Things I Loved / Hated This Week #42

LOVE:

Tucci Benucch:

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I seem to be at the Mall of America rather frequently. Many times a year for various reasons. I was there yesterday and will be again to see Anne Rice. She doesn’t know it, but she’s my mentor. Oddly enough, Anne Rice is famous for her vampire novels, and the first time I went to the Tucci Benucch restaurant, I dined with a woman who reminded me rather of a vampire. She wasn’t, of course, in fact she was a relative, but I hold that image in my mind. Before going there, my family were not big on eating at nice restaurants. They would always go to the food court. Repulsive, I know, and I’m so glad that we’ve changed. Now, we always go to fancy places. Thank Buddha! I can’t deal with fast food…for the most part. Anyway, last night I dined at this fine establishment and had a lovely time. I had a caprese salad with excellent tomatoes. I had a thick spaghetti with arrabbiata sauce. Divine! Then a Bellini for dessert. All of it was excellent. I only regret not being able to eat more. I love their bruschetta and tomato soup and I want to try the polenta fries. Always next time!

“The Fox”:

I’d heard about this song earlier this summer, but never got around to listening to it, which is strange since I basically live in the Internet. Everybody does these days. A few days ago, though, my sister sent me to the video on YouTube and I’ve been obsessed ever since. The song is fabulous. It’s amazing because it should be horrible! It’s all about trying to understand the sound of the fox. Do they bark or bleat? Do they growl? What sound do they make? It’s a great question, though…have you ever heard a fox say anything at all? Have you ever seen a fox? Have I…? Oh yes, I did see a rather tame one at Highgate Cemetery in London when I was there on tour, he was digging through a bin of garbage. #totesadorbs I’m completely in love with the song and it’s always in my head. It’s in there right now…”your fur is red, so beautiful! I just can’t get enough. It was on Spotify, but then it was pulled down for copyright issues. I’m devastated. It needs to be back now! Listen to the song. Watch the video. Learn the dance. SING!

Early Mornings:

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I have long been convinced that I’m not a morning person. I can’t get up. I hate getting up. I’m always tired. This morning, though, I discovered that I may well be a morning person, but only if it’s severely early in the morning. Last night, I wasn’t feeling the best and was suffering awfully with ennui, so I just said, “Oh screw everything, I’m going to bed!” The chandelier I was attempting to install with a dimmer was fighting me to the death and I gave up for the day. Edna calmed down finally, and I drifted off around ten, far earlier than my custom. Then, I rose gracefully and easily at four. It was bizarre. I leisurely checked my social networks and emails and then did quite a bit. Yoga, cleaning, breakfast, and put a cute outfit together. It was incredible. I’m going to attempt it again tomorrow, but I have doubt. My miraculous mornings are generally one time affairs.

“Closer to the Truth” by Cher:

I’ve told you often enough that I have few memories of my childhood. This still holds true, though I’ve recently had random flashbacks to things that I wish would go away. Nobody remembers pleasant memories, it seems. I suppose that makes sense, negative things have a greater emotional impact. Even the greatest feelings of euphoria — joyous walks along the Seine, cuddling kittens, being in love — are cast in deep shade when negative thoughts raise their ugly claws. But, I’m incredibly off topic. I can still recall the first time I heard Cher. I was in the car in Boone listening to the radio when “Believe” came on. What an interesting sounding man, I thought to myself. I, of course, was soon a superfan and have a decent collection of her beautiful music. I was so thrilled when her new album came out this week, it’s already iconic. Her music is timeless. It all could come from any era and I adore that. I’d have a difficult time choosing my favorite as all the songs are fun, but “I Walk Alone” is probably at the top right now. Just so fun! Plus, she’s coming to Des Moines next year! Nothing will keep me away.

“Blackwood Farm” by Anne Rice:

blackwood-farm

In my life, I have read an abundance of literature. I’ve read the classics and found the majority of them to be overrated, tedious, and dull. Oscar Wilde’s works are an obvious exception because I wrote them in a past life. That’s true. I think it’s true, anyway. It takes a great story and an even better writer to make me believe that a story is truly remarkable. Very few have done it. Blackwood Farm now enters the ranks of such fabulous novels as: The Historian, Gone with the Wind, and the film adaptation of The Mummy. I don’t know where to begin with my praise of the novel. The setting is what lured me in originally. A creepy swamp in Louisiana, beautifully described plantation house, elegance. The setting was sumptuous and decadent and I fell in love with this fictional place. The story itself was gothic in the traditional sense. Dark and unapologetically romantic. I like a good romantic story, you know? Not one of those porn novellas that some people like, but ones that go into the deep emotional inner workings of romance and what it feels like to be in love. It was also unashamedly erotic, which can be tawdry in the hands of a lesser author, but with Anne, she rendered it with sublime skill and taste. The characters were unusually vivid and complete — so many authors rely on characters they don’t truly know or understand. Here, though, it was as if she was describing people she was intimately familiar with. I don’t want to give away any of the plot, but it was perfection in its workings. It was long, but I could have read for ages. I’m particularly excited because I’m going to meet Anne next month. I’m probably going to fall to my knees and worship her. What will I say? What will I be able to say? I’ll thank her for writing Blackwood Farm, of course. Perhaps I’ll inquire as to the wellness of her cats. But more likely, I’ll just turn into a quivering pile of goo and mumble something incoherent.

HATE:

Road Trips:

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There is literally nothing I hate more in the entire world than being cooped up in a car for hours. It’s the worst. The only way to survive is to sleep through it or bring a bottle of liquor along to knock you out. Sadly, I wasn’t so well prepared this weekend when we drove to Wisconsin and back. In all, about twelve hours listening to my mother blare horrible country music and shout at other drivers. Awful, reader, absolutely dreadful. We finally made it back and there and all, but I wanted to die. I was reading a book that I’m loving very much, Blackwood Farm by Anne Rice, but it was still the worst. I’m taking cocktails next month and will magically wake up at the destination. That’ll be fun!

Power Outages:

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Yesterday afternoon, I wasn’t all that productive. I just couldn’t get myself going, so I took a nap. Once I woke back up, though, I felt pretty reenergized and was ready to get my to-do list done. I practiced piano — I’m getting pretty amazing at about five songs. Like, full on ready to put on a show good. I’m impressed. Just as I was getting ready to start vacuuming, the power shut off, plunging me into blackness. At first, I worried that Edna had chewed through a power cord, so I went upstairs to check on her, but she was just napping on my king sized bed. Adorable. Then, I went to check if a breaker had flipped…it hadn’t. So, I lit about a dozen candles. My father, for reasons I really don’t know, buys candles all the time when he goes to garage sales. He’s obsessed with them. I think this is stupid because I personally hate candles, but I have to admit that they came in handy last night. I didn’t mind the outage too much at first, I could do quite a few things on my list still, but eventually, it became awful. Can you imagine living in the world before everything was wired? I’d have lost my mind. There’s literally almost no reason to be alive if you have no Internet connection. I’m not kidding. Unable to do anything because I couldn’t see well by candlelight (which is beautiful), I just poured myself a gin and tonic and read my book. Thank Krishna it was on my iPad, no light necessary!

No iPhone Still:

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The new iPhone has been released. I’ve touched it with my own hands. It has read my fingerprints. I have wept over it like a sinner at church. US Cellular has confirmed that they will sell them, but there is no release date, yet. Everybody else on the face of the planet has the new one, the only sufferer is me, Apple’s biggest fan. This is indecent. I’ve been told that you can pay a down order of $100 to reserve a phone for their launch day. They’re preordering them now, so the happy day is coming. I can’t wait! I’m going to clutch my champagne iPhone to my bosom and weep. It’ll be the most glorious day of my life, the day I’ve been waiting years for. If only it could be today. If only it could be now. I can’t stand this waiting.

Apps Not Ready for iOS 7:

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Apple’s new mobile platform has only been out for a week and I’m already a complete convert. There are still some bugs and emissions that are driving me insane — why can’t I update my social networks from Notification Center??? — but for the most part, it’s a beautiful and flawless operating system. Besides all that, it’s just beautiful to look at. I’m a sucker for beautiful things. Why would you want to live in a hideous world like Android? I hate it. Or worse, a Blackberry. Ugh, I feel ill remembering my Blackberry. It was a monster. I’m so ready for my new iPhone! Anyway, iOS 7 is foolproof, but as is the case with any new software, the rest of the programs are going to take awhile to catch up. I understand this, but I hate it! The greatest omission is Pages, a product of Apple’s own creation. It’s still my favorite word processor of all time, and I use it daily to blog to you and write my novels and stories, but it’s acting funny right now. The keyboard doesn’t seem to work as well as it used to. Last week, I was able to fly though pages of text, I was quite the marvel. But now, it responds oddly. Words change to things I didn’t intend, the backspace seems over eager, and it’s just slower. Please update quickly! I need that gorgeous new keyboard and stability. I rely on it. I’m desperate. And for God’s sake, put a tab button somewhere reasonable!

Lengthy To-Do Lists:

to do list

I love relaxation and want to nothing else, but I always feel lazy when I do this, so each day, I make long lists of all the things I want to get done. These are unattainable goals and I rarely get through more than half of them and then feel guilty about it. Somedays, though, I do everything, and feel really weird about that. Like, what am I supposed to do now that everything is finished? I’m going to start working on making more reasonable lists so that I feel more accomplished. This weekend will be hectic, though, since I have a large pastry order. But then, I’ll work on restricting my activities. Maybe I’ll make a weekly calendar and list the things that I hope to accomplish on a particular day instead of trying to do everything every day. That might work. I’ll try that starting on Monday!

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