Thursday, August 16, 2007

All Around the Household

I came across this rather odd little book by Mark Robbins on the bargain table at the Phoenix Bookstore while running a few errands during lunch today in Noe Valley. While certainly not worth its original $40 price, it was definitely a nice diversion for $10. It's certainly not the usual decorating book but almost a Diane Arbus take on the House and Garden set.

Grounded in the belief that one's home is a strong reflection of one's personality, it is filled with only elliptical portraits of the homes, but full body portraits of the owners, many of them (mainly male and one drag king) in various stages of undress. It's an interesting idea, though I don't plan on publishing those photos from my household anytime soon.

While he seems to be contending that he's showing the anti-Architectural Digest vision of home design photography, most of the people have fairly affluent looking digs and toned bodies. Granted, there are a couple protruding stomachs, a muscle bound queen in Provincetown lives in a tiny attic hovel. But those are the exception. All the same, it's pretty fascinating to play this role of eavesdropping and snooping through people's homes. That's something I miss from my reporting days, but fortunately I get to enter many an impressive abode as a fundraiser, though I have to show much more restraint than I did when I went around with Leica, micro-recorder and notepad. Perhaps that's why I've decided to turn the tables with the exhibitionist blogging/vlogging these days.

Oddly, although most of the subjects are in the eastern U.S., Ohio and Rotterdam (of all places), there were four people I know featured, none of them from California. The vast majority of the couples are male, but fortunately they are posed as individuals and not in those annoying, arms around each other shots to convey that they are a unit. Ultimatley we all stand alone.

I mention the book in part to plug my emerging listings on goodreads.com Anyone who's been to my place can tell you this isn't even the tip of the iceberg, but it's a nicely organized site that allows you to share book titles and reviews with friends. It's clearly meant to encourage sales of the books, but, hey, that's a lot better than just reading blogs, eh? Thanks to Salty Miss Jill for introducing me to it.

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2 Comments:

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Gary said...

You have certainly made an interesting case for this book. You know four of these homeowners? I love reading the blogs (like yours) that have become favorites of mine. I get to see how bits of your past life slip into each post and learn more about you. I don't know you but I feel like I kinda do, ya know? I think it is time for more videos of you speaking the tongue of my people.

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Junk Thief said...

I enjoy your blog as well, Gary. The whole blog community is a curious one. I don't even know how I gravitated to some of them, but there are certain ones (like yours!) that stick and have become a part of my daily routine, in a good way. I think yours is one that falls into the category of being more than a diversion and instead a window into a life well lived. Please continue to follow your bliss, with Linda providing the soundtrack.

 

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