Archive | Books RSS feed for this section

When wearing sequins, do you dance or watch?

27 Aug

Earlier this week SS and I, along with a few of his friends, went to the Scissor Sisters’ show at Terminal 5!! The show was fantastic for a number of reasons.

1) The band is fantastic. If you’d have asked my opinion on them a month ago I’d have said, “who?” But when SS got a notice for pre-sale tickets, I committed to learning — and liking — their music. And I fulfilled my duty. Their music is described as being a mix of “disco, glam rock and the New York City club scene.” And that pretty much sums it up!

2) It was at Terminal 5, which apparently used to be a club and offers that exact vibe. Similar to the ballroom venues in the city, it’s open floor with two mezzanine levels and NO SEATS! This is the best part. What’s a surefire way of making sure your audience is standing and dancing?? Book a venue without seats. We walked around, hit up a few different bars and DANCED! And since I was in the middle of reading  Notes From The Night by Taylor Plimpton, a book about the NYC club scene, I was really craving a night out at such a venue.

3) I got to wear my sequined top that MJay gifted to me over a year ago — which I received a number of compliments on.

4) SS hit the dance floor with me! 🙂

Other highlights of the night included a very flamboyant man who seemed fascinated with my “twirl” and stood to the side for a while encouraging me to twirl. Being sober and extremely acute of the silliness of the situation, I entertained him for a while and proceeded to innocently go back to getting my groove on.

The night also made me think.

Reading Plimpton’s analysis of the club scene in his book made me acutely aware of the atmosphere around me. Part of what he talks about in his book is the transition from normal everyday reality to the reality of the club scene, a transition influenced by atmosphere, drugs and energy. When discussing the end of a night of clubbing, he talks about the reality that hits when the lights are turned on, when people are forced to see things for what they are. I think it’s the similar to watching an event full of intoxicated people from a sober standpoint.

It was two-thirds of the way into the concert and we had ventured up to the second floor to find a new bar and in a new view. There was a lot more room up to dance… and watch! Standing in front of me was a guy with his shirt off dancing like he belonged behind them on stage. He wasn’t trying to impress anyone; he was just lost in a moment of having fun. At the other end of the aisle was a girl and guy grinding their way through beats on a small staircase. (Yeah, not safe!) Everyone who passed stopped to watch. They didn’t care; they were just living in the moment. It made me smile.

At the same time, I caught a couple girls sitting along the balcony watching the stage intently. All around us there were people trying to capture cell phone pics. And some people were just watching the crowd. They also made me smile.

There was such a distinct contrast between people who were “living in the moment” and “watching the moment.” I reckon this is noticeable everywhere, even though most of us never take note. And I began to wonder where I fit in more.

Am I a “liver” or a “watcher?”

I would like to think I am a liver. Isn’t it natural to want to think we live our lives to the fullest? But there are times I can recall in which I, objectively, watched! And a little bit of me is embarrassed about that. Why would I be an onlooker when I can be in the middle of the action?? Unless, maybe we all need a bit of both?

What are you? A watcher or a liver (not the body part!)?

A bird came and brought you; I’m so glad I got you, honey…

21 May

SS booked us a holiday for Memorial Day weekend (that’s the random bank holiday you Brits have coming up, in case you were wondering why you had a day off to get pissed). I had no part in the planning: He asked me to take off a day of work, and wanted my passport number — which I obviously gave him, but not without a “I hope he isn’t secretly crazy and steals my identity and I end up on CNN” thought. (I’m a journo; I’m trained to be precautious.)

The following night, during our fancy dinner date — which was AMAZING, but will have to be covered later — he informed me that I should bring bathing suits and books.

My exact thoughts following that statement were: “O.M.G., three days on a beach? How did he know that I was craving beach time with him? Did he read my mind? ‘Hello, SS, are you in here?’ [mental spastic giddy jumping around].

Bathing suit? Ahhh, maybe I should rethink the 7-course dinner we just ordered. Ooo, maybe it’s somewhere that allows topless sunbathing!”

What came out of my mouth was more along the lines of: “Ahhhh, hehehehehehehe.” (Jump around in seat!) “Ahhhhh.” (Giggle, giggle.) I know, I know people; I’m very verbally expressive.

While he wasn’t going to tell me where we were going — which I was fine with because I love surprises — he let slip that it was somewhere a friend of his recently visited. At those words, the negotiator side of my personality rallied all my neurons and sent them scouting for this tidbit of information that I instantly knew was hiding somewhere. (I have an odd way of remembering things: Everything I hear or see fits into my already existing web of memories, so if someone mentions something specific, it triggers all the thoughts in the circle surrounding it. In this case, I remembered his friend mentioning a location —> I had been there —> SS had commented on the passport stamp, etc, etc.)

Oh, I totally know where it is!

Next Saturday my beautiful, lovely, generous SS and I will be leaving on a jet plane to spend three days lounging on a beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic — and I can not bloody wait. For those of you who know me, you know I’m not normally a beach person, but between the busyness of work and, well, basically just life in general, there is nowhere I’d rather unwind with my Someone Special then on the sand, under the sun, with drink in hand.

Acknowledging that I’ve found someone I love, who spoils me so, makes my eyes leak for joy. In the words of Gloria Gaynor, I must be the luckiest girl in the world!

Until then, I will be eating lettuce only and exercising an hour a day to attempt to reverse the aftermath of all the yummy food that’s been recently jumping down my throat; and trying to decide which books I don’t mind leaving behind so I’ll have more room to hide rum in my suitcase on the return flight.

Oh and Dad, expect another anonymous envelope in the mail!

“I Love You And…”

26 Mar

I just finished the book, “I Love You And I’m Leaving You Anyway,” by Tracy McMillan—an unedited proof one of my gals picked up at a conference for me. I assume will hit the shelves soon, and expect it to skyrocket to the top of the lists.

It took me a while to get engrossed in, which is the first attribute I rank a book on. The first two-thirds of the book consist of two storylines—her childhood, and her current place in adulthood.

To provide a quick synopsis, McMillan was the daughter of a pimp/drug dealing man who spent the majority of his life in prison, and her mother, a prostitute who gave her up as a baby. The account of her childhood takes you through numerous foster homes, back and forth to jail visits and her teenage years trying to fit into high school, hide the reality of her father’s situation and her chaotic relationship with Yvonne—her father’s ex-wife who marries her father and legally adopts her when he receives his first prison sentence. Continuing from there, she shares her marijuana/alcohol addiction, how her son affected her life decisions and the breakdown of two marriages along with numerous other relationships, all ended by her.

Told in parallel, the story of her adult life begins at the time she finds—yes, finds (online), not meets—her third husband. He fulfills her longing for a strong connection as well as a materially comfortable lifestyle. We enjoy take this ride with her, in detail, experiencing all her joy and excitement as well as the doubts. What I found most captivating is that she exhibits an acute self-awareness and acknowledgment of her fears, but an overriding acceptance that it is all happening for a reason and she is meant to experience the events of her life in order to learn.

And this is the underlying message throughout the book and what inspired me most. She knows she is meant to “ride through” her life. She is a perfect example of how your mental outlook can change what you get from your life, and how much you enjoy it — and it is apparent from the beginning. Having even just a small clue about the book is about, one would expect to open it to be confronted with anger and resentment. But it is apparent from the first sentence that she has accepted her father for the way he is and learned to love herself. It is written with love for her dad and nothing less. Not an easy task for a gal whose childhood dinners with dad mostly involved KFC in the jail’s visitor room.

Great book… stay tuned for it to hit the shelves.

Books. Stress. Ahhhh.

18 Mar

I don’t like to stress; I just don’t see a point. And while there are a lot of stressors in life you can not avoid, I like to believe you can decide if you are going to stress over them or not.

It occurred to me tonight that my biggest stress in life is my book shelf. Honestly, the only time I feel a sense of uncontrollable stress is when I pay attention to the number of books I have on my book shelf that I have yet to read.

Chelsea’s drunken antics, classics, writing guides, travel books from around the world, Paulo Coelho inspiration, Augusten’s childhood turmoil, and the most recent addition Drink, Play, Fuck — Andrew Gottlieb’s play off Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray Love — a birthday gift from K-Dawg.

Everytime I remember, or walk past, the shelf of untouched stories, I feel behind in life. I don’t know why reading affects me like this—I never feel stressed when I am behind in other aspects of my life, such as work, maintaining a clean household or keeping up to date with the ongoings of my nearest and dearest… but books… forget it. It makes me anxious to walk near the shelves.

Which is quite a shame because I have a damn cute bookshelf as well.

(Time to go pick up a book!)

It’s way past my bedtime…

6 Mar

Ok, it is now 12:16 am (Saturday, so I already got another day of NaBloPoMo done, ha!) and I am just done packing and settling down to bed. I don’t get what my problem is… why can’t I pack? I told myself all afternoon/evening. I was going to just knuckle down and GET ‘ER DONE!

I didn’t.

I also just went to my book shelf to grab a back-up book to pack and realized my bookshelf stresses me out. Not the bookshelf itself—the bookshelf is adorable—but the unread book section (yes, my book shelf is categorized) keeps getting fuller. There are so many stories sitting there waiting to be absorbed and so much information waiting to be learned… and I’m just ignoring it.

I brought Chelsea Handler’s “Are you there vodka? It’s me Chelsea”… I thought it was most appropriate for Vegas.