Sunday, July 24, 2011

Don't let me become one of those people who...

collect ceramic owls. There are already two people in my neighborhood who do. One is the guy with the owl window. His building has bay windows on the second and third floors, but the first floor suddenly becomes very L.A. His famous owls are displayed in a big, square picture window which I believe is SLIDING GLASS which is heresy in S.F. It's hard to see inside; he also has lots of plants, and he works at home among many plants and his wise totems.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Exaggerated Bow

Here is self-referential humor at its finest. The exaggerated bow. It celebrates the world's most famous Kitty' s 35th anniversary. Yes, she was born in 1977. In London (??). Like many children's stories her parents are never mentioned. She does have kindly grandparents though. The first person I knew into hk was a performance artist named Werther Ornot. I was stepping off a bus from Chico where I had given a lecture on equestrian statues. Werther was headed to Berkeley and proceeded to open an hk coin purse and pull out a New Zealand 10 pence. His most famous piece involved creating a series of fake weather maps with non-existant cold fronts. Actually he was better known for his experimental music at Mills College. You know, comedienne Rose Marie is very up on the arts. She funded and owns an installation I did at the Oroville Museum of Contemporary Art. It is called The Floating Cup Garden. A small travertine plaza has a maze drilled into it. The width of these canals, that branch out at right angles, is slightly wider than a tea cup and their depth slightly deeper. In the beginnig the cups full of fragrant, inspirational tea float in an artificial, kidney-shaped pond. A great loon call is heard and a running outboard motor is lowered into the pond. This causes the steaming vessels of hot liquid to disperse into the Floating Cup Garden, each on its way like a drunken boat. A series of travertine pavilions shade the mini- canals. Here poets stand in long gold robes. They are not to move and only IF a cup is stuck in the maze do they gracefully squat, take the cup from the water, stand, drink and declaim an extemporaneous poem. Then Rose Marie declares the best poem and the winning poet takes an exaggerated bow.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Nonline Dictionary

I was so excited to have saved fiive dollars on a paperback dictionary that I shared my delight with a group of friends over veggiie omlettes at the Hawk's Perch. A friend who resembles a small neurotic dog barked "A dictionary? Why can't you just look things up on the web??"
You mean those online dictionaries that were created with YEARS of scholarship and research?

One of the pleasures of looking up an entry in a paper dictionary is that I get lost on the way.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Our new home (Bill and me)

A wonderful architect has designed and built a vacation home for us on Long Island. We are both high-level, hi-tech executives in Seattle, but need our sunbaths during the summer. Also, it's easier to fly to Europe from Long Island.

The house is shaped like an airplane hanger and is mostly underground. Image an enormous pipe pushed into the earth. Very green, n'est-ce pas? It complies with zoning regulations by not being obviously ostentatious. The only change I asked for after completion was that the concrete staircase down to the hidden underground level be ripped out, redesigned and rebuilt. They were concrete steps held up by steel cables like a suspension bridge. I wasn't walking down that thing. After Joan Crawford's husband Al Steele's accident in their two-level penthouse, I didn't want any chi-leaking stairs.

Being 6'3", a house with a sloping ceiling didn't work too well for me. Bill is short so he never thought of the limitations of such a design. He suggested that we put up beaded curtains where the slope became dangerous to my noggin. This was an excellent idea, especially since I had just published an article in "Film and Cinema Review" about beaded curtains in motion pictures. The first curtain I mention is in Otto Preminger's "Advise and Consent" a film about political blackmail. One character, sort of a male maven, answers the door of his apartment wearing a caftan. The set decorator uses a beaded curtain in the scene to indicate the character is a homosexual. Now, there is nothing wrong with caftans. I ordered mine as soon as one appeared in the "Ah Men" catalog in 1968. The next beaded curtain I explore is in "Color Me Kubrick" where John Malkovitch plays a guy who impersonates Stanley Kubrick to con people out of thousands of dollars. The con artist was gay, though Kubrick was not. Malkovitch, in his beaded curtained apartment, plays the con man with the usual limp wrist gestures he applies to all his gay roles. (Even though it was stereotypical, I enjoyed the movie). During the commentary, the director mentions that he actually met the real con artist. He said the guy didn't seem very "gay acting" at all. Duh. Finally the last film I mention is, of course, Hitchcock's "Beaded Curtain."