Wednesday, February 27, 2008

don't wake me; i plan on sleeping

The Oscars! The Film Experience Blog pretty much captures my feelings about it. It was an international year, with all the acting awards going to (deserving) Europeans for small movies that nobody saw, so, naturally, I was happy. There was no Crash this year, or even a bloated, self-important genre picture like Dreamgirls or the Departed, to suck up some of the valuable energy and even-more-valuable awards.

The women generally looked like they had all received a memo from Gil Gates to participate in a virtual checkers match: half were black and half were red. My favorite from the red team was Her Majesty the Queen, Helen Mirren. I had no favorites from the black team. They were dull as dirt, even adorable little Juno MacGuff.

I was giggling at some of Jon Stewart's lines for a while: who, after all, can resist a good Gaydolph Tittler joke? He seemed to find himself pretty funny, too, or at least he seemed amused by the whole evening's endeavor, even as he was Trying more than he did in '06 to play the game. He was responsible for my single favorite moment of the evening, when he brought Marketa Irglova back onstage to give her short, eloquent speech about dreams.

Which brings me to the subtext of the evening. Barack Obama! Everyone was harping on "dreams" and "change," and what with the various languages and accents issuing from the microphone it really seemed to be his night.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Post Brooklyn hipster haircut, I have a new celebrity doppelganger! We are not quite twins, as she is a blonde. (Also she is a mother and grieving ex-girlfriend and she's probably taller too.)

I'm finally catching my breath a bit having hosted 3 friends over the last 2 weekends and celebrated a V-Day and an anniversary. The last included good food and a trip to the Natural History museum where we had the following conversation:

E: How did they figure out what the speed of light is again?
B: I don't know. It must say here somewhere ...
E: (after fruitless searching) That's okay. I'll just go home and look it up on Wikipedia!

I also rounded out my viewing of the Best Picture contenders. I enjoyed and appreciated There Will Be Blood, which I thought was on a par with, and eerily similar to, the Coens' No Country For Old Men. Mysterious American monsters! The untamed West! The pointlessness of everything! Search for money, search for god, search for justice -- it all comes out in the wash. TWBB was less scary, more grim, and made me laugh out loud at points, while NCFOLM was concise and terse. Neither passed the Ms. test but both were interesting and intelligent enough that I didn't really mind.

Still, for my money the best movie of 2007 was 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days, which brilliantly captured life under a fascist regime that renders the smallest personal decisions needless complex and potentially life-threatening. If only the Academy, not to mention public opinion, didn't value men killing each other over women doing anything.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

did i mention ... ?

"Dear Ester,

Our records indicate that you have submitted an application for the 324 Creative Writing - Fiction, M.F.A. for Fall 2008.

Your application is currently being reviewed by your graduate program. Please allow 14-21 business days for a decision.


1. Admissions will notify you of the decision on your application via mail.
2. Continue to check your application status for further updates."

14-21 business days! Yikes. It would be a part-time thing since I am currently quite happy with my secret internet full-time job, but a part-time thing I'd be excited about. The program hosts Michael Cunningham AND Myla Goldberg and it's a really good deal, money-wise. Starting April 1, I will live even closer to it too. Well, we will see. I'm practicing being calm about everything. If it happens, great; if it doesn't, then I'll gear up to finish my second draft on my own, sans guru.

Basically I'm trying to pretend, in a godless universe, that there is a god who will guide my path if I allow it. Anything to help me relax.

Meanwhile, happy distractions abound. Obama's winning more primaries, I just saw Eddie Izzard's new show live in Union Square, and my swatfriends keep rolling in. Two last weekend, including one all the way from Seattle, and another this coming weekend. The one from Seattle and I basically spent the two days holed up in my apartment laughing. Not a bad way to plow through time.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

apartment apartment apartment

We are $6000 poorer but one rental apartment richer. Starting April 1, you must come over and live in our backyard, because did I mention we have a backyard? And a washer-dryer that's ours, just ours? Free laundry -- now that's worth $6000, just by itself.

I'm feeling nostalgic about Brooklyn Heights already. You've been a lovely neighborhood, Brooklyn Heights, or, as I've called you, Barely Brooklyn, or One-Foot-in -Manhattan Brooklyn. Still, I feel like we've taken full advantage of you. We've eaten at your restaurants, even the overpriced ones on Henry St. and the aggressively mediocre ones on Montague; we've crossed and recrossed the Brooklyn Bridge; we've watched the fireworks from the promenade. We've prayed in your one small Conservative synagogue. We've paid homage to the scattered statues of neighborhood hero Henry Ward Beecher. We've pointed out the Statue of Liberty to visitors and mooned over the beauty of the brownstones, and now it's time to move on.

Farewell, happy peaceful bourgeois neighborhood! Farewell, Egyptian greengrocer who knows our names and once asked me if I was Jewish and then, later, whether Jews were allowed to celebrate Thanksgiving. Farewell, Sahadi's and Perelandra! Farewell, kind neighbor with whom we share wireless internet and occasionally access to cable TV! You've been good to us and we'll miss you.

Hello, Target, Beacon's Closet, Oko, and to having more than one room! Hello, doors! Doors EVERYWHERE. I'm going to spend the first couple weeks opening and closing them just for the sheer wanton hell of it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

musical interlude II

To cleanse your palette of that vulgarity, here's some straight up inspiration.

This is why my heart trills for the man, and this is why my father dismisses him. He, my mother, and my uncle, all of them Clintonians, mocked me all weekend for being a naif. Obama, my father said, memorably, is the candidate of Unitarians, vegetarians, and college professors. He's a Hope-peddler! Maybe he's right. Still, how can you resist the call?

Friday, February 01, 2008

musical interlude

As I go off to my friend Tara Leigh's book release party for some wholesome fun, and then to my grandma's sure-to-be-awkward 95th birthday celebration this weekend, I leave you with the latest from Sarah Silverman.

No one has ever made [bleep!]ing Matt Damon such fun.

ETA: I don't think I made this clear enough. Tara Leigh's book is smart and insightful and funny and it made me cry on the subway even though I'd read the whole manuscript before. Of all my friends, she's one of the ones I'm proudest of. You should totally buy her book. Also, I'M IN IT. I'm a character in someone else's narrative! It's surreal yet awesome.