Thursday, March 26, 2009

Anatomy of a good day

Today's a good day so I thought I'd maybe spend a little time boasting.  It's not often I'm feeling so Julie Andrews about things.  Soon it will be all whining and complaining again. So enjoy.

I don't mean to rub it in, but this is where I work and this is what I look out on from my office.  Do you see the fountain splashing lightly in the sunshine as my co-workers (that's Sara the wine editor on the left) sip some good Western wine? It's not always like this.  Sometimes its all about the printer not working or people hating your headlines or publicists calling you about faux-rock siding.  But all this is worth it because it's not that unusual to get emails that say things like, "Champagne and oysters in the test kitchen, get 'em while they last."

Also, this is on my drive home and only four blocks from my house.  That's Point Reyes in the distance. Again, it has its drawbacks, like dense, cold fog all summer long.  But, boy is it nice in spring.

I am perfectly aware that it's going too far to brag about my daughter, so I won't.  I'll just say that last night when my back hurt she took it upon her self to "pat" it until I felt better. So, you know, I like her.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What would Michelle do?

Here is something strange that's happened to me since the election of Obama: Every time I find myself doing some odious task (wiping out the toddler potty, running to the grocery store with two kids because we have nothing to pack for lunches the next day, weeding, folding mounds of tiny kids clothes) I start thinking, "This is something Michelle Obama doesn't have to do anymore." 
I lose myself in daydreams of Michelle at home at the White House while the girls are in school.  She has her feet up.  She looks great (as we all would if we never again had to suffer that internal struggle between vacuuming under the kids beds or having a glass of wine and staring off into space). 
Maybe it's because I know that she was once a normal person who had to buy peanut butter and get up in the middle of the night to change pee-pee sheets. And now, she is not.  She lives a life free of these worries.  It's kind of fun to think about, isn't it?  What would you do with all that time and mind space?   I know one thing, I'd read a lot more magazines.

A thing I like 
I just found out about this movie Away We Go today and now I am so looking forward to it I am a little frantic.  I am so looking forward to it I am already trying to figure out how I might dole it out judiciously, so as to savor it more.  High expectations, I know.  But, come on?  Dave Eggers, Vendela Vida, John Krasinski (swoon a million times over) and Sam Mendes. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Matt the Electrician and my musical life

During the summer of 1981, I was at Buddhist camp in Vermont and I made the mistake of telling one of the cute brothers from Canada that I liked The Who.  He had asked me about my  favorite bands and since I had recently heard The Who and liked them, I thought this was an acceptable answer. This was my first, painful lesson in music coolness.  He laughed in my face and then squinted up his eyes like he was dealing with a real snake.  "What's your favorite song? What's your favorite album and can you name the order of the songs on it? Name the band members."  I could, of course, do none of this stuff.  It hadn't occurred to me that you were not allowed to like music in a casual way and not know anything about it or its band-of-origin. I just liked that song that went "Who are you, who-who, who-who. . ." At least that's how I thought it went.
I stared blankly back at his adorable suntanned face until he gave up on me with a little disgusted puff of air and went off to tell his super-cool older brothers about how I was a total poseur who didn't know anything about The Who. 
This experience sort of scarred me and my scars were not helped by the fact that my brother started making fun of my musical tastes when I was seventeen and he was TEN (what's wrong with John Cougar Mellencamp, I ask you?) and the fact that I can not—simply can NOT—remember song lyrics.
So, I've never been big into music.  I like music, but I'm always sort of intimidated to express my opinions. What if some guy who has memorized the order of every Led Zepplin album starts to question me?  What if I have to admit that I once studiously memorized EVERY word to EVERY song on Thriller, or someone tries to force me to defend early Madonna? Easier just to keep it to myself.
Until now.
A thing I like 
My friend Jen gave me a CD called One Right Thing for my birthday and I just recently opened it and stuck it in the car stereo, and I've just got to say that I heart Matt the Electrician so much I am sort of beside myself. Why, you ask?  Because he's funny and he writes songs about everyday things, and he often thumps on the wooden part of his guitar, and he plays the banjo, and his music sounds to me like the smartest, most fun train ride in the world.  And, that's really all I can tell you. Listen for yourself. I just can't get enough of "Change the Subject."

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