Things I’m a fan of

  1. Nyquil
  2. lotionized Kleenex
  3. this humidifier
  4. this asthma inhaler, which comes with a warning that usage increases one's risk of death from asthma
  5. this Stan Smith profile, which I read on jury duty
  6. being released from jury duty after one day, and then ordering my Stan Smiths (in navy, natch)
  7. this apartment
  8. this old apartment therapy blog post on offloading crap as a successful life strategy. I'm not moving this year after all, but I can still purge.
  9. this Zulkey.com blog post, which combines my love of the Midwest with my love of family road trips and staying in hotels with pools
  10. !!! barrroooooooo  !!! :

Sundays

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“The eye always craves what it doesn‘t see”

What sort of artist catches your attention? The artists that I’m interested in are the ones that make a picture of the times they live in. If you can listen to that inner voice, you’ll be fine. If you make your work from love, you’ll be fine. Just don’t try to fit in to the prevalent movement. If everybody’s doing video around you, then you should probably start painting. The eye always craves what it doesn’t see.
— Marilyn Minter @ NYT
Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/15/magazin...

Between the coughing fits

It's been 96 hours of misery with no end in sight and at this point I have no reason to believe I'll live to see another day. I just don't understand how a single body can harbor this much mucus and keep on living. Last night I performed the requisite "nasal irrigation" and so much salt water poured out of my mouth that I gagged and puked up my dinner. Classy! I have also sneezed all over my own glasses and at least three times in my own hair. So I bid you adieu with my favorite insane performance video of all time, which I have posted in this blog/space no fewer than half a billion times before, give or take. It's good to go out on a raucous affirmation of life that doubles as a cry for help (this number takes most mortals at least three minutes to plow through, but she sings it like she's got a herd of flaming goats nipping at her heels).

ps. Remember me fondly in your wills! I intend to spend hog wild in the afterlife.

A weekend in Mystic

I came back with a cold, but I won't hold that against Connecticut. It's possible some New York City supergerms have been lying dormant for months, just waiting for me to cross a neutral border (I could also blame Rhode Island, which I entered in search of beachfront property). And if you're ever going to travel for pizza, Mystic is obviously a solid choice. Just maybe not the day after a snowstorm.

mystic ct | feb 2017

The art of losing

There’s precious little solace for this, and zero redress; we will lose everything we love in the end. But why should that matter so much? By definition, we do not live in the end: we live all along the way. The smitten lovers who marvel every day at the miracle of having met each other are right; it is finding that is astonishing. You meet a stranger passing through your town and know within days you will marry her. You lose your job at fifty-five and shock yourself by finding a new calling ten years later. You have a thought and find the words. You face a crisis and find your courage.
— Kathryn Schulz @ The New Yorker
Source: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/...

Harriet Walter about town

Perhaps you're tired of hearing about Harriet Walter? That's okay, I'm tired of hearing about Tom Brady and Roger Federer and every sports team that has ever lived. Not that I begrudge human beings for loving sports or sports figures or balls of any kind (hey there, fella) but come on. Try counting the number of team logos you see the next time you walk down the street or hang out at the mall. If you come up with fewer than five I will pay you a million billion unicorn dollars and a thousand magic beans. My point is, the day people stop talking about Michael Jordan is the day I'll stop talking about Harriet Walter. Obviously neither of those things will ever happen, but somehow we'll all survive. Somehow life will go on.

Anyway, here are some pictures from an interview and book signing last night at the Drama Book Shop, starring Harriet Walter (ironically not pictured), who recently penned this tome about her long and varied Shakespeare career, which thanks to her collaboration with director Phyllida Lloyd now includes multiple male characters. Brava/o! Contrary to popular belief, Harriet Walter does not come to town all that often, so it's important to celebrate these events. "Americans are so effusive!" was her response to me shouting "Harriet Walter, we love it when you come to town!" across the signing table, and she was suitably impressed by the array of nonsensical nicknames we asked her to inscribe. She probably thought we were idiots. I cannot say she would be wrong.

At the end of the interview she read the book's epilogue, which is a "Dear Will" letter asking William Shakespeare to come back from the grave and correct his ladies. On getting the chance to finally be cast as the dudes (in Julius Caesar, Henry IV, and The Tempest), she writes: "My function in the story is no longer constrained by my gender, and I am freed up to play out the general political and moral dilemmas that concern us all." And later, vis-à-vis her frustration over the limited scope of the female roles, "Our stories matter not because of our relation to men but because we are members of the human race."

But my favorite line was from the interview itself, when asked why she's never played Gertrude in Hamlet: "It's the most famous play in the world and it has two shitty roles for women!"

The one thing I know is this world needs more Harriet Walter in it.

The End (for now).

Ordinary Life

This was a day when nothing happened,
the children went off to school
remembering their books, lunches, gloves.
All morning, the baby and I built block stacks
in the squares of light on the floor.
And lunch blended into naptime,
I cleaned out kitchen cupboards,
one of those jobs that never gets done,
then sat in a circle of sunlight
and drank ginger tea,
watched the birds at the feeder
jostle over lunch’s little scraps.
A pheasant strutted from the hedgerow,
preened and flashed his jeweled head.
Now a chicken roasts in the pan,
and the children return,
the murmur of their stories dappling the air.
I peel carrots and potatoes without paring my thumb.
We listen together for your wheels on the drive.
Grace before bread.
And at the table, actual conversation,
no bickering or pokes.
And then, the drift into homework.
The baby goes to his cars, drives them
along the sofa’s ridges and hills.
Leaning by the counter, we steal a long slow kiss,
tasting of coffee and cream.
The chicken’s diminished to skin and skeleton,
the moon to a comma, a sliver of white,
but this has been a day of grace
in the dead of winter,
the hard cold knuckle of the year,
a day that unwrapped itself
like an unexpected gift,
and the stars turn on,
order themselves
into the winter night.

– Barbara Crooker, "Ordinary Life"

Another Harriet Walter Weekend

My only duck-n-cover move for the next X years is: find some friends & never stop laughing, and every once in a while toss in some Shakespeare.

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open and show riches
Ready to drop upon me that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.