Hey, you! Last night I found the original Edward/Bella fanfic that “Fifty Shades” was based on, and it makes a lot more sense when you think of Christian Grey as a thousand-year-old vampire. Onward!
Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing
This divorce announcement by a gay Mormon man married to a straight woman is full of grace, honesty, and vulnerability. Read their original post celebrating their ten-year marriage anniversary first. -K
This is another throwback, to a 2015 article about Mary Oliver that showed up on my social media today. Earlier this week I read her poem “Praying”, which captures the magic and beauty and intensity of paying attention to whatever life puts in your line of vision – “It doesn’t have to be / the blue iris, it could be / weeds in a vacant lot”. The poem reminded me of a line from “Lady Bird” that I won’t spoil for you if you haven’t watched it yet, but which makes the same point about the value, and the rarity, of total attention. This is all a digression from the article in question, which focuses on Oliver’s reflections, after her partner Molly Malone Cook’s death, about their relationship of over forty years. Just look at this description of their first meeting:
I took one look and fell, hook and tumble. M. took one look at me, and put on her dark glasses, along with an obvious dose of reserve. She denied this to her dying day, but it was true.
Isn’t it wonderful the way the world holds both the deeply serious, and the unexpectedly mirthful?
Oliver’s description of her relationship with Malone is just the most fantastic, moving, lucid elegy, and in its own way as effective as any of her poems. I am such a fan of Mary Oliver that I am too tongue-tied to say anything more specific and coherent; just read these links, you guys, and let her do the (elegant, lyrical) talking. -T
Film / TV
In other news, I watched “Phantom Thread” this week, and adored it. A non-exhaustive list of wonderful things it contains: yellow lighting; spiral staircases; the sweep of satin; chignons; swelling piano music; elaborate meals; characters exhibiting various degrees of mannered, restrained, complicated anger. We joke a lot on this team that our favourite genre is “sad rich people”, and personally I am never happier than when very expensively-dressed characters are dignifiedly, articulately mad at each other in beautiful locations. What more can life hold? On a more serious note, though, the film has a plot that reminded me of So Many Favourite Things I Won’t Reference Because Of Spoilers, a set of incredible performances, and it’s technically spectacular. I can’t stop thinking about what it does with sound – the clink of a teacup against saucer, the sound of thread being snipped, the satisfying glide of scissors against fabric – it’s all very lush and sensual and tactile, visceral as a poem. And, yes, the clothes are great. -T
I am aware that I’m the resident TV-yeller on this team, but I gotta share my love for every sitcom I get around to watching! Over the weekend I blazed through the first series of “One Day At A Time” on Netflix. I am a sucker for family dramas that tell simple stories with humour and heart, and it took me all of 0.02 seconds to fall in love with the Alvarez family. The show is powerfully, consistently vocal about important discussions from racism to homophobia to immigration, and hits that sweet spot of making you constantly laugh through your tears. (I cried at every episode, and after three episodes I cried at the theme song as well. Can you tell I’m a water sign?) I’m starting the second series now, and I’ve heard only good things – I am so excited! -T
KYLIE POPPED. We care about these messy sisters and will defend their right to publicly fight with each other, sell things, and post selfies. I hope those crazy kids are doing OK. -K
(SORRY I HAVE TO JUMP IN AND SAY THAT KYLIE’S PREGNANCY VIDEO MADE ME CRY?!?!??? It might be the nostalgia filters or the swelling score but I think the kids will be all right. Also, what do y’all think of STORMI?) – C
One of my favourite things about Awards Season other than all the fabulous clothes would be all the politicking and strategizing that goes on behind the scenes. We all know that Oscars are never won on merit alone so this piece on late-stage Oscar campaigning was informative and eye-opening. Further reading: the battle of billboards between last year’s Best Picture nominees -C
Doggo of the Week
The golden retriever egg challenge is the BEST THING ON THE INTERNET. ON EARTH. IN THE UNIVERSE!!!!!! T made her very sweet and very simple child Sawyer (and his smarter sister Lilo) do the challenge, to questionable outcomes. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ -C