching and listening to many thunderstorms sitting on this porch.
I had spent age 6-10 playing with the boy who lived in this house, Jimmy, who was two years older than me. We used to peer through the French doors into the beautiful living room that had flowered carpet where we couldn’t play. We watched TV in his den, mostly I remember Mighty Mouse, The Lone Ranger and The Three Stooges. When my father bought the house, it was the best day of my life. Did I say it was my 12th birthday? I painted a paint-by-number birthday gift on the floor of my father’s study before any furniture was moved in. Later, in high school, I lived on the 3rd floor with my Thai sister DeeDee. Oh, and besides the eight of us kids, we had a couple dozen foreign students live with us over the years.
These next photos are the landmarks of my little circuit growing up. All these landmarks were within 5 blocks of my house.
1. Fortino’s Party Store (for candy); oh, and see the SUN Theater? We Baptists couldn’t go to movies either. I never stepped foot ONCE in this theater, within one and a half blocks of my house.
2. The dime store (for candy and Barbie doll clothes, the latter looking mostly); it’s now a flower shop.
3. The ice cream store across the bridge (Lickety Split now, used to be Tastee Freez). (There’s a story about this picture, hold on.)
4. The Public Library; I adored sitting here with books, and also checking them out.
5. The US Post Office; my parents were always asking me to mail letters and bills. I never minded the errands that took me to the appealing, cool lobby of the Post Office where the old letter boxes still line the wall, and the 1940 painting by James Calder graces one end.
My mom sent me to the Post Office to mail two letters she’d spent hours writing. You know, back before computers. She had beautiful, consistent handwriting, it could have been its own font. Anyway, she sent me on this errand to mail her important letters, and I decided to take a detour to the ice cream store first. Now I don’t remember if it was before or after I had my ice cream cone, but I set those important letters down on the bridge railing there (it used to be cement) for some unremembered reason. Please imagine a lovely little breath of wind kissing those letters and tipping them, in slow motion, over the edge, and I, horrified, watching them float down the wind current into the Grand River below, then drift away.
Yes, I told her. And I didn’t die.
Two more stops. Are you still with me?
This is my elementary school. I was a good student and a good girl, a little too good if you ask me. (Like, why did I tell my mother about the letters?) But my kindergarten teacher Mrs. Smith did slap my mouth once for mouthing off. I guess I learned after that. Oh, I saw her yesterday in the café where I ate lunch, my camera around my neck. I decided not to say “hi” again, since I’ve talked with her several times as an adult seeing her around town. I don’t want to keep making her feel bad that she’s old enough to have a student talking to her that she had 46 years ago (I don't know if she'd remember the slap). She looks pretty good, I’ll tell you. She must be at least 70 but she looks 60.
Oh, and that sweet third brother standing on the steps, Bennett? He died suddenly of arterosclerosis in 1996, the year between their deaths, the day we were all cleaning out our mom's house (she was living in an Alzheimer's home). His high school graduating class of 1968 planted this ornamental tree in his memory by the Opera House over by the river. We planted his ashes under some pine trees at our family cottage.
A native of my home town is featured in the new hit movie “Juno” (review at Rotten Tomatoes here ). Paul Baribeau’s name is mentioned, he inspired a verse in Kimya Dawson’s song “Tire Swing” and he even sings a line in the song, which plays after the movie’s beginning credits.
Say “good-bye” to Grand Ledge, looking south across the bridge.
Friday, January 11, 2008
This wild grapevine ensnared a pine twig last year: