Monday, June 30, 2008

How I Vote

This evening, my theo-political imagination will be provoked. Or so I anticipate.

Dad explains.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

A Life in Polaroids

He took Polaroids. One per day, from March 31, 1979 through October 25, 1997. And then he died.

What started for me as an amusing collection of photos — who takes photos every day for eighteen years? — ended with a shock. Who was this man? How did his photos end up on the web? I went on a two-day hunt, examined the source code of the website, and tried various Google tricks.

Finally my investigation turned up the photographer as Jamie Livingston, and he did indeed take a photo every day for eighteen years, until the day he died, using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. He called the project “Photo of the Day” and presumably planned to collect them at some point — had he lived. He died on October 25, 1997 — his 41st birthday.

After Livingston’s death, his friends Hugh Crawford and Betsy Reid put together a public exhibit and website using the photos and called it PHOTO OF THE DAY: 1979-1997, 6,697 Polaroids, dated in sequence. The physical exhibit opened in 2007 at the Bertelsmann Campus Center at Bard College (where Livingston started the series, as a student, way back when). The exhibit included rephotographs of every Polaroid and took up a 7 x 120 foot space.

Chris Higgins, Mental Floss

Livingston's website of Polaroids can be found here.

I find it both haunting and fascinating that one man moved so many merely by proving that he lived.

Choose Brandon

I wasn't allowed to watch Beverly Hills, 90210 when I was young. Now I understand why. Because it was stupid.

Sometimes fiction makes me go mad.

Case in point: Kelly Taylor.

One guy gives her an engagement ring.
One guy gives her a trip around the world.
And she doesn't know who to choose.

In reality, a girl knows. I've yet to meet someone who genuinely can't pick between two guys. (I mean, is Luke Perry seriously in the running?)

Of course, in reality, it would also be preferred that the ring and the trip be part of the same package. Much neater.

"I've made my choice and I choose me."


Girls are dumb.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Waiting for Wednesday

Off topic: "Waiting for Wednesday" is a Lisa Loeb song. Reality Bites soundtrack, anyone? Everyone needs a favorite '90s indie singer/songwriter with their own reality show. And yes, I want her glasses. But I digress....


The opening act: William Fitzsimmons

Since Beth and I are the same person, I'll let her explain his coolness to you. Here and here.

It's Not True

And the brilliant headliner: Brooke Fraser

She's my new favorite singer/songwriter. Every. Single. Song.

Out-of-context lyric of the day: It's my caution not the cold


Friday, June 27, 2008

On Wombat Leave

Australia's top treasury official is taking five weeks leave to look after endangered wombats.

Ken Henry, treasury secretary and animal conservationist, has warned that hairy-nosed wombats are "on death row".

But opposition politicians - and even wombat lovers - question if now is the time to be thinking about wombats.

Inflation is at a 16-year high, interest rates are up and fuel prices are rising. Mr Henry will also miss a central bank meeting.


I heart wombats. Now I must scour the employee handbook to see if I, too, qualify for wombat leave.

Wheels. Are. Turning.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

My Dieting Philosophy

Yes, I'm one of those girls who orders Diet Coke and dessert.

I heart Cakespy.

image source


I don't smoke. Except when I'm on fire. Which is rare. Because I'm like Mitch Hedberg:
I was at this casino minding my own business, and this guy came up to me and said, "You're gonna have to move, you're blocking a fire exit." As though if there was a fire, I wasn't gonna run. If you're flammable and have legs, you are never blocking a fire exit.
But Matthew Broderick smokes. Which saddens me, as I don't really want to think about Ferris Bueller's lungs looking all sad and black and non-cool. And even worse, he recently revealed that he and his wife, the always fashionably quirky Sarah Jessica Parker, may be raising a little smoker. Stop it, Ferris. Stop it.

I rant a little on this parenting disaster over at MovieZen.

And for those who adore Ferris as much as I do, here's a little tribute. Very Requiem for a Dream.

Scary. Just like smoking.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Flirtation 101: Streetcar Edition

Today on the streetcar, I had a rather fascinating lesson in the art of flirtation. Let me set the stage.

The boy: a cute, clean-cut Mormon (name tag and all) who could probably get a job modeling for a JCrew-style catalog. A lesser-known version of JCrew. He could be a part-time model (to steal an observation from my Conchord boys). I'll call him PrepBoy.

The girl: a crazy woman who sounds like a man. I'll call her LocoGirl.

LocoGirl: But you look so nice. I'm surprised you haven't been asked by Playgirl to be in the magazine.
PrepBoy: Nope. Just church stuff.
LocoGirl: Wow, you got such huge muscles. Do you use Crest Whitestrips? Your teeth are like pearls.
PrepBoy: No. I just brush them.

See how she complimented him? Engaged him in conversion? The next question to subtly spew out of her mouth was inquiring as to his marital status. And because he answered that he was single, she proceeded to tell him that she would marry him.

That's how you get to the point. No beating around the bush. She was interested. She complimented. And she proposed marriage.

Perhaps I make things too complicated.

Note to self: Next time you're hanging around a man who's captured your fancy, bring up dental hygiene, marriage and Playgirl. And do so loudly. In a public place. And according to today's lesson, be sure to sound like a man. It's sexier that way.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Random

Okay, so I wasn't exactly tagged. But I'm going to pretend that had Beth tagged someone, she would have tagged me.

Side note: My brother wants me to write a movie called The Random. Apparently it doesn't need a plot.

Ten random things about me.

I could probably list ten random things about me every day for the rest of my life. So I'll try to limit this to just ten. As per the rules. Because I like rules. And maybe I'll share more next week.

1. When I was in the fourth grade, I lost a spelling bee by spelling "lose" L-O-O-S-E. Just last week, I saw a CityPulse headline that read "Blue Jays Loose" and I had a traumatic flashback.

2. In public school, I journaled rather extensively about taking my dog and cat to the park.
I've never owned a dog. Or a cat.

3. I hate the sound of toenails being clipped on the streetcar. Why, people, why?

4. Sometimes I miss my perm.

5. I can't do impersonations or accents. Unless I'm singing. In which case, I can break out the cockney for "Oom-Pah-Pah" or my inner New Yawker for the Newsies soundtrack.

6. In university, I wrote songs about my friends in residence on a cheap little keyboard. The classic was:

Nikki, Nikki, with braids in your hair
You cured Jane's Addiction but don't know what to wear

7. I was on a Bible quiz team in high school. The buzzers were pressure-sensitive. In the bench seats. It was like doing squats and quoting scripture at the same time. (This photo captures it brilliantly.)

8. I can say "shut up" and "I don't care" in Portuguese. That's all I can say in Portuguese.

9. In the fourth grade, my archenemy accused me of washing my hair with spiders. It was shortly after I accused her of hypocrisy, I believe. Apparently fourth grade was rough.

10. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. But I think who I am is more important than what I am....

Seth Rogen Is Not Christian Bale

I'm one of those movie fans who generally knows nothing about the comic book yet still eagerly shows up for the superhero movie of the month. I figure that if the movie's any good, it will be stand-alone. It shouldn't expect that its audience has a massive amount of background knowledge. At the same time, it should satisfy those friends of mine who know in excruciating detail the characters and story lines that are being brought to life.

Which is why I'll never adapt a comic book. Too much pressure. Too many people to satisfy. And too many people unwilling to be satisfied.

I loved Iron Man. Even though I knew nothing of Tony Stark prior to sitting in my seat. Ditto with Hellboy. Seriously. Rent it. And I think everyone who knows me (even as a most distant acquaintance) knows how I feel about the upcoming The Dark Knight. It's the reason July exists.

I know nothing about the Green Hornet. So I have no expectations for a movie about him. I do, however, know who Seth Rogen is. And, well, he's not exactly Robert Downey Jr. (who looks stunning considering a history of substance abuse that should have stripped him of any physical beauty. Lucky man). Or Bale. Or even Maguire. But he's signed on to write and star in the film adaptation of the masked crime-fighter. And I'm simultaneously confused and intrigued.

Head over to MovieZen for more. Because you love me.

But maybe not as much as I love Batman.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Art of Communication: Lunchtime Edition

Nadine: Hi, I'd like a Caesar salad. With grilled chicken. And a Diet Pepsi. Thanks.
Dude: Coming right up. You want fountain or bottle?
Nadine: Are they the same price?
Dude: No. The bottle's 20 cents more.
Nadine: I'll take fountain. Thanks.

Moments later....

Nadine: Excuse me. Uh, your Diet Pepsi tastes like root beer.
Dude: No, it's just the line.
Nadine: I'm pretty sure it's root beer.
Dude: No, it's just the line. It's fine. It just has some of the flavor. It's Diet Pepsi, but it tastes like root beer.
Nadine: *blank stare*

So I headed back to work. Where I drank my root-beer-flavored Diet Pepsi. And ate a salad topped with greasy, fried crispy chicken. Because breaded is the new grilled. Just as sugar is the new aspartame.

Friday, June 20, 2008

For Christianne

My camp experience never included a cute boy with great hair playing the guitar on a dock. The Disney Channel will have to answer to a lot of angry young women one day.

In reality, boys at camp have mastered not showering.

Regardless, he's all yours, Christianne. May you live happily ever after.

New Music Friday

Sonic Boom is my weakness. I can't resist.

It was beautiful outside today. Finally. So after another day of seemingly endless subtitling, I went for a long walk. Conveniently, I ended up at Sonic Boom's door. And there's no point just standing outside. So I went in. And spent money.

And this time, I went with artists recommended by others. Because I need to branch out and mix it up a little.

Brooke Fraser is coming to Toronto in less than two weeks. And I have my ticket. Love her. Beth is my music guru.

And I need a little more rock in my life. Of the Canadian variety. I believe Sam Roberts fits such a description.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Paraphernalia of Life

I was going to call this post "The Stuff of Life." But then I used a thesaurus, and "paraphernalia" it is.

Thursday's Odd & Ends

Maybe last night's post was a little premature. Because while I'm still egging on my inner workaholic, the crossword clues may not happen. Because I don't have 30 free hours in the next 10 days to write 1200-1500 questions.

However, I'm going to hit the 50-hour mark at work this week.

Speaking of work....

Dalton McGuinty visited our L.A. office yesterday. I have no idea why. I believe it would make more sense for him to visit the ONTARIO office. Maybe he heard that Bono owns us. Maybe he's a rocker-stalker.

Speaking of stalkers....

I'm Harriet the Spy. With Google. Seriously. If you have a secret online (and I happen to care), I will find it. You are warned. Without going into incriminating detail, I will sheepishly admit that I used my researching skills quite impressively this week. Because I wanted to know. And even though he's a Facebook friend, I'm really just a fan on a first-name basis. Our entire relationship revolves around one hot summer's night in 2003, sipping juice (yes, juice) on his couch until 6 in the morning.

And that is my scandalous-sounding story. Adding details would make it painfully boring and uneventful.

Oh, and I was right. I totally called who the fiancée is.

Speaking of Facebook friends....

Facebook likes to tell me that one of my friends is in love with me. Its ads are starting to make me paranoid. It knows I'm single. And how old I am. (The other day, an ad said, "24 and still single?" Still? What are you trying to say, Facebook?) And while there may be a faint possibility that one of my 232 "friends" indeed thinks I'm the bees knees (Really, how could they not?), I certainly hope that he (please let the friend be a "he") would have the courage to say so in a non-Facebook-ad format. I mean, that's what those walls are for.

Speaking of people who are in love with me....

I posted about Ryan Gosling over at MovieZen. A fictional love. But still. Minor detail. He's re-teaming with his Lars and the Real Girl director. I love that movie. So much. Probably more than I love Gosling. And the doll, Bianca, is brilliant. She should date Wilson the volleyball.

Speaking of dolls....

I don't understand this. At all. But I sort of love it. (No "Who's more real, the puppet or the Parton?" jokes, folks.) It makes me want to embrace my inner karaoke superstar. But I'd have to change the lyrics to "7:45 to 5"....

And yes, the subtitles in the video drive me crazy. Once an editor, always a neurotic viewer.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

She Works Hard for the Money

Who DOESN'T write in fishnets?

I believe I'm developing some sort of occupational ADD. I'm feeling significantly more scattered and distracted than usual. A subconscious itching, perhaps, for something a little more.... Well, more.

This is going to sound slightly insane (even bordering on nonsensical), but I've decided to be a workaholic for the summer. I know, I know, it's probably not the most logical strategy for overcoming a distracted mind. But I have my reasons. Some of them make sense.

I need to test my time-management skills. My drive. My ability to multi-task and my discipline for freelance. So while my inner Lazy Girl is hardly excited about the long hours that await me in the coming weeks, Delayed-Gratification Girl (my superhero alter ego) will be doing her "You can thank me now" dance in a few months. Or at least that's the plan.

So I'll be hanging out at the office this Saturday. Before blogging for four other sites. And possibly adapting a book into a play. Oh, and writing crossword clues.

Bring it on.*

*By "it," I mean "a very long nap."

Monday, June 16, 2008


This is Post #300. Strike up the band. And in honor of my 300 ramblings, I shall toss a nice and long stream of consciousness at you....


My piano is dying. As I've been playing it a lot lately, this is bordering on tragedy. So now I either need to strike it rich (so I can buy a baby grand AND a house to fit it in) or I need to take up the guitar. Which is far more portable. Or so I've heard.

In My Head

I have very little control over what gets stuck in my head. Lately, it's been a combination of "For the Nights I Can't Remember" by Hedley -- It's a Canadian-content thing. The radio plays them EVERY MORNING as I get dressed. So when I hear...
And I do wanna love you
If you see me running back
And I do wanna try
Because if falling for you, girl, is crazy
Then I'm going out of my mind
So hold back your tears this time
...I'm actually thinking about putting on eye shadow. --and "A Kiss is Not a Contract" by Flight of the Conchords. Which is hilarious, but not always suitable for singing aloud. If you're under 14, don't bother listening to the lyrics. I don't want to be held responsible for questionable content in your precious little heads.

The other song currently in my head (and it's one that lyrically resonates with me as of late) is Edwin McCain's "Go Be Young." Yes, I love his voice. We've established that. Many times.
Perfumed and smoky
She swears that she knows me
She's falling down drunk again
I say she's mistaken
She's visibly shaken
Emotions all drowned in gin
She said I used to be beautiful
But now it's all gone
I let my dreams slip away from me
That's where it went wrong

Go be young, go be free
Follow your heart where it leads you
Don't end up like me
Act Your Age

I was born old. And I often neglect to just "go be young." To live in the moment. I'm too good at delayed gratification. I forget about today. But the times they are a-changin'....

(Is quoting Bob Dylan a young thing to do? I hope so.)


I was quite shocked recently to discover that I was regretting having done the right thing. I didn't know it was possible to regret making the best possible decision. But there I was, treating my life as a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure tale, wishing I could flip back a few pages to try for a more satisfying outcome. An outcome, while less "right" and responsible and mature, of greater spectacular-ness.

A Wedding and a Funeral

I have called my grandmother's funeral a wedding so many times now, I can no longer keep track. I've even typed it. Oddly enough, I find it fitting. When I returned home last weekend, I went through a Bible study on "Beauty from Ashes." And instead of summarizing with thoughts on being beautiful, Beth Moore shared what it was like to watch her mother die. To look at a body no longer inhabited by life. I know that moment. Exactly.
"And all I could think about was that sweet little torn-up body was now dressed in white, was beautifully proportioned from head to toe, and she was standing before Jesus, looking into the face of someone who knew her every detail as the virgin bride of Christ."
~Beth Moore
Words, Words, Words

The journaling process has become a little overwhelming in the past weeks. The other night, I curled up on my bed to scribble down some thoughts on death, beauty, love and fearlessness, and ended up rambling for eight pages. And I never even got to my point.

Even blogging is an exercise in editing. I could type forever. I am falling more in love with the written word. You are warned. (And yes, I deleted over five paragraphs before posting this.)

A Snapshot

My dad is looking for something computer- or work-related.

Dad: Where is my--? Hee!
Joel: Where is your "hee"?
Mom: Yes, his "hee."
Nadine: I ask myself that all the time: Where is my "he"?

Joel laughs.

Mom: Don't put that on your blog.
Nadine: Um, I think my readers know I'm single.
Mom: Oh.

Here's to 300 more....

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Anyone Wanna Buy a Halfpipe?

This is my parents' backyard. Because they love their skateboarding son. But now they are putting the house up for sale. And the halfpipe must go. Immediately. Either to a good home or to a scrapyard.

If you're interested, contact my dad. Or me. And I will contact him on your behalf.

And yes, it needs resurfacing. As evidenced by lack of solid surface.

And no, I have never been on it. Because I enjoy the full use of all my limbs.

Personally, I think a backyard bonfire would be the most entertaining solution....

P.S. In this case, "buy" is slang for "it's free if you can haul it away."

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Moms Have Birthdays Too

Mother's Day. A few years ago.

Today is my mom's birthday.

When I was little, I wanted to be her. I skipped that whole "I wanna be a teenager" phase. I just wanted to be adult. Because my mom was an adult. I wanted to wear Mary Kay makeup. I wore shoulder pads. I went to ladies' meetings. Even to a retreat. (And then I got carsick and threw up on the ladies in the car. Yeah. You can't take the kid out of the, well, kid.)

Things haven't changed all that much. Except that long car rides no longer make me nauseous.

I'm proud to be my mother's daughter. I don't mind if people get our voices confused over the phone. Or if people who haven't seen me for decades point out that I look like her. (Better than saying, "My, you still look like a 3-year-old.") Although I was a little shocked when someone asked if I was my dad's wife. Really, people, I may like older men, but that's a little ridiculous. (Worse, someone thought I was my brother's mother. He's 21.)

We spent priceless time together last week. Sometimes it's hard to remember that great moms are daughters too. I'm so thankful for the legacy of my grandmother. And for the friendship I have with her eldest child.

I may no longer wear shoulder pads (Have you seen my shoulders? I'd look like a linebacker in drag), but I still want to be my mom when I grow up.

Happy birthday, Mom. I love you.

My Dead Boyfriend's Fictional Wife

I've probably posted enough about Jimmy Stewart in the past month or so to fill the dead-boyfriend-entries quota until Christmas. But I like to surpass quotas.

The actor who played Little George Bailey, Bobby Anderson, died quite recently, so I offered a little tribute to him and my favorite Christmas film over at MovieZen.

So instead of talking about Jimmy, let's chat about his fictional wife, shall we?

Remember the night we broke the windows in this old house? This is what I wished for.

~Mary, It's a Wonderful Life
I want to be Donna Reed. Or at least the Donna Reed-as-Mary Bailey. I want to sing under the stars in a borrowed bathrobe, wish on an abandoned building, share my husband's heart for the poor, name my daughter Zuzu, plan a Christmas party in a perfect drafty old house, and step up and save my beloved from ruin when he thinks his hope is gone.

Okay, maybe not Zuzu.
George Bailey, I'll love you 'til the day I die.

~Little Mary, It's a Wonderful Life

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


"We are sorry."

Read it here.

The entire text of the apology can be found here. Walking church, it does mention the Metis language and cultural practices. It's a start.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

"I dance when I'm angry."

Have I mentioned that I love Flight of the Conchords? Just checking.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Where the Angels Sleep

I woke up with "Where the Angels Sleep" in my head last Saturday morning. The day before my grandmother died. And while the chorus used to stir me, this time the verses seemed startlingly personal. Every time the song cycles through a season of my life, I identify with something new. Sometimes I find it encouraging. And sometimes it makes me cry. So it's never 100% me. But it's often close.

And then last Sunday happened. And the song was neatly tucked into the back of my mind.

Yesterday, I started sorting through the endless stacks of sheet music in my apartment. Scratch that. The endless stacks of poorly photocopied chords covered with transposed scratches and lyric adjustments. A crinkled, melodic chaos. As I was sorting through the mess, I found the lyrics to the gorgeous song that looped over and over in my head a mere week ago, all typed up prettily from the days of when I would tape lyrics to my wall. The chords permanently sit at my piano. And the CD is always but a lonely night away.

Sometimes a girl's just gotta turn up the tunes, turn down the lights and hug her pillow.
Where the Angels Sleep - Bebo Norman
(Listen to the whole song here.)

I don't know why I always run
Is it fear of the fall or fear of the touch?
And I don't know where the angels sleep

And I don't know how to really love
I've never stood still long enough
And I don't know where the angels sleep

But I am alive and standing strong
I'm no farther forward, just farther along
I hold on to my pride and dig in deep
It's pulling me down, and I am no closer to release
And I don't know where the angels sleep

I don't know how to see you now
The friend from before is different somehow
And I don't know where the angels sleep

And I don't know when I'll love again
But I don't trust myself to just let you in
And I don't know where the angels sleep

It's taken ten thousand days
To get stuck in my ways
And it offers no grace
I cannot stand this place
With love in my face
I walk away slowly

I don't know where the angels sleep
No, I don't know where the angels sleep
No matter how much as I play it on the piano, I just don't sound like a boy with a guitar.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Raiding Grandma's Closet of Mystery

Brotherly Love.

No rivalry. Just laughter. And plaid.

Seventies Farmer Chic.

My Fair Audrey

I have a heterosexual girl crush on Audrey Hepburn. It's not much of a secret. There's something about her wide-eyed gamine, doll-like fragility and quiet spunk that resonates with me. I'm not sure why. And I love her style. If I had a 20-inch waist, I would dress just like her. But I think I would have to undergo a starvation-and-scalpel process to get that kind of a measurement. And then you would all send me for medical and psychiatric help. So I'll just stick with admiration and the odd scarf and pair of capris as an homage.

I'm probably more of a Roman Holiday Audrey than a My Fair Lady Audrey. I'd rather chop off my hair and explore Rome with Gregory Peck than endure diction lessons with Rex Harrison. That said, I'm still pretty attached to her Eliza Doolittle and grimace at the idea of a remake.

But my grimacing cannot stop the Hollywood machine. Check out my MovieZen entry on the rumored casting of Keira Knightley as the next Audrey. Sniffle.

Now, I know it's not the first adaptation. In fact, the Pygmalion story from which My Fair Lady comes is ridiculously common in modern storytelling. Because people love makeovers, of both the external and internal kinds. And since I'm learning to have no shame in the blogging world, I will confess that I rather enjoyed She's All That when I was in high school. It was My Fair Lady for the teen set, an art-geek-turned-prom-goddess story that gave nerds like me a sliver of hope that someone way cooler than I would one day fall for the prettiest version of the real me. (And that someone would show up at my house with a really great dress. Because I hate shopping.) In fact, my prom after-after-party (busy evening) consisted of a viewing of said film. Because at a certain point my best friend and I ditched our friends (and her date. Poor guy) for a girlie sleepover of chips and rom-coms. And Freddie Prinze Jr. really was all that. Pun slightly intended.
With the passing of time, high-school romances can't hold up to classics. Because I no longer see life through the eyes of a 17-year-old. I'm still probably more hopeless romantic than I let on, but slow-dancing in my parents' backyard with the prom king isn't really all that aspirational anymore. Not even slightly.

Although "Kiss Me" still makes me smile. Every time.

Kiss Me - Sixpence None the Richer

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Love Lessons: Part 1

One of the disadvantages to being a grandchild is that you never see your grandparents as anything but. By the time I entered the world, they were, in my eyes, old and platonic roommates. I didn't think romance and dancing, quiet moments and stolen kisses. I saw hard workers, not lovers. Occasionally, I'd hear of them going off to dances, but I couldn't really wrap my head around this. Wasn't my grandfather the man who came in from the barn only to fall asleep at the table after a steak-and-potatoes meal prepared by my tired grandmother? Where does a night on the town fit in? Euchre, maybe. But sweeping her off her feet?

On their 40th anniversary, my grandmother put on her wedding dress (Yes, it still fit. How intimidating a feat) and danced with her husband. It's one of the few vivid memories I have of him. He died before their 45th.

When I cried at his funeral, I cried for my grandmother. Sure, I was sad that he was gone. And I was sad that my mom lost her dad. But I was mostly devastated for the wife he left behind. For the next 15 years, I found saying goodbye to my grandmother difficult, as I didn't want to leave her alone in the house they built together. Not once (except in jest) was there a hint of another love in her life. He was it.

This week, the day after her funeral, my cousin stumbled upon treasure. In the bottom of my grandma's closet was a paper bag from Eaton's. Inside were neatly stacked letters. All handwritten. All from my grandfather. All carefully folded and tucked back into their original envelopes.

My grandfather, William, only had an eighth grade education. This didn't stop him from writing her letter after letter, sometimes multiple times a week, while he pursued her. I remember him as a man of few words, so to look at endless pages of written affection is so overwhelmingly beautiful to me. And as the letters approached 1949, he started adding X X X X X to his sign-off. Underlined and all.

I've found it difficult to be distraught over the death of my lovely grandmother. She's dancing with her love on the streets of gold. And no one was left behind this time.

Blogging Goodness

I have a freelancing dream. To be a freelancer, one must actually work a little too long and hard at fun little gigs. So on top of my MovieZen and dailyLOST adventures, I've started contributing to two more blogs this weekend. Below are the links to my first entries.

New posts on new blogs:

I'll keep you all updated on my career in blogging. Believe me, you won't be able to avoid it. The "My Blogging Life" blogroll section will be updated and list the chaos for you.

If you have a blog that needs a contributor, call me.
If you have a beach that needs a blogger, send plane tickets.

Oh, and for those who haven't been following dailyLOST (because I'm not good at linking you to those entries), here are some fun ones of note:

Jacob Have I Loved
I Missed a Miracle: Claire's Mom
Finale Thoughts
I Will Survive. But With Whom?

image source

Friday, June 06, 2008

"Never stop dreaming."

It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the master work. Now, I'm beginning what I could have started ten years ago. But I'm happy at least that I didn't wait twenty years.

~The Alchemist

The Alchemist is one of the most quotable novels I've ever read. In fact, as I was reading it last fall, I was quietly wishing that I owned the copy I was thumbing through. I wanted to underline every other sentence.

I fully blame Tim for my love of this little book. And while I can't wholeheartedly embrace its theology, there's certainly plenty of nuggets of gold in its pages. Because I'm a dreamer. Always have been. And I think it's about time I start following those dreams. Not to get all sappy and Field of Dreams on you....

Years after the sale of the movie rights, The Alchemist is being adapted into a film. This little parable of hope will be produced by Harvey Weinstein and starring Laurence Fishburne (who is also directing. Go, Morpheus). I'm not sure how I feel about its adaptation, but I knew when reading it that such a fate would be inevitable. Check out my MovieZen entry for more details of its adaptation journey.

Lately, I've been so eager to embark on my own journey for hidden treasure. I'm sure I'll try to wax poetic about my little (and often lovely) life in the coming weeks, but I can't tell you how ready I am to step out and start living the adventure. After the events of this past week, I feel rather fearless. In a really healthy way. Not in a stupid jump-off-a-building way.

We are afraid of losing what we have, whether it's our life or our possessions and property. But this fear evaporates when we understand that our life stories and the history of the world were written by the same hand.

~The Alchemist

Thursday, June 05, 2008


(third from the left)

I fired off this email on Sunday. It's been a long week. A hard week. But a really good week. I can't explain it. Although I'm sure I'll try....

Yesterday, I got a phone call. My grandma's health had been steadily declining for some time, but this suggestion to come see her felt different. I packed a bag and went. No hesitation.

Family was standing around her bedside, dressed in their matching blue gowns, when I arrived at the hospital. She was so frail. So tiny and childlike. I kissed her. We told stories and laughed. Her smile was weak and strained, but her spirit was alive.

We held hands, standing in a circle around her bed. And we prayed. We thanked God for her life and beautiful legacy. And my grandmother closed our prayer with her final coherent word: "Amen."

Fifteen minutes later or so, my mom, uncle and I were the only three to remain in the room with her. Her breathing changed. I stood at her side as her youngest son felt his mother's pulse fade away. She never complained. She was unafraid. Death was so peaceful and soft. The tears came before and after, but not then. I may have even smiled.

I was looking at her face the very moment she first looked Jesus in the eye.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

For the Love of Bale

He was on the cover of Seventeen Magazine back in the day.
Shocking, no? This was before I was old enough to read such magazines. I think I was 11.

For those of you who've known me for more than two days, you know that I am pretty loyal to Christian Bale. Ridiculously so. Fortunately, our relationship has transitioned over the years. The swoon factor has faded into respect for his craft. And I will defend him. To the point of fisticuffs. He's like my super-cool, talented, secret cousin. You do not have permission to mock him in front of me. Unless I happen to like you more than him. Which is unlikely. So tread carefully.

I waxed poetic about my love of Bale over at MovieZen. Shocking, I know. But he's going to show up in the next installment of The Terminator franchise. And I'll probably beg one of you to come see it with me. Not that I have a problem going to the movies solo. It's my superpower.

I know you're all familiar with the awesomeness of his Batman. So for our Sunday YouTube party, I'm going to throw some lesser known gems at you. And none of the videos are from Newsies. Because you should go watch the entire thing. (I own it on VHS and DVD. And I have the soundtrack. Let me know if you need to borrow it.)

Swing Kids.
Christian Bale dances with Robert Sean Leonard. Until Nazi Noah Wyle shows up:

Little Women.
The most frustrating scene in both the book and movie. She turns him down. For Gabriel Byrne?! Hey, I'm pretty sensitive to the young-writer-in-need-of-an-adventure thing. And sure, a poor smart guy with an umbrella is pretty irresistible. But really, Jo. Over Laurie?

(Ending is here. Awkward accent. Cheesy line. Still one of my favorite movies ever.)

"Jo. Such a little name for such a person." I swear, I always think he's going to say "such a big person." Which would crack me up. Advice to my male readers: Don't call a girl big. Especially when proposing. It's only funny to the rest of us.

The exasperating Bale moment:

There are so many awkward fan videos of the man on YouTube. It was hard to find non-doctored scenes. Really, girls, did we need a montage from Little Women to Enrique's "Hero"?

And why can every guy play that song on the guitar? Every. Single. One.

Empire of the Sun.
Spielberg's most underrated masterpiece. I was tempted to just post scene after scene. I'd say go rent it, but really, you should buy it. The first clip is a little long, but by the end, it's child acting at its best. Scrap that. It's acting at its best. Child or otherwise.

American Psycho.
His breakout role. There is no killing in this scene. Just business cards.

Rescue Dawn.
And finally, the trailer for a powerful little movie that no one saw. Except me. For the Lost fans out there, find the two cast members in the trailer. Highly recommended. But not if you're in the mood for a romantic comedy.

I'll stop myself here. For now.

I was going to end with some brilliant movie quote of Christian's. But somehow "I promise to kiss you before you die" doesn't seem appropriate. Nor does "I need to engage in homicidal behavior on a massive scale."