Sunday, October 27, 2013

Highlights from the 2013 River Arts Fest

So, just as much as I am a book junkie, I am also an art junkie!

Thankfully, Memphis has several really great art festivals to whet my appetite and River Arts Fest is one that brightens my October every year! For one weekend, artists from all over the country and possibly the world bring their creative talents to Memphis to sell their wares and make new friends and followers. 2013 makes my third visit to this grand festival and this one did not disappoint. Not only did I see some wonderful pieces but I also ran into several artists that I had met the year before or from other art festivals (Heather Haymart, Joan Schulte, Terri Myer), saw Ned Canty, head of Opera Memphis and acted like an opera fan girl, met a very cool photographer named Bradley Bauer who dabbles in Steampunk photos, met the owner of Book Juggler, a new bookstore in South Main and just enjoyed Downtown Memphis!

Here are some photo highlights from the 2013 River Arts Fest:

Only at the River Arts Fest will you be able to see Godzilla standing next to Ned Canty from Opera Memphis . . . in Memphis!

Having the trolleys run through the festival just adds the Memphis touch to it all! And yes, I almost got run over by this trolley!

The Arcade, a Memphis landmark!

Booths filled with art as far as the eye could see!

So, if you find yourself in Memphis during the month of October, do yourself a favour and take the time to enjoy this weekend of fun!


Saturday, October 26, 2013

Bibliophile + Money + Library Book Sale = DANGEROUSLY FUN

Everyone who knows me knows that I am a certified bibliophile. I love books, love their smell and will spend most if not all of my money to purchase them.

So, it came as no surprise that I visited the Memphis Library Fall Book Sale today . . . . TWICE!

Not only did I pick out some really good books for my eBay store, Viridianbooks, but I also got to meet a woman from Russia, got in plenty of exercise (do you realize how HEAVY books are?!) and I also got called a "regular" by one of the library staff!

This sign brings a smile to my face:

It always feels like Christmas whenever I walk into the large room filled with books; the smell sends me into overdrive and immediately, I begin loading up my cart. So it was that, once I had filled up my rolling cart within twenty minutes, I paid for my books, dropped them off in Malachi (my demonic car) then turned right around and returned to the sale, where I took my time and sampled each literary delicacy with patience.

An hour and a half later, I paid for my second crate (yes I said CRATE) of books, loaded them into Malachi, who actually groaned, then drove for home where I proceeded to dump them all out on my living room floor:

Here are some of the cooler books I was able to snag during this sale:

I am a BIG fan of Nick Cave and heard that he had several books out there that were hard to find. Lucky ME!!

Lawrence of Arabia is my all time favourite movie; I have to grab any books about T.E. Lawrence!

I discovered Aubrey Beardsley while studying the Decadent Movement; his illustrations were way before their time. Also, The Rape of the Lock is just a way too cool poem!

I have been wanting to read this book for years.

Chuck Palahniuk. Need I say more?

Peter Sellers is one of my favourite actors!

I actually do have a preppy side to my life - no laughing!

I finally have my copy of DUNE!

The illustrations sold me on purchasing the book, plus I have always wanted to read this book.

Isak Dinesen is one of my favourite authors plus it is SEVEN Gothic tales - right up my alley.

If any of these books tempt your fancy, please check out my eBay store - VIRIDIANBOOKS! These books and all of the others I purchased today will be listed soon - check regularly for updates!

Happy Reading!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Thank You, Frank Herbert

I will freely admit that I have tried to read the book Dune by Frank Herbert several times and I could not get through it. Perhaps I was in the wrong frame of mind, or perhaps I did not make the time to savour such a book.

However, I will state that a quote from the book has changed my mind and I will read the book once I have finished my latest read (Monsieur by Lawrence Durrell). I have heard many people use this quote and even I have used a part of it from time to time, yet now I have read the entire quote and NOW I truly get it.

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”



Thank you, Frank Herbert.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

For the Love of Mushrooms

When I was younger, I HATED mushrooms. I thought them to be the foulest thing ever. I could never understand why people loved eating them; even my mother loved making stuffed mushrooms. I knew that those little things would never enter my mouth.

However . . . .

Years later, while visiting my parents, my mother grilled portobello caps for roasted veggie sandwiches and asked if I wanted to take one home. I said yes, although I knew I was not going to enjoy it. So, I brought the delicious smelling sandwich home, unwrapped it and bit into it. Seconds later, after devouring the entire sandwich, I called my mother and asked her if the sandwich had the mushroom in it. When she said yes and that I watched her grill the mushrooms, I then informed her that I did not eat a mushroom but rather a really tasty patty that took the place of the mushroom that she OBVIOUSLY forgot to place in my sandwich.

Long story short - I now LOVED mushrooms.

How could something that looked so strange taste so delicious? How could something that made me cringe make me want more in my belly?

Since that time, I have eaten portobello, crimini, oyster, chanterelles, white and many other mushrooms, joined the Cumberland Mycological Society of Tennessee, met Eugenia Bone, author of the book Mycophilia: Revelations from the Weird World of Mushrooms and even have friends send photographs of mushrooms that they have taken just for me!

Now, whenever I go hiking, my eyes wander all over the place, searching for things that people would overlook; mushrooms are one of those hidden pockets of magick that catches my eye every so often. Although I have not been on a true mushroom foray, I still enjoy my discoveries.

So, without further ado, here are some of my mushroom photos!

(this was taken by a friend)

(gossiping mushrooms)

(grilled baby bellas - too delicious!)

(Shelby Forest - Tennessee)

(Life goes on . . . . )

(Shelby Farms - Tennessee)

(Such a FUN GUY - get it?)

(Chanterelles - expensive and they have a creamy peppery taste)

Happy Fungi!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Book Review - Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes

Having just finished a lovely Mexican dinner of fajita chicken sauteed with crimini mushrooms, red bell peppers, onions, black beans and rice, plus tortilla chips, I now sit at my desk and type out yet another book review for you, the readers, to enjoy!

So, here we go!

Meet Geoffrey Braithwaite, our lovely, cynical, black humoured and somewhat authoritative narrator in the anti-novel novel Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes. He is in his 60s, British, a former physician and a widower, who, after discovering two parrots that may have been owned by the famed author Gustave Flaubert, decides to conduct a time consuming research of the author's life and his most famed work, Madame Bovary. Within the pages of this slender yet strangely satisfying novel is a bird's eye (pun intended) view of Flaubert's life, his process and struggle of writing Madame Bovary, and also the comparison of Braithwaite's life and his own eccentricities. As typical of Barnes' writing style, we the readers can not help but follow the narrator's footsteps simply because we want to know how he will get to the next step in his journey of "discovering" Flaubert.

After I completed this novel, I wanted to immediately check out a copy of Madame Bovary at the library and compare the "notes" of this anti-novel novel to the real book. I also wanted to read more about Flaubert since I felt he had become my own study. People called him a dog, a bear, a parrot, a camel, a loner, a hater of women, a lover of women, a man with many regrets, an enigma and an author who was very much ahead of his time, as most authors are.

If you have read Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov and was not put off by the anti-novel aspect of it, then you will certainly enjoy Flaubert's Parrot. A literary gem!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Photos of the Life

Sometimes, one must stop their rushed pace in Life and just watch the clouds.

Sometimes, one must stop to smell the flowers, even if they barely have a scent.

Sometimes, we must stop and admire Nature that stands all around us.

Sometimes, it is good to honour magick in all forms.

Sometimes, it is good to read a good book.

So, what will YOU do today?

I will continue to be proud of my Freak Flag and watch clouds, read good books, smell flowers, admire Nature and honour magick!