His commitment, full, all his molecules

If you were a fan of comedian Chris Farley, I highly recommend the new documentary on his life titled: I Am Chris Farley. The trailer above gives you a snapshot.  The quotes below are a few of my favorite testimonials from the film.

Mike Myers: “I was very influenced by his commitment, full, all his molecules, and anybody around him’s molecules, pulled into his performance.”

David Spade & Lorne Michaels: “Because everyone can fall down and whatever, but you can’t do it this good. He doesn’t put his hands up, which is what I would do. So he doesn’t block his fall, and you can’t do those forever. I think Chevy Chase warned him not to do that.  Because Chevy’d always had something there just before he fell so he could break the fall, but Chris was just taking it as paid. He wasn’t paying close enough attention to see that there was a way you could do it and not hurt yourself. His commitment was total.”

Bob Saget: “Then at one point there was a little fluffa that happened. There was a line that got skipped, and I just like pushed his glasses up and his eyes crossed. It was this delicate moment that made me very happy.  He came from that background where you pull everybody up – that you are there for everybody. You don’t leave anyone hanging. So when you are working with him, he was right there, helping you.  “Come on buddy”, you know, and that kind of thing.”

For a film review by Variety.com: “Film Review: I Am Chris Farley


Oh Well

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It was 36 words by Jill Alexander Essbaum.

The poem triggers a flapping of the heart valves, they are a-flutter.

But incongruence is the uninvited house guest that won’t separate.

Heart is warmed, it feels. Head is cold, it needs to Know, to Understand.

So I fill my hands with the shards of infinite ardors.
A generous cargo of ohs and oh wells.
And a strange half-wish to be a ghost.

It is the thing I wish for most.

I work to bootstrap meaning. [Read more…]

Inhale

noxzema

Sometimes all you have to do is open a jar. The smell of Noxzema takes me back to the summer of 1957, and the front seat of the old Hudson my boyfriend drove, and how we parked at the Amagansett beach at night and made out like crazy, and afterward I was afraid I was pregnant, even though we didn’t do anything but kiss. The fear and the pleasure are as fresh to me every time I smell the stuff, and I keep a jar around so I can remember being young.

~ Abigail Thomas, Thinking About Memoir


Image: gabysbeautyblog

 

Saturday Morning

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Maybe we will wake up to the silence
of shoes at the foot of the bed
not going anywhere.

— Richard Siken, excerpt of Dots Everywhere from War of the Foxes


Notes:

Time to, Begin. Move the blood.

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A new place.
Awakened eye
Seeing freshly.
What does that do to
The old blood moving through
Its channels?

~ Naomi Shihab Nye, Fresh from You & Yours


Notes: Poem: Thank you Whiskey River. Gif: bakabt from Sound! Euphonium

Driving I-95 S. In Delirium.

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It’s Tuesday Morning.
2:30 am.
I’m up.

It was my first morning thought, an omen. Susan sharing research about insomniacs and the early onset of Alzheimer’s. Bullsh*t. Research is Bullsh*t. I shake the thought like Zeke shaking off after his bath. Ears flying. Body quivering. I’ll decide when I’m losing it, not a minute earlier.

I’m mindlessly ripping through the morning papers and then turn to blog posts. A vacuum with indiscriminate digestion. A few morsels hang.

There’s Doug’s Law:  “You can have information or you can have a life, but you can’t have both.”

Bullsh*t Doug. Bullsh*t. I’m going to have it all. I’ll burn in it. I’ll wrap, and wrap and wrap myself in information and light up. I’ll sparkle like a Roman Candle. Red. Green. Blue. White. A shower of color.  Up up up, lighting up the darkness.  You’ll cheer Doug. You will.

And then there’s Psych2go with new research:  “Believing you have slept well, even if you haven’t, improves performance.”

There you go.  I just need to believe I have slept well on 4 1/2 hours of sleep. And, voila, I’ll be rested and operating at peak performance. Really? What unmitigated bullsh*t. I’m drowning in bullsh*t.

It’s 5:00 am. I get up from the couch after 2 1/2 hours of vacuuming, and the room spins. The ship pitches. My left hand reaches for the wall, touches the cool latex paint – I close my eyes and lean in with my shoulder.  The gnawing pit in the stomach twists – God, shower me in Dramamine. [Read more…]

A Solemn Pleasure

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I’ve read hundreds of forewords introducing new books. I’ve skipped many many (many) hundreds more to get to the story. And, then, there was this one:

Like all great writers, Pritchard has no interest in providing answers. Rather, she strives only to articulate the questions in a manner that the readers can hear. Her aim is never to convey information, but only and powerfully to relay experiences – experiences that are poignant and devastating, familiar and extraordinary, inspiring and gutting. Individually, each of these essays confirms that to write is to think and feel, to take park in the profound and sacred act of witness. Read together – and the book is so arresting that many readers will finish it in a single sitting – the essays amount to a clear and irrefutable mandate for empathy. […]

As you read A Solemn Pleasure, notice how often you find yourself leaning toward the pages. I did so often my neck hurt. The pain was minor, but persistent. In fact, this ache – like each of the powerful essays – is still with me. It’s a reminder. Each time it flares, I remember one of Pritchard’s trenchant sentences. No matter which sentence I recall, it translates to the author beckoning. Look here, she’s saying. Come closer. I’ve got something to show you. Something you need to see.

~ Bret Anthony Johnston, His Foreword for A Solemn Pleasure: To Imagine, Witness, And Write (The Art of the Essay): Melissa Pritchard


Driving I-95 S. With Small Gestures.

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He’s not there every day, but many days.
It’s a five-second human connection.
But like tree sap, the resin sticks, and it’s impossible to wash off.

I pull up to the security gate.
I swipe my card.
The gate lifts.
I glance to my left.

In winter, the door is shut, the glow of the lamp is a beacon in the pre-dawn hours. He’s there, head down, turning pages of the morning paper or a paperback. He’s approaching the end of his overnight shift.

It’s summer now, the door is open, he’s standing, motionless.

I used to offer a “Good Morning!
I gave up on him after a number of intermittent attempts.
He failed to reciprocate. I was left empty.  I refused to start my day in a ditch.

Now the morning contact is wordless.
One man’s eyes fixed on the other. A recognition. An acknowledgment.
But no more. A Cold War.
But Not. [Read more…]

But your attention is focused, your vision becomes crystal clear

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As soon as the stressful event occurs, it triggers the release of the cascade of hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal hormones — the brain’s stress response. It also triggers the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, or adrenaline, and the sympathetic nerves to squirt out the adrenaline-like chemical norepinephrine all over the body: nerves that wire the heart, and gut, and skin. So, the heart is driven to beat faster, the fine hairs of your skin stand up, you sweat, you may feel nausea or the urge to defecate. But your attention is focused, your vision becomes crystal clear, a surge of power helps you run — these same chemicals released from nerves make blood flow to your muscles, preparing you to sprint.

~ Esther M. Sternberg, The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions

 


Notes:

Walking Cross-Town. Crossing the Street.

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The morning ritual is…

GET to the office.
GET to the desk.
Fire up the PC.
GET a jump on the day.
Same. Same. Same.

I exit Grand Central,
and head West.
Same route.
As the crow flies,
it’s a straight shot, on foot, cross-town, to the office on 48th street.
Speed traps are meted out by flashing Don’t Walk! signs and traffic,
as jaywalking is a cultural norm in Gotham.

I couldn’t tell you what triggered it.
It could have been a car horn.
A driver shouting at another.
Or perhaps more subtle,
a bird call amidst the gray, inert skyscrapers,
or a unusually, warm early morning wind gust from my left.

[Read more…]