February 27, 2009

Mad Girl's Love Song

This was left by an "Anonymous" reader - I love this and thank you to my mysterious commenter.

"Mad Girl's Love Song"

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

By Sylvia Plath

February 19, 2009

Ready For Your Close-up?

Blinds from Artylicious.  Great idea if the view is a dreary wall or you have nosy neighbours!

Images: from Living Etc.

February 14, 2009

Unspoken Words

Time + Distance

The tea you pour is black and strong.
It doesn't taste like tea to me;
I must have been away too long.

Where's that old fork with the bent prong?
What happened to the hemlock tree?
Have I really been gone that long?

I think I hear the saddest song;
It has no words, no tune, no key.
The tea you pour is black and strong.

You're careful to say nothing wrong,
You seem too eager to agree.....
Yes, I've been traveling far and long,

And now it's clear, I don't belong.
I watch you sash your robe, as we
sit, sipping tea that's black and strong.
I went away too far, too long.

by Leslie Monsour, from The Alarming Beauty of the Sky. 

February 12, 2009

Seeing The Beauty

I am not an Angeleno, but I am a "legal alien" (shouldn't that be changed at some stage - alien always sounds so suspect).  This is my primary residence right now, due to my occupation.  I arrived here initially at 22, without really knowing a soul.  Like any new city, it took time to figure everything out, make friends, but looking back it was such an adventure, as still is.  
Los Angeles does get a bad wrap at times........smog, earthquakes, crazy people, no architecture and on and on.  I believe every city has history and there is beauty, compassion and inspiration - sometimes you just have to look up!
This building could be anywhere......a million dollar apartment overlooking Central Park, NY or a flat in Notting Hill, in London.  But its 3rd and La Brea (heavy traffic area, for my out-of-town viewers) in LA on a particularly beautiful morning. 

February 9, 2009


This house was originally designed and built by Eileen Gray - who was a Irish laquer artist, architect and designer.  She is one of my favorite artists!

E.1027 was built between 1926 and 1929 by Gray as a summer residence for Jean Badovici. It is situated on the Mediterranean coast of France, at Roquebrune-Cap Martin overlooking the Bay of Monaco. The name of the house, E.1027, is a code for Eileen Gray and Jean Badovici, E standing for Eileen, 10 for J - "Jean" (10th letter of the alphabet), 2 for B - "Badovici", and 7 for G - "Gray".  This was Gray's way of showing their relationship as lovers when the house was built. 
Le Corbusier, who was a friend of Badovici's, visited E.1027 many times.  He added a series of murals to the clean, white walls in the villa between 1937 - 39, without Gray's permission.  She took this an intrusion and considered the murals vandalism.  There has been much discussion on this subject as the murals were either painted out of admiration for her work or jealousy of 
her accomplishments.
Gray was ahead of her time in regards to the design and interior of the house.  Inside and out flowed together, every room flows out to a balcony, shutters, screens and windows are all moveable, allowing the hills and sea surrounding the house, to converge.  Inside there was no wasted space, most furniture built-in and living areas open plan.
Jean Badovici lived in the house until his death in 1956.  The house was then put up for auction and bought by a friend of Le Corbusier.  The house has had two other owners.  The second of which sold many of the villa's original contents to fund badly needed repair work, which unfortunately never got underway.  
After the last owner's death, the house remained empty and was susceptible to vandals and squatters, who damaged the property extensively. In the early 90's Friends of E.1027 was set up to raise money to restore this now historic home.

P.S. My favorite weasel, La Belette Rouge just reminded me that there is an amazing documentary running on The Sundance Channel (sorry overseas viewers).  Its called Eileen Gray: Invitation To A Voyage.

All images from Friends of E.1027

February 6, 2009

For all the middle children

                       UNCLE JIM 

What the children remember about Uncle Jim
is that on that train to Reno to get divorced
so he could marry again
he met another woman and woke up in California
It took him seven years to untangle that dream
but a man who could sing like Uncle Jim
was bound to get in scrapes now and then:
he expected it and we expected it.

Mother said, It's because he was the middle child,
and Father said, Yeah, where there's trouble
Jim's in the middle.

When he lost his voice he lost all of it
to the surgeon's knife and refused the voice box
they wanted to insert.  In fact he refused
almost everything.  Look, they said,
it's up to you.  How many years
do you want to live? and Uncle Jim
held up one finger.
The middle one.

By Peter Meinke

February 4, 2009


Is it just me, or is there something really offensive about people speaking LOUDLY on their cell phones, in bookstores.  I do understand that there are times when its unavoidable not to answer your cellphone - but I am more than certain that neither of the people I encountered today were brain surgeons, on call or that food and dress choices were emergencies.

I couldn't believe it!  I stopped by my favorite bookstore this morning, to have a browse.  Hadn't been there in a while so had lots to catch up on and was really looking forward to escaping from the craziness of life.  I believe it really is one of the last bastions of peace and quiet.  Maybe bookstores and libraries.  

Loudly and quite out of nowhere, two separate cellphone conversations started up.  She was discussing what her dinners plans were for tonight, and what was on the menu. Should she buy broccoli or broccoli rabe, and what was broccoli rabe anyway.  Oh and how her date had gone last night.  

The other conversation just made me giggle.  He couldn't quite decide if he should wear the black T-shirt for his audition later today, or the white one.  And what jeans, the dark denim ones with rips or the lighter jeans that were tight in all the right places!  This went back and forth, and BACK AND FORTH.

I wanted to scream out really loudly - I DON'T CARE!  This is a bookstore, and I WANT YOU TO PLEASE BE QUIET!

February 3, 2009

Goodness me !

Some neighborhood cat (or cats) is coming off the most enormous high today.  This is what I greeted this morning outside my front door.  I laughed so hard.  Catnip ripped to shreds and through wire, I might add.  I spent hours devising this set-up to prevent this plant from being raped and pillaged by the ruffians of the fur kind, but obviously this didn't sway them one bit. What was I thinking, its pot for cats!
This was a bushy, healthy plant yesterday.  
They even managed to pull storks out, with roots attached.  It was obviously the place to party last night.  I wonder if they finished the evening off with Doritos!

February 2, 2009

Can we say Global warming

London today.
Heaviest snowfall in the United Kingdom, in 18 years!

Images: The Guardian