Monday, August 28, 2006

Rx





A well-performed play can be the just needed Rx for summer doldrums.

Picture from Siskiyou Wilderness 10/2004

"Proust says that love is the perfect training for a writer since it makes us jealous and alert and suspicious and leads us to submit the beloved to a circular analysis that later we can apply to any literary subject."

-Edmund White My Lives



I'm currently reading E. White's memoirs, I'm trying to finish it before I leave the country tonight; I only have one chapter left. Another memoir devoured and digested.

I love reading memoirs, biographies, auto-biographies and diaries because it gives me a window to look into another's life; an opportunity to inhabit their brain as they sift through their life experiences and try to make sense of the disorderly conduct which makes up a life.

In White's memoir, I mostly enjoy the candid and revealing depictions of his love affairs and romances. I cannot go into more detail than that, for fear of attracting lurid attention. I don't think I have the stomach to impart from my personal life the scenes he describes so openly, and so publicly. However, I do find his sordid details entertaining and enlightening, at least. S-x is one of those topics, for which I have a detached amusement with no moral assignments. It is an action others find so essential and compulsory, yet I find charming, but nonconsuming. There are other thoughts I am more likely to dwell upon; in reading about White's s-xual stunts, I realized how little I think or even chose to remember such details in my own life. Instead much of my relationships were centered on conversations, shared interests, and time spent together; s-x happened for sure, but was always a periphery. Not to paint a picture as though I was some ice-queen, I enjoy it certainly, but only in addition to love.
Perhaps, it is the same for White, in all his exploits, he saturates those memories with love.

Some good reviews in case you are thinking of reading this book:

http://www.villagevoice.com/books/0614,beller,72712,10.html
http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/biography/0,,1572447,00.html


Tonight I'm off to Taiwan, I'll be back with plenty of pictures, I suspect, and maybe a book review- a real one.

Friday, August 25, 2006

flotsam





Thoughts like flotsam, floating by.



Today's Oakland picture: Dave's- it used to be a 24hr diner I would go to with my friends very late at night back in the early 90's. Located on Broadway Ave., it is now closed.





Today's super-mini pianist biography- for more info- see link.


Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837) - born in Slovakia

He studied under Mozart, Clementi and Haydn.

Notes about Hummel from Harold Schonberg's Great Pianists,

According to Czerny (another g.p. who studied under Beethoven) "Never before had I heard such novel and dazzling difficulties, such clarity and elegance in performance, or such intimate and tender expression, or even good taste in improvisation."

In person, Hummel was anything but elegant. He was course, ungainly, slovenly and his face was pitted by smallpox. Czerny described him as "..a striking young man with an unpleasant common-looking face that constantly twitched", and wore "… utterly tasteless clothing". In late life Hummel grew monstrously stout and when he played he puffed, blew and perspired. But he was a refined musician and, aside from Beethoven, the greatest improviser of his age.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

hypogeusia

Several years of wearing purple with red could be attributed to her hypogeusia.


Nothing but links today.

About Pythagoras
http://www.astrophysicsspectator.com/commentary/commentary20041110.html

giant oysters in sf bay
http://www.sfei.org/inthenews/SF%20Chron%208-18-06%20invasive%20oyster.pdf

Walter Benjamin and hash
http://harvardpress.typepad.com/hup_publicity/2006/06/another_side_of.html

http://www.edrants.com/?p=4078

more on the flâneur and the arcades-
http://www.othervoices.org/gpeaker/Passagenwerk.html#Arcade

Library of Unwritten Books
http://www.unwritten.org.uk/pages/about.html

and on Polar Bears' shrinking genitalia- how they figure this out, I cannot even imagine! http://www.livescience.com/animalworld/060823_polar_bears.html

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Don Juanism

It is no fun to love a man who is infected with Don Juanism. **


Little Piano history facts: (from Great Pianists, Harold Schonberg)

In 1709, Bartolommeo Cristofori invented the piano in Padua, Italy, originally called: gravicèmbalo col piano e forte.

J.S. Bach first played one in Dresden, 1736.

The first muscician to compose pieces for piano started in 1732, his name: Lodovico Giustini; Mozart and Clementi were the first well-known composers who wrote music for the piano.

Thomas Jefferson was likely the first to own a piano in America, he had one in 1771.



If you want to know how astromoners define planets: read this.



Weekend scene note:

It is Saturday around noon. I drink a cup of coffee in the downtown Berkeley Peet's. To my right, two 30-ish women carry a conversation. Behind me sit an older couple (65+) chatting about various incidentals. Mostly the woman comments on things she saw on the television, interspersed with actions she notices across the street, through the window. Once in a while, she will ask the man what instrument is playing in the background classical music. Most likely to test his hearing. For one piece, he answers, "piano", then adds a second later, "Steinway".


**I've decided to title my entries with words from the random-word generator, then try to write a sentence including the word. Whatever pops into my head. A bit of word-omancy!

Monday, August 21, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006

execrable

Little notes:

Sentence constructed from random word-a-day:

I dreamt execrable scenes; bolting heavy frames onto sheetrock walls.

I ate several madeleines for breakfast the last few days. I want to find the perfect madeleine that one can find in the bay area- so far I've tried: Nutty Cookie, Whole Foods and Donsuemor.
So far my favourite is Donsuemor, the right chewy consistency with a bit of crunchy resistance. The Whole Foods cookie is just too big and caky.


No pictures today, but here's a link to other pictures I took the last few weeks.
http://photos-by-lisa.fotopic.net/c1041242.html

Monday, I hope to present a mini-bio of a great pianist.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

incunabula


















I'm back. I know I was going to stay away longer, but it has been a month. Mostly I didn't want to try to think of something to say every day. Maybe if I post a couple times a week; and more if my mood is willing.

I was inspired by 2nd Entry's camping trip. Reminded me of when I used to on botany fieldtrips and so I included some pictures I took when I went to the White Mountains (Eastern Sierra Nevadas), one of the few homes of Pinus longaeva- maybe the oldest species of living trees. They can live up over 3,000 yrs old. In fact, there is a tree reputed to be older than that age somewhere up there. That means that tree was already 1,000 years old when so-called Christ (or someone who fit that description and demeanor) walked the Earth. Kind of makes you think we should do something about global warming, huh?

So what have I been up to: I've been reading a very challenging book by Witkiewicz, Insatiability, written by Polish writer during the space of the two World Wars. The basic plotline is a young baron's coming of age story. However, a lot of ideas about art, politics and life get tossed in. Witkiewicz was one of the esteemed Polish Modernist writers, and he also had a foot in the Surrealist camp. As in this novel, he expressed much anxiety. I will write a more inclusive review when I complete reading it.

Things I would like to do with blog: continue with the documentation of my psychogeographic activities (or flâneur's reveries), and book reviews. I would also like to present mini-biographies of famous pianists- since many have strange lives and there's not many places to find that info. Also more pictures, and word experiments. We'll see how it goes.

The last note for today. There a thought someone who had been a friend of mine had written to me: "it would make me happy to know someday that you feltso much security inside that you didn't need to do any of it, that you could be strong alone, that your priorities could be your own and not someone elses." I thought about this a lot. And now I know how one arrives at that point of strength. One must feel that there are others in the world that care and want you to embody that strength. These are friends and lovers who value you as a person and will try to understand who you are, how you are feeling and what you need. You don't simply serve for some purpose for them, to be tossed away after use. They appreciate the uniqueness you bring to their lives. No action needs to be premeditated; there are no unbendable rules of engagement. There only needs to be openness, and willingness to give and the ability to trust. One of many things I've learned, if I cannot trust someone, I should not try to be in a relationship with them. None of us exist as discrete islands; we are only as good as how well we treat other people.

Ok- enough from me- "hi~"