Our neighbor below dislikes us. When we jump and dance a little too much, we hear a steady pounding from below made with a broom handle (or axe handle? Who knows) at their ceiling to express their displeasure. Every time she sees us in the hall she asks us to buy rugs. i don’t have the heart to tell her…we already have rugs. (Plus, whenever she stops me, I’m running late, have three kids, or am just like bone-tired, and have so far resisted telling her she is so low in my totem pole that she doesn’t even actually have a spot on the pole.) Our Witness-Relocation Building (and I donâ€™t mean to insult our neighborhood, both equal parts bucolic and seedy. We live close to a beautiful park but trod on a sea of cigarette butt-decorated sidewalk to get there). Sound travels in these old buildings; in ours, up and down rather than side to side. When I am home, it sounds like the people above are hosting a circus rehearsal every night. I canâ€™t figure out what Iâ€™m actually hearing. They cannot possibly dragging twenty chairs back and forth from one side to the room to the side, right? Wait, was that galloping? There really isnâ€™t a troop of elephants stampeding in a circle up there, right? They definitely have a dog. I’ve seen it around but I can hear the little thing bark and slide around the floors. I think what happens is the doorbell rings, he runs toward it but realize there is too much momentum, so has to slow down by scraping his nails along the living room floor. Very effective breaking system, but I CAN HEAR EVERY SINGLE NAIL.
I can only imagine what we must sound like.
Boy Wonder Twin loves frozen blueberries. When he eats with his hands, he gets a purple beard and hands, with which he proceeds to stain our furniture and walls. Finally, I have given him a spoon, which makes him a wee bit neater. Now only his lips are a dark purple, which makes him look very goth. I have a goth baby, yâ€™all! Teen me would be so proud.
OH my god, they added Harry Connick Jr on “American Idol” and he is great! He makes Keith Urban excited to have a fellow musician who is actually able to speak in complete sentences and understands music. They bookend beautiful, simple Jennifer Lopez (though to be fair, I like that she is strong-willed and not stream-rolled by the other two and she is a VAMPIRE. She is forty-four and not aging a whit!). Anyway, this season, they are giving actual, detailed singing feedback, which makes the show that much more interesting for me. I will never get sick of young people auditioning, feeling like it means everything in the world. Not only is the audition process endlessly fascinating, I am also amazed that they keep finding unknowns with superlative voices. It’s quite remarkable. Connick is very funny and harsh, but praises specifically when it is warranted. I’m down, I’m totally down for this show.
I don’t think you can watch Enlightened by Mike White and NOT love Mike White. His first film I saw was “Chuck and Buck,” an indie picture about two men who had fooled around as small children; one got over and is a corporate successful type with a beautiful finance. The other, not quite mentally retarded, but sort of slow, still dreams about a fairy tale ending with the corporate guy. They reunite at corporate guy’s mother’s funeral, and the rest of the story goes crazy, as the Other just goes for it. He moves to L.A., writes and produces a play about how much he loves Corporate Guy, and invites Corporate Guy and Fiance to come. It is a wonderful piece of writing that, I don’t know how to explain it, comes from a very deep place. You know when you’re following a story and you get a sense like, whoa, he just tapped into a well? It’s like that.
“Enlightened,” which is a TV series, is probably not consistently well-like (it’s a TV series, so I don’t think you can go as deep) but centers around a woman whose life is falling apart and how she moves on from there. It is such a wonderful TV series that makes such compassionate observations of how the workplace can kill your spirit, how loneliness can crush you, how life just makes you lose your marbles sometimes. He is a skilled writer, and the actors are skilled too, but I’m mostly impressed with his philosophy, his wise-beyond-his-years (and he’s like my age, so I don’t know what I mean by that, because I’m certainly old enough to be wise-appropriate-for-my-age) observations. There are some episodes that are, I don’t know, subtle but sad that I want to weep after, but you can’t quite get there. It’s very sweet and everything I had hoped “The Big C” starring Laura Linney could be but wasn’t. Dude, each episode is only thirty minutes but each character’s story keeps changing and so much happens, that it feels longer (in a good way! I promise!) The ambiguous romance between Laura Dern’s character and her ex-husband, committed drug addict Levi, is particularly wild and sad.
P.S. Mike White has been talking in interviews that he thinks this will be his best writing. I really don’t think so. He keeps living, he keeps having interesting observations.
P.P.S. Laura Dern’s clothing is super cute in the show. Shout out to the costume department!
60 minutes: oversleep (Slept through alarm. Only woke up because First Son said “Mommy, it’s ’73′” a.k.a. 7:30 a.m.)
8 minutes: Brushed teeth and got dressed
1 minute: Put on F train on You Tube for First Son (He is about to burst into tears and it will only make you one minute later. Plus, he’s the one who woke you up, so you owe him).
15 minutes: Waltz into work, head bowed in shame.