About that Facebook challenge

I can only describe my first Facebook profile picture, because I have since scrubbed it and all other pre-weight-loss photos from Facebook. It was impossible to look at this picture and glean from it any real sense of what I looked like, which was, of course, the point. What it conveyed was a certain carefree ease, a happiness and boldness that I aspired to. You couldn’t see that I was afraid of what you’d think of me when you saw me.

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The wall calendar of my discontent

While in Paris, I did something I have not done lo these many years: I bought a wall calendar. Between Google Calendar and the ubiquity of wall calendars as tools for soliciting charitable donations, my calendar needs have been largely met for at least the last decade. The Middlebury College annual calendar always features some really lovely shots of Old Chapel in winter and other such iconic seasonal landscapes. It makes a nice office-wall adornment, though I often forget to turn the page when the new month arrives. This calendar, on the other hand, is a Joan Miró calendar from the Grand Palais in Paris, an impulse purchase at the end of a meander through the exhibit halls that had been both too short and too long. Before I could think it through, my hands were on it, my credit card was out of my wallet, and I was signing here.

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Go ahead and love something an embarrassing amount: Amahl and the Night Visitors

Christmas to me is something in between a secular holiday and a religious holiday. My own celebrations of the season have generally tended towards the former - Christmas movies, Christmas trees, and gift-giving being the main constants. And yet I have always fallen mysteriously prey to the emotional pull of religious Christmas music. Don’t get me started on the popular stuff; I can’t stand it. I can take about one Bruce Springsteen rendition of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town” a year and I’m done, and don’t come near me with that Mariah Carey racket. There was one year (ninth grade?) when I was briefly taken with Mariah Carey’s Christmas album, and it is one of the few things in my life I look back on with sincere regret. Not to yuck your yum; let’s just not go there. No, give me the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing “O Come All Ye Faithful” every single time. And for that matter “Joy To The World.” Does the Savior reign? I don’t know, but who cares? You bet I’ll well up with tears when we get to “repeat the sounding joy”!

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Go ahead and Love Something an Embarrassing Amount: The Gang's Philadelphia gets rainy for a change

I spent many years not particularly liking It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, for reasons I could rarely explain very well. It was grating, and intense, and I just didn’t get it (although I am sure I never admitted that last part). I eventually gave it more of a chance and grew quite fond of it, finding myself at times fascinated by it, but I would never have said I truly loved it. With this episode, I am Sunny’s forever. What happens at the end of Season 13 makes me retroactively love the show’s entire run in a way that I never could before.

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Go Ahead and Love Something an Embarrassing Amount, Volume IV: Enter my first guest blogger

Readers of Slow Twitch Prose, I give you Tristan Axelrod on his favorite type of humor. Incidentally, his love of it is more embarrassing to me than it is to him, but I think it still counts. He’s also a pretty good writer, and here he gives a very lucid explanation of his favorite jokes and what makes them funny (to him, at least).

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Go ahead and love something an embarrassing amount, Volume I: the 'Marseillaise' scene in casablanca

There are things that bother me now about Casablanca that didn’t bother me when I was ten, but by god, I will sit through the entire movie just to feel the tears well up when Victor Laszlo stands up in front of the band and cries, “play La Marseillaise!  Play it!” I got the chills just typing that sentence and reliving that sequence in my head, in fact.

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