This is a band that I discovered last year about this time when Dave and I took a mini-honeymoon in NYC. We wanted to catch a gig while we were there but didn't have very much money to spend.
I was in a charity shop in town the other day and it's a rare event that I'll leave without buying at least one book. I picked up three, one of them being Moby Dick. I'm a sucker for classics and this is a novel I've been meaning to read for ages. And it will probably take me that long to read it - it's a big 'un! I'm not kidding! It's got to be about 6 inches thick. I think it might be even thicker than The Fountainhead (which took me several months to read on my first attempt when I was 16 or 17; I read it again last year while I had loads of time on my hands, waiting to find out whether or not I'd be granted a visa to go back to England...I think it only took me a couple of weeks that time)! I'm only a couple of pages in, but so far I'm loving it - it's like an epic-sized poem. It's full of lush descriptions and already there's a weight about it - a sort of anxious sadness which reminds me, strangely enough, to the way J.D. Salinger writes. Its language is much older, but the dark humor is similar and the atmosphere a bit damp...which is what I think of when I read Catcher in the Rye.
Another great recipe from Vegetarian Times. I've wanted to try this for ages and have just gotten around to it. I don't know why it took so long! These are great!! The recipe suggested serving them with mango chutney; I didn't have any on hand, but I did have a mango so I made my own. I modified a Better Homes and Garden recipe, substituting dried figs for dried cherries. It was a wonderful compliment. I couldn't find a direct link to the recipe, but it basically involves bringing vinegar, packed brown sugar, dried cherries (or figs), onion and ginger to a boil and letting simmer for about 10-15 minutes before adding chopped mangoes. I just improvised on the quantities and I would recommend doing the same.
I saw this movie a couple of years ago, but forgot that I had. I saw it in the video store the other day and snapped it up without even thinking about it cuz I just love Kate Winslet. The film is good, but it makes me want to read the novel because there are so many questions that remain unanswered in the film (and if you've not seen the film, you should stop reading now; while I don't necessarily go into detail about the film, the questions I pose will reveal some plot spoilers): Why does Hanna start an affair with a teenage boy? Is she emotionless or has she developed a steely exterior to protect herself emotionally from the horrible things she's seen (and participated in) in her past? How did she end up becoming a guard for the SS? Was it because of her illiteracy? Was it because she had no choice? Did she love Michael? I can come to some conclusions about these things, but they're all speculative. I would like to think that the novel would offer some insight that the film attempts to do, but in a way that can only be ambiguous because unless the film is narrated, you can only guess at what the characters' expressions mean - much like life.
...also thinking about
In yesterday's blog I wrote a bit about Ai Weiwei's sunflower seed project. I watched the mini-documentary about his process and something just didn't settle right with me: he never did any work himself. Now, I realize that it is not uncommon in the art world for an artist to act as director while other people do the actual work. And I appreciate that Weiwei employed a lot of people in a small village, which is fairly philanthropic. But in every shot, he was just standing there, looking at what the "artists" were doing. I just can't reconcile this. Because if it were me, I don't think I could do that. I would want to get tucked in - if for no other reason than to learn about these peoples' lives. I would want to know about the people who helped me to create such a massive and time-consuming project. There's an artist named Allan McCullom who does something similar in an installation project, Shapes from Maine.