With the possible exception of books, I love music more than I love anything in my life that is not a person or a dog.
1) The Killing on AMC is pretty good. I tried watching a couple of AMC's other apparently great shows (Mad Men and Rubicon) and couldn't really get into either one, but E and I have taken to this one. The show's really dark and a little heavy on the ooooh-scary music, but it works. And don't tell E I said this, but it's a lot more interesting than any of the Real Housewives series, except for the one with NeNe.
2) Ian McEwan is a really good writer. You should read Enduring Love and Saturday. I'm in the middle of The Innocent, which I think is about to get awesome. There's just something amazing about the way the guy can both tell a gripping story and write the prettiest sentences you've ever read. Try this one, from Saturday:
There's a taste in the air, sweet and vaguely antiseptic, that reminds him of his teenage years in these streets, and of a general state of longing, a hunger for life to begin that from this distance seems like happiness.
3) Driving around with your windows down. I like to do it while listening to my new pretty-much-favorite album, but you can listen to whatever you want. This morning I tried it out with some old Louis Armstrong Hot Fives/Hot Sevens stuff I burned a while ago, and it worked nicely.
4) Not having a whole lot of pressing and stressful stuff to deal with. It makes it nice to just hang out with the ones you love. And really, that's the most important thing. If you're reading a blog to tell you that, though, there might be some things you need to think about, right?
What better way to kick off 2011 than with a recap of our weekend in the Hamptons this past fall!
This really is my favorite time of the year. I don't even mind it being dark at 4:30 in the afternoon. It's the coziest time of day. I'm at home right now, with my Hazelnut Yankee Candle burning, a load of laundry in the washing machine while I watch Nate, Bodhi is taking a little nap, and we're waiting for J to get home so we can go out to our favorite restaurant, the local Chinese joint.
With the impending holiday, I've been doing a lot of thinking about what I'm really thankful for this year. A lot of amazing things have happened in our family over the last year and I think, at least this is true for me, I never step back and realize how incredibly lucky I am. Everyone has stress in their life, it's only natural. But at the end of the day, I have the most amazing family who support me 100% and have always been my best friends. I have a close knit group of friends that I love and were there to make everything easier and a lot more fun during the wedding planning, and I know we'll be friends for a lifetime. Above all, I have J and B and there's a lot of love, respect, and support in our tiny family. There's something really great about knowing you have a partner in crime to spend the rest of your life with. Things in our life are in limbo right now (i.e. moving, jobs, etc) but I know it will be okay. Actually, it will be more than okay. I have a pretty good feeling that things for us are going to be fantastic....and that's something special to be thankful for.
1. Back in March, I sat on my old iPod and broke it.
2. I also needed a new cell phone.
3. I spent way too much time trying to figure out if a smartphone was a good idea for me (I need calendar access for arranging tutoring jobs, so as to avoid embarrassing scheduling mistakes), then decided it was stupidly expensive.
4. E and I decided the best move would be to buy an iPod Touch, which does everything I need it to do.
5. I had to upgrade the operating system on my seven-year-old computer to make the iPod work.
6. Somewhere in there, my external hard drive, on which was stored my 90GB of music I'd been collecting, decided it was tired of working and would just stop.
This week has been really frustrating for me--I've spent way too many hours trying to first fix the hard drive, then reformat the hard drive, then reload my collection onto it. Now it's Friday and I've got an iPod with no songs on it and no way to get the songs I have--on CD--onto it. So much for convenience.
But I found myself thinking about that Llewellyn Hinkes essay over and over this week, especially his thoughts about how the digital versions of the stuff we have are so fragile and, ultimately, meaningless:
Having something like this stored digitally, where a single hard drive failure can destroy years of hoarding in an instant, is frightening. It’s as if mother-destroyer can enter your house at any moment, chop off the super-ego, and then throw it in the garbage. For a time, I hoarded gobs and gobs of mp3s of obscure psychedelic music: Japanese-Brazilian lounge albums, avant-garde noise compositions, anything by Gary Wilson. Then one day, I saw it all disappear.I've been a music packrat for as long as I can remember, pretty much. If I liked an album by a band, I was always the guy who wanted to a)know and b) hear everything else by that band. It got to the point where the 25-year-old me would hang on to a crappy late-period Nine Inch Nails CD because their first album was a favorite of mine when I was 16. Enough already, though. I am ready to edit the last parts of that stuff out. Because you know what? In this digital age, if I ever really need to hear a song again, there are ways to make it happen. It's time to be a grownup (and not a minor character from High Fidelity) and only hold on to the CDs and songs I know I want to hear on a fairly regular basis. The old favorites, the gold standards, and the new treasures, dig? I'm thinking now about how I'm going to get the music I really, genuinely want to listen to a lot onto the internal hard drive of my computer (digital files are where it's at for convenience, especially now that my car's stereo has become destructive and E's folks got me one of those iPod FM transmitter contraptions for my birthday).
To do that, though, I need to clear off some space. The hard drive is full of a bunch of old things I don't need or use anymore--archiving software, multiple copies of grad school assignments, raw recordings of band practices--that will give me absolutely no regrets when I get rid of them. I also have a lot of photos on there, though--I was using the external drive to back them up, but now that that's gone, I need a more reliable system for the time being. We'll be getting a new computer when we move, so that's fine, but I think for now I want to edit the photos that are worth saving (I tend to take a few of each shot, with the intention of only keeping the best, but that self-editing doesn't happen as often as it should), burn the good ones onto CDs, upload them to Shutterfly, and see if I can take advantage of one of their deals on lots of prints.
I know a lot of the readers of this blog are really into decorating and physical stuff--am I missing anything in my thinking that would keep me from doing something really dumb? I want to get this process going ASAP, but I also want to do it right.
With this in mind I thought I would give you my two cents on how to be happily married to a designer or to someone who wants their house to look nice. For those of you who are married I thought maybe you can share this with your spouse:
1. Don’t get attached to anything….furniture, prints, paint color, etc.
2. Don’t ask why every lamp in the house is on….and don’t start talking about the peaks in the electricity bill when all the lights are on.
3. Pillows are not for comfort…….if the pillows on the couch are strategically placed, chopped in the middle and fluffed - Sit on the floor!
4. If she asks do you notice anything different?… First look at her hair, then start looking at the wall for new pictures or paint color…. Or in my case, I ask my six-year-old because he is much more observant than I am.
5. If she needs help drawing straight lines, don’t just eyeball it and use a pen to mark on the wall… get a long level and use a pencil…..lesson learned.
6. If she is intently staring at a blank wall, don’t make any plans for the weekend.
7. Be prepared to go anywhere at anytime to retrieve a great Goodwill or Craigslist find and don’t question how ugly it is. You might also want to take some security with you. You should see some of the places Emily has sent me for a bargain.
8. Don’t just invite people into your house without having at a minimum a weeks notice….not even the guys.
9. A garage is not for parking. It’s for goodwill and craigslist finds that need to be sanded and painted.
10. Just go with it…whatever color, whatever frame, whatever idea….because it will again change sometime in the near future.
my latest obsession, one can never have enough blue & white porcelain jars
the two pillows on the right almost match the ones we currently have!
This morning, I found the most beautiful kitchen on one of my daily blogs. This photo will definitely go in my inspiration folder. J and I bought ourselves a complete set of blue and white dishes to go in to our next home. But there's a huge part of me that wants to take them out now! This kitchen is so clean and pretty and exactly how I imagine ours to look. (sigh). A girl can dream..
The only problem? I'm Jewish. I know, I know. Something weird happened along the way. J is still trying to get used to all the twinkly lights and holiday decorations I put up in December. But seriously, how amazing are these blue and white stockings from plumcushion? I think they would be the right balance between for us....because, hey, it's hard to be a Jew on Xmas ;)