Thursday, May 29, 2008

Folding 1000 Cranes

The Vox features an article about my friend Sonya Nicholson. She's an origami artist here in Columbia but her origami cranes fly everywhere. Click on the video link to hear Sonya explain the lovely idea behind folding 1000 cranes.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Unaccustomed Earth

I've just finished reading Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth and I'm majorly bummed. It's been 8 long years since the day I reluctantly turned the final page of Interpreter of Maladies, Lahiri's first book, utterly smitten with a collection of stories from someone I'd never heard of. I was convinced I'd discovered a great new voice from an unknown writer, having picked the volume up at random from a book table at Oxford University's bookstore while traveling in England. Turns out I was in a cast of thousands--that book, her first (!), won the Pulitzer Prize in 2000. Her next effort, a novel called The Namesake, was recently made into a film. The Namesake was okay but had that been all I'd known of Lahiri's writing I'm not sure I would have become an avid fan. With Unaccustomed Earth, however, Lahiri has returned to the short story form and she does not disappoint. It's even better than Interpreter of Maladies--and I can only groan to think how long it might be till I can get my hands on another volume of her stories.

Lahiri's stories deal with contemporary Indian-American families' challenges with assimilation and its resistance, which may sound less than compelling to those who deem this subject matter irrelevant to their own experience, except that Lahiri is such a deft and incisive navigator of cultural and familial nuance, her characters so vividly drawn, her psychological insights so cutting, you are swept away into a world so fully fleshed you feel you've become one of the characters walking around in her pages. Now that I've finished the book I feel like I've been sent home, the party over, and I want to knock on the door and ask if I can stay just a little bit longer, until the other guests have said goodnight.

Friday, May 16, 2008

At least someone is feeling creative

My brother forwarded me this:

MUTO a wall-painted animation by BLU from blu on Vimeo.

and check out this:

I think I'll become an accountant.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Things that go bust in my head

I have a massive technology headache. From my laptop to my dryer, I've been consigned to the third rung of technology hell. That's the rung where you race in infinite circles and get nowhere, one rung above emptying the ocean with a bucket. A leaky bucket. The loaner dryer (the only stackable set we can order here that fits our space is not in the country) that was finally delivered today does not work. Nor does the clothesline that broke from the outside wall last night. But who needs a clothesline when it rains EVERY day? If there was a smidgeon of room left in my head beyond completing urgent tasks which, now that I think of it, rival that ocean emptying manuever, something might go bump in there. As it is, a nickel couldn't drop.