Monthly Archives

February 2014

The Sexiest Sport in All of France

February 28, 2014

05ca3f5b14ec037c8790787c1aea3ef6So I never cared at all about speed typing. I have typed on a typewriter for fun a couple of times and I appreciate the semi-hipster use of typewriters in modern day by some authors. But nothing like that vague appreciation prepared me to discover that speed typing used to be the sexiest sport around. Well, at least according to Populaire, a French film starring Romain Duris, Deborah Francois, and Berenice Bejo. The movie is about Rose Pamphyle, a girl whose ambition is to be a secretary so that she can lift herself out of the provincial life she is tired of. Her father owns a shop and sells, among other things, typewriters. Rose sneaks down at night and carefully and quietly practices on the one in the window. The movie is set in 1958 when learning how to type was the way a woman could get a job and become independent, and Rose has the attractive quality of getting what she sets her mind to.

Rose in rose.

Rose in rose.

She interviews for a job with attractive businessman Louis Echard and impresses him with her ability to type ridiculously fast. He gives her the job and tells her she can keep it (she’s a pretty terrible secretary) only if she enters speed typing competitions and allows him to train her. From there on its a hilarious, cute, sexy, dramatic, exciting, and genuinely wonderful movie. I suggest it wholeheartedly for these reasons: It is on Netflix and thus is easy to watch, it is in French but is extremely easy to follow so you can feel both cultured and not-confused, and it’s insanely enjoyable.


February 25, 2014

Dear Reader,

Today is music Tuesday and I have some great news for you. You will be singing this song for the rest of the week.

This is Pentatonix, a five person a cappella group who post videos of their covers onto YouTube periodically, tour around the world, and have put out two albums that you can find on iTunes.

They cover a lot of chart topping hits and tend to stay fairly current with their music. I was introduced to them a little over a year ago by my lovely roommate and given the opportunity to see them in concert in Ithaca. It was the best concert I have ever been to. They are young and charming and personable. They are also wildly talented. I encourage everyone to check them out, as they are a really great group to get to know if you are a fan of genuinely talented singing. In a world of auto tuning, they are talented people who sound just as good on the stage in front of you as they do singing out from your headphones. The video above is one of my favorite of their covers and the one below is their most recent, and my new favorite. Check them out on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and probably more besides.

Burberry Spring 2014

February 24, 2014

Dear Reader,

It is Monday. I need to be thinking about something pretty and sweet. So today I am going to follow the color theme of my blog and overload you with pastels, which is what Burberry Prorsum is doing this Spring. In the February Vogue, in which Lena Dunham so charmingly wears Burberry on the cover, Burberry laid out their theme for Spring in all its Easter egg beauty. Dolce and Gabbana has long been known for their beautiful lace dresses, but lace has become a theme of Spring in general and Burberry will not be left out of the trend. Some of the pieces also combine lace with another Spring 2014 theme that I like to call sparkly wonderfulness. These pieces are intricate and beautiful and undoubtedly well made. I can’t afford to touch the hem of a single one of them, but I hope to add something similar to my collection when I do my spring shopping. One of the things I love the most about these is the way the color is used. Although the pieces are done in mostly pastels, the colors are rich and in no way something you would normally find in your average nursery. So here are some of my favorites (including some killer shoes). Enjoy! Get inspired!

Ballet and Absinthe

February 22, 2014

Dear Reader,

Last night I went to one of the first performances of Boston Ballet’s production, Close to Chuck. The performance is comprised of three mostly unconnected acts. The first, Close to Chuck, is loosely based upon the work of portrait painter Chuck Close. The other two acts, Resonances and Bella Figura, are both focused on the perception of the human body and the perfection of its shadow self. Resonances was particularly beautiful through its use of lighting and shadow and Bella Figura through the way that the black stage curtains were incorporated into the performance. One scene in which a ballerina was naked from the waist up in front of the curtain with the arms of the other dancers embracing and lifting her from behind it, absolutely blew me away. All in all the performance was a very modern and stirring one. The dancers were talented to the point of bringing me to tears with a single gesture and causing my comrades and I to swear to attend the next performance. And the next. And probably the one after that. 
So the point of all this is that if you are looking for a fairly inexpensive way to spend a classy evening (my ticket was $37 and our seats were fantastic), this is my advice. Grab a ticket to Close to Chuck or, in the future, to Cinderella, Pricked, or Jewels and enjoy two hours or so of very talented people doing incredibly difficult and beautiful things. After the performance I recommend a trip to Stoddard’s- a bar just around the corner from the theatre that has a basement you will swear is actually a speakeasy. Their French 75s are delicious and they have at least three drinks on their creative menu that include absinthe. 
If you are not Boston-local, well plan a trip 🙂 It’ll be worth your while I promise.
For a review of the performance check out Review-Boston Globe
For tickets check out

Tracy K. Smith

February 20, 2014

Dear Reader,

It’s Thursday, and I have decided that Thursday is going to be book suggestion day. 
Tonight at BC I am going to hear Tracy K. Smith read. Smith is a poet who won the Pulitzer Prize for her collection Life on Mars. I studied the book in my Contemporary American Poetry class last semester and we all talked a lot about Smith’s abstract space theme. She has poems about science fiction, David Bowie, and what it like to feel like to be a martian. It is accessible but that doesn’t mean it isn’t difficult. I struggled with getting in to it at first, attempting to make perfect sense of poetry that is often more sensual than sensible. Regardless, I encourage you all to read some of her work and in order to get you started:

The Universe As Primal Scream

5 PM on the nose. They open their mouths.
And it rolls out: high, shrill and metallic.
First the boy, then his sister. Occasionally,
They both let loose at once, and I think
Of putting on my shoes to go up and see
Whether it is merely an experiment
Their parents have been conducting
Upon the good crystal, which must surely
Lie shattered to dust on the floor.

Maybe the mother is still proud
Of the four pink lungs she nursed
To such might. Perhaps, if they hit
The magic decibel, the whole building
Will lift-off, and we’ll ride to glory
Like Elijah. If this is it–if this is what
Their cries are cocked toward–let the sky
Pass from blue, to red, to molten gold,
To black. Let the heaven we inherit approach.

Whether it is our dead in Old Testament robes,
Or a door opening onto the roiling infinity of space.
Whether it will bend down to greet us like a father,
Or swallow us like a furnace. I’m ready
To meet what refuses to let us keep anything
For long. What teases us with blessings,
Bends us with grief. Wizard, thief, the great
Wind rushing to knock our mirrors to the floor,
To sweep our short lives clean. How mean

Our racket seems beside it. My stereo on shuffle.
The neighbor chopping onions through a wall.
All of it just a hiccough against what may never
Come for us. And the kids upstairs still at it,
Screaming like the Dawn of Man, as if something
They have no name for has begun to insist
Upon being born.

-Tracy K. Smith
Life On Mars