Sunday, July 27, 2014

Hallowed Halls Of Academia

I've been saying it since 2002: No one throws a reception quite like Columbia. Whether it's refreshments before a talk or an all-out graduation ceremony, I have never been disappointed by an event thrown by Columbia. Today I hopped uptown for the Back To Columbia alumni event. It was a tented picnic with a carnival for kids, great food and lots of smart and friendly people. I get the invite every year and was never able to make it, until today.

It didn't disappoint. Andre didn't just get a balloon animal, he got a balloon Hulk, clearly made by someone who has an MFA in Balloon Animals.

We totally rocked the photo booth.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

In The Zone

This week I've been wrapping up a book proposal that I've been working on for a long time. I even borrowed a friend's apartment downtown so that I can get as much done as possible.

The book is heavy on science and medicine, and so it's nearly impossible to write and edit anything without the internet. (If you're in the mood for some pillow talk about gluteomorphins and casomorphins, with a few tangents about hormone disruptors, I'm your gal.)

It's been said that the internet is the ultimate bane of writers, but I disagree. Spotify is the true enemy. Five years ago I did not have a tool where I could look up any song I wanted, for free, at any time. Now, I can look up multiple versions of the same song, and then lose half an hour of my life. Damn you, technology.

This week I stumbled across Sam Smith's incredible song, "Stay With Me." It's the reason my workflow has had fits and starts. If you have a serious sound system -- and even if you don't -- this song will melt your face off. It'll be the best three minutes of your day. Over and over again.

Of course, there's also a version with Mary J. Blige

One of these days I'll post more photos, but when I'm not at work I hang out at the gym and at dance class, and taking photos is generally frowned upon.

But read this piece. It will make you laugh. Hipster Finds Lifestyle Too Expensive, Reverts to Mainstream

Monday, July 21, 2014

It's Ernest Hemingway's Birthday!

...but more importantly, his second wife (pictured above) was named Pauline.

Hemingway had all sorts of insights about writing, but was always quick to admit that it's a lonely life. 60 years ago, in 1954, he won a Nobel Prize for Literature and had this to say about the writing life:

Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

The iPhone As Personal Time Capsule

Every iPhone I've ever owned has become a little time capsule, because I never bother to transfer data. Instead I start fresh when I get a new one. Today on The Huffington Post, I explore why these little digital boxes are important.

The iPhone as Personal Time Capsule

Friday, June 20, 2014

It's Better To Be Tigger Than Eeyore

optimism New Yorker

Like the song from 42nd Street tells us, every situation has a sunny side. To underscore this point, there's a great post up on the New Yorker about how being an optimist is scientifically good for you.

My brand of optimism may border on Pollyanna-esque, naiveté, but I still think it's the best way to be. Difficult people eventually mellow out, the word "no" is just a jumping off point for further negotiations, and good things come from hard work and perseverance. And then there's always the elusive luck factor. Move to New York City with no job and $400 in my pocket? What could possibly go wrong? (Turns out, absolutely nothing.)

Speaking of things that make me happy, this evening while walking home from exercise class, I came across Cascada's version of "The Chistmas Song." Under normal circumstances Cascada makes dance music, tunes that would likely be popular with the cast of Jersey Shore. But her Chistmas album, which came out in 2012, is wonderful. I don't know why it took me so long to discover it.

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who listen to Christmas music year-round, and those that don't. (I am clearly the former.) Either way, this version of "The Christmas Song" is the happiest and jazziest thing you'll hear all day.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Preschool Parent Paparazzi

You may see your kid everyday, but when they graduate from preschool it's as if Beyonce is making a cameo.

The graduate and I. Next stop: Harvard!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Shonda Rhimes Is My Spirit Animal

Her shows are awesome (Grey's Anatomy, Scandal, etc.) but Shonda Rhimes wins the Human Being of the Year award for her very candid graduation speech at Dartmouth. Her views on working, working as a mother, the silliness of hashtags and not being an asshole are genius. Well worth the 25 minute investment of time.