Thursday, September 17, 2009

Things I Love Thursday

[sorry lately i've almost forgotten i have a blog]

+resolving my horrific mosquito problem (via closing the window at night god i can't believe it took me so long)
+earl grey in the morning, orange blossom white tea at night
+making to do/plans lists and crossing things off
+the sound of chalk on blackboards, pens on paper. i think i like lectures way too much for my own good.
+speaking of which: my personality class. it's just about the most interesting lecture i've ever had
+packing satisfying lunches. who knew a sandwich could be so effective?
+reading sex blogs. seriously it's the most fascinating/wonderful thing in the world to me.
+naps, even if they are over slept. a sleep deprived laura can only take so much.
+new episodes of gossip girl, mad men, and glee. they are all so utterly brilliant.
+cute foreign people on the subway. so. so. adorable in their enthusiastic attentiveness.
+smiling at strangers. i know this should be on my list all the time but especially lately, it's more noticeable and wonderful.
+the sweetest missed connection, ever.
+omg let's hyperventilate some more because i will never get enough of FALL. WEATHER.

what about you, lovely readers? it's nearly the weekend and what little (or big) things are bringing you big big smiles?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Are Swans Deceiving Us All?


Camera Obscura-Swans

Sometimes it's a photo, sometimes it's a song. Sometimes it's just that one line (but I'm not afraid to have an eloquent boy at my door.) It's hard to explain, exactly, just that it's a sudden reminder, shocked awake by images and senses of a world that just can't exist.

See, to describe it, capture it, is nearly impossible. But it's this song, played a hundred times, and the enthusiasm that dazzles from its opening lines, the dance and smile that it requires, but then: no surprises in the record collection, you must have thought I was someone else. As with any Camera Obscura song, sentimentalism, loss and a heart tender and offered on pretty melodies and Tracyanne's voice, that hint of mournful regret, dripping from this seemingly cheerful clash of instruments and delight. But it's not, just the song, because it never is just the song.

It's the way she sings, so you wanted to be a writer, fantastic idea, that half sweet, half mocking tease in her last words. It's the refrain: a deer, a deer, a deer, my dear. My dear. It's that world I so desperately strive for, the one captured on film, clothes that drape just right, soft slouchy cotton and faded colors, faces that mirror my own. Books in clever stacks on just right carpets, oh why can't it be real! Sitting on swings and watching trees overhead, front porches with stories that play out in front of your eyes, this unattainable notion of...what? I wish I knew. I wish I could touch it and hold it and tuck it in my pocket.

For now I'll settle for this song. And the silken pockets, soft hair and hidden smiles it reassures. Fantastic idea.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Things I Love Thursday


+my classes! French, despite being at 8am every day (mon professeur est tres beau et de le Su├Ęde!), American Lit just reminds me of why exactly I attend university, the seemingly intellectual high ground of "literature" (spoken in a faux snobby British accent ala my animated professor), Personality is supposed to be one of the most challenging and interesting courses in the department, and my Creative Writing workshop is filled with fun people, good writers and insightful feedback.
+enthusiastic run-ins with old friends & classmates (even better if they happen to be in my class)
+museum day trips-PS1 has wonderful exhibits and the trip itself is an adventure, and even if only two floors of exhibits are open, a trip to the Guggenheim always makes me smile
+cardigan weather! (bare legs + light sweaters=♥), curled lashes and red lips (instant glamour for minimum effort!), cat hat, "twee" as a nickname, having friends with friends who are bartenders, brownstones, late nights & stomping in heels, Earl Grey and breakfast on too early mornings, art & characters so distinctively "east village," sharpie sketched portraits, cupcakes + macaroons, all you lovely folks who made it to the picnic (sorry I won't be late next time!), upcoming plans and aspirations.

Gosh, I love fall. Et vous, mon jolie lecteurs? What are you delighted about this darling season?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Book Talk: Underworld

(I was reading through my old blog for one thing or another and came upon all my Book Talks, mini-book reviews of every book I'd finished, and it's such a wonderful idea that I have no idea why I stopped doing it. So here's for picking it back up again.)

It is no well kept secret that I made it through Infinite Jest this summer (although I guess it shouldn't be considered properly finishing it since I skipped the footnotes...I know, I know, but I hate flipping back and forth and I've read enough DFW footnotes to know what an ordeal/extraordinary treat that would have been and the book is still over a thousand pages sans footnotes, so I'll give them more consideration second time around, okay?) Although this was enough of an accomplishment on its own, perhaps just as much of a challenge to me was the fact that undertaking this massive reading project meant I couldn't (or at least, shouldn't) start reading new books for quite a while. And there are few things I love more than diving into a brilliant novel I've yet to discover.

This became especially painful when I paid a visit to my favorite shop in the East Village, Obscura (Antiques and Oddities) and spent a few hours chatting with the shopkeeper and a frequent visitor about favorite books and authors. They offered suggestions that filled up a few pages in my mini-Moleskin ripoff, and hearing about how marvelous all these other works were supposed to be made me itch for a new start.

I was good, though, and worked through the brilliant, dizzying epic that is Infinite Jest before I embarked on classics like Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse. Which, although poetic and atmospheric and much, much shorter, still didn't quite feel satisfying enough to the part of me that thirsted for reading that wasn't so impossibly dense or impossibly far fetched. That brings us to Don DeLillo's (arguable) masterpiece, Underworld.

This is a book that the regular in Obscura had hyped so much, as one of his favorite books, and given that all his other recommendations/our mutual favorites were of the most impeccable taste, plus I'd already heard much about the book, plus I'd read DeLillo before and loved it, I couldn't believe my luck when I found a paperback of its 800 something pages on one of New York's many sidewalk used book stands. I brought it home and counted down the days until I could start devouring it, even if it meant another commitment to a novel the size of two or three normal ones.

And oh, boys and girls of the jury, what a perfect commitment!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Love: Abby Try Again

Abby captures a stunning beauty in the simplest of things. A streak of sunlight across scattered flowers, delicate fabrics and clothes in a picturesque line...her work is delightful and sweet, optimistic and charming with a timeless quality. A lovely existence that I can only dream of...check out some of her wonderful work and hear her love affair with film, her successful print shop, advice for aspiring photographers and a glimpse into the life of abbytrysagain.

When did you start taking photographs?
I've been taking photos my whole life, not necessarily good ones, but I've always been interested in journaling and documenting. I started sharing those in 2005 when I started blogging but feel like I didn't get serious about it until a few years ago.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Dreaming of Fall


September! The breath of crisp cool air in the mornings, a not yet bitter gold sun, the promise of orange leaves and crunchy trails, the beginnings of wrapped sweaters and knotted scarves. Fall, one of my favorite seasons, with its promise of new beginnings and routines, classes and hurried faces, cheeks flushed and eyes bright, side stepping eager freshman, long lines for textbooks and lunches. It's a season (and month) worthy of celebration, of smiles that don't fade and bubbling anticipation. But it too is that hint of sadness, the summer slipped away between chlorine scented swimming pools, sand plastered in between toes and clinging like glitter on naked calves. Memories and long late nights, lazy days washed away with the flurry of activity that new beginnings bring.

Oh, let's remember it, summer. Those sticky hot days hiding in air conditioned coffee shops and bookstores, lunch in the shade with the occasional welcome splatter from the Washington Square fountain. Rooftops with a postcard view, long train rides and reading big books, ice clinking in countless cups of water, cold showers splashing relief. Conversations and faces that last for a starless New York night, cups of this and that translated into enthusiasm for friends I'll hardly see again. How even endless time seems like not enough, or maybe too much, episodes of long lasting TV shows counting down the hours until some other escape. Summer with its boredom and repetition, with its unexpected surprises and tinted memories..

But if you believe the spiritualists (and maybe you should), change brings energy, and I welcome energy with unabashed happiness. Imagine it, change! The switches not only in habits but moods, places and paces. Alarm clocks and schedules, weekend escapes and sleeping in, a luxury again. There's something about the start of a new school semester, despite years and years of the same new start that, still, refreshes, invigorates, inspires. To do lists crossed off and plans scribbled in. Fresh notebooks with pressed pages and the sound of ink pen tips scratching against paper. Stacks of books that encourage an academic yearning, lectures with sleep deprived classmates and impatient sighs.

I can't think of it enough. I can't wait another day (even if the break will seem sacred, necessary once things really start off). And I can't think of a better way to celebrate it than a proper picnic in the park. Oh, do join me, Central Park pond, tomorrow Wednesday the 2nd of this lovely month. Bring sweets and delights and friends and spend an evening in this beautiful weather. Come dressed up and have a decadent time. (6pm, Central Park South at 59th between 5th and 6th ave, email me if you need further info/a number to call!)

And regardless of whether you can make it, how are you spending your end of summer/start of this perfect season?