Thursday, May 27, 2010

Love Me, Please Love Me

When I was 17, I adored a boy who was my best friend at the time. He was four years my senior, finishing college as I was finishing high school. I had strong feelings for him for nearly a year, but he didn't like me back. We spoke on the phone incessantly, took long rides together, and I went to every one of his band's shows. We were attached at the hip. Once, I house-sat at his apartment while he went away for the weekend, so eager to do him the favor. I took care of his cat, laid on his couch, slept in his bed. That night, while messing around on his desk, I found a note indicating that he was actually visiting a girl named Pauline a few towns away, whom he was having a secret tryst with. I was heartbroken. I went into his kitchen and found some vodka and gulped it straight from the bottle. Around that time, the Dreamers had come out and needless to say, I became obsessed with all things French. The song above was on the soundtrack and I was so taken by it. My crush, an excellent piano player, would play it for me and he could actually hit the high notes. I was impressed.

Later that summer, I traveled through Europe with another friend for six weeks. I had gotten over my crush by then after another heartbreaking prom experience and instead fell head over heels for some Norwegian guy I met in London (and then a Swedish guy I met in Paris...) Anyway, during my last days in Paris, my traveling companion left early and I met up with my former crush in Paris. He was staying at a flat all the way on the south side of town by the university with three Brits--a brother and sister, and another girl who was somehow romantically linked. He invited me to stay with them for my remaining 2-3 nights.

I remember it rained during those last days and the flat had a skylightm so this large, airy apartment was cast with a cloudy light and the feeling of rain. We stayed inside as if all of Paris was in the apartment instead of the streets. We made spaghetti for supper, played games, and all splayed out on the floor, listening to this song over and over again. Needless to say, it was bittersweet.

me in Paris the following summer, after freshman year at college, photo appropriately taken by my then latest boyfriend, an Italian

Friday, May 21, 2010

Guess What?

Guess what? Meryl & Marina are shooting our first short film that we wrote, and are producing and acting in. We spent this entire week getting the logistics of this sudden shoot together--locking locations, renting cars, luring crew members, picking up equipment. Now, I'm getting ready to go to sleep because I have to wake up in 5 hours to put on make up, pick up breakfast for the crew, load the equipment, and get to the location by 8am. We're working with a lot of great people on this shoot including our dear friends Jess and James, and some new collaborators, JR and Shal. Billy will be there too, eating our donuts and lifting heavy things. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


My friend Jen, who recently re-vamped the layout of her lovely blog, recently posted this Elizabeth Gilbert article on perfection. I'm not really an Eat, Pray, Love kind of girl, but I read Gilbert's portrait of Eustace Conway as the last American man back in September, and I dug it. I'm also procrastinating at work with a computer in front of me, so I decided to read it. And does it speak the truth or what? Since I have more or less conquered the threatening hurdle of my anxiety in my ongoing therapy sessions, we now have a new persistent topic that we keep returning to: my incessant yearning for perfection. Gilbert really hits it on the nose with this one. I'm the type of girl who reads the New Yorker while running on the treadmill right before my yoga class at least two times a week. I'm also trying to write a play, produce a short film, build an acting career, work on two scenes for my weekly scene study class, save extra money for two huge summer trips, exercise 4-5 times a week, eat healthily, cook as much as possible, go to movies, read three magazines a week plus 2 books and 2 plays, learn guitar, learn French and Italian, work on the web design for the cafe in Los Angeles, hold on, wait, I have to slow down. I need a cup of coffee. Too many things. Did I mention lose 10 pounds? Thanks, Jen.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Iphigenia in Forest Hills

Last week I read the most fascinating trial drama reported by Janet Malcolm in the New Yorker. The nearly 30-page article, called Iphigenia in Forest Hills: Anatomy of a Murder Trial, had me glued to the page for the entirety of the day and left my stunned by the end of it. Unfortunately, the entire text is not available online, so if you're able to track down a copy of the May 3rd issue, you won't regret it.

The article tells the tale of the murder of an orthodontist in a small Jewish community in Queens, alongside a detailed depiction of the trial of the presumed killers--his wife and a hired hit man. While the case itself appears to be simple, the trial is overwrought with questions. Malcolm manages to teeter from one side to the other, favoring the prosecution and then the defense, in a manner that is most unsettling because it mirrors the position of the jury. She also depicts the courtroom as a place of battling narratives more than an arbiter of truth, as everyone's version of the truth is different and solemn oaths do little to prevent witness's lies.

In my opinion, the best material leaves you restless and agitated--full of questions and yearning for more. This piece has instilled in my so many new curiosities. I am taken with the story of Iphigenia, Malcolm's titular protagonist. The daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, she was to be sacrificed to the gods by Agamemnon in order to fulfill the prophecy of an oracle during the Trojan War. I am currently reading Iphigenia at Aulis, Iphigenia Among the Taurians, and Charles Mee's Iphigenia 2.0 in an effort to figure out the author's intended connection between Iphigenia and the convicted murderess.

Malcolm also tied in plenty deep material related to the community of Bukharan Jews that sourced this case. Supposedly one of the Lost Tribes of Israel, Bukharan Jews come from Central Asia and less than 200,000 of them remain in the world. According to Malclom, Bukharans are very different from Western Jews and are even looked down upon within the religion.

Man, I was so deeply affected by this article, I wish I could re-experience reading it for the first time! It really satisfies my curiosity with its investigative journalism, as well as my inkling towards drama and rumination with its powerful storytelling.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Green Dinners

Last night, after a very fruitful and green grocery shopping trip, I successfully steamed an artichoke, drizzled it with lemon juice, and ate it with my first go at Alice Waters' lemon aioli.

Good thing I practiced! Tonight, to precede LOST, I'm finally trying Suzanne Goin's Skirt Steak with Artichoke-Potato Hash, served with a Black Olive Aioli.

Wish me luck!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Breaks my Heart

Happy belated fifth day of May!

I've just returned from Korea and am still decompressing, trying to adjust my body clock etc.

I have many stories to tell and pictures to share from my trip. I am eager to get back in the swing of things and post here more regularly. I have to tend to more boring matters now, so I'll be back later. Meanwhile, I'll share a song with you all that is very dear to me right now. It's not a new song and many of you will recognize it. But, I've been singing this song incessantly, at least thrice daily now as it appears so sweetly in the film...