Nora Ephron Is My Therapist

I was poised to write a thoughtful reflection on my current feelings of anxiety. But then, I saw that The Time Traveler's Wife was on HBO. Having read the book, I knew exactly what it had to offer. I watched it, I cried, and now my inspiration has evaporated. This is not an unusual situation for me, and I'm not altogether sure how common (or uncommon) it is. Approximately every two weeks, the faintest traces of worry manifest in my gut: worries about life in general, work, writing, not writing, family, the future, the mounting pile of dishes in the sink, everything. I brush off the feeling as it builds until, at some point, I can't stand it. Then I seek relief -- not in the more obvious choices of booze or drugs but in movies (and occasionally books and music). These are what I refer to as my "triggers," the stimuli that coax the worry out of my system.

My ultimate go-to's are inspiring dramas and romantic comedies, mostly movies starring Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts. I've watched my You've Got Mail DVD more times than I can count. (For me, romanticizing email correspondence is the equivalent of shirtless George Clooney or Robert Pattison).  When I moved to London for a year, I watched one of three movies virtually every week: Notting Hill, Something's Gotta Give, and You've Got Mail. Most recently, I've discovered that Gran Torino, a dark horse of my triggers, can inspire tears as long as I tune in at least 15 minutes before the end. Impressive or terrifying? Perhaps both.

My triggers are my comfort food, and for the purpose of reading and writing more, I suppose it's time I went on a diet of sorts. The ultimate goal would be to need no trigger at all, of course -- to just react to life as it happens. But for now, I'll settle with more books, more movies, more music and maybe a little less You've Got Mail. For the record, You've Got Mail is fantastic and the clip below captures everything I love about it.

My progress so far? This week, I subscribed to Harper's Magazine and started reading Nora Ephron's (coincidentally, writer/director/producer of You've Got Mail) 2006 memoir I Feel Bad About My Neck.

Happy Days

Ok, time for a happy entry. This past week, I just got a little tired of being away from the States and family and friends. I watched You've Got Mail three times to give you an idea of my dire straits. But then a series of good things happened.

1. I received a mixed cd from a friend at UCLA, combining the excitement of mail and new music all in one glorious yellow parcel.

2. I actually went climbing when other LSE climbers were there. Yes, I should've been making a greater effort to go when other people were going, but it takes some will power to drag myself climbing when class finished at 6PM Friday and work starts 9:30AM Saturday. Luckily, I had the will power this week and did my first lead climb (where you clip into the wall) to prepare for Sardinia. Afterwards we hit the pub and I rewarded my efforts with a pint of Kronenburg, my favorite beer here.

3. Jared's parents visited. More than just a complimentary dinner, I received a bit of the parental love that Jared couldn't absorb.

4. Work. I was exhausted today, but yesterday was fun somehow. For every asshole that claims prices are "puh-THET-ic" in that posh English accent, there's four or five customers that make you feel good about your day. And of course, my co-workers.

5. I read The Kite Runner and am possibly the last person on earth to finally read it. Anyways, I liked it a lot. I'm onto a new one called Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin which is good so far.

Alright. I'm going to a sold out concert tomorrow at the Institute of Contemporary Arts to see Noah & the Whale. Check them out.