Birthday dance

It’s my birthday! Midweek birthdays tend to be prosaic, so for fun I thought I’d share the tango clip from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (one of that movie’s redeeming scenes) and a piece I wrote years ago on salsa dancing. No, salsa is not tango, but for me as a wallflower, Pelagia’s tango captures the same […]

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Originally posted on Subject Obscura:
With one click of the mouse, I became a collector. I bought a second typewriter. The new: Olympia Model “S” I bought my first typewriter in October 2011.  Goodwill opened a store in the area, which my partner and I promptly checked out. It turned out to be a well-planned…

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Un Amour de Jeunesse

For the past couple of days I’ve been listening endlessly to “The Water” by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling. There’s something so nostalgic about Johnny’s harmony and the tune itself being folk that fits Mia Hansen-Løve’s film Un Amour de Jeunesse (Goodbye First Love) so well. The song plays at the end of the trailer, […]

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Amélie and Francie on touch

For the first time in months, I picked up one of my copies of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Flipping through it I realized that Francie Nolan is not unlike Amélie Poulain, one of my other favorite heroines (and that’s probably why I identify with the two of them). They’re both introverts with rich imaginations and a love of solitude, as well as the ability to savor simple pleasures.
There’s Amélie, who likes dipping her hand into sacks of grain—I love the way this feels, all cool and smooth and pebbly; have you ever tried it?—and then there’s Francie, who likes to head to her local five-and-dime to enjoy the sensory appeal of running her hands over different surfaces and textures of things in the shop.
“Arriving at the store, she walked up and down the aisles handling any object her fancy favored. What a wonderful feeling to pick something up, hold it for a moment, feel its contour, run her hand over its surface and then replace it carefully. Her nickel gave her this privilege. … After an orgy of touching things, she made her planned purchase—five cents’ worth of pink-and-white peppermint wafers.”

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