Thursday, December 30, 2010
"Removing Maggie’s and Jamie’s pajamas, however, does little more than make us wonder what, if anything, Hathaway eats, and how often Gyllenhaal goes to the gym."
Some may call me a bit of a prude, but I think a good romantic comedy shouldn't have lots of wild sex in it. Lots and lots of sex on screen is neither romantic nor funny. The romance is in the waaiiiiting for the physical contact, the wondering about whether the physical contact will happen, and when, and how.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
But I bet you've heard of:
10 Things I Hate About You
She's The Man
Ms. Smith and Ms. Lutz - I thank you from the bottom of my heart.
OK,OK, they wrote "The Ugly Truth" as well.... so it wasn't exactly my cup of tea... still.... I'm printing this picture and putting it up on my bulletin board. Is there any better inspiration for an aspiring screenwriter? I think not.
I leave you with this:
To remind me of how much I loved Anne Hathaway before she became famous and starred in the most depressing, artificial, Hollywood attempt at a rom-com I've seen in a very long time.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Laurent Zeitoun, Jeremy Doner, and Yohan Gromb. Laurent Zeitoun has a writing credit for "I Do" as well, another brilliant French rom-com which one of my screenwriting teachers had used as an example in his class on the genre of romantic comedy. Thank you gentlemen for crafting such a satisfying story!
Next, I highly recommend you rush to see "The King's Speech." It doesn't often happen that a brilliant script is then developed by a fabulous director and a heavenly cast, so enjoy every moment of it. The audience clapped at the end, and I can't remember the last time that happened at my local cinema.
And may I introduce, if you please, the screenwriter of this extraordinary film: David Seidler.
To summarise my cinema experience so far...
RUN AS FAST AS YOU CAN TO SEE THIS FRENCH ROMANTIC COMEDY AT A CINEMA NEAR YOU. IT WILL MAKE YOU SMILE AND GIGGLE AND LAUGH AND BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF TRUE LOVE.
You'll also be humming that song from "Dirty Dancing" all the way home. What could be better?
Thursday, December 23, 2010
(Dedicated to Froggie who is such an amazing High School teacher because she really loves teenagers)
They can give you a lift to the DVD shop when you can't drive because you had a couple of gin and tonics but you really need to watch "While You Were Sleeping."
They never heard of "While You Were Sleeping" so they cuddle up next to you on your new sofa and watch it with you.
They do chores. Even if you do have to (sometimes) ask several times and cajole a bit more, they can still DO the stuff - dishes, garbage, getting the milk from the corner store, laundries, mowing the lawn.
They sleep in. During the summer holidays the house is completely and absolutely silent until 11am. At least.
They are different from you, and that means they introduce you to a lot of stuff that happened in the world that you didn't know about, like Rosalind Franklin.
They generally have fabulous senses of humour, and because they know you really well by now they are able to make you laugh at your own peculiarities. Of which I have many, and which I need to laugh at more often.
When you argue you can use rational explanations to discuss the problem. And when things get too crazy for logic and one of you says something you regret, you can come back later and apologise and forgive.
You no longer have to supervise their personal hygiene.
You pretty much know who they are by now, so you can stop worrying so much about every.little.tiny.thing.that.happens.in.their.school.day. They go to school, they come back, they muddle through like we all do.
You can start to let go of that crippling feeling that people are judging you and that your children are reflections of how good a parent you are. Kids grow up, stuff happens, move on.
They bring their friends over to the house, and these friends are full of energy and life and general good cheer. And they are different from you, in so many different and wonderful ways, so it reminds you how amazing life is. No need to conform, colour your hair pink and wear really thick black eyeliner and study photography and hairdressing and molecular biology and bake cupcakes and live it up.
They are full of surprises, no more predictable milestones that have been written up in boring child development books but truly UNIQUE milestones that are all about the fully rounded individuals they are becoming.
Let the adventure continue!!!!
P.S. At the risk of totally overdoing the "I'm Jewish and don't celebrate Christmas" thing, I did want to link to this great post by a Sydney blogger I love. She sums up my feelings with much more wit and humour than I did, and generally her blog is a great, fun read.
So merry Christmas dear bloggie friends of mine, all my love, Eleanor from your commentbox.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Only last night, over dinner, 19 year old Miss CB was reminiscing about the strange way I reacted to the "Madeline's Christmas" television episode she loved.
It also reminds me of another writer I adore - Journeymama - who wrote an angry post (well, as angry as I've ever seen the peaceful, gentle, loving Rae) a few years ago after having discovered that someone had told her children about the toothfairy's existence.
The line between truth and fiction is so very thin in childhood, but then that's what makes it so magical.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
I was the only one on the bus, and I immediately had that totally illogical feeling that everyone waiting outside for their own bus was looking through the window at me and thinking "Look at that Jewish lady sitting on the Christmas bus all by herself, hahahahaha!!"
Then two women popped their heads in and asked the driver if their daughters could hop on to have a quick look even though it wasn't their bus. These two girls were delighted with the bus, and you could tell how happy the driver felt as he watched them admire his handiwork (I had shyly said "Nice decorations" as I got on). As the girls left he gave them each a little rag-doll as a present, how nice was that??!!!
I really enjoyed that bus-trip (40 minutes and I was still grinning as I got off at my stop), which was surprising as I've been quite the Grinch lately. It's just that everybody at the shops, the hairdresser, the doctor, the dry cleaner, the petrol station, the vet... they all want to know how my Christmas preparations are going - "Finished your shopping yet? There's so much to do, isn't there?" and it just really starts to ANNOY ME THAT EVERYBODY TAKES FOR GRANTED THAT I BELIEVE THAT JESUS IS THE MESSIAH AND THE SON OF GOD.
There, I'm sorry. I'm hanging my head in shame. I swore I'd be nice and bite my tongue but I just couldn't help it.
So, as I said, that bus cheered me up.
In other news I have a fab, easy recipe to share with you. To make up for my rant above (oh look, Eleanor used capital letters, oooo, she must be REALLY angry) I'll go so far as to say that this makes a lovely addition to a festive meal, whether you live in the northern or southern hemisphere.
Take some sweet potatoes (you know, the orange kind) and peel them. Then continue using the peeler to peel the entire potato into shavings, arrange the shavings in one layer (as much as possible) on a tray lined with baking paper. Pop into oven at 150 degrees for 15 minutes, now mix them around and return them to the oven and keep moving them around every 5 minutes or so until they magically become crispy sweet potato chips. No oil, no fuss and tastes great with a glass of white on a summer's evening (had that tonight, hence am slightly intoxicated), also fab dipped in guacamole, but imagine they'd be awesome with the full roast meal as the snow softly falls outside.
I got a new sofa and armchair, and yes the delivery-men DID say "You're lucky we managed to get this to you before Christmas, I bet that's a relief" and no I did NOT question their interest in baby Jesus and his connection to my purchases of furniture. Ahem. So what I wanted to tell you was... oh right... this is a very big and exciting decision - to get new furniture for the lounge room, because we had our previous sofa for 16 years, purchased when I was pregnant with Master CB. I dripped breast-milk on that sofa, the kids used it as a trampoline when I was too exhausted to stop them any more, and Master CB peed his pants on that sofa more times than I care to remember. In fact, one end of the sofa was officially called "the pishy corner" and Miss CB would ensure that none of her friends ever sat on it. My mother remembers visiting us and being quite surprised to hear Me, Mister CB and Miss CB all yell in unison to Master CB "Not on the sofa" as he started to settle down for an evening of Wiggles viewing. "Not on the sofa" then became a popular catch-phrase with my parents which they liked to use with each other from time to time, just for a laugh, you know.
Oh, that reminds me of the time that I walked into the house with the kids and discovered that we'd been robbed. So I went back outside and called the Police and they came into the house with me, without thinking about it I placed Master CB on the sofa, and then as I was talking to the policewoman I saw him sitting on the sofa with a wet patch emerging, I let out a shriek and lunged for the sofa and I remember the look of shock on the policewoman's face as she said "Oh no, did you have a secret stash of cash in there?"
Thursday, November 18, 2010
I haven't really spoken very much about my nephew's bar-mitzvah. You probably already know that a bar-mitzvah is a celebration of a boy turning 13, and it involves lots of parties and presents. But it's really all about learning how to sing the Torah (which you probably know as the "Old" Testament). The picture above shows what a typical Torah section looks like, what you see are only consonants - no vowels and no musical notes, those you have to know by heart.
In the sentence below the the consonants are in black, vowels red and notes (cantillation) blue:
In Orthodox communities women are forbidden from singing the Torah in front of men, but they are allowed to sing in front of female-only congregations. There is just such a scene in that series called "Srugim" which I briefly described in a previous post. This scene brings tears of joy to my eyes and encapsulates so much of my love of the Hebrew language and culture, it starts around minute two.
This television series has been coined "No Sex in the City," and "Sex in the Holy City," and that cracks me up. But I tell you what, this series makes SATC look like a tawdry, crass and dumbed down exploitation of the lives of single women. And I'm a huge SATC fan from way back, so go figure.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Here is a picture of the best humus I have ever tasted (pronounced with a guttural h - "hoomoos"). My father and I walked around Tel-Aviv and he took me to this tiny restaurant in a back alleyway. The restaurant doesn't even have a name, nor a menu.
This is the chef, greeted fondly by the locals, and working from morning to night in front of this barbecue which he fans occasionally with a newspaper. Best kebabs too, but I ate so fast I didn't get a chance to take a photo. Sorry.
In the mornings, I liked to eat this carob spread on my fresh bread. I had forgotten that carob (haroov) is something I picked from a tree on my way to school when I was eight, you could suck on the sweet pods. As I grew older far away from Israel carob became a weird replacement for chocolate which people bought in health-food stores, how had I forgotten my haroov trees?
I had quite a few salads which had apples cut up into them. Great idea!!
Fresh mint leaves, called "aley na'ana" are superb in fresh lemonade. Also pour boiling water on them and, voila, the best mint tea you'll ever have.
An omelet sandwich people, it's all about omelet sandwiches. They are everywhere you look. Great idea! Make an omelet chik-chak (slang for "quick-smart") and slip it into a pita (you know, the pocket bread). Add some cream-cheese and a slice of tomato and you have the BEST meal ever.
Finally - there is no Starbucks in Israel and my brother says that it's because Israelis don't "get it". They don't get why someone would rush into a cafe, grab a coffee and take it away, even sip it ON THE RUN. Israelis are all about sitting down comfortably and having a REAL breakfast with their coffee - a big salad, cheeses and an omelet sandwich.
The title for this post comes from the famous (in Israel, that is) song by Matti Caspi - songwriter extraordinaire. The translation and transliteration is here.... it is a singalong after all.
Friday, November 12, 2010
While I gather my thoughts, here is a post I put together before, inspired by the Bnei-Akiva flag-waving ceremony I attended. One of my nieces took part in it, although she explained to me that she actually has no plans to continue attending the meetings of the Youth Movement; my niece is particularly independent and sassy, and she simply wanted to have fun hanging out with her friends during the many rehearsals. Her one complaint about the event was that the Bnei girls have to wear a floor-length dark skirt for the ceremony, she bought one for 15 shekels (5 bucks) and refused to even put it in her closet next to her other (very short) skirts as it was "not worthy."
As I stood on the hill, looking down at the carpark which had temporarily become the Bnei-Akiva stage, I noticed that I was surrounded by kippot srugot - crocheted kippot. In Israel, the type of kippa (skullcap) a man wears defines his religious and political affiliation, and the crocheted kippa usually points to a "Modern Orthodox Zionist." I'm generalising for the sake of explanation here, but that's more or less how it works.
I immediately realised that my crafting friends would love to get a look at what a crocheted kippa looks like, so here are some samples I discovered on the night:
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Last night I watched the Israeli version of Masterchef, their task was to make a pavlova and I was reduced to hysterical laughter. Apparently the Israeli take on the pav is to cover it in STEWED fruits. How Kim from Allconsuming would have loved to witness their ridiculous concoctions.
So I'm lying here on my comfortable sofa, reading through the paper and I come across the list of the ten top-selling books in the country. Thought you might be interested that out of the ten are three Israeli books, and then translations - two from the English (Harlan Coben and Aleksandar Hemon), German ("Alone in Berlin"), Norway ("Red Breast"), Italian ("The Lonliness of Prime Numbers"), Spanish (Mario Vargas Llosa) and Swedish ("The Girl...Fire"). That list fascinates me.
One of the Hebrew books which stands at number six this week and has remained on the list for the past 17 weeks is written by Sayed Kashua and is called "Second Person", I'm reading it now and really enjoying it. I looked him up to see what else he's written and discovered that he wrote a television show called "Arabic Work" which has been quite popular.
I'm having a wonderful time here in Israel, and now I'm off to shower and get dressed and celebrate my nephew's special day. I shall try to include you in the festivities dear friends.
Most road signs in Israel are in Hebrew, Arabic and English.
But I do love the smell, the dirt and the chaos.
A man inside makes wooden chairs. The shutters are covered in fine sawdust:
A shop which sells only chickpea chips (made in the kitchen next door):
Almost all of the streets are named after famous people, this plaque explains that Shalom Shabazi was "The Zionist poet living in the diaspora of Yemen in the second half of the 17th century." Shabazi the STREET has some awesome cafes, boutiques and a fab bookstore called "A Simple Tale." If you have never read any of S.Y. Agnon's short stories I highly recommend them, many have been translated into English. Agnon is a unique experience.
This is "The Righteous Rabbi Yehuda Street - A kabbalist and exegesist who was the leader of 1500 rabbis who travelled from Poland to Jerusalem in the 17th century."
Citrus and olive trees on the balcony and roof:
The letters decorating this building denote the year in which it was built - 5689 - which is 1928/1929. When you don't believe that Jesus is the Messiah then you don't necessarily start to count your years from the time of his birth.
We stopped at a beautiful restaurant for lunch, and I shall post photos of food, YES, FOOD. But tomorrow. Because I am exhausted!
Thursday, November 4, 2010
I told my parents about your excitement concerning Yiddish and Hebrew phrases. My father feels it would be remiss of me not to immediately teach you this Hebrew phrase:
Literal translation: "You should be healthy."
Actual meaning in everyday usage: "You should drop dead."
It's a true classic.
Off to bed, more tomorrow.
P.S. It is definitely faster to hop onto the bike which already has the shoes stuck onto the pedals. You're welcome.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Behold my brother:
Miss CB and I arrived at his house at 7 this morning and were enjoying breakfast with my sister-in-law, three nieces and nephew when my brother came in looking just like this. He had just returned from a one and a half hour bike ride. My brother and I are pretty much, well, complete opposites. While I spent my childhood hiding in my room and reading, my brother was running, jumping, swimming and generally on the go, non-stop, forever. He's an Ironman several times over and is constantly training for his next Event. He is also an amazing husband to the loveliest and cutest woman, and their four kids are each a gem. A GEM I say!!
Oskar immediately took a liking to Miss CB as she joined her cousins in working out the daily crossword over breakfast.
Monday, November 1, 2010
The film's publicity consistently mentioned the screenwriter (the amazing Aaron Sorkin) which is quite something in an industry which hardly ever gives credit to any writers.
Although the story hangs on the lawsuit, it's really our story - the story of people who are living in the age of digital social networks. But now this one particular blogger must finish packing and go on a real trip.
See you on the other side bloggers.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
And it suddenly occurred to me to see if the composer of this theme wrote any other music for films.
His name, it turns out, is Francis Lai, who knew? And he wrote this as well:
Fame is such a strange beast, I had never heard his name before. Why?
Monsieur Lai, you have a place in my heart,
To get started here is the song I was listening to way back then - it was a winning entry in the Israeli Children's Music Festival and was THE playground hit that year.
Friday, October 29, 2010
Please note that I'm posing in two different pairs of jeans. Yep, I also swore way back when that I would never wear jeans again. How the mighty have fallen.
It took me an entire year to agree to purchase a new car, I just had no interest in doing the research and then spending such a huge amount of money. But sometimes it's cheaper to buy a new car than to keep repairing a wreck (sniff, Noddy Car, I still love you). So behold my Honda CRV in Sparkle Grey. I ended up buying the one car I always swore I wouldn't - yep, the kind of car petite blond Eastern Suburbs housewives drive(those of you who live in Sydney, you know what I mean).
What do I love most about my new car? Being so high up, the brakes really working, the bluetooth phone system (had to get a new phone for that, my circa 1995 phone wasn't making the grade. Powder blue plastic, if you're wondering), and the CD player. I have never had a CD player (I know it's all about plugging in your iPod, but I'm taking it one step at a time). So I grabbed a CD, which happened to be Jennifer Lopez, I had forgotten I had it, and blasted it as I drove around aimlessly for an hour.
This is the song on the JLo CD which I had forgotten about, oh how I loved this song in 2001. My favourite aerobics instructor at the local gym would play it and teach us a routine. "Get ready for the chorus ladies, and cha-cha-cha."
Oh, and I wore my Dior foundation and new lipstick, and I swear the combination of makeup and new car took a good ten years off my age.
Stay tuned, I'm off to attend my nephew's bar-mitzvah in Israel next week, and if all goes well I'll blog about it.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
I've been researching make-up for a project I'm working on at the moment, and it suddenly hit me that the cosmetics industry is geared towards a youth-obsessed marketplace. It's all about looking younger, minimizing wrinkles and age-spots, camouflaging the body's natural ageing process for as long as you can get away with it. How did I not notice this before? I've been living in blissful make-up free isolation apparently.
I suppose I can afford to be so surprised, I'm still in my early forties and I seem to have lucked out by inheriting my mother's wrinkle-free skin, so far anyway. But still, I feel personally offended at the way ad campaigns blatantly target women's biological realities and offer to fix them.
Can I ever be happy with the way I look, naturally, as I age? Or will I always have that nagging thought at the back of my mind that if I only try harder, find the right product, do more, research the options and spend the money...then, I might look more beautiful? I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
Then I read this article in Zoe Foster's wonderful blog (one of my favourite Aussie beauty writers, she's so funny and sweet and adorable and ...um...young). The main point of the article is not at all about the ageing process but one particular phrase really caught my attention:
"And kind of ageing, to be honest"
Blake Lively is 23 years old, and yet even SHE should stay away from colours and styles which make her look old?
Is it possible for a woman to wear lovely make-up which makes her look beautiful but also HER OWN AGE? I'd like to think that when I'm 80 I'll be able to put on lipstick which will suit me rather than one which will make me look younger. Or is that a physical and/ sociological impossibility?
And before I leave you can I just add one quick thing? I've noticed that make-up and beauty blogs are all written by women, about women, and for women. It's women commenting on famous women's make-up and then advising "ordinary" women what make-up is best. This industry has absolutely nothing to do with men. I don't think men notice what make-up women wear, but women do. Case in point, I took it as my professional duty to buy some new make-up, for research purposes you understand, and then experiment with it. Miss CB and I had great fun, and I even went so far as to apply foundation (a Dior sample tube which is exquisite and a perfect match to my skin tone and is therefore to be referred to from now on as the HG). But then I stood in front of Mr. CB and asked him if he could see anything different about my face...ummm.....not really (he said this hesitantly). To further prove my point, I had my eyebrows shaped today and I thought that the difference was remarkably enhancing, but Mr. CB was perplexed, he saw absolutely no difference in my eyebrows whatsoever (he said this hesitantly again).
HG is Holy Grail, it took me a while to realise that beauty bloggers who were referring to this were not writing about an actual product called "HG."
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
M.A.C. and Disney have joined forces to create the perfect make-up for me.
The key to wearing this collection is "straight up confidence".
I'm working on it.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Naturally, I invited Ninny to join me for a cup of tea and a slice of cake and a good old chit-chat. I really wanted her to stay and read me a story and make me Vegemite sandwiches for lunch and put me down for my nap, but she didn't have that much time today. Ninny was, however, delighted to have a little chat and to tell me all about the trouble she has with the very naughty David Tennant. She explained that despite being a great Dr. Who fan, she highly disapproves of Mr. Tennant, and has reprimanded him in writing twice already.
You see, Ninny has a passion for children's books. This is not a general passion for juvenile literature, but a very specific passion for the books which her babies (that's what she says - "my babies" - with a Mary Poppinish sparkle in her clear blue eyes) adore. Mr. Man and Missy Moo are crazy mad in love with all of the Hairy Maclairy books. This is of particular delight to me because it was I who bought them the very first book in the series, and this book has therefore formed a very strong bond between me and Ninny. Books do that sometimes, and apart from anything else it was Hairy Maclairy (from Donaldson's dairy) who first taught my own sweet baby Ms. Commentbox to rhyme, and the day she remembered that Schnitzel von Krum had a very low tum was a particular highlight of my younger mothering years. But I digress.
So Ninny wrote to the Maclairy books' author - Lynley Dodd, telling her how much her babies love her books. Ninny included the cutest photo of the two babies posing sweetly with their books, and a little "thank you picture" they each drew for her. Ninny thinks that Lynley Dodd is wonderful because she replied immediately with a handwritten letter which included the sweetest sketch of Hairy waving his paw and saying hello to the babies. Darling.
Such was Ninny's enthusiasm for this literary bonding that she proceeded to write similar fan letters (together with her babies, who were terribly excited as well) to Lucy Cousins whose Maisy books bring such joy, as well as to Jane O'Connor of Fancy Nancy fame. Maisy's creator wrote back on a Maisy card, Nancy's creator wrote back on the sweetest Fancy Nancy stationery. They are both wonderful authors.
But then, one day, the babies were given a present (not by me, I swear it) of a CD of Hairy Maclary, narrated by David Tennant (it's now on the iPad too, apparently). The babies were so taken by his narration that Ninny thought it would only be right to write immediately to Mr. Tennant so as to tell him how adored he is in this little household in Sydney, Australia. Mr. Man and Missy Moo both dictated short letters of thanks, posed for the photograph and eagerly awaited Mr. Tennant's response.
Several weeks later, to Ninny's delight, an envelope arrived which she opened with great fanfare while watched excitedly by the babies. The envelope contained a small photograph of Mr. Tennant dressed as Dr. Who, with a scribbled signature on the bottom right corner. Ninny was deeply offended. What idiot, she wondered, would receive a fan letter from LITTLE CHILDREN and not realise that a PROPER response was needed, preferably with some understanding of the fact that they were not tiny Dr. Who fans but, in fact, INNOCENT LITTLE CHILDREN WHO LOVE HIS NARRATION OF HAIRY MACLAIRY.
So Ninny sent off another letter, explaining this fact (most politely, of course) and including a stamped self-addressed envelope for ease of return communication. Several months passed with no response. The babies have not forgotten this and still, months and months later, check the mailbox DAILY to see if Mr. Tennant has responded to their fan letters. So Ninny sent a third letter, still polite, but somewhat more.... adament, especially as Missy Moo (particularly heartbroken) has taken to proclaiming that Mr. Tennant is very naughty and rude.
You see, Ninny doesn't only teach her babies to love stories and pictures and make jam from scratch, she also teaches them the importance of going out of your way to thank someone even if they live very far away from you and have no idea who you are.
Ninny admitted to me that she doesn't have a computer and never goes on the Internet, but I must say that her spirit is a blogging spirit of the highest order. As she cheerfully talked and sipped her tea I had the craziest vision of the kind of blog beautiful Ninny could create, how popular she'd be, and how much love and happiness she would spread around the globe. But for the moment, she's all MINE (and the babies' too, naturally).
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
For example, I have a Jamaican neighbour (at the other end of my street) who has a karaoke machine, and last night as I walked past his house I heard him singing this. Now, he can hardly hold a tune (sh...don't tell him), and I could hardly make out what he was singing other than the lyrics. So I googled the words and of COURSE, Bob Marley, and then I actually realised that I preferred my neighbour's out-of-tune version. I think he lives alone and just sings to himself. Love that.
So now I have decided to challenge myself, and a certain other German blogger. Next time I see my Jamaican singer in the neighbourhood I'm going to ask him if I can come over one day and sing with him. Update to come. And let this be a challenge to Eurolush, who has returned home and is still hiding out in a blogfree zone, to take on the challenge of finally asking her neighbour Hawkman if she can hold his hawk (it's been over two years Lushy, shame). Let the challenge begin I say.
And now to a different topic. One of my favourite writers has actually dedicated an entire post to me. I've been Margie's fan ever since I met her, truth be told...even before I read a word she had written. Around the time she started to write for Sassy I was looking after my newborn Miss Commentbox and I would greedily devour Margie's eloquent say-it-like-it-is articles, dreaming that one day my daughter would read exactly that type of magazine. Turns out Miss CB now reads Frankie, which I also love, and I still claim that some of the Sassiness I consumed during her first year of life came through to her in my breast milk.
Moving right along, I'd now like to discuss my recent interest in makeup. Having worn nothing but sunscreen for years I am on the hunt for some fun items with which to decorate my face. But before any purchases are made I realise that it's really all about the people involved, and I'm referring to the "makeup girls" who smile sweetly, and not so sweetly, from behind their soft lit counters. I have fallen in love with each and every one of them; from the fabulously Goth pixie who helps me find the right eyeliner at the Mac counter, to the bejewelled Russian matriarch in her white Clinique lab coat who insists that brown lipsticks are ageing.
Oh, and by the way, a chic French lady standing next to me at the cash register was buying this. She caught me looking at her and she said in a sing-song voice "You should buy some. I see you are tempted."
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Jasper and me at Kim's place which is always filled with allconsuming love and really really good food.
Friday, August 6, 2010
I'll stop now and let you watch the trailer in peace and quiet.
This then doubles my happiness, Totoro making an appearance in Toy Story 3 as an homage to Studio Ghibli. Miyazaki and Lasseter are friends, that makes me so so happy:
Thursday, August 5, 2010
I hope it's still within the rules if I post one thing every day. For ten days in a row I'll post what made me happy on each of the days, all right?
So, here goes....
Today, I was very happy to discover this piece of music:
This music is actually one precious link in an entire necklace of musical happinesses. I first heard this tune on the television programme "In Treatment," which makes me very happy whenever I watch it. This is the story behind the music:
Mia was Paul's patient when she was in her late teens, she returns to him as a patient twenty years later and blames him for a decision she made in her youth. She also claims that he didn't truly care for her when he originally treated her. Paul gets up from his chair, walks towards the stereo and presses the play button - this music comes on. It's a tape which Mia had given him many years ago of her own piano playing, and which he has saved all these years. That scene makes me happy.
Each of Paul's patients has a musical theme, and each one makes me happy. For example, this is Sophie's theme:
Paul's own theme when he visits his own therapist Gina:
Sometimes happiness is soft and thoughtful, with an undertone of a good type of sadness. Today my happiness is like a salted caramel - it's sweeter and better because of the salt.
Monday, July 26, 2010
If you're still here reading this blog then it means you knew me back when...you know...back when I used to post regularly.
It took me several weeks to feel "at home" again at home, and I just didn't feel like writing about it. This is a time of big changes in my role as mother/housewife/woman and some days I seem to be completely lost. Miss Cb is working in America for a few months, Master Cb is very independent and happy in his own world of school and friends, and for the first time ever I'm suddenly reminiscing about the "early years" of the family and wondering what exactly my role is in the present years.
I watched this film last week - "Only Yesterday" - and I had the most wonderful cry at the end of it. Such a wonderful feeling to cry at the end of a movie, really it is! I think the Japanese audience especially loves a good cry, and I'm so thankful for that. It's all very well to watch clever, fast-paced, witty or three-dimensional Hollywood films, but sometimes all you want is a good cry.
I love the idea of a woman in her mid-twenties taking along her younger self as she travels to her summer destination. I love the interweaving of the two love narratives - her first love with the school's baseball star and the deep love which she slowly discovers while picking safflowers. And then there are all of the perfect, tiny details which are added in the animation (painstakingly hand-drawn by the wonderful Studio Ghibli) - the father's puff of cigarette smoke, the cat walking past, her glancing at the mirror while talking on the phone, and best of all - the catcher's mitt glimpse when the little girl and little boy agree on their favourite kind of day.
Thought it might brighten your day as well.....
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I only took a break from smiling and laughing so as to eat, that goes without saying though, doesn't it?
Here I am again, smiling and laughing. At one point, bb&EL&B took part in what can only be described as a Funny Competition in which each competed "in the round" with each other, coming up with one-liners in at attempt to outdo each other. Soon, EL had folded (I know. Stamina. She had it not) and oh my but how well did B do against the hysterically funny bb!!! I cannot even begin to imagine what the other diners thought of us. Some very good wine may have been consumed as well, so, you know, it was a very very good night.
Sitting with bb, the wonderfully petite blogging legend who introduced me to EL, and of course to each and every one of you, was indeed a true highlight of my trip.
Monday, July 5, 2010
On the very first morning we will convene here, we will take full advantage of the free Wifi and the Reading Room. Although I have no doubt that EL and Coffeelady would end up here.
We'd have breakfast here every single morning. We'd also eat a great deal of the time here, here and here.
We would often find ourselves exhausted - sore throats from talking so much, sore facial muscles from laughing so much etc. So we would have to take a break and relax in these grounds. We would also walk up and down here, especially at sunset.
Free banana pudding every single day...and night....from here, and we'd only eat cupcakes from here. That's a RULE, by the way, because a HUGE amount of research went into this. HUGE.
To be continued......
Saturday, July 3, 2010
So... this post will officially start the catch-up. I will tell you where I've travelled, what I've done and who I met in the past three weeks.
But first let me share this photograph with you, this photo which is my all-time favourite out of the many photos taken during my Grand Manhattan Adventure.
No photoshopping was used on this photo, Eurolush truly is that drop-dead gorgeous, cute and lovable. She's everything she is in her blog, but even more witty, clever, funny and AWESOME. If you can imagine! Which I don't have to any more, because I MET her!!!!
Seeing as Eurolush is just so damn fine, she never ever travels without her trusty entourage of lurkers, and indeed she was accompanied this week by her most experienced and professional lurker - the infamous B. True to form, B never left our side...we could always see her out of the corner of our eyes, but then we'd turn around and....poof....nobody there....just some anonymous passerby staring into the window of yet another Cupcake Shop. You know that commentbox you just received on your blog signed by Anonymous? That was B. You know that "follower" who won't let you know who she is? B. You know that reader you imagine...the one who follows the details of your life but never shares anything in return?
She is always in disguise.
Spot the lurker:
Spot the lurker:
There are not many people who can head up the International Cupcake Commission, and it was an absolute honour to have been chosen to be Co-President of said Commission - alongside Eurolush. Our personal assistant B was an ideal choice, she's there....but completely unobtrusive...as all good lurkers are.
Hmmm....not sure...5 points for atmosphere and comfort, 5 for the superlative icing, but the cake itself...hmm.....not...quite...sure....
A second round may be needed for a true and exact judgement call.
Presenting the Cupcake Van, 4 points for cuteness, but lack of freshness and overwhelming diesel fumes left our Co-President unimpressed. And yet still fresh as a daisy and cute as a button:
The judges are ecstatic. The icing is as thick as the cake itself. A grand effort indeed.
Presentation outstanding, the judges are immediately at ease. All is well with the world.
Then we shall probably return to the cupcakes, and an Italian restaurant in which we may or may not have waited for an hour and a half at the bar until our table was ready.
Monday, June 7, 2010
I was also really loving the Fame TV soundtrack. This was a favourite of mine, and if this clip doesn't make you laugh then I don't know what will!!!
Sunday, June 6, 2010
But it doesn't pass the Bechdel test.
Saturday, June 5, 2010
Friday, June 4, 2010
I should explain here that Anna Gavalda ROCKS the endings of her stories, so I just knew each page of the story would make me feel happier and happier. Then, Mr. Cb (who is addicted to watching the Airbender series every morning while having breakfast) came upstairs during the ad break with a perfect latte made in my orange Grumpy Cafe mug. He placed it on my night-table, and I told him that this very moment was indeed the happiest moment of my entire life. He smiled, kissed me and went back to the Airbender. Then....then....Blue came jingling up the stairs, jumped on the bed and lay down on my feet, and then I read the last five pages of the book while sipping my coffee.
That's all I need. Really, I tell you. That's all I need.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
And it's all real life.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I never met Louise Bourgeois, and yet she had a profound effect on my own life. Ten years ago I visited my parents in London; Miss Cb was eight, Master Cb was five, and my parents were eager for me to go off and enjoy myself so that they could spoil the grandchildren. I obliged, with pleasure. One of the places I visited was the Tate Modern, and I was lucky to enough to experience Bourgeois' incredible sculpture entitled "I Do, I Undo, I Redo," a more apt title for my emotional landscape at that time I could not have found. I stood on line and waited patiently at each of the three towers, I walked up the stairs, I sat on the chairs and stared at the giant mirrors, I walked down the stairs and stopped at each tiny sculpture on the way. Louise Bourgeois had somehow managed to physically sculpt my feelings, and I shall be eternally grateful to her for that.
Monday, May 31, 2010
I shall link to this article here, which I think does a very good job of describing the many joys hiding between the covers of this book. The joys and treasures are indeed hiding, because the beginning of the story is dark, slow and mysterious. The way to read the first few chapters is to be completely open to the not-knowing, what I mean by this is that you have to almost pretend that you understand the intricacies of characters and plot, go with the flow, and have faith that all will become clear. It all eventually becomes miraculously clear, and then you suddenly feel this tremendous surge of love for life which could only have been created through those final revelations.
It's a story about parenting and mothering which actually, really and truly, I swear, captures that painful struggle and those moments of joy. It's a story which I wish I had read a decade ago because I could have used some of its consolation; then again, reading it now is pretty much damn perfect. So many wonderful scenes at the end of this novel, oh boy, so many smiles I smiled. I don't want to give anything away, but there's a scene with a selection of cookie-cutters that simply kills me, and a story told by a little girl after an architect builds her a play-house, and...all right...I'm not going to say anything else. I'll leave it for you to discover.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
Miss Cb is enjoying her gap year. Before leaving for a trip overseas she is very busy getting the house in order, which includes sorting through Mister Cb's 367 ties which he no longer wears because his office has a very casual dress code. Blue is pleased, yet still somewhat concerned.