Friday, November 14, 2008

Francoise Nielly

Historic Photographs of Virginia

What’s best for a gal who spent six years running around the Blue Ridge Mountains and learned to appreciate the dualities and complexities of Virginia? True: I am a NYer by birth, and I have many of those characteristics. However, I grew to love the living in Virginia during my undergraduate and graduate years at Hollins University. I learned to love the history, the accents, and the people of that glorious state. Thus, when I was sent a Historic Photos of Virginia, a little ding went off in my head and in my heart. I’ve since moved to New Orleans (yeah, I know: whoa) and have graduated with two degrees from that lovely college in Roanoke, but I still have love for the place, still consider it a home away from home.

This book from Turning Publishing documents Virginia through much of its development. The state’s history is divided into four sections: From War to a New Century: 1861-1909; The Roaring Decades: 1910-1929; Depression and Victory: 1930-1945; and A Time of Great Change: 1946-1970s. Using photographs from the Library of Congress and the Library of Virginia, Emily and John Salmon do a great job of documenting the growth of one of the most beautiful and culturally rich states in the United States of America.

This book isn’t just for good ole’ folks who love Virginia: The photos are great for any coffee table west or east of the Mason-Dixon Line. The stories and shards of history collected in this book are incredibly interesting and worth at least one read if not more. This book is a great tribute to the Commonwealth’s rich past and is great for those new to Virginia and those who carry a torch for the state that’s for lovers.

There are images from big and important events in history like the Civil War and well-known buildings or landmarks like Monticello, but there are images of lesser known buildings and people. Some of the more moving images are of the people of Virginia and their culture: everything from people working the land, posing with their musical instruments, and striking a cheerleading pose. This book showcases a range of histories of Virginia, and the images are as sweet as they are harrowing. The joy of Historic Photos of Virginia is the scope or reach of the book. And of course, I’m singing about mountain mamas and lovely valleys and the Roanoke star as I flip through the glossy pictures of this gorgeous book.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Full Cup by Robert Creeley

A Full Cup by Robert Creeley

Age knows little other than its own complaints.
Times past are not to be recovered ever.
The old man and woman are left to themselves.

When I was young, there seemed little time.
I hurried from day to day as if pursued.
Each thing I discovered, another came to possess me.

Love I could ask no questions of, it was nothing
I ever anticipated, ever thought would be mine.
Even now I wonder if it will escape me.

What I did, I did finally because I had to,
whether from need of my own or that of others.
It is finally impossible to live and work only for pay.

I do not know where I've come from or where I am going.
Life is like a river, a river without beginning or end.
It's been my company all my life, its wetness, its insistent movement.

The only wisdom I have is what someone must have told me,
niether to take nor to give more than can be simply managed.
A full cup carried from the well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Shooting Script -- Seamus Heaney

A Shooting Script -- Seamus Heaney

They are riding away from whatever might have been
Towards what will never be, in a held shot:
Teachers on bicycles, saluting native speakers,
Treading the nineteen-twenties like the future.

Still pedaling out at the end of the lens,
Not getting anywhere and not getting away
Mix to fuchsia that "follows the language."
A long, soundless sequence. Pan and fade.

Then voices over, in different Irishes,
Discussing translation jobs and rates per line;
Like nineteenth century milestones in grass verges,
Occurrence of names like R.M. Ballantyne.

A close-up on the cat's eye of a button
Pulling back wide to the cape of a soutane,
Biretta, Roman collar, Adam's apple.
Freeze on his blank face. Let the credits run

And just when it looks as if it is all over-
Tracking shots of a long wave up a strand
That breaks towards the point of a stick writing and writing
Words in the old script in the running sand.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Swagger Like This

"South Africa Under Apartheid"

Gosh. What a photograph.
I love the composition of the piece, the colors, and lord, the history/background behind the piece. How can you not clap your hands about the pattern of the skirts and the bench, the explosion of red separating the women from the man, and the obvious "gaze" business going on?!

Owen Sherwood

Hello Owen Sherwood.
I love your illustrations. Yep. Thanks. LB.

You can buy stunning prints of his work via his Etsy shop.

Rightrightright: SeparateYetEqual

What is Going ON


The New Oxford American Dictionary word of the year = "hypermiling."

"Hypermiling” or “to hypermile” is to attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s car and one’s driving techniques. Rather than aiming for good mileage or even great mileage, hypermilers seek to push their gas tanks to the limit and achieve hypermileage, exceeding EPA ratings for miles per gallon.

Many of the methods followed by hypermilers are basic common sense—drive the speed limit, avoid hills and stop-and-go traffic, maintain proper tire pressure, don’t let your car idle, get rid of excess cargo—but others practiced by some devotees may seem slightly eccentric:

• driving without shoes (to increase the foot’s sensitivity on the pedals)
• parking so that you don’t have to back up to exit the space
• “ridge-riding” or driving with your tires lined up with the white line at the edge of the road to avoid driving through water-filled ruts in the road when it’s raining


Jason Cho: A Lovely Bunch of Elephants

I am in love with this hoodie designed by Jason Cho.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama FTW

Andrew Grace: Letter Sent in a Fish

Letter Sent in a Fish
by Andrew Grace

How sweet it will be to hand this all back: bent axe,
cinnabarine fire, these hands. Soot fallen by the east gate,
brief path for pheasant & rat: let me become this chopped
and burning pine, to ascend leadless orchards, each wracked singularity
its own sign of failure if we come back to life, which I believe in.
Do you imagine such things? Our prelude over? Hand it back.
And where does it go then? Some uncarved life, a jade badge-
to have it swell in front of me before I must remember this morning,
lice ecstatic in winter sun, far from now, hair dragged through bloodgrass....

The rest is east as a blind slide and a once round the column:
slipstream, aphid, tiara of moss, buck, mountain that has yet to find the fault
to starts its journey; we could come back as any of these. Forget the pine,
let me become a traveler of the river's nadir, bottom-feeder, fugitive,
to know only scum yet be unable not to take it in like sky takes prayer.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Election Day!

New Orleans is a blaze today. I’ve never lived somewhere where an election was taken so seriously, both on the national and local level. It’s inspiring to see all of the signs, all of the buttons, and to see people lean in to chat politics or chat about the lines they faced while voting. I’m registered to vote in Virginia, and I sent in my absentee ballot (yes, yes, before today). It’s just nice to see a city perk and notice an election with such force.

I guess I’ve never been in a big city before on Election Day. I’ve always been in smaller towns/cities.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Big Breath Brigade

I know a lot of intelligent people, and I know many of them are afraid to hope their candidate will be elected. They think that if they set their sites low, if they shrug away the possibility, that they won’t get hurt. I know a lot of people who are afraid to believe in things because everything seems so tainted and sad and wrong. How is it that the generation I know – 20-35 years in age – are so jaded and glum about the prospects of this country?

It’ll be okay emo kids.
No matter what happens,
it’s gonna be okay.

Go see the above cartoon here.