Monday, December 28, 2009

Empire state of mind

For the past 5 days, my family will randomly break out into the chorus "New York! concrete jungle where dreams are made of..." over and over again because we can't remember the rest of the words. And then inevitably, someone will then say, "Argh! I hate how grammatically incorrect that is! Made OF what?!?" We are a little bit dorky, but this does not preclude us from dancing to it.

For your viewing pleasure:

And for your viewing pleasure, the Stephen Colbert/Alicia Keys version:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alicia Keys - Empire State of Mind (Part II) Broken Down
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorEconomy

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Someone I can Trust

Someone I Can Trust by The Love Story Thief  
Download now or listen on posterous
Someone I can Trust.mp3 (13694 KB)

What is love? It has a lot more to do with our own decisions and behavior than people often realize.  We are responsible for allowing ourselves to fall in love, and stay in love, at least according to Michele, who realized through a divorce and remarriage what it is that love means to her.

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

The year of the almond

In Finland, there is a Christmas eve tradition which involves rice porridge and an almond. For the annual Christmas eve luncheon, our family makes a huge pot of rice porridge, and from oldest to youngest (sometimes youngest to oldest, depending on the whims of the patriarch) every member of the family scoops a serving into their bowl, without being allowed to peak, because there is a single almond hidden in the pot. The recipient of the almond is promised a year of good luck. For those who are of age and single, it is also supposed to bring a husband or wife. This is of course incredibly coveted and a big drama takes place at the lunch table as everyone peers through their bowls, hoping the almond is in their bowls and then accusing each other of having it in theirs and hiding it. For years, my dad always found the almond and in an attempt to keep us kids from losing interest in the rice porridge, he would hide it until we were stuffed to the gills and then reveal it triumphantly. It is a fun tradition.

I have never, ever gotten the almond. The closest I'd say I thought I came was last year, when the boyfriend I brought home for Christmas got the almond. Of course, it was a lucky year for him, but not so much for me, as we broke up about a week later. Ha, yeah, not so lucky.

Well, this year, I thought, I will be the lucky one and get the almond. I could really use a change in luck in just about everything. I ate my bowl of rice porridge, but the bit of yellow was just some burnt milk. I ate another bowl, and nothing. And then, I lifted up my bowl, and suddenly it was there! The almond. The coveted almond. I looked around, and spotted my brother-in-law Jordan, who had been acting suspiciously and we had been accusing of having the almond wink at me. I fumbled the big reveal, and the truth of the generous benefactor came out, but I think that for all intents and purposes, the almond will still hold magical powers of good luck. And since it now had extra generosity attached to it, I think it is extra lucky. I popped the almond into my mouth, crunch, crunch, and swallow.

And so, dear friends, my year of the almond begins. My year of good luck. I believe in the power of the almond.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

James Tissot

It's snowing here! About time, I say. NOW it feels like Christmasy, and i am ready for it. I spent the day with friends (although I should've probably spent more at home doing laundry and cleaning before i leave for Toronto!). Brunch at Chavella's with grad school friends i haven't seen in a while (why do I do that? i like these people! No need to be a hermit!). Then off to deliver goodies to the ladies i visit teach from church- homemade peppermint chocolate fudge. It was yummy, but i had to avoid eating too much (you know, keep my girlish figure). Ok, really, I just had to make sure that there was enough to fill these four christmas tins and if i ate too many, there wouldn't be enough for my friends, we all know i don't care about my girlish figure.

I ran into a friend heading over to the Brooklyn Museum to see an exhibit by James Tissot on the Life of Christ. Please go check out the link. It is amazing. I figured I'd go over too, seeing as it's Christmas time and all, and thus far my celebration has involved parties and christmas trees and amazing Bergdorf goodman Christmas windows, but very little Christ (well, actually, the messiah sing along counts. but in any case, not much). I lvoe these 350 little watercolors that James Tissot did in the late 1800s after he traveled to jerusalem about the life of Christ. I loved the inclusion of Jewish mysticism in the paintings, and the feel of them. All too often, Mormon paintings are just too... clean? Clean lines, pastel colors, people with Northern European heritage. I loved the opaque watercolors, blurring, colors of the temples and clothing, diversity of people in the paintings. If you are in Brooklyn, it is up until January 17th. If not, well, that's your fault for not living in New York City.

Also, amazing exhibit on "Who shot rock 'n' roll?" on the photographers of rock stars. Totally amazing candid shots, and it made me want to be a rock star just a little bit. And then that thought made me tired. Way too much partying for my taste. I especially liked a photo of Kurt Cobain after a show, crying because it had been so intense. seriously moving.

Ok, i'm off to head into the snowstorm now, meeting up with my friend Misha who has just come back from Nicaragua after a few months of trying to be a photographer. Let's see how he did at this.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The calm in love

The Calm In Love by The Love Story Thief  
Download now or listen on posterous
The calm in love.mp3 (14452 KB)

A recent interview with Neil and Candy, who have been married for 10 years, reminded me of a Robert Browning poem:

"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life for which the first was made, Our times are in his hand who saith, "A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!"

In this interview, they share with us how they have grown in their marriage, through trials and the good times that make it all worth it, and how their love has aged from the euphoric young love to a much finer, comfortable calm.

Music credit: Allison Krauss "When You Say Nothing at All".

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Kent- En Helt Ny Karriar

Download now or listen on posterous
2-05 En Helt Ny Karriär.m4a (3935 KB)

Winter makes me think of Nordic music.

Posted via email from the mixtape club

Monday, December 7, 2009

Making Space for Love

Making Space For Love by The Love Story Thief  
Download now or listen on posterous
Making Space for Love.mp3 (16490 KB)

Helen made space for love in her life by clearing out her closet, thinking in twos, and posting "Love in 2009" everywhere she looked. Love seems to have found her.

Check out her cartoons about love and relationships at

The song, "Because of You" was written and performed by Helen. She's great, isn't she?

Posted via email from The Love Story Thief

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Coney Island Dream

Another amazing submission to the LINGOS film festival, this one made by my friend and incredibly talented photographer Joshua Brown (hire him for your wedding!).

It's a snowy day at Coney Island, eerie and beautiful. I really, really love this piece.

Coney Island Dream from Joshua Brown on Vimeo.


Some kids i know from church made this for LINGOS, the nyc mormon film festival this weekend. I kind of heart it. For all you Twilight fans out there, enjoy!

Twilight Years from Tom on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The romantic comedy lens

When my friend Karly was in town, we got to talking about relationships (I know, surprising, right?). We were talking about how we react to things that happen to our friends and us and realized that while in real life, if a guy we think is perfect for us ends up dumping us and leaving, it is a tragedy. But, if life were a romantic comedy, we would be cheering, because we would know that it will be just a matter of minutes before the goofy, shy, perfect boy shows up and sweeps us off of our feet. In real life, if your friend says they are in love with someone after a day or a weekend together, you try talking them out of it, but in a romantic comedy, you shed a tear of joy that they found each other. See? It’s a little bit different, and, let’s be honest, much more fun.

So, rose colored glasses out! We decided to start looking at things through the romantic comedy lens.

Okay, so if you were really thinking about it, someone would be hiding something big from the other person. Some hick like Matthew McConaughey would get the smart, accomplished girl. They would definitely hate each other upon meeting and then fall in love. And don’t forget the sidekick—you know, the awkward friend who says the wrong thing and is always uglier than you are and has impeccable comedic timing.

Unrealistic you say? Well, yes, but that is why we love romantic comedies so much. A couple overcomes some sort of obstacle to find true love, and true love is someone who loves you for who you are—the lies you told to win the bet when initially asking you out, the aggravating things you do that should drive them up the wall, the emotional breakdowns, the crazy family—they love you in spite, and yes, sometimes even because of these things. Every breakup from the wrong person is a chance to find Mr. Right. Jobs that are unsatisfying and bosses who are aggravating are tossed to the wayside in pursuit of the dream, which always turns out. When two lovers are parted, they always find a way to make it back together despite seemingly insurmountable odds. It always ends with “I just realized I couldn’t live without you,” and who doesn’t want to hear that?

And what does that have to do with real life? Okay, so things don’t happen in the neat little hour and a half long packages with a bow tied on at the end (usually at the wedding). But couldn’t we gain something from looking at life a little bit more like a romantic comedy? On the subway, I could’ve been Karly’s awkward sidekick and told the cute guy standing by us that she dug him, who could’ve been “The One”! The cute doctor in LA who Karly has been out with a few times but just hasn’t made a move is really petrified by her accomplishments and is drumming up the courage to tell her how he feels! And it’s about time that dashing, adventurous film maker I was dating has exited the stage because that leaves space for the real hero to come in from the wings where he has been waiting for his big scene!

If life were a romantic comedy, my career crisis would be the perfect time to come up with some amazing, fulfilling business or take off to live in Africa. And the boy I was in love with (and maybe still haven’t gotten over) would follow me there and tell me he realized life isn’t complete without me; or, I would meet a rugged economist working on some microcredit project that was transforming the economy of a village. If life were a romantic comedy, I would take my friends to Vegas after a break up and encourage them to get married on a whim or believe 100% that every relationship, no matter how short of long, could end in happily ever after.

Maybe the lessons to be learned from the romantic comedy lens are to 1) be hopeful and believe that love can happen at any moment. Right now! Look to the left! And 2) take chances and risk big, because that is when life really changes.

So here’s to sappy love stories all around.

Words to live by

"Each of us needs to develop the courage to listen with our whole
heart and mind, to give love without asking thanks in return, and to
meet each person ad a chance to know a new individual, not as a way of
reaffirming prejudices. Our work should remind us all that the poor
the world over are out brothers and sisters.

But empathy is only our starting point. It must be combined with focus
and conviction, te toughness to know what needs to get done and the
courage to follow through. Today's world needs more than
humanitarians. We need individuals who know how to listen and who have
real and tangible skills to share. We will succeed only if we fuse a
very hard-headed analysis with an equally soft heart."

Jaqueline Novogratz, "The Blue Sweater"