Animation: Line Riders–Beethoven’s 5th

•November 24, 2019 • 1 Comment

A delightful musical animation by DoodleChaos. Watch it big with the sound on.

More fun at DoodleChaos on YouTube.

Spawning Salmon at Kennedy Creek

•November 19, 2019 • 1 Comment

Rick and I visited Kennedy Creek this weekend to watch the chum salmon, also known as keta. It was the first time I’ve ever seen salmon spawning.

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IMG_1996 (1)

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Reviews of The Colonel’s Wife

•November 6, 2019 • Leave a Comment

the colonel's wife

Today is the official release of my translation of The Colonel’s Wife, by the great Rosa Liksom, and there are already a lot of interesting reviews:

“Liksom’s brief, haunting novel finds an elderly Finnish woman in her final days, reflecting on a lifetime as both a victim and perpetrator of cruelty… her descriptions of the torture she witnesses by the Nazis, and of that she endures by her husband, are made more chilling by their lack of sentimentality.” – Publisher’s Weekly

“Liksom’s tale is a brilliantly drawn metaphor, and just as it took tremendous hardship and effort for so many people to wake up from their simplistic, codependent love affair with fascism, so the narrator faces the painful and torturous challenge of struggling to break free of her relationship with the Colonel and to rebuild a new life for herself” – Hans Rollman, Popmatters

“Ms. Liksom is fearlessly good at portraying wicked men in all their moods and disguises… The narrator herself is not always as persuasive. It is only after the war, when the Colonel makes her the outlet for his sadism, that she repents of her past. In a tentative play for exoneration, Ms. Liksom hints that the narrator may have been brainwashed by sexual abuse. But the novel is strongest when it’s most direct about why people engage in evil: Because they enjoy it.” – Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

“The Colonel’s Wife is a novel that is all the more thought-provoking and heart-rending in our current strained sociopolitical moment.” – Ashlie D. Stevens, Salon

It’s an intense book.


•October 26, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I made a jack-o’-lantern today. Took about three hours to complete.

nosferatu pumpkin

Animation: Maestro

•October 3, 2019 • 1 Comment

Produced by the Illogic collective.



•September 29, 2019 • 1 Comment

A delightful 1969 short about this ancient and ubiquitous toy, by Charles and Ray Eames.

When I was a kid I had a whistling top that played different tones at different speeds.

Found on Miss Cellania.

Robert Frank and the Women at White Tower

•September 11, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Hearing that photographer Robert Frank has died and seeing appreciations of some of his great photographs reminded me of the most fascinating of all my picture books, The Family of Man, a collection of 503 photos from a sweeping international exhibition that toured the world from 1955 to 1963.

Robert Frank has seven photos in the collection, including this image of a group of women at the White Tower lunch counter.

Frank Hamburgers

Frank snapped several photos of these women. It’s fun to try to arrange them chronologically.

White Tower girls

White Tower girls2

Frank Hamburgers

White Tower girls3

Big Brother Amazon Selling Scrambled Editions of Orwell

•August 20, 2019 • 3 Comments

1984Over the past couple of years Amazon products and reviews have grown thick with scammers, and it’s spreading through the books now as people print and sell cheap, error-riddled copies of saleable classics.

David Streitfeld ordered some George Orwell and reported on what he got:

If you need a copy of “Animal Farm” or “1984” for school, you’re not going to think too much about who published it. Because all editions of “1984” are the same, right?

Not always, not on Amazon.

More at the NY Times.

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