Archive for July, 2012

Driving home from the mall I cross the Potomac River and feel … chastened.  Sometimes there are people fishing.  Often there are herons.  Always there are trees and rocks and water.

The Potomac River near the bridge I cross.

Riding shotgun with me in the car is a bag with a jacket inside — a gorgeous red-orange canvas jacket that I’m looking forward to wearing this fall.  I do not need this jacket.  I have plenty of jackets.  But I bought it just the same.

Crossing the Potomac makes me think about (more…)


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My beloved spouse has always been a big fan of the Olympics.  I’m more of a newcomer to their glory.  But for the nearly ten years that we’ve been together I’ve really gotten into the last four Olympic Games.

Fittingly, the first I watched (with him, of course) were the Athens games.  I’m still entranced by the beauty of their opening ceremony and wish all of them could be so classic — and so classy.  (All I remember of Turin, sadly, were cows on roller skates.)

A salute from ancient Greeks during the Athens opening ceremony.

But this year things are different — two things — our 17-month-old twins.  We’ve been so deep in Twinland that I didn’t even know the Olympics were happening until about a week ago.  And even though my beloved spouse and I had set a date to watch the opening ceremony last night, he was at the grocery store and I was in the laundry room (and the twins were blissfully asleep) when they started.  When I finally clicked on NBC, a huge evil puppet was terrorizing a little girl in bed.  WTF?? (more…)

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After watching less than two hours of The Bachelorette this summer I have hatched a theory about what American women need in terms of men.  This theory sprang fully formed — as if out of the head of Zeus — while I watched the second-to-last episode, which gave a preview of Emily’s agonized decision in the big finale.

Athena springing from the head of Zeus.

(These “next time on The Bachelor” previews that condense the most dramatic, emotional and often deranged action, largely edited out of context, are my favorite part of the show.  I imagine it’s like shooting heroin instead of smoking it.  Or, for more tame folk like myself, eating a real Cheeto after snacking on your toddler’s Happy Munchies organic cheddar and carrot snacks.)

The preview clip showed a tormented Emily who appeared to be unable to choose between the two finalists, Arie and Jef.  To me, Arie seemed (more…)

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The Bookmill is a used bookstore in a old mill in Montague, Massachusetts. Its motto is “Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.” And it’s true! But it’s well worth the search.

The Bookmill

Once there you’ll find “thousands of books, on just about everything from Austen and anarchy to Zola and zoology,” according to their website, and, they claim, “if we can’t find the book you’re looking for, we’ll find you a better one you didn’t know you wanted.”

Inside the Bookmill

You’ll also find lots of cozy reading nooks, a collection of quirky cards and journals, some tote bags, t-shirts and mugs with the Bookmill’s motto on them, and maybe a friendly dog or two.

And then there’s (more…)

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I saw War Horse last night.  Wasn’t this movie supposed to be a big Oscar winner?  Phew!  My review can be summed up in this phrase: tear and jeer.

War Horse

What made me tear:

Annoyingly, almost every minor dramatic moment.  Spielberg is a master manipulator — of your emotions, that is.  Slap a John Williams score onto a horse dragging an artillery gun up a muddy hill and I’m teary in spite of myself.

What made me jeer:

When that same horse looks back to his nearly-fallen comrade-in-harness with a look of such inflated horsey compassion that I’m scoffing at the treacly sentiment while rolling those same teary eyes.

Hence: tear and jeer.

Also of note, and potentially jeer-worthy: (more…)

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Stephen King, WTF?

I started reading the Dark Tower series because I saw the most recent volume, The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel, on my library’s shelf.

The cover was intriguing and I had run the limit of the Game of Thrones series so I thought, why not?  But I’ll not skip ahead — I’ll start at the beginning, with The Gunslinger.

Well.  I was drawn in by the character of the Gunslinger but kept resisting what felt like the triteness of the story — chasing the man in black across the desert only to find that (more…)

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I’m between hairstyles right now, and I don’t like it.  I seem to either have really long hair or pretty short hair (between ear and chin) but not shoulder-length hair, which is what I’m sporting now.  But “sporting” is the wrong verb.  “Sporting” sounds, well, sporty.  It smacks of intentionality and enjoyment.  Right now my hair smacks of blah.

To be fair, it’s been a long time since I’ve had it cut, trimmed or shaped.  I don’t remember when it was but I know the weather was chilly.  Early spring?  Winter?  Late fall?  All possible.  I asked for a cut that would grow out smoothly and I guess it has.  (I wear it up most of the time, so it’s hard to tell.)

But now my hair is restless.  It understood that it needed to take a back seat to more important things, like baby twins and sleep and sanity.  Maybe it’s this hot and humid summer we’ve been having but as of July my hair has been in revolt.  It’s throwing fits.  It wants attention.  In another ten days (more…)

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