June 30, 2012

Tall Ships

The 4th is always a fun celebration down at the marina. More so this year as the tall ships are in town. This morning the Coast Guard academy training vessel "the Eagle" docked next to Old Ironsides. About ten boat lengths away from us. A week of sailing and checking out the tall ships. Love it.

June 29, 2012

Summer Journal

Started a new journal for the summer season. Decided to go with a spiral bound one for ease of use on boats and around town. Will post pics when I get a chance. Decided to jump right in and play on the first page so as to make friends with the new journal. Always a tough thing - we are not friends yet. But I know we will be intimates before too long. This page was done with markers.

June 28, 2012

EDiM #28

EDiM #28: Draw a mailbox and write about the most important piece of real world mail you’ve ever received (not email - snail mail.).
(Click on image to enlarge).
 Realized that I had yet to post this page. I have about 4 prompts that I have yet to sketch. On my list of things to do.

June 27, 2012

Recent Reads

67. Micro
I am picky about books I start, so usually tend to read them all the way through. Not this one. Gave up after the first 40 pages or so. It was published after the author's death - completed by someone else. Too bad, because I quite love Michael Crichton's work - especially his earlier stuff. Don't bother with this one. 1 star.

68. Defending Jacob
Oh the disappointment that is Defending Jacob. Some clever writing, but poorly plotted and the story did just not grab me. Maybe I have read too many great crime/courtroom stories, but I struggled to finish this one. 2 stars.

Shaking the dust of my nook in preparation for my next great read.

69.  Collage Lost and Found
This might be a good intro book to collage, but the art is just not my style. 2 stars.

70. Tell The Wolves I'm Home
I started the day with a one, maybe two cup. In bed. With this book. And it was a good thing that there was nothing urgent I had to do that day, because I read it in one sitting. Loved everything about this wonderful story. There are many kinds of love, and this story explores love, envy, jealously, family, grief, loss and redemption. There were several times when I cried. The good kinda of crying, not the sad kind. I hugged this book to my chest when I was done. What a lovely debut novel. The world is a better place with this book in it. 5 stars.

71. World's End
This is book #8 in The Sandman graphic novel series. Story telling is as old as humanity. Travelers caught in a huge storm end up in a strange inn, and share their stories to pass the time. What a fun series. 4 stars.

June 26, 2012

Seeking Shambhala

On a recent visit to the MFA, I explored the Seeking Shambhala exhibit.
I was fascinated by this sculpture by Gyatso, called "Radioactive". It is a large, seated Buddha covered in collaged stickers, announcements, advertisements, etc. Such a powerful statement of how peace of mind is corroded by materialism, distractions, greed.
Here is a close up of the head. The third eye is radioactive. Love it. (Click on photos to enlarge).

June 23, 2012

Shehan Karunatilaka

The other day I stopped in at Porter Square Books to browse, sample their fab ginger lemonade, and listen to an author reading. His book, The Legend of Pradeep Mathew has won several prizes and I was interested hear this Sri Lankan author speak.
He was funny and articulate and a natural story teller. He wove a story and read bits of his book here and there for added color. And yes, I just added another book to my TBR pile.

June 20, 2012

Recent Reads

63. Still Alice
Read this for my book club this month. Alice is successful, in the best shape of her life, and is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. The power of this story is that it is told from her point of view, and as the reader, the tension and uncertainty this creates is palpable. I cried. I saw things from a perspective I had never considered. Much of what I know about this disease is from the medical or caregiver perspective. Following along with Alice as she looses herself has already led to fascinating discussions in our house. Who are we without our memories? How much can we lose and still be ourselves? What would I do in a similar situation? Changed my mental models. I initially rated it 4 stars, but have since changed my mind, and am going with 5 stars.

64. Ready Player One
I listened to the audio, and holy moly what an incredible ride it has been. And I say this as someone who has never played video games, so I probably missed about 40% of the references in the book! A dystopian world, where online lives are more interesting than reality. A quest. A David and Goliath story. Oh, and boy meets girl. So much fun. I loved both the story, and Wil Wheaton, the narrator. 5 stars.

65. Creative Pilgrimage
This book has lovely photos, but seems more like a piece of sales material. There are some interviews with mixed media artists, and some projects, but as a whole, it was like I was reading a sales pitch. 2 stars.

66. Altered Surfaces
This little book is chock full of information about how to use acrylics and mediums to create a variety of effects. Interesting and got some good ideas. 3 stars.

June 19, 2012

Things that puzzle me

I am puzzled by many things. Some things that puzzle me are biggie things like quantum mechanics. Other things are smallish things like why people put human clothing on pets - a dog wearing a polo shirt for example. Then I stopped in at a local library branch and saw this events calendar. Are you puzzled too?

June 18, 2012

Recent Reads

60. Explorer: The Mystery Boxes
A graphic novel with seven short stories. The graphics are wonderful and some of the stories quite good, but I think I have the same problem with this that I have with all short stories - just when I get interested, it is over. 2 stars.

61. The Book That Changed My Life
An anthology of short essays written by 71 authors on the topic. Some of the essays are wonderful and others ok, but every reader can relate. Have we not had this very conversation more times that we care to recall? 3 stars.

62. Personal Geographies
A mixed media book that explores the many way to create personal maps. I love maps. Always have, and got some interesting ideas from the book. 3 stars.

June 17, 2012

June 16, 2012

Making lemonade out of lemons

The plan was to celebrate Babe's birthday swinging at anchor in the Harbor Islands, sipping champagne, and munching on cold lobster. But an Arctic blast and a failed alternator caused a switch to Plan B....
Plan B involves birthday martinis, and lobster mac and cheese. Not a bad fallback plan. Happy birthday Babes.

Sketchbook page peek

I have not gotten around to a full page scan yet, but here is a peek at a page.
The weather has been fantastic, and I find myself immersed in activities that keep me away from my blog. Stay tuned for lots of sailing posts.

June 13, 2012

Will our kids be a different species?

Check out this fascinating talk by Juan Enriquez.

Recent Reads

59. Wild

I alternated between being mesmerized and incredibly annoyed while reading this book. I listened to the audio version, which was wonderfully narrated by Bernadette Dunne. On the plus side I walked about 30 miles while listening. If your idea of camping is a motel room with the windows open, you might find this a more fascinating read. If you are outdoors person, not so much. I give it 2.5 stars which rounds up to 3.

June 12, 2012

Summer Reading Flow Chart

Check this out.

Recent Reads

56. Are You My Mother?
I am a huge fan of the author, and loved Fun Home. However, this graphic book memoir about her mother did not rock me. It seemed to me that there was a wall I could not break through while reading this. I could not really tap into the emotions - and maybe that makes sense given that this time the writing is about her mother. 3 stars.

57. The Secrets of Mary Bowser
This is a book I stumbled upon while browsing my library shelves, and I really liked it. A historical novel that explores the lives of two women, one a freed slave and her owner, who were Union spies in Virginia during the Civil War. 4 stars.

58. Brief Lives
This is book #7 in the Sandman series of graphic novels. Holy moly, if it ain't an Endless road trip! I would love to spend a couple of hours romping around in the author's head. Simply astounding what he comes up with. 4 stars.

June 9, 2012

Hunkered Down

The thing about being on a boat is that you are out in the elements. There is no denying how little you can really control in your life. That the very notion of control is an illusion.

So we stayed on top of the severe weather warnings, and hunkered down as three magnificent storms passed through. Such wonderful towering dark clouds. Lots of rain. Heavy downbursts of wind. Quarter inch hail. Makes one feel alive on the planet.

June 7, 2012

Precious Knowledge

This is a fascinating indie documentary.

Watch Precious Knowledge on PBS. See more from Independent Lens.


I can hear the sound of my home ec teacher laughing so hard that she has tears rolling down her face. That fact that I am making something with a sewing machine must surely bring her immense amusement. Need I say that it was not my fave class? Not even close.
 The boat cushions that we use in the cockpit needed new covers. So, with the attitude of "how hard can this really be", I dived in. You are surprised that I have pins and a pin cushion I know. It was a gift - do not recall who gave it to me - oh so many years ago. After measuring and snipping and cutting and pricking my fingers a few times, viola! Not bad eh? I like it. I look forward to lounging on them this weekend.


Go Penneys Go. Love this.

June 5, 2012

Journal Page

(Click on image to enlarge).
Have not forgotten about the last couple of EDiM prompts. Will get around to them. In the meanwhile continue to carry my journal around with me, and this is what I did while waiting the other day. I finished listening to one audio book while drawing, and started a new audio book at home while adding watercolors to the pen lines.

June 4, 2012

Recent Reads

53. Portrait of a Spy
I quite enjoyed the most recent Gabriel Allon book. This is #11 in the series, and I am all caught up, until the next one is released in July. Honestly the writing and stories are rather formulaic at this point, but you either love the Mossad art restorer or you don't. I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

54. Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake
The audio is read by the author, and I felt like I was hanging out with an older, wiser friend as she talked about love, marriage, family, career, life. I give it 3.5 stars, which rounds up to 4 out of 5.

55. The Book Whisperer
I want a business card with this as my title. I love to read, and am constantly urging books onto everyone I know, including my young nieces and nephews. So, you can imagine my delight when we spend hours talking about books. The author is a language arts teacher and talks about her way of inspiring kids to become readers. I give it 3.5 stars, which rounds up to 4 out of 5.

June 3, 2012

The other day

The other day I was home alone. There is something wonderful about solitude. Quite different than being lonely isn't it?

The other day I browsed the shelves of an indie book store. They are an endangered species that will not be around for long. I wonder if I should get my picture taken in each one. Kinda like the big game hunters did.

The other day I had a long chat with my nieces. They each recommended books that I must read. So my TBR pile just got bigger. Wonder when it will come crashing down. Hope there are no toes nearby when that happens.

The other day I spent my first night of the season on the boat. There is something primal about being gently rocked to sleep.

The other day I lounged about reading all day.

The other day I unplugged my phone. I listened to birdsong and music instead.

The other day I met up with some readers. We were strangers when we met, but fellow travelers by the end of the night. There was much laughter and wonderful book talk.

The other day I met my loved one at the airport. There is something wonderful about homecomings no?

June 1, 2012

Recent Reads

51. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
This is quite a delightful book that gently explores themes of family, loss, love, racism, and how the world changes in unexpected ways. I listened to the audio version of the book, and loved the narrator. I am not sure I would have finished the book if I had been sitting down to read it, but found myself engrossed in the story, and talking back to the characters on my walks and while doing dishes. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

52. Three Weeks in December
I decided to browse the new books shelves at my library the other day. I sometimes miss the wonderful act of browsing and selecting books that look good to me. No reading reviews to see what others thought about my selections. And this is one of the gems I picked up. I had not heard of this book or author before, and I love Europa editions, so made a tall glass of iced tea (Passionfriut) and settled in for what turned out to be a wonderful read. There are two stories set about a hundred years apart. One in Kenya (my homeland), and the other in Rwanda. A lovely romp of a tale. I give it a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.