Thursday, March 24, 2005

In which she re-emerges after a brief hiatus

Listening to Billie Holiday. Probably some of the best music on the planet.

Updates have been sparse these past couple weeks, but that's how it goes sometimes. Today I finally took my big ol' (hard!) Religion midterm, however, so I feel much, much better and more relaxed now. Whew. I was hoping to duck into the Harvard Square Theater after my class to go see the new Woody Allen movie, Melinda and Melinda, in celebration of getting the exam off my plate, but alas the class got out late and I wasn't able to. I guess it wouldn't have been too fun to see the movie alone, anyway.

(Though I must say there's a certain romantic allure to doing your favorite things in a solitary way--going out to see a movie, wandering the city, visiting a museum... It's just, sometimes it's better to share your favorite things with someone else. Cliche though it might sound, there's really nothing better than sharing something you love.)

Speaking of Woody Allen, I thought of that brilliant line from Annie Hall ("I forgot my mantra!") the other day in Religion class when we learned this great Buddhist mantra. "Gate, gate, paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha." (Just say it out loud a couple times--"gate" is pronounced "gah-tay"--silly as this sounds, it's actually really calming and lovely. Just like I would imagine a mantra should be!) Loosely translated, it means "Gone, gone, far gone, gone to the farthest shore, arise enlightened, all hail!"

That's pretty great, if you ask me. (You didn't ask me, but it's still pretty great. Also, I just realized how much of this post has been contained within parenthases. Wild. Well, maybe wild isn't the right word. Hah.)

Eugh, Billie just started singing "Strange Fruit"--that's one of the most disturbing songs...makes me shiver.

On an entirely, entirely different note: no school tomorrow! I want to go on a long, long walk with my dogs in the slushy Marchness and create something. Art, maybe. Or write a story. Hm. (I love days off like this, it's a secret day snuggled in between the end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. I don't like to make plans for these days, I just like to do things that make me happy.) Now that the days are getting sunnier (hooray!), I think it's about time I took the storm window out upstairs so I can crawl out onto the roof. I can sprawl out there in the sun and read. It will be lovely.

But enough of that. Incidentally, any Flickr addicts like myself can alter and personalize this url. It's a good time. Speaking of the internet (what a segue! oh what a segue), I've recently become enamoured of Upcoming.org, a site from Andy "Waxy" Baio, which lists events like concerts, shows, and lectures in cities around the US. Trick is, anyone can add things and you can check out similar-minded people's lists (a la del.icio.us, sorta). This works out for me very nicely, because tons of things are listed for Boston and Cambridge, but at this early stage it will probably not be of much interest to anyone who doesn't live near a big (and wired, and generally cool) city.

Upcoming for me is a book reading and talk by the brilliant Jonathan Safran Foer (on April 6th, I think). But let me rewind... A couple years ago, I read JSF's unbelievable novel Everything Is Illuminated. I loved it, adored it. (And that cover! And that title! For a girl like me who will sometimes go to the library and choose a book based on the title and cover, those were just added bonuses. But trust me, even wrapped in a brown paper bag the book would have been spectacular.)

Anyway, so about a month ago JSF was profiled in the NY Times Sunday magazine; I found that his new book, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, would be coming out presently. And he seemed not just brilliant but also fascinating and very, very nice. So I dug around a bit on the internet and found his website and, after digging further, a contact email address. I wasn't sure if it was the address of an agent or editor or the man himself, but I went ahead and sent him an email. Just to say, y'know, you've got a friend in me. (And stuff.)

The other day, I opened up Gmail to find a reply from him! The man himself! And another one the following day. You probably can't guess how exciting that was for me. I mean, him! I guess I feel like people such as that aren't really real, they're always black-and-white photos with large vocabularies and an ink blotter on a desk. But apparently JSF actually exists, and he actually wrote to me. Sigh. How terrific. (By the way, the only other fan letter I've ever written to an author was to Philip Pullman sometime over the summer. He wrote back too! I love writers, and when I'm a writer I will always write back to easily excited girls with overactive imaginations. Always.)

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