Monday, December 31, 2012

Goodbye, 2012 . . . Hello 2013!

It is 5:40pm, CST. 

I am in my warm apartment, watching the BBC miniseries Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. So, here we are at the end of another year. 

2012, for the most part, has been a year of changes, periods of growth, moments of sadness and moments of happiness with much laughter. Tonight, I plan to ring in the new year with a neat glass of Czech plum brandy, or Slivovitz, and many films of various genres. 
I also plan to ring in the new year wishing the One Who Matters a Happy New Year and that I shall see him soon at Shadowcon.

To all my friends and loved ones who will be ringing in the new year tonight, I wish you a very Happy New Year!

Let's see what 2013 will bring!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Goth Comes to the Memphis Ornamental Metal Museum

I decided to visit the Memphis Ornamental Metal Museum the day before Christmas Eve, simply for the sake that I love this place! Where else can you go that has not only some of the coolest metal sculptures both inside the buildings and outside, but also offers a lovely view of the Mississippi River? Of course, I never need a reason to visit this place; I just show up and enjoy the metal delights. One of their current exhibits is Gothic Jewelry: Sinister Pleasures, showing now until 17 February 2013.

 I had to see this exhibit with my own eyes and I’m glad that I did. For those of you who enjoy the Goth subculture or who like the macabre every now and then, this exhibit is for you. There were many jewelry pieces made of various items ranging from metal to bones crafted into clawed rings, straight razor necklaces, brooches worn with only the finest black clothing and other pieces. If you visit the exhibit, be sure to pick up a copy of this exhibition catalogue to read more information about the pieces and their creators. A BIG thumbs up to the Metal Museum for providing this darkly beautiful exhibit!

Photo of the Day

Taken at Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art (Japanese Garden) in Nashville, TN.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The New Yorker and Me: A Love/Hate Story

I love reading The New Yorker. Seeing that magazine in my mailbox brings me great joy mingled with anticipation as I wonder what subjects will be covered. I read the magazine in order to connect with like-minded people and to be up to date on the latest in politics, current events, literature, music, the theatre and the news of the eclectic. Reading The New Yorker is like wearing a button that says “Hey! I read The New Yorker and I love it!” 

This sayeth the reader. 

Now, let me tell you why I DON’T like The New Yorker. As much as I love receiving my issues in the mail, they do tend to pile up unread in my apartment when I least expect it. I mean, it’s not my fault that I sometimes prefer the company of a certain fry cook sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea. It’s not my fault that I also like to travel to a fantasy world while armed with massive weapons, cool looking armour and very long and pointed ears. I soak in intellectual substance with great glee, yet even I have my limits as to how much I can take. Whenever I feel myself possibly overdosing on the intellectual stimulation, I threaten my piles of The New Yorker with canceling my subscription, only to take a couple of hours from my usual busy night to read my back issues with a sigh. All is then restored to a nice balance. 

However, there was one time in which I did cancel my subscription and told him (I like to think of The New Yorker as a guy like those professors at Oxford who wear tweed no matter the season and who also laugh at your jokes, even if they’re not funny) that we needed to see other people. He was upset yet told me that he would think of me always in a fond way. He didn’t put up a struggle to my leaving him. I walked away and did not look back, fearful that he would see my tears. Several weeks later, I visited one of the bookstores in town and saw him engaging in stimulating conversations with TIME and Newsweek. He saw me walk up to him and glance at his colourful cover, and then proceeded to take a peek at some of the articles inside. I looked at the book reviews and actually sighed when I skimmed through the article about the history of tea cozies, (as far as I know, The New Yorker has NEVER written an article about tea cozies!) I felt him smile at me, only to turn to a frown as I closed him and walked away. I returned home without him and tried my best to get over seeing him. I knew I was stronger than that. I had to be. Days turned into weeks as I visited other bookstores and saw him with different covers and a ready smile on his face just for me. And still, I would take a peek at his articles of the week, smile and ask how he was doing, then politely close the magazine and walk away empty handed. As each week passed, the pain lessened for me, yet little did I realize that he had a trick up his sleeve, the ace in the hole that would bring me back to him. And, his trick did work. 

One day in a different bookstore, I walked in and saw him with a new cover, of course, and a smile that seemed to be different than before. I smiled back and peeked through his pages, only to stop in shock as I pulled him wide open. There before me was a sample of the new novel by Ian McEwan, one of my favourite novelists. I glanced at the cover then back at the segment. Curse him, I thought; he knew my weakness. 30 minutes later, he was in apartment. Nothing further needed to be said. A week later, I renewed my subscription. 

So, here I am at the end of my subscription again, for they only last a year. And, although it has been a good couple of months, the feelings of doubt have begun to creep in. Yet, he informed me that no matter what or where my tastes lay for the day, The New Yorker would always be there for me. Whenever I felt the need to be around a sponge, the citizens of Azeroth, my loving and caring boyfriend or even my twisted imagination, he would be there with a glossy cover and articles that would last for a long time. 

Well, New Yorker, this looks like the continuation of a beautiful friendship. Here’s my money!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Biblio Love - Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan

Colour me impressed; Ian McEwan's new novel Sweet Tooth is a HIT! I just finished the novel and all I can say is that I am glad to have read the book. This is England in the 1970s: a time filled with thoughts of the Cold War, Afghanistan and rising cries of the under appreciated. In the middle of it all is Serena Frome (rhymes with plume), our narrator and unlikely heroine, who becomes an employee for MI5 and is soon involved in a plot to hire intellectuals and authors for an organization under the code name SWEET TOOTH. Yet, when she is faced with a turning point in her life, i.e., author T.H. Haley, she is suddenly caught in a web of lies, love, politics, and literature. If you are a fan of McEwan's work or just love a good novel sprinkled with romance, all things British and a hint of espionage, then Sweet Tooth is for you. Thank you, Mr. McEwan, for writing a darling of a novel.