Watching: Brooklyn


I remember not particularly loving this book (don't we all?) but I could have been wrong, or simply not in the mood. The movie, though, is lovely: it nails the sweet, palpable pain of belonging in one place while longing for another, and recognizes that these two conditions must be allowed to coexist if one is to survive at all. It's perfectly cast and gorgeous, gorgeous, and Nick Hornby is quickly becoming my favorite adapter of screenplays for movies starring ladies.

Nothing fits

On the impossible expectation of one-size-fits-all fashion, which ends up failing everybody while making us feel like failures:

His answer was that everything you will ever see on a celebrity’s body, including their outfits when they’re out and about and they just get caught by a paparazzo, has been tailored, and the same goes for everything on What Not To Wear.  Jeans, blazers, dresses - everything right down to plain t-shirts and camisoles.  He pointed out that historically, up until the last few generations, the vast majority of people either made their own clothing or had their clothing made by tailors and seamstresses.  You had your clothing made to accommodate the measurements of your individual body, and then you moved the fuck on.  Nothing on the show or in People magazine is off the rack and unaltered.  He said that what they do is ignore the actual size numbers on the tags, find something that fits an individual’s widest place, and then have it completely altered to fit.

I sat there after I was told this story, and I really thought about how hard I have worked not to care about the number or the letter on the tag of my clothes, how hard I have tried to just love my body the way it is, and where I’ve succeeded and failed. I thought about all the times I’ve stood in a fitting room and stared up at the lights and bit my lip so hard it bled, just to keep myself from crying about how nothing fits the way it’s supposed to. No one told me that it wasn’t supposed to. I guess I just didn’t know. I was too busy thinking that I was the one that didn’t fit.

/ Whatever, etc.

Everything is fine!

Everything in your past already happened and there is nothing really you can do about it. Unburden yourself from the obligation to constantly fight against unchangeable bygone situations. This is not lazy—it’s just the only thing you can actually do. Strive to do better in the future, and not in some grandiose, compulsive way. Just try to make the small good choice every time you are presented with a new choice to make.
— Jamie Lauren Keiles / Commodity Fetish

Your health is on your plate

"If we don't spend our money at the grocery store, we're going to spend it at the drugstore." – Dr. Roxanne Sukol

Little-known fact #1: my childhood nickname was Kare-Beans—not because I loved beans but because I loved this doll. Don't ever call me this, though; today it's used only by my father, who's been grandfathered in.

Little-known fact #2: Now that I'm a grownup, I do love beans! What are the odds?

Important Fact #3: EAT MORE BEANS, dummies.

h/t @suttonhoo


There was a girl who heard it happen:
Amelia Earhart calling
on the radio, she and her navigator
alternately cursing and defining their position
by latitude, as best they could read it
in the bellowing wind, and by what
they could surmise of their rate per hour,
last land they’d seen. Stay with me, someone,
and the girl wrote each word
in her composition book, kept the channel
tuned, hunched to the receiver
when static overtook the line.
Why do I think of her?
The coast guard laughed at her father
holding out the schoolgirl scrawl
and sent him home ashamed. A lost woman
is a lost woman, he told her, and the sea
is dark and wide.

— "Transmission" by Rachel Richardson

/ NYT Magazine

Reading: Slice Harvester: A Memoir in Pizza by Colin Atrophy Hagendorf

Maybe you heard that it snowed over 26 inches here yesterday. This was true. There wasn't much to do but sit inside and read about pizza, although I also rewatched all of Master of None, plus a movie about the legit origin of General Tso's chicken (spoiler: Taiwan) and another movie about an Iranian skateboarding vampire. Some days are longer than you think they'll be.

The pizza book was a delicious (heh) diversion but reinforced once again the difficulty I have absorbing anything that I read on a Kindle. I appreciate the low-low-LOW-LOW price points on that digital typemanship but man oh man nothing sinks in. I would like someone (not me) to fund a study on why this is, because I read a lot of other words on my iPad and manage to retain them just fine. Is it the action of "flipping" a page rather than scrolling? How the hell could something that stupid possibly matter? I'll admit that I have trouble grounding myself in a digital document that lacks a useful indicator: I'm missing an anchor. I have no concept of what "33% finished" means or what "1 hour 20 minutes left" tells me in the context of reading. Do I need to hurry up? Am I competing with someone? Fuck off! I'm done wondering about this so here we are, finally accepting reality. No more e-books for this hot dog.

Anyway, I liked but did not love this book, is my Goodreads-level assessment, or ❄ ❄ ❄ out of ❄ ❄ ❄ ❄ ❄. As with most "memoirs" that started as blogs, it's a patched-up collection that relies on voice rather than a smooth progression of narrative thoughts. In that respect the narrative is kind of a mess—I still have no idea how he mapped out the stops or exactly which pizzas he preferred—so you're left with nothing but voice, which I accepted and then moved on. In the end Hagendorf seemed like a fun guy to walk the streets and eat pizza with, which is probably all you need since he's not running for president or anything, although my favorite parts were less about finding the perfect slice than learning to appreciate the whole pie (heh):

But I still go to Rosedale at least once a year to visit my best friend’s mother, Mrs. Watson, who came to New York thirty or forty years ago. As I observed to the Pizza-Line Bozo about Richmond Hill, Rosedale seems predominantly Caribbean these days—mostly Jamaican and Haitian, I think. When I visit with Mrs. Watson, instead of knishes and black cherry soda we eat beef patties and drink sorrel punch, but the feelings of love are the same. The kvetching is the same, though in a different dialect. The sense of pride in being able to own a home in a nice neighborhood is the same.
Slice Harvester: A Memoir in Pizza
By Colin Atrophy Hagendorf