Random Thursday: Literary Trompe Romps and Well-Read Street Art

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

I had a lot of fun with this one—turns out when you work with, for, around, and at books approximately 17/6 (I do parent and sleep when truly necessary) and ask your friends for cool stuff to post on Thursdays, you get a lot of cool book-related stuff.

Who knew?


Alice on the Runway at Watership Down

Alice in London

No, not really. It’s in London.

My alternative title was Reason #768,987 to visit England.

(Downith and Vonnie, you’re tied for #1)


Faux Distractions

Artist Don Gray gave a garage door a library look for Lee Dembert,
a former book reviewer for the LA Times.


Garage Door Bookcase

True Confessions:

I knew what this was before I opened the attachment, because my friend Siobhan likes to use subject lines that are nearly as long as her e-mail messages.

So instead of “Cool art!” or “Want that!” my first thought when I saw this image was “Whoa!  That’s a really clean garage!”

And my second was, “Is that track lighting? What on earth needs to be directly lit in a garage?”

His rare, first edition Chilton’s Manuals?

And does he know the damage direct lighting can do to those schematics?



For all the DIYers

 Roger Light shows you how to paint a trompe l’oeil bookcase very, very quickly.

I love how the time lapse makes the books pop into 3-D like magic.

Which, in a way, I guess they did.


Little Prince Sighting

Little Prince Graffiti

Not sure where this is, but that it exists somewhere is good enough for me.


It’s Always Literate in Portland

Even the parking garages.

Portalnd Parking Garage

If this isn’t awesome enough,
The stairwells  give you something to read
while you’re looking for your car.

Book Stairs Portland

(first photo by Michael R. Allen)


Melbourne Timequake

Vonnegut Timequake

Hey, Lyra!  Wanna go to Australia?

We can put Sherry in charge of the plane tickets and Laura in charge of the map.

Or we could stay here and start a band called the Melborne Timequakes.

Let me know.


Trompe Librarians

Entirely wrong and yet so remarkably realistic . . .

(Dee? Kev? Did you send me this?)


Random Thursday: Artistes at Random

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

I was in need of cool inspiration this week but had little time to go looking.

Lucky for me, y’all have my back!


Lovely Words
Margaret Shepherd draws words.
She sells them, too.
You need to see her poetry art—it’s stunning.
Shepard The paper is whiter
(Thanks, caitlin!)

Permanent Playlist Spot

I’m hoping for audio-osmosis . . .

(I’m sure you could, Kev!)


Paper Mates!

Wolfram Kampffmeyer makes 3-D paper crafts that look like glowing computer models—and he sells the kits on etsy!

There are gorgeous dragons and bright foxes and noble rhinos
and wall art pieces from leopards to elephants, to regal mooses (meeces?).

Jane is All About The Unicorns, but I think I like the aardvarks best,
and not just because Mr. Kampffmeyer calls them antbears.

Paper Antbears

An antbear by any other name would still be totally adorable.

He also sells paper flamingo kits.

They’re a bit pricey, but this is art.

And flamingos.

Paper FlamingoGo look at the penguins.  You know you want to.

(thanks, Cha cha!)


Philosophy and Caffeine

kurt vonnegut mug

According to the Unemployed Philosopher’s Guild,
which apparently ekes out a living selling fantastic mugs,
“The right amount of caffeine helps you adapt to the requirements of chaos.”

I’m hip.

(thanks again, caitlin!)


A Dubious Success

But incontinently funny.

And surprisingly true to life . . .

(Thanks, Vonnie — and Lynn and Cha Cha for introducing me to the joys of these boys)

Poetry Wednesday: The Vonnegut Challenge

In 2007,  students attending Xavier High School in New York  wrote letters to several well-known authors.

Kurt Vonnegut was the only one to write back, and someone recently put a framed copy of the letter up on imgur.

It seems to have gone viral—my sister-in-law sent this to me last week, and two other people showed it to me over the weekend, and its all over Facebook—and no wonder:

Vonnegut Poem Assignment(click to enlarge)

Mr. Vonnegut isn’t known for his poetry,* which may be part of his point here, but he obviously loved the stuff, and he even more obviously loved the stuff inside people that makes poetry happen.

I admit to feeling that way myself.

Except . .  .  as wonderful and freeing as I know writing a secret poem can feel,  and knowing that the most secret poem is one that no one else can ever possibly read, I found the idea of destroying poems—even bad poems, even purple poems, any poem—disturbing.

So when a poet-friend walked into the library the other day,  I grabbed her.

She read the letter, heard me out, then shrugged and said, “Poems are  stubborn.  If they want to be written again, they will be.”**

That . . . I mean . . . whoa.

Talk about freeing.  I’m not a poet, but even I felt everything get lighter.


Who’s up for a challenge?

 Vonnegut was of the opinion that the act of writing a poem—or creating anything, really—was its own reward.  And again I have to agree with him.***

But I also know—lord, do I—that the act of creation can sometimes use a little motivation.

Here ’tis:

You have until Friday at CST Midnight to write a six line poem that rhymes, tear it into little pieces, take a pic of the pile, and e-mail the image to me at the e-mail address at the top of my sidebar, with “Vonnegut Challenge Accepted” in the subject heading.

That’s it.  That’s all you have to do.

And when you do, your name will be put in my Red Felted Hat of Win for a chance at winning the regular-sized mug of your choice from Cafe Press,^ because I’ve discovered that mugs are a powerful motivation all by themselves.

Easiest. Challenge.  Ever.

Poet Mug

Go forth and experience becoming!
(and send me a pic)


*Off the top of my head, I only know of one that’s independent of his stories. It’s about Joseph Heller, and it’s here, along with a pretty cool story about Mr. Vonnegut, which seems to be the only kind of stories there are about him.

**All my friends are cooler than I am, but this particular one registers at Vonnegut levels.

***Not that there’s anything wrong with getting paid for your creations—I wouldn’t mind being in that situation myself—but if getting paid is your only reward . . . you’re probably not creating art.

^Or an equivalent gift certificate, if you prefer to keep your mailing address as secret as your poem.  I won’t judge.