The story behind the story

Another chapter in my long-running obsession with this song... Word on the street is they rehearsed this performance only once, over the phone. I'm not sure if I made that up or if I actually read it somewhere, but I like it to be true.

“Flowers” was never intended to be a pop song, let alone a duet with legendary singers. Diamond first wrote it as the theme song to an ill-fated ’70s soap opera spoof. When the tune was no longer needed, he and his co-writers turned it into a pop song — which Diamond released in 1977 and Streisand covered in early 1978.

But if a DJ in Kentucky hadn’t created his own mashup of the two versions, splicing them together to create a “divorce present” for his wife, it probably never would’ve become such a hit. Word got out after the mashup was created, creating enough buzz that Streisand and Diamond recorded it as a proper duet in late 1978. The song spent a few weeks on top of the Hot 100 chart. Perhaps its message held special poignance for those caught in the throes of the ’70s divorce revolution.

Source: https://www.ozy.com/performance/the-grammy...

What we keep

Let us never forget why I moved to New York.jpg

I wanted to toss these but can't do it. I firmly believe in not clinging to physical items for purely sentimental reasons but my heart is here, in all of them. My favorite times in this city, with my friends, are in the memories printed on these tickets.

TV shows you should watch

I don't know, I just spent a whole year watching Frasier. I am not "of the zeitgeist."

I tried but did not like Stranger Things, which the social media in toto are way too yappy about. I find broad cultural consensus really off-putting sometimes, and I hate being told what to watch. Ahem.

Yesterday I on demanded season 2 of Better Things, which I enjoyed tremendously, even though Pamela Adon's character Sam makes a lot of bad choices and two of her daughters are brats. (Let me know when they make a show called "Good Choices and Nice Daughters," which of course would be terrible.) Mostly I like that Sam is a grown adult female on TV who doesn't saunter about in high heels and tight skirts or pretend she's 25. That's a deeply refreshing thing to witness. Plus she can be very mean, so two thumbs up.

Other shows I've recently enjoyed tremendously include High Maintenance, Atlanta, Search Party, and... I think that's it. The Good Place and Black-ish, although I'm about a month behind on both. Anything over 22 minutes or not funny is not for me right now. I had to start listening to Xmas music on November 1 as an artificial mood lifter (pro tip: it worked!).

I'll admit it, though, for a while there my determination to finish Frasier nearly destroyed my will to live: it was the kind of experience where the goal itself outstripped the objective, which was to simply "enjoy" the thing. It was like getting sucked into a bog, or training for a marathon. I don't regret it, exactly, since it taught me a lot about tenacity and sticking to your guns even in the face of adversity, but in the end I bear a mild grudge against everyone involved. I suppose somewhere in there is an important lesson about making better choices myself, huh? I'll think about it. Too much personal growth and you wouldn't even recognize me as me.

Lady Bird

I started Saturday with an early matinee of Lady Bird and then watched the premiere of Get Out on HBO, both writer/director debuts (one from Greta Gerwig and the other from Jordan Peele), and by virtue of their intelligence and humor and thoughtfulness—and above all, devotion to their own singular idiosyncratic visions—ended the day feeling more hopeful about the universe in general. I wish the same for you!

Happy weekend, nerds

I love this picture. I love all behind-the-scenes set photos but especially this one. "Just lay there and look morose and sexy while bearded and naked from the waist up," is what I hope the direction was for this particular shot.

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p.s. I hate to say it, but this is maybe...too buff, Y/N? Yet there's something about Justin Theroux that's indescribably goofy. When I figure out what this is, I will let you know. In the meantime, tip a hat: he's actually really good to dogs.

Watching: The Big Sick

This movie is so delightful! I would call it the best comedy I've seen in years, but I can't remember the last time I saw a really sharp comedy. Maybe "Spy," which was a billion summers ago and not about real people (sorry, spy wannabes, your time is still not now). This one is lifted by a stellar cast and a generous point of view, and Chicago. The main character is also a stand-up comedian who isn't a secret depressive alcoholic rage maniac or the teller of dick jokes, which is always welcome, by me. And it's for grownups! Grownups who like quick wit and smart banter and the bonus genius pairing of Ray Romano and Holly Hunter.

p.s. What I love best about Kumail Nanjiani is how much he loves his wife, his family, and Hugh Grant

Still thinking of Kevin

I'll go to my grave hearing Patti Levin shout "Kevin!" This video title spells it "Kyevan" but I think it's more like "Kh-yev-uhn"—no fewer than three syllables, at least towards the end. 

"Aw, you're on goddamn fire!"

She's so good! I'd almost say they were my favorite couple on the show but I love Nora & Kevin too much to ever make that claim.