Something Nice 1: leisure, jerry seinfeld... twee???
Four-day weekends should be mandatory
|Hannah Smothers||Jul 9, 2019|
Full disclosure is I forgot my laptop at work yesterday, so I wrote this first newsletter on my fire escape, watching the sunset with a belly full of pasta. That, plus the brain massage of the four-day weekend has me extremely blissed out. Imagine my brain wearing a caftan, sipping a drink in a lounge chair. That’s the vibe, let’s get into it!!!!
Something nice I saw:
Jerry Seinfeld throws the first pitch at Citi Field
Once, when depressed and in Houston, I watched the entirety of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. The arc of feelings I think is normal to have about that show is: abject/entertained hatred —> disgust re: Jerry’s wealth —> small chuckles —> disgust re: Jerry’s racism/sexism —> resignation to completing the series —> uproarious laughter.
This has nothing to do with the following facts: It is the 30th anniversary of Seinfeld (airing?? being conceived?? whatever!!), Jerry Seinfeld loves the Mets, and in a confluence created by those facts, he threw the first pitch at the Mets-Phillies opener on Friday. And the whole game was Seinfeld-themed.
Imagine it. You’re sitting with your buds at a Mets game on a bonus weekend day, way up in the nosebleeds, and after each half-inning, the Seinfeld bass line blares through Citi Field’s speakers. BA-DA-DA-DA-DUM-BOOM-BA-DO-BUM-BUM. It’s night out so the big lights become obvious somewhere around the 4th inning; it feels like you’re in a giant stage in the middle of nowhere, compared to the regular lighting outside the field. The effect is the convincing sensation that you are inside of a sitcom.
The free giveaway was a Jerry Seinfeld bobblehead, by the way. AND he threw a strike.
Something nice I learned:
The reason they launch rockets from Florida (of all places!!) is, because of the way the earth curves and rotates, a failed launch falls into the ocean.
I read this in a Lauren Groff essay from Oxford American’s 100th issue, but then I verified it with some Googling (I trust her but still). I love Lauren Groff’s writing so much because it’s very good (“masterful!” as I would/will say when around Literary People) and because it is fascinating, as someone from Texas (a strange, very big, not-of-a-region state) to read about Florida (another such state).
Also, she writes shit like this:
If I say nobody knows Florida, I mean that there is no single Florida to know. It’s all ambiguous, all so strange. And this place near Cape Canaveral seems the strangest to me, as it helped to give rise to so many of the sophisticated things that I love about modern humanity: cochlear implants, memory foam, cell phones, CAT scans, LED lights, invisible braces, even the laptop on which I will type the final draft of this essay. Yet such fertile ground for modern invention could not possibly look any more humble, all sand dunes with spiky vegetation and teeming masses of wildlife and some scraggly-looking buildings. This place holds its contradiction within itself.
Something nice I read:
Rarely have I felt more charmed
than on Ninth Street, watching a woman
stop in the middle of the sidewalk
to pull up her hair like it’s
an emergency—and it is.
My friend Katie read one of Alex Dimitrov’s poems (another about, or effectually about, summer in New York City) to me and Brendan when we visited her this May in Charlottesville, where she just finished her MFA. She read it to us on the big wood porch of this house she was watching for a couple of retired professors (!!) who are traveling somewhere in Europe or something (!!!!). It was all more idyllic than it probably sounds. I can’t do the look of it justice, so let me describe it to you in the little images/feelings I get about it in my memory: sun hitting the front porch in the evening; light coming through all these windows made from thick, wavy glass; the smell of old books/paper; sound of wind chimes in complete absence of wind chimes, just that kind of vibe about the house.
Anyway, I was trying to find that poem to read to Lauren on Friday evening after we’d all gone to the Whitney and then relocated to a nearby roof bar with almost no people on it. (Me problem: Have one great/beautiful experience, desperately try to recreate that same thing for people I love so they can have it, too. Rarely works.) So the scene is: we’re four-ish sips into our respective bitter red drinks (her: Negroni, me: Aperol spritz, obviously) and the sun is just starting to go down across the Hudson. And I’m Googling “alex dimitrov poem summer” on my phone and find “June.” It’s not the right one but it’s also good, I think, so Lauren let me read it out loud to her.
We talked about the lines we liked most (mine is the one above) and about how twee is uncomfortable because sometimes it really does feel good. (On this subject, I’m always asking people if they read Alexandra Molotkow’s piece about Twee in the Hairpin. In my mind it was this big feature, upon re-reading it, it’s simply a good blog post.) I like this line a lot, and not just because I recently moved to Alphabet City and am still in a state about the concept of living on a street that’s E-number. Sometimes the ponytail really is an emergency.
Something nice I screenshot:
My mom saw that I am doing this newsletter and texted me the above on Saturday. It’s an obvious choice to place here! And that’s the kicker.
If you’re here lurking without subscribing, that is ok by me. But also, please subscribe!