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Newborn daze

Newborn daze

Michael is turning 2 and I have to take a moment to feel thankful for him and everything he’s brought to our lives.

But first, a little reality. Being a mom is not perfect. It has changed the equilibrium of my life, my relationships, my schedule, my priorities – everything. I knew this going in, having observed these transformations for many years as family and friends became parents. But like most things in life, I couldn’t fully appreciate the impact until I experienced it firsthand. Like with sleepless newborn nights: Intellectually, I was prepared to get very little (if any) sleep. But the physical and emotional reality was different. I still remember the bliss I’d feel when Michael was actually sleeping and the frantic desire to quickly fall asleep myself (assuming I didn’t have bottles to clean, food to prepare, laundry to do or any other task). I knew the moments I could shut my eyes were fleeting. It was inevitable that whenever I finally started to fall asleep, he would stir and we’d start all over again. Continue Reading »

hulk_This may come as a surprise to those who know me – though not to those who know me best – but I have a bad temper. A seriously bad temper as in, yelling and throwing things (though, to my husband’s amusement, usually soft things). This isn’t new. I can think back to when I was in grade school, flipping the bird – despite not really knowing what I was conveying with that gesture – to an obnoxious gym teacher who had insulted me during class. (For the record, she deserved it!) Good or bad, this is who I am.

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Letter to Dad

Dancing with dad at my wedding, August 30, 2009

Dear Dad:

I don’t know where you are right now. I’d like to think that you are some place safe and better – watching over us – but I don’t know. I wish I had that kind of certainty.

What I do know is that I love you very much and I miss you terribly. While the pain may not be as acute as those first days, it is an ache that will never go away. I miss your voice. I miss hearing you say, “Hi Suze” when you would answer my calls. Nobody will ever say it in that same unique way. I want so badly to hear it, every time I call.

I know that you lived a long, good life. But it wasn’t long enough for me (and I’m sure you would agree). I know we all die someday, but I still don’t understand why it had to happen to YOU. Continue Reading »

I’m not exaggerating to say that this week last year was one of the most trying of my life for a number of reasons. At the top of the list was the untimely and cruel passing of my friend, David Mark Fischer.

I literally found out that David was ill less than a week before he died on August 6, 2009. The rare and fast-moving form of leukemia that took him was diagnosed virtually overnight–giving his family and friends precious little time to say goodbye. By the time I saw him, for the very last time, he was on life support and it’s impossible to know whether or not he was even aware of my presence.

In thinking back on David, and my friendship with him, I’m struck most by the indelible impression he made on people. Truth be told, we were not that close. Prior to that last sad visit to the intensive care unit, it had been a long time since I’d seen him. But while I deeply regret that fact, it is really beside the point. Because David was the type of person who—whether you were blessed enough to know him for years or had simply chatted with him, even once—you could never possibly forget. He was one of those people who just drew you in to a conversation and didn’t let go—in a good way! I know I’m not the only friend who has the memory of him skipping his subway stop, or walking a few extra blocks, just so he could keep the discussion going. And, unlike those of us who can only opine on a few specific things, David could hold court on just about any topic.

Over the time I knew him, the course of our particular conversations usually veered toward movies. David had an encyclopedic knowledge of film, especially older or more obscure titles. In fact, he personally introduced me to several films that I would never have seen otherwise. Among the screenings that stand-out: Back-to-back movies during the “Film Forum’s B Movie Musicals Series,” where I experienced the thrills of randy, pre-Hays Code musical comedy (I wrote about it here), and two trips to the Anthology Film Archives. The first was for “Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation,” a shot-by-shot school-boy remake of the original film, complete with melting faces. Another time we saw “TVTV Looks at the Academy Awards,” a guerrilla-style video documentary from the 1970s. The show featured various celebrities in all their decadent hilarity—including Lily Tomlin, Goldie Hawn and Stephen Spielberg—as they prepared for and attended the big night in 1977. These were the types of eclectic cinema experiences one would have with David.

He would sometimes write about film on “Blog About Town,” the culture blog that he maintained up until a couple of weeks before his death. The site is still there, frozen in time with the last post he ever made on July 23, 2009. It’s just one of three blogs he maintained and demonstrates what a true renaissance man he was.

I hope that wherever David is right now, there’s a good conversation going on. Assuming he’s involved in it, that’s a guarantee.

They say that love is blind, but insane is probably a better word. At least, love as portrayed in both Harold and Maude and Lars and the Real Girl could be seen as something well off-center.

Both are fantasies with clearly defined, yet unrealistic characters.   Continue Reading »

I’ve always been obsessive when it comes to films. When I was a kid, I watched movies like Clash of the Titans and The Beastmaster countless times. And that was before the easy-viewing benefits of DVDs or ipods. Being a film geek back then took real effort. I had to make sure I was plopped in front of the television whenever my favorites played on HBO.

So when my 10-year-old niece proudly informed me that she’d seen the movie Twilight 13 times, I could relate. It’s not surprising that she couldn’t get enough of Edward Cullen’s steely glances and Bella Swan’s swoony sighs.

Edwardstare

Since I too have been enthralled with entertainment that some consider mediocre, I must resist the urge to dismiss Twilight, which–to be fair–I’ve only seen once. Perhaps it improves on repeat viewings?

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CharlieChaplinCitylights2Since I first saw it in college, City Lights has stood atop the pile of my favorite films. Others have challenged it, but the combination of sublime humor and bittersweet romance keep its position secure.

There are many moments I could share from the film, but I’ll start with the end. So if you’ve never seen City Lights, stop reading immediately and add it to your Netflix queue.

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