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Friday, November 30, 2012

Bill Murray on Gilda Radner, Or Appreciating Friends





Respectfully copied from HuffPostTumblr (Can one copy respectfully? You betcha!)
Bill Murray on Gilda Radner:

“Gilda got married and went away. None of us saw her anymore. There was one good thing: Laraine had a party one night, a great party at her house. And I ended up being the disk jockey. She just had forty-fives, and not that many, so you really had to work the music end of it. There was a collection of like the funniest people in the world at this party. Somehow Sam Kinison sticks in my brain. The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever.

So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way—over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. And that went on for more than an hour—maybe an hour and a half—just carrying her around and saying, “She’s leaving! This could be it! Now come on, this could be the last time we see her. Gilda’s leaving, and remember that she was very sick—hello?”

We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know.

And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there.

It was just one of the best parties I’ve ever been to in my life. I’ll always remember it. It was the last time I saw her.”

Response to Mystery Leaves Me With (Surprise!) Even More Mystery

I came across this essay titled Mystery by Beth Orton.  It was a very  good read, but I found myself having so many thoughts afterwards (which probably means it was very, very good read!).  They spiraled into uncertainty...  so rather than invade my friend's blog with confused rambling, I decided to respond here.
Original post:
I will never be a brain surgeon, and I will never play the piano like Glenn Gould.
But what keeps me up late at night, and constantly gives me reason to fret, is this: I don't know what I don't know. There are universes of things out there — ideas, philosophies, songs, subtleties, facts, emotions — that exist but of which I am totally and thoroughly unaware. This makes me very uncomfortable. I find that the only way to find out the fuller extent of what I don't know is for someone to tell me, teach me or show me, and then open my eyes to this bit of information, knowledge, or life experience that I, sadly, never before considered.
Afterward, I find something odd happens. I find what I have just learned is suddenly everywhere: on billboards or in the newspaper or SMACK: Right in front of me, and I can't help but shake my head and speculate how and why I never saw or knew this particular thing before. And I begin to wonder if I could be any different, smarter, or more interesting had I discovered it when everyone else in the world found out about this particular obvious thing. I have been thinking a lot about these first discoveries and also those chance encounters: those elusive happenstances that often lead to defining moments in our lives.
[…]
I once read that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. I fundamentally disagree with this idea. I think that doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is the definition of hope. We might keep making mistakes but the struggle gives us a sense of empathy and connectivity that we would not experience otherwise. I believe this empathy improves our ability to see the unseen and better know the unknown.
Lives are shaped by chance encounters and by discovering things that we don't know that we don't know. The arc of a life is a circuitous one. … In the grand scheme of things, everything we do is an experiment, the outcome of which is unknown.
You never know when a typical life will be anything but, and you won't know if you are rewriting history, or rewriting the future, until the writing is complete.
This, just this, I am comfortable not knowing.


From the minute you wake up to the minute you go to sleep, you are operating on how to make your life the least amount sufferable as possible.  You make money so you can live.  You feed your children so they don't get sick.  There is a lot of suffering going on out there.  People create stigmas against other people that the others have no control over.  There are bar brawls and large-scale wars over power. The ground can spontaneously split open and shake the world into destruction RIGHT NOW!  But let's turn it down a notch...  We will spontaneously lose jobs.  We will not like people and people will fight.  Relationships will fray.  Each one of us will die.  For me, "the struggle that gives us a sense of empathy and connectivity" is something you will get from simply being alive, so my question here is Why make it even harder for yourself?  

In an existential sense, Orton is almost on the nose about hope in this endless cycle of going through the same dynamics again and again.  Sisyphus pushes the rock up, it rolls down, he pushes the rock up....  Or as my pal Krissy just said, "life is hills and valleys. suffering then walking it out. forever."  Although I would argue that this dynamic gives birth to hope, versus defines it.  You need hope for that stuff.  In an active, day to day way, in the experimental way...  the one where everything is "ultimately unknown", it gets trickier. While no two situations, no matter how identically you are replicating them, will ever be the same, if a repeated outcome isn't to your liking, and you are unhappy by it, and you're not changing the variables in the "experiment", it makes no sense to me to not do anything about it.  What is Orton saying here, that you should set yourself up for a learning experience?  This is where I get a little confused.

Without trying to over-think it-  hope is a wonderful, necessary thing, and you need it when you're in sticky situations.  But, there are enough sticky situations already (see opening list above and feel free to use imagination to think of more, but don't get too bogged down), and I think there should be a limit as to how many sticky situations a person should knowingly get themselves into before the habit becomes delusional,  romanticized and/or unwise.  In a way, hope is the device you need so that you can do these things you're supposed to remember to do.  You need hope to hang on, but more importantly you need hope to not do the exact same things over and over, to do the things you've learned through your own, unique life experience to aid chance, instead of recoiling, becoming lazy, giving up...  Exhibit A- moi.  I can apply to one job a day for a week with the same resume and not get hired for a job, or I could revamp the resume on day three and increase the chances.  I can ask one friend daily for job suggestions, or five or ten friends...  Chances are that if I ask five or ten, I will get a fortunate "happenstance" situation where someone knows someone who is magically hiring.  My point is that we can control "happenstance" a little bit.  And perhaps making fortunate happenstances occur more often than not can be influenced by one's ability to learn, to not do something that doesn't work repeatedly, to incorporate new things into the routine.  Then again, some "happenstances" are bigger and more mysterious... Those I won't even begin to get into because I will even less of a clue than I do now about what I'm dealing with.

Re. this elusive happenstance... This is something very important for me to try and figure out, though I probably never will, and I waver back and forth, naturally, between the No Such Thing As Coincidence Hypothesis and its counterarguments.  Most recently, I've leaned toward a slightly more skeptical side, that it's our brain imposing meaning.  It is still a fun feeling though, and I appreciate it and even honor it!  I even have a new "Coincidence Alert" buddy.  Real talk.  There is a man named Mark and I message him every time something strange and uncanny happens!  He gets these wild, ranty messages from me and vice versa... We are ridiculous.  Anyway, "Coincidence Alert" buddy helps me get perspective, examine and explore the meaning in all of this.

It's one of our brain's jobs to create maps to understand, to deal, to learn, or simply to better live.  The level of interconnection between people and events over time is infinite.  I think one mode of brain mapping is actually less of a map and more like a highlighting tool, like the Find or Search features on our Internet browser, telling us what we want to know or what we think we already know or maybe things we already know, but need a little help surfacing to consciousness, maybe just things we need affirmation or support for?  Perhaps that's why some people subconsciously look at the clock every day at 2:22 or why some people make huge life decisions after hearing a song at the right time or piecing together a complex web of meaning out of uncanny circumstances.  The highlighted stuff are triggers.  That, gets very interesting, because if you think about it, this Search function is basically like an adapted, mechanized hope in our brains.

But anyways, I will prob change my mind about all of this next week.  And I'm fine with that.  Because even though my stance may be the same in about two years, and I'm back at playing the skeptic, the details will be different.  And if I go back to the No Such Thing As Coincidence Hypothesis next week, it will be backed up by a denser pack of experience than the No Such Thing As Coincidence Hypothesis I had last month.  While life is cyclical, the ever-changing variables make each experience an entirely new one, but more important than remembering that certain elements change, is that they can also be changed.  We can change them!  Don't forget that!  I think you owe it to yourself or to whatever Higher Power(s) to try, to progress, to modify, and to create as much as you can while you're still alive.  Call it gratitude or making the most out of life, or whatever you want. Perhaps this is why when it comes to big things like the crisis in Gaza or smaller things like maintaining personal integrity, my hope gauge (hope here is defined as the desire for the outcome of living with least amount of suffering), strongly depends on new measures, the changed variables, the learning process being applied.

Orton mentions the arc of life is a circuitous one.  There's something to be said about the role synchronic order plays in this circuit between events-time-people etc. That is exactly the part I want to understand more.  Like Ms. Orton says, there are some things- er, a lot of things, we just won't ever know.  But whatever, it's the thirst to know as many of them as possible, to prolong all quests, that make me more alive.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

A Derelict Cottage Near Stradbally


Near Stradbally, Ireand
Photo credit:  Owen O'Grady

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

I can't stop playing this brilliant album. Been a fan of Alan Parsons Project, and knew about The Raven, but had no idea that behind the track there was an entire album dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe! Spotify offers the 1976 versions and then the 1987 remixes:




Reminds me of the Edgar Allan Poe illustrations by Harry Clarke, which I also love so much:

    

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Lacrimosa

Was having a panic attack about life. Then I saw this...
“Why do people have to be this lonely? What's the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?” ― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart
... However, I find comfort in knowing we're all on this same journey. And the fact that those of us that are all alive in this tiny, tiny point of time and space intersecting is enough to vanquish any feeling of loneliness.



Wisteria Roof




Notes: "Wisteria is considered an invasive species in many parts, due to its ability to overtake and choke out other plant species. I love this image when applied to justice- that we have the power to choke out physical and spiritual hungers worldwide." - This lady named Kerrie

Otra

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Perfect Symphony


Once again, jacking from MissWhistle.  But it's so good.... 

Re-Runs

I'm running again!

I stopped after the short-lived stint at the café... Was tired from being on my feet all day.  But, now that I'm back to my desk most of the day I decided to velcro on my running shoes once more.

I just finished Kafka on the Shore, which I loved.  If you've read any of my previous posts you know I'm a fan of meandering, memory and meaning.  So then I started Murakami's book on running, appropriately called What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, and found it to be a good guide and source of inspiration.  It was reassuring to read how he sort of happened upon his calling as a novelist, and in his thirties, nonetheless...  Having read some of his books, his sort of poetic approach at life, which seem to be guided by chance and circumstance, makes sense to me. Not too different from Kafka's own journey...

Opportunities

Oh, there's a lot of opportunities
If you know when to take them, you know?
There's a lot of opportunities...
If there aren't, you can make them....
Make or break them!

 - Pet Shop Boys





Sunday, November 25, 2012

Defending Psy



It's safe to say that the virtual wildfire that is Gangnam Style has an undeniably catchy beat and overly stimulating visuals. I mean, 817, 000,000 and counting- I repeat: Eight Hundred Seventeen MILLION and counting- YouTube views don't just "happen". While there's something to be said about the music's contagiousness and the music video's absurdity giving rise to the sensational success, I think that Psy's lyrics are a huge factor to take into consideration.

I have absolutely no idea what he is saying, but it sounds great. His rhyme scheme is easy and fun to follow along, consistent and powerful enough to make language a non-issue when responding to the song. The best part though, is that the ideas conveyed are not as simple and digestible as the music suggests. After googling for a translation, I was surprised to learn the lyrics weren't as terrible as some of the images led me to assume.  

Visually, the video zooms in on yoga butt, but song wise, he is searching for a classy girl who knows how to enjoy a cup of coffee.  He flashes money and fancy cars, but admits he values brain over brawn.  He announces himself as a pragmatic man who knows how to be calm, but then play when it's time to play, yet sits on a public toilet and shout singing at the camera. There's an incongruent dichotomy at play here.  I'll just assume the goal was to attract as much attention as possible.  However, I, for one, didn't tune in three consecutive times to see a grown man on a toilet or a bunch of music video chicks bounce around like more conservative Playboy bunnies-  I think on some level there is a basic honesty Psy exudes, and after being able to read the lyrics I feel a little more sure about that.

His behavior is still obviously ridiculous, but if his words are genuine, Psy is more sensible-sensitive-yet-schitzophrenic dreamer versus misogynist-loonbasket in my book.


PSY- Gangnam Style, English translation from kpoplyrics.net

Oppa is Gangnam style
Gangnam style

A girl who is warm and human during the day
A classy girl who know how to enjoy the freedom of a cup of coffee
A girl whose heart gets hotter when night comes
A girl with that kind of twist

I’m a guy
A guy who is as warm as you during the day
A guy who one-shots his coffee before it even cools down
A guy whose heart bursts when night comes
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

A girl who looks quiet but plays when she plays
A girl who puts her hair down when the right time comes
A girl who covers herself but is more sexy than a girl who bares it all
A sensable girl like that

I’m a guy
A guy who seems calm but plays when he plays
A guy who goes completely crazy when the right time comes
A guy who has bulging ideas rather than muscles
That kind of guy

Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Beautiful, loveable
Yes you, hey, yes you, hey
Now let’s go until the end

Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style, Gangnam style
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two
On top of the running man is the flying man, baby baby
I’m a man who knows a thing or two

You know what I’m saying
Oppa is Gangnam style

Eh- Sexy Lady, Oppa is Gangnam style
Eh- Sexy Lady oh oh oh oh

From: http://www.kpoplyrics.net/psy-gangnam-style-lyrics-english-romanized.html#ixzz2DFqbMS1n
Follow us: @kpoplyrics_net on Twitter | kpoplyricsnet on Facebook

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Rocio Durcal

I appreciate this song not just for nostalgic reasons, but for- Actually yes, entirely for nostalgic reasons. And I'll take it further and say that everything we like is for nostalgic reasons.
While reading Kafka on the Shore, I found this great quote.   Murakami writes "... that as individuals each of us is extremely isolated, while at the same time we are all linked by a prototypical memory."
I shared that with a friend who responded with: "We are memory."  Ha!




I've translated the lyrics for you. You know, just for fun...  :)
A bit schmaltzy, but it's a nice way to start my day, and I'm fond of this airbrush painting of hers above.

The Prettiest Love

You are, the most pretty love I have
The truth which I am contained in
You are the feeling, that makes me live
Full of illusions and motivations
New for me

You have, in your eyes my faith and hope
That magic that never tires me
You carry in your being, so much to learn
But with my arms, I will take your steps
Even the trails of the highest mountains
Because

You are for me
The song that now makes my soul spring
You are for me
That voice that calls me in my dreams
You are the gift that god has sent me
So that my voice never dies

You are for me
All of the inspiration of my life
You are my reason
That light that lights up my life
You are like something more, always
When I see in the mornings
The smile that you give me


You have, in your eyes my faith and hope
That magic that never tires me
You carry in your being, so much to learn
But with my arms, I will take your steps
Even the trails of the highest mountains
Because

You are for me
The song that now makes my soul spring
You are for me
That voice that calls me in my dreams
You are the gift that god has sent me
So that my voice never dies

You are for me
All of the inspiration of my life
You are my reason
That light that lights up my life
You are like something more, always
When I see in the mornings
The smile that you give me

Heart of (Philip) Glass




Not an immediate mash-up fan, but this one is fun around the chorus.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Julio Cortázar On Editorial Review



"I can tell you that my oeuvre, personally, was completed in solitude, was completed in poverty, was completed with no editorial guidance and when editors WOKE UP to my books, to the books of Fuentes, to those of Garcia Marquez, to those of Vargas Llosa, they woke up because the first, precarious and difficult editions were sharply read by a bunch of people who passed them around hand to hand, and the editors who are not dumb- and who are there to gain money, understood perfectly that those writers were to be credited. They did not invent us. We wrote alone, and far away from Latin America. Garcia Marquez wrote far away. Vargas Llosa wrote far away. And me too... We didn't have editors or editor friends. The editors came later... 

... The truth is that no editorial promotion has saved a writer or piece of literature. With a great promotional campaign you can sell a book or one edition really well, but if the book isn't worth anything, how long will it really last?"

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

VHILS





                         


Monday, November 5, 2012

Sir William Beechey



Portrait of Sir Francis Ford's Children Giving a Coin to a Beggar Boy, exhibited 1793


Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Yam Yammmmmmmmm


It's hard for me to blog any food I make because the camera quality on my phone is so bad it will just look like I served up a plate of shapeless brown or grey, but I just have to share this recipe with you because it's one of the most delightfully cozy treats to make with just a few simple ingredients. I was introduced to this recipe by Netita earlier this year, if you remember.  Stranded in the Heights with no subway and lots of sweet potatoes yielded these babies two days ago, only instead of a chive sour cream mayonnaise dip I opted for a healthier yogurt & sour cream with lemon, dill, finely chopped onion and pepper.

The recipe can be followed here: Orna & Ella's Sweet Potato Pancakes


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I'm an LA transplant now living in Brooklyn. I develop film projects by day, write at night, and have a dangerous predilection for vintage Robinson Golluber scarves- this blog serves as a tiny window to everything else I do when I'm not satisfying those first three passions. I'm trying to blog more and tweet less @annabelleqv. What about you?

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