Thoroughly Thursday - the "Fancy Party " Edition
Welcome back to Thoroughly Thursday, the Fancy Party Edition. This weekend, K and I were invited to an evening birthday party for one of her co-workers. Following a curvy path lit with Chinese lanterns, we found a beautiful house situated on a mountainside, catching the last light of sunset. It quickly became apparent that this was a fancy party, filled with academics, artists, and a variety of accomplished intellectuals. It was intimidating to overhear people comparing their upcoming sabbaticals (Madagascar versus Europe) while attempting to grab an hors d'oeuvre from the buffet table. My current interest in discussing Nicholas Cage’s voice acting and how his work in the animated caveman movie the Croods always brings me to tears didn’t seem appropriate for this crowd.
Once the sun went down, the host brought out a beautiful cake for his wife, and the crowd sang "Happy Birthday." And, then nothing. K and I looked around and realized no one attending actually "did" birthday parties. The husband didn't know if there was a knife in the house, and the entire crowd stood there waiting.
In that instant, I knew Fate had willed us there and our moment had arrived. K found a knife to cut the cake, I grabbed the biodegradable plates and forks and we passed out slices to the guests. After nearly 20 years of children's birthday parties, some things are just second-nature. And the cake was excellent, too!
What I'm Listening to - Don't Be Hating on Me Just Cause I'm an Ol' Swiftie
This last week, I've been listening to Taylor Swift's new album Lover which I think is pretty awesome. Much to the chagrin of my youngest, I'm an avowed fan, so that's probably not that surprising. I can't always say that the 29-year-old Swift speaks to me in her music, but I nearly always can respect her songwriting skills. The album has some excellent catchy tunes like "I Forgot That You Existed," "You Need to Calm Down," the certifiable ear-wormy "Me!," but also mixes in some deeper emotions like "Paper Rings" or the wrenching "Soon You'll Get Better" about Swift's mother's years-long battle with cancer. But, in the end, sometimes you just need an album of pop songs to help enjoy your Labor Day weekend.
What I'm Watching - LA Hipster Noir
It's been a while since I watched a deeply weird film. After an entire summer of comedies and Marvel movies, I was looking for something a bit more interesting to sink my teeth into. The independent streaming service Kanopy suggested Under the Silver Lake by David Robert Mitchell and starring Andrew Garfield (aka the "2nd best Spiderman"). And, yes, Under the Silver Lake was a bit more eclectic than most of the Disney films I watch when I'm bored. The best way I can describe it is that Under the Silver Lake combines the paranoia of Hitchcock's Rear Window, the symbolism of David Lynch's Lost Highway, and the obsessiveness of Michelangelo Antonioni's Blow-Up and funnels it into one of the aimless hipsters from Richard Linklater's Slacker as he walks around East Los Angeles. (Yes, I just name-dropped four directors in one sentence because I'm super-pretentious). The film is beautifully shot, well-acted, and has a fantastic soundtrack. However, and this is important... the plot is ABSOLUTELY BONKERS. There are enough symbols, redirects, allusions, and easter eggs to keep a conspiracy theory podcast going for years. It’s not a movie for everyone, but I'm pretty sure it will be a topic of late-night conversation among film-nerds for years to come.
What I'm Thinking About - I'll Just Leave This Here...
"Divide and rule, a sound motto. Unite and lead, a better one."
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (who would have been 270 y.o. yesterday)
All the best, and remember, tomorrow is the start of Labor Day weekend. :)
P.S. If you like this email, send it to a friend. They can sign up here.
P.S. I'm always on the lookout for new items to write about. If you notice something that you think would be worth sharing, send it my way.