Saturday, February 27, 2010
Good morning, New York. It's 8am on a Saturday and I'm here with my coffee watching The West Wing while snow falls in my pseudo Brooklyn backyard. I actually don't have a lot to say about The West Wing or the clip above at this time (other than it being the greatest television show ever written, and that Josh Lyman absolutely makes my heart stop.) I just thought you might want to watch it here with me.
It's been a big month, February. A month of change and revolutions. A sea change, you could say. (I've always liked that phrase. Shakespeare, right?) I had two New Year's resolutions this year, each more surface and silly than the other. I wanted to grow out my hair and I wanted to cut out the sugar in my coffee. Well, not for nothing, I'm sitting here with hair four inches past my shoulders and sipping my coffee with only milk. It feels great. I feel quite clever to have figured out how to grow hair in less than two months, and I've come to enjoy the bitterness in my morningtime. It's where bitterness belongs-- in a cup, not in conversation.
That's all I'm going to say for now, but stay tuned. Much more to come...
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
I actually have about 10 bullet points to write about why Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog is the best thing to hit the Internet since this, but I don't have very much time right now. I have to go meet John and Jim to play Jenga. Or maybe Connect Four.
For now, just go to itunes, or whatever illegal downloading system you may have (or click here, I suppose) and download Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and be ready for your life to improve exponentially.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Busy doing things like baking chocolate cakes in heart-shaped molds that I found in my Grandmother's 'give-away' pile when we moved her to an apartment last year; busy sharing homemade gnocchi and triple-cream goat cheese dipped in truffled honey with my parents; busy expanding my heart a full size during the St. Olaf Choir's power rendition of Persian folk tunes (and of course Beautiful Savior, although I did not cry); busy with dance classes and happy hours, friend visits and movie marathons.
The point is-- I've been busy. I'm only halfway through this book, reading in whatever 10 min train ride I have to myself or reading 2 pages before my eyes blink heavily shut after another whirlwind February day. Meanwhile-- Will has finished an entire other book (although I'm not envious of his finishing this one. I surely don't wish it to end.)
That said-- I will give you another taste. Another taste before the grand finale of my actual review of the book upon its completion (perhaps on February 14th? A day celebrating no other than the very HISTORY that is love?). Some background on the story itself-- The History of Love tells the story of a book called The History of Love and those affected by it. Confused? Me too. The piece below is from the fictional book The History of Love within the novel The History of Love. It tells, quite literally, the history of... thats right... love. Never mind. Just enjoy---
The Age of Silence
"If at large gatherings or parties, or around people with whom you feel distant, your hands sometimes hang awkwardly at the ends of your arms-- if you find yourself at a loss for what do with them, overcome with sadness that comes when you recognize the foreignness of your own body-- it's because your hands remember a time when the division between mind and body, brain and heart, what's inside and what's outside, was so much less. It's not that we've forgotten the language of gestures entirely. The habit of moving our hands while we speak is left over from it. Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up: all artifacts of ancient gestures. Holding hands, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together."
Happy early Valentines, my loves.
Thursday, February 4, 2010
“I’ve just grown a little disappointed with ‘Muppets in the Old West,’ ‘Muppets Under Water,’ and all these weird concept movies. I just want to go take it back to the early 80’s, when it was about the Muppets trying to put on a show. That’s what I’m trying to bring back,” said Segel, who also wants to bring back the big name cameos of the earlier films. “All of our friends that I’ve brought it up to are pretty excited by the prospect of it. Everyone loves the Muppets; they’ve got a warm place in most people’s hearts. We want a lot of cameos. You look back at Charles Grodin, Charles Durning, there were just such great performances in those movies.” “We’ve got a great plot. I think if we can execute it right, it will be terrific. But I can’t tell you more – it’s top secret.”
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
I'm reading a book about love right now (I actually JUST told you about the book, but whatever) and each morning I step on the train I get lost in a world driven by heartbreak, by love, and by absolute emotion. Just when I think I've felt every tone of this thing called love, I read another chapter and my world shifts on its axis. For example:
"My brother and I used to play a game. I'd point to a chair. "THIS IS NOT A CHAIR," I'd say. Bird would point to the table. "THIS IS NOT A TABLE." "THIS IS NOT A WALL," I'd say. "THAT IS NOT A CEILING." We'd go on like that. "IT IS NOT RAINING OUT." "MY SHOE IS NOT UNTIED!" Bird would yell. I'd point to my elbow. "THIS IS NOT A SCRAPE." Bird would lift his knee. "THIS IS ALSO NOT A SCRAPE!" "THAT IS NOT A KETTLE!" "NOT A CUP!" "NOT A SPOON!" "NOT DIRTY DISHES!" We denied whole rooms, years, weathers. Once, at the peak of our shouting, Bird took a deep breath. At the top of his lungs, he shrieked: "I! HAVE NOT! BEEN! UNHAPPY! MY WHOLE! LIFE!" "But you're only seven," I said."
Now, you might not find that paragraph all that compelling, as you don't know who Bird is, and your heart hasn't expanded three times it's normal size (if you're going to rip someone off, it might as well be Dr. Seuss) since meeting Bird via book, but it gets to me. It gets to me like a punch in the stomach. Will and I actually agreed over text message yesterday, in true two-person-book-club-form, that The History of Love is in many ways shamelessly taking advantage of our emotions.
THE POINT IS--- I've been thinking a lot about love.
And yesterday-- I received love. Love in the form of a package postmarked Seattle from my dear friend, Lo. (Lo of Movie Monday fame.) In a brown-paper-wrapped Derby Game box from the 50's I found the following treasures:
*a children's book published in 1973 entitled 'Do You Know About Stars'
*10-15 Kinder toys from Lo's personal collection
*a t-shirt with the words 'I left my heart in New York City' embroidered on the front (didn't we all?)
*a rock to befriend Papa Rock, my childhood rock who still sits on by bedside table and might be my only childhood position to travel with me to 7 different apartments as a sort of security blanket (not as weird as it sounds. Well, maybe as weird as it sounds.)
*a pin from the 1939 New York City World's fair that her grandfather gave her grandmother in 1939 AT the World's Fair
*and a dvd of Lo explaining it all.
It wasn't just a package, it was a little world. I little world where I can escape, between palm trees and aliens; stars and pet rocks. A world that takes me away of my current reality which is an extremely delicate balance of laughter and tears; dancing and falling. This gift is love physically felt-- across all the middle states between New York and Washington (both of those states often have the word 'state' after them, isn't that a neat connection?) and between cell phone calls and gchat conversations. Thank you, dearheart. I love my gift.
Monday, February 1, 2010
Oh, how I love this time of year-- when the calendar turns from snowy, contemplative January to lovely and hopeful February. When local businesses tape paper hearts in their windows and Duane Reade starts selling those awesome red sour cherry balls (Laura, you know what I'm talking about.); elementary students craft Valentines boxes, Be my Valentine, Charlie Brown plays on network television, and I have a solid excuse to sit in my apartment all weekend making glittered hearts with colored paper. I love it.
I'm just going to jump right on the bandwagon here with two of my favorite bloggers (and friends), William and Jennifer, and start off February with a "love" post. A love post and a commitment to more love posts for the next 14 days. A Valentines post, you might say.
I have long been a fan of the 'two person book club'-- something I started with my dentist a few years ago. He recommends a book for me, and I for him, and then we talk about those books during my next appointment as he polishes my molars. It works pretty well, but he has a clear advantage on the talking portion of the club.
Well, since Dr. Silver Fox D.D.S. (not his real name) introduced me to this fine pastime, two-person book clubs have sprouted up all over, sometimes without even any real recognition. Alison and I host them regularly (Mystic Lake in Palm Beach, hello), and my entire department at work recently finished Happens Every Day, and you KNOW how much I have to say about that book.
The greatest part of two-person book club is that you don't have to host those high-pressure wine-and-cheese meetings every other Tuesday. You don't need a menu, or a Cabernet, or a babysitter (well, I never need a babysitter, in fact i AM a babysitter! But you get my point.). You just need a friend (or dentist) to call whenever something awesome or terrible happens in the book you are reading. It's nice to have someone there to agree with you when you're disappointed in a character, surprised by a plot shift, or simply enjoying a sentence.
It's helpful to have someone to challenge your conclusions and support your opinions. And if one of you doesn't finish the book-- who cares! You can give lame excuses for your tardiness in finishing like "Shut up, I've been busy!" and only ONE person will be upset, not an entire room. You can even quickly move along to another club without the added guilt of six women in twin-sets glaring at you over their Camembert. (Do I have a skewed view of book clubs? I think its coming from Tom Perralta's description of them in Little Children?) Anyway. 'Two person book clubs are-- in general-- just a good idea.
This month, William (look- he posted about two person book clubs once before as well!) has joined me in the honorable quest of finishing 'The History of Love' by Nicole Krauss for a February edition of two-person book club.
I've actually only just started the novel (shut up, Will! I've been busy!) but I've already fallen head-over-heels for this book. Krauss falls in line with Jonathan Saffron Foer as only the second author to actually make my heart expand. Like, physically expand. And guess what--she is MARRIED to Jonathan Saffron Foer and their writing style is shockingly similar. They were actually rumored to be working on The History of Love and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (my favorite novel of all time) at the same time. Maybe they discussed plot twists in bed and chatted about their characters over cereal. You might even say that in writing these two novels, Krauss and Foer had their OWN two-person book club! Moving on...
The book is fantastic. And I'm somewhat convinced that it was written just for me (see, this is why I am a good candidate for a two-person book club. I need someone like Will to tell me that statements like that one are complete nonsense). Here's a taste:
"Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact."
I'm completely smitten.