Monday, December 31, 2012

Wrap it Up to Go

Well, we are closing in 2012 chez nous in a very low key fashion. Our daughters off to NYC for adventures of the city persuasion, my son has some of his pals over for a boys' night around the fire pit in the backyard (no photos Mom! please!!!!) and earlier, we had our neighbors by for pre-dinner drinks where we shared a few bottles of prosecco, some yummy hors d'oeuvres and an hour of relaxed conversation. James and I capped our evening by watching the latest installment of the Bourne franchise and got to witness a very compelling Jeremy Renner send a lot of bad guys to the great hereafter.
Planning to be asleep before midnight- imagining a new year that is better, more peaceful and kinder to us all and wishing you the same.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Update from the Hollow

We survived Christmas reasonably well. A little too much time draped on chairs in front of the fire glued to screens or kids holed up in their rooms. But whatever. James and I watched Dark Victory last night and aside from the many dramatic expressions that flitted across Bette Davis' face- well, slow pacing is not the right word. Sort of like watching paint dry.
Aside from minor frustrations, it's been an altogether peaceful week of easy dinners, no trips to the mall, and "best" of all things- I took Sarah, my middle, on Thursday to get her learner's permit from the Department of Motor Vehicles. So, in all likelihood she will have her operator's license by her next birthday in June.
Another chapter to add to the annals of parental excitement. A new driver!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A Feast of Film

Due to the freak snow storm that started in the afternoon, our ride home from the grocery store (a normal 7 minute trip) took 35 minutes. Indeed, the store was a ghost town. The Redbox was an inviting sight (I took out Arbitrage  and The Words).  After dinner, we watched the two films back to back. Earlier in the week we saw The Hobbit and Django Unchained. So it was quite an eventful few days for high caliber cinema. Watching that many films in a short span is unusual for me and I appreciated every minute of it. My husband hated Django, but I cannot recommend the Hobbit (in 3D) too highly. A piece of narrative wonder. And The Words has a funny staying power that I can't quite express.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas around here

Here we are, catching a few quiet hours before heading out for Chinese food with relatives. The best part of this recent tradition of ours is being surrounded by all the other non Christians on this day of days. If you could take the commerce out of Christmas, I would find it a far more meaningful holiday. The relentless push to consume and then gift often leaves me with a lot of empty feelings. Stirring appetites for more stuff, when many have so much already, seems absurd. How to manage all these existential feelings? It's almost unAmerican not to shop. During my brief stint at the mall the focus was to sell. There was never any discussion about whether anyone really needed any of this stuff- those quandaries were a distraction from the purpose of getting people to buy. This has to be one of the saddest aspects of our modern world, where consuming has become the way we define who we are and give our lives value.

Years back, when I was in the throes of making greeting cards, I created all kinds of images in the pursuit of a holiday expression. One December, while craving children of my own, my niece Perry was kind enough to pose with me as my imaginary daughter. This morning, my teenaged son refused to get up and open presents, eat breakfast or join us for our outing to the movies because as of this year, he hates Christmas. So, in this aspect of the family narrative, it's important to keep the illusions at bay. I was annoyed that he didn't want to join in, but then again, you can't make someone embrace something that feels counter to their true selves. If only Madison Avenue would consider that.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Something from a while back

My eldest is home from college and taking a semester off so all her stuff came back with her when the term wrapped. Unpacking, I noticed a pile of images and saw the one above in the mix. Turns out, she liked it and took it from my files to have at school. I took this portrait of Stephen Frailey almost 30 years ago in my Chelsea studio. He is a fascinating artist whom I met when we were both kids in the art world. He worked at a tony Soho gallery and seemed to be always in the know.  It's interesting to re-visit the many photographs I have created- especially when the assembled elements (subject, setting, lighting, exposure, film, camera, photographer) align.

To see a previous post featuring a still from the same period click here

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


The events in Newton, Connecticut throw grief and heart break over everything and consuming as a way to show love seems like a shallow enterprise this year.
It's a week until Christmas and I am feeling the urgency that comes over many of us to wrap packages, run to the post office, decorate the house et al. In lieu of working at the mall, I am working our to-do list instead, appreciating that my teens have school all week.
I took my son to the dentist for a check-up. The dentist told me he was a marvel of genetics with perfectly formed teeth and the jaw to match. Every little milestone reminds me of all the ways these families from a small town in Connecticut and beyond will bear this incomprehensible loss of a loved one for the rest of their lives. I really don't understand the desire to do harm. It's a sad time.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A History Lesson for Us All

The Onion has deployed its sterling staff of writers, filmakers and scientific minds to create a series of documentaries that brilliantly tell the history of the internet. In their pursuit of mounting reliable and thought provoking commentary, the Onion never fails to deliver.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Unexpected Acquistion

I had to go north to Peekskill the other day for an errand. For those unfamiliar with the area, Peekskill
is a historic Hudson River town with many artistic residents as well as a vibrant multi-cultural community. My errand went totally awry so I dropped in at a favorite thrift store to check out their offerings. When I walked in the door. and saw this wondrous set of china , sitting on the shelf, in what appeared to be mint condition from the 50's, I was in. These dishes were coming home with me that day. And they did.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Mother-daughter bonding chez nous

From time to get I get interesting queries from a company called Image Brief that solicits images for all sorts of applications and a recent request for a photo of a teen girl with a "Don't even think about it expression" for a book cover perfectly describes a typical parent-child encounter around here (unless the request involves "What would you like for dinner?" or "Would you like to go shopping?"- you get my drift). So, Sarah was happy to spend some quality time posing for my camera. Probably, nothing will come of it- but it was a fun way to spend an hour together.