Friday, January 26, 2007

Recipe for Happiness

  1. Swim often. Why do I continually have to relearn this? I finally bought a new swim cap ($8.95 at Pool and Patio) and then made it to the pool around 2 pm. The hours this semester are better, meaning I may be able to swim three days a week. Hip hip hooray!
  2. Don't stay up too late drinking wine and watching the new DVD you just got in the mail, "Grease." (I blame Amazon and Middlebrow for this. But it's so tempting to begin a movie library. So far we have: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Hannah and Her Sisters, Annie Hall, Monster in a Box, When Harry Met Sally, and of course, Grease. Next I'm lobbying for Saturday Night Fever.)
  3. Write every day. Again, I still haven't learned this. Even if it's only one sentence, I need to write every day. My sanity depends on it.
  4. Play games with your child. It's fun! It has been too long since I sat down for a good game of Uno with Son. So today I did. He ate Triscuts while I munched on carrots. We each won one game. All fair! We are also fond of Blink, Clue jr., Dinosaur Dig, chess (well, he's fond of it. and I try hard), Connect Four, and any card games.
  5. Get your errands out of the way. This, again, is a lesson I constantly relearn. Why do I defer? I finally got over to REI and they replaced part of my binding for free. Free! And I returned some pants and then I got my new swim cap, all things I've needed to do for what feels like forever.
  6. Sometimes, eat canned soup for dinner. This goes to sanity. Sometimes, I just can't care about cooking. Mostly the day after I stayed up until 1 a.m. watching movies. But it's okay. Also good: bagged salad, and sandwich night. All good. And the added bonus of very little clean up.
  7. Take Son sledding or skiing. Must get outside. Ignore inversion. Get ya-yas out. Must get ya-yas out.
  8. Take time to chat with acquaintances. I'm always pleasantly surprised when I see someone I know at, say, the grocery store or the library. I like to chat with them. It makes me feel like I live in a community rather than a city.
  9. Sometimes, sit and stare into space.
  10. Ignore your email. Every once in a while.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Take a Minute

I spent a few hours yesterday volunteering for an amazing film at Sundance, The Devil Came on Horseback. It is about photographer Brian Steidle and the photos he took in Darfur. I was actually working for SaveDarfur. The film was horrifying, showing footage Steidle took when he was in Darfur and still photos he took of the bodies. He was one of the first people to bring pictures back of the genocide. He and the filmmakers were actually at the film, along with a survivor from Darfur who is working to collect survivor testimonies.
What's most horrifying about this film and Steidle's work, however, is that we've known about the genocide in Darfur for so long and still are doing nothing. In my work at the college, I get the opportunity to meet many amazing African students. I always wonder what they think of American culture, when they have so recently come from refugee camps where there are no schools, and see us with our laptops and iPods, ignoring all the people being killed whom we could save, if only we could get our political leaders to pay attention.
Please take a minute to follow the link above to, and send an email to President Bush. With all the money we are spending to kill people in Iraq, it seems that we can afford to spend a little money to save lives in Darfur.
I believe more and more people are paying attention and raising their voices for this cause. Please join me. And see the film if you can. It's playing in town again next week.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Well, it should be no surprise to anyone that I was right about only 5 Globes, and wrong about 15. But c'mon. I hadn't seen any of the movies, and hardly any of the shows, so 5 is pretty good under the circumstances.
Most hideous dress: Cameron Diaz (you know, since "In Her Shoes" I love her, but her dress looked like gauze. With a wing. I mean, c'mon)
Hottie: Reese Witherspoon. Divorce looks good on her!
Dress I need to see again: The actress who plays Dr. Torres on "Grey's Anatomy." First of all, I didn't think they would win. Second, they only showed like two people's dresses and then they hurried them off the stage. She had on an intense red dress and she looked great (I think?).
Best speech: Well, it's a toss up. But the Brits definitely won. First Hugh Laurie said his crew "always smelled of freshly mown grass" an image I used in my creative writing class today. But Sasha Cohen's whole fart speech was hilarious. And Bill Nighy saying, "I used to think awards were empty, useless things. Then I received one. Now I know they are meaningful." Priceless! And Jeremy Iron too. And Helen Mirren. Yes. The Brits rule. Oh! Except for Meryl Streep. She made a statement about small movies. Love her!
Worst speech: Um, everyone else? Why can't American actors stop thanking their press agents and lawyers? It's gross. And boring. Hello. We want imagery and dry humor!
Back to work. Until Oscar time!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Globe Picks

Well. I do feel better, thank you very much, but I am sad that tonight is not the night of the Golden Globe Awards. Here at Dr. Write, inc, we really love us some award shows. So, because it is too cold to go outside for any reason besides getting in the car, I will name some names I hope to hear tomorrow night. Also I hope to see some hideous fashion on the red carpet. That's almost as fun as the good fashion.
Let me just preface this by saying that, unlike other years when I have seen at least one or two of the movies nominated, this year I have seen exactly NONE of the dramas, and only ONE of the comedies. So my picks for who will win are, of course, educated.
I have to say that when Judi Dench is up against Helen Mirren my mind does a sort of crazy tango. But I have to pick Judi Dench for the Best Actress in a Drama category, because it's SO OBVIOUS that Helen Mirren is going to win for Prime Suspect. It was the last one. Of course she's going to win.
Okay, let's see, Leonardo DiCaprio or Leonardo DiCaprio? I'll pick Forest Whitaker. Why? Because he's Forest Whitaker.
In Comedy, I actually have seen one, which I will pick: Little Miss Sunshine. Funny. And heartwarming.
For actress, I'll pick Toni Colette, because she's been my favorite for so long. But I know it will go to Beyonce. I have nothing against Beyonce, but people love to give a rock star an acting award. They just do!
I want Chiwetel Ejiofor to win for Actor. Why? Because I have seen Kinky Boots. And also I want to see someone with a cue card try to pronounce his name!
In Supporting, I think Jennifer Hudson will win for Dreamgirls. Buzz, people, it's all about buzz. And I like me some American Idol revenge too. Who doesn't?
I'm gonna pick Mark Wahlberg for supporting actor. He's Marky Mark. Say no more.
Animation: Cars
Foreign: Apocalypto? Ha. Ha ha. No, Volver.
Director: Scorese. Because they feel sorry for him. Poor Martin.
Screenplay: Notes on a Scandal or Little Children (for obvious reasons. I'm a writer!)
Score: No pick
Song: Listen from Dreamgirls
Best TV Drama: Heroes (buzz!)
TV Actress: Edie Falco
TV Actor: Michael C. Hall
Best TV Series: The Office
TV Actress, Comedy: Julia Louis-Dreyfus!!
Actor: It's going to go to Zach Braff because it's his last year. But it should go to Steve Carrell.
Best Mini-Series: Prime Suspect!
Best Actress in M.S.: Helen Mirren!
Best Actor in M.S.: Bill Nighy (haven't seen it. But I heart him!)
Supporting Actress, series: Sarah Paulson from Studio 60 (and to think I once found her annoying!)
Actor: No idea.
I hope this wasn't too annoying. Check back in Tuesday for cynicism and mirth at the winners/losers/fashion losers.
BTW, I've been wearing my pajamas for about 4 days. That's right: fashion loser!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Sedentary. Jet-Lagged. Cold. Me.

After two days of hanging out in my pajamas (okay, today I actually showered AND changed out of my pjs), I finally feel almost healthy again. I think I have recovered from Jet Lag. Symptoms: cloudy head, confusion, body weighed down by gravity, 7:30 bedtime, 6:30 a.m. waking. I recovered from jet lag only to be clotheslined by whatever cold/flu/death virus is currently in vogue. One day I felt great, the next I was convinced I had strep and at least three different varieties of flu and/or sinus infection. But I seem to be doing better. Unfortunately, I have been informed that intermittent recovery is one of the signs of this cold/flu/death virus. So it could be I feel okay until tomorrow. Whatever.
I am taking the opportunity of this long weekend to pick up anything lying on the floor of my house and shove it in a garbage bag. Then, I might dust. If I feel like it. I most definitely will not clean the bathroom. I may watch a movie. I already read one book (entirely unrelated to school!) and I may read another. Oh, and also finish a few books I only have one more chapter of and add them to last year's book totals.
I am definitely NOT doing any outdoor sporting events. Have you been out there? With the wind chill it goes from f*ing cold to too damn f*ing cold, which is why the geniuses of our time have invented TV and DVDs and what not.
Happy Long Weekend. And let's take some time to remember why we have an extra day off. And not be too cynical about whoever our local organizations have invited to speak. I'm just going to try to be nice, which for me, right now, is a challenge.
Happy Winter!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Home from the Land of Mayo and Smoking

We made it back! We're alive! And alert, yet tired.
Yesterday was an exhausting long distance event. We left our hotel in Madrid at 10 a.m. local time (2 a.m. hometown time). We spent three hours in the Madrid airport (mostly drinking cafe and eating, so it was good), then 9+ hours on a flight to Atlanta. Yes, that's correct, 9+.
The pros of the flight were the movies, "Scoop" which was okay, and "Invincible" which was good (I love me a sports feel good movie), and the food. On overseas flights, I feel they try to convince you about the time change using food. They bring out the food, proclaiming, Okay, it's dinner time, regardless of the actual time, and everyone just goes along with it. But the food was actually good, there was an ice cream snack in the middle of the flight, and I was sitting next to the most adorable girl ever (she was Spanish). At one point she clued me in to which in-flight radio station I should be listening to by saying, "Seis. Shakira" and dancing around in her seat. I almost spoke her level of Spanish.
The negative aspect of this flight was that about the time we wanted Son to take a nap (about six hours into the flight), he became Devil Child, writhing around, falling on the floor, pinching and hitting us. Basically proving to everyone on the flight that we are Bad Parents. On the plus side, the minute we boarded the plane in Atlanta, he fell asleep and slept the whole way home.
So, from Madrid to our doorstep was 21 hours. Oh joy! We went to sleep around 11:30, but we all woke up, wide awake, at 6:30. Son wanted breakfast, so we all got up. I just fed him an enormous lunch, so we'll see how our body clocks work on adjusting back to our schedule stateside. No more siestas or dinner at 9 pm!
All in all, a great trip. Son picked up more Spanish than we realize. Yesterday at the Atlanta airport he said, "Dos. I have to go dos. In my language, we say dos." Cute, and yet. . .
I loved Spain, though I won't miss the constant smoking. As a parting gesture, our departure gate was near the "Smoking Point" in the airport, which of course had no doors, so the smoke just drifted out so that we could all share in it.
As Son said, Why does everyone in Spain have to smoke? And let their dogs poop on the sidewalk. But that's another conversation all together.
Glad to be back. Stunned that I have to go back to work on Monday.