gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
My poem "50 Foot," inspired by Attack of the Fifty Foot Woman (1958), will appear in The Cascadia Subduction Zone. (Technical note: the poem is comprised of 50 poetic feet.)

In other news, we are now past the peak of jacaranda season. It was glorious while it lasted--though it will be awhile before the purple flowers are completely gone for the year.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day on a pleasant warmish LA afternoon. Yesterday I had another fun afternoon on Vermont Ave.: a browse at Skylight Books (where I succumbed and bought the new Penguin edition of Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber with introduction by Kelly Link, even though I already have Carter's collected stories), followed by a matinee of Mad Max: Fury Road, and dinner takeout from Juicy Burger.

Frenetically explodey films aren't usually my cup of tea, but Fury Road won me over with its awesome, mostly female characters and its fire guitar, to the point that I think I need to see it again.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I am hennaing my hair on a pleasant LA day, after a spate of unwelcome heat. Also unwelcome was the smallish earthquake that woke me (and half of LA) around 4 a.m. last night.

Yesterday was both Free Comic Book Day and Independent Bookstore Day. I somewhat failed at Free Comic Book Day. There was a line around the block at Legacy Comics on a blazing hot Glendale day, and I hadn't eaten yet; I eventually opted to forgo the free stuff so I could go inside the air-conditioned store (and then go home and make brunch).

My Independent Bookstore Day trip to Skylight Books was much more successful. I bought the new book of Kathy Acker letters. After the bookstore, I went next door to the Los Feliz 3 to see the very impressive and intelligent Ex Machina. After which, I got a delicious burger and fries from Juicy Burger (conveniently located between Skylight Books and the movie theater). Days like this are part of why I enjoy living in Los Angeles (in spite of earthquakes).
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, in the midst of more annoyingly humid summer weather. The henna is cool on my head. I am longing for autumn.

On Friday night I had dinner with Carolyn at Taix and saw '20s/'30s/'40s jazz by the Silver Palm Trio.

Yesterday I took three bags of clothes and shoes to the Goodwill, then went to Skylight Books. I said hi to Franny, the bookstore cat, and bought new editions of Frank O'Hara's Meditations in an Emergency and Poems Retrieved. (I have O'Hara's massive hardcover collected poems, but I've been wanting more portable O'Hara books, and there are no O'Hara ebooks yet.) What with so many of L.A.'s independent bookstores now gone, I'm perpetually grateful that Skylight is thriving.

I've been working on the Jo book and a poem, and sending out submissions. I will do more of all this after I rinse out my hair.
gwynnega: (Four/Romana book Shada ressie_noldo)
I took a couple of vacation days (today and tomorrow) to celebrate my birthday. (Oh, the joy of not having to drive across town!) Today I went to Skylight Books, where I bought Kate Zambreno's O Fallen Angel. Then I went to Cafe Tropical and picked up a Cuban sandwich, guava & cream cheese pastry and cafe con leche for dinner.

Tomorrow night I'll be having birthday dinner with friends, then birthday lunch with my mom on Sunday.

***

What did you just finish reading?
Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who (edited by L.M. Myles and Deborah Stanish). This made me want to immediately park in front of the TV and watch/rewatch hours upon hours of classic Who (especially the Third Doctor, for some reason).

What are you reading now?
Still reading American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath. This has lots of good material from letters (unpublished Plath letters and letters to Plath from friends). It's been a long time since I've read the earlier Plath biographies, but there's a fair bit of info new to me.

I've just started Seanan McGuire's Midnight Blue-Light Special.

What do you expect to read next?
Probably a General Hospital tie-in novel, Love in Maine by Connie Falconeri, which, according to Romantic Times, is actually quite good. (On GH, teenaged Molly wrote the book, then publishing magnate Kate Howard's alternate personality [!] Connie Falconeri stole it, added sex and got it published.) I suspect that when I read it, I'll keep remembering Molly's outraged editorializing at the book party: "Dear god, was that all one sentence?...'Grip on her hip?' It's like a nursery rhyme for perverts!"
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I took a couple of vacation days (today and tomorrow) to celebrate my birthday. (Oh, the joy of not having to drive across town!) Today I went to Skylight Books, where I bought Kate Zambreno's O Fallen Angel. Then I went to Cafe Tropical and picked up a Cuban sandwich, guava & cream cheese pastry and cafe con leche for dinner.

Tomorrow night I'll be having birthday dinner with friends, then birthday lunch with my mom on Sunday.

***

What did you just finish reading?
Chicks Unravel Time: Women Journey Through Every Season of Doctor Who (edited by L.M. Myles and Deborah Stanish). This made me want to immediately park in front of the TV and watch/rewatch hours upon hours of classic Who (especially the Third Doctor, for some reason).

What are you reading now?
Still reading American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath. This has lots of good material from letters (unpublished Plath letters and letters to Plath from friends). It's been a long time since I've read the earlier Plath biographies, but there's a fair bit of info new to me.

I've just started Seanan McGuire's Midnight Blue-Light Special.

What do you expect to read next?
Probably a General Hospital tie-in novel, Love in Maine by Connie Falconeri, which, according to Romantic Times, is actually quite good. (On GH, teenaged Molly wrote the book, then publishing magnate Kate Howard's alternate personality [!] Connie Falconeri stole it, added sex and got it published.) I suspect that when I read it, I'll keep remembering Molly's outraged editorializing at the book party: "Dear god, was that all one sentence?...'Grip on her hip?' It's like a nursery rhyme for perverts!"
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, and the cold henna on my head is helping to soothe my headache. (I think the headache's due to our wildly shifting weather. On Friday it was rainy and maybe 58 degrees, now it's warmish and sunny, and it's supposed to be over 80 in a couple of days!) Trying to adjust to the time change. I will enjoy leaving the office when it's still light out, but I will not enjoy getting up tomorrow morning.

Friday night I went to Taix to see Rough Church and Bell Gardens, and had much fun. Since then I've been having a quiet weekend of writing / reading / DVDs. Oh, and on Friday I watched Suddenly (1954), with Frank Sinatra as a would-be assassin and Sterling Hayden as a sheriff trying to foil him, on TCM. I think [personal profile] sovay recommended it? Anyway, a terrific, tense film with great character work by Sinatra and Hayden.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
It is Henna Day, on a rather chilly day for Los Angeles (high temp in the mid-50s, I think?). The henna is cold on my head.

Friday night I went to Taix to see Extra and Superbean, saw a lot of friends, had much fun, and stayed out past 2 a.m. (which I don't do very often these days), and as a result was not firing on all cylinders yesterday. I did finish reading Heroines and started reading some other things, but I guess I will save that for Reading Wednesday.

(Note to lapsed GH viewers: Genie Francis returns to General Hospital tomorrow!)

done-ish

Nov. 25th, 2012 03:46 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
The draft of the Jo book (actual title: Can't Find My Way Home) is done-ish. Which is to say, it's done, but I still need to listen to the spoken text file this week to be sure.

Word count: 89,122

Page count: 320

Yaaaaaay!!!

Also, yesterday I went to Skylight Books for Small Business Saturday (bought The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson and a Moleskine notebook), and one of my favorite soap opera actors, Matthew Ashford, was there. He was engrossed in a book, so I refrained from going up to him and blathering about how Days of Our Lives shouldn't have killed off his character.
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
From [personal profile] rushthatspeaks, the International Book Week Meme. The fifth sentence on page 52 of the book closest to me, sans context: "People are complicated."

(Oh, okay...it's from Code Name Verity.)

***

I hadn't expected to get to see the Endeavour's flyover today. I was making scrambled eggs with kale, leeks and heirloom tomato when I heard a loud plane flying overhead, so I grabbed my keys and ran outside, but didn't see anything. I turned on the TV, and a few minutes later it said the space shuttle was flying over Griffith Park, which is near my apartment, so I once again ran outside--and saw the Endeavour slowly flying by atop a 747, flanked by fighter jets. It was pretty thrilling.

Then a few minutes later I heard the airplane noise again and looked out my window, and there was the Endeavour again! I wish I'd managed to take a photo (but pretty much everybody else in LA did).
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Well, I still haven't seen The Avengers, but I have seen the new Dark Shadows film.

I had long looked forward to this film--until the first trailer came out, when I began to worry that this might be yet another charmless remake of a classic TV show. Many old-school fans were rubbed the wrong way by the jokiness of the trailers (and by some less-than-respectful comments from Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter). I had already purchased a ticket for a special screening for fans, and I wondered if it would devolve into a hate-fest, with disgruntled old-school fans booing. But the screening was at the Vista Theatre (five minutes from my apartment), so I couldn't very well not go--and I'm glad I did, so I could be won over along with, as far as I could tell, pretty much the whole audience of hardcore Dark Shadows fans.

Dark Shadows the movie is about 1000% better than I was expecting. The tone is just right--there is humor, but there is also depth. Johnny Depp's Barnabas is as complex as Jonathan Frid's, and he captures the essential pathos and fish-out-of-water discomfort (along with bloodlust, romantic yearning, and love of family) of the character. In fact most of the cast did a great job of making the characters their own. I particularly liked Chloe Moretz's hilariously sullen take on Carolyn Stoddard. spoiler ) Helena Bonham Carter almost made me forgive her snide comments with her marvelous performance as Dr. Julia Hoffman. (She may think the acting in the original Dark Shadows was "borderline bad"--but I think she channeled Grayson Hall!)

The only weak link was Eva Green as a very one-note Angelique the witch, with none of the layers or charisma Lara Parker brought to the role. (And okay, I may be biased because Lara Parker is a friend of mine, but still!)

The script did some unexpectedly witty things with canon. The TV show had often used the characters Victoria Winters and Maggie Evans interchangeably (with waitress Maggie ending up with Vicki's governess job when Vicki left the canvas), and I had assumed the film would simply include either Vicki or Maggie and drop the other. Instead, Maggie Evans uses "Victoria Winters" as an assumed name.

To my pleasant surprise (and relief) the film feels true to the spirit of Dark Shadows, and it has quite a bit of charm in its own right.

TV Guide (Michael Logan): The Scoop on Dark Shadows From Tim Burton, Helena Bonham-Carter and The Original Cast

NPR: 'Dark Shadows': The Birth Of The Modern TV Vampire

Dark Shadows News Page: Lara Parker On The Dark Shadows Movie
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
There's so much that I want to do on my holiday break, I've barely known where to start. (Though I have, of course, been working on the Jo book, watching soaps, etc.) Yesterday I had lunch with [profile] tesserae_ at Say Cheese (which was quite good, though I'm still missing the Coffee Table), and she gave me some awesome mince cookies.

Today I went to see the new Sherlock Holmes film, which I enjoyed a lot--even more than the first one, I think. I had a quibble or two with this one, but it felt like they remembered to include an actual story this time. (Though with the first film, I was happy enough to watch Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law sans story.) Since I saw the movie at the Los Feliz Theater, I stopped in at Skylight Books and said hi to Cecil Castellucci, who was wrapping gifts. I hadn't planned to buy anything, but the place was freshly stocked with new books about the 1970s, and I could not resist! So I purchased When We Were Outlaws by Jeanne Cordova (a memoir of an activist "fighting at the intersections of the struggle for Gay Rights, Women's Liberation, and the New Left") and Those Girls: Single Women in Sixties and Seventies Popular Culture.

A little while ago I watched Miracle on 34th Street on TCM and finished wrapping presents. I think later I will watch The Bishop's Wife. Tomorrow I'll go to my mom's for dinner.

Happy holidays, everyone!
gwynnega: (Default)
As of about an hour and a half ago, my neighborhood finally has power after nearly a day and a half without it. Wednesday night I had a hair-raising drive home from work through high Santa Ana winds. I had to dodge palm fronds, capsized trash cans, a fallen tree in the road, etc. But that was just the beginning. When I got home, the power briefly went out a couple of times. Then, around 1 a.m., it went out and didn't come back on. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power, and LA County (among other local areas) declared a state of emergency.

I stayed home from work yesterday, because the howling wind had kept me awake much of the night. This turned out to be a good move, because traffic was snarled by all the debris from the winds, and lots of traffic lights were still out. (There was also supposed to be more dangerous weather ahead, but that didn't seem to materialize--it was windy, but not horribly so.) Hanging out in my electricity-less apartment got old fast. Fortunately Gelson's had power, so I had coffee. Plus Hard Times Pizza somehow had power, so I had pizza for dinner. But then I huddled in my cold apartment and read A Monstrous Regiment of Women by flashlight.

When I woke up this morning and the power STILL wasn't back on, I was pretty aggravated. But when I went out to get coffee at Gelson's, I saw workmen working on the power lines at my corner, and I took heart--plus the traffic light by the Trader Joe's was finally working again, and TJ's was open again. Sure enough, just as I was walking back home with my coffee, the traffic lights at my corner came back on, and everybody cheered!

Then I went home and had a hot shower. Hooray!
gwynnega: (Default)
As of about an hour and a half ago, my neighborhood finally has power after nearly a day and a half without it. Wednesday night I had a hair-raising drive home from work through high Santa Ana winds. I had to dodge palm fronds, capsized trash cans, a fallen tree in the road, etc. But that was just the beginning. When I got home, the power briefly went out a couple of times. Then, around 1 a.m., it went out and didn't come back on. Hundreds of thousands of people lost power, and LA County (among other local areas) declared a state of emergency.

I stayed home from work yesterday, because the howling wind had kept me awake much of the night. This turned out to be a good move, because traffic was snarled by all the debris from the winds, and lots of traffic lights were still out. (There was also supposed to be more dangerous weather ahead, but that didn't seem to materialize--it was windy, but not horribly so.) Hanging out in my electricity-less apartment got old fast. Fortunately Gelson's had power, so I had coffee. Plus Hard Times Pizza somehow had power, so I had pizza for dinner. But then I huddled in my cold apartment and read A Monstrous Regiment of Women by flashlight.

When I woke up this morning and the power STILL wasn't back on, I was pretty aggravated. But when I went out to get coffee at Gelson's, I saw workmen working on the power lines at my corner, and I took heart--plus the traffic light by the Trader Joe's was finally working again, and TJ's was open again. Sure enough, just as I was walking back home with my coffee, the traffic lights at my corner came back on, and everybody cheered!

Then I went home and had a hot shower. Hooray!

weekend

Oct. 23rd, 2011 10:34 pm
gwynnega: (books poisoninjest)
I spent much of the weekend working on the Jo book, getting ready for WFC, reading the first half of The Wild Girls by Pat Murphy (loving it), re-watching Dark Shadows (John Karlen as freaked-out Willie Loomis is a joy to behold), and catching up on episodes of Revenge. (While ABC is hell-bent on destroying the last vestiges of their daytime serial dramas, they seem equally committed to fostering their nighttime ones, and Revenge is a very good one.)

This afternoon I went to Skylight Books for Kate Beaton's book signing. I was late to the event because I was endlessly circling, looking for parking, and when I finally got there, the place was way more packed than I'd expected. [profile] beatonna gave a great talk and showed slides (though I couldn't see 'em too well because of the crowd). I did manage to purchase Skylight's last copy of the Hark! A Vagrant book. I didn't try to get it signed, what with the crowd, but I did stop by Skylight's annex and bought Alice Bag's new memoir, Violence Girl.

I only have to go the office two days this week, what with WFC coming up!
gwynnega: (David/Greenlee holypotatoes1)
I haven't taken a lot of photos since the Garage Kitty passed away. But today I was in the mood.

Here's today's brunch. It's my favorite egg dish that I make: scrambled eggs with kale, leek, tomato, and green salsa. Plus COFFEE.

kale and eggs


I'd thought the Coffee Table would be open through evening for their final day of business, but when I got there around 4 p.m., they'd already closed the kitchen, so I took some pictures. Strange to see all these tables unoccupied. I also sent an email to the company that owns the building, urging them to renew Coffee Table's lease. Maybe if the neighborhood protests loudly enough, it'll make a difference?

Coffee Table sign

Coffee Table front patio

Coffee Table main room

Coffee Table back patio
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I find I have nothing to say about 9/11 that hasn't already been said and said and said. So: today is Henna Day, and the henna is on my head.

Later I will go to my beloved Coffee Table for the last time. (It closes tonight.) I had brunch there yesterday with Carolyn and Dave. Also yesterday I went for the first time to Mixto, the brand-new restaurant around the corner which replaces Burrito King (an old school but not very delicious Mexican place over which I will shed no tears). I had a soft chicken taco, cheese tamale, and Mexican chocolate bread pudding, and it was good.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
Here's an encouraging article about the Coffee Table, which says that the owner is looking to open a new restaurant in Silver Lake. Here's hoping it's walking distance from my apartment like the (soon to be closed) Coffee Table!

***

Last night I happened to catch Peter Weir's early film The Plumber--a psychological horror film about an already terrifying topic, bathroom plumbing!--on TCM. I hadn't seen it since sometime in the eighties, and I didn't remember much about it aside from the fact that I'd loved it--but when I saw it, I found I remembered it so clearly, I must've seen it several times. I'd forgotten how funny it is. The film is basically a battle of wills between an academic and the plumber who invades her home--and it gets into very interesting territory around sex and class. Creepy and hilarious.



***

Wow, I wish my back would stop hurting already.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
I found out last night that my beloved Coffee Table is closing, because someone has bought the building. Apparently the building may be torn down and replaced with condos. Gah! A few years back some other company had planned to build condos there but reopen the Coffee Table after construction, but that deal fell through.

It's a very personal loss to me. The place is a block away from where I live. I've spent countless hours there with friends over the years. I've picked up countless breakfasts and lunches and dinners and coffees for myself. It's my Beloved Neighborhood Place.

I was already planning on having lunch with a friend there this weekend before I heard the news. I suspect I will spend a lot of time there between now and when it shuts down on September 12th.

The other Coffee Table restaurant, in nearby Eagle Rock, will still be open, and I will go there from time to time, but it won't be the same.
gwynnega: (coffee poisoninjest)
This afternoon I went to my beloved Vista Theatre, with its $6.50 bargain matinees and its quasi-Egyptian decor and its ultra-spacious seating, to see Rise of the Planet of the Apes. On one level it's yet another loud, frenetic thriller--but at the same time, it deals with many of the social/political/power issues that the original series did, and it's also a very satisfying character study, thanks to Andy Serkis's affecting, multi-layered portrayal of Caesar. (There are also some other fascinating ape characters in the film, notably an orangutan named Maurice, after Maurice Evans's Dr. Zaius!) As an old school Planet of the Apes fan, I never thought I could care about a new Apes character the way I did about Roddy McDowall's Cornelius and Caesar or Kim Hunter's Zira, but I'm happy to have been proven wrong. Serkis absolutely deserves a best actor nomination--or, for that matter, a supporting actor nomination, though the film would have fallen utterly flat without him. The Academy probably won't bother to acknowledge him, but I don't expect to see a better performance in a movie this year.

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