Wednesday, November 25, 2009

A Georgetown Sunday

Last Sunday, I had the rare opportunity to actually be......by myself! It's not a regular occurrence these days. I strolled through Georgetown to enjoy the morning.

Oooo cool:



Check out my new kicks:




Hello M Street.










Georgetown Flea:

This man and I talked about music. I said I used to play the piano. He wishes he knew how. He was pretty good on the little guitar he was playing though. Maybe that is a mandolin?

This picture is actually from Eastern Market on Saturday -- happy feet with the dogs.


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Paraíso

Happy Sunday!

New favorite song -- 

"Looking for Paradise" by Alejandro Sanz (featuring Alicia Keys.)

Get it. Love it. 

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon Review

I may have been one of the crazies in the movie theater at midnight last night. At least I wasn't one of the crazies who got there 2 hours early to secure a seat. Although, I must say, had we not divide and conquered at the Georgetown Theater, we probably would have been stuck sitting front row, necks cranked up, sitting entirely too close to Jacob Black's really hot, I mean tan, body.

Yes, yes, yes. I was in the New Moon midnight premiere, the 2nd screen installment of author Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Oh the hilarity.


First of all, Abianne, Shannon (my fellow Twilight die-hards,) and I were pretty surprised at who showed up for movie. It wasn't your average tween crowd in the least. Instead, the theaters (all 8 that were open to show the film last night) were jammed with girls, and an occasional guy, all about my age(going on 24) and older, who seemed rational and functioning enough to at least question why they were sacrificing sleep and the delights of having a well-rested Friday in order to see Edward Cullen's all too red lips light up the screen. I shouldn't have really been surprised by the make-up of the audience -- just yesterday, I read an article in the Washington Post describing the Twilight phenomenon particularly among women, not only teens, who have become completely engrossed with the series. One woman bought three dogs and named them after the Quileute wolf pack after the books apparently changed her life by unlocking a sea of sub-surface emotions. Hmmmm okay.



Secondly, and I always thought it would be a fun job to choose the previews that are shown before the main event, the previews were perfectly tailored to this audience of early 30 year-old lovesick women. There was first a preview for Daybreakers, some crazy, futuristic flick about vampires who rule the world and are running low on human blood. Hmmmm okay -- quite appealing to the few who are actually seeing New Moon because the blood-sucking side of Edward appeals to them more so than the "I'm in love with Bella and want her so badly but am torn to pieces because I also want to kill her" side of him. Next, there was an uber romantic film about a Romeo and Juliet love story set in Italy amidst two generations of destined lovers. Oooo la la. Then, there was Me and Orson Welles. Who cares that the majority of the audience has no clue who Orson Welles is. Zac Efron's in it; enough said.






And finally, Robert Pattinson's new movie, Remember Me. Wow -- you should have heard the murmurs and shrieks when his face lit up the screen. Time to see if RPatz can actually act. From the likes of the preview, he can.




And then the lights dimmed. This was why we were not all in bed at 12:05am on a Thursday night. New Moon begins.


In general, I thought the movie was way more hilarious than the producers intended. The music, albeit pretty cool, also created a pretty trippy feel throughout the film. Although yes, I was sipping a bit of red wine, the music was putting me to sleep more so than awakening my senses to Bella's pain of loss and then thrill of reckless adventure, Jacob's sweet yearning for her, and Edward's -- ummm Edward's ummmm -- Ok, truthfully Edward brought very little to the movie. Yea, yea I know, he was hardly in it, but even Edward and Bella's kissing looked forced and awkward. I shouldn't be too harsh. Edward is supposed to be a torn and broken character. Robert Pattinson plays that side of his character well, but there needed to be more passion. For crying out loud, Edward was trying to kill himself over the loss of Bella right before she saves his life. The gravity of their reunion wasn't captured at all. And the whole Volturi sequence was way more frightening in the book.



Here's the dynamic duo themselves:



Kristen Stewart's Bella was so mechanical and seriously annoying at times. I'm not hating on Kristen; she plays Bella really well, but the character Bella herself is just a mess. She can hardly string three words together without stalling or mumbling. The only time she really got it right was when she was mad; such as the rain scene with Jake when she yells at him for not being the friend he once was to her.


Taylor Lautner plays a mighty fine Jacob Black. I for one am definitely on his team. I don't think he can actually act at all, but no one's holding that against him. Excuse me, but what happened to the big kiss with Bella?? Major letdown.


Big highlight -- when we see Alice's vision of a vampire Bella frolicking in the forest with Edward --- HILARIOUS! Such a cheese-fest, but you know you love it. My whole theater was clearly already salivating for Breaking Dawn to hit the big screen.


Another highly entertaining part -- when Bellas crashes on her motorcycle and Jake takes off his shirt without a moments notice to wipe the blood away. Baaaaaahaha. You know you love it, times deux.


Seeing Edward recite lines from Romeo and Juliet wasn't half bad either -- are Edward and Bella the R & J of today? Star-crossed lovers with an ill fated destiny??? Ahhhhhhhhhh. No, because we all know the story, and can't wait for the next movie.


Until Eclipse on June 30th, au revoir...

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

He knew he would have just one chance to impress her

I wanted to share my absolute favorite advertisement of all time. That is a big statement, but I stand by it. I tore it out from my American Way magazine on the airplane going to LA this past weekend. Rosetta Stone, the learn-any-language-really-fast people, have sold me on their product:



Language. I love it. I can only speak two of them, English and Spanish, but even those I can't speak that well. And they've combined LOVE and LANGUAGE in the same ad -- be still my heart. Thanks to my French-loving friend Virginia, (who is getting married in almost exactly one month!!) I know the meaning of some French phrases. For example,“L’amour c’est être stupide ensemble” -- This means "Love is being stupid together."


I remember coming back to the States after seven months in Argentina in 2007. My dad picked me up at the airport in Dallas and we went to our favorite late night, or in this case, early morning joint. You know it -- Cafe Brazil! Will wonders never cease. Many a late night coffee has been had there (ya, Amanda.) Well, cafe Brazil is not actually run by Brazilians, but by Latinos. Mind you, after seven months in the glory of Buenos Aires, I came back to the States relatively fluent. It was maybe the happiest I've ever been in my life -- soley because of that fact. I was thinking in Spanish!

To be able to communicate is a real and amazing thing. To be able to communicate in another language is incredibly freeing and opens the door to a whole new world.

While sitting at the table with my dad, I actually had to force myself to speak English with the waiter instead of Spanish. I know that sounds strange -- he is Spanish, so why not speak to him in his native tongue? But it's like it would have been rude to do that back in Texas. I can't quite explain it, but it's like you don't want him to think you are trying to be too personal with him, or act like you can identify with him more than the other guy over at table 2 because you can speak his language.


But why the heck not? Why not identify with him? I mean, I said I came back relatively fluent, not totally fluent; I probably would have said something not quite right anyway. He probably would have laughed at me and gone to tell his other waiter friends that some chica over there has a terrible accent. (Little would he know, however, that the Argentinian Spanish accent is the most beautiful in the world.) But the point is, why do we fear to identify with someone from a different culture? Language is a gift of connection with others. If you can speak, you can connect. If you can connect, you can love. If you can love, you have the world. So don't be afraid to open your mouth.

Here's an example -- In New York a few weeks ago, I ran into a French couple on the street. They asked me, in French, if I had just run the marathon. (They saw my spandex and probably how sweaty I was from trying to run after Amanda, my friend who really did run the marathon -- and at lightning speed.) I laughed, was flattered, said no, and then asked them if they were from France. Oui! I then decided to lay on them my one French line that I repeat all the time. It's from Kate Chopin's The Awakening, and of course it has to do with love. And of course I said it not exactly in the right way, and of course I got very puzzled looks. So I smiled, they smiled, we all were happy, I was about to ask them if they owned a French chateau that they wouldn't mind my crashing at come early April, thought twice about it, and bid them a fond farewell. It was a jolly exchange. We connected in some way. Me, the crazy American girl; them, the chic older French couple. I'm glad I tried to talk to them. They probably forgot me quite quickly, but I will always remember them. And wish that I spoke French.

Language, words, people. Life.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hello November

I woke up and it's November. November 6th even. Goodbye October! This was my pumpkin that I carved with Natalie and Leighton -- it took 2nd place in our house competition during our Halloween party. Should have taken 1st place if you ask me. We named it "Starry Night." Thank you, Vincent.



Hello November!



This is a painting by Marcia Baldwin, an artist from Louisiana. Love the bright colors. I think I'm going to go under my bed next week and actually open my box of paints that I keep there. Might be hilarious what I create.....we'll see what happens.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heart in my Pocket


My friend Archer shared this link with me today. It further shows the awesomeness of New York. Well, really just the wonder of the heart -- but it just so happens to be in NYC.



Garance Dore (she is French.... oui oui) has a blog that mainly follows fashion, but she also will sometimes post pictures from the streets around the shows she attends during fashion weeks. She took a picture of this guy (he happens to be French too.....oooo la la) sitting in the sunlight reading a book. She liked his shirt, and lo and behold, he showed her that his wife had embroidered a heart inside the pocket! He carries her heart near his heart.



If I had to paint a picture, or take a picture, to go along with one of my favorite poems by EE Cummings, it would be this heart sewn into his shirt. Read:

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in

my heart)i am never without it(anywhere

i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done

by only me is your doing,my darling)

....and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

"whatever a sun will always sing is you..."

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sparkle Face

I went to New York last weekend to see one of my best friends run the New York Marathon. Amanda was INCREDIBLE. I mean it amazes me how fast she can run. She was a vision of bright pink flying by when I saw her at both mile 18 and mile 23. Boston 2k10 here we come! More on the marathon and friends and the stellar weekend later...


New York -- as I write this I have Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind" stuck in my head. Not only because it was played at Joshua Tree where my friends and I managed to secure a corner near the bar and dance for about three hours straight, but also because the lyrics fit my love of this city. "These streets will make you feel brand new, Big lights will inspire you..." Something about New York does inspire me.....to do what, you ask? I don't know yet. Maybe even just to walk everywhere and observe the condensed humanity. I lived on the Upper West Side for 6 months in kindergarten, so maybe NYC really is a part of me. The smell of bagels from H&H, mixed with the tantalizingly amazing smell of the roasted nuts on every other corner; the freaky but cool old subway stations that sort of make you feel like your in Gotham; the lady who literally shhhhed us on the subway for being too loud as we talked to each other; the fact that Avery ran into Ed Westwick aka Chuck Bass in a costume shop; the way you really will see your life flash before your eyes on most taxi rides; 5th Avenue where the rich walk on the street with the poor; the endless buzz of people talking to each other in every language; the eerie quietness on Broadway on Sunday morning without a car in sight at the marathon finish area. Oh New York, I love you.


On Sunday afternoon, I was on the subway heading to Penn Station to catch the train back home. Because of my parking spot at work in DC, I am rarely on any form of public transportation -- but I think the NY subway is way more fascinating than the DC metro. You never quite know what kind of people you will see on your ride in New York. DC and the surrounding areas are pretty sectional in regards to what kind of person you are and where you live, so granted, the people that I standardly see on the orange line from Arlington into the Capitol aren't exactly the hard-knocks. But in New York, it's everyone. All together. Kids from Columbia University going on a date downtown, Asian gangsters in trench coats (I don't know if they were really gangsters but that is the best way I can describe them,) and the Hispanic family making sure the matriarchal grandmother got a seat to rest her weary legs.


I stare a lot at people (pardon my rudeness,) and on this particular ride, I was fascinated by an African American couple standing near the door. The woman was gorgeous. Not at all in a put-together way, but more in a funky, independent, earthy but hip, tribal African way. Her short hair was predominantly dark and twisted in cool, braided spirals that rose off her head in several directions, and the ends of each spiral were dyed a light brown. Really almost reddish blond. Her amazingly smooth skin was not deep black but more like a chocolaty brown. What really made her fascinating were the sparkles that she had in her hair and on her skin. Body glitter. Gold, shiny, glowing almost. Shimmering with every angle of her head and body each time she moved. She was beautiful.


The man with her (husband, boyfriend, brother?) was handsome but not nearly like she was, carried a walking stick, and had a thick but groomed beard. Here's the clincher: he had sparkles all over his face too. Not as much as the woman, but his beard sparkled as he turned to face her, or to look down the subway car, or even just as he stood there. Obviously he hadn't put the sparkles on himself. They had come from her. From being with her and around her and close to her.


The whole time they were standing in the subway, she was beaming at him. I mean beaming. Like he had not only just hung the moon but also bought her a diamond necklace and thrown some red roses into the mix.



I was struck by this picture. I'm really not hyper-spiritual, but I couldn't keep from thinking that this is how God loves his people. How God loves me. He gives me his goodness, truth, beauty, and grace. He shares his sparkles with me. He makes me shine. Just like how that woman made her man shine because he was close enough to get some of her sparkles on himself. Because I am a sinner and screw up everything all the time (literally,) I might not be as bright as God is, but the more I spend time with Him, the brighter I'll get. Maybe one day I'll glow. And in the same way the woman was literally beaming at the man, God beams at me. He is proud of me, loves me, yearns for more of me, desires to be with me. And because of Jesus, he overlooks my bad parts and my sin and my failings. He sees me as shining just as much as he does. What love.


Shine on.


Life lessons from the subway in New York City. Who knew?