weekly endorsements

I suggest!

When was the last time you listened to Anita Baker? I sometimes forget about her and how much I love her throated alto and seminal 1980’s haircut. She has a beautiful voice and her music makes me think of my mom’s tape collection of lite jazz and smooth R&B. Currently obsessed with “Giving You the Best That I Got.”

Polaroid might be on a break and nothing can really replace it. But for those of us who love instant non-digital pictures, Fuji’s Instax camera might be a close second. The photos are a bit wider than standard Polaroids, but other than that, it’s the same instant picture fun! I’m now on my third Instax and I can’t recommend it enough. Kids love them and they make wonderful wedding gifts, too.

I’ve known my friend Michael since sophomore year of high school. We got to talking about Stephen King after he saw me lugging around a copy of “The Stand,” and then we realized we also shared a love for “The Little Shop of Horrors” musical. He is one my favorite people in the world and has a wonderful blog devoted to his musing on life, books, and movies. Go say hello!

Eugene O’Neill is an American playwright. He wrote Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh, and Desire Under the Elms to name a few. His work is ineffably beautiful and poignant and painful. Ric Burns made a documentary for PBS on O’Neill’s life and work and you can get it on Netflix. I think it’s a must-see for anyone who’s curious about O’Neill, but also for folks who wonder about the cost of creative expression and the redemptive power of art. My favorite moment is a dramatization of Edmund’s monologue fromĀ Long Day’s Journey when he describes his first encounter with the divine.

Please read Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. The 2008 film adaptation was fine, but the book is exquisite. Unfortunately it might squeeze most of the happiness out of your life, and you may forever cast a suspicious eye towards the suburbs. But if you can deal with that, you will see that it is a careful look at how we live. Yates picks picks picks at the scab crusted over our lives and the underneath is there and we have so much vitality and it’s raw and fragile, but it’s beautiful and ours alone, and Yates dares us to dream about what life could contain if fear isn’t a guiding principle.

“He let the fingers of one hand splay out across the pocket of his shirt to show what a simple, physical thing the heart was; then he made the same hand into a fist which he shook slowly and wordlessly…”