Tuesday, September 18, 2012

music, of the classical variety

If your day was anything like my day, you may be overwhelmed right now. You may be tired, or frustrated, or wishing we were just a tad closer to Friday.

For this very reason, I will not wait a moment longer before I share this video with you.

I can't stop watching it. My father decided to take up violin lessons after he saw it. My sister thought of her piano. And I was reminded - yet again - that humanity is, at it's core, good, pure and true.

{Such reminders are often necessary in our current climate of war, hunger, disease, and divisive politics.}

I should also mention straight away that I am not really a classical music fan. With the exception of the movie Fantasia (a true delight!!), toccata and fugue in D minor, and fur elise, classical music has never been my forte. But after watching this video I see how very, very wrong I am. Perhaps we should be exposed to classical music in the streets, rather than in Great Halls? Just a thought.

Without further ado, I give you the best video you will watch all month:

Please please watch it. Travel to On Being to read a bit of commentary for video.

Monday, September 10, 2012


Today I woke up, and summer had turned to fall.

The wind, the temperature, the smell of the air. Fall, fall, fall.

We had a hard summer, DC and I. It was hot, it was sticky, it lasted much too long. Worst of all, I moved from Atlanta in April, and I somehow thought that moving 12 hours north would be somewhat of a reprieve.

Even though I lived in DC before. During the summer. Even though I know that DC was built on a swamp.

Despite those things, it still caused me physical pain when - throughout the summer - I called Tom in Atlanta and it. was. always. hotter. in. DC. Always. It caused me physical pain when my beautiful, darling, then-5-month-pregnant sister visited me all the way from San Francisco during record-breaking heat. 110 degrees. Every day. The poor thing. She tried to enjoy fireworks in the nations capitol, a baseball game, 4th of July parade, museums on the Mall. But that week the humidity was a solid mass that settled around us as we tried to enjoy the city. We would sweat just looking outside to guess at the temperature. And that is only just barely an exaggeration. Her relief to get back on the plane to California was real and palpable.

I wanted to go with her.

I digress.

We have finally reached autumn. I can feel it. The air may get hot again, we may have another 90 degree day, but that day will only be an intruder in this season. It is breezy, cool, windows-open weather. I looked at my scarves today. I peeked past my summer dresses and there they were, castaways in the back of my closet. They smiled at me, I think. An absence that lasted much, much too long.

I welcome you, Fall. I'm happy you are here. I am kicking myself for planning a Florida trip next weekend (too hot), and a Russia trip the week after (too cold).

Because right now, DC? You are juuusssttt right.

Autumn 2011

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Resource List of Lovely Things

Today, I finished a book that made me cry, and watched a movie that made me cry. I cannot recommend either highly enough - it is amazing what the human spirit can endure.

The book that made me cry
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak.  Horrifying, beautiful, heart-wrenching and terrific all at once. Words are rarely used with such care; Death is rarely so empathetic.

The movie that made me cry
Water. There is a reason why Time called it 'a triumph', why the Toronto Star gave it four stars, and Ebert and Roeper gave it two thumbs up. I rented it from my library - perhaps yours has it too. If you have the opportunity to watch it, you must.

Other lovely things that did not make me cry:

1. A rather lovely gift card - I ordered a gift card for a friend from Anthropologie. Oh how cute it is - I am keeping it on my counter so that I can smile at it until I mail it to my friend.


2 - Mac and Cheese. Mac and cheese from pink-parsley. Tomatoes from the grocery store. Basil from my garden. You will not be disappointed if you throw this together for your family. Yum!

3. Library goodies. The movies were all good, and I am getting started on the books. Forgive my blurry photography (bad blogger!!): Water, Wuthering Heights, 101 Dalmations, Ratatouille, Interview with the Vampire, The Thirteenth Tale.

4. My sister and her brand new husband visited me this week as part of their honeymoon. We had a lovely time; I miss her radiant self already. Their visit allowed me to convert my sleeper sofa from sofa to sleeper. After they left this morning, I took the sheets off the bed and folded the blanket, but couldn't bring myself to put it back to sofa just yet. It looked too comfy all pulled out, so I decided to keep it there to read and nap and watch Water on. A bed in the living room is sometimes a very fun thing.

5. My pup, who always photo bombs my pics. Love this gal.

6. Thunderstorms that shake me from a nap.
I love sideways rain, tree-shaking wind, air that cools the city from 90 degrees to 70. Rain that keeps me on the couch, wind that makes me check the radar. Tornado watch, flood warning, thunderstorm in effect.

The porch door is open, air smells fresh, pup by my side

Saturday night loveliness.....

**Editing this post to say: Apparently 12 people were injured in the DC area due to these storms, and 1,000 people are without power. No matter how much I love a good storm, I only love it if people are not hurt. Please consider preparing for extreme weather.**
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