Harriet the Spy

In regards to children’s lit I’m still playing catch up to my friends who read such classics like Alice in Wonderland or The Secret Garden. This year I’ve already tackled A Little Princess (amazing!) and I just finished Harriet the Spy over the weekend. Where were all these spunky heroines when I was a kid?!

In elementary school, if it wasn’t a Civil Rights children’s book or something out of the American Girls collection I didn’t read it. And then middle school happened. I was suddenly reading the Harry Potter series, Michael Crichton’s fiction and non-fiction, Robin Cook’s medical thrillers, Tolkien, and Stephen King. Not sure what happened there transition wise…but I digress.

Here are some quotes I rather liked in Louise Fitzhugh’s Harriet the Spy:

Always say exactly what you feel. People are hurt more by misunderstanding than anything else.

And this one:

When somebody goes away there’s things you want to tell them. When somebody dies maybe that’t he worst thing. You want to tell them things that happened after.

Last but not least:

Another thing. If you’re missing me I want you to know that I’m not missing you. Gone is gone. I never miss anything or anyone because it all becomes a lonely memory. I guard my memories and love them, but I don’t get in them and lie down. You can even make stories from yours, but remember, they don’t come back.

The end!

Camera Shy

As my friend Georger told me this weekend when she spied my Canon slung about my neck, “Good to see you with your camera again. Otherwise: waste of money.” While I love how discreet I can be with my iPhone, taking photos of interesting people I see around town, I need to branch out a bit with my DSLR. I have yet to work up the nerve to ask someone to take their photograph – save perhaps during New York Fashion Week earlier this year – so instead, I snapped what I could…

SaturdayXie-1 SaturdayXie-2 SaturdayXie-3 SaturdayXie-4 SaturdayXie-12

Mindy & BookCon

My POV of Mindy and BJ at BookCon
My POV of Mindy and BJ at BookCon

Words cannot accurately describe the joy I experienced in watching Mindy Kaling live on stage at BookCon. However, I just found her talk with BJ Novak on YouTube (thank you Random House!) and hopefully you’ll enjoy her witty words of wisdom as much as I did.

Mindy's new book Why Not Me flying high at the Javits Center
Mindy’s new book Why Not Me flying high at the Javits Center

People We Used to Be

Just happened upon a funny little quote from Joan Didion:

“It all comes back. Perhaps it is difficult to see the value in having one’s self back in that kind of mood, but I do see it; I think we are well advised to keep on nodding terms with the people we used to be, whether we find them attractive company or not. Otherwise they turn up unannounced and surprise us, come hammering on the mind’s door at 4 a.m. of a bad night and demand to know who deserted them, who betrayed them, who is going to make amends. We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget. We forget the loves and the betrayals alike, forget what we whispered and what we screamed, forget who we were. I have already lost touch with a couple of people I used to be; one of them, a seventeen-year-old, presents little threat, although it would be of some interest to me to know again what it feels like to sit on a river levee drinking vodka-and-orange-juice and listening to Les Paul and Mary Ford and their echoes sing “How High the Moon” on the car radio. (You see I still have the scenes, but I no longer perceive myself among those present, no longer could even improvise the dialogue.) The other one, a twenty-three-year-old, bothers me more. She was always a good deal of trouble, and I suspect she will reappear when I least want to see her, skirts too long, shy to the point of aggravation, always the injured party, full of recriminations and little hurts and stories I do not want to hear again, at once saddening me and angering me with her vulnerability and ignorance, an apparition all the more insistent for being so long banished.”

Funny how one can discover themselves in other’s words ;D

The Red Dress

Through a strange turn of events I now have in my possession a brand new Canon 70D. I’ve never really owned a camera before that could shoot video – aside from the iPhone of course – and so I set out with Sheloa to try my hand at filmmaking.

It’s quite different being the director instead of the writer. I had an idea in my head, and with Dorothy Parker’s “Red Dress” stuffed in my coat’s pockets and channelling Danny Sangra, Sheloa and I took a bus ride to create this little vid.

I also had to dust off my Adobe Premiere skills. Can’t wait to collaborate on the next “test” of the new camera.

Hope you enjoy!

Trust the Audience

ER
ER

Yesterday, someone shared with me this epic TV Guide oral history of ER’s groundbreaking episode “Love’s Labor Lost.” In it, Bradley Whitford (who brilliantly guest starred on said episode) commented on the silent and harrowing moments of that hour. He said,

“It is so much better and powerful in silence from the back, pulling away. It’s so much better because the audience fills in the specifics of it. It’s not as strong if you hear what Tony says compared to when you just see what I responded to and see me burst into tears. I think about that choice all the time. It drives me nuts as an actor now. I’m so lucky to have been able to do the stuff I’ve done, but if I have one minor quibble, there’s way too much coverage in television. That infects the writing process, the shooting process, the editing process. No one trusts the audience now. You watch powerful film structures in the ’50s, it’s incredible how much everything is allowed to just play. That’s partly why I love Birdman, although that became a little, “Oh, Jesus! They’re never gonna cut!” I think psychologically what happens every time you cut, for the audience, there’s a little stroke. It’s a jarring thing. I think there’s way too much choppy chop now. You don’t need it. ER didn’t do that. This was filmed perfectly.”

Which is sad but true.

Today rarely do we witness in network television (save The Good Wife  and Luther perhaps) those quiet, contemplative moments that allows the audience to interpret and think and really feel for their characters. Perhaps I need to tune in to the likes of “event series” like Gracepoint, The Slap, and American Crime, but off the top of my head, network dramas just don’t hold up to those early seasons of “ER.”