I could not stop laughing.
He does not strike me as the type of guy to diet or work out for the sake of a job, based on stories I’ve heard. Okay, one story. One friend’s ex is a mathematician and met Ron Howard and Russell Crowe when they were researching “A Beautiful Mind” and Crowe slept through the entire meeting. I feel like he stank of booze but I could be completely making that up.
Plus, how hilarious are the movie reviewers of the NY Times? The title of their review is “Rain, Heavy at Times.” Too snarky.
When I was 12 or so, I was on a family trip with my parents, and I was starting to hit the age where I only wanted to be around people my age, that it was only fun to play with young people, no old people allowed, etc. etc. They felt enormous pity for me, and so when we saw an amusement park from the highway, they pulled over. “Won’t that be fun, Yunny?” and I really just sulked in silence, hanging around boneless, despondent with adolescent despair. Terrible. To show they were fun and good sports, they walked me to different rides and asked if I wanted to go this one, or this one, or this one. “Why, I have no one to go on it with.” We stopped in front of a ride called the Zipper, and we had the exact same exchange, but this time, my parents both decided to go on the ride and left me to wait for them on the ground.
My poor parents.
The zipper is like a giant stick with several cars attached (which people board) that 360s as the entire ride pinwheels. It goes really fast and it looks horrible. I still remember my mother screaming.
They survived of course. This isn’t like a Holocaust story, but they are not scary rides kind of people and that moment was so memorable.
oh man, my mom is skinny that her bones are sticking out and the kids love playing with her bones. First they, always touch her collar bones. Wonder Twin Boy tries to hang off her clavicle, like a wedge on a rock climbing wall. First Son touches her collar bones like a piano player, like he runs his fingers down them like he’s playing keys. Last week, I heard him tell her “Ima, I love your bones.” And all of us cracked up.
I think the premise of the show is that people you lose years ago comes back. It is a COMPLETELY MESSED UP IDEA! I understand the writer’s desire to to control the world or create a fantasy, but this just seems cruel. A mother meets her 8 year-old son who died 32 years ago. Dude, I would pass out and you would have to lock me away.
Nothing is softer than the bottom of Twin Daughter’s foot. I only found that out recently because she needed me to flick off a piece of old couscous off that had gotten embedded in her sole. (Dude, it’s even softer than my face! I mean I know I walk on my face but…) She also throws nuggets on sticks in a way that makes them spiral across the room like a ninja’s death star. (Ugh). She is completely besotted with my mother. She takes her little raccoon hands and grips my mom’s skinny upper arms and says her pet name for her over and over again, alternating between smiling up at her beatifically or leaning and closing her eyes and enjoying the moment. It’s very “the Notebook.” She also bites pretty hard when I put teeth gel on her gums and laughs uproariously when I say “owww.” Hmmm.
I have no point. I just wanted to say “Daughter” and “Ninja death star” in the same post.
This year, the only Asian I spied on the Oscars was a seat filler when the camera panned to Matthew McConnaughy and his model wife. Matthew must have been out on a pee break and bam! Asian! That’s the only one. 🙁
I am super psyched about having more African American stories and performers and artists featured, but i would like a few Asian Americans! Thank you.
“Whatever I do, however I find a way to live, I will tell these stories. I have spoken to every person I have encountered these last difficult days, and every person who has entered this club during these awful morning hours, because to do anything else would be something less than human. I speak to these people, and I speak to you because I cannot help it. It gives me strength, almost unbelievable strength, to know that you are there. I covet your eyes, your ears, the collapsible space between us. How blessed are we to have each other? I am alive and you are alive so we must fill the air with out words. I will fill today, tomorrow, every day until I am taken back to to God. I will tell stories to people who will listen and to people who don’t want to listen, to people who seek me out and to those who run. All the while I will know that you are there. How can I pretend that you do not exist? It would be almost as impossible as you pretending that I do not exist.”
from What Is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng by Dave Eggers
Actually, that’s the last paragraph of the book. Sorry. Spoiler alert! (A little late). I retyped it because i thought it was so beautifully written, but I don’t know if it’s because it truly is beautiful, or if it was a resting point after such a long, grueling, but absorbing story. Eggers interviewed one of the Lost Boys of Sudan and wrote his autobiographies, but with a few liberties. They spent three years together on the phone, in person, interviewing, researching, all in the effort to humanize the problem of children orphaned by the civil war in Sudan, the poverty, the crazy existence of places on earth that is hundreds of years behind the U.S. in terms of development (by that, I simply mean roads, electricity, running water).
I’m generally not drawn to “issues” books and I am also not generally drawn to Dave Eggers. He’s too successful, which mildly disgusts me. He has written several prize-winning books, he started a trendy literary magazine and publishing house named after his mother’s maiden name (McSweeneys) and he started a really cool literary not-for-profit called 826 Valencia, which was replicated throughout the country. I tried to volunteer of the 826 in Brooklyn, and I couldn’t because IT IS TOO COMPETITIVE TO VOLUNTEER THERE. (I blogged about it years ago). But whatevs, my friend Alex J. read it and recommended it, so i read it.
It is a remarkable book. And to speak out of order, the idea of contributing a fictional book as a step in philanthropy is so wild. While Eggers is a pretty established writer, you only have like a few books in you over your lifetime; it takes years to write one, and to contribute one to someone else’s story seems generous. But the process behind this book is so unusual too — to extemporize when it feels right, to use facts when it feels right. I have no idea how you’d do it if it’s not your own story.
Valentino goes through such an insane ride — there’s a lot of coverage of his village being attacked and walking to another country (Kenya) with other refugee orphan boys and dodging rebel troops trying to recruit or shoot them, dodging wild animals during the walk and alligators during water crossing sections. That part is tough, but then when they see life outside of the refugee camps, it’s surreal how quickly the poverty and violence falls away. Everything is just a plane ride away. We’re all close, but not, so the book succeeded. It made me more aware of the plight of the Sudanese — at home, in camps, as refugees in the bewildering U.S. where they have no clue on how to make it, suffer from an inadequate support system, but meet Angelina Jolie and Jane Fonda even though they are dead broke. This guy has been through so much loss and hard times, and still, he has managed to maintain a positive outlook on life, he is hopeful. Valentino Achak Deng is an exceptional individual.
I wouldn’t say I have changed outwardly, no Bodhisattva Vow as of yet, but it is inspiring to read what he has survived on the days I feel like I’m hanging on by a thread. You know what? Whatever challenges I have, I got it made, I have multiple-blessings, and I am so goddamn lucky. Who knows why, but I best appreciate it. And isn’t it amazing when a book can make you feel that way?