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Monday, October 11, 2010

Filthy in a box

Over the course of the summer, our cat, Filthy, has been transformed from a scaredy-cat mostly indoors pampered white fluffy kitty into a mostly outside rough and tough, no longer terrified of raccoons, beast who spends much of his time in the front yard, sleeping in his basket or hiding in the grass.   His indoor time has moved into the bookstore, as is appropriate for a literary type such as he is (he especially enjoys climbing onto your chest for a drool fest if you're on the couch trying to read a book).  Sean didn't like Filthy sleeping in his chair in the bookstore, though, for some reason not appreciating sitting in a layer of cat hair.  So since he's been banished from the office chairs, Filthy has been restlessly scouting around for a new place to dream of chasing mice, resolutely ignoring the cushion and fuzzy towel I placed on the floor for him.  Today he decided a box newly emptied of books was the perfect bed.

Last week we went to the Moore Theatre to see a screening of the film I Am Secretly an Important Man, a documentary about a local poet and musician, Steven Jesse Bernstein, who performed in Seattle in the eighties, often opening for various grunge bands.  A really funny clip of  Jesse Bernstein being featured on a local television news program after being voted best poet in Seattle by Seattle Weekly (not exactly a bastion of alternative culture) readers opens the film, with the carefully coiffed anchorwoman asking the heavily bespectacled and tattooed-knuckled Bernstein how he would describe his poetry and him replying, "dark."   Although dark it is, his work is often humorous, and can be heard on the Sub Pop album, Prison, with music recorded by Steve Fisk.  A lot of longtime Seattle artists were featured in the film, and many were in the audience.  Left Bank Books collective, who published a book of Bernstein's poetry, More Noise, Please!, in 1996 was tabling in the lobby. 

Reading Notes
I started reading Larry's Party by Carol Shields, but quit about half way through.  I thought it was pretty boring to begin with - the main character was a male florist who becomes obsessed with building hedge mazes, and the story followed his romantic and family life.  But Shields' habit of repeating not very interesting bits of biographical information drove me to quit reading.  I'm not sure what purpose the repetition was supposed to serve, but I found it very annoying.  I'm a bit disappointed, because I was hoping to like Carol Shields just for being a Canadian woman writer, since I'm quite fond of Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, and Mavis Gallant.

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