Saturday, November 29, 2008

51 Birch Street

So, this mindblowing documentary is about a fifty-year marriage, and if you haven’t seen it, queue it up now, see it, and then come back and read this, cause I’m gonna spoil this too.

It’s a subject I have become really fascinated by ever since I got married – go figure – although you might think I’d have thought about it more deeply before, given that my folks were divorced, and I waited so long to get married. I mean, that wasn’t by accident. I knew I wanted to try to get it right if I was going to do it. But it wasn’t like I was mired in contemplation about my parents’ marriage, or either of their subsequent ones to any great extent. Probably just to the usual extent. Anyway. This guy starts out just by trying to document his parents and his family and then his mom dies, while he’s still making the film, and the father remarries very quickly (there should be an investigative documentary on this subject alone, I say) and slowly, more gets revealed about their history, and as he comes to think his father may have cheated with his new wife many years before, he discovers his mom’s extensive diaries, and it turns out she had been unfaithful, but that really, that was just one small thing, that she had profound feelings of unhappiness in her marriage, in her life, and all this stuff, and but, then in the end, it turns out that the father and his new wife are actually really in love, for the first time, and somehow all this ends up bringing the father and the son closer together, in letting all these secrets out.

For me, it just brings up, again, the central questions of – why do we do this marriage thing – when the odds are as low as they say they are – and how do we do this marriage thing, and what makes a marriage a good marriage or not a good marriage – are these questions all entirely individual? Or are there any universal truths? Are there cultural truths about it? You’d think I might write some fiction about this – and maybe I will – but I’m still figuring out what the questions are. Would love to hear what all y’all think about it, married, divorced, remarried, divorced parents, whatever. Maybe you can help me figure it out.

Bye, The Wire

Ben and I watched the last episode of The Wire last night. Oh, man. That was some good shit. Spoilers ahead, if you haven’t seen the whole series yet. Really amazing how they wove in all the storylines, and wrapped them up without it being all neat. And so perfect that in the end, they sort of show a sequence where it’s pretty clear that everything will more or less go on as always, in the form of different people and places maybe, but more or less the same. The whole last season, all I really wanted was that Bubbles would get clean, stay clean, and come up out of the basement, so needless to say I’m happy. And as much as I hoped Du’Quan would have a chance, I thought it was perfect that he sort of – took Bubbles place, if you will. I was totally bummed about Omar, and the worst part of that was that I actually saw that one episode out of order, before we’d started watching this season on DVD, at a friend’s house. I don’t know how any of you read this, but I actually thought the end for McNulty was kind of perfect, like, maybe if he weren’t a cop he and Beadie could have a chance. Anyway, goodbye, The Wire, it was great.


Bubbles before.

Bubbles after.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More Awesomeness

So stoked that I figured out how to post this over here. This is my buddy Kacy Crowley (you need her record Cave) singing with the African Children's Choir the other night. We were there, and these kids were amazing, sparkling little lights. Try not to cry. I doubt it's possible.

Kacy with African Children's choir

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

November 4, 2008

I was not in Chicago for this, but Ben was in Grant Park that night, lucky! Anyway, you've seen a lot of the footage from the park that night, but he took this in the street, after everyone was leaving the park. Still cheering. Pretty rad. But actually, I'm still cheering now.

No Wonder Cardigans Are So Hard to Come By Lately

Okay, I am LOVING Mad Men for like sixteen different reasons, not the least of which is the wardrobe. Many of you know my obsession with vintage cardies, the truly special ones of which were increasingly hard to come by even before this show came on. I'll try not to cry too much, because the show is totally worth it. But if you see me repeating the same ones for a while, we can all blame Mad Men. Anyway, I have always loved the clothes of this era, although watching this show makes me really, really glad to be a woman in 2008 who can have the best of the clothes, without the foundation garments or the sexual harassment or the inequality.

NOTE: I have just finished watching Season One on DVD so if you lucky people have cable and you've seen Season Two, DO NOT TELL ME WHAT HAPPENS or I will come out in my nightie and shoot you with a BB gun.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Greatest. Thing. Ever.

The words I saw on my tv screen last night: President Elect Barack Obama.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Another Crane Story on Selected Shorts!

I just found out my story "Ad" is airing on Selected Shorts this week, so check your local NPR listings. I haven't heard this yet (we were supposed to fly to NY for the live show last year, but got snowed in), but it's kind of one big long run-on sentence and I've only read it out loud once myself, so I am really looking forward to hearing what Jill Eikenberry did with it.


For the love of all that is good and holy, I implore you, Bert readers, to vote for Obama this Tuesday. As much as I remain optimistic, the race is still too close for my comfort, and what is it all about if it isn't about my comfort, really, and so if there is even one Bert reader who is on the fence in any way (which I can't imagine, seeing as how awesome and great Obama is and since I'm guessing I'm preaching to the choir here, but you never know), I beg of you to consider how dangerous it would be to have McCain and Palin running this country (and god forbid, just Palin). As Tina Fey said of her, she's as smart as me, and that's not good enough. And frankly, I think Tina Fey was being extremely generous in describing her this way, because I'm pretty sure Tina Fey is way smarter. I'm pretty sure I'm way smarter, and I've had some insecurities with my own smartness level over the years, which ought to tell you something.

Also - I've been making calls for MoveOn this weekend, and I urge anyone else who has any little bit of time between now and Tuesday, to volunteer for Obama in any way that suits you. It's actually exciting and energizing, as well as eye-opening. We're almost there - but we aren't there yet.