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2nd-Aug-2015 11:59 am - O Song, what will become of me...
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The subject line comes from Dorothy L. Sayers's translation of a Dante canzone/sestina that I used as the text of my first major bookbinding project, for a class I took twenty years ago at Elaine Borruso's house in Michigan:

12 slim

12 slim

12 slim

That class was also where I first picked up on the buzz about Shereen LaPlantz's Cover to Cover -- which, as the buyer of craft books for Borders's 100+ stores, I promptly placed large orders for. The publisher was unprepared for that. Given how most craft titles sold only a handful of copies each year at best, and given how many people I personally knew were eager to get their hands on a copy, I grew so exasperated at the "indefinitely out of stock" notices that I typed "PUBLISHER IS AN IDIOT" in the memo line of the order screen, which I understood to be visible only to Borders corporate staff.

Some months later, the publisher reps took me out to dinner and cheerfully informed me that a copy of that purchase order -- WITH my note on it -- was now framed and hanging on one of their office walls. The senior children's section buyer, another guest at the dinner, squawked, "What? You all can see that line?" The publisher liaison later said she'd never seen my face so red. The reps then presented me with an autographed copy of the book:

Shereen LaPlantz autograph

I've bought many Lark books in the years since, what with Aunt Louise and Paula and other people dear to me being dedicated knitters and beaders and the like.

Shereen died in 2003, but her work remains visible at the LaPlantz Studios website, where her husband continues to create and teach and share ideas and examples.

[This entry prompted by #100untimedbooks - items 6 (craft) and 12 (slim).]

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/111432.html.
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The subject line is from Francis Cabrel's L'encre de tes yeux, which just popped into my head.

prompt 5: planets

In France, whole arenafuls of fans know the lyrics to this and other Cabrel classics by heart. I think of people on this side of the planet singing along to James Taylor and the like. It's disconcerting and wonderful how someone so embedded in the musical culture of a country just seven time zones away is so

Then again, I had no idea he had performed in Chicago in March 2014. How did I miss that? ... oh, yeah. That was the winter after the BYM's encounter with a Dodge Journey. I was a little preoccupied. Then again, I don't even pretend to keep tabs on who-all is playing wherever on any given night in Nashville. That said, I have been to Third and Lindsley on at least two Wednesday nights. Wooten Brothers, y'all, with Louis Winfield twirling his sticks without missing a beat.

I went for a walk earlier tonight. On the way to the library, I passed a couple singing riffs to each other as they bustled toward their destination. They weren't quite in sync and didn't sound like session folk, but in this town you never know. Two streets over, the bars were crowded and I could hear what sounded like a live band from one storefront.

On the way back, I noticed a bus stop where someone had crammed a beer can within a brown paper bag into the back seam of a bench. That wasn't surprising, but what about the thin pastel ribbons still looped around a couple of the bench's legs and one of its arms? Was there a birthday with balloons, or a bored child, or ...?

So many mysteries within a mile of my mint patch.

[The prompt: 5 - planets. The challenge: http://upperrubberboot.tumblr.com/post/123904555213. The other book in the photograph is a collection of science fiction poetry. ]

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/111198.html.
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Four things that entertained me today:

1. #fieldworkfail (h/t Mer)

2. Roger Rees explaining why an actor should never wear lace-up boots during the last act of a play (25:51): https://youtu.be/4_r9JsBbIh8?t=25m53s. And also Noel Coward's visit to Vivien Leigh after a performance of Titus Andronicus.

3. Edward Petherbridge on arresting one's undulations.

4. My sweetie dissecting the claims on the label of the beer he is drinking.

Four reasons I had a crush on my 8th-grade Spanish teacher:

1. He wrote out exams in calligraphy.

2. He played "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" on the guitar after-hours.

3. He was really, really smart and articulate.

4. His strategies for dealing with nuisances included throwing erasers (at students) and shooting rubber bands (at flies).

Prompt 4 in the #100untimedbooks photo challenge -- the rest is history:

prompt 4: the rest is history

My brother wove the front of the pillow in art class. The book was a gift from the Spanish teacher, with the inscription "Keep interested in everything."

Four items translated from Spanish I've edited within the past year:

1. Sixteenth-century verses, by St. John of the Cross

2. Twentieth-century Mexican police reports

3. Quotations from seventeenth-century wills

4. Lyrics from nineteenth-century musical duels

Sadly, I'm not actually fluent in Spanish. I didn't stick with it beyond my second year of study. Still, someday I shall seek to soak up enough of it to speak to strangers in Seville.

[This last paragraph has been added because the BYM spotted the subject line and said, "There's always a letter..."]

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/110886.html.
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In Dan Chiasson's recent NYT feature on Robert Rauschenberg's archives:

In a file cabinet, personal letters from the choreographer Trisha Brown and Al Gore shared folders with a clipped-out New York Times review of a sushi place and a cartoon of a guy taking his pet radish for a walk. The impression is of a life in which making art was, to a remarkable degree, an extension of friendship.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/110743.html.
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The challenge: http://upperrubberboot.tumblr.com/post/123904555213

Prompt 3: animals

chowhound with garden book

The book is Carol Lerner's My Backyard Garden, a 1998 children's book featuring two different veggie garden schemes. Miss Abby is fond of snacking on both the plants in my own back yard and on scraps as I cook (especially green bean and asparagus tips), so the pairing immediately came to mind when I saw the prompt.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/110523.html.
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The challenge: http://upperrubberboot.tumblr.com/post/123904555213

Today's theme: blues

Today's pic:

#100untimedbooks photo challenge

I bought the dress a couple of Saturdays ago, at Goodwill -- it was a 50-percent-off everything Saturday (making the damage a mere 4 USD) and the still-life motifs struck me as fitting for my museum editor persona. I bought the book after copyediting People Power: The Community Organizing Tradition of Saul Alinsky; I'd borrowed it via Nashville Public Library's interlibrary loan to sort out some quotations and citations, and while Mr. Becker's attitude toward accuracy enraged me ("To list every such reference seemed fussy and overmeticulous"), I nonetheless wanted more time with Mr. Field after the loan had expired. The page with "pops of blue" is from the August 2015 issue of Harper's Bazaar; I was admiring the Bottega Veneta necklace, the Dior bag, and the Simon G. ring during one of yesterday's baths (yes, plural; heat index was 100 F).

It's back to work later today, but the clouds have masked the sun for the moment, so it's outside with the gloves and tree-branch clippers for me.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/110318.html.
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Explanation: http://upperrubberboot.tumblr.com/post/123904555213

Item: 1. self-portrait

100 untimed books: 1

The book is An English-Speaking Hymnal Guide, first compiled by Erik Routley and later edited and expanded by Peter W. Cutts. It was a birthday gift from Aunt Louise three years ago. The ring I am wearing on my pinky is one she used to own.

A book in the background is Helen Keller's Light in Darkness, which someone at the Swedenborg Chapel in Cambridge recently sent to me after reading "Wearing Persistence," a poem from Measured Extravagance that I'd put on the card I used to order a copy of Missing Rachel's The Thundered Word, having loved the sample I'd heard of "I Am That Great and Fiery Force," which is from a UU hymnal and which I'd sung in my own church a couple of months ago.

I believe my father-in-law (Louise's brother) selected the hymns for her service, which was held at an Anglican church in Ontario last week. The printed melody for "Rock of Ages" in the hymnal did not match the standard tune, which the organist played and the congregation sang; it was fine, but the disconnect had me sympathizing for once with those singers with perfect pitch ho get twitchy when a piece gets transposed to a different key than on the page. The other hymns were "Holy, Holy, Holy" and a five-verse "Abide with Me" (Routley/Cutts tells me that Lyte wrote eight stanzas, with 3 through 5 commonly omitted. Thank you once more, Aunt Louise).

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/110010.html.
4th-Jul-2015 12:14 pm - quiet fireworks
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Two of the balloon flowers bloomed today!

balloon flower

Even so, even the weather is telling me to concentrate on screenwork instead of yardwork. The heavens opened as I was tugging and snipping at vines tangled with the rogue rosebush.

Today's cooking: wasabi-edamame dip for lunch; posole with country ham in the slow cooker, for dinner and beyond.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/109684.html.
3rd-Jul-2015 08:11 pm - "the ignorance of loving"
MeEx cover
what happens...

Today's subject line comes from Stephen Dunn's "Sweetness," which begins, "Just when it has seemed I couldn’t bear / one more friend / waking with a tumor, one more maniac // with a perfect reason ..."

The above photo is a pot I dropped a handful of hollyhock seeds into, about a week ago. The seedlings are all squnched to the side because Miss Abbytude has been treating it as a salad bowl.

I transplanted three to another pot earlier today, and now there are two.

There are two other pots crowded with seedlings, and I am mulling over where to relocate them.

Today's other transplants: one Christmas cactus, two rosebush seedlings, and another tomato plant.

Other plant-related chores: staking, weeding, trimming, and detangling. It turns out most of the Syrian cornflowers (aka "Dwarf Blue" bachelor buttons) belong to a single sprawling multivined stalk. I am a touch dismayed that it's just the one stalk, seeing how I sowed 75 seeds. But the seeds had been packed in 2013, I didn't get around to sowing them until last summer, conditions have not been ideal, and the packet cost me a mere two dollars. So the hmphery is far outweighed by the extended "hey! flowers after all!" I've been enjoying.

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/109539.html.
2nd-Jul-2015 08:03 pm - straying, vanishing, returning
MeEx cover
On the last day of June, I read some pages in Staying Alive: Real Poems for Unreal Times during lunch, and one with the phrase "Remember June's long days" caught my eye.

It's titled "Try to Praise the Mutilated World," and you can read/hear it at http://www.poetryfoundation.org/poem/247934.

May 2010 - trying to salvage a friend's photos after their drenching by Nashville's biggest flood:
attempting to salvage photos

November 2011 - Paris laundromat door:
Paris laundromat door, 2011

June 2015 - mushrooms in my front yard:
mushrooms in my yard

This entry was originally posted at http://zirconium.dreamwidth.org/109268.html.
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