The Last Pear on the Tree & Death Cab for Cutie / by Leslie

It smells like rotting pears out in the backyard. The squirrels have been picking the pears, taking a few bites and dropping them to the ground, where they rot. I suppose I should pick them up, but maybe the bugs and the birds can have a feast too. Under the shade of the cherry tree it isn't too hot. The sky is perfectly blue with just a few puffy clouds and I can hear the electric sound of the cicada bugs in the trees. Robin eats them if they end end up on the ground and she usually gets a belly ache and won't eat her dinner. Batman is out here too. He only seems to enjoy being outside when I am out here, otherwise he would rather nap on the couch in the air conditioning. I can't water today, due to water restrictions, but other than the potted plants which died weeks ago, everything still seems to be green and alive.

I have been busy organizing all my paper collections so that I can begin an illustrated journal. It's amazing how many things I have stashed all over the house. I find ticket stubs, brochures, paper samples, flyers, letters, cards and other scraps of paper picked up in my travels in a number of drawers, boxes, closets and envelopes. Some of it is sort of organized, but most has just been put into whichever spot I was stashing stuff at the time. I feel like the squirrel in my back yard. I collect paper for either two reasons, to document things I've done and places I've been, or because I liked the way something looked. I am going to attempt to collect them into some kind of series of books. But I wonder, are they more precious just as they are, or will they be more compelling weaved together into a cohesive format?

I don't want to spend all of my time reflecting on the past though, and I plan to start drawing and painting about my current daily life and future dreams too. I've always loved being creative and crafty, but I feel like it would be neat to tie everything together into a book and give myself a context. I've been inspired by Danny Gregory's drawings and books and by a few book binding and handmade journalling books I have picked up lately at Pearl Paint. I can do a painting, but I feel like on it's own it isn't as powerful as when it's combined with writing and artifacts from life. 

We saw Death Cab for Cutie at the Central Park Summerstage with the Decemeberists and the Stars (from Montreal). It was a great show and so cool to be outside under the full moon. I love DCFC and have been listening to their record Transatlanticism since my sister gave it to me for Christmas. Such great songs. The Stars were cool and energetic and I gotta love the Canadians. The Decemeberists were kind of folksy with a violin, accordion and stand up bass. I didn't immediately like it, but they had some great moments and I loved that they were doing something different. Chris and I couldn't figure out the violin player though, she looked sooo bored. Hardly cracked a smile at all, but the lead singer made up for it.

In other news we have seen two interesting films in the last two weeks, "Grizzly Man" and "2046".

Grizzly Man is a documentary by Werner Herzog, was a portrait of a very strange man named Timothy Treadwell. He lived in Alaska among the world largest brown bears and considered himself their equal and their protector. He was ultimately killed, along with his girlfriend, by the creatures he loved so much. The movie raises interesting questions about not only the character of this man, but also about how humans should best handle wild animals. It seemed to me that he didn't respect the bears and their way of living. He saw human characteristics in them and was appalled when they actually behaved like bears.

2046 by Wong Kar Wai, is a visual feast of 50's era fashion, futuristic fantasy, hot bodies and artistic directing. This film ignores a typical linear story and jumps around in time and place. It's difficult to follow, but you almost don't need to. It isn't important to necessarily understand what happened when, but to see how different story layers and characters overlap and reference each other. 2046 is a continuation of an earlier film called "In the Mood for Love" in which the main character has a heart breaking love affair with a married women. In the new film, the same main character (and actor) recovers from that earlier affair by becoming involved with many beautiful women whom he cares about, but will never let himself be hurt by. It's a complicated, beautiful story which I need to see again.