Things I Loved / Hated This Week #54

LOVE:

Beyoncé, Obviously:

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I’m still not over Bey’s surprise album. None of us are. It was so unexpected and so glorious and so wondrous and so magnificent and so perfect. She’s divine and flawless and I have listened to the album a million times. Yes, a million times. That is really not an exaggeration. I can’t wait to get home tonight to power walk to it on the treadmill. I am Sasha Fierce, guys. (I’ll proudly name my first child that.) Now that I’ve seen her with my own eyes and witnessed the spiritual ecstasy of her presence, I’m even more obsessed than I was in the past, and that was pretty crazy already. Now I’m out of my mind in adoration of this iconic diva. And can we just talk about how amazing that surprise album was? That was perfection. She forced us all to download the entirety of her album in one swoop. By not allowing us to purchase singles or stream on Spotify, we all had to cough up fifteen dollars, and for that, I bow down to Queen Bey. Genius marketing by not marketing at all. That’s flawless. She woke up this way. See what I did there? If you didn’t get it, we’re not going to be friends. If you don’t have the album on your iPhones already, you’re dumb. This is the best album of her career and I’m not saying this because of the massive hype. This is a deeply artistic, personal, and triumphant oeuvre. The music wasn’t something made to delight the masses. There’s not really a song that screams modern pop — Beyoncé redefined a genre and it’s overwhelming and eye opening and makes me prouder than ever to support her.

Target:

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I think Target is one of the happiest places in the world. Without fail, I need something out of every single aisle. Even the aisles I don’t need anything out of…I need something out of. I was a bit upset, though, when I went to Target last night. The men’s clothing section is really hit or miss. It’s been missing painfully for a while now, with a selection of outfits that are no nicer than those a peasant could pick up at Walmart. The women’s clothing, as always, is adorable, but not for the men. I just wanted this ugly kitten holiday sweater I had seen a month ago. It was nowhere to be found. I wanted to weep. I’m still devastated. Aside from that, though, I still had a glorious time as ever perusing the entirety of the shop and picking up everything I never knew I needed. Hooray for Target! I saw these bluetooth speakers that I needed for my continued happiness, but I can’t afford to charge them at the moment. Going back for them soon. I LOVE TARGET.

Tomato Soup:

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I think I’ve written about how much I love soup for the past few weeks, but I’m still not over my love affair with the liquid delight. Last night, I made an unreasonably good tomato soup based off a recipe I found in Wine & Food. It had much more oil than I’m used to, but that turned out to be even more delicious, which was no surprise. A bit of oil is amazing in a soup. It also had a fennel bulb in it, something I’ve never cooked with in all my life. I don’t hate fennel, but it’s not an ingredient that I’m incredibly keen about. The flavor mellowed tremendously when it simmered with the onion and tomatoes and I’m a big fan. I added a cup of cream that was not called for, reduced the water in the recipe, and blended the whole thing — heavenly! I’m also crazy about these tomatoes I bought. I will not buy tomatoes that aren’t in season, so I’m stuck with packaged one at the moment. These ones came from Italy and were in a cardboard box and were unbelievably good. I will be stocking up on those the next time I’m in town. They actually have flavor! It’s a complete shock to the tastebuds in the middle of winter. Tomato soup is perfect.

Tumblr:

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I held out for an admirable length of time, but finally felt the time was right to sign up for the Tumblr. LOOK AT MINE! I don’t regret it nearly as much as I thought I would. It’s kind of fun. It’s like a secret world hidden inside of the Internet. There’s an unlimited supply of everything you could dream of. I scrolled through hundreds of images of Villefranche that I’d never seen before, saw wonderful picture of Joan Fontaine, watched the GIFs of everything. It’s wonderful and I don’t really know how to explain it to you if you don’t already understand. Sign up! It’s even more fun to get followers on there than it is on Twitter. I have well over a hundred followers on Twitter but they don’t begin to compare to the outright ecstasy of getting a new one on the Tumblr. I have twelve now! TWELVE! I stay up late at night just scrolling through, completely oblivious to the late hour. It’s fabulous.

Winter Break:

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Don’t get me wrong, I love my job. For reasons, I don’t fully understand, I often enjoy working with children. That said, I LOVE BREAK! I love all of the breaks: Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, Spring Break, Inservice days, and best of all is Summer Break. Today is the last day before break and I am counting down the seconds until I’m free. This is the great luxury of working in public education — you get to have a job where you sometimes feel as if you are making a difference and still get to have ample opportunities to be by yourself. I honestly don’t think I could do anything else with my work life. Sure, there are a million things I could do and would excel at, but would I enjoy them so much if I never had a little time for myself? Surely not. The simple fact that I can jet off to Europe for months in the summer or take a guilt-free jaunt to Chicago or Florida is dear to me and something that I will never not feel blessed by. During this break I hope to accomplish a few things: 1. publish my short story on Amazon, 2. paint my gym, and 3. work on my trip planning for Paris this summer. You see, I may not get paid well (honestly, what I make is a pittance) but I get to enjoy some rather remarkable experiences that even wealthier people never get to know.

My Beautiful Bedroom:

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I’ve been meaning to do a blog post about my bedroom and lounge ever since I finished them. Well, to me, a room is never finished. It’s either livable or in demolition mode. I still need to add an electric fireplace to my bedroom and put in a couple new outlets, but that’s not awfully important at the moment. I finally have a room where I can go feel completely and utterly relaxed. My bedroom, also known by its monicker, the Executive Suite, is the definition of luxury. Gilded mirrors hang on the walls, a plush king sized bed eats up the floorspace, there is an exceptionally comfortable chair where I can sit and read or write or just happily daydream, a bronze chandelier hangs above everything with its crystals reflecting on every surface. Life is but a dream in here. Occasionally my lemon tree that stands before the window will flower and the room is perfumed by gentle citrus and I weep a bit because it’s just perfect. The only thing that could make it even better is if when I looked out the window, I saw a Parisian street and not my country garden, a mess in the middle of winter. I shouldn’t mind too much because that day will happen, I’ll make it happen even if it bankrupts me. I’m a Parisian gentleman through and through.

HATE:

Death of Joan Fontaine:

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I’m rather devastated. Joan Fontaine just died and I’m terribly upset. She was one of the last links that were still amongst us of Old Hollywood glamour, one of the few people who were still alive that were a part of my favorite time in relatively recent history. Last year, I made a resolution to watch a film each day and for the majority, I watched films from the so-called “Golden Era” of Hollywood. Watching these, I discovered that most films were atrocious (like now), but there were some gems and there were a few actors that transcended common acting and were truly great. Joan was certainly amongst them. When I watched her in Rebecca, or in my absolute favorite picture she made, Suspicion, I was transported and transfixed by her talent. Many have forgotten her and as time continues its steady march, many more will, but I know that she will forever hold a place in the hearts and minds of those of us who love her and the likes of her. Remember when I sent her an autograph request and she sent back a request for five dollars? Wonderful woman! She was not working at her stage in life, but I always had a little daydream of her appearing in a cinematic version of my novel, Terrible Miss Margo. Toward the end, there is a scene where friends of Margo gather together and I fantasized of living legends gathering there. Joan and her sister, Olivia, maybe even holograms of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis. She won’t be in the film of my unpublished novel, of course, but it hurts my heart a little to know that she isn’t amongst us. I kind of thought of her as immortal. She wasn’t, of course, she was only human. Rest peacefully, Joan. I will always adore you.

Wearing Contacts:

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I look good in glasses, I won’t deny it and I can’t deny it. But as a person who likes to constantly evolve with my fashion sense, I like to have the opportunity to go without glasses to change my look. In recent years, it has become difficult for me to wear contacts and I can’t really figure it out. I get good ones and I use expensive solution, but still they are not the most comfortable things in the world. They don’t hurt, but from the second I put them in, my eyes just feel exhausted. It’s miserable. I love to wear them with sunglasses. For some reason, when I do this, my eyes feel absolutely fine. I wonder if on the happy day when I finally get laser correction, if they will still be as sensitive as they are now? I don’t think so, since my eyes feel perfectly at their leisure whilst I’m wearing glasses. So perhaps when I don’t have a foreign object in my eye, it’ll be better. I hope so.

Writer’s Block:

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In the past, when I’ve read about writers being unable to write, I’d say, “HA!” But now, I understand. I was working rather prolifically on my next novel for months; then suddenly all my inspiration dried up and I’m left staring at the screen wondering what to do with myself. It’s endlessly frustrating. I try to write at least a page every day, but for the past few weeks, those pages have been utter crap. I’ve deleted most of them. They weren’t going anywhere or saying anything, they were dry and dull. I look back then on things that I’ve written in the past and wonder how my brain came up with interesting situations and pleasant phrasings and then I feel bad about my current state of imagination. I started a little side project called Haskell & Eudora right when this current state of affairs began, so I’m blaming it for sucking my creativity dry. I’m not too upset, though, I’m really rather proud of that short story. Look for it soon on the Kindle store! (That’s an absolutely fascinating world that I’ve been researching lately.) I hope my old passion for the story I was working on comes back soon, though. I don’t know what I need to jump start my brain, but I hope it comes soon. I’m going a little crazy. My characters are just stranded, just standing around, just looking at each other and the beautiful French village they’re in…bored out of their minds. Quite irritating.

The Immeasurable Passing of Time:  

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Einstein told us that time is in constant flux. This is hard for me to understand since we have things like atomic time, but I can sense that it’s true. Somedays, time flies by, and at other times, it lingers on like an unpleasant memory. This week is one of them. For some inexplicable reason, the hours are dragging and dragging and each day they drag a bit slower. It’s inconceivable to my mind, but it’s still Thursday. How is this possible when it has felt like Friday since I returned from the weekend? Absolute madness. Then, when I return back to my home, time simply flies and it’s eleven o’clock again somehow. This one baffles me even more. The passage of time really can’t be quantified can it, even though it can?

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