Monday, September 27, 2010

taking one loop off of the paper chain

Saturday night B and I joined our friends Sabrina and David for dinner at Twisted Root Burger Company for veggie burgers (me), grilled cheese (B) and lots of fried things (*Homer Simpson voice* mmmm spicy fried pickles *drool*). It was delish and the company was great. Yes, he's wearing crazy bands but they're HANSON crazy bands, so it's okay.
Then we went to North Park mall because the Star Wars Build-a-Bears just came out and David thought B absolutely needed one and that he should be the one to build it for him.
 We both put hearts in the bear so it would be like we're together when I'm gone.
Presenting: Mr. Han Grizzly Solo.
We played at the Lego store for a bit and hung out with our sweet friends having parking lot races and great conversation. We are really lucky. After B went to bed I joined my best friend Justin for all night talking and laughing. It felt like the perfect day--the kind that you wish you could hold on to forever, stop time for. The kind that I am humbled by because it seems too good. Morning came of course. I left B in a mess of tears and promises that I would come back as soon as possible. I'm back in the rainy city trying to get caught up on school and life.
Feeling a little lonely and a lot tired but that is, as they say, life.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Guess where I am?

Yes, that would be Splinter's beautiful little face.
I'm in Texas for the weekend getting my jaw worked on and spending some quality time with B and kitty girl. I've whined a lot about my headaches on the blog (and everywhere else), so you should be happy to know that I'm finally seeing a TMJ specialist. The ligaments that hold my jaw joints together are shot and all the tension has been keeping me in a 24/7 headache. This procedure better fix it because it takes a long time, is kind of unpleasant and is costing me the better part of this semester's stipend. I thought the way the down payment showed up in my bank account was pretty fitting.

It's been awesome spending time with B and being reminded what's important. I had lunch at his school on Friday and got to hear all about his research project on WWII. We made a paper chain to count down the days till I come back. 
Splinter is still perfect. Don't you just want to curl up next to her?
I spent most of the day yesterday doing research for my thesis. I am so excited about it! I'll do a full post on it and all of the developments that are coming from it sometime this weekend but right now it's time to watch Star Wars.

Hope you're all having a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Allow me to reintroduce myself. My name is...


I'm 25 and have a beautiful 8-year-old son who, for the purposes of this blog, I call B. I live in New York City and am getting my Masters in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation at NYU. Any time I say MIAP, that's what I'm talking about. It's exactly what it sounds like, the preservation of moving images -- film, video, digital. We save old movies. B lived here in New York with me during my first year of the program, but he's back in Texas with my family for this last year. He is very smart and creative, and had a rough time in NYC public schools... to say the least. He'll get his own post later, but for now I'll tell you a little more about myself in hopes that my blog will make more sense and we'll get to know each other better.

I love movies. I guess growing up my aesthetic was shaped by Hollywood musicals, Baz Luhrmann, 80s teen dramas and the French New Wave, which I discovered in high school and was forever changed by. I love Agnes Varda most and if I could make my own movies I would want them to look like a combination of hers and Baz Luhrmann's... which is probably why I am not a filmmaker. Nevertheless, I have managed to find my way onto a few film sets and frequently write screenplays in hopes that one day I will actually get to see one on screen. I also worked for film festivals in my former (pre-grad school) life, which usually entailed handling celebrities and had a lot to do with my move into a quieter side of the industry.

Music is also a huge part of who I am, though I claim no knowledge or talent in that realm. I'll get this out of the way first... I have loved Hanson deeply and with the same intensity for 13 years. They make me infinitely happy and I'm not bothered by people who laugh at me for that. Hanson aside, I love The Pixies, The Magnetic Fields, Sonic Youth and Queen and I love good hip hop. In fourth grade my favorite music was Nirvana and Notorious BIG (the product of the neighborhoods I grew up in and being alone most of the time, I guess) and you can see that reflected in most of the music I've leaned toward since then. My loves extend in various other directions to Michael Jackson, Edith Piaf, Daft Punk, Buddy Holly and Otis Redding, but I should probably stop there...

I'm vegetarian, which I talk about at length here

For 12 years dance was all that mattered in my life. When I got pregnant I threw away all of my dance shoes, clothes, music--everything that reminded me of the life I thought I'd ruined forever. ...It was a bit melodramatic. I still think of myself as a dancer and one day I will finally march myself back into a class and my body will love me again.

I am a nerd. I have the symbols from the edge of Kodak safety film tattooed on my arm (which is more nerdy than I'm even ready to explain) and will most definitely dress up for the premiere of the next Harry Potter movie. I enjoy comic books, sci-fi, classic literature and strange humor. Sometimes my posts reflect that, though I try to control myself. I guess when you're a parent you're not supposed to do some of those things (or let yourself get drenched with fake blood at a GWAR show), but I think my son appreciates that I'll play a video game all the way through with him and support his desire to make his own Star Wars movie.

My favorite color is red and I could eat olives all day every day. I'm not a drinker or a smoker and I try to be healthy. I can (and will) karaoke with the best of them and if your get-together is bombing, call me and I'll magically turn it into a dance party. I'm kind of bad at school, but I've got gumption and big dreams. I know lots of people say this, but I actually have the greatest friends in the world. They deserve their own posts and will get them. I'm liberal, a feminist, support gay marriage and wish people could work a little harder at being loving and generous and fair. I'm stronger than I look and know myself very well. Most importantly, I'm the product of more luck, good fortune, blessings, support and love than I probably deserve.

I started this blog because I've kept journals since I was 10 and this was the progression of that, but it's become so much more over the last two years. As I've learned more about preservation, I've become more interested in preserving my own record. That's what this is and that's why I try to be diligent about keeping up with it. This is where I document my photos, videos, stories, successes, failures, dreams, etc. If I can keep this alive, maybe in 100 years there will be one more story, one more perspective, to add to the collective.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Anniversary!


Oh yeah! I rule! *pats back*

I've thought and thought about what I should do to celebrate the fact that I've stuck with this blog, posting regularly, for two years. I really believe in keeping a record of your life, and this is my way of doing it. However silly or pointless it may seem at times, this is my tiny little piece of the collective written history of the world. 

I am insanely overwhelmed with school right now, but I think the best way to celebrate my two years (and force myself to keep up with this thing even though school is brutal) is to start making gradual improvements. Right now I'm working on a pretty new header and possibly even a real title that's not just my name. I'm open to suggestions (and artists!) if you guys want to help.

I'm also working on a big re-introduction to explain who I am, what I'm talking about and why I'm doing this, and am going to try to be more engaged with what's going on out there in the blog world. Part of the reason for this is that I'm doing a big project for school this year about blogs that I'm really excited about. (More on that soon.) The other is that I would love to do giveaways and contests and take my writing to the next level. I figure if I'm going to do this, I might as well make it good and give back to the people who take the time to read it. If I can get 100 followers by Christmas, I'll do a big "Brittan's Favorite Things" giveaway! How's that?

For now, if you like getting letters in the mail and aren't too freaked out by this, send your mailing address to and I'll send you something awesome... or at least a note telling you that I love you.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Well, it wasn't Lady Gaga...

but last night's Italian dinner with ladies from my class was pretty perfect. 
We followed it up by seeing Samma's brother's band play and then I strolled around the Lower East Side just appreciating that I live in New York.

On an unrelated note, I have a question for you...
My two year blog anniversary is tomorrow and I wonder if you all would like a giveaway. Are there even enough of you out there for a giveaway? My analytics tells me yes but my comments tell me no. I'm trying to think of some way to celebrate the fact that I've been doing something consistently for two years, so respond if you think a contest is a good idea, if I should write each of you a handwritten letter (oh I like that idea) or if you have any suggestions. 

It's been fun.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"We may not make it out alive. What does it matter?"

Things are a little weird. I haven't really had a chance to settle in. Life is a bit up in the air. I want to post but I can't find the energy to share much right now. I suppose that's why my blog has been so boring lately. I haven't been trying very hard... but I guess we all need some time to be introspective and quiet every now and then. I'll bring you up to speed on the good stuff... how's that?

Classes have started and they are as challenging and exciting as ever. I'm turning in my thesis proposal next week and will post it here if it goes over well. I've also been writing obsessively lately. Screenplays and random things. There are always words flying through my head these days and I rush to get them down before they're gone. I've always narrated my life in my head since I was little, and I guess it finally occurred to me to start writing it verbatim. I think it might even be good. I feel like my brain is in top form and ready to tackle this semester. I have a summer in Hawaii and a new appreciation for every second I get with B to thank for that.

I also got to meet the new first year students in MIAP (my grad program at NYU). They are a bigger and possibly more experienced class than my sweet little seven person group, but they are interesting and full of big personalities. We went out (carrying on the MIAP Whiskey Wednesday tradition) to get to know each other and pass on advice, and had some passionate discussion about film preservation in the process. The epitome of hip, I know. It really was cool to hear the stories that brought them to the program and how passionate they are about our weird little line of work. It takes a certain type of person to care enough about preserving films that they seek out and make it through our program.

Then I got to go to a free Hanson concert, and you know how I love them! They played a shortened set but it was the first time I've seen them play with the full horns section (those old dudes behind Taylor) that's all over their new album, and it was so fun! I had a good old time just dancing by myself in the middle of the crowded Roseland Ballroom and being filled with happiness. (Seriously, just listen to the new album. It is impossible to listen to it and not be happy.)
(photo via

Even after all the newfound academic enthusiasm, friend making and Hanson joy, I still feel the funk of an unsettled life. (Isn't hanging up your tea cups, throwing out boxes, making your bed with fresh sheets and cooking your first meal in a new apartment so satisfying? I'm longing for that.) So I've been going out looking for it and finding it in places that are probably dumb, but I feel like talking about anyway because... why not focus on the happy things even if they are a bit superficial, right?

The Whole Foods at Columbus Circle, for example.
It's a pretty part of town, full of pretty people and the Whole Foods is big and pristine. I went on a calm night and just roamed around looking at things, finding the freshest loaf of bread and stocking up at the olive bar. I remembered how much B loved it when the funny automated voice told you to go to register 9 ("NOOOINE"), and laughed to myself thinking about all the times we waited in line at our Chelsea Whole Foods, crossing our fingers that 9 would land on us.

Also my hoodie. Which is the softest, warmest and most perfect shade of my most favorite color. The crisp of Fall is cutting through the muggy, smelly NYC summer air and giving me the butterflies I get every year around this time. I live for October through December. Like, I honestly don't know if there would be a point to life if we did not get a few months of hoodies, scarves, extra calories and holidays. It gives me faith in the cycle of life. If the world really does end in December of 2012, I will be okay with that because it will have ended on a good note. It's really hard to not be at least a little bit excited when you pull a zipper up to your chin for the first time after summer.

So, yeah, there is lots of happiness out there, isn't there? Just typing this made me happy. I continue my eternal search for a home, or at least for consistency and establishment, but maybe now through more positive eyes.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

iPhone Portraits: Britt Clardy

I'm really into assaulting people with my iPhone 4 camera and calling it a portrait right now. I think it might be my new thing, and who better to start it off than my good friend Britt Clardy?

Britt was in town for the Iggy and the Stooges Raw Power show at ATP and ended up getting to film the show and interview the band. Britt is a huge Stooges fan, and this was pretty much the biggest deal in the world for him. We took him out for Grimaldi's, Shake Shack and all the standard NYC greatness you can squeeze into a weekend, but he remained (understandably) in a post-show daze most of the time. 

I think this photo adequately sums up the nirvana-like trance he was in all weekend, and I think it's just very "Britt" in general. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Which would you choose?

I went with Red Riding because it's actually a trilogy, which means three movies for $7 after using my gift card! Also, theoretically, Barnes and Noble will have another big Criterion sale in November so I can get Black Orpheus (one of my favorites) then.

I <3 Kims Video.

The end.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Rock the Bells NYC 2010

yep. i saw slick rick, rakim, krs-one + all of bdp, lauryn hill (beyonce, mary j. blige, alicia keys, chris rock, jay-z, swizz beats and john legend all making appearances), a tribe called quest, busta rhymes, all of wu-tang + odb's look-alike son standing in for him, snoop dog and warren g.

can you see me? i'll give you a hint... look for the hair and a cheek. q-tip's arm is directly covering my face. awesome.

it was life changing. lauryn hill is a goddess. wu-tang 4ever.

if you love hip hop these pictures might make you freak out: