Before Sunset- Movie Notes

On one of those rare occasions where I found myself with both the afternoon and the television to myself, I came across Before Sunset (starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy), just starting, and I sat down to watch.  I had never heard anything about the film, but the opening shots of the streets of Paris captivated my interest.  Continue reading

In defense of V-Day!

The night before Valentine’s Day found me (as it has before) crowded around the holiday card section at Target.  Surrounded by twenty or so like-minded (or like-procrastinating) fellows, there is a sense of guilty solidarity.

I had my selection narrowed down to two (I opt for funny (which usually means mildly inappropriate) over sentimental in these situations) when just behind me, and very close, I heard: Continue reading

The Moonflower Vine: Book Review

Few books I have read have been as touching and beautifully true to life as The Moonflower Vine by Jetta Carleton.  On its surface, it seems like a sweetly innocent story, reminiscent of a time-before-my-time that I still somehow feel nostalgically connected to, without any real reason or explanation.  But as the story unfolds, the characters reveal themselves to be more tangible and not-quite-perfect and human than would perhaps first meet the eye.  And I am so glad that this is the case. Continue reading

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Movie Review

I just finished The Curious Case of Benjamin Button starring Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett.  It was a beautiful, if unusual love story, and I found it very touching and thought provoking.  I love Brad Pitt, and his acting is exceptional.  But I also liked the idea of aging in reverse, as I think it calls attention to the journey that we are all taking. Continue reading

On Love: Book Review

I am in love with On Love by Alain de Botton.  This is de Botton’s first novel, and it may be my new favorite (I make no secret of the fact that I love everything that he writes.  Every time I read one of his books, in fact, it becomes my new favorite.  I don’t know if that is because I am serendipitously reading his books in order of increasing greatness, or I love all his books equally, and my love for the most recently completed book simply has the most pressing position in my consciousness). Continue reading

Ciao bella!


Have you ever seen this picture?  This unstaged photo was taken in 1951, 60 years ago this month, in Florence, Italy.  The title is “American Girl in Italy” and, while iconic, there has long been controversy over whether it was staged.  The photographer and its subject have always sworn that it was not.  And I, for one, believe them.  Continue reading

Love in the Time of Cholera: Book Review

The reason I finally read Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, is kind of silly.  My wife likes to watch a show called “How I Met Your Mother” (passably funny, but each of the characters kind of bug and annoy me in their own special way.  Except for the Barney character, played uproariously by Neil Patrick Harris.  He may be more universally known for his role as Doogie Howser, M.D., but the Doogster’s got nothing on B-Dawg.  Television gold). Continue reading

But is it ALWAYS greener?

Lately, I have been thinking about the concept that: “the grass is always greener.”  But is it always?  And why is that?

I can’t think about the concept of the grass always being greener without also thinking about wanting what you can’t have.  You always want what you can’t have, but how fundamental is the not having it to the wanting.  Do we inherently want things because we can’t have them, or are there always just wantable things that we can’t obtain, either because of time or money or opportunity cost?

Let’s not just consider it in a vacuum, though.  Let’s give the dialogue some substance. Continue reading