sundry

Jan. 24th, 2007 11:33 am
storyrainthejournal: (luminousrain)
Some links for the day:

Yorkshire clan linked to Africa

A new lj community has spawned, on the taxonomy of dreams, inspired by [livejournal.com profile] crowleycrow’s post on varieties of oneiric experience

I did not watch the State of the Union address last night; great chaos, why would I want to do that to myself?

Rain this morning, popple popple popple on my umbrella. (Now, of course, I can neither see, smell, nor hear the lovely stuff.) A guy named James waited for the bus with me, seeming like a pretty together guy, but staying at the Salvation Army (hating it) and looking for work, which is proving hard to find. On public transport in Austin, guys like James, and people far less together, are the folks you mostly see, unlike in real cities like New York, Boston, Vancouver, or San Francisco, where everyone uses public transit (which is one marker of a real city, as far as I’m concerned).
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Whew. Well, turning on the oven (which was fine the last time I used it) produced a copious stream of noxious smoke. Open windows, doors, much fanning of chill outside air in later, the place is mostly cleared out. The bread pudding will just have to soak another hour and then I'll beg oven use from neighbor B.

I refuse to use anymore of my mental health day trying to figure out what's wrong with the oven. Some other time. Maybe I'll even get, like, a repair person. I mean the smoke was pouring--and there's nothing in the thing to make that happen.

In other news of the season of death (winter), my friend N's cat, Peri, with whom I've lived a good number of years over the last sixteen, is twenty, and failing. She's always been a very sweet cat. I'm glad I got to spend some time with her last weekend when I sat with the kids for the evening so N&C could go out.  (that, btw, was fun--the kids are now at an age where I really enjoy them--they play superhero scenario games with each other; A's power is to make the boys freeze, then fling them about with gestures of her hands)

And, yesterday evening, walking home from the bus stop I found one of Austin's Monk Parrots dead, in all its feathery green glory, on the sidewalk.

Ah the lingering smell of noxious smoke in the afternoon.
storyrainthejournal: (tinyumbrella)
I should never post about doing something in the future with N, because a lot of the time, it just doesn't happen the way we planned it. No movie yesterday. Oh well. There ended up only being time for food shopping. Then, while I waited for her to finish, I watched people at Whole Foods and saw, among others, two middle-aged men with identical balding heads, even to the front patch over their foreheads, identical t-shirts, shorts, sneakers, and faces, each pushing their own cart in a little band of two formation. I also called my mom, my sister, and p and c (who were currently in a car driving back from Marfa).

The writing date with [profile] stinabat was swell, though, and productive.

I decided to take today off; writing this morning, then stinabat is coming to get me and take me paper shopping for my business card, which she is going to design. I'm very excited about it. yay!

Then teeth cleaning/dental checkup appointment this afternoon, after which I should come home to Neal of ATX cleaning my loft windows, which are very cloudy dirty on the outside, because they can't be reached without professional equipment, like a cherry picker, or one of those hanging window washer contraptions they use on highrises. This was one of the things I promised myself to pay for with some of the first paycheck for the fulltime job.

Lots of sparrow (house sparrows, I think) action on the balcony this morning. The cats are riveted. (It's actually cold out, so the door is closed and the birds are safe--though they're pretty safe when it's open, too.)
storyrainthejournal: (fable)
I've talked about the Austin parrot colonies here once or twice. Here's a picture of them. They're actually Monk Parakeets, though also called Quaker Parrots, and there's a bit of lore about them here.
storyrainthejournal: (deepwood)
The only thing I made for the seder was the charoset, a mixture of apples, walnuts, sweet wine and cinnamon. It's symbolic of the mortar the Jewish slaves made in their building for the Egyptians. It goes on the seder plate with the bitter herbs (maror) for the bitterness of slavery, parsely or other vegetable dipped in salt water to represent tears and a shank bone to symbolize the sacrifice of the Paschal lamb in the temples. There are some other items, but you get the idea. Also at the table is the matzoh, for the bread that they didn’t have time to allow to rise before they fled into the desert, where it was baked into hard flats...

Gefilte fish, of course, which symbolize strong stomaches and poverty, for my money...

...and of course, the setting and chair for Elijah, out wandering the world.

The meal was a lovely huge salad, baked chicken, matzoh ball soup (mmm), asparagus and some other things...

***

Took a trip to the Albright-Knox with my sis and dad; saw a few paintings I’ve always loved but never seen in the original, among them Hick's Peaceful Kingdom, Miro's Carnival of Harlequin, and a Franz Marc, that actually made me cry. He is one of my favorite artists.

Best of all were a giant size table and chairs, well tall enough for an adult to walk under, lending both a hint of childhood perspective from under the dining room table and a visiting with the giants up the beanstalk feel.

It was also fun to go with my sister, who knows a lot about art and artists and had lots of interesting information and perspective on things.

Other things seen here and there: Big stone buffalo sculptures. A glittering green hat abandoned on the tarmac in the middle of a parking lot. Bushes shaped into topiaries which looked like nothing so much as giant green river stones. Willows draping yellow-green fronds over creekwater ( of which there will be photographic evidence later).

art outside

Apr. 4th, 2006 09:57 am
storyrainthejournal: (deepwood)
So, Sunday afternoon, after lunching, P and I went to the Enchanted Forest for Art Outside.

The Enchanted Forest is a rambling patch of land in in-town Austin, wooded and hilly with a creekbed running through it. Not sure if it's a collective or owned by one person who's given it over to this use, but it's funky, the scraggly Texas woods filled with large metal-smithed sculptural art, stringed lights, bits and bobs of art, found and recycled object altars (everything and the kitchen sink), and many much-pierced, tatted, leather-wearing, tangle-haired, I'm-anti-extablishment and making a statement about it about peeps.

A lot of the structures--a stage, wooden bridges, sculptures, installations--I think are probably permanent, but for the Art Outside show they have a lot of other artists come in and set up. So you walk through the woods, hey, art! In the woods!

Things chiefly liked:

Kinetic metal sculptures, made of shiny ladles of many sizes, irridescent glass, metal balls and fish tail shapes, very cool.

Sculptures come upon among the trees, of fantastic or science fictional things, a world tree with very Cthulu-esque workings in its hollow earth beneath, solar-powered giant, metal-smithed flower lamps, ceramic creatures straight out of twisted dark fantasy...

...a layered cellophane sculpture of a person emerging, one leg, two arms, face, from a tree trunk.

Spirit bottles in blue, green, amber and clear glass, beaded and wired and hanging from many branches with little plantlings rooting in them.

An altered barbie sculpture of Shiva (roll over the thumbnails to find her), in the midst of a little haven in the trees planted in swirling silk flower patterns.

A chandelier of Victorian-esque glass lanterns wreathed in cast, aged doll faces, hanging from a branch...

...dolls with gold tiki masks worshipping and climbing on a stuffed, human-sized headless figure in striped black, sitting in a lawn in an animated pose, with one oversized, monstrous sculpted hand...(I could have kicked myself several times over, were I more limber, for not remembering my camera)

An unlit fire fountain. (the night shows must be amazing)

Paintings of little birds and bunnies and geishas in a manic, scrawly, yet whimsical and beautifully colored, slightly perturbed idiom.

A towering beached boat.

Large, somber fantasy oil paintings, by this artist, whose website is well worth checking out.

As I said, could have kicked myself for not bringing the camera; you'll have to make do with my word pictures.

it was surreal and full of prickly imagination gone wild; P and I were very glad we went.
storyrainthejournal: (luminousrain)
It's raining, a steady popping that makes me feel more secure somehow, sheltered and happy that I'm about to spend the day with a bunch of writers around a table workshopping stories.

Soon the lovely and talented S will be here to pick me up in her sexy little sports car and we will head north to outer Austin for it.

We're doing it potluck and I made another mushroom quiche. Mushrooms are beautiful when they cook.

Austin has been very full of folks for SXSW, which seems to be running film and music simultaneously this year; the 'dillo trip through downtown has taken forever all week. I've seen double-decker buses painted promotionally with some upstart sneaker brand, MTV style documentarists hanging out the doors and over the top taking image as they move through Austin, hordes of hipsters, little gangs riding on those funny electric things that you stand on, hot chicks on the bus, men with guitars on the bus, lots of huge sleek tour buses, and not one band or movie. Though I've been serenaded by the shows at the little club across the street from the lofts. Not half bad, a lot of it.

giant eggs

Mar. 17th, 2006 07:43 am
storyrainthejournal: (sulabear)
Took a walk yesterday eve to the closest grocery store (which is mostly useless to me--of the five things on my list, all I could find was an onion--it's shameful, given that it's the main large grocery store for a whole neighborhood--which happens to be largely working class and poor Hispanic--but that's a different discussion) and in one yard there was an Easter display. A giant (nearly as tall as the house) inflated pink bunny with a basket of eggs that more nearly resembled an alien vessel's control console. There were also several plastic light-up bunnies of varying sizes, with a horde of giant plastic eggs, eggs so large they could only give birth to reptiles of alarming size.

Just now, some vehicle, truck or train, made a hideous noise, very like one of those reptiles of alarming size might make, and now Sula is growling at the window. She's such a brave little brown beast.
storyrainthejournal: (dragonlily)
While the bus sat at a stop this morning, a bit ahead of schedule, I saw some green birdlife. I've heard that Austin has a flock of wild parrots, but I'd never seen any before. I saw a few streak apple-green through the air, then one sit on a chainlink fence deep in sunflowers. He made nice to a buff-grey bird (which I thought was a mourning dove, but now I wonder if it wasn't a female parrot--are the females less showy as with other bird species?--cause she stayed the whole the time), then he hopped into the sunflowers, which must be beginning to seed, because he starting eating and didn't stop. He was so green! If I was going to be a bird, I'd want to be green.

No one else on the bus even noticed. I was tempted to burst out, "Parrot!" but my usual reticence prevented me.

Sometimes I very much appreciate how not having a car allows me a more leisurly pace of life than my wheeled fellow humans appear to enjoy. (Sometimes, of course, I do not.)
storyrainthejournal: (Default)
Went yesterday afternoon to see Mysterious Skin with Ross, a loft neighbor; good movie, riveting, with awesome performances, and just the kind of small scale but intense indie movie I needed after the overblown depressing miasma that was War of the Worlds the day before. Also, it was very fun to see Michelle Trachtenberg, aka Dawn Summers, as a thoroughly Goth girl. Not that the movie is exactly fun, it's tough stuff, but it's very well done and worth seeing, tough stuff with humor and hope.

After, Ross wanted to stop at Charlie's, a gay bar that's been around for a very long time, to see a band that he likes play. I'd never been to Charlie's; it was the most bizarre cross-section of sub-culture I've ever come across. At first glance when you come in, it looks like a collection of good old boys and bubbas. Older guys with paunch and bald spots around a big, Cheers-style bar, and scattered about in the rest of the dim, heavy wood and aged atmosphere. But off to one side there's a side bar with two mostly naked men on it, dancing. And here and there are some women, with big breasts and country bar-styled hair, who were once men, and a few who are still men, but are definitely better in heels than I've ever been. Add to this that the band which is playing is kind of a country band, though not strictly--lots of strings, including mandolin and fiddle, which made it alright for me--and a man and a woman with beautiful voices singing. And that the place is done up with lots of red, white and blue and flags for the fourth. And the stripper/dancers (apparently Charlie's has amateur strip nights on Tuesdays...hmmm...) occassionally do a two-step together, while, down on the wooden dance floor, an aged white-haired gentleman and a trannie in an elegant red hat dance a graceful waltz when the band plays "Mr. Bojangles," the disco ball above scattering stars around them.

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