20 January 2012

Painting damaged by drunk lady's butt

So I first saw this headline and thought, "Oh, poor dumb drunk lady. She had one too many and was in a crowded gallery. She must have brushed up against some artists' painting with her sequins or something."

Oh, how innocent I am. No, this lady was drunk and angry and these were paintings valued at $30 mil! Now we've all been angry, but this lady must have some kind of chemical reaction with alcohol to reach these heights, or ahem,  should I saw lows. I'd wonder if she dated the artist, but he's been dead since 1980.

Also this was not a gallery showing it was a museum. I'm betting they think twice before they serve alcohol to the patrons again.

So the shocking thing is this lady didn't just get inebriated and bump into a painting, she actually dropped trou and put some effort into this even perhaps forgetting anatomy lessons of the past and trying to urinate on it. Really? You're a girl. The painting is not bothering you.

I don't know that I particularly like abstract expressionism either but after all it is just paint on canvas. Losing ones britches and, uh, rubbing oneself on a painting seems like going a little far. It doesn't say, but I have to admit I'm curious what the museum security guards do in a case like this. Making half naked ladies stop rubbing paintings with their derriere=awkward day on the job.

All of this buys her a charge of felony criminal mischief. Mischief indeed. Keep your pants on!

03 January 2012

Sherlock and tradition

So do you like originals, the traditional, the classics? Does the new and innovative, the different, get you jazzed?

I went to see the The Dark Shadow this weekend. The second of the "new" Sherlock movies. Disclaimer: I suspend my disbelief easily. I had a good time. I enjoyed both these new Sherlock movies. My mother on the other hand hated the first one and no doubt will not be attending the second. She likes Sherlock old school style.

I have watched the old Jeremy Brett Sherlock interpretations, black and white versions from days before I was born, I've watched PBS versions and I've enjoyed myself. This is also true of another old friend, Hercule Poirot from Agatha. I've also read books by these greats of mystery and enjoyed them.

While I have no doubt the authors, were they alive, would have all kinds of opinions on the interpretations of their characters, I wonder does it always have to be the original to be good? I have a feeling our Sherlockian purist friends out there are not impressed by this modern version of Sherlock. Yet I hear the echo of those original books in him to some extent. To give the producers of the movie credit, there's no way to please everyone, so you just gotta jump in the water. (pun intended if you've seen the film).

It begs two questions. 1. Is only the original legit? and 2. Who says which one is the original?

A similar debate is raging in certain church circles too. Music traditional or new? It seems like the two sides square off quite forcefully on the tradition and new debate whether they are inside the church or out. People have strong opinions.

I have to ask as someone who can take a story for what it is or a song for that matter, can we not have it both ways? Does this make me wishy-washy? I can watch the old versions of Sherlock and enjoy a good story. I can watch the new one and enjoy a good story. For me it's just another version, another interpretation. Maybe it's just taste and these suit mine. Even when my brain says, Hercule is too fat, or Sherlock is too buff, it's the story that keeps me. I like plot.

The debate perhaps boils down to: is it a good story, or a good song or not? Though a certain amount of that is in the eye of the beholder and whether you were able to suspend your sense of doubt and skepticism long enough to watch. Or whether that song said something to you that clicked deep inside.

It renews my sense of wanting to write a good story with good characters and for people to engage with it!

02 January 2012

Ebook impact on my reading

So in 2011 I took the plunge into ebook land. It was premeditated because I knew I would be moving to a place where English books would be hard to find and expensive. I chose the ipad because it also worked as essentially an extra laptop in the house, and it has some usefulness in my day job as well.

My first book was a free classic. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by one of our grand dames Agatha Christie. Enjoyed it just as much digitally as I've enjoyed her work on paper. I went to see if all of her books were free in ebook form only to get my first lesson in ebook marketing. Make the first one free, hook them, then charge full price.

I was a bit frustrated when I looked for specific books and didn't find them in the Apple Ibookstore. It also was hard to just browse. I think I should try to browse from Itunes and I'd enjoy it more. I was delightted to discover that Nook and Kindle have Apps for the ipad which opened up a whole new world. I now feel like I can visit different bookstores depending on what gift certificates I have or what mood I'm in or where an author makes their work available. I'm not limited.

I tried some different books that I wouldn't have risked money on when I experimented with booklending.com that lends via the Kindle. A little weird to figure out but then the books appeared on my app. I also borrowed a couple I couldn't finish. A rarity for me. I have not tried - yet - the library lending programs yet. I did download Overdrive but my home town library changed systems before I could borrow, so on to yet another app. Library borrowing: a blog for another day.

When I finish reading a book now, I have the internal debate of what's next. Paper or ebook? I don't want to deplete my paper shelves too quickly. I also consider how much am I going on the train or am I going to go to a Spanish tutoring class. If I'm going to class, which means the train and taking notes in class, I'll have my ipad anyway, so it's better not to add a book to the load. I am jealous of others on the train with a Kindle. It's much smaller and can be handled with one hand which I can't manage with my ipad. The weight of the ipad makes me think twice about dragging it with me everywhere. I have to get bigger purses and stronger shoulders if it is going to go automatically with me. The good news is I just downloaded the Kindle app to my phone, so I can read there too without taking the ipad. This makes me a bit more inclined to buy my books on Amazon, but I think I may have a nook app available for te phone too. I need to see if I can see my ibook cloud on my phone (not an iphone, so I doubt it.)In general I think I'm buying more on Amazon.

Something I enjoy in ebooks is that I can tap a word to get a definition instantly without leaving my book. I love this. I always read books and thought I should look that word up (Thanks, Elizabeth George), but then I didn't want to interrupt my reading to go do it. I also like marking great passages or turns of phrase that are good characterization. I don't like to deface paper books, so it's nice to mark things without the sense I'm making a mess in my book. I'm not good with straight lines or tiny printing in the margins, what can I say?

Here's an idea that would never have occurred to me pre-ebook. I might try to find a Spanish book as part of my journey of learning the language. If I can do the word look up thing, like I do in English, it would be a great learning experience. Maybe. Might be too much work in the end and reading is after all my mental release and recreation.