Sunday, February 25, 2007

thoughts about the timeliness of narratives

In Philadelphia, I used to go to movies by myself all the time. Here in NYC, it's the opposite situation. Today, for example, I went to the movies with 7 friends. And this is without five or six other people who would have readily come if they weren't otherwise engaged. It was funny to be in the Angelika, running around in the theater before the show began, saying hello to everybody.

Oh and the movie we saw, the movie eight people wanted to see? "The Lives of Others," an incredibly depressing, but moving German film that clocks in at over two hours. I cried throughout the end of the film. I was so engaged. John reminded me of the time I sobbed through "Far from Heaven" with him back at Dartmouth. Unlike "Far from Heaven," "The Lives of Others" is not a melodrama. Far from it, its bleak reality leaves you craving color and light. In a sense, what you get is a taste of live in East Germany. And it isn't a place for which many people feel any sense of nostalgia. With reason.

Everyone should go see this movie. I think it's easy to say this will be the first of many German reunification stories (in film and literature) that will be making their way to the United States in the coming year or so. The excellence of this film and the soon-to-be-published lit also lead me to wonder if Americans could have been so wise as to hold off on post 9/11 fictional narratives. Or I could say that it gives us hope for sensitive, evocative and thoughtful narratives down the line. Here's hoping that the same is true of post-Katrina narratives.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Tonight I just felt like lighting candles. I stayed at work past 7:30, just trying to get things done. Something that feels just about impossible. I'm beginning to remember what Bryn Mawr felt like which is not the "happy fun traditions and late night chats" side, but the "French papers and labs and wait, how many books am I supposed to read this week" jazz? Yeah, life is not one big tea party complete with Wyndham cookies.

Candles are lit for better times to come, to give pause and think about those we have lost and those we know who are suffering. It's been a huge post-post moment lately and the lousy weather is no help. Still there's much to look forward to and there are larger goals to chance than surviving the Trader Joe's check out line, getting a seat on the subway, getting enough sleep, finishing every single task I set out to do. We're all still here, doing the best we can even if we're all pale and a bit mopey. We're all still here.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007


My phone works! Long story short: my phone works again.


Monday, February 19, 2007

cross your fingers

My phone took a swan dive into a cup of water last night. I have a spare phone which is currently charging. Please keep your fingers crossed that my SIM card has survived the deluge and that this spare phone is indeed compatible with my AT&T wireless plan in which I have been happily grandfathered for about three and a half years.

Meanwhile, I'm in Brooklyn, enjoying the coziness of my home. One roommate is writing in his room, another is painting the kitchen cabinets green. I have candles lit and am listening to Cat Power: "The Greatest." I did one load of laundry on Saturday afternoon and brought it all home to dry instead of using a drier. Now everything is dry and I'm putting it all away. Everything looks so nice and crisp.

Hopefully, my phone will be up and running sometime this week. I don't want to bet too much on an easy solution (when was the last time that happened?) so if you're someone who believes him/herself to be in my phone, shoot me an email with your phone number and forgive me if you are waiting for me to return your call. Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

The Long weekend

I get President's Day, I mean, Lundi Gras off! Too bad I don't get Mardi Gras off as well.

All I know is that I really needed this weekend. This past week included a tornado, a friend with a damaged house, a friend whose house was all but demolished, seeing that friend's mother on CNN, that friend involved in the great 2/14 JetBlue/JFK fiasco, Valentine's day, countless cups of coffee, fried fish, a lot of Mexican food, braised cabbage, plenty of chocolate in a heart-shaped box, two trips to the Met museum, new luggage (!), and a whole lot of other stuff.

Tomorrow I intend to watch "Ellen" because I can. February can be a cruel month, but it's Carnival Time.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Keep talking, keep singing

Lolis Eric Elie in the WaPo on Carnival and the state of NOLA.

Meanwhile, congrats to Irma Thomas on her grammy win! I've been listening to all morning at work and they've been playing Carnival classics, Irma tunes and more. Feel like I'm home.

It takes a Mawrtyr

Evidently, it takes a Mawrtyr to run Harvard. Welcome to the 20th century, kids! (M. Carey Thomas became Bryn Mawr's first female president in 1894, just 9 years after the college was founded) Drew Faust (class of '68) is currently the Dean of the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. The NYT tries to insinuate that she would have attended Princeton had they accepted women. Read her 2001 Bryn Mawr commencement speech and see if she's crying because she never got to be a Tiger.

I'll accept that they made the statement in order to so subtly wink at the fact that she may have been denied access to the Ivy League and yet ended up Harvard's first female president. She's also the first Harvard president since 1672 (that's right) who does not have a Harvard degree (undergrad or graduate). I have a feeling that if she wanted to, my friend KT could be the next female president of Harvard. The second from Bryn Mawr... and she's getting that doctorate in archaeology any day now from that school in Cambridge. Ya heard of it?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

plenty of yellow for the winter blues

These are my two new pieces of art. I got them on 7th avenue in Brooklyn from a sweet artist named Ron. He keeps his pieces in an old, strong, shell-like suitcase. I appreciate the care he takes and I love the NYC images he captures. I have a strong feeling these won't be my last pieces from him. I was also lucky enough to receive an Athena Waligore original print this weekend. I am very excited about this. I will take photos later. I think I'm going to mat and frame that piece and its companion. I want to preserve them for the ages. More to come.

The brutal cold of New York City keeps me from writing more, these days. People should be impressed I'm just making it to work. My new year's resolution of making coffee before work has helped me through these bitter winter conditions. Frankly, at the moment, I'm just happy to be home in Brooklyn. I need to find my hand lotion. My hands are so chapped from the cold that washing one's hands leaves them rather dry. I should leave a bowl of water on the floor tonight for some moisture. It's bone dry and cold. Weather in the single digits is for the birds.

Here's an interesting shot of my new yellow scarf.
It's a waffle stitch pattern and the bottoms of the scarf are simply ribbed. I have so many pending projects, I don't know where to begin discussing them. But in other knitting news, I have roped my friend P into work stitch n bitch and am teaching her how to knit. I love sharing this craft with others. I barely knitted this weekend with Book Stud. I was too busy cooking, vaguely watching the Super Bowl (mostly booing the Bears and cheering the Colts), and hanging out with my friends in what was a rather impromptu party. Perhaps I'll get my knitting game on this week. I have a ton of reading to do, but there's always time for a little stitching. Hey, it's whatever gets you through the winter.