Saturday, February 27, 2010

So today I got the itch to knit. I haven't knit anything in a few months, I think. To be accurate, I had the itch a few days ago, but then discovered (after a long trek downtown) that my favorite yarn shop doesn't open till noon. So I went back today with the baby in tow. He was sleeping.

The beautiful colors of the yarn, and its nice soft texture (though some skeins are scratchy, I just don't buy those ones) make me happy. The whole place is like a knitter's fantasy. The skeins are all piled up high on the shelves and look good enough to eat.

I got a skein of this to make a hat with, and this to make cable mittens with. The hat is in progress.

Also, I read a kind of hipster blog (I say it affectionately) where she talks about Vampire Weekend. I checked them out on iTunes, and I like them. Does anyone else think they sound really similar to Paul Simon's Graceland? Dated reference, I know. Anyway, I now have a few Vampire Weekend tunes on my iPod, though if I were a *real* hipster, I'd have them on vinyl. (Disclaimer: one of my friends always buys vinyl, but he is virulently anti-hipster. I think he is just hearkening back to his youth.)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I just watched Away We Go. I liked it. It took 40 minutes for me to be sure I liked it, but then I was. It had Maya Rudolph and John Krasinski in it, and the screenplay was written by Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida (who is his wife or girlfriend or something, and also a writer). At first it had this hipster veneer that made me feel distant from the characters, but then that sort of fell away. And the music was very nice and acoustic. It's funny, I was considering buying the soundtrack based on the cover and general gestalt when I was in Portland, but didn't. It would have worked out fine, because I ended up liking the music.

Outside, the snow is pouring down. It's the snowiest winter since I moved to New York in 1999 - if not in terms of accumulation, then definitely in terms of frequency. And this time, it doesn't seem to be stopping. I'm a little bit afraid to go outside.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

From the mouths of babes

I was just on the elevator with E, having returned from a trip to Borders, when he started reaching for buttons on the control panel. Then he casually said, "S--t." The witnesses were a woman with a platinum blond pixie cut and her 8-year-old daughter. The woman's eyes widened and she started laughing like it was the funniest thing that had happened to her all week (maybe it was). She said, "Did he just say....? Does he know that word?" I said, "I guess." She said, "I wish I had my recorder."

Well, I'm glad she didn't. Oy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

So, this is really horrible. I'm without a book! At least a good one. I tried The Postmistress and Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. No go. They weren't terrible books, they just weren't for me. So I took a bath (the shower is going to get fixed tomorrow, as long as maintenance can figure out what's wrong with it) and E had great fun plunging empty baby bottles into the bath, filling them and pouring them onto the floor. The place was a little, um, soaked when he was done.

There are many things I can do instead of read, including:
  • go to Macy's to buy new underwear (the elastic is shot)
  • buy groceries
  • buy vitamins
  • faff around on Facebook, which I've already done.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I watched The Hangover today. It was one of those movies that I'm ashamed to admit to liking, yet I laughed hard enough to have tears in my eyes at least once. And, speaking of eyes, Bradley Cooper is easy on them. Hehe. I used to be unsure why Lisa was obsessed with him, but he has definitely grown on me. So, I recommend the movie, though it leaves you a little bit in need of a mental shower.

I just finished The Aqua Net Diaries, a sporadically funny memoir about growing up in the '80s in Richmond, Indiana. I generally love anything '80s but this author was a little too self-satisfied. I wanted a little more introspection and depth. (As I ramble on about Bradley Cooper and the '80s.) Still, I think in a memoir, you need some. The memories of a person who really had no problems are not that interesting.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

So I started reading Elizabeth Gilbert's new book, Committed. I was afraid it wouldn't live up to Eat, Pray, Love, which I did enjoy. Even though EPL was not her first book, it was her first "big" book, so I was afraid Committed would suffer from sophomore slump. Also, I didn't know if a book about marriage would have enough, um, dramatic tension. Have you noticed that most romantic comedies *end* with the wedding?

Anyway, I read the first few pages in the Borders cafe before purchasing, and she has definitely put her own unique stamp on the subject. She writes about her lover, Felipe (all nonfiction, remember), and how he moves from Bali to Philadelphia to be with her. She acknowledges that this is a baffling choice, and goes on to explain that he was sick of living in paradise. She writes:

I will never forget one of the last enchanting evenings that he and I spent together at his cottage there -- sitting outside, barefoot and dewy-skinned from the warm November air, drinking wine and watching a sea of constellations flicker above the rice fields. As the perfumed winds rustled the palm trees and as faint music from a distant temple ceremony floated on the breeze, Felipe looked at me, sighed, and said flatly, "I'm so sick of this s**t. I can't wait to go back to Philly."

That made me giggle.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Hello, internets - it's snowing again. For some reason, Manhattan never manages to accumulate very much, maybe because it's an island; but it sure happens frequently.

I took E to get a haircut yesterday. It was at a place that changed locations, to be further away from me...but still closer than any other kid's haircut place. Many children's things, for lack of a better word, are on the Upper West Side, as if that is the only place where Manhattanites have kids. Because my neighborhood is mostly gay men, we are overlooked.

Anyway, E fell soundly asleep for his first appointment. We're talking REM sleep; the screams of kids getting their hair cut didn't even wake him up. So I brought him back in the afternoon. One of the women there asked, "What movies and TV does he like?" I don't even currently have TV service, but E loves Elmo from books, so I mentioned that, and they put an Elmo DVD on for him. Each hairdressing station had a little screen in front of it. (I know, only in New York.) E said with delight, "EL-MO!" but then they brought out the scissors, and comb, and spray bottle of water, and it was all downhill from there. He screamed through the whole thing, except when the staff sang nursery tunes and we held his hands. The trauma! Finally, it was done and he has a little short cap of curly hair.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Here is a snowman I saw in the yard today:

Monday, February 08, 2010

Portland, Maine

So I liked Maine a lot. Shockingly, it's only 4 degrees colder than here. My friend has an apartment in a Victorian house, and we were able to walk everywhere. The food in Portland is delicious. Apparently, the city has won all kinds of accolades - for livability, food, etc. We saw A Single Man with Colin Firth in it (one of my idols). I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but it was artsy and interesting. Lots of naked men floating underwater. A little random.

For breakfast on Sunday I had pancakes that tasted of cinnamon and their texture was a combination of muffin and doughnut. When I got them, I said, "These are beautiful!" The waitress smiled.

For dinner on Saturday I had a bit too much wine (a sweet Cabernet Sauvignon) and heavenly pizza - gorgonzola, squash and caramelized onions. All good ingredients, but somehow the whole was more than the sum of its parts. I would definitely like to go back. The only drawback is, they only have 2 weeks of summer - in July. On the upside, no need for air conditioning.

Friday, February 05, 2010

So, nursing homes are much more interesting places than you thought they might be. My mom said to me, "Did I tell you about the time I visited Aunt A__ in the nursing home and a man lunged at me from a wheelchair?" Apparently he is known for this. He sidled up next to my mother and asked, "Do you know the football scores?" Then he reached out his hands to grab her. An aide appeared and said, "DANIEL! Don't touch her!" But as soon as the aide's back was turned, he prepared to lunge again. The aide asked, "Did he touch you?" and my mother said, "Not yet."

My mother also has a friend with dementia, who has a boyfriend. Apparently she thinks the boyfriend is her (late) husband and just calls him "honey" and "sweetie." Recently, my mother's friend was hospitalized, and apparently the boyfriend was hitting on other women in the dementia ward.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Last night I finished a trashy Texan saga - Roses by Leila Meacham. I enjoyed it quite a bit, though it started to lag at the end - too much emphasis on the "land." For the most part, it was a cross between Gone with the Wind and The Thorn Birds (multigenerational, but set in the south instead of Australia).

After that, I started The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes. I'm really liking it. I was a little bit burned by her last one, This Charming Man. It was quite long and relentlessly dark, about a physically abusive politician and the women in his life. Also, it didn't ring true. So it's a relief that she's back to her usual witty, sparkling form in this one.