Friday, March 13, 2009

A Jam-Packed Spring Break

Spring break is meant to give a little breather mid-semester, but somehow it always ends up packed with things I can't do during the semester proper. Things were off with a bang on Tuesday as I interviewed Alan Moore and Melinda Gebbie about Lost Girls for the Angela Carter conference in Northampton this June. Thank you, Pádraig, for hooking me up!

How was it? In a word: brilliant!

They were both so terrific: friendly and expansive. We chatted quite comfortably, which is amazing considering how nervous I was before hand (about getting the questions out, about the tech side failing (Skype + GarageBand + wireless), and oh, I don't know what -- sounding like an idiot, I guess. I will try to put up some snippets when I get a minute to edit them out of the raw recording. A lot of it was specific to my project, but some will be of interest to all. The Bumper Book of Magic is coming along, and so is Melinda's autobiography -- that's an exciting project that builds from her early life in San Francisco, surrounded by the Beats and as one of the folks in the nascent underground comix movement.

It's funny how everything connects. Wednesday I headed off to Connecticut to see an exhibit at the Beinecke with the Queen of Everything and Elena. The exhibit featured books on alchemy. Thanks to the Joey Zone for mentioning the exhibit in the first place -- it was well worth the trip (and yes, we won't mention Garmin's unfortunate insistence on trying to get us to go across a bridge that was out).

It was an excellent exhibit, with a wide variety of volumes spread across two floors and following the influence of the alchemists up to the present day. The QoE has written about the food already, so I'll be lazy. It's been years since I have been in New Haven, so it was interesting to re-orient myself again.

The food was good, of course! Even better when we got back to Elena's for a little zubrowka, of course! Bialistock this time, which I didn't like as much as the classic Bison Grass -- but all Bison Power is good! I brought some good cheeses, too (mmmm, tilsit!). It was hard to believe that we could talk ourselves into a meal later, but Mavi was indeed delicious. Oh my, that duck l'orange was like BUTTAH!

On Thursday, Elena and I went to the Wadsworth Atheneum to see the Ballet Russes exhibit, featuring costumes as well as design sketches and paintings from artists as varied as Cocteau, Picasso, Gris, Miro, and Ernst. One of the featured ballets of course was the Rite of Spring; its premiere plays a pivotal role in Lost Girls. It was quite wonderful. I loved all the costumes and sets. They also showed DVDs of clips from recent productions based on Diaghilev's ballets. I bought a print of Leon Bakst's painting of Nijinsky as the Faun.

Then we were off for more food (of course!) so we had lunch at Lena's which was very tasty. I had pizza but I was very tempted by the split pea soup. Elena had one of the other soups with sausage and potato that looked very good. On a whim, we stopped at A. C. Petersen's for ice cream, though I must say I hardly needed it (but mint chocolate chip and hot fudge sauce -- how could I say no?).

Then I had to say good bye to my little buddy Shaq and to Elena and hit the road back to Albany, already late enough to hit traffic in both Hartford and Springfield, but hey -- I wasn't in a hurry. It was still spring break!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

joey"Do the Strandski!"Z pirouettes over to mention:
Thanks fer the credit for the headsup--man, the QOE was right--it was even a more nonstop f00dfest than usual! :P
NEED to get to that Ballet Russe show as well...AND the Darwin exhibit at Yale Center for British Art AND...
Hey! what Angela Carter books are Ya *missing*? Just saw one pback at Paperback Trader up at Storrs...

K. A. Laity said...

Hey, Joey -- I got to send one of the brochures to my new "pal" too, so he will be grateful you mentioned the exhibit as well. Yes, you must go to the Ballet Russes show -- I was really inspired.

Not sure that I'm missing any Carter (though I ought to double check). I know the QoE is looking for the Sadeian Woman.

The Queen said...

Oh, I do need more Carter! Just received 'Bloody Chamber' via ILL.

And I do need to see the Atheneum exhibit- sorry I couldn't join you & Elena!

K. A. Laity said...

Hurrah! You will love The Bloody Chamber, I suspect. And the exhibit at the Atheneum -- I was inspired. Very refreshing.