Sunday, April 29, 2012

Japan's efforts to be both globally relevant and culturally isolationist, intersected with the social realities of the 21st century and the empty promises and desperation of technological panaceas: endlessly fascinating.

The Incredible Shrinking Country

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Check this out! In celebration of National Poetry Month, the head of school at Marin Academy posted a lovely blog post that featured my husband, Trevor Calvert, as both an MA librarian and poet.

I love not only Trevor's contribution to this post as a poet -- his new work featured is wonderful -- but as a YA librarian. The way he thinks about accessibility and intersects that with a broad range of work, and his encouragement of students to not be intimidated by the written word is terrific.

On MA Library's poetry display:
I wanted to represent both collections of poetry as well as books on writing. When I was younger, I would read these great poems, and think, ‘Oh I wish I could do that’ without realizing that I needed no permission. So the books on writing act as a sort of permission to people that yes, they can write poetry, and also affirm that poetry is not an arcane set of symbols and allegory that must be deciphered if you are going to ‘get’ a poem. For the poets themselves I tried to choose books that would interest readers in multiple ways: Verse & Universe blends science and poetry for those lyrical scientists among us; Fat Girl is interesting as it directly and honestly addresses the body, femininity, and body-image; The Angel Hair Anthology is really interesting as it collects a 1960s Berkeley zine created by Anne Waldman and Lewis Warsh—which really helped shape a lot American poetry. I think this really echoes a lot of MA’s creative and independent spirit—I can imagine some of our students going on to do the same. Gary Snyder could not be neglected as he spoke here during LitFest! And because I like locals, I wanted to add another local poet who teaches as CCA, Donna de la Perriere. Her book, Saint Erasure, is lyric, haunting, and vulnerable.

So proud to be married to this amazing man.

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Back from another successful trip to the land of the rising sun. Quick and dirty this one was (one week and a whirlwind tour of Tokyo for a friend who had never been to Japan), and fruitful: Trevor received his seventh degree black belt.

Other highlights:

It was sakura season, and our favorite park in Kichijoji was the place to be. I can never get enough.

Also took my friend to the most important Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Senso-ji, in another favorite haunt of mine, Asakusa.

I love going to Asakusa because of its shitamachi spirit, and the tiny, less than pristine old-school nomiya that fan out from the temple grounds are the best part of that. Always plenty of beer, plus great, uninhibited conversation. I also love the cheap and delicious traditional foods that are served at different spots. This was some of the best nikujaga I've ever had.

When I go to Japan, the food is always the star. I try to go to new places as often as possible, but those old favorites seem to take precedence, like the torched saba with lemon at Shirube in Shimokitazawa.

While I hate having to leave the amazing food every time I come home from Japan, I did discover something wonderful to bring back with me: a new favorite drink! Shochu and salty plum -- a match made in heaven.

And though inexpensive and plentiful alcohol is a big plus, we also tried this for the first time. None of our friends seem to be able to tell us exactly what it is; in fact, the closest we can get to a proper English explanation is "beer waste." Even this doesn't explain exactly what is in it. It tastes kind of like iced tea and IPA mixed together -- anyone know what makes it tick?

Anyway, so much awesome -- too much to ever cram into a blog post. I'm already looking forward to next time.

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Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter!

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