Monthly Archives

November 2014

Books, Tights, and Tea

November 21, 2014

Dear Reader,

I’ve spent my week with a book in my lap, tights warming my legs, and so much tea working its way down my gullet that I am surprised there is any left in the whole of Boston.

Books, Tights, and Tea- GileadMy Marilynne Robinson obsession continues, obviously. I’ve also been working my way through the wonderful (though dense) Wolf Hall. It is the first in a trilogy of novels about the notorious Tudor dynasty but is all told from Thomas Cromwell’s perspective. The perspective is an odd one and I am still not sure that even after all this time with the man I really know him at all.Books, Tights, and Tea- Wolf Hall In other news, Cafe Fixe in Washington Square is an adorable place to have a pot of tea and croissant and Paris Creperie in Coolidge Corner has the best Nutella hot chocolate in all the land. Also, don’t you dare leave there without trying the arugula, fig jam, goat cheese, and bacon crepe. Don’t you dare, I say. I hope your weekend is full of tea and carbs 🙂

 

 

 

 

Weekend of Stories

November 17, 2014

Dear Reader,

This weekend I actually watched Saturday Night Live… Live. I can’t tell you when the last time that was possible. Saturday was a gorgeous day of sitting in the same armchair and finishing two books, watching a Law and Order SVU marathon, and eating a metric ton of mac and cheese. But Friday night will probably interest you all more, as I actually did things I can recommend to you.

BIRDMAN. Go see it. This bizarre little gem is playing right now at Coolidge and is seriously enthralling and entertaining. The whole movie is riveting and it is hard to take a breath or stop smiling for even a moment. It is half magical realism, half love letter to the theatre, half experimental film making. Michael Keaton’s washed up actor Riggan wants to do serious theatre and thus attempts to adapt, direct, and star in a theatrical production of Dylan Thomas’ “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.” The introduction of a new co-star (played with crazy levels of depth and shallowness by Edward Norton), the issues of his just out of rehab daughter (Emma Stone with a role she can do wonders with), and the voice in his head convincing him he can fly and move objects with his mind all converge to give the audience its entry point into Riggan’s story. Go see it. I give it my highest recommendation.Weekend of Stories- BirdmanI finished two books this weekend, both of which I can happily recommend to you. I have been reading the Batman graphic novel Hush. Hush brings together all the greatest villains Batman has ever faced and throws them at the caped crusader. Even Superman shows up for a storyline with a stunning Lois Lane dangling off a building yet again. But it is the inclusion of the Catwoman/Batman romance that really marks this novel as unique. The villains come and go, all possibly part of a vast conspiracy, but the plot is really advanced through Batman’s desire to include Catwoman in his personal life. Look for a special appearance by Huntress, for all you Arrow fans out there.Weekend of Stories- Batman: HushI also finished Joshua Ferris’ first novel Then We Came to the End this weekend. I read his second, The Unnamed, for class this term. It made me feel unsettled and at times like I might actually be losing my marbles. So, I obviously had to read everything else this young wonderful novelist has produced. On the surface, Then We Came to the End is much lighter. It details the banal ridiculousness of American office life with all its feuds and romances and pranks and work-avoidance. The whole novel is humorous but in a sort of sad postmodern way. Its mysterious narrator, both one of the office workers and totally anonymous to the reader, carries you through the story with a melancholy and self-aware wit that you can’t help but laugh at, then feel a bit sad for laughing at. And yet, I absolutely recommend this one as well. If you are a contemporary lit fan it is a must-read. I am asking for his new novel, To Rise Again at a Decent Hour for Christmas but if you read it before me, be sure to let me know your thoughts.Weekend of Stories: Then We Came to the EndHappy dreary Monday everyone! Stay warm and dry.

Texts from Swan Lake

November 10, 2014

Dear Reader,

Swan Lake was unspeakably beautiful and impressive. I am having a really hard time talking about it, to be honest. It might be a “had to be there” type of experience. I could talk about how the black swan does approximately 40 difficult turns in a row, to the giddy cheers of an audience that could not handle it. I could talk about the fog machine that turned the lake scenes into a spooky backdrop for sexual violence. But instead, I am going to give you Texts from Swan Lake, inspired by the much more amazing series on The Toast that has just been gathered together in a book called Texts From Jane Eyre. Although Swan Lake is incredible, the storyline has some ridiculous bits to it that I found it hard not to laugh at. So without further ado, here is Texts from Swan Lake…

Texts from Swan Lake- The Person I Am TonightOdette’s Friend: So why does she get to be queen? Just because she was the only one of us reading a book in the Prologue? I have to be a swan forever and the pecking order is based on being a bookworm? It’s not like we can read in the water now anyway.

Odette’s Other Friends: Hehe pecking order. Because we have beaks now.Texts from Swan Lake- The Person I Am Tonight

Prince Siegfried: Odette! My love! Tell that swan to hold still I need to test out my new crossbow that mommy gave me!

Odette: We’ve been over this Sieggy. All the swans are actually human women.

Prince Siegfried: But mommy likes swan pie. Just one? Isn’t there just one you like less than the others?

Odette: …

Prince Siegfried: That one over there said you still looked like an ugly duckling. I heard her.Texts from Swan Lake- The Person I Am Tonight

Odile: Hey Siegfriedddddd whats upppppp??? <3 wanna come over tonight 😉

Prince Siegfried: Odette! I like this new sexy thing you got going on. And all that black you started wearing is seriously working for me.

Odile: All for you boo <3 you should marry me now.

Prince Siegfried: Come to my birthday party. Mommy wants to meet you. Wear that sparkly black dress that shows your booty when you do those twirly things.

Odile: Can I bring my evil looking gay best friend?

Prince Siegfried: Oh totally hehe does he like crossbows because I have one.Texts from Swan Lake- The Person I Am Tonight

Odette: So Odile… not me. Not even the same name as me.

Prince Siegfried: But she looked exactly like you in every single way. What am I supposed to do?

Odette: Was she dressed in any way like me?

Prince Siegfried: She was vaguely swan-like and that is so you. That is so your look. Swan-like but not actual swan as in I shouldn’t try and shoot you with my crossbow. I wrote this down and everything.

Odette: How about the guy with her? Did he seem evil and exactly like the guy I told you kidnapped me and turned me and everyone I know into swans that have to float on a lake formed from my mother’s tears?

Prince Siegfried: Oh no that guys was cool hehe. He was her GBF, loved my crossbow, told me I should practice on swans more.

Odette: Yeah I am just going to peck him to death with my friends because we can never be human women ever again because you declared your love for some ho.

Prince Siegfried: Let me use your body to metaphorically kill him with our love!

Odette: *sigh*

 

 

Remember, Remember Some Suggestions

November 5, 2014

Dear Reader,

Are you remember, remembering the fifth of November? What works have been wrought this day! The Republicans have wrested control of Congress from the clutching blue fingers of Harry Reid, Benedict Cumberbatch has announced his engagement (to the shock and horror of so many of his devotees), and I am putting up a new suggestions post. All of those seem to me to be on an equal level of importance.

First Suggestion: Read this book…Remember, Remember Some Suggestions- The Person I Am TonightLaura Kasischke is giving a reading at BC tonight at seven. I read this particular collection of her poetry last year in a Contemporary American Poetry class. I highly recommend both her poetry and her novels, and if you can make it to the reading absolutely do it.

Second Suggestion: Go here…Remember, Remember Some Suggestions- The Person I Am TonightRoast Beast, off Comm ave near BU, is freaking delicious. They make insanely scrumptious roast beef sandwiches in many unexpected variations. It is tiny and easily overlooked but missing this one would be a serious mistake if you are in any way enamored of roast beef.

Suggestion Three: See this…Remember, Remember Some Suggestions- The Person I Am TonightBoston Ballet is performing Swan Lake right now. I am going Friday and will give a full review after that, however everything I hear is overwhelmingly favorable. This review in particular. This particular picture is from earlier in the year when they performed bits of it on the swan boats in the gardens, which is kind of adorable. It is only here through November 16th, so get your tickets ASAP.

Suggestion Four: Go wander here…Remember, Remember Some Suggestions- The Person I Am TonightThere is currently a new Goya exhibit at the MFA and, once again, I have heard great things. I am going this weekend so I will see if I can confirm the rumors, but this is my heads up that you should go. Maybe I will even see you there 🙂

Happy Wednesday my friends!

Halloweekend

November 3, 2014

Dear friend,

When Victorianists party they party like it is 1847. No, but seriously. Look:10712744_10203285148109372_1483623819890750599_n

That’s Charles Darwin, Jane Eyre, Mr. Rochester, Miss Havisham, and a charming Oriental rug someone apparently just shot. Or William Blake’s Tyger, Tyger burning bright (but don’t tell her that). And this was Halloween. There was the bromance that never was: Freud and Darwin…16113_10203285153229500_3911115029277393240_nDarwin and his cats… just go with it. 10404492_10203276812020975_1197757689808479672_nCome to think of it that might be Hemingway and his cats. Anyway, first Halloween was a Victorian extravaganza. With some cats. Second Halloween was a little more varied, costume-wise. 10517473_10204120849794925_882735551528779596_nBut ultimately still extremely literary. What can I say? Every lit major has to be Daisy Buchanan at least once a year.10615545_10203282715728564_6116740326876093194_nI am going to petition the world for at least one more Halloweekend a year. I didn’t even get to wear my velvet cloak for this one. I hope you all had equally fantastic Halloweens and will have a very good Guy Fawkes day (start setting up those dominoes now. It takes forever) Happy Monday!