Tedious and brief

I am slowly slowly making my way through the S-Town podcast. It’s sad and moving and I don’t really want it to end. So I’m listening about 5 minutes at a time, as I walk to the subway in the morning.

The podcast’s subject, John B. McLemore, loves sundials and their mottos. They are always sad, about time being fleeting, life’s impermanence.

“Tedious and brief” is one of his favourites. Your life is tedious and brief.

Doesn’t that resonate? If it doesn’t, you are not a lawyer.

Reminds me of the Woody Allen joke at the beginning of Annie Hall (“such small portions”):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rrxlfvI17oY

Anyways, now I want a tedious & brief wrist tattoo. I’m on a mission.

 

If I’m crazy, at least Carol Anne is too

Barb and I went to the ballet this week. Four short pieces. Each one perfect in its own way. Still thinking about Genus, which was brilliant. About figuring out how the body works, what it can do, what it should do. About individualism and becoming part of a community. At least those were the themes that I took away. Possibly the best dance movements I have ever seen.

As we were talking about our daily minutiae, during intermission over the mandatory glass of bubbly, Barb happened to mention that she needed to organize her sock drawer. I was taken aback. How can a sock drawer become disorganized? One pairs the socks as part of the laundry process and puts them away, happily coupled and awaiting mutual use. But NO! Barb’s socks are unpaired in her sock drawer. Deposited uncoupled and alone, willy-nilly. Holy Mother of God. I’ve never heard of such a thing. “I don’t think I could sleep in a house like that,” was my only logical response.

On the way to the subway the next morning, I thought about Barb’s willy-nilly socks, and my reaction was confirmed. I could not sleep if I had unpaired socks in my drawer. I could not rest if Graeme’s socks were unpaired. I started thinking about what other minor bits of chaos would prevent me from sleeping: a cupboard partially open in the kitchen, a towel hanging askew in the bathroom, a painting hanging off-level.  If I knew about them, I would have to get out of bed and fix them.

Am I unglued?

At lunch with Carol Anne yesterday, she 100% agreed. She A) could not fathom how a sock drawer existed where socks were not paired at all times (weird orphan socks from the dryer the only exception); and B) concurred that she could not sleep if she were aware of unpaired socks in her house.

And here’s how I know she wasn’t just humouring me: She told a story. Her partner wears just one kind of sock: plain white sports socks. At the gym recently, he noticed that one sock was tight and the other was slouchy. Reporting this to Carol Anne, she immediately had to go to his sock drawer, take apart all the sock pairs, and ensure that tight went with tight, slouchy with slouchy.

I feel much better now.

More things I love about Nora Ephron

Her essay The Lost Strudel from I Feel Bad About my Neck. I read this very short piece on the subway one morning, years ago, and laughed out loud. And then re-read it immediately.

I’ve had a craving for cabbage strudel ever since (which objectively sounds disgusting), but I’m a bit afraid to try it, since it likely won’t live up to Nora’s praises (even Nora had trouble meeting her own expectations of strudel). And then I’d just be disappointed.  I’m sure Nora would tell me that’s not a healthy way to go through life (were she still with us).

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/28/opinion/the-lost-strudel.html?_r=0

I especially admire the line “I dropped Ed Levine’s name so hard you could hear it in New Jersey.” 

Nora Ephron’s tribute to Meryl Streep. Brilliant, funny – and her delivery is impeccable.  The crowd is mesmerized — when she talks about going into Meryl’s trailer at the end of her tribute, the entire audience of celebs and self-important people hang on her every word:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4Moh-Sw7xE

Plus – what a great outfit, right?

Nora Ephron’s tribute to Mike Nichols (only Nora can make a really bad pun hilarious):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkFEmVD3qw4