Archives for category: Entertainment

The season finale of GIRLS happened this past week, and one highlight for me was book-spotting grumpy Ray reading I Capture the Castle. Have you read it? It might be one of my Top 10. It was written in 1948 by Dodie Smith about a poor family living in a washed-up castle, making do and having fun. Coming of age of a seventeen year old girl, journal style, eccentric father, unexpected visitors…I know that sounds predictable but truly, it is a charmer!  I recommend, as Ray did by saying, “This book is so fucking incredible. Anything by a British woman is just…fuck.” (or you could read my longer review here.)

Very apropos too, because the Summer Solstice plays a lovely role in that book and I always wish that I had some sort of tradition or rite to do on the longest day of the year. Is there anything you like to do to mark these kinds of holidays?


There have been at least twenty discussions about birthday parties around here lately.

Here’s a few of the themes we circle around:

Is it weird to call it a birthday party if Lux will have no awareness that the party is for her?

How much alcohol can you have at a party that’s technically for children?

How do we emphasize that we are actually celebrating the crazy year we just had?

Obviously we can’t not memorialize this enormous life change we just went through, right?

Finally, bored out of our minds with this all this adult talk, we decided we wanted it to be on the Esplanade, the lovely park that coils along the Charles River and is full of playgrounds, benches, clean sidewalks, and beautiful trees. So Saturday morning we went location scouting and visited our favorite nooks, to see how they would do under party scrutiny.

The bridge over to the Esplanade is just up the street from us. You cross over four lanes of traffic, and can smirk with pedestrian swagger as you cross. Or you can focus on how the bridge is climbing up into the trees before it swoops you back down to earth among the sailboats.

Lux particularly liked this spot for duck watching and practicing her sideways bench walk:

We settled on this little triangle of grass:

a small pond on one side:

and shady trees all around!

Now that I’ve started thinking about children’s parties, I’m remembering all fantastic things kids get to count on: cake! scoops of ice cream! goody bags! random streamers everywhere, bringing a gift for your friend that you hope they love, musical chairs, and eating too much candy. This is one of those scenarios where kids really get the good stuff, right?

Have you ever brought a beer into the shower with you? Not once have I thought to do this. After some completely informal quizzing of my male friends, I’ve determined that they understand having a cold beer during a late afternoon shower to be one of life’s great pleasures. “Oh of course,” they say, “You’ve never done that?”

“It’s a way to relish a normal thing, and make it more fun.” Joe says.

“But you don’t even take long showers,” I say.

“Yes I do.”


Maybe I’m crazy, but doesn’t it sound a little weird to be all sudsy, with warm water everywhere, and then try to drink a cold beer?

However, if there’s relishing to be done, I will not be left out of it.

While I was mulling over this, I came upon this gentleman’s blog wherein he posted about his first outdoor shower of the season. The ante has been upped: it doesn’t get more vacation fantastic than an outdoor shower. Here’s his drink of choice:

a manhattan garnished with persian cherries that have been rehydrated with rye and bourbon.

Now that I’ve heard about this, it’s definitely going on my summer bucket list.  Are you getting excited about new things to try this summer? {speaking of, Anna just posted a great, very Boston themed one.}

When it came to Indie films and my family, I used to be “I’ve seen everything and am co-habitating with a bunch of Philistines.” I volunteered at the Telluride Film Festival three years in a row and saw movies 6-9 months before the previews even showed up to the party.

Then my sister starting dating a scary-savvy LA film-industry boy and now she’s sees everything. I text her about something I caught on Netflix streaming, and she’s like, “um yeah, I saw that last year. When it came out.

and I know you probably also read about this one last year, but I just watched it and wanted to tell you loved it. I came home with Lux after a Superbowl party, put her to bed, and reveled in my moment to choose whatever I wanted to watch.

It’s streaming on Netflix, it’s written, directed, and starred in by a girl in her twenties. It’s great. And she has a show coming on HBO that she produced with Judd Apatow. Girls. which should be read as: girls! get excited for this show about girls, and by girls!


Such a great moment of self expression captured (by Anna) of a morning in her first grade classroom.




The next day you grill some toast while the bacon’s cooking. Tumble the berries together and drizzle in the syrup to make a salad that’s bright like July. Juice two grapefruits and fry some eggs. By now your company’s arrived and you can drink the coffee while you stack the sandwiches and add some bubbles to the juice. And that’s it, you’re off.

It took two rainy days to get me finally digging into the essays in Kinfolk Magazines Vol. 1. The free e-edition is only available until November 1st. I find it easier to read on my desktop if you click the Ipad edition.

With Steve Jobs announcement of retiring from Apple, it’s been sweet to see the internet spring into action and write up little memorials, odd au revoirs, and even buy more Apple stock.

I’ve seen a few vintage Apple ads posted in tribute, which reminded me that the white screened, hoodie-ed, possibly high, Ellen Feis Switch ad is still the best.

hmm, yes I did watch the entire extended version of the new video for Best Coast’s Our Deal, directed by Drew Barrymore. warning: tragic.

But it’s worth it for the amazing lipstick ‘n 80s style mishmash and the cameo by Community’s Donald Glover.

Watch a bit more about the fashion right here.

seen first on Nylon

Ebert recommended this (I cannot keep up with that guy’s Facebook activity!) and we watched it last week. It’s set in England, over four seasons, following a lovely couple and their hang-on hang-about friends. It’s really good, funny, and fascinating to watch because the story is the characters. There really isn’t a story besides the people, who are totally developed and consistent to the point that you just shake your head at them, like a predictable relative. Great writing.

I’m not linking to the website because: just skip watching the preview. They’re full of spoilers these days.




Tomorrow on E&D we’ll have a very special guest: my 17-year-old brother Wilson!

There he is. He has a band, Rosemary iii, and if you’re in Grand Rapids, they have a wonderful show coming up.

Like my four other brothers, he looks just like me. Or I look like him. Whatever, the point is that in my hometown people recognize us by our dark hair, squinty eyes, skeptical smiles, and narrow chins. “Hey, are you a Cusack?” is a pretty typical question from a stranger.

Somewhat demonstrative photo (we’re missing my older brother here):

As I mention here about every six weeks (ahem, asking you guys for tips) I’m always looking for ways to find new exciting music. My brothers are definitely my secret source of most of the good stuff. And Wilson, in particular, seems to have figured out how to tap the great musical vein of the internet. So he’ll be here, talking about that, for your Saturday morning delight. Thanks Wilson!

36 striped cards later, thank you notes are done. Yess.

To celebrate, two vintage summer inspiration videos for you.

Steven Alan, Spring 2010 (yes, you’re right, I’ve featured this before.)

Charlotte Ronson, Spring 2008 (seen on Matchbook Mag blog)

I know there are some avid Kristen Wiig fans in the audience. Bridesmaids, coming out May 13th, stars her and was co-written by her. A good sign.

There have been rumors of female-appealing versions of the enormously successful male-orientated comedies that have lately shown up, for better or worse, every six months in theaters. Because we females are complicated, it’s taking awhile. What can they possibly find funny, tortured writers are asking themselves, if not jokes about pot/sex/performance/crashed cars/your lame friends??

This one looks like it might hit it, as I laughed at least three times during this trailer. The stamp of Judd Apatow-produced (SuperbadPineapple Express) means it will safely include a few guy jokes, so the turnout in theaters shouldn’t look like another Sex in the City the Movie Part III.