Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You decide

When I was 13 or so I told my father that I wanted (needed, really) a pair of gloves. I needed these gloves because when we went traveling every summer I would help my father with our baggage, which had an impressive mathematical inevitability: five people, two bags each, ten bags total. Add to that a European sojourn on our way to India, rolling baggage carts that had only three wheels, at least one of which always pointed in a different direction from the other two. I liked to try to be helpful. But lifting those bags would leave my hands a little raw, so I thought a pair of gloves would solve the problem.

I imagined something like leather driving gloves, something jaunty and fun, for which it's true I did expect I would find a few other uses.

My father thought it over, and told me that the only gloves he could offer me at the moment were a pair of oversize cotton gardening gloves.

So I wore these - without any embarrassment - for a few summers while we were at airports. I stopped using them after an immigration officer in Tokyo asked me to remove my gloves and to show him my hands.

You decide.



Saturday, September 18, 2010

A confession

"And at [its] ... best, [it] ... was (is) almost heartbreakingly beautiful. That accounts for the disturbance we can feel when it goes off, as if ... the order of the world had been ever-so-slightly upset. But it’s heartbreaking to watch, too, because we intuit the fragility of perfection, its evanescence."

“What matters most ... [is] the victory, but what really gives you a deep personal satisfaction is to feel that you’ve become a better ... [person] because that’s the real product of the everyday work...”

* * *

The first quote above is about someone of whom I am a fan.

The second quote above is from someone who I admire.

* * *

A confession. Both are tennis players.



Friday, September 17, 2010

Nine words









~ Oscar Wilde

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some other uses of your time

I had a few extra hours to spare, so I was watching Masculin féminin and Alphaville by Godard.

I enjoyed both, but especially the former. Alphaville is, in the end, too much of a genre parody for me, and being a highly literate, referential, and genre-bending parody doesn't change this basic fact. Though it's clever, beautiful, and exhilarating, when Anna Karina utters the closing lines of the film and the music swells, the words "Je vous aime" seem to fall flat despite all that.

Masculin féminin is another matter altogether. It still feels like a fresh look at the youth of that generation with Chantal Goya as the self-consciously innocent yé-yé and Jean-Pierre Léaud as the idealistic, left-wing intellectual. It's got all the usual in there, discussions of love, sex, and politics, documentary-style interviews, and random shootouts. But in the end for me it was the young and awkward love that was most touching, and that made the ending hit home.

Now that I am beginning to appreciate, if not entirely love, some of the classic early Godard, it's probably time to venture into his films from the '70s, '80s, '90s...



Saturday, September 4, 2010

It's happened

It's happened. As always, sooner than expected. Actually, they have happened. I thought I had posted so recently, only to discover that it has been more than a week. And of course the other happening -- already Labor Day, the end of summer, the back to school time that after all these years still stirs various emotions and chemicals in me (sure some excitement, sure some nostalgia for summer, but more than that the slightly queasy anticipation and heightened awareness of someone preparing to head back into battle -- of course these days the battle is continual, but it's Pavlovian conditioning...)

So while I Labor away (ha!), here are a few images for the weekend, a grab bag of summer:

If you're a boy, girl, adult or child heading back to a desk, you might want to pay attention to this man. If you're going to be glued to a desk, it might as well look like this:

Spotted this charming and slightly disturbing pair in a park (Fort Tryon Park) a few weeks ago. It's a bit of an awwww/ ewwww depending on your persepctive:

And a New York summer tradition for me (and incidentally, is it tai chi or tennis? What balance, what strength...)

Another piece of summer I'm going to miss: lunch with fresh ingredients... and at home...

Have a great weekend and see you all soon!


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