Light is Calling

Bill Morrison is an avante garde film director from New York. In 2004, he teamed up with composer, Michael Gordon, to create a short film called Light is Calling. It was composed by using the same techniques that were used in his earlier film Decasia to show the impermanent nature of film. He borrowed archival footage from facilities such as the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan, and he spliced them together, using computer technology to enhance the composition and decay. None of the original archived film was further damaged or destroyed to create the film.

It's captivating and extraordinarily beautiful. I highly recommend viewing it in High Quality to catch more of the detail.

Beautiful Elk

I went on a ride today, and I came across these lovely elk. They were hiding in a grove of trees, and some gentlemen were kind enough to point them out. I'm still using my crappy cell phone camera, but you get the idea.

Green winds and red trees

August 1st and nearly a month since my last post. It doesn't feel like it's been that long, but I live and love among the temporally challenged.

The lazy recap: C's Birthday, C and my anniversary (5 years married, 12 years as a couple), The wedding of two dear friends, a dead and now resuscitated car, the painting of doors and shelves, a bit of cooking, a lot of Dr. Who, Closet Land (great film), Read: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith, The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, The Drowned World by J.G. Ballard.

But...on to the true purpose of my post:

Literary Diversions on the web that make me very happy, indeed:

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairlyland in a Ship of Her Own Making

The Red Tree by Caitlín R. Kiernan

Of bloody apples and poisoned orchards

The Sea Angler - Faith and the Muse

The Sea Angler
Musical Composition Faith and the Muse
Words written by Goethe

There was a gentle angler who was angling in the sea
With heart as cold as only heart untaught of love can be
When suddenly the water rushed and swelled and up there sprang
A humid maid of beauty's mold and thus to him she sang

"Why dost thou strive so artfully to lure my brood away
And leave them to die beneath the sun's all scorching ray?
Couldst thou but tell how happy are the fish that swim below?
Thou wouldst with me taste of joy which earth can never know."

The water rushed the water swelled and touched his naked feet
And fancy whispered to his heart it was a love pledge sweet
She sang another siren lay more 'witching than before
Half-pulled half-plunging down he sank and ne'er was heard of more.

On cycling and blogging

Only one ride this week, and it was only notable because 4.5 miles in, the wind and torrential rain came pouring down. We were stopped at a restaurant having dessert, so we waited it out, and then when we left, C and I had his & hers bike crashes. Isn't that sweet?

I wish I could blame some outside factor for my wreck, but the truth is that I tried to stop and my foot got stuck in the peddle basket. I went down while nearly standing still, so there was little damage. A bruised knee and a short-lived dose of embarassment.

C's wreck wasn't so friendly. The path was covered in water, and he took a sharp turn onto a wooden bridge at twenty miles per hour. His tire slid on the water, and he went down hard. The fork on his bike was trashed, and he's pretty banged up, but really, it could have been much worse. Bruises and road rash aren't the end of the world. He is having separation anxiety from his bike, though.

The rest of my week was filled with hospital visits and caretaking. I thought I was done with this for a while, but a new set of problems has arisen with another member of my family. I'm not emotionally ready to go into any detail, although my therapist has encouraged me to blog about my experiences. I'm just not sure how I feel about it. Up to this point, my blog hasn't had a significant amount of personal information in it. It was more of a place to share things of interest. I also feel that it's important to protect the privacy of other people who are involved. I've been trying to think of a way to share my experiences that 1.) doesn't violate outside trusts, 2.) helps me to process 3.) adds something of value to the blogosphere. I'm not interested in spreading negativity, but if my experiences could help someone else going through the same things, that wouldn't be a bad thing. 

I haven't decided whether or not to share additional information, but I did want to share my blogging dilemma. The blogs that I read most often and am most inspired by do tend to share a lot of personal information, and I often wonder if those bloggers experience the same sort of dilemmas that I'm experiencing...or are they just that much more open? 

Cormorants, slithering snakes, and two suns

The weather isn't very nice today, but I went for a ride anyway. I stopped to watch some beautiful birds which I think were probably cormorants. I wasn't close enough to see a lot of detail, and I still haven't figured out how to pack my camera which has a decent zoom lens. This photo only shows three little black dots on the far side of the creek. Theyre beautiful black water birds, and when I took the photo, they were tarting it up, as birds do. 

I also came across another snake. I don't know what kind it is. Patternwise, it looks like a common kingsnake, but I don't think they're really supposed to be hanging around in the Denver area....but really, what do I know about snake turf? Nothing. If someone else has a clue, please do share.

On today's ride, I was listening to Bat for Lashes. I bought the album Two Suns, and I'm completely smitten. At times, it reminds me of Kate Bush, Bjork, and/or Tori Amos, but I don't want to give the impression that I like Bat for Lashes because it sounds like someone else. The music is unique, and it stands on its own.

If she knew what she wanted...

I've gone on a few more rides since the last time I posted, and I'm starting to notice the gradual building of muscle in my legs. This is pleasing to me, as I've always been rather waifish, and I relish the idea of having some muscle. I don't need to be completely ripped, but it would be nice to feel a bit less fragile than I always have.

Photo from today's ride. Prairie dogs and blue sky.

Watching... Alternating between Dr. Who and Robin Hood. We also have the Czech film Daisies sitting here, but we haven't watched it yet. I'm thinking it will be this week sometime.

Reading... Finished Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson, but I need a break before I tackle the rest of the series. It was feeling a bit sluggish at the end. I just started A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because it's one of Ich Mag Sie Nicht's favorite novels. She has great taste in literature.

Listening... This week, I've mostly listened to music during my rides. A lot of VNV Nation, Apoptygma Berzerk, and Concrete Blonde.

Wanting... fun in the sun, short-term goals

Trying... to focus on something. Anything, really.

Beauty is never far away.

On Saturday I rode 29 miles. It wasn't planned, as the furthest I'd ridden prior was approximately eight miles. It was just such a beautiful day that I kept on going until I found myself at Confluence Park. C and I stopped at the Starbucks there. I drank a caramel frappaccino, and we shared a croissant. I talked to the pigeons, soaked up the sun, and then turned around and headed back home on my bicycle. 

On my way back, I saw a family of foxes: one adult and three adolescents. Unfortunately, I only managed to capture three of them in the picture, and it's not a very good picture. I need to figure out a way to pack my camera. The cell phone just doesn't do it for me.

On the way home, I was so tired that I wasn't sure I was going to make it, but I did, and it felt like quite an accomplishment. Not bad for a girl who is often described as a china doll.

One thing I did realize though... I listen to very mellow, melancholy music more often than I realized. I grabbed my ipod, and I put it on shuffle. Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, Kristin Hersh, Faun Fables... It's all great, but you just can't ride to it. A lesson learned.

Today, I rode approximately nine miles. It seems so small compared to Saturday's ride, but I think I need to do a lot more in the way of shorter rides to build up my endurance. It rained most of the way, and during the heaviest downpour, C and I stood under an underpass and watched the clouds, geese, river, etc.  When we left, I took a photograph of a beautiful double rainbow. It's still a cell phone picture, but the beauty of it is intact.

Lesson learned, today's ride was accompanied by VNV Nation.

Sweet Clover

My family is in town, and we went to the local flea market yesterday. I brought home this lovely antique bottle of Rawleigh's Sweet Clover. There's no date on the label, and I haven't been able to locate any additional information online. I think it's quite pretty, though.


Watching... "Black Books" (a British television series about the misanthropic proprietor of a bookshop)

Reading... "Red Mars" by Kim Stanley Robinson. I'm nearly finished with this and trying to decide if I want to move on to the next book in the series or read something else in between.

Listening... Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton have been on heavy rotation.

Drinking... I've been drinking a lot of water, but  a coffee would be brilliant at the moment.

Wanting... a few more hours of sleep, new music to enjoy, a coffee...

Trying... to be productive with my time, but it isn't working very well. At this moment, I'm sort of meandering through life without much direction or meaning. A certain amount of focus and a couple of concrete goals would be lovely.

Life is full of glamour

I have two male pugs. One of those pugs is an alpha male called Nietzsche. We walk through the park three times a day, and he strategically rations his urine so that he can mark as many things as possible while he's outside...a little drip here, a little drip there.

Today was veterinarian day, and my job was to collect a urine sample. They gave me a shallow plastic tray to collect it in, a syringe to remove it from the tray, and a vial to fill. It seemed like a simple enough task, but things are rarely what they seem.

I've followed the little fuzzy monster on two separate walks through the park with onlookers aplenty, and my vial is still only 1/3rd of the way full. He peed on plants, trees, shrubs, signs, my hands... and only 1/3rd of the frelling vial.

This is not a glamorous life that I lead, but I love my snorty, little dog.

Just an update

I've not felt that I've had a lot to say recently. I'm just out living life to the best of my ability, and trying (not always successfully) to avoid life drama.

I did buy an old vintage bicycle. I've never really enjoyed cycling, but my husband bought a bicycle, and he loves it. These things are always more fun with two, so I finally agreed to give it a shot. So far it hasn't been bad, but I definitely need to develop some of the muscles that it takes to ride a bike. My longest ride, to date, has been eight miles, and I was exhausted when it was done...yet strangely satisfied.

Here's a picture of the bike. She's a vintage Motobecane, and she doesn't yet have a name (though I'm considering Miette as a tribute to The City of Lost Children. A French bicycle needs a French name, yes?)

We Are Sinking (German Coast Guard) (Berlitz Ad)

This cracked me up...

The Bunyip Song

Beloved song from my childhood. If I had any musical talent, I would cover this in a heartbeat.

RSPCA - Simon's Sister's Dog 'Fed Up'

So true...

Water for Elephants

I recently finished Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, a quick and interesting read about a train circus in 1930s America. I'm captivated by the little glimpses into depression-era circus life: The heirarchy of the roustabouts and performers, the presence of liquor amidst prohibition, the disturbing treatment of the menagerie, the cooch tent, the practice of redlighting, etc... Sara Gruen covered many bases, and she developed a good portion of the plot around actual incidents that happened across several historical American circuses. There are also period photographs peppered throughout the book, which adds to its nostalgic charm.

In addition to drawing me in from a historical perspective, Water for Elephants had a tendency to tug on my heartstrings. It touched on aging, mortality, familial relationships, cruelty, and loneliness in ways that managed to knock me on my ass repeatedly. It's not always comfortable, but I appreciate it when a book can provoke that kind of an emotional response.

2008 Reads

This is a list of books I read in 2008, which I've been tracking on goodreads.

my '2008-reads' shelf:
 my 2008-reads shelf

The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving - Best use of a taxidermied dog as a plot device.
Disgrace by J.M. Coetzee, J.M. 
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe 
The Color Purple by Alice Walker 
Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier - Gothic noir. Yum.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
The Secret History by Donna Tartt - Possibly my favorite read this year.
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Coastliners: A Novel by Joanne Harris
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - Inspiring
We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson - Reread. I adore this novel.
The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham - Totally absorbing. I love postapocalyptic fiction.
Trilby by George Du Maurier
Sundiver by David Brin
The Postman by David Brin
Spook Country by William Gibson
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke - Excellent read, but I was somewhat disappointed with the ending.
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery, Lucy Maud
The Godfather by Mario Puzo - I haven't seen the movie, and  the book was mediocre.
The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne M. Valente - Awesome.  A series of tales connected  Scheherazade style.
Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, Margaret - Absorbing read. Atwood is a great writer. 
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - Terribly depressing, but beautiful.
My Antonia by Willa Cather
All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot - Hilarious and charming.

Palimpsest Trailer

I like the work of Catherynne M. Valente, and she's created a trailer for her upcoming book Palimpsest, which is due out in February.  This is the first trailer that I've seen for a book, and it's a great idea!