remember me

movies

This past November we took Giles to see Coco at the movie theater. He was eighteen-months-old at the time. This past Saturday Giles went to see it again, at a special screening with his Nana and Granddad. He came home talking all about it, now twenty-two-months-old. He said what sounded like, “mama me,” a bunch of times and at first I didn’t know what it meant. But then I realized he was talking about the song from the movie, “Remember Me.”

This song makes me think of my mom. Know that I’m with you the only way that I can be. 

I learned it on ukulele so I could play and sing it for Giles, and for myself. And for my mom.

Next November we have another baby due. Four wheels on the car. I’ll take her/him to the movies too.

 

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being young, being new, getting lost (and then being a little older)

ce13575399d87b88f00e1b221e280c58Sometimes a movie just gets me, and this week that movie was Mistress America. From the start it reminded me of myself as an 18-year-old college freshman in New York City. The girl even looked a bit like me, with brown shoulder length hair, trying to figure out her style. I used to narrate myself around the city (still do, in the country), exploring myself and the streets, being on my own for the first time, trying out different friends and eating perogies at Veselka in the East Village.

What is the feeling Mistress America sustained for me, during the 84 minutes it ran on screen? Is it being young, being new, getting lost? Eating mozzarella sticks alone in a booth at night, and then dancing with a new friend in a downtown bar. That specific time of 18-ness. Actually getting lost walking from Union Square to my dorm on 12th Street and 3rd Ave. Running around and laughing in Gristedes with my roommates and a couple of guy classmates I might like. Making tortillas in our dorm kitchen, eating brownie batter (mistake), drinking cherry coke when everyone else was drinking beer. Having deep crushes I never did anything about. That first semester, the only one when I didn’t have a job, when all I had to do was go to class and figure out the city and take naps and write papers which were the first ones any teacher ever told me were good. Deciding to become a writer. Realizing a little bit that maybe what I wanted to do and the way I wanted to do it did not fit in with what everyone else was doing.

But there’s also the other side of the story– being 30, and what does that mean? Having all that hope and creativity and wanting so badly to do something meaningful with it, but finding no place for myself in the city anymore. Being older, but still young, feeling a lifetime away from 18. Deep crushes leading to bad relationships leading to some good ones and even a really good one which became a marriage. Being 30, being an “adult,” having a dead mother, feeling lost in a whole other kind of way. But also having found a piece of myself again that was hidden for a while during those years of 18 – 26.

So, yeah, I loved the movie. I’m going to see it again on Wednesday.

somebody’s getting married

I haven’t posted much lately, and that’s because I’m very busy getting ready to get married! There’s so much to do leading up to a wedding. Lots of things I didn’t realize until now. I’ve never planned a giant party before! There are stressful moments, but there are also really beautiful, loving moments. My sister is here, visiting from southern Chile, and getting to spend time with her each day is such a gift. She keeps me in the moment, enjoying every drop of summer with swimming and biking and everyday adventures. My dad, who I’m lucky enough to live only 20 minutes from, is an active part of the planning process, and is so supportive and hilarious in all of his jokes (haha). Greg’s parents are here too and they could not be sweeter or more helpful. We have the best families.

And there are the moments between me and Greg: breaking in our new shoes around the apartment, finalizing the seating chart, making playlists for the reception, feeling overwhelmed one minute and then breaking into huge smiles and exclaiming how excited we are to marry each other. Seeing the chuppah for the first time, the one Greg has been working on for months, and it’s so beautiful I want to cry.

Today I went to a movie by myself. It was A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence, and I loved it. I also loved the time sitting in a dark theater, eating popcorn, watching a story unfold on a screen. Taking the time to do something for myself is important. Self-care. In 2011 I took myself on a four day trip to Montreal, and while there I made a promise: that I would always do things like that, even once I got married and started a family. I’m still me inside this marriage, inside the family I plan to create.

20150719_163311I cannot wait to marry Greg in less than two weeks. This is a crazy, fast-moving, emotional, beautiful, fun, fantastic summer.

comics workshop at The Collegiate School

I went to the city (New York– I still call it The City, as if it’s the only one) last Wednesday to teach a comics workshop to the fourth grade boys at The Collegiate School. This is the second comics workshop I’ve done with kids this year, and I feel so inspired to do more. Seeing kids excited about reading and making comics I see myself at their age, reading Archie every chance I got (as well as Calvin and Hobbes and Sylvia), tracing the characters, drawing my own. Everything I do now as an adult (comics, stories, movies, dancing) is something I loved as a nine-year-old. To me, that is success.

It’s awesome that schools are finally treating comics as literature and teaching them as a storytelling technique. I got to see my friend Chris and watch him teach (so good!), and my dad came with me so we also got to spend a really nice spring day in Manhattan. Breakfast at French Roast, a movie at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas (Felix et Meira – soooooooo beautiful, I loved it, I’m still thinking about it), tried a new pizza place (it was okay– still not as good as our old favorite, Ray’s on 6th ave. and 11th st. which is now gone), and some nice walking around. It was a good day.

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Thank you so much to Chris Stevenson, The Collegiate School, and of course my awesome dad.

nun shirts!

Nun shirts for sale! Inspired by the movie Ida and my friend Janet. nun shirt with boxnun shirt on bedme wearing nun shirt A fantastic gift for the movie lovers in your life, or for yourself. For sizing reference, the small fits me perfectly. It fits me like a man’s shirt, long and slim, very soft. They are now available to purchase in my Etsy shop, and will also be for sale at Images Cinema and the School for Style.

march 10th and mood indigo

My friend Janet and I went to see Mood Indigo in New York City on Monday night, as part of the Rendezvous with French Cinema at the IFC Center and we got to meet Michel Gondry afterwards!

michel gondry

It was a magical night as you can probably guess. It was also the 5 year anniversary of my friend Lee’s death. On March 10th I never know what to do with myself. This year, I’m also looking ahead to the one year marking of my mom’s death on April 18th. For Lee I usually drink a Bottingtons, take some time out of the day to mark it, to feel sad and miss him. But there was something about being at the movie that night– maybe it was that the movie deals with grief in a really lovely way, but also just being there, doing something I really wanted to do, something special. Because I’m still here. I’m alive, and doing something I really want to do is taking advantage of being alive.

After the film, my old boss intriduced me to Mr. Gondry, and I was so excited my hands were shaking and I started sweating through my clothes. I had just seen something that touched me so deeply and was so beautiful, and here was the human being who made it! Right there! All I could stammer out was “I loved the movie.” In that moment I couldn’t wrap my mouth around the words I wanted to say. So, Mr. Gondry, if by any chance you are reading this, here is what I wanted to tell you about my experience watching your film:

Last year I was with my mom while she was very sick, and then dying. Your movie expresses this experience in a beautifully visual way: giving an image to the way it felt to go through that. Feeling the walls close in, the house being taken over by a strange clinging, climbing dust that covers the sunshine, the strangeness of doctors and machines and treatments, growing older so quickly, wanting to jump in and change my own story, the world turning to black and white.

I also got to see some friends in the city (to all the friends I did not see, I’m sorry! There’s never enough time to see everyone, I love you and I will see you soon):

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Some of the food I got to eat: 20140309_17183920140310_17435320140310_170013

And here’s my favorite bathroom in Manhattan: 20140310_182402

this one’s for phoebe

I’m back from Chile, and there’s lots to tell, but for now here’s two songs.

The first is for Phoebe and she knows why: 

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This next one is because I finally saw Inside Llewyn Davis and I think it’s one of the best portraits of trying to survive as a professional artist that I’ve seen and the music is really beautiful: 

20140125_162017 We saw Llewyn Davis at The Mayan in Denver

the flick

In the past two and a half years since I left New York City, I’ve felt at least mild anxiety each time I go back to visit. Something about the city itself, the streets I used to walk daily, the relationships I left there, my past coming face to face with my present. This week I went to the city for a day trip to see a play with two friends, and it was the first time I felt completely comfortable. Maybe it was because I was there with people I’d never been to the city with, or that enough time has passed…

April marks my five year anniversary of working in movie theaters. Five years ago, in 2008, I walked into the IFC Center and asked if they were hiring. That job changed my life in ways that only now am I starting to understand. On Tuesday, my friends Janet and Sandra (who run Images Cinema, where I currently work) and I went to see The Flick at Playwright’s Horizons. It’s a play about working in a cinema in the final days of 35mm film projection. Watching this play, which connects to my own life more than anything I’ve ever seen, feelings and thoughts rushed to the surface of my mind and heart.

Working as an usher/box office/concessions staff and eventually manager at IFC was such a sweet and tender time in my life (as well as a bit tumultuous). The people I met, the movies I saw, the things I learned became part of who I am. I remember my last day working there. As I walked through each theater at the beginning of the shift, doing my morning checks, I thought: this is where I became my adult self. I fell in love here. I changed. 

At Images Cinema I was given the opportunity to be a film projectionist: the dream! To project 35mm film for two years, the final two years before digital took over, was an honor. That was such a special job for me, one that I’ll never forget. I loved it. I miss it all the time. For these past few months there’s been so much to focus on with the new digital projection system, and all my new responsibilities, that I hadn’t taken the time to really think about what that transition meant. While watching The Flick all these feelings began surfacing: about film, and the regret of leaving it behind, the history of it and what it meant to me personally. I thought about Dave, the head projectionist who trained me. I really enjoy all my new responsibilities, and working with the new system– being a part of something new, on the cusp of change– but there’s something about my time as a film projectionist that has a sort of glow around it.

It’s hard to really explain how I feel about this play. Seeing my movie theater life– the mundane tasks of cleaning and running a theater, etc.– heightened on a stage was so exhilarating and touching. I have a lot of feelings about it, and I’m still processing them.

391565_410956015633780_1444561135_n in the projection booth at Images Cinema  217_516668979407_5720_n working box office at the IFC Center