Go here

Since I’m deadly serious about photoblogging, try this:

elisabethdonnelly.tumblr.com.

For pictures about buildings and food.

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Things are brewing

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As evident from the fact that the last post was in March, this blog is, by all accounts, defunct. There will be a new blog happening soon in a shiny new spot – it’s simply a matter of time.

Until then, keep in touch via twitter @heydonnelly. Where things are awfully shiny and I mostly occasionally post about books. This brave new internet world is fun, but I’m afraid I do feel hindered by the format – generally keeping things placid and on the surface. The rest I save for a diary!

And I’m writing weekly for Tribecafilm.com. Some good films from 2009: The Hurt Locker, Food, Inc., The Exploding Girl, In the Loop. The last has the potential to be a classic, I believe. More later!

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Authenticity does not mean “extra good”

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Authenticity is a terrible term by which to judge art. It’s thrown around a lot! I.E., this guy did heroin and killed their friend at the train tracks, ergo his book is good. This guy went to juke joints for six months (leaving because he had no money/was scared) so ergo, his blues are better than yours.

Authenticity is a straw-man, an initial feint coming from an artist (often) with a background of super-privilege or, alternately, super-in-the-muck. The real question, I think, when it comes to art (whatever it may be): does it move me? Is there blood* behind it, pulsing through it? Is there more on its mind than sheer entertainment? (And while that may have its value, of course, perhaps that’s the difference between a momentary diversion and something Great, something that shifts the molecules a little bit, makes you look at the world through new eyes.)

That kind of experience is a rush, a kick, a high. Exhilarating. And you could argue that art is quite possibly the easiest route to that sort of human experience.

* Semi-related, but in the “how to be a great English major” files: make sure every term paper you write is about sex. Look for the seething, raging sexuality underneath whatever Lake Placid the book may offer. It will make your writing better, give it a drive. You will get an A.

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R.I.P Stu’s Car

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Stu had told me that his car had gotten scrunched by a lady in Troy. She was trying to parallel park and didn’t know the difference between Reverse and Drive. She also, apparently, wasn’t too swift with the breaks.

Stu’s car went to the shop and never returned. It was too far gone.

I had three years of memories with this car; in fact, I knew things were going well with dating Stu when he said, generously, “Feel free to drive my car, I never use it.” That never happens!

I drove that car. We had adventures. When I was freelancing full-time, that car took me out, away, anywhere but here. I discovered precious places in that car. Went to towns like Montreal, Montague, Providence, New York, an abandoned pig farm in central Massachusetts, a bed and breakfast in New Hampshire, a girl’s camp in Maine, Philadelphia for one of the last Sleater-Kinney shows ever.

I will miss you, car! Thanks for protecting me and providing me tunes and letting me cry and think and love and live just a little bit more in the moment.

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Out to lunch

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This blog, as it is, isn’t really a priority at the moment.

It’s too bad in some ways, because I get a heck of a lot of hits from Gilmore Girls fans, and living in New York, away from New England, in a state of New England-stalgia, I’ve been thinking a bit about the show, what it means to me, what I’ve learned from it, stuff like that. But I haven’t been thinking about it that much. Enough for a blog post, certainly.

I wanted at one point to list everything I wrote this year, which is as good a biography as any, but I wasn’t that interested.

I like the new year and all the symbolism that comes with it. I had an excellent holiday break. I have found the secret to a grand New Year’s Eve; go to a bed and breakfast with the person you love and dare each other to go outside into the hot tub in subfreezing weather.

I guess the best way to describe how I’m feeling right now, and this can certainly be applied to this website, is transitional.

I’m on the hustle and bustle. I’m going outside.

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Poignant

Whenever I hear Wham’s “Last Christmas,” I feel such emotion. Perhaps it was most fully realized one night walking by the Charles Hotel in Cambridge in Harvard Square. They were opening the ice skating rink that night. It was a dinky one about the size of a large room. The mayor was there, I think.

Last Christmas came surging over the speakers, maybe a teen-pop girl cover, the synths chirping brightly, and Harvard’s synchronized skating team, clad in sort of matching skirts from the bargain basement, came out, skating in circles. The rink was too small for the team to be so synchronized. Some girls were better than others. I wasn’t in any place to understand George Michael’s lament, but it was a piercingly sad lament to love lost and how the holidays are linked. Watching Harvard girls fail to ice dance together to a song so melancholy just hit me hard.

File this under Death of Print: One of my treasured hanging out with my parents traditions is waking up and eating breakfast while reading The Boston Globe. These days, the paper is so gutted that it doesn’t even last me five minutes. What’s sad is that the Globe arts section was always fairly robust, but these days, “G” means one feature article, a space for a column (because that hack Alex Beam still needs his job) a smattering of listings, a review or two, but that’s it. It’s shockingly small. It’s getting to be that the sports section is really the only thing that the Globe pays attention to. It’s certainly bigger than the metro/business section! It’s really heartbreaking.

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I win at life

Tonight I have scored: the John Cheever biography coming out in March, a chocolate bar, a cozy room, and The Walkmen’s “In the New Year.” Cheever claims that being from New England gives him duality.

Lou Reed walked by me as I scored this book. Failed to tell him that we have some things in common, a love of Okkervil River and a tendency to fall asleep during movies, but that’s okay. Feeling pretty great.

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