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Archive for May, 2012

I’m reading a new book — a fairy tale, of sorts — and even though I’m not finished, I feel compelled to write about it: Mr. Fox by the enchantingly-named Helen Oyeyemi.

 

The story is about a writer, Mr. Fox, and his muse, Mary Foxe.  Miss Foxe is upset that Mr. Fox keeps killing off his heroines and challenges him to join her in stories of her own making.  Each chapter tells a different story — “real” or imagined, it’s sometimes difficult to tell.  But the individual stories are as fascinating as the frame story.  About a third of the way into the book Mr. Fox’s wife Daphne becomes involved.  Will he have to choose between the mortal woman he married and the muse who has saved his life?  I can’t wait to find out … and yet I keep lingering over each page so that I don’t finish this book too quickly.

Another, older set of fairy tales I greatly admire is (more…)

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I was at a party this weekend where I only knew one other person.  One-and-a-half people really — I knew my friend’s husband — a little bit — by sight, anyway.  It was a small party and I was late so I had to walk into a room of established relationships (even if some of those relationships had only been established in the past hour).  So I dithered in the kitchen over the food (homemade barbeque (North Carolina style), fresh corn salad, spring onions with rice, roasted vegetables, coleslaw and guacamole — all the more delicious since I didn’t make any of it myself!).  Then I went in and sat down.

After the introductions, extreme self-consciousness set in.  I remembered (too late) how shy I get in groups.  Most of the guests were younger than me and were talking about things that were only peripheral to my life these days — cafes to visit (I only go to those within walking distance — with the twins in their stroller), meals to make (I spend most of my time in the kitchen cutting bananas into slices then quarters for tiny hands and half-toothed mouths), classes to take (I’m lucky to watch something educational on PBS before nodding off), grapes to pickle (see banana slicing above) …

(more…)

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I was at a party this weekend where I only knew one other person.  One-and-a-half people really — I knew my friend’s husband — a little bit — by sight, anyway.  It was a small party and I was late so I had to walk into a room of established relationships (even if some of those relationships had only been established in the past hour).  So I dithered in the kitchen over the food (homemade barbeque (North Carolina style), fresh corn salad, spring onions with rice, roasted vegetables, coleslaw and guacamole — all the more delicious since I didn’t make any of it myself!).  Then I went in and sat down.

After the introductions, extreme self-consciousness set in.  I remembered (too late) how shy I get in groups.  Most of the guests were younger than me and were talking about things that were only peripheral to my life these days — cafes to visit (I only go to those within walking distance — with the twins in their stroller), meals to make (I spend most of my time in the kitchen cutting bananas into slices then quarters for tiny hands and half-toothed mouths), classes to take (I’m lucky to watch something educational on PBS before nodding off), grapes to pickle (see banana slicing above) …

(more…)

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I’ve been back from New York for a few days now but I’m trying to keep that feeling of being … away.

Sometimes I feel like Tantalus — the ancient Greek who was punished for some transgression by being confined to a specific scenario in hell: he is sitting in a pool of water below a branch of fruit, agonized with hunger and thirst — but every time he puts his mouth down to drink or his hand up to reach, the water and fruit elude him.

And I just looked up what Tantalus did to deserve such a fate: while a guest at Zeus’s table he stole ambrosia and was planning on sharing it with mankind, thus revealing the secrets of the gods.  So he overreached and was punished by never being able to grasp what he desired … what he needed.

Ouch.

So my life isn’t that bad — not by any means!  But (more…)

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I did it.  I went to see the Cindy Sherman retrospective at the MoMA — and I’m so glad I did.  I’m also glad I took a long train ride and looked out the window,

ate pricey-but-tasty bruschetta and soup at the museum cafe,

shopped (mostly window-) along Fifth Avenue,

and wore cute boots that left me only a little bit footsore at the end of the day.

It rained the whole time but I didn’t care.

The exhibit was terrific.  If you have any kind of interest in Cindy Sherman (more…)

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For Mother’s Day my beloved spouse got me the book Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills.

In many ways this is a completely normal gift — I’ve always loved Cindy Sherman (well, except maybe her vomit-scapes, but overall: very much).  But in one way it feels odd.  Cindy Sherman — for Mother’s Day.  It’s not that Cindy Sherman was or wasn’t a mother — it’s that she embodies so many different people.

The bulk of Sherman’s work is (more…)

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In an earlier post (about the sublime book/exhibit Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty) I said that my style was beat — as in the Beat Generation.  Jeans, boots, t-shirts — nothing fancy or frilly.  But “beat” wasn’t quite right.  Then a friend told me about the blog Tomboy Style and I thought, this could be it.

For a long time — though my late 20s and into my 30s — I  liked what I called a “kiddish” element to my look.  I came up with “kiddish” because of some confusion a friend had when I asked her if she thought I dressed too young.  Young to her meant sexy and there’s no way my kiddishness was sexy.  Exhibit A: little Keen sneakers.

(Not sexy.)

So I retired my little Keen sneakers, but I kept my Converse.

(I persuaded myself that these look more European than kiddish.)

My rule now, though, is (more…)

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