Archive for the ‘Yvonne’ Category

Letter from Yvonne: Life of Sky

Friday, December 19th, 2008


Dear R J and Daily Blague readers,

Four summers ago, the deaf kitten Sky came to live with us.  It was like being charged with the care of a magical creature:  beautiful, wild, ever a mystery.

Try to imagine a curious, clumsy, irrepressible little being who emits a wide vocabulary of charmingly expressive noises.  If that made you think of WALL-E, you’re pretty close!…Now try to imagine WALL-E as a fearless living plush-toy, rather than a skittish robot.

Sky deserves his very own musical theme.  Not like that clarinet-voiced cat from Peter and the Wolf, though; Sky’s theme would be a perfectly-balanced fusion between Prokofiev’s carefree child-of-nature Peter, and the single-minded wolf!  So please try to hear that woven through the following scenes… (more…)

Letter from Yvonne:
Danish Cinema For Beginners

Friday, December 5th, 2008


Hello to everyone!

I began fretting over how to title this entry long before I finally launched into writing it. How to communicate that I’m going to write about Danish Cinema without stirring up hope that I may have brilliant and scholarly things to say about Danish Cinema? Oh, believe me, I would love to offer scholarly observations on…perhaps, the seminal work and international influence of Carl Theodor Dreyer, but I’ve only ever seen Vampyr, and that was forever ago, and I’m pretty sure I thought he was German. If you’re curious about how the French New Wave inspired the Dogme 95 Collective, I’ll have to beg off again, as I’ve not seen enough of the Dogme films to speak about them with any authority…and of the six I have rented, I kind of hated two of them.

So this post could only truthfully be titled “Here Are Some Post-Babette’s Feast Danish Films That I Have Found at Netflix, and Enjoyed, and Would Like to Recommend to You in the Hope That You Will Like Them Also”. (more…)

Letter from Yvonne:
In Which I Actually Grow Fond of Those Sourpusses from American Gothic

Friday, November 21st, 2008


Dear R J and Daily Blague readers,

Help! American Gothic keeps jumping out at me! From the museum wall in Chicago, from The Daily Blague, from the book I began reading last week…someday that pitchfork is going to put my eye out.

I’ve been reading about the painting, but am still uncertain: did Grant Wood conceive it as a satire? A critique? Or was he paying tribute to a notion of “real America”, as Sarah Palin might put it? Wikipedia tells me that his fellow Iowans were insulted by this depiction, and that “One farmwife threatened to bite Wood’s ear off.” Well, my goodness! That could cause a man to retroactively adjust his intentions, at least for public consumption. It’s clear that other details of the storyline were changed, or at least allowed to become ambiguous.  Initially the man and woman were husband and wife; this was later amended to father and daughter (sometimes, with cruel precision, “spinster daughter”) — or husband and wife.

Whatever the narrative, this image has been creeping me out for over 20 years — ever since my encounter with the real thing in Chicago. (more…)

Letter from Yvonne:
After the Election

Friday, November 7th, 2008


Hi, Everyone —

Did you know it was possible to feel so excited and happy and relieved that one could actually end up 180-ing directly to NUMB?

Perhaps watching the election coverage at home, alone, was a bad idea. This was a collective moment: too heavy with context and consequence to be experienced in solitude and while wearing jammies; too rich and sweet to be celebrated with a glass of lime-y Sauvignon blanc. My husband, Robert, a journalist (no, no, the good kind! — the kind you wish there were more of!), was off covering the local election scene. So I sat in front of the TV, anticipatory tissues balled up in my hand, watching all the emotional faces…and failing to cry. Even when the soul-stirring new First Family walked out onto that stage! Even at the most moving parts of Obama’s speech; even about the puppy. What is wrong with me?

I’m hoping I will bawl myself sick with joy on Inauguration Day.

Or that the frozen tears will suddenly well up and wash over me at some unexpected hour. Perhaps as I’m out shopping tomorrow…say, at Bed Bath & Beyond, where I might hurl myself onto one of those little gussied-up prop beds and weep into the careful-but-comically-excessive arrangement of decorative pillows. (more…)

Letter from Yvonne:
Mr. Ramaupolster

Friday, October 24th, 2008


Hello, everyone!

When I first sat down to write this entry, I opened Google and entered “Mr. Ramaupolster” in the search field…but paused for a delicious tingling moment before moving my cursor to Search.  Because, oh my god…what if I’d get a hit?

I’d written about Mr. Ramaupolster to R J — whose practiced eye immediately identified the story as a blog post waiting to happen.  So here it is; I’ve certainly enjoyed reminiscing about the good old days of Mr. R, in which I’d been granted a peek at how the other half lives.

And by “the other half”, I mean those who live only in my imagination. (more…)

Letter from Yvonne:
The Goatherd’s Son

Friday, October 10th, 2008


Dear R J and Daily Blague readers,

The first wave of the McCain campaign’s indecent Negative Surge has shaken me so badly that I can’t possibly write what I’d intended to write this week, which was a chatty post about eggplants (?), and comfort food. (!)  At a time when we are all so raw over the economy, McCain and Palin are actually inciting their supporters to a level of wild rage that the rest of us can’t help but fear.  Ratatouille Pie is not going to comfort anyone right now.

My only source of comfort in the news is Barack Obama himself.  Has anyone else noticed how he is handling this?  Has handled everything since we first became aware of him?


Letter from Yvonne:
Hope – And a Thing with Feathers

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008


Hello, Everyone.

When R J invited me to guest blog, I teased that he must have read the CNET article in which the CEO of I Can Has Cheezburger (…yes, that blog has a CEO; let’s all contemplate that for a moment…) reports that his site “is approaching 100 million page views a month.”  Surely this is why I’ve been brought on board:  clever R J is expecting moi to contribute plenty of the kind of cute animal stuff which would not otherwise tread upon the green expanses of The Daily Blague.  Win/win:  perhaps a few thousand of my fellow giggle-buckets will be lured over to the DB, away from those trivial LOL sites – and once reeled in, R J will get them reading The Decameron and Moby Dick, or at least something about the Mitfords.

If that is your secret agenda, R J, I’ll do my part!  But, oh, the Critter beat has seen some dark days lately.


Letter from Yvonne:
Hello! It’s Nice to Freeze You.

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008


Dear Daily Blague Readers,

As part of some sort of Outreach Program for the Blogless or something – I don’t know what he’s thinking, exactly – R J has kindly invited me to guest blog from time to time.

After a giddy twelve seconds of pride in this wondrous achievement – from my humble beginnings in the mail room, I have ascended to the rank of contributor  to The Daily Blague! – I began to fret that R J would ask me to write an inaugural post “introducing myself” to Daily Blague readers.  I apologize for whining – already! – but an introduction would be difficult for me.  I have issues.  Not the least of which is this one:  in the real world, introductions are a near-phobia of mine.  The truth is, you do not want to be introduced to me.  As a woman with a warm heart, I feel great compassion for people who are introduced to me.

Because I have really, really cold hands.  There are worse afflictions, but this one is weird, and a little funny, I think.  When a person offers a hand to me for shaking, I must immediately compose my face so that he or she can’t detect the involuntary inner cringe – that  would surely be misunderstood…!  This poor stranger doesn’t know what’s coming, but I do. (more…)