Lost Stars

This song has been stuck in my head since I saw Begin Again and found out after the fact that it was written and directed by John Carney, writer and director of the brilliant Once. 

Do yourself a favor and see this film. It’s a love letter to the audience. It disarms you, wins you over, and makes you hope. I haven’t smiled at the movies in a long, long time.

Kiera Knightley version:

Adam Levine version:

Careening Toward Mid-Life

A not unserious thought came in my head today as I was walking to Starbucks to purchase my six dollar, 600 gajillion calorie beverage.

Having hit 35 recently, <Carrie>I couldn’t help but wonder</Carrie>: At what point should I give up hope of ever being shredded?

When I look at myself in the mirror now, I notice wrinkles around my eyes, skin spots like my grandpa used to have, greys sprouting on my head. In my 20s, I hit the gym religiously, at one point even doling out a grand for a personal trainer. I’m not out of shape per se, but shirtless selfies look ridiculous now compared with how I looked at 26. My six-pack strains to break free from the fluffy confines of late night pasta dinners.

Existentialist questions (“Is there all there is?”; “What have I done with my life?”) notwithstanding, I’m more than curious to find out how people deal with this physical transition.

If looking good nekkid (LGN) were more of a priority, I’d get my act together. But I like my life and lifestyle. I occasionally make it to the gym. I eat somewhat healthily. I take regular showers. Looking all shredded just seems like too much work, with little return at this point in my life.

Should I abandon all hope now?

Must not lose faith in humanity… Must not lose faith in humanity… Must not lose faith in humanity…

Another day, another school shooting. This is our new normal: schools and CiCi’s Pizza are the Wild West of the 21st Century. We’ve had 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook. We’re now making bullet proof blankets for kids.

I’m exhausted by the numbing cycle of shock, fear, anger, and frustration resulting from what now seem like regularly scheduled shootings. Our elected officials are paralyzed, even when 90 percent of American support expanded background checks on guns. I’m not enough of an expert to know whether that form of gun control will address the larger problem — John Wayne is as part of our DNA as is apple pie, after all — but at least that would be doing something. Meanwhile, the Texas GOP adopts reparative therapy for gays as part of their platform.

I believe in the right to bear arms. What I don’t believe in is people. (Too cynical?) How do I know that you, gun-wielding citizen, won’t shoot me, non-gun-wielding citizen, for — I don’t know — looking at you wrong?

That other industrialized nations don’t seem to be dealing with this issue as often as we are should raise flags. But we’ve demonstrated time and again that America is not a particularly docile nation; we prefer violence over sex. I guess this is one area where America truly is exceptional.