Friday, February 29, 2008

Favorite February Moments

Wow. Another incredible month. This year, like last, has been so rich with friends, with Dan, with time, life, space, creativity... in freedom... that I can't help but fear it will disappear like a beautiful dream.

1. A brilliant photo-taking session in gorgeous costumes with dear friends before heading to the Mardi Gras Ball where we waltzed the night away, then crashed an Italian Social Club swing dancing party with old Italian folks (check out our costumes:
2. Spontaneous North Beach Friday night with Dannee: first, cocktails at Tony Nik's, then hearty Italian dinner at Trattoria Contadina
3. Long talk of living authentically with Brad, Louise and Manka at McClelland's
4. Lunch with Jus at Sears' Fine Foods counter with darling old folks around us
5. Tyler over for take-out and Bliss drinks
6. Sitting atop Twin Peaks alone on a brilliant, sunny day overlooking the blue ocean and Bay; praying in my spirit, writing, knowing it is all alright
7. Late night cocktails with Manka over live piano jazz at The Big 4 after an Obama party
8. Bright weekend afternoons walking the Embarcadero with Dannee
9. Lively discussion about Mother Theresa's faith and doubt at Grace on a Monday night
10. Late night talk over Indian food at Little Delhi with Dan, Manka & Anna about the promptings we feel in restlessness... what is next
11. Enlivened talk with Jessi of food, art, what makes us come alive... over brunch at Sapphire Grill in Laguna on a breathtaking day
12. Late night, hilarious game of Apples to Apples with Luke, Ali, Ben, Corie and Dan, followed by delightful 30 Rock episodes
13. An idyllic lunch in Hollywood at the hard-to-get-in-to Pizzeria Mozza (Mario Batali's first West Coast venture) with Dan before hitting the road back to SF (perfect fennel sausage pizza, brussel sprouts and meyer lemon gelato pie!)
14. The best souffles in America at Cafe Jacqueline for Dan & I's Valentine's Meal
15. Dan's handwritten Valentine's poems, drawings and cards for me
16. Reading quotes and talking of faith, sex and love with Amanda & Anna at my place
17. One of the best three hour meals ever at Albona Ristorante with Dan, Manka, Anna, Amanda & David... laughter, conversation, incredible food & wine; Tosca afterwards met up by Jus & Jason after they got engaged!
18. A rip-roaring Oscar Party at our place with 25 people, gowns & suits, our own red carpet photos, great food and a dance party afterwards with Amanda, Manka, Jus, Scott, Jason, David
19. Cozy Friday night making dinner, sharing hearts and watching a movie with Jus
20. A gorgeous late weekday afternoon with fresh air wafting through open windows, Dan sewing while I write, then preparing dinner, as we listened to Over the Rhine's "Trumpet Child"

Currently watching : Ira & Abby

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Imperative" - by Scott Cairns

A poem I read (and liked) this week by Scott Cairns:

"The thing to remember is how
tentative all this really is.
You could wake up dead.

Or the woman you love
could decide you're ugly.
Maybe she'll finally give up
trying to ignore the way
you floss your teeth as you
watch television. All I'm saying
is that there are no sure things here.

I mean, you'll probably wake up alive,
and she'll probably keep putting off
any actual decision about your looks.
Could be she'll be glad your teeth
are so clean. The morning might be
full of all the love and kindness
you need. Just don't go thinking
you deserve any of it."

Currently reading : Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life - Steve Martin

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Favorite Films of 2007... and while I'm at it, 2006

There are still a couple big ones I need to see (e.g. "Diving Bell & the Butterfly" & "Atonement"), but based on what I've seen thus far, here are are my Top Ten Films for 2007, in a general, not exact, order (despite being a huge Coen Bros. fan for years, I did not love "No Country for Old Men"):

1. Once (simple, sweet, sublime... can't stop listening to that soundtrack)
2. Amazing Grace (could be called "slightly formulaic", but at core is sincere, inspiring)
3. Away from Her (gorgeous, bittersweet... best film on aging I've seen)
4. The Kite Runner (the book is better, yes, but the film is still haunting & powerful)
5. There Will Be Blood (the ending left me empty & irritated, but what a ride meanwhile! DDLewis' best performance, which is saying a lot; P.T. Anderson, still a favorite director)
6. Paris Je'Taime (love vignettes format, ranging from nice to brilliant)
7. Darjeeling Limited (atmospheric, funny, rich - Anderson in fine form!)
8. Juno (didn't love it as much as everyone else but still found it delightful)
9. Reign Over Me (not a perfect film, but with true heart & humor)
10. Bridge to Terabithia (took me back to my childhood & made me believe again)

Because I didn't put my list out there for 2006 (though I've kept my own lists over 15 years), and as it was a good film year, I'll share that, too:

1. Pan's Labyrinth
(brilliant, disturbing, magical, haunting; a picture of the afterlife, death, trust & faith through allegory and the eyes of a child)
2. The Lives of Others (rarely do we see a film on former USSR, especially one this incredible) 3. Romance and Cigarettes (saw it at SF Film Festival -plus Q&A with director, John Turturro- though it didn't come out until 2007; hilarious, campy and heartfelt)
4. Little Miss Sunshine (the not-for-kids family film; overhyped but nonetheless wonderful)
5. Little Children (unique, upsetting, but what a message! Makes me weep at the end)
6. Babel (expected not to care but ended up being moved by the images and stories)
7. Science of Sleep (the ethereal Gondry goes places no one else dares)
8. The Fountain (facing death and the fight for life head on; it's draining but worthwhile)
9. The Painted Veil (lush, deep and better than I expected with fabulous performances)
10. Thank You for Smoking (clever, anti-hero kind of comedy)

Currently reading : An Illuminated Life: Belle da Costa Greene's Journey from Prejudice to Privilege By Heidi Ardizzone