Posts Tagged: Carrie Frye
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Let Us Go Then

This begins the seven-episode Kindle Serial "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having: Travel Stories From The Hairpin." (Episode Two, by Maria Bustillos, is excerpted here.)

I. Aerobics

Here is something weird I did when I lived in Buenos Aires: I did a lot of aerobics. My favorite class was at 6:30 p.m., and when I say it was my favorite I mean that I would plan afternoon and evening dates with friends around it, so that—no matter what—at six o’clock or so every night, I’d be in shorts and tennis shoes cutting across the traffic on Avenida Gaona, with the buses honking along and the late-afternoon light slanting, and [...]

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In Praise Of Editors, Or In This Case, Editor

When editors and sponsors demanded changes to his copy, the legendary absurdist comedian and radio star Fred Allen used to reply: "Where were you bastards when the pages were blank?"

This joke is about the common misconception about what really happens between writers and editors, which is a kind of alchemical collaboration, provided that the collaborators in question are in sympathy and closely attending to the matter at hand. Granted, that doesn't happen every time, on either side, but at its best there is no hostility, and no jockeying for an advantage in this symbiosis: no ego, no performance, just an intent shared focus on making something good together for [...]

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Reckoning With 'Thelma & Louise'

Carrie Frye: Maud! I rented Thelma & Louise a few weeks ago, and it was, weirdly, only on rewatching that I realized why every so often I get an irresistible urge to rent an aqua convertible, conscript a few female friends for the trip and just drive… south, west, wherever: it's because of Thelma & Louise! It should have been the obvious source of the daydream, but I had lost track of the full extent to which this movie had hardwired my brain. It's been 21 years since it came out—it is now old enough to walk into a bar and order a Wild Turkey straight up and a Coke [...]

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"House of Cards," Episodes 1-3: Bloggers With Their Wine

Carrie Frye: Jane, so I was lazing around Saturday morning when I saw a series of ecstatic tweets from you about the amazingness of "House Of Cards." Up till then I'd only been paying dim attention to the show's release (basically, I knew it was a series released on Netflix about Washington politics that, disappointingly, did not seem to feature any secret vampires), but on your word, I tried an episode at lunch. And then, next thing I knew, "Portlandia" Battleship Galactica marathon style, it was dusk… and then it was 10 p.m. and I had no circulation left in my legs.

I'm now on episode 7 and view [...]

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On Advice To Kids

When my friends started having children, as much as I thought about what role I'd play in their kids' lives, it was as the sort of friend of the family who, when you're teetering through teenagerdom and your early 20s, takes you out to lunch or dinner (often arriving, fortuitously, when you're most off course and down-at-heel), gives you Rilke and Asimov and the Brontes at the junctures when they can do their most good, takes your ambitions seriously, lets you be yourself while providing some calibrating sense of what the world at large will eventually expect from your conversation, etc. I had a couple such 'aunts' myself, my mom's [...]

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The Bodybuilder's Guide To Getting Rid Of "Computer Back"

Do you suffer Computer Back? I do. Mine is caused by the terrible habit of hunching over the laptop while also curling my legs under the chair in a sort of corkscrewed position that is osteomuscularly nightmarish but somehow conducive to concentration. When I stand up I look like a stooped, slightly concerned turtle. Now, lots of people have Computer Back, and nearly everybody with whom I've talked about it has, at some point in the conversation, brought up the fact that Philip Roth works at a standing desk. That tidbit, you'll remember, came out in a 2000 David Remnick profile, and it apparently haunts the imagination of everyone [...]

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111 Male Characters Of British Literature, In Order Of Bangability

111. Frankenstein's Monster (Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus) 110. Uriah Heep (David Copperfield) 109. Casaubon (Middlemarch) 108. Bradley Headstone (Our Mutual Friend) 107. Samuel Pickwick (Pickwick Papers) 106. Gussie Fink-Nottle (Right Ho, Jeeves) 105. Keith Talent (London Fields) 104. Jerry Cruncher (Tale of Two Cities) 103. Hercule Poirot (The Mysterious Affair at Styles) 102. Ham Peggotty (David Copperfield) 101. Thorin Oakenshield (The Hobbit) 100. Tracy Tupman (Pickwick Papers) 99. Julian Malory (Excellent Women) 98. C.J. Stryver (A Tale of Two Cities) 97. Charles Arrowby (The Sea, the Sea) 96. Dr. Watson ("A Study In Scarlet")

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Marvelous Spinster Barbara Pym At 100

A note in Barbara Pym's diary instructs: "Read some of Jane Austen's last chapters and find out how she manages all the loose ends." Next entry, a fairly typical one: "The Riviera Cafe, St. Austell is decorated in shades of chocolate brown. Very tasteless, as are the cakes." This was written in 1952. She was 38, had published two novels, Some Tame Gazelle and the resplendent Excellent Women, and was at work on the next. It had taken 15 years of dutiful revising and circulating it around for Some Tame Gazelle to find a publisher. During the rewrites she had tried to heed her agent's advice to "be more wicked, [...]

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How To Be A Monster: Life Lessons From Lord Byron

In 1816, a young doctor named John Polidori was offered the position as traveling physician to George Gordon, Lord Byron. Polidori was saturnine, caustic, ambitious, well-educated and handsome. He had graduated from medical school at 19 (as unusual then as now) and this offer came not a year later. Over the objections of his family, he accepted. Polidori had literary ambitions; here was an amazingly famous poet asking him to join him on a tour of the Continent. It must have felt like fate was tugging him along. In confirmation of how well things were going, a publisher offered him 500 pounds to keep a diary of his travels with [...]

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"House of Cards," Episodes 9-13: The Ones Where Everything Goes Nuts

Carrie: How smart of Netflix to release its series a week before a historic blizzard hit the Northeast. I wonder how many people who had no intention of ever watching this show ended up reluctantly streaming it this weekend, because it was that or the 9th rewatch of All About Eve or Grizzly Man?

Jane: Now, I don't think one could ever watch Grizzly Man enough times, but beside the point! (If Netflix ever wants to release a 13-part Herzog meditation on chaos and murder, though…) Did all of Netflixing NYC spend the weekend colluding with Frank Underwood? Inversely, when hysterics about snowfall (along with attendant talk of "House of [...]

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How To Give Birth To A Rabbit

Mary Toft was 23 when she gave birth to her first rabbit. Other rabbits—six, seven, eight of them—followed. It was 1726. Toft lived in Godalming, a small rural town in Surrey; news of the births skipped its way to London, and the king's anatomist was dispatched to investigate. He was unimpressed with Mary, describing her as "of a very stupid and sullen Temper." Nevertheless, after witnessing a rabbit birth himself—the 15th!—he returned to London convinced of the extraordinary, preternatural nature of the births. (And why not, amazing things happen to stupid country people all the time: they're sold magic beans, they haul talking fish out of the water, they give [...]

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11 Liz Taylor Things It Was Fun To Watch & Read While "Liz And Dick" Was On

1. Elizabeth Taylor as Helen Burns in the 1943 version of Jane Eyre.

The movie, which had Orson Wells as Mr. Rochester and Joan Fontaine as Jane Eyre, was made when Taylor was 11. It was filmed right before National Velvet made her famous. Just a year before, a casting director at another studio had complained, "Her eyes are too old, she doesn't have the face of a child." About this role, a biographer writes: "So tiny was her part, as one of the classmates of young Jane (Peggy Ann Garner), that she got no billing on the credits; and years later when she wanted her own [...]

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The Epic Live-Tweeting Of Last Night's Park Slope Coop Meeting

Last night Park Slope Food Coop held its monthly members meeting. At 7:26 p.m., senior Reuters Opinion editor Chadwick Matlin began live-tweeting the proceedings; two hours and 14 minutes later, "meeting is adjourned." It's difficult to pick a favorite here but "In europe I have been using the biodegradable, and they degrade so fast by the time you're at checkout you don't know where the bag is," "'but my collards won't fit!' — one of the actresses in the silent film PSA," and ""My name is Robert Dow. No relation to Dow Chemical." have to be contenders.

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The Weekend Odyssey of Wisconsin's Wandering Democrats

Tell me, Muse, of the men and women of many ways, who were driven far journeys, after they had fled Madison's shining Capitol. Hard was their exile amid the labyrinth toll roads of northern Illinois, many their adventures, narrow their escape from the wild monster Rahm, new king of Chi-town, who is said to rip the fucking heads off men and devour them. Speak of the bloating effects of Endless Pasta bowls, the huddled iPhone calls with constituents at wind-swept gas stations, and these brave heroes' diligence in keeping up with the email streaming ever daily through their state accounts. Then caught up, here, goddess, begin our story on [...]

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How To Be Old: Two Women, Their Husbands, Their Cats, Their Alchemy

"Beauty is a responsibility like anything else, beautiful women have special lives like prime ministers but I don't want that."

The writer and painter Leonora Carrington was 33 and a very beautiful woman when she wrote that line in The Hearing Trumpet, a book that is, among many other topics—alchemy, the Holy Grail, the perversities of nuns, the difficulties of getting goats and wolves to live together—also about being very, very old. This was in 1950; her best friend was a Spanish painter named Remedios Varo.

In the book, Carrington appears under the alias Marian Leatherby, who is 92 and has a beard. She has no [...]

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My Attempt To Make Elderflower Cordial

A series about foods we miss and our quests to recreate them.

A few years ago, on a trip to Edinburgh, I had an elderflower drink that I keep thinking about. I don't remember what it was specifically called on the menu—cordial, elderflower water, or some variant—just that it was so cool and refreshing that it seemed weirdly magical on that day. It was a late afternoon in November. My husband and I had been to this little graveyard in the old part of the city (martyrs, moss) and then stopped into a restaurant nearby. It was too early to be having dinner but that's the nice part [...]

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"House of Cards," Episodes 4-8: Who's Making Themselves Available?

Carrie: Jane, remember when the world was new, you were dewy-eyed and I was not yet so haggard, and "House of Cards" had only just become available for streaming on Netflix? It seems like years ago, but it was only last Friday.

Jane: Now it's a week later, Spandau Ballet's "True" is playing in this cafe, and if we were sitting together, I'd probably be telling you not to Bogart the whiskey. We've passed binge-viewing, Carrie, to re-watching, to you using "House of Cards" characters as verbs ("how much will I Peter Russo myself in the morning if I do this?"), to me looking up which of the series' actors [...]

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Victoria Grayson's Unfortunate History As A Hamptons Hostess, In Chronological Order

• Last night's Charity Wine Auction: Two guests kidnapped from elevator as they're leaving the party.

• Liberty Project benefit dinner: Wife of a Supreme Court nominee reveals to assembled guests that her husband beats her, is crooked judge.

• Thanksgiving dinner: Victoria discloses to guests that at age 15 she was forced to shoot a man and take the blame for his death.

• Second wedding to Conrad: Groom toted off by police during the reception.

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Look Back in Eyeliner: Three Girls at a Duran Duran Sleepover in 1984

Today is Nick Rhodes' 50th birthday. He's the youngest member of Duran Duran, so they, the pretty mascara-ed wild-boy new romantics, are all safely embarked on their 50s now. They remain pretty (and I'm not just being polite, they do), and Nick hasn't stopped wearing mascara and I hope he's pleased every day with all the new de-clumping formulas available, but still, it gives you vertigo. Do the jumpsuits still fit? Does John Taylor ever avoid invitations to go out so he can stay home and watch Veronica Mars? Does Simon LeBon say to friends at dinner, "Lately if I drink more than two glasses of red wine, I [...]

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46 Things to Read and See for David Foster Wallace's 50th Birthday

Today would have been David Foster Wallace's 50th birthday, and if you'd like to mark it, here are some things that might interest you to read (or watch) and revisit. The list isn't intended to be comprehensive; for that there's the Howling Fantods, not to mention this, this and that. This is more like an old trunk, some favorite things that got packed away and today's maybe a nice day to take them out and rummage around a little: Remember when Frank Bruni peeped inside DFW's medicine cabinet? etc.