Monday, November 13, 2006

Monday Grab Bag

Lea doesn't care how much I roll my eyes, she still wants to walk through the vaguely creepy (no, I do not want to purchase a life-size plaster penguin, thanks) holiday ornament place that Macy's has stuffed into an old Victoria's Secret storefront. I believe it's called "Holiday Lane." And of course it's been there since early October. But they do have brown angels, and for this I'm sort of happy:


In A Scream Goes Through the House, author Arnold Weinstein discusses the artist as colonizer. "The territory the artist colonizes, the vineyard he toils in, is you." Which, if I'm not mistaken, is pretty much the same as saying "you are what you read." Or maybe "you are what you make of your reading." Or maybe just "stop reading crappy stuff." All of which I'm totally okay with.


Speaking of reading, I continue to find amazing children's books that nurture my growing fascination with fairytales. A recent favorite is Babushka Baba Yaga, written by Patricia Polacco. It starts like this:

She was the last of her kind. A creature of legends. A being of the forest. She ruled her woods alone.

I love that. It reads like a promise to the lucky reader.


Also speaking of reading, I finished Zadie Smith's On Beauty a few weeks back. Judging from the way I ripped through it, I think it qualifies as a "page-turner." It's a fascinating exploration of the intellectual vs. the...what's the opposite...the physical? I don't know. My online thesaurus says the antonym is "stupid," but if that's the true opposite of intellectual, then I'm in a world of trouble, folks. Leave your suggestions in the comments, please. Anyways, Ms. Smith undergoes this exploration via the 30-some-odd year marriage of a white ivy league art professor and an African-American nurse. It is at turns smart, relevant, heartbreaking, and hilarious. As in White Teeth, the author displays an uncanny knack for capturing the voice of almost anyone, but there was one noticeable and frequent mistake. I point it out only because I think it's weird that her editor didn't catch it. Or maybe I'm wrong? Regardless, the African-American characters say, "Am I meant to be grateful?" or "Am I meant to be happy about that?" etc., etc. I'm nitpicking, but it did boot me right out of the fictional dream a few times.


Speaking of air hockey...oh, wait. We were not speaking of air hockey. But now we are! At yet another Safari Run birthday party on Sunday, my very best childhood friend and I went head-to-head in a spirited game of air hockey. And by spirited I mean we squealed like baby pigs, transformed into unrecognizably cutthroat competitors, and performed odd-for-us physical mannerisms such as fist-pumping and hands-over-head victory signs followed by distinctly Mick Jagger strutting.

And because I care so very deeply for you, I'll go ahead and leave you with that visual.

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