I am not a great writer. Not a particularly good one either but I do have a firm belief – even utter reverence – for words. Whenever I come across a beautiful sentence, a string of words arranged in an unusual or striking manner, I can bask in it at length, reading and re-reading it, going back to it, letting it swirl in my head. Sometimes I can be more attached to individual sentences than to a whole body of work.
Nina Katchadourian has a unique way of whiling away long plane journeys: she locks herself in the lavatory and styles herself as a 15th Century Flemish portrait. She uses whatever materials are around – paper towels and cups, loo-rolls, seat protectors, eye pads … snaps away quickly – and leaves the bathroom as she found it.
The project began,as Nina tells it, on a flight in March 2010: “While in the lavatory, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror using my cellphone.”
I love English newspaper magazines. I would buy all the rags and broadsheets on a Sat. and Sun., whip out the style/travel/food/magazine bits – and take them with me on…
If you are new to LA and have noticed that women you just met and briefly socialized with bid their farewell with “we should do lunch sometimes”, let me break it to you: don’t count on the lunch invitation ensuing any time soon after. Or ever for that matter. At first, I was surprised by how warm and forthcoming complete strangers could be in this town. That was followed by puzzlement when it sank in that no one really wanted to have lunch.
On my only blind date ever, I met a very nice fellow called Colin.
A friend had set us up because she thought we had a lot in common and…. “You know, who knows?”. Colin was 10 minutes late and arrived in a red Ferrari which he revved loudly a couple times, before parking it right outside the restaurant door. My heart sank. Apart from the cringe-inducing car, my date was wearing skinny jeans and an apricot Polo shirt with that huge black horse logo (both of which fit him more than a touch snugly). As we shook hands I heard his collection of gold bracelets chink chinking over his pink gold rolex. He was also about 5’4″ and sported a spray tan.
All of my lady bits quailed.
Science, in all its high-school incarnations of biology, physics and chemistry, was never my forte. Even the teachers were resigned to this girl, who was extremely skilled in the humanities – but showed utter disdain, if not downright contempt for the composition of cadmium and the organization of the solar system. Reading Shakespeare in my free time bought me a lot of goodwill and no teacher was willing to ruin my average. So, for five years, I skated by in all matters of science.
As I was watching video after video of Isabella Rossellini’s round face and paper puppets running through the minutiae of snail mating, hermaphrodites in the animal kingdom and courtship among ducks, I wondered if it would have made a difference if Ms. Rossellini, who was a journalist (and a quirky one at that) before becoming an actress, had come up with this unusual presentation when I was still in school.
Both camparigirl and I practice yoga, and go through the fluctuations of time spent on the mat that most busy yogis experience. Both of us leave class each time, thinking to ourselves – “I loved that, I really should do more of it. Anmhour a day would be perfect”. Then life intervenes, and we’re back to a couple days a week. Essentially we should be able to practice yoga until the day we die .. that’s the theory anyway. But stiffening joints and atrophying muscles might not always make that possible.
So we were thrilled, inspired and heartened to read on Shape.com that the Guinness Book of World Records has recently named New York resident Tao Porchon-Lynch the world’s oldest yoga instructor.