Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Year in Review (2013)

Okay, let’s do the year in review. I know it is a little early, but I am having dinner guests on New Year’s Eve, so I will be too busy for the next couple of days, getting a manicure, going to The Dry Bar, shopping and cooking.
Thanks to the old-school pocket calendar which I fill in throughout the year, I have been able to recreate the highlights of 2013.
 Movies: Anna Karenina, Django Unchained, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Salmon Fishing on the Yemen, Zero Dark Thirty, To Rome with Love, The Master, The Queen of Versailles, Searching for Sugarman, Quartet, Long Day’s Journey into Night, Central Park Five, All the President’s Men, The New World, Frances Ha, Before Midnight, One Eyed Jack, Cloud Atlas, The Seekers, Lawrence of Arabia, The Usual Suspects, The Prestige, The Graduate, Adaptation, Bernie, The Science of Sleep, Blue Jasmine, Rush, Captain Phillips, Giant, Nashville, Notorious
Cultural Outings:  Three plays: Good People, the Book of Mormon, and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I went to the Phillips Gallery twice, once with Peter and another time with Kathleen to see the preview of the Van Gogh show; I took Peter to the Holocaust Museum and I attended the National Book Festival to see Linda Ronstadt.
A Sound Reason to Visit Martha's Vineyard
Trips:  I went to Honolulu on business in February; spent spring break traipsing around the dreary NJ, CT, NY, PA area looking at colleges (only to learn that Franky wanted to go south); spent a week in Martha’s Vineyard, thanks to Peter’s best-ever summer job as a member of the Vineyard Sound a cappella group;  back to Cape Cod with Jane for a visit to Susan in East Falmouth, and then one more time to Martha’s Vineyard for Peter retrieval; and went to Saratoga Springs, NY for Parents’ Weekend at Skidmore. Conspicuous by their absence: New York City, Tucson, California and Maine. Gotta fix that next year.
Books: I now belong to two book clubs, so I am always reading for one or the other; sometimes they overlap so I have to skip one, but overall it has upped my reading and steered me toward books I would otherwise never pick up.  Here are a few we have covered in the two clubs: The Many Lives and Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Sandra Gulland (Part One of a Trilogy); The Burgess Boys, Elizabeth Strout; War and Peace, Tolstoy (ongoing, four-part book club); American Pastoral (in progress)  and Operation Shylock by Phillip Roth; Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe; Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf; Age  of Innocence, Elizabeth Wharton; O Pioneers, Willa Cather; Madame Bovary, Flaubert; Therese Raquin, Zola; Excellent Women, Barbara Pym;  Cannery Row, Steinbeck; The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene; What’s Bred in the Bone, Robertson Davies; The Sheltering Sky, Paul Bowles; the Road from Coorain, Jill Ker Conway…okay I am going back more than one kill me. I didn’t do this exercise last year.

Who Can Forget the Nose Cast?
Accidents: I broke my toe; I broke my nose (tennis); and in an “unfortunate spinning accident” my foot came out of the pedal going at top speed into my shin and I required 11 stitches. First and last spinning class.
You Say Goodbye
And I Say Hello
Fitness and Glamour: I ran, played tennis and took yoga classes. I quit Equinox, an expensive health club, which I was under-utilizing at $140 a month; and became obsessed with The Dry Bar, and for $200 a month may never have to wash or dry my hair again. Ooops, $140 a month habit dropped, $200 a month habit taken up. Even I can do the math on that one.
Money/Miscellany/Mini: So as they used to say: “Mother is going to take in a little sewing.” I started freelance proofreading last summer and am very happily employed by HealthyLivinG, a monthly magazine based in Beverly Hills, which keeps me busy in my increasing spare time; and sends me checks which I am banking for our trip to Madrid to see Peter next spring; but after that, may apply to my new major purchase.
Who Says Mini Can't Buy Happiness?
College Bound...Somewhere
College bound and determined: Franky took over the search, found seven schools in the south and two in California; has been admitted to two early action, is waiting to hear from the rest.
 For a variety of reasons, I am much happier this year. Let’s hope the good times roll into 2014.




Thursday, December 12, 2013

'Been a long time since I rock and rolled. Been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely time..."

Zeppelin's first
If you don’t love early Zeppelin, then I guess you didn’t grow up in the 70’s. When Jason Werth chose Dazed and Confused as his walk-up music, my respect for him soared. I am pretty sure I was at a Led Zeppelin concert in Phoenix. Almost positive.

Tools of the trade-good thing I'm not a photographer
Basically I’ve been too busy proofing and editing the work of others to have time for my own writing. Proofreading teaches you a lot about writing. I’m beginning to agree with Mark Twain’s opinion of adverbs: 'I am dead to adverbs; they cannot excite me.' I have delighted in deleting a ton of adverbs and throwing them in the dead word pile. Really.
Birthday week
In November a lot happened.  First it was my birthday for about 10 days.

Together again after two years

Then Peter came home from college and had a spontaneous reunion with his Beatles cover band at a pre-Thanksgiving party. "Ringo" arrived with his hair dyed blond. I guess this is what happens when you go to Brown.

The day before Thanksgiving I got this:

Mini Me-If I were a car this is what I would look like

On Thanksgiving I did this:
... cooked the turkey upside down.  Not on purpose. I am finally able to share this shame. I meant to, yeah, that’s the yarn we are spinning. Cooking it upside down allows the juices to flow to the breast and make it moister. But once my husband started to carve the back he noticed a paucity of meat. Flipped it and there was, well, the turkey as we expect to see it. All that malt barley glaze for naught.
Guy Poms

Smells like teen spirit
Senior year at high school has come to this: guy poms. It is also a time of uncharacteristic interest in the snail mail. Franky has applied early action to four schools, so any day now, or week, or month, we could hear something.
I'm still reading War and Peace, but I have made it to the half way point (600 pages), and now am very interested in what will happen to Boris, Natasha, Moose and Squirrel.

And now we slip into the stress-packed month of December. No I haven’t done the shopping,  shipped the presents, gotten the tree, written the cards or decorated the house yet. Could be a long time again, long time, a long lonely, lonely time until I return to the blogosphere.