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FINALLY. Middlemarch, out. Yes, it was brilliant, yes the insight was profound, but jeez it’s dense. I’m giddy with excitement about what to read next. Cue Jay-Z. Feel like I might as well jump back into A Light In August since my brain is still in a complex literary space, but I might just need a nonfiction or two, especially for the plane tomorrow. BOOKS!!! Am I right? 

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Marian Anderson- My Country, ‘Tis Of Thee

On the anniversary of her epic performance, let’s enjoy Marian Anderson’s profound vocals — though that’s not a kind enough word for what she does with this song. Love that she changes the words to “we.” To all who don’t know about this event, she was denied the chance to sing at Constitution Hall, so she sang at the Lincoln Memorial and the rest is history. Ava Maria is pretty astounding too. 

"Of thee we sing."

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I’m writing lots of trite drafts and nothing seems to be working tonight. The things on my mind are: finishing the last few chapters of Middlemarch. I have been planning what to read when I complete this saga and the list is endless, but I will have you know it will be a few months before I undertake such a behemoth again! Excited to go home on Friday for Passover and to move into my new place, exciting for adventures and the new soba noodle recipe I made up last night. I’m still reveling in far too generous birthday gifts and pleased they’re still feeling new. A new bar of chocolate I adore and Jodorowsky’s Dune, which I caught last weekend (and now have to read the book as well). All things pickled and Felix Mendelssohn.

How’s that for a mish-mash?

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Rex Manning- Say No More, Mon Amour

Speaking of cultural significance, it’s Rex Manning day. I think this was a critique of the state of 90s pop anyway.

Say No More.

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Culture Wars

Got lost in a black hole of the AV Club’s HateSong feature today, such a good idea. While I started on Macklemore (incredibly astute) and made my way to Taylor Swift (brilliant), I grew to love what the critics had to say about popular culture.

The T-Swift one particularly struck me. The argument was that the song essentially catered to a 14 year old’s notion of romantic and cultural importance, both true assertions.

Probably the thing I’m most angry about is that our culture is driven by 14-year-olds. I think that’s an inherent flaw in our culture. It’s a relatively new thing, but in the last 75 years we’ve come to the point where what a 14-year-old thinks is more important than what a person with life experience thinks. 

The good news is that the solution is in the criticism. Stop pandering to stupid, popular idealisms supported by youth. We should encourage young people to think more critically anyway, which so much of media does not promote. Let’s work on this?

Imagine a Cosmo Girl headline like this “Hide those dark circles after the Euthyphro dilemma keeps you up at night!”

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How I ruin everything

A Recipe.

You will need:

  • Several spells of vertigo
  • 5 hours of sleep
  • Poor time management (aged 25 years preferable)
  • A long journey to Brooklyn
  • No Manhattan bound trains
  • A full bladder
  • A well-meaning cab driver with limited knowledge/understanding of English
  • An appointment in an hour
  • Construction on the Manhattan bridge
  • Several bouts of hysteria mixed with tears (plus more for drizzling later)
  • Traffic
  • A headache (Optional)

Allow extreme dizziness and lack of sleep to defrost.

Take a lovely day to Boro Park, filled with with charity, rugelach and a Judaica superstore, and add the lack of sleep with the vertigo and the long journey. Mix well. 

Carefully add the lack of Manhattan-bound trains to the poor time management. Slowly begin to fill your bladder.

Using less than ideal subway routes, make sure to find a green cab where the driver doesn’t understand how to use GPS. Have your boyfriend help him. Explain that you need to be in Manhattan in 20 minutes, but don’t forget to take the route with the weekend lane closures (later he’ll believe you when you’re weeping)

Continue to fill your bladder and add a pinch of impending doom as you marinate thoughts of missing your appointment with the bridge construction.

Let the hysteria boil over, several times, if desired. Mix well with tears until until you’re running down Jay street looking for a restroom, but unable to speak coherently through hysteria. Careful not to burn yourself on customer-only and out of order facilities. Let a small child figure out how to open the restroom at Burger King.

Sprinkle with a headache in traffic and voila! 

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Pro Tip

Don’t watch Birth of a Nation on a Saturday night #hateeverything.

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Cut Copy- In These Arms of Love

This uplifting electro-infused ballad manages to make synth romantic Anyone else fully nodding in agreement with this one? This track is aching for a rom com to snap it up.

"The links of our lives/ I believe they’re so frail."

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The world of Facebook is not really one I’m enjoying anymore. The web of  shared content is still amusing), but now I’m mostly noticing how all these “friends” are growing up and succeeding, creating Facebook narratives they’d like to share. Envy is in bloom. I do wish everyone well and I don’t begrudge anyone hard earned success, but I guess it’s harder to do so when you’re struggling to define your own notion of success and everything else.

I’m also concerned that I’m becoming boring. I know the tedium of an office doesn’t define who you are, but it does take up a considerable amount of one’s day and sometimes it really is soul-crushing. Facebook is making me feel too loser-y, if only there was an emoji for that.

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April Fools

I feel like I had an unfairly enjoyable April Fool’s, almost suspiciously fun-filled.

Our esteemed CEO decided we all deserved lunch and ordered Parm to the office, which I’d been meaning to try. Not sure there’s a better unexpected lunch than an eggplant parmesan sandwich, garlic bread (a really excellent garlic bread), spiced garlic knots and assorted riccotta and buffalo mozzarella cheese

The pranks around the web were amusing, but I wasn’t “fooled” or gutted by any of them. Then after my evening plans were canceled, an old friend from London asked to grab a drink. We went to a charming bar that I only picked after a two second Google search due to its proximity to Grand Central (where he’d be arriving from).

Even after nearly two years, we spoke about everything from the environmental status quo to Chicago style grammar and made plans to hopefully see each other in the summer. There’s something so comforting about those friendships that take little to no maintenance, where catching up on missed months occurs with ease over brief drinks.

The on my way home, the cab driver talked the whole way about a snooty businessman who’d asked him to go through Time’s Square. I was a little fuzzy on the details, but the cab driver insisted this was a terrible plan even though the entitled businessman said he was paying. The mean passenger got out in a huff when the cabbie refused to go down 42nd street. According to my driver, it behooves cabbies to take the fastest route. I always assumed running into traffic increased the fare, which incentivized the drivers to find it, but he told that you get paid per mile. The amount of passengers is more important than the length of the trip, so he said. “People who have never had this job don’t understand!” He exclaimed. As one who has been known to weep while driving on the 10 freeway in LA, I wasn’t in any place to argue.

He said he’d gone to Wharton so we discussed Penn. He also said he was involved in finance until the criss and then he couldn’t do it anymore. He said he worked at a CLO. I recommended Black Swan to him as I do to anyone who strongly doubts or criticizes financial institutions.

He said I’d miss Penn a lot one day when I realized that I wasn’t surrounded by brilliant people anymore.

Needless to say, it was an eventful April first. 

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