zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
The challenge: Upper Rubber Boot's 100 untimed books.

Over at Vary the Line, my response to prompt 29: equality.

Prompt 30: paper

30 - paper

30 - paper

Prompt 31: glass

31- glass

(Nick Bantock's Griffin and Sabine)

Prompt 32: breathing

32 - breathing

. . . That summer,

I sold squash alone, and my uncle started
a cough that didn't stop until January.

Nobody slept the week of his funeral.
Katie Teppe took a drink and said,

That's a damn nice looking coffin.
zirconium: snapshot of oysters enjoyed in Charleston (oysters)
So much happening in Nashville today. Assorted friends and colleagues were at either the Southern Festival of Books or Frist Center events, especially in relation to the Shinique Smith show. My Twitter timeline seemed to be checking in from either Oktoberfest or the Grace Potter concert. I was tempted to walk to the trunk show hosted by my yoga studio (especially on hearing that hot whiskey cider would be served), and equally tempted to stay home and nap, since I'd stayed up longer than I should've rereading a Lee Bros. cookbook.

But I had reserved a spot in the free 9 a.m. screenprinting workshop at Plaza's Hands On Creativity day, so that's where I went after breakfast. The hands-on part of that session involved applying glow-in-the-dark ink to a t-shirt, which is now on my ironing board upstairs, awaiting the heat-before-wearing/washing step. (Note to locals: there are workshops and demos on various topics through Sunday, too.) To my relief, the group opted for the skull-with-flowers design rather than the four-leaf clover pattern. The rep warned that the blue ink we selected would not glow as intensely as the original practically-invisible-in-daylight formula, but I was willing to make that tradeoff, especially since it sounded like the latter might register as yellow (which, no thanks. I have plenty of dingy-looking shirts already).

While at the store, I also picked up a copy of Huis Clos, a new paper I'd heard some buzz about. The "What's It Like to Bike That Pike (Volume VII: Murfreesboro Pike)" column was both fun and informative enough read for me to see if the earlier installments were online, but I've come across only an abridged version of the feature on Hillsboro.

After a stretch of housework, I went back out to Charlotte Pike, dropping off dry cleaning and picking up twenty pounds of rice at K&S, along with a sack of snow pea leaves. Chinatown and Lucky Bamboo have both been out of those greens the past few times I've attempted to order them, so spotting them was today's winning-the-shopping-lottery moment. On the way home, I stopped at Sweet 16th for kung pao quinoa and an Elvis mini-bundt cake.

After lunch, it was back to Plaza for the Gamblin workshop, which involved 2- and 3-D color wheels as well as extended discussions about layering and opacity/transparency:

Gamblin oil demo

The take-home samples included a bottle of Galkyd Lite, a bottle of Gamsol, and a tube of Torrit Grey. A new pair of products of particular interest: solvent-free gel and fluid, which are sufficiently non-flammable that artists can bring them onto planes.

On my way out, I spent a couple of minutes at the Winsor and Newton table, where there were markers and blenders to play with. On my way home, I stopped at Woodland Wine Merchant, where today's tasting was from their barrel of Eagle Rare. Its smell? Glorious.

Upper Rubber Boot's prompt 27 for 100 Untimed Books is "dog-eared." That entry is over at Vary the Line.

Prompt 28 is "water":

28 - water
zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
A thing I enjoy about prompts is that they get my brain out of its usual grooves. I did not know until just now, for instance, that there is a programming language named "Julia," which is the name that came to mind for Upper Rubber Boot's prompt 26 for #100UntimedBooks. "Julia" is also a name of the editor of 7x20, which will feature some pieces of mine soon (and which was founded by Upper Rubber Boot's publisher). It is also a name of a woman who witnessed my wedding and the first name of her daughter.

I say "a name" since many of the women I know answer to multiple monikers. And then there's "Olivia Morgan Gilliam" in The Pastel Trilogy, who owes her existence, one could say (page 12), to Julia Morgan Hays. And those books, which are rooted in Greenville, bring to mind Julia Reed...

26 - the same names

I fit in some writing of my own today during lunch, which was at the 2/22 Eatery at the Country Music Hall of Fame (thank you, Downtown Partnership, for the discount). At one point the guitarist segued from "Can't Help Falling in Love" into a few bars of Mendelssohn's wedding march. Since he'd actually spent a solid part of the hour playing Bach and then Johnny Cash, I wasn't visited by the urge to pelt rolls at him.
zirconium: sculpture of owl at Cheekwood, Nashville (Cheekwood owl)
Upper Rubber Boot's prompt 25 for 100 Untimed Books is "skyline."

26 - the same names

The two skylines that have lifted my heart the most often are Chicago's and Nashville's. Riding the bus from Kentucky or the train from Michigan to Chicago. Giggling at Nashville's Bat-building countless times.

I am kind of tempted by this painting party, but Music City Masquerade is also that weekend (not to mention music to rehearse and perform, and letters to letter, etc.). Oh, the choices ...
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
Upper Rubber Boot's prompt 24 for 100 Untimed Books is "sweets."

Which brings to mind a different cookbook:

From which I've made these:

praline chocolate cake

bavarian cream

The miniature bottle of cherry liqueur was special ordered by my favorite wine store when I needed it for the praline chocolate cake above. There was plenty of cake left over after the party, so I took a third of it to Amanda and Tyler and the gang.

Last night I was not feeling nearly so ambitious, and ended up at Local Taco. They ran out of the lobster-BLT special that had gotten me out of the house, but there are worse fates than sipping a frozen margarita over a fried avocado taco while watching Dexter Fowler hit a home run for the Cubs. (Didn't see Arrieta steal second, but was plenty amused by the Twittersphere's reaction to that.)
zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)
The day, it was mixed. On the less fun side of the ledger, there was the flat tire on my bike, a family member meltdown, feeling out of shape, and having to return to the supermarket because I'd left the yeast and mayo in the bagging area. On the upside, I was treated to a lovely breakfast, the new temp crown is behaving so far, I have a bowl of bao-dough rising, and I adapted the Lee Bros. recipe for shrimp supreme into cod creole for tonight's supper.

Upper Rubber Boot's prompt 23 for 100 Untimed Books is "instructions."

My go-to cookbook is Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. It's been revised since I received my comp from Borders, which adds to the grungy oh-la-la of my tattered and splattered first edition:

23 - instructions

And in spite of this book being older than most of my shoes and nephews, there are plenty of dishes I look forward to attempting someday:

zirconium: of blue bicycle in front of Blue Bicycle Books, Charleston (blue bicycle)
Upper Rubber Boot prompt 20: travel
21: black and white
22: can't wait to see

I have fond memories of a morning I spent in Jacksonville almost three years ago. There were beautifully bedecked lions...

San Marco Square

...and a spice shop, where I purchased some presents, and the San Marco Bookstore, where I picked up three more gifts. (This was the road trip where I picked up Christmas stamps for that year's holiday mailing and then couldn't remember where I'd stashed them until January. This year I'm sticking with roses.) The store was having a Buy 1 Get 1 free sale, so I treated myself to Samuel Chamberlain's Bouquet de France (sixth printing August 1960), which includes both black-and-white photographs and line drawings:

Prompt 21 - black and white 21 - black and white28 - water

A painting I can't wait to see again (and unsuccessfully searched for online a few nights ago) is Irwin Hoffman's Portrait of Dorothea G. Hoffman, which hangs in the Boston Public Library's Fine Arts/Music Reading Room. It's a marvelous record of a beautiful woman, and it's been almost a decade since I last visited her (and the danger is, of course, that the painting may be rotated out by the time I next get myself to Suffolk County. Not too long ago, Cheekwood put back into a storage a painting I'd just started writing about but hadn't taken complete notes on, thinking it would be there the next time...). I keep my precious copy of the BPL reading room art list tucked inside a guidebook from Cambridge's Globe Corner store:

22 - can't wait to see

At the moment, though, I'm abandoning all my grand plans for the afternoon in favor of a nap. (Current rule of thumb: if I'm too tired to wash the dishes, I'm too tired to go out again. Plus there are mushroom bao to make...) I did sing in two services this morning, and I write about how the Gospel of Luke got me thinking about Jack Gilbert over at Vary the Line, which Mary is reviving, with contributions from me and Joanne at least once a month.
zirconium: Photo of graduated cylinder with black and blue feathers (measured 1)
Upper Rubber Boot prompt 18: spokesman

My copy of Jim Ottaviani's Suspended in Language is on loan to a friend, so you get this instead:

18 - spokesman

Sir Mark Oliphant, in Ann Mozley Moyal's Portraits in Science:

I was a member of a group that was led by Niels Bohr, after the test in Alamogordo, that was very much against the use of this new weapon on civilian cities. Niels Bohr, who was our spokesman -- which was a pity in some ways, because his English wasn't good and [laughs] his wife told me his Danish was almost as bad -- but he became our spokesman and was very very good and persistent in his approach.

  • Wikipedia's Pauli effect entry, which links to my sonnet about same

  • A Particular Truth--1941 - on Bohr and Heisenberg

  • At Teaching Resources, which obtained it via Moving Poems, which features Nic Sebastian's take as well: Othniel Smith's video remix of "Playing Duets with Heisenberg's Ghost"
  • zirconium: doll with bike @High Point Doll Museum (doll with bike)
    Upper Rubber Boot Prompt 17: driving

    17. driving

    I have been working on the catalogue of next year's Italian car exhibition, so this book (the catalogue of an earlier exhibition curated by Ken Gross) has kept me company during some late nights the past month. This weekend's work-related reading is the catalogue for an exhibition about the House of Alba.

    In other news, Moonsick Magazine published my poem "Nowhere to Go" yesterday.

    The BYM came by for lunch, and then we went upstairs to the postcards exhibition. He was especially entertained by some of the Krampus cards, as well as a sexy Easter greeting.
    zirconium: sculpture of owl at Cheekwood, Nashville (Cheekwood owl)
    16 - instruments

    Upper Rubber Boot Prompt 16: instruments

    Recently reading poems about Madam CJ Walker and A'Lelia Walker has me itching to resume contributing to the African American National Biography project (for which I wrote entries on Frederick Asbury Cullen, Rose Leary Love, and Gertrude Rush some years ago).

    But there are existing commitments to honor first, including learning Paul Winter et al.'s Missa Gaia, which a friend last night joked has become "The Unitarian Universalist Messiah (which, yes, my church has performed multiple times in the past twenty years, but this November's Music Sunday will be the first one I'm available for).

    You know you're in for something different when the credited composers include wolves and whales:

    learning Missa Gaia learning Missa Gaia

    I am reminded that I really do live in an amazing town -- the saxophone soloist for Music Sunday will be Jeff Coffin, and some other Sunday I'll get myself to one of Acme's jazz or soul brunches, and some other time I'll hit the clubs and workshops on the list. But first, there is work to do and there are friends to see. In the meantime: Madam CJ Walker and John Coltrane, at a now-closed doll museum in North Carolina...

    Doll & Miniature Museum of High Point
    zirconium: photo of squeezy Buddha on cell phone, next to a coffee mug (buddha and cocoa)
    Prompt 13: comforting

    13. comforting

    Prompt 14: orange

    14. orange

    Prompt 15: fact

    15. fact

    15. fact
    zirconium: sunflower core against the sky (sunflower sentinel)
    The subject line is from Diane Ackerman's "I Praise My Destroyer," which also contains these lines:

    it was grace to live
    among the fruits of summer, to love by design,
    and walk the startling Earth

    cigarette machine
    Cigarette machine, Jerusalem, 2009

    Paper Hound Bookshop
    Poetry machine, The Paper Hound Bookshop, Vancouver, 2013

    every stationery store should have a sleepy doggie
    Stationery shop, Wilmington (NC), 2012

    Madison County Public Library, 2008

    Paris, 2009
    zirconium: photo of ranunculus bloom on my laptop (ranunculus on keyboard)
    Prompt: poems

    11. poems

    In the photo:
    If I Had Wheels or Love - Vassar Miller
    Collected Poems - Lynda Hull
    In Advance of All Parting - Ansie Baird
    A Year in Poetry - edited by Thomas E. Foster and Elizabeth C. Guthrie
    Staying Alive - edited by Neil Astley

    I'll probably spend part of tonight with one of these books. But first I will be finishing up the assembling of tonight's dinner (a variation of Bittman's chickpea tagine with chicken and apricots), and looking at other chicken recipes for tomorrow night. It will likely be pot pie if I feel I have time; if not, chicken salad sandwiches with leftover mashed potatoes on the side. The focus on chicken is thanks to a manager's special Saturday that resulted in me stewing a crockpot full of thighs; some of the chicken jelly was ladled onto the dog's kibble tonight, and oh, such rejoicing and gobbling there was by the auld girl.
    zirconium: black pearl pepper plant at Cheekwood (black pearl pepper)
    It's been a while since my last spell of quality time with the tomato plants. This morning I reached for the scissors and twine. The vine I'd draped over the bookshelves had dropped to the floor, so I hauled it back up and this time used Jane Austen (a gift from my big brother) to anchor into place.

    Jane Austen, tomato vine anchor

    Jane Austen, tomato vine anchor

    Jane Austen, tomato vine anchor

    I did sneak in a bit of pruning two nights ago, with one cutting going into a pot outside:


    There was a vine I'd mentally consigned to the compost pile earlier in the week, but when I took a closer look at it, there were two tiny green tomatoes on it. So -- as with so many other things these days -- I'll wait and see.

    not yet ready to compost

    not yet ready to compost
    zirconium: French word for "light" (on wall of Cheekwood Mansion) (lumière)
    I am in love with this sentence I just saw in the the New York Times, about the Super Blood Moon:

    "You're basically seeing all of the sunrises and sunsets across the world, all at once, being reflected off the surface of the moon," said Dr. Sarah Noble, a program scientist at NASA.

    my song!

    Sep. 25th, 2015 07:31 pm
    zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
    David Early-Zald wrote this for me: Mechaieh

    (My copies of the CD just arrived in yesterday's mail. Whee-yay!)
    zirconium: me @Niki de St Phalle's Firebird (firebird)
    dolling up for a wedding

    D: What's with the blue hair?

    Me: Mid-life crisis.

    D: Ah. Cheaper than a new car!

    B: Or a new husband!


    Sep. 13th, 2015 08:52 pm
    zirconium: my hands, sewing a chemo cap liner (care caps hands)
    At my church today: Spanky, a therapy dog in the Pet Partners program.

    Spanky the Shih Tzu

    My church observes a custom called "sharing the plate," where half of the "loose cash" (i.e., not designated for pledges) collected during the offertory goes to a local charity. This month the money will go to Crossroads Campus, whose goals include "OFFER[ING] PAID JOB-TRAINING internships to young adults who lack the connections and experience needed to break into the workforce" and
    "PROVID[ING] AFFORDABLE HOUSING for young adults on the brink of homelessness; offering stability, safety and community to those who need it most" -- two social issues that many people in the congregation have put in many hours toward addressing.

    Petting Spanky

    The literature on the social justice table today included coupons for the Crossroads store and self-serve dog wash, and save-the date cards for Hike for the Homeless (November 7), which will benefit Safe Haven Family Shelter.

    Victoria, Spanky, and a friend
    zirconium: photo of flask with feathers in and around it (flask with feathers)

    the world ripe with seeds
    on the other side of the wall


    Sep. 5th, 2015 08:04 pm
    zirconium: medical instruments @High Point Doll Museum (medical instruments (miniature))
    Some of the trees in my yard are already shifting from green to brown. I'm heading in the other direction, but first I'm going to enjoy a day or two between the bleaching and the dyeing:

    between the bleach and the blue between the bleach and the blue

    In the meantime, fresh balloonflowers are keeping company with those gone to seed...

    balloonflowers balloonflowers


    zirconium: snapshot of cookie cutter star from sorghum marshmallow making (Default)

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