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Quote of the day: THINK

November 16, 2017

THINK

Think in ways you’ve never thought before.
If the phone rings, think of it as carrying a message
Larger than anything you’ve ever heard,
Vaster than a hundred lines of Yeats.

Think that someone may bring a bear to your door,
Maybe wounded and deranged; or think that a moose
Has risen out of the lake, and he’s carrying on his antlers
A child of your own whom you’ve never seen.

When someone knocks on the door, think that he’s about
To give you something large: tell you you’re forgiven,
Or that it’s not necessary to work all the time, or that it’s
Been decided that if you lie down no one will die.

–Robert Bly, “Things to Think”

In this week’s New Yorker

March 12, 2017

The March 13 issue is especially strong in both the feature well and the back of the book. I was edified by:

  • Jake Halpern’s report on a safe house in Buffalo designed to help refugees making their way to Canada from the U.S.;
  • “The Polymath,” the ever-brilliant Alec Wilkinson’s profile of Jack White, whose music (the White Stripes, etc.) has never interested me but who turns out to be a fascinating, adventurous, productive guy;
  • “Donald Trump’s Worst Deal,” Adam Davidson’s excellent follow-the-money expose of the current president’s unlawful business dealing with a legendarily corrupt Azerbaijani family — there are clearly innumerable stories like this to be told, not likely to result in impeachment given the Republican strangehold on Congress, but it’s an in-depth account of the thriving world of international corruption;
  • Ariel Levy’s characteristically exquisite and intimate profile of Catherine Opie, renowned photographer of communities on the edge (the New Yorker website and tablet app include a portfolio of 15 amazing Opie portraits and landscapes, including “Self-Portrait/Nursing,” below);

 

Quote of the day: LIFE

March 24, 2016

LIFE

Life is not to be taken seriously. Most people are dumb as fuck. If you look at their voting habits and their eating habits, you realize people are stupid. So we could talk about stupid people or we could just stay with smart people who know how to have fun and not even focus on what dumb people do. It’s not worth it. I tell you this as someone who’s a smart motherfucker: Don’t waste your time fooling with dumb people or trying to figure them out or trying to educate them. It doesn’t work. It’s a lose-lose situation.

–RuPaul Charles

rupaul.w750.h560.2x

Photo diary: Magic House by the Lake, pt. 2 (wildlife)

March 11, 2016

2-14 morning at the magic house

Andy stayed overnight the first night. After that, it was just me, the kitties, the array of woodpeckers drawn to the bird feeder, the migrating ducks and geese and swans on the lake, the dazzling amaryllis blossoms, and the fairy at the bottom of the garden.

2-17 feeding time

2-26 stripey woodpecker

2-26 ducks

2-21 red and white amaryll

2-22 tree fairy

There was this fascinating bit of kinetic artwork:

And on the final morning of my retreat, a little bit of drama. Apparently, a feline cell of ISIS kidnaped — or should I say catnaped? — and beheaded this unsuspecting civilian, clearly trying to teach someone a lesson.

2-27 crime scene

This is all that remained in front of the piano. Who knows where the body went — presumably eaten.

2-27 mouse closeup

Prime suspect: Pharoah the Master Mouser.

2-27 pharoah on the run

Runner-up: Chase. Is that a guilty-pretending-to-be-innocent look in his eyes?

2-21 chase mug shot

Apparently there’s a video circulating on MeowTube but I haven’t found it yet…

2-27 don chase

 

Culture Vulture: Jane Siberry and Pablo Picasso, together again

February 8, 2016

ulysses purse

Great double feature Saturday night. Andy and I saw Jane Siberry at Joe’s Pub — his first time seeing the deeply idiosyncratic Canadian singer-songwriter, my umpteenth since 1986 when I reviewed her show at the Bottom Line for the Village Voice. Not unusually, it was less a concert than a performance art piece with almost continuous spoken-word commentary that periodically blossomed into songs (part singing, part speaking), several of them from her latest album, Ulysses’ Purse. She surprised the gathered faithful by mentioning that this would be her last recording. Ever? Ever? Hard to believe. But now that she’s making her own records, paying all the costs for recording and marketing, I can imagine that the tediousness of all those details could wear a person out. The new album is lovely, her best in years, with gorgeous string arrangements (and a delicious cameo appearance by k.d. lang).

Afterwards, we headed to the Museum of Modern Art, which stayed open until midnight to accommodate last-minute visitors to the extra-good show of Picasso Sculptures, which closed on Sunday. I’d seen the show twice and really wanted Andy to see it. He was glad I nudged him about it. We enjoyed the festive energy of MOMA under these circumstances, in addition to the pleasures of the artwork. This time I paid special attention to Picasso’s endlessly inventive way of depicting not only eyes but also genitals.

2-6 picasso anatomy drawing2-6 picasso woman with child2-6 sheetmetal womanhead2-6 stone head

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