Saturday, July 30, 2011

my year of meats

My Year of Meats by Ruth Ozeki was another abandoned book on my high school shelf. I turned to it reluctantly because, well, it had been on my shelf for a long time, and I bought it in the Bargain bin at Barnes&Noble, and it just didn't have that must-read aura. But it was good! Right from the start, even! And I recommend it! It blends together a few different female narratives, but two main ones: Jane Takagi-Little (from a first person voice, partly autobiographical, me thinks, because Ozeki was also a documentary filmmaker like Jane) and Akiko Ueno, a Japanese housewife. The book is funny, cynical, witty, tragic, with a dash of the Jungle and a bit of good vocabulary too! Or it could be that my reading choices heavily favor the
Young Adult section...but I had to reference: moue, ersatz, embouchure, nacreous, and miasma (which, turns out, has nothing really to do with the word chiasma, which I know only because of it's optic counterpart).
There are some really beautiful poetic passages, too - Ozeki draws from the ancient Japanese poems of Sei Shonagon's Pillow Book as a preface for each chapter and Akiko's own poetry. They read like lyrical lists of mundane, personal musings. For example, Things That Give a Pathetic Impression: The voice of someone who blows his nose while he is speaking. The expression of a woman plucking her eyebrows.
Given my affinity for lists, Shonagon may be my next read.
And although I vowed to stop eating beef at the conclusion of this book, the VERY NEXT DAY I purposefully sought out and ate with much satisfaction a Philly Cheesesteak. With Cheez Whiz to boot. So now go, get the book and read!

Friday, July 29, 2011


The Powers came to visit us in Long Beach in May. Man, do we love these boys.
the powerscole!merry go round!colethe many faces of jackson powers

Naturals in front of that camera, these hams.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

for katie

In May, we (Tim, pal Steve and I) visited our friends John and Katie in their San Luis Obispo home, where we enjoyed a relaxing weekend full of delicious downtown dinners, hearty breakfast sing-a-longs, backyard hikes, Santa Barbara wine tasting, and a delightful picnic lunch with vineyard views. We love these people. They go above and beyond.
sing-a-longbreakfastalmost therefrom the topjohnsanta barbara wine tastingsanta barbara wine tastingsanta barbara wine tastingsanta barbara wine tastingsanta barbara wine tastingsanta barbara wine tastingsanta barbara wine tastingdudeskatie

Katie passed away last week. We mourn for the loss of such an amazing, bright, loving, generous, fun person. We are honored to have known her and to have called her our friend.

time warp

Somehow we find ourselves in the middle of late July, with a camera three-months-full of pictures documenting where we have been, what we've eaten and who we saw. Yikes.

Where to start...

Friday, July 22, 2011

the deep green sea

In the midst of moving all our belongings to the Chung's garage and trying to efficiently pack one carry-on bag for three weeks in two completely different climates, I forgot to bring a book. So, on the long bicoastal flights, I turned to airline magazines (more for the crosswords than the articles) and Bejeweled (well, actually the free knock-off, Jewels). When I got home, however, I found some books purchased in college that still remain unread. I must have bought this one, The Deep Green Sea by Robert Olen, during my "Asian" literature phase, because on the shelf next to this one sits Memoirs of a Geisha, Snow Falling on Cedars, the Joy Luck Club and the Bonesetter's Daughter. Anyway, I never got around to reading it until now, and boy was it some adult stuff.
And by that I mean adult relations. And also maybe some child relations. And by saying that I am not giving away anything because the book is quite predictable. The book is told by Thien, the daughter of a Vietnamese prostitute, and Ben, a GI returning to Vietnam after several years of unhappiness in America. Both first-person narratives are poetic, but half the book takes place in Thien's bedroom, you know, where the adult relations happen. So yeah, it's basically a book about adult relations. And apparently, adult relations can get into some crazy stuff.
© timheartjane 2011 Photos taken by me, unless otherwise stated.