Monday, November 26, 2012

Short Post and a Song #29: I wouldn't advise picking us for your Ultimate Frisbee team.

Dan of La Mancha after I tossed him a shirt: "You throw like a girl." Pause. "Which is good, because I throw like a slightly more athletic girl."


“Skyfall” by Adele

I finally got around to seeing the latest Bond flick over Thanksgiving weekend. I adored pretty much everything about it (especially you, Judi Dench, you classy old Dame. See what I did there? Oh, us), but my favorite part was most definitely the visually stunning title sequence. Daniel Kleinman outdid himself this time and guaranteed that no one else will ever design a James Bond title sequence ever again.

(Right, MGM? Right?? I’m game to pretend that Quantum of Solace never happened if you are.)

The sequence wouldn’t be complete without this haunting Adele song, which suits perhaps the most ominous Bond title sequence beautifully.

P.S. This is a day late due to Thanksgiving festivities at home in Ohio with the family. More nifty bars and stores have opened in my hometown in the past year and they have further convinced me that there is a direct correlation between how cool Wooster is and how many years I spend away from it. I don’t really know how to feel about that. Did I stunt your coolness, Wooster? How cool would Brooklyn be without me? Is my mere presence depriving Brooklyn of bike lanes on every street and coffee shops in the lobbies of every apartment building?

Watch out for me come December, Wooster. I’m spending a whole two weeks in you and I’m gonna uncool you so hard.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Dear Rude Subway Girl,

Your hair feels like corn silk. I’m sorry, that was a weird way to start this letter. But really, my hair has never felt that soft. Considering your Burberry coat and classy boots that were most definitely NOT bought at Payless (even though they have great boots there at reasonable prices, but whatever, lady), I assume you can afford to spend the equivalent of my rent on hair care products.

I know that you don’t feel this way, but it is your fault that I know how your hair feels. Maybe you think you’re above touching the germ-infested subway pole with your fancy lady hands—or maybe you just mistook the pole for your model friend, Heather. Perhaps in the movie of your life that you construct in your head, you are a more interesting and intriguing individual because you wind your arms around the subway pole rather than hold it with a single hand like everyone else.

Your perception of yourself.

But the fact is that on a crowded subway, the pole can serve as a substitute seat for about six people. It keeps us steady while the train veers this way and that. In a packed car overflowing with ladies with strollers, college kids lugging suitcases, and elderly dudes with canes, how can you think that the subway pole belongs to only you: A twenty-something girl carrying nothing but a comically small purse?

Everyone else's perception of you.

I’ve met your kind before. And I’ll have you know that I didn’t allow them to rob me of a pole to hold during my forty-minute ride. I’ve rested my knuckles against the backs of men fatter and smellier than you.

So I held that pole in defiance, bringing my fingers in close contact with your Burberried shoulder and your soft, soft locks. You gave me a dismayed expression, like I was the one being unreasonable here, and refused to loosen your vice-like grip on the pole. But I was happy to stare you down and wear your hair like a silky glove the whole way home.

You didn’t say or do much before you got off the train at Broadway-Lafayette—you mostly just looked progressively more and more annoyed that I was invading your personal space. But I hope I got through to you, just a little bit. I hope you realized that, wow, I’m making this pole really hard for even just one other person to hold—maybe I should rethink my selfish pole-hogging behavior.

Remember, New York can be disconcertingly small when it comes to the MTA—this probably isn’t the last we’ve seen of each other. And if I catch you hogging that pole again, I will be more than happy to make your life very, very mildly awkward for the next forty minutes.

You’ve been warned.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Short Post and a Song #28: I'm also weeping.

Every so often I decide I should be a responsible adult and learn more about finance. 

Hours later my browser is overflowing with tabs, I’m considering canceling all of my bank accounts, and I still have no idea what the fuck a "credit default swap" is.


“Folsom Prison Blues” by Johnny Cash

Dah-na-na Na-Na NAH-NAH! Dah-na-na Na-Na NAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!! Dah-na-na Na-Na NAH-NAH! Dah-na-na Na-Na NAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!

My sincerest apologies for what the surrounding populace has to endure whenever my presence and this song collide. 

Because I will obnoxiously sing along with that guitar riff in nonsense words every time. 

P.S. I'm posting this on Saturday instead of Sunday because I have lots of work to do to tomorrow. Like Sunday, Saturday also begins with the letter "S" and therefore "Short Post and a Song" is as cohesive as it has ever been, AKA not at all. 

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Short Post and a Song #27: A PSA for my weather-challenged New York bros

Considering the weird weather we’ve been having lately, here’s a little PSA to my fellow New Yorkers from a former Midwesterner:

Tornado: Basement good
Hurricane: Basement bad

You’re welcome.


“Sleeping Lessons” by The Shins

I became obsessed with this song a few years ago since it went well with a scene I was writing at the time. In the scene, a girl was painting. “Sleeping Lessons” is still one of my all-time favorite Shins songs so I decided to feature it today, and watched the music video for the very first time. And the video is of a girl painting! The song’s not about painting and yet The Shins (or whoever makes their music video decisions) and I both associated the song with it. It's not tough to understand why when you listen to the lyrics. "Sleeping Lessons" is about throwing off the previous generation's rigid ideas and following your own way, and a paintbrush can be a great tool for doing just that.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Short Post and a Song #26: Feminist Shame

I love to sing along to Ray Charles but whenever I get to the "She knows a woman's place is right there in her home" part of "I Got a Woman," I always pretend to forget the words in feminist shame. 


“Save Me” by Aimee Mann

I watched the movie Magnolia for the first time recently and loved it. It was even worth the lifelong frog phobia I’ll probably have from now on. I came across this Aimee Mann video, which Wikipedia tells me was filmed along with the rest of the film.

The collaboration between P.T. Anderson and Aimee Mann is so apparent in watching Magnolia—the songs fit the scenes so well that they define each just as much as the actors’ performances. Often Mann’s songs play over the dialogue, delivering a better explanation for what’s going on in the scene than words ever could.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

This isn't a real post; it's a post-Zombie Apocalypse update. (Shut up. Hurricane Sandy may be as close as I ever get. Don't ruin this for me.)

Hey my Velocininjas. In case any of you were concerned about my well-being in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, I just wanted to let you kids know that all is well. Danseph and the Amazing Technocolored Dreamcoat and I have been hanging out in Brooklyn for the past week, him mostly playing computer games, and me watching Friday Night Lights and wishing I could've knocked on Coach and Tami Taylor's door whenever I had problems in high school. 

The worst consequence of the storm for me has been the inability to enter Manhattan. Some of the subways are running again but every point of entry from my neck of Brooklyn is blocked. I only go into the office part-time but it has still been strange spending an entire week on the other side of the East River. 

I probably should have spent this past week catching up on the blog and reading, but I've been reading so much these days I think I'm starting to go cross-eyed. So instead I've been doing some super-secret book-writing, and caring more about imaginary football than I have ever cared about the real thing.

For right now I am focusing more on my book than I am on the blog, and that's not likely to change anytime soon. I'm halfway through a few non-book related posts that I'll slap up here once I've finished them. And I'll keep doing my Short Post and a Song each Sunday. But otherwise there will be less activity on here for the next few months. There's always a certain point in the process of writing a story where I fall pretty hard into it, and writing it is all I want to do. That's where I am at the moment. I hope you'll undertand. I should come back from the book-writing trenches with plenty of advice for you budding writers out there.

Thank you for your patience. I hope everyone's doing well in wake of the storm, and if you're not doing okay I hope you got to see some people kayaking in the streets, because if you don't have power in your apartment you should at least get to see cool shit like that.