Saturday, June 30, 2012

How Can Lightness Insist?

Let's just say I'm still unpacking my experience of seeing Kay Ryan and Seamus Heaney and Simon Armitage and Wole Soyinka last night. I'm still unpacking it in light of all that's going on in my life right now. How unbelievably funny and serious it was, all at once. How just their presence on stage; the feeling that they knew what we were going through, made both Sarah and me cry. 

But for now, I'd like to leave you with these lines and her thoughts on lightness. Flipping the heavy into the light is a Buddhist karmic idea that I've long been drawn to. I'm glad Kay feels the same.

If a fairy makes a fist
who's impressed?
How can lightness insist?

Years ago I wrote a poem that went on too long but started well; it began, "If a fairy makes a fist/ who's impressed?/ How can lightness insist?" And that is what I would still like to know: how can lightness insist? In The Unbearable Lightness of Being Milan Kundera writes wistfully of the eponymous substance, describing how Beethoven once converted a perfectly inconsequential joke into a "serious quartet." Kundera contemplates how much more remarkable it would have been if Beethoven had achieved the reverse, making "heavy go light."

I don't know why lightness isn't more talked about, more valued, more pursued in poetry. I suspect it is out of the fear that one will be"taken lightly." But I ask, is there a sensation more exquisite than the feeling of having the burden of oneself borne off by a poem? The burden only, note; not the self. One's atoms are mysteriously distanced from one another. That is to say, one still has all one's own atoms, but for the moment they are not the trouble they were.

I think it bears repeating. "Is there a sensation more exquisite than the feeling of having the burden of oneself borne off by a poem?" No, no there is not. One still has all one's own atoms, but for the moment, they are not the trouble they were.  Yes.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nothing Is Sure Friday Links

- Single people need a work-life balance too. I'd like to direct this at a few folks I know
- Why Go Out?
- My sentiments exactly. Snark is boring. Best used sparingly. Instead it's eaten our culture. 
- While I love both Mad Men & Aaron Sorkin's new show for storytelling, I agree with this.
- One of my favorite things is when Jon Stewart does his Obama impersonation
- Advanced Riskology- better living though uncertainty. SIGH.
- Hahah, Canadians. Oh, how I love them. 
- I have this rule about not begrudging kids their dreams. But somehow I doubt the Kardashian/Jenner teens have always dreamed of being novelists....

Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Morning Trip to the Geffrye

For a while now, I've been meaning to check out my neighborhood museum, the Geffrye. It's a museum of British Interiors, so it seemed right up my alley. Emily only had a little bit of time in the morning before she had to head to her Harry Potter studio tour, so I recommended we make that our morning endeavor.

What a low-key place. And by low-key, I have to say I mean, underwhelming. There were definitely some cool furniture pieces. And beautiful gardens. There was even a garden reading room which I may try to go back and try to force my mind to be still. Let's just say this: I'm glad I had a buddy. And I'm even more glad that it was free. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Don't Really Want an Answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night dear void.

My heart is a little heavier today over the loss of one of my first career mentors: Nora Ephron. Nora always managed to capture the loneliness I identified with but never without providing a path out of it into a shared weird world with your weird soul mate. Her worlds were interior yet earthly detail-loving, filled with disappointments and also just enough humor to keep people moving. Both sunny and a little sad. 

I love all her work, but for me, You've Got Mail is not just a love letter to my favorite city-- it's the movie embodiment of my own personality. (And not just because I spend so much time online. Or because I love the 90s. Or because I used to work at Cafe Lalo.) I don't think anyone gives it enough credit for being, at the personal level, very well written. The butterfly scene. The elevator scene. When she talks about how much she misses her mom. Every description of New York. 

And when I think about the disappointments I've had in my own life-- both professional and personal-- I've wished for a man like Joe Fox (and, well, Tom Hanks) on the other side of that disappointment. A man who knew both not to be afraid of telling me like it is, but the harsher the reality, the more supportive and gentle the delivery need be. One who would tell me to go to the mattresses, who wouldn't be afraid to put me out of business if necessary, but also tell his father that I was the single human being who filled his heart with glee, that he wanted to turn his life upside down and marry me. A man who will make me feel like a Stevie Wonder song

Nora, of all the female writers I can think of, you're the one it hurts the most to lose. Your work ethic, prolific output, emotional intelligence, and sense of humor are still some of my greatest inspirations. You're the kind of modern-living philosopher I will always aspire to be. And it's no coincidence that, of all the quotes I love, the only one that made it to side of this little blog here is one of yours: 

"Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life - well, valuable, but small - and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void.So good night, dear void."

Good night to you too, dear Nora. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Farewell, My Queen

Personally, I'll take as many movies about Marie Antoinette as they want to make. I'm one of the only people I know to not only enjoy, but own the Sofia Coppola film. (What can I say? My twin, in those dresses. My imagination doesn't have to work very hard.)

This latest telling, Farewell, My Queen, told actually in French, opened the Berlin Film Festival and has a lesbian twist on the whole Storming the Bastille timeframe. To which I say, why not. Diane Kruger doesn't remotely look like she's in her forties, but that' okay. Also, it's been a while since I've seen Virginie Ledoyen in anything, so bring on the Versailles grandeur. I wouldn't mind a trip back to that place. 

Anyhow, flick is out in the US in about two weeks. 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Champagne Picnic at the Palace

Saturday, I finally got the thing I had been craving since moving to London: a magical night. The kind I couldn't have anywhere else. Don't get me wrong, I've had magical nights in terms of company and conversation, but not where I look at my surroundings and marvel that I could only do this by living here

Erich and I took the train out to Hampton Court early evening, grabbed some British Sausages and beers in chalices and started our little picnic on the green. Then we got upgraded when Landon found us and we moved into Frankie's tent. Bring on picnic baskets, delicious desserts and Moet Chandon on the Thames. We goofed off with the other three seasons and two thirds of the Beard siblings and got a little high on the champagne. There's a reason why champagne is predominantly served at celebratory events. It makes you want to tell everyone how much you love them and give everyone a hug. Which is how I felt pretty much all night.

The concert was amazing. Sunset and pink light reflecting off the Palace Courtyard. Even the rain made it magical, reminding me of that Hair performance in the park when the skies opened up and the look on Allison Case's face. Everyone sounded amazing (seriously one of the best mixed shows I've ever heard) and I'm always proud to see my pal Landon do this thang with the legendary Frankie Valli. I was thankful to share it with Jillian, Chris, and Erich. And thankful that really good friends have a knack for showing up right when you need them. 

All the rocking out made us pretty tired and pretty much everyone started to pass out in the vans on the way back to Central London. I slept really well that night, with smiley thoughts of a night for the record books. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Original Paddington Comes to the Theatres

Even though we'll have to wait until 2014, Paddington the Bear is coming to the big screen in a mix of CGI and live action. I've always been in a big fan and in fact, Paddington was the inspiration for one of my oldest, (Still) most favorite short stories, Paddington. Even though my Paddington was a Jack Russell terrier and not a bear, they sort of hold the same place in my heart. 

And even though I wrote this short story when I was about 20 years old, it still feels really right on and still gives away pretty much everything you need to know about me. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012


So close but I still cannot hear it
Something exciting is gonna happen
Don't wanna share don't wanna show
I want to be the only one to know
Grow on me
What's in there hiding?
I will fall through the water side and

Take off to a place I've never seen
I'll find it from my helicopter
Away from who I used to be
I'll get there in my helicopter

Don't worry now don't make a promise
You know I won't ever be careless
I won't forget won't change my mind
I won't kill anything I leave behind
Let me grow
There is no more hiding
Go, go, go through the water side and

Take off to a place I've never seen
I'll find it from my helicopter
Away from who I used to be
I'll get there in my helicopter

Friday, June 22, 2012

Who Loves You, Pretty Baby Links

Another week, another phd deadline met. Phew. I'd like to give this week's MVP award to cardio. I couldn't have made it through this week without the insane, intense, dance-like- no-one's-watching spaz fest that happened in my living room and occasionally on the streets on London all day, every day. 

You know, they say they "don't write 'em like they used to," and of course, that's true. But I still believe, and will always believe, in the enormous healing properties of a good pop song, no matter how insipid.

- Somewhere out there, it's my long-lost (and found) stepbrother's 30th birthday. June 2-2. Daxy!
- This has been all over. But it's really good. With the women. And the workplace. And the bind.
- No Prince Required: the first review I've seen of Pixar's Scotland-set, female-led BRAVE.
- What if I lived here? Look at those windows!
- BBC posts "Your Pictures of Scotland"
- DOONER is here! I can't tell you how it warms my little ol' heart to have such a huge piece of my New York family in London doing his thang. Londoners, check out London Bread-- I mean, Landon Beard-- and the rest of the Four Seasons with Frankie Valli at Royal Albert Hall this week.

- Finally, I leave you with the vid from one of my fave performances of the Dooner alongside the legendary Frankie Valli. These are my choice of songs, and at Tribute on Ice no less! For all its many and varied camp jewels, this is probably just one of the best videos on the internet. You kick off that solo on Dec 63 at 8:30, baby!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Long Walks and Rice Reunions

Basically, I think I only like living in London when I can walk wherever I'm going. In the case of last night, that was The Albion near Barnsbury to meet up with an old time Rice friend, Laura Sawyer. Laura is probably the ONLY friend I have that overlapped into both of my primary activities at Rice: musicals and bartending at the pub. Bless her. I've always said that Rice friends remind you of who you really are. Which of course is a seething-with-neuroses, yet good-hearted nerd. 

Lots of beautiful patio space and hanging flowers at The Albion. Not great beer selection, but the Bloody Marys looked good. The chips were divine. As was the company. 

I even walked home. And, even though I was cold, on the first day of Summer, I started to remember why I wanted to move here. 

It's also the first day of the London 2012 Festival. I've been perusing my program booklet and starring all the things I want to try to catch. Perhaps the Stonehenge Bounce House? Summer in the City-- if it is indeed Summer-- is a favorite thing of mine. Here's hoping these festival activities are worth writing home about. And by that, I mean, of course, writing home to you, my dear lovely readers, wherever you are. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

There Are No Scottish Women

Stewart Lee (my birthday twinbelabors the point a bit, and his other "observational gold" moments fall a bit flat to me, but no Scottish women? That's right on the money. And I even know a lot of Scottish women, but in the context of his point, he's just utterly correct. Think about it. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Drunk Texts From Famous (hermit) Writers

Basically, I can relate to this. You went out? Check out all of the funnies from Jessie Gaynor via The Paris Review

What can I say about these days? That I am both listless and restless. That I am losing an ongoing argument with the unfocused disquiet of my mind. I pace. I run. I do cardio. I am fighting it out to the tune of extremely emotional, mathematically formulaic pop music. It's a shadow box. I cannot burn off the energy I have and I cannot focus it into anything productive for longer than... say, 15 minutes?  

Are our only choices burn out or boredom? Why is balance so elusive? Years of practicing Buddhism and still the slightest nudge can knock it all off the shelf. All of my usual tricks are getting a system override. I don't want to do any of them. My own inner life is lacking inspiration. And momentum. I want to be in it. I want to send my energy in a direction away from myself. And preferably, without any digital or electronic aid. 

I think Emily would agree. And I'd like to think that if Emily Dickinson were alive today, she'd probably also get real crazy at  Broadway Bares. Let's live in our bodies and not our obnoxious minds. At the very least, I think she'd agree my pal Rachel Potter sang her face off on "We Found Love." 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Favorite Neighborhood Local - The Scolt Head

As of Yesterday, I have a new favorite local, The Scolt Head. Named after an island off the North Norfolk coast, this little gem right next to my local Garden Centre did just the trick for curing  cabin fever on a Sunday that could not make up its mind. 

Gloom, sun, gloom, sun: this was all day yesterday-- and seemingly most London Summer days. Luckily, the quirky, ivy-covered triangle patio is perfect for the sun and the interior has just the right amount of refracted London light for some Sunday afternoon laughs over pints. 

I didn't order food, but I watched about 15 varieties of Sunday roast make their way out from the kitchen to various tables and let's just say, I was tempted. 

There's also a predominant book theme to the place. Every shelf is stuffed with vintage Penguin Cover books and even the coffee comes in the Penguin cover mugs. Add a big ole cracked red leather sofa and I was sold. If you can't find me, you can look for me there from now on. Forever.

All photos from the Scolt Head website

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Some Thoughts on Fathers and Daughters Today

Time again for my annual Father's Day Shout out. This year, it's a tale of three fathers. 

Twenty years ago my life changed forever when I worked up the courage to tell my own dad about how bad the situation had gotten with my mom. My dad was the first person to make me think that what I had to say was important-- even when it wasn't life or death. He never rushed me. He's never been bored or ever encouraged me to get to the point. He's talked me down from every ledge, through every problem of logic or of the heart. He's been so steadfastly on my team for whatever ridiculous goal I've ever had, even to this day, it scares me that in my life, I have at least one person I cannot lose. Because of this, he's the person I care most about making proud of me. 

Which is not say he's just a prop for my life. He's one of most talented, weird, cool people to ever live. In truth, I basically just hope he's as proud of me as I am of him. I  never used to think our personalities were the same, but the older I get, the more I'm seeing how similar at least our artistic temperaments are. 

Ten years ago, my life changed again when I lost another temperamental soul mate of mine, and a great glue of our family: my grandfather. I can't believe it's been ten years without him. The thought of it knocks the wind out me. I still recall so so vividly how far away, how lost at sea I felt when he died and I was in Japan. It still feels vert present, the memory of scribbling furiously my multi-multi page letter to him, when I knew the end was near. How the letter arrived just in time for Father's Day. How he was gone the next week. The traces of him are harder to find since I've moved to the UK, though I still run into him in thoughts that are not my own, but clearly the opinion of James A. Ferguson, just using me as a conduit. 

Seven years ago, I met another father who continues to blow me away. I know I focus a lot of my love on Aly, but I think it's important that I recognize the other half of one of my all-time favorite couples: Dion. In my own generation, he's the father I'm most inspired by. His daughter Hayley was born just in time for his 18th birthday. At at 18, this guy just went to it, putting his kid first in every way possible. I'm in awe of the way he talks to Hayley-- the way he strikes a balance between support and discipline-- (he allows no bargaining. It blew my mind) and what a wonderful young lady Hayley is turning out to be. It warms my heart that he was able to turn his devotion to supporting his daughter into amazing business skills, and then to get the eff out of Lehman Bros just in time, to start an amazing business with Aly, and (just like seeing my dad be able to realize his musical dreams makes me happy) finally make himself into the music artist he always wanted to be. You are truly, unequivocally, without a doubt one of the good guys, Dion. I feel blessed to know you. And comforted knowing you're gonna look after my friend Aly for the rest of your lives. I can't wait to celebrate with you both this August. And I'm celebrating with you and your song today. 

Keep being awesome out there fathers. And I will line up every year to gush. Shower. The. People

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Simplicity at the Ridley Road Market

Everybody knows Saturdays are for Farmer's Markets. How many farmer's markets do you think there are in London? I wonder how long it would take me to make my way through all of them. So far, I keep it pretty close to home and I love that I can basically trip and accidentally land in Ridley Road Farmer's Market. It's been there since the 1880's. I can't even imagine what this neighborhood was like in Victorian England.

There's something very simple about this one that I love. It's not bourge-ie (ps, HOW do you spell the slang form of bourgeoisie? It's like when you try to spell the shortened form of usual-- us? uje? uze? Sigh.) In fact, one odd girl on yelp likened it to the third world. I don't know about that. Though the place is pretty stripped down, has the ripest fruit, the RIPEST fish, and the various and sundry household products that are just a blink away from their expiration date.

But there's also two bushels of greenish (just how I like 'em) bananas for a pound and an old man who sells nothing but fresh organic eggs. That's. It. (I told you they effing love their specialties here. Or as they say, spe-shee-al-i-ties.) There's a stand trying to help bridge the gap and make sure the new immigrants are registered properly for NHS. (Why they can't help me with retrieving my own NHS number, I don't know, but cest la vie, I suppose.) While she could not help me with that, she did go out of her way to tell me she liked my shoes. And nothing will break down my hardened exterior defenses of city living that makes me ignore all street people like a good shoe question. I'll tell you the store, the model name, the price. Hell, I'll probably walk you there.

If you're in Dalston, you come on by the Ridley Road market. I'm thinking of setting up a booth myself like Lucy from the Peanuts and dispensing advice and jokes.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Heads Are Overrated - Friday Links

Not sorry to see this week go. It was a bit tedious. Anxiety and bureaucracy-filled. And way way way too much obsessive thinking.  I wouldn't have minded losing my head, actually. At the very least, taking it off and setting it aside for a while. Letting it air out. 

On the up side, this weekend is Father's Day! My favorite holiday. If you've never heard me wax on about my spectacular dad, you don't know me very well. Or at all. More on him Sunday. But for now, here are the things that kept me afloat during the WAY too much time I spent on the internet this week. 

-The hipsters of Game of Thrones. You know I love a good hipster meme
- NPR's 25 favorite albums of the year so far.
- Wait, Justin Timberlake is an interior decorator now?
- I'm sorry, but I should be writing these. Don't even get me started on the errors. 
- Speaking of which, I want. Did I already post this? Well I still want it.
- Would sell a kidney to go to Mykonos right now
- The UK is obsessed with specialists. But some of us are good at everything. Just sayin. 
- I want these
- Boom
- The best news ever: fab friend/phenom talent/Ferg&Jamail collaborator Jeremy Jordan joins SMASH Season 2 as series regular. Someone over there is making excellent choices. 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Love Is Won - Lia Ices

It's no secret how much I miss the 90s. Not that I felt at home in my own life then. Just that I was too raw and too green to know that I would always feel that way. And something about Lia Ices reminds me of every 90s lady singer I cried to in my mountain view, periwinkle-hand-print-painted bedroom. (With some Weepies Deb Talan for good measure. )

And if you want your mind to be messed with in an odd, dreamy, creatures-of-the-forest-fairy-tale kind of way, go read the bio/short story someone wrote about her life on her facebook page. Alien. So, she's obviously based in Brooklyn. 

Her actual bio...where she's actually from...who knows. I was having a discussion about that this weekend. Bios. The Origin. Home. (I have this discussion frequently. Because people ask me where I'm from and I have a very difficult time answering.) We agreed, Erich and I, (that's who I was talking to) that we don't really feel like we're from anywhere. Up to and including this planet. No where is necessarily home. And no where necessarily isn't home. Just a couple of twentieth century nomads.

But I think it's an idea that is won in reverse, not by building, but by eroding. It's an idea that is, rather, nibbled away at, in sugar-cube sized increments, by eroding the need to control, by putting no parameters on a place, not asking it to fall in line, giving no time limits. The same as all important things: committing and being. Waiting and seeing. 

O love is won when we are not bound by time
O love is won when we don't need free to grow

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

When Love Takes Over - A Cappella

You might remember amazing vocal group Pentatonix from their insanely viewed covers on youtube-- including their nearly 6 million views cover of "Somebody That I Used to Know." Now they're back and being fronted by my pal, youtube sensation in her own right, Miss Natalie Weiss. These are some searing vocals my friends. Take a listen.

Sometimes, I feel like musicals are the only definitive proof I'm still human. For quite some time, and for various reasons, I've really needed a good cry. And I've been utterly unable to. Jusssst wasn't there. To the  point when I started to think perhaps my quest to be a less heart-ruled person had made it so I didn't feel much of anything anymore. 

But it only took about 4 minutes of Tonys to slowly turn back on the water works. And by the time it got to Audra, and then Steve's performance in Once (plus his speech! UGH!) and even NPH's hilarious Michael John La Chiusa medley I was a weeping mess. When love takes over, ya'll. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Some Serious Weekend Sights

We had a brief reprieve from torrential rains on Saturday (I think the sun came out to greet Miss Iona, who was visiting from Skye) and everyone flocked to the parks. Iona, Tom and I started in Green Park where we encountered the most unorthodox bicycle event I've ever witnessed. I went to get some ice coffee and ran into a cavalcade of naked people on bikes. 

Apparently, it's real thing and not just a large group of exhibitionists. World Naked Bike Day started in 2004 as a statement about clean energy and transportation. Either way, it was a lot for my eyes to take in. One I probably could have done without. 

Though, group nudity is interesting. I feel like it's the same principle applied in productions of the fabulous musical, Hair. When everyone is naked, you don't really see anyone in particular. I can buy that, but of the individuals I did see, I gotta say, it still didn't look comfortable. 

Next, we meandered through St James's Park for some beautiful views and left over Jubilee decorations. There were no naked people there. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Happy Birthday Zaza! And Colours Exhibition

Sending a big Happy Birthday Northward to Zaza today! Not only is today her birthday, but she's prepping for a big gallery showing at Colours on Dundas Street in Edinburgh. I'm unofficially calling dibs on this beautiful peacock painting. I want to put it on my own (still currently blank) gallery wall. Check out more planned work for the exhibition here and check out all her stuff right here. She's amazing! And a wonderful friend to boot. Lots-o-love, Miss Shelley! OWN IT!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Album of the Summer - Kimbra - Vows

Without a doubt, Kimbra's Vows is headed to take its place as the album of this summer. Swinging from sultry and mellow to bright dance tracks, I've been listening to it on a loop while walking the streets of London since I got here. I'm glad that thanks to the ubiquitous "Somebody That I Used to Know" she's becoming somebody that more people are starting to know. I know I bought her album as soon as I heard that track last fall. 

Even though it stresses me out that she was born in 1990, this New Zealand imported songstress is already the winner of Summer 2012. Right alongside the other winner of Summer 2012, Miss Alyson J. Campbell-- one of the world's great gifts to idea of friendship. Not only am I joyously celebrating her wedding in Nova Scotia this August, but I'm celebrating her Big 3-0 with her (albeit long distance) today! 

I'm sending out my favorite Kimbra jam to you, Miss Aly Cat. Our love is definitely a Two Way Street

If you don't have Vows yet, get on that shit and get your summer started. Have a great Saturday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Glide into Tony Weekend Links

Once again, it's the time of year when I spend a whole weekend geeking out over Broadway's finest at the Tony Awards! I hate to miss all the excitement in Hell's Kitchen in June. But being separated from the Tony's by an Ocean has only increased my rapid love for them and this year is no exception because I have nominated friends!! 

It's been a musical-y kind of time lately, as Steven and I are working hard on our Nic & Alix album. More (slightly more fanfare-ish) info on that later. Let me just take this moment to remind you all and myself that there's a reason I love writing musicals more than any other of my humanly activities. That reason is located somewhere around the solid core center of an instrumental track slice o' bread with french horns, harps and cellos that I know is soon to buttered with vocals from my favorite performers in all the land. 

People always want to hate on musicals. I just think they aren't paying attention. Bring on the links.

- Book of Mormon is coming to London! Who wants to give me a job on this transfer??
- The virtues of daydreaming! Speak on, brother!
- Just in case you missed The Wire musical. (I love that it's at the Player's Theatre.)
- Super cool design your own shoes website, Shoes of Prey
- You're gross, Republicans. Sorry, but it's just irrefutably true. 
- Even MORE undermining of women in the workplace. Cool.
- More typographical art from Folksy. This time, GWTW.
- Changing thoughts on Klimt
- Las Vegas doesn't often make me proud, but it's hard not to be when I hear about $9.99 all you can eat tacos AND margaritas! (!!!)
- Finally, the wonderful people at Submissions Only have made this Tony Party How-To vid with the huggable, wonderful Brian D'Arcy James. We glide.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Poetry Parnassus at the South Bank Centre

Last night I was mercifully invited out from the cave of my own making to the poetry library at the South Bank Centre for an event kicking off this Poetry Parnassus deal they're having all summer long. Obvs, I love poetry, and the South Bank, but mostly, I was happy to have the excuse of hanging out with my new pal Maria, who's amazing and works for the Arts Council.

In a way, there were signs it was going to be bad. There were no buses out of Dalston for ages, and when I finally did get one, a weird sick lady wedged in beside me, even though there were masses of empty seats, and coughed all over me. She kept crowding me on the way down the stairs from the double decker, making me panicky. (Remember that time I was drugged, mugged, & slugged? Yeah, I don't like people coming up too close behind me.) Then then bus driver slammed on the breaks at Waterloo and even though I was holding onto the rail, I flew forward and fell ALL the way down the stairs hurting my knee pretty badly as I slammed into various stairs and the eventually the floor at the bottom where a (very) handsome man helped me to make sure I was ok. I was too embarrassed and trying not to cry at the time to realize just how hot he was in the moment, but as I walked towards the water, tears welling, I realized I should have tried to compose myself. The city is hard, ya'll. 

It was about to get harder. So listen. I love poetry and I try not to participate in schadenfreude-esque situations whenever possible, but sometimes.... I mean... so you either have to have a wicked-cool new idea (in which case you can chill on the fancy language) or you can talk about all the same stuff (love, the city, RACE [ugh] , your anger [double ugh]) in a way that DAZZLES me with your mastery of language. PREFERABLY, both your idea AND your language will dazzle me. But in the absence of one, I'll take a skew on the other. Those are the terms. If you come at me with anything else, I will be angry with you. So after a few too many about the "flame of creativity" and the magic that is London, Maria and snuck out to talk. We also felt we deserved a beer. 

In a way, stuff like that is good for me to see at times like this. Someone is publishing these people. And awarding them prizes. My turn is coming. And I am genuinely excited about the rest of this Poetry Parnassus international event in honor of the Olympics with over 100 free events and 204 poets. Check it out! And thanks to Maria for being awesome and reminding me about community.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ask and you shall Grizzly Bear

Earlier in the week, I was reminded of my love for Grizzly Bear and now the Brooklyn-based band is back with a new album this fall! They've released the first track on youtube, Sleeping Ute, and I'm pretty happy about it. Sounds like another one I'll long to listen to on vynl, much like I do Veckatimest, with a glass of wine on a rainy night while I try to write, or dance to in my kitchen with old university friends.

Good news is, even though the album isn't out until September, you can pre order it as of today! The album doesn't even have an title yet (though itunes is calling it Warp229), so it feels like we're sneaking in early. They're also launching on a world tour that has a few UK stops, so maybe I'll even get to check them out. I've never seen them outside of their native Brooklyn though-- it might be trippy. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Let's Wrap It Up, Jubilee

Due to a spot of illness (hey, at least it's not a bladder infection like Prince Philip. I love that they keep having to say that in all the press coverage.) I've been sidelined from my Jubilee enthusiasm to my couch today. So I'm watching all the pomp and circumstance on a high def television. In one sense, I love that two longest reigning monarchs of Great Britain have been women. On the other hand, as I've gone about the city and been looking at some of the coverage, I can't help but notice a few things.

1. How bored everyone looks. Especially the Queen herself. But everyone, really. The Queen definitely looks the most bored-- like completely zoned out during the toast to her-- followed closely in boredom by Harry. 

2. They can't show the Queen eating, but they're giving us a complete rundown of what literally everyone is eating and drinking and where said food came from. The tee-totalers will have Apple Juice from Sandringham. The vegetarians will have this, the gluten intolerant will have this, etc etc. Time-filling in event coverage is force-fed with inane minutia no matter where you go and what the event is. 

3. I love that the coverage swings between commentary from ultimate man of pretension, David Starkey (who takes the pronunciation of the word "year" past just your typical "gap yah" "yah" to a full-on yuhhhhhhh) and atonal drags queens singing Kylie Minogue in the rain in Anglesey. This. Is. Britain, ladies and gentlemen. 

4. MERCH! I think the entire point of this event is to sell merch. Looks like it's working. The Guardian estimates 823 million pounds in merch sales for this event. I mean, listen, I'm all about merch, but I found it rather fascinating. If I was purchasing any mementos, I think I'd splurge on this

5. THIS.

6. The color coronation footage from 1953 is genuinely gorgeous. Nothing dazzles the eye like those primary colors and jewel tones. If you haven't seen it, check it out. I'm guessing the remastered footage will be up on youtube soon. In the meantime, here is what's already available. 

Monday, June 4, 2012

Monday Eye Candy- Hooked on Photography London

Since it's Monday, and not a bank holiday in the US, if you want to waste some time daydreaming about far away places and clicking yourself into a facebook k-hole, I present to you, Photography London. From the largest scale scale, to the tiniest details, they've captured life from all angles in London. 

Bonus Procrastination Link: Check out this blog entirely dedicated to London Street Art, Hooked. There's some seriously witty and amazing stuff over there. 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

There is No Silence, I Will Keep Following the Sirens

Today feels like this. My life is being taken over by Danes. Is that a sign of something? This song didn't do it for me when I first heard it over a year ago. I guess it's just one more little way people's tastes and attitudes change. The video still freaks me out a bit, so I've posted a live version in case you're mildy disturbed as well. 

But the song came back on my shuffle one of the gorgeous sunny days a few weeks ago-- it seemed like a sign. Then it was on Girls. Another sign. I was talking last night with the wonderful Carrie about the very nature of signs and challenges. When you're supposed to know this is the time to cowboy up and fight against the obstacles. And when to see something as a sign to change course. We didn't come to any conclusions or anything, but it was nice to have the conversation.

I'm the kind of girl accustomed to taking stairs two and three at a time. There's times when it's harder to do that. I'm looking for any excuse to feel that way-- out in the city or alone in my room. Cutting ties or forming new allegiances or remembering a song-- like this one-- that I'd forgotten about. 

I have a short, but substantial list of music that I'm always saying, "I want all of life to feel the way this song sounds." "Two Weeks" is one of them. So is "White Nights." Maybe it's the bright marimbas. Maybe it's the spacey synth. Maybe it's the snappy drumstick rhythm section. But it makes me want to do something with myself. I want my heart to feel like this song, always. 

And even though it's pouring down rain today, I'm taking it out with me into the city as I make way down Upper Street in the direction of whatever comes next. 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Pre-Jubilee Luncheon in Chelsea Physic Gardens

Even though the weather has taken a turn for the worse here in Jubilee Land, earlier this week, it was still glorious and my fabulous employers took me out for a luncheon in the Chelsea Physic Gardens. Not a bad front garden they have. While I will always be a city girl, I absolutely love gardens. And gardens in the heart of the city-- that's the best of both worlds. 

These gardens are awesome and full of 5,000 edible, medicinal and historical plants. At first stroll, I didn't realize this and wondered why the plants seems to be grouped my ailments. I love how they constantly refer to the plants as useful. Is there anything better than being useful? 

The whole place-- it's the oldest garden in London-- smelled of blossoms and we sat outside with big blooms and bunting. I had a delicious quiche and salad and the Macleods and I discussed the traumatic nature of Scottish reels and the modern inequity between men and women. I have the best job in the world. If only it were full time. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Diamond Jubes Weekend Links

Oh my God, it's June. The year is half over and I feel utterly terrified of the idea of  taking stock of my life right now, so instead, I'm doing a bit of impersonation. I'm going to find some carefree joy in going a bit ironically overboard (in an anthropological sense of course) with some fellow academics and hit up the parties. We plan on dressing in Sex Pistols tshirts and tacky hats. They say it's going to rain this weekend, but I'm still hoping for the best. Here's what else went down this week on the internet. 

- For those among us not so hot on the Royals
- Here's a Shoreditch Box Party
- More Jubes stuff to do, and how to book in advance
- Personally, I'm all about the 50's themed garden party at Hampton Court Palace.
- Don't miss all the intense decorations. Here's the best of the city all gussied up.
- Don't forget the MERCH!
- Want to own a piece of Broadway history? Here's the Arthur Laurents Estate auction.
- Roger Mayne photographs post-war London
- I approve. I think. 
- Using David Foster Wallace to introduce a discussion on Kristen Stewart? Smooth move, Grantland.
- More from NPR on the 'American Dream.'
- Another letter from Ted Hughes
- Philip Larkin & the moral of Nicholas & Alexandra's 11 O'Clock Anthem
- A song from the perspective of one person at age 29 and age 31. Funny. Harsh. Kinda true. 
- Sooooo many feelings about Mad Men's ep, "The Other Woman." Sooo many. Here is some interesting commentary on the one where they pimp Joan out. Pete Campbell, you are a weasel. So are you, Roger Sterling. 

Why Stop Now?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...