Monthly Archives: September 2009

In case you were wondering

I’ve just put up my first review on 365 Days of Heaving Bosoms

Check it out, let me know what you think.


Please and thank you.


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What I did on My Summer Vacation: Visual Aids

This picture has been brought to you by the 1970s.  Both Jeremy and I look like we are from the mid 70s.  Also, Jeremy was doing some sort of strange dance behind me.  I don’t know what or why he was doing what he was doing, but the look on his face cracks me up.  Also the temple in the background was in honor of the Cthonic Deities.  You know, the underworld crew.  I was standing on a sacrificial altar.  Never got to do that on vacations in the States.

Next up I bring you a view of the Turkish Steps a view from the top of the Turkish Steps.

The Turkish Steps were used by Saracen Pirates to climb the cliffs so they could maraud and plunder and heave ho and all that.

This is the view from our rooftop terrace in Lipari

The owners of the B&B in Lipari had 5 cats.  This one liked to follow Jeremy around.  There was a grey and orange one who made me her mark but we didn’t get a picture of her



This is from the wine bar with the cave in Catania.  I don’t think I realised that Jeremy had inculded me in the picture, which is the only explanation I have for the face I was making

Here are some photos of art from the Biennale

1.  A sculpture made of film and a projector.  The film was moving and feeding into the projector which was showing a movie on the wall.

2. A cool painting that I liked.

It says “I must make more maps.” at the bottom.  It’s true, I should make more maps.

3. A room full of wire spheres that you could walk through, I am the aqua blue thing behind the sphere

This is me waiting for the vaporetto to Burano, where they make lace and have brightly painted houses.  This picture illustrates two things, 1.  I look pretty cute when I’m in Italy.  2. How do you know that English tourists are around?  Look for signs advertising TOAST.  Only the English would come to Italy and be all like, ‘You know what sounds good?  No not a pizza, not pasta with zucchini flowers, not gelato, no I could totally go for some toast.’

And this is Burano.

This is a room in the Contemporary Art Gallery in Palermo that was exactly half full of balloons.  You could play in it.   I loved it.  I don’t remember what the signifigance was of it being half full of balloons, I just remember it was fun.

This is my shoe that died.  See there’s a hole in the sole.  I remember when I could wear a pair of Converse every day for like 3 straight years and the soles would be the last thing to fall apart.  I bought these shoes a year ago.  What is the world coming too?  Why Converse, why?

And this is a very creepy puppet from the Marionette Museum in Palermo.


There are loads more pictures on my Facebook profile.  If you have any desire to see them, let me know and I will send you a link.


Filed under dorking it up, travel

What I did on my summer vacation

  1. Got attacked by mutant mosquitos in Venice
  2. Seriously they were horrifying.  The bites turned into blisters so that they were full of puss, painful and itchy.
  3. Also they were very red.  I am very pale.  I looked like a leper.  there is an island for lepers near Venice (well not anymore really, but it was) I am surprised I was not sent there.
  4. Saw some really great art.
  5. Infi-nitum at Palazzo Fortuny was, as expected, wonderful.  I am still a bigger fan of the first part Artempo but this final piece of the exhibition was great.  I wanted to move into the top floor of the museum and live on the old sofa in the corner under the giant white discs that looked like massive seeds hanging from the ceiling with Fortuny fabric draped walls all around me.  I would be happy to live there, forever and ever and ever
  6. Ate a surprisingly delicious meal on our first night in Venice at a restaurant called La Bitta.  Venice is not a gastronomic city so we were shocked at the quality of our food.  Pennette with zucchini and pumpkin flowers in a white wine sauce and gnocchi with a pumpkin and cheese sauce.  Only regret:  we were too full for dessert
  7. And so much art.  Some of it mediocre and perplexing but much of it amazing.
  8. When we got to Marco Polo Airport we discovered that the airline we were supposed to be using to fly to Catania, Sicily had closed down.  This was not a pleasant discovery.
  9. We were able to buy other cheap tickets on another airline once the info booth opened at 5:30 in the morning.
  10. We were not able to pay with credit card though because the machines at Marco Polo don’t work before 7:30 in the morning.
  11. We arrived in Catania to discover that the co-owner of our B&B was a Londoner who usually stays in Nunhead when he returns for visits.
  12. On day 2 we tried to drive around Mt Etna but when we arrived in the small town of Randazzo discovered that we were not feeling well at all
  13. Returned to B&B
  14. Did not leave B&B until it was time to drive to Milazzo to get the ferry to Lipari
  15. Still feeling ill, arrived in Lipari.
  16. Went out to dinner on first night, regretted this almost immediately.
  17. Returned to agriturismo
  18. Stayed at agriturismo (which was lovely with views of the sunset over the sea and fragrant flowers and a roof terrace and there were kittens and kestrels, it was not a bad place to convalesce we were just very tired of feeling unwell)
  19. In Milazzo felt well enough to go to the beach of a couple hours
  20. The beach was beautiful, lots of small pebbles, no sand, and clear warm water.
  21. Returned to B&B, returned to sickness
  22. FINALLY one week after beginning to feel ill, felt well enough to sight see again.
  23. VALLEY OF TEMPLES!  I loved this place.  there were so many temples, some still partially in tact.  We could see two of them from the breakfast terrace at our B&B
  24. We also saw the Scala dei Turchi and loads of amazing old churches
  25. More mosquitos bit me.  None as horrifying as those in Venice though
  26. And finally on to Palermo where we stayed in t he former home of Giuseppi Tomasi de Lampedusa, author of the Leopard
  27. As mentioned before, Palermo was sort of weird and beautiful and strange.  I’m still thinking about it a lot.  Deciding what I think about it.
  28. Were driven to the airport by an insane taxi driver.  Thought I was going to die at least 10 times.
  29. Happily returned home safe and sound.
  30. Pictures to come later, maybe tonight.

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A few days late, many dollars short

So Jim Carroll died. 

In 1997 I saw him perform both spoken word and his music at the Magic Stick in Detroit.  He told a story about meeting William Burroughs and how his father once met the famous gangster, Dutch Schultz, and his fear that Burroughs would call him out based on his description of Schultz’s desk by saying something like (and imagine Jim Carroll doing a really good William Burroughs impersonation as you read this), ‘You dumb bastard, Dutch Schultz had a cherry desk not walnut!’

Mike Watt opened the show doing some of his solo work.  He was drunk. Very, very drunk.

In 1998 I finally condescended to watch the movie version of The Basketball Diaries.  it was better than I expected although I still believes that the ending is total crap.

In 1995 I bought my copy of the book, the only edition I could find at the bookstore in Port Huron was the one with Leonardo DiCaprio looking like a teen pin-up on the cover.  I stole some construction paper from my mom’s craft supplies and made a book cover that I glued on.  There was one passage about writing and how it was like starting with an empty room and the words were the building blocks and the paint and the furniture.  I can’t find it right now, but i still remember reading it at 18 and thinking, ‘Yes.’

In 1997 I brought my construction paper covered copy of the book with me to the show.  On the back I had written, ‘I just want to be pure.’ At the end of the show, people rushed up to say hello and or get autographs, and I looked down at my mutilated copy of the book and decided just to put it back in my bag and leave it.  I should have gone up to the front of the room and at least shaken his hand and said thanks.  I regret not doing that.

And, of course, in 2009, I am sad that he has passed but glad that he lived longer than many probably expected.  And glad that I bought that book, even with its stupid cover and glad that I got to see him perform even once at a smelly pool hall in Detroit.


Filed under literatures, Memory lane, other books

and return

We are home.

London is grey.

The cat has a limp.

But there are like five million yellow cherry tomatoes in the garden, so that’s good.

Italy recaps to come later.

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a brief update from palermo

Palermo is a strange town.  There is a strange mix of beautiful and horrible architecture.  Some buildings remain damaged from American bombs in WWII.  We have seen churches built in the 11th century.  In the convento dei cappucini we saw a 2 year old who was mummified in 1920.  In the Botanical Gardens there was the most massive banyan tree. Then in front of a baroque church we saw a dead rat.  A Detroit sized cockroach climbed onto my ankle last night (I screamed unashamedly).  The Cattedrale built over an old mosque was so beautiful I almost cried.  I don’t love this city as I have loved other places we visited, but I won’t ever forget it.

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