Friday, August 22, 2014

An Introvert's Heart Wants What It Wants

So perfect. I love the Bay of Magazines, always and forever.




Friday, August 1, 2014

Tuning In



At least twice a week, I find myself sitting in my car in front of my home or in my parking garage at work listening to the end of a story on NPR. And at least five times a week, I find myself tearing up at the reporting, whether it be about war or love or death or just a prime example of human kindness.

Yesterday's Ari Shapiro piece on Sarajevo was beautiful. It was short and plainly reported (I'd maybe call it unassuming), but that added to the impact of the subject's words. We were given a small glance into Ella Pinto's life, who, among other things, is a survivor of the Holocaust.  Last month, she traveled from Israel with her son and daughter-in-law to visit the place where she grew up, a bruised Sarajevo, and the words she spoke to Ari's translator at the end of the report struck a chord with me.

"We need to let them know what we lived through so they will understand why peace is important."

Pinto's life is full of moments that should be shared.  Such a perfect example of why public radio is so important.


P.S. I love when Ari Shapiro is reporting from faraway lands, but love it just as much when he's co-hosting All Things Considered.


Photo courtesy of Ari Shapiro's Instagram feed
Quote from NPR

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Typecast much?


 
I watched Girl Most Likely over the weekend and even though I'd give it a solid B-, it wasn't as good as I expected. At first, I thought that I didn't love it because of the farcical ending.  But then I realized that I had a very similar reaction to the movie, Bridesmaids, which was a film that didn't thrill me even though it got rave reviews.  Kristen Wiig plays basically the same character is both of these movies: mid-thirties, failed career, failed love life, eventually winds up living in her mother's home with no end in sight.

Okay, so generally no real issue with that (how many times has Katherine Heigl or James Marsden played similar characters in subsequent movies?). My problem is that these films are toted as comedies when they clearly are not pure comedy. I think they toe the line of dramedy at best. Sure, all the ladies in Bridesmaids wind up pooping while in expensive bridal wear but there's never any mention of the mental breakdown of Kristen Wiig's character.  In Girl Most Likely, the main character fakes her own suicide to get her uninterested boyfriend back.  Just because Wiig is quirky and these movies are ironic doesn't mean that they should automatically be classified as comedies.  Perhaps people won't go to a movie starring Kristen Wiig unless it's a comedy.

That being said, there are some memorable moments in Girl Most Likely: Darren Criss as a Backstreet Boy impersonator is great as is Annette Bening in the typical 'mom' role, although I think she is great in pretty much anything.  Also, the scene where Kristen Wiig's character, Imogene, wakes up in a casino parking lot in Atlantic City, still dressed in her johnnycoat from the psych ward, and walks into said casino searching for her gambling mother was pretty entertaining.  As someone who grew up in a family of gamblers, this rang true to me.

I'm excited to see The Skeleton Twins with Wiig and Bill Hader coming out in September, although this serious movie has a semi-uplifting trailer. I think it's time to embrace Kristen Wiig's ability for dramatic roles--who's with me?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Effects of Little Women

Without fail, I always cry when Beth dies in Little Women. Seriously, how can you not cry?

Also, I tear up when Jo refuses Laurie, and then again when Jo finds out that Laurie married Amy.  It just seems so unfair.

Don't judge.




Monday, June 2, 2014

Books: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell



You know how sometimes you see the cover of a book and you know right then that you want to read it?  I felt that way when I saw the front of Rainbow Rowell's Eleanor & Park but it's been unavailable at the library for some time (and it probably will be for a while). Last week, I saw her first novel, Attachments, shelved in the adult 'Fiction' section at the bookstore and decided to buy it. I proceeded to read it in less than two days. Can you tell that I liked it?

Attachments has such a fun narrative, and no matter how flawed Rowell's characters are, they're just so damn likeable. Their feelings and actions throughout the book are true to real life in so many ways.  Plus, the book takes place during the Y2K 'crisis' (did you kind of forget about that because I definitely did) and it's really accurate with regard to the pop culture references, technology trends, and preoccupations from a decade ago.

Confession: I want to spend more time with these people, ahem, characters. I can totally see myself going to the movies with Beth, who's a film critic for the local paper in the book. And Lincoln? Even though he does a few questionable things, he reads like a dream throughout the book--sensitive, caring, smart and good-looking?! Personally, I'm already married to my own Lincoln but there's still a ton of appeal with this guy.  If I met any these characters at a party or at a coffeeshop, I'd want to be friends with them for sure.

So yeah, read Attachments.  As for Eleanor & Park, I'll probably wind up buying a copy. I mean, I don't normally shy away from fighting the pre-teens to get on the E&P library waitlist but if it's anything like Attachments, I'll be happy to have a copy in my bookcase after I read it. xo



Image courtesy of Rainbow Rowell's site

Friday, May 30, 2014

Babyrama

Lately, I feel like everyone I know has a baby and last weekend, Anthony and I saw all of those people. It was a three-day baby parade but luckily, the kids were adorable and well-behaved; we were able to hold them and play with them and then leave them with their parents. Not a bad deal.


And on top of that, we just found out my sister-in-law is having a girl. Another little lady to add to our crazy family. It's an understatement to say that we're excited for her arrival in October. xo

Friday, May 9, 2014

Meaning




Yesterday when I came across this New York Times article on heirloom wedding rings, I felt my stomach pulse a bit.  My own wedding band is a ring that my grandmother gave to me less than a year before she passed away.  It's one of my most treasured belongings.

The ring wasn't actually my grandmother's originally. It was given to her mother, my great-grandmother, by my great-grandfather on their 25th wedding anniversary.  When they first married, he didn't have money to buy her a ring with a diamond so he wanted to get her a fancier one after all those years.  Eventually, she gave it to my grandmother, one of her four daughters.

I'll admit that I was hesitant to take the ring at first. My grandmother wore this ring every day--as she grew older and her fingers more frail, she even added several layers of tape to the bottom of it so that it fit tighter and she wouldn't worry about losing it. Taking it from her made me feel like I was stealing her favorite possession.  But after several back-and-forths, I agreed and she looked so relieved that I instantaneously felt guilty for not taking it as soon as she offered.

This article definitely focuses more on the money saved when using a family heirloom or vintage ring, but that really wasn't a factor for us. This ring had been loved by people that I loved and who had long, happy marriages;  that's a pretty solid foundation if you ask me.

And now for my favorite part of the ring: it's engraved inside with my great-grandparents' initials and the date that the ring was gifted. It's so tiny that you can barely see it on the rounded surface, and it's  nearly impossible to make out the actual words. My grandmother had worn the ring for years and never noticed the message.  When Anthony and I took the ring to be sized, the goldsmith casually asked, "Do you want to keep the engraving?" We said yes, obviously.

A few of my friends have been judgey about my wedding band choice. They think I should have bought a bigger ring, a fancier ring, or a ring without any history (also referred to as the hideously-named 'virgin rings').  I've never regretted my decision though. Family and marriage are continuums. I'm reminded of that every time I look down at my hand.




Photo credit: New York Times