Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Poetry Wednesday

the dory is tame:

we cornered it months ago in the shallows
where the pink jellies are
and the little boat, become desperate
slid gently against those floaters
who burst open on the keel

it put up a great struggle
before it crumbled into theSea.

annnnnnnnnnnnnd something not-mine that I love:

I have found what you are like
by e.e. cummings

i have found what you are like
the rain,
    (Who feathers frightened fields
with the superior dust of sleep. wields
easily the pale club of the wind
and swirled justly souls of flower strike
the air in utterable coolness
deeds of green thrilling light
                          with thinned
newfragile yellows
                  lurch and press
  -in the woods
And the coolness of your smile is
stirringofbirds between my arms;but
i should rather than anything
have(almost when hugeness will shut
quietly )almost,
             your kiss

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Der Panda-Bär ist der beste Bär.

Pandas are the best. They are fluffy, and monochromatic, and they eat bamboo like me. Pandas like popsicles, and you can ride them to work (see Mulan). Pandas are the best. 

Now you know.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Me and Moody

This describes our relationship quite well. I'm the cat. Happy anniversary sillybutt.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Hundred Little Reasons (To Love the Ukulele)

Ukulele band. I'm sold.

But really, the music of Hundred Little Reasons is hot tea and honey and a bee that won't sting you. Aside from the fact that I'm petitioning my sister to buy me a ukulele for my birthday next month so that I can learn to make such ear-candy, I feel kind of invested in this little two-man band (comprised of singer/songwriter Andrew Grimes and producer Jim Crane). They're based in Brighton, which is only about 50 miles from where my mom lives in the UK, so I'm hoping to find a show the next time I visit. 

For now, they only have a couple of tracks out, which is equal parts frustrating and happy-making because a.) I want more, and b.) They aren't well-known yet, which I've decided makes them mine. 

Their spiel is as short and sweet. According to their homepage, The pair "enjoy practicing magic tricks, telling rude jokes and singing silly songs. Fusing a blend of one part Ukulele, one part whimsy and two part harmony, theirs is a simple promise: to celebrate a love of small things and to revel in the joy of multiplicity."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Poetry Wednesday


one white cloud
truly bothered you
you had to look away
you said it was shaped like a terrier
that chased you on the street
when you were five years old
with an ice cream cone.

Annnnnnnnnnnnnnd something(s) not-mine that I love

Three untitled poems by Sappho:

1) If you will come
I shall put out
new pillows for
you to rest on

2) If you are squeamish
Don't prod the
beach rubble

3) You remind me
Of a very gentle
little girl I once
watched picking flowers

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Singing Ringing Tree

This little beauty looks, at first glance, a lot like Dorothy's twister, oddly misplaced in the English countryside. Not so. It's a sculpture by Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu, one of a few works each year given the National Award for Architectural Excellence by the Royal Institute of British Architects. It's part of a series of Panopticons (structures with a comprehensive vantage point, originally conceived of by Jeremy Bentham as a prison in the 18th century), which I think is vital to the feelings you get from interacting with it. Like a defensible fortress, it's high on a hill. Think Rohan, or Minas Tirith. Lord of the Rings in general (geeking out, I know). But this reminds me of a sentry, or a beacon to be lit by one. Its isolation also gives it that tree-in-the-forest feel. If no one is looking at it, does it exist? Do sheep count? 
Anecdote: When my sister and I were little, we lived for a few years in this house that had a HUGE freezer in the basement. My mom used to put food that wouldn't fit in the upstairs one down there, and one fall, she bought our Thanksgiving turkey ahead of time and stuck it in that old freezer. This was in my pre-vegetarian days. Anyway, I can't remember whether the power went off, or whether the freezer finally gave out and broke, but that fat turkey rotted, a fact which was discovered by my 5-year-old sister as she innocently opened the freezer and was blasted by the odors of Hell. Why is this relevant? Because forever more there was something unsavory about that freezer for Jen, even when the offending poultry was long gone. I'm talking about inanimate objects that have an aura (or in the freezer's case, a smell). Something about them that's eerie, that doesn't sit quite right. Remember Kevin's fear of the furnace in Home Alone? Something like that. Sentience, which I talk about a lot when I'm dealing with art, I think because it's that quality that often catches my attention and makes me interested in a piece. Sentience is the reason I wrote my undergrad thesis on Rothko's Chapel and murals. So even though the Singing Ringing Tree is visually imposing, that's not what makes its magic. As its name suggests, it makes music of a sort, howling like the wind, in the wind.  
I'm not sure whether beautiful is the right word, but it definitely captures me.  I love the idea of sheep on the surrounding hills not understanding this howling metal thing. Perhaps they, like Kevin and his furnace, believe it's a monster, and give it a 3-hill-wide-berth. The wind on the bluff picks up at dawn, perhaps as the beast awakens. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Harry Potter: Recap and Review

So the night started off with our theater-- the only 3D showing-- being allowed to go in and take our seats a full two hours before the show started, while outside all of the lowly 2D moviegoers stood in line for who knows how long. I enjoyed this. They did not. With my purse full of Sour Patch Kids and peanut M&M's, I headed into the weirdest crowd of my life. Now, you have to understand that I am a DEVOTED Harry Potter fan, and have never missed a midnight showing or book-release. I've read each of the books at least 4-5 times, and have no shame about it. I can spew off even the very remotest bits of HP trivia with gusto, and take it as a personal offense when someone insults the books. But I have NEVER seen a more bizarre audience, and I thought Moody was going to wee himself.

There was, of course, the usual recycling of polyester graduation gowns for Hogwart's robes, the white button-downs and striped ties, and, to my delight, a full-fledged Hagrid beard, Luna lion hat, and a craftily home-made Sorting Hat. But there was also a Voldemort with a sock (not a stocking, just to clarify--a sock) stretched to the point of breaking over his (her???) entire head. We're talking no eye-holes, no breathing holes. Just sitting there, by his (her???) self. There was a high school aged boy who kept shouting challenges at newcomers, begging for a duel and getting downright pissed when nobody would oblige. There was a girl sitting in our row who would scream "I'M SO EXCITEDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!" at the top of her lungs every five minutes, to the point where I was afraid Moody was going to snap and commit assault. He held it together though. Then the lights went down, and as the theater announcer reminded us to recycle our Potter-shaped 3D glasses, a belligerent shout from down front rang out: "HELLZ NO, I'M WEARING THESE TO WORK!"


The movie was great. I mean, really, really great. The slow-moving pace of the first Deathly Hallows film was completely eclipsed by the action of the second, leaving the viewer feeling like it was a much shorter film than it actually was. The scene following Harry, Ron, and Hermione's escape from Bellatrix's Gringotts vault where Voldemort pads across the ruins of the bank's floor, now littered with dead goblins and wet with a half inch of blood, gave me chills. I loved the trio's return to Hogwarts, and McGonagall's instruction to make the bridge go "BOOM!"  Neville's ascent to hero-status was perfection, as was Alan Rickman's final performance as Severus Snape. Even though I hadn't started tearing up yet by the time he was killed, his death was easily the most horrifying in the film for me, though that wasn't the case when I was reading the books. It was just masterfully filmed--much too quick (in a good, shocking kind of way), and with those deadening thud sounds that left everyone in the theater cringing. Other memorable moments? Well of course there was wild applause when Mrs. Weasley delivered her famous expletive, and giggles for the delightfully awkward Voldemort/Draco hug. Everyone needs a little cuddling during a battle, you know. And at the end of the battle, Voldemort's disintegration to ash and slow upward float was one of the loveliest CG effects I've seen in a long time.

My only disappointments with the film were the complete slashing of the Dumbledore/Aberforth/ Ariana backstory (which I think is crucial), and the conspicuous absence (as I've said from the release of the very first film) of Peeves. After all, who else could deliver a celebratory ditty like the beloved poltergeist?  "We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter's the one, and Voldy's gone moldy, so now let's have fun!" I also missed the big moment of Percy's return to fight alongside the Weasley family, though he did flash on screen briefly.

All in all, I was tremendously pleased. The films have never measured up to the books for me, as for so many others, but this one, I think, comes the closest. 

The night concluded when, as Moody and I loitered in the theater parking lot, waiting for our taxi, a girl of indeterminate age in a grim reaper robe and full-on clown makeup trudged by, sobbing as though the world was ending, her knuckles nearly dragging on the concrete with the weight of her despair. It was epic. We waited to bust out laughing until after she got in the passenger's side seat of a car and her sobs were muffled by walls of the vehicle. 



I die.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Almost time to head out. Moody refuses to have a lightning scar drawn like me, so I'm putting the Dark Mark on his arm. He thinks he's bad-ass. I shouldn't heckle him though, because he did just find this for me:

Famous album covers re-imagined with HP characters. Take a look at all of them here.


Classic. Laugh or you're a Death Eater.


The best of Etsy and Harry Potter merchandise. Holy cannoli, I love Etsy.


Winnie the Pooh is next on my list. I grew up with House on Pooh Corner, so I almost wee-ed myself when I first saw the teaser trailer a few months ago. Don't you see though? Even Pooh loves Harry Potter.


This time tomorrow, Moody and I will be at the midnight showing of Deathly Hallows. So I’ve declared it Harry Potter Day. Do please enjoy. All day long.

Ten Mostly Irrelevant Things Pertaining to My Relationship With Harry Potter:

1. There’s a statue at the Met that looks just like Voldemort. It’s my secret favorite.

2. For the first few years I was reading the books, I thought that Hagrid actually had a slobbery pet boar. Dear old Fang. You’ll have to excuse me, I was like nine.

3. I was visiting my family in England when the seventh and final book came out.  I stopped talking to my mother for two days because she bought Keane tickets for all of us for the day of the book release. I like to think I was not the only kid in that arena reading during the concert.

4. I read the entire first book aloud to my sister to get her into the series. She loves them almost as much as I do now, but there were some dicey times there. Unfortunately, she refuses to re-read any of them. I plug my ears and sing when she confuses the main characters.

 5. One of my good friends in middle school had her 13th birthday as a backyard carnival, and the prizes at one of the booths were goldfish. I won two fishies, which I named after Dobby and Winky. I took them home, and Dobby ate Winky. Trauma. I will never keep fish again.

6. I have a (not so) secret grudge against any and all non-Ian-McKellen Dumbledores. He’s just the wizardy-est wizard there is. Hell, he can play Merlin, the Wizard of Oz, and Jafar while he’s at it.

7. I played the flute in high school (ha, ha), and during my sophomore year we played the Harry Potter theme at our spring concert. Mostly because I was subliminal messaging the shit out of the band teacher.

8. The day I didn’t get my acceptance letter to Hogwarts was a dark, dark day. This winter I actually bought a green pen and wrote one out (word for word according to the book with the official Hogwarts seal, and even including a list of required materials) for a friend who was waiting for grad school acceptances. She got into UPenn, but I think my offer was better.

9. I considered saving up for a Wii solely because I wanted to cast spells on it. Luckily, my sister and her dude beat me to it.

10. My boyfriend’s last name is Moody, so I’m thinking that if I ever get lonesome for more Potter, I can mess with one of his eyes, and have my very own Mad-Eye.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Starry Moody

I hadn't painted on anyone in a while, and it was making me blue. Luckily, I had a very obliging Moody, and a little inspiration from Van Gogh. He's an artist we can agree on, probably because there's a whole Doctor Who episode about him.

Poetry Wednesday

The Underpass

have come to beams,
boosted each other up,
wedged our bodies up and beneath the road
like nests
that love their BlueEggBrownBird babies more
than ever we’ve  loved a thing
kept safe in the warm rounded pit
of our bellies.

I do not see a motherBird.

Annnnnnnd, something not-mine that I love:

I Remember
By Anne Sexton
By the first of August
the invisible beetles began
to snore and the grass was
as tough as hemp and was
no color—no more than
the sand was a color and
we had worn our bare feet
bare since the twentieth
of June and there were times
we forgot to wind up your
alarm clock and some nights
we took our gin warm and neat
from old jelly glasses while
the sun blew out of sight
like a red picture hat and
one day I tied my hair back
with a ribbon and you said
that I looked almost like
a puritan lady and what
I remember best is that
the door to your room was
the door to mine.

This is my 100th post yo. Celebrate.