Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Monday, December 28, 2009

Our Boxing Day Rebellion!

From photo a day
Thanks to Christmas being on a Friday and Boxing Day, therefore, on Saturday, I got an extra Monday holiday. So, to celebrate we scheduled a whole weekend of Boxing Day Celebration.
From photo a day

We've tried to do it right - eating spaghetti, playing (Chinese) Ghost Stories (one win, one loss - though I suspect we only won because I convinced Kevin we should step down to the "Novice" level), and watching four (count them FOUR) Ang Lee films.

"Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon"

"Eat, Drink, Man, Woman"

"The Ice Storm"

"The Wedding Banquet"

And, that would be 16 thumbs up....

Jolie Bon's Bounce

From Singles 2009

He lifted his chin and rubbed the whiskers on his throat, the cast in his green eyes as ancient and devoid of moral light as those in a prehistoric, scale-covered creature breaking from the egg.

Meet Legion. Another fine, very disturbing Burke bad guy.

Another Burke novel where the lines of reality and the divine blur. Legion seems to be a demon with unexpected strength and supreme malice, an odor from hell and a second voice. Marvin Stokes is a traveling Bible salesman who pulls his suitcase of scripture tied to a roller skate yet is suffused with an air of predation. And, then there's Sal Angelo, a homeless, drug fogged Vietnam vet who claims to have been responsible for transporting a seriously injured soldier Dave out of the field and harms way.

The second tier of bad and good guys are more mundane: Tee Bobby Hulin - guitar player extraordinaire who's accused of raping and murdering a high school girl, his manager Jimmy Dean Styles, his lawyer, Perry LaSalle (of THE LaSalles), the prosecutor, Barbara Shannahan - who Clete falls for, a former "button man", Joe Zeroski, who's daughter has been brutally murdered, Joe's niece and various, ahem, associates... Someday I need to re-read one of these books immediately while I know all the characters.

And, of course, there's Dave and Clete. And, its a great Clete book.

He ran his big hand across the firmness of her back, the taper of her muscles along her hips.

"You're stand-up," he said.

"Not really," she said.

"You feel great, Barbara. Wow, do you feel great," he said, rubbing his cheek against her hair, petting her back, closing his eyes as he breathed in the fragrance and heat on her neck.

"So do you. But, Clete..." she said uncomfortably.

"What is it?" he asked, looking with alarm at her face.

"You're standing on my foot."

True to Form

From Singles 2009

More wisdom from Katie Nash - via Elizabeth Berg.

I think of how once I was standing in a church on Christmas Eve. There was a spicy scent of pine in the air, candles glowed, and there was baby Jesus in a creche on the alter. There was a sermon about love and joy, about redemption. And then everyone began to sing "O Holy Night". Next to me was a woman who could not carry a tune. At first I was so annoyed, listening to her. I wondered, Why does she sing so loud when she doesn't even know how? Then I looked at her and she was so pure, staring straight ahead, her face lit from within. Something moved into my heart at that moment that I did not really understand, but I understand it now: It is never about how good your voice is; it is only about feeling the urge to sing, and then having the courage to do it with the voice you are given. It is about what people try to share with each other, even if so many of us are so off-key when we do it. It is about saying we are somewhere, when what we mean is we are as close as we are able to get.

The thing about seasons is that when you're in one, you can't believe the others will ever come back. It feels to me like summer has its feet planted far apart and its hands on its hips: I am here.

Movers will come soon, Mrs Randolph told me, to take their things away. Then the house will be empty, and then new people will be there. A little time will pass and then it will seem like the new people have always been there. The way time and situations shift is a mystery of life. The way you can't count on anything staying, that's a sadness. Only yesterday, I saw white hairs in Bones' muzzle. I lay beside him, petting him, feeling so bad that he is getting old. For his part, he just wagged his tail and enjoyed the petting, which is what I mean about animals. They don't pace around, worrying. All they do is say, fine.

One thing I know. Anything we have, we are only borrowing. Anything. Anytime.

"Purple Cane Road" and "Mary Mary"

This is the one I'd been waiting for. It is the place I fell in love with James Lee Burke's Dave Robicheaux. I fell in love listening to Will Patton bringing life to Burke's words. The voice of Dave Robicheaux.

Unfortunately, this book is NOT available in Brisbane Australia's library system. By that I mean, it isn't available in print. So, despite my explicitly stated goal to read all of Robicheaux in order, I listened to "Purple Cane Road". And, I learned something. I learned the importance of the reader. (That is to say, it was not read by Will Patton.)

Now, since it has taken me 3 days after Christmas to get to the "twelfth day", it will come as no surprise that I actually "read" this book weeks ago. And, as a consequence my comments are very broad and lacking specifics. I'm not sure if my memory painted a story that the reality could not match or if the tale was tarnished by the wrong voice, but I was not blown away. Gosh, I hate to say that.

Similarly, while listening to Patterson's "Mary, Mary" was entertaining, it would not have launched me on a Patterson binge. Again, the narrator was all wrong for Alex Cross. This was exquisitely illustrated to me by his mispronunciation of the name Sojourner (as in Sojourner Truth.) No educated American, particularly an African American with a PhD would stumble over Sojourner. (Obviously, I was not entranced to have this error loom so large.)

If I had my act together

you would have received a Christmas card. And, it would have been very cool... looking something like this:

As it is, you will have to accept our (cyber) tardy well wishes for a joyful holiday and extra special new year!

With love in any season....

Ann, Kevin, and Zelda

Congratulations, Dr. Andrew!

From photo a day

Yes, yes. I'm very late. Very late. Well done!

(I hope the photos I took with your camera turned out well.)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas!

You'll have to hum your own carol. These are the images from Christmas 2009 - spent entirely here in Brisbane! Items to note:

Scene from mall was pulled because Kevin tells me it was boring. However, it was taken at 1:30 AM on the big "all night shopping" night at Chermside.

Santaland. Myers in the city (Queen Street Mall.) What is this fetish for going through a mouth into a magic land??? (See also Luna Park, Melbourne.)

Kevin with his favorite Christmas gift - thanks to Margie. Dark chocolate Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!

No photo of Zelda with her favorite gift - though she got to chew on it for almost 45 minutes before it hit the great dumpster, minus one squeaker, lots of yellow fuzz, and a significant piece of rubber.

Christmas lights from the Catholic Church on Maundrell Terrace. Please note- the bushmen wise men and Santa kneeling near the manger (with a gift, of course)!

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas!

On the Tenth Day of Christmas!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Warning to all

From APT 6 Goma

A sausage sizzle, even if it is at the Gallery of Modern Art, is a BYOM* event. Be prepared.

*Bring Your Own Mustard

Salute to Mo-vember!

From APT 6 Goma

From APT 6 Goma


From APT 6 Goma
That would be the Asian Pacific Triennial #6 and we were very impressed. We went early so we could see the Premier of Queensland, Anna Bligh, just to say we had. It was the opening of the exhibition and you wouldn't have thought it would take much thought to figure out that it was going to be a "big deal" to a large number of people. We expected a crowd. We just (or I just) didn't think they'd be all dressed up! I did wear my new shorts and socks - but I must say I was far from cool. In fact, if there was a coolness continuum, Kevin and I were resting comfortably on the left end.
From APT 6 Goma

The other principle reason we chose to attend the opening was that there were to be two outdoor exhibitions - a "fruit market" of paper fruit. (You could by the printed paper sheets and cut out/fold/make your own. A banana for 80c! Cheaper than what I pay for bananas in the flesh!)
From APT 6 Goma

The second, awe inspiring, not to be missed exhibit were the bubble machines! I could not stop smiling.

A quick slideshow of art from the exhibition. We recommend it to everyone!

Life imitates Art

From APT 6 Goma

From APT 6 Goma
What's going on here? Any Aussies know??? (These are ants. Later that evening - 12 hours or so, they were still in a huddle but on the ceiling beside the light fixture. By morning they were gone and not seen again.)

Saturday, December 05, 2009


I'm thinking ahead to my 2010 resolution and contemplating something like "looking in a mirror before I go out". This comes from the juxtaposition of two things. Being entirely impressed with the effort that some women put into dressing and seeing myself in the photos Kevin mother took while here in Brisbane (photo withheld - public service).

I'll never be able to achieve the level of pizzazz I witnessed today - how Anna Bligh matched her outfit to the colo(u)r (no doubt) of the APT signs at the GOMA - including her shoes (not pictured - just trust me...)
From APT 6 Goma

or the woman sitting in front of me on the train who's bra matched her dress! >
From APT 6 Goma

But, I'm hoping to be more easily distinguished from "bag lady" or "recently released mental patient" or as Kevin labels it "little old lady".

Looking up!

Finally a clear night. At 2:37 AM Kevin and I made our way out into the street, some of us clad in our pjs, and watched the International Space Station zip across the sky. I'm pretty sure I saw them waving.