Category Archives: family

30 Posts About Movies #2

Post #2: The Last Movie You Watched
I think the last movie I watched in its entirety was The Bishop’s Wife, which I watched with my mother a couple of days after Christmas. It’s become a holiday favorite of mine over the last 5 or 10 years. On New Year’s Eve, I caught the end of Saturday Night Fever (ringing out 2013) and the beginning of Spinal Tap (ringing in 2014). I thought those were amusing choices for New Years. I think this was on TBS, so a little nudge to them.

Another of my favorite movies:

We chose our cable provider pretty much entirely based on the fact that they include TCM in their basic cable package.  I can thank TCM (and my frequent study of their upcoming broadcast schedule) for introducing me to many films that either I should have seen much sooner or that, for some reason, I might not have learned about otherwise.  This favorite film, A Thousand Clowns, probably falls into both categories.

A Thousand Clowns original movie poster

I love so much about this movie.  I love the real black and white outdoor shots of the city in the mid-1960s.  I love Jason Robards and his funny, heartbreaking performance.  I love Barbara Harris.  I’m crazy about the young Barry Gordon, who went on to do a lot of work in TV.  I love the subtle and complicated nature of the story–at least, how I see the story.

In brief:  Jason Robards plays an out-of-work comedy writer, Murray.  He’s not trying terribly hard to get work–he seems to be enjoying winging it and having few responsibilities.  He does have the care of his 12-year-old nephew (played by Barry Gordon), though he has never legally adopted said nephew.  The two have some spirited banter, and Gordon’s character goes by a long assortment of names (settling mostly on Nick).  Insert a couple of social workers, including Sandra (played by Barbara Harris).  Sandra and Murray fall in love, and Sandra tries to get Murray to get work so that he won’t lose his nephew.  Martin Balsam adds further depth as Murray’s brother-and-agent, Arnold–a performance for which he won an Oscar.  Scenes with Gene Saks as Leo (Chuckles the Chipmunk) provide heightened comic relief late in the movie.

The film is based on Herb Gardner’s successful stage play, and it retains much of the feel of a stage production.  In this case, I actually like that.

I have to update the dang version of WordPress I am running on this thing.  Until I do, get a taste of A Thousand Clowns here.

I have been busy

Yes, yes I have been busy.

I’ve covered a bunch of shows for the good folks at QRO Magazine including:

Autolux at the Middle East
8/27/2010 Autolux w/This Will Destroy You at The Middle East Downstairs


Interpol at MHOW

9/10/2010 Interpol w/Cloudland Canyon at The Music Hall of Williamsburg


School of Seven Bells at the Middle East
9/11/2010 School of Seven Bells w/Active Child at The Middle East Downstairs


Basia Bulat at TT the Bear's Place
9/21/2010 Basia Bulat and The Acorn at TT the Bear’s Place

The day of the Interpol show in Brooklyn I was invited in to the Matador Records office to help moderate a live video chat with Interpol guitarist Daniel Kessler. It was all a bit off-the-cuff, and it was a lot of fun. The chat is archived here. I got a little tour of the Beggars Group office (I guess you’d call them Matador’s parent company) and met some of the very cool people who work there, too.

In amongst this hectic schedule of city hopping, picture taking, late nights, and hanging out with friends mixed with happy home-life and work work work, I joined friends Amy, Teresa, and Tomoko a few weekends ago for a couple breezy, decadent days at Top Notch Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont. Ah Vermont… We drove up on Friday night and stayed at Teresa’s friends’ ski lodge at Killington, and then drove up to Stowe on Saturday. Saturday afternoon we each indulged in Mount Mansfield Sauchas. What are those, you ask? From the Top Notch site:

Purity and simplification were the inspiration for the creation of this truly unique treatment. Drawing from the Sanskrit term to purify, our Mount Mansfield Saucha session allows you to experience an uncomplicated but completely luxurious three-stage herbal body service. To begin, a sea salt exfoliation removes tired skin and improves circulation. Organic lavender buds are added and then crushed with the salt to provide a sweet aromatic explosion. We use hot towels to remove the salt, leaving your skin velvety soft. Then, you are wrapped in thick linen sheets that have steeped in our detoxifying blend of indigenous Vermont herbs and flowers. In conclusion you may choose a 25-minute, 50 minute or 80-minute full body aromatherapy massage. We have developed a custom blend of sage, lavender, cedar and sandalwood essential oils for a completely soothing experience.

Now that I think of it… somewhere I have a small vial of the sage oil that my therapist gave me at the end of my saucha! That evening we had cocktails by the firepit and enjoyed the view of the mountains as the sun set before heading into the dining room for dinner–homemade local tempeh, anybody? The next day we got our pedicures and manicures, went into town and picked up sandwiches and a few gifts for our loved ones, and then set off on our return to Massachusetts. It was a lovely getaway, and just the beginning of our celebration of Amy and Doug’s upcoming nuptials!

Last weekend my darling friend Sarah came down from Portland and we had a girls’ night out on Saturday. I had a hunch that the bar at Gargoyles would be a good spot for drinks after dinner, and it was. This coming weekend we’ll have family visiting from Pittsburgh (yay!), and on Sunday night I’m covering The XX, Warpaint, and Zola Jesus at The Orpheum. Phew! Good things are happening. Stay tuned!

AND… if you’re so inclined… you can now follow me on twitter: @terkitty. Yep!

SXSW… and me!

2011 marks the 25th anniversary of the SXSW Music Conference and Festival in Austin, TX. I am going. I am SO FLIPPIN’ EXCITED! Ezra seems slightly confused as to why I’m so excited, but he is on board because 1) Houston–home to Simon, Frances, Eva, and Gia–is a mere two hours away, 2) Austin is supposed to be a pretty cool town, 3) March is the perfect time to get the heck out of Boston, and 4) some of his old college pals live in Austin and San Antonio. When all of this dawned on me–that all of those things come together with SXSW and that we could do it… Did I mention that I am SO EXCITED? The fest is 3/16-3/20. More on that later…

A slice of January

Most people probably agree that the cold months following Christmas and New Year’s can be a little bit of a letdown. But there are always good little moments. Here are some of mine so far in 2010.

One long weekend I finished up the Santa puzzle my mom gave me for Christmas in 2008. It was a lot of fun… a really good cozy winter activity. I think it looked better put together than it did in the picture on the box.

During our holiday visit to the farm, Ezra’s sister Abby introduced us to Bananagrams. It’s so completely up my alley–a word game, sort of like Scrabble and Boggle put together, but better (well, definitely better than Scrabble anyway). So on that long weekend I mentioned we gave Bananagrams to Amy and Doug for Christmas. Of course, we played several rounds.

Bananagrams
Amy’s fabulous creation with the Bananagrams tiles… not a part of the actual game

And, of course, we had to get it for ourselves shortly after that.

I’m still going through my Christmas postcards. I promise to share more about them soon (take that as a “coming attractions” or a warning, as you wish).

In vegetarian news…

Most weekends Ez and I try to cook something yummy and fun that will provide good leftovers. Last weekend I thought, “Let’s make a veggie pot pie!” We explored our various cookbooks and couldn’t find the one perfect recipe, but we used one as a jumping off point and made a vegetable pot pie that totally hit the spot.

veggie pot pie

Chef Ezra is always looking for an opportunity to prepare mushrooms like he does in his mushroom empanadas. So he employed that method for the pot pie. We wanted to use good fall veggies, so we included potato, carrot, garlic, leek, butternut squash, and parsnip. We ended up with a pot pie that was A) piping hot–a must for pot pie (part of the point, right?), and B) had just a hint of sweetness, courtesy of the mushroom prep and the squash. It is (and I say is because we’re still enjoying the leftovers) SOOOOO GOOOOOD. Hooray for fall veggies and weekends and team work!

black bean mango

I also bring you another vegetarian chow recommendation. I’ve lately purchased a few ready-made microwavable veggie meals for quick lunches. I’ve tried two of Kashi’s offerings, the Pasta Primavera (okay) and the Black Bean Mango. I was a little wary of the latter, but it is so tasty. I could live off of Kashi products (I practically do).

Why we love Suki, part 3876559

Suki

There’s nothing like the ways of a cat to make you stop what you’re doing, forget about stress and tasks, and just say “tee hee!” and be happy. I recently went through a lot of papers and files in my office and produced 5+ bags of recycling. In the midst of moving furniture out of the office, we discovered Suki as you see her here. Never to be deterred from perching in the sun’s rays, and as much a fan of little nesting places as the next cat, she found that this particular bag of recycling would do quite nicely, thank you.

(Feels like) a long weekend in New York

It’s been a long and very good weekend.  Ez and I spent Friday and Saturday in New York.  On Friday Ez worked and I wandered around, checking out Tinsel Trading Company and spending a couple of happy hours browsing (and eventually buying) at The Strand.


Spotted after lunch

On Saturday Ez was kind enough to walk with me to the vegetarian cafe S’Nice in the West Village, where I know they have delicious steel-cut oatmeal with all the trimmings.  There I ate said oatmeal with dried fruit and honey and enjoyed one of the tastiest glasses of apricot-orange tea ever.  We went to The Strand again because Ez needed to get his fix (he didn’t really have to twist my arm to get me to spend more time there), and then Ez took me to the Chelsea Market, where the New York Lux office will soon be moving.  It’s quite a nifty building.  I’ll have to upload a picture or two.

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I fell in love with this spot at the Chelsea Market.

Then we met up with Ezra’s old friend Jen Williams in the Cooper Union area (Jen went to Cooper Union and now teaches there).  I’d never met her before, though I’d heard a lot about her.  She seems pretty great, and we had a really nice time chatting with her, wandering around the Lower East Side, popping into a small gallery to check out her friend’s show, and just basically hanging out.  For dinner, the three of us went to the tasty Pan-Asian vegetarian (and largely vegan) restaurant Wild Ginger (it’s just as good as Ez and I remember).  We’re hoping it won’t be another 10+ years before we see Jen again.

And oh, hey, the Steelers won their NFL record sixth Super Bowl (that’s about 14% of all Super Bowl games that have been played).  And the game was actually exciting.  I am not a big NFL person, but we’re Steelers people in this house.  (And, incidentally, it was a day of more pleasant sports news, as PSU men’s basketball upset ninth-ranked Michigan State, the Celtics won again, and Rafael Nadal beat Federer to win his first Australian Open title.)

Every time I go to New York I want to spend more time there.  I like its energy and pervading spirit of creating new things.  I think it improves my health to be around that vibe more often!

So I owe you…

I owe you all four pictures–I promised one a day!

I mentioned that I had more pictures of the Rose Kennedy Greenway at twilight to share. Here they are.



These are coming to you all in one batch because we were away for the 4th of July weekend. We visited Simon, Frances, and Eva in Saratoga Springs. Simon and Frances teach at a summer dance program there, and as it’s only about four hours from here and as I lived there during college, it’s always a good place for us to get together. They are staying in a nicely fixed-up old house this year with some other dancers who are teaching in the program. We stayed with them and just had a good time relaxing and catching up.

On the way home from Saratoga Springs we made two previously unplanned stops. For lunch we decided to find somewhere to eat in Western Mass. We ended up in Great Barrington where we had very tasty organic-sourdough-wood-fired-gourmet pizza. Yeah, it was good. Then as we neared 495, inspired by the cool way the place we’d stayed in Saratoga Springs had been fixed up, I asked Ez if he wanted to stop at IKEA for some organizational goodies. He agreed, and we hit the joint around 6:30-ish, so it wasn’t too crowded (though it was ridiculously messy–IKEA has such a tidy aesthetic that it just kinda seems completely incongruous that their shoppers would leave potato chip packages and empty soda cans on displays). We found many practical and relatively inexpensive items for our little home improvement project–which is basically a home organization project. It was a successful tangent!

Yesterday the darkroom at MassArt was closed, but today I spent several hours there. The prints from today are still drying, but here’s one from last week.


A few things to share

So I haven’t felt very blog-worthy lately, as I suppose is apparent.

A few possibly blogworthy notes:

  • My parents visited about a week ago. I was excited to see them as they don’t get up here very often. I felt a bit as though I bored them, but some of the best bits are always just sitting and chatting over a cup of tea or sharing a book. I was pretty glum when they left.
  • I finally signed up for a photo class. I’m a little nervous, but it should be good. If nothing else, I won’t have to wonder anymore if I should take a solid basic photo class or not.
  • Ez and I are going down to Savannah later this week to visit with Nora and Jim (and their kitties). I see Nora so rarely and I’ve never been to Savannah. I’m looking forward to hanging out and getting a bit of a summer preview with beach, berries, and bumbling around.
  • I found Jeff Sher’s blog, The Animated Life, on NYT online. I’m usually pretty late to the party on these things, but in case you aren’t familiar with his work, go here to see his latest, “All the Wrong Reasons.”