Jules: Welcome to our weekly meeting ground for taking some time to reflect on Seven(ish) Exceptionally Fabulous, Beautiful, Interesting, Hilarious, or Otherwise Positive Noteworthy Things from the past week—whether book-related or not—that happened to you.
What a pleasure it is for me today to feature artist Laura Bledsoe, who is a former colleague of mine from Knoxville. Laura teaches at the Tennessee School for the Deaf, where—once upon a time for a brief while—I worked as their librarian. Laura, as you can see here, is not only a talented artist, but I can promise you she’s just about the nicest person you’ll meet, and she’s a top-notch teacher as well. Laura, who has been painting for approximately eight years, prefers her acrylics but has worked with oil and chalk pastels as well.
Here’s a link to Laura’s online art gallery if you want to see more. Don’t you just love her world of loose lines and swirls and brightly-colored brushstrokes? I have a particular fondness for the piece of art work which opens this post. If you’ve never been to Knoxville, the historic Tennessee Theatre is beautemous. This building is EIGHTY years old (construction began in 1927, and it opened in 1928). It was recently restored and re-opened in ‘05, and guess what? I had my first date with my husband there. We saw “Planet of the Apes” in 1998 during their summer movie series. Aw.
Here is some more of Laura’s art work below, and we thank her very much for stopping by this weekend. If you let your mouse sit on the image for a sec, you can see the paintings’ titles in the alt tags. Enjoy!
1* The job keeps getting more interesting, as I learn more and they start entrusting me with more stuff to do.
2* Also I keep seeing more amazing things from our collection. This week’s treasures include a Nobel Prize medal (I actually got to hold it in my hand!), ancient runic coins from Denmark, and a first-edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover (from the first privately-printed run Lawrence had done in Florence, Italy because it was banned in the UK).
4* The husband and I went to a fun party-type-thing on Friday - it was half housewarming for a fellow professor-friend of his and his wife, who just bought the most awesome house ever, and half first-birthday-party for their son. A bunch of the wife’s prenatal-yoga classmates were there with their one-year-olds too, and they were all SO CUTE I COULD NOT STAND IT.
5* Then we came home and watched the debate. And okay, I fell asleep about halfway through - have I mentioned how tired I am lately with the new job and all? - but I saw enough to be pleased with my man Obama, and even more scared of McCain.
6* This weekend is the Apple Harvest Festival, and the husband and I strolled around Saturday pigging out on festival food. I had a caramel apple, and he got kettle corn and deep-fried Oreos.
7* Thanks to NPR, I found out about Astronautalis. I am absolutely obsessed with the song “The Wondersmith and His Sons.” You can listen to it on his myspace page, and you can read the lyrics on his blog. Seriously, listen. It’s like a gothic tall-tale, and it’s so good it’s spooky.
Eisha, can those kicks get any better? Apple cider, ACTUALLY TOUCHING A NOBEL MEDAL, and the first edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lovah? And deep-fried Oreos. Please tell me you ate one. So, I’ve never actually had one myself, but they sound like one of the world’s greatest blessings and wonders.
Instead of listing seven, separate kicks, I’m just going to add three things:
1). I also enjoyed the debates and very much did not fall asleep, as I love to see democracy-in-action. 2). I’m glad Eisha’s recommending new music (she actually emailed me this week about Astronautalis, but I’m slow and haven’t listened yet). And…3). My family and I had a great day at our local library’s outdoor reading rally. I guest-read some books myself (I read three of my favoritest new picture books, pictured below, which of course I haven’t blogged about, ’cause I’m slow these days*), and we generally enjoyed the day in the-park-right-by-the-library, celebrating books and the almost-Autumn-esque weather. No deep-fried cookies for us. But popcorn. Mmm.
* But I do hope to be interviewing illustrator Robert Neubecker soon.
P.S. How funny is Bob Shea’s Dinosaur Vs. Bedtime? So. very. Do check it out. And, if reading aloud, you can’t read it timidly, or it just won’t work, my friends.
See, here’s the better half and the wee’est of my offspring, kicking back and taking in some stories at the reading rally. It was a lovely day.
We know lots of folks are here in Portland this weekend (and we hope they’re having a blast), but we hope that those of you who are around will leave your kicks from this week. Truly, it’s one of the best parts of our week; Eisha and I love to read about everyone’s happyhappyjoyjoys (especially in light of this sad news this weekend. Everyone, may I humbly suggest you go buy some of this in his honor and to support the great charity work he did)…
So, please do kick away!