Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Book Babes--Patrons of the Arts

So I’ve never really thought of myself as an artistic or creative person. I think once you strap on the abacus and commit to the bow tie and pocket protector of an accountant, hip and artsy are not often terms bandied about in reference to you. While I can set up a spreadsheet like a madwoman and play the 10-key like a concert piano til smoke flies off my fingers, the tradeoff seems to be a slight/complete decline in my creative juices. But wait! I had an epiphany this weekend. Just because your (my) drawings look like they were done by a roofied Cookie Monster and your (my) dancing abilities mimic those of a cobra being attacked by a honey badger doesn’t disqualify you from recognizing and appreciating artistic ability in others. I think reading connects the non-creative, such as myself, to that other, far cooler, world in that it opens your mind and imagination to more than you would be otherwise, much like a reasonably priced box of White Zinfandel can.

There are so many forms that art can take, from world renowned paintings or architecture to something as simple as a single line of poetry or a Polaroid snapshot, but one that I and the rest of the Book Babes really appreciate is music.  If you’re up to date on our posts (and why wouldn’t you be, really?), you’ll note that for us, music and books are inextricably linked in some symbiotic way, so in a way, to love one is to love the other.

This weekend, our shared love of music landed three of us at the Columbia City Theater in Seattle amidst a motley crew of fellow indie rock enthusiasts to watch the Cold War Kids perform to a sold out crowd. 
Me, Andrea and Sara.  Whoo!  That's right.  Whoo!
Andrea and I snatched up tickets for the show as soon as they were available and didn’t realize Sara had independently gotten her own tickets.  Looks like these book babes are on the same happening wavelength.  Fueled by free Embassy Suites cocktails and next door pizza, we were able to wrangle first in line spots before the doors opened, and then, through the hubby’s generosity with the PBR, weasel Sara and her crew up to first in line with us.  We ended up front row, chest smack up to the stage.  Whoo!  The next couple hours sped by in a blur of fist pumping, off-key sing-alonging, and gyrations that may or may not have passed for dancing.  After the show, we got to mingle with Chopper, a national treasure of the roadie world. 

Sali and (Karate) Chopper
We chatted him up and basically distracted him from his duties until security told us to scram.  So we scrammed to about 10 feet away and then noticed Nathan, the lead singer, nonchalantly mingling with the masses.  He agreed to take a pic with us girls, and even though he looks really angry in this pic, he was actually super down to earth and friendly.  This is the second time I’ve gotten to see Cold War Kids perform, and let me tell you, they’re not to be missed.  Not only are they insanely good, but they always have rad openers, too.  Last time, we got exposed to A Lull, which at one point, had about 17 guys drumming at the same time.  Ok, maybe 5, but what do you think I am?  Some kind of accountant?  They were pretty stellar.  This time around, Superhumanoids opened for them and I loved them, too.  Fantastic job of picking openers, CWK.  I always hate going to a show and the opener has nothing to do with the musical styling of the headlining band and you’re thinking, “what is Eminem doing at this Dixie Chicks concert?”, but the Kids (as I so hiply call them) always come through in both the performance and the opening act department.

Brie, Sara, Me, Nathan, Andrea, Sali and Darcy...hobnobbing
So back to my thesis.  Art begets art and appreciating the talents of another and the beauty others create inspires them to continue creating.  So keep on writing, keep on rocking, keep on sculpting, painting, drawing, and composing.  And I’ll keep on cheering.  Symbiosis in action.


Sunday, March 4, 2012


Thank goodness for a leap year or the only book I'd have read was our current book club pick. I imagined posting about a good 3 or 4 books for February courtesy of our mid-winter get-away, I never learn. Traveling with kids doesn't allow for the kind of reading I used to get under my belt on vacations. I'm not complaining though, just commenting. 

by Lauren Oliver

Releasing as an ebook the same day as the second Delirium book Pandemonium (February 28, 2012) , Hana is a short story told from the perspective of Deliriums main character's (Lena) best friend. While the stories are overlapping, Oliver keeps it fresh by by sharing not only a completely different perspective but a character that has entirely different reactions and motives to similar experiences than Lena from Delirium. And the last line drops a bombshell that I not only didn't see coming, it makes me want to re-read the last few chapters of Delirium to see if I missed something. Overall I enjoy short stories that fill out a story line and if you have read Delirium and enjoyed it, Hana is worth reading.

When you write things out it makes you more aware of them, so writing for just the last two months my booklist makes me realize that I need to expand my literary horizons. I need to reign in my inner seventeen year old self that is apparently in control of all my book purchases lately. Which isn't to say I'm giving up my YA reads, but maybe I need to temper them with some more grown up choices?