Pre-Ramble: I’ve found that a really good blog post comes out of place where there is some personal investment … of curiosity, empathy, frustration or annoyance (there’s nothing like a good rant). Also, I find that if I choose three topics and start meandering around in my head, I will eventually be able to pull together something moderately to skillfully compelling by the end of the time available, or my patience, whichever comes first.
Blame it on the holidays – Lately it’s been tough to narrow in on a combination of topics that click. And it’s not because the meaty topics aren’t out there … I mean, seriously – President Obama just took an elbow to the face on the basketball court (how’d you like to be THAT guy?!) … Prince William just got engaged (how’d you like to be THAT gal?!) … and everyone is holding their breath to see if we all spent enough on Black Friday to qualify for a recovered economy. What is not to like here? All of these are potentially perfect blog post topics … tantalizing, really. But today somehow, the only thing calling to me is fatigue-induced petty festering over grass on the other side of the fence.
Yesterday was Sunday, so that means that the Sunday New York Times is here, which means that there is A TON of expertly crafted articles and stories about fascinatingly obscure subjects that I can barely bring myself to read, because they are just THAT GOOD. Even the wedding announcements are well-written and insightful.
I’m barely half way into the Sunday Magazine and already there’s a very thought-provoking article on the social change required to make Michelle Obama’s children’s health initiatives successful; a story about the new Vanity Fair iPad app (I LOVE Vanity Fair, and who doesn’t love iPads?); a fascinating piece on “four towering figures in the world of words” (pinch me); a quick look inside the highflying world of private jets; and a sneak peek into the life and times of writer and director, Nora Ephron (who loves to play craps, apparently) …
“… About 900 years ago, when I was a columnist at Esquire, they had a sales conference in Paradise Island, the Bahamas, and someone taught me [how to play craps]. It is such a great game. I will teach almost anyone how to play craps at a moment’s notice… I almost always have dice in my purse.”
So, I know. What’s the big deal about this? Who cares about craps? The thing is, over the holiday weekend there were two Nora Ephron movies on the telly and one of them involved Diane Keaton, and then another movie randomly came on that had Diane Keaton in it as well. Come to think of it, even that ingloriously tepid film “Morning Glory” currently in theaters features Ms. Keaton in a starring role.
Do you see where I’m headed with this? Of course you do.
If I was an actress, I’d be Diane Keaton’s slightly younger, shorter, less luminous sister. I’ve been told that I look kind of like her, and occasionally that I have Diane Keaton-esque mannerisms. I think this is more due to the fact that I can come across as kind of up-tight (I am up-tight) and wear a lot of turtlenecks.
Well, so, in my writer’s mash-up world, we’ve got: the indomitable, yet perfectly self-effacing Nora Ephron looking perfectly relaxed in her perfect black leather jacket next to her perfect bouquet of perfect roses in her perfect Upper East Side apartment with the perfect view of the Chrysler Building … crossed with the chippily endearing (if somewhat overexposed) Diane Keaton … crossed with the eternally revered NY Times.
Which leaves me … sitting here at midnight at the kitchen counter, swirling what’s left of the day’s cold coffee into the sink, paging my way through the day’s old news, and glancing ever so slightly sideways at this stupid Ephron interview — twisting with envy at every casually tossed-off turn of phrase, every meaningful memento, every flawlessly unstudied photograph.
The Take-Away: As if gazing upon her tragic collection of unused tea cups in the middle of the night would suddenly endow me with the wherewithal to write a series of successful screenplays.