solitary_summer: (Default)
Another quote from RTD's book —

To be honest, I have trouble with 'escapism' full stop. It's usually a derogatory term. Or condescending. At best, cute. [...] It makes the pastime, whether it's a hobby or a job, seem tiny and silly, when it's a vital part of your life. [...] Writing is actually my way of engaging with the world, not escaping from it.


Now admittedly unlike him I'm not making a living out of my (not-)escapism, so maybe I have something less of an argument there, but I do agree with this on several levels.

Reality (or not), art, writing; TV, storytelling and metaphysics; Andromeda, Smallville, Firefly and Bush-ite America. Broadly generalising and meandering without really going anywhere. )


Also... The Surinam toad and its reproductive habits. The things you learn on the internetz...
.
.
.
.
.
Half an hour later. Um. Note to self. Don't start watching animal videos on YouTube.

solitary_summer: (Default)
So tired. I'm making myself some Earl Grey tea to stay awake but the more sensible choice would be to go to bed instead... Orthodontist appointment before work tomorrow! Russian class afterwards! Belly dancing class! Car is still two light bulbs short, because those idiots forgot, needs to fixed until Wednesday. God! I need a break.


Saturday afternoon went to the Wien Museum after work to see the (turns out, rather small) Elfriede Mejchar exhibition, which I loved because this kind of thing fascinates me too, the remnants of the past, those places where city and country blend into each other, and while much of what she photographed is gone today, you can still find these contrasts sometimes. In Simmering, a couple of hundred meters from the Gasometers, Jean Nouvel, Coop Himmelb(l)au, etc., it's still a village, although probably not for very long now, which always makes me a bit wehmütig. I really need to go out with my camera again, but where's the time?

Would have loved to go home afterwards & crash, but no, book presentation, because when you're being given an invitation at the end of a job interview common sense dictates that you better make an appearance, even if you've never heard of the author and however little you might be interested in the subject - which turned out to be genuinely interesting, but still, so, so tired.

~

I've been reading further into RTD's book, and it's fascinating. I thought it might be disillusioning, break the forth wall too much, but I really love it, all the What-Ifs and Maybes, the stories that didn't happen, Penny becoming Donna, the Vorax; the after-deadline panics and budget compromises, rants about internet criticism ruining writers and adorable drawings of a still blue-faced Bannakaffalatta; it's kind of a whole, it makes the process of story telling so vibrant and alive.

Oh, and p. 74. Last night I suddenly realised, wrong character. It should be Owen. Seven scripts are now being rewritten, including scenes that are actually being filmed today! Lines handed to the cast on the spot!. Er. Would have saved me about 4000 words, and embarrassingly enough I already had the book lying around at home - unread - when I hit 'post' on that entry. Feeling slightly validated here, but mostly rather stupid. And maybe it did make the show better, maybe he had the right instinct, it's impossible to tell without knowing the alternative/original version, but the collateral damage from all those last minute changes is noticeable.

Still though, between this, and Merlin, and Stephen Fry's recent blog entry about how people should stop being so pedantic and nit-picky about changes and misuses of language but rather enjoy using it, - and interestingly enough some things said at yesterday's book presentation about quotations and citations and remixes and nothing ever being really 'finished' these days tied into this, too - it made me think about stories developing. Now I have to admit I tend to be one of those people who bitch when in yet another feudalism-based fantasy universe everyone (or at least every good guy) is inevitably a paragon of equality and democracy, and I did snark when in Troy - was it Briseis? I forget - killed Menelaos and at the quite unexpected end of the tv version of the Nibelungen saga that I saw a while ago, but on the other hand, maybe what Stephen Fry writes is true here also: Dive into the open flowing waters and leave the stagnant canals be. Of course some of the retellings/reworkings are better than others, J.K.Rowling, Joss Whedon, B5 and MJS using motives from LotR, Clive Barker's Imajica, but even the not so good ones are valid and mean those stories are still alive; they developed before and it's only logical that they will - and indeed have to - go on developing, reflecting a new audience's tastes and expectations and new social realities like the change in women's roles, or they'll become obsolete.

~

Also, a Merlin question - did Merlin's better nature/bad conscience catch up with him in the end, or did the boy Mordred somehow telepathically command him? I thought it was the latter, but I've read the former interpretation, so I'm kind of wondering...

solitary_summer: (Default)
::yawns:: I guess it would have been too much to ask to be eased gently from holiday-mode into work-mode.

Woke up from a nightmare today where - my sister, I think - killed someone and I spent the the best part of the dream trying to get rid of a plastic bag with (curiously small) body parts. Very relieved to wake up, let me tell you. That's what you get when you're wishing for 'real' nightmares instead of university/work related anxiety dreams. :)

~


Brief holiday summery.

# Lazy, lazy, lazy. Never even made it to Maishofen, stayed in Salzburg the whole two weeks.

# The single exeption from the general & completely embarrassing laziness was a lot of Russian learning. Once I actually brought myself to open the book & put the CD into the CD player, I really enjoyed it, or at least it wasn't a chore & gave me the sense of having achieved something and actually using my brain for once; I don't know why I kept putting off and off and off until I'd forgotten so much, for one and a half months. My brain works in strange and unfathomable ways. [ETA a couple of tiring work days (& coming home completely braindead) later... oh wait. Question answered.] Repeated, wrote a lot/много писала, and I mean a lot, used up almost a whole spiral notebook, the next person to use the recycling bin is going to wonder, because as it was I couldn't spell at all without checking with the textbook over and over, and sadly knowing how to pronounce the word rarely helps (*is nostalgic for Spanish*), browsed a bit through the rest of our textbook and went through the first six tracks of my vocabulary CD [новые слова изучала]. I hate the early stages of a language when you're hitting walls with every step & can't say anything beyond, Меня зовут Вероника, живу в Вене, русский язык изучаю, because you're lacking the grammar and words. Grr.

At one point, when I was tinkering with my TW fic I started to write g's for d's and cyrillic s's and for a moment couldn't remember how to write a latin one. *headdesk*

# Reading: Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus (reread), and then The Making Of Die Entstehung des Doktor Faustus (new) & more about that later, because the desire to say something even remotely intelligent and coherent is what keeps me from hitting 'post' since Monday-ish; maybe when I've also reread the relevant diary years. Still very brilliant; still completely heartbreakingly sad. Struggled through the music passages like always with only a very shadowy understanding, because my theoretical knowledge stops at being able to read a (simple) score, but repeatedly caught myself at the thought that I must get the CDs. ::facepalm::

Finished Modern Nature and started Smiling in Slow Motion (rereads; & btw, watched The Garden just before I left, which is eerily, elegically beautiful & which I'm going to take a gazillion screencaps of for my screensaver folder to replace the current Torchwood wallpapers); read Dostojewskij's Aufzeichnungen aus dem Kellerloch (one of those books that are just a bit too close for comfort, even if you're aware of enough distance and difference not to actually identify) and Vladimir Sorokin's Der Himmelblaue Speck (No comment here; so far I've always liked his novels, but this was just crazy, and not a little shocking; I've no idea where, if anywhere, he's going with it; probably I've missed the point completely.)

Tried to reread Mrs Dalloway, but while I still love Virgininia Woolf's prose, I can't seem to focus. I stare at a paragraph for minutes, starting over and over, and my mind keeps drifting, I've no idea why.

# Discovered to my complete shock & amazement that I was still fit enough to run through the park, down the whole Hellbrunner Allee and back again without a break. More morning runs. A bit of biking around, to Bad Reichenhall and, once, around the Untersberg, this with a lot of ups & downs, geographically speaking.

# A bit of uninspired (everything too lush & green, too neat & picturesque) photography, although with some surprisingly nice results when I least expected them. Or at least that's what I thought when I quickly looked through the pictures yesterday.

# Watched some old school DW, Genesis of the Daleks, which was a bit... um, archaic?, and, er, maybe kind of stiff when you haven't grown up with it, but I can totally see the cult potential (although I think I prefer modern day Sarah Jane), and City of Death, which I genuinely enjoyed (without politely phrased reservations); funny, with Douglas Adams' touch very recognisable.

# Day-trip to Munich, Lenbachhaus and Pinakothek der Moderne. The former — lots of early Kandinsky landscapes; lovely but almost impossible to appreciate hanging side by side like that, one explosion of colour after another, impossible to chose; frustration at the sudden complete block in my mind at his abstract paintings, fighting my stupid and too literal brain for something like fifteen minutes, trying to make some kind of connection, with some success, but no real understanding. It's strange, or maybe more precisely, fascinating how these things work, or don't work. Earlier that morning I had the rather unsettling experience of looking at a painting and suddenly it kind of... dissolved and all I could see was strokes of paint on a canvas, and it meant nothing at all. It passed, but wtf, brain? Münter, Jawlensky, Marc; Klee, lovely - mystery and subtle humour. Sitting in the garden, the sun coming out after a rainy morning, writing this into my notebook, the square paving stones of the path, greyish- brown, with moss and the occasional small plant growing between them, like a Klee painting. Nothing that I completely loved, but a lot that I liked.

The Pinakothek - More expressionism, since it fit the theme of the day, skipped most of the rest.

# All the time the underlying (although not very worrying) question, why all this, what am I trying to find in all those, books, stories, art — distraction, entertainment, truth, a better understanding of life? Coupled with the suspicion that it all isn't quite real, quite essential, at least looking at it (creating might be different); but what is? The obvious answer is children, but I don't have the least desire for a child. So. ::shrugs:: Also a certain restlessness, dissatisfaction with the sameness & repetition; I think I need a out-of-Austria holiday soonish.

solitary_summer: (Default)





Another picture from yesterday; no artistic pretensions, posted merely for the cuteness factor and the pretty colour contrast. :)



Lazy day, went to see the Paul Klee exhibition in the Albertina, and then walked, faster and somewhat less focused, through their second exhibition Monet bis Picasso - Die Sammlung Batliner. (And will probably go to see the Phantastische Realisten before I leave for Maishofen, too.)

Liked the Klee as well as parts of Monet bis Picasso (not so much Monet or Picasso, though; mainly the German expressionists and the Russians unless they're completely abstract; all those wild splashes of colour, as well as the dreaminess of Chagall and Miro; impressionism rather bores me at the moment) and would say more about it, if I could find the right words, but I've noticed that the longer I've been away from university, the harder I find it to intelligently talk about art. On the other hand my taste has broadened a lot and I tend to believe that the need to frame everything in thoughts and words has limited me. Maybe it's a lazy mental shortcut; maybe one should or even has to appreciate art more intellectually, and it's not as if I won't read the explanations and information, but I find that in most cases they adds little to the actual experience of looking at a painting, especially if it's modern art. The more individualistic a work of art is, the more it is rooted only in the artist's imagination and reflects his view of reality instead of being at least partly determined by a larger framework of social factors and values - a fixed iconographic canon, patrons' expectations, political or religious messages a contemporary audience was supposed to understand, etc., the less words touch the central experience of getting a glimpse into someone's mind and imagination for me.

solitary_summer: (Default)
Had a so-so Sunday, late breakfast with R.-from-work and R.-no-longer-from-work, and I definitely need to find a way around those initials, but since Vienna is such a village when it comes down to it, I'm not really comfortable with names... Anyway. Extended breakfast, then the Derek Jarman exhibition in the Kunsthalle, which I found a little disappointing because I expected to see more artworks and fewer films. We watched the biographic film by Isaac Julien, and personally I'd have also liked to see Blue, which I've never seen before, but the other two seemed a little disinclined to spend more than an hour watching a blue screen...

So then (with only R.-from-work) on to watching Mamma Mia, which was, much as expected, a mostly okay and sometimes genuinely funny and touching feel-good summer movie. Generally speaking it failed when it became too dramatic (comparatively speaking, that is), but Meryl Streep was fantastic, her songs fitted her perfectly and her version of The Winner Takes It All sent shivers down my spine and made me want to stand up and applaud at the end of it. Dancing Queen was just the cutest thing ever and Christine Baranski fabulous as usual. It's a pity the movie couldn't uphold these standards throughout, and I don't know who thought it was a good idea to cast Pierce Brosnan, who simply can't sing at all, there's no politer way of saying it. That was just... painful.


Walked home in the evening sun, made myself a salad & am now watching Erasure videos on YouTube. (Which is not as completely random as it may seem, because I started out with Derek Jarman's It's A Sin video for the Pet Shop Boys, but the internet tends to side-track you like that...)

My very exciting life. *g*

solitary_summer: (tannenzweig)
[found on friendsfriends] Seriously, how pretty are these? Fantastic.


[found via the guy favouriting some of my photos on flickr] Some very nice collages. (But still too expensive at € 300.- each...)



Also: today's weather in Vienna. And then it got worse. I was at work at noon and the storm whipped the rain through the street outside almost horizontally...

solitary_summer: (Default)




Marie-Louise von Motesiczky exhibition, another thing to strike off the to do list. Liked it.

Liked it?

And that's another strange thing I've been noticing lately - I don't know if it's because I've been moving away from academia for a while now and am losing the knack of being able to dissect everything mentally & verbally, or if I've found a different way of looking at and enjoying art that simply doesn't fit into the mental categories I used to have, but I've entirely lost the ability to verbalise my appreciation, even in my head. I can stand in front of almost every painting/work of art (withing a certain range, still, but the range is so much wider than it used to be) and, if I let myself, almost fall into it, because there's this power and energy in most good art, regardless of style or subject, but I can't explain it beyond that, at least not in a remotely adequate fashion. Books are still easier, but to translate mediums in my head like this seems impossible.




Sister and boyfriend have found another, more happily willing godmother candidate, which I guess is the best solution for everyone involved, except now that makes me irrationally sad and a bit jealous. Er, no, i don't pretend I'm making sense here, even in my own head.

solitary_summer: (Default)
Schedules and planned out days are not for me, or I'm not for them. I simply lack the energy. Third day, and I'm absolutely exhausted, and this is supposed to be a holiday.


Monday to today )


In conclusion, tomorrow I'm allowed to sleep as long as I want. And do nothing as much as I want, with the possible exception of buying jogging shoes, since apparently the old ones that I've used for the past few years have shrunk? Or have my feet grown? Strange.


baby, swimming )
solitary_summer: (aynur braclet)




Things I did today: Visit the Leopold museum to see the German Expressionists exhibition before it closes. Some paintings I liked and some I liked not quite as much, and I'm not feeling particularly analytical today, not that this sentiment is exactly new, but, still. Fragile moments. Nolde paintings to lose oneself in.

Some Kolig paintings I love every time.

Walked around for a bit, came home, made a belated lunch, fell asleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon and dreamt some seriously weird things i won't go into in detail because sometimes it embarrasses even me what my brain can make up.

Things I didn't do: Belly-dancing practice. Henna my hair. Failed (again) to buy a jingly coin hip-scarf. I look at them, and then find I lack courage/conviction to buy one, and no, I don't pretend this makes much, if any, sense. Although I've come to the conclusion that part of the problem (with belly-dancing generally) seems to be that i'm not feeling really comfortable with my body, not sexual/sensual enough? Certainly this is the first time in my life that I've caught myself wishing my breasts were bigger.


But: Belly-dancing class for the next semester (different VHS, different teacher) is booked; as is Spanish class. I must have had an energetic phase last week.


Recovering from Christmas, but still feeling unfocused, distracted and very easily exhausted. I'll be definitely taking off a week in February, even if there won't be any skiing, what with no snow, 10-15 degrees (plus), and me still walking around in my light autumn/spring coat in January. The weather is beginning to scare me.


Tv-watchage.

QaF:UK
Liked it, and it was interesting to compare to the S1 of the US version, the different takes on the story and relationships. I preferred almost all the UK versions of the characters, who behave (and even look) so much more natural, almost like (gasp) actual people... it's a thing you stop noticing, you get so used to it watching too many US tv shows, the plastic-ness, the stock-phrases, it almost comes a surprise when it's different for once. Liked Vince (and it's come to the point where I tend to fastforward Michael), who certainly loved Stuart, but didn't have Michael's unrequited puppy-dog adoration for Brian. The American need to be always more blatant, have the bigger, more dramatic drama, all threads tied up neatly, and always, always the moral lesson.

And Brian and Justin? So I'm hearing they didn't get together at the end of the show, but regardless it's like every cliched romance novel ever written where the heroine manages to thaw the hero's heart and make him fall in love with her. Seriously. Not that this changes the fact that it's pretty much the only reason I keep watching [::throws up hands in embarrassed despair::], because in some ways I am a girl and how can you not love Brian in his glorious fucked-up-ness, and the actors have chemistry like whoa, and, yes, moving on now.

::sigh::

DS9 S1 (Christmas gift); About ten episodes in, already slightly bored. I remember seeing bits and pieces years ago, mostly of the later seasons, and being at least somewhat interested, and definitely remember liking some of the characters, and at 39.- per season it seemed a good chance to start following the whole arc of the Dominion war. But S1 is less than thrilling so far, and why is there so much of Quark? Does anyone actually want to see Quark? Or Nog? Or Jake, for that matter? Because I certainly don't. And at this stage of things, neither Kira, nor Odo, nor Jadzia (who has always fascinated me, above or between genders) are compelling enough reason to go on watching. After the speed and complexity of JW's shows or B5 it's hard to find anything to really interest me; or perhaps this is an age thing? I also noticed this with the few fantasy novels I read recently - I'm becoming awfully hard to please.

And, again, what I can't stand is the Mmoral of the episode. I've re-watched the first season of Andromeda recently, and while the show does have its faults and short-comings even then, what always attracted me is that there are some genuinely interesting story lines about possibilities, freedom of will, fate and the hard decisions that are never clean or ideal, regrets, consequences. I'm having a hard time re-adapting to the squeaky-clean Star Trek universe and its much clearer ethics and pyjama uniforms.

Anyhow, prices on amazon are up at 56.- again, so unless S1 turns out to end in a terrific, heart-stopping, must-buy-next-season-immediately cliff-hanger, it doesn't look like I'll be watching any further than that for the time being.

OTOH though, it doesn't hurt or aggravate me, which I rather suspect SV S5 will, and is the reason why it's still sitting on the shelf, unwatched, weeks after purchase.


And perhaps I should go to sleep now, despite my afternoon-nap. It's not as if anything intelligent is forthcoming at the moment.
solitary_summer: (yaz)

Hm. Once you decide that you don't have, or want to, go about mentally composing livejournal entries all the time, it's a slippery slope apparently, and a fast slide into inarticulateness.

It's not as if I don't do things any more, Monday (5th) I was in the Leopold Museum for the Walde exhibition & saw some Kolig and Schiele paintings I really loved, last Sunday I went to the MUMOK with Rikki (Wiener Aktionismus - still not exactly my thing, but interesting, and some modern photography exhibition), we sat in the cafe in the sun, talked about all kinds of things and generally passed a very pleasant afternoon, and I think I never mentioned the trip to the Schallaburg (Genghis Khan exhibition) with Manu, Rikki and Romana back in May (21st). This Thursday my sister and I went to the zoo to see the new Indian rhinos (hot, crowded, but still a nice morning; a white peacock accidentally landing in the polar bear enclosure, making a very narrow escape only - I've always thought that with polar bears one would be least likely to make the mistake of considering them oh-so-cute & cuddly because just they're safely behind bars and/or glass - kind of an easy mistake to make with a tiger sprawled on its back like a giant cat waiting to be petted -, because regardless of circumstances and surroundings, they do look like the predators they are, but it was still fascinating to see the bear move almost instantly from bored near-lethargy into predatory action the moment the bird tumbled into its territory), followed by lunch at the parents (relatively relaxed & drama-free).

[Disclaimer: I know zoos are evil and whatnot. I actually do have mixed feelings about them. I still enjoy going occasionally.]


Today I suffered through an intensely frustrating shopping trip (why do I even still bother...), and it really does say something about this summer's fashion that when I find a nice shirt that actually fits at H&M I immediately buy a second one. I'll skip the why-only-push-up-bras-and-g-strings-rant. Also, and probably as a result, bought dvds that I don't really need, because it isn't as if I don't still have dvds from my last shopping spree lying around unwatched; Velvet Goldmine, The Talented Mr. Ripley, Fight Club and Dune because they were cheap, and Smallville S4 because I'm dumb & a masochist.

Morning runs Monday and Friday

(And not to forget, Tuesday I had the gastroscopy, which was not exactly pleasant, since I heroically (or would that be masochistically) declined a sedative, but survivable. Slight inflammation, nothing bad, results from tissue samples back sometimes next week.)

(There's still the possibility that this is caused by bacteria, but I've started to suspect that my body (stomach, specifically) is giving me a message about how I should start treating it better and perhaps I really ought to pay attention for once; food has always been such a neurosis-ridden issue for me -- eating too much, idiotic crash diets, making myself throw up, guilt, comfort food followed by more guilt... I can't even remember a time where food was simply... food rather than something to feel guilty about in some way. Smaller, regular meals, taking time to prepare the food and eat would be a good idea for a change.)


So, things (boring things, granted) still happen, even if at the moment I'm sitting around lazily in a violet hippie type skirt and spaghetti strap top in my thankfully still quite cool flat, waiting for the predicted thunderstorm to arrive.

It's just that I feel the world doesn't immediately (or at all) need to be informed of this, or why I like Firefly and would have liked to see more and think that Mal is a fascinating character, although I guess I'll probably be posting about that at some point.


Posting pictures is so much easier these days.
solitary_summer: (schlosser: birds)

I've become so very lazy, or is it distracted by... what exactly? I have a hard time remembering what it is I'm actually wasting my time on these days. It isn't even DVDs. Crappy books, random internet activities, and it's truly amazing how much time you can waste on youtube. A new summer livejournal layout which I'm still not so sure I actually like, but what exactly did I do yesterday except shop for groceries and go jogging? Sad. I'm having an incredibly hard time to concentrate on writing anything at all. I really do hope I'll become a little more focused again once I'm 100% healthy.

This dates back from Madrid, mostly written there, somewhat edited for (attempted) coherency.

Looking at art; learning to. (Learning to look at life, too?)

cut for excessive rambling )
solitary_summer: (dreamsquid (© clive barker))

This morning, just before waking up, I dreamt that someone had cut back my (ex-)bonsai to almost a bare trunk, and for some reason this worried me to the point of tears; the kind of dream that makes you feel relief when you wake up to realise it has only been a dream. Odd.


I'm read too much trash, and only trash. It's rather pathetic.

Also, I think I might be getting a sore throat. As if I haven't got enough health issues (well, issue, singular, not to exaggerate) at the moment.


Randomness: Does it bother anyone else that art so often is the result of, or closely linked to, personal pain and unhappiness?



And, because it bears repeating, I really love Stadium Arcadium. So very beautiful, not only, but also in a powerful, good vibrations (awful phrase, but can't think of a better substitute at the moment), smile-on-my-face way.
solitary_summer: (elena)

As much as it embarrasses me to fall back into this state of mind (again and again...) where I'll forget about social niceties and will shamelessly & depressedly whine on livejournal, apparently getting this shit out of your system does help, at least occasionally.

I feel much calmer and more relaxed today, had a long morning run followed by breakfast and hot shower, switched off the computer, took the bus to Klosterneuburg and visited the exhibition of 20th century Austrian painting in the Essl museum. Nothing breathtakingly astounding, but interesting overall and I quite enjoyed it, although most of everything from the 2nd half of the century continues to baffle me.

Today I've come to the conclusion that perhaps it has to do with my control freak-ish tendencies. Ancient Greek art was understandable, analysable, clear lines of stylistic development, social context. And really, the same can be said for everything until the beginning of the 20th century, when it all suddenly explodes so fast and in so many different directions that I'm left confused and almost entirely at a loss.

When I look at something and can't even try to decipher it, my brain is... not happy. It wants to supply the whys and hows and wherefores as usual, but can't even define them and generally lacks the thought concepts and words to do so.

Most of modern and contemporary art speaks in a language that I don't understand and I feel has nothing to say to me, making me feel stupid and helpless, something that, I'll admit, I hate very much. I don't know how to look at it, what to like, how to like it, what is good, what is bad? And I simply don't care enough to educate myself sufficiently to take the intellectual approach. Rather, I browse, in the hope that eventually my mind will open up, I'll have an epiphany, something will speak to me, I'll arrive in the present... Or not.

Strangely enough (because on the surface that's not exactly 'my thing' either), from all the post-1945 art I found the photos from the Wiener Aktionismus period the most interesting, because the human body is something I can understand. It's readable...



Anyway. Had tea and cake on the terrace of the cafe, sitting in the sun reading Pamuk's Rot ist mein Name. Which doesn't sound like much, but given my usual tendency to hide, my almost phobia of doing such mundane things as going into a cafe (alone!) and ordering something... I'm definitely feeling better.

Let's see how far into Monday this will to last

solitary_summer: (general (© clive barker))





I wish my psyche were a little less contrary. I was looking forward to an (entirely obligation-free, for once) day off, but felt... not so much actually depressed, but emotional, sad-to-tears, and on the whole rather unenthusiastic and lack-lustre. Must be the mixture of a sunny day with promises of spring, stirring up all kinds of spring-time emotions, and the fact that I'm still wearing my thick winter coat and scarf (and gloves, once the sun disappears). Snow is melting in the sun, but puddles immediately begin to freeze over in the evening.


Went to see the Xenia Hauser exhibition, which left me € 9.- poorer but generally unmoved. I'd seen some of her pictures in magazines and thought they were interesting, and the paintings at least were nice to look at (the overpainted photographs seemed a little slapdash), but little else; I couldn't connect at all. It's like I kept sliding off some colourful, aesthetizised surface that allowed no deeper access, although perhaps only to me... quite the reverse of my reaction to the Louise Bourgeois exhibition, where I probably didn't 'understand' anything, and I'm not sure if 'like' actually describes my reaction adequately, but where I felt (or imagined to feel) a connection to the idea behind, regardless...


Walked back home with a few detours, snapped some photographs, very unenthusiastic and uninspired. Sometimes I love this city, today I felt like a stranger, like a tourist, not someone who has lived here all her life. Wanting to be gone, mostly.

Again, no connection. Perhaps it was me who was disconnected today.

solitary_summer: (skipper (© clive barker))



The spiral is an attempt at controlling the chaos. It has two directions. Where do you place yourself, at the periphery or at the vortex? Beginning at the outside is the fear of losing control; the winding in is a tightening, a retreating, a compacting to the point of disappearance. Beginning at the centre is affirmation, the move outward is a representation of giving, and giving up control; of trust, positive energy, of life itself.



Friends should drag me to exhibitions more often. Ironically, R. ended up not really liking Bourgeois's work, but I was intrigued. I can't verbalise it -I don't even have the vocabulary to intelligently talk about modern art - I won't pretend to understand it in the sense that I informed myself about the artist's intentions and aims, the deeper meaning of her work, &c. but something about it spoke to me, seemed somehow compellingly familiar, the older drawings as well as the more recent fabric pictures. Something I'd feel comfortable having around at home, if I had a home suitable to put up this kind of art, or the money to buy it with; which I don't think I've ever felt about any contemporary artist.

An oblong picture with black waves, that, despite the title 'landscape', resembled nothing so much as a turbulent sea, stretching from the lower left corner to the middle of the right side, black fabric, the structure and depth indicated by very exact parallel stitched lines, the remaining upper two thirds of the canvas painted a uniform light blue. The contrast between the dark, intricately patterned mass, beautiful, but confusing, almost oppressive and the clear, light sky was almost... transcendent?

solitary_summer: (head/boat (© clive barker))

I've been insanely active already for someone complaining about stress and lack of weekends.

Up at 6:30, morning run, breakfast, shower, &c., then biked to the Belevdere to see the exhibition about Finnish painting before it closes. Nice-ish, but nothing that appealed to me particularly. And I kind of forgot that the rest of the museum would be taken up by the Austria anniversary exhibition, which I'll be shallow enough to admit I found slightly irritating, because I was feeling pleasantly relaxed and in the mood for looking at pretty pictures, not so much to be educated about Austrian history.

Now on to making Zwetschkenkuchen for my father's birthday...


In other annoying news, it's cold... 10 degrees, long sleeves, and I really need some kind of jacket/coat for autumn temperatures this year...





Belvedere gardens. I think I kind of love the person who put up that notice.
solitary_summer: (masquerade (© clive barker))

Somewhat surprisingly, no hangover this morning. Vague headache, and the realisation that doing things balancing on top of a ladder probably wasn't the best idea, but nothing worse.


Sunday R. and I were in Klosterneuburg, to visit the Essl museum; the exhibition on modern Mexican art was interesting, R. loved Diego Riviera, I preferred the paintings by José Clemente Orozco, and there were a couple of others I really liked, but I didn't take notes like I usually do when I'm at an exhibition on my own so I'm kind of lost for the moment. The Maria Lassnig exhibition was... hard to describe, I find her paintings intriguing and disconcerting at the same time. Interesting contrast, too, come to think of it, the social concern of the Mexican painters and Lassning's more private images and vision of the human body. Modern art still mostly baffles me, and with few exceptions is not really something I like instinctively, but I've been trying to broaden my horizons recently and actually like discovering new artists for myself...

Monday... one of those truly horrible days at work. I think perhaps the hard thing is when you've done something that fits you, that is you, art, writing, thinking, your mind & imagination alert, and then to be stuck again in the mind-numbing routine... anger, restlessness, frustration, changing to apathy and tiredness in the afternoon.

U. called, if I wanted to have a drink after work with some co-workers; I didn't, but it was her birthday, so I went along, & chatted & got drunk & contrary to expectations it wasn't too bad. A weird, but not entirely unpleasant sense of belonging, of not being different all the time, and it didn't feel too wrong, or fake, it was kind of nice. ::shrug:: Probably no one but me would over-analyse getting drunk with a few co-workers... it's just not a thing I usually do, and it felt less weird/awkward than I thought it would.

And maybe I should really start to question my (a?)sexuality, because I found not-really-co-worker-from-another-shop-who-I-barely-know's breasts a little distracting, and that was only half-way through the first drink. Granted, they were pretty, and rather, er, on display, so to speak, but finding them distracting, as in, sexually attractive at all, is another thing that is weird for me, because usually I don't find much of anything sexually attractive, breasts or other body-parts.


Then again perhaps it was the alcohol, because I seem to have reverted to my usual asexual self already & find writing about this slightly strange, like someone else's experience, nothing that I could have felt.



He. I actually managed to finish this entry. Go me, or something.
solitary_summer: (yebba (© clive barker))

The weather has been acting strangely this week, from almost thirty degrees on Monday and Tuesday (I don't really like temperatures this high, but even I was basking in the sudden warmth) to twelve degrees and an icy western wind yesterday. It's a lovely spring, though. Maybe it's the camera that makes me more attentive to my surroundings and the changes in nature, even when I don't take it along, maybe it's the morning runs, although they're rather infrequent at the moment, maybe it's that I'm in a different mindset, but I don't remember ever experiencing spring so intensely. Almost frighteningly beautiful at times.

Tuesday, scent of lilac and smell of rain on sun-warmed concrete.


Managed a morning run today, and ran for an hour or so on Wednesday after taking care of the horse, which was unexpectedly exhausting what with all the uphill - downhill in the Wienerwald.


Went to see the Magritte exhibition on Thursday; not that I'm a particular fan, but I had the vague hope that seeing the actual paintings might make a difference, as it certainly did with Tamara de Lempicka. Plus, I'm trying to broaden my horizons. Was neither especially touched or intrigued, though. Perhaps part of the problem is that Magritte is one of those artists whose paintings are so popular that it's near-impossible to look at them with a fresh eye...

I liked two of the paintings with birds growing out of plants (The Companions of Fear, Natural Graces), and a very simple one with a paper-cut figure, but the rest... meh. Not my cup of tea.

The only thing I found intriguing on a intellectual level is when he addresses the inherent illusionism of painting, ('ceci n'est pas une pipe') because this seems to reflect Plato's issues with illusionist painting, and his reservations about art in general...


Also made a birthday cake for H., which resulted in some slight temporary awkwardness, he being M.(-at-work)'s boyfriend, and she not being much inclined to bake cakes herself. But he hangs around so often, and when I hear 'birthday' I reflexively offer cake, without thinking much about it. But, cake, and everyone liked it, and ate a second piece, so in the end it was all right, I think. (Photos curtsy H., because I'm not that self-involved, even though in this case I'll abandon all pretense at modesty and say that it was a really good cake. Really very good. Even though that's more due to the cook-book than my amazing baking skills, but anyway.)


On an entirely unrelated note, I finally figured out why I could never really get into Stargate, either SG-1, or (as it turns out) Atlantis, even though I enjoy the fanfic quite a lot. I kept thinking it was the Däniken-esque premise that offended me professionally (ex-professionally, whatever), but watching SGA The Defiant One last Wednesday I finally realised the problem was a different one. Neither show has character arcs that include emotional developments, neither deals with the aftershocks of a crisis, the emotional fallout, except in a very rudimentary fashion, leaving entirely too many blank spaces for fanfic ones imagination to fill.

Now I'm all for understatement and show-don't-tell, instead of endless gushing and proclamations and spelling out things to the last detail, but there's such a thing as too minimalist, there's a point where it diminishes realism, the credibility of characters and the possible emotional impact of a show by creating an emotional safety-net. Wraith blown up, day saved, McKay gets to drive the jumper, The End. Never mind the guy who shot himself in front of McKay so that he could go and rescue Sheppard. I already sort-of noticed this tendency in The Storm / The Eye, which have some good moments, pushing the characters to extremes (sometime I'll have to talk about my guilty fascination for competent wielding of big guns), but whose light, half-humorous ending immediately after they all barely escaped with their lives struck me as jarring and lacking realism, as far as such a thing can be said for a SF TV show anyway.

Things never go too wrong, which makes a show a little boring after a while, and impossible for me to get emotionally involved.

Now on the other hand B5 never lets anyone get away with anything without dealing with the consequences, personal and/or political; whole character arcs are build around this, the main theme of the show is quest for self-knowledge. Both Buffy and Angel are all about actions and their consequences, redemption, forgiveness, doing the right thing, to the point of occasionally being a little over-moralistic for my taste, especially in the case of Buffy; with Angel the moral lines are a lot blurrier, but people still don't get to escape from the consequences of their actions...
solitary_summer: (dreamsquid (© clive barker))

At the risk of straying into overused platitude territory... Biking home today on the Ring, all the new green - spring, rain - the trees, the patches of grass under the trees, all such a stunningly brilliant shade of green, so wonderfully alive, and it seemed literally ages since I'd last seen that. On the other hand days are blurring into weeks are blurring into months so fast I'm almost shocked that it'll be already May next week. Strange paradox.


Something that struck me looking at the pictures from [livejournal.com profile] cityscapes on my friends-list... Now I do love Vienna, maybe because it's such a profoundly unspectacular, comfortable, slow-moving city, generally lacking in grandeur and extremes. It suits my personality, I guess. But looking at many of those pictures I can't help wondering why modern architecture here is almost always so blandly mediocre. I never even knew I could be interested in architecture at all until a few years ago. Now most of the new business and government buildings I saw in Berlin are on a scale I find slightly intimidating, but I fell in love with almost everything I saw in Copenhagen two years ago. Here... ::shrug:: I remain unimpressed. I finally was on the roof of the new library on Saturday, and it does have a nice view, but otherwise.... again, ::shrug:: The steps are too steep IMO to be really inviting to sit there, and frankly the location isn't one that particularly invites to linger, what with four lanes of traffic on either side. And don't get me started on the pointless half-assed ego trip that is that roof thingy on the Albertina.



Strange dreams this night/morning; while I don't remember much, one was on the nightmarish side, which I only realised after I'd returned from the toilet and couldn't decide whether to try to slip back into the dream because I wanted to know how it'd go on or to stay awake and be frightened.

Later, when the alarm rang, one about M. (the disastrous crush from waaay back), still (or, as the dream seemed to suggest, again, with his long hair) looking very cute.

Sometimes I find these glimpses into my head a little scary, the sheer wealth of imagination beyond my conscious control; to discover what my brain apparently still hasn't finished dealing with, as it insists to bring some things up again after so many years...

solitary_summer: (Default)





Catholicism does have its advantages, namely all kinds of public holidays... And since I see little point in visiting cemeteries I went to see the Tamara de Lempicka exhibition instead. Her style is little too much on the decorative side to truly touch me, or evoke any deeper feelings, but the paintings are less cold and superficially ornamental than I expected, maybe because paint and canvas add an organic element that no photograph can quite capture. Especially the smaller paintings are exquisite; prints, photographs or art books don't do them justice at all, always to a greater or lesser extent failing to convey the brilliance of the colours, the texture, the life of them.

Though it's really only a short period of her work that really captured me, late 20ies to mid 30ies, when she'd honed her art to absolute perfection. In the earlier paintings (and 1925 or 1927 makes quite a lot of difference) she's still searching for her own style and there are still... insecurities, maybe; and most of her later work, or at least what was exhibited there, didn't really catch my interest, either.


And [insert fervent expression of gratitude to deity of your choice] my sister just called that A. is sick, and could we see the movie some other time? She's suggested Sieben Zwerge (German comedy I'm 95% certain I'll either hate or be bored to tears by) yesterday, and I couldn't think of any excuse, or rather any polite excuse that didn't make me look quite the arrogant elitist bitch, because Are you on crack?! No! (well, the German equivalent thereof) certainly suggested itself...

Profile

solitary_summer: (Default)
solitary_summer

March 2013

M T W T F S S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
1819202122 2324
25262728293031

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 20th, 2017 08:40 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios