Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Alice In Wonderland

Angst much, Alice?
Alice Neel: Self-Portrait

This weekend I rented a documentary about the legendary portraitist Alice Neel. With extensive interviews of her sons, the fruits of her genius and neglect, the film seemed to be a parade of Alice's extraordinarily affected portraits set to the soundtrack of her sons' actively arguing and reworking their own narratives. For the woman who said that "whether I'm painting or not, I have this overweening interest in humanity. Even if I'm not working, I'm still analyzing people," she seems to have thoroughly confused her children in the process. And then there's the allusion to the daughter left behind in Cuba, who as an adult killed herself. Interviews with Alice reveal that she was fascinated by her children as subjects, but she seemed so focused, absorbing the essence of those immediately in front of her easel (which she did, beautifully) that you have to wonder what was missed as a result of her myopic focus, or what any artist misses, squirreled away working on their art? Is the artistic sacrifice honorable, and whose humanity are they furthering? Alice was hailed as a ground-breaking feminist artist, through she shrugged the title. I wonder why.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Ma, the turkey's dry.

Boiling wool into shapes is a completely useless and fascinating trend. I mean, what goes into the cute little fuzzy bowls you keep bringing home from crafts night? Fuzzy cheerios you make the next week, maybe? This didn't keep Knit/Purl, an inspired little knit shop at my streetcar stop, from making this darling Thanksgiving setting, made entirely of boiled wool.

That's a turkey this veggie can get behind!

Two Weeks To Wordstock!

A funny little commercial for Wordstock Book & Literary Festival

I've said it before. Poets are word magicians to me. And if they can belt it out on stage like Anis here? Swoon. If you're in Portland, come see six of the world's best Slam Poets at McMenamin's Baghdad Theatre on Hawthorne, Thursday evening, Nov. 6th, for Wordstock's opening night event. Tickets are $15, and all the money raised goes to COW, doing our part to keep the kiddies literate. Buy your tickets here.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Paulrus Is Dead.

Paulrus Is Dead IV
Originally uploaded by skomra
My best thinking is done on the bus. Somehow my brain synapses fly freely twice a day when the bus lurches to a halt every block and a half for 60 long ones. Some run for clarity. Some yoga. I public transit.

Of course, not all my thoughts are brilliant. This evening, for instance. For the hundredth time, my eyes caught a PAULRUS IS DEAD graffiti tag. I'm sort of in love with the brainchild behind PAULRUS IS DEAD.

Some theories:

Paulrus is what an overly sensitive, acne-covered 16 year old's bully brother had taken to calling his little brother Paul following a particularly creative trip to the zoo. Paulrus spent a summer working out at the local YMCA gym a la Rocky, read plenty of Philip Roth and grew three feet in a summer. Paul emerged and was accepted early-admission to Vassar, but didn't go before righting his big brother's wrong all over town.

Someone is out to get Paulrus. Yikes. Paulrus is marked. PAULRUS IS DEAD.

Paul thought he and Russ were solid. They even adopted their namesake, a show pug named Paulrus. Forever haunted by the boy that came between them, the dream of PAULRUS IS DEAD.

I'm not the only obsessive. PAULRUS IS DEAD has a devoted Flickr group.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Respect the cupcake!

Heaven in a wrapper - Toasted Coconut Cream!

I never got more web traffic than I did a few months ago when I posted a singular picture of a lemon cupcake from Saint Cupcake. That was cool, though, because I love them too. One of my favorite blogs (and daily haunts) is sfgirlbybay. I was thrilled to see that today's guest blogger (sfgirlbybay's on vacation in Thailand) is Mrs. French, a fellow PDX blogger. And for her first guest blog, she did a lovely interview with the folks at one of my favorite places on earth, right down the street from mouse house - Noun (also home to south east Portland's branch of Saint Cupcake). Speaking of Saint Cupcake, it's somebody's birthday soon...so, mind the cupcake.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Words Change Everything

So much to do, and only 30 days till Wordstock. Even my dreams seem to be monopolized with website updates and hunting down author photos (when I was a temp, I used to have dreams that I was filing documents alphabetically, or trying to fill out an endless Excel doc. Am I the only one?) Then a Wordstock Google alert pinged my email this afternoon. Justin had posted this Wieden+Kennedy ad made for Wordstock last year and I paused for a second, realizing how lucky I am to do what I do. And now, back to it.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A (sort of) Island Escape

Canela digs Saturday morning on Sauvie Island so much more than the Pilates class we blew off to get there. And a bucket of U-Pick flowers for ten bucks can't be beat.