They call this the Fall







e.e. cummings (1958)


The thing I really love about his poems is the mystery leading up to the understanding. At first, nothing makes sense. It’s hell and you don’t want to care any more, but part of you still wants to know what it’s all about. Then, all of a sudden, you get it. Everything makes sense and it’s really wonderful and you can appreciate it all the better from that moment on. Well, ideally.


A reason to celebrate and another reason not to

Today I found my lost book! Just another up-side to cleaning my room. It’s a good thing I found it so soon because I hate leaving books unfinished, particularly when I’m enjoying them. I always feel guilty if I don’t.

I like my books very very much. I take good care of them– no bent corners, no stains, no ripped pages. I worry excessively when I lend them out, which is probably why I don’t make a habit of letting people borrow things. I guess I’m selfish that way. I just don’t trust other people to take care of my books unless I know they’re as careful and neurotic about their books as I am.

The worst part is when people borrow books and never return them. I hate that. I hate asking for a book back when the person hasn’t gotten to read it yet, but I hate the thought of never getting it back even more. But I’m no saint. I’ve done it a few times. I’ve checked out novels from the shelves of my middle school English classes and forgotten to check them back in. I’ve borrowed books that I ignored for years before actually reading. They’re on my shelf now. I always feel a little guilty knowing they’re not really mine. But I don’t have the chance (or the heart) to return them.

The Diary of a Disappointed Book from Studiocanoe on Vimeo.
Watch this video. It is wonderful.

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Life As We Know It

Really, it’s a pretty ghastly title. “Life as we know it?” Give me a break. Sounds like some noon-time melodrama between Guiding Light and As the World Turns.

Now that I have that out of the way, I can get to my point.

It is being slammed by critics. It has a terrible rating on Rotten Tomatoes. I saw an early pre-screening, so I don’t know anyone who has watched/liked it yet. But I’ve suggested it to some people, and considering all it’s bad press, I feel like I should at least defend my recommendations.

Despite its faults, I actually really enjoyed this movie.

This comes as something of a shock because (I know, I know) I’m not the kindest critic of romantic comedies. But can you blame me? With films like When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail and Annie Hall and Say Anything and all those classics setting the bar high, it seems wrong to simply dismiss “RomCom” as a hopeless (but thriving) genre. It can be done right!

Well, Life As We Know It doesn’t exactly do everything right, but I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised.

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What would Zoltan do?

I know that I’m not Hungarian and that spending 6 months in a country certainly does not make you part of it, but I still can’t help but feel emotionally attached– even now.

When people belittle or insult it, I become angry and insanely defensive. When they compliment it, I share their praises. When I see things that remind me of it, I can’t help but smile. It was only 6 months, but there are so many memories attached to this one place. Some that are slowly fading, others so permanent that they’ve become part of me. Fond memories to cling to, less spectacular ones that I leave to be forgotten.

The sad reality of things is that I will probably not return to Hungary. Not for a long time, at least.

It’s difficult for me to describe. It’s like, a part of me wants to repay it for my adventures and experiences. Like I owe it some sort of allegiance… allegiance, which I happily and freely give. I know I have no legitimate claim or connection to the country or its people, but that doesn’t stop me from feeling this strong, personal attachment.

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Who is Lyle Evans?

It’s the clever things like this that make me love Mad Men.

It took me a while, but here I am– hooked.

The Social Network

It’s hard to avoid disappointment when you go into a film with as much expectation as I had going into The Social Network. I was seriously scared that, despite Aaron Sorkin being a genius writer and David Fincher being a stunning director, I would come out of the movie thinking it fell short.

I should have known better. It is so much more than just a movie about Facebook.

Everything was executed so well. They turned a bunch of people sitting around a table discussing money and lawsuits into a story as engaging and interesting as any action movie. They somehow took a socially inept, nerdy guy sitting at a computer writing code and turned him into this arrogant, rebellious character that you couldn’t help but watch. That’s talent.

I bow deeply before the genius of Aaron Sorkin because I know this is his work. It made me miss West Wing. It was so reminiscent of West Wing. I mean, for seven solid seasons, the man made political life in the White House (not the exciting stuff that happens as a result of political decisions, but the creation and execution of political decisions themselves) something everyone wanted to watch and something that was very very worthy of watching.

He did the same here and I hope it gets all the recognition it deserves. But it was definitely more than just that one thing. I loved the promotional advertising for it. I adored the trailer(s). The casting, writing, directing– so good. Everything was done with such perfect subtlety that it really made me appreciate film as an art. That sounds like such a lofty, loaded statement, but I mean it! It showcased the actors’ talents, the ease and complexity of the writing, the power of visual images. It was just rich, solid storytelling and filmmaking.

I could say more, but I don’t want to undersell or overhype it. I’d rather just say it’s a MUST SEE and leave it at that.

*Side Note: Apparently, I am not the only one.

Norwegian Wood

I once had a girl or should I say she once had me.


I have been throwing around the idea of reading Haruki Murakami for a while now. I don’t know what held me back. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I’ve heard a lot of talk about him and most of the books I’ve read based purely on anonymous forum chatter have never lived up to expectation.

But as the story goes, my internship boss gave me a gift card to an independent bookstore next door. I saw Norwegian Wood and decided to give it a chance.

The book was not at all what I thought it would be, but I think I mean that in a good way. The writing style was completely unexpected, simple and charmingly modern. This is how it’s described:

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

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