Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bellevue Arts Museum free day Friday, May 1st

The first Friday of the month is free admission at the Bellevue Arts Museum. I want to see this one: The Book Borrowers, Contemporary Artists Transform the Book.

from the website:
"The Book Borrowers highlights 31 works from locally, nationally and internationally renowned contemporary artists transforming books into sculptural works. Pieces in the exhibition explore the book’s inherent qualities and reflect upon this unique juncture in time."

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Friday, April 24, 2009

Keep the Fleece

Keep the Fleece is: (from the website)

* A celebration in honor of the United Nations International Year of Natural Fibres
* An international effort to raise 250K for the largest fiber flock in the world in partnership with Heifer International
* A community for people of all ages, nationalities and skills dedicated to promoting the importance of natural fibers by creating the world's longest scarf
* A competition for fiber artisans
* A place where anyone can learn more about the valuable and precious world of natural fibers by sharing knowledge, skills, resources and products

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

for Earth Day, Thomas Merton 1915-1968

"Think of it, all that speech pouring down, selling nothing, judging nobody...What a thing it is to sit absolutely alone, in the forest, at night, cherished by this wonderful, intelligible, perfectly innocent speech, the most comforting speech in the world, the talk that rain makes by itself all over the ridges...Nobody started it, nobody is going to stop it. It will talk as long as it wants, this rain. As long as it talks I am going to listen."
-Thomas Merton

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Elizabeth Strout has won the Pulitzer for Fiction

The Pulitzer Prizes have been announced, and the winner for Fiction is Liz Strout, for her recent novel in stories, Olive Kitteridge. I haven't read this one, but I've loved Liz's other books. Jeepers, this means that I can now say, in an offhanded way, of course, that yes, I have a friend who won the Pulitzer. Hats off to Liz! Huzzah! Hurray! A fine writer, and a fine human being.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Chekov online

201 Stories by Anton Chekov has just that, 201 of the master's stories, right there on this here ol' web. The translations, I hear you ask. These are the Constance Garnett translations. Some like her work, some do not.

The titles may be different from those in other collections. And the order is not chronological. From the website:

"Constance Garnett translated and published 13 volumes of Chekhov stories in the years 1916-1922. Unfortunately, the order of the stories is almost random, and in the last volume Mrs. Garnett stated: "I regret that it is impossible to obtain the necessary information for a chronological list of all Tchehov's works." This site presents all 201 stories in the order of their publication in Russia."

My favorite Chekhov stories are
"Lady with the Dog" (#197)
"The Bishop" (#200)
"The Schoolmistress" (188)
and "The Black Monk" (#170.)
Which are yours?

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Middlemarch by George Eliot

I first read Middlemarch when I was a teenager. I thought it was a series of romances, tied together with scenes of country life. I next read Middlemarch as a thirtysomething, and thought it was romances in community. Now nearing sixty, I see Middlemarch as well, funny. Still romances, the happy and unhappy outcomes of good and bad choices, still communities, but now, I am more atuned to George Eliot's fine, wry sense of proportion. So in case you were dismissing her as Victorian, fusty, and irrelevant, pray take another look, oh reader.

I read the introduction by Margaret Drabble in one edition, and found it mildly interesting, but the intro by her sister A.S. Byatt in the Modern Library edition is spot on:

"George Eliot did indeed coin the word "meliorism" to describe a belief in gradual progress - the word is attributed to her in the OED. But she had a strong - stronger - sense of black comedy, black tragedy than she is now generally credited with, and a saving savagery in her vision of man's normal and natural inhumanity to man."

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Pardon Me (I Didn't Knit That For You)



Truly delicious, especially the solo by the blonde on the left, and her mention of Elizabeth Zimmerman. Ah, sometimes life is so darn good. Just remember, the higher the hair, the closer to God.

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Friday, April 10, 2009

Free readings of Pinter at ACT

Pinter at ACT for free.

The next reading is Monday, May 4, 7pm, two one-act plays:
One for the Road and Ashes to Ashes, read by Burton Curtis and Mark Chamberlin.

(Upcoming readings on May 18, June 1, and June 15 will be announced soon.)

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Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The FB Aeneid

From Gawker comes the ultimate parody, The Facebook Aeneid.

It starts with:
"Virgil is singing arms and a man.
What are you doing at the moment?"


A tip of the rainhat to Deb for this.

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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Humane Society

I've signed up to become a volunteer at the Humane Society. I managed to go, meet the available dogs, and not come home with six. I don't know who my next dog will be, but for now, volunteering feels like the right way to go. Such nice humans there. And Jack, the red Pomeranian who rules the staff, ah, what a sweet fellow.

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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Patrick Marnham

Finally, a really good literary biography, with enough photos, and enough juice. Wild Mary: A Life of Mary Wesley (2007) is thorough, lively, and surprising. Marnham knows Wesley's novels well enough to point out biographical details and how Wesley used her own life as material, and how she changed the details.

Mary Wesley's life was a roller coaster, with two marriages, three children with different fathers, and publishing success when she was seventy. Huge publishing success. At seventy. A life of literature, sex, intrigue, and wartime danger. And she made good use of her life; she made it into good literature.

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Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Peter Donnelly 1939-2009

Peter Donnelly died on Saturday, March 28th. Back in the 1970s, Peter was my mentor. He was then the Producing Director of the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and I was the Associate Artistic Director of The Conservatory Theatre company. The Seattle Rep was the big daddy and my theatre was the new, mewling child in the hectic Seattle theatre scene. Peter was always there to take a phone call from me, to give me the very best, hard, tough advice. I wish now that I had made the time to see him, but I didn't even know he was ill. I remember his laugh, and his keen intelligence, and his shrewd knowledge of human behaviour.

from the Seattle Times obituary:

"A celebration of Mr. Donnelly's life will be at 6 p.m. April 20 at Seattle Repertory Theatre's Bagley Wright Theatre, 155 Mercer St.Mr. Donnelly is survived by his partner, David Farrar, of Seattle; and his sisters Donna Down, of Winchester, Mass., and Patricia Fabucci, of Lynn, Mass."

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