Monday, November 25, 2013

Blog Talk: William Shakespeare, Wabi-sabi, and Boone's Farm

So here’s this week’s randomness:
  1. I value Lifetime Television for its ability to summarize an entire movie in a title:
    1. 'Crimes of Passion: She Woke Pregnant'
    2. 'Cyber Seduction: His Secret Life'
    3. 'My Stepson, My Lover'
With titles like those, you need not spend two hours watching the movie.  And although most people choose to veg out on a Sunday afternoon with a snack and a blanket and watch the movies anyway, Lifetime could be on to something.  For example, I am imagining how much more palatable Shakespeare might seem to high school English students if he’d had the Lifetime titling staff at his disposal. 
a.    The Blood Shall Remain on the Hands of the Killer (MacBeth)
b.    The Poison Drinkers Who Totally Made the Wrong Call (Romeo & Juliet)
c.    You Only Thought I Was Crazy But Guess What? I Win!  (Hamlet)
  1. Yesterday, when doing research on my novel, I came across the term wabi-sabi, which the Japanese use to express the combination of joy and sorrow.  I think that’s pretty beautiful. Though it is not to be confused with Wasabi, an extremely hot Japanese sauce usually eaten with rice or sushi. The one and only time I ever (accidentally) ate wasabi, I did feel a moment of joy, followed by a hybrid sort of sorrowpanicpainhorror. Followed by copious amounts of water. But I think wabi-sabi is expressing an entirely different kind of joy and sorrow, and not the kind that requires immediate hydration.
  2. I keep hearing about “agreements” between the US and Iran.  And all I can say is this:  Every single thing about Iran scares me.
  3. I’ve started something new (and I encourage you to try it): Before I go to bed each night, I write down three things that went well for me that day.  I don’t analyze them or try to repeat them the next day, I simply acknowledge them for what they were, and for how they made me feel.  Kinda makes going to bed more relaxing, and I seem to be getting up each day feeling a little more hopeful.
  4. I submitted an essay to a local arts/writing program called Bookmarks, where writers can send in work on various selected topics to be judged -- and hopefully accepted -- for a community reading.  I just found out that my piece “Recipes” was selected in the "Eat the Past" category and that I will be reading it at the Arts Center on January 6.  I submitted this particular piece for two reasons:
    1. It was an excerpt from my thesis, and I cut it down from 3,467 words to the required 750, which was a fantastic writing exercise and an achievement in and of itself. I'm finding that a thesis is a lot like a bridesmaid dress -- you’d like to invest in something you’ll be able to wear more than once. And (if you're lucky and have a few tailoring skills), you hope to mix and match and hem and bedazzle and accessorize the hell out of it, to turn it into a sort of all-occasion, or perhaps multi-occasion ensemble that works for just about any event or venue.  So, three cheers for a repurposed thesis!
    2. “Eat the Past” was looking for essays about the ways in which food has figured into our former selves and families to shape our current selves and identities.  I had the option of sending in a lovely piece about learning to make cookies with my mother, or taking the road less travelled and sending in piece that was painful to write, is still difficult for me to read, and that proudly refuses to end on a happy note.  So I guess I’m thankful to food for giving me the big ol’ gut that never leads me astray as long as I listen to it.
  5. I turned 40 a few weeks ago, and sometimes I am overwhelmed by how sad I think I should feel about not having a biological child.  Can it possibly ok to be ok with my lack of progeny?   Society says “No.”
  6. I’ve done a lot of Christmas shopping this year. I started early, and I bought really thoughtful gifts for people – things that have personal significance, one-of-a-kind things I had to order in advance and have specially made. Even so, I’m recalling the Christmases of my childhood, when I often got tee shirts and underwear folded inside a recycled Barbie box, or socks and dance tights folded inside a festive looking cookie tin. Yes, I got all the nice stuff too, but those red herring wrappings made for some bittersweet gift opening moments. I think I’ll resurrect that tradition this year. Anyone got an empty 1869 Château Lafite bottle big enough to hold 60 ounces of apple flavored Boone’s Farm?
  7. We’re expecting a N’oreaster the day before Thanksgiving.  It may snow two feet. Or not at all.  But instead of fretting over whether or not I’ll be able to head North as intended, I’m doing something I never do and have often thought would result in a painful, spontaneous death: I’m playing things by ear. If it doesn’t snow – great.  I’ll pack myself and Beckett into the car and follow through with our plans.  If it snows us in, no big thing.  I’ll go serve food at the local food kitchen and then take Beckett to the nursing home to do pet visits with people who are truly confined and alone.  Either way is a win for everyone – myself included. So suck it, Mother Nature. You’ve got about as much power here as the Wicked Witch of the West sans the ruby slippers.
  8. Moment of self-disclosure: I horde elastic hairbands and avoid mirrors. You see, I can’t remember the last time I had a good hair day from morning til night, a sad fact that seems truly unfair and unfortunate.   Granted, the first ten minutes after I finish styling and spraying everything into place in the perfect lighting of my bathroom leave me looking supermodel-perfect.  But by 10am, my formerly flawless coif has turned into supermodel-used-to-be.  This whole phenomenon seems a trivial thing to worry and write about, which is why I horde elastic hairbands and avoid mirrors.
  9.  The world consists of two kinds of people: Those who enjoy whistling, and those who hate listening to others whistle. Don’t believe me?  Try finishing your hour long treadmill run at the gym next to the guy whose workout music consists of his own whistled versions of Broadway show tunes and all six verses of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.”  On repeat.
That’s all.

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