Life is a blur. The days pass faster than I can even register. There aren't enough hours for all the things I need to accomplish. The April 26th thesis deadline is looming. I've ceased being an active participant in the world around me, and I miss it. I don't have much to show and tell here these days. No one wants to hear about how I spent four days lamenting over one paragraph or the latest article I read on 4k digital cinema. So, here is a picture of my world lately, as told by the snapshots I've taken on my way to and from.
A gorgeous little house in Park Slope, taken on my way to the Tea Lounge for studying.
Remember this? B's school from our life in Chelsea, the reason he moved back to Texas. I passed by it on my way to a class trip and it made me sad. I miss packing his lunch every morning and walking him the three blocks to PS 11. He went through a lot there, but there were good learning experiences for both of us as well.
A jarring juxtaposition of nature and structure in Midtown that stopped me in my hurried tracks.
The cutest latte cup ever at my classmate Candace's birthday brunch.
If you follow my instagram (@brittanclaire), you've already seen these. I'm sorry, I just don't have much else these days. But! I will be going to the TCM Classic Film Fest next week (post-thesis turn in) and will have all sort of fabulous Hollywood-related things to show and tell. I just have to make it through this week.
What if all I really care about is beauty? What if I just spent all of this money and energy on a degree to tell me that I just want to hold on to the things in life that are beautiful and save them from decay so that someday someone else will have the chance to look at them and find them beautiful? What if I am not the least bit interested in the politics behind it all or even the theory or the history or in reaching any lofty academic or career goals? I will spend the rest of my life trying to pay off the debt and justify my weird MA and all these sacrifices so that I can look at pretty things and feel something profound that escapes words or ideas. Aesthetics. Am I superficial and foolish or brilliant? I suppose it depends on how you define beauty and what it means to you.
My friend Sam's family has the Broadway hookup. Last year when Daniel Radcliffe was announced as the lead in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, we all went in on tickets and Sam mom's hooked us up with awesome seats. The show was last weekend, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. I loved it from the moment I saw the old school Broadway "name in lights" sign.
It was basically the same plot line as Promises, Promises, with the same over-the-top early 60s costumes and the same campy, misogynistic-but-self-aware humor (not surprisingly they also share a director, Rob Ashford). But the choreography was what made it stand out, for me. There were some truly unique, complex dance numbers that still managed to be engaging and fit the confines of the type of show it is. Radcliffe's energy went above and beyond. Honestly, I don't know how he manages to do this every night. It's pretty astounding. I was blown away by his enthusiasm as a singer and dancer, and it's clear that he's been training very hard.
After the show the stage door was a madhouse. Crowds piled up on both sides of the street, cameras ready, screaming for Dan Rad. It was a most un-Broadway display. We hung out for a bit, marveling at the crowd and watching the other cast members slip out mostly unnoticed, then opted for a indulgent Italian dinner on Restaurant Row. I felt, briefly, like a tourist having the most exciting night of my New York vacation. Then I took the tiring ride home to my little room in my (seemingly) far away borough and went on with life. I guess nights like that are what make this city what it is
Princess Lasertron is one of my favorite bloggers. She's an inspiring entrepreneur and mom, and is always posting creative ideas, DIY tips and business advice. Plus her blog is super pretty... what's not to love?
I finally bought one of her handmade flowers and am so impressed by her attention detail.
There are two different types of clips on the back so you can wear it as a brooch or in your hair. I wore it around on my tired green dress (my winter staple that I was otherwise sick of looking at) all weekend and felt x18 cuter than I used to feel in it. She also included some vintage buttons in a little envelope that I'll probably sew onto one of the many other items in my closet that I'm tired of looking at. Yep. So basically this is an entire post dedicated to a little flower brooch but, hey, it made me happy. Getting this package was a nice pick-me-up in my hectic, so-over-winter, so-over-thesis month, so-over-painful-doctor-visits month.
Queen Mab still doesn't like us. She's come out of her shell a bit, hanging out in the same room as us from time to time and playing with her toys. She does cute little things like standing up on her hind legs like a meerkat and stretching out over the back of the couch. She's so beautiful which makes it even worse that none of us has touched her yet. She'll have none of that. Most of the time we tiptoe around, trying to cajole her out of corners and feeding her voracious appetite for canned food. I think she likes me least of all, as she tends to bolt from the room the second I walk in. She must know that I'm a little bit Elmyra Duff.
But the other morning I woke up, pulled back the blinds and there she was! I froze in place, called everyone in, we huddled on my bed... and she didn't bolt! I'm 90% certain it's because we were in between her and the door, but still. We got to hang out with her for a good 15 minutes and I took a couple pictures of her pretty face. My mom says you shouldn't have to work this hard to get anyone to love you, and my relationship with my kitty back home has me leaning toward agreeing, but I think Queenie needs us and we (mostly Swinny) need her too.
My friends and I won meet and greet passes to a TCM screening of The Manchurian Candidate on Twitter. At said meet and greet we got to meet the one and only Angela Lansbury. My strongest memory of my late Grandma Maree was laying in bed with her eating popcorn and watching Murder She Wrote. I guess my love of Ms. Lansbury started there, grew exponentially when she voiced Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast (which is still one of my favorite movies of all time) and exploded when I realized she was in old movies! Oh the joys of being born in the 1980s. Anyway! She was completely lovely and charming and gracious, as was the King of TCM, Robert Osborne, who was there with her. Everyone was very nice and we had a great time/took lots of pictures.
I also made a brief cameo on the big screen in the trailer for this year's TCM Classic Film Fest! Can you spot me? This is very exciting as you might be able to tell from my reaction in the video.
I have this little "issue" with waking up in the morning and the presentation was supposed to start at 9:30 a.m., so I decided to get up extra early and have a nice breakfast in hopes of actually being awake at the podium. It was raining when Taso (who helped me so much in pulling the presentation together) and I walked from Union Square to Le Pain Quotidien, but the quiet meal of whole wheat bread, fresh fruit and a perfect soy latte set to soft classical piano music was just what I needed.
I got to school in plenty of time to get set up and make some additional notes to myself before anyone got there. I think the presentation went fairly well overall, though it didn't start out that way. Just as I was introducing my topic, I was hit with one of those coughing fits that just won't quit. I realize now that I probably should have left the room, waited for it to pass and then started over, but instead I tried to muscle through it, taking little sips of water here and there until I was nearly crying. My kind audience bore with me until I was able to show a video clip, down a bottle of water and get back in the game. The rest of the presentation went well and my slides looked really good, if I do say so myself. I think the Q&A session (which I was most worried about) went over best of all, and everyone seemed engaged and interested in my project. I'm really proud of how it went and of my thesis in general. Mostly I'm so thankful for all of the people who support it and have helped me with it, and who deal with me as I sacrifice my brain to it. I haven't been very good at responding to letters and emails, making non-school deadlines or just being a very good friend or human being in general and I feel really bad about it. I used to be so good at multitasking, but this is whole new level of overtasked. Thank you for your patience.
Swinny presented her thesis the next day (on a Joan Crawford film that was shut down and nearly lost due to copyright infringement) and it went splendidly. Afterward we went out with our classmates and alumni to celebrate. The rest of our classmates had presented earlier in the week (roommate Sam was first on Monday, poor thing), so it was nice to finally see everyone looking slightly relaxed and smiling.
The final product is due on April 26th and I'd say I'm about halfway there. Back to work!