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Archive for February, 2009

Sometimes I need a break from the scary world so I go through these periods where I don’t watch or read the news and really don’t want to talk about it. Having one of those lately. Also, I fell down the stairs today and didn’t spill a drop of coffee, got this

from Steph and couldn’t agree more and am listening to this in my car while thinking that yes, Mrs. Bielli, this should be the next cover band show. I have a big decision to make people…Should I drive in this nasty weather to Atlanta to partake of beer and fellowship at a pub or just wait till the morning when I’m less rushed and, ya know, can see? Tough one.

UPDATE: After years of searching, I have finally remembered the name of and found a book from my childhood that has haunted me for years. It wasn’t my book; my friend Wendy across the street had it and I read it every time I went to her house to play. I have always remembered it for the illustrations — they were fantastic and dark and freaky and weird. But I could never remember the name. Thank you Google. You make me mad sometimes but then you redeem yourself nicely…Did I mention I collect children’s books? Anyway, here’s a nice post on the book. It’s like I’ve finally realized a dream…

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Entry #1:

“King Cake is in the CSA break room. Enjoy!”

Right away boss.

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Let’s talk briefly about Danny Boyle, the director of last night’s Best Picture winner Slumdog Millionaire. I saw Slumdog this weekend so I could legitimately celebrate should it win Best Picture. I knew when it came out I wanted to see it because I’ve been a fan of Boyle’s since I saw Trainspotting in the mid 90s and he co-wrote and directed another of my all-time favorite films A Life Less Ordinary. His collaboration with Ewan McGregor is really enough in my book but then of course there’s 28 Days Later and I hear Shallow Grave is great although I’ve never seen it. Boyle has a knack for visually arresting an audience. There are a few movies I’ve seen once and refuse to ever see again — Silence of the Lambs, Schindler’s List, The Accused — because they were so good that I’m incapable of separating myself from the film. I willingly suspend disbelief to a dangerous degree and when some of the subject matter is disturbing (at best) I have a hard time letting go of it. Trainspotting is among that list. Anyone who’s seen it knows the “baby scene.” Once was enough thank you. Because it was genius. Horrible, terrible genius.

Slumdog did not disappoint. It was a quieter, prettier genius, something I hope we’ll see more of from Boyle (and for those of you shocked by this statement because of some of the harsh subject matter, see Trainspotting. Seriously.) And also because of the AWESOME Bollywood sequence at the end. It also brought the Indian culture into the consciousness of a great many people in the way that Boyle does things: with a straight forward, gritty realistic approach painted over with a sheen of wonder and hope and truth and beauty and the power of love in a jacked up hellhole of a world. I hope this recognition doesn’t change Mr. Boyle and that he doesn’t become “all Hollywood,” although I doubt it will because he seems to get it in a way not very many people do: that the beauty of a thing like destiny is only really relevant and powerful when placed in sharp relief to all the cynicism and disbelief that most of the world insists is the only intelligent way to live. But Boyle believes in miracles. And so do I. Because it is written.

Sigh.

And Jamal was the perfect anti-hero and was very easy on the eyes so thanks for that, too.

(And Momma, sorry for the grump. I’m a little sick. But I love you and know you mean well. Just trying not to lose my grip. But you really are the best. I’m just bad at saying it…)

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When I was a kid, between the ages of 9 and 13 (I can’t remember the exact year), I was traveling with my family in our van to Maryland, a trip we made every summer. This particular year I was in the last seat of the van, staring at the trees and the blacktop shooting past the window, when the song “Piano Man” by Billy Joel came on the radio. My siblings (all 6 of them) must have been sleeping because I remember the few blissful moments without distraction it took for the song to play through. I had recently become quite the fan of Mr. Joel so I knew every word of that song by heart (still do in fact) and, as I stared out the window, occasionally adjusting my eyes to look at my own reflection, I mouthed those words and, what’s more, I understood them. I got the poignancy and sadness of those people and I recognized then that sometimes life leaves you empty and all you have going for you is the miracle that there are people willing to sing about it. Right about the last stanza I happened to look toward the front of the van and I saw my father’s eyes in the rearview mirror, watching me feel this song. As he looked me in the eye he told me he was both pleased and impressed. But mostly proud. He was proud of his daughter for recognizing the bittersweet even if she hadn’t yet had to really negotiate it. And I felt like a good person, a good soul, for getting it because he said it in that look, something he’s not always able to do verbally (I inherited this trait from him). I’ve never forgotten that moment. I thought of it today driving to work. I always cry.

I associate a lot of music with my father — anything by George Jones or Johnny Cash, The entire Brothers in Arms album by Dire Straits and, more recently, the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou. But, for me, “Piano Man” is our song. Happy Birthday Pop. I love you so much. You told me recently that I was clearly smart because I didn’t have to just be a work horse like you had been. Here’s the thing Pop: if I manage to make something of myself in this life it has little to do with being smart. Trust me there. People could care less. But you being a workhorse, that gave me the opportunity to not have to be. So thank you. I doubt anyone will ever do as much for me again in life. I’m one of the lucky ones to have had you.

Greatest Hits Vols. 1 & 2 by Billy Joel

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This is just for fun. HaHa!!! Good times…And I just had the weirdest thing happen — I sometimes like to create a pressure vacuum in my sinus cavities by holding my nose and mouth shut and, well I guess, pushing pressure into the little caverns in my head. Don’t ask why I do this because I can’t answer. I think it’s for the same reason that I used to hold my breath under water for as long as I could or jump off the railing of our deck onto the trampoline — just to test the body, see what it could do. This particular test has just stuck with me into adulthood. And yes, I know it’s weird…

Anyway, one of my tear ducts — just one — opened up and starting releasing the air and then started crying. I made one of my eyes cry. I’m so mean. Even to myself.

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I’m in love. I saw this last night on the Travel Channel. Oh Chicago Red Hot, where have you been all my life? I need you, at a ball field, with a beer and a 75 degree day. (And Nate, yes, I still have Kitchen Confidential. You’ll get it back. I promise…)

I really, really, really, really, really would like Anthony Bourdain’s job.

The Red Hot magic starts around the 2:28 mark but you know, the whole thing’s good.

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I simply had to post this article, written by George Soros and posted on HuffPo. Not really in the interest of examining both sides; rather because (1) it scared me and (2) my sister is convinced that Soros nurtured young Sen. Obama from a promising young pup into the Executive Office (mainly by bankrolling some pretty solid political influence) because Mr. Soros, a VERY wealthy man who hails from Eastern Europe, has some ideas of his own on the way America should function. Soros has a plan it seems. He outlines it in this piece. Pay close attention to all the esoteric but not too esoteric language, and contradictions hidden as lies of omissions. For example, the Danish mortgage system operates without government guarantees and yet, a few paragraphs later, the mortgage originators are said to be strictly regulated. Who regulates them George if not the government? If someone knows, shoot me an email.

He also talks about how he proposed to Mexico — yes, this is a man who can make a proposal to a country — the following:

“a grand scheme in which all mortgages that are under water (i.e., whose principal amount exceeds the current market value of the house) would be replaced by a new mortgage, incorporating the Danish principle of balance but being insured by a government agency.”

A those who insure can decide who ends up owning that new mortgage. The banking industry will, by the way, “in the future … have to shrink and remain within the control of the authorities.” The authorities get control over your dough. Think about that for a minute.

Just read it, although I’m certain many of you won’t. But really, you should. You really, really should. And I mean READ it. Digest it, understand it as much as that’s possible with all the subterfuge. You may, against your will, find yourself disgusted. And hopefully a little scared. Then we can talk.

Anyway, VH-1 said it was the best song of the 90s and I have to agree there (In Bloom was pretty righteous, too however). It’s also how I’ve been feeling. So rock it out this weekend.

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