Movie Marathon. I seldom get to watch a movie, let alone 3*. These weren’t just any 3 movies, they were all available on Netflix Instant Watch and they all had Paper in the title. I’m not a nerd, I swear.
Paper Heart: Indie documentary (comedy? drama? romance?) centered around the question “What is love?” I really liked it, and I became unnaturally curious about the evolution of Charlyne and Michael’s relationship. Totally recommend.
Paper Man: Offbeat drama (comedy? fantasy?) about an unusual friendship formed through the shared experience of not quite fitting in or feeling satisfied. It turned out to be enjoyable, sobering, inspirational, and everything in between, but also walked the fantasy line a little too closely for my full thumbs up. The main characters were also quite well cast. I’d say to watch this for sure if you’re not already cranky.
The Paper: Journalism drama (comedy? is ‘early 90s’ a genre?) filled with murder, ethics, and Williamsburg before it was what it is now. It had its tacky moments, its sweet moments, its chaotic excitement, and its ‘emote audibly’ moments. A cinematographic or script-driven masterpiece, no. A movie perfect to watch while cleaning and ignoring a hurricane, definitely.
So, there you go. Paper. *I even snuck in another film, Snatch, which had more characters conspiring against each other than the American political scene. A dog also was held at gunpoint; you’ll have to watch to see if he makes it out alive. A real silly awesome nail biter for sure. And you know what, let’s just say there was some paper in it.
Can we please give this man his life back? What will it take? Clearly, the vigils, protests, letters, requests, and pleading isn’t tangibly achieving much, and 5 birthdays as a hostage should be unacceptable to society. Worldwide, there are too many people unethically held hostage, and Gilad’s captivity is especially resonant because he’s my age. All the fun and growth you’re supposed to have in your 20s was snatched from him while he served his country. So so so sad.
So happy birthday, and hopefully this year will bring freedom and peace.
1. It’s totally stimulating the economy.
2. It’s making people feel like the government is working for them.
3. It’s proving that climate change is real and putting it back on the political map.
4. It’s another reason they can cite Twitter as awesome and get them to work with the government more.
OK, in all seriousness, I KNOW - weather’s scientific. But these are actually lovely consequences, and I support this conspiracy (if nobody gets hurt).
(and NYC-ers, check out the evacuation zones below and be safe!)
Anyone who knows me or is a loyal blog reader knows how much I love NYC Parks. A not-really-but-basically cousin is one of the voices behind an awesome effort to bring a park to Chelsea. 136 W. 20th St (between 6th and 7th aves.) is currently vacant (BORING!) and for people who live smack in the middle of Chelsea, it’s a decent walk over to the Highline or the other way over to Madison Square Park or down to Washington Square Park. There isn’t really other public space to sit outdoors (especially with kids) and enjoy the neighborhood. The lot is currently owned by the Department of Sanitation, but that’s not helping anything, and we know that NYC does nothing but amazing things with their parks. So why not bring a park here?
Clearly, I encourage you to learn more about the effort, and then get involved! And, maybe just maybe if you donate enough money or are a super respected public servant, the park could be named after you!
The New York Yankees just became the FIRST TEAM IN HISTORY to hit three grand slams in one game! That’s a pretty incredible feat.
Will New York City also become the FIRST CITY IN HISTORY to experience an earthquake, hurricane, and tornado in one week? That, too, would be a pretty incredible feat. And panic would certainly ensue. And I might give more credence to all this silly apocalypse talk crazing the nation.
Have fun, fact checkers!
Starting today, you can sample and buy Harmless Harvest Coconut Water in your local Whole Foods store*. I had the pleasure of trying some today, and it was delicious! The product’s clean, refreshing taste is a direct consequence of the company’s philosophy, which sets a high standard of well-being for both the supply and the client (you). There are no additives, and it’s a very homegrown operation that I feel excited to support. Further, it fits into a larger portfolio of Harmless Harvest products and agroforestry innovation. Go pick some up, and I’m sure Justin, one of the lovely founders pictured below, would be thrilled to hear from you.
*Right now, you can only purchase this product in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut Whole Foods stores, but it will be nationwide later this fall.
I recently hosted a game night like I’ve never hosted before. Why? More than 1 game at a time! It was very exciting for me that people came early and stayed late, and I’d like to chalk it up as a success. Here’s how it all went down in case you want to host your own!
Before The Party
Invite People - I made a facebook invite with starting time of 7:30pm (anticipating arrivals beginning at 8:30pm) and asking that people bring something (beer wine or snack) but stating that I’d have some snacks and drinks to get it started. A follow-up message was sent to non-replies the day before.
Budget and Shop - I have a habit of being an overboard host (thanks, family tradition) and overbuying food, drink, and decorations. For this, I decided to stick to a strictly $60 budget and only went $3 over! I cut decorations - this wasn’t a party that needed it - and polled friends via facebook on cheap but delicious drink ideas. From the many ideas, I went with a tea-flavored vodka mixed with lemonade. Powdered lemonade mix is inexpensive and goes a long way, and is perfect for a summer party. The Absolut Wild Tea mixed in (sometimes with a splash of seltzer) did the trick. I also bought gin, which was unnecessary, because I didn’t buy tonic and it simply wasn’t a big hit. Oh well. For snacks, baby carrots, pretzels, Sun Chips, and one set of chips-and-salsa more than sufficed. I was fortunate to already have extra plastic cups and napkins; however, I would recommend purchasing some if you don’t have them on hand, as it will make cleanup infinitely easier.
Know your games - I have a large stockpile of board games and had a few select friends bringing some other cool ones. It’s important to think about all ranges people who will be attending, and make sure that you have a few games in mind for each of the styles. Remember, people have varied attention spans and skills, so pick games that balance each other.
During the Party
Get the party started - There were 25 people in attendance throughout the night. Most came within the first half hour (!!!!), and we “warmed up” with two games that anyone can learn by just jumping in and playing. The sooner you start playing, the better (especially when people don’t know each other) because it gets people talking and working together over a shared new experience. A little music is good at a soft volume… too loud and it can detract from the game. Let people dive right in by offering to grab them food and drink while they learn rules and play.
Allow different games and types of players to emerge organically….but catalyze when needed - When people are bored (ha!) of a game and you have a decent selection, they’ll self direct when it’s time to move on to the next. But, if you see certain people not engaging, try to subtly suggest a game, strategy, or explanation that might resonate more strongly with them. It’s also great to connect people who may have similar interests or styles of play, because those commonalities can build a stronger foundation for an enjoyable shared game experience. At my party, some of the more seasoned gamers took to playing more complicated games while the more casual voyeurs took to games with simple rules and low competition level. A few folks went back and forth, but it naturally worked.
Multitask: play host AND games - It’s ok (and necessary!) to sit down and play a game or two or three, but you’re still host. A good tip is to partner up with someone in each game so that you don’t disrupt the flow when, say, more guests arrive and you go to great them, or a watermelon needs cutting, or a spill needs cleaning. Periodically make sure that everyone is set on drinks and snacks, check that there’s enough toilet paper and paper towels, and that any messes are contained. Also, make sure you talk with everybody…. it can be easy to get distracted!
When It’s Over
Cleanup time - If you can enlist a friend’s help, that’s ideal, because you want to take care of as much as you can that night. Any open bottles should be finished or dumped and recycled; trash collected and taken out, and used dishes washed. You’ll also probably have a few lost and found items, which you can take care of through a Facebook message to attendees.
Reflect - What went well and what didn’t? If you ever want to host something similar again, there are always lessons to be learned so that you can do it that little bit better next time. Take a few minutes the next morning and jot some notes wherever is most helpful to you.
Whew!!! I’d love to hear if you are hosting one, and how it goes! (and, if I can come!)
I didn’t read this book, but a friend shared this quote because I’ve been quite frustrated by people canceling and changing plans and promises made in various contexts with sincere intent but without being realistic. To me, this is equally as irritating as being late and has similar consequences, especially when it happens frequently. If you’re a repeat offender, check in with yourself and your ability to follow through before you commit.