Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The one that got away?

Thank goodness that my reader's block went away! I thought I was seriously broken!

You ever wonder about the one that got away? Honestly, if you say no, everyone knows that you're lying, unless you married your first love and you are one of thooooose people ;)

The first book I read by Harriet Evans was Hopeless Romantic. Her writing style was similar to that of Sophie Kinsella's and it was one of those books that gives you that extra spring in your step because it reminds you that love is possible and waiting at the turn of every corner.

The Love of Her Life was exactly the kind of book that I needed to get me back in the reading ring. It was full of love, mix-ups, self-deprecation and secret trysts. Yes, I know these books are predictable and some may say shallow. But don't you remember the days when you would day dream about fairy tales and really think that prince charming was going to come and sweep you off your feet? So, why not bring a little of that magic back into your adult life? I know I'm tired of the cynicism that comes with age regarding love.

Being 20-something, we're bombarded with new ideals on how love should be, how we should meet, how we should act, how we should live, etc. Why can't we stop texting and emailing and facebooking and barhopping long enough to jolt a little romantic magic into our lives? Even if it is through fiction. I am not saying we should stop everything, hole up into our reading nooks and never come out because we'll never meet anyone like the guys in the books. All I'm saying is that sometimes I feel like romance is low on the list of thing we look for nowadays.

Maybe I'm wrong, and should listen to my sister when she tells me that I won't find the guy of my dreams by bumping into him in a bookstore or spilling coffee on him at a Starbucks. Maybe I should just suck it up, buy a slutty Halloween costume, pay the $25-$50 cover charge and prowl Manhattan on Oct. 31st like the rest of my co-eds.

Am I expecting too much or too little?

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pull up a chair...

Picking the right place to read is a very important decision.

When I was younger, I had two favorite spots. In the winter, it was my laundry room and in the summer it was my hammock.
The laundry room in my parent's house is a tiny little room under our staircase, that houses our washer/dryer and boiler. In the winter it was the perfect place to crawl into with my pillow and wrap myself up in one of the toasty, and freshly-laundered blankets waiting for me in the dryer. It was the one place where I could tune out whatever commotion was going on upstairs (and with a family as big as mine, commotions were easy to come by). I loved the floating smells of Tide and Bounce dancing in the air, in tune with the boiler's lulling hum. It was my safe haven; my winter retreat.

Summer called for a different atmosphere. A light breeze, wind giggling through the leaves and a lazy lullaby slightly creaking in the background. Attached to two perfectly spaced trees, my hammock swayed me to another world. The smell of grass and suntan lotion always perfuming the air. It was the perfect place to imagine the adventures I was gobbling up with every turn of the page.
Nowadays, the places I choose to read are dependent on where I am.
Commuting on the LIRR into Manhattan gives me a glorious 1hr:15 min there and back to fully immerse into my book of the moment (it's also a really good time to catch up on sleep, but we're not talking about great places to sleep, are we?!)
Any couch or comfy chair where I can put my feet up and potentially take a nap in between chapters is always preferable. In my opinion, the perfect chair has to be one of those overgrown armchairs with a matching ottoman; you can curl up or stretch out and maybe even cuddle with your fellow reading buddy ;)
Oh, and don't forget that the perfect reading place is not complete without the perfect lighting. Living in a house with, shall I say, "Dad's bad lighting", finding a place that is bright and welcoming at the same time is very important when I am looking for a place to settle with my book. The light can't be too harsh because then it kills the mood, but it can't be too dim because then all I hear is my grandmother's voice "You're going to go blind!" And since I'm already pretty blind (a.k.a. contacts and reading glasses) I can't take any chances.
So put away your straight-backed wooden folding chairs and invest in a chair you'll boast about at your next book club meeting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Reading is overrated anyway

I assume you've heard of writer's block. But have you ever experienced reader's block?

I have not been able to pick up a book since I finished The Glamorous (Double) Life of Isabel Bookbinder by Holly McQueen. This has happened to me once before this past year. It was after I read The Reader by Bernard Shaw.

Sometimes it happens because the book was too good, sad or thought provoking so my brain will go on strike, as if saying, "I will not let you cheat on this book and throw away the perfect relationship you've created." OR it will happen because the book was so bad that my brain will go on strike, as if saying, "Really? You think I'm going to trust you to pick out another monstrosity to read? I don't think so."

And it's not for lack of material, either. I have piles of books in my apartment, just waiting to be thumbed through, turned, folded and loved by me, but my mind is not having it!

What can I do???

I am carrying around How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson (an ironic joke played on me by the Fates, I'm sure) hoping that at some point the words will just begin to melt away the barricade.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Hello, Goodbye

I did not want to wake up this morning because I knew that it would be my last day walking the halls of my awesome job at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. But alas, I dragged myself out of bed and faced the music.
Working at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum has been one of the most rewarding and humbling experiences I have had the honor of being a part of. It has been an incredible journey and I have appreciated every thing everyone has done for me. I have learned so much from all these wonderful, smart and caring people.
I am sad that I will be leaving today, but I am excited to start a new adventure in Publishing.

I will miss the new friends I have met, but I am confident that this is not the end but only the beginning!

Now, it is time to PARTY!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Have I gone too far?" - KG

I kind of have a major girl crush on Kathy Griffin. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that she says whatever she wants and doesn't really give a s**t about what other people think.

And, yes some may say that she takes it too far, but for some reason when Kathy says "Suck It Jesus!", I laugh and when Kanye West says something equally offensive it is just not on the same level. Where I want to punch Kanye in the face, I just want to ask Kathy over for brunch and mimosas on Sunday so we can laugh about it all day.

With that being said, when I saw that Kathy was going to be signing copies of her new book at the B&N a few blocks away from my job, I thought,


I mentally prepared myself for the adventure ahead of me. Took my regular 7:04 a.m. train from Ronkonkoma to Penn Station and prayed that I would get to the B&N before 9 a.m. and before all the krazy Kathy fans got there and bought up all the books and all the wristbands...

Oh, what wristbands, you ask? Good question.

You couldn't just buy a book at any B&N and just walk in expecting to see Kathy in all her glory. You had to go to the B&N on Warren St in Tribeca, buy the book and then get a purple wristband that guaranteed you a seat! And there were only about 150 seats!

Anyway, I rushed from Penn Sta. to get to Tribeca before 9, and I got there just in time. There was a long line of ..... 10! 10 people? Wait a second? Why aren't there more people?

"Excuse me Miss, the signing is today right?....Oh, it is?...Good.....Where are all the people?"

But, HEY, I'm not complaining I got two books, two wristbands! Then left work early (at an embarrassing 4 p.m.) to get in the line, so I would get a great seat, and thank God I got there when I did or else I wouldn't have gotten a seat.....in the front row because there were only about 12 people waiting in line. It got busier as the night wore on, and once it hit 7PM, it was a mad house. But I got a front row seat!

She did not disappoint with hilarious anecdotes about her day. She was wearing a really fantastic outfit, too. Navy blue, silk dress and high silver pumps, very classy.

One problem: When I meet celebrities, I try so hard to be "cool", but I end up blurting out something ridiculous and then wanting to shoot myself.

Example: "Kathy, you look great today, really great! I love your dress and your shoes, and your......face!" Really? Her face? Am I hitting on her? I hang my head in shame.

But you all can suck it because I have a signed copy of her book and you don't and she now knows that I love her face. So that's more than any of you can say!

PS. The book was great. It was funny, emotional, enlightening and something completely different than any of her stand-up and even her TV show. She definitely shows you a side of herself that you are not normally privy to. BUY IT!

KG in Tribeca

Kathy Griffin Book Signing
Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

"You can't explain love, that's how it gets ruined."

pg. 169, Love Begins in Winter

For some reason, I tend to shy away from (read "avoid like the plague") short stories. I don't really know why; could it be residual from my high school English classes, where A Story and Its Writer was a runner-up to the Bible? Who knows?!

All I know is that up until now, an overwhelming feeling of dread overcame me every time I saw the words, "compilation" or "collection" paired with any title.

However, the short stories in Love Begins in Winter rid me of my aversion and satisfied my unknown need for an unique definition of everyday "love".

Things I liked (excuse my over analysis since, I was an English major):

1. Each story is a love story between strangers

2. Since the title is "love begins in winter", it is fitting that the stories are not typical girl meets boy (boy meets boy; girl meets girl), fall in love and live happily ever after. Spring is the time for rebirth, new life, new love. It makes sense when a pair falls in love with the flowers in bloom and the birds chirping. But winter is different. Winter is cold and dark. The sun does not come out to remind you that love is in the air or that your day is full of possibilities. Van Booy broke that stereotype and made love happen when there was nothing but the minimum nourishing it.

3. In their brief encounters, these strangers find connections with one another through personal experiences and memories.

4. The stories were authentic; the perfect mixture of jade and happiness.

Maybe I liked it because it was realistic. I mean, don't all relationships start off this way? You meet a stranger and then as time passes you become acquaintances and then friends.

I know; So perceptive and deep. It surprises me too sometimes.