Sunday, March 24, 2013

Kid of the Year

I tutor a few middle school students (an hour each, once a week) through Teton Literacy Center and maybe one shouldn't play favorites, but...ALAN IS MY FAVORITE !!!  He's in sixth grade and has a Russian tortoise named Sandy. We both like black ink pens that are made in Japan.  Isn't he cute?

A super nice kid who asks great questions and says "thank you."

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Why do I write a blog?
  • Share what I think is interesting in the world
  • Reach out in a small way, to anyone who needs...distraction?
  • Sometimes I have something I need to tell someone and the right person isn't there
  • For people who seek me out (maybe three or four?), this is a warmhearted HELLO
  • Practice writing freely
  • A bridge between anonymous scribble and public release
  • It's fun to have something [small] on the web that's yours [even though Google no doubt collects all sorts of data from everything I write], not just your FB page
  • To ask important questions like, Is there a Uniqlo in SF? LA?

Monday, March 18, 2013

David Sedaris quit smoking??

Wow, I guess this blog is really: "Get the Latest...Five Years Later."
I just read When You Are Engulfed In Flames and it really is good.  I was off of David Sedaris for awhile, because that squirrel book was so weird.  I just re-read the good ones, like Naked, and I have Me Talk Pretty One Day (the audiobook) on iTunes for the car.

The title refers to DS's time in Japan, quitting smoking.  It's taken from the booklet in his Japanese hotel room.  This section--the last, called "The Smoking Section"--is so great.  Lots of Engrish, tales of him trying to learn Japanese (impressive, I think, considering he learned French as an adult not that long ago)--it's awesome. Made me remember all the strange things in Japan (to us, Americans) that are totally "normal."  I just watched the movie version of The Elegance of the Hedgehog (Muriel Barbery), entitled just "Hedgehog," and it also had lots of cool Japanese things--like the toilet seat that automatically blasts Mozart Requiem as soon as you sit down.  I want one of those.  When I was in Japan, I only saw the buttons in the public toilet stalls that just made a WHOOSHH fake toilet flush sound--they are so creatively discreet, the Japanese, aren't they?  I don't think I've ever seen a button like that, not even nearby--like in Korea or Hong Kong.

Anyway (if you haven't already, of course), you should read "...Engulfed In Flames."  It'll take you like an hour cuz it's so funny; it's guaranteed to will fill you life with "fun and joyful mind."

Now that he's quit smoking, I wonder: how is he going to stop himself from compulsively touching people's heads in airports and kissing light switches...?

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Next Stop Wonderland

Remember this movie?  It streams on Netflix now.  
That's Phillip Seymour Hoffman! 

Smith (Samantha's hot young boyfriend from SATC) makes a brief appearance too... This is an example of one of those amazing movies where by the end of the movie - magically! - the unattractive guy is totally dreamy.  Oh I love the music, too.

Still good after...omg..15 years! 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

With the greatest respect...

Got this from "english teachers collective" on FB

Monday, March 4, 2013

HBR blog

I just saw a blog post Joel Stein wrote for the Harvard Business Review: Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership.  Ha!  I'm glad he agrees with me that great leaders don't have to be so PUMPED and alpha all the time...
Cute pic I stole from

Sunday, March 3, 2013

O Wit

O to be as witty as some people.  Like, to be as clever as Wodehouse.  Or, to name someone living, as clever as Joel Stein, who also makes it look like he just types up his "Awesome Column" in maybe like, ten minutes...

"I generally advise people never ever to present assistance." 
                                                                            - P.G. Wodehouse

(The above I found on a pretty boring list of oxymorons (this one's better--v. amusing). It's listed elsewhere as "I always advise people never to give advice," which I think is less funny.

The Joel Stein column that cracked me up today was from the 2/25/13 issue of Time magazine...I can't find it online, so I'll excerpt some of the column (that's allowed, right?)
This is from "[Insert Catchy Name Here]," with the sub-title, "What I learned from winter storm Nemo:  news events need cuter names:"

"I asked Michael Scherer, TIME's White House correspondent, to try replacing sequestration--which is the situation in which the federal budget will be different if something doesn't something before something--in all his articles with Kanye.  So he wrote, "At this point, Republicans and Democrats agree on two things: Kanye is terrible policy, and the likelihood of Kanye going into effect is growing." He tried it in a bunch of other sentences and said, 'In all cases, replacing sequestration with Kanye improved the sentence and would increase my readership.  Let me know how you want to take this idea to the editors.'"
                                                                 - Joel Stein, "The Awesome Column"

Ho ho. Sequestration should totally be replaced by Kanye.

Did you know that Kanye West and Aziz Ansari hang out?

Happiness is so uncool

First, I didn't know Anne Hathaway was so hated, at least by women-girls in NYC.  She was good in "Devil Wears Prada" and was a convincing Catwoman. She was cute and funny in the bit I saw her in "Get Smart." I didn't really like her in that depressing draggy dysfunctional family drama, but that was more the movie.
But anyway, it's always been tricky being a girl and we should praise girls who might show that they want praise.  I kind of like Anne Hathaway, as sort of a younger Julia Roberts-type.
Anne Hathaway: The New Yorker
I think I like happy people.

I'm going to generalize about Girls now:
We are taught early to hide ambition in order to be liked, and praise the other girl in the room ("I LOVE your HAIR!")...And then, I guess, when we see a girl not really playing this game, we're like Dude, don't you know how this goes?  It's complicated though, because hiding our ambition/desires/pro-self-ness can demonstrate a whole array of things for both ourselves and others:

  • hiding that we care makes it easier to fake being ok when we fail (for ourselves and others)
  • hiding ourselves on purpose to highlight someone else shows that we (girls) care about others, by giving them the floor that we know/believe/hypothesize they empathy or sympathy
  • hiding is what we're taught (at least I was) from such a young age, so it's uncomfortable to be self-promoting or cheerleading for oneself.  feels gross.  
  • minimizing ourselves is part of this deft social game, this intelligence that reflects that you understand the complex web of other people's thoughts, feelings, and actually you DO care how they perceive if you don't "play," you are maybe lacking this type of intelligence? but then why all the resentment?  
I have no idea why people/women like Jennifer Lawrence, in contrast to A.H.  And I think people are being too sensitive if they are offended by the The Onion's tweet about the little girl from "Beasts of the Southern Wild"--I think it points out the ridiculous scrutiny and phony love/ hatred extremes of celebrity-watching and -worship.  And the Onion always does that stuff--go to extremes and point out our ridiculousness.  That's like their JOB.  You should see that movie, though ("Beasts/Southern Wild"): that little girl is amazing.  I can't remember her name but it starts with a Q.
I don't know exactly why...well, maybe I do...but this whole silly debate reminds of Helen Hunt in "Every Day" (Liev Schrieber).  Have you seen it?  
Also-what does sarcasm and suffering have to do with it?  We like unhappy, morose, dark, mopey people?  I don't think so.  Wait, maybe socially-awkward and shy can be endearing... I need to think about this more.