Musical Farming

June 18, 2010

Things have been quiet around here, hence the lack of posting. We’ve just been doing our thing, hanging out, watching the World Cup. I’ve been working on my profile of Vik Muniz, and am newly inspired by this week’s New Yorker issue on 20 writers under 40 to get writing.  At least I still have 12 (and a bit ) years to make it.

I did see the musical Hair with my mom on Wednesday night. I hadn’t seen any version of it since I was a little kid, and I don’t think I got all of it now. It’s interesting to see it forty years after it opened.  They address race, gender, and war/politics in important ways that I think people can’t anymore.  Everyone’s supposed to be past everything now, all of these things non-issues (maybe not the war part), but I think it would still be useful to include these things more often. The cast was extremely talented, with great voices and an amazing amount of energy. They all got naked at one point, which was also kind of interesting, and at the end they invited the whole audience up onto the stage and everyone danced together, letting the sun shine in…

I also would like to mention how smitten I am with the Borough Hall farmer’s market. I’m just getting used the fact that it’s going to be there every Tuesday and Thursday and I don’t have to rush to buy more arugula and blueberries than we’re ever going to eat.  It’s pretty awesome.

Current Projects

June 2, 2010

I feel hesitant to write about what I’ve been up to these last few days, and I think that’s why I haven’t written in a few days. I took an assignment to write a profile of Vik Muniz, a pretty established, well-known artist.  I interviewed him yesterday.  He’s fantastic–just extremely likable with cool ideas about art and accessibility.  He’s most famous for creating well known works of art in unexpected materials like chocolate syrup, peanut butter and jelly, etc.

MoMA Library

May 27, 2010

I’m hesitant to write about this because I’m terrified of jinxing anything, but I’ve been given the opportunity to write a pretty cool piece for a magazine that’s requiring me to spend a little time in the MoMA library, researching the subject.  After making an appointment yesterday, walking past hordes of chirping, shouting school children ready to have their artistic sensibilities heightened, checking in at the desk, checking my bag in a locker, I find myself in a beautiful, peaceful, quiet space.  It’s clean and spare, and has large windows along one side that look out over the sculpture garden and across into the fishbowl like main museum, where the windows make it look as if the building has been cut in half and you can see inside like a dollhouse.  I didn’t think I would be so happy to be here, in a space like this with its light wood tables and brightness.  The plugs are handy! The internet is fast! The books I requested last night were put aside especially for me!  I think this reaction bodes well for my future endeavor of graduate school.

Suburban Girl

January 20, 2010

While I was at the gym today I watched a movie that was on some Brazilian station called Suburban Girl.  It starred Alec Baldwin and Sarah Michelle Geller, and was released in 2007.  I don’t remember it coming out.  It was vaguely entertaining (enough to hold my attention while on a treadmill), but generally awful.  Sarah Michelle Geller is a young publishing associate hoping to become a full-fledged editor and she falls for/ is seduced by Alec Baldwin, who is a publishing titan.  They have lunches at Michaels and quote Byron and Yeates, and walk into conversations at book parties where relationships are compared to the one between Hemingway and Fitzgerald. It’s a movie made for people like me–literary nerds, English majors.  The saddest part about the movie was that it was based on two stories from The Girls’ Guide to Hunting and Fishing, which I devoured in a single day on Venice Beach in 2000 when I visited Marshall in LA, dropped him off at work, and beelined to the sand.

It’s such a bizarre industry, and I now know that movies that don’t make it to the big screen sometimes wind up on Cine Pipoca in Brazil.  It’s competition?  Some movie I had never heard of a few channels away with Lisa Kudrow, Jennifer Garner, and Javier Bardem.

Close to Home

January 17, 2010

I feel guilty that I haven’t posted more, that there haven’t been more adventures in the world of Brooke and Scott.  The truth is that we’ve spent most of the past week somewhere between our little flat and the courtyard downstairs.  It’s been peppered in with a few trips to Pao de Acucar for groceries, dinner at Paulo and Edite’s on Friday, and a nice dinner at a tapas restaurant last night, and, of course, running.  I’ve been working on economics and writing this, gulp, book, and Scott’s been consuming securities law at a rapid clip.

Oh, and I also went on a quick shopping jaunt yesterday to Shopping Iguatemi, since everything is on sale right now.  I find shopping here really intimidating.  In the US, you can go into a store, pull things off the rack in your size, try them on, and either buy them or not.  It’s a different process here.  The salespeople are a much more active part of your shopping experience.  They greet you when you come in, and if you want to try anything on, you show them the item and they go grab it in your size.  They’re involved.  Also, while Brazilian clothes are amazing and the women here look wonderful–hip, breezy, stylish (see the Sartorialist)–they’re often drape-y and difficult to tell what they would look like on.  They also need each piece–the right shoes, the right belt, the right jewelry, something I’m not that good at.  So, needless to say, shopping was not successful.  I need someone to come with me, to put me together, to show me how to do it and talk to the salesgirls who are usually so beautiful and modelesque I become shy.  Any volunteers?

Joyce Carol Oates

January 15, 2010

Many of you know that I have a complicated relationship with Joyce Carol Oates.  She was my thesis advisor, and her ability to be prolific in her own work led her to being sort of an insufficient editor of mine.  It was frustrating, and being famous, she allocated little time for her students.

My dad just pointed out this piece in today’s Wall Street Journal–it’s interesting, and makes me regret not being more assertive in getting to know her better and cultivating a better dynamic.

Cuidado! Bebida Quente.

November 12, 2009

I’m back in Starbucks, almost at the end of my cafe americano.  It was delicious.  My essays have gone through one round of wringing (thanks dad, Marshall, mom, and Scott-I’m extremely lucky to have such smart, constructive, specific editors) and now I’m tasked again with selling myself, something I have never, ever been good at.  I feel bashful.

I’ve also never spent this much time in a mall in my life.  It’s interesting in an anthropological way–looking at the flows of traffic, the different kinds of people, what they’re doing here, how they interact, what they buy.

A Moveable Feast

July 20, 2009

I just read A.E. Hotchner’s editorial in the New York Times today and I’m smitten with Hemingway all over again.  I wrote a lot about The Sun Also Rises in college and thought about him and his writing while I was in Vietnam for the year. Our ex-pat community formed and grew and shrank and grew again over those months and we drank very cold beers in different bars around the city and discovered things.  Hemingway’s in the forefront of my mind again as Scott and I discover Rio, too.  We sit in cafes–botequins, botecos– and drink frosty beers and talk about the cities we want to see and our next moves, a chess game where we’re on the same side playing against time, money, and experience.  If I’m lucky I’ll leave a trunk somewhere (the Ritz in Paris isn’t such a bad spot) to discover later, and even luckier if I manage to turn all of these bits of ideas into something that can be published sometime.