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Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Transition



Dear All 6 Of You,

I am really forcing myself to sit and type something on here. As some of you already know, I am experiencing major withdrawals from roaming around aimlessly and doing as I please, day in and day out, for three weeks. I'm almost certain this was the most spontaneous vacation I have taken, on many levels, and I'm finding the transition back into an organized reality a tad difficult. That being said, today I decided on a solution whereby I will marry the vacation mentality into daily life, an attempt at incorporating the freedom of being guided by the moment with some semblance of structure and checking off on my inevitable to do's.

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of this post-vacay syndrome was a smidgen of a lack of motivation. I haven't been able to research, write, doodle or even blog anything because of such a paralysis... Today I managed to make myself a strong, strong coffee and some yummy toasts (Lavazza with soy milk, butter with cinnamon and olive pate, hummus and onion jam, respectively), began to unpack my suitcase and put everything back in its place. Baby steps... A good beginning towards reifying my return, hopefully my state of mind will follow suit.

Some inspiring things aiding my jolt back into productive mode:

-Spring is here! After I unpack my suitcase non-halfassedly, I'll replace the old soil in my pots and scatter new seeds. Thanks, Bluebs for planting the idea in my head to plant seeds in pots, and for our long, Negroni supported chats on goals and perseverance.

-Smeerk and Shrimpie's culinary escapades on the digital frontier are keeping me on my toes, with ideas sure to tickle all of the senses. Find them on Twitter, they're new and follow-worthy!

-Glimpsing the National Theatre Wales channel on You Tube. Here you can watch snippits of the large scale community effort in reviving Port Talbot's Passion plays, a massage for the right side of your brain.

-Starting Joys and Sorrows: Reflections by Pablo Casals.

-Leonard Cohen's "Ten New Songs" album.

Ciao, un bacio,
AQ


Friday, April 29, 2011

Don't Stop Thinking About Sperlonga...

Yesterday's gone, yesterdaaay's gone...


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Here's Lookin' At You, Kid



After a night of mass pizza and fried (insert any vegetable or seafood here) consumption, culminating with a stop at Crossover and a 2 am - 4 am dance party session at Club Rockabilly? Neta and I boarded a train to Sperlonga, and here we are now at a fabulous ghosttown of a hotel where we seem to be the only inhabitants in the entire city. More later, and much more blogging to come. Ciao!







Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ma, ma, Malagaaa, Next up Ro-ma, maaaaa

... Espa├▒a, Oooh la la!
Malaga smells like roses and jasmine. Could it be more perfect?






Monday, April 18, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Blue, green, yellow, blue, green, yellow, blue, green, yellow, blue, green, yellow

This is for the Notebook of Patterns back home:






Please excuse the foggy camera phone pics, I feel like I'm disrespecting the beautiful city with these sloppy shots. I hope to find a camera replacement soon. I started getting upset with how terrible scenic shots were coming out so I decided to zoom in on something vibrant. It's really depressing to want to capture a charming, perfectly lit building or landscape and have it come out like this:





AGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Or whatever that is in Portuguese.

RIP Fujifilm Fine Pix / Sorry Kristen, I dropped it

... dropped it not even an hour into being in Lisbon. I present to you:
The Last Three Photos Our Camera Took





The storefronts are very Eugene Atget of me, huh?

Galeria ARTICULA



I died a little when I stepped into this very special jewelry/art gallery in Alfama. This is no way that you cannot click on that link, browse and turn away. Teresa's stuff in particular stunned me.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ol-heeeeeyyyy....

Here's a glimpse of our snacks at the overly trendy Spanish bar in the Flatiron District's Eventi Hotel. That beer peeking out of the bottom left corner in the first photo is one of several drinks I was somewhat tricked into ordering. I enjoyed it very much, but did not enjoy the amount I owed when the bill came.




Above: Ridiculously overpriced beer, mushroom fries (unbelievable), prosciutto wrapped asparagus with cheese, heavenly beet salad and scallops with snap peas in green sauce


Sunday, April 10, 2011

First Annual International Conference on the Auschwitz Reports and Hungary in 1944

I had the privilege and pleasure of attending the First Annual International Conference on the Auschwitz Reports and Hungary in 1944 this past week at CUNY's Graduate Center. Brilliant speakers from around the world united to provide their views on the events around the spring-summer of 1944. At this time in Hungary, deportations of the country's Jewish community were taking place and international pressure was growing by the minute the world over to end Hitler's Final Solution. The specifics on the reports being issued and the information that certain leaders had and when they had it during that time, are often at the root of debates on the topic. Although the historical record will seem to point at certain directions, people will always, of course, rehash and re-investigate with a slew of ever-evolving interpretations.

One speaker who I am eager to share with you guys is Professor Robert Jan van Pelt from the University of Waterloo, whose lecture was... all over the place. But, in the most brilliant and sincere way, with an equal blend of charisma and knowledge. Prof. van Pelt's expertise on Auschwitz actually began in the area of architecture, with the reasoning that "great architecture" is one that leaves a significant shadow after its construction. Its impact.

In any case, he offered the most multi-disciplinary lecture, exploring everything from greatness and myth to conquest to storytelling and denial. One of his more interesting tangents was on storytelling. He cited an example from The Odyssey, where Odysseus hears his acts sung to him at a palatial dinner fifteen years after his heroic acts in Troy, and how only when he is sung this history to does he begin to weep. The question van Pelt asked here is, "Why did he cry when he heard the story?" It is the meaning of what happens when an event disappears that concerns him here, the hazy distance from the event and the memory. Only by being blind to people can you see, and begin to understand, the meaning of the story.

In 1946, the information that had been revealed transcended the possibility to tell a story (in other words, or in my simplifying things, I took this to mean- not enough time had passed). Only by incarnating a person in the events surrounding the Holocaust, not by creating a story, could you effectively explore these events, an approach Claude Lanzmann apparently acknowledged when making Shoah in 1986. Van Pelt went on to claim the novel, through our relationship with a character and their experiences becoming real to you, has almost killed the ability to tell a story. Whether I agree with this statement fully is another thing, but he is on to something when he developed this further to say that stories have heroes, and that your heroes cannot come to close to you.

I could go on, but that is a quick taste of what I found to be one of the more engaging lectures in the series.

Ciao miao (that is a cat purr)...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I Wanna Rock With You


Unrelatedly (but not), from the complete other side of world,
"meerkatze" from the Messak plateau, Libya


From the short story Unnamed Caves by John Jeremiah Sullivan on revelatory, South USA cave-dwelling exploits:


"Only as the decades and centuries flip-book by do the lines untangle themselves, and you start to see human shapes, quadrupeds. Still we are far from any meaning. In fact, that's what has taken place, The eye lets go of the desire for meaning; the pictures emerge. Simek was showing me Mallery's pages by way of saying, It's dangerous to read something when you can't really read it. And we can't.

Try to see it. That's hard enough."


This story made me want to pull out old Anthro class petroglyph articles and brush up on my carbon-14 and radiometric dating techniques! I found this passage relevant on many levels. I mean, it's significant in a literal sense because it was pitch black in these caves and they couldn't see the cave art too easily, but this applies to our literary lives, also in a more macroscopic way- as a guide to the day-to-day. On my walk to work today I had a minor aha moment, thinking I could make so much more general progress in my life if I made a stronger effort to follow simple truths. This is something I often think about, but often forget as well. This was, in fact, the reason why I even studied Anthropology to begin with... When I couldn't decide on what to major in, and felt the pressure of the mental clock a'tickin', I chose something pretty basic to hold me over- to learn more about myself and others. I believe the "line" I used in my university admission personal statement was that I'd like to spend the next couple years examining "what it means to be human" (I am lightly giggling here, you guys).

Most topics pertaining to humans' relatively short time on the planet result in understanding very simple truths as well. Our responsibilities for the future are also pretty simple, yet we make them so complex because it's *waves hands in the air and makes a funny face* the future, and unknown, and scary, and so on (I realize how annoying that sidebar action was, but I just spoke to someone this morning who adamantly denies global warming, what the purpose behind her steadfastness is- beats me). Even evolutionary theory was born from this kind of thought, a little. While many 17th-18th century scientists scrambled to solve biological dilemmas on human change and diversity, the combo of time and environmental pressures managed to explain it quite neatly. Much the same way, I once freaked out for days trying to grasp Lavoisier's essays on chemical composition before calmly being able to relate everything back to our reductive best friend, the beloved notion of balance. Overly simplistic? Perhaps, but I also think there's a danger in regarding reductive things as "crude" and platitudes as "boring". I think that as soon as you do so often, you begin to force meaning and also explanations, you're asking for too much (and maybe also a Xanax prescription).

Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. -Albert Einstein

Friday, April 1, 2011

I'ma Putcha To Bed - Ed - Ed

I'm super impressed by these two. Farrah found wood and Levi made a bed out of it. Such a resourceful pair, making wide strides towards answering the ongoing storage dilemmas of living in a New York apartment.






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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?

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