Sunday, July 29, 2012

Rainy Skies in Summer

When you're married, and you own a home (or make a mortgage payment to the bank that owns your home), and then you cross into your 30s, you will get asked how many kids and pets you have... and if you're me, you have neither.

But I grew up with dogs, both hunting dogs and family dogs, and I do love them. I just also happen to work 40 hours a week or more outside the house, plus commuting, gym, and grocery shopping time, so it has felt, for a long time, that having a dog would be unfair to the pup. But I think off and on about getting a dog, and funnily enough, the last 4 or 5 people I have floated this idea to have had the exact same reaction:

"Oh, dogs are great. They are. But if you haven't had one, or had one recently, you might have forgotten that they just can break your heart. They don't live long enough for us humans, and it can be so, so tough to lose your dog. It's just something to think about, something to not forget about."

Monday, July 23, 2012


The common denominator among all the jobs I've had and enjoyed is that they put me on the inside. Inside someone else's family as a nanny - inside the life of a new mom, mess and joy at the same time. Inside the restaurant, where I see how the menu is prepped, how the food is cooked, how the decisions are made about what you're going to eat tonight and how I'm going to talk you into it. Inside the show and how it is put on from script to production - and all the near-miss arguments that also meant you got a refunded ticket and no performance tonight. Inside the headline, knowing the real story, and behind the law that fails to pass - or the one that does, barely.

Last night, at the Florence + The Machine concert, John and I got rail... meaning, we were leaning against the front metal rail that keeps the audience separated from the performers... and at one point during the opening band, we looked back to see how the crowd was expanding. In a curtain gap far off stage right was Florence herself, with a white scarf over her head and blue jeans on, sweetly and lonesomely dancing to the music of The Walkmen. I was reminded, with a pang, that no matter how close you are to the concert, unless you're Tony Hawk (who was seated on stage), you're never on the inside - not really. She came out later barefoot with her hair in a polished-but-sloppy bun and an amazing navy blue chiffon dress, ready to perform and connect. But I liked seeing her without her makeup, spinning around and looking down at the ground, bopping around to the new music.

(P.S. It was a great show, start to finish - from the parking to the lines, from the crowd to the staff to the opening band, from the weather to the setlist, and most especially, from Florence's engagement with us viewers and the backup singers that brought the house down. Plus everyone jumping up and down at the band's request, screaming, "Shake it off, shake it off! Shake it off, shake it off! It's hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake him off!")

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Good, Better, Best.

Oh yeah, I'm going to tell you another Anne of Green Gables tidbit.

In book 3 (my personal favorite) the incorrigible Philippa Gordon says somberly to her new beau, whom she is head over heels for and is a pastor, "You couldn't be anything but a minister," after she hears him deliver a wonderful sermon.

He replies that no, he couldn't be. He tried for a long time but it didn't work.

So sometimes I get pretty down on acting, and film, and television, and the mass-produced woman-hating bullshit that comes out of Hollywood.

But then sometimes I watch something so good, so fucking good, that I want to meet Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams not because they are celebrities and probably fascinating and probably glamorous and definitely interesting and likely wonderful dinner party guests... but to purely, simply and tenderly thank them for not trying to be anything other than actors - and for bringing the world Blue Valentine.

One: run out and see it. Two: don't expect to be uplifted after you see it. Three: do expect to be amazed at their talent. Four: comfort yourself with the knowledge that Michelle Williams is like 32 years old, and we have decades of great art coming from her - she is the next Meryl Streep.

And five: feel in your bones that you have a calling as intense and true as the one these fine actors have been listening to... and start listening, too.