And wish I had more time to spend in your company. Seriously, there is just too little time for everything I’d like to read and investigate. As it is, I managed to finish “How to Live Safely in a Science-Fictional Universe” and “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” both of which I liked very much. Not loved, but liked well enough to push on with the next works by their respective authors. Sadly, Stieg Larson wrote only three novels before he died, but those three have earned him a stellar place in the cosmos of morose Swedish crime novelists. My friend Jim calls Larson’s oeuvre “The Girl Who Kicked Bees.” That’s a tiny peek into Jimworld for all of you.
However, Blogland calls with some notable entries. First is Chez Namaste Nancy’s lovely post(s) on Van Gogh and his part in the Post-Impressionist show at the De Young museum.
I can’t help but be reminded of an episode from the newest Dr. Who series in which the doctor and his companion meet Vincent and do him a great kindness. I’m not a big fan of Dr. Who, but that episode made me cry like a baby. Now, when I see his work, I think it’s a shame that the show isn’t true, that he wasn’t given a glimpse into the future to understand that he wasn’t popular because no one understood how far ahead of the curve he really was, how much of the future of art would owe to his work.
Well done, Vincent.
Another artist who got some play in Bloglandia this week is Kay Nielsen, about whom Gypsy Purple posted recently. Nielsen worked as an illustrator in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and became famous for his illustrations of fairy tales.
His work is — to me anyway — Art Deco informed by Beardsley, and while the images are often elegant, or whimsical or haunting, occasionally you’ll find one, like the one posted here, that is simply the gayest illustration in Gaydonia. It’s a delight, isn’t it? So very over-the-top it could be an ad for a Ru Paul production.
For me, Nielsen hits all the right notes. He remains one of my favorite illustrators.
Quite apart from all that, Glinda and I had a busy week. She was off work and on Thursday we rented a car and drove out to St. Charles where my family is buried. I hadn’t seen my parents’ headstone since it was placed, and I really wanted to make sure everything was all right out there. The headstone looked beautiful. It’s brown granite with two entwined trees bordering their names and dates, and the legend “Baucis and Philemon” at the bottom. That was who they were; generous to a fault and devoted to each other. I couldn’t think of a better way to memorialize them.
On Saturday we went up to the Madison WI farmers market and spent an hour or so walking around the capitol building tasting carrots and berries and buying a lot of beautiful produce and some fresh bread and flowers. We meandered on home, stopping at Elegant Farmer in Mukwonago (Yeah, I know. That’s what I said.) for lunch and a bit more shopping. Then it was blue highways all the way back down. Somehow — please don’t ask me how — we managed to spend more than four hours going from Mukwonago which is just a bit outside Milwaukee to the Hackney’s in Glenview, which is at most an hour’s drive if you’re doing highways, and maybe two on the side roads.
Glinda likes to say that in the same way moths can’t resist a flame, Jim can’t resist a road with a “Dead End” sign. We both think he doesn’t quite believe it and has to see for himself. And then we got caught in what looked like a charity marathon and that cost us about half an hour. But on the whole it was a lovely day and we ended it by having an al fresco meal at Hackney’s which was exactly what I was longing for.
Today she and I went over to Monica’s for a jewelry sale. We ended up Christmas shopping, eating cookies and playing peek-a-boo with Monica’s daughter. I did very well with the present thing. Unfortunately whenever Glinda takes time off I get kind of used to having her around and I always miss her when she goes back to work. We really need to win the lottery so we can build our animal shelter/llama farm and never have to deal with corporate yo-yos again. Well, okay, I don’t have to pretty much, but I’d love it if we could free Glinda from that grind.
ETA: You can thank Glinda for catching my lama/llama gaffe. I don’t think she bought my explanation that lama is just an abbreviation for llama. But now I think of it, raising wise spiritual leaders isn’t a bad way to spend one’s golden years.