27 October, 2013

"Ac-cen-tuate the Positive": or, A Phone Call with Tyne Daly

Things you need to know to appreciate the following:

1. So I'm going in for Gypsy.
2. I obviously told Tyne about it. 
3. Senses of wonder, humor and irony... (as in "how is this my real life...?")

This is the "transcript" from the middle of our phone call:


Tyne: So when are you going back in?
Me: Next week.
Tyne: Haven't we discussed that you don't really have the legs?
Me: ..... yes Tyne.
Tyne: Well you have everything else!! You have the soul! AND you have TITS--and she didn't have those. Plus I think science has proven that if you have tits no one cares about your legs. But you should probably wear dark hose. NOT patterned hose, just DARK, SOLID HOSE--
Me: --Okay
Tyne: If all else fails there are always SHOES--
Me: --OKAY...Thanks Tyno.
Tyne: [singing] --AC-CEN-TUATE THE POS-I-TIVE!
Me: I get it.
Tyne: ...Anyway, are we meeting this weekend? I thought we could go for a walk.
Me: Sure. I could use some exercise for my hideous legs.
Tyne: I'm ignoring that. How about we walk from the top of Central Park to the bottom?
Me: Sure.
Tyne: All we need is the right shoes and the right ATTITUDE. Which, come to think of it, is all we ever need...!
     [Call waiting beeps]
Me: I gotta go Tyno, Len Cariou is calling me back.
Tyne: Tell him he owes me a phone call! And roughly $30.
Me: ... I will.


22 October, 2013

Friends I Admire (and Why) - Part 1

Lilly and I a week before high-school graduation
  • Constantly in search of deeper understanding.
  • Finds a way to laugh even when she is heartbroken, devastated, hungry, or having major surgery. 
  • She's "born with the moon in Cancer..." just like me!
  • Adventurous. (That is, in fact, an understatement. Which is why I tried to modify it with underlining and italics.) Lilly is a person who writes the following casual text message:
Lilly: Hey so I want to catch up before the 30th because I am leaving for the Galapagos Islands...

Other examples resemble, "skiing in the Andes by myself" or, "taking a commuter plane to Rio." Lilly and I have had some wonderful traveling experiences together, but aaaallllsooooo one NOTABLY unlucky experience (which involved being robbed a night train from Venice the week of our mutual 20th birthdays... if you know me well, you know the tale...). Anyway, Lilly wants a "do-over." We have been discussing our next journey...to "The Antarctic." Naturally.
  • The most musically gifted person I know. 
  • I once told her how sad I was that I didn't have a "partner" to go to with my "stuff." Her first response was not sympathy, but rather "I am your partner. You 'go' to me."
  • Pretty much the cutest damn human being I’ve ever met.

Check out that smile!
  • The most important body-image role model in my life.
  • Has never judged, compared or belittled me for making different life choices.
  • ...and in fact, truly celebrates the differences of other peoples’ paths.
  • She is 1 of 3 "Alexandra Sisters." That is special, magic kind of stuff.  
  • She is a true 1930s beauty queen.  
  • Lives a completely creative existence of pure, unpretentious appreciation for being alive. 
  • Every choice is joy, every circumstance is accepted and experienced with grace. 
  • You know how sometimes you wonder "What would I do if I were actually homeless?" Well Alex and her husband Oliver are the friends that would absolutely take me in. In fact my room is probably waiting. (Not that they are anticipating my homelessness! They just really mean it.) No questions.

Dane Laffrey
  • Just. Fabulous.
  • Dane dropped out of school and pretty much moved into my house after Dad died. So... there's that...
  • When he invites you over for dinner? You are eating quinoa pasta with shaved asparagus and Food Network delights because Dane is the kind of guy who SHAVES ASPARAGUS FOR YOUR DINING PLEASURE.
  • He does the most unbearably accurate impression of my now-gone Grandmother.
  • He is, with the natural exception of adult refinement and personal growth, the same deliciously wonderful guy I met at 16. 
  • He makes me feel really "believed in."
  • The world’s best platonic “back up” husband (and for the record: our back-up offspring would be so tall and so well dressed [see photo])

  • She still gets my post in the UK... that's a friend...
  • Tasha is the person you write that BATSHITCRAZY-middle-of-the-night email to about some fear you have, anxiety eating you alive, or just some guy issue-- and she will patiently write back with the PERFECT response (in fact, is noted for exclaiming "OH AL!" whenever I do something characteristically ridiculous, or fabulous, or any combination thereof.)
  • She possesses un.wav.er.ing love for her friends and family and has no problems showing it. 
  • She named her child DAISY. Because she "liked it!"
  • She is the most natural mother I've ever seen.
  • We share a mutual love of The West Wing
  • ...and her relationship to hummus is as deep and real as my own.
  • She is the type of person who can stay with you in your tiny New York apartment. With her 2 year old. For a week. And you don't even remotely panic (before or during!) because she is as relaxed and easy and she is fun. 
  • She says I am “with the words” 
  • Crucially: Tasha is the most supportive cheerleader of a friend...
  • ...who literally saved my life.

Amy Maiden
  • One of bravest people I know.
  • She carved her incredible life out of thin air and now lives her dreams.  
  • Sometimes you have to get together to pretend you are not watching a reality television casting show but you absolutely are...week after week... for the whole series... 
  • I appreciate that I can text her in the middle of whatever time of day or night with some random thought... because we have the kind of friendship where time zones and hemispheres don't matter. 
  • She is FEROCIOUSLY loyal. 
  • Sometimes one needs to breakup with one's boyfriend...who left town for a month without telling one. And when one does that, one needs to write a breakup speech. On a napkin. With the assistance of someone named Al one--frankly-- barely knows. What can I say? TEARS + SAID NAPKINS = ETERNAL BONDING.

16 October, 2013

How "noticey"...

So I spent the last weekend with my nieces in Corte Madera (one of the many perks to working in San Francisco is spending more time with the lovely Hannah, Madison [and now baby Charlotte!])

As we passed a Halloween owl decoration in the house, Madison (the precocious middle child with a cuddly disposition and a smile that could melt the heart of Sauron, The Grinch, Professor Snape, and probably any green-skinned monster wearing a helmet made of spikes) announced:

     "Aunt Al! Look! A Halloween owl! And you like both Halloween AND owls!"

I was floored.
My my. How "noticey" of her.

I promptly did what any sensible adult on the verge of a cuteness-diabetic-coma would do-- I responded by getting out my video camera:

     "What else does Aunt Al like?"
Supposing, naturally, that her response would be

But instead, allllll thiiiiiis came out...

Kids sure do say the darndest things... (crazy things-- like "Avant Garde" and "Danny Kaye")

[* taps arm, injects insulin*]

06 October, 2013

In My Life: Hugh Hodgart

hugh hodgart, 2010
glasgow, scotland

[original image ©K.K.Dundas]


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