Monday, May 27, 2013
Look what I did! I poured the bright yellow contents of the ugly plastic Cepacol mouthwash bottle into this Bourbon whiskey flacon. Now I don't mind seeing it on the bathroom sink. It took some doing soaking the bottle in a waterbath to release the Bulleit Bourbon label from the glass. But it was worth it.
Sunday, May 26, 2013
Recently at 1642, my favorite bar, I saw a girl who looked like Penelope Tree. She was with some other girls at the table next to mine. I pointed her out to my friends and found a picture of the 60s model on my phone to compare. My friends urged me to show her.
I leaned over and spoke to Penelope's friend since Penelope was too busy chatting with someone else. I said "Your friend looks like Penelope Tree." I showed her the picture on my phone. She laughed and showed it to Penelope herself. She responded by holding her hands together while clutching her hair, imitating the model in the photo. We all laughed.
My guess is that my observation wasn't a big surprise to her. One doesn't come to resemble Penelope Tree by accident.
*I believe that this photo was taken by Richard Avedon. When I was a little kid I used to peruse my father's photography books. He had one that featured the great fashion photographers - Avedon, Helmut Newton, David Bailey...all of my favorites. The pictures of Penelope Tree were striking. Beautiful and a little disturbing. My favorite combination.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
My friend Laura gave me these wooden cones for my birthday. The larger one is made of maple. The smaller one is smoked oak. She found them in a store that sells Scandinavian things. She said that she thought of me when she saw them. This made me so happy. It's weird how much I love them.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
I went to the Blue Whale last night, a jazz club in Little Tokyo. I've been meaning to go for a while. Ever since my neighbor Tom, a cool drummer and overall expert in all things jazz, told me about it. I watched an incredibly talented pianist, David Arnay play. He started the set alone on stage. Each successive song introduced a new musician into the line-up. The eighth song had eight musicians raising the roof on the club.
My favorite songs of the night were an interpretation of a Bill Evans tune and one composed by Arnay titled Daddy's Groove.
I'm already a great jazz lover. Last night convinced me even more that it's one of the great American arts. The club should have been very smoky though. I'm not a smoker but for the preservation of American culture I think that smoking laws should be relaxed in certain instances.
Monday, May 13, 2013
I found this branch last autumn when I was walking Rosie. I brought it home and put it in a vase. A collection of small stones propped the branch upright ... though not very effectively. It kept toppling over and I'd have to readjust it nearly every day. It toppled one too many times leaving me no choice but to bring it outside. I left it on the bench where I carve wood.
When I came home from France I was delighted to find that the overhang on my balcony had been repaired while I was away. A guttering problem meant that water dripped through the seams of the drywall, bubbling the paint and eventually causing mold to appear. The clean white ceiling looked flawless. But my branch was gone.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Monday, May 6, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
I had heard that in France there's a tradition of offering lily of the valley to the people you love on the first of May. I could picture it in my head. An old woman would have a little table set up on the side of a road with a handwritten wooden sign saying Muguet. She would sell little bouquets to men holding baguettes and women wearing white dresses, enjoying the first warmth of spring.
I was lucky enough to be in France on the first of May this year. I saw no evidence of muguetmania in the preceding days. In fact there seemed to be very little fuss over the holiday at all. I only spotted one photocopied sign stapled to a telephone pole advertising a Fete de Musique by the canal where 80s music would be played. On April 29 I walked into a supermarket next to a hardware store called Monsieur Bricolage and found rows of lily of the valley for sale. Glimmering in cellophane sleeves. I bought a little bundle for 2 Euros 50.
I displayed the flowers on the mantelpiece and took regular breaks from the drywalling and plastering tasks that were otherwise occupying me, to smell them. The neighbors across the street were enjoying their own Fete de Musique, featuring throbbing euro techno.