SOWA OPEN MARKET 10/10/10, originally uploaded by kathy weller. See all pics on the Flick.
Today was Boston Handmade
Day AND Dog-tastic Day at the South End Open Market (SoWA)
. I took a trip down to see the new layout and to enjoy the day and the dogs!Boston Handmader Arthur Halvorsen
- LOVE his pottery. I think we live in the same planet. Astro-turf table dressing? Yes!
'er, Cricicis Design
makes note cards with a clean design aesthetic.
designs other-worldly, wearable and chic silver jewelry. Beautiful work.Lauren Blais
uses some very innovative materials (she'll tell you, if you ask. Brace yourself!) She merges current and classic looks in a kind of post-modern way that is very appealing. She also teaches jewelry-making classes (email her
Instead of jumping right into all of the Austin Teen Book Festival fun I encountered this weekend, I'm going to start with the second most important thing that happened in Austin. Because dude. I visited the actual Friday Night Lights football field that the actual Panthers played on where they actually filmed the show!
As soon as my plane landed in Austin, I started asking everyone about Friday Night Lights filming locations. No one knew where the real field was. Until my driver picked me up for my plane ride home. He knew everything. He had even driven lots of the actors from the show (yes, including Taylor Kitsch, or Tim Riggins as I will always and forever think of him). The football field was on the way to the airport. As we approached this random, dusty little road, I could see the stadium lights above the trees. I could not believe I was seeing the real Friday night lights! The field was overgrown with weeds because they finished filming a while ago, but everything still looked completely familiar. The Panther colors were still there, which had been painted over the original school colors of the Cardinals. The school has been shut down for years. You could see the old colors on a side of the field house that was never filmed for the show, and then the Panther colors everywhere else.
I walked up to the field with the theme song playing in my head and the chills I always get when I hear it. I'm not embarrassed to tell you that I almost burst into tears right there. I mean, this is where Tim Riggins and Matt Saracen and Coach and everyone dominated. This is where they were. But I did feel a little embarrassed in front of the driver, so I played it off like I had something in my eye.
It was really, really hard to leave.
Of course, the most important part of my trip was getting to connect with everyone at the Austin Teen Book Festival. Those readers are incredible! The place was charged with excitement the whole time. Ellen Hopkins gave an amazing keynote address. I loved that she read letters from readers. The ways in which a book inspires you or changes your life or helps you work through problems is the most powerful statement an author can make. It was so exciting to finally meet Ellen, along with author rock stars Ally Carter and Melissa de la Cruz. Here I am with Ally, Melissa, and Ellen at dinner after the festival:
Lots of people drove two or three hours each way just to be there. And they brought gifts. Shout-outs to Nani for making me a shiny gold star; BookPeople for the Keep Austin Weird sticker and for doing an overall amazing job; my teen escort, Julia, for making sure I didn't get lost (Westlake HS is enormous!); and Girls in the Stacks for giving me the best peanut brittle in the whole entire world. Much love goes out to everyone who helped make the festival such a success!
I had a little time to explore Austin the night before. While I was walking to the deli Sandra Bullock owns, someone thought I was her! Which was very meta (and hilarious). The deli is called Walton's Fancy and Staple and it's the cutest thing ever. The guy working there told me Sandra's there a lot. I think it's cool that she's so involved. There's lots of flowers pastries her sister makes and cozy areas like this one:
After Walton's, I had to go to Whole Foods. It's the second largest Whole Foo
Some awesome people have recently been doing some awesome things. That is why I thought you might want an awesome alert.
By now, you probably know that I worship Jon Stewart in a godlike way. How stoked am I for his Rally to Restore Sanity? At first I thought the whole thing was a joke to compliment Stephen Colbert's March to Keep Fear Alive. But then I went to their Twitter page and it says how the rally is on October 30 from 12:00-3:00 at the National Mall. Dude, isn't that where Forrest Gump and Jenny had their epic reunion? I'm so there!
Before I see Jon at the rally, I'm going to see him at Barnes & Noble tomorrow. He's reading from Earth, his textbook about our planet for extraterrestrials. Like America, it's packed with highly informative, highly hilarious material. Even the "this book is the property of" stamp in the front cover is funny. I hope I can think of a good question to ask him. I never think of anything good to say when I meet the people who inspire me and I end up sounding like a babbling idiot. And then walking home I'll be like, "Dir! That's what I should have said!"
I think I did okay with Demetri Martin, though.
He had a show here Saturday night which was, as always, the Best Comedy Show Ever. I've been a huge fan for many years and am thrilled that Demetri is starting to get the attention he deserves. If you're unfamiliar with Demetri, I suggest you get acquainted. He does comedy for people who think. And he's so sweet to his fans! He took the time to talk with every one of us who were waiting for him after. He took pictures with all of us and signed stuff. And he did all of this while eating an apple. Which he eventually had to put down. I felt kind of bad for him, like can't the guy even eat his apple? He was probably really hungry. But it must have been a thrill for Demetri to see such a big crowd waiting out there for him. I told him about his upcoming shout-out in So Much Closer. He was really appreciative. John Oliver from The Daily Show stopped by to do a bit on stage. When he came out after, he was on his phone and didn't come back to us. That's cool, though. I'm sure we'll catch up at the rally.
Here's what the stage looked like from my front row seat (score!) before the show:
Could I have been any closer? No. I could not have been. I couldn't wait to find out what those weird symbols were. Especially that angry cat (which turned out to be Demetri's idea for a bird feeder where badass birds would go in the mouth part and then it would look like the cat was spitting out birds when they flew away). Really good times.
As if things weren't already awesome enough, Blake Nelson comes along with a new book and bam! I'm totally hooked. It's called Recovery Road, it comes out in March, and you want to add it to your list. Trust me. Blake and I go way back, although he didn't know it at the time. Girl was shelved in the adult fiction section when it first came out (along with Judy Blume's Forever). After I read it and was completely blown away, I kept checking back for a new book by Blake. I just had to find out what happened to Andrea Marr and was hoping for a sequel. But there was nothing. Followed by more nothing. I was so disappointed. But then! I fo
I've been thinking a lot about endings lately.
You guys know that I pretty much worship My So-Called Life in a religious way. It deserved many, many more seasons than it got. When the first (and only) season ends, Angela discovers that Brian wrote a love letter she thought was from Jordan. I always wondered what would have happened in the next season, or even farther down the road. Would Angela and Brian have ended up together?
IMHO, I do believe they would have. But not right away. I totally see Angela and Jordan getting back together for a while. Which would of course end tragically all over again. The Jordan Catalanos of the world never work out.
Whenever a good book or movie or show ends, I always have to imagine what happens next. There's no way I can let characters I've become so attached to just fade away.
Here's that last scene. You decide what happens next.
I heard a rumor that Steve Carell is leaving The Office. I'm calling it a rumor because there's just no way that can happen. The Office without Michael Scott would be like a Double Stuf Oreo without the Stuf. His World's Best Boss mug doesn't lie. Who else would bring donuts in on his birthday and organize a Lake Wallenpaupack booze cruise and throw an 05.05.05 party because it happens once every billion years?Parenthood
Only Michael Scott.
Now, I always try to see the bright side of a dark situation. The only good thing that will come of this is that Steve Carell will finally win his long overdue Emmy. They can't just let him leave without giving him the award he's deserved for the past five years. Give Steve Carell his freaking Emmy already! He really, really needs to win this time around. Then 30 Rock can hog all the Emmys again next year.
My love for The Office is immense, but that doesn't mean I don't have room for other show love. I've been Netflixing Big Love. It's so good! If When It Happens is ever made into a movie, the oldest son from Big Love (Douglas Smith) would make a great Tobey. He has many Tobey-like qualities.
My Netflix queue is fierce. There are several shows I've been waiting for all year to come out on DVD that are coming out in August. Which of course I'm psyched about. Only, now I have a big dilemma. Which of these August releases should I watch first?
and The Middle
are shows I haven't seen yet. I keep hearing how awesome they are. The other four are some of my absolute fave shows. After The Office
, of course. So which to move to the top of my queue? Conundrum!
I've admired Kristen Stewart for a long time. She was phenomenal in Speak. She was phenomenal in The Cake Eaters. And she was beyond phenomenal in a movie that is so outstanding it leaves me in a state of awe every time I watch it, The Safety of Objects. She is just so freaking talented I can't even. If you also love Kristen and haven't seen these movies, you really should add them to your queue.
You can tell from watching her amazing performances that she's a deep person. You can also tell that she's shy. So when the whole Twilight thing blew up and people were saying that she seems awkward doing press, it wasn't exactly news. It must be really hard for someone who's shy to be in front of so many people all the time. I wonder if it's something you can ever get used to.
This video is of Kristen arriving at The Late Show yesterday. When I linked to it on my Twitter, it had 300-something views. Now it's had over 21,000. Here's a Coffee Talk topic for you: Would you want to be as crazy famous, doing this over and over? Discuss.
Happy winter solstice! Yes, I'm excited. Not for winter, because we all know that I don't do winter. I'm excited for daylight. Starting tomorrow, daylight hours will begin to increase and will continue to increase (by about two minutes per day) until the summer solstice in June. Bring on the light!
Astronomical occasions like this remind me of my old life as a science teacher. Wait, first I have to tell you about David Letterman. I discovered Late Night with David Letterman when I was 12. As soon as I saw him throw a pencil through the window and make crazy faces at the camera, I knew that we were kindred spirits. I used to tape his show on my cranky VCR to watch after school. For a few years of junior high and high school, the two things I looked forward to all day were going home to read on my bed and going home to watch Dave. There were lots of disappointing days when I settled in on the beanbag chair in front of the TV with my snack, only to discover that my mother had turned off the VCR after only a minute because the TV was in her room and she said the VCR was so loud that she couldn't sleep. So you can imagine how psyched I am to be living in 2009! I can watch Dave online on my sexy iMac anytime I want. If I had a TV, I'm sure I'd watch The Late Show every night it's on. After all these years, I love that Dave is still quirky and weird. I can relate to quirky and weird.
So I was watching Dave a few days ago and guess who was on? (Note: I am aware that Tobey Maguire was just on - I will be watching that ep when it becomes available tomorrow). Dr. James Hansen! He was my boss when I worked at NASA! I did climate change and global warming research for two summers after grad school at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies here in New York. These are some of their current research projects and findings. Anyway, I was so excited to see Dr. Hansen on the show. He was the first person to testify before Congress that global warming is a reality. His book, Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity, describes what will happen unless we all reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Earth's climate is changing so dramatically that thousands of species are becoming extinct, entire ecosystems are being destroyed, and severe types of weather like hurricanes are becoming much more dangerous. Oh, and diseases will get even scarier. If we don't stop using coal and oil and start using alternative forms of energy, we will continue to destroy the only known planet we can live on and, ultimately, ourselves. It's awesome that Dr. Hansen has not given up hope that the world will start to listen to what he's been saying for the past 30 years. You can watch his Amazon video here, in which he explains that if we don't take dramatic steps to save our planet now, it will very soon be too late.
P.S. If you encounter someone who still doesn't believe that global warming is a reality, kindly inform them that 1978 called. It wants its debate back.
When it gets so cold that iguanas are falling out of trees, I try to keep warm with memories of sunny vacations past. Like when I went to Santorini last September. I was lazy in the best possible way - just lounging by the incredible infinity pool with good books every day. Was this really me only four months ago?
But hey, memories aren't the only things with warming powers. I'm anticipating the comfort of my new ergonomic chair, which is finally ready! It took a while to put together because they are custom made. Let's just say my back is more than ready for its arrival. Of course, my new chair is nothing compared to Sarah Dessen's whole new office. Talk about gorgeous! I see that we're both enjoying the warm fuzzy effect of the sexy iMac. My goal is to also have a real home office one day instead of this desk-against-the-wall situation. Ah, tiny living.
So I finished watching Popular. The writers apparently had no idea that the show would be canceled because it ended all unresolved. What a rip-off! Of course, the one story line I was into was the Sam/Harrison relationship. The whole best-friends-become-lovers plot never gets old. I'm annoyed that we never got to see them together. I like to imagine that they were really cute as a couple. Just as I like to imagine that the giant pile of lemons that was always in Brooke's kitchen was used to make lemonade every week, then replaced with fresh lemons. Because would you really have all those lemons hanging around just for decorative purposes?
For now, I will warm up with some tea. And the cupcake of the week at Crumbs, which happens to be Blueberry Cobbler. Love blueberry cobbler. Sending warm thoughts out to all my fellow cupcake enthusiasts!
Whenever I'm paying for something and I'm a penny or two short, the cashier is always like, "Don't worry about it." This started happening a few years ago. At first, I was amazed. I wondered how I could possibly be getting away with that kind of behavior. Don't cashiers get in trouble for coming up short? How could they disrespect pennies like that, like they're not even worth anything?
News flash: Pennies are still real money.
Don't get me wrong. When I'm out of change and something costs $5.01, I'm grateful that I don't have to get 99 cents back in change. But now other coins are being dissed as well. The other day this deli cashier chose to forget about 12 cents instead of making change from an extra dollar. Twelve whole cents! Excused! Seriously, it's only a matter of time before pennies are discontinued, then eventually all coins. Then all bills. Down the road, I'm sure we'll be paying for everything with cards. Or eye scans. Kind of like when they stopped making subway tokens and we all had to get used to MetroCards. They were so strange at first! Now we don't even think about them. Technological progress is a good thing. I'm really looking forward to washing clothes without using all of that water. And hopefully in a year or so, watching Letterman online in better quality. When Kiefer is on in a dress, I want some sharp picture quality happening.
What I'm really really looking forward to is my fave season, spring, along with the return of awesome fruit. Right now there is only mediocre fruit. When one is subjected to nothing but mediocre fruit all winter, it becomes boring fruit. By March I can't even look at a banana without snarling. This desperation is what forced me to purchase a jug of expensive blood orange juice. Question: Why is fresh produce expensive while fast food is cheap? It's so stupid. But I could not help myself. This blood orange juice is a dark red color, which means it's one big antioxidant party up in here.
But not really. Because as of today, I am in revision mode. It's just me, sexy iMac, music, and a deadline. It's the 24 equivalent of going dark. Whatever your goals are for the upcoming weeks, I wish you a successful mission. Oh, and remember to secure the perimeter. Copy that.
The other day I was in the deli and this lady in front of me bought some gum. When the cashier asked if she wanted a bag, she said yes. I really wanted to inform that lady that the correct answer was, in fact, no. No, you do not need a bag. For a pack of gum. Especially when you're already carrying a bag. Oh, and also? You don't need a pile of napkins for a bagel, in case you were wondering. A hundred years from now, people will probably look back on our wasteful ridiculousness and shake their heads. At least, that's my hope.
I wasn't in the deli to buy gum. If I chewed gum, it would stick to my Invisalign and be impossible to chew. Not that I was much of a gum chewer in my pre-braces life. Most of the time I didn't get the point of gum. Like, you just chew it? And? I guess it's a handy way to freshen up breath, but isn't that what mints are for? Anyway. No, I was stocking up on my new preferred snack, popchips. These things are genius. They're a tasty alternative to evil potato chips, made from real food and without tons of calories. I'm sensing a new addiction looming on the horizon.
Besides people taking plastic bags when they don't even need them, here's something else I don't get. My current Netflix adventures involve all five seasons of Ally McBeal. Only, I don't know if I'll be able to continue. The first season was awesome. Ally starts working at this law firm. Then she finds out that her ex (who also happens to be the love of her life) works there. Then she finds out that his wife works there, too. It was perfect. Ally and Billy would realize that they've never stopped loving each other, that they're soul mates, that they have to be together...I couldn't wait for the story to play out. But that's not what happened at all. Instead, there were some lame excuses about why it could never work between them and the passion just fizzled out. Oh, and then Billy dies. Out of nowhere. What am I missing here? Wasn't the whole point for them to be together? Although I have to say, now that Robert Downey Jr. has entered the scene, I am liking things a lot more. I mean hello, Wonder Boys? Love him.
Today I was researching the Hudson River Park piers and guess what I found out? One of the piers in Tribeca is going to have mini golf! That's only one neighborhood below mine! I swear, this made me so happy. If they decide to add Skee-Ball, I will be ecstatic. I'm not sure if the construction will be done this spring, but here's more good news: Spring is only eight days away! Par. Tay.
When I was in high school, I used to tape Late Night with David Letterman (on this total dinosaur of a VCR) and watch him after school. Dave has always been a weird guy and I was a weird kid, so it was easy for me to recognize him as a kindred spirit. I was 12 years old when I first saw him throw a pencil through his window, and ever since then I've been hooked. As with all of my shows, it's not easy to keep up with things without a TV. High school was the last time I lived with a TV and I don't regret our divorce at all. But I have missed Dave. Imagine how happy I was to discover that I can watch him online without it looking too fuzzy. It's comforting to see that Dave is still the same wacky dude he's always been.
The other night, Dave had Jamie Oliver and Justin Bieber on. I've been hearing stuff about Justin. When I asked my Facebook friends to tell me what they think about him, I had seven comments just within the first three minutes. Justin clearly touches a lot of nerves, one way or another. After watching him on Dave, I've concluded that Justin Bieber is all of the New Kids on the Block filtered into one kid, 80s vibe and everything. For the record, I was a NKOTB fan, so this is not necessarily an insult. Although it is kind of mortifying to admit that.
Jamie Oliver impressed. His initiative to teach people how to cook healthy meals and get the junk food out of schools is awesome. The best part of his visit was Dave's rant about how we can eat all the sea grass we want, but when we encounter 160 different kinds of cookies in the grocery store we're powerless. Here's the rant, followed by Jamie trying to teach Dave how to fry an egg:
Dave makes an excellent point. Diets do not work long-term. For long-term results, one's lifestyle must change. This is true for just about anything: weight loss, workout routines, establishing healthier habits. If there's something you want to change in your life, think long-term by creating a new lifestyle - a new way of living you can establish by making small, permanent changes every day. The first step is always the hardest, but once you start moving you are already on your way!
How excited was I when my signed copy of The Carrie Diaries arrived? When I was in LA, promotion for Sex and the City 2 was everywhere. I was telling my author escort what a big fan of the show I am and how I was reading The Carrie Diaries. She was like, "Do you have it with you?" I did. It turns out that she was escorting Candace Bushnell the following week and if I left my book with her, she'd have Candace sign it for me. Sweet non-coincidence!
The Carrie Diaries is adorable. I love finding out more about my favorite characters, and Carrie Bradshaw is definitely one of them. We are kindred spirits in a lot of ways. In fact, before I started watching the DVDs a few of my friends were telling me how much I reminded them of Carrie. I've bonded with her, I feel her pain, and I loved this opportunity to get to know her even better. We find out that Carrie is from fictional Castlebury, Connecticut. We find out how she met Samantha. We also discover that she had a knowing about living in New York City one day, the same knowing I had. I totally get that pull she felt to this place. And she was always a writer. I completely connected with this part:
"Eventually, I went upstairs and took out the box of my old stories, and tried to soothe myself by imagining a better life, when I would live in New York and write books and have a completely different existence."
I'm happy to report that The Carrie Diaries is part of the collective mind - it's another story about a girl who falls in love with her best friend's boyfriend. Only...well, no major spoilers here. Let's just say it's really good. It also makes me happy that Something Like Fate gets to shine with the literati:
Since I'm a major fan of the show, I've watched all the eps over several times. I have this thing where I can remember really specific lines of dialogue and random details. Which is how I know that there are three aspects of book Carrie that contradict show Carrie.
1. The book takes place during Carrie's senior year of high school. She's a virgin. But on Sex and the City, Carrie tells Charlotte that she lost her virginity junior year to this guy named Seth Bateman "in his smelly rec room." And P.S.? It was on the pool table.
2. No one ever remembers this, but in Season Five when Carrie goes out to dinner with that Vogue editor who calls her "cookie," she tells him that her dad left her and her mom when she was five. He never said why and she never heard from him again. In the book, her dad is there with Carrie and her two sisters; her mom died a while ago.
3. Book Carrie says she's always been good at math. But show Carrie couldn't even calculate how much she'd spent on shoes. When Miranda was pregnant, there's a scene where they go shoe shopping and Carrie admits to owning about 100 pairs of shoes at around $400 a pair. She's like, "So? That's only $4,000." And Miranda says, "No, that's $40,000." This was a minor point, but still.
Candace has said that she writes about her own characters in her books and what the show does is separate. But aren't the two Carries the same character? I wonder if Candace pictured Sarah Jessica Parker circa Square Pegs when she was writing this book or some other girl. Despite those discrepancies, the book does a wonderful job of filling in some blanks and adds a dimension to Carrie Bradshaw that everyone who loves her will appreciate. Most of all, it lets us hold on to Carrie a littl
I'm happy to report that Sex and the City 2 was much better than its ridiculous trailer. The trailer is so superficial it almost justifies SP's ignorant belief (I said it! I said it on my blog!) that the show is all about women who hate men and only care about shoes. I'm like, Hi, have we met? Do you really think I'd like a show remotely like that? I don't even wear heels! Duh, there has to be more there. I guess straight guys don't get the heart and depth of the show. Anyway, the first movie was much better, but I'd watch SATC2 again (fast-forwarding through the parts that were trying too hard). If they're going to do a SATC3, I really, really hope that they keep it real in New York City. New York is such a big character and it only made brief appearances. Time to bring it on home, ladies!
The only part of the glitz fest trailer I liked was when Carrie sees Aidan. Why? Because we love Aidan. We loved Aidan and Carrie together, even though she needed more sparkle (and, let's face it, he needed more domesticity). Any fan of the show will never forget this scene:
If Carrie and Big are soul mates, then why was this scene so hard to watch? Carrie spent six years running around New York, searching and trying to get Big to realize that they belong together. And now she has him. They're married. So why is she still not satisfied?
Part of it has to do with her love of going out. She was a party girl for years. That craving doesn't suddenly disappear. Part of it has to do with the inevitable fizzle. Carrie and Big had the zsa zsa zsu. Some of that sparkle will always be there. But passion fades. That's basic biology. I think a lot of her restlessness has to do with the whole Grass Is Greener phenomenon, the feeling that no matter what you have and who you're sharing your life with, things can always be better. Will she ever stop wanting what she doesn't have and fully embrace what she does?
Another question that came up is about this whole desire women have to present a perfect picture to the world. Why is it so hard for Carrie and Charlotte to admit that they're struggling, even to their best friends? The trailer showed Charlotte's daughter slapping her butt with red paint instead of the way more interesting part that happens right after - Charlotte crying in the pantry, too overwhelmed to go out there again. But she keeps insisting that everything's fine. Or when Aidan and Carrie are talking and he says how great things are going for him. We soon see that they can't possibly be. Why is pretending we're okay when we're not preferable to honesty?
Carrie finally has what she'd been wanting for so long. But will it ever be enough?
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This will probably sound shocking to you, but I've never seen Seinfeld. Except that ep I saw in college by force. I lived in an apartment building (technically, an ancient mansion that was divided into apartments with like no heat, a leaky roof, and mice issues) junior and senior years. Four boys lived together on the first floor. I would bake them cookies sometimes. I had a studio on the fourth floor because I seemed to be destined to live in fourth-floor walk-ups. This was especially fun for the friends who helped me move. It's also the reason why I'm done with fourth-floor walk-ups. True, I live on the fourth floor yet again, but this is an elevator building. Even though I usually take the stairs, just knowing the elevator is there makes a big difference.
The boys on the first floor were outraged that I didn't have a TV. One day, they demanded that I watch Seinfeld
at their place. So I did. I think they expected it to change my life or something. That didn't happen. But I remember it being funny and I've been here in New York for 14 years, so it was time. I recently started Netflixing Seinfeld
. There are so many good ones! I love the one where they're making the pilot of Jerry
and Jeremy Piven plays George. Jeremy P. and I go way back:
Now I get what everyone's been talking about for the past 20 years. If I'm ever at a diner with my own maple syrup and someone comes over who's all, "We don't allow outside syrups or condiments," I'll know they're not serious. And when Big Gay Ice Cream Truck is offering free toppings if you're master of your domain, I'll know what they're talking about. It feels good to finally be in on the joke.
Something else that feels good: book blogger love. If you're interested in reading some new reviews, we have:
I also want to link to Meg Cabot's most excellent advice
for writers who want to get published. If you're not writing about vampires, there's still hope!