Saturday, February 21, 2015

Queen Turner

"I think we should have a day when all women don't go to work. If a handful of people in this country are going to decide whether or not we will receive healthcare, whether or not we have control over our bodies as to when we wish to have a child, then what would happen if 52% of the work force one day just withdrew and reminded those people in Washington how important we are?" Kathleen Turner, whose voice is my new favourite thing to listen to, on Here's The Thing.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Weekend List: No. 15 (The Feb 14 Special)

In honour of February 14th, this Weekend List is dedicated to love stuff. And before you roll your eyes, please know that this edition doesn't stray far from my usual interests in the mass of varying types of love; from solo-love and friend-love, to domestic-love and lovesick-love. This list isn't here to make anybody feel bad, and I hate that Valentine's Days is always offered up as this day that you either opt in or out of. We're all alone, and we all love other people in varying capacities; Valentine's Day should be the most universal day of them all, and celebrated with that sentiment as a starting point. Settle back into it. Here's an accompanying mix I made, featuring lines like "When I trust you we can do it with the lights on" and "I want to call you but I don't. I want to be smarter." There's Jarvis Cocker, and Hot Chip's Alexis Taylor, who are in my mind among the best popstars to sing about love and sex. Plus there's Joni Mitchell's song For Free, which was my January soundtrack when I was thinking and writing about my Granny a lot, and this ode to a stranger playing clarinet on a street-corner is one of the most quietly romantic songs I've ever heard.

Closeness with others

This time last year I listened to Dory Previn back to back, and wrote about the romance with others, and with one's own self.

Sigmund Freud's Porcupine Dilemma.

A conception and a Bed and Breakfast in Vermont. I've included it in a list before, but I love to come back to this short piece from Meghan O'Connell.


Your Fave Fantasy is Problematic by Kitty Stryker.

A list of sexy films compiled by the British Film Institute.

And sexy illustrations.

Breaking up

A poem I return to each time I lose somebody, my feelings for them, or when I'm trying to blanche myself of the sad, unplanned heat of either of the two. W.H Auden's The More Loving One knows the peace of looking up at the sky and becoming re-grounded. (Listen. Or Read.)

"You are supposed to know opaquely and elusively and abstractly that everything is not over and that your purpose in life is so much huger than you can every imagine and is still saturated with value and that you will eat pesto and read Stephen Dunn and live in Manhattan." Break-up advice from one friend to another. (I didn't think seeing a tattooed bottom below this page would be part of the bargain, but I suppose you can't always plan these things..)

Alone Time

"I count living alone as, in a manner of speaking, finding interest in my own story, of prospering, of protest, of creating a space where I repeat the same actions every day, whetting them, rearranging them..." Since Living Alone by Durga Chew-Bose (one to cut out and keep.)

Dinner For One: an episode of BBC Radio 4's The Food Chain, dedicated to the melancholy of eating alone.

"I hated coming home from buying lingerie, obviously carrying a bag full of bras and panties.. In order to put it on, I would hide in the bathroom. During the reveal, he'd be reading a book about genocide and the cat would be taking up my space in the bed." Against Domesticity by Randa Jarrar.

Platonic Love
Where was it? Sometime recently I was reading a blog co-written by two female friends who described themselves as life partners, who were each married to other men. You know that feeling. It's when you walk home from the pub after sharing a bottle and spicy nuts, putting the world to rights with your best friend, and your belly feels warm and you clench your hands with an excitement reserved for promising third dates, except you know each other better than that already. And you might think to yourself, god I can't wait to grow old with this woman. It's tricky though, because like any romantic relationship the two of you might yo-yo, with one needing the other more at times, and feeling that acutely. Also, in most cases, we have multiple versions of this person in our lives. Few people pass years with just one archetypal playground best friend. There are many, each best girlfriend with her own corner, own needs and purposes, rarely overlapping with the others, though they all share a common description. My best friend. My favourite people to text are best friends. They really get it, and those threads of in-jokes and shared ugly photographs keep the world turning. Once I lay in the aisle of a train carriage, looking purposely ugly and pretending to be dead, with one best friend taking a photograph of me, so I could send it to my other. The one I have an on-going habit of playing dare games with. Now that I'm in a new relationship (I know!) I'm feeling this best-friend love more acutely. You have to tread carefully to balance the varying affections, to not let best friends get left out, but also to understand that this yo-yoing is all par for the course. Nobody really actually wants to be Frances Ha's Sophie, but then again Frances goes off and has that shit trip to Paris and finally puts on a production of her own. So who knows, it's all supposed to happen. In honour of it all, are text messages shared with my best friend this week, shortly after midnight: