Read Those Books

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Bits & Pieces / Favorite Things

It’s been some time since I’ve shared what I have been reading, so here it is.

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Udon Noodle Soup by Yan Hu – I loved it. I guess you could say it was the first graphic novel I’ve read. I loved the illustrations and the short stories. Some of them even made me teary-eyed. I came upon it at “A Shop Called Quest” in the Arts District of Downtown, Los Angeles. I’m glad I picked it up.

The Collect Schizophrenias: Essays by Esme Weijun Wang – I heard her on the podcast “Call Your Girlfriend” on my flight back from San Francisco. I bought it the next day and was sad to find out that she did a reading while I was in SF and I missed it! Oh well. The book is about being a human. It gives such an honest insight on living with Schizophrenia, the stigma that comes with that label, how you look at people with the disease and so much more. PICK IT UP if you see it.

The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli – I had mixed feelings about this. I enjoyed the writing but the story was a little to rom-com for me.

Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles – I picked this up at City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco. BTW – I could have spent the whole day in there. I forgot how awesome that store is and it’s one of the reasons I wished I lived in SF. This book was great. A before-the-times story of two women who were frankly, quiet awesome, strange and left me wanting more. However, I believe this was Bowles only book.

Memoirs of a Beatnik by Diane Di Prima – Also purchased at City Lights (when in Rome). It was okay. I had to push my way through the first few chapters, BUT DiPrima puts you in her shoes and you feel like you’re actually in those scenes with her, which I enjoyed.

Today will be Different by Maria Semple – I loved Where’d you go Bernadette, so I had to read this. Umm, I liked it. It was a little similar to Bernadette but I did enjoy it.

Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan – I read it in two days. Only because I started it on a weekday evening and had to go to work. It starts out so carefree, so very French. Then it just turns at the end. I understand it could be seen as some spoiled teenager doing whatever she can to get what she wants, but she’s a teenager. I read a lot of bad reviews of the book but I don’t think you can compare her writing to an adult because she was a teenager when she wrote it. I still enjoyed it. A book to get me ready for the summer season.

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I just received Bad Feminist: Essays by Roxane Gay in the mail today. I’m probably late to the party but I can’t wait to start it tonight. I love her essays.

Once and Forever: The Tales of Kenji Miyazawa – Can’t wait to get to this one too. I’ve been enjoying a lot of Japanese writers lately. I saw this at my go-to bookstore, Vromans and it sounds really interesting, almost other worldly.

To Read I

The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

Lunch in Paris by Elizabeth Bard

Mirrow, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors

These have been on my shelves the past few weeks and I hope to get through them in the next month or so. Lots to read so I better go now!

 

 

One Moment

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Emotions / Randon Thoughts

Do you ever have one of those moments where you wish you could live over again? I guess everybody does. It’s part of human nature. A couple of weeks ago, I met up with my best friend from high school in San Diego to see one of our favorite bands in concert. Hearing the band sing songs that represent such an important time in my life and ┬ábeing there with my friend of almost thirty years, brought up all these memories. Memories of so many moments, especially high school moments.

Some songs hit me more than others but it was a wrath of feelings throughout the show. Happiness, excitement, sadness, regret, more excitement and most of all nostalgia. Lately, I’ve been having a lot of nostalgic feelings. Both happy and sad. Is is because I’m getting old? Is it because I hit a “milestone” birthday this year? Is it because certain scenarios have come through my life, scenarios that reminded me of events that happened in my youth? Yes. No. Who knows. It could be all these elements.

I’ve been thinking about all these moments in my life and how I dealt with them. ┬áSome I’m not so excited to remember, some I question my decisions, some I wish I could get a do-over and some bring me complete joy. I’ve come to realize that those “one moments” are what helped to shape me, for good – for bad. I can’t change them but I can think about them. I can reflect on them. I can move on. I can cherish them. Moments make us who we are and I couldn’t be more grateful for them.

Nostalgic

Here’s to the moments in our lives..

 

Sundays Forever

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Sundays Forever

Well, we’re at a new week. Welcome to Sunday. How are you feeling today? I feel like I’m a mixed bag of feelings today:

Sick, there is a cold in my near future. Ugh!!

A little angry and disappointed in a person.

Happy because I can hear the rain falling outside. Sunny Southern California has not been living up to its name lately.

Cozy, what is better than staying in the house, under the blankets, watching old movies on TCM while its rainy and you are trying to kick a cold? Nothing.

Creative (see reason above).

I may also attempt to start reading a new book.

I hope your Sunday is treating you with whatever you need today.

Finding Inspiration

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Bits & Pieces / Personal Stories

Last week I was browsing the internet and I came across a question that made me think and ponder. What are 15 things that are inspiring you right now? Huh, there are so many things that inspire me, can I nail it down to 15 items? To tell you the truth, it was kind of hard when I wrote out my list and let me tell you why.

Earlier this year I attended an art retreat put on by one the Get Messy founders. I’ve been following their art journal community/website for some years now, so when I saw that there was a retreat that was going to be held in South Carolina, I signed up immediately. This retreat really got to me (in an EXCELLENT way). It reinvigorated my desire to start creating again on a daily basis. It made me take the time to look at things that may seem small in my daily life but really do have an impact on my happiness and sanity. It reminded me that it’s good to go out of your comfort zone and listen to stories of other women. It was awesome!

What does the retreat have to do with inspiration you ask? It changed me. It reminded me to be inspired…EVERYDAY! There’s so much “noise” in the world right now, the internet can take you down a rabbit hole of images, peoples opinions, good and bad, television, so many channels to watch, the algorithm constantly tell you what you should watch next, what accounts you should follow, blah, blah, blah. I think it makes it hard to think for ourselves sometimes. So yes, the retreat made me re-think the way I take in information and truly try to find what inspires me.

So, here’s my list. It’s what I’m enjoying right now at this moment in my life. Subject to change whenever I feel like it.

  • The artists who participate in the Get Messy community
  • The art of Wayne Thiebaud (saw a retrospect at SFMOMA).
  • The flowers that are in full bloom all around the city.
  • The colors of Spring like pinks and yellows.
  • Travel, especially the city of San Francisco.
  • Abstract art.
  • Layering, ie in paintings and collages.
  • Neon pink and the color red.
  • Music lyrics from my favorite bands.
  • Vintage Paris.
  • Kate Spade’s book Places to go People to See.
  • Clothing from teens and band members in the punk, nu wave and metal scenes of the 1980’s.
  • Art tools that are not classic art tools. Examples spatulas used as a paint brush.
  • Ephemera from daily life used in mixed media collages.
  • Brainsparker app.

So, while I could easily jot down 15 things that are inspiring me right now, it’s harder to think why they are inspiring me, what about them are inspiring and how can that inspiration be used in my creative outlets. Maybe it was harder to jot down 15 things but I’m glad I took the time to think about it.

Sundays Forever

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Neighborhoods / Sundays

This was a slow moving Sunday. I took my time this morning. After I was rested and ready, I stopped by the Jackalope Indie Artisan Fair in Old Town Pasadena. Whoa is me. So many good treasures there.


I specifically went to look for a vendor I purchased from last year. On my initial search, I saw this purse! I couldn’t let it stay there, the vendor pour favor said there were only two purses left. It was for a good cause, so I had to buy it. Check out her website http://www.pourfavor.org. RX Los Angeles has some dreamy and delicious linen sprays. So happy they were there again this year.

While searching (again), I ran into this book seller, Brown Bag Books. She had some vintage books that I couldn’t pass up. I especially love… well I can’t pick. The German one is so awesome.

Ah, those illustrations.

All in all maybe I made a small dent in my pocket book but I enjoy supporting independent artists, so not so bad.